Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas is coming!

I'm so excited about Christmas, I love this time of year! As I've said in a previous post, I have done all of my shopping, although still waiting for a few deliveries - grr!

I have also decorated the tree and wrapped quite a few presents.

This year I made my first Christmas cakes - one for my mum and one for Grant's mum. I don't actually like Christmas cake but enjoy baking so thought I'd offer my services. My cake decorating skills are a little basic though!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Bump Gallery

As you will see from the below, I have grown quite a lot in the last 31 weeks! I had started taking a bump photo every week but we kept forgetting - now it's when ever I remember....

31 week bump

25 week bump

20 week bump

16 week bump

I wonder how big I will eventually get - I have managed to make to with my regular winter coat so far - I can just do up one button and the belt to keep me warm but I think I shall have to find something larger for my last couple of months.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

30weeks - Snow and aches and pains

I hit the 30 week mark on Friday (so almost 31 wks now) and am becoming more and more uncomfortable. Back ache, tiredness, sleeplessness, breathlessness... it goes on!

On top of this, I have to have an extra set of blood tests next week because my platelets were low at my 28wk check. I don't mind blood tests but I wouldn't say I enjoy having a needle in my arm!

I also seem to have lost all inspiration for blogging, not that I'm a regular poster anyway.

We've got our hospital tour next week so perhaps I'll be feeling a bit more excited/inspired after that!

We had quite a lot of snow here yesterday and now it's all frozen over. I do love the snow; I love the way everything looks fresh and the way the sun reflects creating such a bright light. Unfortunately it's all got messy now and the sun is no where to be seen so everything is looking a bit grey, dark and dingy now!

On the plus, I've managed to get all my Christmas shopping done already - oh I love the internet - just have to hope it all turns up now! I have an extended family with grandparents, step parents and step siblings to buy for (on top of the usual family) so it is a relief to get it all done.
I can't wait to wrap it all - this is the best bit about Christmas presents!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

28 weeks today - the 3rd trimester!

Wow - I am 28 weeks today!

Now I am officially in the 3rd trimester, everything suddenly feels a bit unreal. It's almost as though I can't believe that in just 12 weeks my bump will be replaced with a real life baby. That point has seemed so far off for so long and now it is finally in sight.

No photo today - I don't really think I've grown much since the last one and my weight gain seems to have slowed slightly - not stopped though!

I've got my 28 week midwife appointment and bloods on Monday and I'm hoping to get some information about the hospital tour and antenatal classes. Grant is coming with me this time so hopefully I'll feel less deflated when I leave.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Body Image and Pregnancy

I'm 27 weeks today! The 28 week point and the third trimester is almost here and I'm getting more and more excited about the arrival of baby in 3 months time!

I'm also growing! I feel huge and my mum and Grant are sure that I have got bigger in just a few days. Looking at this photo though, I look quite small still. It's weird how our perceptions of ourselves differ. When I look down or look in the mirror I see a massive belly in front of me, I feel as though I have a bowling ball strapped to my waist.

I took this photo this morning to show how much I've grown and am quite surprised at how little and neat my bump is. It's nice to see. Although I'm loving being pregnant and have never felt so at ease with my appearance - in fact I would go as far to say I have never felt this sexy and attractive - I still struggle a little to come to terms with comments like 'wow you're huge' or 'gosh and you've still got 3 more months!'.

Most people are overly aware of their size - in my experience it is normally those who have nothing to worry about that are more aware of every little gain or loss in their weight and I would say our media is to blame there. It seems to me that during pregnancy women are not meant to have any feelings about their appearance. We're meant to bloom, to revel in the fact that our body is growing huge to provide life to another and accept others commenting freely on how we look.

I'm lucky in that I haven't had any strangers coming up to me and touching my bump or giving me well meaning 'advice', but I do have a mother who has always been very body conscious - not just with her own body but mine as well - and who comments weekly on how much I've grown. She doesn't do it with any malice or unpleasantness, she just makes the comment.

I've also got a very well meaning step father who thinks he knows everything there is to know about pregnancy. His experience comes from his ex wife's two pregnancies - over 30 years ago - and from farm animals - I had to tell him yesterday that I am not a cow! Again, he doesn't wish to be unpleasant or mean, he is often trying to sympathise with me, but sometimes it would be nice for him to realise that I am the expert when it comes to my body and my pregnancy, and not every women (or should that be female mammal) has the same pregnancy or the same feelings during pregnancy.

