Sunday, 25 September 2011

26 Weeks

MUMMY

Well, I guess the real lowlight of the week was bending over and sticking my @rse in a doctor's face. How very undignified and most unenjoyable but the blump (bum lump) was very painful and I just wanted to get it checked out. It was nothing serious and it is finally now starting to shrink on its own but I can't wait until it has gone, it has led to a most uncomfortable week with standing and sitting being so painful.

Fortunately though, there were lots of highlights in the week also, mostly towards the end, that made up for the bending over incident and as an extra plus, I finally managed to get eBay to remove the negative feedback left by the evil man a few weeks ago. This had been such a battle that it had become more about principal than anything else. After 5 raised tickets, I am now back to 100%, my favourite score. Never again.

Before I get to the highlights, Ron and I were pretty tired after the weekend away and I think it took us both a few days to recover. Poor Ron ended up with a really nasty cold near the beginning of the week and had to take a day off work sick - something a contractor doesn't do unless they are really poorly - and I felt ever so sorry for him. He has been working so hard and the commute is really long for him. I feared it would catch up with him eventually. I hope he slows down and gets some rest and time for himself before Shrimpy arrives. I felt pretty cr@p too so had to work from home a couple of days this week (my work don't really like that but it was either do that or be off sick so they got the best of the two options out of me) and whilst we both felt really rubbish, it was nice to be at home a bit more and not be spending so much time on the train. It meant we could do some more home cooking this week, which we haven't been able to do as much as usual for a while so it was nice to eat freshly baked food for most of the week. It was also really nice to spend more time together. Weekdays normally just involve working, commuting, eating, bed and that's pretty much all there is time for so there are some silver linings to being poorly.

Other than being a little poorly, nothing else of interest really happened in the week but it did end with a very pleasant weekend and so on to the highlights.

My friends came over for lunch on Saturday with their 4 month old son and it was lovely to see them again. I've known my friend, Kirstin, for many, many years and we have been through so many experiences together. I was thinking back to the early days and how much has happened since then and how nice it is that we find ourselves in such a similar position now. It dawned on me yesterday, as she mentioned she would be on maternity leave until May, that we will have 5 glorious months to be ladies what lunch together and this made me even more excited about being off work and going off on adventures. Kirstin and I have been on so many adventures and now we get to go write The Adventures of Woody, Kirstin, Elliot and Shrimpy! How very exciting. Here's us on one of our previous adventures (aided by inflatables):

Boobtastic

Anyway, with knowing someone for so long, you get very familiar with how they do things and one of the things I like about seeing Kirstin at the moment is that she does being a Mummy pretty much how I intend to so she has become a great source of information and advice to me. She doesn't force advice and tips on me when I haven't asked for it and probably don't want it like so many other people seem to but answers my questions with short, to the point and honest answers - my kind of lady - although I was slightly disturbed to learn the size of the nappies that I will have to wear for a couple of weeks after giving birth. Jeez, my other mates never mentioned anything about that - horrifying!

Then, today, we had a lovely day consisting of a trip to Mamas & Papas and a drive down to Broadstairs for ice cream and a walk along the sea front.

We went to M & P to choose the 'Travel System' my parents had very kindly offered to pay for and I decided I was fed up with having second hand maternity clothes and cr@p from eBay that didn't fit and wanted to get a good selection of everything I think I will need to see me through to the end. It wasn't cheap but I should have done it a while ago and that advice I would pass on to any other expectant mothers. It's obviously a lot cheaper to borrow things from friends, buy bundles etc. from eBay or cope with non-maternity stretchy things in your wardrobe but for me, it has been such a false economy. I haven't felt comfortable in any of it and I finally now have some things to wear that I actually think I look nice in, rather than things that just about fit and cover the bump. You tend to feel fairly unattractive whilst being pregnant anyway (well, I do) so every little helps.

Whilst at the shops, we also bought Shrimpy's first clothes and it made me more excited than ever to meet him and see him in his cute little sleep-suits and hats! I had wanted to hold off on buying anything for him until much nearer the time but I could resist no longer and I am glad we got some bits and bobs as it made it easier to actually picture how he will look and imagine being a Mummy - which sometimes feels very hard to imagine.

It was a beautiful day and Broadstairs was fabulous. I was reminded again what a great place we live in that we can get to all these beautiful seaside locations so quickly. The ice cream parlour was brilliant and honestly can't have changed since the '50s. I ate for far more than two for a change and had a giant sundae. Oops! It was very nice though and full of goodness for the little Shrimp.

