Baby on board 1, mamma-to-be 0

Pregnancy got me a good one today! Despite all of my claims to be trying to take it a bit more easy, I had another dizzy-feeling/weak/might puke situation today  These are really not fun!

Today’s situation occurred while having a stroll in town. There was nothing remarkable about anything I was doing. It was approaching the middle of the day and it’s pretty hot here these days so you could legitimately argue I might have overheated but I really didn’t feel that hot. And I’m Australian, dammit! Hot weather coping is in my DNA!

It had been a while since I’d had breakfast and I did feel like some fuel would  be a good idea so we stopped for a freshly squeezed OJ and then a few minutes later and a short walk later we had some brunch with friends.  I ate a kind of yoghurt granola thing which should have been more than enough to restock the energy stores, at least temporarily.

When we went to leave about an hour or so later, I almost instantaneously felt bad.  I had jelly legs.  I felt a bit dizzy in the head and my husband’s regular conversational questions were maddening and annoying.  Something was up.

In between snapping at him for his stupid questions (which were really not stupid) and huffing and puffing like I’d just been on a long run when actually I’d just walked 20 metres, I managed to tell him I felt terrible and I found a seat to sit down on.  Our car was located a distance of what would normally (pre-pregnancy) have been a 5 minute walk away.  It took us something like 15 minutes to walk there with 3 stops for seats for me.

My husband ,who was trying to help me see the funny side, kept telling me that he no longer believes I ran 6 marathons. I almost had to go home and dig up my medals to prove to myself, never mind him, that I actually DID used to be a long distance runner.  This seems like a lifetime ago and almost like it was someone else running these races and I just watched it on telly.

Back in the car with the AC firmly to the ON position we headed home.  I took off all items of clothing that could be even a little bit tight and got into some loose, comfy clothes. I then parked myself on our outdoor sofa with a cold drink and literally did nothing until I felt better.

I did feel better within about an hour but not right, so the rest of the afternoon was spent pretty much horizontally, including a small nap of around 45 minutes.  By late afternoon the colour had returned to my face and I felt more or less okay.  We took a short walk for about 30 minutes and I felt even better after that.

I still have no idea what is causing these dizzy spells beyond the obvious answer – pregnancy. I guess it could be blood pressure, tiredness, the heat, maybe anaemia (I’ll be tested for that this week) or maybe all of the above.  All I can say is the baby inside of me is winning so far!

In other good news, I did make my icey treats that I mentioned in my last post.  I used some ice-cream stick maker things that were bought from IKEA ages ago but I have never bothered to use since. I worked out before starting that I needed about 350ml of liquid for the six sticks/pops.  The breakdown went something like this:

  • 120ml fresh orange juice (this was one orange for me, but it will depend on the type of orange you use)
  • 120ml coconut water
  • A small handful of raspberries (I used frozen ones and I guess I used about 8-10)

I put them all in a blender to mix it all up evenly and then poured them in.  I left them to set overnight, although I guess they probably only needed a couple of hours, and they were pretty awesome!  I really love raspberries and they do give these a bit of a kick.  If you’re not so keen on raspberries then either put something else in or just leave them out and add a bit more of the other ingredients. Hubby tested one too and he was pretty impressed with my efforts! I think we’ll try some different fruity combinations next time! 🙂

The finished product:

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Week 27 – Bumping along

This week has been relatively unremarkable pregnancy-wise. I think it was a good growing week though as I can really see and feel the bump getting bigger and bigger, sometimes it seems by the second! What has characterised this week though is how incredibly busy I have been at work – probably the most busy I’ve been throughout this entire pregnancy. It was the kind of work week where I actually needed to be doing five things simultaneously in order to get them done in the time required, which of course is not possible but is even less possible when you have a pregnant brain that can only barely focus properly on one task at a time. I found myself talking allowed several times a day saying, “What am I doing?” This is not great considering I am a Director at my company so should know what I am actually doing?!

The summary is I have been leaving work quite late and when I have managed to escape I’ve been quite drained. Nothing serious or anything, but there wasn’t much room for anything else in my world this week other than work, eat, sleep. I am so massively grateful that it’s a long weekend here with Monday off as I really feel I need an extended break more than ever.

In fact, hubby and I have had a pretty relaxed day so far with some chores in the morning and I have not long woken up after a two hour afternoon nap. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything better in this world than an afternoon nap.