Sometimes it would be nice for them all to just recognise that I am going through a massive change in my life - both physically and psychologically - and the best support that they could give me would be to just let me be me.

Wow - I did not mean for this post to become such a rant, it was meant to be all about my growing bump and how excited I am to become a mother. I'm glad I wrote it all though as it's clearly been lurking under the surface for some time. I've been feeling quite emotionally fragile lately and have noticed signs of my depression creeping in again. I don't think it is anything to worry about but I do need to acknowledge these feelings so that I can nip them in the bud now and not let them take over like they did last year.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Baby Disco

For the last few days it has felt as though the baby is having a party in my tummy! The movement has been pretty much constant (except when Grant puts his hand on my belly). It is getting really strong now too and is sometimes a little bit painful but really reassuring to feel, even if I do feel like I have a little kick boxer inside me!

Not only can I feel the kicks but I can also see them. My whole stomach moves each time, as though she's trying to escape! I read that the baby will be going through a growth spurt now which may account for the extra force. I suppose she is making the most of the space while she can.

Luckily I seem to be able to sleep through them during the night but if I'm cuddling Grant he can feel them and often gets woken up. I find this incredible as normally he will sleep through everything and I wake up at the slightest noise, perhaps it is his protective father instincts kicking in!

I think I am experiencing a growth spurt too as I feel as though I get bigger every day. I feel huge now, although in some clothes I still don't really look pregnant, but then some clothes make me look ready to pop! I never really realised how tired carrying this extra weight would make me; just climbing the one flight of stairs up to our flat leaves me feeling a bit breathless - I'm 26 weeks now so I dread to think how I will be feeling at 36 weeks!

February still seems a long way off but when I look at it in terms of weeks it's nothing - especially with Christmas and all the excitement that comes with it! I am slowly gathering the things we need for the baby, although not going over board as space is limited in the flat. The car seat arrived today and I couldn't help having a little play with it and wheel it about on the chassis of the travel system we have bought. It looks very smart, and very comfortable for the little one - someone should invent a similar design for adult car seats!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A little lost

Just got back from my 25 week antenatal check. All was well so should be feeling happy but I'm not!

I seem to get this feeling after every appointment; slightly unsure, lost and clueless... I think subconsciously I think that the MW or the Dr will impart some valuable piece of knowledge that isn't to be found in any book, blog or forum that I've read or that I'll feel some sort of kinship with them - both of these things is highly unlikely and it is silly of me to pile on so much expectation when:

a) I am an information addict - if its out there I have probably already read it! Not that I am a know it all otherwise I wouldn't be feeling lost.

b) Both midwives and doctors are very busy people and see many pregnant women, I am just one more to see - for me this is my first time so everything is new, for them it is all routine and I should be happy that they are not in any way concerned about my pregnancy.

c) I have seen a different person for each check, how can I expect to develop a rapport in a 15min slot?!?

Anyway, my next is in 3 weeks and this time Grant is coming too, at least I will have some moral support and may feel more reassured as I think we will be discussing antenatal classes and the hospital tour.

For now I shall focus on the fact that the baby and I are fine and we are almost into the 3rd trimester so in the grand scheme of things, not long now till feb!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Growing Bump

My bump has really started to grow now and I'm feeling huge! I'll be 24 weeks tomorrow and I keep reading that life starts to get more uncomfortable from here on as the baby will be having a growth spurt and putting on weight in the next couple of weeks.

Although I feel huge, whenever I see another pregnant women I suddenly feel quite small and inferior!
Anyway, to prove to myself that my tummy really is growing I took a photo this morning and although I look smaller than I feel, there is no mistaking my pregnant state!

It's not a great photo - I'm no artist and the light is all wrong!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Trip to hospital

I had a busy day on Wednesday; an old friend came down to London and we had a day walking about the shops. Half way through the afternoon I started to feel a tensing in my bump, a feeling that I hadn't had before, but I put to the back of my mind, not wanting to ruin the afternoon with any fuss.

By yesterday I was feeling pretty drained and after speaking to my Mum about the tensing, I realised I'd probably been feeling the beginnings of Braxton Hicks contractions. Both Mum and I thought it was possibly a bit early for these and although probably nothing to worry about, she said to call the midwife if it kept happening.

I got some more last night and again this morning so called the midewife team and was told to call the labour ward. They advised me it was probably nothing to worry about but could I come in and have a check up... this, of course, sent me in to panic overdrive!

2 hours and several checks from the hospital midwife and the doctor later, I am relieved to say that they sent me home. Panic over! It wasn't anything to worry about and the baby and I are ok, phew!

