Window shopping (20+5 weeks)

It sort of feels like everything has moved on quite a lot in the past week, even though it’s just another week. I suppose maybe in terms of how I’ve been feeling about this pregnancy and coming round to the idea that, umm, maybe I will end up having a baby after all.

I don’t know how to describe it apart from I feel like I’ve maybe tipped into feeling a bit differently about things. Like now we are past the halfway mark (just!) it sort of feels like no going back… Or something. (Yeah, not sure I’ve really formulated my thoughts here!)

So I thought I’d tell you about some of the different things I/we’ve been up to in the past few days.

 

Kickathon

Well the little froggy-who-now-looks-more-human has been kicking me from the inside with escalating frequency and force over the past week. I guess I started feeling the “Are they? Aren’t they?” flutters a few weeks ago. When I first felt them, I really wasn’t sure if they were the actual kicks, or the Quickening as they call it. (Cue horror music. Doesn’t the Quickening sound like some sort of horror film?) 

Turns out that B (for baby) has become increasingly kicky. It’s funny because at first I really wanted him to do it, because until you start feeling the kicks, you can’t be sure that there’s actually anything inside, and maybe your stomach’s just growing because you’re a greedy mare or maybe you have a tumour? Hence my enthusiastic use of the doppler (which was very reassuring). I have actually not bothered using the doppler for about a week or so, because of B’s kicks.

In the past few days, maybe even only over the weekend, he got even stronger and it seemed like he had actually got a bit of force behind them! Ha. I’m happy about that, although it does feel a bit weird. Initially it was just flutters like someone gently touching you (from inside). But now it’s more like someone tapping. It still doesn’t feel like I imagine a kick to feel. I guess not having ever felt it I imagined it was more akin to an actual adult kick (or at least a child kick!) whereas L, my midwife, said not to expect anything like that just yet and to remember he only weighs 300g! That’s like just a bit more than a pack of butter!

 

Hello Daddy!

The most exciting thing about this whole kickathon is that last night T finally felt B kick. We were lying in bed (obviously Dog was snoring between us, and we were chatting) and I said B was kicking a lot. So I told T to put his hand on my lower stomach. (For some reason B seems to kick pretty low. I think because he was in breech position at the last scan.) He held it there a while and suddenly B gave a big kick! He’d been kicking qualitatively stronger than previously for the whole of yesterday. It was kind of exciting as I had heard from my midwife that you wouldn’t expect someone else to be able to feel kicks for a few weeks yet. I could feel the flutters but T couldn’t, but now B is actually making himself known!

 

What’s in a name?

One of the things we sort of agreed on over the last week or maybe just over a week is the potential name. We have a nickname we call B/the baby, and the chances are it will take a while for us to think of him by a different name. But we kind of vaguely agreed on it at least. We did decide to reserve judgement until he comes out because we thought he could look like he doesn’t suit it! I don’t think there’s a big rush. We’ll probably just call him Baby!

We’ve had some funny chats about names. For example T said I absolutely could NOT name B after Dog. Now, I love Dog more than most people in the world and he’s the most precious thing to me! (I actually worry seriously how the arrival of a new human might make him feel.) T said B would feel super insulted to be named after the dog! I said I wouldn’t be if it were me! We also joked if B was a girl we could have gone with the female version of Dog’s name. It’s actually a perfectly nice name and I don’t think anyone would have guessed! Haha. Anyway at least we won’t have to deal with that moral dilemma – we saw B’s manhood on last week’s scan and I’m pretty sure he’s a boy!

Another question is what we call each other as parents. I mean there’s Mum and Dad (the UK version!). Or Mummy and Daddy (usually in the UK younger kids call their parents this and then they graduate to Mum and Dad as they get older… I guess it’s the same in the US/Canada/Aus/etc?). Or Mama and Papa which I like, but I’m not sure if that sounds a bit affected. Or you just make up some name that the child calls you. I don’t know. I think it’s interesting as you kind of introduce yourself to the child as that and then they take your lead (or invent their own). I guess I just find the idea of being called Mum or Mummy a bit weird. I more think of my own mum as that! (And I have nicknames for my parents so don’t really call them Mum and Dad!)

Anyway it’s an interesting idea to think about. Plenty of time yet!

