We have movement! After weeks of feeling around for strange bubblings and “butterflies”, the bubblings and butterflies have come to me! No manipulation of the stomach area necessary. Now that I can feel them, the movements, they happen all the time. I feel as though I’ve swallowed a fish and it’s alive in my stomach, which is possibly a disturbing example, though it would have been more disturbing if I’d said what I really meant which was “I feel like I ate a fish for dinner, and inside my stomach it somehow reassembled itself and started living again”.

Anyway, I have twitchings and strange throbbings and it can all be a bit offputting if you’re sat trying to have a serious conversation with someone. My face must have been a picture yesterday – I was at a skincare press launch trying to look as though I was truly engaged in the presentation when in fact my stomach was jumping about all over the place! What fun. I say that without an ounce of sarcasm: it is fun. I have waited for years for this moment and nothing – not even the “you wait until you start to…” stories that everyone seems intent on telling – will rain on my parade.

Nothing else to report for 21 weeks, though I think that the wriggling and somersaulting is enough. (Baby, not me, obviously. I gave up the gymnastics about – ooh – twenty-six years ago.) Note on maternity jeans, the ones with the “under-bump” elasticated band: they are all crap. I have tried loads now and they all fall down. Last week I got off the tube and by the time I had reached the top of the escalator my whole bottom was out! Luckily I had my parka on, but should a stiff breeze have sprung.. I have decided that leggings are the way forward. High-waisted ones in soft jersey but with good hold on the legs and knees. My ASOS maternity ones aren’t at all bad, but I have NEXT on my list of brands to try so I’ll let you know how I get on with those.

*written at 21 weeks + 3 days

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baby bump at 20 weeks

If you read Pregnancy Week 19 then you may have come back looking for Pregnancy Week 20 and been disappointed, because it wouldn’t have been here. I had a bit of a crisis of confidence, wondering whether I really did want to record all of my thoughts for everyone to see. Not that I know whether anyone has seen them. I also thought it might be more prudent to just shift all of my pregnancy posts over onto my main website, to make it easy for all of my lovely readers who don’t want to have to skip about all over the internet looking for my words.

But no; rambles and diary entries are staying right here. Bigger, feature-length posts and anything beauty or fashion related will be over on A Model Recommends. One of the main reasons that the rambling posts are over here is this: pure laziness. If they went onto the main site, I’d have to find pretty pictures for everything, otherwise it cocks my homepage up; here, I have sneakily made it look like a newspaper so I need only use the odd black and white photo to illustrate my writing. Clever, eh? Providing photography for my main site is a whole job in itself, and, once baby arrives, I can’t imagine I’ll want to be doing it for one website let alone two!

What happened in week 20, then? Well, for one thing I sat obsessing over the fact that I hadn’t felt any baby movements yet. No flutters, no churnings, nothing. I put it down to the fact that I had an anterior placenta (placenta covering the front wall of the womb) and sometimes it takes longer to feel movement. But then, my sonographer at the 20 week scan said that my placenta had moved to the top! I was mildly comforted by seeing baby moving about on the scan screen, but he/she wasn’t ridiculously active and I did have to seek reassurance thirty, or perhaps forty times, that everything inside the Crilly Uterus was fine. It was.

I was so nervous waiting for my scan; the twelve week (I actually had it at thirteen) scan was nerve-free, because I’d paid for a private one about four days previously and knew everything was fine. (No, I’m not mad, I went for an extra one so that I could take scan pics with me for my birthday celebration weekend back in late November!) But anyway, yes, more nervous for week 20 – especially as the poor girl before me came out crying. Flat tummy, so I assumed a twelve-weeker, and looking distraught with her Mum holding her arm, so I assumed bad news. My heart went out to her – I had to look at the ceiling to put the tears back in. (My own “bad news” scan, a few years ago now, was a private one at eleven and a half weeks, but I remember it as though it were yesterday. One of the worst days of my life, I think.)

After the scan, I had promised myself a trip to Mothercare to buy the first babygro, but it still felt too early and so off we went, instead, to the bathroom shop to look at wall-hung toilets. My life is nothing if not incredibly interesting. I was hankering after a banana milkshake from McDonalds, but managed to resist, stuffing down, instead, one of those Nakd cereal bars that look like compressed turd. Fruity, but distinctly unappealing to look at.

Something to note, in week 20 (I realise I’m writing this a week late, as I’m 21+1 today, but bear with as I’m trying to remember everything): every woman who has given birth is desperate to tell you their birthing horror story. Cords round necks, split vaginas, bowels that no longer poo efficiently and labours that saw them mooing like stuck cows in a cattle grid. From a pregnant lady to all previously pregnant ladies: please do not tell me your stories. You’re messing with my zen.

