Week 18 – Those butterflies are not my imagination!

My update this week is a couple of days late as pregnancy has taken a backseat to my husband’s knee surgery.  He went in on Friday and everything went to plan, but he’s in a lot of pain and suffering a lot. We were able to bring him home yesterday lunchtime and that in itself was an effort.  Have you ever tried to fit a 6 foot 1 human being in the backseat of a car while keeping his leg entirely straight? We did it – thanks to his parents large SUV – but it took a long time and he felt a lot of pain in the process.

The past two days have been exhausting, not only to my husband but also to me.  I got home at around 9pm on Friday and I was so drained. Even though I hadn’t been doing anything much physically, I think I was subconsciously stressing a lot and that takes a surprising amount out of you. Yesterday was a different day with many more physical jobs to do to help my husband out, but at one point in the afternoon I surrendered for a 2.5 hour nap. I think that says it all really!

On to good news… over the past 3 days those are-they-or-aren’t-they bubbles have become distinguishable baby movements. It has been really strange and really amazing all at once.  I try to explain them to my husband but it’s so difficult. At one point on Thursday night I was lying on the bed on my back with my top half propped up with pillows and one of my cats sleeping between my legs. I thought the cat had put his paw on my belly at one point (which would be no bad thing) but I looked down and the cat was still fast asleep between my legs and not near my belly.  It was a baby movement! Since then I’ve had other similarly strong movements which have continued to delight me.

When my husband was in his post-surgery, post-anaesthesia delirium he almost told his parents the gender of the baby.  Now they know that we know, we are going to have to confess over the next few days. I’m ready to tell people as I’m finding the secret too much of a burden. I will reveal that about 80% of the people who have guessed the gender based on how my bump is carrying, the shape of my face, or whatever, have got it right so maybe it is possible to guess this stuff.  My local butcher though (who used to flirt with me and give me free steak – I guess those days are behind me) told me that he was 99% certain my baby was one gender and it was hard to keep a straight face because he was 100% wrong.  Bless him!

Also, for those of you who play these games, I have checked several Chinese gender predictor calendars and they have ALL been right.  That is particularly freaky!!

Onto the weekly data…

Weight gain: This week has been a slower weight gain week, thank goodness!  I’ve put on 300gm, although it does seem to vary quite a lot from day to day so I weigh myself around 2-3 times per week to observe the variations.  It must be water retention or something.  Very strange bodily behaviour!

Symptoms: I found a rash on my leg yesterday which seemed to have no particular origin.  It’s still there today but it’s not bothering me right now.  Rashes are apparently normal in pregnancy – great! Also, heading into TMI territory (so turn away now those of you who prefer not to know this stuff) I’ve really noticed a bit increase in the discharge this week.  I mean, it’s been more than usual for some time now, but this week it seemed to increase even more (#ewwww).  I also think I may have the start of haemarroids which is weird as I am not constipated.  Overall though, I think I am very, very fortunate when it comes to symptoms as I really do have almost none.

Eating: I’ve not gone crazy with my eating this week.  I’ve been hungry but I’ve been able to control it and also I planned my snacking in the office so that I ended up eating healthy snacks while there. My current snack of champions is celery with peanut butter.  You spread the (crunchy) peanut butter down the middle of the celery, kind of so the celery is the boat and you’re filling the boat with peanut butter.   The celery and the peanut butter have very different textures and flavours which makes it a sensation for your tongue.

Sleep: Very average.  Multiple wake-ups each night etc. I’m now sleeping in the spare bedroom (at some point to become the baby’s room)to give my husband and his knee some space  and the bed there is not as nice as our one so that is not helping. I have given up worrying about the sleeping and I just try and do my best.

Movement: Yessssss! All sorts of funny movements have been felt by me since Thursday (17 weeks, 6 days) and now it is mainly discernible.  I love it!

Emotions: I’ve been a bit sensitive this week, but it’s been a tough week too looking after my husband.  It’s been physically tiring which has also made my emotions a bit fragile. Some tears, but not too many.  I had some massive road rage yesterday about this idiot who parked on double yellow lines blocking the road (while picking up coffee of course), but I don’t know why I let it bother me so much at the time as this stuff happens constantly here.

Missing: My husband being physically able to do stuff.  To be fair, I think he’s missing this more than me! I’m sure he’ll be back to most tasks in 1-2 weeks so I just have to be patient.

Purchases: While waiting for the surgery on Friday, we narrowed our choice of stroller design down to 2, which is definitely progress for us.  We chose the brand/model a long time ago (sometime during pregnancy number 1) so all we’ve been discussing this time is the colour scheme. I think husband started to get a bit jumpy about buying things this week so I expect we will start the process of making purchases soon. Exciting!

