Weeks 31 – 35

Right, what have I got to moan about this month?

London weekend
Well to start with, I tootled off down to the big smoke on the glamorous national express to stay with Stef and meet up with my friend Holly. We ate tapas, looked at dead things in jars (so much better than it sounds), Sky Gardened and ate steak.

At the Sky Garden

At the Sky Garden

Oxford weekend
A couple of weeks later, I had ANOTHER girly weekend, this time in Oxford with more steak (its for the anemia, yo), afternoon tea and dominoes. The non-pregnant amongst us (so everyone apart from me) also had a shit tonne of prosecco and a hot tub. Honestly, preggos miss out on all the fun.

Oxford

Oxford

On the Sunday, we went for a mooch around the grounds of Blenheim Palace, which was gorgeous. On the 5 minute drive back, I passed out twice and ended up having an ambulance called for me. I thankfully managed to avoid the public pooping this time, so be grateful for small mercies. My blood pressure was low but my blood sugars were fine, so its been put down to heat and dehydration. I think (with my extensive years of medical training) that diet played a part, as this weekend was more cookies and junk food than bran flakes and complex carbs. But I feel fine now, and I’m taking it easy, OK?

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

For the record, I did this last pregnancy as well, but that involved me being naked except a pair of knickers and some massage oil, leaving an imprint of my bum on the floor. 

Tits!

Around this time last pregnancy, I posted a blog about all the nursing bra research I’d done and which ones I bought.

Nursing bras, the PJs I bought to fit me in later pregnancy and the big boy-short pants I bought to wear after giving birth are the three items of my maternity wardrobe that never *quite* made it in to storage and stayed in my general clothes rotation. OK, so they might make your tits look like shit but hot damn, those things are so comfy I’ll forgive them. This does however mean that 2.5 years down the line, I have a lot of nursing bras which my boobs looked crap in when they were brand new, which have been washed and tumble dried and worn a million times, to the extent that there are patches where the lycra has given up the ghost and gone completely see-through. Not in a sexy way.

32 weeks

32 weeks

So, it was time to look for some alternatives.

It basically turns out that all the brands and types of bras I used to like have been discontinued, so I dropped a couple of hundred quid on figleaves and bought all the nursing bras I could get my hands on. Either DD+ nursing bras have come a long way in the last 2.5 years, or I made some terrible choices last time around, but I was pretty bloody impressed with my haul. Special shoutout to Cake’s underwired bras in particular for being pretty, supportive and not making ones tits look like a sack of spuds.

 

The “nursery” 

Seeing as we’re still calling “the nursery” the “junk room”, we’ve got a long way to go before it’s going to be on anyone’s pinterest inspiration board. This month, Neil did do a heroic 4 hour flatpack session to make the 8 drawer Hemnes unit so at least we have somewhere to put all the baby shit when we get it out of the loft.

Not that we’ve actually got to that bit, like.

34 weeks

34 weeks

 

Home Birth Meeting 

This pregnancy, my pre-natal care has been shared between community midwives and an obstetric consultant, what with the previous massive baby and all. This has culminated in the grand total of two 30 minute consultations (and a 3 hour wait each time) with a registrar in the consultant’s team who hummed and hawed about me having a home birth until I told them I had the express blessing of both the consultant AND the supervisor of midwives so HA.

Firstborn being all gorgeous

Firstborn being all gorgeous

Side note: I’m not being a crunchy militant home-birther for the sake of it, I love the NHS with all my heart and I know the suggestions I received from the registrars were done so with (what they perceived to be) my best interests at heart. What I do take offence to is consistently not being listened to, being given shoddy “facts” that don’t stand up to AIMS, NICE and NHS guidelines and being scare-mongered in to something for which there is no statistical evidence that the outcomes will be better for me or the baby. For the record: “…home birth is equally as safe as a midwife-led unit and traditional labour ward for the babies of low risk pregnant women who have already had at least 1 child previously”.

I’m also well aware that there are a million and one reasons that might mean we have to transfer in to the hospital, and if that happens, I won’t have failed, or done a bad job. Basically, if there’s a chance I could have this baby in my front room and then get in my own bed with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits, then that sounds pretty ideal to me.

Important Baby Related Purchases this month

Important Baby Related Purchases this month

Anyway, that all got a bit serious for a minute, but what I was actually trying to say is that my community midwife and the supervisor of midwives popped round to meet with me and Neil and discuss our plans. They were on board with everything we said and were refreshingly straightforward about the whole thing. My community midwife has also typed up the notes from our meeting for the benefit of the midwives who attend when I’m in labour and has generally been a bloody star. SHOUT OUT TO JEAN FOR BEING AWESOME.

