Monday, 25 July 2011

17 Weeks

MUMMY

Another week without broadband!  Grrr, I have a real hatred for Sky now.  Apart from the fact that it has been really difficult for us to sort out all the things you generally need to sort out when you move house without a landline phone or the internet, it has meant that I can't work from home. I've been feeling rubbish for a week or so now but soldiering in regardless with my 2 hour commute and cramming myself on to the lovely Jubilee line for the final leg. Not being able to work from home one day a week as normal is really hurting me now. That one day of having an extra 2 hours in bed and being finished work and at home at 5:30ish rather than back home at 8pm makes a huge difference to my week.

Anyway, I guess I should get to the important part! So, as discussed, on Saturday morning we had a scan to find out the sex of the little Shrimpster at Kent Medical Imaging. The staff are amazing there and for the relatively small price tag, it is so so worth it. For just £50, we got 20 mins of looking at Shrimpy, lots of photos, a DVD and even a brief switch in to 3D land (very scary - I'll get to that later!). I needed an experience like this when finding out the sex of Shrimpy as in my heart, I truly believed Shrimpy was a lady and was kind of hoping she was. So, imagine my surprise when just a couple of minutes in to the appointment, this happened:
[Scan Lady]: Ooh, there's something between his legs!
[Me]: (slightly in shock) Oh no, it's not a willy is it?
[Scan Lady]: Yes, that's right, it is
[Me]: Are you sure that's a willy?
[Scan Lady]: Yes, quite sure.
She must have thought I was mad. Of course she was sure it was a willy - she has been doing the job for years!  I'm not going to lie, initially I was disappointed. I've made no secret of the fact that I was hoping for a little lady and I was in shock a little for the rest of the day but having had a chance now to get used to the idea and watching the DVD again of little Shrimpy and his pecker wiggling about, I now feel terrible for my initial disappoint and have already fallen in love with the little fella. He was very, very cute and kept sucking his thumb, as below (my Mum has already pointed out that it looks like he is right-handed):


(P.S. That is his leg!) So, Shrimpy is doing well although it was a little freaky seeing him in 3D at this stage. This wasn't something I would have necessarily chosen to do as none fully formed babies look pretty scary. Later on in the pregnancy, I think it is probably a nice idea but the poor little lad looks a bit like Valdemort right now:


It's really nice to know the sex as it makes it seem so much more real and we can actually now picture us with our little man. The only thing we are really struggling with at the moment is names!  We had quite a few girl's names that we were both very happy with but we are really struggling with boy's names. Every name we come up with reminds us of someone we don't like (we don't like quite a lot of people which hinders us in this area!). We'll work on this some more.

Other than the big unveiling of the pecker, it's been another busy week. Lots going on at work and so much to do in the house still but little by little we are making progress. It would be great to have a weekend where we aren't doing DIY from start to finish but hopefully soon we can have a little break as we are both exhausted!

I guess the next big milestone now will be feeling Shrimpy move. My placenta is anterior which means it is on the front wall. Basically the placenta forms wherever the egg implants itself and mine happened to be on the front wall (i.e. where my tummy is). Because of that, it can take longer for ladies with anterior placentas to feel their little ones kick. It could happen any time around now but I'm not going to expect it for a few more weeks. I can feel little flutters at the moment but who knows if that's Shrimpy or just wind!

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Bleeding gums (this has actually been going on for a while but I forgot to mention it. It's quite common apparently with all the extra blood being pumped round the body. It happens pretty much every time I brush my teeth)
  • Uncontrollable wind (now I know Shrimpy is a boy, it explains EVERYTHING - normally I never do wind as I am a girl and when I do it smells of roses but now it smells of something my brother would do - not nice)

DADDY

Well … it’s officially a boy. It’s really a strange feeling now; knowing that shrimpy is indeed a boy. Although I put very little credence in the gender guessing game, I thought – for whatever reason – that he was a she. It may just have been that I know how much Natalie wanted a little girl, or – most likely – that I just made it up. Regardless, he is indeed a he and now all of you who were waiting to get down to your nearest Ralph Lauren shop can go and pick up all those presents. Just kidding of course.

