Shopping, showing and showering! (22 weeks)

I’m 22 and a bit weeks – 23 on Wednesday. How the flippity flip did that happen? A few things happened this week, the main pregnancy related one being we went for our 22 week scan with the private doctor. For those of you who have been following our story, we have two types of doctor right now – the National Health Service (which all UK citizens have as part of paying our taxes, which is sort of free/tax included healthcare) and the private doctor we’ve been seeing, Dr S, who specialises in reproductive immunology and which we have to pay for.

So at 20 weeks we had our NHS anomaly scan as part of our NHS care and then last week we decided to have an additional private (paid out of pocket) scan with our private doctor. We had had the previous scan privately (I think it was 12 or 16 weeks) and it was really very detailed so we thought it would be money well spent. You can definitely tell the difference between the NHS and private scans in terms of the customer experience. (Not that I am knocking the NHS as it’s basically free.)

Because it was out of town, I decided to take the day off and go and see my parents for the day. I had a nice leisurely morning heading out of town via the boat and train, and then my dad picked me up for the station and I went round to my folks’ house. They only just moved there around the same time as we moved house, so it still feels like their brand new house even though they’ve been there for a few months. It is gigantic! It’s an apartment (as that’s what most people have down south) but it is really huge. We joked that our flat could fit in their kitchen! Anyway I don’t get as much chance as I’d like to see them, so it was nice to spend the day with them.

We decided to go out to their local club for lunch. It is a private health club/tennis club so you can imagine the kinds of people who frequent it. Not just retirees but the younger folk who are too rich to have jobs! It was sort of funny as I definitely felt my non-whiteness as I entered that club! We had a lovely lunch by the no doubt extremely expensive water feature (with swans!) and then headed off in the convertible through the countryside. I had asked my folks if it would be okay to go and see a baby shop which was en route to the doctor. It’s one of those that’s only accessible by car (and I don’t have a car!) so it seemed like a good opportunity.

 

Shopping!

The baby shop was smaller than I expected but had a lot of stuff crammed in and we spent a nice while perusing the prams (which was my main interest). At the moment I’m completely up in the air about prams (pushchairs, buggies, strollers!) as I can’t decide between wanting something lightweight and portable or something a bit more substantial. 

T is in favour of going lightweight. This is the sensible option (as he always is! I’m the non-sensible one!) as we have 8 (EIGHT!) flights of stairs to negotiate en route to our flat. I know, I know… Again this was my choice versus (infinitely more sensible) T’s, who wanted to go for the modern flat with a lift and everything, but I insisted I loved the character and nooks and crannies (wooden beams! sash windows!) in the flat we ended up getting. 

The place we are in now is a conversion so it has a lot of old features, including complete lack of a lift (elevator to you Americans!)… But hey, I still love it. Our plan with the buggy is to leave it in the car anyway rather than try and cart it upstairs to the flat every day. So… We are still undecided about whether we need a lightweight buggy or it would be okay to get a larger one because we’ll be leaving it in the car anyway.

The two shortlisted lightweight buggies are the Bugaboo Bee, which we saw in John Lewis, and the Babyzen Yoyo 0+, which we were recommended by one of T’s friends. Actually I had a complete fit a couple of weeks ago when T said that his friend told him to get this buggy. I think maybe I was hormonal or something but I was just like, I want to go through the buggy selection process ourselves and not just get everything his friend tells us to get! I think maybe I was overreacting a bit…

Anyway here are the two lightweight shortlisted buggies.

Bugaboo Bee

Babyzen Yoyo 0+

Now my issues with both of these prams are that they don’t look very substantial – they are by their nature super lightweight. And they aren’t really what I was picturing for a baby of mine. I think they are super convenient and I appreciate the space saving qualities of both. The Bugaboo has a really cute carrycot for the first 6 months which is like a little felt cocoon. And the Babyzen folds up so small you could stick it in your handbag! (Purse, Americans…!) And that’s precisely the problem. I kind of think that they look a bit rickety and they don’t feel really cozy and secure – although I’m sure they are. 

Also what I don’t like about the lightweight ones is that baby is really far away from you – low down to the ground. And I guess aesthetically I had always thought I would prefer those differently shaped (sort of egg/cocoon like) taller buggies where baby is closer to you.

You kind of have to indulge me here. I realise this is completely not important in the whole scheme of things. It’s probably why I got upset about the buggy suggestion before, because I guess I always thought I would never be in a position to make these kinds of decisions. I was always the one torturing myself trying to recommend baby stuff to friends and buy nice presents for baby showers etc. So it feels sort of dangerous even to start thinking about these things. But since week 20 or so I’ve tried to embrace the pregnancy and be a proper pregnant person (what’s one of those?!) and get interested in these things. Turns out I care about them a bit more than I thought!

T and I discussed the whole buggy conundrum and we are still sort of torn. Same with my folks, who have been lovely about the whole thing and offered to buy the stroller – any one we want (so money no object!). On the one hand, we think the lightweight stroller (like the Zen especially) would be really easy to sling over your shoulder and carry up the stairs. But then we are wondering if we would ever need to do that. There’s no real need to have the stroller in the flat. We are aiming to buy a family car in November or December (before B arrives in January) so we have the ability to store the buggy downstairs. 

Also, when we saw both the Bee and the Zen in the shop, it really came across that B would be rattling around a bit and they aren’t so much built for comfort as lightweight/compactness. The Babyzen especially looks like a doll’s pram! They’d be handy for public transport but not so handy for river walks – which we are aiming to do. So I thought I would look for a buggy that’s not so lightweight and see what the alternatives are.