My maternity cover started at work

This month, an amazing lass called Kerry started with us at Fat Free Media to take over from me when I leave. Last time I went on maternity leave, my employer took so long to organise my maternity cover, that it never bloody happened, so this is a bit of unchartered territory for me. I’m used to being the person who knows everything, who has their fingers on all the pulses, all of the time, so it wa’ a bit bloody weird to hand over the reins to someone else. At first, we seemed to awkwardly be working on the same thing at the same time. Then we’ve transitioned to her doing some things and me doing the others, and we’re now working towards her doing pretty much all of it, and me solving problems/being there for back up if and when she needs it. Soon, I will be entirely surplus to requirements, which is probably a good thing, especially as, at one point, I had very real concerns about being back at work with a week old baby in a moses basket under the desk.

Battle of the bellies with Neil's best friend's wife

Battle of the bellies with Neil’s best friend’s wife

What this process has taught me, is that I bloody love my job. So that’s good, isn’t it?

Hospital bags

The little pregnancy app on my phone I like to largely ignore and occasionally roll my eyes at keeps reminding me that I should have packed a hospital bag by now, and to make sure I remember to pack warm socks and fluffy slippers because people’s feet get cold when they’re in labour. HAHA FUCK OFF, I wouldn’t have even known I had feet when I was in labour.

So far, have only packed biscuits and sanitary towels. On two occasions, I’ve taken the designated hospital biscuits out of the bag due to an unforseen emergency* (*hungry) and had to repack them a couple of days later.

That’s pretty much all my bases covered, right?

Disclaimer: I will at some point actually pack my hospital bags, I just probably won’t be so organised and smug about it as I was last time. Don’t believe me? See “On Hospital Bags” and the slightly less naive “On Hospital Bags…reloaded” if you want a quick lol.

Next month: Who knows what new and exciting things I’ll find to moan about next month. Probably the fact I’m finishing work, I’m too sweaty, I can’t sleep and that crocheted blanket I thought I would leave until I was spending more time sat on the sofa when heavily pregnant is really fucking hot and definitely not a good idea to have on your lap when it’s 34′ outside.

Progress

Progress

Weeks 27 – 30

Third trimester
The second trimester is known for being the best bit of pregnancy apparently, because you’re not massive and sore and stuff just yet, and you have marginally more energy than in the first and third trimesters. I say “apparently” because those benefits passed me by completely.

Either way, that bit’s over now, so we’re technically on the home straight.

Turkey
This month we swanned off to Turkey for our jollies, and our close friend’s 60th birthday. I was a little apprehensive about travelling when pretty pregnant, especially when I realised I couldn’t use my Ehic card, but luckily everything was fine.

At least, it was fine until we left the house to drive to the airport and I started feeling decidedly peaky. In the short version of the story, I ate a krispy kreme donut for breakfast and then had a funny turn and passed out/had a little fit/convinced myself I had gestational diabetes.

The longer version of the story involves having an emergency poo at the side of the road before I passed out, whilst having an internal dilemma over whether it was less embarrasing to point my arse towards the cars (anonymity) or my face (no exposed arse).

LOVE a good sunset

LOVE a good sunset

(I went with face, by the way, in case you’re interested)

Neil wanted to get me checked out at the hospital but that pretty much guaranteed that we were going to miss our flight and I was pretty convinced that there were both medics and English breakfasts at Stanstead airport departure lounge – both of which would probably sort me right out. By the time we ‘d got finished with the emergency poos, got through roadworks, caught the bus to the terminal and got through security, there was actually only time for the English breakfast, but luckily it seemed to do the trick as I felt much better after that.

The view from our balcony

The view from our balcony

We’d upgraded our room to a 2 bedroom family suite apartment because every time we’ve ever shared a room with Billy since he was 6 weeks old, it’s resulted in none of us getting any sleep. It turns out it that this was a Very Good Move, but not because Billy was the problem, I became the problem. Or, more specifically, my insanely loud pregnancy snoring became the problem. So I had a superkingsized bed and en suite all to myself, and my poor suffering husband bunked in with Billy in a single bed. Soz Neil.

26 weeks "all inclusive" food/baby

26 weeks “all inclusive” food/baby

GTT tests

As soon as we landed back in the UK, it was time for my Glucose Tolerance Test. Basically, in my area (other areas test everyone indiscriminately), if your BMI is over a certain number, you’re over a certain age, fit a certain ethnic profile or had a fat shit baby before (TICK), they want you to fast for 15 hours, then drink a pint of lucazade whilst they test your blood.