Natalie has covered all the rest of the week’s main events I believe; lots of working around the house and equally tidying up and making a mess. The net effect seem pretty similar, but we’re making progress toward a nice organised place for the shrimp and otherwise, I’ve been focused on work so I’ll be able to have some time off in January (for obvious reasons).

Names are a real problem now and the internet seems to make this process more difficult by offering up wonderful selections like Aethelbeorn and Thrythwig – jeez …

BUMP

I am now around about 13 cm tall and have been compared to a sweet potato (nice!). I'm continuing to fatten up (again, I don't know if this is normal or just the cakes that Mummy is eating but it's happening none the less) and my body continues to grow to bring my mahoosive head more in to proportion with it.

I've also started to get reflexes to things too so sometimes when I hear a loud noise or I get prodded (there was lots of prodding on Saturday morning - I didn't like that), I kick out and sometimes grab things. Sometimes I skip with the umbilical chord, I think Mummy caught me doing this on camera on Saturday.

The big squidgy thing I am in here with, I think Mummy calls it the placenta, is about the same size as me at the moment and I still have quite a bit of room to move. I understand that things will get pretty tight in here over the next few months so I am making the most of floating about freely.

So, that's right, I have a little pecker! I have known all along that I am a little gentleman. I do hope Mummy isn't disappointed, I know she initially was hoping for a little lady but I will be the most special little gentleman in the world so I just know she is going to think I am fabulous when she meets me. I heard her say to Daddy that she would dress me in Ralph Lauren so I can't wait for that!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

16 Weeks

MUMMY

By now, I am at the stage where I am allegedly supposed to be feeling and looking wonderful. Blooming I believe they call it. I can assure you, I neither feel or look blooming at the moment but I think it is all the other things we have had going on that have got in the way of us being able to sit back and enjoy me getting fatter!

The time is actually flying by. The first trimester seemed to take forever and I thought literally about nothing else every moment of the day. At the moment, we've been so busy with the house move and other essential tasks, added to which, my symptoms have virtually gone (apart from needing to eat naughty things all the time), that it has been easy to forget we're having a baby!

I'm still not convinced the reality has set in yet as I'm sort of not allowing myself to believe it until much nearer the time just in case something goes wrong.  Not that I think it will, and I'm not overly worried about something going wrong, I'm just making sure I am prepared.

Strangely also, my tummy popped out at about week 14 and yet in the last 2½ weeks, it doesn't appear to have grown at all.  My mum tells me it is because my 6 pack is holding the bump in and that at some point it will pop again.  I am looking forward to that as I still don't look particularly pregnant except to people who know me well and I am still unable to get people to give up seats for me on the tube.

We achieved a lot this last week in the house given how little time we have during the week with our respective commutes but it is looking a lot better than a weekend ago and the only room that is still a total disaster is the lounge which is basically just filled with stuff that we don't really have room for or things for the tip or things to sell. We'll get there soon, then we can start on the essential maintenance and jobs we need to do before Shrimpy arrives. No. 1 on the list has become the kitchen. I didn't think we needed to do this before Shrimpy arrived but we have completely run out of storage space and don't have anywhere near enough. And that's without Shrimpy's bits and bobs.

This weekend we were supposed to go to the Leeds Castle open air classical concert but a combination of the weather being really bad and us having so much to do in the house meant that we decided to give it a miss.  It was a shame to waste the tickets but I don't think I would have been able to enjoy it when we had so much to do around the house. The following day we had a trip to IKEA, which is probably about my least favourite thing in the world to do. It was as much fun as it normally is but at least we finally got an item close to the one we went there for. They really are a shambles! Still, they are cheap and that's why everyone goes there. The most pleasurable thing I experienced at IKEA was a 50p hot dog so I think that tells you how much I enjoyed the rest of it. I am surprised there are any couples still together in the world with the existence of IKEA!

