27 weeks in…

June 28, 2008 at 9:53 am (Baby) (, , , )

Foetus at 27 weeks

It’s been something of a hectic week which has left me feeling incredibly tired and slightly irritable, not at all helped by the fact that I can never seem to get comfortable lately…

Some interesting facts about being 27 weeks pregnant:

  • There are now just 91 days till Due Date (which seems a scarily small number to me at the moment!)
  • Tadpole now weighs approximately 2lbs and measures around 14.5 inches (that’s half an inch and almost half a pound in one week!)
  • If Tad were to decide today is the day to be born, s/he would have a 90% chance of survival (which is pretty great, although I hope Tad holds on for a while yet!)
  • Tadpole’s eyes will be opening around now and s/he will possibly start to dream (that’s if The Kid ever goes to sleep!)
  • My uterus is now somewhere up near my rib cage (which explains why larger meals are now WAY out of the picture, as my stomach is getting a bit squished)

Next Thursday afternoon we’ll have our 28-week blood work appointment which will test me for things like anaemia and gestational diabetes (which I’m hoping to avoid, for obvious reasons). One of my good buddies, Sandy, has the latter and I know it’s made things a little more difficult at mealtimes (and snack times too) for her. She’s due to give birth imminently, so that will sort things out again for her (thank goodness). And then I start my antenatal classes just a couple of weeks later…

I’ve developed a definite waddle over the last few weeks – I’m walking like a duck! And getting up off the sofa or out of bed is more a question of levering myself into an upright position and then waiting a moment till my centre of gravity settles and I can move about again.

Sleeping is becoming more difficult as I cannot get comfortable very easily. I have a massive support pillow which gets shoved under my bump and then tucked between my knees, but it means Dale has far less room on the bed than usual and when I’m facing him I can’t reach over for a cuddle as easily! He also seems to think its fun to “play with the baby” at bedtime. Since Tadpole seems to get particularly kicky at night, he’s taken to tapping back gently on my tummy and getting Tadpole to respond. He thinks it’s hilarious, and it makes me giggle a bit to begin with, but sometimes I just want to go to sleep – LOL! Of course, I remind him that once Tadpole is born, if he wakes the baby while s/he’s sleeping, the screaming will fast take the fun out of it – hah!

However, yesterday was Pay Day and I discovered I had about £200 left over at the end of the month (I have no idea how that happened!), so I’m going to get some more baby clothes and bedding for Tadpole’s cot-bed (which will be arriving soon). Something nice to look forward to. 🙂

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One helluva crazy week!

June 28, 2008 at 6:56 am (Books and Authors, Life gets in the way...) (, , , , , , , , , )

From start to finish, this has been a pretty hectic week with highs and lows all over the place!

Monday: Sick as a dog!
The week got off to a cracking start with me feeling rather queasy when I got up on Monday morning. By the time I was walking to work, the fresh air was doing me good and I felt a little better, but by 10-o-clock, I was flushed, roasting-hot and feeling absolutely terrible. To be honest, I looked rather waxy and horrible so I got sent home pretty quick-smart. I was feeling a little better by that evening and more able to face the day come Tuesday, so I made an attempt on the second day of the week to return to work and managed to get through the day safely.

Tuesday: Meeting MacBride
On Tuesday night, I got to go to the first Posh Club Book Group meeting I’ve been able to attend in months (I’ve been missing it due to attending my short-hand evening class on Tuesday nights until earlier this month when it finally finished – hurrah!) and we would be discussion the latest book by one of my favourite authors, Stuart MacBride, who writes gritty crime thrillers set in Aberdeen. As if that weren’t exciting enough for me, Stuart MacBride himself had agreed to join us and talk about his books and writing in general – I was in seventh heaven at just the thought of it!

Macbride was wonderful – he was friendly and personable, open and earnest, and it was a joy being able to discuss not just his latest book but the previous ones and his future plans too. At the end of the night, after asking about a gazillion questions, I asked him if he would mind signing my copy of Flesh House (his latest novel) and he wrote in it, “To Kell, Good luck on the thing growing in your tummy…” which had me laughing like a loon. Such a nice guy!

Wednesday: Shock Announcement
On Wednesday mornings the Chief Executive has a video conference with all his Area Managers (the Directors are also in attendance, but they work in the same building so they’re physically present). However, after the meeting this week, the Chief called us all into his office and made a shock announcement – he had just handed in his resignation! He was quick to point out that he is NOT retiring (despite being almost 62) but that he hasn’t yet decided what he’ll be doing when he goes in a few months’ time (he’ll be staying in the position till October/November).