Bearing in mind my recent history with Krispy Kremes, this was not an experience I was looking forward to as I’d done a fairly good job of convincing myself I had the diabeetus and was going to spend the rest of this pregnancy eating lettuce. But, like all things I’m utterly dreading, it was actually FINE, and my blood sugar levels were exactly the same before the lucazade as they were 2 hours after the lucazade. I think this is a good thing? Either way, no Gestational Diabetes here, pass the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

My Magic Chiropractor/Wizard

Now I don’t know about everyone else, but my pregnancies seem to have been plagued by very specific and annoying ailments which appear overnight, stay for a few days and then disappear as quickly as they came on. Conveniently, they seem to disappear at the same point you reach the end of the Google search engine results pages and have tried every pregnancy safe remedy in the book. Examples of this include: insanely sensitive teeth that stop you eating or drinking, a scalp so itchy it stops you sleeping at night and mysterious hives that come and go as they damn well please.

One such ailment was the appearance of a completely dead left leg and bum cheek, which made getting up the 8 flights of stairs to the office a teensy bit tricky. After 4 days of this, I found a chiropractor that specialised in pregnant ladies and kids and families and whatnot and thought it would be worth a go.

Pretty much as soon as I booked the appointment, I got up from my desk and my left leg had magically come back to life. Bastard.

Still, with PGP/SPD rearing its ugly head, I went along for the appointment and it was the SINGLE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE. Seriously. You don’t have to hurt when you get out of bed. Putting on your knickers needn’t be a mammoth task. She’s even cured me of heartburn! Although she’s patiently explained it to me a million times, I don’t have the foggiest how it works, but I’ve decided I don’t need to. I’m just more than happy to turn up once every couple of weeks feeling all wonky and achey, and then walk out 25 minutes later with a spring in my step and a perfectly aligned pelvis. If you’re reading this and you’re pregnant, just bloody go, you definitely won’t regret it.

Anemia

This month, I was also diagnosed with anemia, which I think might have had a thing or two to do with my fainting episode, on reflection. I hate iron tablets with the fire of a thousand suns, so I looked into some alternatives and found Spa Tone sachets, which taste like shite, but don’t give you anywhere near the tummy upsets that iron tablets do. For good measure, I chucked in some Ferroglobin tablets too. Stitch that, anemia.

Definitely not thinking about squeezing that chick

Definitely not thinking about squeezing that chick

On weight gain

When I was pregnant with Billy, I pretty much avoided the scales at all costs. Except when I was in labour, when I weighed myself and got the shock of a lifetime when I discovered I’d put on 45lbs. With Billy being such a chunk, I’ve always felt a bit guilty that maybe the amount of fish and chips I ate had affected his gargantuan proportions, and vowed to eat healthier this time around.

…Which I largely have. I’ve not had the same food aversions this time around, which is good, because when you’re starving hungry but the thought of every meal under the sun makes you want to vom (with the exception of fish and chips), then fish and chips you will eat.  This time around, I’ve been able to eat a lot more protein, I’ve eaten a lot of hard boiled eggs, bagels, sultana bran, berries and dried fruit. I’ve not eaten anywhere near as many takeaways, biscuits or chocolates, so I deserve not to put on as much weight, right?

WRONG. On my 27 week blog when pregnant with Billy, I commented that I’d put on 16lbs so far. Guess how much weight I’d put on by 27 weeks this time round? 16 FREAKING LBS. I can’t wait for the 18 months or so it’ll take me to work off those 45lbs again this time around.

Next month: I pass out some more, get an ambulance called for me, but miraculously avoid emergency roadside poos (progress).

Weeks 22 – 26

I am now an impressive 3 months late with this post. I’m not sure entirely what I’ve been faffing about at, especially as it’s been written in it’s entirety and sat in my drafts since I was 26 weeks. I’m very lazy. Soz.

Moving House

At 22 weeks 6 days pregnant, we moved house. Massive shout out to the 4 men, 3 trucks, 2 parents and 1 tireless husband who helped us get out of the old house, and in and settled in to the new house in one day. I say “settled”, I mean “there’s space for me to walk from the front door to the sofa”. The rest of the boxes can wait.

Since then, Neil and I have been a dream team whereby I shop for new stuff for the house online, then when it arrives, Neil gets tasked within an inch of his life to do the DIY. I did hang two sets of curtains on my own though, so that’s pretty good.

How many living things can you fit within half a meter squared?

How many living things can you fit within half a meter squared?

I wish I was the type of instagrammer who could take smug little pics of corners of the new house and make them look all stylish and stuff, but I’m not, so consider yourself spared some excruciatingly dull pics of our new sofa cushions. Basically, you’ll just have to imagine them. They’ve got triangles on, it’s pretty exciting.

Positive Birth Group

This month, I did a couple of things that were actually to do with babies, and not to do with working, or moving house or watching True Detective (although I did a lot of those things too). When everyone else was looking up at the solar eclipse through welding masks, I tootled off to a Home Birth/Positive Birth group in Nottingham.