The Mediterranean summer has kicked in properly this week with most days hitting the 30 degree mark (high 80s F) and, although next week looks a couple of degrees lower, I think this is how it’s going to be until around October. I do love the long summers here, but that was when I had a body that was not carrying around a human masquerading as an internal heating device. I think I feel the weather is an average of 5 degrees hotter than it really is when pregnant. I am so, so grateful this baby is not coming in August or September as I can’t imaging what kind of hell 40+ degree whether would be when heavily pregnant!

Weight gain: It’s been a big weight gain week for me, which supports my theory about this baby being on a growth spurt. One of the interesting things I’ve found about pregnancy is how the growth pattern of the baby/bump is not linear. It really does spike! So you can go a few days or a week or so and feel like not much growing is happening, then one day you look down and it’s like WHOA where did that come from? I’ve had that kind of week. No matter which way I spin it now, I’ve definitely gained 10kg (22 pounds). The thing that comforts me is that I think I look okay with the extra baby weight. Obviously the truth will be in how it comes off afterwards and what the next few weeks bring, but so far so good.

Symptoms: Until yesterday I would have considered this week a pretty low-symptom week. No leg cramps, no round ligament pain and everything going pretty smoothly. That was until yesterday at work where I had a huge dizzy session where I thought it was quite possible I might puke or pass out or both. I had this feeling right in the middle of a meeting with the other girl who is pregnant at my work (the one who is 1 week behind me and has a much bigger bump). It was probably the best person to do this in front of as actually she quickly switched on the AC in the office and fetched me a Fanta (disgusting of course, but full of sugar). I don’t know exactly what caused my dizzy spell, perhaps it was low blood sugar or overheating or being overtired or all of those things combined. In any case, after a few minutes of resting and a glass of nasty Fanta I was pretty ok. What it of course was is a reminder that I have to take better care of myself and this baby and stop dismissing pregnancy as not affecting me. This I have been guilty of throughout as though I don’t want to be seen as weak or at all impacted by carrying a baby. Amateur psychologists make of that whatever you like.

Eating: I don’t think anything remarkable happened food wise this week. One thing I have suddenly become obsessed with this week is ice lollies/popsicles/icy-poles (delete as appropriate as these are all the same thing but they go by different names in different countries). To be clear, it is not ice-CREAM that I am obsessed by but the juicy-icy ones that are made of fruit juice or something claiming to have some kind of fruit juice base. I think this is because the weather got warmer all of a sudden, but they are my guilty pleasure. I’m planning to make my own ones this weekend with fresh orange juice (that I squeeze myself), raspberries (frozen probably) and coconut water. This is entirely a recipe I’ve dreamed up myself so let’s see how it goes. If it’s any good I’ll make a recipe and post it here.

Sleep: My sleep has been pretty okay as far as my sleep goes this week. I went for a pregnancy massage on Wednesday night and it was a special kind of amazing. I think the fact I was so drained from work made me a great candidate for massage. I enjoyed it so much I drifted off for a time and woke myself up by a kind of snuffle-snore thing which must have been a beautiful sight to witness. However, not only did I feel physically better afterwards, but it had the effect that I could not have cared less about my work for the remainder of that night. And I slept wonderfully. If you’re thinking about going for a maternity massage but you’re on the fence, well go for it and I expect you’ll thank me later!

Movement: Yes, baby is quite acrobatic these days. I often see him doing all kinds of moves making my belly jut out a bit, especially after dinner. He’s most active in the afternoon/evening and after sweet, cold things. He went absolutely crazy during the massage and the lady giving it to me said it’s because more blood is pushed to the uterus so he’s kind of on a blood high. That’s cool.

Emotions: I was too busy at work to be emotional this week I think. I was listening to music on the car on the way to work yesterday morning and Kelly Clarkson’s song Piece by Piece came on. I’d never heard it before and found myself listening deeply to the lyrics. By the time it finished I was in tears and had to have a quiet word to myself before I went into the office.

Missing: Not much really. If pushed, I have to say wine. I had an after work drinks meeting on Tuesday night at a wine bar. I think I might have made sad puppy dog eyes at other people’s glasses of wine. One of the girls who joined the drinks – and who is new to our company – asked me how religiously I’m sticking to the no-alcohol rule. I said it was completely strict – no alcohol at all for me – and she seemed a bit surprised (not in a bad way). I explained that it has taken me a lot of effort to get to be pregnant (and stay that way, although I didn’t offer that up) and so I didn’t see the point in compromising the baby for something that I could do without. She then went on to tell me a story about a former boss of hers who used to go out and have two mohito cocktails a night when pregnant. I generally try and stay out of other people’s business when it comes to pregnancy and baby-rearing but I think my aghast face said it all when she told this story.