Before heading to IKEA, we drove in to London to briefly see a good friend of mine whose wife had a baby a couple of weeks ago. It was a very traumatic birth by the sounds of it and I didn't want to hear all the details but Mum and baby are now over the worst and the little one was very sweet. It is strange to think that that will be me in about 6 months but nice strange.

I am still counting down the days to when I will be able to leave my job. Things seem to get worse daily at work and the place really brings out the worst in me. I think there are about 5 months or so to go still. Roll on Christmas! I am missing Ron lots at work but we are still commuting in together which is good so at least I only have fat and smelly people sitting next to me on the way home from work.

Maternity trousers continue to be the bane of my life and I am still livid that most shops only have maternity ranges online - even places like Mothercare would you believe!  I am yet to find a pair that don't feel so uncomfortable with how low-cut they are and it will be a while before the over-the-bump ones are appropriate for me. I'm slightly tempted to try to make my own actually.

As I mentioned previously, we decided to book a private scan for the unveiling of Shrimpy's gender so we have that appointment this Saturday. I am very nervous about it. A lot of people won't understand how I feel so it was nice to talk to my friend, Chris, on Sunday who had a preference for one sex over the other and he was saying that regardless of whether it is the one you were hoping for, it still comes as quite a shock and takes a few days to get used to / get over! This is what I was expecting really anyway and I am definitely very nervous about it. It's almost like, whilst I still don't know, Shrimpy is still a lady in my head. It will be quite a shock if she is a gentleman but really, I just want to know as I want to be able to picture her (or him) in little outfits and think about names and nursery layouts properly. All will be revealed by the next time we write, how very exciting!

Current Symptoms:
  • Increased need to go to the toilet through the night again. Generally waking up at about 3am and 5am at the moment
  • A little pot belly but no bigger than last week
  • Bigger boobs than before being pregnant but again, no bigger than last week
  • General going to the toilet discomfort of all forms really!

DADDY

The last week was incredibly busy once again; our first week in the house so all to be expected I suppose. I've managed to do some manly type fixing things up work so that's satisfying my nesting requirements - not that men are supposed to get those I guess. Generally though, things are progressing along well and we had a short visit with some friends on Sunday. It seemed everywhere you looked there was a pregnant woman or a child or a baby or something progeny related, which was odd to say the least. Kind of like being in some sort of weird sci-fi show or something. It was a really nice time though with all the little ones being very well behaved (which makes a big difference).

I'm settling into the new job and really enjoying doing something useful for a change. People actually seem to understand things and are interested in delivery rather than BSing and politicking all day. It's always nice to work with smart people. The commute is terrible - an extra hour each way - but in the long run I should be able to work from home more often than not and that's the ultimate goal anyway.

Other than that, the gender scan is the real baby related landmark for this week. I can tell that Natalie is apprehensive about it but I'm sure that - either way - she'll eventually be fine. I personally don't have a preference but it will be nice to know ...

BUMP

I am currently about the size of an onion! I hope I don't smell like one. My joints are all fully developed and I exercise these lots daily by moving around and continuing to search my fish bowl - I think I know every nook and cranny now (there isn't much to see really). My skin, which looks very thin and transparent, seems to be starting to thicken now and I am growing a layer of brown fat too. I am not sure if this just happens naturally to new babies like me or whether it is because Mummy keeps eating donuts and hot dogs from IKEA of all places but none the less, I am getting a little porkier. My eyelids remain sealed but my sight is developing behind them anyway and I regularly move them from side to side.

Exciting times, in just a few days Mummy will find out if I am a little lady or a little gentleman! Obviously I already know what I am but I haven't wanted to spoil the surprise for Mummy. Ooh, do I have a willy or not? All will be revealed!


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

15 Weeks

MUMMY

Well, we're almost a full week behind on the blog now.  I'm nearly 16 weeks today but ignore that and pretend with me that it is just 15 weeks still.

