Archive for May, 2009

Missing out

Cripes, I could be missing out on money and freebies, that is if any company would like to sponsor me. I’ve just read this article from The Times. Apparently ‘Companies are rushing to sponsor the increasingly popular blogs that offer tips on parenting’. Well, I’m full of tips but I haven’t experienced companies beating down my door to offer me sponsorship. Just think of the commodities I could plug – pregnancy accoutrements, TEN’s machines, birthing pools, maternity clothes, baby equipment, twin items, play equipment, menopause remedies, gardening accessories, I could carry on for pages. It’s not just the money and freebies though, 3 Mum’s were sent to Costa Rica by Kenco. Am I green? Yes. YES. There is a problem though, I try to be honest and impartial, could that continue if I were in the pay of some corporate giant? Apparently it could as ‘people are free to post the negative along with the positive’ so begone my conscience, let me grovel at the feet of a multi-national, or more to the point, let a multi-national offer me 30 pieces of silver and I may just manage to ignore any qualms I may have!

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A lady called Lucy who works for immediate future, a company involved in Kinder’s latest publicity campaign, thought I may be interested in highlighting their search to find ‘6 funny kids’ to be the new faces and personalities of Kinder Chocolate Mini Treats. I shall post any more info about how to apply when I receive it. I might just keep it to myself though, I mean, I have 6 little grandchildren who I think are the cutest, cleverest and the biggest personalities……. ever!

I received an ‘award’ for my little blog


Thank you to Kim at All Grown Up for my pretty accolade. Now that I am in receipt of this I have to nominate 5 other blogs. Oh heavens, I hate having do this but here goes, in no particular order. When I feel that I have loads to cope with and start indulging in self-pity I look around and remember that there are other bloggers whose lives are far more hectic and demanding than mine, one of them is Fraggle. My next choice is Anji, this blogger has been wonderfully helpful with herbal remedies for the menopause, unfortunately she supports a rubbish football team 😉 but there again no one is entirely perfect. Sometimes being a blogger allows you to become super-involved in a fellow-bloggers life, recently I have felt impotent when reading Cartside’s entries, she has already received at least  of these awards and now the  3rd is pulsing it’s way through the fibre-optics. Someone who will appreciate the roses is Flighty. This blogger is an ‘old friend’ now. For years, and on different platforms, he has always had kind words to say whilst posting wonderful photos of plants, wildlife and Tornados. Still in a gardening frame of mind, I could also add bicycle frame, last but not least comes Town Mouse, she who kept us amused at the trials of being a commuter is now living the good life and revealing that life in the middle of no where can be a wonderful place to be.

Having posted my links I now have to list 5 current obsessions and 5 pet hates. I have a feeling that I could have problems with the second list, I’m fairly sure that I have more than 5 pet hates.

Current Obsessions 

  1. Freecycle. I’m a natural hoarder but this concept has been a godsend, now I don’t have to throw anything away, I just pass it on to someone who wants it more than I do.
  2. The long-range weather forecast. Daughter is getting married, in the woods, the weather has to be dry otherwise her fantasy will be a disaster.
  3. Stopping Jamie, one of the twins, from using his cuddle cat as a dummy. It feels horrid, all wet and slimy and it stinks, not to mention it affecting his dentition. I have no problem with him having it when he goes to bed or if he feels unwell or unhappy but I do have a problem with him having it constantly dangling from his mouth. 
  4. Duck weed. This horrid little aquatic plant is completely clogging up my pond and must be threatening my pond plants. Usually I scoop it out but this year, since the heron ate all the fish, we have hundreds of tadpoles and I can’t remove the duck weed without also scooping up loads and loads of them. I also have a solar powered fountain which generally keeps the weed down slightly but I’ve had to take that out because the tadpoles were being sucked into the motor and clogging it up. I keep coming up with little ruses but so far none of them have worked.
  5. Trying to find the red, toy phone that goes with the Little Tykes kitchen. Last seen being carried round the garden by Izzy. Would it float if she had thrown it in the pond? Would I see it if she had thrown it in the pond? Why would she throw it in the pond?

Pet Hates

  1. Excessive paperwork
  2. Hearing sportsmen/women referred to as heroes. Thy are not heroes. They are accomplished, talented, gifted and many other superlatives but thy are not heroes.
  3. Celebrity chefs. Taste is individual. Advise me how to cook something but please don’t tell me what, and how, and with what I should be eating.
  4. Needles. More specifically needles in my veins.
  5. Drivers who use mobile phones, but not a hands-free, whilst they are driving.

I should have entitled this entry ‘The Change – Part 7’ as I am now experiencing yet another symptom of the menopause, a rash. As long as it says on my trunk I will tolerate it, if it dares to spread to my face then I shall have to reconsider my pledge to beat menopausal symptoms without using HRT. If you are reading this Kezzy then apologies for writing about my menopause!

