I’m still here! I have like a million excuses as to why I’ve been blogging so seldom, but I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing them so I’ll just say sorry (because I’m sure you’re waiting on the edge of your seat for my update *British sarcasm*) and hope that I can remember all the stuff I need to catch you up on!
Firstly I’m glad that you all seem to be going strong! Blogging is sort of weird for me as I only started about a year and a bit ago, and I’d never done it before, and it’s not necessarily a reciprocal relationship like Facebook, but it’s different and more detailed than Twitter. I still have people who I follow who never comment on my blog, and then there are probably people who follow me who I don’t follow… So it’s all a bit strange. (I pretty much follow people who comment, though!) It is really cool to know that lots of you are making progress. And I hope for some of my infertility blogger friends who are still trying that it is all looking good for you. I know it was really tough this time last year knowing everyone was making progress and I was recovering from a miscarriage, so I absolutely don’t take it for granted. I still don’t think I have fully accepted this pregnancy, but as each day goes by, I hope a little more.
Anyway, excuse number 1: my commute! I mentioned this on my last post I think but it is super fun, and it means I get to spend quality time with T, because we travel partly the same route, and we get seats next to each other (and he always lets me have the window seat! Ain’t he a keeper!) and so we chat and eat our breakfast apples (how coupley!) rather than me reading and blogging. Sorry! But I’m glad to spend some decent quality time!
Here’s a pic:
Oh heck, here’s another one… That big sticky up building is called The Shard, a London landmark (where you may recall I took my team a few weeks ago!). The tourists get super excited when we see this! And Tower Bridge which is nearby. This is my window view from the boat!
It’s especially lovely to have had a little dog walk round our nice new area with Dog, and have a fun boat ride… all before 9 o’clock! It also gets me in nice and early to work, even to the point that I have time to go and get a nice breakfast. I seem to have a bit of a craving for hot breakfast rolls (bacon!) or maybe it’s just greed… I have to leave a bit earlier than getting the train, but it’s a much more pleasant way to travel!
Anyway, believe it or not I’m at 18+5 weeks. That’s crazy. It’s pregnancy update time!
- The most mind blowing thing is that over the past week and a bit, I’ve had something that I think might be the flutterings of B (for baby!) kicking… I still am not 100% sure, but it’s a few weird sensations and I’ve been doing a lot of paranoid googling and come to the conclusion that it might just be The Quickening, as they call it. I guess I’ll have more of an idea if they get stronger and more frequent. It sort of feels like bubbles popping, as some people describe it, or a few little flutters, or twinges. I can’t really tell. Also, I think The Quickening sounds like a horror movie…
- OMG THE BOOBS. Seriously. I went last week to go and get some new bras, because they’re just getting out of control. Aside from the itchiness, which is seriously not fun, but decreasing a bit, they’ve been super sore and sensitive and they look like giant red beacons. Anyway, for reference, my usual size is 32C. I went to Mothercare (a maternity/baby shop in the UK) and what do I come away with but nursing bras in… 36DD! WTF I have giant bazookas. I think the lady on the till was actually laughing at my concern and told me that I’d probably be back again as they’d grow even more! WUT?!
- Related to the humungaboobs, Welcome To Stretch Mark City. Population: ME. OMG, my boobs are just like a giant red stretch mark, despite my judicious morning and evening application of supposed stretch mark decreasing condiments (okay they’re maybe not edible but the cocoa butter sure smells like it). I even splashed out on some Bio Oil just in case it works. It definitely hasn’t so far. I just smell of chocolate and my general texture is greasy-boobed. Nice. Also, I discovered a few days ago I’ve got some stretch marks on my stomach. Woe is me.
- I actually have a big belly now. T finds it partly funny and partly (my interpretation) a bit alarming. See pics below. Quite honestly I’m amazed nobody at work has noticed, but I’ve taken to wearing scarves (so not me!) which maybe detracts from the bump. Or maybe I’m kidding myself. I’m “out” with my boss but I haven’t told anyone else yet. I feel like I might be willing to do that after our 20 week scan, only to work people. There will be no pregnancy announcement on FB!