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This has become something of a daily sport, watching to see when – at what precise moment – my belly button will stop being in “inny” and start being an “outy”. I won’t pretend that the idea doesn’t make me ever so slightly queasy, but the queasiness is greatly outweighed by the possible – INTENSE – pleasure I would gain from seeing, in action, my belly button suddenly pop out like one of those Turkey thermometers that ping when the bird is cooked. Oh my God, I can’t even explain to you how disappointed I would be if it happened at night, especially after all of these hours on (what I have started calling) Button Watch.

It can’t be long now; the button is completely flat. I’m seeing the depths of button that have never been seen before; it has little tiny bits on it like grains of sand, that I always assumed were grains of sand, forever stuck inside, but actually turn out to be skin. Or moles. I don’t even know what, I’m not dwelling on those insignificant points, because soon the Button will pop. I’m wondering whether it’ll be a quick, instant movement, or whether it will slowly kind of unfurl itself outwards, like a windsock being filled with a gentle breeze. Does anyone know? Has anyone actually witnessed a Button Pop?

Right, I’m sorry. I must go. Every second spent typing is a potential disaster, in terms of observation. There’s also something quite undignified about sitting here with my vest top rolled up; I may have to just cut a small hole in it at the appropriate area, kind of like a viewing window.

 * written at 21 weeks pregnant + 1 day

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You may wonder why I’m starting to write about my pregnancy nineteen weeks in. There are a few reasons, but I didn’t really want to go into them in the very first post as it’s all a bit deep and possibly depressing. I wanted to start on a high note with the fact that here I am – me! – with a baby growing away inside. Something I honestly thought would never happen, possibly because years of disappointment do that to a person and also possibly because I have an overactive imagination and tend to think of life in terms of Hollywood endings and/or epic personal tragedies and disasters.

I’ll fill you in on all of the history very soon, because it’s actually the bits that have gone before this pregnancy that made me want to write this blog in the first place. It’s the ups and downs and the tears and the occasional moments of despair that made me want to share my feelings and experiences. Just in case there are a few people out there who are going through the same thing. But do you see what I mean, now? Darkness and despair! It’s so easy to slip onto that road and mull over past events and I don’t want this blog – or indeed this pregnancy – to be marred by things that have been and gone and that I have no control over. I will record them in a way that I hope will be helpful to other people, but I’ll try to keep them separate to the happy thoughts and events of the present.

And so, back to week 19. The first week that has really spurred me into action to get things written down for posterity and that is because of two things:

1) The checkout lady at ASDA asked me when I was due and

2) A man on the tube gave up his seat for me.

Both times I almost jumped for joy! I have never been so excited. It took a few seconds to register, but then I realised that I was visibly pregnant. It was real – it was actually happening. Again, not to be all ridiculously sentimental about things, but it’s hard to believe that something is happening when you have spent so long thinking negatively about it and not believing it could happen. You have to check yourself every other minute of the day to make sure it’s real – there are a few horrible seconds each morning upon waking that you think that maybe it was all just a cruel dream and you imagined the whole thing. And so to have other people – strangers – verify that you have a baby on board? Well. I have to admit that I got a little overexcited, especially when the man on the tube said,

“I have got that right, haven’t I? Please tell me I haven’t just embarrassed myself? You are pregnant?”

And I virtually bellowed out my “yes”.

“Yes! I am pregnant!”

The people in the tube carriage must have thought I was unhinged.

Nothing to report, this week, in terms of symptoms and twinges. Fear not, those who are reading and want to know all about the goings on in the first trimester (and there are lots of them): I have recorded each and every one and will be posting them soon. Again, I am sorry to start the blog at week 19, but for my own emotional wellbeing it couldn’t be helped. I just haven’t felt confident enough until now – the paranoia that something might go wrong was too overwhelming and though I start this blog anonymously, it all felt just too private and raw to put out there into the world.

But I think – hope – that I feel robust enough to get it all down on paper. And perhaps it will all stay anonymous, or maybe I’ll put my face on here and pictures of my bump. It could possibly turn into a fully-fledged technicolor website with fashion features (Style the Bump!) and beauty and recipes for Coco Pops Cakes, but I have my hands very full with my first, incredibly busy, website and so we shall just have to see how things go. I’m leaving things loose and relaxed, which I have become quite good at since I found out I was pregnant. Though I often take the sentiment a little too far and end up watching Netflix marathons lying on the sofa…

PS: apparently all bumps are different and people show at completely different times in pregnancy so please don’t freak out if you don’t have a bump yet and you’re reading this at nineteen weeks. One of my biggest rules on this blog is that I don’t want anything to freak people out. Pregnant ladies should not have to feel freaked out left right and centre because of what they read on the internet, it’s just bad and unnecessary. I feel another post coming on…

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