Nom

Generally, the pregnancy appears to be continuing to bumble along fairly nicely. It was a bit of a weird week as after suddenly popping out about two weeks ago, I feel like my tummy hasn't grown at all since then and I was slightly concerned (although not really as I could still feel the Shrimpy one move so I knew he was alive and kicking which was the main thing). I know I'll be moaning that my tummy is way too big soon (which is cool, as I like having things to moan about) but I hope it grows just a teensy but more in the next week. Apparently, the little man is about to have another growth spurt so I guess maybe it does just come in waves rather than gradually grow at an even pace. What do I know, I'm a novice at this.

There have been no other significant changes from last week but I continue to find it harder and harder to stay on my feet for too long which is generally easy enough to cope with except for on the stinky London tubes where London commuters, who are spawned from the devil, continue to hide their faces deeper in to their copies of the Metro when they spy my badge or round belly. It's really disappointing and commuting in rush hour is getting harder by the day. I just hope my work will consider letting me work from home a bit more regularly as I get bigger as I can't even imagine what it will be like when I'm in that final month and squashed in to a corner on a hot, sweaty, smelly, packed tube. Urgh.

So, another week passes and I am just about to enter the third trimester - scary veg!

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Bleeding gums / nosebleeds (only when blowing, mind)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Varicose veins :o(
  • Swollen ankles
  • Lumpy bum!
  • Severe night-time leg cramps
  • No contact lens wearing and eyes still sore

DADDY

I'll have a fairly short entry this week since it's fairly late on Sunday and this week has been fairly slow for me. I've had a cold that started on Monday So I've been doing very little and even had a day off work (people who know me will be shocked as I never take days off). I even missed out on swimming so quite dramatic really. I did feel better on Saturday though and went to see the "Rocky Horror Picture Show - singalong" with my middle daughter up in Hornchurch and that was quite a laugh; many very strange people.

We did manage to go to look at pushchairs, as Natalie mentioned, and that was actually a lot of fun. It was a great opportunity to actually use my experience in this sort of thing. It was quite funny really having a young girl - who obviously doesn't have any children - recommending and demonstrating these things. The one thing she never showed was folding and unfolding, which is obviously something that you need to do all the time - and usually under great stress! Anyway, we choose a very nice set and coincidentally a great colour scheme and design.

It's not time to get such a thing yet, but I've been considering high-chairs and had a chance to check out my favourite in real life at the shop. I'm really into design and simple solutions to complicated problems really make me smile. So the Stokke Trip Trapp http://www.stokke.com/en-gb/highchair/tripp-trapp-product-concept.aspx is like the perfect thing. It's amazing how every high-chair is designed to keep the baby separated from everyone and very much on their own where the Tripp is designed to have baby comfortably at the table with everyone else more or less from birth. The fact that the chair adjusts right the way up to adulthood is even more of a bonus. Although it seems an expensive proposition, compared with the cost and longevity of traditional high-chairs, I think it's a real bargain.

I still have more investigation to do so I'll have more details next week ...

BUMP

I am a whopping 35 cm or so tall now and am very much finding my routine cycle of sleep and kicking Mummy (this is pretty much what I do in here - and you thought your life was boring - walk a mile in my shoes - I don't even have shoes!). I will continue to grow by about 1 cm each week until the big pop, although apparently over the next three weeks, I will be going through a significant growth spurt. I'm looking forward to this in some ways as it's one step closer to becoming a big guy but I'm also dreading not being able to stretch out quite so much - the glass is never quite full is it!

Despite it being pitch black in here, I've been practising blinking. I like blinking. Mostly at the moment, the main thing that is going on is my small, yet perfectly formed, brain is developing and turning me in to the little genius I know I will become. Daddy tells me that he believes he is the cleverest person in the whole of the world and has challenged me to try to take him on. I am not one to turn down a challenge and I can't wait to beat Daddy at things. I think by the age of about 5 he'll be eating his words and my dust!

I gather Mummy bought me some stupid hat with fluffy ears today! Honestly, if babies could talk, we wouldn't have to wear half the stupid things our parents make us wear. I'll smile sweetly whilst wearing it of course but it will be good when I can talk and tell Mummy and Daddy that a hat with no ears would also be very pleasant, thank you.

Anyway, I'm off, I feel a snooze coming on. Chat next week ...


