Week 22 (and a bit) – fattening up nicely

While last Friday was technically the 22 week mark, please forgive me for the delay in summarising the week just gone. We flew back home Friday night / Saturday morning which meant a 5am bedtime before waking up just a few hours later. I ploughed headlong through the day which included an energetic baby shower in the evening and then losing an hour at night thanks to the clocks changing to summer time. Suffice to say that I was pretty much ruined on Sunday!

Even though it did wipe me out, the baby shower was a surprising amount of fun. The grandma-to-be went to an enormous amount of trouble with decorations, games and prizes and so much food. I have only been to one baby shower before which was so boring even the alcohol didn’t improve it for me, but this one had lots of good elements to it. I am proud to report to you all that I won the general knowledge quiz on babies. After 10 billion years (estimated) of trying to get pregnant, I think it’s safe to say I have read a lot and my knowledge shone through!

Weight gain: I don’t even want to talk about it! All I will say is that I was on holidays so I was eating whatever I wanted and that included a croissant each morning for breakfast. It has been reflected on the scales! Every time I’ve looked in the mirror this week I seem to have gotten bigger and that includes my nipples. Bye bye petite and pretty nipples and hello big, dark saucers that look nothing like my boobs. RIP boobs.

Symptoms: This week my heartburn finally gave me a break and just in time for my holiday! Hello chocolate (see above weight gain)! While I was in London on holidays I was feeling totally fine and fabulous. We had busy and active days and while I was always grateful for a nice sit down and a snack, I can’t say I was held back too much by being pregnant.

Then today, my first day back at work, I am sitting at my desk, practically doing nothing and I’m hit by an unexpected wave of dizziness. It lasted a good hour and was resolved when I had a couple of sweets to bump up my blood sugar. I would have understood this if I hadn’t eaten, but my breakfast was good (bircher muesli) so there is no real reason to have been dizzy. After I recovered though I felt totally fine for the rest of the day.

Eating: Yes, I definitely did some eating this week. There might have been one meal of fish and chips (I never eat battered, fried food!!), there was definitely an enormous box of popcorn while at the cinema (seeing Logan – terrible movie, not even popcorn improved it for me), daily croissants, several servings of scones, jam and cream, and some potato crisps – amongst other things. In my defence, this is so very different to my normal diet so I am back on track with veggies and fruit since returning home. I can totally see though how people can gain a lot of weight when pregnant as it really wasn’t much of a challenge to munch my way through all the naughty things that were on offer.

Sleep: I slept amazingly while we were away! I find this happens generally when I go away (even pre-pregnancy) because the vibe changes when you know you don’t have to go to work. Also, we were very active during the day so I was usually pretty exhausted by the time I climbed into bed.

Movement: OMG yes! This baby is a ninja! I can actually see his kicks and punches through my skin now. Admittedly, they are not super strong and freaky yet, but I am surprised they are visual. As I mentioned in a previous post, hubby is now able to feel the movements from the outside which is super cool.

Emotions: I have done some crying this week over really random things, usually when very tired. No super-crankiness though. I keep reading other people’s blogs and they say that the pregnancy hormones make them really mad at everyone, but I can’t say I feel that way. If anything, I think I feel a bit more mellow.

Missing: Not much actually. I had so much fun this past week that it was hard to feel like I was missing out.

Purchases: What didn’t we buy this past week? By mid-week I was literally OVER baby shopping, however a couple of days later I found myself back at John Lewis buying various kinds of swaddle on the advice of a couple of lovely bloggers (you know who you are – thank you for the tips!). When I came home I unpacked everything, cleared out a drawer where some of my clothes were living and gave the baby clothes their own space. I will worry about washing them all a bit closer to the arrival of our tiny dude.

This was hubby’s favourite purchase during our visit to London. He has decided that this is what the baby should wear on the day he’s born so that when people come to look at him in the hospital clinic’s nursery he will stand out from all the other babies in pastels and different shades of white/grey.


Looking forward to: My bump being big enough to rest my plate on. It’s not far off now!

Best moment of the week: There were so many great moments this week it’s hard to narrow it down! I must say the funniest moment of the week was when we were strolling around the John Lewis (department store) baby section and hubby saw an interesting gadget. He loves, loves, LOVES gadgets so it came as no surprise to me when he asked me if I’d like it. I politely declined, and he asked why. It was then that I revealed to him that the gadget, an Elvie, is something you put up your vagina and do pelvic floor exercises with to tighten your parts up after childbirth. His facial expression of horror was so incredibly funny I wish I had a photo of it!

In non-baby moments, hubby and I made a spur of the moment decision to go and see An American in Paris on our wedding anniversary last week and it was brilliant! Oh the dancing!  They have brought the cast from the Broadway version to London and the leads are incredible, world-class ballet dancers who can sing beautifully.  For London readers and those popping by London some time soon, I highly recommend a night out at the Dominion Theatre for the performance.

