Tuesday, 31 May 2011

9 Weeks

MUMMY

This week, I saw the midwife. In all honestly, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping she would do more tests or, I don't know, tell me something I didn't already know perhaps, but it was all a bit of an anti-climax. She very much seemed to be just going through the motions, she was in a bit of a rush (which she told me) and seemed quite short-tempered and, well, nothing really happened. The things she was telling me about were the absolute basics and I was thinking, wow, do you really think I would have got to 9 weeks without reading about what I am supposed to be doing at all or what is happening to my body?!

I guess the only thing of significance that I found out, which was a little disappointing is that I really only have two choices for where to have the baby (discounting a home birth, which I absolutely wouldn't want to risk for a first child) and both are a fair distance away. I had already done some research in to local options and had decided I wanted to have my little shrimp at Canterbury and Kent Hospital at their birthing centre as a) it is only about 20 minutes away and b) I've been there a few times before and it seems really nice.

Unfortunately, the birthing unit there is now closed and will be until the middle of next year so I have hospitals at Ashford or Margate as the only real choices. Both are at least 40 - 45 mins away with Ashford being marginally quicker to get to so I think it will have to be there. I just hope I suddenly don't go in to labour quicker than expected as I really don't fancy delivering in my little Clio (although I guess it makes choosing a name easier if it is a girl!).

I saw a friend of mine who gave birth about two and a half weeks ago this weekend. It was really, really lovely. I don't know if it was special seeing her and her little one because I'm pregnant too or because I have known her forever but it was and I loved seeing her little boy. He was just so adorable and cuddly and I thought, actually, if I have a boy and he is as cute as this, I will be just as pleased as if Shrimpy is a girl.

Generally, I'm feeling much the same still. My symptoms have definitely receded in the last few days a little so I am not quite as exhausted but the nausea is still there. I'm a little disappointed about the constant nausea as it is causing me to eat pretty much all day so I'm feeling ever so lardy. With that and my big b00bs, I feel a bit like an elephant. I always thought women were just being greedy when they got lardy when pregnant and had misunderstood that you don't have to eat for two but now I can see that the nausea just makes you have to eat a lot to stop feeling sick. My aversion to coffee has got even worse and my desire for chocolate has increased also! I NEED a Mars bar every day (I haven't had a Mars bar since I was about 12!).

The most exciting thing that has happened this week though is getting a date for the first scan! It's a very important time as once that has happened, if successful, I'll feel much better and also we'll be able to tell everyone. I'm a little worried about Ron telling his other children as well but I really hope they take it well and are happy about getting a new half brother or sister rather than disappointed, sad, angry or anything else bad.

So, the scan is on June 23rd. I will be almost 13 weeks then so I am really looking forward to seeing something that looks like a baby and getting the shrimp image out of my head! It's very strange, but even though we had the early scan at 7 weeks, I'm still a little worried that something will have gone wrong. I'm a bit concerned it will still look like a shrimp, meaning that it didn't make it much past the scan but I think once I have seen it looking like a human and got over the worst of the sickness and the fatigue, I will finally start to enjoy the pregnancy!

The other thing I have noticed this week is, my Lord, everyone in the world wants to give you advice, even when you don't ask for it! I am staggered by the amount of people who have something to say about how I should feel, what I should do, what is happening to me and my baby, what I should be reading etc. etc. I'm pretty shocked that people might think I haven't done a little research of my own! I haven't stopped reading up online about, jeez, pretty much everything I can ever imagine wanting to or needing to know so I pray this obsession with needing to dish out advice won't go on for the next 7 months. Actually, from what I heard from my friend I saw this weekend, it very much goes on afterwards as people then tell you what you should be doing with your baby, how long you should breast feed for and so on and so forth.

Awesome, a lifetime of advice - just what the doctor ordered!

Well, roll on 3 weeks. I am ready for the nirvana of the 2nd trimester - bring it on!

Current Symptoms:
  • Night-time trips to the loo (I fear this will go on throughout)
  • Very bloated tummy again (none of my trousers now fit)
  • Not quite as sore boobs as last week but still a little tender
  • Nausea (not actually being sick, just feeling like I will be)
  • Light-headedness
  • Exhaustion
  • A hatred for coffee and a new found love for chocolate
  • A distinct hatred for most of my work colleagues


DADDY

Well, what a difference a week can make. I've personally been feeling much better this week. Much better about life generally. Being pregnant hasn't been a worry to me at all; it's the peripheral things that have been difficult and I think these are all starting to come together now. I'll fill in the details later, but I'm going to see my parents next week and will have a chance to talk to them about the baby face to face. That will be a relief to me and with 12 weeks just around the corner, I'll be able to start telling people genrally. It's a very strange feeling not being able to tell anyone. It's a bit different for Natalie I think since she has all her family and close friends around fairly regularly, but all of my family are in America and close friends and few and far between. I really can't wait until I can "go public" with the news.

