Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ten things I have learned so far...

TO celebrate 30 weeks of pregnancy, I thought I'd share the 10 lessons learned so far...

1) Never predict how you will react when your beloved tells you she is pregnant, my reaction to her peeing on a stick was to be mute for the first time in years!

2) If you are keeping it secret, learn to lie - A LOT

3) Do try and ensure the scans go as close to time as possible, she has full bladder which won't get any lighter

4) Do NOT joke about: running water, taps or peeing while waiting. It will not be appreciated 

5) Be prepared, her food taste will change without warning. That meal you used to love? Yeah she might not like it anymore

6) Do not, I repeat NOT overdo the 'you should be resting comments' - pregnant woman are like iPhones, fantastic and do loads with a full charge but next to hopeless when the battery is on red.

7) Fellas, she looks amazing and you have so many dirty thoughts in your head you could write a porno. She doesn't...supportive and massages might be all you get to do...

8) Don't rule anything further than 7) out though but try and think with brain and not the old fella

9) When she feels huge, don't state the obvious! Again you might not like the response!

10) Fellas, it's ok to panic - it's normal but it soon passes. Oh and you will have a moment when you are with your own dad where you will think:

"Christ, I am going to be father!"

Enjoy, it's a marvellous trip! 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Scans, surprises and suites

ONCE again we found ourselves at the hospital, no real surprise as I think the car can drive itself there now.

Friday was scan day and what a lovely day we had, firstly the scan which Jacob really can’t be doing with now, he fidgets as soon as the gel goes on. My boy likes his privacy!

It’s strange as any check of the heartbeat that is done sees J do all he can so help everyone on the outside hear it.

He’s also developing a rather cute party trick of kicking for anyone that might ask to feel Pam’s bump, bringing delight to many…charmer!

Despite the fidgeting, he does relent and offered his mum and dad a surprise while the sonographer was looking at his feet.

We knew he was ‘almost certainly’ a boy but J decided to make sure and proceeded to give us all a quick flash…like I said charmer!!

After that Pam won huge praise for how she has controlled her diabetes during the pregnancy and, while J currently measures above the line on the growth chart, it concluded a fantastic day for us.

The next day saw us back at Worcestershire Royal for a tour of the delivery suite, something which initially I thought might be a bit of a waste of time.

I mean you don’t look at the dentists where you will have the root canal, nor look at the theatre you will have an operation so why look where you will have your baby.

It will have a bed and all the gubbins you see on programmes like One Born Every Minute so why visit?

Well, how wrong was I, what a lovely afternoon and how reassuring it was to see the layout of the place where J will breathe his first breath.

The lovely midwife Dawn had eight couples on her hands including Pam and I but was thoughtful and relaxed as she took us round the delivery suite.

First stop was the birthing pool suite, Worcestershire Royal only has one birthing pool suite but wowzer how deep is the pool? It’s the depth of a swimming pool, I can totally see why mums love it now as it must be like taking the world’s biggest bath!

There are blow up pools though and each delivery room has an en-suite so any water based pain relief could be taken care of.

We were taken round the whole delivery suite, including a glimpse into the theatre which was not in use when we visited.

Although I hope our journey doesn’t end in c-section, it could and more power to the midwives at Worcestershire Royal for tackling the fear head on, I hope it calmed the nerves of some.

A tour around antenatal followed and I have to say the facilities were first class and an ideal way for us to welcome J into the world.

A huge thanks to Dawn and the team on the day, when she was asked why it was rather quiet despite eight of the nine delivery rooms being ‘in use’ she responded: “I don’t think any are at the stage where they are making much noise yet”.

I suspect things might have got louder when we left!



Wednesday, 18 June 2014

What is the point of Katie Hopkins?

I DONT like insulting anyone, especially not a woman, but what is the point of Katie Hopkins?

She has aired her views once again called Kim Kardashian's baby North West 'ugly'.

Now everyone has the right to an opinion, including Mrs Hopkins, but it seems she can only spout venom about parents and children.

Anyone with 'working class' names such as Tyler and Chardonnay are somehow lower than her and her children. And memorably she dislikes parents who give their children a 'location-based' name.