Purchases: I didn’t buy anything this week! This is some kind of record for me and really does show you how busy I have been. The new dresses I ordered last week arrived though and I love them. They are both from Seraphine. Seriously, I love that shop! I did get a phone call though that the Bugaboo has arrived! Yay! We could have picked it up today but couldn’t really be bothered (lazy) so I’ll do so next week instead. It’s going to sit in a box for a couple more months anyway so no rush to collect it.

Looking forward to: Actually starting work on the baby room! We have chosen the theme and we have a plan, now we just need to execute it. What will become the baby room is the room I take my bumpie selfie photos in. Until now it has been a guest bedroom and the only room in our 3 bedroom apartment I have had complete freedom to decorate and furnish however I like. It will be sad in a way to lose my special room, but I am very happy it’s because there is a baby on the way.

Anyway, the plan is to take out the guest bed, repaint the room and then get some wallpaper on one wall as a feature. This all has to happen before the first week of June when the baby’s cot bed and drawers/change table arrive. We are still yet to choose a rug for the room and a chair for nursing, although they can come later and it won’t matter.

I am also delighted that next week will be a three day work week for me. Monday is a public holiday and I will be taking Friday as annual leave as I have two appointments on Friday during work hours. Appointment one is a meeting with our architects who are designing our new house and will be showing us the final 3D designs. The house probably won’t be finished for another two years which is why we are putting some effort into the baby room in the apartment (not too much effort though). Appointment two is a breast-feeding seminar at my clinic. I’m not really sure what that’s going to involve but it’s run by a former midwife who I have become friendly with so I am sure it will be both educational and fun.

Best moment of the week: The massage. Easily the massage.

Exercise: It will come as no surprise that my exercise count this week has been much lower than usual. I would normally be cross at myself for this, but I know I’ve been stretched this week and so it is what it is. Next week will be better.

Bump update: Here is the bump looking even more bumpalicious than ever before. I’m starting to wonder how gigantic I’m going to be towards the end!

 

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Kitty photobombing again this week!

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Week 26 (+1 day) – Things that go “Owwwww” in the night (aka me)

Calf cramp.

Oh. My. God.

So. Much. Pain.

I have never been one to suffer from leg cramps but on Thursday night I had two excruciating cramps in my right calf. The first occurred late at night after I had gone to bed and was asleep, but hubby was not yet in bed (he’s a bit of a night owl). I woke up to a sharp pain ripping through my leg! It was so awful that I screamed out loud “Owwwwwww!” which clutching at my leg. It was so painful that it was even beyond swearing!

Despite this, hubby did not exactly come running – so much for chivalry (maybe I do need to swear to get attention after all) – but he did ask what all the noise was about. The cramp went on seemingly forever (about a minute probably), all the while I was trying to deep breathe through the pain. Girls, if labour is anything like this then I am now actually start to warm to the fact I’m stuck with having a c-section.

The cramp did eventually subside and I went back to a restless sleep. Then again in the morning at about 6.45am I had another one, which was almost identical in pain level and duration. This time I was less shocked by it and so managed to be slightly less vocal, just huffing and puffing through the pain.

I know the advice is to stretch the calf when it happens but that was just not feasible. The best I could do was hold my leg like it was about to fall off until the pain subsided.

On Friday evening I made sure I had a banana an hour or so before going to bed because cramps can sometimes eating them can help. I am pleased to report there was no cramps that night although my calf does still feel quite tender to touch several days later.

This week has probably been my worst week of pregnancy so far, and I think that might be attributable to over-doing it over the Easter weekend. For most of the week I have suffered on an off with a slightly dizzy or weak feeling. When walking in the park on Wednesday – a walk that I don’t even know how many times I have done it is so many – I was so overwhelmed by dizziness and jelly legs that I had to have a sit-down. I ended up being in such bad shape that I had to get hubby to come and collect me in his car to take me home. He then banned me for going walking for a few days until I felt better!

Weight gain: I am still steadily gaining around 500gm (about 1 pound) a week but I am pleased it just seems to be going to my bump. I like to think this means it is all just going to magically disappear after the birth. Hahaha, I am so delusional! I’ve had a few nice comments this week from people saying I look cute pregnant, which was cheering. Also, only weighing myself once a week is definitely a good idea for mental health.