In the shop with my parents we saw a sort of halfway house. Lots of the premium strollers are sort of in the 14kg range and the lightweight ones are more like 6kg. The one we saw was around 9-10kg and also had a narrower profile than the huge ones (like the Joolz and iCandy ones I discounted, and the Cybex one I previously really liked). So it means it would be easier to get through doors and so on, and it also folds more compact – though nothing like the Yoyo, which is the first pram that you can store in an airline overhead locker! The stroller in question is the gb Maris.

gb Maris


As you can see it’s quite nice and stylish/boyish, and what’s cool is that the buggy part lays flat for newborns so you don’t even need to get the carrycot. And it’s a little closer to the kind of high-up-egg style I was looking for. (I guess a bit like Stokke but I don’t really like the handles.)

Anyway we came away more confused than before, but what’s nice is I had time to spend with my parents and my mum especially enjoyed the window shopping with me. (I think my dad was mainly a bit bemused! But he enjoyed seeing the buggies fold!)

A post script to the buggy saga – I saw one in town that I really liked the look of and googled “leather egg buggy” and found it! So my latest buggy love is this one… The Mima Xari. It is soooo style over substance but I love it! The whole egg shape is leather and I think it looks really cool, and cozy for baby… We are reserving judgement right now before we plan to go to the Baby Show in London in October. The supplier list says Mima will be there so hopefully they will have the prams there to see. If not, back to square one!

Mima Xari


Showing!

Two things on the horizon this week. Firstly, my bump has gotten bigger and I now definitely look pregnant. (Though astoundingly, some people don’t notice… I assume this is a symptom of the fact I work in a very male environment!) The funny thing is that people say I have a “neat bump” and I am “nice and small” which is totally not how I feel – my body is a wreck right now with humungaboobs and stretch marks on my stomach. I have been rubbing various unguents in on a religious basis but I figure some people are just prone to stretch marks whatever they do. At any rate I am trying not to get super upset about it as I keep reminding myself that I never thought I would ever be in this position. 

I am finally vaguely enjoying doing the bodycon dress thing. I think it is sort of more flattering than baggy stuff once you have a proper bump! I have mainly been wearing dresses from mamalicious which seem to fit me nicely. I also noticed I am not so good at leaning forward either! I’m definitely a huncher at work (over a laptop) and so I’m forcing myself to sit back a bit more as it’s getting a bit uncomfortable.

Also now I’m 22 weeks, B is kicking much more often, which I like! It means I feel a lot better about him actually being in there. I haven’t used the doppler for ages as I figure his kicks are a good sign. Sometimes I think he’s gone quiet and is sleeping but he’ll seem to realise I’m wondering and give me a few kicks (or punches as I imagine them to be) to reassure me. Good boy!

Secondly, my folks dropped me off at Dr S’s clinic and I met T and we had our 22 week scan. It was really great to see B wriggling about! The doc went through all the anomalies that he was looking for, which I guess were probably the same as the NHS 20 week scan but a lot clearer and seemed a lot more detailed. I guess because he is private, he spends the time explaining what’s what. He won’t move on to the next thing until he’s sure you have understood and can see what he’s seeing. 

B was super uncooperative as usual! He was wriggling around and he didn’t want to show off the bottom of his spine (one of the anomalies the doc checks for in case of spina bifida) because he was in the breech position. The doctor kept on tapping my stomach to try and get him to move, and eventually he did! It was sort of funny. At 20 weeks he looks much more baby like and the picture is clearer.


The big deal is… We saw B’s face! The private doc has a 3d scan ability so he converted one to 3d and we saw our baby’s face for the first time!

Wow, it was sort of emotional. (T’s sister actually cried when she saw the picture.) We both went “aaaaah” and I felt this sort of rush of love for the little blighter, even though he’s already a scamp who doesn’t cooperate with scans! The doctor explained that he will chub out after 28 weeks. Before then he is developing everything and then after 28 weeks he will be fattening up. Right now, B looks more like a little monkey because he just has a thin covering of skin over his skeleton. I still think he looks cute and all, but that’s probably me being biased and he actually looks like a monkey. Oh well!

We agreed that we would pay for another two scans privately because you get a deal (3 scans for the bargain price of just over 2!) and what the heck. I’m only doing this once. The whole Dr S experience (or “the quack” as T calls him!) has cost me thousands of pounds, but I figure I’d only have spent it on a holiday or a silly designer handbag or something and I’m only doing it once so I’m chucking everything possible at it.

My next appointment is with my NHS doc next Tuesday, and L (greatest midwife ever) is going to attend. What’s been interesting is that I have been thinking on the whole thing (my meeting with L a few weeks ago, and reading the Ina May book on natural childbirth) and I kind of feel like I’ve been doing a bit of a Uey (as we call a U turn in the UK, not sure how you spell it!) on the wanting a caesarian thing. I guess this is what my doctor was aiming for! 

I think the time to think following my long conversation with L and reading that book has almost converted me to the idea of natural childbirth. Which is something I never thought I would say! I think understanding more about how the human body is designed for childbirth is pretty compelling (sounds stupid but I never really did any reading on it previously as I never was in that position to consider it). 

Also feeling a greater degree of comfort with L than with the community midwives. Again it sounds a bit stupid but I didn’t really gel with the community midwife and didn’t feel at all like I would feel comfortable half naked with her (and the rest!) but with L, I felt like she actually cared and would be comforting to have around.