I didn’t really go with any expectations, or any agenda, but it was bloody lovely and I’d definitely go again. Two women bought their babies who were less than a month old, and told their birth stories (one 2nd baby home birth at 14 days overdue, one first time mum hospital birth, two happy mums), and within 4 days of the meeting, two other women who were very pregnant when I met them, shared their birth stories with the facebook group (one VBAC homebirth for baby 3, one with Gestational Diabetes, a homebirth that transferred in, two happy mums). I found the whole thing, of meeting real people and hearing real stories that were all different, but all great experiences really cool and very empowering.

Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to carries some kind of trauma from their birth experience, and it’s such a pity that it’s that bit we tend to focus on, and not the good bits. I’ve done some good thinking about Billy’s birth, I know I was incredibly lucky to have a relatively uncomplicated birth and a healthy baby, but there’s definitely some things I’d do differently this time around. The biggest thing by far would be to have confidence in my self, and my body’s ability to do its own thing – rather than where, when, or how overdue I am when it happens and what song is playing on my birthing playlist, lolz. Can you remind me of this when I get to 41 weeks and am jogging round the block whilst eating pineapple in an attempt to kick start labour? Ta.

Good face, kiddo

Good face, kiddo

When Billy was born, we got about an inch of water in the birth pool at home before the midwife decided we had to go to our local hospital for a scan to rule out what they thought might be Vasa Previa. In the process, my waters were broken and it all kicked off so fast there was no time to get home and fill the pool. So the home birth was out of the window, which I didn’t mind. The bit I did mind was being stuck on a maternity ward with low tolerance levels for everything, an inability to use my own legs and having to wait all day for a prescription to be filled. So this time, we’re planning for another home birth. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, but if I get the opportunity to have a baby, then curl up in my own bed with my own duvet, and my lovely husband, then I can’t really think of anything better than that.

Pregnancy Yoga

This month, I also started attending pregnancy yoga. I say “started” because a week after I started, I missed a class, and the week after, classes weren’t on because of Easter, so to date, I’ve done ONE yoga class. That means I’m a bona fide yogi now, right?

So off I trot to yoga with a mat under one arm and a pillow under another. When I was pregnant with Billy, the pilates and yoga classes both required you to bring a pillow, so I was pretty smug about remembering to take one this time round. Got there, was the ONLY dickhead with a pillow. Everyone else had bottles of water and blankets. Looked like a complete n00b.

Two paintbrushes and "magic paint" (water). Hours of fun for two identically dressed toddlers.

Two paintbrushes and “magic paint” (water). Hours of fun for two identically dressed toddlers.

Not only that, but there were BLOKES there. In fact, I walked in to the room, and walked straight out again because surely the whole being pregnant thing hadn’t changed THAT much in the last 2 years had it? Answer: yes. Of a group of 12 women, three had their partners with them. I felt a bit bad that Neil was at home wrangling a small boy into his batman PJs rather than with me doing what was clearly going to be some smug bonding yoga type stuff, but as the lesson went on, I was more and more glad Neil wasn’t there. There was no smug couple bonding stuff. There was three men who spent a lot of time with their hands on their stomachs connecting with their “babies” whilst a yoga teacher talked about pelvic floor muscles and how remarkable vaginas really are. Might take Neil with me next time, just for the lolz.

Weddings
I used to think kids running around at weddings were adorable. When we got married, we invited kids as standard and was pretty shocked when everyone except family declined the offer to bring kids with them. Now? I totally get it. Weddings with toddlers involve a lot of running around and trying in vain to keep your kid out of the soil/wedding cake/dj booth (delete as appropriate).

Weddings WITHOUT kids on the other hand are excellent, and we went to two lovely weddings this month.

Pics or it didn’t happen:

Kerry and Matt's wedding

Kerry and Matt’s wedding

Laura and Tom's wedding

Laura and Tom’s wedding

Bump pics

Last time round, I took fornightly photos of my stomach, convinced that marginal changes in shape really proved I had “popped”. This time, my flab is staying under wraps, ta. At 23 weeks, right on cue as I did last time, a tiny bump appeared out of nowhere, and pretty much doubled in size on a weekly basis from that point.

23 weeks (and convinced I was massive, which on reflection, I definitely wasnt)

23 weeks (and convinced I was massive, which on reflection, I definitely wasnt)

And just to prove I’m not lying when it comes to my belly doubling in size week on week, here’s me 3 weeks later in a different, but very similar stripey top (seriously, what is it with maternity clothes manufacturers and stripes? So slimming):

26 weeks

26 weeks

Rainbow Blanket: Important updates
To round of this update, I have some very exciting news: crocheted blanket in “a bit longer than it was last month” shocker. I know. Truly mind bending stuff.

I AM pretty chuffed with myself that when I started this project (which has an alternative title of “the only thing I’m going to crochet, ever”) I eyeballed the length based on my memory of Billy’s star blanket that I was looking to replicate. Three months down the line, I get out the star blanket, and bugger me if I didn’t get the length EXACTLY right. It’s like my secret superpower or something.

