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

Massive Milestones

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These baby milestone cards seem to be all the rage these days – with people getting them so they can document not only age milestones (one week old, one month old etc) but also other events like first smile, sitting up unaided and so on. We haven’t got any yet although I think they’d be really lovely to have for photos – but seeing them so often got me thinking a little bit about what milestones I’m most looking forward to in the first weeks of our baby’s life.

First daddy cuddle – I absolutely cannot wait to see Dylan hold our little girl for the first time! I think I’m almost as excited to see that as I am to cuddle her myself. I just think it’s going to be one of those magical moments you remember forever.

First night at home – I’m actually dreading having to stay in hospital after the birth, even though loads of people have told me they really benefitted from being there for a couple of days. Maybe I’ll feel differently when she’s here and really want that professional support on hand but right now I’m looking forward to her coming home for that first night where it’s the three of us together – no matter how exhausting it might be!

Meeting my goddaughter – Of course I can’t wait for her to meet my entire family and all my friends too, but my goddaughter is almost four and the way she talks about the baby is so cute! Seeing them meet for the first time is definitely going to melt my heart.

First swim – Both myself and Dylan are definitely water fans – we love swimming, both have sailing qualifications and Dyl is also a regular diver. So for us it’s important to take our little one swimming and get her used to the water as soon as possible! We hope she’s going to be a little water baby and as she already has three swimming costumes she’s definitely got the gear already!

Harriet and bump x

Growth Scan

Not mine but an example of a growth chart.

Not mine but an example of a growth chart.

Last week I was sent for an extra scan – there are a number of reasons why this can occur but in my case it was because I’d had two fundal measurements which plotted over the 95th centile on the growth chart. To translate this into some sort of English, every two weeks the midwives measure where they think the top of your uterus is to the top of your pubic bone (the fundal measurement), the number of centimetres the bump is should roughly translate to the number of weeks pregnant you are.

There are a number of lines on a chart but the two that really matter are the 95th centile and the 5th – anything below the 5th and they would start getting worried the baby was too small, so would send you for a scan straight away. With anything over the 95th centile, they wait and measure you again in a fortnight and if it’s over again, they send you for a scan. I was only measuring a couple of days ahead of where I should have been but they still sent me just to be sure I wasn’t cooking up a whopper in there!

The scan was essentially the same as the two I’d had before (the regular NHS ones everyone gets at approximately 12 and 20 weeks), but they were looking for very specific measurements. The sonographer looked at how much amniotic fluid was in there, baby’s head circumference, abdominal circumference and femur length. From that they decide on an estimated current weight and plot that on the chart. I’m thrilled to say everything came back entirely within the normal range – she’s above the 50th centile for everything but that’s to be expected as I’m not exactly tiny myself so it’d be weird if I was growing a miniscule baby – and she’s thought to currently be 2,009 grams (4.4.lbs).

I wasn’t hugely worried as I’d said all along I’d rather her be bigger than too small, but it was quite reassuring to see her on screen again and to know that size-wise everything looks great, plus the sonographer was really good at going through all the information and telling me what everything meant – I find some of the health professionals just write stuff in your notes and don’t bother telling you what all the acronyms and medical words are.

Because everything’s fine I don’t have to see anyone as a follow up and will just go back to the midwife for my normal fortnightly check ups as planned.

Harriet and bump x

Baby Bits

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about my pregnancy is getting to buy little bibs and bobs ahead of our daughter’s arrival. I’m one of those people who’ve always loved shopping for friends’ babies so getting to do it for our own is majorly exciting for me. Although we’ve slowed down what we’re purchasing as we don’t want to have loads of stuff we’ll never use, we have seen some adorable stuff in the past couple of weeks which we haven’t been able to resist!

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This gorgeous swimming costume was just £2 in Primark! I’m on the lookout for some tiny cossies for her as we want to take her in the water as soon as possible, this one’s 9-12m so she won’t be using it til next summer but I can’t wait until she fits into it!

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I picked up this beautiful long-sleeved bib in Boots for just £2.50. I was drawn in by the cute design and then when I realised the price I just couldn’t leave it there! Then I saw this pack of two bibs in Aldi at the weekend, which again are long-sleeved but these are a kind of towelling material on the front. So baby is getting well stocked up already for once she starts weaning!

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This set again won’t be useful until she starts weaning but it was just a couple of pounds from Aldi and contains every from spoons and plates to snack pots and sippy cups. I like the feeling that we’re well prepared for those early feeding days!

