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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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!

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

25 weeks: hypnosis, cinema trips, new dresses and getting my craft on

Although it feels like the grand total of 5 minutes since I wrote my last update, another week has apparently whizzed past. This probably means I should stop faffing about and get my Christmas shopping done.

On Mindfulness – Many moons ago, I found a day course run locally which taught techniques for relaxation and self-hypnosis for labour. I’d read a little about the concept of hypnobirthing – it made sense to me in principle, especially the stuff around feeling pain more if you’re expecting to feel pain, but it was all a little too hippyish/chanting/placenta-eating for me to take 100% seriously. This was a bit of a happy medium – it had the theory behind hypnobirthing, but I didn’t get the impression that they would judge you if you preferred a hospital environment and dropping a few f-bombs over giving birth single handedly under a full moon whilst snacking on organic berries.

This course took the techniques and some of the science behind hypnobirthing and taught it in a really accessible way so you could apply it to your own circumstances. There were 4 other couples in the class with us, varying from second time home-birthers, anxious first time mums to a couple with gestational diabetes who were going in for a pre-term induction. I learnt a huge amount about how your state of mind, environment and the support you have around you can help, and would recommend it to anyone who’s in the family way and even half interested in finding out more. Blimey. That was almost serious for a minute then. Inane drivel commences now:

The Sapphires – My friend Kerry and I pick’n’mixed ourselves up in the cinema on Sunday watching The Sapphires with Chris O’Dowd. It’s the story of an aboriginal girl group who go to entertain the troops in Vietnam. Well worth a watch.

Also, Broadway cinema does hot chocolate that looks like this:

What you can’t see is the layer of marshmallows UNDER the cream. HELL YEAH.

Isabella Oliver dress – This week I also treated myself to an Isabella Oliver dress via ebay, which was a complete bargain at £19.73 with free delivery as she lived around the corner from me. Especially considering its £105 new, and you can’t tell the one I bought second hand has even been worn. I had visions of putting this away and wearing it for Laura’s Hen Do in February. Not sure how well this plan is going as it’s so flattering and comfy, I’ve worn it twice already this week. Oops.

Getting my craft on – I am unashamed to say, the least crafty person to walk this earth. I didn’t learn to catch a ball until I was 10, so my hand eye co-ordination rarely extends to things like sewing, or knitting, or crochet, but this week, I’ve surprised myself.

Neil set me a challenge of finding him a red velvet cushion with gold trim, and a pair of minature red velvet curtains to be used as props on a shoot next week. After considerable ebay research, I admitted defeat and suggested he got himself over to Victoria market to buy the materials and I would ‘throw something together’ myself.

So I did what every self-respecting crafting idiot would do. I went around to my mums under the guise of ‘borrowing the sewing machine’, and got her help to make the cushion cover and curtain.

Of course, the cat thought we’d just made her a new cushion.

…fast forward a week and I realise this blog is still half written and sat in my drafts. I can’t even REMEMBER what I did the rest of the week, so we’re just going to have to leave it there. 

24 weeks: bump growth, midwife appointments, and reminiscing about Indonesia

Let’s kick this week’s roundup with a bump shot, then shall we?

For the love of all things bump-shaped. Where did that come from?

After Neil took this, I asked to flip through all the photos, because I assumed this was just one taken at an angle that made me look a bit spectacularly pregnant. Nope. Turns out I just AM that spectacularly pregnant.

And, because I spent 20 minutes faffing about with it in photoshop, here’s a 18 week / 24 week comparison. I am also hereby forgiving myself for the sleeps and the biscuits over the past 6 weeks, because I’ve clearly been doing some excellent belly growing:

This week, I’ve made up for all the bustling around I did last week, by doing a lot of sitting, a lot of Professional Masterchef watching and book reading and by getting lots of beauty sleep.

I also went to see my midwife for a checkup, who told me that (surprise surprise) my fundal measurement (they measure the size of your belly from top to bottom to guess the size of your uterus) is coming up big, and that she thinks I’m going to have a tall baby. With me and Neil both being around 6ft tall, this didn’t come as much of a surprise.

She also tested my wee, which she said was EXCELLENT. I hopped on the scales and was told I’ve put on 2.5 kilos since I got pregnant, which is apparently also VERY GOOD. My blood pressure is the same as it always has been, which was fine in the first place, so ANOTHER BIG TICK THERE, and she got the doppler out to have a quick listen to baby. It sounded all good to me, but she looked at me a bit strangely when I suggested it sounded like there was a small galloping horse in my tummy. Whatevs. IT TOTALLY DID.