It really has been a week to forget.  As I mentioned last week, we moved out of our rented house on Thursday and in to our new house on Sunday.  To be honest, Thursday was a nightmare.  I knew it would be bad but it was even worse than I expected and literally, we didn't stop running around and lifting heavy things from the crack of dawn.  It wasn't like moving in to a normal house where you can take your time and work it around your schedule and where you are moving your belongings in to an empty house, no, that would be too easy.  We had a fixed slot to try to move things in to half a room as my ex was still living there (which isn't his fault at all - I messed up the agreed move date with him) and was only out of the house for a determined amount of time and we also had the agent for the rented place coming to check the property which had to be spotless.  That, added to being given a smaller van that we expected, the rental place being in a completely different town than the one stated on the confirmation mail and the company's website and the fact that you can only take vehicles under 2 meters (lower than the height of the van that we had a super king size mattress and various other items in that HAD to go that day) to a Kentish tip (except on Wednesdays and Saturdays and only by prior arrangement) and the fact that the rental hire company shut its gates at 5pm so any time after that meant we had to go back the following morning, therefore meaning we had to find somewhere to sleep at the last minute (which is harder than you might think in Faversham), well, it meant that it was a pretty sh1tty day or two.

It took us a couple of days to recover from Thursday and then we were back again moving in physically and now face a mountain of things to do in the house and a number of urgent maintenance items.  In short, I genuinely am very glad to be back in the house but there are a few more nasty and stressful weeks to get through before we can actually start enjoying it!

So, apologies for the moan but I'm feeling pretty fed up about it all.

We're also late updating as Sky take two weeks to turn your phone and broadband on, which is disgraceful, so we are pretty much unconnected to the world at a time when we could really do with being connected.

House move b0llocks aside, Shrimpy is thankfully doing OK!  I was a little worried about her as I had no choice but to exert myself on Thurs and I've been more stressed the past couple of weeks than I have been for a really long time but this morning, I had an appointment with my disinterested midwife and whilst most of what she did was simply ticking a box for her, she did listen to Shrimpy's heartbeat and it's still going so I am delighted!  The risk of Down's is also low so basically everything is going to plan thus far.

I am getting a little bigger now and although I don't think any strangers would yet notice I am pregnant (I've noticed there are a remarkable number of women around that just have fat bellies making it much more difficult for us pregnant ladies to get that sought after seat on the tube), anyone who knows me well would definitely notice.

I'm still pretty uncomfortable in my clothes having not had time to get to a department store to get myself some decent maternity trousers but I pray I'll find time soon to do this.

Other than that, all is progressing as expected.

As discussed in a previous blog post, the difference between the private and NHS scan was staggering and I really want to have the more pleasant experience when I find out if my little Shrimp is a lady so we have decided to go for a private scan in a couple of weeks.  I'll be just under 18 weeks at that point.  I'm actually really, really nervous about this as, as long as I don't know, I can pretend Shrimpy is a lady and I am a little bit worried about finding out she is in fact a little gentleman as in my head, she is 100% all woman!  I'll be fine once I have got used to Shrimpy being a boy if that is the case but it will be a bit of a shock.  We will soon see!

Anyway, I best get home and continue unpacking ...

Current Symptoms:
  • A growing pot baby belly
  • Boobs that are STILL growing bigger (I will be bigger tan Jordan by the end)
  • Very mild nausea - much less unpleasant than a couple of weeks ago but still hanging around
  • Constipation (<TMI Warning>still really bad - what I'd give to do a decent number two</TMI Warning>)

DADDY

I seem to have two main starting points for this blog. “As Natalie said” – as discussed last week – and “It’s been really busy” – or something to that effect. This week is even worse as it’s now Tuesday and I’m typing my update to email to Natalie to paste into the blog. It truly has been a difficult week with moving (and all the things that can go wrong with that), lack of an internet connection (due to the ineptness of Sky) and the difficulties in starting a new job. 