I sort of find it crazy that you have to make a big fuss and get special treatment just to have continuity of care with a midwife. Surely the fact that you are being expected to push a watermelon through your foof would be enough to think you might want an ongoing relationship with someone rather than having to do it all in front of a stranger!

Anyway we shall see.

   
Showering! 

Finally, two sorts of showers! (My spurious attempt at alliterative subtitles.)

The first one was the spa type. This included some fairly strong water jets but just on my back and shoulders! I mentioned a while back I booked a spa day for my sister and me. We did the same package as I did with my BFF. She lives quite far away so she and her fiancé came and stayed in London for the weekend. 

We had a nice time at the spa – I just went in the big pool and the jacuzzi and my sis went in the sauna and steam room. I was kind of jealous as I love the heat. I had a facial (as I’m too big to lie on my front comfortably now) and sis had a massage and then we both had manicures. And topped it off with afternoon tea! Meanwhile, the boys went on a pub crawl. Suffice it to say when sis and I turned up all fresh faced and relaxed, the boys were rather less than their best! 

Of course when I looked into this yesterday I found out I wasn’t supposed to have gone in the jacuzzi either! Seriously I think people are totally crazy cautious about what pregnant women can and can’t do. Like the soft rind cheese ban is driving me crazy. 


“Come back! I miss you so much! I love you!”

I then felt bad I’d been in the jacuzzi, but truth be told it wasn’t very hot and it wasn’t too jetty because I just sort of lolled about for a lot of it, and spent most of the time doing lazy lengths in the big pool, which is cooler. B is still kicking happily so I am hoping he is fine. 

This put the kibosh on my plans for a nice spa related babymoon so T and I are back to the drawing board on that one. We have a week booked off at the end of October and I’d wanted to go somewhere hot with a spa but it turns out spas are banned (although it’s fine to go in a big cool pool) so I guess we will go on a city break instead. Sadly there are no Disney cruises at that time! Otherwise we’d be there! T also wants to go somewhere where we don’t have to do a long flight so we are thinking we may go to Bruges – which we can get to on Eurostar. Apparently their specialty is chocolate so I’m there!

The other nice thing is that I saw my BFF last week. She lives in a different country but was back for an appointment so we caught up for dinner. (Insert gratuitous pictures of food here…!)

Burrata and heritage tomato salad

Burger and fries

Eton mess


Let’s just say I did a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” on the burrata. (Omg burrata – I think it’s almost better than sex.) Eton Mess is one of my favourite desserts. It’s basically smushed up strawberry pavlova. One thing I’ve noticed is my stomach capacity is much smaller than usual – I couldn’t finish the burger! I think B is leaning on my stomach! 

It was really lovely to see her as ever. I mean she is like the nicest person in the world. (Would have to be to put up with me!) We talked about how weird it is that so many people have fertility issues and also how many of our friends have depression / anxiety etc. It’s sort of strange how many there are. Of course we are too lazy to have many afflictions other than infertility!

She was really lovely and kept asking about B and so on, (as she has had trouble conceiving so I would never talk about it unless she asked) and we talked about plans for a baby shower. This is so not me but I really want one. I suppose because I never thought I would have one. 

I’ve been looking around a couple of places because I wanted to find a nice place to hold it (and the small matter of our flat holding a max capacity of about 5) and then I did some online research (because baby showers are still not super common in the UK) and found out that they’re meant to be hosted by a friend and not a family member or the pregnant person! Go figure! 

So of course my lovely BFF offered to host. I hadn’t asked her because she lives in a different country and didn’t want to put that on her, but it’s really a nice thought that she would organise it. Also there are some of my UK friends who would be happy to help too. To be honest I am not going to get all bridezilla (mom-to-be-zilla?) about it as I’m just grateful to be having one. I’ll probably make a cake or something but happy to let someone else organise it!

The most shocking thing I found out about baby showers is that the host is expected to foot the bill! That is so not happening. I never knew that! We don’t really have baby showers so often here and in the UK everyone pays for themselves. The last one I hosted for a friend was at our place (when we lived in a far larger apartment!) and everyone brought food and cakes and drinks so we all kind of shared the costs. 

Right now we are thinking our baby shower will be in one of two venues and we will have catering so we will have everyone pay for lunch who accepts (which we figure British people will be fine with – when you go out to dinner you expect to pay for yourself here) but I’ll subsidise drinks and things. Anyway you learn a new thing every day! (Do tell me about baby shower etiquette where you are!)

 
   
What next?

– We will be 23 weeks on Wednesday. One week closer to the magic viability!

– Next appointment is with the doc and midwife next Tuesday.

– This weekend we have a 1976 themed party (it’s my friend’s 40th) and I’m going as an apple – because it’s the year Apple was founded – and T is going as Bruce Jenner as it’s the year he won his gold medal. Dog is invited too as it’s a weekend in a country manor. Hooray! I don’t have the energy to find Dog a 1976 themed outfit sadly but if you have any ideas that can be sorted out in a couple of days, let me know!

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51 comments

  1. spiteorflight

    Regarding the stroller (my Americanness is showing!) selection if you’re planning to keep it in your car/carport, plan on investing in a basic baby wrap or carrier. Eight flights of stairs with a little (and then bigger) baby will be much easier for both of you if you have your hands free and baby is strapped to your chest. Other than that, I know it’s tempting to go for form over function — but everything I did that with (rocking chair, high chair to name a few) I ended up replacing in the first year. It doesn’t matter how cute it is if you hate using it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        I didn’t mention it but we are definitely planning on that more than the buggy! T wants a carrier (like Baby Bjorn) and I am keen to try a wrap. We’ll probably go for two as we are different sizes so I think we won’t want to have to keep adjusting (and he refuses to entertain the idea of a wrap as he says it’s too hippyish!).

