baby bump week 29

Pregnancy, at the moment, is being completely upstaged by ongoing accommodation issues. Our house renovations are going to take much longer than anticipated and so we won’t be back home before the baby is born – it’s all very unsettling and nerve-wracking. I’m usually quite an independent person with an adventurous spirit, but for the last couple of months I’ve just wanted to burrow down into a permanent place and stay there!

In a way, though, all of this house stuff has probably been quite good for me; I was on track to be quite a paranoid pregnant person, obsessing over every little twinge and quirk, but since Christmas I simply haven’t had time. Thank goodness, because there are many twinges and quirks and weird abdominal sensations that the books don’t really talk about – it would be easy to dwell on them and constantly think that something was going wrong. So a good distraction – if a slightly stressful one.

I have nothing very much to report this week, in terms of feelings or symptoms. I can’t believe that tomorrow I’ll be 30 weeks along; I remember being 8 weeks and seeing the third trimester as this amazingly distant and unachievable goal, and here I am racing along through it. I don’t think that I have ever been so grateful for anything as I am for this pregnancy; I’m not a religious person but I do take time out every single day to say a massive thank you to whoever – or whatever – is up there looking out for me. I watch my growing bump with amazement and the most acute sense of joy; it more than makes up for the many years of feeling helpless and pessimistic and the frequent bouts of despair. I feel so incredibly lucky and I’m trying to remember every little moment…

..apart from the moment(s) spent at the hospital last week, waiting to complete my Glucose Tolerance Test. Oh my God, two hours sat in the blood test holding area having to endure the most bizarre procession of people I have ever seen! It was like some kind of circus show! First of all a man came in wearing one shoe and carrying a plastic bag filled with something incredibly smelly (fish? Rotten meat?), then a woman sat in front of me along with four adult members of her family who I assume must have had nothing better to do on a Thursday morning. They did not stop shouting at one another, despite being sat within whispering distance, for forty minutes. Then a man went into the toilet to do some serious evacuations but forgot to lock himself in – at least three people opened the door on him, wafting toilet smells into the waiting room and making me gag. I was already feeling sick because I had been fasting for 13 hours by then!

It really put me in the mind of having a home-birth again, just to avoid having to go near the hospital, except that I can’t have a home-birth because I don’t even have a home! Do they allow baby deliveries in tents? Winnebagos? River boats? I must remember to ask…

Posts on A Model Recommends that might interest you this week: a Topshop Maternity Lookbook and a Stretch Marks Oil Review.

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ruth crilly pregnancy week 28

This week was the week when I started thinking sh*t, at some point in the not-too-distant-future, I’m actually going to have to give birth. I wasn’t actually going to start thinking about birth just yet, because twelve weeks is a fair old amount of time to get used to the idea, but my Zita West book doesn’t really talk about a hell of a lot else in the “third trimester” section – there’s a bit about nutrition and some of the niggling aches and pains you might start to get, but then it’s straight onto things like baby head positioning and how to get everything going once you’re keen for labour to start.

To be quite honest, though, my major preoccupation has been with my housing circumstances: I’m feeling very unsettled and angsty about the fact that we might not HAVE a house to live in until just before my due date. And even then, it wouldn’t be finished – just the upstairs, with a kind of rudimentary kitchen set up whilst the rest of the house is finished. We have to move out of our temporary house in mid-May and there’s nothing else on short-let, so I’ve been researching the birthing options near to my Mum in Worcestershire, just in case we find ourselves landing on my parents at the last minute! (Which I think my Mum might secretly love.)

I’ve also been starting to realise my physical limitations this week: as I race-waddled down Carnaby Street, hefting four bags and freezing cold (I had forgotten my coat – how does one even do that?), it finally hit home that I can’t actually live life at the pace I’m used to. Running up the escalators isn’t an option (my balance is terrible at the moment, besides it puffing me out) and negotiating crowds of people with a bump just isn’t fun. I need to slow down and stop trying to cram a hundred things into the day – from now on, I’m on an official Go Slow. Or at least a Go Slower. I scared myself silly on Wednesday because I didn’t feel the baby move all day and then went to the Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere (photo above) and sat there waiting for the show to start for two hours and it still didn’t move! I was convinced that I’d done too much during the day and not drunk enough water and that I’d somehow upset the baby. Funnily enough, as soon as I quietly sat in the car and relaxed, the kicks began. But it was definitely a little wake-up call – if not actually from the baby, then just from my own sub-conscious – reminding me to look after myself.