On the baby front, things are all very good – Natalie is showing more and more and we’ve been shopping – again – for maternity clothes and such. We saw some great new baby things at the Ralph Lauren Outlet Store in Ashford that were very good (http://www.ralphlauren.co.uk/product/index.jsp?productId=4518351&prodFindSrc=search is an example). 

It will be really nice to finally know shrimpy’s gender as things like this kind of force the point! BTW – as a not so subtle point – anything from the Ralph Lauren shop would make a great gift (for me too!) The only disturbing thing is Natalie’s inability to take things easy and she moved / lifted far too much during the move regardless of my frequent chastisements. Very stubborn. Anyway, all this leads to the inevitable – this is going to be a brief entry this week and with that I hope that Natalie has covered all the rest …

BUMP

I am now about the size of an avocado and can hear things.  Mummy seems to be swearing a lot but I don't blame her really.  I have little hard bits on my toes too.  I am told these are toenails.  These are useful for ... actually, no one could tell me what these are useful for but I have them anyway!  I can grip things now and am reaching around and tugging things.  Sometimes I tug on this big chordy type thing that connects me to Mummy.  I don't think Mummy can feel this yet but don't worry, she soon will!  I will double in size in the next few weeks apparently.  How exciting. Mummy is going to be huge!

That's all from me this week.  Chat soon.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

14 Weeks

MUMMY

After an incredibly hectic weekend, this week's update is running a little late!  I saw bands galore this weekend starting with The Hop Farm Festival in Kent on Friday evening where I saw, amongst others, The Eagles, followed by The Pet Shop Boys and Take That on Saturday night at Wembley!  I have to say, of all of the bands I saw, I thought, unexpectedly, The Eagles were the best.  Take That were sadly a little spoilt for me by Robbie, who still appears to believe he is bigger than the band.  It was a shame - still a great concert though.  I hope Shrimpy enjoyed it as it was very loud and I'm sure she knew she was there!

It's that week we have been dreading (although also looking forward to in a way as it will be great when it is over).  We are moving out of our rented accommodation on Thursday, will be homeless for a few days and will then be moving in to the house I used to live in on Sunday.  I'm so not looking forward to all the packing we still need to do, the cleaning ahead of me or the lugging around of furniture and boxes but it must be done and at least the old dear is helping out so that should be good!

I am officially in maternity clothes!  I have been really struggling with clothing this last week as my size-up normal trousers are all now too tight (and hugely uncomfortably so) and yet the few maternity trousers I had from a bundle I bought on eBay were really for the much later stages of pregnancy.  I have been annoyed to discover that most high street stores have moved their maternity ranges on-line only! It flabbergasts me.  The one thing for certain with maternity clothing due to the bump and the way your body changes anyway when you become pregnant is that you really need to try things on!  I have lost count of the number of trousers I have ordered now from eBay that don't fit at all.  Most, most frustrating.

Pregnancy-wise, well, it's a funny time really.  Up until now, there has always been 'the next scan' within 2 - 3 weeks (albeit some of those were private ones) and now, there is sort of nothing happening until the 20 week scan, which is still another 6 weeks away!  I wouldn't want to suggest I was addicted to seeing Shrimpy but it sure is nice to see her and be reassured that she is OK.

We are considering getting another private scan to find out the gender at around 18 weeks, though.  Again, it is only £50 and the experience is SO much more pleasant than the NHS one and with something that is as important to me as finding out if Shrimpy is a little lady or not, I really don't want to do that in a 2 min NHS style, "Hey look Miss Wood, there's Shrimpy, ooh, look and a willy, right, off you go, see you at the birth!!". I've never kept it a secret that I would like Shrimpy to be a lady.  I won't pretend either that I am not going to be slightly disappointed if she isn't but most of all, I just want to know now so that I can start to picture life with a little son or daughter and think properly about names.  If Shrimpy is a boy, I know I will only be disappointed for a very short time and honestly, honestly, I know it's a cliché, but I really will be over the moon with a healthy baby of either sex.