Exercise: Endless walking last week was my exercise and it was great to be so active. It helped me realise how much more energy I have when I’m not stuck behind a desk all day. Tomorrow it’s back to yoga for me though!

The bump is big now! I feel properly pregnant these days. I did still manage to disguise it in London with a jacket and a colourful scarf but otherwise it is very visible!

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Baby shopping overload!

We are now into our second full day in London and I think I may have hit baby shopping overload! If you are lucky enough to live in an area where there are many baby shops and options I expect you can probably space out your purchases over time. Where we live there is limited variety and so we are using our time in London to pick up items that are either not available where we live or they are better priced here. This equals the equivalent of a baby shopping spree.  Let me tell you, babies are EXPENSIVE!!

The first splurge came yesterday when we found ourselves in Baby Gap. I know for many of you Baby Gap is considered a kind of a staple, but for us it’s a novelty and they have masses of cute things for babies and children. In the main, we bought baby onesies of all kinds – short sleeve and long sleeve – with so many cute designs on them. I seem to have an attraction to anything that comes with built in animal ears.  The husband seems to like sharks, robots and cartoon characters. It’s really hard to know what clothes to buy for a baby that is going to be born in the middle of the Mediterranean summer where temperatures range from 35-40 degrees celsius (95-104 F). If the baby is in AC then he has to have long sleeves and legs.  If he’s outside (e.g. going for a stroll at nighttime) he’s going to need to have something short sleeved/legged on. So our logic is we are buying everything!

Today we had our consultation with the John Lewis Nursery Advice Service. For those of you UK based, I would highly recommend you go along for one of these free sessions even if you plan to purchase your items from elsewhere. We had a really lovely consultant lady take us through all of the necessary items from strollers, to breast pumps, to cots – everything you could possibly need. As you go through all the things, she takes a little zapper machine that records all of your choices so you can make a baby gift list for friends and family (like a wedding registry, but for baby stuff). For us it was a bit different because the list function is pretty much redundant, but it did help us to clarify some things we were not sure about and we actually changed our minds on the baby seat base after hearing the advantages of some other options.

So after deciding to leave the big things for another day, I picked up a “few small things” – muslin cloths, bath towels, baby bottles, bibs, onesies etc – and promptly dropped £170 in the process. Eeeek! The husband is now not letting me near baby shops ever again (i.e. until tomorrow). As for the big things… this is what I think we will end up going for :

Stroller – Bugaboo Chameleon 3 (classic grey colour)

Car seat – Maxi Cosi Pebble (some kind of black/grey colour)

Car seat base – Maxi Cosi 2WayFix 

You can buy adaptors for the Maxi-Cosi car seat to clip into the Bugaboo frame so on those occasions where we prefer to wheel the car seat about, this is what we will do. These big ticket items will be bought when we’re back as neither of us fancy schlepping them to the airport and by the calculations of the GBP against the EUR currently, it’s actually cheaper to buy the Bugaboo where we are in EUR than it is in London in GBP.  This is a rare occurrence!

We are still totally undecided about the baby cot, but the other question that today threw up is what the baby will sleep in during the day? We need to have something portable so that when he sleeps during the day we can always be in the same room as him. Is that a Moses basket, or do we get a small cot that can live temporarily in our open plan living room/kitchen?  The jury is still out on this decision.

In non-shopping news, we were taking a rest back at the hotel before dinner last night and the small dude started to get quite active with his dancing so I put hubby’s hand on my belly on the off chance that he could feel it.  After about 5 minutes of my husband staring at me like I was deceiving him about the kicking, the small dude did some kind of impressive manoeuvre and his daddy got to feel him for the first time.  It was brilliant!  So at 21 weeks and 2 days, daddy felt baby move!  Super exciting times!



Week 21 – This babe is blooming!

Greetings from London! Hubby and I are have just arrived in the city where we first met and spent the first two years of our relationship before moving to his home country. Since leaving we tend to come back around once a year to spend some time in our old haunts and also it’s a great change from living in the small community of his country. What I love about our visits to London is that it reminds us of the first days of our love and it’s a bit like being in a time-machine. Everything in London is more or less the same, but we are the ones who have changed.

I always marvel at the randomness of us finding each other in such a big city, both from vastly different countries, hemispheres and cultures and yet there is so much about us that has always been aligned. On the first night we kissed, he told me he would treat me like a princess and he’s never failed me. Even through all of the IVF stresses, losses and traumas he has been rock solid. Sometimes when you ask people what they look for in a relationship they say great body or smart or whatever but what you actually really want is someone who is going to be your best friend and stick with you through all of the really hard parts of life. If you find someone like that, then you know you’ve hit the jackpot. My husband is like that and even when it looked like we might never have a baby I always thought at least we have each other.