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27 week baby bump photo

Well, this week has been a bit of a shocker in terms of stress levels, what with packing boxes and having to drop off Mr Bear the cat at my parents’ house and moving and then realising that there is absolutely no reception at all at the place we’ve moved to… I feel as though we’ve landed on another planet! I mean, the reception is terrible at my permanent home (we’ve only moved out because it’s being renovated) and so you’d think I’d be used to it, but here you have to stand on the loo seat and wave your iPhone up in the rafters to get just ONE BAR! I tell you what, I will never moan about our phone reception ever again once we get back home.. And all of those fancies I had about moving further and further out into the sticks one day, until finally I built a house in the woods? No. Not going to happen. Ever.

Anyway, pregnancy. Popped to the GP (managed to get an appointment – hallelujah!) and she basically did exactly what they do at the Midwife appointment; checked blood pressure, checked wee, had a little listen to the baby’s heartbeat with that microphone thing. I put on a funny voice and said “hello, out there!” when she was listening, which did make us both laugh. Although I think she was just humouring me because she thought I was slightly eccentric. I had turned up to my appointment wearing a dress and mud-caked wellies, after all.

About the wellies: I have taken to wearing them quite a lot because they have no laces and you can just slip them on and off, but I must say that you do get odd looks if you wear them inappropriately. For example to the doctor’s surgery or to Tesco. And they are an absolute b*stard to drive in – don’t ever try and drive in wellington boots, it’s plain hazardous. By the time I’d managed to successfully press the brake pedal, which took about three attempts, I jammed it down so hard I almost gave myself whiplash! It’s worse than driving in flip-flops!

The ribs continue to complain every time I wear a bra, which is awkward: not only are ribs supposed to be mute (hohoho), it means I have to keep going bra-less for hours at a time, which in turn means that I’ll have tits down to my knees by the time I have this baby! Unless I just stay horizontal, which would suit me fine if someone just invented a laptop that could be suspended above my face, from the ceiling, and a keyboard that could be thought-controlled.

Book of the week: First-Time Parent by Lucy Atkins. It’s no-nonsense and unstuffy but doesn’t try to make lame jokes about everything and has lots of very succinct advice on what you need, equipment-wise, when the baby is born. It also talks a lot about how to soothe your vagina and perineum after birth, which worries me somewhat. Frozen peas feature heavily and also jugs of warm water to pour over yourself when you wee so that it doesn’t burn so much. Oh. My. God. I’m going to try and appreciate every single minute of having a vagina that needs no soothing and wee that doesn’t burn me. And I hadn’t even thought about my perineum before, but I’m going to appreciate that too.

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26 weeks pregnant baby bump

Creeping on in with the “26 weeks pregnant” diary entry one hour before the cut-off – it’ll be 27 weeks by the time I wake up! I had massively good intentions for this blog last week – loads of post ideas and so on – but I have been moving house, so I hope you’ll forgive me! I think I mentioned this before; we have to move into a short-let as our house is being completely stripped out and renovated. It’s all a bit of a nightmare, really, because the last thing you want to be doing when you’re pregnant is packing up and changing homes, and you definitely don’t want to have to be doing it TWICE! (We move back in May.)

Hey ho. I think I may have overdone it, at any rate – I’m beginning to realise the limitations that pregnancy brings. I know that some women run marathons, sail around the world, give birth whilst abseiling and all of that, but – quite frankly – doing up my shoelaces is enough bother, and so trying to pack my office and my beauty room and all of my clothes into boxes has completely shattered me. I’ve also had quite a few big work commitments, one of which was a long filming day at the end of  last week, and I just can’t wait to be able to sit about for a day or so and do absolutely nothing. Well, not nothing: catch up on writing all of these pregnancy blog posts that I’ve promised!

Week 26 of pregnancy has been mostly dominated by aching ribs. Oh my God. It’s as though they’ve been hammered with a baseball bat! Any and every bra hurts me after around two hours and I have to sit with my back arched and my tummy and boobs thrust forward, which looks ridiculous and can’t be amazingly good for the old spine. I try and not wear a bra whenever I feel that I can get away with it, but here’s the dilemma: not only do I have achey ribs, but I’m convinced that my boobs are getting lower. Is that because I’ve been skimping on the bra wearing? After all, my (previously) 32DDs have always been well looked after in the lingerie department, I’ve been a stickler for a good bra ever since my late teens. So are the boobs in shock at having just a little too much freedom? Albeit only in the evenings and (sometimes) the late afternoons… Or do pregnant boobs just get lower and lower? Mine sit on my belly when I sit in the bath, as though it’s a little handy boob-shelf!