Monday, 19 September 2011

25 Weeks

MUMMY

This week, I decided I would try to stick to one moan per blog entry to try and give the overall feel a more positive overtone. And then I spent a disproportionate amount of time considering which solitary irritant most warranted a mention and thought scr3w that. I have enough silly rules imposed upon me in the workplace, why restrict myself by self-imposing another?

So, where to start. Well, it's definitely been a week of two halves. Fortunately, whilst it started badly, it ended on a real high. So, let's start with the lows.

Sometimes, as a woman, I just get a little bit emotional, a little bit fed up and a little bit irrational. Added to the  handicap of being a woman, I also get my nasty bouts of M.E. and then, well, there's this whole pregnancy thing which can send my hormones all over the place so all of these things plus a rather nasty eBay experience led to a pretty horrible first couple of days of the week.

We have been trying to make space for Shrimpy and since moving in to the house, we've had to take a number of perfectly good items to the skip and apart from the fact that it feels terribly wasteful, we need all the money we can get so I decided this time that I would have a huge clear out and sell a load of things on eBay.  I am a heavy eBay user but on the buying side. I've only sold a couple of things in the last ten years of being an eBay member and was (but no longer am) a little naive to the way it works and to how evil some buyers can be! After spending 7 days answering really stupid questions and slightly losing my faith in humanity, most of the items finally got paid for and collected without too much drama but one item - an IKEA picture which was won for a whopping £3.70 - turned in to a bit of a nightmare. I heard nothing for a week after this clearly labelled collection-only item was won and after repeated emails chasing the buyer, I opened an unpaid item dispute. The next day, the buyer sent me a very brief message saying he couldn't collect the item and to just cancel the transaction. I thought, erm, no, I won't just cancel the transaction as I get charged a final value fee plus I've had the hassle of chasing you all week, the item is still sitting uncollected in my lounge and I will have to go through the hassle of listing it all over again, blah blah blah. Anyway, the buyer then got really abusive in his messages, left negative feedback (which I am still chasing eBay to remove today) and, actually, now I write about it, I feel like a prize fool but at the time, being all emotional and such, I got myself in a right state as I had provided the buyer with my phone number and home address so he could collect the item and I managed to convince myself that he would turn up to the house and kill me. Or actions to that effect! I realise now that I was over-reacting a little but I'm telling you, people, hugely restricted sleep for months on end gets to you in the end. I'm now over it and don't think the pesky little scumbag is going to turn up with guns and bombs anymore but it was a very upsetting start to the week and I would still warn against selling on eBay though, unless you really know your stuff first, anyway.

Goodness, I almost forgot to mention the opening of the shopping centre this week! The less said about this experience the better - all I'm gonna say is "DON'T GO TO A SHOPPING CENTRE THE DAY IT OPENS"'

Work was a little strange too. We have a new "leader" (I place this description of her position in inverted commas quite deliberately) and frankly, I'm not sure what planet she is living on. The department has spent the past year attempting to deliver the most poorly designed, managed and executed piece of software I have ever had the misfortune of being anything close to associated with and the "leader" this week called a meeting for everyone who had ever been involved in this disgrace to tell us how incredibly impressed she was with the teamwork involved, how well everyone had worked to deliver the application (erm, nothing has been delivered, lady), one of the most complex and impressive applications she had ever seen. She added that she had never seen so much talent in one organisation in her career (she's been at the organisation for 18 years, however) and basically that we were all awesome (yes, she used that word). She then started to play The Star-Spangled Banner and made us all stand to salute. (OK, so I made that very last bit up). She's American by the way.  This morning, I watched 3 people in my department huddled round a work phone trying to figure out how to forward it for, well, a lot of minutes. I had to walk over and press the 'FWD' button after not being able to witness it any longer. I'll say no more.

Anyway, now to the good bit. Ron and I haven't had the chance to have that many trips away since we have been together and I'm conscious of the fact that in just a few months, we won't have the chance to do that easily again, not for a long time anyway, so we have a few small trips planned before the arrival of The Shrimp and this little weekend soiree to Paris was the first. I hadn't been to Paris since I was about 8 or so so I was really looking forward to visiting the city again and especially with someone so wonderful and handsome! We made the most of Ron's Hilton Gold card that he had acquired from years of work travel and got upgraded for free to a fabulous room with jacuzzi style bath in the 'La Defense' area (France's far more impressive version of Canary Wharf) and it turned out to be the perfect place to stay and we had a lovely time. Paris was charming and the hotel treated us like VIPs so I felt very special for a couple of days. That must be what it is like to be famous!  Here's me 'owning' the beret look. I just don't understand why people kept talking to me in English.

