Sunday, 30 October 2011

31 Weeks


Often as I sit down to write this, I wonder quite how honest I should be about the low points of being pregnant or how I feel generally about things if it's less than positive. I have this debate with myself at appropriate times because when things are not great, sometimes I think I probably shouldn't tell my Mummy everything because it only encourages her to partake in her favourite hobby of worrying but then again, it is important to me that I keep an honest account of things as this blog isn't only for my family and friends, it is also for other Mummies-to-Be and I want to share the experience as it really is. Even if that means sharing the not so good stuff too.

So, it should be apparent then that this hasn't been a great week either in terms of how I am feeling physically and I fear it may continue like this until Shrimpy enters the world. I'll start with the physical lowlights.

Essentially, the biggest issue for me at the moment is lack of sleep. Now, I know that this will continue when Shrimpy arrives and I will no doubt be even more exhausted then but I am suffering with night after night of very little sleep - often only a couple of hours - and with commuting in to work in the week and being extremely busy at work on top of that, well, I'm really struggling. In truth, I wasn't expecting to feel this tired with just over 8 weeks to go and, in hindsight, I really wish I had opted to start my maternity leave a few weeks earlier as there are still 5 weeks to go and that is going to feel like an eternity.

I decided I'm going to have to talk to my boss very directly tomorrow and just ask if I can work from home at least one more day a week. I'll just end up being off sick if I don't do something to change the current status quo as each week, in fact each day, is becoming harder and harder for me. I've been very strongly hinting for weeks now that I would like to work from home more but it has become clear that the direct approach is required. Cutting out 4 hours of travelling for another day a week will make a huge difference I think as my job itself is fine, it is just the commuting and the being physically around all the donuts I work with that I find so difficult. We'll see how that goes.

Added to the tiredness, which can make me feel really quite sad and emotional, I continue to be really out of breath all the time and very achey on the feet and legs. Everything feels very swollen and actually, this week, I have had to start taking my watch off fairly regularly as my chubby wrists are now too big for it! I am slowly turning in to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

The second worst thing at the moment is the heartburn. This started about two weeks ago and used to happen when I ate big meals but it has gradually got worse and worse to the point where it is virtually constant. It was already not much fun at all going out for drinks but now even going out for dinner is starting to become less fun as my heartburn is so painful afterwards that it is the making it even harder to sleep at night. It's a very unpleasant sensation and, as always, I did a bit of research about it to make sure it was all normal and expected, which it is. It happens for a couple of reasons in the last trimester particularly - better explained here.

Finally, and definitely the worst pregnancy ailment for me at the moment is the need to go to the toilet ALL THE TIME! I literally need to go about every 20 minutes at the moment and if I can't go, it becomes very painful. This makes me a little anxious about doing most things as there are lots of situations I encounter where it simply isn't possible to go to the toilet. It's made me not really want to do anything but stay indoors within a ten metre radius of the bathroom! This is sucking a bit of buttage right now.

So, generally, I'm feeling pretty uncomfortable all of the time and wondering how much worse it is going to get in the remaining 8 or so weeks. Let's just say I understand what all the fuss about the third trimester was now!

Enough with the ailments and time to mention work briefly as it wouldn't be a blog post without a bit of b1tching about work. As mentioned last week, I'm particularly busy at the moment as I have been recruiting for my three replacements, supervising two of the newbies and continuing to try to find the main Natalie 2.0 on top of doing my usual workload. The saga continued with my main replacement as my genius managers decided that they couldn't afford my rather clever friend and remain convinced that they can find someone who has all of my skills and will do my job for an 11 month fixed term at the same salaried rate I get paid. I truly despair at the ignorance of the management team where I work. I tried to explain that they are suggesting the worst of all worlds to someone. They are expecting someone to work for a fixed period and not have a job at the end of it (fine - that's what contracting is all about), earn far less than the normal contract rate (not so fine) and even worse, get none of the benefits that a permanent employee gets - you know, contributory pension, BUPA, paid annual leave etc. etc. I just don't understand where they think they will find this person from. Anyway, so after turning my friend down, they then got on the blower to me asking me to continue the search. This made me very angry. I told them they simply wouldn't find what they were looking for at the rate they were willing to pay and if they thought they could, then they should take on the search themselves as it is hugely time consuming and frankly, at the moment, I could do without it! I have left it there so we'll see what happens when I return to work tomorrow. I suspect I'll just end up going on maternity leave without a replacement organised and they will end up panicking later.

On the plus side, I allegedly won some kind of award. I say allegedly as I don't really know anything about it as I was never informed personally and the award wasn't actually any kind of physical award that came with any kind of actual real prize, it was just my name read out at a meeting I wasn't present at so as awards go, fairly poor, but fairly in line with how my department works. What was genuinely nice about it though was that it was an award I was nominated for by my peers - one of the two types of people at work I actually care about (the other being the 'customer', whoever they may be) - essentially, I care about everyone at work except for the management team so it was nice that my hard work was recognised by my peers.

