I have the dreaded lurgy! I’ve called in sick and am staying home today, much to my annoyance since after today I only have fourteen days left in the office before I’m off till the middle of next June (I finish at the end of August, but due to having so many annual leave days, flexi time and various antenatal appointments, my office time has been whittled right down!).
It started on Saturday night. We went to bed and I throat was feeling a little dry – every time I was just about to drift off to sleep, I’d let out a colossal snort which would wake me up again (almost like the beginning of a loud snore, but slightly different as it was in my throat rather than my nose), so I didn’t get much sleep. On Sunday, I was tired, but the dry throat didn’t bother me too much through the day as it was hot weather and I just drank a lot of water. Sunday night I hardly got a wink of sleep and on Monday morning, my throat was feeling rather raw and my voice had gone al husky and sexy. So I called the doctor and went along to an appointment to find that I have a bit of a throat infection (viral, rather than bacterial, so there’s not really anything I can take other than paracetamol for the pain and honey-and-lemon drinks to soothe). I went off to work as, other than feeling a bit tired and a bit scratchy-throated, I felt absolutely fine – except I now had a racking cough too.
Last night I got zero sleep and this morning my voice is almost completely gone, so I decided that, as I’d be neither use nor ornament to anyone in the office (being completely unable to answer phones and being too tired to even walk to work, let alone actually concentrate on anything once there), I’d stay home and try to get some rest instead. Of course, I had to repeat myself several times in order to get the message across as my voice drifts in and out of creaky audibility!
Ah well – at least my colleagues are lovely, understanding folks and I was told to get some rest and take whatever time I need to get well (they’re just so sweet there – I really am lucky!). Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be feeling a little better and more able to get into work, as tomorrow is my last working day this week!
Foetus at 31 weeks
It’s been something of a busy week, both in baby-and non-baby-terms. Work has been hectic and we’ve also had an antenatal appointment with the midwife and our very first antenatal, class…
Some interesting facts about being 31 weeks pregnant:
- Tadpole now weighs just shy of 3.5lbs and measures about 16 inches from crown to foot (not much room in there for moving about these days!)
- Tad will most likely gain at least another 2lbs before being born (that’s a lot of growing and filling out still to do)
- Tadpole’s organs are continuing to mature and s/he will be passing water (practice for peeing once s/he’s out in the world!)
- If Tadpole were to be born today, s/he would have a 95% chance of survival (this won’t change again now until we hit 34 weeks)
- There are now 63 days left till our Estimated Due Date
The weather has been much hotter over the past week, which is not welcomed by me! Everyone else has been praying for a sunny, hot summer, whereas I’m favouring the idea of cooler temperatures, as I’m really feeling the heat now! The walk to work which, pre-pregnancy, took me 20-25 minutes, now takes 40 minutes and involves me stopping several times to rest a moment and have a drink of water. It also involves me arriving at work huffing and puffing and feeling rather tired! Still, in a way, I’m glad walking is my only way of getting to work, as the exercise can only be good for me and Tadpole, and occasionally a colleague spots me as they pass in their car and offers me a lift, which is sometimes rather welcome!
I chose a lovely, soft green paint for the nursery last weekend, as well as a very sweet Winnie the Pooh (original, not Disney!) border, and Dale spent Sunday decorating Tadpole’s room. When he was done, Dale had to admit it looked much better – more like a nursery and less like an abandoned office room!
We had our first antenatal class on Wednesday afternoon, where we got to meet a bunch of other almost-parents whose estimated due dates are within a few weeks of our. Everyone in our class is a first-timer, which is rather nice, as we all get to experience this for the first time together. However, I was really surprised at just how unprepared many of them seemed – not to brag or anything, but Dale and I were pretty much stars of the show when it came to knowing what’s going to be happening throughout and after labour. Many of the mums-in-waiting didn’t even realise that they had to birth their placenta after the baby and I think we were the only ones who had given any serious thought to a birth plan! Everyone was really lovely and I’m looking forward to our second class next week, even though Dale won’t be able to come as it’s in the morning this time (being a Postie, he won’t be able to accompany me, so I’ll be flying solo on this occasion).