Authentique, non?

Pregnancy-wise, I realised this morning that I was just about to enter the third trimester already! (We're actually a week behind on the blog so I'm almost 26 weeks, but forget that for now). I really noticed a difference this week in symptoms and general discomfort and am coming round to the realisation that the last few months are going to get a little unpleasant. The dizziness and fainting spells have subsided for now but it seems as if as quick as one ailment goes away, another one arrives! The worst thing this week, and I really felt it in Paris as we were on our feet most of the time, is that my ankles have swollen (urgh, I thought that only happened to much older people) and generally, being on my feet for more than a few minutes is really painful - like literally throbbing pain. This week has been particularly bad as I have also developed a giant cyst the size of a watermelon (OK - more the size of a one pound coin but you know what I mean) on my @rse (apparently also fairly common in pregnancy) so now it really hurts to sit down as well! The only comfortable position for me currently is suspension in a gravity free zone and there aren't many of those around so, ouch, ouch, ouch, poor me etc.

I'm a little fed up with spitting out blood every time I brush my teeth or suffering a minor nose bleed every time  I blow my nose and generally, this over-production of blood can be a little unpleasant. I dread to think what would happen if I cut my leg shaving at the moment. A scene from Kill Bill me thinks. Good job hairy legs are back in fashion (they are, aren't they?).

I regularly wake up in the middle of the night to extremely sharp and painful leg cramps in my lower calves as well. It's really unpleasant and quite disorientating when you are half-asleep. It tends to happen when I accidentally roll on to my back in my sleep. I can't control this unfortunately but I guess it is my body's way of waking me up so I roll on to one of my sides. Thanks, body.

Oh, and now I am covered with varicose veins on my legs! I knew this would happen to me eventually (I blame my mother) but there has been a sudden onset, again, I think to this whole lots of extra blood making thing. Urgh - my shorts-wearing days are well and truly over.

Other than that though, being pregnant still rules OK. I still love my bump and I love little Shrimpy already and am rather attached to the little man even thought I haven't met him yet. I love feeling him kick, even when I'm trying to get to sleep, and for all the uncomfortable things that pregnant ladies have to go through, I still look down at my bump every day and think it is a miracle that there is a little human inside my tummy!

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Bleeding gums / nosebleeds (only when blowing, mind)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Varicose veins :o(
  • Swollen ankles
  • Lumpy bum!
  • Hot flushes
  • Severe night-time leg cramps
  • No contact lens wearing

DADDY

Trying to keep to the “mechanical” side of things has proven to be more difficult than I thought this week. Mainly because I haven’t really had a chance to think about or really look at all of things things I thought I should and mentioned last week. As Natalie mentioned in her section, we had a chance to take advantage of all the traveling I’ve had to do for work and have a weekend away in Paris without having to spend much money (hooray!). It makes a huge difference when you travel if you have lots of points and having gold status for hotels and airlines really does make a difference in the way that people treat you. It’s interesting really since having the extra status means that you get much better treatment and lots of extra stuff … but you don’t have to pay for it. I see the appeal of being a z-list celeb now.

It was really very nice to see such a pretty city for a couple of days and just be a couple. It was a bit difficult though since Natalie really did suffer with her feet and lack of energy affected us both. Anyway, we had a very pleasant weekend and accomplished all of the seeing and doing goals that we set for ourselves.

There were a few “baby related” things that I noticed while we were away and the most interesting one was all the cool stuff that is manufactured for young kids; mechanical “jumping around” robots, creative drawing / painting / sculpting things, drums, pianos, all kinds of great stuff. We had a look at quite a few nice kid shops and I have to say I’m really looking forward to playing with some of thee extra cool things.

I have a pretty good list of these interesting and hopefully educatioal items and maybe I can do a few reviews of these things over the next few months if I get a chance. For now though - I’ve run out of time ...

BUMP

I am about 34 cm tall now and weigh about 1½ lbs. Generally, this week, a lot of things are now fully formed, apparently. I can hear very clearly now and towards the end of the week, I heard an awful lot of "haw-he-haw" sounds. I'm not sure what these were - they were unfamiliar sounds to me.

I'm breathing in this fluid lots too - all in practice for the outside world and it continues to give me hiccups! I don't like these. Mummy suggested I lean upside down and drink water backwards from a cup. Thanks Mum, just a few issues - like no water, no cup, an no control over my orientation in here. Donut!