I also bought a new belly oil by Linea Mamma.  It’s lovely and all organic!  It is an Italian brand but the box had loads of different languages on it so I am pretty sure it is easily bought across Europe at least.  Not sure about further afield, but anyway there are so many excellent baby bump oils on the market that you probably can’t go wrong.

Looking forward to: Telling people the baby’s gender (so I don’t have to refer to the baby as “it” anymore), more baby movements, buying/ordering the big ticket baby items, decorating the baby room (albeit sometime after I stop sleeping in there).

Best moment of the week: For sure it was realising that I could feel the baby moving.  Nothing is going to trump that!

Clothes: I’m all about maternity bottoms – jeans or whatever now, but I can still wear regular tops as long as they have a loose fit.  Anything tight from my original wardrobe is a no-go anymore. I also bought some awesome flamingo pjs from ASOS a few weeks ago and I’m totally in love with them. They are not sexy, but I love flamingos and they make me smile.  Even hubby said he liked them when I put them on so clearly I’m onto a winner there!

Exercise: The week started so well with exercise!  I took walks of more than 1 hour on both Sunday and Monday, yoga on Tuesday, but then Wednesday and Thursday were a bit of a write-off for different reasons. Friday morning before the surgery I did get another hour’s walk in, but yesterday’s exercise consisted of waiting on my husband which was more than enough work!  After I finish writing this I plan to go on a walk so as to keep the momentum going.

While out walking on Friday morning – which was a spectacular Spring day (one of the advantageous of living in a temperate Mediterranean location is short, mild winters) – I took the below photo which shows off my snazzy maternity leggings.  From behind I must look okay in them (and not preggo) as I received a couple of different shout outs from passing motorists as I crossed the road.  I was tempted to lift up my top and show them my bump, but I didn’t want to ruin the moment for them.

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The bump update: Some days the bump seems huge and other times it seems quite modest. I think it shrank a bit on Friday (stress?) which was when I took the bump photo.  If I took another one right now I think you’d find it to be bigger.  In any case, it’s bigger than last week and that’s the important thing!

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Surprises keep us nimble

When I last blogged I mentioned plans to go hiking last Sunday. Well that didn’t quite work out like how I had planned. Last Saturday afternoon my husband joined a pick-up session of basketball with some friends and managed to hurt his knee during a particularly physical encounter. It’s not unusual for him to come home and need to ice something so I didn’t worry too much. 

Until the next day when he woke up and was practically almost unable to move his knee! Fast forward to appointments with an orthopaedic surgeon and an MRI and he’s torn his ACL as well as done some meniscus damage. Guess who is scheduled for knee reconstruction surgery tomorrow?!

To be fair to him, he’s been pretty good about it all, staying positive and planning to focus on making a swift and strong recovery. He’s had the same surgery on the other knee so I think his basketball days may now be behind him. 

At first I was very upset for him (and a bit cross that he didn’t take better care) but now it is just a case of trying to get him fit again. 

The drawback to all of this? I am EXHAUSTED!! While I’m very much a business-as-usual person during this pregnancy, there have been many extra physical demands that have landed on my plate this week that have wiped me out. Today, I just want to cry and there’s no reason to really feel sad. 

Given that his surgery is tomorrow (Friday) and he will likely come home on Saturday it looks like the next few days / weeks will continue to be intense. I hope he will be a bit more active within a few weeks so he can take back some of the load. I am thankful this didn’t happen further into the pregnancy as I truly do not know how I would have coped!!

Onwards and upwards!

Week 17 – baby bubbles?

Yesterday we hit week 17 and, according to my collection of pregnancy apps, the baby is the size of a pomegranate, a turnip or a playstation controller.  No prizes for guessing which comparison hubby prefers!

This week I have found my emotions up and down. Maybe it’s life or maybe it’s hormones (or a bit of both), but there have been tears.  Many tears.  I’m hoping for a more cheerful week ahead.

On to the core details….

Weight gain: From last week to this week I’ve seen a gain of 0.4kg, which is less than 1 pound for those of you who prefer empirical measurements. This still feels like a lot, although overall I’ve gained around 4kg (less than 9 pounds) so far. I’ve checked and that is within the normal range for my height/BMI, but it still feels like too much for me. I am quite tall though which is working in my favour somewhat, though for how much longer I am not sure.  The funniest thing about weight gain this week is that hubby confessed to me a few days ago that he has gained 2kg! Now this is quite remarkable because he is very fit, works out around 4-5 times a week and doesn’t really gain weight.  Seems like he may have been doing some support eating alongside me! He even said the other day he’s been craving potatoes (like me)?!!! I’ve heard rumours of the partners taking on some of the symptoms of their pregnant partners, but I didn’t actually expect it to happen!