 

Reading list

Wowsers… It’s been ages since I actually read something educational. I mean, I tend to read for fun and haven’t read an academic / educational book (other than pop sci which I love) for ages. So on my last post someone suggested that I read up on childbirth through Ina May Gaskin’s book. And I am a sucker for real life stories so I thought why not? Ordered it on Kindle and got it delivered straight away.

Well… What an education. (Thank you for recommending it Notabroodychick!) There is probably a lot more to say on it but suffice to say that it really has helped me open my mind to the possibilities of maybe… Not a Caesarian?! I was dead set on it but I’m about 2/3 through the book and it has definitely provided me with food for thought. Firstly because I like real life stories which is the whole first section, so that got me interested (even though some of them are hippy dippy as anything!). And then because the second part explains the whole mechanics of birth and what is actually involved with childbirth. I mean we know from biology at school that it involves XYZ but I honestly hadn’t had such a straightforward description of it. It is helpful to have that. And thirdly because a lot of what she say in the book is really aligned with what L, my Best Midwife Ever is saying.

The good thing I guess is that L seems very aligned with the whole midwifery model and so it helps me to realise that the extreme levels of medical intervention in the US (at least at the time that book was written which was probably 2003 or something) are not very widespread to the same extent in the UK, which makes me feel more that the midwife led model might be onto something. I guess I’ve always had preconceptions about doctor intervention and pain management and there are a lot of good points in the book about how human female bodies are designed, etc. It is sort of about unpacking your preconceptions.

Anyway I’m not going to say that reading one book and having a chat with a nice midwife (BEST MIDWIFE EVER) is like a magic bullet and I’m going to get down on all fours and neigh like a horse and have an unmedicated natural childbirth.

But… There’s still time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Window shopping

T and I had an awesome day yesterday as we decided to go and look at prams! (Strollers, pushchairs, buggies. So many names for them!) Well I think partly this was an excuse for T to look at gigantic televisions because we went down to the west end and looked in Selfridges and John Lewis (big department stores) but it was really good fun. The funny thing was I decided to dress like an actual pregnant woman rather than pretending to disguise it a bit (as I’ve been doing) or just wearing my very casual ripped maternity jeans (because all bloody maternity jeans have rips in – why?!) and t shirt. So I wore a stretchy pregnant bump-enhancing dress and I enjoyed being properly pregnant!

We spent ages looking at prams and trying to figure out how they all worked. The one I had my eye on was the Cybex Priam. It’s super expensive and classy. My parents had said they’d pay for ANY pram we wanted and I was like, ooh I want this really expensive one that I didn’t think we would afford!

Anyway we finally managed to get some help and the assistant was like, are you crazy? That pram is really heavy and you will get annoyed with it in the city! She showed us the Bugaboo Bee 3 which is about half the heaviness and FUGLY but practical… So we had fun trying to decide what we’d rather have. I think right now the Bugaboo Bee is the front runner (easy fold, lightweight, suitable from birth) but we are still looking. No need to do anything just yet as they can get them to us within a week, and some even the next day.

What was fun and what I enjoyed was just being expectant parents. Like, actually looking at some of the other bumps of women looking at prams, quite a few were earlier than me. So I felt like, well I actually have a reason to be here… I belong here as much as anyone else. Also we looked at baby carriers (T wants a carrier and I will probably get a sling, because we are vastly different sizes and we don’t want to keep adjusting one – also I fancy trying a sling as I think it looks closer to hold the baby) and baby clothes (we decided he needs things with sailing themes on or dogs!). I mean it was just sort of fun to window shop and enjoy it. 

I guess the thing is, I’ve never window shopped for MY ACTUAL BABY. It has always been shopping for someone else’s baby, and tinged with sadness that I might never have one and (later) that I lost mine. So what I am inexpertly trying to describe was I really felt it was a joyful experience. We didn’t even buy anything but it was fun, and we belonged there, and we can take our time choosing because I’m actually beginning to believe that there will be a real baby who needs this shiz at the end of it!

 

And… Stretch!

So I really keep feeling like I am stretching now. Especially the last few days I can sort of feel my skin of my stomach stretching. The good thing was, when T was following me up the stairs (our eight flights of stairs… I’m sure I mentioned how practical the new flat is for a baby?!) he looked at my bum and said “It’s funny your bum hasn’t got any bigger even though your stomach has!” It was funny because I do feel like I’ve properly expanded but it’s quite nice to think that my arse still looks a similar size! (I’m sure it has grown too but I’ll take it.)