On a different note, it was great to see the labour ward as it really put my mind at ease about the birth. I had always been really unsure about hospital births. I am generally nervous in strange places and am a bit of a control freak. From quite early into my pregnancy I looked into a home birth and although I haven't spoken to my midwife about it yet, it was something that I was really keen on - mostly because I was really anti going to hospital!
Having seen the labour ward, I am reassured that it is not such a scary place, everyone was very friendly and helpful and the beds were in small wards of 4 or 6 - not quite the image I had of huge wards filled with screaming newborns and tired mothers.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Nightmare day in the rain

Yesterday was horrible!

It all started on our way home from the scan on Weds. The car started flashing engine malfunction at me, so I stopped, pulled over and we checked the oil. Nothing seemed a miss so we carried on. Half way home it happened again, this time, luckily, we were outside a Ford dealership so we thought we'd see what they had to say.

Yesterday I made the trek on the tube down to collect the car. There is quite a walk at either end of the journey and I got completely soaked in the rain, twice!

Having retrieved the keys from reception, asked lots of questions and been calmed by the receptionist that it was unlikely to happen again, I found the car and made my merry way on to Cambridge where I was due to attend a business advice day.

Halfway there, on the M11, engine malfunction started flashing and the car started to slow down all on it's own. I had a little panic as the hard shoulder was all coned up but I thought I can't stop on the carriage way. I generally panic in these sorts of situations; alone, vulnerable, stranded... all reduce me to tears at the best of times, added to 'Oh my god I've somehow killed the car, what do I do!' I was pretty tragic at this point!

As the car is a company car and not mine, my first call was to my boss/step dad, who managed to calm me down enough to get the details from me. He called the dealership to explain (probably rather forcefully) that I was stuck on the motorway hardshoulder only 30mins after leaving them and what were they going to do about it.... a recovery vehicle was despatched.

I sat on a fence outside the car as I have been told on many occasions that it is not safe to stay in the car when parked on the motor way. It was still raining and despite my 2 coats, I was soaked again in minutes!

Finally, 2 hours after I'd call my stepdad, I saw the flashing lights of the recovery truck - my rescuer! I think he took pity on me being pregnant as he was just meant to take me and the car back to the dealership but then gave me a lift home too which saved me the tube journey and another soaking. Phew.

As soon as I got home I had a nice hot bath and a cup of tea. I felt like I was coming down with a cold but thankfully that seems to have subsided, now I just feel dog tired. Got to pep up before 6 as I'm out on a rare evening on the town... well, a film screening and dinner out, nothing too outrageous or hopefully too late!

Gosh this is a long post about not very much but I needed to get yesterday out of my system!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

20 week scan

We had our anomaly scan today and everything is looking healthy and the measurements were all good.
The sonographer was about 90% sure it's a girl. I'm so excited and happy just to know that the baby is growing well and it's great to be able to address my bump as her rather than it!
We had no preference for a girl or a boy but I'm so excited now we know - almost for sure... My mum is really smug because she's been convinced we were having a girl from the moment we told her.
Can't wait to meet her in person now - February seems a long way off!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Salt and Sugar

People keep asking me if I've had any cravings yet and so far I haven't had any weird and wonderful cravings for anything specific (apart from mashed potato but think that was just because it was easy to stomach during my 1st trimester).

Lately however, I have noticed a definite trend towards sugary and salty snacks. I sent Grant out to buy me dairy milk last week and pork scratchings this week, I seem drawn to the olive counter in the supermarket and can't resist the freshly cooked chocolate cookies.

Normally I get my sweet fix from fresh fruit, which I still love and get plenty of, but it just doesn't quite cut it at the moment. As for the salty stuff, I don't really eat much normally at all, which makes me think maybe it's signalling a deficiency in something... must look it up on google!

Right, I'm now off to find some chocolate!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Working and Walking

Working from home has its benefits:
  • no daily commute (especially beneficial in pregnancy)
  • no overbearing manager checking what I'm doing every 5 mins
  • flexibility - I can pop out to the shops/put on some laundry/bake some bread whilst still working
But it also have some definite downfalls:
  • not much work social scene
  • no one to chat to over the water cooler
  • no reason to leave the house - I realised yesterday that I hadn't left the house since sunday, that's 4 days!!
Don't worry, at that point I decided that enough was enough and walked down to meet Grant at the station.