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This was actually a gift from my mom, who’s become obsessed with buying teddies! This is a gorgeous little rattle from Next and I love the fact it’s an elephant as bump’s first (in utero) holiday was to Thailand! It also keeps reminding me how much I want some stuff with ‘born in 2015’ on as that’s what the label says – I’m hoping we’ll find at least one outfit for baby with the same on it.

Harriet and bump x

Antenatal Classes Part 1

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As part of our preparation for parenthood together, we decided to enrol in the local NCT antenatal classes, which we’re now halfway through. The format of the classes is you have four regular sessions, a breastfeeding session and then one ‘women’s only’ (the rest are both partners) with a catch-up organised after all the couples have had their babies. Generally you group up with people expecting around the same time as you, so in my class everyone’s currently between 27 and 36 weeks, and in total there are seven couples.

We didn’t really know what to expect but thought it would be a good way of getting to know some other couples in the same position as us and also learning some new things (or refreshing in Dylan’s case). The first session we had involved all the couples sharing how the pregnancy had been for them so far and how far along they were before getting into groups and talking about what topics particularly interested us. Anything we weren’t going to cover during the course was answered there and then by the leader Bridget and it also gave us an insight into what we’d know by the end.

Then it was a talk about the process of labour – we all know the baby’s going to come out, but how exactly does the baby position itself for labour, the stages, how far apart contractions are likely to be at each point etc.

Second time round, we were looking again at labour but this time much more about different types of pain relief (gas and air, epidural, water birth, TENS machine, pethidine) and about how to create as relaxing an atmosphere as possible in the hospital (and also have things to occupy you if you go in to be induced, which can take a LONG time). Basically the aim is not to panic and to have plenty of support off your birth partner!

The third session was a focus on all things breastfeeding. I was a bit unsure about this one in advance as it could seem it would be a little dull talking about it for two and a half hours – what is there to say? But it turns out I was wrong! We learned all about how much milk the baby actually needs, positions you can breastfeed in and much much more. Also the dynamic of the group was well established by then so we still had lots of fun and laughs during the evening.

We’ve been really impressed so far by the amount of new stuff we’ve learned, with handy lists and information to take home as well. Bridget’s been amazing at answering everyone’s questions and giving us information backed up by experts. It’s the little things which you don’t think of which have been the most helpful – like buying a different size birth ball if you’re taller, at what stage to go to hospital etc.

Mostly though it’s been much more fun than I thought it was going to be and we’re both really looking forward to the second half!

Harriet and bump x

Shout out to baby’s Aunty Henrietta who’s coming to visit us today!

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

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

Second Trimester Part Two

My second trimester bump!

My second trimester bump!

Whilst it seems like I’ve been pregnant forever, I haven’t. I’ve been pregnant for 28 weeks today and that marks the end of my second trimester. It also means in theory in 12 weeks’ time I should have a little bundle of joy in my arms (because all babies are born on their due dates right?!) or at the very most, I’ll have 14 weeks to wait to meet baby.

The second trimester has been the longest thing ever (I’m not very patient) – although in reality it’s only been 14 weeks, the exact same length as the first (although I didn’t know about baby til week four). I wrote about the first half of it here on May 3 and was decidedly grumpy about it. I don’t know if it’s the sunshine or the fact we’re so much closer to due date, but I feel a little more upbeat.

Symptoms-wise, I’m getting achy hips and belly (I’m guessing because she’s quite low down so everything is stretching) and every couple of weeks or so my belly feels really tight and stretched for a few days and then it’s like my skin catches up and realises it needs to grow a bit!

Little girl is very active and has been for the last few weeks – rolling around, kicking regularly and making my stomach do all sorts of odd things. It’s really reassuring to be able to feel her so much (and nice for Dylan as well) but then you do start getting a bit paranoid if you haven’t felt anything for a few hours.

I’ve probably got a little less tired but I’m definitely nowhere near pre-pregnancy levels and a regular nap or early night is always in order. I’m managing to get stuff on my to do lists done but progress is slower than I’d like and I find that incredibly frustrating! I know I’m not going to get any less tired for the next few years!

Oh and the other change since the halfway through the second trimester post is my milk has come in. I wasn’t quite expecting it to happen an hour into an 11 hour flight!

So if you’re interested in keeping up to date as I go through my third trimester, I’ll be back on Sunday with a week 29 update!

Harriet and bump x

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Thai Adventures With Bump

Honeymooners in a tuk tuk

Honeymooners in a tuk tuk

As I’ve mentioned a zillion times before on the blog (I was quite excited!), myself and Dylan jetted off to Thailand last month for our honeymoon. Firstly, a little plug for the country – if you ever get the chance to go definitely 100 per cent do. It’s beautiful, the culture is immense, the scenery is breath-taking, the people are awesome. We kept saying to each other during the trip we couldn’t believe how perfect it was and we knew we’d definitely made the right choice for our honeymoon.