Rainbow blanket progress

Rainbow blanket progress

Next month: Turkey! Fainting!Gestational diabetes tests!

Weeks 18 – 21

According to this chart thingy, this is my 5th month of pregnancy, so that’s good.

Quick round up of stuff I’d like to moan about: waking up with agonising cramp, pins and needles all the goddamn time, toddler interrupting my (much needed) sleep, having the lower back of an old lady.

So what have we been up to this month?

Billy turned 2

On 5th March 2013, at 11.5 days overdue and weighing in at 10lb 8oz, Master William made an appearance. This year, with a declaration that he was getting a shopping trolley and a cake for his birthday, he turned 2 years old. This time last year, we held a party in a room above a pub with 100 of our nearest and dearest as a we’re-not-christening-him-but-at-least-we’ve-had-a-party thing. This year, we left it up to Neil’s mum to put on a birthday tea for Billy and his cousins.

First day in the baby room at Nursery (November 2013)

First day in the baby room at Nursery (November 2013)

First day in the Tweenie room at nursery on his 2nd Birthday (March 2015)

First day in the Tweenie room at nursery on his 2nd Birthday (March 2015)

Wales 

My aunt and uncle live in a bloody lovely house in the middle of nowhere in north Wales. When they go on holiday, I like to humbly offer our services to housesit for them and grab a few days away in the process. After a phenomenally busy few weeks at work, a few days off was bloody well received.

Menai Strait, Anglesey

Menai Strait, Anglesey

Giant inflatable pillow at Foals Farm, Anglesey

Giant inflatable pillow at Foals Farm, Anglesey

Meeting the neigh-bors (groan)

Meeting the neigh-bors (groan)

Pretty terrible views

Pretty terrible views

When the weather was crap we did lots of this

When the weather was crap we did lots of this

Billy and the nightmares

It’s annoying when babies cry in the night and you don’t know what the problem is. Then they start to talk and cry in the night because there’s owls and tigers dripping off the ceiling and I still have pretty much no idea how to fix the problem. Some 4am googling pointed me in the direction of him being on the cusp of a developmental leap (I thought we were done with all this wonder weeks shit) or brewing a bug. He seemed fine so we settled in to wait for his new found developmental skills. I was hoping it was going to be the ability to jump because he is quite comically bad at that. Then I went out dressed as prof plum for my friends Cluedo-themed Hen Do and Neil got on the receiving end of some projectile vomit. Will have to wait a bit longer to see him jump, then.

He's also worked out he's exactly the right size to squeeze down the side of the garage, which is all good fun until you realise you're now too wide to get down there to get him out.

He’s also worked out he’s exactly the right size to squeeze down the side of the garage, which is all good fun until you realise you’re now too wide to get down there to get him out.

Sitting in Billy’s dark room whilst he babbled rubbish at the ceiling and then attempting to commando creep out the room was strangely nostalgic of his formative months. Then I remembered the early months of sitting up half the night and being so sleep deprived you lost track of whether you were awake or asleep and I suddenly realised we’ve got to do it all again. So that’s good.

First decent bit of artwork from our firstborn, a portrait of mummy and daddy, and definitely not a fluke. Got that?

First decent bit of artwork from our firstborn, a portrait of mummy and daddy, and definitely not a fluke. Got that?

New baby New house

Sat in Chiangi airport on the way back from our honeymoon 3 years ago, we had a quick sqizz at right move and fired off a couple of emails about some prospective houses. The day after, we signed for our new place. 3.5 weeks after that I weed on a stick, got a a positive result and declared I couldn’t do any heavy lifting on account of my new found condition.

Not far off 3 years later, after being badgered by Neil for years to move house, I went on to Rightmove to prove you don’t get a house in the area we want, in the style we want and in the price we want to pay, and in the process proved that you can in fact do all of those things, so at the end of the month we are upping sticks and moving house to a great new place which is also in the right CATCHMENT AREA for the school we want to send Billy to. It’s also got OFF STREET PARKING, a THERMOSTAT and a SHED. Look what arse holes we’ve become.

Adventures in Crochet

I can’t craft for shit. I can’t bake, unless it involves melting chocolate and mixing with broken biscuits or cornflakes, my sewing extends as far as mending stuff I’ve broken and I have zero interest in bunting. So it was as much of a surprise for me as everyone else when I got it in to my head I was going to crochet a blanket for the new baby. I set off on a trip to Knit Nottingham to get a crochet hook and rainbow coloured wool on 31st Jan and progress since then has been infuriatingly slow.

Rainbow blanket progress. Current status: not yet thick enough to be a scarf.

Rainbow blanket progress. Current status: not yet thick enough to be a scarf.

Stay tuned for more dull updates as they happen.