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    • Nara

      Yep, we are actually going to get one carrier/wrap each as we are different sizes and don’t want to keep adjusting it. T favours the Baby Bjorn carrier and I’m keen to try a wrap, but we shall see!

      Good point on the form over function – I don’t know what we will end up getting in the end. Maybe we will just carry him everywhere! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. EmilyMaine

    Yay! You sound so positive and happy and light. I love this. 🙂 Ah the pram saga. We went through that too. My heart wanted a stylish bee shape which we didn’t get as we went for practical all terrain style as that is how we live. I actually really like what we have – it drives well and is light for its size. We ALWAYS store it in the car. You don’t need it in the house but usually do need it when you take the car somewhere. My cousin is a pram freak and has tried everything (she buys and sells them second hand all the time) and she loved that Zozo. It is her favourite. But her family travels quite a bit so that could be part of it. I had a pram and a light stroller with Monkey. The stroller was good for shopping centres but that’s it. I hated how hard it was in concrete compared to my pram with adequate suspension!

    I hosted my own baby shower with my first. Well I organised it and held it at my mums. She provided heaps of stuff. I had loads of friends offer but I have friends from many different parts of my life so I wanted to be the one to bring them all together. Those that wanted to be involved I asked to bring a dish or prepare games or something. Most of my friends have held showers at their own houses so I have to say hosting hoo haa isn’t really a thing over here the way it is in North Amerixa. I am sure you wil have a great day! You should totally have the dream shower. You deserve it!!!! Xxx

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    • Nara

      Thanks! Yeah I don’t think we will be travelling all that much but I could be wrong. In London we tend to use public transport to get everywhere and most forms of transport can fit prams on. They’ve all been adjusted for accessibility for prams and wheelchairs and a lot of people take prams on public transport so I don’t think it’s too bad.

      I can completely imagine how the lightweight ones aren’t nice when you’re actually going for a walk as opposed to just getting somewhere! That’s why I’m leaning towards the two buggy thing like you had… Although the lightweight ones we’ve been looking at are not cheap! They do have cheaper lightweight strollers though so maybe we would do that.

      Thanks for the baby shower info. I totally would do that so I was shocked to read it’s not the done thing! (But that mainly comes from US sites.) I would host at my own place but it really is tiny and would not be comfortable for a bunch of people. I hosted a friend’s a while back but it was when we had a huge apartment whereas now even four adults feels like a squish and they can’t move around! I could do it at my folks’ as their place is huge but it’s out of town so most of my friends would probably prefer in London. at the moment it’s a toss up between our local pub – which has a nice room, but the service is a bit patchy (I figure it’s probably fine as long as they allow us to bring our own cakes and they just provide food/drink) or another venue where I can hire a room – but I’m waiting to hear what the catering is like and whether we are allowed to bring our own cakes. It seems a bit complicated! I’d rather just have a space and do a pot luck thing but I don’t think most London venues allow that! Definitely food for thought as I think personal is much nicer! Xx

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  3. sewingbutterfly

    My baby shower is being hosted by my sister, pretty common here in Australia for it to be a sister, mum or best friend. We are doing a basic afternoon tea at home, my MIL is making a few slices and my mum will make some fruit platters and get some sandwiches.

    We have the Bee3 for our baby due in November. I wanted something compact and sturdy. I am also really short so baby isn’t as far away from me as it would be for someone taller! Lol. Yay for scans! I have my 32 week growth scan in a week. I cannot wait to see how much my boy has grown.

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    • Nara

      Ahh that sounds lovely. When are you doing it? I am wondering about November – B is due in January – but I’m wondering when is too early/late. It’s nice your sister is doing it! I am glad my BFF is doing it as my sister has a tendency to get really stressed and also with her own fertility struggles I think it might be too hard for her. As I mentioned to Emily, I would totally do a host at home thing but our flat is tiny and would only fit about four adults in – uncomfortably! Haha. So looking at local venues.

      I should have put that buggy I pictured is the Bee3. I can totally see why it’s practical but… my heart really likes the egg shaped ones! I think also in Aus it makes sense to have lightweight and less cozy if you see what I mean, because it’s generally warmer there. It’s generally cold here and B is due in January where it’ll be freezing, so I kind of think he needs something more insulated! The. Again we will probably end up getting lightweight! Haha.
      How exciting your 32 week scan! Have a lovely time! Bet he has grown loads as he’s almost fully cooked! X

      Liked by 1 person

      • sewingbutterfly

        I will be 33 weeks when I have mine! But that’s due to is moving house in September, so I can’t drive home for it. I will be organising a high tea type thing fo my friends where I live. Yeah, here it is definitely about breathability! Especially coming into summer. The egg ones are adorable, I can absolutely see why you like them. Great for UK weather too.

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  4. notabroodychick

    That good looks lush!
    Regarding the birth, I’m glad you are looking more favourably on a natural birth as a possibility. I don’t know how true it is, but I read this in a health article today and I thought it was food for thought: “When you elect to deliver a child via Caesarian section – and there are times when it needs to be done to save the life of the mother or the baby—understand that by and large, you’re tripling the risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and doubling the risk for autism in your child. You’re also dramatically increasing the risk that your child will struggle with obesity, type 1 diabetes, and allergies. These are all inflammatory issues that are dramatically increased in children born via Caesarian section.”