On Thursday afternoon we had another midwife appointment – just a regular check-up to make sure everything’s progressing as it should. My bump was measured and found to be 30.5cm (which is spot on as I was 30.5 weeks pregnant!), so I guess I’m not so monstrously huge as I though – I just feel that way because I’m not used to being quite this large and round! I’ll admit to being rather fond of my bump, which I think looks like I’m trying to smuggle a beach ball – I spend a lot of time stroking my belly and talking to Tadpole, just letting him/her know what’s going on in our day-to-day lives and letting him/her know how loved s/he is – I figure letting Tad know all this stuff can only be good in the long run! And Dale loves “bump watching” too – in the evenings, when Tadpole is at his/her most active, Dale will get right up close and watch the undulations or chase a stray foot as it glides across my belly, making Tad kick back at him. He also seems to think its great fun to blow raspberries on my tummy – I’m not quite sure how Tadpole takes that!
Tad is definitely reacting to certain types of music. If we play Rammstein or Queen or Dream Theater (our favourite bands) then the activity in my tummy definitely picks up. And there are certain songs that seem to illicit a stronger reaction too – last night Tad was going crazy over the soundtrack to Highlander!
My hypnobirthing book has arrived and I’m about half-way through it. It seems to have some very interesting ideas and offers up some nice relaxation techniques to try, so I think I’ll give some of them a shot. I might even order the CD that goes with the programme if I can, as it can help to follow a relaxation guide rather than having to think it all out in order in your head. I also got another book called Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read (which is the book that inspired Marie Mongan to develop the hypnobirthing programme) and I plan to read it very soon, as I’m becoming increasingly enamoured of having as natural and drug-free a birthing experience as possible. I really must ask my Mam about her experience of giving birth to me and my sister. She’ll be away on holiday for a couple of weeks, but when she gets back I really must ask…
And yes, as declared last weekend, I am having my peaceful weekend! I have turned down several invitations for today and tomorrow in order to be able to do whatever I want whenever I want and not have to think about being anywhere at a set time to do anything in particular. I plan to head out briefly later on to buy Dale’s anniversary present, but other than that, I’m just going to go with the flow and try to get a bit of rest, as that’s something that has been sorely lacking of late! It’s bizarre how much in-demand I’ve been this year. Not that I’m usually particularly unpopular, but since I got pregnant, my social engagements seem to have increased in number significantly and I can’t actually remember the last weekend I had where I didn’t have to be somewhere. It’s nice to get some “me time”. Perhaps I’ll finally get a chance to try out those pregnancy Pilates and yoga DVDs I bought some time ago and still haven’t taken out of the cellophane wrapper despite my best intentions!
I finally have two photographs to show the progress of the bump. They were taken on a mobile phone, so they’re not of brilliant quality or anything, but they do show the massive growth of my Tadpole-Bump in a short space of time!
The first one was taken at 22 1/2 weeks, the second one today at 30 weeks. As you can see, I’m huge! I’ll have another one taken in a few weeks (possibly 36) just to see what difference that shows…
Foetus at 30 weeks
I can hardly believe we’re now three-quarters of the way there! Lots of exciting things are happening (as usual!) and we’re all being kept on our toes by Tadpole…
Some interesting facts about being 30 weeks pregnant:
- Tadpole now weighs around 3lbs and measures just over 15.5 inches from crown to foot (adding half a pound and half an inch on last week – crikey!)
- Tad’s lungs and digestive tract are now almost mature and s/he can distinguish light from dark in the womb and even track a light source (that’s one smart little kid in there already!)
- Tadpole is currently protected by approximately a litre of amniotic fluid (that sounds like major water retention to me…)
- My uterus is now pressing against my diaphragm (which explains why I get so out of breath walking to work or going up a flight of stairs – nothing to do with being unfit at all!)
- I can expect to put on approximately 1lb every week at this point (another 10lbs? I’m gonna be HUGE!)
- If Tadpole were to be born today, s/he would have a 95% chance of survival (which is excellent news – the odds are getting better all the time – hurrah!)