Recruiting for maternity cover

Neil runs a video and animation agency. Coming up for 4 years ago, I quit my job as an account manager in a digital agency and joined Neil on a part time basis to manage projects and look after our clients. When I came back from maternity leave in November 2013, I joined him full time and we’ve never looked back. Now maternity leave number 2 is around the corner, we need to recruit for a full time me-replacement, and the prospect is a bit daunting. Even more daunting when it dawns on you you’ve had zero applications and may be back at work within a couple of weeks with a newborn in a carseat under the desk. That wouldn’t happen. Right? RIGHT?

P.S. If you know anyone who is a cracking account manager in the Nottingham area who wants my job, send them my way.

This has nothing to do with my job but is a cute picture of Billy eating an icecream.

This has nothing to do with my job but is a cute picture of Billy eating an icecream.

Weeks 14 – 17

Only three weeks late with this one! *fistpump*

Here’s a round up on what’s been going on at the start of my second trimester. FYI, this is meant to be the good bit of the pregnancy, between oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-vom-in-a-bucket and oh-my-god-I’m-so-fat-I-can’t-get-my-shoes on.

Toddler vs Tuppaware cupboard

Toddler vs Tuppaware cupboard

Scans!

With Billy, I had my 12 week scan at 12w5ds, and they moved me forwards a week to 13w5ds. This time round, we had our scan at 12w5ds, and guess what? They moved me forwards to 13w5ds. I am consistent with my baby growin’. This time round I looked more closely at the centiles chart and a 8cm long foetus is 13w5ds if it follows the 50th centile line. However, if it’s following the 90th centile line, it’s 12w5ds. We all know this baby is going to be born the size of a toddler, so the 50th centile is probably a bit optimistic. In my eyes at least, they shouldn’t have moved me forwards a week. But still, everything else this pregnancy will be judged on those days, so I should probably stop ranting. Bored yet? OK, good.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the good stuff:

13 week 5 day scan

Would it be biased to say that’s a pretty cute foetus?

When I was pregnant with Billy, I became aware of a theory called “Angle of the Dangle/nub theory”. In a nutshell, babies around 12 weeks have the stub of their tail left over from when they’re all tadpole-ish. Sometime between now and then, I seem to have become a bit of an authority on sexing babies from their 12 week scans. My friend Lucy sends me pictures of her friend’s scan pics and informs me I have 100% success rate.

Kid has strong selfie game

Kid has strong selfie game

So I was pretty excited about seeing our scan and seeing if I could uphold my title. I kept my eyes peeled during the scan and on the photos but sod me if I couldn’t even FIND a tail, let alone judge the angle of it. Sad face.

Also this month, Neil took me out for dinner. I ate all of this, including the gravy boat of melted garlic butter.

Also this month, Neil took me out for dinner. I ate all of this, including the gravy boat of melted garlic butter.

Moans! (or lack of…)

This time, last pregnancy I did a LOT of moaning about my sore coccyx, general backache, nose bleeds, legs cramps and the like. BUT, this time round, I have precious little to moan about. Either I know how to hold my posture better, the little bits of pilates I’ve been doing have been doing their thing or the pregnancy gods have been particularly kind to me. I’m sure they’ll get there own back later.

AND, I only have to wash my hair twice a week! *does victory dance*

Yes, I ate all of this too

Yes, I ate all of this too

More scans!

We decided to get a private scan done at 16.5 weeks to have a sneaky peek at the baby and to see if it’s a boy or a girl. Now I just want to make our stance on this clear from the offset. From dipping into message boards, I know that ‘gender disappointment’ is a thing. This pisses me off on a number of levels:

1, Gender is a sliding scale between masculine and feminine. Sex is biologically male or female. DEFINITIONS, PEOPLE.

2. The fact that your child could disappoint you before they are born makes me really sad. The fact that children can be a disappointment to their parents full stop is pretty grim.

3. Last but not least, more often than not, this comes with some very loaded assumptions and value judgements about what it means to have a son or daughter.

*climbs back down off soapbox*

My favourite cocktail bar makes a mean Virgin Porn Star.

My favourite cocktail bar makes a mean Virgin Porn Star.

We didn’t want to find out because we hoped the outcome was one flavour or another, but we had broached the subject of the ‘baby in Mummy’s tummy’ to Master Bill and thought it might make more sense if it was a little boy or a little girl in mummy’s tummy. Turns out we shouldn’t have worried, because he also thinks there’s a baby in HIS tummy. Then I made the mistake of telling him the biscuits were in my tummy after I ate the last one. You could literally see the cogs whirring around his brain. Just to confirm if you ever read this Billy: I didn’t eat the baby.

Post-nap grumps

Post-nap grumps

My money was riding on team blue in any case, and it turns out my lady intuition was bang on the money. I’m well good at this stuff. Two little boys! How adorable. But fast forward a few years and we’ll have two stinky teenage boys, which is ultimately less adorable.