My stomach has now got stretch marks on the underside of it. Weirdly they started more on the left (even though B seems to always be on the right when I listen with the doppler) and I could totally feel them coming. I have been slathering myself with lotions, including Bio Oil, cocoa butter and Mama Mio expensive stuff but… I just kind of think that some people are prone to them and some aren’t. I mean I’ve been pretty religious about them and still got them. At the moment I am okay with it. I certainly don’t like them (or the humungaboobs) but I figure they are signs that my body is preparing for something big. 

 

Coming out as… Fat?

Today I decided I would tell some people at work. I told my client (one of them, a woman, who has a young baby). She was super happy for me. I also told both the guys who report into me. It was partly through necessity as my work wants me to do a work trip somewhere that involves flying somewhere I don’t ideally want to visit (inoculations etc). So that was fine. Also I just wanted to be able to breathe out and be pregnant at work! Instead of doing the scarves and cover ups. And for logistics because I’ll have to do some recruitment to get someone to fill in for a few months when I’m away on maternity leave. Getting past halfway seems like as good a time as any to mention it.

Now I don’t know if they’re lying but they all said they hadn’t noticed! Actually when I told one guy I said, “You may have noticed I’ve put on some weight lately!” and he actually started saying things about going on a diet! Maybe my disguise dressing worked better than I thought! Anyway I figure the lady will tell a bunch of the other women and I’ll just mention it casually if it comes up with other people. At least I am “Out” now and I don’t have to concentrate on uncomfortably hiding it! I don’t want to wear scarves!

 

Babymooning

In a final spree of Getting Into The Mindset, we are planning a holiday in October. We aren’t calling it a babymoon or anything. But it would be a nice getaway before B is born. I have said I just want to go somewhere relaxing and ideal with a pool/beach. We are thinking Greece as there seems to be a lot going there. Anyway it is a nice idea. We’ve kind of decided on the week and now just have to figure out a good deal!

So… Back at work today (well, yesterday, Monday… It’s late now!). I am really starting to look forward to a break! My next appointment is our 22 week scan next week. Eek! Until then, it’s just plodding along… And doing my best to embrace the new, pregnant me. One step at a time!

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38 comments

  1. Courtney

    You sound so happy!!!!

    Prams are important. We had 3 expensive ones ($750, $400, and $300) and they all served their progress well. I researched the hell out of them and ask glad I did! One thing I’ll say is make sure it folds and unfolds easily. And if you’re thinking you’ll have another baby, get one that converts to a stadium-seating-type double.

    I’m excited to hear the name you pick for him!!!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ah, I think prams are even more expensive here! Like ยฃ850 upwards for the “normal” premium ones! It’s nuts! Fortunately I think because we want lightweight and foldable (good point) it will end up being cheaper. We were also looking at babyzen ones which are super lightweight and foldable. They’ve talked me out of my expensive ideas! I’m sure if you’re also carrying a wriggling baby you don’t feel like complicated folding of heavy machinery! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      I don’t think we will have another baby! I would be perfectly happy with one. We don’t have any frosties and I don’t think I could really go through IVF again if this one is successful… Plus we would have nowhere to put another one in our tiny flat!

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    • Nara

      The names are funny because you have to think of the surname too. As you know the name of my dog you can appreciate that it would have been a good name! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I do like your Bryson for a name as it would be super unusual here! But possibly a bit too unusual!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Courtney

        What’s funny is that he’s named after Bill Bryson, a famous Iowa (and international) author who became a Brit. He has your accent, which always surprises me when we listen to his self-narrated audio books. And yes…. I wanted to use Dogs name for a child, it was at the top of my list, until I married it. Ha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        It is funny, because that name is far less popular in the UK! There are definitely different trends in the US and UK I think. Like there are a lot of surname type names in the US, whereas in the UK there is a big trend to have kids named old fashioned / traditional names like Oliver.

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  2. Amy M.

    With the name thing (for you guys, not for him!) I think that something will just come naturally. Once you get him home you’ll just start calling each other something, and it’ll stick. I’m so happy to hear that you’re believing more and telling more people!! And isn’t shopping fun!! I’ve had so much fun with it, even though I haven’t looked properly pregnant until the last couple weeks or so, and sometimes I still just look fat. But whatever…we deserve to be happy and proud and shopping and having fun with it!! Enjoy the next 19-ish weeks!