Anyway, enough of this mushy-stuff, what’s happened this week with the small person inside of me? If it was last week that my bump popped, then this week the bump has literally been growing before my very eyes. Up until this week the growing has been pretty steady and subtle, but it seems like I’ve now hit some kind of growth spurt. Apart from this being awesome news that the baby is growing well, now I really do feel and look pregnant and there is also no easy way of hiding it from the rest of the world.

Even though the changes to my body are cool, they are also really weird and somewhat hard to adjust to. I look in the mirror and do not recognise the silhouette that stares back at me. Now I kind of understand why they say pregnant women bloom. I think I’m blooming at the moment! My husband also seems to be really getting into it now he can see the bump and I don’t just look a bit “thick” around the middle.   He sometimes says hello and makes funny noises to my belly. It always makes me laugh.

And here are this week’s details…

Weight gain: This week I have gained about 600-700gm which is something like 1 pound. I weigh myself using on Thursday and Friday mornings and take whichever reading is lower, which is usually Friday for some strange reason. Maybe I don’t eat as big a dinner on Thursday nights or something. Overall I’m up about 6.5 kilograms (14 pounds) from my starting weight and I’d really rather it was more like 5kg at this point. Given that the scan on Thursday shows the baby weights about 400gm (a little less than a pound) it looks like I’ve got 6 kilograms of “overheads” as my doctor likes to call them. When I expressed some concern about my weight to him on Thursday he seemed completely not phased by it and told me a story of a woman who started off at 70kg (154 pounds) and went up to 120kg (265 pounds) by the time she gave birth. She did have twins, but still that is not a healthy weight gain. Eeeeeek!

Symptoms: Heartburn has been a constant this week, the only plus being that it stops me from eating particularly heavy foods that are probably not so healthy. There are some big triggers, especially red meat, things that are heavily flavoured/seasoned and chocolate. The only cures seem to be abstinence from eating such foods, although milk does help. I also think I see the faint line of the linea nigra. Otherwise I’m doing great I think.

Eating: All of my pregnancy apps said for week 21 to expect to be starving all the time. Check! But what I do find is that I can’t eat a lot at once so I am kind of like a sheep and grazing on small things throughout the day. My husband has learned not to delay my meals and snacks! I am very fortunate that he is a feeder, albeit I think that my go some way to explaining the bonus 6kg I am taking on holiday with me.

Sleep: This has been a bit of a mixed bag this week. The pillow I bought has definitely helped but is the approximate size of an elephant and so it’s becoming a bit of an issue as it takes over the whole bed. We are thinking of reversing who sleeps on which side of the bed when back from our holidays so that I can sleep on my left side with the pillow poking out the side of the bed, rather than poking into hubby who is then left with an inch of mattress space.

Movement: Yes and it’s getting a bit stronger. The scan showed that our small dude is currently in breach position which explains why most of the movement I feel is down low – that’s where he’s playing his football games and/or doing his dances. I hope it will be detectable from the outside soon.

Emotions: I think that rather than my emotions being extreme, they are just really easily triggered. It doesn’t take much to trip me over from mild irritation to downright mad. Fun times!

Missing: I was offered some really nice looking wine on the plane. It hurt to turn it down. A cheeky little drink when you’re trapped in the air is one of life’s pleasures. Also, I have never been in London and unable to drink before. London and drinking is synonymous. I will just have to eat more Victoria sponge to make up for it!

Purchases: We went to a baby show last Sunday with my mother-in-law and she bought some really cute onesies for the little dude. These were his first gift and so that was pretty cute. This week in London is when our shopping starts in earnest. We are booked in for a consultation at the baby section of John Lewis on Monday and so I think that should inspire some purchases!

Looking forward to: Everything about this week and having some nice time with hubby. Even though his knee is still a bit iffy and we will have to take it slowly, we have a good week ahead planned. Also, no work this week! Wooo hooo! Let’s see how much they miss me and freak out about what’s going to happen while I’m on maternity leave.

Best moment of the week: The anomaly scan of course! Seeing the small dude bobbing around and looking mighty handsome was great. I laughed so hard when I saw the 3D scan and the fact he has his daddy’s nose. I am constantly grateful for a healthy baby growing inside me.

Exercise: Nothing new there. More walking and yoga but this week I’ve really enjoyed the yoga. For whatever reasons I’ve found myself a bit wound up and the yoga has helped me to loosen up and feel good. This week I expect I’ll be more active than usual (hello, shopping!) so it will be interesting to see how my endurance fares.

And now the bump… this photo was taken last night after yoga and dinner so I was nice and relaxed. Baby is definitely starting to make a good home for himself inside!!






