Monday, 27 June 2011

13 Weeks

MUMMY

Well, this is the week we have been waiting for, I guess the first big milestone. We had our 13 week scan on Thursday this week and then this weekend, Ron told his other children about the new arrival, something we were both very nervous about, especially him.

Although I've been feeling very apprehensive also about Ron telling his children as we really didn't know how they would take it, I've been quite excited too as once they know, I can tell the world! I am utterly useless at keeping my own secrets or big news so I'm not sure there are that many people left to announce the news to but I can now officially tell everyone (and customarily announce the coming of Shrimpy on facebook!).

So, first, the scan. Well, I am so glad we had paid for the second private one. At the time, I did think I was probably being a little silly but if all we had had was the NHS one on Thursday, I would have been so disappointed. The experience was so different from the wonderful experiences we had now had twice at Kent Medical Imaging and we were in and out within about 5 minutes! The lady in the blue coat didn't really tell us much about Shrimpy or let us hear the heartbeat or anything so I'm so pleased we have been able to do that already, Still, it was great to see Shrimpy again and she looks like she is doing great and even has a head that is more head shaped now. She moved around lots for the scan and even turned around a full 360 degrees! I couldn't believe it - I thought they were more tightly packed in there. The lady measured the nuchal fluid behind the neck and said it was absolutely fine so whilst I haven't received anything yet about the risk of Down's, I must assume that that means Shrimpy is doing fine. We also now have an official estimated due date of 27th December. Not the best of timing but at least my little bean can share in my sadness at having a birthday near Christmas!

Anyway, I am now feeling so much better about Shrimpy making it and feeling very positive that she is going to turn out to be a perfect little bean so I am going to try to start enjoying pregnancy now (even though I feel like a fat b@stard).

Here's Shrimpy at about 13 weeks and 2 days.


So, as I said, Ron told his children yesterday. The middle daughter, the one we see every other weekend, was with us this weekend so he told her over lunch. I guess the news was taken as we expected it to be really. She isn't happy and "really doesn't like babies" and whilst I am a little upset about it, I understand why she feels the way she does and I am hoping that it is just a big shock and that by December she will at the very least be used to the idea. At best, I hope she will be excited about having a little brother or sister by then but I guess we will have to wait and see. Mostly, I think she is concerned about all that screaming and crying through the night to come, and she's not the only one, but we'll buy her super industrial strength ear plugs. I'm intending to buy in bulk anyway if my plans of a soundproof booth at the end of the garden don't come off.

Anyway, so, a bit sad but it's all out in the open now and we can get on with telling the world about what, to us, is a very special time.

I also told a few people at work this week. I had already told one of my bosses a few weeks ago when I was particularly suffering with sickness and exhaustion and on Friday, I decided to tell the other one. He was as awkward as ever about it but I'm glad to get it out in the open as I've no doubt people were starting to wonder why I had doubled in size all over and was waddling through the office like a duck.

Other than that, this week has been all about the packing. There seems so much to do still and I am really not looking forward to moving yet again but I am desperate to be back in my old house with my cats again. They seem to have turned a little feral over the last 9 months or so due to lack of attention and I have been finding it very hard to see so I really hope they will turn back in to the cats they used to be when Ron and I move in. Just two weeks to go and it couldn't come quickly enough.

Well, there isn't much else to report this week. I spend most of my time at the moment eating and rolling from one furniture item to another. I REALLY need to start doing some exercise again. I think next week needs to be the week I get my enormous butt in to gear and start doing something about the beached whale situation.

The b@stard nausea still hangs on too. It's not quite as bad as before but I really do wish it would fire-truck off.

Current Symptoms (unchanged from last week):
  • A pot baby belly (hoorah)
  • Boobs the size of watermelons
  • Nausea (still! Bugger off nausea)
  • Constipation (yum - prunes - my favourite)

DADDY

This really has been a milestone week. It's odd really since the 12 (or in our case the 13) week scan is such a big deal and as Natalie said, the whole thing was a bit underwhelming. I'm becoming quite an expert on identifying all the relevant "parts" in the scans now and it's quite surprising how much the baby is moving around. I always expected them to just kind of stay in one place and move pretty slowly. On Thursday, shrimpy (yes, I've started calling her shrimpy too now so that nickname will probably stick forever!) stopped short of breaking into a song and dance, but only just. There was a lot of waving, twisting and general motion; a very nice thing to see.