I've noticed a definite rise in hormones and reduction in energy levels with Natalie this week. Hopefully now that I'm getting through all these external stresses and strains, I can help out emotionally in the upcoming week. I've really been feeling sleepy this week too; I hope that goes away soon since the next couple of weeks are going to be very busy and I'll surely need all my energy ...

BUMP

I am now almost 2½ cm tall! I may still be small but they say that wonderful things come in small packages. I'm looking more and more like a human every day (phew) and even have little earlobes now! Believe it or not, my genitals have now begun to form but I'm not going to spoil the surprise for Mummy and reveal my true identity until much later! She will have to be patient. So, I'm pretty much mostly formed now and just poised and ready to surge now for that big weight gain and make Mummy even lardier. Tee hee.

Friday, 27 May 2011

8 Weeks

MUMMY

This week, in the spirit of positive thinking, I have been mostly researching miscarriage! I'm sure like all prospective Mummies, especially those of us who are considered 'Senior', it's a worry that is always in the back of your mind. I'm totally not being all negative and expecting the worst but equally, I am prepared for it and it occurred to me that I can cope with it happening, what I really don't like the idea of is not knowing it has happened for weeks and finding out on at a scan - a day that should be a very happy day. I had assumed that as long as I didn't bleed heavily, everything was pretty much going OK but I discovered that some people have 'missed' miscarriages where their baby dies and they don't experience any miscarriage symptoms at all. Naturally, this is a concern. It seems that in most cases though, one of the giveaway signs is that the pregnancy symptoms suddenly stop.

The internet is a strange entity. Whilst I love having all that information at my fingertips 24 hours a day, I can't help thinking it can sometimes be a curse. I think you can convince yourself you have got any disorder or illness if you read enough articles and forum posts. Last night, I ended up being hugely concerned that my b00bs didn't massively ache like they had done a couple of weeks previously and I also didn't feel like I was going to puke. Straight on to the iPhone (you don't even have to get out of bed these days to immerse yourself in information), I got myself in a right state that the baby had died and that I wouldn't know that for sure for another 4 weeks or so and was ever so upset. This morning, I feel much better though as my b00bs do in fact still hurt and when Ron made a coffee, I nearly hurled!

It's an odd thing, I feel worse physically than I have probably ever felt and part of me really wants all the symptoms to go away so I can enjoy the pregnancy (as lots of annoying people keep telling me I should be - I don't like being told how I should feel by the way!) but the other part of me doesn't want them to go away at all, at least not for a few weeks as that would probably mean something bad as happened.

I have done lots of research now and it seems it is very common for symptoms to come and go so whilst it can still be confusing, I'm not going to worry too much about it at the moment.

I see the midwife in a few days and I'm looking forward to that. I'm hoping she can put my mind at rest and tell me a little bit more about the specifics of what happens in my particular area and what my options are. I also now have a date for the 12 week ultrasound. It has been booked for 23rd June so I'm very excited about that too. It will be nice to see something that looks like a baby so I can get that image of a shrimp out of my head.

Aversions / cravings-wise, the only notable differences are that I have completely gone off coffee. The mere whiff of it 100 yards away makes me want to hurl and despite never being a particular chocolate lover, I am now obsessed and need to eat lots of chocolate every day. Not the best for the lardiness potential but I have to give my body what it demands.

Current Symptoms (a running theme really)
  • Night-time trips to the loo (I fear this will go on throughout)
  • Not so bloated tummy
  • Not quite as sore boobs as last week but still a little tender
  • Nausea (not actually being sick, just feeling like I will be)
  • Light-headedness
  • Complete exhaustion and a requirement to be in bed by 9pm every day
  • A distinct hatred for most of my work colleagues

DADDY

This has - without a doubt - been the worst week for me so far. It's really been very emotional and I've felt tense every day for no particular reason. It shouldn't be a huge surprise I suppose when I've added moving house and moving jobs to the having a baby agenda. These are all very stressful activities and adding them all together is an unpleasant thing - I would avoid doing these all at once given the choice. I managed to go for a long walk last weekend, which helped unwind a little. It was a very peaceful 10 miles in the very early morning - followers of my Nike+ profile can see the exact route thanks to the magic of GPS (Thank you Ronald Reagan). Also - to add insult to injury - I had five brand new shirts stolen on the train ride home earlier this week so all in all this has been a week I'd rather forget all about. Obviously writing all this down is probably a very bad way to forget ...