All the fingers and toes!

We had our 20 week anomaly scan today, although I’m 21 weeks tomorrow. This was by far the least stressed I’ve ever been going in to a scan, which makes for a nice change. I must confess though that there is still the lurking feeling in the back of my mind as to what if something is wrong.  Thankfully, the scan showed nothing was wrong and in fact there seems to be a lovely baby in my belly!

The scan itself was not very noteworthy.  The doctor went through each of the major organs, starting with brain and it was easy to see each of them with him describing what I was looking at. Hubby was excessively delighted to catch a glimpse again of the baby’s willy. There was quite a conversation between him and my doctor (also male) about whether the willy was longer than the baby’s leg.  Boys never grow up, do they?

Our little dude is currently in breach position, but this doesn’t matter because I’m having a c-section anyway. I like to think that actually he’s not upside down, but rather I’m upside down – what with me coming from Australia but being in Europe right now.

We got a few nice profile shots of our baby dude but it was the glimpses of fingers and toes that really blew my mind. The level of development even now at just over halfway is incredible!


Maybe I’m incubating a big foot?


Waving hello to all my nice blog friends!

We did get a couple of 3D shots in there too, but they are a bit alien and weird. What was really funny though is that the 3D scan showed that the baby 100% has his daddy’s nose which is also the same as his father’s nose.  So the male blood line continues to have a very family-specific nose.  Maybe it’s a good thing that the baby is a boy as that kind of nose would not look as well placed on a girl’s face I think. I am convinced more than ever that this baby is going to be all Mediterranean dark hair and just like my husband (who is very handsome so this is no bad thing). I would laugh so much if he came out with blondish hair as that would truly be a shock.

Noses and willy jokes aside, today was a good day.

Unwelcome bump comments – help!

Now that I have a little baby bump showing some prominence I have been starting to feel really self conscious of my changing shape. I know I photograph my growing bump and post it here but this is kind of a safe space. Here I am relatively anonymous. Here there is a community of blog sisters who are overall understanding and kind. But in the real world people are not this way. 

Take today for example. I was in the small kitchen at work speaking to one colleague (older than me, mother of two tween boys) and all of a sudden she exclaimed “You really are pregnant!” when she caught a glimpse of my bump. Well yes, no shit luv! I’m nearly 21 weeks preggo so it is understandable that it is showing now!

I glossed over her loud comment and just said yes and continued the previous topic of conversation. Then in walked the other colleague who is pregnant and due 1 week after me. Her bump is substantially larger than mine and has been all along. We are roughly the same height but she has a different body shape – more wide in her hips. Anyway, we all carry differently regardless of hips or whatever. 

But then the pair of them started going on and on about bumps and wanting to see mine and wanting to compare them. I felt under attack and embarrassed and self conscious and like I’d prefer to run away.  So I more or less did that saying “No, no, no, no!” all the while blushing a lot. Then pregnant colleague started shouting (I was not in the kitchen anymore) about what my issue was as she is huge etc. You get the picture. The whole office must have heard it!

I am wearing a slightly fitted top today and now I swear I am never wearing it to work again!!  I think my work wardrobe will be tent based from now on!

Is it just me who feels so self conscious of my changing shape? I see so many mammas to be out there online in bikinis and crop tops and flesh-revealing outfits. Bravo to them but I don’t feel like that same level of body confidence in this new shape of mine. 

I wonder and hope if at some point along this journey I start to feel more confident. If anyone has any tips about how to overcome this I would be delighted to hear it. 

Week 20 – Bump, bump bumpin!

Helloooooo 20 weeks!  We hit the halfway mark yesterday, but as our little one is scheduled for a sunroof entrance (c-section) this probably means that we are actually now something like 18 or so weeks to go.  Eeeek! Suddenly July seems not so far away and there are many things to do in the meantime. Cue minor freak out!

This week has been pretty rubbish overall due to some drama at work that sapped my energy and spirit.  It has somewhat overshadowed other pregnancy developments. After the big gender reveal last Sunday, I have been sharing the news we are having a boy to anyone who has asked, but otherwise I don’t volunteer it.  Honestly, if I could have gone through the whole pregnancy with no one knowing about it, I would have been delighted. However, I do feel relieved not to have to keep the gender news secret anymore.

This week it really feels like baby has done a lot of growing! My bump is definitely a lot bigger this week and baby boy has been super active . It’s not going to be long before hubby is going to be able to feel the kicks for himself from the outside.  We gave it a go last night but unfortunately he couldn’t feel anything.

Weight gain: I’m half a kilogram (1.1 pounds up) this week and about 5.5kg (12 pounds) overall.  This continues to freak me out but it does at least support my theory that my bump has expanded more rapidly this week. So far I seem to be just gaining in my mid-section and boobs, rather than my butt, thighs or face. Long may that continue!

