The movements of the girl have undergone a distinct gear change in the last 24 hours – from what were localised, precise and relatively delicate pokes and pushes, to more of a choreography. I can now feel a series of movements in succession – usually a: ‘bump, bump, bump’, with an accompanying shimmy from one location to another. The force is also increasing – one particular pound made me feel slightly unnerved in a ‘what the hell is inside me’ kind of way.
I’m trying to keep a log of the movements to discern a pattern like the NHS advise (and not kick counting over two hours like they advise in the U.S.), but throughout the day she pretty much reacts whenever I drink a cup of tea or eat something. When I’m hunched over my desk, the angle of my body makes her feel like a worm or centipede wriggling through my abdomen. In the small hours, when it’s quiet and dark and I’m still, she performs a clumsy and chaotic Riverdance in my womb. It half wakes me up, but I lie smiling, half asleep, imagining what her newly formed mind could be thinking.
I’m writing this at 4:20am, my eyes feel round and eyelidless, like a cartoon cat.
I’ve had really disrupted sleep over the last couple of weeks – something I’ve never struggled with before in my life. My sleeping pattern has changed and I now sleep in two shifts from around 11 – 2/3am, lie awake for two or three hours and then go back to sleep until sevenish. Not a problem at weekends, but annoying when you work 9-5, Mon-Fri.
I’m 26 weeks today and, touch wood, everything seems OK. My funny fish is still flipping, kicking and twitching and my belly’s getting sizeable:
It’s much bigger in the evening than in the morning, which I find disconcerting. If I eat too much dinner i.e. as much as I used to, I feel so full I’m almost debilitated and my belly feels like a giant hard boiled egg. Eating little and often is way better, but not practical unless you are able to orchestrate your entire day around food consumption.
Mum and Dad came down to visit us with a cot and a chest of drawers this weekend, which I’m very excited to see built. We’ll have her in our room to start off with and then move her into her nursery later.
The waiting is getting boring now, but setting milestones helps. Week 30 is my next mental checkpoint.
My Spring chick is wriggling and squirming as I write this. Well, she’s a Summer chick really, as she won’t arrive until July, but I’m trying to shoehorn some topicality into my blog post.
We bought a very sensible family car over the weekend – a good old Ford Mondeo:
Jake painfully had to say goodbye to the sexy 2-seater Mazda MX5 that he had been cruising around town in since the beginning of the year. The first of many sacrifices we will make for our little creature.
Reduced sugar diet is going terribly. I’m like a crazed crack-addict around the stuff. There was literally a chocolate egg with my name on it on my desk this morning:
It was half consumed before 10:30am, much to the horror and amusement of my colleagues.
Physically, I feel really great and have little cause to complain – but I will anyway: still experiencing pelvic bone pain that comes on if I walk for too long without a rest. I’ve also suffered acidic fluid rising in my oesophagus over the last couple of days, which is probably heart burn (I’ve never experienced this before so not sure what it feels like). The skin on my arms and legs has also changed in a way that’s hard to describe. Tight, sensitive and itchy I suppose. On the upside my hair is full and bouncy.
We joined NCT after all. We thought: ‘in for a penny, in for 324 pounds’. It had better be good. I noticed with distain that we have to bring a packed lunch! For £324 they can’t even fork out for a Pret lunch. Humpf.
Jake put his ear to my belly and heard baby’s heart beating over the weekend, although just for a few seconds and then she moved and he couldn’t catch it again. I felt a touch envious as I can’t hear it. It sounds silly, but I feel like I am starting to learn a little about her personality just from her movements. She is a tease – punching around like Ricky Hatton when no one is watching, and when I draw attention to her and other people try to feel her she disappears completely. I can see her pushing my stomach out from the outside now, and when I was sitting in the bath my stomach was bizarrely lopsided where she had obviously moved over completely to the left hand side.
I saw a lady-swan sitting on her nest on Sunday. It was amazing, I’d never seen a swan nest before. Jake has seen her off the nest and says she has three eggs in it. I felt an affinity with her and I wish her and her offspring a healthy start and a happy life.
Week 24. I had an antenatal appointment with my GP, Dr Taki, today. I’d called ahead last week to check he had a doppler in his surgery because I was a teensy bit worried on Thursday after the baby had a manic day of kicking and punching, and then a whole day of complete stillness. My fears were alleviated on Friday, though, when she resurfaced again to play the bongos on my belly for a few minutes. I’ve now got a week 28 appointment where a midwife comes to my flat, and then back to see Dr Taki again in week 32.
The last few days have been lovely, because for the first time Jake has been able to feel her kicks from the outside of my stomach. It’s amazing to finally have him experiencing the physical signs of her and share in the weirdness and joy it brings. She always starts up when I’m lying in bed in the evening, and when she kicks we laugh and Jake shouts ‘hellooo’ at my stomach. We pondered how surreal it would be if we heard a muffled little voice shout back one day.
Bought this £50 maternity pillow from John Lewis to stop me rolling over on my back at night. A fairly painful whack, but I’ve been told they are worth it. I tested it out last night and it was comfy, but I got stiff in the same position in the middle of the night and was restricted by it in terms of movement – which is the whole point of it, I guess:
Speaking of painful financial whacks, it turns out NCT is £327! I was expecting it to be about £200. I’m really in a quandary about whether to pay it as everyone says there’s nothing in the course you can’t learn elsewhere, so it’s basically just about hobnobbing with middle class parents. I’m not sure that’s worth £327, especially when there are so many baby classes around – but on the other hand, my sister advised it’s best to make friends before the baby comes because afterwards you are too knackered to put effort into meeting new people, and I am new to Kingston and have no friends in the area so may go nuts alone in the flat with the baby if I don’t make some.
Other than that, there’s a pressure pain on my pubic bone, to be expected I suppose, and have had a couple of psycho mood swings which have sent my husband literally running away from me up the street with his hands over his ears. He’s been very forgiving so far though, and I am going to try and recognise hormone-induced episodes for what they are next time.
I’ve worked in marketing and communications for the last 12 years, and in that time my brain seems to have re-wired itself solely to facilitate the skills I need for my job. That and the ability to regail unsavoury anecdotes from Vice magazine for titillation at parties. It’s chucked everything else out that it once knew – or a least relegated it to my mind’s equivalent of the ‘cupboard full of crap’ that everyone has in their house (you know, the one with the dirt devil, bin liner full of coats and game of ‘Guess Who’ somewhere at the bottom of it?)
Once the baby is born I’m going to have dust off some of the things in this cupboard so I can exist alongside the baby, in her world. All the things that little girls are interested in have been deemed surplus to requirements and banished to a land far away in my memory. I’ve forgotten how fairytales and nursery rhymes go – mixing up Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin story lines. I can only recall one verse of ‘Oranges and lemons’, which I realise is quite an obscure children’s song but I’m struggling to think of any others.
I remember when I was a little girl I used to ask my parents to tell me a story and they would make one up on the spot. Panic! I don’t possess those kind of improv skills. And I’ve forgotten how to play. Little girls create complex imaginary worlds where their dolls have different personalities and interact with eachother in a micro-society of Sylvanian creatures and Bratz dolls. Will I be expected to join in with this? At least if she was a boy I could build something out of LEGO and then smash it up with him. How does one regress after being hardened by the sarcasm and cynicism of adult life?
I am excited to discover it all again – The Hungry Catapillar, Spot the Dog, The Mr Men. No doubt it has all changed now and there are new characters – Square Bob Spongey Pants et al. And I’m excited to hopefully coax my childlike-self back to the present – so she can play with my daughter.