Symptoms: Apart from the aforementioned cramp situation, I think I might be having some issues with restless leg syndrome. For a few nights last week and also at work I just felt really edgy like I needed to wiggle my legs. I don’t feel pain as such, just a general unhappiness in my skin. I have, however, found that brushing my skin with a dry body brush relives the feeling which makes me think it’s circulation related. Ugh.

When hubby was at a physio appointment for his knee this week he asked the physio about restless leg syndrome, who told him that it’s caused by a variety of factors such as poor circulation (no doubt made worse by me working in a sedentary desk job – I need to get up and walk around more), swelling (though I don’t seem to have that), weight gain (helloooo!), potassium deficiency (eat more bananas) and tiredness (oh yes). Although all of this information is easily available online, I think he felt better hearing it from a professional and being able to tell me what to do to make it better.

Eating: I am really struggling with the late dinner times here that are culturally normal. It’s customary to have dinner as late as 9:00pm or 10:00pm, which is also partially because hubby comes home late from the gym and other activites which makes it difficult to organise dinner much earlier. By this time I am not only over the idea of having a big dinner because I’m so tired, but also I’m usually cranky which is not nice for anyone. I could just have dinner by myself but then I would literally never see my husband given that we already go to bed at different times. I haven’t worked this out yet.

Sleep: It’s been a terrible sleeping week! I’ve suffered from restless, disturbed sleep, either that or I’ve had a great 4-5 hours at the start of the night and then I’m practically fully awake from that point onwards. This would not be a problem if I could take a nap mid-afternoon, but unfortunately my boss and my clients probably wouldn’t be very pleased about that!

Movement: There have been lots of swishes and swirls and occasional kicks. The movements do change as the small dude grows. I can’t even imagine what it will be like when he runs out of space in there.

Emotions: I think I have felt quite let down this week by hubby. He is usually supportive so maybe it’s just a blip this week but I feel like I’ve been going it alone this week. This has been doubly hard as I’ve had a tough week. I could have done with him stepping up to take up some of the slack this week but it hasn’t worked out like that.

Missing: Some decent sleep so I don’t feel so ratty. I am also starting to feel like my capacity to do everything is compromised which is not sitting well with me.

Purchases: I bought two new maternity dresses online because the weather is shifting to summer now. Yesterday the temperature hit 30 degrees (86F) so I am needing a few dresses to get me through the next couple of months and maybe even for a couple of weeks beyond the birth.

Looking forward to: Maternity leave – even though it’s still more than two months away – so I can have afternoon naps!

Best moment of the week: Yesterday we hit the beach for the first time this year! I got to debut my new maternity swimsuit (one piece – no bump baring for me) and I really enjoyed it. Actually I felt pretty comfortable with my shape as it was very evident that I am pregnant and not just fat. I even took a very brief dip in the water! Baby’s first swim! Here’s my attempt at a shadow silhouette. I don’t know how I managed this, but somehow it looks like I’m carrying an elephant baby.

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Exercise: Lots of walking this week (until the Wednesday night incident). Only one yoga session though as I was not feeling up to anything on Friday night. Let’s hope next week is more successful.

Bump update: I can’t see a massive difference from last week to this week, but I can sure feel it in my body.

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Two kitties here, but three below in the last pic!

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Front view of The Bump

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I finally captured all three kitties at once for you (this was a mission!)

Week 25 (+2 days)– Are you sure you’re not having twins?

It finally happened! My bump has now become big enough that someone thought it would be HILARIOUS to ask if I was sure I was not having twins. Of course I did the polite thing and laughed and said, “Definitely just the one in there thanks!” What I wanted to say was, “I am absolutely, totally sure there is just one in there as I only let the clinic transfer one embryo and it’s pretty much impossible for another one to have snuck in there secretly when I had my eyes turned”. As almost everyone is unaware of our IVF journey, that might have blown my cover somewhat.

Now given this conversation you would have thought my bump is practically unmissable these days. And yet I went to a dinner party with three other couples on Thursday (the connecting factor were the husbands who went to school together) and two of the three couples, including the hosts, had no idea I was pregnant. They offered me wine twice and tried to get me to eat sushi (I really wanted both). At one point when it was getting a bit silly, my husband turned to me and said “Do they not know?” and I replied “Seems that way”, so then we had to literally ANNOUNCE I was pregnant when I’m almost six months along and about 8kg (nearly 18 pounds) up on my regular weight. If nothing else, what did they think caused that weight gain? Too many pre-Easter eggs? I’m a sporty person so an 8kg jump in weight would be something pretty damned serious under non-pregnant conditions!