I believe that I mentioned the job situation has been resolved in the last post and I now have a definite start date of 11th July so now it's all about moving to the new house and getting settled in. I'm really looking forward to doing the nursery decorating and by the time we know shrimpy's gender, I'll have some of the extra money from the new job so things really are finally coming together. I came across this stuff http://www.ideapaint.com/ a while ago and I hope we'll be able to use that in the nursery area; very cool stuff ...

BUMP

I am currently about 7½ cm and growing rapidly. Lots has been happening this week. There was some prodding around on Thursday - I think Mummy was getting yet more photos taken of me. I feel like a celebrity. Mostly though, I have been exploring! OK, so, as much as I can in this tiny little bubble. Turns out there's not much to see but I've been moving around, bouncing off the walls and just generally getting used to using some of these newly formed muscles. I have all 20 of my teeth now as well, although they won't poke through for some time still. I don't much look forward to that, it sounds pretty painful. Oh, and, you'll like this, my intestines, which strangely started outside my body, in like a big squiggly cord thing, are actually moving inside my body as we speak! Gross. I feel like I'm in Alien. "Ripley!". Mummy had a terrible Chinese last night. She went to an all you can eat buffet in the 'dodgy' (if there is such a thing) part of Faversham and all that got through to me was sugar, salt and more E numbers than I care to ever come across again in my life. Thanks Mummy. Can we just go back to the kebab?

Anyway, I'm off to get bigger and fill Mummy's tummy even more.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

12 Weeks

MUMMY

Well, I'm currently 12 weeks and 3 days pregnant and am officially through the first trimester!  I'd like to say it has flown by but I'm afraid it has really dragged, particularly leading up to scan time.

I had read that the symptoms generally start to recede from around now and I'm pleased to say the exhaustion side of things is slightly better (although I never know if that is linked to my M.E. or to being pregnant) but the nausea, sheesh, that continues.  It is most unpleasant.  I thought I was getting over the worst but yesterday I was so, so close to throwing up on the tube.  A stale, broken up, ginger biscuit that I found in my bag saved me from certain humiliation - just.  I still feel like I can see the top of the mountain but I'm not there yet.

I am very excited about the week to come.  This week, I have my first official scan on Thursday where they do the nuchal translucency testing and once we have seen Shrimpy again and know that she is developing OK (I am just going to refer to Shrimpy as 'she' until we find out the sex as it is weary calling it 'he / she' and I feel a little like I'm calling her a transvestite which is plain wrong), Ron will tell his other children and then we will be ready to officially announce it to the world!

I've been useless of course and told almost all of my friends already so I'm not sure there are too many left who don't know but I will tell people at work then and it will be a huge relief when everything is out in the open and Ron has told his other children as I know he is very nervous about this.  I'm nervous for him too as we just don't know how they will feel about it.  I hope they will be happy about getting a half-brother or sister and know that their Dad still loves them just the same but having not been in that situation myself, it's hard to know whether they might feel angry, sad, anxious, etc. so I guess we just keep our fingers crossed.

My belly has started to pop out this week.  It has changed from being full of wind and water to starting to look a little like it is full of baby, albeit a very tiny baby at the moment.  I don't think I'm showing to the rest of the world but to me, my tummy looks HUGE!  I feel like an elephant at the moment too as none of my trousers fit me properly and yet I'm not big enough for maternity clothes so it's a bit of an awkward time.  Anyone who doesn't know would definitely assume it was me who had all the pies.  And they'd probably be right.

I'm a little disappointed to have not had any bizarre cravings like a desperate desire for anchovy ice cream!  The only things I have really craved at all are chocolate and chocolate milk. Even the smell of coffee continues to make me want to hurl and the sight of mushrooms brings out sweaty palm palpitations but generally, all is much the same, I'm just eating lots of biscuits to stave off the nausea really.