Symptoms: I’ve been a little bothered by the round ligament pains this week, mainly when I go to pee.  I don’t think it’s anything concerning but I’ll be sure to check with my doctor next week when I see him. I’ve also been having insanely vivid dreams every single night.  They don’t seem to be rooted in reality, but it does feel like my dreams are a bit like having watched a movie or read a book in my sleep.  I often wake up in the middle of the night saying “Nooooooo!” after I’ve been traumatised by something that’s happened in my movie dream. So strange.

Eating: Still no crazy cravings for me so it’s mainly business as usual in the eating department.  I’ve been making this awesome bircher muesli for breakfast for hubby and I recently and it’s lovely.  In the mornings you just throw on some chopped nuts (I recommend hazelnuts and almonds) as well as perhaps some fruit like blueberries.  I can’t easily get fresh blueberries where I am so I buy the frozen kind and defrost a few of them overnight before mixing them in the morning.  It’s lovely!

I had a particularly bad day at work on Wednesday and craved all the chocolate in the world, but I think that was stress-related, not baby-related. Chocolate gives me heartburn anyway so I have to be pretty desperate for it before I will even consider it an option.

Sleep: My sleep has been ok this week by pregnancy standards, i.e. pretty bad by regular standards! I’ve started to utilise different pillows and cushions int he bed to support my back and stop me rolling over and it has the effect of creating a pillow fortress in the bed.  Hubby has been very good natured about it (I woke up one night to find him cuddling one of the cushions which was very funny), but he did also over-enthusiastically agree to buying this pregnancy pillow (thanks for the recommendation Maria).  I bought it from a local shop, not from this online site, but the price was very similar.  Hubby couldn’t believe it when he handed over so much money for a pillow and wanted to know if it was magical. If it allows me to sleep then it’s definitely magical in my book! I will report back on its success after a sleep or two.

Movement: Loads! I’m sure this baby is going to be an athlete! It’s nice to feel him moving about and having  good time in there. He definitely jumps about more after food and drink. Also, when I was very stressed at work this week he showed his displeasure.  I thought it must be a kind of protest!

Emotions: I was watching a TV program last Saturday where people were winning a holiday to Disneyworld in Florida and I was simultaneously sobbing and laughing. Sobbing because they were so happy, but also because maybe I’ll finally get to got to Disney in a few years time with my own child. Then I sobbed some more because we’re having a boy and so he (probably) won’t want to dress up as a princess. Then I laughed because the whole thing was ridiculous!  My husband nearly peed his pants laughing at me!  So yeah, totally emotionally stable.

Missing: Had I not been knocked up I think I would have also had a glass of wine in my hand before the sun went down practically every day, so bad was the work situation!

Purchases: I bought the pregnancy pillow today and we went on a reconnaissance tour of the local baby shops as part of our research on prices and options.  Next week we are going to London for a few days and we want to compare prices to understand where it is better value to buy the different items, especially the big ticket items.  It seems that overall prices are about 10-20% higher where we are compared to London.  Thankfully we can buy many things cheaper online via Amazon etc (the car seat for example is a LOT cheaper via Amazon than to buy locally) so we will probably buy a lot of things from there, some more from London and then big things, like the cot bed will be purchased locally.

Looking forward to: Our next doctor’s appointment and big scan on Thursday afternoon. It will be great to see how big baby has become! Also, I can’t wait for our trip to London!  It will be so great to escape reality for a while and spend some quality time with hubby.  Also, shopping!!

Best moment of the week: The gender reveal! It was so much fun even though almost everyone wanted a girl. At least I can blame the result on my husband (and the embryologist who chose the sperm)!

Exercise: The usual combo of yoga and walking.  It’s a winning formula! I’m feeling good so these both continue to be enjoyable.

The bump update: Bumping out all over now! It’s practically impossible to hide that I’m pregnant now, so I am starting to give up on my loose clothes (they’re not so loose anyway now) and I’m actually showing off my bump a bit.  I still feel weird about it and people do stare hard, but I guess this is just the way it is.  Take a look for yourself!



The Big Reveal…

Guys, we did it!  We announced the gender today, both to my Mum via FaceTime and to my husband’s parents in person.  It was so much fun and even though I don’t usually go in for these things, I really did enjoy it and would recommend it to others. Plus, I feel so much relief now to know I don’t have to be careful by dropping it into conversation by accident.

So what are we having??!

We told my Mum first – she is further away and so we thought it only fair she gets to know before the others – and we did it via a FaceTime call.  She had no idea we were going to tell her as our line until now has been that we didn’t know (naughty white lies). So we were just chatting away and I asked her if she would like to know what we were having? She said of course yes and so my husband decided to hold up one of our cats to the camera to indicate the gender.  We have 2 female cats and 1 male cat – and my Mum knows which is which – so my husband would hold up a cat that has the same gender as the baby.  But more on which cat he held up later.