I am starting to ease into this whole being pregnant business though. I have worn some form-fitting dresses this week and just let the bump be obviously prominent. There are some people I prefer to be more covered up around and I have worked out that this is because I don’t like those people and so by hiding the bump I don’t have to engage in as much personal, pregnancy-related chat. For those I like and feel comfortable around, I’m all for being bumpalicious!

Weight gain: During the second trimester I have been gaining around 500gm (a pound) a week. This is not as low as I’d hoped for, but I keep inspecting my legs and butt and it seems it’s just going to my mid-section so far, which helps me feel slightly less panicked about it. Slightly.

Symptoms: After a week off from heartburn last week, it has come back again this week! I had the worst case of it so far last night and ended up temporarily relieving it with some milk. I find I am a bit slower around my walking route these days, but really only on the uphill parts. I have to slowdown on the uphills as I find I get pretty bad round ligament pains if I don’t do so. My body is sending me a message and I’m trying to listen. Other than that I literally do not have any other symptoms. I count myself lucky about this every single day.

Eating: It’s Easter so there’s been a lot of treats the past few days. Easter is bigger than Christmas in the Mediterranean country where I’m based with hubby (his country) and Easter Sunday involves a massive feast, with meat the star of the show. I ‘m still a bit off meat and behaving semi-vegetarian so seeing an entire lamb being roasted today did put me off a little. One member of the family, who I would probably not be friends with if I wasn’t related to through marriage, was a little sassy to me during lunch when she saw my plate of salad and veggies and said “Are you vegan now?” She said it with such disdain it was actually funny. But can you imagine if I actually was vegetarian or vegan how awful that would have been to hear. It always amazes me how people can be so dammed insensitive.

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I don’t know about you, but seeing the face, eyes and teeth of what I’m meant to be eating kinda puts me off my dinner (that’s lamb by the way, not a dinosaur )

Sleep: Not too bad this week. I’ve really gotten the hang of my maternity pillow and that seems to be helping a lot. I have pushed myself the past few days due to various Easter commitments and so I am hoping to recharge a bit over the next couple of nights. I still find myself waking up on my back but much less often now and hopefully I’ve spent less time on my back. It’s not comfortable anymore so I think that’s why I wake up.

Movement: Oh my goodness yes! This one is a mover! He seems to have changed his movements though and they are possibly more swishy like he’s rolling, but then occasionally I get a nice big punch or kick which keeps me alert. I think he keeps the same hours as my cats though – he gets active in the evenings and the early mornings and chills out in the middle of the day. Maybe the cats have been sending secret messages to the baby when they’ve been cuddling my bump…

Emotions: I was definitely feeling very down on Tuesday and Thursday. Someone who routinely annoys me at work because they are forever nit-picking finally pushed me over the edge on Thursday and I raised my voice (which I rarely do at work) and said “Well given I seem to be doing such a terrible job at this, why don’t you just do it yourself?” That did not go down well at all, but I think I made my point somewhat. About two hours after that exchange I burst into tears (not in front of that person) about the whole thing. There was also a crying episode randomly on Saturday morning that was a bit misplaced. So yeah… errr… totally no crazy emotions. Hahahaha!

Missing:  People not asking me 1700 personal questions and commenting on my evolving body shape every freaking day.

Purchases: I had to buy bras AGAIN!! My boobs are OUT OF CONTROL! I have actually given them a talking to and told them they are not to grow anymore. Hubby said to me today that he no longer recognises my boobs as being mine. Please stop growing, boobs! As I type this, the cat I have in my arms in the picture below is currently sleeping in one of my new bras as I left it lying on the bed. My bra is so enormous that my full sized cat actually fits in it.

Looking forward to: Never buying bras again! Haha! But seriously, I am looking forward to the moment when hubby and I actually agree on a baby name. It’s gotten a bit fraught between us recently on the baby name choice. There are two names that I am okay with, but I don’t even know which one I prefer or if either of those two feel right for the baby. You know, I had no problem naming my cats but a baby is waaaaaay harder! This is also because we have to choose a name that works in both of our mother tongue languages and that is highly restrictive. Ugh. We have loads of girl names which is of course completely useless to us right now.

Best moment of the week: The scan this week with the doctor was pretty cool. It’s lovely to see baby growing so beautifully in there, especially after all we have been through to get to this point. I continue to be ever-grateful for my healthy, growing baby.

