Take Two: Second Trimester Part Two

A growth scan at 26+6 showed Baby 2 flexing his guns!

Saturday marked a key point in my pregnancy: 28 weeks which is the start of the third (and final!) trimester. Although it feels like a significant date nothing actually happens – baby is still growing at the same rate and doesn’t magically have a spurt or start doing something fancy in there to celebrate. But still, the third trimester is when all the action happens ie getting the baby out at the end. If you’d like to read my Second Trimester round-up from my first pregnancy, you can do so here or you can read my summary of weeks 14-21 of this pregnancy here.

So how’s it been? Well, right now my main complaint is that the bottom of my back is absolute agony! I can rarely get into a comfortable position and when I do, manoeuvring myself out of it is just ridiculous. I remember my back aching when I was pregnant with Alexandra but I don’t think it was this bad – it’s probably not helping that I’m hefting a toddler in and out of her cot, in and out of the car and up and down from the table all day. I’m just counting down the days until such a time when I can actually do any of that without doing lots of swear words very loudly in my head.

I’m definitely feeling tired but as I mentioned in my previous update post, that’s fairly normal anyway with a toddler on the go all the time! If you compare it with Alex’s pregnancy too where I wasn’t getting up til late, then having a couple of hours’ nap in the afternoon then going to bed early, I’m doing pretty well.

I feel like we’re just in limbo now, we know 37 weeks is the end goal but every week we could be in a position where we need to get the baby out now. In a lot of ways I feel wholly unprepared for Baby 2’s arrival – like how the hell do you look after two small people at the same time? I took Alexandra and my nephew Zachary out for an hour on my own the other day and managed it fine although it takes SO long transferring two kids and their paraphernalia into a pushchair! But doing it full time? Help!

We’ve got most of the items you need for a baby like clothing, nappies etc and we’re picking up the car seat this week but I still have to finish my hospital bag and make sure all the plans are in place for Alex’s care while I’m in hospital.

As I did the first time round, I’ll probably update every week now until I have baby – which could be eight updates or could be a case of telling you next week that there’s a new arrival in town. Gulp.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Alexandra’s Instagram Year

As of this week, I’ve officially been blogging for a whole year! It seems crazy that I started Growing The Bump when I was just about 18 weeks pregnant, and had no idea what the hell I’d let myself in for! To celebrate I had a little look back through my Instagram and I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures which track the bump growing into a bouncy beautiful seven month old baby:

The pink shoes were purchased the day we found out we were having a daughter, her tiny feet still don't fit them. The middle picture are some beautiful shoes made for us by a former colleague of Dylan's. The bottom middle is me with my aunty, nan and mom on the second half of my hen do when I was about ready to pop. And the bottom right is my favourite pregnancy picture, I look HUGE!

The pink shoes were purchased the day we found out we were having a daughter, her tiny feet still don’t fit them. The middle picture are some beautiful shoes made for us by a former colleague of Dylan’s. The bottom middle is me with my aunty, nan and mom on the second half of my hen do when I was about ready to pop. And the bottom right is my favourite pregnancy picture, I look HUGE!

Top left is the first picture we ever shared of Alex on Instagram. I love the pictures of her with daddy, especially the top middle ones as they both look so calm and happy. Top right and middle right are two of my favourite pictures of the squish.

Top left is the first picture we ever shared of Alex on Instagram. I love the pictures of her with daddy, especially the top middle ones as they both look so calm and happy. Top right and middle right are two of my favourite pictures of the squish.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my year of blogging almost as much as I have. Here’s to next year and all it brings!

Harriet and Alexandra x

The Week That Was: Week 36

Bump at 36+4

Bump at 36+4

Time really is racing on now and I feel like these posts come much quicker than once a week! Today I’m excitingly classed as term although we could still have another five weeks to wait. I’ve still not been feeling 100% with headaches and problems with my ears but thankfully haven’t had to go back to hospital and the issue does seem to be getting better. Really hoping by next week it will all be a distant memory!

I had my 36 week appointment with the midwife this Wednesday and she’s happy with the way everything is going – bump is measuring 37cm (thankfully the 32cm measured by one of the midwives at the hospital last weekend seems to have been an anomaly!) and she is still head down and is now 4/5ths engaged. I’m very pleased she’s still in the right position as it would be pretty annoying for her to have moved now having been head down for the last few months.