I have to admit, there were a few tears in my eyes that were not entirely due to me being pregnant and hormonal, and I wasn’t the only one. The Chief is a lovely guy and a great boss – he’ll be a very sad loss to the Council which has just received an extremely positive audit (so he’s leaving on a high, rather than a low!). Things are going to be very different without him…

Thursday: Almost-Driving Dale
Dale passed hs driving theory test with flying colours, despite managing to convince himself that he would fail dismally. I, on the other hand, was very certain he’d sail through it and I was proven right – hurrah! It gave him a major confidence boost and I think it was just what he needed. We’ll be going car hunting this Sunday, as he’s anxious to get our own car as soon as possible so he can practice in it while he’s taking lessons and get as confident as possible before Tadpole arrives.

Friday: A leaving “do”
Friday saw the departure of my other boss – the PA to the Chief Executive – who is taking very early retirement. It was rather emotional as she is also a wonderful person and a fantastic boss – our team is very close! So, yesterday afternoon we had a big send-off “do” with many colleagues coming along from all over the council to say their farewells to someone who has been a major part of the Council for 15 years now.

Afterwards everyone headed off for a few drinks (I went home and got changed, missing out the “drinks session” section of the affair) and then headed to a nice restaurant for a meal too. The food was lovely but it took forever to arrive. We were seated shortly after 7.30pm and not everyone ordered a starter, but the main course didn’t get served until 9.10pm, by which time I (who was one of the starter-less folks) was absolutely starving! Anyway, the beef stroganoff tasted very nice, but wasn’t particularly hot (which was a shame) and because I had waited so long to eat, I could barely even manage half of it – I’d passed hunger and gone to the other side.

I had a taxi coming to pick me up at 10pm and it wasn’t a second too soon as I was exhausted (both physically and emotionally) and I fell into bed within minutes of arriving home, feeling slightly sick. A sad end to a very sad day.

Saturday: Surprise delivery
I had originally planed to meet the girls for a cuppa and catch-up this morning, but had to cancel as Argos were delivering our bedroom furniture this morning – I had been told to expect a phone call half an hour before their arrival and so I set my alarm for 7am, thinking that would give me plenty time to get dressed and make myself presentable for their arrival.

Not so.

At 6.25am the door buzzer rang. “Argos with a delivery for you!”

I was not only still in bed, but naked and still in bed! So now I had to leap around like a maniac (well, waddle around like a pregnant maniac!) throwing on a few clothes so I could let them in. I thought perhaps my alarm had failed to go off and it was maybe 9am or something, but no – the clock was right – it was only 6.25am! To say I was a little annoyed is an understatement. Yes, I was glad to get our furniture, but I was (and still am) feeling a little sick from the night before and being rudely awoken at such a stupid hour on a Saturday wasn’t what I was expecting.

So, even though I no longer have to wait for the delivery guys, I still won’t be going out as I’m now feeling particularly gross and tired – unfortunately I’m one of those people who can’t just go back to bed once they’re up, so sleeping is out of the question for me right now. Instead I shall sit here and complain. Grrrr!

So, an emotional roller-coaster ride this week from start to finish. Fortunately I have next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off work and, since I have an antenatal appointment on Thursday afternoon, I’ll only be working the morning that day too – plenty of time to recover from this week’s excitement – I hope!

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Yahoo News – Leading the Charge of Contradictory information…

June 22, 2008 at 9:31 am (News) (, , , )

A “Big Breakfast” as shown above is apparently “key to slimming”
Best if grilled rather than fried, though!

It never fails to make me laugh when the news contradicts itself.

Today I stumbled upon THIS article, which is a few days old, relating information on large breakfasts being key to slimming. It’s reported on Yahoo News, but quotes Sky News as the source.

It starts off saying:

The bigger and more carb-laden the meal the better, experts say.

But then does a complete turn-around and says:

“The ideal breakfast is grilled bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, mushrooms and tomatoes.
“It must be low-fat, high-protein, grilled, not fried.”
Scientist compared the ‘big breakfast’ diet with a strict low-carb weight-loss regime.

So, now I’m baffled! Which should it be? Carbs or proteins? Please make up your minds and check your facts make sense when reporting the so-called news, Yahoo / Sky – you’re going to become a laughing stock at this rate!