- There are now exactly 70 days till our Estimated Due Date
It seems my nesting instinct has kicked in big-time. We thought we were pretty much sorted for everything being ready for Tadpole’s arrival, but last Sunday I woke up with only one thought in my head – I desperately need to repaint the nursery! Now, we only decorated that room eighteen months ago and it’s a gorgeous shade of light blue, but suddenly I don’t want it blue any more – not even if we have a boy! I suddenly had it in my head that the room has to be either yellow or green (and I’m edging more towards green now) and it has to be done as soon a possible. Of course, Dale’s reaction was, “I’m not repainting the nursery – we’ve finished the decorating!” To which I replied, “I’ll do it – you won’t have to do anything except the cutting in at the top!” Of course, Dale has since come round to the idea and has decided that if anyone is painting the nursery, it’ll be him – he’s got it into his head that this is what Dads do. I’m not complaining. Now I just have to go and pick out all the supplies!
Our long-awaited cot-bed arrived yesterday and Dale spent the afternoon putting it all together. It looks gorgeous and we’re both already imagining a baby sleeping in there. It’s funny, the two of us going all gooey thinking about Tadpole like that, but that’s exactly what’s happening!
And other strange things are happening to my body. For example, I’ve suddenly sprung a leak! All the books tell you that your boobs will start leaking at some point, but I didn’t think it would happen this soon – I thought it would just be for a few weeks before Tadpole arrived! It’s only a tiny bit at the moment, but it’s been happening all week, so I’m guessing it’ll get heavier as time goes on. I’m suddenly worried about my massive boobs erupting like a geyser in some unexpected time and place! Dale, of course, thinks it’s fascinating and really very funny. I told him that next time he can have the baby and see how funny he thinks it is when his favourite bra gets stuff all over it! It took me a little while to see why he was laughing so hysterically at that one. Especially since his favourite bra was the first one to get leaked on (his favourite one for me to wear, that is!). I guess I’m going to have to go and buy some new ones in the next few weeks…
I don’t want to jinx things, but it looks like the morning sickness may be on the way out again. I’ve felt fine for most of this week and I’m hoping that things will continue improving and that I have seen the last of my head-down-the-toilet days!
I’ve started looking into something called hypnobirthing too. Dale’s not too keen (he thinks it’s namby-pamby new-age nonsense), so rather than fork out £300 for the one-to-one classes, I’ve ordered the book from Amazon. Seeing as how I’m already familiar with meditation techniques, this could be a rather useful thing to add to my skills in time for giving birth – watch this space…!
And in the middle of all this, I’ve gone and applied for a new job! Not that I’m not happy where I am, but this is a promotion opportunity within the same department. The Head of Policy (who works in the Chief Executive Service) is finally being allowed to have a PA (he’s the only Head of Service who has never had any administrative assistance allocated specifically to him) and the closing date was yesterday. I swithered about whether or not to apply, but finally decided that the worst thing he could say was “No” and I can handle that – after all, I still have my own job which I love, so I wouldn’t exactly be losing out at all. I figured I’d never know unless I tried, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. There is only one other applicant, so I guess we’ll find out soon enough if either one of us is considered right for the position. Either way, I’ve decided not to stress about it at all – if I get the job, that’s great (even though they would immediately have to advertise for maternity cover!), if I don’t then I’m fine with that too.
And I’ve finally decided to take everyone’s advice and have a bit of a rest! Seeing how busy I’ve been over the past few weeks, and taking into account how exhausted I’ve been feeling, I’ve decided that next weekend I am going to do as little as possible. I will not be accepting any invitations at all (so if anyone asks and I say no, please don’t be offended – I just need a little time-out to rest up a while!). The most I will do is nip out briefly to get Dale an anniversary card and present for the following weekend (as we’ll have been married five years on 1 August), and, as I know exactly what I’m going to get him, it won’t take long to do that. I may potter around the flat a little, but I’m not going to make any plans to do anything at all – it’s time to put my feet up for a few moments!
In the meantime, I’m heading out to a chiropody appointment very shortly and then meeting Kerry for lunch – and perhaps I’ll see if she fancies helping me pick out the colour scheme for the nursery this afternoon…
Last Sunday, Dale and I ventured out to Mothercare to pick up a few items (some maternity pads in preparation for my trip to the maternity ward; a wedge-shaped pillow to support my belly more comfortably in bed; and some breast pads to deal with my boobs which have suddenly sprung a leak!). It was a beautiful, sunny day and Mothercare isn’t far from where we live (under normal circumstances it would take less than 10 minutes for me to walk there, under current circumstances it takes more like 15), so we opted for a gentle saunter.