Later we headed to the in-laws house for a nice lunch.  Again, they had no idea we were going to be announcing anything, but they soon worked it out when I turned up with this beautiful creation!


The lady at the patisserie that prepared the cake told me that the owl on top is the “Wisdom Owl”. She didn’t really explain what that is exactly, but I took it to mean it was something like Yoda crossed with The Oracle from The Matrix, but in chocolate bird form.  Isn’t she beautiful?


The Wisdom Owl was handmade with chocolate this morning.  So intricate and lovely! Don’t worry, she came home with me, though I’m not sure what I’m going to do with her just yet.

Anyway, my father-in-law was particularly impatient about the whole thing and I told him he had to eat all his lunch before he could cut the cake.  You’ve not seen someone wolf down the food so quick and he was literally desperate to cut it straight afterwards.  It was actually really adorable!  I have a video of him cutting it, but I don’t want to post it here as I think it would make the anonymous blog a whole lot less anonymous.  Needless to say it was cute.

Aaaaaand… drum roll…… this is what the inside of the cake looks like:



My husband is absolutely delighted and so I am very, very happy for him.  Both my Mum and his parents were a little bit disappointed it isn’t a girl but they all seem to get over it quite quickly.  I will confess though, that when the doctor showed me the little baby willy on the screen at my scan a few weeks ago I didn’t believe him (even though I could clearly see the willy for myself) and I made him show me the DNA results on his computer.  I then cried.  Of course the number one thing is that the baby is healthy and well and nothing else matters, but I would have liked a girl. As my husband says though, this will just make me more keen to go for number 2.  I might have given up after one if it had been a girl first time (he’s right).

So now we look forward to welcoming our son into our lives in a few months time.  And the cat we lifted up to show my mum? A male of course.  So this means that when the baby comes we will have 3 girls (1 human, 2 cats) and 3 boys (2 humans, 1 cat) in the house.  A balanced home.

To celebrate finally being out in the open about all things baby gender related, we bought our first baby item this afternoon which is a blue hippopotamus soft toy from Zara.  I love hippos so perhaps this is the start of a baby room theme.  The hippo was on display in the window as we were passing by and it turned out to be the last one in stock.  I took that as a sign that he was meant to be ours and so he has also joined our little family today.

Week 19 – Growing Pains

We have hit 19 weeks today and according to all the apps the baby is either the size of a large mango, a zucchini (courgette for the British peeps), an heirloom tomato (WTF are they?) or an original Game Boy handset. Whatever the size of the baby is, I’ve decided it likes dancing as I’ve been feeling a lot of movement past few days which has been super exciting!

For the past few weeks I’ve noticed the pregnancy apps all mentioning round ligament pain, but I had been happily telling myself that I had seen no evidence of such a thing I was obviously too fit/too strong/too special (delete as appropriate).

Well ha! Because today I have been quite bothered by some pain in the general lower part of my belly (sides and right down the bottom of the bump) which I am assuming is the infamous round ligament pain, dammit.  I mean I’ll survive and all, but when I got up from my desk (usually to pee) I found it really quite painful to stand up straight.  I headed to yoga tonight thinking I needed to take it easy a bit but actually the gentle nature of movement in yoga was helpful I think. It seems to have stretched things out a bit which has helped reduce the feeling.

As for my bump, it’s coming along quite nicely. I have noticed a big variation of bump sizes for the same stages of pregnancy and this seems to be one of life’s mysteries.  What determines your size and shape of the bump? Is it DNA, is it the baby itself, is it how strong your abs were pre-pregnancy, is it based on whether you’re thin, regular or a bit on the plump size? I’ve seen not much evidence that explains it either way.  I know of skinny, fit girls with rock-hard abs who have had the most massive belly quite early on, and I know of others who are not fit or particularly thin and they get to 7 months before they show.  The other girl at my work who is due one week after me has a belly which is at least 30% larger than mine and she spent the first three months puking up everything she ate.  Arguably I should be much bigger than her as I’ve been eating fairly normally the whole way through and haven’t been puking (although for the past two consecutive days she’s had a massive burger for lunch so I think she must be making up for lost time!)

Onto this week’s details:

Weight gain: Yesssss… it seems almost inevitable that I answer this in the affirmative each time now.  I’ve gained half a kilogram this week (a pound) and I can’t say I am super happy about it. The numbers keep going up on the scale and it’s really hard to wrap my head around it! Does anyone else feel like this about the weight gain creeping up?

Symptoms: Round ligament pain as previously discussed. Heartburn has been making another return recently though I’ve tried to power through it.