Cravings-wise, well, at the moment, I just seem to crave naughty things all the time! I feel hungry all the time and all I want is chocolate / banana pancakes, eclairs, donuts, chocolate, burgers (ooh, chocolate burgers, there's an idea) and pretty much anything that is jam packed full of salt, sugar and lard (mmmmm, salt and sugar rolled lard).  Still no weird cravings though - terribly disappointing.

Anyway, other than that, I feel relatively normal and non-pregnant apart from my little baby pot belly.  I can't wait until it gets bigger.  It is hard to believe though that it is only the size it is, harbouring a mini human that is already about 9½ cm long! To put that in perspective, that is almost as long as an iPhone.  Jeepers, how is that and a big bubble and placenta and everything fitting in to my baby bump. Fascinating!

Ron finishes work at S&P today. :o(  I am very happy for him but a little gutted for me.  It is the end of an era where we have spent virtually 24 hours a day together, and a very nice collection of hours they have been.  It will be really strange getting the train to and from work without him, going to lunch on my own, not being able to lean to my right and see his handsome little face.  Still, I will get used to it and he really is better off out of this evil place so good for him.

Then, it is all about the packing and moving.  By the time I write again, we will be in my old home / our new home with my little Boogies again (Boog and Zoog - my beloved cats).

Current Symptoms:
  • A growing pot baby belly
  • Boobs that are STILL growing bigger (I have already gone from a B cup to a D cup - drooptastic!)
  • Very mild nausea - much less unpleasant than a couple of weeks ago
  • Constipation and diarrhoea (although I'm not sure if that was from something dodgy at the festival)

DADDY

It's always a little difficult going second every week (not that I'm complaining), since Natalie covers most of the main events and I find myself continuously starting off with "as Natalie said". This week is no different! Last week was indeed a very busy one and although I didn't go along for the Take That concert, I did get to see the Eagles and was incredibly impressed with Joe Walsh's playing. What a natural. Anyway, I won't repeat all the work / moving related things as "Natalie said" that already.

From a pregnancy standpoint, things are really getting much better. Natalie is starting to show a little bit and we've been able to go maternity clothes shopping during the week. We stopped off at Bluewater on the way home from work, which was really good fun. It turns out that it's a very convenient trip from Ebbsfleet International so we'll be able to do our late night shopping any time now. Natalie has just started wearing her maternity top and looks very beautiful indeed. I really feel like a participant now and so I'm really looking forward to the next few months. Other than having to spend some time apart, I think this summer is going to be fantastic!

BUMP

As Mummy said, I am about 9½ cm tall at the moment!  Look at me, getting bigger and bigger every day (frankly, I'm not surprised with all that sh1t Mummy is feeding me right now - I hope she is considering more of a healthy eating plan over the next few weeks).  Since I last wrote to you, my whole body has grown hair all over! Apparently, it's called Lanugo and will have fallen out by the time I enter the world but it's really weird being covered in the stuff.  Finally, my body is growing faster than my head, which is great news as I was getting totally out of proportion.

I've been continuing to work out my facial muscles too.  My favourite look at the moment is "The Grimace".  I must have picked this up from somewhere as it feels ever so natural.  I wonder if Mummy ever grimaces?

I had a bizarre sensation this week too.  It was like vibrations running through my whole body and some strange sounds.  I hadn't heard sounds like this before.  Well, I've only just started to hear things but anyway, I wasn't sure what it was but then I heard what sounded like children singing, a big build up and ......  "Never forget where you're coming from, Neveeeer  pretend that it's not real" and then Mummy was shaking about and saying something that sounded like "Take That, Take That, Take That - I love you Gary!".  My personal opinion is that the concert was good but I thought that Robbie Williams was a bit of a c0ck.

OK, chat to you next week my friends.  Only another 25 weeks or so before I get to meet you all.