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    • Courtney

      I have to chime in here. Where in the world are you getting that information about C-sections? I did heaps of research when I had a breech baby and needed a C-section (yes – NEEDED – his cord was too short for natural delivery to be possible) and this information never came up. Please cite your source.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Courtney

      I found the ONE study that suggests this and let me point out that in 2004, there was a link to ADHD and Autism as well caused by complications at birth. The study you note does not decipher between ELECTIVE C-sections (which mine is considered because it was SCHEDULED) and EMERGENCY C-sections (although you quote and state “when you ELECT to deliver a child by C-section”). Perhaps the c-section link to autism is actually started in the trauma experienced at birth which resulted in an emergency C-section to save the child? Hmm… that makes MUCH more sense! The author of the study even says that it needs to be taken lightly and more research is needed. Your comment is nothing but a scare tactic and should not be regarded by anyone as factual. I am appalled by your comment.

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    • Courtney

      I want to apologize for my tone. I get very upset when scare tactics and statements are used when discussing birth options, especially with a pregnant mother-to-be. Having my own natural birth plan thwarted by a breech baby with a short cord, and then being bullied by natural birth gurus for deciding to schedule the c-section rather than, “just trying to see how it goes,” I am very passionate about this topic and opinions passed off as facts. Again, I apologize for my tone and very obvious hostility on the topic. (And in no way was I suggesting that your birth induction will/would cause your son autism, my point was that that type of guilt does no one any good.). I wish everyone would just accept the fact that there is no ONE right way to have a baby and that we should let people choose their own path without injecting our own opinions (even if those opinions may be bolstered by some facts). But again, I apologize for my tone towards you – you didn’t deserve that.

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      • notabroodychick

        Courtney, Sorry I wasn’t trying to use scare tactics, and as I implied I didn’t know how true it is. It wasn’t something I ever looked into before and I only happened to read it yesterday. I just personally thought it was interesting and could be worth further investigation possibly. I can dig out where I read it a bit later.

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    • Nara

      Ah well that all kicked off a bit! Honestly I’m fine about the concept of Caesarian. I mean that’s what I wanted in the first place. However I am more inclined towards giving natural birth a try – mainly because of the recovery time and the fact that we have so many stairs!

      I tend to be pretty sceptical about autism claims… I have something of a background in research around this area and it is a lot more complicated than simple causality. I think it’s unlikely there’s a direct link between caesarians and ADHD and autism – the causes haven’t been established yet and at any rate a correlation (high rates of caesarians in the US and increased rates of autism/ ADHD) doesn’t mean causality… It may be multi factor and/or unrelated.

      I guess what I’m saying is that I’m definitely considering natural childbirth but I won’t be really upset if I had to have a Caesarian. Two of my siblings were born by Caesarian and they seem fine as adults! And I have a load of friends who had caesarians and their kids are also fine. At the end of the day each case is different and I hope to be able to make an informed decision if/when it happens!

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  5. Amy M.

    I wish you luck on picking a stroller! Just make sure you try them all out before choosing one, it’ll help you figure out what works for you.
    Yeah it sucks about the jacuzzi, I have missed going in them while pregnant. It’s because of the heat of the water, not the bubbles. Same reason you can’t use heating pads on your back/belly at all. Be careful with massages as well, since someone not trained in pregnancy massage could actually trigger labor. And with the cruise idea…check into things first! I have a blog friend who just did a cruise, and she said they are very picky about how far along you are in pregnancy and being allowed to go. I’d also say check with your Dr before making any final plans, just to be sure!
    As for the shower…here in the US pretty much anything is acceptable. It doesn’t matter who hosts, but the host does pay for everything. B and I did our own shower, because we have no family here and I don’t have any friends that are close enough to throw us one. So we did a big baby shower BBQ at our place. Since we hosted, we paid for everything ourselves…but say if a friend or family member had hosted, they would have paid for everything. That’s typically how it is here.
    Glad baby is doing well!!

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    • Nara

      Yeah that’s what I read. I wouldn’t really say it was a jacuzzi as such. It was warm but probably colder than my shower in the morning! And the bubbles are really gentle. Now I know though I’ll stay out!

      I didn’t have a massage – my sister did. I just had a facial. And the cruise idea has been abandoned as they don’t have any dates that coincide with the times I’m allowed to go! So we won’t be going on one of those. T looked up the latest date we were allowed to travel and I think it’s 20-something weeks so we wouldn’t be able to do one. I might be going to the US in a couple of weeks for work but it’s before the travel cutoff point and the nurse at my surgery said it was okay.

      Sounds great about your shower! I would totally have a BBQ if we had a garden! I love BBQs and that’s the sad part about not having a garden. That said there are only a few sunny days we get in the UK so I try not to get too upset about it, haha! I can completely understand about paying for everything yourselves if you host… I guess it’s just if we have it at the local pub and everyone has a meal then that would end up really expensive! Maybe I should just try and find a free place… Hmm in London?! (Where everything costs loads.) I wouldn’t want my best friend to have to pay for it as she doesn’t have that much money. That would be quite unusual here as if people go out they usually pay for themselves, unless it’s a wedding. Everyone pays for their own stuff really. Unless it’s in someone’s house. If only we had a nice big house to host in! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Courtney

    Prams are truly worth the research and time… believe me. We drive everywhere so weight was not an issue – usability and function was. We finally got an umbrella stroller with Bryson and used it only a few times because it had no cargo space. That to me was the biggest thing – is there somewhere to put stuff when you’re out shopping? The size of the boot matters! In regards to schlepping that thing up the stairs if needed, think about what you’ll do with baby while doing that. That could weigh in on what you decide. Like, where will the pram go if the car isn’t home because the other half has it at the time that you return to the flat? That would be my thought process on it. If you’re hoofing that thing up 8 flights of stairs even once or twice, the weight is important! Also – you’ll need a good baby carrier to strap on for those types of things. Honestly, as much as you think you’re going to be a one-pram household, my bets are on a nice one like the egg-shaped ones and a good lightweight one. 😉 There really is no way around it.