Eating: Standard. Nothing super bad has gone in my mouth this week and I’ve been pretty consistent in keeping lots of veggies, fruits (where possible) as well as a few servings of fish and a couple of red meat.  My main meals are consistently good and balanced and my snacks are healthy 80% of the time.  This is a pretty good overall situation I think.

Sleep: I was sleeping in the spare room (soon to be the baby room) for this week so as to give hubby and his knee room to heal. It sucked! The mattress is just not as nice and because I have to sleep on my side these days I ended up with a crick in my neck. I made a return to our regular bed (with hubby) last night and it was AMAZING!  I did get up to pee 4 times (a record for me) but even so it was still a better sleep than every other night in the other bed.

Movement: Yes, yes and yes!  Lots of nice moves that feel like the baby is having a good time in there.  After dinner the other night I was sitting on the sofa with hubby watching TV and I suddenly felt a tightness down the right side of my belly. I put my hand there and could feel a pretty hard thing so I shuffled over to hubby to let him have a feel. We are pretty confident that what we were feeling was baby’s head!  It was mad!

Emotions: This week has been really tough because I’ve had to take on a lot more with hubby out of action with his knee so I have been a bit down.  I think you can at least partially attribute this to the fact that I was beyond tired as well.  The funny thing that I’ve also noticed is that Thursday’s are a particularly low day for me so I’m going to have to do something to make that day of the week more cheerful going forward. Other than that, hubby and I were actually discussing the other day that I’ve been emotionally quite stable throughout the pregnancy. I’m an emotional and sensitive person at the best of times and I think the whole IVF-double miscarriage situation really made me bounce around the whole rainbow of emotions.  Compared to that period, pregnancy  (so far) is a BREEZE. So every cloud has a silver lining I guess.

Missing: This week I felt really lonely and far away from my really great friends. I realised that the reason I’m so tired is that no one has stepped up since hubby has been immobilised with his knee.  I’ve just had to crack on. If I’d been back home in Oz, maybe I would have had more support from family and friends, whereas here I know very many nice people but I don’t have the kind of relationships that are super-tight like you do with your long term friends.  Also, I’ve worked out this probably means no baby shower for me as there is no one here to throw it.  Normally it would be your mum or sister or best friend who would throw you a baby shower…. well they’re all halfway over the other side of the world so no parties for me.  Shall we have a virtual blog party instead?

Purchases: Still nothing, but our wish list on Amazon is getting pretty phenomenal. Maybe I’ll share it here when it gets a bit more final and we actually buy something. As well as taking advice from people who have young children / babies, I’ve also read a number of blogs of new mums here and been observing that some products just keep getting mentioned for their fabulousness.  They are all in the basket as a result!  We have also chosen our car seat which is one of those purchases you have to have a good think about.

Looking forward to: This Sunday!  We have finally decided to reveal the baby’s gender!  Woooooo hooooo!  I have spoken to a local cake maker who makes spectacular cakes and pastries and have set him the challenge of making a special cake that we will cut (or get the inlaws to cut) to reveal the gender.  It’s going to be coloured inside and hopefully will have some kind of internal sprinkles going on that cascade out when you cut through it.  Let’s see how that goes but I hope to reveal all in a few days!

Best moment of the week: Other than reclaiming the bed? Probably being able to feel the baby’s head the other night.  That was cool in a weird way.

Clothes: Much of the same.  Pregnancy trousers/jeans with a non-pregnancy top.  Cardigans and anything that doesn’t do up is my friend.

Exercise: A much better week on the exercise front!  I did 3 x walks of one hour and 2 x yoga sessions this week as well as excessive running about looking after hubby.  I cannot sing the praises of yoga enough for ironing out the aches and pains of pregnancy. I can’t speak for pregnancy yoga as I’m still sticking with my regular class with some small adjustments here and there, but what I’m doing is making a world of difference to me. If you can find some kind of yoga to join then give it a shot!

The bump update: Here you go!  Bump in all its glory!  Definitely bigger and this is also after a lovely dinner of Wagamamas (Friday treat) so it’s even bigger than a couple of hours ago.  I guess this is where my weight gain is going!


Something different – One Lovely Blog Award


I got a really wonderful surprise a few days ago when my sister-in-blogging The Endo Zone was kind enough to nominate me for the One Lovely Blog award. Her fertility story is one hell of a marathon of determination and persistence and you should go check out her blog and say hi. I have full respect for this warrior of a woman and I wish that her miracle baby comes along very soon.  She also has 2 cats and a dog, so that’s a sure sign she’s alright.

So what are the rules of this then?


  1. Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  2. Post about the award
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate other people (15 at most)
  5. Tell your nominees the good news!


So here goes… Seven facts about me!

