Tuesday, 9 August 2011

19 Weeks


Another week and a slightly bigger belly.  It is growing slowly now and just about edging on the verge of me actually looking pregnant rather than just really lardy (obviously the bump doesn't hide the fat @rse and the thunder thighs but it, at least in part, accounts for them).

It is fascinating how differently women carry their little ones. On Thursday last week, I went to my first pregnancy-related class and attended a session of aquanatal, which is basically aqua aerobics for fatties. There were women there of varying stages of pregnancy and it was remarkable the difference in belly size.  There was a lady there that I bonded with most probably who had a huge belly and looked like she only had a few weeks to go but it turned out her bubs wasn't due until mid January, making her only about 16 - 17 weeks and then there was another lady there who was due beginning of October and her bump was about the same as the lady due in January. Mine was the smallest bump of them all but between now and 24 weeks, I think I am set for huge growth.

I was sceptical about the class, I must admit.  Partly because I hadn't done any real exercise since finding out I was pregnant (having previously done loads) and partly because I'm not really in to that whole lots of pregnant women getting together and talking about nothing but their bumps - graduating later to talking about nothing but their babies but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a small group, only about 7 of us all together and the class was actually great and really quite energetic and the ladies all seemed very pleasant. There was a fair bit of bump-related discussion but not too much and we even got a jelly baby at the end. I did feel a little guilty though as I was fairly near the front of the queue for jelly babies, as one would expect, and not for a moment believing someone would insult me by giving me just one jelly baby, as that would be just plain wrong, I took two but the lady running the class had only laid out enough for everyone to have one each so the lady at the back of the queue didn't get one. Silly lady, that will teach her to wait at the back, she wants to be more of a predator like me when sweets are on offer. I left rather red faced discussing with the other mum-to-bes that it was a bit mean of the lady who was taking the class to not put out enough jelly babies for everyone to have one! I don't think anyone suspected a thing. Anyway, I'll definitely be going again and a couple of the ladies seemed like my kind of people so it will be great if I end up with a couple of local buddies do hang out with when Shrimpy arrives.

I am loving being able to work from home again. I worked from home two days last week and it struck me that actually, I don't hate my job at all. What I do is quite interesting and challenging, it's just the people that p1ss me off so much! When I am able to get on with my work without all the crazy nutters I work with acting crazy, it's totally bearable. Let's hope my boss lets me work from home more and more as I get fatter.

Today, for the first time, I tested out my TFL 'Baby on Board' badge. Fairly unsuccessful on the whole. No one offered me a seat and I just felt like a total plank so I'm not sure I will continue with it. I think I'll just have to accept that London commuters are generally not that considerate and I'll just have to carry on standing.

We had a fairly pleasant weekend this week with a nice mix of DIY and non-DIY so we made more progress on the house - I was very pleased with my paint job - and we had a nice day in Canterbury on Sunday. There's lots still to do but we just need to carry on and little by little, we're getting there. We still haven't bought anything at all for Shrimpy (which greatly surprises some people) but for me, we've got ages to get cots, pushchairs etc. It doesn't feel right buying anything just yet really but I've started to keep my eye out.

Anyway, Canterbury was very pleasant and then the oldies came to stay over Sunday night on their way to France so we had a most pleasant Indian in our lovely little town and I remain as in love with where I live as ever. It's a very special place. I can't wait to spend more time there walking around with the little man in my brief interlude away from the working world. I'll have to go back of course so I'll make sure I enjoy it while it lasts.

Pregnancy-wise, my coffee aversion has pretty much gone now and my eating habits are almost back to normal (well, apart from all the extra donuts and cream cakes but that's just me giving Shrimpy all the vitamins he needs). I am particularly disappointed that I didn't get any bizarre cravings.

The other notable thing is that I have been getting really out of breath. This has been going on a few weeks actually but I forgot to mention it before. I get really out of breath just walking down the corridor at work and even talking wears me out! It's really common apparently, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, with all the extra stuff in your belly, the diaphragm doesn't have it's usual full range of movement so you can't ever really take in a full breath of air. Secondly, pregnancy hormones cause your body to try to take fuller breaths of air more frequently to increase the amount of oxygen you can provide to your little one. It takes a while for your body to catch up and produce enough extra oxygen in the blood to cope with the demand so it makes you feel very short of breath.