On the plus side, with the non-smoking going well, I can now breathe through my nose; This is a good thing. I also have a new found ability to smell - not always such a good thing considering I have to commute on the London Underground and working with technology people well ... some of the stereotypes are true. I'm looking forward to next week and hopefully a bit more focus on the nice side of being pregnant.

BUMP

I am now about the size of a large raspberry at the moment. I look a lot more like a baby, although I still have webbed feet and hands! My heart is beating at about 150 beats per minute but jeez, this mahoosive heed. I'm guessing I'll be stuck with this for some time. I guess it has to be so big to house this giant brain of mine.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

7 Weeks

MUMMY

This week has mostly been more of the same really. I feel slightly less fed up than last week but still very much the same in terms of energy levels and sickness. I managed a night out this week and it was slightly more enjoyable than last time as I stuffed my face and then pretty much left once consumption was complete but it's all still a bit of a struggle. I had never noticed before how hard it is spending an evening in a pub without the company of wine! There is only so much coke you can drink.

Generally though, all I want to do at the moment is just snuggle in bed pretty much all the time and snooze. Zzzzzz.

I received a phone call from the midwife this week which was good as when you first 'register' your pregnancy with the doctor, you feel a bit like you go in to a black hole and you've no idea what will happen next and when you might hear from anyone so it was good to get a name and contact number. I have an appointment with her next week so hopefully I will get an idea of when the next big event will be which is the 12 week scan. I'm really looking forward to that as, apart from the fact that bumpy will definitely look less like a prawn by then, I can officially tell people, which will be a huge relief.

I remain hugely off most food at the moment and it's been strange because it hasn't been particular groups or categories of food, I don't know if something is going to make me want to hurl until Ron suggests we have some of it and then I nearly gag. I am totally off bread, mushrooms, anything fatty and various other random items. I've had no particular weird cravings yet either, just a slightly higher desire for hot chocolate than usual.

I still feel far from blossoming and just very bloated really so I'm still wearing the extenders and really can't wait until that time in the future when I actually start looking pregnant and can wear proper maternity clothes and most of all I can have that seat on the tube!

I'm starting to get very vague feelings that Shrimpy might be a boy. I have absolutely no evidence to support this sentiment, I just feel deep down that it might be. It might be my natural defence system kicking in though as, whilst I will be absolutely delighted with a healthy baby of either sex, I can't deny that I'd really like a little girl. Maybe that will have to wait for number two. We'll see, in about 12 weeks I'll be able to find out (wow, that seems like a really long time away).

Current Symptoms (same as last week)
  • Night-time trips to the loo
  • Very bloated tummy
  • Bigger and sore boobs
  • Nausea (not actually being sick, just feeling like I will be)
  • Light-headedness
  • Headaches
  • A distinct hatred for most of my work colleagues


DADDY

I have to agree with Natalie that things are pretty much the same this week as last. It's pretty lucky really - work is a giant pain in the arse at the moment so not having any extra difficulties is a blessing. I suppose I'm just enjoying the time as much as possible now. As much as possible without being able to really tell anyone. It feels a bit like being in limbo now. I think Natalie's shape is changing slightly - she thinks she looks fat already, but I disagree. I'm a big fan of the bigger boobs though! I'm glad it's only temporary but the novelty is quite appealing.

My goal for next week is to just stay on top of the around the house things and keep up the exercise regime. I think I've gained several pounds last week and I'm not sure if it's due to replacing smoking with snacking or because I'm building up more muscle for exercising; next week should tell.

BUMP

I am now about 1.3 cm long from crown to rump. I am about 10,000 times bigger than I was at conception and my brain cells are growing at the rate of about 100 per minute. I might even end up being as smart as Mummy. I definitely think I'll be as smart as Daddy, that wouldn't be too hard but I dream one day of being as clever as Mummy. She's a genius. I also have little limbs forming fairly well now and my kidneys are working overtime. I still have a massive heed right now though, I hope that doesn't last, I'll look ridiculous.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

6 Weeks

MUMMY

Well, this week has been a really tough one for me. Frankly, I’ve been feeling pretty hacked off. I am, of course, very excited about being pregnant still but I think people who haven’t been through it don’t really understand that at this stage, a) you honestly don’t quite believe there is a little person growing inside you, b) you’re trying to be very realistic about the fact that you are right in miscarriage timezone territory and c) you feel like an absolute bag of spanners!