Anyway, after just one day at work, I b*ggered off to Venice for a little trip with Ron and a number of people from his side of the family. I did find the trip extremely exhausting and I think Ron did too as he was still recovering from his very recent surgery but we had a fabulous time. Venice is an amazing city and it was great to spend some more time with Ron's family. It's a very unique place and whilst there, I made some observations:

  • It isn't very pushchair-friendly (I saw very few young children actually now I think about it) due to all the very many bridges
  • It isn't at all wheelchair-frendly for the same reason (what on earth do disabled people in Venice do?)
  • Being a bin-collecty-type-person looks like a really cr@ppy job (same thing - all the steps and bridges)
  • It feels incredibly clean due to the complete lack of any vehicle other than a boat
  • It is very relaxing and calming due to the water everywhere
  • It is very easy to get lost in (every street looks the same to me and ends with a bridge and some steps!)
  • There are some very talented musicians that live there (Interpreti Veneziani were simply amazing - what a treat)
I highly recommend it as a European city destination but would advise caution if there is any reason at all why you wouldn't want to walk up and down a lot of steps to get anywhere. This was pretty tough for me at almost 8 months pregnant so bear this in mind! Here's Ron looking pretty dashing and suave if I do say so myself:

and me, looking slight less suave:

Me and Globetrotting Shrimpy
On the subject of this picture actually, it does highlight one of the things that is going in my favour in some ways and not so much in others - my bump is actually not that big! Sure, it feels huge to me but compared to most ladies who have just 8 weeks to go, it's pretty small. I have decided this is due to one of two reasons:
  1. My Peter Andre-esque abs are holding Shrimpy in (this may be wishful thinking but it's a nice theory)
  2. I have enormous child-bearing hips
My Mum tells me it is definitely the latter and that, like her, her mother before her and no doubt the many mothers before her in that line, we are built for making babies. One could interpret that as us just being a little on the 'wide' side but I prefer 'child-bearing' as a term. The problem with bump being not that huge though is that I think people forget how nearly full term I am and don't understand how little I am capable of at the moment - particularly at work - but in all aspects of life really and I'm no Superwoman.

On the plus side, I would probably feel even worse if my bump was bigger but then again, it's hard to say as just because it isn't huge on the outside, I can assure you, the inside of me, like all the organs and stuff, are incredibly squished so maybe if it was bigger, maybe I wouldn't have lungs the size of peanuts?

I was thinking a little this week also about what kind of Mummy I will be. I have always thought I will be quite a good Mummy but my biggest concern is that I will spoil my little man too much. I fully intend to be quite disciplined with him and not give him everything he wants because I want him to appreciate things and get rewarded for hard graft but anyone who has witnessed how Boog has me wrapped around her little 'fingers' would have cause to doubt my intentions. One look at me with her big, green, soppy eyes that say, "Wood, I am so hungry, starving in fact, and you haven't given me any treats for at least 5 minutes and, oh, I feel weak" and I give in and give the little fluffball some more cheesey treats. How could anyone deny that little face though, I ask you? Anyway, this concerns me. I am going to have to work on this area of things with a real live Srhimp.

So, that's pretty much it this week. NCT classes start next week (they actually started on Saturday but unfortunately we couldn't make the first one) so I'm looking forward to meeting some other Faversham Mummies and Daddies and hope they will be super smashing people.

Oh, and Shrimpy continues to kick and punch me VERY hard VERY frequently. It will be very strange to not be winded from the inside constantly actually!

Current Symptoms:
  • A bladder the size of a garden pea
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen everything
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing


Daddy has been in recovery and will, as previously, write if he can. He says hi.


I'm about 41½ cm tall at the moment and continue to grow at a steady pace. I learnt this week that actually every single one of my organs is ready for the outside world except for my lungs. These would probably be OK with a little extra help but all of the others are fully functioning so I'm basically just maturing in here like a fine wine.

This week, I discovered a new form of exercise known on the outside world as 'Tai Chi'. I'm doing it for a couple of reasons really, partly to become big and strong like Daddy and partly because I find it quite relaxing and it takes my mind off my entry to the world (which I am becoming more and more worried about as the days go by - apart from being squishified, what's it going to be like out there? A whole new world). Mummy appears to be joining in as every time I do one of the big outstretched kicks or punches, she makes a noise - like a noise of encouragement I think so that's nice. I'm getting pretty good though and even though there is less room to move, I find if I just punch and kick a little harder, I can still outstretch fully and actually, the increase in tension due to the lack of available space makes me even stronger so it's working out well.

For fun, I use the squidgy thing I was telling you about last week as a trampoline. I love it!

I got another stamp on my passport this week as well. Mummy and Daddy took me to a place called Venice which I understand is in another place called Italy (a place within a place - what's that all about?). They took me on a lot of boats and my land legs were more than a little wobbly at times but it sounded like a very beautiful place so I am looking forward to seeing it with my own eyes! I heard some beautiful music this week as well - I think it was Vivaldi - stunning.

I don't think I've got much planned for next week - oh, that's right, lazing about in here 'maturing' - so I'll let you know how that goes.

Oh, just one final thing. It did make me chuckle this week. Mummy's brother reckons he has sussed out my name (based on the very loose clue of it being quite an unusual name and the name of a character in a film). He is convinced it is 'Ferris'. Ha ha ha ha ha, as if Mummy and Daddy would call me Ferris! I wasn't sure whether to put him out of his misery or leave him thinking he had it right. I'll leave that to Mummy I think.

1 comment:

  1. I remember having lots of the horrid symptoms that you have, but yet I still look back at being pregnant with lots of fond memories. Weird!

    Give Shrimpy a rub from me :)