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Wedding Belles

June 22, 2008 at 8:57 am (Life gets in the way...) (, , , , )

It is said that things happen in threes and that certainly seems to be true of weddings. Personally, I have been a bridesmaid three times (although, in order to beat the “three times a bridesmaid, never a bride” curse, the third time was after my own wedding!), and the year I got married, I attended three weddings (including my own).

Once again, the wedding bells are ringing and over the course of the next year I shall again be attending three weddings!

In November, my step-sister, Kirsty, will be marrying her fiancé, Colin, and I shall be attending with Tadpole in tow (Dale won’t be able to make it on this occasion, as he has no more holidays available due to booking them all around the time that Tadpole is due and they’re getting hitched in Northumberland).

In January, my Dad will be remarrying and Sandra (or “Stepsie” as we call her) will officially become my Step-Mum (and I shall be forever grateful that’s she’s lovely and not a “Wicked Stepmother” type!). Their wedding will be in Braemar immediately after the New Year.

Then, next summer, my very good friend, Kerry, will marry Stuart. I’ve been excitedly listening to all her plans as they’ve been made (weddings are always exciting, aren’t they?) and then yesterday she dropped a bombshell on me – I was asked if I would do a reading at their ceremony!

My flabber has never been so gasted in all my life!

I feel honoured and delighted to have been asked to play a role in their Big Day and, of course, have very happily agreed. Kerry has also said that what I read will be entirely up to me – I can choose something to read by someone else, or I can write something myself!

The thought of the latter quite terrifies me, so I think I’ll be spending time looking for a lovely piece about love, marriage and companionship – something suitably romantic, yet not gushy, and of course, something utterly beautiful. But there is so much to choose from! Will I search through the complete works of Shakespeare and use some of his beautifully penned lines? Or will I go with one of the great romantic poets? Or one of the classic romantic writers? Or should I hunt through more contemporary pieces?

I’m rather thankful I have a year and a vast library to leaf through till I find something perfect – and I shall very much looking forward to reading at the wedding!

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26 weeks in…

June 21, 2008 at 10:59 am (Baby) (, , , )

Foetus at 26 weeks

We’re down to double-digits! Yes, that’s right – there are now 98 days till our Estimated Due Date, and I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds quite scarily close!

Some interesting facts about being 26 weeks pregnant:

  • If Tadpole were to be born today, s/he would have an 80-90% chance of survival (which is a HUGE leap up from last week!)
  • Tad now weighs about 1.6lbs and measures around 14 inches from crown to foot (Wow!)
  • The Kid’s eyes are now beginning to open and s/he is reacting more to sound (I can certainly testify to that!)

Lots of things have been happening this week. For example, I realised that my belly button has unwound (which was a bit disconcerting as when I was a kid, I firmly believed that if you unscrewed your belly button your bum would fall off!) and is now rather shallow (the dent only comes half-way up to the first knuckle on my finger!). Dale finds this hilarious, of course, and Tadpole seems to react to having a finger poked into my naval as there was an almost immediate barrage of kicks when we did that – I guess nobody likes having their space invaded!

I’ve also had quite a few very odd conversations with people I barely know:

Strange conversation number one:
Person:
You must be almost due by now?
Me: No, not till the end of September.
Person: Crikey! Are you having twins or something?

Now, I know I feel like I’m huge, but according to my measurements at my 24-week midwife appointment, I’m exactly the size I should be for this stage in pregnancy and I’m nicely within the “normal” weight-gain range. This is a conversation that drives me nuts as it makes me feel like I’m the size of a small third-world country!

Strange conversation number two:
Person:
So, what flavour?
Me: Strawberry Dick Lick from Anne Summers. Or it might have been the chocolate body paint my Mam got us for Christmas*. Oh, you didn’t mean that? No, we don’t know the sex of the baby.

OK, so I haven’t actually made that reply, but I always want to! The baby is not ice cream and I’m certain that if a hungry cannibal were to decide to dine out on Tadpole (would that be baby rack of ribs, perhaps? Sorry, a bit tasteless, but I couldn’t resist the pun!), I’m sure they’d say, “Mmm, yes, baby-flavoured!” Our local hospital has a “Don’t ask, because we won’t tell” policy in place, so we’ll be waiting till The Big Day to find out the SEX of our child. And no, I’m pretty sure I won’t be having a quick lick to determine how the baby tastes!