The trouble is, I'm not very good at doing exercise at all. Walking is about as active I get! I love going for walks if I have someone to join me - a dog or child will do - and I am happy to walk most places if I have a purpose - need to pop to the shops, post a letter etc - but I'm not very good at just walking aimlessly on my own. I feel a bit silly walking around my area for no reason and if I go off the beaten path, I don't feel very safe on my own - who knows what could happen and no one would know where I was... I am a worrier in general!

We live in a small flat so I'm expecting to need lots of 'get out of the house' plans once the baby arrives. I hope having a baby to push around and to take to feed the ducks will give me more drive to get out of the house and get some air and a change of scenery.

Friday, 27 August 2010


I've been suffering from writers block this week. The weather has been dull and so has my mood!

But the sun is out this afternoon and I was given a little treat all of my own earlier... I felt baby's first kick!

I've been feeling slight movement for a little while but it is hard to tell if its the baby or just wind! Today, however, I definitely got a kick :)
I was just sitting at my computer with my hand on my tummy and suddenly I felt a sharp but light pressure in my side, below my hand.

I was so overcome with emotion and it was a real shame that Grant wasn't there to share the experience with me, but so wonderful to properly feel the baby inside me.
It is sometimes easy to not feel very pregnant and to feel as though the baby will never arrive, but moments like that really confirm to me that I have a little person growing inside me and in a few months we'll meet that person!

I'm sure that there will come a time that I will have had enough of being kicked through the night, but for now, that little moment of movement has put a big smile on my face.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Monday Blues

I've had a bit of a weepy day today. I'm not even sure why!

I had my 16 week midwife appointment this morning, just like after my first appointment, I left feeling as though it had all been a bit of a waste of time!
I did get to hear my baby's heart beat, which a relief, not that I had been worrying about the baby (until she got the Doppler out!) and I had my urine tested, which was also fine.

I didn't really know what to expect from her today, but I didn't expect to feel so much in limbo - too far in to the pregnancy to be a concern, too early to be given any information about labour and what happens after the birth.
I know I should be pleased that there were no causes for concern, and I am, don't get me wrong, but it does leave me feeling that first time mothers really don't get much support from the professionals who are supposed to be overseeing the pregnancy and birth. It's no wonder websites offering forums and advice are so popular, and thank goodness they are so prolific, but do they always give the most accurate advice? I feel that I should take everything I read on-line with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, this didn't in itself set off the waterworks, generally work issues were to blame there, but I do think the feeling of disappointment I came away from the midwife with set me up to have an emotional day.

Sunday, 22 August 2010


For the last few weeks I have been finding it really hard to sleep. If it's not needing the loo that's waking me up, it's achey legs, strange dreams or Grant moving in his sleep (I am a very light sleeper!). My mum tells me to get used to it as it will only get worse further into my pregnancy I am - great, thanks Mum!

Last night however, I managed to sleep pretty well. Grant was away for the night and although I hate it when we sleep apart, I have to say, I sleep so much better when I have the bed to myself! A combination of pillows and cushions supporting me at various points (to keep me on my side) and just having the space seems to have done the trick!

Our bed is a standard double but it seems to feel increasingly small for us. I have a feeling we're going to have to invest in a larger bed, especially as my bump will be growing in the next few weeks and so there'll be even less space for us!

I'm trying to put it 0ff though as it wouldn't just be the bed we'd have to buy but a whole new lot of bedding too - add this to all the baby stuff we're going to have to buy soon and it becomes a small fortune.

Maybe last night is a taste of things to come and I'll be able to sleep a bit more comfortably even with Grant in the bed - let's hope so!

Friday, 20 August 2010


I am very excited! I have just booked a beginners day course in knitting at Wibbling Wools in Bury St. Edmunds.
A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go and I just couldn't refuse. I'd been thinking about learning how to knit for some time and really want a crafty hobby to get my teeth into. I'm sure I won't be an expert after one lesson but I can't wait to be able to try and make things for baby to be.
My grandma was always a great knitter and I remember being fascinated by the process. For some reason she never taught me to knit, although she did teach me to sew, a skill that I am badly out of practice in! Grant told me that his Mum taught him to knit when he was little and he really enjoyed it -he's forgotten how to now but wants me to reteach him once I have the hang of it! I really hope my child will want to learn too as I value the idea of passing things on through generations and keeping a common interest threading through a family.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Information Addict

Since finding out about my pregnancy I have become an information junkie!
I've been spending a stupid amount of time looking at just about every baby related website I can find.

