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

It’s Not An Illness

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If you’ve ever been pregnant, the likelihood is you’ll have heard someone say ‘it’s not an illness’. There’s this huge school of thought (and it does make a lot of logical sense!) that you shouldn’t really stop being you and stop doing all these things you used to do just because you’re up the duff. But on the other hand, you constantly get people telling you off for trying to do anything – pick up a shopping bag, reach somewhere high/low etc. People step in at the slightest hint you might need to move just a centimetre in case they need to assist.

It’s a tricky one because yes there are times when you might want some extra support or someone to lend you a hand to save you spending ten minutes doing a ten second job (especially during the third trimester) – and of course you don’t want to offend anyone who’s genuinely trying to help – but on the other hand some people totally overreact! Some guidance here: if I’m trying to lump round 20kg weights then yes please intervene and tell me to stop being silly, if I’m carrying a small bag with one or two light things in it it’s absolutely fine! I have actually on occasions had to remind people I’m not actually dying!

It’s such a weird concept because you get people like our grandparents’ generation telling us in ‘their day’ they just got on with it and were probably still down the mines or sweeping chimneys when they went into labour, then about five minutes after giving birth they jumped out of bed, cleaned the whole house and put the dinner on the table ready for their husband coming home. But there’s so much research now into pregnancy and so much more we know about the long-term effects what we do during those nine months can have on the baby. Taking regular breaks when we need them, not overexerting ourselves too much, not taking up exercise we weren’t doing before we got pregnant – we know that’s all positive!

Also I don’t know about anyone else, but I slightly feel if I want to ask Dylan to pick up something that’s dropped on the floor to save me having to contort myself around the huge bump to get all the way down there and back up again, I feel that’s kind of okay! I’m not being lazy/feigning an illness/pretending I’m desperately unwell, I’m just being heavily pregnant!

Pregnancy is not an illness, but it is nine months of carrying round a person inside you, letting them kick your insides constantly, having your centre of gravity change completely, getting swollen and sore in places you didn’t know could hurt and that’s not mentioning getting the thing out of you at the end!

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

During Pregnancy I Lost…

Mini Harriet.

Mini Harriet.

During pregnancy I lost:

Everything. Seriously, the idea of baby brain isn’t just a fallacy created by women doing stupid things. Something weird goes on inside your mind as soon as you’re pregnant. My memory was pretty bad beforehand, now it’s appalling.

Any flexibility I ever had. I wasn’t exactly cartwheeling all over the place and doing fancy yoga moves before. Now I need a ten-minute warning to get my shoes on before I leave the house.

The ability to control the bath taps. The last couple of weeks I’ve noticed whenever I get in the bath, I can’t quite bend over properly to turn the taps off once it’s full. Are there people I could hire to do this job for me?

Sleep. First they (the pregnancy gods) took away my ability to sleep on my front. It’ll be fine I thought (it wasn’t). Then I couldn’t sleep on my back. Then I couldn’t sleep for more than three hours without needing a wee. Then I was too hot to sleep. This is all good preparation for the baby days, but I do feel a bit nostalgic for pre-pregnancy eight/nine hour uninterrupted sleep stints.

Hours of my life to peeing. I’ve always been a regular pee-er (TMI?) but even I didn’t know how much I’d be in that bathroom once I got pregnant. I probably could have started on a full-scale replica Bayeux Tapestry when we conceived, solely working on it while on the loo, and have finished it weeks ago.

All rational thought. It’s probably the one time in your life when you’re allowed to be irrationally hormonal but sometimes I’ve had to catch myself and stop myself from taking it too far. I felt like my world was falling apart the other day when I’d paused the tennis which was playing on my phone and then it wouldn’t start again. It was a bleak moment. I had to count to ten and remind myself there were probably more important issues going on in the world. Probably.

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 30.

I look like I'm carrying a fully-grown adult in this picture, never mind a baby!

I look like I’m carrying a fully-grown adult in this picture, never mind a baby!

So here we are, I’m 31 weeks pregnant today. I feel quite heavily pregnant already which is a little laughable when you think I could have up to 11 weeks left to go if baby girl is lazy and goes overdue!

The main thing for me this week has been sickness, I think I probably mentioned in last week’s update that the damn morning sickness curse had struck again. I haven’t really been sick but have been feeling quite nauseous at different times and have even turned down dinner once or twice this week – something I’ve never done in my life apart from in those awful first few weeks way back in my first trimester! I should (and do) feel very grateful that at least I got a break from the sickness during the second part of my pregnancy – but I’d feel more grateful if I wasn’t writing this feeling like I was about to yak up on the keyboard!

I’ve spent a lot of time resting in bed this week, but probably less time napping, so I don’t know if that’s a sign my tiredness has peaked or whether it’s just because I’ve hardly been doing anything. I do feel guilty, as if I should be packing some sort of activity into every second of the day, but then I think in a matter of weeks my life is going to completely change and it kind of makes sense to be as relaxed as I can be now ahead of all of that. Plus we’re less than eight weeks away from the wedding so keeping off my feet as much as possible to avoid swollen ankles has got to be a good thing right?