I spent the weekend with my brother's family, which includes 1 and 3 year old girls - a hint of things to come.  I have to say, I was a little exhausted when they left as you just don't get a break for a second with little ones around but I'm ready for it so I don't expect it to be any different.

Whenever I say to people how I can't wait to be a Mummy and be at home rather than be at work, they keep reminding me how much hard work it is bringing up children.  It's hard for me to describe to anyone what I mean but I'm totally up for a bit of hard graft, I love working hard, what I hate is back stabbing and manipulation and I'm afraid my workplace is the pits for politics and back-stabbing so bring it on I say.  I will take all the hard work you've got over having to watch my back every second at work so I say it again, I can't wait to leave my job and am counting down the days... and hours... and minutes.  Did I mention I hate my job?!

On the subject of jobs, Ron has handed his notice in now from this evil place (lucky b@stard) so he'll be off in a couple of weeks which is good for him, and good for us in the long term but I can't help wondering how I'm going to get through the next 5 - 6 months here without him as he is all that keeps me sane!  I'm very pleased for him though as this place has been driving us both to destruction and I fear if Ron had stayed here much longer, someone was going to get hurt!

We have a moving date too and are progressing with packing and selling of furniture that won't fit in the house we are moving to and I just can't wait to be back in there so that we can be back in control of where we live and start thinking about painting a little nursery!  I'm very excited about getting the nursery together.  Little Shrimpy's room.

Yesterday was an interesting day too.  I met up with a really good bunch of friends from my favourite workplace of the past ever - GF-X.  Of the 5 girlies there, one had a 6 month old baby, one a 3 month old baby, one was 37 weeks pregnant and fit to burst and then there was me with my ever-so-tiny Shrimpy! Oh, how we have all changed.  It was fascinating to see everyone at the different stages of mummyhood!

Anyway, by the time I post again, we will have 13 week scan pictures of the Shrimpster, who will look so much more like a baby and hopefully not have a head quite so mahoosive, and we will know whether Ron's children are every going to speak to him again!  Fingers crossed on both counts.

Current Symptoms:
  • A pot baby belly (hoorah)
  • Boobs the size of watermelons
  • Nausea (still! Bugger off nausea)
  • Constipation (yum - prunes - my favourite)

DADDY

All in all it's been a great week - both baby related and "other stuff" related. Natalie has started to show a little bit - not hugely and by that I mean not even slightly fat or anything (this is now my common disclaimer for any sentence that has the word fat in it). It's really nice to see and I'm really glad we're finally getting to the point where it's obvious that we're having a baby and all the good things that go along with that like getting a seat on the tube (well a bit better chance anyway) and just generally being a pregnant couple; it's very nice. The official scan coming up next week is a real milestone - very exciting!

As Natalie mentioned in her post, I've managed to sort out the job issue and resigned from my current role on Wednesday so all the "other stuff" is being resolved and the first week of July is officially the busiest week in the history of mankind. I have an opportunity to do a day's work down in Hampshire as well so basically, I finish my current job on the 6th, move our things to the new house on the 7th, down to Hampshire on the 8th back here on the 9th, move in to the new house on the 10th and first day at the new job on the 11th. It will be a week to remember (or forget!) but resolves so many outstanding issues it really will be worth it.

I'm still researching all the different approaches to telling my children about the new baby so I'll have more to report next week as far as what everyone else says, and the results of having the conversation. I'm nervously optimistic that everything will work out well - fingers crossed ....