Exercise: Almost every day I do some form of exercise for about an hour or so. I’ve only been to one yoga session this week due to the Easter holidays but I should be back on bendy form this week. I am pleased that I’ve been able to maintain a decent regular exercise routine, especially because I sit at a desk all day for work. It’s so important – pregnant or not – to get moving every day when you have such a sedentary job.

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Here’s me taking a little pause in my walk after lunch today. Don’t worry though as I only lay on my back for about 60 seconds to take this photo.  The better photo would have been me trying to get up again afterwards!! Not pretty!

Bump update: Here is the lovely bump looking particularly bumpalicious this week! I have made some efforts to get two of the three kitties in the photos this week. I will try and get all three in a photo one day but it is very difficult!

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Hello bump! 

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Bump from a different angle with bonus cat.  He does not like being picked up so this was the best I could do under the challenging circumstances!

Week 24 – Make way for the bump!

This week was really good. Apart from the scares that I mentioned previously and the various growing pains that seem to have begun, I’ve actually enjoyed myself this week. I’ve started to embrace being pregnant. I properly look pregnant now too which I think has a lot to do with that and I’m handling the changes a lot better. We also got some big purchases made this week (more on that below) and I think that made things feel more real.

It’s great we’ve hit the benchmark of week 24 as now baby is considered “viable”, a pretty unemotional description for the point in the pregnancy that should the baby make an early entrance (please no!) he will have a good chance of making it. More than ever, it now feels possible that we might have a baby by the summer!

Weight gain: I didn’t gain weight this week! Hurrah! A massive shout out to each of you who took the time to write to me last week and offer words of encouragement. They really and truly made a difference to how I felt and feel about my changing figure. I also took the advice that many of you gave and that was to stop weighing myself!! This week I put away my scales so that in order to weigh myself I had to make a special effort to do so. Which of course I did today for my weekly weigh in, but I didn’t obsess about it every day like I had been doing.

As for how I’m feeling about my body, I’m feeling better! I have realised that so far I’ve not really put much if any weight on my legs which makes me relieved. I have also started to laugh at my body, but in a good way. Last night I was going about the house in just my knickers before my shower and I did a comedy dance for hubby where I wiggled everything about and he laughed and laughed! He told me that the earth no longer rotates around the sun, but rather rotates around my boobs (i.e. they are so enormous they have their own gravitational pull). That’s love for you!

Symptoms: Oh you’ve heard all this already. Summary: one session of cramping, some tailbone pain (which turned up again at the office today) a lazy baby that got to be monitored at the clinic on Wednesday and more round ligament pain as my belly accommodates its growing size.

Eating: Nothing remarkable this week. Where I live, Easter is a BIG DEAL and there are many delicious seasonal goodies to much through in addition to chocolate so the next week or so should make for an interesting diet. Easter and pregnancy is pretty awesome!

Sleep: I’ve been only getting up to pee only once in the night mainly this week. This is a vast improvement! Yay me! Otherwise, it’s been a pretty average sleep week, neither good or bad.

Movement: As per my previous post, the baby decided he was too chill to move much on Wednesday so we had an unplanned visit to the clinic to be checked out. All is fine and he has been back to his ninja ways ever since. He is in fact ninja-ing away as I write this. He’s a cheeky one, I’m sure of it!

Emotions: I’m fine as long as you feed me and let me sleep. Mess up either or both of those requirements and watch out that I don’t snap at you!

Missing: Nothing much. I’m all good this week.

Purchases: It has been a very expensive week this week!! I put down deposits on our stroller, as well as a cot bed, set of drawers with built in change table, and a moses basket + stand. Oh, and also we bought a new car today! It probably won’t arrive until after the baby arrives but that’s no problem. We have been planning to buy an SUV for about 2 years but put it off until it looked like a baby might actually turn up. Anyone who has been following me a while will appreciate why it’s taken so long to buy this car!

Looking forward to: Decorating the nursery. We have to paint it and get it ready before the cot bed arrives in about 6-8 weeks! We also have our next scan on Monday morning. I’m looking forward to seeing the small dude again.

Best moment of the week: Knowing that the baby was okay after his quiet spell. That was quite a big relief!

Exercise: Good amounts of walking and yoga this week, with motivation higher thanks to the excellent Spring weather. I have noticed that that I’m starting to find some of the yoga poses hard to execute in full . I still do a mean plank, but can’t hold it forever like I used to be able to. I wonder how long I can go before I need to switch to preggo yoga. Also, I find when I walk for a while I get round ligament pain, which I explained to hubby as feeling like a sprained ankle except it’s in my belly. He thought that sounded like not much fun (it’s not).