What else? Ribs, boobs…oh: belly button! It has started to pop outwards! At the moment it’s just the top half of it, but the rest can’t be long now. There’s this weird round shadow around the whole area, the skin is thinner and slightly darker and when you press it it’s almost as though you could stick your finger into the depths of your body! Gross. But that hasn’t stopped me prodding a bit. And if I ever prod or press on my stomach, I get an irritated kick in response from the Tummy Inhabitant, which is quite fun. Though the only downside of feeling the whole “kicking and moving” business is that when you don’t feel anything for a while, you start to panic. Or I do, anyway. I know that it’s usually because I’ve been dashing about and not sat still enough to notice the moving, but it still freaks me out if it all goes quiet down there. I have to manoeuvre myself into ridiculous positions in an attempt to get the kicking started again. And then when it starts (usually just before I want to go to sleep) I wonder why I was ever panicking…

I must go and start unpacking my suitcases, otherwise I’ll never get to bed. I haven’t a clue where my pyjamas are, or which case I packed my toothbrush and washbag into – all I have on me is my laptop, a book on Mindful Birthing and three cereal bars!

*picture taken at 26 weeks 5 days. Dress is by Tiffany Rose here.

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pregnancy week 25

This was the week in which I was supposed to book a GP appointment as part of my “maternity care programme”. Actually, this was the week I was supposed to attend my GP appointment, so I suppose, looking back, I should have booked it weeks ago. Or, because my local doctor’s surgery requires approximately four months’ worth of notice to get anything done, I should preferably have booked it pre-Christmas. In all fairness, I did try and book one three weeks ago, but I got cut off and then lost interest. I tried again last week and they were doing some kind of training on a new lady and she couldn’t work the system, and I started to wish that I was stabbing out my own eyes with a biro rather than having to endure the conversation, so I said I’d ring back. Which I did, on Friday. Here’s how it went.**

Me: “Hello there!” [I seem to have adopted the most annoying old-person telephone voice, recently. I also say “bye bye now”, “okey dokey then” and “toodle-oo”.] “Would it be possible to book an appointment to see a doctor?”

Receptionist: “First appointment I have is in four weeks.”

Me: [Pause] “Right….it’s just that I have to have a maternity appointment, apparently. As part of my maternity care.”

Receptionist: “So you need a midwife appointment.”

Me: “Hmm. No, not a midwife, as I have all of my midwife appointments at the midwifery place that I was assigned to. They said I needed to book in with a GP.”

Receptionist: “Right. The first appointment I have is…hold on… is on the 24th March.”

Me: “That’s ages away! What if my leg was falling off?”

Receptionist: “Is your leg falling off?”

Me: “No, but you hear what I’m saying, surely?”

Receptionist: “If your leg is falling off then I’d suggest going straight to the hospital, not waiting for a GP to see you.”

Me: “My leg isn’t falling off, but my maternity notes say I have to see a GP around about now and if I wait a few more weeks it will be pointless, because I’ll have had my next midwife appointment.”

At this point in the conversation, I had a little re-think: why was I being instructed to see a GP? There was nothing wrong with me apart from the pregnancy total-brain-failure issues and my ever-aching ribs, so what did I really need to see a GP for? My notes didn’t arm me with any kind of helpful information, just “book a GP appointment”.

Me: “Do you know why I need to book a 25 week appointment?”

Receptionist: “No, why?”

Me: “No, I mean do you know why I need to book one? Is it normal?”

Receptionist: “Hold on, I’ll find out.”

[Listened to Coldplay for approximately one minute and ten seconds.]

Receptionist: “Is it a midwife appointment you want?”

Me: [Once I had finished chewing on my knuckle bones] “No, I have my midwife appointments up at the midwifery place. They said I needed to book a GP appointment.”

Receptionist: “Did they say why?”

Me: “No, it’s routine, apparently.”

Receptionist: “You needed to book it weeks ago, really, if it was routine. The next appointment is the 25th March…”

Me: “It was the 24th a minute ago!”

Receptionist: “That one has gone.”

Me: [weeps] “What if I had flu? Or a sore throat? It would be gone by the time I had an appointment!”

Receptionist: “Do you have flu or a sore throat?”

Me: “No, I have a cracking headache and an urge to hurt myself.”

Receptionist: “Try ringing at 8am tomorrow, we might have some cancellations come in.”

Me: “Righty ho. Bye bye now.”

Question of the week: what is this 25 week GP appointment? What magical services do they perform in it that the midwife can’t do? Do I need to be panic-dialing the surgery at 8am every morning to try and win a free slot, or am I OK to wait until my next midwife appointment on the 17th? I shall ring the midwife centre tomorrow and grill them on this matter, but in the meantime, hit me with your thoughts!

*written at 25 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I am clothed in Sweaty Betty (top is here) as I was going to attempt to do some yoga, but I went for lunch instead…

 **vaguely. I have embellished sections of the conversation so that you don’t have to die of boredom, as I almost did.

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