Awake. It’s some time around 2am. My evening has been a carousel of waking, peeing, drinking and thinking – and I’m about to go back round for the eighth time.
My face has been festooned with spots. One can emerge from being non-existent to fully mature in literally fifteen minutes. I also got a mild rash on my arms yesterday, but I’m taking it all in my stride.
We’ve moved into the new flat, so I’m enjoying occupying myself with searching for furniture to enhance it and generally feathering my nest. We can hopefully find out the sex of the baby in two weeks, so then I’ll focus on the nursery and getting some playful pictures up and a fluffy rug.
It will also be a relief to concentrate the baby name search on names for just one sex. I have a favourite names list that keeps changing and evolving. I think the time has come to stop asking people their opinions on names, as like arseholes, everyone has one.
At seventeen and a half weeks I’m feeling very happy in my body. Jake took me to the local public swimming baths on Sunday – complete with octopus fountain and wave machine. We were met with a chaos of families bobbing up and down in the waves and shrieking children being tossed into the air (and probably doing wees in the pool). A shock after the civilised little pools I’d been to at my last few gyms where everyone had to wear a rubber hat and have a shower before they got in. We brushed aside a fleeting concern about verrucas, got stuck in and did some laps. I really enjoyed it and it felt like the perfect type of exercise for me in my state at the moment.
People have been commenting that my boobs are growing massive, which they are. They feel a bit itchy from the rapidity of it all. Might be time to start with the Bio oil to try to curb stretch marks (or some more natural oil without petrochemicals in it, like coconut).
My gums are throbbing. Apparently the hormones makes them swell and become inflamed and susceptible to infection. Have a dentist appointment in early March.
On Saturday we move to a new flat and my crazy nesting instinct commences. I have already done a PowerPoint presentation for Jake with scale diagrams of the rooms and furniture to indicate desired layout and missing furniture that must be purchased before the baby arrives. He was bemused. This flat is the first environment the baby will ever experience so I want it to be perfect. Clean, fresh, safe and visually stimulating.
Two and half weeks to go until the anomalies scan, which is making me feel nervous already.
The baby is now the size of a naval orange and over the course of next week, grows to the equivalent of a dragon fruit. The app should really have a more pedestrian fruit reference for those of us living in colder, less exotic climes. I’ve only seen a dragon fruit once, in Thailand.
Travel has been a nightmare in London due to strikes and weather, and people have become noticeably less keen to relinquish their seats when they see me. Wearing a ‘baby on board’ badge is an interesting social experiment that allows you to observe the very best and the very worst of human nature all at once. Over the last week I’ve witnessed both ends of the spectrum – from a woman who most definitely read my badge, pretended she didn’t see me and barged ahead of me to take the one remaining seat on the train so she could put her face on, to another woman who was so protective that she got into an altercation with a business man she thought was pushing me.
My midwife gave me a diamond piece of info last week regarding train travel (that apparently the rail companies don’t go out of their way to shout about). There’s a form you get at 20 weeks to certify the pregnancy (you also show it at work to secure maternity pay) which if you present at the ticket window, will get you a replacement first class ticket to your destination. Welcome news!
Nothing weird has happened to my body this week, which is refreshing. Been trying to focus on feeling ‘quickening’ but I really can’t fathom what the hell is going on in my baby zone what with all the gas and twinges and muscles pulling here and there.
A guy at work, who has a little girl, said his one piece of advice to me would be: ‘don’t bother listening to advice, from anyone’. His one piece of advice then turned into three pieces of advice as he added: ‘don’t read anything on the internet, just get a good baby book’ and ‘remember to play classical music to the baby in the womb. We did and my daughter is practically a genius’.
First parent fail: had ‘101 80s Anthems’ on this week including repeat listenings of ‘Don’t You Want Me (Baby)’ by the Human League.
Jake has tasked himself with giving our foetus a name this week, and his latest suggestion is: ‘The Womble’, A pre-birth name which will be replaced with a proper, real person name once he/she pops into the world (I like to use delusional expressions like ‘pop into the world’, imagining the baby as a champagne cork that will shoot out leaving me nothing but a little stunned and exhilarated). We need to promote the foetus from its previous title: ‘The Grubb’, as the little fella has been busy growing limbs and things since then. We also live very close to Wimbledon, so The Womble seems appropriate.
