Pregnancy

What really goes through a mans mind when he finds out he’s about to become a dad? Updates following the trials and tribulations, worries, excitement and realisation that in the not too distant future I’ll become a dad for the first time.

Pancakes Grand Entrance Blow By Blow

Baby Boy. 9lbs 2oz. 24 August 2015 at 9:10pm

9:10pm saw Pancake take his first breath and open his eyes to the big wide world! 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 eyes – yup everything was present and correct. What an experience 🙂

The Birth Minute By Minute

Sunday

  • 1:30am – J started to feel cramps and twinges so on went the Mama Tens Pregnancy Machine which helped massively.
  • 9:00pm – Pain had intensified to the level that we phoned up the maternity ward and after a few questions, we were told to head on in for a check.
  • 9:30pm – A sweep showed that J was only 1cm dilated
  • 10:30pm – dropped off our Labradoodle at my parents… the cat was now out of the bag!
  • Monday

  • 10:00am – Headed back to hospital for codine and another sweep. As it now showed we were only 3cm dilated, we were sent back home.
  • 12:30pm – Gardners arrive as J is screaming from the nursery all types of obscenities while doubled over a maternity ball.
  • 2:00pm – we head back in and are told she is now 5cm dilated. Headed straight to our own suite and J jumped in the water birthing pool that gave instant relief.
  • 6:00pm – shift change at hospital saw us say goodbye to two very relaxed and comical midwives and hello to a good old fashioned matron “Get on with it” style midwife.
  • 2:30pm > 8:30pm – pretty much a blur of swearing, splashing, eating toast, drinking water and chugging on gas.
  • 8:30pm > 9:00pm – air taken off J as she now had to concentrate on pushing. This was it, Pancake was on his way!
  • 9:05pm – his head is halfway out before the contractions decide to stop
  • 9:10pm – one final huge contraction and out comes Pancake
  • 11:00pm – after repairs and time to relax, we decide to start texting family and discuss between us whether he looks like a Burt, Alfie or Archie.
  • Tuesday

  • 1:00am – I was sent out for a McDonald’s which sadly turned out not to be a 24hr one. Headed home and made up a cool bag of sandwiches, yoghurts, sweets, flapjacks, drinks and bananas for J to eat though the night.
  • 2:00am – J & G-man were moved to the ward, so as I had been ordered home to get as much sleep as possible for the next few days, said goodbye and headed off home as a Dad!
  • 9:00am – Spent the rest of the day with the biggest smile on my face and learning all about latches.
  • 9:54am – Texted the world about the arrival of Pancake. Still not decided on a name but we’re getting there.
  • 3:00pm – Decided we wanted to stay another night in hospital to ensure that we knew what we were doing. Also let the parents know that visiting would be in hospital tomorrow, giving us a day to ourselves to get used to the little man.
  • 5:34am – Decided on Little G-Mans name and once again texted everyone. (First name after my Granddad and middle name after my “Uncle” who played a pivotal role in my life would have been thrilled by the news).
  • 9:50pm – Sent out for Pizza Express takeaway which was enjoyed back in our hospital room while Little G-Man slept.
  • Wednesday

  • 9:00am – Back at hospital, this time getting ready for all the visitors. Given them each 30min slots to ensure people come and go, giving us enough time to pack up and head home.
  • 11:00am – Introduced to Granddad & Jen
  • 11:30am – Introduced to Grandpa
  • 12:00pm – Introduced to Grandma
  • 2:42pm – Waved goodbye to the hospital staff and headed off home for the first time!
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    The Final Countdown To Baby Due Date

    We are now just 3 days away from Due Date but as of yet, there is no movement at all.

    Since the last update, we’ve been a little bored just waiting for something to happen. Pancake is in the right place so we’re now just playing the waiting game.

    I’ve Started Nesting

    Better late than never, we feel we’re actually starting to “nest” as they say.

    The nursery, although unlikely to be used for the first few months, now has everything in situ. Nappies, Water Wipes, cotton wool balls and nappy bags are all in easy reach of the change table so minimum effort is required at 3am.