On Tuesday I’ll officially be seven months pregnant (although some people base it on how many weeks they are, which would make me eight months next Sunday, I’ve been going on the actual day of the month and thus the 13th is my ‘monthiversary’) – I’ll check back in on Sunday for an update!

Harriet and bump x

Unexpected Pregnancy Joys

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Photo from www.flickr.com

I haven’t had a good old moan about pregnancy in at least seven seconds, so today I wanted to share with you some of the unexpected things which have come along with the bump. I warn you, it’s probably mostly going to be *TMI* (too much information) so look away now if you don’t want to feel at least a little bit grossed out.

– Hair. Hair everywhere. Some women say they hardly shave their legs during pregnancy, life has obviously decided to play a cruel joke on me by making sure I’m firmly in the other camp. My belly looks like a bear’s. And the worst thing is having to try and work around a bump to shave your legs. I’m training Dylan up to do mine. Or else becoming a Chewbacca lookalike.

– Peeing. I expected to need to wee more once we got to the ‘baby could pop out at any second’ stage. I didn’t expect it to happen all along! It’s especially annoying when you’ve just got comfy in bed and then you realise you need to go for the third time in five minutes. Even better when baby’s kicking your bladder while you’re desperate. Mmm.

– Pooing. Yeah I told you this was going to get gross. There’s some sort of pregnancy fallacy (probably promoted by those who never have to shave their legs) that everyone gets constipated during pregnancy. Again, I’m in the ‘completely the opposite’ camp. What with this point and the previous point about peeing, I’m surprised I’ve had any time at all to eat, sleep, talk to people etc.

– Dribble. I really am painting an attractive picture of myself here I aren’t? Apparently you produce more saliva when you’re pregnant. Just what everyone wants to see when they look at the pillow next to them, a drooling hairy lady who’s just about to get up AGAIN to pee. Sorry Dylan (not that sorry, it’s kinda your fault).

– Hanger. Hanger, for those unfamiliar with the word, is that crazy kind of anger you get when you’re insanely hungry. In the space of walking from one room to another I can go from not being hungry at all, to being about to cry/shout/have a tantrum because I’m so hungry. Just feed me and no one will get hurt.

I could probably think of more points here but a) I want to still have some friends, b) there are actually some nice points too and we shouldn’t be too biased towards the bad!

What symptoms came as a surprise to you when you were pregnant?

Harriet and bump x

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A Magical Time?

A 16-week bumpy!

A 16-week bumpy!

There seems to be this huge perception around pregnancy that it’s an amazing time, where you’ll feel absolutely fantastic and be on top of the world, looking great and waiting your baby’s impending arrival with very little strife or worry. But what if that’s not the case? I’m not talking about the times when tragically there is something really wrong health-wise with mom and/or baby – and this post isn’t intended to upset anyone for whom that’s the case (or anyone still trying to get pregnant) – I just mean when you generally feel crap.

I’m going to put it out there, even though it may attract some criticism, even though I feel like it’s not PC to do so: I’m not really enjoying being pregnant. I’m just under halfway through at the time of writing this post and I really was expecting to be ‘blooming’ by now. But I actually feel worse in myself than I did at the start despite not puking anymore. I’m not relishing being pregnant and I’d be surprised if I felt sad once the baby’s born that I’m not expecting anymore, which is something I’ve heard other mothers say.

I still absolutely love my baby to bits already and feel sure that will only grow as my bump does, I would do anything to protect him/her and I am so hugely grateful to be having a relatively straightforward pregnancy and to get the chance to bring a new life into the world. It’s a very privileged thing to be able to do, not everyone gets to do it and certainly not everyone gets to this stage with the relative ease we have.

But I still can’t help feel grumpy about the whole thing. My thoughts about the way I look and the way I feel are completely separate from my feelings towards the baby – so despite wanting to be positive and wanting to focus solely on how amazing this experience is, I have found myself bemoaning how exhausted and uncomfortable I’ve felt. I have found myself having a moan in the middle of the night getting up for the fifth wee since I went to bed, or trying to get comfy after what feels like hours of tossing and turning. It seems like the 19 weeks of my pregnancy have gone so slowly so despite being nearly halfway I can’t quite see the end of the tunnel yet.

I know I’m only going to get bigger and more uncomfortable, I know I’ll only get more tired, I know the tiredness situation will definitely not improve once the baby’s here (hopefully the getting bigger thing will reverse!). Yes, I am a grumpy mommy. I want baby to stay inside me until 40 weeks, of course I do, but equally if there was an ‘evening’ off option, I’d go for it! Like a foetus babysitter – any offers?

Harriet and bump x

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