    That ultrasound picture is perfect! We never got one that good of the profile for either of our kids. No biggie now, but back then, I was frustrated by that.

    Sounds like your time with your folks was awesome. I love that!

    Showers here… people like to hold them for themselves or have family do them these days and I am still very old-fashioned and roll my eyes at those people. It’s tacky. Family should only hold a shower if it’s a FAMILY SHOWER. And throwing your own shower??? NO! Just no. But paying for it is customary here for the hostesses to do hence so many joint-showers with multiple friends throwing them. I LOVE hosting showers so cost isn’t a thing with me – I love throwing a party for any reason! But if it’s not customary there (I know I have to be spelling ‘cusomary’ wrong), OK. Just do what you want to do and enjoy it! It’s so funny to me that people would buy their own lunch at a shower because we would never do that here… but we are the society of entitlement.

    Oh and the leather pram… no. It will retain heat in there and baby will hate it. The material needs to breathe some. Trust me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Yeah I can imagine! I think it comes down to how you are going to be using it. I can completely understand why you went the way you did… I think in London our lifestyle is a bit different (colder, no walkway to entrance porch, more use of public transport and just walking and less use of cars, etc). I am with you on the sling / carrier thing! Definitely we already decided that and we will most likely just carry baby if we are walking around our estate. (It’s pretty big and has grocery shop and pubs and things.) So I think the buggy would more be used for longer outings and walks along the Thames. Public transport is pretty adjusted for prams here as well and a lot of people take them on public transport.

      Re the car, we hardly use cars in London. We would probably only use it to take B to the grandparents (45 min – 1.5 hrs away) and maybe if we were going to go to a further away park or something. So it’s really unlikely that T would take the car out without me. London is a public transport commuting city so people only drive for leisure!

      Re shopping, if I just pop out to our local grocery shop it’s like 5 min walk away so we definitely wouldn’t take a stroller. We’d just whack B in a sling. We tend to just buy stuff on a daily basis and don’t really do a big shop (that’s London life for you!) and on the occasions we go to the larger grocery store I just fill up a rucksack. Also we can get groceries delivered! And parcels go to the concierge which is 5 min walk away. So I don’t reckon we will be schlepping vast quantities of shopping around as we tend to shop small quantities of food or get non food stuff delivered to the flat when we are in or concierge when we are out.

      I am totally getting with the thought process of the nice buggy AND a lightweight one! Actually the lightweight ones are pretty cheap unless they’re your primary buggy like the ones I posted. There are ones that are like half the price. And the temperature thing… We have waaaay colder temps than you guys! And he’s going to arrive in January, our coldest month! 😂

      The ultrasound pic was nice! I think because we were paying privately so you more feel you can ask for things! Like the NHS scans are more looking for things rather than trying to get a good pic so they don’t prioritise it so much. I was looking back at the old scans and it’s amazing how much more we can see now. I’m really excited to see what he’ll be like at 32+ weeks! I never really thought it was such a big deal when other people did it but now I understand why they do!

      The baby shower thing sounds like it’s a much bigger deal in the US than in the UK! I think it will gradually catch on though like we have totally embraced proms now which we didn’t do when I was at school. So funny how people would not be paying for their own lunch! We tend to pay to host here if it’s something like canapés or a catered meal for a wedding or something but not really if it’s just a meal out somewhere. I will definitely look up catering options and see – if it’s not that much, I’m happy to pay. I just don’t want my best friend to have to pay as she doesn’t have a load of spare cash. It’s funny what people expect to pay for or not… For example everyone pays for hen parties (bachelorette parties) – do you guys pay for those? Interesting the different customs!

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      • Courtney

        Oh prom…. I’m sorry that’s made its way to you guys.

        Hen night, yes, the hostess would pay for the party stuff (tacky veil, party favors) but it’s more relaxed and people usually buy their own meals and drinks and throw in money for things like hotel rooms and strippers (if there even is one – yuck). It’s the bridal showers here that are totally funded by hostesses when it comes to wedding stuff. Do you have bridal showers?

        Sounds like the big pram is what you want and need. That’s what I’d want too. One thing we did with ours was take it to friends houses and used it as a bed for baby so we could stay later. The lay -flat bassinet is so great for that! With your public transit as pram-friendly as it is, I don’t see a need for ultra light weight. I am high maintenance though with prams. I love them!

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      • Nara

        Haha. Yes prom has gone American style and it’s crazy! We didn’t have it when I was at school though so it was quite a lot easier! We had a little leaver’s disco but not this huge thing with limos and so on. It wasn’t competitive and there were no prom-posals!!

        We have hen nights (and stag nights for the boys) and it is usually paid for by all the participants and everyone gets told how much in advance by the organiser. They do activities and stuff (paint balling, dance classes) and usually end up on a boozy night out. Or it would be a weekend. But everyone expects to pay for themselves and also divides the cost for the bride so she doesn’t have to pay.

        We don’t have bridal showers – don’t think I’ve ever heard of them. What are they?