    The nappy bin lock has been checked, checked again, and checked for the final time to ensure our curious Labradoodle can’t get in and make a mess. Rockers and bouncers are waiting, grandparents are waiting, we’re waiting…

    Tax Free child care vouchers

    Tax Free child care vouchers

    We’ve also managed to properly sort out our finances knowing that J plans to take 12 months maternity and that we want Pancake to go to nursery before her return, it was something that needed to be done so we could take as much advantage of things like the tax free Childcare Voucher scheme offered by employers.

    Also with time on our hands, we’ve decided one of the first things we’re going to do once Pancake has arrived, is to sort out a holiday. Another cruise is most likely. Somewhere warm on a ship that offers baby sitting facilities 🙂

    Waiting For The Arrival

    It is surprisingly boring waiting for a little one to arrive especially if you’ve already done as much as you think is possible prior to their arrival.

    As one last treat and while we can still function, we’ve decide to head out to our favourite restaurant for one last time as a couple 🙂 Next time we go…

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    Surprise!!! It’s Your Baby Shower

    Today the weather behaved itself, just, and J surprise baby shower went down an absolute treat. Luckily it didn’t kick start anything 😉

    Keep It A Secret

    As luck would have it, the date that was convenient for most people coincided with my Dads birthday. This meant J knew there was a gathering for a party and therefore wasn’t the least bit suspicious when I helped out moving garden furniture, putting up a gazebo, taking ice buckets, bowls etc round.

    My little nephews spent the week before cutting out flowers for garden decorations while my sister-in-law sorted out bunting, table decorations and everything else requires to make a proper summer garden party.

    I somehow managed to keep under wraps that our favourite restaurant who catered our wedding last year, were providing the food for the day and I left the two mums to sort out everything else including drinks.

    Surprise!

    Luckily everyone arrived just in time, and as we entered my parents garden and rounded the corner, J expected to see my folks, my Dads cousins and few other family members all readying for his birthday. Instead she was confronted by 14 friends and family all shouting Surprise!

    J froze for about 3 seconds, unable to take comprehend the whole thing, and then started to blub (blame the hormones) – all captured on video too.

    The garden looked stunning, and after 15 minutes or so I headed off with my Dad, Brother and three nephews to play crazy golf and have a McDonald’s treat leaving J Baby Shower to start.

    Baby Shower Games

    This is where my sis-in-law came into her element. Being Columbian but spending a lot of her time growing up in New York, she like most Americans know how to throw a party and completely go over the top. The idea from the outset was to get a bunch of friends round, completely chill out, drink and eat and have a few games thrown in for good measure.

    Baby prediction cards

    Baby prediction cards

    No “Baby” allowed!

    Everyone wore a dummy and weren’t allowed to say “Baby”. If they did, the person who noticed claimed their dummy. At the end of the day, the person with all the dummies, or most, won.

    How Many?

    Guess the number of Jelly Babies in jar.

    Nappy Race

    Two people, with one directing the other who is blindfold, on putting on an old fashioned nappy on a doll.

    String The Bump

    Using a ball of string, each person had to guess the length it would take to fit round J’s bump. One “friend” measured enough string that it went round twice!

    Prediction Cards

    Each filled in a card guessing the date, weight, length, sex, time in labour and name.

    Gifts Galore

    Baby Clothes Bouquets from the Bump Company

    Baby Clothes Bouquets from the Bump Company

    In the run up to J’s Baby Shower, having been asked by many what gifts they could get, I sent our gift wishlist that was originally put together for our family.

    As it happened there was still a lot of things we hadn’t got round to buy in all price ranges.

    We ended up receiving a vast amount of gifts from nappy cakes through to night lights and not one single thing was duplicated. In fact we even received a few items for when Pancake reaches 6mnths so not everything was for Newborn which was nice.

    We also received a beautiful Baby Clothes Bouquet from The Bump Company who sent it direct to my parents house ready for the surprise baby shower.

    J soon learned that everyone knew about this… everyone but her 🙂 Result!