That's Katie Hopkins who has a daughter  called India.....

Yet she is given airtime over and over again to spout her views having made her name on reality shows.

An exceptionally ruthless business woman appeared on the Apprentice, a worthy winner in the making.

Yet she resigned citing childcare problems but said she would have won anyway....

Various other media appearances have followed including a column in a national newspaper yet on parenting she seems to hate mothers.

The idea of a mum staying at home out of choice is abhorrent to her, her capacity to see the other side of the arguement is almost non existent.

Yet programmes such as This Morning seem to love her as a kind of Shock Jock.

But I have already learned in parenting, everyone does it differently and as long as children are safe and secure it doesn't matter how they are raised.

Becoming a parent is a gift, it shouldn't be demonised as much as she does.

What is the point of Katie Hopkins?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I'm going to be a dad, HELP!

IT hit me on Sunday afternoon, as I was buying my dad a drink and ordering some food together'Oh my god I am going to be a dad'.

Now before any wisecrackers start, yes the wife's swollen belly, her restless legs, the scans, the purchases of such things as nappy bins and changing tables were a clear indication of the arrival of another person into my world.

But I realised over the weekend, I have done all the research into pregnancy and the birth and becoming a parent. I've just forgot to look into what being a dad actually means!

This time next year, a little person will look at me and call me dad and in return I have to love him, look after him and keep him safe.

Someone is going to rely on me, a scary thought but not as scary as the one that I will actually be eligible for Father's Day next year!

But beyond that, I will change his bum, make him laugh, teach him things, celebrate his achievements and support him in any low moments.

I am going to be a dad!!!

P.S – My darling wife actually made this Father's Day rather special by buying me this card, a dry run for next year!

Memories of our last holiday together

SO that's it, no more holidays on our own, from now on it's family friendly holidays and children-friendly activities.

Our holiday came to an end on Saturday night but it was a special week and I am delighted to close the chapter on that part of my life.

While the lazing round in the pub or lazy afternoons in quiet Welsh villages are gone, the idea that Jacob is joining us on our adventures is very exciting.

I even realised during the week how much daddy brain has affected me, previously I could never understand a toddler if I overheard a babble. Yet two or three times I understood every word what was said.

I think it's fair to say my brain has been retuned to the dad frequency! (It was always on medium wave anyway).

After a couple of lazy days we enjoyed visits to Newtown, to Machynlleth and to a lovely nature sanctuary down the road from there.

Run by the RSPB, the Cors Dyfi nature project is home to the famous Ospreys Monty and Glesni who return each spring to mate and bring new life into the world.

Live web cams greet you in the reception to watch Glesni take care of her chicks who had hatched just day before our visit.

And the highlight is the walk through the reserve, where you can catch a glimpse of a water buffalo and other wildlife.

The wonderful 360 degree observatory is a sight to behold though (pictured) and allows for fabulous views of the Welsh countryside.

Perfect for adults and a great chance to educate youngsters about the natural world, the centre exists on donations alone. It's a wonderful day out with just a suggested donation of £2.50 per day.

Find out more about it using the links below, we enjoyed it immensely and hopefully Jacob will be going back when he is with us!

Bring on the baby!!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Everyone is wrong about Kirstie

KIRSTIE Allsopp murdered someone this week and was so delighted with her action she boasted about it on social media and during an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Oh....hang on that's wrong she was interviewed about a variety of subjects and among her comments were fears about the limited time women had to 'go to university, get their career on track, try and buy a home and have a baby'.

She then followed it up by saying 'You can do your career afterwards' which enraged society - by that I mean Twitter - with everyone suggesting she was this, that and the other and 'how dare she tell people when to have babies'.

Except she didn't, she was expressing what is called an 'opinion' based on her experiences both personally and among friends.

Commenters have clearly not read the interview so let me share a few points.

The headline for the piece is “I don’t want the next generation of women to suffer the same heartache” - how dare she be so caring hey?

Extracts from the interview by a very good journalist in Bryony Gordon include: “We should speak honestly and frankly about fertility and the fact it falls off a cliff when you’re 35.

“We should talk openly about university and whether going when you’re young, when we live so much longer, is really the way forward.”