I had this idea in my head before we went for the private scan that it was going to be a bit like going to a spa. There’d be plinky music playing, scented candles lit and it would be all serene and stuff. It was actually like a soul-destroying office with brown carpets and creepy 4D baby pics all over the wall. The scan itself was cool, although they wouldn’t answer any of my questions because they aren’t allowed to as it’s not a medical scan, which was a bit annoying. Not as annoying as the woman who ACTUALLY said “Now wipe that goopy stuff off your tum-tum” in a baby voice without an ounce of irony. I rolled my eyes so hard I gave myself a headache. For the record: just because I’m gestating a baby doesn’t mean you can talk to me like I’M a baby!

Don’t get me started on the 4D scan bit I didn’t really want. The baby was obviously very comfy tucked in to my placenta, so I do have a 4D picture of him, but it looks exactly like melted cheese.

Next time: even more bloody scans! probably some moaning about new stuff!

Weeks 9 – 13

Here’s a round up of all the stuff that’s been going down, and only 1 month late! *fistpump*

Same as last time:

1. I booked in with the midwife.
Only difference was that the midwife didn’t want to book me in until 10.5 weeks rather than 8 weeks like last time. Other than that, this was incredibly uninteresting, except the part where she stole all my blood, confirmed I weigh exactly the same as I did at this point last time and told me I would get extra scans and be referred for a gestational diabetes test because Billy was such a fat shit.

Aldi's light up bath toys. Good fun but a bugger to photograph on your phone.

Aldi’s light up bath toys. Good fun but a bugger to photograph on your phone.

Gestational diabetes tests appear to be pregnant lady torture. No food from 6pm the night before, then a blood test at 9am, a pint of lucozade, then another blood test at 11am and then you finally get some grub, which you have to bring with you on the day. Cruel cruel world. The 6pm bit is fine, but the no breakfast bit is going to turn me in to an angry angry bear. I have apologised to Neil in advance for my behaviour on that day because I am going to be a freaking nightmare.

2. All the sleep and no booze makes Kate a thin girl
OK, so not strictly true. Bloat and re-organised organs has meant I’ve been in my maternity jeans since I was approximately 1 week pregnant. But in a bid to keep an eye on my health and nutrition, the scales tell me I’m currently 3 lbs down in the first trimester. That’s 3lbs lighter than I was on my wedding day. Looking back through what I wrote first time round, it’s a similar story to then. Don’t worry though, I’ll make up for it AND SOME in a few months.

Shortly after I took this photo, he threw the food at the ducks with such gusto that he did a 180 off the bench and landed in the duck poo.

Shortly after I took this photo, he threw the food at the ducks with such gusto that he did a 180 off the bench and landed in the duck poo.

3. Neil is still my night in shining armour
Don’t mean to turn into a right soppy sod or owt, but I am a very lucky woman. Wanting to make sure I was getting all my nutrients, Neil bought a badass blender type thing (but not one of those superwhizzy vitamix ones I see mummybloggers talking about – I thought they looked pretty good until I realised they cost twice as much as my first car did) and has proceeded to make me a smoothie every morning since. I get my smoothie, a cup of tea and a slice of toast in bed, as well as a lie in, despite the fact he works some ridiculous hours and doesn’t go to bed at 7pm like *some* of us.

Have I posted this one before? If so, soz and all that. Toddlers wearing sunglasses are my new favourite thing. Less so when he snaps my favourite pair in half, but y'know.

Have I posted this one before? If so, soz and all that. Toddlers wearing sunglasses are my new favourite thing. Less so when he snaps my favourite pair in half, but y’know.

In a campaign to be the world’s best husband, for my birthday, he also bought me:
– a Snoogle pregnancy pillow type thing (think this was a bid to avoid losing his half of the bed to a pregnancy bed nest like last time), but goddamn, that thing is comfy.
– 100 polaroid / instagram prints from the past couple of years which are now pride of place on our lounge wall

The new addition to our lounge

The new addition to our lounge

– a stunning stone and armour necklace. Yep, I know, he’s a keeper.

Different this time round:

1. Meat doesn’t taste like death
Last time round, I went virtually vegetarian. To the point that I emailed the sandwhich shop I bought my lunch from every day to tell them their ham was off. It wasn’t. My stupid preggo tastebuds were. All meat tasted like it was rotten, and made me heave at the smell. This meant getting enough protein was difficult, but clearly didn’t do Billy a world of harm as he’s currently a contender for world’s strongest toddler.

Last time, I celebrated the end of my enforced vegetarianism by eating steak and broccoli 3 times a week for the first 4 months of Billy’s life (anemic, whatevs). THIS time, meat still tastes pretty darn good, which makes not being able to eat rare steak a complete pisser.