I would hereby like to put in a petition to press pause on this pregnancy for a bit. I’m sleeping good, my clothes look better with a bump in that they ever did with no bump, I can still run for the bus if needs be, and my boobs look good. Can someone arrange this for me PLZ THX?

This week also marked 6 and a half years since me and Neil got together, and six months since we said I do. I’m not really one for getting sentimental over little anniversaries, but I’m a bit flabbergasted by how much has changed in the last 6 months.

So, in honour of the fact that I’ve done some excellent eating (to the extent that I’ve put myself on a twitter ban until I can find something OTHER than food to talk about) and sleeping this week, but not a lot else, I thought I’d have a look at what I was up to 6 short months ago in Singapore, Bali and Lombok instead. And yes, there is food porn pics. What else did you expect of me?

You know all those things you’re ‘meant’ to do when you go to Singapore? Raffles? River Cruises? Shopping? We did none of them.
When we arrived, we ditched our cases in our hotel room and left in search of food. We got as far as the end of the road when we realised we’d massively underestimated how much water we would need in the heat, and how far away the centre of Singapore suddenly felt. We did the only thing we could think of, which was to sit down and eat our bodyweight in unidentified Singapore cuisine.

Absolutely nothing about this photo portrays how hot and sticky Sinapore was. 42’C and 90% humidity came as a bit of a shock to the system after a standard 10’C May wedding.
Shortly after this photo was taken, we jumped in to an (air conditioned) taxi and went back to the hotel for a jet lagged nap which went down in the record books as one of my top 5 naps of all time.

I naively thought the heat might get a little easier to bear when the night came. I was grossly mistaken, ’twas still hot as hell. We went for dinner in Chinatown and took a walk down to the marina to see this cool hotel with a boat on top that people had told us so much about.
…No-one had factored in quite how jetlagged/sweaty/grumpy we would be at this point. I may/may not have uttered something about not giving a crap about a freaking boat hotel at the time, but looking back on the pictures, it was pretty bloody awesome.
There were some actual photos of us in Singapore, but to be honest, that amount of frizz doesn’t need to be seen by anyone.

By the time we arrived in Lombok, we were JUST about getting acclimatised to the heat. I had also realised what a grave mistake I had made bringing hair straighteners, make up, scarves and the odd cardigan with me in my suitcase. They all went out the window, and a uniform of hair scraped back in to a bun, no make-up, shorts and t-shirt quickly ensued.
This is the view that greeted us as we walked out of our room and on to the beach. Oh, and a two course dinner and all the Bintang you could drink never cost us more than £15 in total, a night. It was tough. Real tough.

After we took the last photo, we wandered round the bay, and I pointed out the weird mountain shaped cloud in the distance. It took us a while to work out that this was the same mountain in Bali that we’d arranged to trek up. At night. Suddenly, my ideas about a romantic stroll up a mountain in the dark, and of watching the sun rise together didn’t seem quite so appealing.

We went on a boat trip to do some rather amazing snorkling over some incredible reefs. I’ll spare you the photos of me in a snorkle and mask, because no-one has EVER pulled that off as a good look. Instead, here’s a picture of the tiny island they dropped us off at for lunch. A fisherman arrived and showed us the squid, barracuda and snapper he’d just caught and asked us which one we wanted for lunch. Neil proved he was the one for me by replying ‘all three’.
We sat and had a beer on the beach as we dried off.

This was our lunch, cooked on the beach. It was as awesome as it looks and we ate every last bit.

I thought it was only proper to include some pictures of something other than sunsets and food, so here’s a shot of some paddy fields in Bali. I was probably asleep in the back of the car when this was taken.

Ubud in Bali is probably my favourite place in the world. We did lots of beer drinkin’ and food eatin’ and poking around in markets and temples. We had, also, vaguely acclimatised to the heat by that point, but still not enough to look half way presentable in any of the photos. I had also, by this point, admitted defeat with my holiday wardrobe and bought some cheap cotton kaftan type things from the local market which looked ridiculous in all photos except this one.

We got lost for approximately 36 hours in Ubud Market. There is seriously nothing you can’t buy there, and there’s some great haggling to be done. Except if your name is Neil, in which case, there is lots of getting-ripped-off to be done. My new husband has lots of impressive skills. Bartering is definitely not one of them.

One of the benefits of the sun rising at 6am and setting at 6pm is that the prospect of running down to the beach to watch the sun come up over the sea isn’t too much of a daunting prospect. And, as Neil’s feet was bruised and swollen to the point he couldn’t get his walking boots on (from a spectacular bail off a surfboard), this was probably the closest we were going to get to trekking in the dark to watch the sunset from the top of a mountain.

