Tuesday, 28 October 2008

29 weeks 6 days

Time for a new bump picture – quite some growth, or at least it feels like it to me, despite the fact that Chewie hasn’t generated any real weight gain in the last 2 or 3 weeks – that seems to have plateaued. Last Friday Ali and I went for a meal at the Crazy Bear in Stadhampton to celebrate my birthday (I have now gone up a whole age bracket whenever I fill in any forms – feeling distinctly middle aged…) and while waiting for our coats at the end of the night the manageress was chatting to us. When I told her my due date she expressed shock that I wasn’t due much earlier given my enormous size, which peeved me a little as most other folk say how neat the bump is. I suppose I was wearing a cardigan/shawl thing tied at the front of my bump so it could have given the impression of more size than was strictly true, plus of course I had just dined on a 3 course meal... Oh well. The food was gorgeous, and they even pandered to my pregnant lady demands to make a broad bean and pea risotto in a starter portion as I couldn’t choose any of the foie gras/soft cheese/pate options that littered the starter menu. We’ll definitely be going back there.

Looking at the picture below I realise I need a haircut too – better do that while I can still waddle into the hairdressers unaided...

Last week was our week off work and spending frenzy. It started off on great form with a weekend at my Mum and Dad’s in Leicester which was rounded off in fine style with a day spa visit to Ragdale Hall for me and Mum (her birthday present from us earlier in the year). This was soooooo relaxing – and actually streets ahead of how good I thought it might be, having remarkably never even had a facial before never mind a whole spa day. Slopping round in a fluffy robe all day having massages and facial treatments and a lovely lunch and a session in the pool was nothing short of heavenly. After I got home on the Tuesday Ali and I spent the rest of the week researching and purchasing all manner of stuff for the baby, mostly furniture for the room but a few other bits and bobs too. We also got the far end of the garden cleared and paved (well we paid a man to do it for us) in preparation for the new shed which was ordered yesterday – so in a few weeks we can remove all the garden tools, bikes etc that are cluttering up the nursery and top room and covered with a tarp outside, and get them all tidied away – thank god. When the nursery has a bit more stuff in it and actually looks like it’s ready for the baby I’ll post some pictures. Also last week the Golf came back with rear bumper fixed so I’m back driving a normal sized car, which feels a lot better.

So now I’m back at work, there are less than 6 weeks to go before my last day in the office, and I’m feeling very detached from it all. It was so nice to focus on ourselves and Chewie and preparing for his or her arrival in January that it’s taking quite some time for me to get back into the work mindset. Of course it isn’t helping when people keep telling me stories of such and such they know who gave birth 4, 5, 6 or more weeks before their due date. I do NOT want to go into labour while still at the office!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

28 weeks 1 day

Chewie seems to be head down most of the time now, and the thuds I'm feeling lower in my belly must I think actually be punches. New midwife Alison (Marie has left to go and work in the new midwife led unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford so I might see her again in 12 weeks or so...) did a thorough prod about yesterday at my 28 week appointment and managed to locate a bum, a spine and a head, though I was unable to pick out anything quite as identifiable as that via my own tentative explorations later. This is good news as currently it means that Chewie is not breech therefore I don't need to plan a C-section or get induced, though apparently there is still plenty of time for him or her to turn around a few more times before getting into final position. Hiccups are a regular-ish occurrence now too which is quite a weird sensation but sweet all the same!

The iron tablets have so far not given me any nasty symptoms after taking them for a week, which is a bonus, and I can see a faint increase in my energy levels from a week or 2 ago. Something no amount of iron will fix is my rather ungainly waddling which happens whenever I heave myself out of what uncomfortable sitting position I've been in for a while - once I've got going I'm fine but those first few steps are a bit weebly. God knows what I'll be like in another month or so.

Also of note this week was a wobbly experience of another kind. On Monday morning I set off for work in the new Golf (Ali had left at the weekend for a business trip to the US for a week so I'm home alone). At 6.40am in the pitch dark it's never the best time to be on the road but generally there is little traffic at that time of day and I get onto a quiet train and into a quiet office before 8am. But this was not to be on Monday, as I slowed down at the roundabout to get onto the A34. As there was a car coming to my right I stopped and then felt an almighty great thwack jolt me forward, luckily *not* into the path of the oncoming traffic. As I was stationary when it happened there was no whiplash and the seatbelt didn't even lock, but I was in a bit of shock. So I got out of the car, even remembering to put the hazard lights on (impressed?), and a really nice guy who had stopped to act as witness asked me if I was OK. All I could come up with was a petulant, 'well NO, not really!!' and then burst into tears. The poor man whose car had rammed into the back of me must have panicked a bit when he saw the heavily pregnant woman in floods of tears after an accident that was clearly his fault. Mind you his little Nissan Micra was in a much worse state than the Golf, as the radiator was completely buggered and spouting water all over the road. As my car was driveable, after we swapped details I went off to Didcot as usual, mildly miffed that I'd missed my early train but not really thinking much more than that. However, all day at work I was distinctly wobbly so as soon as I got any sympathy from anyone I was close to breaking down again. Physically me and Chewie were absolutely fine but I was just an emotional wreck all day.