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Yesterday was the final shop. Shoes, pashmina (excellent bargain in Debenhams, reduced by 75% at the till), accessories, underwear and garter, the bride is ready now, but first comes the Hen Night. I have been invited, and was tempted, but 4 of the participants, not including my daughters and DIL have had me as their midwife, and I rather feel that me imbibing, and then cavorting on the dance floor, may not do much for their opinion of midwives. Shame really as I would love to dance the night away.

Work today was slightly calmer than over the weekend, thank heavens. New edicts pertaining to ‘targets’ descended upon our office today. ‘Maternity Matters’ and ‘PCT funding’ leapt of the pages, ‘statistics’ nestled in the paragraphs, ‘alert’ dangled like a noose, my pique geysered and it provided me with much to debate, heatedly, with myself, whilst driving between visits. I know that the NHS must be shown to be cost effective, to be providing high quality, safe, effective care but if I’m spending 33% of my time filling in forms about it, surely that is detracting from the care I can provide and renders me 33% less efficient?

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Baby Boom


baby booms

It’s in the papers , there is currently a baby boom. Here I am, on the frontline, and I can confirm that it is true, the birthrate is on the rise but the number of midwives is static, well it is in my little world. Historically my bookings book, an A4 ledger which details month by month whose baby is due, will have months where the bookings take up 3 pages but these have been the exception, not from now on though, until December every month is taking up 2 pages with the majority going over onto the 3rd page. If I dwell upon it I experience a tensing up, accompanied by feelings of being overwhelmed which could, if I allowed it to, tip toward panic mode. I rely upon quieter times to catch-up with all the minutiae which accompany being a community midwife; updating leaflets I give to women; studying all the new guidelines and policies; completing on-line statutory training; organising new bookings, attending practise meetings with the G.P’s I work with and audit meetings with the midwives, paediatricians, anaesthetists and obstetricians at the maternity units. When community is busy it is the last 2 which bite the dust, the others I can do in my own time, the meetings I can’t, and that is a real loss as the interaction and learning possibilities at these meetings is really valuable. Not only do I feel that I am on a treadmill which is constantly accelerating but I also feel as if I am skimming the surface, never really managing to get a firm grip on anything. This worries me, it’s easy to get used to functioning in this way, to only do what is absolutely necessary and to allow yourself to ignore those side issues which are not immediately vital but whose loss must, eventually, stultify your practise.

As far as I can see this baby boom is set to continue and if it does there have to be more midwives. Next year is when the government has promised that the NHS in England will provide a first-class service to all new mothers, if it does happen it will be because midwives are still routinely working hours past the end of a shift. This provides a patch but cannot continue to fill the gap which has been caused by underfunding at both  national and local level and, if the powers that be continue to abuse midwives goodwill, some will leave the profession due to the working conditions and their inability to provide the care women expect and deserve.

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No heartbeat

Horrid, horrid. When a woman discovers that she is pregnant she fills in a form at the G.P’s surgery, which I pick up, print off labels, fill in scan requests, and then, when she is about 8 – 10 weeks pregnant, I phone her to arrange a home visit to ‘book’ her. This evening I phoned K to arrange her booking  appointment for the weekend. K had a baby 15 months ago so we know each other, I ended up leaving a message on her voicemail giving her my home number. I am not about to turn on my work mobile as I’m officially on holiday until Saturday and I know that if I do switch it on it will tell me that I have voicemail and I will feel that I have to deal with the messages! Anyway, K phoned me back later and told me that tomorrow she is going in to hospital for an ERPC ( Evacuation of retained products of conception), she has suffered a missed miscarriage. On Friday she went for a scan, a ‘reassurance scan’ as she had suffered 2 previous missed miscarriages, and they discovered that the baby had died. So, so sad when that happens, it happened to one of my daughters at 16 weeks and it was awful, seeing the baby but no heartbeat and then having to wait to go and have it removed. K and I talked for a while, obviously she was terribly upset and me phoning her to arrange her booking had not helped at all. Horrid for me, so distressing for her.  We have agreed that if/when she becomes pregnant again she won’t fill in a form, the G.P will arrange her ‘reassurance scan’, and she will phone me to arrange her booking appointment if the scan is reassuring.

I wish that I could make this arrangement for all my newly pregnant women, but it would be impossible. Lots of reasons for that, timings of calls, my location and the location of my diary etc. but mainly it’s that a offering a reassurance scan for every woman would put an impossible strain on our scanning department, there are not enough ultrasonographers or machines, I really wish that there were though.