- I’ve actually had a slightly lesser appetite, or maybe it’s more that I don’t want to eat the same things I usually want to eat (like pizza). If anything my cravings have been more for fruit and relatively healthy stuff, like Asian food. I’ve had a big thing for chicken satay, but despite various hunts round London, I haven’t found the perfect one yet!
- It’s boiling here so lots of discomfort. Oh and the eight flights of stairs to our new (still quite new!) apartment! Seriously what were we thinking! I still love the place though and at least I feel motivated to get home all the time because Dog is here. I definitely feel quite breathless a lot of the time.
- Hayfever. The heat is NOT helping this. I can’t take stuff so I have an attractive nasal spray which sprays sea water(?) up my nostrils! Quite funny but it does help. This means I’ve not slept very well the past few weeks, because as soon as I lie down, my head seems to fill with snot. Super attractive! Apparently you get increased nose bleeds too, and I’ve definitely had bleeding issues due to the nasal irritation. Not fun but I’m hoping hayfever season is over soon.
- The sleeping! Terrible. The hayfever combined with the backache from having to sleep on my left hand side (as recommended) is so bad. I have ordered a DreamGenii maternity pillow because I am really hoping I can get more sleep and less backache! I basically wake up with back pain and unable to breathe because my nose is bunged up and it’s not ideal at this stage.
In summary: Generally though I feel okay in myself, apart from feeling much larger than I usually am. I mean, I’m only 18 and a bit weeks (nearly 19!) but I feel like I’m double my usual size, which is quite discombobulating. As T and I were discussing… There are 2 types of pregnant woman – the ones who look just the same with a bump, and the ones who go double the size and morph into Jabba the Hut… Guess which one I am?! Sod’s law!
Okay so I’m sort of shy but I wanted to show an illustration of how sort-of-pregnant-maybe I look. (Don’t be mean!) This was taken last week in Mothercare (because I have no actual full length mirror in my house… Yeah, it shows) and I thought it was worth pointing out the belly. I think you could say now that if I’m fat, I’m pretty amazed that it’s all gone on the stomach.
Funnily enough those jeans are New Look size 8 UK (size 4 US I think) which is sort of hilarious but goes to show that a) New Look knows how to do vanity sizing, and b) maternity jeans are super stretchy! Oh well… I’ll take what I can get!
Whilst we’re on the case, we can talk about: My TOMS addiction… I think when everything is so growing and out of control that it’s nice to have shoes! TOMS are these kind of basic canvas shoes which have a bit of a social conscience, so if you buy a pair they give a pair to someone who needs them. Quite aside from that nice aspect I love TOMS because they are slip ones and I don’t have to find any socks! And hilariously I now have a TOMS tan on my feet. (I’m not showing you that though because it looks demented.)
They had a sale on so I got my latest pair, a new kind I hadn’t tried before in leather. I love them!
Aside from that I have bought a few things to try and ease me into maternity wear. As I’m not completely “out” at work (ie I work with a client and I haven’t told any of them, but my boss knows and HR knows) I have not really been dressing the bump. For the fun of it, here’s my list of what has and hasn’t worked for me so far.
Maternity buys (UK focused)
- Maternity jeans. I have some blue jeans from M&S which were my first purchase, but I am now living in the black ones in the picture because they are a bit more flattering (possibly) and I generally prefer black anyway. They were about half the price of the M&S ones (New Look is a cheap high street store) and I think they are great, apart from the annoying rips in the knees which they seem to put on all maternity jeans. Weird. Maybe I should sew them up! (I’m short though so the holes don’t show that much as they bunch up around my stubby legs.) £22 each from New Look; the M&S ones were something like £38.
- Maternity Breton tops. I kind of live in them anyway (stripey French inspired tops in two colours, usually blue and white) and so I have the maternity version too. I can still wear the big ones but the maternity ones like in the picture are quite handy. They were from New Look too – 2 for £12 so really cheap.
- Maternity sleep/casual soft bras. I got to the point the other week where my boobs were SO SORE that I needed to wear something that wasn’t a too-tight bra. I tend to wear non underwired bras anyway – or I have since starting IVF the first time, last year, so it’s not that (they usually come from Uniqlo) but more that my boobs are super tender and sore now. So I did a bunch of Amazon searches and found bras from Kindred Bravely. They are really soft, like t shirt material but a bit stronger, and really comfortable. I have one in M and one in L! They’re great for sitting around the house… Usually I am a bra-free person at home, but they’re just uncomfortable like that now, so it’s good to have something that works. I have even worn the bras out and they survive, although don’t really give enough support now I’ve moved into DD territory! About £12 each.