As you’re probably already aware, heat affects pregnant ladies – often adversely – and it really doesn’t help when there’s a complete lack of air conditioning in shops! Mothercare was swelteringly hot. And on top of that, something in the shop set Dale sneezing, so he decided to wait at the door for me while I joined the queue to pay for our purchases.
It was quite a long queue and I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable as I waited, but it wasn’t until I was next in line to be served that it suddenly hit me – I was going to pass out!
Now, those who know me know that I pass out as a matter of course, even when not up the stick, but I’ve been getting more and more dizzy spells lately, which I’d been told to expect. My only remedy is to get onto the ground as quickly as possible in order that, should I actually black out, I don’t have far to fall. So, I sat down rather abruptly on the shop floor with my head swimming and my vision blurring.
I can’t be the only pregnant woman who has ever taken a dizzy turn in Mothercare, surely? You’d have thought so from the reaction of the staff! It was actually my fellow customers that rallied round to make sure I was alright, while the staff carried on serving! The woman behind me crouched down beside me and asked if I was OK or needed any help, and a woman who was already being served turned and asked if I was with anyone, at which point I mentioned Dale was just outside the shop – she ran off to get him for me. It wasn’t until Dale was beside me and putting his cool hand to my brow that a staff member casually asked if I’d like her to bring me a cup of water, to which I replied, “Yes, please!” Once I had some water, her colleague mentioned there was a chair at Customer Service if I’d like to go and sit there – it was at the other end of the rather large store! She took the goods we were planning to buy and put them behind the counter for us – that was the extent of her help to us.
Fortunately, there was a small seat in the children’s shoe section just a few feet away and Dale was able to get me to it to sit down and recover for a while. The staff never bothered checking on me again.
Once I was feeling a little better, I decided to wait outside while Dale stood in line to pay for our goods. While he was on there, no fewer than three other customers came out and asked if I was OK now and one woman even offered to wait with me till Dale came out, adding that she was shocked at how the staff had handled things.
Dale emerged a few minutes later and, with the fresh air, I was feeling well enough to make the short, but very slow, walk home again. The whole situation made me wonder if Mothercare really show mothers any care at all?
Foetus at 29 weeks
It feels like time is running very short, with only 77 days till our Estimated Due Date – suddenly I feel completely unprepared for our impending arrival as our cot-bed still hasn’t arrived and we don’t yet have basic essentials like nappies and all the supplies that go with them! Apart from that kind of “have we got everything yet?” panic, I can hardly wait to meet Tadpole face-to-face!
Some interesting facts about being 29 weeks pregnant:
- Tadpole now weighs about 2.5lbs and measures around 15 inches from top to toe (so, just a little filling out since last week)
- We’re still at roughly the 90% survival chances if Tad were to make a surprise appearance today (this will go up again at about week 30)
- Tad’s head will, at this point, be getting bigger, and brain growth is particularly rapid now (which is great, because our Kid is obviously going to be a genius of some kind!)
- My appetite has increased massively – I’m hungry all the time. However, I can only eat much smaller amounts before feeling full – I guess Tadpole is taking up more room in there that is usually reserved for nosh!
The morning sickness has continued, although not as consistently bad as it was in the first trimester – I had to take a day off work on Tuesday as I was feeling so grotty, and this time the sickness tends to be accompanied by bouts of light-headedness, which aren’t particularly welcome as I am susceptible to passing out at the drop of a hat at the best of times and it’s kind of freaky to suddenly have to get as close to lying down on the floor as possible in order to try and avoid falling all that distance, especially now that I have this big baby bump up front! And the bump is now so big that my massive boobs seem positively dwarfed by comparison! I’ve also discovered that pretty much the only thing I can stomach and have a chance of keeping down in the morning is a bowl of porridge and a glass of milk – ordinary cereal, toast and fruit are all off the early-morning menu, as is fruit juice. So, my breakfasts are now bland, but at least it has a decent chance of staying inside my stomach!