23 weeks: Halloween parties, cake club, ketchup tasting and finally putting the bloody cot together

This week has been a busy one. It started with a Halloween party hosted by the lovely Kerry. She put on an amazing spread as ever, and since I found out the last two cases of Listeriosis in the UK were from butter and lettuce, I didn’t give myself the guilts over a bit of Stilton either. AND I stayed up past midnight! What a freaking rebel.

Kerry FORCE-FED us pumpkin cupcakes and cheese. It was TERRIBLE*.
*Amazing

(photo kindly borrowed from Kerry’s Instagram because, lets face it, I was too busy eating to take any pictures)

Over the weekend, we also switched around the second bedroom and the box room, put up the cot and moved the guest bed in to the box bedroom. I would take a photo, but it looks like a room with a cot in it, and I know you’ve got good imaginations.

Sunday bought us October’s Cake Club event, and lots and lots of cake. Can you see a theme emerging here? Wait til you hear this: I didn’t take any photos, as I was too busy scoffing cake, so these are borrowed from the @cakeclubnotts twitter account. De ja vu?

I ate all dese

…and dese.

On Monday, Neil left me all on my lonesome whilst he went on a shoot in Germany. I responded by buying a king-sized fleece dual control electric blanket and spending Monday evening curled up in bed with a cat on my lap, my phone in one hand and my kindle in the other. Me and this electric blanket are going to be friends for a very long time.

Tuesday saw me taking part in a focus group about banana ketchup, which is one of the more obscure ways to spend your Tuesday evenings.

On Wednesday, I attempted Christmas shopping, but after the mile and a half walk there, I realised I couldn’t be bothered to buy presents for anyone else, so bought myself a lipstick and went home. Now, I’m an organised woman with cooking and domestic skillz and all the independence I need, but it doesn’t stop me from getting a bit pathetic when left to my own devices for a few days. By the time Wednesday rolled around, I may or may not have called Neil in Germany to find out whether he could locate the remote control with his mind skills (because I had looked for it for HOURS, couldn’t find it, and therefore Neil had OBVIOUSLY hidden it somewhere before he left), and when he couldn’t, I may or may not have decided that 7:30pm was an entirely reasonable time to turn in for the night with 4oD on the iPad. The offending missing remote was later discovered on the floor, just beneath the sofa, and YESOFCOURSEIBLOODYLOOKEDTHERE.

Thursday saw the arrival of my wool winter coat from the cleaners, which had previously suffered an undignified strawberry yoghurt related injury at the tail end of last winter and lived in a bin bag bag awaiting dry cleaning ever since. This was very exciting as my purple trench looks ace, but doesn’t provide much in the way of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Coat-needs. Less exciting was the discovery that only the top button of my just-cleaned-winter-coat now does up. Harumph. Thursday was also a day of 50% off pizzas at Ask with my friend Kate. I bombarded her with baby related questions until I was blue in the face and left feeling a) very full and b) very calm about impending motherhood. Let’s see how long this lasts, eh?

When I’ve not been busy actually having a social life for once, I’ve also been doing some good baby-growing. This whole bump malarky has crept up on me a bit unannounced. One day I was all ‘Grr, grump grump I don’t even look pregnant’ and the next, I’m huffing and puffing trying to negotiate my way in to a pair of maternity tights. What gives?

Lookit the basketball up my jumper (slightly more demure version, featuring clothing)

So long, waistline. (Shameless belly-out shot, and one of those Dear-God-what’s-happened-to-the-shape-of-my-ass moments)

So next week will be 24 weeks pregnant, which if you work on the basis of 4 weeks to a month, would suggest I was 6 months pregnant. I’ve been perpetually confused by pregnancy timescales ever since I realised there was 4 weeks in a month, but 40 weeks in a pregnancy WHICH ONLY BLOODY EQUALS 10 MONTHS WHICH IS DEFINITELY NOT WHAT I BLOODY SIGNED UP FOR, so 24 weeks doesn’t really mean much. All I know is that the third trimester starts at week 27, which at the minute is a whole other month away. Loads of time to read all the books I’m meant to read and sort out all the stuff I’m meant to sort out. LOADS OF TIME.

This week, I also read something about how the baby took 23 weeks to get to 1lb in weight, but in the next 3 weeks, it’ll double to 2lbs. I can’t find the source of this information, so I may well have made it up, but if I didn’t, it looks like I’m going to be getting considerably fatter in the considerably near future. But then we probably knew that already, didn’t we?