I'm pretty aware of what is going on now as well and there was a lot of extreme wobbling in the last couple of days (and this wasn't just Mummy walking). I heard Mummy say something about a 'jacuzzi' so I guess that's what it was. It was quite nice actually - relaxing.

I continue to run out of space but I don't let that stop me stretching out. If God didn't want me to stretch, kick and punch, he wouldn't make the walls of this container so malleable. That's my story anyway and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, 12 September 2011

24 Weeks

MUMMY

Well, I am officially 6 months pregnant now! I can't believe it. Although, that said, yesterday, as I was eyeballing my enormous belly, I was thinking how I couldn't really remember what it felt like to not be pregnant (i.e. to not feel like a really fat b@stard). It feels like I have always been a lard@ss. I hope once Shrimpy has popped out, I can find a way to get back properly in to exercise so that I can remind myself I wasn't always this big!

Mind you, talking about being a little on the roly poly side, I was looking through some old photos trying to find one of me and two of my good buddies wearing giant inflatable b00bs in Ireland (but that's another story) and I came across this old picture of me ...

Roly Poly Pudding
... and thought to myself:
  1. Hmm, I really always have been a lard@ss
  2. Wow, I hope my children don't have rolls like this
  3. Did my mum feed me cream cakes every day to achieve this and that's why I now love cream cakes?
but then I was also reminded how incredibly cute things normally are when they are first born when I came across this picture of my non-human babies ...

Boog and Zoog Before they Turned Naughty!
... and thought, I hope my little Shrimpy one is as cute as the Boogies (and doesn't turn out as naughty).

Anyway, so, basically, I'm starting to feel a little on the big side. All my 'normal' clothes are well and truly now no longer wearable and even some of the maternity gear I bought / was given appears to be getting a bit too small as well. I have decided, therefore, that it is time I treated myself to some actual brand new maternity wear and this decision has fallen perfectly in time with the opening of a rather large shopping centre - Westfield - in Stratford which I rather conveniently have to walk through to get between Stratford and Stratford International where my variable speed trains go from. It turns out they have a Mamas & Papas there so I am uncharacteristically rather excited about the big opening of the centre on Tuesday when Ron and I have planned a late evening shopping spree. Exciting.

The extra weight is also starting to take its toll and I think I am right on the verge of the pleasant part of pregnancy turning in to the not so pleasant part (although that hasn't happened yet, I still love my bump and feel actually kind of proud to be pregnant). I noticed this week that my feet are starting to become particularly painful when I'm on my feet for a long time and my hips seem to be hurting too, which I wasn't expecting. Generally, all my joints just feel a little creaky. I'm still out of breath most of the time but I phoned up about my blood tests this week and it seems that everything is normal so I think I think I'll just have to live with that ailment and put it down to pregnancy, which I am sure it is. Far more concerning than any of my other pregnancy ailments though is that my innie is becoming frighteningly shallow! God, if I start praying to you now, will you stop my innie from becoming an outtie?

Thursday this week would have been mine and Ron's wedding day! We had booked a venue in Kent to get married on Thursday 8th September. It was a little sad that we had to postpone it (due to housey things) and I really can't wait to marry my special boy next year but in some ways, I'm kind of glad we did postpone it as we wouldn't have made little Shrimpy otherwise (well not this particular Shrimpy anyway).

I really wanted to try to celebrate the non-wedding day anyway and have a special day with Ron and it was just sod's law that it was a really pants day on the whole and pretty much everything just wasn't going our way. We made it, eventually, however, to a very nice restaurant on the sea front and had a lovely meal and that kind of made up for the rest of the day being so rubbish.

The biggest excitement of the week was picking up our new car. We picked it up yesterday and I LOVE it. It is so nice having a proper grown-up's car with air con and everything! We went for a little drive down to another town on the sea front yesterday to try it out and I have been playing with it more today on a trip to Dunelm Mill to get some final pieces for the house. I say final as I think the house is pretty much good to go now (apart from a bit of painting) and all we need to do now before the end of December is buy various things for Shrimpy. It really feels like everything is coming together on that front with the car and house stuff so I'm feeling reasonably well prepared for the little man now and, as ever, very excited to meet him.