Otherwise, the only real change is that I have started noticeably feeling heavier! I haven't weighed myself for ages and ages. Since I managed to completely recover from a couple of years of being bulimic between the ages of about 16 and 18, I completely changed my outlook on how I looked and one of the consequences is that I rarely ever weigh myself - to the point that I have no idea what I weighed before I got pregnant and no idea what I weigh now. I do know that I weigh more though as my poor little ankles are starting to ache if I am on my feet for too long. Perhaps it might be wise if I spent the rest of my pregnancy lying in hammocks, eating cream cakes. Ron can I spend the rest of my pregnancy lying about in hammocks watching Judge Judy and eating, please?

I've also been feeling more and more flutterings in my belly this week. Still nothing that I could be sure was Shrimpy punching and kicking but I don't think that time is far away. As I said, my placenta is at the front of my belly so it's unlikely I will feel proper kicks for a few more weeks anyway. It's all quite remarkable though. I find myself often looking down at my belly now thinking what a little miracle it is having a little person growing inside my tummy. Aren't people clever?! That reminds me of one of my favourite cartoons from xkcd.com:

That's all for this week. Tomorrow, I have my 20 week scan so it will be nice to check in on the Shrimpster and make sure he is all OK. He must be the most photographed little person ever!

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • A growing tummy again
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath


Another week gone and things are beginning to pick up pace. This whole process is quite strange - strange in so many ways - but strange in how the psyche changes so drastically but so gradually and - to be honest - a bit insidiously. It’s like your body and brain are conspiring to build you up for this tremendous event but in really subtle ways. I noticed the other day, as I walked along Richmond High Street at lunch time, that there was an infant crying quite loudly (I have no idea what about - you know what children are like). It occurred to me though that although that sort of thing would greatly disturb me previously, it didn’t really bother me at all. I know this is natures way of making sure that parents don't kill their offspring due to their incessant crying, but it really was an odd realisation. It’s easy to go through the initial stages of pregnancy and just think that nothing has really changed; overtly, nothing has. The human machine that we are never ceases to amaze me.

So, I was going to say that nothing much has changed this week, which is obviously not the case as pretty much everything has - and continues to - change on a daily basis. I’m feeling much more tolerant of crying children and I have also noticed a greater tendency for storing and organising things. I have no idea if that has anything to do with being pregnant or just my natural OCD kicking in for some other random reason. Either way, it reminds me of the story of the ants and the grasshopper, which was always a personal favourite. It may be that summer feels like it has had its best and Autumn is on the way or maybe something to do with some weird nesting instinct but the desire to store and organise is quite strong at the moment.

The DIY is coming on well and we’ve been making great progress on all fronts so everything should be ready soon and - hopefully - we’ll have at least a few weeks of relaxing before the big day.

It’s nice to see Natalie starting to get noticeably larger now. I want to make it very clear that when I say larger I mean in a pregnancy bump kind of larger and in absolutely no way do I mean fat larger. I need to qualify every reference to big, large or round - no matter what I’m referring to - as Natalie seems a little sensitive to these words. When I say sensitive I mean, well, let me give you and example.

Ron: Well, it’s a lovely evening …
Nat: Sure is
Ron: Full moon I see…
Nat: Are you calling me fat?

That sort of thing. Anyway, the bump is very nice and I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks.


I am currently about 16 cm tall - about the size of a cantaloupe melon (less rounded I hope!). I've really been exploring this week. Unfortunately, there's not much to see in here. Talk about deja vu! I'm still producing lots of that white creamy stuff I was telling you about - vernix I think it is called - and I've also been swallowing lots of the fluid that I am in here with in my bubble. All this stuff I am swallowing now, mixed up with digestive secretions and dead skin cells will all build up to the first big dump I do in my nappy when I finally enter the world. That will be a nice treat for Mummy! I'm actually breathing in the amniotic fluid as well as I need to build up my lung strength so I can breathe in real air when I pop out.

Also, I apparently actually have a second set of teeth growing behind my milk teeth. How amazing that the set of teeth I will end up with are already forming. Aren't human bodies fascinating.

Mummy's been eating cr@p as usual, lately, I've been getting the taste of almonds, sultanas and coconut. I think Mummy has been eating peshwari naan again. It's pretty nice actually, I'm looking forward to trying some first hand.

Anyway, I'm off to prepare myself for more photographs tomorrow. It takes time to look this good you know!

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