I’m finding I get frustrated with people and situations far more easily these days too. For example, last Thursday at my 28-week blood work appointment, the midwife (not my usual one) told me I should call for my results in a week, which I did yesterday, but it took forever to get an answer. Our surgery opens at 8.00am, so I called the NHS 24 line at 8.00 and asked to be put through to my surgery to get my antenatal results. The man on the other end redirected me, but the number just rang out, so he took the call back and explained they didn’t open till 8.30 before giving me the direct number. I waited till 8.30 and called the number he’d given me, only to discover that got me through to the antenatal clinic at the hospital – not my surgery – so, of course, they didn’t have my results. I called NHS 24 again and asked to be put through to my surgery and this time I got through to the most obnoxious receptionist on the planet. Now, I know se couldn’t just give me my results over the phone, but she was particularly unhelpful I that I had to give my details three times and spell my name twice before being told that the doctor would have to call me back with the results. I then gave her my work number and said I’d be there by 9.15 if the doctor could call me after that point. She, however, bluntly said, she couldn’t specify a time to the doctor, but that he would call at about 9.00. I tried explaining that I wouldn’t be there by that point as I am 29 weeks pregnant and have to walk uphill for 35-40 minutes to get to work; hence, I would arrive at about 9.15. She again reiterated the 9.00 call time and hung up the phone.
So, I rushed along the road at double pace and arrived at work at 9.03am, exhausted and feeling terrible.
The doctor called at 10.20am.
I was furious at having been made to rush around, rather than taking it a bit easier as I’ve been told time and again that I need to do. Fortunately, the doctor who called is one I’ve seen before and was lovely to me. He told me that my blood count and blood sugar levels were absolutely fine, so nothing to worry about there, and went on to check how I was feeling overall before letting me get on with my work.
I seem to be permanently busy these days. If I’m not at the office working my tail off, then I’m rushing around on the weekend trying to get things done in the little time we have left, as well as seeing friends. I never seem to have any time left to just chill out at home. For example, last weekend I was meeting friends for coffee in town, this weekend we have my pregnant sister-in-law visiting (she’s about 10 or 11 weeks behind us). next weekend, I’d attempted to arrange some pamper time and booked a chiropody appointment so I could then go on to have a pedicure, but the pedicure is now out as I’ll be meeting a pal for lunch instead. Now, all these activities are pleasurable, and I look forward to them every time (so if any of those friends read this, please don’t cancel, because I really am looking forward to it – I’m not just saying that!), but I know that come Sunday I’ll want to collapse in a heap on the sofa and watch TV, when what I will actually have to do is housework (albeit lighter duties, as Dale has taken over the majority of work that needs doing around the place – what a star!).
Anyway, I have decided that Saturday 26 July will me a “Me Day” as that will be a particularly busy week, what with an antenatal class AND an antenatal appointment during the working week. The weekend after that will be Dale and my fifth wedding anniversary, so the only person I’ll be seeing that weekend will be Dale!
Right, I’m off to get things ready for our visitors arriving – honestly, since getting pregnant, I’ve never been so popular!
I never used to be a jealous person, but due to a bad relationship experience in the past, I discovered I was secretly growing a green-eyed monster. I’m getting much better now, although there are still moments when it flares up a little, even though I trust my husband completely (its other people I don’t trust!). My hubby, on the other hand, has never had a jealous bone in his body. In fact, he loves it when other men find me attractive because he is the one who gets to go home with me (isn’t that sweet?!).
However, last night, I got my first ever glimpse of Dale’s little monster…
We were watching Speed Racer (which is pretty rubbish – hilariously bad, actually) and I noticed that the actor playing Inspector Detector (Benno Furmann) looks an awful lot like J at work. Now, J is my favourite of a group of guys collectively known as The Exquisite Boys of Planning – half a dozen of the loveliest-looking guys the Council has on offer and they all work in the Planning department (where I used to work, so I’m quite friendly with them).
Now, Dale has known for a long time that they are called this and that J is my favourite of the crew, and he has always found it quite funny. However, last night, after my comment that J looks very like Mr. Furmann, we later had the following conversation:
Dale: I don’t think I want you taking to J any more.