BUMP

I am now about the size of a plum!  I'm starting to notice things around me too and thankfully, my eyes have moved from the side of my head to the front! Awesome, I thought I was going to be born looking like a fish.  I'd be a laughing stock.  I can smile, squint, frown and wrinkle my forehead (mummy likes to frown and wrinkle her forehead so I'm practising so I can be just like her).  And what's this?  Hair!  I have hair growing on my head.  Sometimes I like to style it in to a little mohican (well, what else am I supposed to do in here for the next 6 months - talk about boring!  I thought mummy might install a plasma screen or something but no such luck).  Oh, and that big squidgy thing I told you about last week, whatever it is, it is now supporting me so whatever mummy eats will now get passed on to me.  A couple of days ago, I had my first kebab courtesy of mummy.  I have to say, it wasn't half bad.  Chat next week!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

11 Weeks

MUMMY

A lot seems to have happened this week.  Firstly, after my symptoms seemingly almost going away for about 3 - 4 days last week, they came back with a vengeance for the whole of this week.  I had read about this happening a lot and whilst it was pretty horrendous sickness and tiredness-wise this week, I was actually quite relieved as all the time you're hugging the toilet, it's normally a fairly good sign that the little one is continuing to develop healthily.  I ended up being off sick from work for a couple of days and struggling in for the others which did prompt me to tell my boss what the situation was.  We don't have the best relationship in the world (well, it's not a bad one I guess, just a very weird one) so I was very relieved that he seemed delighted with the news and quite sympathetic to my symptoms so at least that's one awkward conversation done!

Having worried quite a bit the previous week when my symptoms had gone down (and also just because, my word, being pregnant just makes you incredibly sensitive and emotional), I decided that I wanted to get another private scan. Excessive you may thing but I weighed it all up and, for £50, given that I haven't been out drinking, buying cigarettes (or doing much really) for quite a few weeks, if that was how I wanted to spend the money I would normally have spent on going out then I thought, screw it, why not?  I needed some reassurance as I had almost started talking about Shrimpy like he / she was already dead, which I know was crazy, and I think also very upsetting for Ron so I just wanted to see that he / she was OK.  I promised Ron, and myself, that if Shrimpy looked less like a shrimp when we went back, I would stop being negative about him / her being OK and start being much more positive about the whole thing.  I wasn't convinced I would stick to it but I am delighted to say that Shrimpy doesn't like like a shrimp anymore and is doing absolutely fine, AND, I actually do feel a million times better about it now and think the little poppet is going to be OK.  She even has some of my traits already I think.  The midwife wanted to see Shrimpy moving about so told me to bounce my pelvis up and down quite violently several times and then we saw Shrimpy on the screen and she looked really p*ssed off and looked straight in to the "camera", gave me a really stroppy glare and then looked away again to try and get comfy.  I thought, that's my girl (or boy)!

So, here's Shrimpy at about 11 weeks and 2 days.


What a cutie.  The poor bugger looks like he / she's got Ron's big nose!

We've also had a very busy week on the living arrangements front.  I own a house round the corner which I'm not living in for reasons I won't go in to but basically, I've been renting for a while and there was always going to come a time when the house became available again for me to move back in (back with my beloved cats who I have missed desperately over the last year) and to try to get out of our rental agreement.  We always knew this would be very stressful as the contract agreement runs until November but, without going in to the details, whilst it has been one of the most stressful things I've had to go through for quite some time, we finally have moving dates and are at least back in control of the many things we need to do between now and the moving date in early July.  I can't wait to get back in there and start thinking about setting up the nursery.

I'll be so much happier by the end of July as we've had so many really stressful things to deal with over the past couple of months and what with work and feeling terribly sick and exhausted as well, it's been a tough time.  Whilst I'm not over the worst yet, I definitely think I can see the top of the mountain now!

Current Symptoms:
  • Frequent night time toilet trips
  • Enormous and sore boobs
  • Terrible nausea
  • Exhaustion - the worst yet
  • A slightly growing tummy!

DADDY

This really has been a busy week indeed. It's mostly been non-baby things though - lots of moving news (work and home), which Natalie has already mentioned a little bit. Also, we had a fun fair here in Faversham this weekend and I went on the Waltzer with my middle daughter who came to visit us this weekend. That was a lot of fun but I actually felt fairly ill afterwards. That really is unusual as I have a very high tolerance for motion sickness so either it was extremely high velocity spinning or I'm losing my tolerance for such things. I vote for the former.