As to whether being engaged will mean she’ll make an early appearance, no one can really tell – but (and a massive part of this is due to the wedding being less than two weeks away now!) I’m more than happy for her to stay put for the time being. I’ve seen lots of expectant mothers get to 37 weeks (considered ‘term’) and then start doing everything they can from gulping down whole pineapples to walking miles to get the baby out. But right now my focus is on having an amazing wedding day! I think it’s an excellent distraction from just how massively pregnant I am. Of course I’m not saying that come 39 weeks when I’ll be a married lady that I won’t then be desperate to induce labour and not go overdue!

Physically I’m still feeling tired and very cumbersome at the moment but I wouldn’t say it’s got any worse in the last couple of weeks. I have been having all sorts of odd sensations though – which I believe are as a result of her dropping down and engaging. I could definitely tell she was lower down and there’s a lot of pressure and movement which sometimes isn’t fun. It’s got to the point where some of the kicks and rolls are quite painful as she’s got a fair amount of weight behind her now! But it’s not long to go until I’ll be watching her kick and move around outside my belly and not inside!

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 35

35+5 bump

35+5 bump

Apologies for a very late update this week. It hasn’t been the best of weeks health-wise although it could have been a lot worse and thankfully baby is absolutely fine. In my update last week I spoke about the pesky ear infection which had invaded my life completely uninvited, unfortunately it’s been lingering on this week too and that’s resulted in two hospital visits over the weekend.

I started getting really blurred vision and dizziness yesterday so called up the day assessment unit and they asked me to come and get checked over. Everything was fine with the little one but after three and a half hours of being monitored and waiting around for doctors etc I was definitely feeling worse for wear. They wanted me to stay in but weren’t actually going to monitor me overnight, I was just meant to have a blood test and then wait for the ear, nose and throat doctors to visit me this morning. Instead I decided going home would be much more beneficial to try and get some sleep – and to let poor Dylan sleep as he wasn’t well either and it was nearly 11pm by this point.

So we went back this morning and eventually after another four hours got prescribed some stuff by the ENT doctors which will hopefully shift the fluid which has apparently built up behind my ear and is causing the pressure and headaches in the left side of my head.

Thankfully I also got the bump remeasured – the midwife yesterday measured me as 32cm which is obviously behind what I should be and is also lower than I’ve been measuring for a few weeks. Cue the need for a growth scan, both myself and Dylan were puzzled wondering how the bump could have shrunk?! But this morning a different midwife got 37cm which is perfectly fine and thus she was happy to cancel the scan and let me see my own community midwife on Wednesday to be measured again.

Apart from that, baby is moving well and her heartbeat is alway super loud and strong which is very reassuring. We bought her a baby bouncer this week but other than that I haven’t really done much cause I’ve felt so rotten! I’m hoping to write next week’s update feeling much brighter.

See you on Sunday when I’ll be term!

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 34

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This week has been a pretty rough one but thankfully nothing to do with my pregnancy, which has been progressing well. On Tuesday I felt a little bit ropey and by Wednesday afternoon that had turned into a full on viral ear infection which is still plaguing me now. Thanks to being up the duff there’s very little I can do or take to alleviate the symptoms which are mainly horrible pain all up the side of my face – also if it was a bacterial infection I could have antibiotics but they won’t work for the viral kind. Typical!

So I’ve been having regular paracetamol – even though it’s safe I’ve tried not to take any during my pregnancy so this is only the third time (first was when I saw a doctor fairly early on in the pregnancy for what turned out to be ligament pain and second was when I got bitten in Thailand) that I’ve taken any painkillers but I’m struggling even with them so I can’t really go without.

I managed to get out and about on Wednesday before it had really got bad to see my NCT antenatal class friends, plus the one baby who’s been born so far which was lovely especially as I got to have a cuddle with him. Then yesterday it was time for my hen do which had been organised by my best friend and chief bridesmaid Manda. I was so annoyed it happened to fall on the week I’ve been poorly but I had a lovely time regardless! I’m going to do a separate post on having a hen do so pregnant!

Apart from that I have very little to report pregnancy-wise, a very active baby making sure she does plenty of kicks and rolls!

See you next week when I’ll be just a week away from being term! Eek!

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 32

We hit this milestone yesterday!

We hit this milestone yesterday!

Another week down and just seven to go until baby’s due date! We’re now under 50 days until September 13 but of course she could be two weeks late so it’s not a guarantee!

This week we’ve been buying/given a lot of things. Her nursery is starting to look really complete now! The furniture (minus the cot which will be painted soon) has been assembled and in place for quite a while but it’s the lovely little additions like the bunting we got this week which are making it look ready for our little girl. I will definitely be posting about the nursery nearer the time but want to wait til the cot goes in to make it really look finished before I do.