- Maternity shorts. These are seriously unsexy but so necessary when wearing a dress! They’re like cycling shorts crossed with shape wear. Usually I do wear shape wear with light support under dresses, because since I started IVF and put on weight, I don’t like to have my thighs rub together (ugh). But the shorts I had were getting too tight to contain the bump so I had a silly interim solution with a belly band, so it’s nice to have some shorts that are all one piece! I got mine from Be Mammy via Amazon (I get like almost my whole life on Amazon!) – I have size M but I’ve ordered S as I think that I’m still at the stage where I could cope with a bit more support. £12.90 each.
- Nursing bras. My gosh I needed some larger more supportive bras, and nursing bras seem to be more structured – you sort of get nursing bras all the time at this size, so I figure I might as well. They’re so big they fit on Dog’s head. Poor Dog! I got mine at Mothercare in a double pack, 2 for £30.
- Lotions! I have a few now. Cocoa butter lotion for stretch marks, cocoa butter belly butter (which I don’t really get as it’s rock hard and I think that may be a fault with the seller – on Amazon – I got it from), and Bio Oil. Cocoa butter was quite cheap, around £4. Bio Oil is insanely expensive! £8.99 for a tiny bottle!
- Scarves! So funny as I am sooooo not a scarf person. I always used to sort of laugh at the fact that senior women at work always wore scarves. But… They really do detract from the bump. As long as I wear black in the background, and have a bright coloured scarf on, I don’t think people notice so much. Lots to choose from! I got a couple from Primark (the cheapest shop in the world apart from the pound shop) for about £4 each, and one on, you guessed it, Amazon for £9.
- Maternity dresses. I now have a few… The first one I got was from – wait for it – Amazon! It’s from Zeta Ville, a black wrap dress, and I wore it to my family do a couple of weeks ago. £13.70. I have a couple from Mamalicious on Amazon that were super cheap, £9-£15. And then I have a couple of expensive ones from Seraphine which I haven’t even worn yet because… Well, I don’t like them. Urgh. I think I just got them because it’s what’s expected here in the UK if you want some sort of high end maternity wear. I guess I’ll maybe wear it eventually but tbh I should have sent them back. They’re more expensive, around £40 in the sale. And I got some stuff from Jojo Maman Bébé – half of which I sent back, but I did keep one tailored black dress which has proven a lifesaver for work now that I’m squeezing out of my non-maternity work clothes. It’s very subtle and bump brushing rather than bump hugging so you don’t really tell I’m pregnant whilst I’m wearing the scarves! Weirdly I didn’t like any of the others I ordered, and sent them back. It was £39.
- Pregnancy pillow. I got the Dream Genii as it seems to be the most popular. I don’t know as I think I might need something bigger. But T will be glad of still having a tiny space in bed! £36.99 on… Amazon!
We have the 20 week scan (NHS) next week. I can’t believe we might make it to 20 weeks! Also I have the appointment to talk with the midwife after that, to talk about my birth anxieties (because my doctor wants to reconsider my idea of wanting an elective Caesarian). She was super nice on the phone. Like, I am so not into the idea of going through natural childbirth but… I am willing to be convinced. We will see!
After that – next milestone is the private detailed scan at 22 weeks, mid September. It’s optional, but we would like it after the guy did such a nice job at our other scan. You definitely get more time and attention if you pay for it!
We are also thinking we will get a 3D/4D scan once it’s advised – most of them say after 24-25 weeks as apparently before then B will look like a skeleton! We are keen to find out what his face looks like!
I would also love to have a baby shower, and my friends and sister have said they’d be up for organising it. It’s really not such a big thing in the UK, so we don’t so much have rules or anything, and the mums probably won’t get overly involved. We definitely don’t get expensive stuff on registries like in the US/elsewhere! It’s more of a little gathering. So I’m wondering when we would have that. Probably November or December as I’m due in January. Here’s hoping we get to do that!