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Tooth problem

Being really busy at the moment, hence no posts. Have I mentioned that daughter is getting married, well the countdown is now well underway, 19 days to go and there are lots and lots of little things still to arrange. Today I went to order the balloons, no luck, the shop is closed on a Monday, oh good, I can carry that task over to Wednesday. Whilst trotting round the shops I thought I would share my concerns about a wobbly front tooth with my dentist, I am becoming increasingly neurotic about it and certain that it will fall out the night before the wedding. Luckily my dentist (wonderful man + NHS) is used to emotional women and realised that the best thing to do would be to stop the wobbling, immediately. So, having told Hubby I was just nipping out to order balloons and buy some munchies for my  ‘rubbish’ cats, I found myself reclining, under the spotlight, whilst my knight in a blue tabard splinted my errant front, top tooth to it’s neighbours. and having done this he then filed down my teeth with much high frequency squealing. I am now learning how to eat again, my teeth have been relocated by fractions of millimetres but that has affected the whole biting and chewing process, very weird. I am now going to have to ensure that my mouth avoids accidental contact with the boys heads as that’s what initially caused the problem. Tomorrow sees daughter and I shopping manically shoes, underwear, handbag, earrings and golf gloves, the golf gloves are intended to mollify Hubby! 

Work has been horrendous for the last two weeks, we knew it was coming though as our bookings for May are nearly three times as many as we usually have in a month. Due to the number of postnatal visits I’ve been finishing 2 hours late everyday plus not having any breaks. Clinic day was a nightmare as clinic was full plus two extras, one of which was a booking which takes an hour and generates copious amounts of paperwork. I’ve escaped a bit this week though as I’ve taken 2 days holiday so I can sort out some of the stuff for the wedding. I’m not working until the weekend but that didn’t stop work phoning me 3 times today, is that harassment?

Last weekend Amy, Jamie and Louis stayed the night with us, it’s the first time we have had all 3 and I was anxious about how it would go, I need not have worried as they were brilliant. The boys woke at about 11.30pm but I just sat between their cots and chatted quietly for a while, they soon got bored and went to sleep, not to wake again until 8am, Amy didn’t wake until 8.30. Wonderful.

Saturday was Amy’s 4th birthday party, a bouncy castle birthday party for 25 pre-schoolers. Her Mummy had nominated me as the 2nd responsible adult so I was put in charge of the trampoline. ‘Bounce on the red cross, face in that direction, no knee drops, 1 child at a time.’ Have you any idea how difficult it is for a 4 year old to bounce on a trampoline, on one spot?

Evie (six and a half months) is up on all fours rocking backwards and forwards, I give her a fortnight before she is off and crawling. Izzy is well into the ‘terrible twos’ and her Mummy is despairing, wondering where her cute little girl has gone and how long she will have to accept this changling for. I find it all entertaining, Izzy is so cute and cheeky that it is difficult not to laugh when she does something naughty.

Off now to rest up before the shopping expedition.

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I live in North Lanarkshire Scotland. When i went for my 16 week midwife appointment she told me they don’t do 20week scans for all pregnancy. But i was worried as before i fell pregnant i was in the middle of investigations for my fibroids.which are large and where causing me alot of pain.

so i decided to go for a private scan just to make sure. and was told my placenta was patially covering the cervix.(i know it is common and most do move up) but im not sure if that could have something to do with fibroids.and if the placenta is able to move.  i know i have less room in there than most woman. so i was told to ask for another scan at hospital to check. but i’ve not had an appointment through.midwife doesn’t seem to care about it really. which upsets me as im worried

This week I had a comment from a worried, pregnant woman in Scotland left on my Vasa Previa post, I responded and she then e-mailed me with the above information. The element of her comment which initially caused me disbelief was the fact that she had not been offered a 20 week, anomaly scan, on the NHS, she had to pay for a private one. Now, as far as I was concerned every pregnant woman in the UK is offered an anomaly scan, in fact the NHS choices website states that it is offered to all women but then a deeper look at NHS websites reveals The NHS Screening Programmes site and their page ‘What is Fetal Anomaly’. On this page it states that  ”As part of the NHS Fetal Anomaly screening programme, all women in England should be offered a minimum of 2 ultrasound scans”, it also links to the NICE clinical guidelines for antenatal care (March 2008). I was ignorant, I believed that NICE and NHS Choices covered the whole of the UK but it doesn’t, only England and Wales are subject to their ‘recommendations’ and information, not Scotland. That very nearly saw the end of my outrage at the poor implementation in Scotland of NHS recommendations and assurances but then I found a little snippet from the NHS Quality Improvement in Scotland who advertise that they “Raise Healthcare Standards”. They made a recommendation back in February 2004, and their recommendation is  That “Following an extensive review of the evidence on the use of ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, NHS QIS advises that a second (‘anomaly’) scan should be offered to women during their second trimester, at between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.” 5 years ago NHS Scotland were advised that all pregnant women should be having an anomaly scan but 5 years on a quick Google of Anomaly scan + Scotland shows that it is not happening and if you visit the website of the hospital that my commentator is having her baby at they advise that they provide a scan to find out how many weeks pregnant a woman is, nothing more. They are proud to reveal that they have a new maternity unit,opened in 2001 which provides a ‘fairly unique approach to inpatient care’ but I’m sure that the parents of the 5,500 babies they deliver each year would probably rather less of the ‘unique approach and more of the ‘evidence based recommendations’.

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