Work has been OK this week. Well, nothing happened that made me want to throw myself or any of my colleagues off the nearest bridge, so in relative terms, this was a good week! I have a feeling that as it comes nearer to my departure, my boss and some of my colleagues are finally starting to realise how hard it will be to replace me with someone who lives up to my very high standards and appreciate all the work I do and all the stuff that comes out of my exceptional brain. About time!

I have started to get a bit of 'Baby Brain' this week though. It's the first time I have noticed it (and I always thought it was a load of old tosh but the evidence speaks for itself). I am usually right on top of things and never forget stuff but there have been a few moments of forgetfulness this week, such as putting rice on to boil and completely forgetting about it causing the burnage of the bottom of the pan; opening the fridge and just walking off leaving it open; forgetting to write things I have agreed / committed to do in my diary (I never do this); forgetting things I was going to look up on the internet in between thinking about looking them up and opening up a browser ... the list goes on. I hope it won't get any worse. It's an odd feeling for me being slightly out of control. It's an unusual place for me to be.

Other than that, Shrimpy has been kicking loads and, I'm pretty sure, experiencing lots of hiccups. It's quite funny. I can tell when it is hiccups as the bumps are less severe, more frequent and more regular. Bless little Shrimpy. I'll have to teach him some of my special techniques for stopping hiccups.

That's about it for this week from me. Let's see what week 25 has in store.

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Dizzy spells
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing

DADDY

With any long running endeavour, I think it can be very easy to drift away from the initial purpose or goal the endeavour was based on (or meant to satisfy). This blog is an example. Reflecting on the original purpose of writing thee weekly metres, it occurred to me that the original purpose may not have been clear. In fact, in reflection, the goal was very unclear. I suppose the initial idea was to provide some level of insight for other prospective parents, or parents who have newly conceived and might stumble on the blog through Google and same them some search time. Secondly, as a mechanism for family and friends to keep up with what’s going on and hopefully participate in some way with the whole pregnancy process. I can’t think of any other reason unless we count generating ad revenue. So, since I’ve been reflecting on these initial goals, I thought it would useful to look at how well I’ve done in addressing them so far.

As far as helping newly conceived parents, I don’t think my entries have provided much insight or saved any searching so generally a fail on that one. As a new ‘Father to be’ the actual facts that are generally concerning are more related to the mother’s side of things and — of course — the new baby. The only things that apply directly to a Father are psychological and I assume that these vary from person to person. Men aren’t generally too interested in other men’s psychology anyway — with good reason — I don’t really see much point in addressing that one. I mean, when was the last time you heard one man ask another something like - “Sure I understand all that, but how do you really feel about it?” - in a contact other than some contrived film?

Next in the queue are friends and family. I do actually have both of these things! It’s a tricky one since the majority of my family are technophobes and I’m not convinced that many of my friends are really that interested in the progress of the pregnancy. I don’t think I’d be too interested in theirs if I’m honest about it. Again, I think it’s more of a male thing where you tell your friends you’re going to have a baby, they all say wow - congratulations - you say thanks and erm … that’s pretty much it. Until the baby arrives anyway - women are different and much more interested in each-others progress and all the details as they get along. Geez - fail number two.

The story of ad revenue is a short one. 4p. fail.

All this brings into question the usefulness of writing this and based on the criteria set out, it looks pretty pointless. Destined to failure at the very least. I think I need to reset the goals or give up and Natalie would be ‘very not happy’™ if I gave up so as we’re moving into the third trimester and I’ve already gone through all the “I’m very excited” feelings, I think the next few weeks I’ll focus on the more manly and practical aspects of things. Painting furniture for the nursery, investigating baby related gadgetry and that sort of thing. The goal for next week is to find something cool that costs less than 4p - I’m not hopeful …

BUMP

I'm a little over 30 cms tall now and rapidly putting on fat all over. Due to this, I am starting to fill the little, dark, water bubble I am stuck in and am rapidly running out of space to stretch. I noticed this week, for the first time really, that I can no longer fully outstretch my legs. What a pain. I am informed I have about another 15 or so weeks in here so I'm a little concerned about where all the extra me is going to fit!

My nostrils have opened up this week so I am really able to 'breathe' in this fluid I'm in here with. It's caused a few involuntary movements this week (hiccups I am told) which are most unpleasant. I've been trying to hold my breath and count to ten but that hasn't been working.

I can really taste things as well now and some of what Mummy eats tastes really nice - I particularly like the sugary stuff - but some of it is not so nice. There were some rather strong spices coming through a couple of times this week and if I am honest, they weren't to my taste.