I have to admit, I find the constant interest of complete strangers rather scary. I don’t mean people reading my blog, but the up-close-and-personal things like someone reaching out and copping a feel of my belly without asking if it’s OK to do that first, or assuming that I want to hear their birthing horror stories when I don’t even know their name!

Anyway, back to the good stuff. We finished clearing out the nursery this week and had carpet put in, so we’re ready for the furniture to arrive! My Mam and Step Dad are very kindly buying us a cot-bed which will last Tadpole several years as a sleeping place and then convert into a small sofa for The Kid’s room, so we’re hoping to get that very soon.

I’ve also started buying in a small library of books for Tad (being an avid bibliophile, I’m determined to instill a love of books in our child from the very start!). So far I have about a dozen new books, plus a handful of old one from my own childhood which are still in very good nick, as I was careful with books even as a tot. I’m proud to be able to hand these down to my own child and hope that one day they’ll still be in readable condition for my grandkids!

* Incidentally, my mother did once get us chocolate body paint for Christmas. I think it was her not-so-veiled attempt to get us to have even more sex and thus increase her chances of becoming a grandmother!

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25 weeks in…

June 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm (Baby) (, , , )

Foetus at 25 weeks

It’s been a particularly busy week at work and, coincidentally, Tadpole seems to have been very busy too – at least, there’s been an awful lot of activity in my tum – some days I’m lucky if I get 5 minutes of peace before the jiggling about starts up again!

Some interesting facts about being 25 weeks pregnant:

  • If Tadpole were to be born today, s/he would have a 50-80% chance of survival (which is pretty good!)
  • Tadpole now weighs about 1.5lbs and measures approximately 13.5 inches from crown to toe (no wonder I’ve been feeling those kicks right round the side!)
  • If I were to shine a light on my belly, Tadpole will turn his/her head (note to self – must try that!) – apparently this shows the optic nerves are functioning already

Sleeping at night is starting to become something of an issue – it seems that no matter which side I lie, Tadpole decides it’s not comfy and kicks like crazy till I move again. Then, when I get up in the middle of the night to pee (which I do several times!) and have to change sides because my shoulder is aching, Tadpole gets all miffed at me and kicks again!

Also, the latest game is rather fun – it used to be lots of kicks till Dale put his hand on my belly and the kicks would suddenly stop. Now it’s all kicking till Dale puts his hand on my belly and then refusing to kick in that spot again and kicking somewhere else instead! No matter where Dale shifts his hands, Tadpole moves and kicks some place else! Of course, the trick is for Dale to then spread out both hands across my bump, which foxes the kid something chronic and he gets to feel a kick after all. We’ve got a tricksy one in there!

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Cheeky bugger!

June 14, 2008 at 1:38 pm (Life gets in the way...) (, , , , )

There’s a guy who wanders up and down George Street with a small kid in tow, stopping random passers-by and asking them for a couple of quid to get him and the kid home. The trouble is, this total Chav is obviously a chancer trying to pull a fast one and today, due to my lack of sleep last night, I was in no mood to give my usual “sorry, no” reply…

Today, he had not one, but two little’uns with him when he stopped me:

Chav: Excuse me, love, can you spare me a couple of quid for the bus to get my kids home?

Me: You know what? You stop me nearly every week and my answer is always the same – no, I’m not giving you any money.

Chav: (in a slightly threatening yet defensive manner) Yeah, so? What’s funny about that, then?

Me: (gripping handbag and golfing brolly tightly, just in case!) It’s NOT funny – it’s well dodgy! And it’s SHAMEFUL of you to use your kids that way!

At this, the Chav backed off and looked for someone else to approach. Unfortunately for him, everyone nearby was grinning at my gutsy reproach and one big, burly guy looked ready to step in on my behalf should the Chavmeister decide to try his luck taking me on physically.

I know I shouldn’t have risked such a confrontation (especially whilst carrying Tadpole!) but the guy really pissed me off. It might just be my opinion, but such folks deserve a good smack about the head for such bare-faced cheek!

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Rude awakening

June 14, 2008 at 8:23 am (Life gets in the way...) (, , , , )

An open letter to the git who disturbed our sleep last night:

Dear Inconsiderate Bastard,

Who on earth did you think you were phoning that made you think it’s alright to call someone at 2.10am? I fully accept that it may have been a case of “wrong number” but that doesn’t excuse you from being so rude as to hang up on me when I picked up the phone and groggily said, “Hello?”  after I was so rudely awoken, nor does it explain why you would be calling someone at stupid-o-clock in the morning.