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    Parentcraft and Health Visitors

    Unable to make the NCT classes, as an alternative for the past 4 weeks we’ve been attending the local Parentcraft classes. The aim of Parentcraft is similar to NCT in that they equip parents-to-be with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills needed to ensure the physical, emotional and social development of the child.

    Our 4 sessions we’re conducted by a physiotherapists, midwife and two health visitors where we learned about everything from breathing techniques to breast-feeding and nearly everything else in-between.

    Its all about the shelves?!

    The Parentcraft session were nothing like what I’d expected, we weren’t all made to lie on the floor, yoga balls never made and appearance, no back and shoulder massaging took place and we didn’t meditate!

    The Parentcraft sessions offered realistic, practical guidance and advice on how survive the first few months of parenthood and between the initial 13 couples a few good Q&A sessions were had with banter.

    It never crossed our minds that a shelf was needed in the nursery so early on, but for some reason floating shelves from Argos seemed to be the talking point and banter of many.

    Some had put them up, others had bought them or were in the process of buying them and then there was us… We hadn’t even thought about them!

    *I now have a High Gloss 80cm Floating Shelf to put up 😀

    As the weeks of Parentcraft went by, it was obvious that couples were disappearing, not due to the course, but because of early arrivals. The first time it happened we were all happy and cheery but as time went by, this turned to reality and fear 🙂

    The most important teaching we picked up was that Every Baby Is Different. Friends and family will tell you what worked for them, but it doesn’t mean it will work for Pancake so it is often best to simply go with what you think is best.

    One point that was emphasised quite a lot related to the use of Cot Bumpers. 3 years ago cot bumpers were all the rage and thought to be hugely beneficial yet now the medical professionals are advising against using cot bumpers. It’s a continuously changing minefield!

    Health Visitor

    Yesterday we had our health visitor call round and to be quite honest it wasn’t quite what we expected. I have no idea why, but we thought she’d want to check the house from top to bottom to make sure it was in a child friendly state, but it turns out this initial meeting was just to introduce herself and make sure we weren’t some raving crack pots.

    The days leading up to our health visitor calling round, I was building furniture in the nursery left, right and centre and up and down in the loft like a Yo-Yo tidying up as much as possible.

    Our hall, stairs and landing are being decorated. New paper, paint, spindles & banister, new flooring and new under stair cupboards being built so even at it’s best, the house is in a bit of a dusty tip now. Luckily our Health Visitor was the slightest bit perturbed as I guess it’s what many couples do – preparing the nest.

    After chatting and finding out that J fixed little ones for a living, I think she left safe in the knowledge that everything was looking good. I think the next time we see her will be 2 or 3 weeks after Pancake arrives and guess the next visit may be a bit more in-depth, wanting to check the nursery layout, offering advice etc.

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    Baby Names Revisited

    Aware of the fact that Pancake isn’t an ideal name for a baby, with less than 12 weeks until our due date is upon us, and aware that over 33% of parents decide on a name in the second trimester, we’ve decided to take another look at baby names.

    Sadly our previous short-list which we kept on my mobile phone, vanished not so long ago following the Beta testing of the latest Windows Phone 10 OS update. So it’s time to start over again…

    All Hail The NameBerry

    This time we’re keeping track of our list on NameBerry, a website we discovered back in February, and one I find rather addictive as it shows what people are searching for in real time (Ulysses, Lark, Sawyer, Ichabod…).

    Trying to drum up a list of baby names we like that aren’t already in use by our immediate family is proving a little difficult.

    We both like old fashion names, but due to our surname, we are restricted somewhat as name compatibility comes in to play with certain ones. Even if we wanted to, there is no way we could choose Autumn, Jack, David or Dee – work it out 😉

    Baby Name Considerations

    As we give more time to thinking of baby names, we’re also aware that there a number of additional things we need to give consideration to such as initials and possible nicknames. I guess as you only get one chance, it is worth trying to anticipate any potentially embarrassing ones that could cause issues in the future.

    So our baby name list is live, and over the next few days and weeks we’ll hopefully drum up some more boys names as currently it is 15-5 to the girls!

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