Anyway to cut the saga short, the other driver's insurance company have been fantastically efficient, phoning me by 9am the same morning to confirm my car would be repaired, arranging the garage to pick it up and organising a hire car as a replacement until the Golf's fixed. Now somewhat alarmingly I've got a brand new 58 registration Vauxhall Vectra which is bloody enormous but actually not that bad to drive, though it took me a while to work out how to put it into reverse gear... and a nice chat with the midwife yesterday put my mind at rest. She asked me if I'd had any contractions or bleeding or signs of my waters breaking, to which I almost retorted "if I had, do you think I'd be sitting here talking to you now? No, I would be in the bloody HOSPITAL, PANICKING, woman." Anyway, all is well, Ali is back at the weekend and Chewie has continued to kick and punch and hiccup away with no sense of restraint. Bless.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Two coats...

...little and large. The large one (though still only a size 10, yay!) is my early birthday present from Ali - it caught my eye on the Toast website and when I went and tried it on in their Oxford shop last weekend, it lived up to all expectations. It's voluminous enough to cover the bump, hopefully even up to the full 9 months, and drapy and gorgeous enough to look fantastic after bump has become babe in arms and I can pretend to yummy mummy status.
The little one has been in the making for some time now - but I've only just got round to finishing it. A few errors crept in along the way and it was actually knitted for Archie originally but my tardiness in completing it has meant that it will become Chewie's when he/she is big enough (it's size 3-6 months). It just needs a few buttons and we're there.

Next up for a knitting project is the Central Park Hoodie, using Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed in a lovely dark brown colour - something for me for a change! With my current rate of progress it may or may not be done by the time I can fit into it ;0)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

26 weeks 6 days

Ali took some more bump pictures at the weekend and I've just scrolled through my images folder to see Chewie's growth progress. It's quite amazing how much I have expanded in 4 weeks and the contrast is even more stark when you look at pictures taken mid-August. At the time I remember feeling quite huge, as I'd only just started showing, but compared to now, I was tiny! The other thing that's struck me about these latest pics is how washed out I look versus the previous snaps. The pic Ali took at 22 weeks-ish has me looking all bright eyed and awake whereas now I am feeling the strain a little more. I have reluctantly accepted that I'll have to go on iron supplements as my latest blood test showed no improvement in my haemoglobin levels from the previous one, and apparently from now until the end of the pregnancy Chewie will be sapping my already limited iron stores even more. I don't fancy palpitations and fainting, somehow. It does seem that my energy levels have certainly corresponded to all the stuff I've read about trimesters - in the first 13 weeks I felt fine (apart from the sore boobs), but was prone to random periods of extreme fatigue; the second trimester was a breeze - loads of energy, feeling great, dare I say 'blooming'; and now I'm starting to feel more tired again, but more consistently than before, and getting achy. We have a week off in October where we'll be buying baby stuff til we can shop no more, and after that point I can imagine doing pretty much naff all until January...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

26 weeks

I gave my official maternity leave notification in at work today. Now it's all getting very real, as real as the list of projects I need to complete before I leave which unfortunately isn't getting any smaller. It's an odd feeling, speaking to project managers about activity and discussing media plans which somebody else will have to make sure are signed off after I've left. However, I still have enough weeks left (9 and a bit weeks before my last day, 8 and a bit working weeks [Ali and I have a week off in October] and counting, ohmygod) for it not to be too daunting. Yet.

Physically, as the bump gets bigger and heavier, so I become more unwieldy and uncomfortable. Can't get through the night without getting up for a wee any more (reminiscent of those early weeks) and can't sit in one place for more than about 40 minutes without the base of my spine screaming and my back aching. Restless legs in the evening have been ongoing for a while, apparently tonic water and / or bananas are meant to be good for this but so far it's been manageable. The maternity pillow is great now I've got used to it. Getting more tired again (early morning alarms, as it's now pitch dark at 5.55am, are becoming very hard to take).

Current battle is to try and retain some semblance of chillout time at weekends for the rest of the year. We've had a run of busy ones and until the end of October that looks like it'll continue, but November gets a bit easier and by December, my beached whale month, it's only antenatal classes to look forward to and then the waiting game starts.

We had our friends Matt and Nickiy over at the weekend for a trip to Cardiff to the Great British Cheese Festival. The day was good, though on a bit of a smaller scale from last year. As I wasn't allowed to consume either cider or soft / blue / unpasteurised cheeses it was a bit more abstemious for me than for the others but I did buy some very self indulgent Burnt Sugar fudge which is pure caramel sugar and cream and bloody scrumptious. In the evening I cooked a thai veggie curry and the talk turned to baby names. I won't bore you with all the ridiculous ones that the, erm, more drunken of the crew came out with but the upshot is that Ali is now calling the bump 'Chewie' short for Chewbacca. I'm in 2 minds on this, part of me thinks it's quite funny, the other part is a little concerned that it refers to an enormous hairy space monkey who also happens to be a boy. What if I have a little lady inside me? Sadly though I think this nickname will stick for the next 14 weeks.

Finally, we ordered some of these a while ago. The jungle ones arrived last week and I can't wait til we've furnished the baby's room so we can put them up!