I learnt this week that I am apparently now 'viable' (I heard Mummy talking to Daddy about this). They were saying that what this means is that if I was to pop out of Mummy now, I would actually have a really good chance of surviving and turning in to a big person. That's kind of comforting to know but I hope I don't come out just yet. I know I moan about things in here sometimes but deep down, I kind of like it. It's quite comforting and I am not quite ready for the outside world just yet. Soon, I will be though, soon...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

23 Weeks

MUMMY

What a fabulous end to a reasonably good week. The only thing that really tainted it at all was work but as I am going to try to be more positive in this week's entry, I have decided the best approach is to not talk about it (except in this parentheses - those b@stards actually asked me if I could cancel or move my November holiday which was approved, booked and paid for months ago as it wasn't very convenient for their project plan! I spent a few seconds looking around for Jeremy Beadle convinced it must be some kind of joke but when I remembered he had very tragically passed on, it was clear that the request had been made in all seriousness. Naturally, I declined).

Anyway, back with the positive thinking. So, yes, it's been a generally pleasant week. I've had a chance to catch up with a few of my very favourite people this week and was reminded how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends. I visited one of my oldest (I mean old in the length of time we have known each other rather than her being an old bird) and closest buddies on Tuesday as I had decided to have a well earned day off from work. She has a little boy who is about 3 months old now so it was great to see her and the little guy and I even got to almost participate in a nappy change (I performed a supervisory role on this particular occasion). It was good to hear about her experiences so far as she is a fairly chilled out lady who I think does the whole baby thing in a similar manner to which I imagine doing it so it was good to get some pointers. She reminded me, as a few others have done, that so much of what you learn at the antenatal classes and from friends gears you up for the pregnancy and actual birth but not much for beyond that and you suddenly find yourself back at home with this tiny human being with no idea what to do with it! It must be incredibly surreal. It's nice when you have a friend you've been through so much with, where so much has now changed and you find yourselves still with stuff in common and a general enjoyment of each other's company! It doesn't always go that way I find.

On Wednesday, I saw another two of my lady friends who are recent mothers and whilst it was a bit of a pain for all of us that we had to meet in Central London, it was great to see them too. We were talking about how your social circle changes a lot and friendships that were largely based around pubs and alcohol often slip away when you're pregnant / have babies as it just isn't enjoyable in the same way it used to be and sometimes you even find that when you're not both hammered, you don't really have much else in common! I've really struggled to enjoy going out to pubs since being pregnant as there are only so many cokes you can drink before your stomach starts hurting and, frankly, there just comes a point where everyone else (who is drinking) starts repeating themselves and you stop wanting to listen to it. I've no doubt I did the same when I was drinking but not drinking and being with people who are drinking sucks major buttage in my opinion.

One of my friends brought her little man along with her to the restaurant which was nice (the poor thing was teething so was a little out of sorts - apparently - I thought he was very well behaved). I was slightly concerned though at the strength of the little chap and the extreme grip he had on Mummy's hair. I actually thought my friend's whole head of hair was going to come off in her son's hands. Ouch, it looked very painful. I am going to need to give Shrimpy something else to pull as I happen to quite like my hair! It's quite hard watching your friend being abused (albeit by a 9 month old child) and not being able to stop it.

Then, this weekend, I was lucky enough to enjoy the most fabulous, awesome Faversham Hop Festival with my good friends whose wedding we attended a couple of weekends ago (the Alice in Wonderland one we mentioned) and the olds. It was great to spend some quality time with them and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of our special town on pretty much my favourite weekend of the year. Ron very much enjoyed talking gadgets and boy's toys with someone who could respond intelligently and I loved having our first proper guests in the house since Ron and I made it our little nest. My parents came up for the day today as well so it was great to watch some bands with them and catch up. I love sharing Faversham with people and feel very lucky to have so many great things on my doorstep. As usual, all the Faversham weirdos were out and about too but it wouldn't be Faversham without a bit of Wicker Man weirdness ...

The Painted Morris Dancer Type People
... and a dog in a hop crown.

Sheperd's Neame Loving Doggy
So, a great time was had by all and I even let Ron have a few pints of Late Red - his favourite - what a nice fiancĂ©e I am.

I wondered when it would get to the stage when my belly size reached the greatness of my father's as well. It appears that time has come and here's the evidence. It's worth noting that my Dad was desperately trying to suck his tummy in here. I'm still not sure whose is the biggest.