        Yeah I’m totally into the idea of a big comfy pram for the times we will take him out and about. I don’t feel we need little and lightweight unless we go on holiday or something. But T is somewhat to be convinced! Who knows what we will end up with?! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. silentmiscarriageloudthoughts

    That Mima Xari stroller is very cool! I kinda figure when you’ve dreamed about having a baby for so long, and weren’t sure you’d ever ever get there, you deserve to treat yourself with some baby items that you just LOVE.
    How special that you got to see your little one’s face!
    Here in NZ you don’t host your own either. Mine will be pretty low key. An afternoon tea at my MIL’s. My mum, friend, and sisters will each provide some food.

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    • Nara

      Ahh thanks! I think it’s just a bit crazy and maybe my emotions would calm down when/if he is actually here and I’ll wonder what the big deal was about a stroller, baby shower etc. Haha. I suppose I just never thought I would ever be in this position and I only expect to do it once, so I want to go large!

      It was totally a strange moment when we saw his face for the first time. Sort of like a shock, but a nice one! And also it is strange as he doesn’t so much look babyish yet (no chubby cheeks) but the doc said it’s actually really lucky to see him this early and he’ll look a lot different after 28 weeks once he starts chubbing out! Ha.

      I would really like an afternoon tea type baby shower! It’s just that none of the parents live in London and we can’t really ask our friends to travel outside. I hosted one at our flat a few years ago but that’s when we had a huge flat. Unfortunately now we’ve bought a flat, it’s tiny and barely room to swing a cat! (Dog, haha.) So maybe I’ll just have to find a nice venue where we can bring our own cakes!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    Sooo we went buggy shopping this weekend too…and it is seriously overwhelming! So many different options, bells and whistles!!! It’s almost like buying a car! When I popped into John Lewis on my recent trip back to the UK I quickly walked through at all the prams and buggies and they are all super smart and fancy (ok so it was John Lewis, I know!) and EXPENSIVE!!!! The system we are probably going to get here in the US is $500 all in for a jogger, baby car seat and a light weight buggy by which they all connect and interchange together! But honestly it’s pretty ugly 😂

    That is a cute scan picture!!! Glad everything is looking looking all well and good 😊 I think it’s worth every penny paying for the extra scans!

    You know I think the jacuzzi thing is OK at this time of the pregnancy as long as it’s not too hot and you are with someone in case you faint! I have a bath temp tester and the jacuzzi I went in on my hol was a bit cooler than my normal temperature checked bath! So I think you need not worry! Anyway, you need a little relaxation for your growing achey body! (Are you aching much yet?? I just started to get serious lower back pain 😭)

    That is so lovely your friend offered to host the baby shower!!! I have no clue on baby shower etiquette 😳 but I personally think everyone bringing a little food or drink to contribute is perfectly acceptable! But then again I guess I haven’t been to lots of different showers so ignore me!!! What every you do, make sure you are relaxed and have fun!!!! 😊

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  9. Nara

    I know, the amount of choice is crazy! And they are crazy expensive. I’ve been feeling a bit okay about the price as my mum was like, get WHATEVER YOU WANT, whatever the price! Bless her. I guess she knows about our lost baby last year and wasn’t sure if we would ever get this far. She keeps getting little presents for B and they’re the only things we have as we haven’t bought anything ourselves! We are planning to go to the baby show towards the end of October so think we might buy or order some things there. Also Mothercare is doing an expectant parents evening in October and apparently they’ll give 10% off anything, which seems pretty good. It’s great you have sorted the pram situation already! We haven’t even bought the car yet! 😂 We are planning on getting a Nissan Qashquai (sp?!) in November or December. We don’t really need one day to day in London but we want an easier way of going to see the grandparents as they aren’t on easy public transport (a few changes) so it will be easier for us to go in one trip once B arrives.

    Glad you think the jacuzzi is okay! Honestly I feel it was fine as I mentioned it’s probably colder than my showers in the morning and it wasn’t really a hot tub. More of one of those vague water therapy pools with little bubbles etc. And I spent much more time in the cool big pool! Anyway we are thinking we might go to Bruges on a city break as it’s the capital of chocolate. 🍫☺️

    I would be totally fine with a pot luck baby shower but the problem is finding somewhere to hold it! Our flat is tiny (as you know London!) so can’t really fit many folk in. And most places you can hire have catering order requirements. Still I would be fine to pay for nibbles and drinks if it’s not insane… It’s just that London often is, price wise! Hmm, the search continues! Are you having a baby shower? You gotta embrace the US traditions! ☺️

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  10. Maternally Optimistic

    So happy to see you being more positive and enjoying your pregnancy, it’s amazing!!
    I definitely can’t help on the pram debate, I had a very fixed idea of what I wanted so didn’t really look around too much.
    I am so undecided about any type of baby shower. My sister wants to organise afternoon tea and host one for me. I just feel it’s not me, I’m not a party sort of person, I don’t like to be centre of attention but I feel bad not letting her do it as she never offers to do things like that lol xxx

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! It does feel nicer – I’ve been making a concerted effort to push anxiety / pessimism to one side. I do think it’s easier once you feel kicks and start to show because then you’re treated as a pregnant woman rather than feeling it’s all in your head!!