This is the worst I have felt so far and at the beginning of 6 weeks I started to get ‘any time of the day’ sickness so have been feeling very light-headed, very nauseous, very headachey and pretty much off my food entirely.

Most of all, what has been hard this week is the extreme fatigue. I’ve been utterly utterly exhausted. I’ve been struggling to keep my eyes open beyond about 9pm. It’s really tough not being able to tell people yet and to have to dodge nights out at work and explain why I am not doing my normal lunchtime fitness regimes.

It’s funny, people at my work are normally a bit pants at coming out for drinks and it’s normally me begging them and them declining but now the whole world wants to have a drink and wants to know why the team drunk is not participating! If they were smart, they would have determined by now what the reason is but fortunately for me in this particular situation, they are not.

The other thing that has been really hard this week is the no drinking and no smoking! I attempted to meet a friend mid-week this and I really shouldn’t have gone as I felt like dying and she seemed to think I wasn’t very happy about being pregnant. It’s hard to explain to people just how rough you can feel at this stage. Sitting there in the pub, after a sh1tty day at work looking through the window in to the beer garden at lots of people drinking wine and smoking lots of cigarettes to make themselves feel better, I felt really quite miffed. Wow, how I wanted a ciggie. I knew I couldn’t though and that was that, it’s just that being in pubs right now is not really the fun it used to be so I think I need to minimise my attendance at least until I am feeling less poorly and grumpy.

Also, I can’t believe how bloated I still am. I have had to start wearing extenders already (elasticated strips that extend your trousers). It’s very uncomfortable. I’m convinced I look like a fat bint already.

Ending the week on a high note though, Ron and I had decided to pay for an early scan. It was only £50 and I needed some peace of mind to know a) that there was actually a little thing growing inside me, b) it was growing in the right place (and not in one of the fallopian tubes) and c) how many there were! We went this morning and it was a pretty amazing experience. There is definitely just one, it is growing in the right place and it has a big old heartbeat! It was amazing, this tiny little prawn shaped being (I’m calling it Shrimpy for now) with a HUGE beating heart. I couldn’t believe how visible it was. We could hear it clearly too. It made me feel a little teary and it all feels a lot more real now. I can’t wait to see the 12 week scan now when it will look less alien and more baby-shaped. How very exciting!

Current Symptoms
  • Night-time trips to the loo
  • Very bloated tummy
  • Bigger and sore boobs
  • Nausea (not actually being sick, just feeling like I will be)
  • Light-headedness
  • Headaches
  • A distinct hatred for most of my work colleagues

DADDY

What an interesting week. There have been a few memorable moments all from slightly different perspectives; I'll talk about them chronologically. We didn't have any plans for last Sunday, something that's a bit unusual for us, and the morning was completely quiet and tranquil. Quiet except for the birds outside making quite a racket and that annoying pigeon with it's "rou-rouou-rou-rou-ru" ... I wish it would learn another bloody tune, but I digress. It occurred to me that these lovely quiet mornings won't last much longer and it was really nice to be able to appreciate the moment. It's funny how things naturally change when you're pregnant and your behaviours change in ways that prepare you for what's to come (physically and psychologically). I never really noticed all these things before so I'm glad that I seem a bit more aware and prepared for this child - getting old has its benefits after-all!

Natalie is definitely more tired (and grumpy) than usual; poor kid. And this week, for the first time, I had to go to the office all by myself. This probably seems as though it shouldn't be that big of a deal but since Natalie and I have been together, we have spent pretty much 24 hours a day together - and we sit next to each other at work. So when she needed to have a working from home day it was pretty depressing for me. Luckily I had plenty of opportunities to take out my frustrations on my work colleagues so it wasn't a complete disaster. I know that these days of commuting and working alone will become more frequent and the inevitable day where Natalie will be at home with the baby are really just around the corner, so that makes me a bit sad.

As Natalie mentioned in her entry this week, we went out with a friend of ours mid-week, but I enjoyed it a bit more than she did. Although I was allowed to have some wine, not having any cigarettes was pretty annoying but that side of things is getting remarkably easier for me. It certainly helps with my exercise regime, which I've finally managed to do completely for the first time since Christmas. My goal is to do a 5 mile run on Monday, my BMF (British Military Fitness) session on Wednesday and 50 laps swimming on Friday (working from home helps on this one!). The thing I find the most interesting though is - again - how I'm subconsciously preparing for baby. One of the conversations we had on Wednesday night was about my age and how difficult some people find the early days of having a child. Having thought back to having my first child (almost 18 years ago), I'm really going to need to be physically ready now. I don't think it will be too difficult, but being physically fit is a great part of being psychologically fit and there's always that ringing bell to consider!

