My Baby Scan – The MD Clinic

Having a baby is a nerve racking time – from the day you conceive there is constant worry about your little peanut. Are they ok? Are they healthy? Are they developing normally? You would think as a third time mum, this worry would have eased somewhat. But I worried over my third as much as any.

There is nothing more reassuring than seeing your little one on a baby scan. The first time you see their heart beating, their arms and legs stretching – it’s an amazing feeling. And most importantly, it helps to take the worry away. The current situation with Irish Maternity services (or lack there of) only adds to the stress. I could not believe it when my 20 week scan was delayed to 29 weeks! This was later amended however it just made me lose confidence in the care that I would receive. That and the fact that no anomaly scan would be offered to me. After my blog post highlighting the issue, I was contacted by the MD Clinic on the Watercourse Road, Blackpool who kindly offered me a Reassurance Scan.

There are very few private clinics in Cork that offer Maternity Scans and the MD Clinic is the only one north side of the city. They are one of only 2 that offer an anomaly scan – which given the current demand is surprising. By far, one of the biggest advantages of this clinic is their opening hours. I was able to have my scan on a Sunday, which meant no babysitters needed to be organised! Not that the little people are not welcome – there is a play area provided for busy bees! Free parking also adds to a stress free service.

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The clinic itself is state of the art – professional, welcoming and well organised. They offer a range of services under one roof including GP, Dental, Physiotherapy and Orthopaedic to name but a few. On my arrival I was pleasantly greeted and seen for my scan immediately – yep, no 3 hours waiting and waiting and waiting.

Reassurance Scan

My gynaecologist was the perfect combination of high expertise and professionalism. I was made to feel like the only pregnant woman in the world, I didn’t feel rushed and all my questions were answered in detail. The Reassurance scan surprised me with the level of detail – it actually was similar to the anomaly scan I received previously on the public system. Baby was measured from top to toe. The picture was so clear that baby even gave us a little close up of the face…..a moment that actually made me melt! The ultrasound machine is so advanced that the option of finding out the sex of the baby was available to me – at only 16 weeks! Did I find out? Well that would be telling…. 🙂

Memories to keep

On this occasion my husband was not able to attend, and after seeing the detail that the scan went into I regretted it a little. So I was delighted when my gynaecologist presented me with not only some snapshots of baby but a DVD full of pictures from the entire scan plus a sound recording of my baby’s heartbeat. It may have looked like the Starship Enterprise to him, but hubby and I enjoyed sitting down when the kids were gone to bed, watching our impending arrival on the big screen at home.

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Given that I, like thousands of others here in Ireland will not receive an anomaly scan, I will definitely be returning to the MD Clinic at 20 weeks. The staff have really put me at ease and I feel like I will be in good hands for my entire pregnancy.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of my next scan photos with you all!

 

If you would like to book your pregnancy scan at the MD Clinic, there are a few different ways to contact them:

You can visit their website here or call them on (021) 450 09 08 for an appointment.

You can also visit their Facebook Page for more details – just click here

Opening hours:

Monday to Saturday 9am-7pm

Sunday 9am – 3pm

The MD Clinic were kind enough to offer me my scan for free. In return for the excellent service that I received, I have written this review. Please know that I do not collaborate with or endorse brands/products that I personally do not recommend.

 

The Kingsley Spa – relaxation at its best!

I recently had the ultimate mammy relaxation day – a full spa day compliments of hubby dearest. This was actually my xmas pressie and I only got around to using it in March! I decided to go it alone as I really wanted to switch off from the world – a great decision. By the time I left the Kingsley, I was floating.

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I booked the Journey through Nature which is a full day package. I decided to take lunch first at 12, then use the amazing health centre (more on this in a bit) and finally have my treatments at 2.30pm.

Lunch is served in the K – Lounge which can be a little bit too close to the reception area, depending on where you are seated. Some seats have a beautiful view of the River Lee, mine was adjacent to a wall and a large group of loud, older gentleman. Lunch itself though was very nice and there was a good selection. If there was a tea and coffee option afterwards it would have been perfect.