Symptoms: I had a pretty epic blood nose one morning before work this week.  I’ve no idea what triggered it (maybe blowing my nose, but I’ve blown my nose approximately 1 million times over the past few months and nothing unusual has happened before), but the main issue was that because I take blood thinning meds the bleeding was very difficult to stop. I had everything going – ice packs and all – and it still took 30 minutes to ease off! That aside, I think I am doing really well overall so far.  I’ve not noticed any big aches or pains or anything and I continue to do most everyday things as usual.

Eating: Yes!!  To summarise, let’s just say I had a dream the other night about chocolate eclairs! I’ve really noticed my hunger levels have gone up this week and so food has been a big priority. After a couple of days where too much stuff from the naughty list found its way into my mouth, I am now trying to focus on filing up on more nutritious food.  No chocolate eclairs!

Sleep: Sigh… I’m still struggling with that but I definitely sleep better after some exercise, even if it’s light.  This is a reminder that I need to push myself to do exercise even on those days when I don’t want to.

Movement: I think I might have noticed some flutters earlier in the week and also this morning while I was laying in bed, but I can’t be sure as they might just have been gas. I like to think these feelings were the baby but I’ve really got no idea.

Emotions: Definitely a bit down this week. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s been tough to process the fact that my husband has not really seemed at all into me since the pregnancy started.  He’s very cuddly and helpful, but no matter what he or anyone else might say to try and justify it, I am still hurting from the rejection. Please may this phase pass soon and before I get so huge that cuddling is my only option.

Missing: My husband treating me as his lover.

Purchases: I’ve bought 2 baby books (I decided to skip on pregnancy books as the apps seem to cover most things) but I’ve not even opened the front page of either of them yet! I chose “Your Baby & Child” by Penelope Leach, and The Baby Book by Dr William Sears and Martha Sears. We have bought absolutely nothing for the baby yet though!

Looking forward to: Cheering up.

Best moment of the week: I told our cleaner at work that I’m pregnant and she was the most excited person so far by a mile! She and I don’t speak each other’s languages very well but I’ve managed to communicate with her in the past about my fertility struggles and even my miscarriage (thank you Google translate!). She was so delighted that I’m pregnant that she practically shouted in English “YES!!” while vigorously doing a fist pump. She rarely speaks English. She then went on and kissed me a thousand times and was the first person (husband excluded) to touch my bump. It was a beautiful moment and it filled me with joy.

Clothes: Definitely in maternity clothing territory now. My bump is getting harder to disguise so I’ve mainly given up. I’m not out and proud yet but it won’t be much longer, whether I want to be or not.

Exercise: This week I’ve done 2 walks of about an hour each, and two sessions of yoga, which is not too bad considering my very low energy levels. I’m hoping to make it on another hike on Sunday which should push me!

The bump update: It’s here!  Definitely poking its way out of my clothes and making it hard for me to get dressed in the morning. This week was the first time I thought maybe I need some maternity tops so that things don’t seem a bit short all the time on me. (No kitty this week. She was in the room with me at the time of taking the pic but was not cooperating!)

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Hungry, hungry, hungry

The past two days have been the first time in my pregnancy where I have thought I am behaving like a pregnant woman. I was cranky as hell yesterday and so hungry I demolished a bunch of special sweets/candy from my homeland that I keep for “emergencies”. It sure did feel like an emergency at the time and now I’ve had to call in extra supplies from my Mum back home!

I’ve been reading at this stage that you’re meant to get an increase in appetite and I hoped that would by-pass me but it seems not likely. As someone who has not been particularly excited or motivated by food, I’ve now become obsessed with it. I even had a dream about chocolate eclairs the night before last!

The crankiness is somewhat attributable to the poor quality of sleep I’m getting at the moment. Not only do I wake up around 2-3 times a night to pee but I’ve been struggling to get that good quality deep sleep that is so beautiful. I’ve been dragging my feet as a result and was very irritable yesterday. I saw my acupuncture guy last night after a yoga session and he tried a new needle to help my sleep and I think it was better but maybe I just need more hours in bed (more hours in the day would help with that). 

The weekend was a mixture of good and bad. I started Saturday with a preggo massage which was nice but a bit too much of a light touch for me. Maybe it’s more effective further along in the pregnancy. The lady who did it was lovely though and what the massage lacked the chat with her more than made up for. 