We have been debating whether to NCT or not and have decided to do it. The hospital offers antenatal classes for free, and NCT is pretty pricey, but all the parents we’ve spoken to said they’ve met a great network of friends through it, plus we want to experience everything around having a baby and not feel as though we’ve missed out.
Developed strong cravings for cakes, sugar, icing, cream, chocolate – basically anything sugar and fat laden. Been having verging-on-erotic dreams with sugary food stuffs as the object of my desire – my favourite was being held up by a criminal talking cat who forced me to keep putting my money into a giant vending machine full of Picnic bars, while he angrily meowed the word ‘picnic’ at me in a cat voice. The Picnics would come out and then we’d split them between us.
I’ve just come out of my Week 16: ‘Off to the Best Start’ appointment with the Midwife where I heard my baby’s heart beating!
It was nerve-wracking as it took a while for the Midwife to find. She joked that the baby was shy and must be a girl, while Jake and I looked nervously at one another. You could hear my heart beat really clearly, pounding away, and then suddenly, layered underneath it was this fast little beating, about double the speed of mine. The relief!
The baby kept moving around while we were trying to hear and the midwife was chasing it with her stick. She said it was like a little fish swimming around in a bowl.
Other things that were a relief/surprise:
1. I don’t need to freak out about waking up on my stomach or back, it doesn’t cut off the blood flow to the baby and sleeping in any position is fine – it just gets optimum blood flow when you sleep on your left.
2. Putting on no weight yet is also fine, and I shouldn’t expect to show for another 4 weeks.
3. The ‘bump’ I’ve got at the moment is actually my bowels. They’ve been pushed up and out by the baby which is sitting above my public bone where the bowels used to be.
3. The stuff coming out of my nipples is called colostrum and she’s advised harvesting it before the baby is born.
4. It’s not a surprise that I can’t feel my uterus. The midwife said she wouldn’t even be able to locate my uterus if she tried.
Now I need to keep my end of the bargain and relax. The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day, so I really am off to the best start.
To quote Peep Show: “I feel like someone’s inflating a balloon inside me, and not in a good way”.
I’ve just had a Pret tuna sandwich and I feel like I’ve eaten a bowling ball dropped in a bucket of cement. My stomach has practically halved in capacity. I can really sympathise with that fat guy in Seven who was force-fed baked beans until his gut exploded right now, albeit he was an actor and it never happened.
I’ve got my week 16 appointment tomorrow so I’m feeling worried and weepy again. I am also very tired and went to make my daily cup of tea (I allow myself one at work if I’m particularly knackered) and just poured boiling water on my fingers like a total moron. I’ve since read on the NHS website that pregnant women with any kind of burn should seek medical attention, but it seems a bit extreme in my case, so have simply patched up with tea tree burn gel and dressing.
My last point of moan is that my coccyx bloody hurts after more than about 15 mins of walking. Apparently this might disappear as the baby gets bigger and pops out so the pressure and weight is applied in front of me and not pushing down on my back. Burnt fingers crossed for that!
Going to get home, watch a bit of Nordic crime drama and then get to bed and show today the door. Tomorrow, if everything proves to be OK in my week 16 appointment i.e. baby’s heartbeat, I resolve to be a chilled out hippie for the rest of the pregnancy. Maybe I’ll even learn to play the ukulele and grow my armpit hair.
‘To change into a different shape or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre’.
That is me! At the risk of sounding sensationalist, I feel like Jeff Goldblum in ‘The Fly’ at the moment. Weirder stuff is happening to me with every day that passes.
*WARNING. The following passage is a TMI zone. Do not proceed if dining or of a delicate disposition.*
1. I woke up on Saturday morning and some kind of fluid had been leaking out of my nipples. Didn’t look like milk and it’s too early for that, isn’t it?
2. Today I seem to be completely full after just a few bites of a meal, strange as my appetite is supposed to be increasing. I’ve read it might be because the baby is growing and squashing the stomach.
3. Eyebrows don’t seem to be growing. I’m due for threading but they aren’t nearly bushy enough yet. Usually look like one of the Gallagher brothers at this point.
4. Bump is still going up and down like a whore’s drawers.
5. Bowels. Don’t even go there. Although I’ve drawn a correlation between the issues and my pregnancy supplement (which shall not be named due to potential law suit). When I cut them out everything went back to normal, so now I’m just taking folic acid and Calcium Magnesium with vitamin D as separate supplements and you’ll be pleased to hear, everything is tickety boo.