Of course, ahead of time there was always a little worry about how I would cope being almost six months pregnant (I’m focusing on holidaying with the bump during this post but am happy to wax lyrical about Thailand and go more in-depth into what we did there and where we stayed to anyone interested!) but on the whole I don’t think it held me back that much really. The flight over there was fairly comfortable given it was over 11 hours, the longest flight I’d done. I didn’t really sleep but it was a daytime one so that was kind of to be expected. The worst thing was wearing flight socks (pregnant ladies are at higher risk of developing DVT!).

Out in Bangkok, where we stayed for three nights, it was blisteringly hot and horrendously humid. I think I would have struggled even if I wasn’t pregnant as Dylan looked like he’d just had a shower every time he stepped outside the hotel and he definitely isn’t with child. Although a couple of times I felt a bit dizzy and sick, this happens when I go to the local shopping centre so not a reason to put me off holidaying pregnant. I just made sure I was drinking plenty of water and was sitting down in the shade regularly.

When we got to the jungle (Khao Sok) for a further three nights, it was possibly even warmer but especially so overnight as we’d swapped air con for two fans. But still, I took part in a variety of activities like speedboating, kayaking (admittedly Dyl did most of the paddling), swimming, a little bit of walking etc.

Then at our third destination, right on the beach at Khao Lak, it was just a total relax-fest so I probably felt better than I have done at any point during pregnancy! Baby was kicking away merrily all the time as she seems to love when I’m in water so being in the pool so much was making her super active. One evening we didn’t time it well to walk down to the beach to a restaurant so I was feeling hot, ill and very grumpy by the time we got there but other than that I didn’t feel too bad at all.

The worst part was probably the flight back, but again 27 hours of travelling (including transfer to Phuket Airport, three hour wait, flight to Bangkok, three hour wait, flight to Heathrow, car journey home) is bound to take it out of anyone.

So in summary, although I probably wouldn’t want to go away being much more heavily pregnant than I was (24+1 on the way out there and 26+2 on the way back), I definitely wouldn’t change it for the world and, if I was ever pregnant again, it wouldn’t put me off travelling.

Harriet and bump x

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Update Central

26+5 bump

26+5 bump

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed my blog has been a bit sparse of new posts in the last week or so and that it was unfortunately down for a while during my holiday. Well thankfully it’s now all back up and in running order and I’ve finally had enough time post-honeymoon among all the hecticness (I don’t care that’s not a word, I’ve just made it one) to sit down and write some posts. As, although I scheduled posts for while I was away, I haven’t actually written anything in quite a few weeks I thought it was worth just having a general update/chatty post. Hope that’s okay!

So we had an amazing honeymoon! Although it feels like I can’t quite put into words how good it was, I’m going to try to in this Thursday’s post – focusing on holidaying while pregnant as this is a pregnancy blog after all. Now that we’re back we’ve started to get a little bit nervous about how close the wedding and baby’s due date are. It’s less than 12 weeks until we get married now and it suddenly feels like we have so much to do and not enough time to do it all in. We’re less stressed about the ‘baby to do’ list as we’ve got so much stuff for her and we can always nip to the shops if we need to when she’s here – unfortunately you can’t do that mid-wedding.

There’s 89 days left til she’s due now (I’m 27+2) meaning I’m nearing the end of my second trimester. As promised on Sunday I’ll do a round up of the second half of it (first half post here) and from then on in I’m going to aim to do a week-by-week account every Sunday, which is when a new pregnancy week rolls around for me. I figured there might be more to say in the third trimester – although I’d hope for a fairly uneventful one!

It currently feels like there’s not enough hours in the day as I have various projects I want to get finished before bump arrives and it doesn’t help that most days I just feel like chilling out, having a nap, reading a book and enjoying time to myself before entering the crazy world of motherhood. I know this is an absolute spoilt brat whinge – especially after just being on holiday where I was able to do just that – but there we go!

Looking ahead, we start our NCT classes tomorrow which I’m looking forward to and hoping we meet some lovely couples during who we can make friends with as it’d be great to get to know people with babies the same age. I’ve also got various appointments coming up with midwifes, consultants etc so it does feel like things are starting to gather pace now ready for September.

I don’t want to talk too much about bump’s progress as that would render Sunday’s post absolutely useless so I shall sign off now!

Harriet and bump x

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