Bump update: Back by popular demand is my kitty photo-bomber. I took a bonus shot so you could see her up close. Some of you might remember when I introduced her way back in August last year(Hasn’t she grown!!). She’s my little good luck charm and a ray of sunshine!

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Cramping and dreams

Last night I had my first little scare of the pregnancy (beyond the terror that was the first trimester) when I experienced some pretty intense cramping. It kicked it just around the time I was settling in to bed, which was strange because I wasn’t doing anything remotely strenuous at the time.

The feeling I had was that all of abdominal muscles became simultaneously taut and stretched across my belly. Combined with this was some pretty intense lower back ache. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it was clear that it wasn’t good.  I got into bed and lay on my left side with my preto pillow for support and tried to rest. It did calm down after 15 minutes or so but I can’t say I was feeling 100% myself or relaxed afterwards.

It was in this vibe that I went to sleep, which is really not recommended.  I spent the entire night having dreams, aka nightmares, that I gave birth to a premature baby (helloooo subconscious!).  Somewhat entertainingly, the baby that I gave birth to in my dreams was kind of a cross between Stewie, the baby from Family Guy and a very small, not so attractive monkey. No matter what I did, the baby kept rolling off the bed and hitting its head.  This does not bode well for me as a mother!

This is not the first time I’ve had particularly lucid dreams – they are pretty much a staple of my nighttime activity – but the first time it has been quite so terrifyingly pregnancy-related. Guess who is paranoid about having a premature baby?!

Dreams aside, I was a bit worried about the cramping so I emailed my doctor today. At the same time I asked him for advice on my upcoming work trip, which I found out today will be for the week after Easter and may well involve a flying schedule that takes up to 9 hours as there are no direct flights from where I am based to where I need to be.

My doctor is super-chill about all such things and was particularly blasé about our trip to London. I expected him to tell me it was totally fine and stop being so pathetic.  Not in those words exactly, but you know what they mean when they say the benign phrases.  Anyway, he shocked me by telling me I should skip the work trip as the journey time is too long and my risk of thrombosis is too high. I’ve mentioned here before that I do have a thrombosis risk and that’s why I take daily Clexane injections, but I was actually shocked and relieved that he told me not to go.  Because if the doctor says not to go…

I’ve got to discuss this with my boss tomorrow, but I don’t think she can really argue much with doctor’s orders and neither can my client. I guarantee there will be some huffing and puffing behind my back, but it is not worth the stress or the risk to fly unless I’m 100% confident that I’m okay.

As for the cramps, the doctor said it was mainly okay because I felt the baby move this morning, but he did tell me to rest more. This has been a bit of a wake-up call because I am a do-everything type, so I guess I am just going to have to actually admit to myself that I can’t do it all right now.

Week 23 – The baby is a ninja!

Wow! This baby has really found its limbs the past few days and has been pulling some serious ninja moves. I’m not sure what he was up to yesterday but it felt like he was doing some impressive gymnastics in my belly. I was not feeling 100% after work so I had a short nap in the late afternoon, but it was hard to rest properly because the action was so intense. I just hope he is not fighting to get out!

This week has been a whole lot less exciting than last week’s holiday and my poor sleep has returned, so by Friday I was feeling pretty awful. It turns out that lack of sleep gives you headaches and a feeling like you’re catching a virus. A short nap later and I felt a lot better. I seriously wish I could nap every day in the afternoon. I am hugely jealous of those who can do so!

Weight gain: Oh geez! I just cannot stop gaining weight and it’s terrifying! I’ve gained around 1.5kg in the past 2 weeks (3.3 pounds). I keep looking at my body to work out where this weight is and I can really only see it on my mid-section and a little on the tops of my thighs. I’m worried though that it’s actually secretly hitting me everywhere and I’m just not noticing. I’m really and truly not eating like a pig so this whole scenario is very confusing. I’m now about 7.5kg (16 pounds) up from my pre-pregnancy rate and with around 15 weeks to go (baby comes 10-14 days before its due date for a scheduled c-section) my target weight gain of no more than 15kg (33 pounds) is looking highly unrealistic. Does everyone feel this way about their weight gain or am I the only one freaking out here?