  1. I often describe myself as a child of the world because, although I am Australian, I left Australia when I was 22 to live in London. It was a bit of a whim and I never expected to spend more than two years abroad. Well, I ended up spending 10 years in London before moving not home, but to the Mediterranean country where I am now (my husband’s country). Despite having been away from “home” for more than 16 years, I still feel Australian at my core, nevermore so than during sporting tournaments! Each time I go home or even to London to visit I feel like I never left. It’s weird. It makes me feel like I have multiple personalities that only exist in each geographical location.
  2. My father passed away a few days after my 16th birthday after a long struggle with cancer. He was only 50. I think his battle with the big C and subsequently his loss has coloured my life in more ways than I’m even aware of. The aftermath of how my mum dealt with his loss (or didn’t deal with it actually) really meant that I struggled for a long time to find my place in this world. I am also very conscious of the fact that – going by my dad’s timeline – I could have only 12 years left on this planet (or less). I know that’s not how these things work, but it certainly does keep me focused on the things that matter.
  3. One of the best things I ever did for myself was take up marathon running when I was about 25. It was a bit of an accident that I found myself in a running club in London, but the inner strength and sense of self that I developed while pushing out those endless miles has only done me good. Marathon running is about 20% body and 80% mind! I hung up my marathon shoes a few years ago after six full marathons and countless shorter races, however I have continued to enjoy running on a more informal level ever since. I did quit running altogether (temporarily) about a year ago on the advice of my acupuncturist (it’s bad for my chi don’t you know) in order to help my pregnancy chances.  Well I am pregnant so there you go! However, my shoes will be coming back on after this baby arrives… maybe not immediately but at some point!
  4. I am definitely a summer, sunshine girl. Now that I’m living in the wonderful Med which barely has a winter, I cannot believe that I lived in gloomy London for a full decade.  What was I thinking?! I love the beach, swimming, sunbathing (yes, I know, skin cancer, blah, blah), summer dresses, sand between my toes… I could go on!
  5. When I first met my husband nearly 8 years ago I turned him down twice because I thought he was 5 years younger than me. In fact he’s 18 months younger than me but he has a baby face! When we did start dating it was like something out of the movies – we both knew the first night we kissed that this was something different and real. My husband promised me that night that he would treat me like a princess and take me on lots of nice holidays. I thought he was drunk and rambling so I kind of dismissed his comments, but that’s actually what life together has been like. Well not all the time, but he has certainly made good on his promise to look after me.  Even though we do have our moments, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me and he’s my best friend.
  6. I worked out a few years ago that I have an intolerance to fructose, the sugar that is naturally occurring in fruit. This was a revelation and a bummer all at once! Before this, I couldn’t work out why seemingly healthy foods made me bloat out so very much as so painfully.  The issue with fructose is not so much the overall amount, but the ratio of fructose to glucose, i.e. if there is a higher amount of fructose than glucose that’s when I’m in trouble.  Some of the worst culprits are some truly beautiful fruits like apples and pears, but also would you believe lentils and other pulses are pure evil too (even though they’re tasty and very healthy). Citrus fruits and some melons (not watermelon) are okay so I tend to mainly eat those. Or I save the “problem fruit” for when I’m home so I can deal with the consequences in private.
  7. I once had the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip (the Queen’s hubby), physically bump in to me at an event at Windsor Castle.  It was entirely mortifying, but I can at least claim to have been touched by royalty! How it came about was that the organisation I worked for at the time was hosting a charity event with Prince Philip as the guest of honour. As part of this event, I was stood talking to friends in the garden of Windsor Castle (in a part you can’t get to on the official tour – exciting!), but I had not paid attention at all to the location of Prince Philip (in my defence he often was late to these things because he drives himself in his Range Rover so I didn’t know if he had even turned up yet). Little did I realise, but he was in fact standing directly behind me with his back to me as he spoke to some guests. At some point he must have taken a step backwards as he clipped the back of my heel with his shoe and kind of bumped his shoulder into me. I spun around ready to glare – as you do when someone crashes into you – but then saw it was Prince Philip and promptly froze like a statue. I didn’t even say sorry! I mean, it wasn’t my fault, but still he is royalty! He, however, was delighted to have found he’d tramped on a 20-something blonde and proceeded to have a chat with me about the weather.  This was England after all! I contributed that very useful observation of “It is a lovely day today”, although it was sunny so I was right. That was until the CEO of my company came sprinting across the lawn like Usain Bolt so as to “rescue” Prince Philip from the common people, aka me. I still have not stopped laughing about this since and I have such a soft spot for Prince Philip as a result.


Now for the nominations! I look forward to reading the seven facts about these lovely bloggers:

  1. Next Chapter: Baby 
  2. Aliased
  3. Dubliner in Deutschland 
  4. Trying4BabyK 
  5. Surviving Infertility
  6. You Would Be Pretty If…