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    • Nara

      Good point! I’m not worrying about it too much. I guess he won’t be speaking for a while!! Yes, shopping is fun even though we only ended up buying food! I think it’s fun just to act like expectant parents. Oh and you def look preggo, silly! I just love Cadence’s little chubby cheeks… Imagine, you’re going to be meeting them soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy M.

        Oh it completely depends on what I’m wearing. I make my bump prominent for my bump pics, but really a lot of the time I just look fat lol!

        Like

  3. Marixsa

    So happy to hear that your second half of pregnancy is off to a great kick-start! Okay, yeah, that was such a bad joke… But seriously, continue to embrace it, girl!

    Like

    • Nara

      Haha! I liked it. Good effort! Yeah I’m doing my best to embrace it. Shopping definitely helps and even better when not actually spending the money! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Like

  4. sewingbutterfly

    We ended up buying the Bugaboo Bee 3, we thought it was simple, cute, lightweight and fit into our tiny car! No idea how it actually goes with baby yet as I am only 29 weeks now. Names are hard! We have a shortlist with a clear front runner but will make the final decision once we see him.

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  5. EmilyMaine

    Oooooo you sound like you are really starting to embrace it. So nice! My no 1 kid calls me a combo of Mummy, Mama and Mum. They are all pretty interchangeable. When he was first born I felt like such a fraud referring to myself as Mummy so know what you mean. You will get used to it ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you are enjoying the Ina book. She is THE birthing guru. Honestly I know I moaned about my birth but I’d do it again. And my body did all the things it is created to do as Ina no doubt discusses in her book so that’s pretty awesome. I am glad you are doing the research and taking it all on board. That’s awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ Love how happy you are sounding xxx

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    • Nara

      Hahaaaa I wouldn’t go that far. I’m not entirely convinced by natural birth but I think I am getting there! That said, I won’t be the type to get really upset if I ended up needing medical intervention, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. stealingnectar

    Hooray! So many good things in here! I will add I have the Nuna Pipa (car seat) and Nuna Mixx stroller and I am in love. Not sure what your style is but I think it’s stylish and fully functional. It’s so easy to use! So excited for you! Can’t wait to hear what B’s name is!!!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ahh we looked it up last night and it looks great! But you can’t get it in the UK! Booooo. It’s definitely more my style. The thing I don’t like about a lot of the lightweight strollers is they look ugly and they don’t look cosy for the baby, and also I want to have him nearer to me in the beginning (like the more expensive/heavy strollers which elevate the baby). They have Nuna in the UK but not the Mixx. Maybe I’ll have to get one if I go on a work trip to the US!

      Liked by 1 person

      • stealingnectar

        Dang. Since it’s a European brand , I was counting on you being able to get it. Well, if you go on that work trip, you will have to get it! I love mine! I hope you find something perfect! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        T’s favourite right now is the Babyzen Yoyo 0+. I’m not overly convinced about lightweight models as I think they look really ugly. And selfishly I want the one child I have to be in a top end buggy! But I can see why the lightweight ones make sense if you live in an urban environment and don’t drive much. We are still trying to figure out how often we would use it. T thinks maybe we would carry him more often – he wants a carrier and I want a sling so we will get one of each so we don’t have to keep adjusting! But then I think it’s hard to visualise how often we would use a pushchair. In London everyone walks about a lot and takes public transport so we don’t want something bulky to get on and off trains, buses and boats… But then maybe we’d just carry him!

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      • stealingnectar

        I think carrying a lot makes a lot of sense. We go on tons of walks, but if we didn’t I wouldn’t even have a stroller. I have a couple wraps and we have a Baby Bjorn. It might just get difficult as he gets heavier but maybe you’ll just get super strong! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Nara

      I know right? I have no idea what we will end up going for. I think maybe a lightweight one as we live in a flat with lots of stairs. Which generally work out cheaper thankfully!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. anawnimiss

    As I read this one, I relived my own pregnancy and it felt great, Nara. We felt Z’s kicks at around the same time, and I remember feeling exhilerated every single time it happened. Enjoy this. You’re going to miss this for months after B is born.
    (Will you tell us the name you finally choose for the baby, or do we have to keep calling him B?)

    Do think about your birth plan, but also know that things usually don’t turn out exactly how you plan them – also think about whether you want to vaccinate the baby. There’s a huge debate going on internationally about the necessity and efficacy of immunization.

    And have fun shopping. It’s the best part!