It’s bad enough that we have our wake-up time dictated to us by the noisy brats who live upstairs and start thumping around as soon as they wake, and worse still that I already have interrupted sleep due to night-time pregnancy peeing, not to mention the fact that my husband has to get up at 3.30am as he’s a postie, but to also have someone call us and disturb our broken sleep even further is just not on.

I don’t care if you were drunk or high – just don’t call people at such an inhospitable hour – the only time that kind of call is acceptable is in an emergency and this was clearly not one.

If I ever find out who you are, I shall make a point of calling you every time my baby wakes crying in the middle of the night and let you hear the wailing. I think that’s the only fair exchange.

I hope, for your sake, that you lose your phone before the baby is born because if it takes after its mother, it’ll have a set of lungs on it beyond compare!

Consider this a sincere warning.
Very tired Kell.

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It ain’t over till the fat lady sings…

June 11, 2008 at 8:52 pm (Life gets in the way...) (, , , , , , , )

… Well, I’m technically not fat, just pregnant, but I am huge so I’m clearing my throat and bursting into song! Why? It’s finally all over – my shorthand evening class has finished an entire week earlier than I was expecting and I’m bloody jubilant about it!

What’s more, I spoke to the lecturer and he said I had done exceedingly well, so I’m chuffed to ribbons. I’ll be receiving my college certificate, saying I’ve completed the course, in the next few weeks (probably anything up to about six weeks) and, providing I also passed my external speed exam, I should get that certificate around that time too.

I am MEGA pleased to have my Tuesday nights back again – and to be able to attend a few more Posh Club meetings before a small screaming person takes over my life!

On a completely separate and frustrating note, my computer has just gone all schizoid and lost all my on-line favourites. Unfortunately, I’m the kind of person who uses all her favourites a lot but could not possibly tell you what even half of them are. All lost. All gone. Kind of takes the wind out of my sails.

Bloody crappy computer. Bah!

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24 weeks in…

June 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm (Baby) (, , , )

Foetus at 24 weeks

Where is the time whizzing away to? I’m already almost at the end of the second trimester and that seems quite a scary thought to me – suddenly, the day we get to meet Tadpole face to face seems to be looming up so fast! And Tad is making his/her presence ever more obvious, as I really do feel I’m getting quite big now and those kicks are getting stronger every time! Some of them actually make me jump with the force and I’ve been known to give a small yelp of surprise when Tadpole gives me a really good, strong kick unexpectedly!

Some interesting facts about being 24 weeks pregnant:

  • Tadpole now weighs little over 1lb in weight and is just shy of 12 inches long from crown to foot.
  • Tadpole is now officially “viable”. If Tad were to suddenly decide s/he couldn’t wait any longer to be born, there would now be between 40% and 70% chance of survival (a BIG improvement on last week’s 16%) with the proper intensive care.

We went for my 24-week check-up on Thursday and managed to listen to Tadpole’s heartbeat again, but only very briefly because Tad doesn’t like to play fair and squiggles about a lot! I also had my bump measured and my womb-height is now 24cm (which means I’m spot-on for the average for this stage in pregnancy, as there should be an increase of around 1cm for each week of pregnancy). Stretch marks are now starting to become visible (which I don’t exactly like, but I accept as part and parcel of pregnancy), but it feels really, really good to rub cocoa butter cream into them and over my whole belly. And getting Dale to do that seems to calm Tadpole down a bit too (which is nice).

Dale is now regularly getting kicked by The Kid, which always has him grinning, and he’ll now automatically go to sleep with his hand on my ever-increasing bump (although he still tends to giggle when Tad kicks me just as I’m dropping off to sleep! As you might expect, I’m not getting much shut-eye at the moment, with the combination of constant kicking and constant peeing keeping me awake at nights! All this makes for a very sleepy Kell through the day and I’ll often doze off while we’re watching an episode of JAG or NCIS after dinner and I have absolutely no energy in the evenings (actually, I start flagging some time around 3pm and it all goes downhill from there!). However, my mornings are a lot better than they were throughout my first trimester – that’s been steadily improving since the morning sickness stopped, so I aim to do most things in the mornings while I still feel fresh.

And I’m finally accepting that I have to slow down a bit. After arriving at work huffing and puffing a fair old bit a few days ago, I realised I was still making the walk in the same time as I did pre-pregnancy – no wonder I was feeling knackered! The last couple of days, however, I made a conscious effort to walk a little more slowly and added about 5 minutes to my journey time. I feel much better for it too!

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