“At the moment, women have 15 years to go to university, get their career on track, try and buy a home and have a baby. That is a hell of a lot to ask someone.

“Some of the greatest pain that I have seen among friends is the struggle to have a child. It wasn’t all people who couldn’t start early enough because they hadn’t met the right person.

Nowhere is Ms Allsopp TELLING women what to do, she is expressing an opinion based on her own experience, she even admits she 'whistled in by a miracle' when it came to having her own sons.

Fertility is a real problem, Pam and I only met in 2008 when I was 26 and she was already 30. With fetility rates dropping after you are 35 we could have had only five years to move in together, get married (again our choice) and raise a family.

Luckily at 35 she fell pregnant and we will welcome Jacob in August and, fertility gods willing, will maybe have the chance to add to our family if we wish.

But it could have been very different, we could be talking IVF and even adoption, the fact it has not happened is a blessing.

Surely Ms Allsopp is right to at least suggest women think hard before starting their life journey, rather than face the potential heartache of infertility?

Surely she is entitled to an opinion? Link is below, please read the full interview and make up your own minds.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Our last holiday as a couple....

THIS weekend we will be off on holiday to Wales, for a break and also to mark the end of an era....

Because this will be the last time Mummy Smurf and I can just pack what we need and go away to do what we want for a very long time.

That's right sports fans, this couple will become a three in August and holidays will never be the same again!

From later this summer the amount of packing will increase, the holidays will be children dominated and those lazy afternoons we spend in one particular Welsh pub are probably a thing of the past.

And you know what? I cannot wait, sure I am not bored of our lazy holidays but why shouldn't we turn the page and enjoy some adventures in the next chapter of our lives.

I've yet to comprehend just how much life will change when Jacob gets here but I know I am going to make the most of this holiday.

Our last chance to be a couple, just us. Because after this summer we'll be looking for great days out and for the first few years taking more than our phones and cash out with us haha.

It's a break we are both looking forward to, goodbye couple's holidays you have been fun and hello family fun breaks, I look forward to meeting you!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A man's view on the post pregnant body

I WASN'T going to write this, I didn't want to upset anyone.

But with Mummy Smurf feeling a little down about her expanding body and yet another debate about post birth pregnant bodies on Good Morning Britain yesterday I decided to take the plunge.

It's understandable why a woman feels 'massive' but I can honestly say I have never been more attracted to Mummy Smurf both sexually and in simple relationship terms.

The pride I feel that the woman I love is housing our little boy is overwhelming and has deepened my love for someone i adored already.

And I know she will lose her baby weight after the birth, not because of what society says but because she has a size which makes her happy as a woman.

That should be the case for every mum to be, don't slim down in an instant after birth do it in your own time to achieve the goal YOU want.

DISCLAIMER: I know I am a man and probably don't understand the female psyche (who does!)

But when the Duchess of Cambridge emerged from hospital with her baby belly in place, I had thought the debate about 'getting in shape' was over.

There was a realism about it, no mum comes out of hospital or home after the birth with a flat tummy - it's not possible.

But yet we are still obsessed with what I call the 'Posh Spice' approach.

If there are mums whose bellies shrank quickly then great. But please can we just congratulate new mums and offer support and encouragement on any slimming down THEY WANT TO DO!

What to buy and when?

THE baby shopping has started at a sensational rate but has caused a dilemma in my mind.

Do you get everything new because your little bundle deserves the best or scrimp and get everything second hand?

Well I think Mummy Smurf have discovered the third way, the essentials second hand and the important stuff new/from relatives.

I have been pestered for a list from my dad for weeks and now it seems family members might be buying some important things!

Stupidly I feel guilty as my cousin became a dad for the second time so I think money should be lavished on them not us.

BUT it dawned on me, this is the first grandchild for my mum and dad, why shouldn't they be allowed to spoil Jakey bear before his big arrival?

Getting everything you need is made simple thanks to lists in magazines and websites! Affording it is a different matter!!!!

But rather helpfully Pam's mum has suggested we perhaps look at the 3-6 month old baby clothes section as Jakey will be rather big when he arrives.

Something to think about as there is just 11 weeks to go....eek!