The Health Centre – this was simply fantastic. I left the health centre feeling like I had completed my spa day! Firstly you have the indoor pool, which I had all to myself for a few strokes (OK, so I did the deadman float and a few doggy paddles). Then I moved to the outdoor hot tub which overlooks the river. This was bliss. I could have stayed here all day.

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Next up I moved indoors to the Thermal suite which includes a Finnish sauna, Turkish baths, jacuzzi, aromatherapy steam rooms….all completed with a thermal lounger at the end. This finished me off completely – this has to be the best facility I have come across! I was actually zonked by the time my therapist came to find me; she nearly had to carry me back to the spa 😊

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Treatment time!

We began with a sweet orange and ground argan oil scrub, which I wanted to eat it smelled so good. Everything here is organic too. My skin was really soft afterwards. Next I got a back, neck and shoulder massage. This as a proper massage that really worked out any knots or tension in my back. I personally hate when a massage is too light and of no benefit so this really suited me. Linda, my therapist got it just right.

The final treatment was blissful – a facial using caviar, champagne and pearl by Elaine. I’m usually not a fan of facials (I know! I just don’t enjoy them) but I am now converted. This seemed to go on forever and by the end of this I was in a trance. Elaine brought me to the relaxation area and all I wanted to do was close my eyes. Next time I am so booking a room so I can head off to bed!

I really and truly loved the Spa at the Kimglsey and have instructed husband that all future occasions requiring presents result in a voucher. It would be an excellent location for a break to Cork as it is only a few minutes from the city centre. Or for someone like me, it was ideal as I only had a short drive home afterwards.

The thermal suite is one of a kind and really made the day for me. And I have to commend the staff also – I sometimes find spa staff to be a little bit ‘false’ but the guys in the Kingsley are warm and friendly. I must mention Melissa who greeted me when I first arrived; I was met with a natural welcome as opposed to rehearsed ‘welcome to our spa’ spiel.

If you would like to know more, I have included a link to the spa below. I will definitely be coming back as soon as I can convince my husband to take the kids for the day again 😀😀

http://www.thekingsley.ie/spa-packages/#

 

 

Lean in 15 Day 1 – Enthusiasm alert!

You know that first day of the diet when you are determined to make a change and stick to it this time? The day where you are bursting with enthusiasm and energy, ready to take the bull by the horns? Eh, that was not today.

Firstly, we all slept in so it was pandemonium trying to get everyone where they needed to be. All I could manage to grab was a coffee as I changed nappies and pleaded with my son to put his shoes on. You all know how it is…..

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Finally, it was just me and my 4 month old little girl so I was able to get cracking. I did the HIIT session as she watched from the bouncy chair! It is harder than it looks but I have a very slight hip injury at the moment which is slowing me down (ahem, excuse). I felt great after it, guzzled some water and started cooking my breakfast.

After a workout, you are allowed some carbs. Otherwise this is a reduced carb plan. So post HIIT session I made my version of the Build Up Bagel for breakfast:

  • Slice of wholegrain toast (had no bagels as they are too tempting for me)
  • Topped with tablespoon of cottage cheese
  • Drizzle of peri peri sauce
  • Two smoked turkey rashers
  • Tomatoes
  • Topped with a runny egg
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Visualize this on toast…

 

Oh sweet lord, it was divine!! Would never have thought of such a combo! Washed down with a coffee and it kept me going well past lunch.

Snack time – At about 2ish, toddler was back from school and baby was due a nap and a bottle and a nappy change and I was due some food. I had nothing prepped as such (Joe advocates prepping like a “boss”) so had to reach for a snack. I grabbed some cashews but grabbed way too many. You should really only have 20/30g as they are high calorie food. I ate 145g!!!! Lesson learned.

Dinner – I made a yummy Thai green chicken curry. This is my own recipe but based on the principles of the book.