We also picked up our travel system on Friday – one of our very lovely friends sold us theirs which looks brand new and parts of it have hardly been used so we were really pleased to have the chance to get something so lovely at such a good price. I’m looking forward to finding out how to use it all and fit the car seat etc. Our friend had also been collecting loads of tiny clothes for us so it was like Christmas when we got home having a look through them all. The stuff is all absolutely gorgeous! She’s definitely a lucky girl and I can’t wait to have her try on the outfits when she’s here.

The last thing we gained this week were a pair of handmade little shoes for her! They were made by a colleague of Dylan’s and given to him on his last day at his old job – they are absolutely beautiful, so much so I might frame them when she’s too big for them.

Pregnancy wise things are pretty much as normal this week – I say normal, I mean normal for when you’re carrying round another human inside you! Lots of kicks, rolls and punches, she’s definitely got a bit bigger as her legs now stretch right up my torso although thankfully she’s still leaving my ribs fairly unkicked. I’ve been sick a couple of times this week which hasn’t been great but not a surprise as I’ve been feeling so nauseous on and off for the past few weeks.

Join me next week for a 33 week review!

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 31

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 This week has mainly been about hormones for me – I’ve definitely noticed a big increase in how teary I feel. You’d think I’d be well used to the hormones by now but they’ve definitely ramped up now we’re reaching the end. I nearly cried in the baby section of Asda on Wednesday for absolutely no reason other than the clothes were cute.

I’m also definitely suffering from baby brain. Things go in my head and leave as quickly as they arrived. I’ve forgotten countless things, bought the wrong train ticket the other day etc etc!

It’s also been a week of medical/baby related appointments – starting with a mental health assessment on Monday, then a midwife visit on Wednesday, the end of our NCT course the same day and a growth scan on Friday. The latter two I’ll post about separately. There’s definitely an increase in appointments in these last few weeks and the journey to the hospital is now becoming all-too-familiar! At least when we go for the birth it’ll just be a ten-minute drive and not the current 45-minute bus ride!

Join me next week for a week 32 review!

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 28

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As promised, I’m going to be reporting weekly on the goings-on during my third trimester. I am now officially 29 weeks pregnant so just looking back on week 28 today. If you want to see what happened during the last bit of my second trimester, click here!

This week I suddenly feel hugely, ridiculously pregnant. I feel like I don’t fit into spaces (like doorways) anymore, like there might be a fully-grown adult in there not a baby. This is ridiculous when I consider I still have up to 13 weeks left if she decides to hang on til she’s overdue. I know I’ve been growing at a ‘normal’ rate and I’ve felt the effects of a stretching tummy for a long time now so it doesn’t really make sense. Perhaps it’s just because I know I’m in the third trimester, the home straight if you will, and this is the time when I’m going to potentially start falling over because I’m so front-heavy.

Baby is still very low and very helpfully pressing on all sorts of nerves in my back. This combined with how big I am (remind me of this when I’m writing week 40’s blog and I am probably seven times as large as right now) means every movement I make is now accompanied with an old woman groan or moan. There is now no way to turn over in bed without uttering an ‘ow’ or similar – and don’t even get me started on those numerous walks to the toilet in the night, which involve rolling to the side of the bed, getting out the bed, walking all the way there, sitting down, standing up and then making the (less than ten metre) journey back into bed.

We’re halfway through our NCT classes (but I’m going to talk about how they’re going on Tuesday so pop back then if you’re interested!) and have now also dipped under 80 days left til the due date – scary and exciting stuff! I had an appointment with the health visitor on Wednesday who just popped round to meet me so the first time I see her isn’t after baby’s arrival. She asked a few questions, told me a few things and then that’ll be it until between ten and 14 days after birth. It’s apparently a new thing they’re doing to ensure people feel more comfortable than if they just pitch up when you’re already dealing with a newborn.

The (slightly less baby related) news of the week is that months ago we bought one of these super duper smoothie makers/blenders/juicers etc that basically change the consistency of any food for you. The idea was we’d use it regularly and then once little one is ready for weaning we could make our own purees rather than splashing out on jars of baby food. Until Monday it was sat in the kitchen looking slightly lonely and completely unused – but now I’ve got into smoothie making in a big way! I figure it’s good for baby to up my fruit intake, plus it means by the time she’s here I’ll be a pro at using this machine.