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    • Nara

      Aww that’s nice about Z. I feel the same about B’s kicks… It’s nice to think he’s wriggling away in there! I think I will say the name for B when he makes it here!
      I think that’s really true about the birth plan. I probably have an idea forming of what it would ideally be, but I know that things don’t always go according to plan! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  8. RJ

    Baby kicks are the best part of pregnancy in my opinion. I think my hubby felt our girl around 22 weeks and it was so cool to finally include him in the action. Good luck picking out baby stuff…it’s incredibly overwhelming!

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    • Nara

      Aww. Yes I’m at 21 today! I’m glad that T has felt him kick. B is not very cooperative and tends to do it more when I don’t expect it!
      As for the baby stuff, I’m enjoying the window shopping but haven’t bought anything yet. I suppose I will eventually but I’ll probably change my mind a bunch of times before I finally do! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. notabroodychick

    Re: the livid, just wait until baby gets hiccups, it’s so funny the first few times! Also when big enough that you see your belly move when he kicks or wiggles. I always thought that would freak me out, like having a little alien in me, but when it happened I loved it!

    Re: the slings vs carriers, you may not know but there is such a thing as a sling library. You can go and try lots of different types of carriers and slings and work out what you like. If you went soon then you could try with a baby weight doll which they usually have. I went a bit late and couldn’t try any with a doll in due to my bump, but it was useful, and helped me decide what kind of thing I wanted to start with (I went with a Hana stretchy wrap). Now I go back and hire different kinds yo try them out.. Like I’ve had a ring sling, and currently trying the baby bjorn. To help decide what I want as a longer term thing now Ethan is bigger.

    Not sure if you’ve also heard of the baby show. There is one on at Olympia in October I think. It’s a bit full on , and a tiring day, but you can see so many different buggies and pram’s and baby furniture and baby paraphernalia, and you can get some great deals. I am really glad we went.

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    • Nara

      Thanks! I heard of a sling library before. We did actually try one in John Lewis (well, T did) with a baby doll in. We were shocked at the weight of the doll! Nobody was there to show us how to tie the slings though so I was hoping they might have that with a sling library / there might be one near me. T wants a Baby Bjorn as he doesn’t want a sling. (I think it looks more manly to him!) I want a sling as I think it would be better for breastfeeding (which I’ll try and do) and also more adjustable as I’m quite short.
      Yeah the kicks already feel like a little alien! That’s exactly what I said to T! He is getting more active now but like you say that makes me happy as I know he’s there. I haven’t tried the Doppler for ages but heard his heartbeat yesterday (for the next post!) and it’s going strong.
      We are considering the show, definitely. Only thing is we booked our holiday for that week so we will have to shorten it to attend the show. But I think we may well end up going.

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      • notabroodychick

        I think a sling is better when they are little and for breastfeeding in (I’m so glad you will give it a go, it is the best bonding thing!) but now he’s older I’m currently liking the baby bjorn I’ve hired.

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  10. dreamseggsandsperm

    It is a very special feeling when you both can feel your baby’s movements. I think. The longer the pregnancy develops though you might want him to not move to much…. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Name is fun but also hard I think. Since you feel so responsible giving a person his/her name that (s)he will carry for the rest of his/her life. I know you can always change your name, but most people really don’t and you want to give them a name they are good with. On the other hand, I think most kids really become their name when you start to use it. For our daughter we had a name already long before she was a fertilized egg haha! So when I finally became pregnant and we found out we expected a girl it was easy. But for our son it took a while after he was born. He was 9 wks early to so well, we thought we still had some time when he decided to come out. It was the nurses in the NICU who kept asking us since we just had him as Baby Last Name on the incubator and they wanted us to write his name on their. ๐Ÿ™‚ At that point we had 2-3 names we chose between and after about a week (I think) we decided.
    Strollers are hard since there are so many. I think the any good advice I can give you is for you to think over your lifestyle and priorities. We lived in NYC at the time of both our kid s birth so we needed a stroller that ew could push even in slushy snow during winter. We also wanted a stroller we could fold easily since since we had to store it inside our apartment every time it was not used. Also in buses in NYC you can only travel with strollers if you fold them! So for us it was important we could fold it easily. We had an elevator though so we didn’t care much for the weight. Just saying that want you choose has to be based on your every day life. Climate. Cars? Public transportation?
    I am sure you will find something good.
    And congrats also to come out t work! Makes a lot of things easier when people know.

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