  • Heated a tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan and added my chicken pieces to stir fry
  • Chucked in some veggies – courgette and mixed peppers on this occasion.
  • I pre cooked some butternut squash in the microwave and then put that in too.
  • Tablespoon of thai green curry paste (from a jar)
  • Then added a tin of full fat coconut milk.
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Ok so this is not mine and mine did not look as good and I will start taking pics of my food from tomorrow on, promise!

 

I batched some of this away for the coming days. Hubby likes it too and has it with a microwave pack of rice.

Evening time then brought the munchies, probably because I skipped lunch. So I made Joe’s reduced carb oatmeal. Basically I took some chia seeds, ground flaxseed, oatmeal, pinch of cinnamon and added almond milk. Microwaved this, then topped with greek yoghurt and some raspberries. I also drizzled with honey which is probably not allowed but oh well.

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And I’m done for day 1! I also drank 2.5 litres of water today. In fairness, I’m happy enough except for the cashew nut incident. It feels weird eating food that I would have ran a mile from on a low fat, low calorie diet but I will stick it out to see if it works.

Post Workout Soreness – the ‘I cannot walk’ syndrome

When you see someone walking like John Wayne, it doesn’t always mean  that they’ve just done their fake tan. With lots of us returning to or starting various exercise regimes, there are a lot of sore bum muscles hobbling about! I’m one of them as I’ve just gone back to training post Xmas and post baby. So I thought I’d share some advice on making the sore muscles go away.

Firstly, the technical bit. What you are feeling is called DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness. Basically, your muscles have little teeny tiny tares in them from doing things that they are not used to and are healing. Let’s leave it at that (it all gets a bit sports science from there) and get straight into making things feel a bit easier:

  • Hindsight is a great thing, I know. Be sure to warm up before exercise. Do not stretch when you are cold and always stretch after a workout. Always!!  
  • Water – so many reasons to drink water but post workout, it will help flush any toxins built up out of your system and alleviate the aches and pains. Drink loads of this miracle juice.  
  • Epsom salts – take a bath in this stuff, it’s magic. Reduces water retention, draws toxins from the body…Google the uses for Epsom salts –  it’s amazing.  
  • Deep heat, Tiger Balm or one that might surprise, Vick! Rub into sore muscles.  
  • Hot/Cold Shower – alternate temperature in the shower over the affected area. The variation in temperature causes the muscles to contract and relax, almost like a little workout for them, which will promote healing. 
  • Foam rolling – this is my favourite. Foam rollers can be bought in any sports shops for about 20 euro. There are videos on YouTube on how to use. Best used just after training and always when you are warmed up.  
  • Active Recovery – rest days are important of course. But a good way to reduce soreness is to simply go for a light walk. And have a stretch afterwards.  

Muscle soreness can sometimes be the reason why so many of us become discouraged and give up our new routine. It’s always hardest at the start, your body will adjust so hang in there.

If you want that booty, you gotta do your duty! Move move move Momma 😉

Put down the chocolate digestive.

It’s that time of year when we all have over indulged. Muffin tops are more prevalent, bra straps a pinchin and the odd biscuit or two makes it into ‘breakfast’. Personal trainers start rubbing their hands together in anticipation of our hard earned cash. Every diet drink and program starts rearing its familiar head. Pressure is on, to lose the weight.

STOP 

Before you succumb to the latest diet fad, let me save you the disappointment. Crash diets, depriving yourself of certain food groups and living on juice does not work long term. Who am I? Someone who has lost baby weight twice. I’m no Kate Moss but I don’t really want to be either. (Sorry Kate).

Let’s get to it – what works. Step by step and really really easy….

  1. Stop eating crap (and you know what crap is. Would you feed it to your kids?)
  2. Eat a little less. Stop mid way through and see if you are full.
  3. Move more than you did before.
  4. Do this for a few months

Easy! Easy? No you say? Well the steps are easy, no degree needed. Following it, not so easy. But it works. It benefits your health, your mind and behind. You will fall down along the way, and that’s ok. Only the runners who picked themselves up and ran again are the ones who crossed the finish line.

So as the many celeb diets and programs grace the magazines,think about this – don’t start something you can’t maintain for life.

Make the change for YOU. You CAN do it.