The real news is that the scan went very well and we've been able to tell more people about the pregnancy. It really feels like the pressure is off now so all we need to do is move house and change jobs and explain the new baby to the kids and ... hmmmm - maybe the pressure isn't all off just yet. I'll have a clearer idea about jobs this week so by the time we move next month, we really should be through the worst of it.

I'm really very pleased with the last scan. The changes are very apparent and modern imaging is really amazing. Oh, and by the way, I don't have a big nose!

BUMP

I know exactly how big I am at the moment because a lady measured me.  She said I was 4½ cm long.  She told me I was due to enter the world around about 27th December!  I can't believe Mummy has given me such a rubbish potential birthday date!  She hates hers being close to Christmas so to give me a birthday between Christmas and New Year?!  Well.  Why I oughtta.

Now I am fully formed, I'm quite enjoying stretching and moving about a bit.  Some people say I look like a ballerina.  The placenta (a big squidgy thing that I'm stuck in here with - apparently it's a really important bit of squidge and will keep me alive!) hasn't completely taken over looking after me yet but it's very almost there.  I'm not sure if this is supposed to mean much to me but, allegedly, I can now officially be referred to as a fetus!  Nice.  I guess.  Chat next week, I've got chilling to do.

Monday, 6 June 2011

10 Weeks

MUMMY

This week - again - has seen very much more of the same.  I am feeling slightly better again exhaustion-wise but the constant nausea continues, which is most unpleasant.  I have to nibble on things all the time or I feel sick so most days I go to bed feeling pretty uncomfortable and pretty lardy.

I got a little panicky this week as well as I had a teensy weensy bit of brown blood on a couple of toilet visits (it's totally normal apparently but it hadn't happened before) but it hasn't turned in to the far more worrying thick flow of red blood accompanied with stomach cramps, so I think the Shrimpy one is still doing OK - for now anyway.

Mostly, I just feel really just a bit fed up at the moment.  I'm convinced it is nothing to do with being pregnant and everything to do with the fact that I really, really, really don't enjoy my job one little bit, but the fact that I am pregnant, whilst fabulous in its own right, means I'm stuck here.  I was totally ready to leave and either go for another permie or a contracting role but found out I was pregnant just as I was about to.  On the plus side though, I at least have an end date where I can be out of here, as long as little Shrimpy makes it (Go Shrimpy).  I really wish I could go and do something else until December instead but I'm afraid the reality is, I am stuck somewhere that makes me really quite unhappy.  It's a shame, each day I come in and think, I will try really hard to ignore all the cr@p going on around me and just let it wash over my head but it's so bad, it's really impossible to do so.  I don't know what possessed me to go back there really but I'm very glad I did, otherwise I wouldn't have met Ron, and that would have been tragic.

Anyway, apart from work, actually, everything else is pretty good.  I'm still not in full enjoying pregnancy mode at all and I challenge any first trimester lady to do so but I continue to approach the time when I really think I will and I am so looking forward to the first proper scan, getting to the 2nd trimester, starting to have a proper baby bump rather than a wind and water bump and so on and so forth.  I will feel a million times better after the scan if I see that my little shrimp has grown in to a mini human.  It couldn't come soon enough.  Just 2½ weeks to go.

I went to see some old school friends from where I grew up this weekend just gone.  It was really, really lovely.  I hadn't seen them for a good couple of years but when you know people as well as that, it doesn't really matter how long it has been since you saw them last.  Nearly all of them have children so we talked a lot about pregnancies and babies (poor Ron, it can't have been much fun for him), which is just the sort of thing I used to hate my friends all doing when I wasn't pregnant but it's such a monumental thing in your life, you just can't help but join in when you're going through it as well.  We talked about all the gory details, the labours (some fairly horrific by the sound of it), the miscarriage my friend had, the ecstatic feeling when you finally give birth, the little things their angels do that make them smile etc. etc.  It's a shame I don't have more local friends in the area I now live in in the same position but I've no doubt I'll meet lots of new people at NCT classes and at all the great things there are to do with babies! (I was born for this, I would so much rather be painting butterflies with my bear hands and feet than working with a bunch of idiots)