Two Bread-Loving Wood Fatties
Other than that, Shrimpy has been kicking lots this week and it's been very nice to share that with Ron. He tends to kick when I least want him to (Shrimpy, not Ron), like when I'm trying to get to sleep, relax watching TV, concentrate in a meeting etc. Basically, he gets very active when I am not. It's still a novelty at the moment so I'm enjoying the slightly uncomfortable feeling for now but I can't even imagine how weird it is going to feel as Shrimpy fills up the space in there and I can see feet and hands almost popping through my belly!

I also took some time out this week to appreciate how lucky I am to be with someone who makes me so happy. Ron and I have been so so busy recently and it's easy to forget to step back every now and then and appreciate things. It was only about a year ago that we first met and it's amazing to think of all the things we have been through in just one year and where we are now. I've been really missing Ron since he started his new job with the mammoth 2½ hour each way commute and weekday evenings are incredibly short but I'm very grateful for the time we do have together and I can't wait to have him off work for a few weeks when little Shrimpy arrives. When I was growing up, I always hoped I would find someone who matched me as well as my Mum and Dad match each other. I didn't think I would but I only went and excelled myself with this one. Anyway, someone pass a bucket please! Sorry!

Cheesy Pic of Me and Ron
(Sorry, I'm in a jpeg kind of mood this week).

There. I think I've said enough this week. I'm a little proud of myself for minimal whinging this week. Shrimpy must be changing me. I've no doubt it's just a temporary glitch and normal service will resume next week. I'm not sure being this cheery suits me!

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Fainting
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing

DADDY

This has probably been the worst week so far. That’s quite a statement and in real terms it’s not been bad at all. Well not what normal people would call bad. The main reason I say this though is that I haven’t been able to spend much time with my lovely Natalie this week. Again, I need to qualify this a little bit by “baselining” things to normal society. I’m sure I (or Natalie) mentioned somewhere in this blog that we spend 24 hours a day together. Well, we used to anyway. With the new job we obviously don’t work in the same office but we - mostly - get the same train in the morning. This week has been different. The lovely lady has had two working from home days (I’ve sadly had none due to hectic office stuff) so two days of no train ride. Also, a “girls night out” meant an evening apart and generally the whole week has just pretty much stunk.

Having said that, the time we do have has been wonderful. The bump is big! There’s no doubt about the state of affairs now and that really seems to make a difference for some reason. As an expecting Dad, it’s nice to go places and see peoples reaction and it’s a very proud feeling. The only real change from last week is that everything is a bit bigger and I’m pretty sure I could feel some movement the other night. We were watching a recorded version of the American Celebrity Apprentice (that Steven Baldwin  is a doughnut!) and I’m sure I could feel some wriggling. It won't be long (days I’m sure) and there’ll be undisputed kicking and wriggling.

I googled the name this week as well and was surprised that there are a few people on Facebook etc. with exactly the same name so it’s cool that it’s normal enough but still not thousand and thousands. The real disturbing thing was the state of one of the guys on Facebook. Mingulated!

This weekend is the Hop Festival in Faversham so I’m really looking forward to being out and about and showing off our bump - here’s to more festival and less commute!

BUMP

I am now almost the size of an old school ruler - whatever that is - from head to toe. A little more rounded of course. Space is starting to become tight in here and I can easily kick and punch Mummy. I like to work out every couple of hours.

A couple of things have happened this week and I don't mind admitting that Mummy's positivity has not rubbed off on me one bit. One of us has to carry the moaning torch and this week it's my turn.

Firstly, my eyelids have been tightly fused together for 23 whole weeks and despite regular eyeball movement, nothing, the lids just wouldn't come apart. This week, I felt them starting to and finally, after 23 weeks of wondering what it's like in here and waiting patiently for the big unveiling of the womb, my eyelids finally became popped open and do you know what I could see? Do you know what I could bloody see?! I'll show you what I could see.

My View from Inside the Womb
Nothing! Nothing is what I could see and Mummy didn't provide me with the optional extra of a torch so I guess that's how it will be for the rest of my stay. It has to have been the single biggest anti-climax of my entire life. It looks like I'll have to wait another 17 weeks or so to get my visual fix.

Also, this week, my semi-circular canal finally fully formed so, for the first time, I was able to determine which way up I was. Not only can I see naff all in here but it turns out I'm upside down too! Some guys get all the luck, huh.

Other than those slight disappointments though, things are good and I entertain myself at the moment mostly by waking Mummy up when she is trying to sleep. Mwah ha ha.