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!

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26 weeks: ice hockey, Caitlin Moran, acid reflux and the end of the second trimester

I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but this week happens to be THE LAST WEEK OF THE SECOND TRIMESTER. As in, TWO THIRDS DOWN, ONE THIRD TO GO. As in, BABY R IS SCHEDULED TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN 3 MONTHS, NOT AT SOME ABSTRACT POINT SOME TIME NEXT YEAR. As in, SOMEHOW WE’RE GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WHOLE OTHER LIFE. Got all that? Goodo. Anyone else freaking out? Just me, it seems.

I had a dream this week that we had a baby and we’d just bought it back from the hospital. Weirdly, it looked exactly like my friend Kate’s baby. Kate’s baby is also about 8 months old – I expect to have a big baby, but if it could NOT be the size of an 8 month old, that would be AWESOME. Anyway, in my dream, I’d realised that we’d not changed the baby’s nappy or fed him for 24 hours, and I had an overwhelming feeling of not having the foggiest idea what to do. I woke up in a teensy bit of a cold sweat and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Side note: Don’t you just HATE it when people tell you about their dreams? Boooring.

So, this week:

You know those things that you always meant to do but never quite got around to it (you know, like ironing…anything…ever)? Well, this week, I ticked one of them off my list. We went to see the Nottingham Panthers with our friends Kerry and Matt.

This was the face off/ceremonial puck drop. Or something. This was about where I lost the ability to tell what was going on.

Over the weekend, I also went and got a much needed haircut. You know the LIES they spin you about your hair being all full and bouncy and never falling out when you’re pregnant? Load of rubbish. My hair looks a bit lank, is covered in split ends, and the other day, I had to cut an actual dreadlock out of it. NOT COOL. I would take a photo of my post-haircut hair and post it here, but it looks exactly the same as it did before, just with marginally less split ends.

Family from Wales also came to visit the ‘new’ house, which is really not all that new any more. They bought biscuits. They know me so well.

Neil was away for a few days on various shoots, which meant I had to do FENDING FOR MYSELF stuff like putting the bin out, feeding the cat and unloading the dishwasher. Not cool.

I also went to the WI Book Club meeting at the Malt Cross. Many Skittles were eaten and many laughs were had. We also got tweeted by Caitlin Moran, whose book we were reading that month. I did a little squee! at that, then pretended I didn’t as Caitlin probably wouldn’t think that was very cool.

I also had a well-documented hormonal breakdown in the office, which was very embarrassing  although enough time has now elapsed for me to see the (almost) funny side.

This week has also bought two new and exciting pregnancy gripes which I will now proceed to moan about in great detail. I bet you can’t wait.

1. Acid reflux and heartburn

Apparently this is something to do with the baby getting fatter and jiggling your stomach northwards into your lung space. I’m not really interested in the geography/anatomy of it, but I can tell you that constant sick burps are not a good look. Being woken up at 3am with crippling heartburn is not very cool either. You know what is cool? Swigging Gaviscon from the bottle like a boss.

2. Pelvic Girdle Pain

Probably the LEAST glamorous sounding pregnancy-related ailment (OK, maybe second-least-glamorous behind haemorrhoids) is Pelvic Girdle Pain, or PGP as all the cool kids (don’t) call it. Actually, scrap that, I’ve just remembered that when you get really really pregnant, you wee yourself a little bit when you sneeze, so PGP is THIRD least glamorous sounding pregnancy-related ailment. Got that? Right. Where was I?

Ah yes, PGP. When you feel like your pelvic bones have turned to cheese strings and bend in the middle causing stabby pains in your general pelvic-region when you walk. Or roll over in bed. Or get up off the sofa. Or put your pants on.

I called a physio helpline at my local hospital who booked me in for something called ‘Pelvic Support Group’, which sounds like a laugh a minute, and told me to listen to my body, and that if something hurt, don’t do it. That’s all very well and good, but I’m not sure my colleagues would look favourably on me turning up for work with no trousers on, so I’ll have to be slightly selective about taking on that advice.

She also gave me the following tips (annoyingly, most of which I was doing already)

  1. Put a duvet underneath you when you sleep for padding (OLD NEWS)
  2. Put a pillow between your knees when you sleep (I INVENTED putting a pillow between your knees when you sleep)
  3. Sit down to put your knickers on (DOES help, although you can’t help feel like a bit of a Nana doing it – would also be useful to have one of those litter pickers to put your socks on like they have in old lady magazines that sell gadgets to help you open jamjars, can someone arrange this for me, plz?)
  4. Sit on a yoga ball instead of the sofa (works, but I DON’T WANNA)
  5. Do your pelvic floor exercises (I have a continence nurse for a mother, I’ve known about the importance of pelvic floor exercises since before I knew what a pelvic floor exercise was)
  6. Tense your pelvic floor when you’re getting up/sitting down (this was a new one on me and definitely helped)
  7. Pull your belly button towards your spine, tuck your tailbone under slightly and lightly squeeze your pelvic floor muscles when you walk (this is a LOT harder work than it sounds, but has definitely decreased the amount of pain I’m in when I walk about)
  8. Wear a pelvic support band (as glamorous as these sound, I’m holding out for the Pelvic Support Group dishing NHS issue ones out because damn, those things are expensive)
  9. Do squats, but be very careful that your pelvis is in a neutral position when you do them. These are apparently incredibly good for strengthening your pelvic floor and other supporting muscles, and are also good for getting your body ready for birth. Gone are the days where I used to be able to do a hundred, standing in a muddy field being shouted at by army trainers, 10 shallow squats whilst holding on to Neil is all I can manage these days.
  10. Give birth – getting rid of the stone of baby weight you’ve been carrying on your belly usually does the trick (thanks for that one, not really practical at the minute though, ta).

So there you go! Everything you wanted to know about avoiding PGP, and probably a few more things beside.

I didn’t take a bump picture this week, but I did take one of the cat, so that will have to do:

Cat arms