Then I went to see my friend who is also my hairdresser and he’s a rather fabulous positive influence on me. He wanted to take some photos of my hair that he had done so I went with the expectation that this would be a few snaps with his phone for Instagram. I did NOT expect a pro photographer and a photoshoot in a park, which is what I got!! Despite the surprise factor, it was so much fun and both the photographer and my hairdresser friend took some lovely shots. I even let them take a few photos where you could see my small baby belly and they loved it!! It was such a confidence boost to me as I’ve been feeling a bit low about my changing shape. 

While hubby is lovely and supportive in his own way, he is not someone who demonstrates his love with grand shows of affection. Sometimes I can feel a little under appreciated. This whole IVF thing has deeply affected our sex life (which makes me so incredibly sad, rejected even) and we have not had sex in months. It’s really hard to feel pretty with an expanding mid-section and zero action between the sheets. The photoshoot was the first time I felt both pregnant and sexy simultaneously. The fact that the 23 year old photographer seemed to fancy me certainly helped, even after I’d done the calculation that I’m technically old enough to be his mother!!

But in other good news, I might have felt the first movements of the baby on Monday. Just before I was getting out of bed I felt a kind of bubbling effect inside and it made me wonder if it’s baby or if it’s gas. I hope baby but you never know!! I’ve had similar feelings occasionally since so I’m hoping for something more clear in the coming days. 

Week 16 -Building my “overheads”

I’ve gone on a bit this week, so let’s just get straight to the weekly info.

Weight gain: Oh yes, I jinxed myself last week by saying my weight had plateaued.  Hahahaha! Either my scales are messed up or I’ve had a good eating week as I’m 1kg heavier than last week. Go figure (cries silently into her pillow)!

My doctor said something interesting at our appointment yesterday and that was that those women who start off pretty slim or even skinny pre-pregnancy have to gain a bit more weight so as to build up what he called “overheads”.  What he meant by that is that you need to have some extra fat stores and also you get extra liquid when you are pregnant. So if you already start off with a little bit of weight on you, then your “overheads” do not need to be built so much.  I think that was his nice way of saying it’s okay if you gain some weight.

Symptoms: I keep reading everywhere that at this stage the uterus moves up, thus giving you a more pronounced bump, and you don’t need to pee so often.  My bladder seems to have missed this memo as I am STILL peeing at least twice a night, dammit! This means very interrupted sleep. Also, I noticed a few times that I had a bit of an ache right down low under my belly and sometimes down the left side.  It wasn’t terribly painful but it was noticeable.  I told my doctor and he seemed entirely bored by my comment so I figure it’s fine.

Eating: Pretty normal eating this week.  I’ve gone practically vegetarian since becoming pregnant and that has continued.  While meat no longer actually repulses me, I also don’t look forward to meals with a lot of meat in them.  So its veggies all the way for me! I also had a small bag of crisps yesterday after lunch because I was tired from all the pre-scan stress. As most things which are chocolatey give me heartburn this has wiped out a lot of my usual post-dinner snacking preferences.  I honestly have no idea how it was even possible to gain 1kg in a week when you look at what I’ve eaten this week!

Sleep: Pfffffft! As mentioned above, it has been a pretty terrible week for sleep. Each morning when my alarm has gone off to get up for work I have been wondering why it’s not Friday yet.  As today was finally Friday it was such a relief!  I’m so looking forward to catching up on some zzzzzzz this weekend!

Movement: Still no.

Emotions: Very nervous before the scan.  Then I cried a whole bunch after it, which I guess was a bit of a release of all that tension. Otherwise I think I’ve been pretty okay.  No outbursts or anything like they claim for pregnant women in the movies.

Missing: I was looking at some of the other girls in my yoga class yesterday (it’s not preggo yoga) and looking at their flat stomachs with some envy.

Purchases: Still no baby purchases but I think they’ll happen soon. We are beginning to amass some lists. I sent back one of the pairs of maternity trousers I bought last week online and ordered another.  Don’t tell the husband!

Looking forward to: Finally pretending that I don’t know the gender of the baby!  It was actually a bad idea to find out and then pretend to everyone we don’t know. I mean, it is genius as it’s a nice little secret just for hubby and me, but it’s also killing me.  If I could at least discuss it here I think I’d feel a bit better, but hubby is right that family should know first.  Arrggggghhhh!

I’m also looking forward to my first preggo massage tomorrow morning.

Best moment of the week: The scan and seeing how big and human like the baby is now. It also blew my mind how much you can see on the scan – including both halves of the brain!! Whaaaaaat?!  It was only a few weeks ago that we were looking at our embryo hatching out of its shell before implantation and now there is a real life mini-human inside me.  This really hit me yesterday.