This kid has strong pout game

This kid has strong pout game

2. I only need to wee once a night
Good news! Unlike last time, I only get up for a wee once a night! Bad news! I wake up when Neil comes to bed, when the cat jumps on my head and when Billy decides 5am is morning anyway, so I might as well be up weeing.

3. My luscious non-greasy pregnancy hair is nowhere to be seen
Not going to lie. This was a major perk last time. I only had to wash my hair once every 4 days, from washing it every day. It was thick and generally looked ACE. It almost made up for the bit where it all fell out 3 months post-partum and I ended up with bald spots, then it all grew back at the same time and I ended up with wispy facial pubes I had no idea what to do with. Having kids is 100% glamour, 100% of the time.

I’m sure I’ll have to go through all the hair loss this time round as well, so can we hurry up with the bit where my hair looks excellent to compensate plz? Ta.

Not bragging or owt but got a sneaking suspicion our son is an artistic genius.

Not bragging or owt but got a sneaking suspicion our son is an artistic genius.

4. I have SPOTS on my BACK
Yep, this particular symptom is not cool either. I have zits. Big old zits I’ve not had since I was 15. I ORDERED 9 months of flawless complexion, so where is it?

Next time: Scans! More moaning! Swears!

Weeks 4-8

At approximately (exactly) 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant, all those nauseous, gassy feelings I’d forgotten all about came rushing back and I took to quietly retching into a sick bowl without waking Billy at night or muffling my heaves with coughs during the day to avoid alerting my colleagues to my new-found up-duffness.

Toddler walking Jack Russel

I haven’t taken any photos of me yet, so you’ll have to put up with pictures of first born doing adorable things. Like walking the dog with my brother.

 

Here are some of the best bits I’d forgotten about in weeks 4 – 8:

1. Holy mother of bloat
I adopted high waisted jeans post Billy and I’ve never looked back. It’s been a relevation! They stay up of their own accord and slim down all your lumps and bumps. I <3 high waisted jeans.

…Until I was approximately 4 weeks 4 days and 6 hours pregnant when the bloat hit. Seriously, what’s that about? Now my high waisted jeans make me look like a michellin man and my jeans drawer has been replaced with old-worn in maternity jeans. Zero fucks given. I’m getting my money’s worth this time.

Things I've done when I've not been asleep: carrying a 3 tonne toddler across a cold and windy beach

Things I’ve done when I’ve not been asleep: carrying a 3 tonne toddler across a cold and windy beach

2. Bottomless-pit hunger
Between having Billy and now, I’d made some decisions about things I’d do differently this time around. I would meditate, I wouldn’t drink diet coke, I would do more pilates and I DEFINITELY wouldn’t gain *whispers* 45lb in the process. I was to be bona fide, carrot stick eating earth mother who was always refreshed, didn’t have back ache and wouldn’t dream of eating half a packet of hobnobs in one sitting.

So. About that.

I am so goddamn hungry. I wake up hungry. I go to sleep hungry. Two hours after an evening meal, I will be hungry. This is some next level hunger that just can’t be satisfied. And, not hungry in a ‘ooh I fancy one of those’ kind of way. This is like, “if I don’t eat in the next 3 minutes, I’m going to collapse on the floor”. So I’ve stocked up on the bananas and apples, I’ve boiled up some eggs and bought some remotely healthy nuts, seeds, dried apricots and cereal bars and filled my handbag with snacks.I have managed to quit the diet coke habit, and I think I’ve gone off chocolate. Hopefully it’s just a phase.

Tennis ball-sized snowballs

Tennis ball-sized snowballs

3. Pilates
I found a couple of early pregnancy pilates videos on Youtube in a bid to avoid the crippling coccyx pain I had last time round and to have a pelvic floor of steel by the time the whole giving birth thing came around. I’ve done these a grand total of twice in a month, largely due to the fact that the second Billy goes to bed, I’m ready to hit the sack too.

4. Meditation
I did some Mindful Mamas meditation last time round, and quite liked it, despite the fact that no-matter what time of day I did it, I often woke myself up snoring at the end. This time round, I downloaded Maggie Howell’s “Overcoming Morning Sickness” MP3 and listened to it a few times. I like the sound of her voice and the music isn’t too annoying, so I think I’ll give the others a listen too.

First time sledging: big fan

First time sledging: big fan

5. So tired. So very tired.
I pretty smugly thought I could DO tired. Working full time from 8 months and having a child that only slept through consistently from 1 year (unless he was ill, teething, we were getting rid of the dummy, it was a full moon etc) had prepared me for that, so I thought. But pregnancy tired is a different kind of tired, and rightly so, I suppose, because you are growing a human inside you. So, to ease the baby-growing load, weekends are now designated ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ zones, despite the fact that this baby weighs 3 stone and has a better vocabularly than me.

Also, people that tell you pregnancy goes faster second time around are dirty dirty liars. Longest 4 weeks of my entire life.