The highlight of the week was the scan. The whole trip went perfectly; it was a beautiful day for a drive and we were seen promptly at 12:30. It still makes me smile when I think about Natalie's reaction to seeing "little shrimpy". She laughed uncontrollably with a combination of elation and shock. I'm really looking forward to the next scan where the baby will actually be baby shaped and we'll be able to start telling people our wonderful news!

BUMP

I am now about 1cm long from crown to rump. My limbs are starting to form and I have little hand plates. I go through lots of kidneys at this stage in my life and this week, I will form my second set. I look a little bit like a prawn at the moment but I’m hoping that won’t last too long! In fact, my facial features are all starting to form too. I hope I get Mummy’s good looks.

At the moment, I look a bit like this (only more handsome / pretty):




Friday, 6 May 2011

5 Weeks

MUMMY

This week, I have been mostly using my new bell! I love it. I don't know why I didn't demand one earlier. Any time I need something, I shake on the little bell and wait for service. I could get used to this!


In all seriousness, it's been a strange week again. These first 12 weeks are really quite unnerving as, if you are anything like me, despite having a number of symptoms constantly reminding you you are pregnant, you just don't really quite believe that there is something real growing inside your tummy. The idea that there is is starting to sink in now but I am trying not to think about it or get too excited about it until I get to that first scan and worry slightly less about miscarriage. I'm generally not a worrier but I am 34 and in terms of mummy's and mummy's bodies, obviously it's more risky than it would be if I were 20.

My biggest concern this week has been the size of my tummy already. Now, I know that it isn't big with baby bigness but it's certainly big with something. Obviously my womb is preparing itself to carry something and I am being transformed in to a human vessel which, let me tell you, appears to be a lot of hard work but I wasn't expecting it to grow this quickly. None of my friends had mentioned being this bloated so early on but I was relieved to find, by the power of the interwebs, that I was not alone - for example: http://www.babyandbump.com/pregnancy-first-trimester/22273-bloating-firts-trimester.html

The other particularly noticeable thing for me this last week is the fatigue. I have suffered with ME for about 16 years now so I am used to feeling tired every day but this is different, this isn't just muscle fatigue, I literally can't keep my eyes open. I am feeling like going to bed about 8:30 pm every day and it's taking its toll on me. I feel like quite a wimp really but I guess there's a lot going on inside that must be taking up all my energy.

I've been continuing to do research on the web (but still refuse to read any books) and am really astonished at how quickly the alien in me is developing. I was shocked that my baby's heart is formed and starts beating this week (even though it is about the size of a pin head!). Amazing.

It's a difficult time this first trimester. I am desperate to tell the world - partly because I am excited, partly because I want to explain why I can't drink and partly so I can explain why I am so tired all the time but I know I can't. I have already told far more people than I probably should but I think it will be much easier when I can officially tell everyone and when I properly start showing so that the fact that I just had to buy a size bigger trousers in my lunch hour as my belly was too big for my normal ones, leaves people thinking something other than "Wow, someone had an indulgent Easter".

I am very quickly approaching the 6th week now and I fear the onset of morning sickness may be coming ...

Current Symptoms:

  • Frequent trips to the loo
  • Very bloated tummy
  • Fatigue (much more than normal)
  • Sore boobs (and growing by the day - I dread to think what size they will be by the end)
  • Light headedness
  • Slight nausea (and generally gone off food)
  • An even greater intolerance of most people in the world than usual!


DADDY

To be honest, this week hasn't been too different from the last for me. I've noticed Natalie's fatigue, but I've actually enjoyed going to sleep earlier being at home a bit more. The biggest thing for me at the moment is cigarette smoking. Did I mention that we both gave up smoking as soon as we found out that Natalie was pregnant? It's been almost two full weeks now and although it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be, it hasn't exactly been easy either. I've been smoking for - more or less - 30 years; wow, that sounds like a long time. Anyway - I feel much better and running has been a lot easier but sometimes - especially those stressful moments at work - I really feel like having a Dunhill ...


BUMP


I am now like a tiny tadpole and you can now distinguish my head from my tail. Whilst I am only about 2mm long, astonishingly, my heart starts beating this week!