Clothes: Yeah, maternity trousers/jeans all the way this week.  No point fighting it anymore! No maternity tops though.  I’m fighting the fight still!

Exercise: Well after my awesome efforts with the hike on Sunday I’ve been pretty washed out ever since (also linked to sleep issues as discussed).  I hit up yoga on Tuesday (beginners) and Thursday (all levels) and struggled a bit through Thursday’s class.  I gave tonight’s class a miss as I thought I needed to take it a bit easy.  I’m hoping to get at least one decent walk in over the weekend though.

And the bump update.  Here you go!  My little bump and me at 16 weeks.  If any of you have noticed the bruising on my belly you can thank my good friend Clexane (daily blood thinning injection for that). My kitty made her way into the photo again this week too!

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Thumbs up

The scan is done and everything is looking great with the small one growing inside of me. The anticipation and nerves beforehand are worth it just to see the bub there looking big and healthy and just as it should be at this stage. 

I think this one is going to be a cheeky one as it’s already giving us the thumbs up!!


It’s so mad how you can see the individual bones of the fingers and hand!! We also saw the brain on the scan – you could clearly see the two sides of the brain which was incredible – and we also saw the heart beating. At one stage the little human inside me did a big yawn which allowed the doctor to confirm no cleft palate (yay) and made me think that it will take after its father who is a world class snoozy-head!


We did find out the gender which was interesting but as we are not telling anyone that we know the gender yet I’m also not allowed to write about it here, dammit!! 

We also had a chat about potential c-section dates. I have had previous surgery so my doctor doesn’t want to risk me bleeding out through labour/ natural birth. This also doesn’t sound cool to me. Anyway, I am really keen to miss one particular date for the birth (best to not ask why) and the doctor confirmed, while laughing, that we could shift it a day or so either way to accomodate my (weird) request. Haha!

I am super emotional today, partly due to the scan, partly due to sleeping appallingly last night and partly because, well, hormones. 

But in good news I have now moved up another bra size. While I used to be a smallish B cup I am now a D cup!! Such a shock to finally have boobs!! So maybe this is where my weight gain has gone. Luckily it hasn’t gone to my butt (yet) so that’s a good thing I’m sure. 

Hubby also told me last night that I’ve been pretty normal and not too hormonal which was the nicest thing I’ve heard in a while. Yay me!

The night before the morning of

You would think that at a certain point of pregnancy that you would stop worrying. Well I’m here to tell you that is not the reality. It’s definitely true that my stress levels have gone done since getting past the 12 week scan with everything looking good. However, I still find myself second guessing whether it’s a good idea to do this or that or eat that piece of cake. 

Then along comes another doctor’s appointment and scan. 

Tomorrow morning I go for my 16 week scan one day shy of being 16 weeks pregnant and I’m a bit nervous. This makes no sense. Judging by the growth alone in the past few days there is something going on in there so I have no real reason to be worried, yet the nerves start jangling just in case.

Maybe another reason I’m a bit on edge is that we have agreed we will find out the gender of the baby tomorrow. I could have waited longer but hubby is nearly bursting while he waits to find out! He’s gotten super excited about everything this week so I don’t want to deny him. However, we have decided to tell everyone else that we still don’t know the gender – at least for now. This also means I am not allowed to reveal it here. Sorry!!

For the record, I think I’m having a boy but would prefer it to be a girl. My husband is the opposite. Exciting!

I am fully embraced in the world of maternity clothes now albeit just for my bottom half (for now). I am preferring under the bump styles so much more than over the bump (FYI new mammas-to-be). I have thus far refused to wear leggings other than for workout purposes because I do not believe them to be a replacement for proper trousers/pants (worn under a long top is ok though). Any clothing that allows strangers to identify you’re waxing preferences is not workplace appropriate in my opinion. I realise I am in the minority on this but that’s why leggings don’t make up the backbone of my wardrobe at least. 

Last Sunday I made good on my promise to go hiking with a social group we belong to. Even though I nearly bailed out at the last minute for fear it would be too much it turned out to be a great day!! Although the he hike went for 3 hours it was not so strenuous and I was even one of the faster participants! The key for me was loads of water (=peeing behind some bushes more than once) and a few healthy snacks along the way. I cannot tell you how great the fresh air was!! Having been ill with viruses for the past month it was the first time I felt properly alive for ages. Great for the body and mind!

Of course I was completely wiped out by the evening so was practically useless after about 7pm!! Still worth it!

Despite all this good exercise, I weighed myself this morning and I’ve gained some weight. No surprises as the bump is definitely growing more prominent but I don’t want to go outside a healthy weight gain range. Eeek! Fingers crossed!