Me: Why not?
Dale: No reason.
Me: No, really, why not?
Dale: Just because.
Me: Is it because he looks like Inspector Detector?
Dale: (brief pause) Erm. Yes.
Me: Are you a little bit jealous?
Dale: (indignant) No!
Me: It is, isn’t it?
Me: What was that?
Me: It’s OK – J is leaving in a couple of weeks to go travelling for a year and he probably won’t be back at the Council.
Dale: (smiling) Good!
For the record, Benno Furmann looks like this:
He’s a good looking guy, wouldn’t you agree? Now, J is actually slightly better looking and is also younger (being about 25 or 26 years old).
But I have to admit, I fancy Dale WAY more. He has absolutely nothing to worry about.
Still, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who suffers the occasional pang of jealousy!
Foetus at 28 weeks
It’s been rather an exciting week – we are now officially heading into the third trimester and are on the home stretch!
Some interesting facts about being 28 weeks pregnant:
- Tadpole is now almost 2.5lbs and just shy of 15 inches crown to foot (which explains why I’m now feeling so heavy up front and getting kicked harder than ever!)
- We’re still at roughly the 90% survival chances if Tad were to make a surprise appearance today (this will go up again at about week 30)
- Fat layers are forming and fingernails are growing (so Tad will be getting a good deal chubbier over the coming weeks!)
The Kid has really been kicking a whole lot more lately and today I found what appeared to be a small, hard bump to the right of my bellybutton. When I lightly pressed it with my finger it quickly withdrew and then I was treated to a good, hard boot from the same spot – I think it was Tad’s foot! Tadpole must have been having a bit of a stretch-out and didn’t take too kindly to having his/her foot tickled! Dale has just spent a fun half hour testing this theory and laughing whenever Tadpole kicked back in retaliation. He stopped when I got a hand stuck under my pelvis that pinged out quite painfully when Tad kicked out at the other side – ouch!
I’m very glad I only had a very short working week (due to having Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as annual leave), as I haven’t been feeling exactly tip-top. In fact, over the last couple of weeks I’ve had days where I felt downright grotty and thought I’d either eaten something dodgy or was coming down with a bug. It turns out, however, that my morning sickness has decided to make a return appearance (back by non-too-popular demand?). Fortunately, it seems to mostly be sticking to mornings and fading out by early afternoon, rather than getting progressively worse throughout the day like it did during my first trimester! I have had a couple of evening bouts, but nothing as bad as pre-week 16 (thank Gods!).
I also had a slight episode on Thursday morning during my walk to work – I was about 3/4 of the way to the office when I suddenly felt incredibly light-headed (this was after getting out of the flat despite having a 20-minute hugging session with the loo first thing!). I stopped and did the only thing I could think of – I sat down right there on the path to keep from risking a fall if I passed out. Thankfully, a very nice lady who had parked a few cars away came out to see if I was alright and sat with me a while till I felt better – then very kindly gave me a lift the rest of the way to work (after giving me the choice of being taken home instead!). She was so lovely and I couldn’t thank her enough – a complete stranger caring enough about someone she’s never before seen in her life as to step in and lend a hand – it kind of restores ones faith in humankind! I felt progressively better as the morning wore on, but it gave me quite a scare and reminded me that I really must take things a bit more easily!
On Thursday afternoon I had my 28-week blood work appointment with the midwife (not my usual midwife as she was on holiday, but this one was just as nice). I’ll find out the results in a week or so, but as everything else seems fine I’m not particularly worried.
Earlier in the week I had a bizarre dream – it was my last day of work (which will be at the end of August) about tea-break time, and I stood up to go and get a cuppa only to find I was suddenly standing in a damp patch! I calmly declared, “Oh! It appears my waters have broken! I think I’d better go!” before waddling off (I then woke up before I found out where I was heading!).
On a slightly baby-related note, Dale passed his driving theory test last week and this week we bought our first car! It’s a very nice black, 5-door Fiat Punto and Dale is like an excited schoolboy over it, even though he can’t drive it yet. it’s one step closer to being ready for Tadpole’s inevitable arrival (which I’m increasingly thinking will be sooner rather than later – I just have a feeling that we’re going to be a titchy bit early).