Symptoms: The dizzy spell on Monday seems to have been a one-off as I haven’t had that issue since. I had some weird digestive issues for a few days, but they seem to have sorted themselves out too now which is nice. One thing I have noticed, albeit a while ago, is that I have a lot of face fuzz, i.e. little hairs on the sides of my face. They are not bad enough to consider having them removed, but I would prefer they weren’t there. They certainly weren’t there before the pregnancy, albeit I have always had a few rogue hairs thanks to my lovely PCOS. You become good friends with tweezers when you have PCOS! In any case, I figure the hairs will go after the baby is born so I am not taking any action about them now. I am blaming this on the baby being a boy and flooding me with excess testosterone.

Another weird symptom I observed early on is that I have little fluid-filled spots on the hairline of my forehead and also on the top of my chest. They are a bit like a rash, but not itchy so I’m not that bothered by them. These days my linea nigra is really starting to show and my boobs seem to be growing by the second (see above weight gain) so it’s all happening. Honestly though, I do miss my microboobs. There is so much surrounding us talking about how big boobs are sexy and fantastic, but I am not so sure they are great after all.

Eating: I’m back to my balanced eating regime this week but it’s been hard as I seem to have rediscovered my sweet tooth while on holiday. I haven’t been that mad about chocolate and sweets during the pregnancy, but I think my indulging while on holiday flicked the sugar switch within me. I’m a bit afraid of gestational diabetes though so I am conscious of not over-eating sugary things. There were some delicious-looking cookies in my office yesterday and I didn’t eat ANY of them. And yes, I would like a medal for my self-restraint please.

Sleep: My sleep has sucked this week. Clearly I should go back to London where I slept beautifully. I also think being more active in London helped me to sleep better. I know there are lessons in there about doing more exercise but someone needs to find me some more hours in the day please. Also, please can I have a job where I can take afternoon naps?!

Movement: The small dude is a ninja! He’s so active and strong!

Emotions: They are all over the place these days and I’ve definitely been feeling a bit down the past few days. I am certain the poor sleep has a lot to do with this, but also my work has been getting me down. I probably have to fly to a European destination for work in a few weeks and it’s weighing on me that I don’t know when this will be or where. I am worried that if it’s not for another month (quite possible) that I’ll almost be six months pregnant by then and it’s not so easy (or recommended) to travel the farther along in your pregnancy you are. I really don’t want to go, but I seem to be the key to the meeting – which is nice in a way – so my ego most certainly does want to go, even if my logical brain does not.

The body insecurities are also growing, proportionate to my weight gain and I’ve not really heard anything from any of my family or friends in Australia for a couple of weeks so I’m feeling less than special these days. I know it’s hard for everyone, we are all busy, but sometimes I think it’s strange that my Mum or sister don’t just send me a little message asking how I am or how the baby is going? I’m sure they are interested, but it’s a situation whereby I have to approach them, or call them in order to get any support. It’s not new so I don’t know why I’m upset, but I guess I hoped that those closest to me would take more of a proactive role in communication and being a part of my pregnancy. I mean, my sister is going to be an aunty for the first time. You’d think that would be exciting?! I think a lot of this stems from the baby shower I went to last weekend. Even though the shower was WAY over the top for my preferences, what was nice about it was how much effort the grandma-to-be had put into it and how all the friends and family were genuinely so excited for the mum-to-be.

Missing: Sleep and naps and croissants for breakfast every day!

Purchases: Hubby went on a bit of an Amazon shopping spree this week and so the following items should be coming our way soon. For the record, I am not being paid to promote Amazon (that would be nice!) so if you like these items too, then remember that many retailers also stock them!

Maxi-Cosi Pebble car seat 

Maxi-Cosi back seat protector (to keep your car’s seats clean and undamaged)

The Gro Company Gro-Egg Room Thermometer

Percy the Penguin Gro-Egg Shell

Ewan the Dream Sheep

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec Nappy Disposal Starter Kit (Green)

Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support – Aqua

NUK Genius Silicone Orthodontic Soother 0-6mths (2 pack)

Tommee Tippee Digital Ear Thermometer

Looking forward to: Hitting the 24 weeks and our small dude being considered “viable”. The weather heating up in the next couple of weeks so I can ditch my tights and start going to work in dresses with bare legs!

Best moment: I had a few nice walks around our most local park this week and Spring has sure sprung with many wild flowers including wild poppies!

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Exercise: It was great to go back to yoga this week! I was quite creaky and stiff so it made a big improvement in unwinding me and bringing my stress levels down a few notches. Never underestimate the impact of yoga, and also warrior poses really do work the glutes!

The bump: It’s bigger still and so I’m also giving you a front on shot so you can see how I’m losing my waist shape.

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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.

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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!!

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