Unfortunately I work from home and so have no one looking over me, checking up on what I'm doing and I can often lose a whole afternoon just reading forums, blogs and information sites, oh and not to mention the baby product websites!
I also have a few magazines and books that I've been given, which are also a complete distraction - I think because I'm reading or working on my lap top I can pretend that I'm doing something worthwhile and productive - never mind that it is completely unrelated to my work.

If I worked for myself I suppose it wouldn't be so bad, but I work for my family and now feel guilty for wasting the time that they are paying me to work in! Not sure how I can solve this problem. When I try and be strict with myself I find I can't concentrate on my work anyway which feels less productive than researching baby stuff.

Maybe I will grow out of it as I become more used to being pregnant. However I fear the opposite will happen and the nearer I get to the due date the less engaged in my work I will be - I'm sure this is normal when you only have a few weeks until your baby is due but I have 5 months to get through!

Ultimately it shows how little interest I have in my career. I've never been passionate about any job I have done and have battled mild depression for several years because of my feelings of inadequacy towards my career. It has only been since I found out about my baby that I have begun to feel happy again which highlights to me how important having a child and being a mother is to me. I'm just worried I will become dependent on my baby to be happy.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Sunday Baking

I love to bake; it gives me such a sense of happiness and achievement to take ingredients and turn them into something completely different. I'm no master baker but I do pride myself on making really good sponge cakes, especially fairy cakes (I refuse to call them cupcakes!).

Yesterday, as Grant was watching endless football on TV, I decided to spend the afternoon making some cakes. I made some choc chip ones and some plain ones with lemon icing. They turned out really well except that the choc chips all sank to the bottom of the cakes - need to work out how to stop this happening - but they still taste good. I revisited my childhood with the icing and used bright colours and hundreds of thousands.

So much for having a healthy day! We ate quite a few of the cakes and then felt very fat for the rest of the day - I also think the sugar affected my sleep as I hardly slept a wink.
It was worth it though!

The pictures aren't great but you get the jist!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Health in Pregnancy

I've always been quite a healthy eater; I try and get at least my 5 a day in and steer clear of 'empty' calories - and if anything I have become more health concious since becoming pregnant as I want to give my baby the best possible start in life.
There are always times however when this all goes out the window, generally at the weekend, when meal times are less obvious and brunch merges into afternoon tea and the lure of a take away for supper is all too great.

Yesterday was one such occasion. We had very little food in the house, certainly nothing green or fresh and having spent the day snacking on carbs and home made flapjacks, we decided that a take away was a better idea than trying to put together a meal from our meagre supplies. Normally we would go for a curry as its our number one choice of take away food and we have a vast amount of really decent curry houses nearby. Being pregnant however, leaves me feeling less enthusiastic about our favourite so we decided to try a Chinese take away instead.

We have a cupboard in our kitchen which is full of the take away menus that get pushed through the front door, unfortunately only one was for a Chinese which meant we had very little choice.
So we ordered, they delivered and we ate. I'm now feeling hugely dehydrated which I put down to the MSG that was no doubt laced throughout everything. The sauces were ok at first bite but then we were hit with a chemical undertone that really shouldn't have been there! I think it's safe to say we won't be getting Chinese take away again any time soon!

I have decided that today I will be healthier - maybe not weekday healthy but I will definitely try to eat at least some of my five a day. At least I won't be tempted to eat any flapjacks - I've already finished them for breakfast!!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Becoming a Mother

I'm 15 weeks pregnant today! The last few weeks have flown by and it's hard to think that in about 25 weeks time I will be a mummy.

I am highly excited about becoming a parent as is my boyfriend Grant. We decided that we'd try for a baby after spending some time with friends of ours over Easter. They have a beautiful little boy who was 6 months at the time and it really brought home to us how much we'd like to start a family of our own. Two months later and we found out I was pregnant - we were over joyed!
We decided not to tell anyone except our parents until after our 12 week scan - something I found very hard!
Having had the scan a few weeks ago, we have seen most of our friends now and shared the news with all and sundry. All our friends have been so excited for us which has been fantastic although I have found it all a bit overwhelming, especially as we've known for 10 weeks. I am still very excited but, being quite reserved by nature have found it hard to keep up the overtly enthusiastic excitement that people seem to expect - hope I don't come across as cold or heartless! I am also really aware of not becoming the person who only talks about their baby all night long! At home however I am happy to babble on about the baby with Grant as I know he is the only person in the world who could possibly be as excited as me about this new stage in our lives together.