This week, another fairly monumental thing happened, I met the in-laws!  Ron's mother and husband live in the States and don't come to the UK that often but were in Southampton for just a few hours in between cruises (alright for some, hey!).  My parents live in that area so we went down South for a long weekend and greeted his folks off the cruise and took them to lunch.  We had a lovely time meeting them and introducing all the parents to each other.  We decided, even though we aren't at the critical first proper scan stage yet, that we would tell Ron's mum when we met here face to face rather than wait.  Bless her (Glenna), I think she is quite an emotional lady - she was already balling her eyes out just meeting me (she's very happy that Ron is so happy - and he is - even if he tells you I'm a nag and more than a bit stroppy right now - he knows that if he doesn't tell you this, he'll get a smack round the chops with my silver bell).  When Ron started to try to tell her the news about us having a baby, she fell apart!  Ron will deny this, but then he started crying as well, and then I did too, just because everyone else was.  Anyway, she was very happy about the news, as are we.

I'm afraid this week has also seen the first pregnancy casualty - my iPhone.  Due to my ridiculous obsession with chocolate, I was carrying around in my handbag, some chocolate eggs.  Lord knows what possessed me to do so, but I was harbouring these necessities in my iPhone pocket.  On Friday, it was the hottest day of the year so far and, sadly, the chocolate eggs melted all over my iPhone and in to the little ear piece so now I can't hear people when they call me (and I'm stuck on the blinking contract until October).  I'm currently trying to come up with workarounds.

Anyway, roll on 11 weeks.  I am counting down the days, literally, to the scan now ...

Current Symptoms:
  • Night-time trips to the loo (increasing in amount, it's rare I get through the night without two trips at the mo - i.e. interrupted night's sleep every night)
  • Tummy full of wind and water
  • Bigger and sore boobs
  • Nausea (not actually being sick, just feeling like I will be)
  • Tiredness - but far less than before
  • A distinct hatred for most of my work colleagues (this will never go away - from next week, I will stop adding it to the list of symptoms as it isn't a symptom of pregnancy, it's a symptom of working somewhere with a bunch of @rseholes!)

DADDY

It's a difficult job being the partner of an expectant mother; a very difficult job. The hormone changes make life errm ... interesting. I'm coping rather well at the moment I think and as I only have a couple of other outstanding things I need to do before I can focus solely on the baby to be, I'm hopeful I'll make it through the next few weeks without much more grey hair (I sure hoister so anyway).

As Natalie said in her portion of the post, all the parents got to meet each other at the week end. It was a beautiful day for it, and apart from getting slightly lost trying to find the Holiday Inn in Southampton and getting slightly lost again getting back to "Dock 4" the whole day went very well. I believe Stephen and Glenna were happy about the news - although I won't be able to speak to them on the phone until weekend after next to confirm they weren't just in shock.

The next big challenge for me is to tell my children and ex-wife about the baby. I'm not sure if I mentioned that I only get to see my middle daughter or not, but I do get to see her (and consequently, my ex-wife) every other weekend. I'm researching the opinions of psychologists and other internet pundits at the moment for advice on how to discuss the news. In the end I'm sure I'll just "wing it" but having all that extra information in my mind should help us all - I hope. I still have a few weeks to think and research so I'll let you all know what I find out and - more importantly - how well it all goes.

Some vaguely interesting news on the house and job fronts but I'll wait until next week to discuss when things will be more concrete.

BUMP

I have been really busy this week.  Phew, I'm exhausted, almost as tired as Mummy!  This week, I have been growing hair follicles and fingernails and am about 4 cm long.  If I am a lady, I have even been growing ovaries but I'm not going to tell you if I have ovaries or not.  That would be no fun.  Mummy will have to wait and find out the hard way! For the first time, I have been able to spread out my fingers and toes too.  I can greet the Vulcans properly as I'm no longer webbed like a duck.  Check me out!  Mummy is doing an excellent job so far.  It must be very hard work making something as precise and perfect as me.  I will thank her one day.