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.
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!
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!
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! 😉
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!
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!
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!