Anyway, that’s about all for this week. Tune in next Sunday when I’ll be (eek!) 30 weeks and looking back on the last week of my 20s!

Harriet and bump x

Bump Bashing

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A (correctly sized) week 28 bump.

Although a couple of weeks ago I did manage to spectacularly misjudge my own size and bash the bump right into a table (sorry about that baby!), the title of this post actually refers to the annoying sport of ‘compare the bump’ that most people want to play. As I’ve touched on before, there’s a whole host of spectacularly insensitive, stupid and downright unnecessary comments others make at/to you when you’re pregnant; b

ut all of the remarks relating specifically to the look of the bump are a category in their own right. And thus the subject of my mini rant today!

Size – myself, and pretty much every other pregnant woman on the planet, has I guarantee at some point been told their bump looks really small considering how pregnant they are. They’ve also been told it looks really big considering how pregnant they are. Make up your minds people, which is it to be? It makes me laugh that people think there is a standard size to be at all points during pregnancy – because clearly all women are the same size and shape to begin with right? Next time you go to comment on someone’s size (unless it’s ‘aww what a perfect bump’!), think about this – even health professionals often don’t predict the size of the baby correctly and they’ve been measuring the bump regularly (and they actually have some expert knowledge!).

Shape – as if feeling under pressure to have a perfect size bump isn’t enough, you also have to conform to people’s ideas of what the bump should look like too! People want to comment on how low/high up it is, whether you’re carrying all round or just at the front etc. My baby is currently so low that she’s at risk of falling out (disclaimer: probably not medically possible) and I look at people with really cute neat high-up bumps with a tinge of jealousy. But they’re probably looking at me thinking ‘I bet that girl’s ribs aren’t half as sore as mine’. (They’re not, but my back and pelvis feel like they’re actually mangled). So it’s a lose lose. Like in school when you used to want curly hair and all the girls with amazing curls just wanted straight hair.

So my message to the ridiculous commenters of the world today is: women are different shapes and sizes, babies are different shapes and sizes. Put one into the other and you’re going to have a different outcome every time. If you feel the need to comment on someone’s bump, if you really can’t suppress the desire then please, something complimentary not judgy would be best! We’re growing babies not mass producing pottery, one size does not fit all!

Harriet and bump x

The Worries

I’ve officially got the worries! I don’t know if this is normal but I’m going to assume it’s just part of the process of the journey to motherhood which is itself obviously a worrying time – there’s a whole host of things from the minor scraped knees to the really serious shit which can go wrong.

When I got pregnant I worried for the first trimester that we’d get to the scan date and there’d be nothing there, that despite a positive pregnancy test which was reaffirmed by a test at the doctor’s I might not have even ever been pregnant. I assumed when the time came for the scan it would reassure me – not so. Obviously I was absolutely thrilled to not only discover there was a live baby in there but that seven weeks later she looked to be growing and thriving as she should be. Obviously I’m delighted the pregnancy hasn’t been plagued by medical complications, trips to hospital or bleeding.

But every day I feel more acutely aware of all the things which can go wrong from here on in. Now entering my third trimester, I worry greatly about the prospect of a premature birth and what that might mean for the little one. In a way I feel absolutely foolish for even thinking about it so much, there’s no indication to say she will arrive any earlier than the time she’s due. But equally it can and does happen with no warning.

I also find as we near her due date I’m more worried about the process of actually bringing up a child. At the start she was almost an abstract to me, an idea (albeit an idea which was making me feel sick all the time). Now I can see her move and I know in three months or less she’ll be here. Now I’ve started to think beyond those first few whirlwind days of hospital care and then coming home with an entirely new human who you’ve been trusted to look after. Now my concerns can focus on anywhere between the present day (at 28 weeks pregnant) and our baby being all grown up. The simple fact of the matter is there’s lot of ways to mess up a kid’s life and, although clearly I have the best of intentions, I know the basics, I definitely love her already and I’m not entirely stupid so some of it should just be common sense, what if I simply am not a good mother?

Really there are no answers anyone can provide. It’s a case of waiting to see when she arrives and then riding out the bad bits which will inevitably happen at some point and enjoying the good and hopefully coming out of it bigger and better. My worries could all be unfounded and it could all feel very natural. I know a lot of it is simply my personality – even if I’ve done something 100 times before I would still worry about it, even more so if it’s something new and even more on top of that if it’s so important!

Apologies this has been a bit of a thought-dump post! But I always wanted to document my pregnancy honestly and at the moment I feel worry is a big part of it!

Harriet and bump x