      You should so have a baby shower! Afternoon tea sounds perfect. We would have done that but our flat is tiny and too small to fit more than a couple of guests in! I mean it’s minuscule! I can’t relate to the “don’t want to be centre of attention” thing… Haha 😂. But I reckon you will enjoy it and if it’s your sis hosting then she will know you don’t want too much fuss. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dubliner in Deutschland

    Aw lovely ultrasound picture, glad you and baby are doing well! Baby showers aren’t really a thing in Ireland, though they are starting to be done more, probably the American influence. I have a group of american/canadian friends here in Germany so I’ve been to quite a few baby showers at this stage! Some have been hosted by a friend of the person and some were in the pregnant girl’s home. Normally everyone brings something to eat and the host supplies the drinks. I’m planning one for a good friend of mine here at the moment actually. She’s pregnancy now after her third round of IVF and I couldn’t be happier for her. I just hope I won’t find all the baby talk too hard on the day. Maybe I’ll bring some booze 😉

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    • Nara

      Thank you! Yeah it’s the same here. Haven’t been to many baby showers and it’s more been informal lunches with work or something. I like the idea of everyone bringing something but we will have to hire some space given our tiny apartment, so will probably have to order from the pub or whatever! Oh and definitely bring booze! The idea is everyone else gets pissed whilst the preggers woman gets the presents! 😂

      Like

    • Nara

      So I just read your blog and can’t comment (grr) so commenting here. It sounds like you have similar to what I had (although my reaction was borderline). The treatment for it is really not too bad… It’s prednisolone (steroid) which you take in pills. Both my sister and I tested positive for NK cells but hers was a more extreme reaction than mine and we were both recommended to take prednisolone. So try not to worry too much. I think the fact they found something is a good thing. X

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  12. RJ

    Awww so cute!! It’s amazing how you can see somewhat what they look like on ultrasound.

    As for strollers, I found the decision to be extremely overwhelming so I just got the one my friends have (and still love and their kid is almost 2). We shall see…if it sucks I’ll just get another one lol.

    Glad you were able to relax at the spa…don’t worry about the jacuzzi, so many people do things that are not recommended during pregnancy and their babies are just fine.

    Glad things are going well for you!!

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    • Nara

      It’s nuts how you can actually see facial features. Such a change from the first ultrasounds which are just blobs! I was amazed how we could actually see what his face looks like. I hope he gets baby chubby cheeks like the doctor said he would!

      I think the stroller thing is overwhelming too. Thing is our friends with babies have different lifestyles. Many live in houses rather than flats. I’m sure we will end up just carrying him around!

      Thanks for the well wishes and I hope that everything is great for you too! X

      Liked by 1 person

  13. screwyoustork

    I honestly sooooo wish baby showers were not a big thing here in the US. In the last 10 years, I have hosted 5 and attended at least 30. And to be honest, they are exhausting with all their necessary games and traditions (especially when you are struggling with infertility)! As others stated, it’s customary for the host(s) to do everything and pay for everything – and the moms-t0-be simply provide the guest list. So showers are typically thrown in homes with several friends hosting and making food for the occasion. It’s also customary for the mom-to-be to give very nice gifts to each of the hosts as a thank you. All in all, it’s a lot of to-do that happens over and over again. Except now, it’s so nice to be on the other side of it. So I am going to lap it up. And so should you, however yours happens. We only get to do this once, so might as well enjoy it however it comes!

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    • Nara

      I feel for you. It’s just not a big thing here so we can pretty much get out of them although we do have a big obligation to see the baby once it’s born. Thanks for explaining the traditions. I am happy to get my friend a nice gift and that’s a good reminder! I don’t think we will have many games or anything like that. More of a gathering and hopefully nothing too cheesy!

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  14. My Perfect Breakdown

    Oh man, finding the right stroller was one of the hardest things we did! 6 or 7 strollers later we finally have our right combination of strollers. Yes, that’s plural, we own 3 strollers. For us, size was the most important factor, but that’s not the case for everyone. So, I say figure out what your most important criteria is and then your decision will be much easier. Also, make sure you and T try it out and you are both comfortable with it’s height.
    As for your friend, she sounds so sweet! I’m so glad you are getting your baby shower that you clearly deserve! I’m still bitter that we didn’t get one, so anytime I hear that someone is getting the one they want I cannot help but smile. You had better share pictures of it! 🙂

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    • Nara

      Haha! I can’t believe you have so many! I know you have a lot more space in Canada though! T is still rooting for the lightweight one and he’s probably right. I think if we can see a few models at the baby show next month then we can firm up ideas (or hopefully they’ll have the perfect one with a discount!).
      So sorry you didn’t get your baby shower! We did have a little online one though! Tbh I don’t really need one but it seems like a good excuse to get friends together and I’m guessing I won’t have so much time to go out socialising once B arrives. And I need to get back in the cake making habit!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Infertility nonsense

    This post made me smile so much. Then it made me cry. Bloody hormones! Haha so many exciting things ahead of you, so please for you xx
    With regards to the stroller choose lightweight, an easy to access and secure place for your bag etc as your accessing it a thousand times a day. My pram had this annoying zipper access to the bag that was under the actual pram and it wasn’t till I started using it a lot I realised how annoying it was. Tempted to buy another now because of it but can’t justify the money again. Also remember the size and how it folds down in your car as you’ll be needing room for groceries and all the other things that babies need.
    How exciting is it to see the bubbas features so clearly. So special xx

    Like

  16. ourgreatestdesire

    I totally agree on the baby carrier. We just got ours from amazon today. I went with the lillebaby all season. I would also suggest, if you can find one to get a stroller with a cup holder. I don’t have one on my big 4 kid stroller for daycare and it drives me crazy! 🙂

    Like

  17. Arwen

    Easy to fold when you’ve got a screaming baby in the carrier!!! Mines a bitch to fold but we got it as it had most varying handle heights for me (5’4″) and D (6’8″!!!!).
    Highly highly recommend the ergo 360 for t, the baby bjorn is awful on your back baby hips, everything!
    Stretchy wraps are awesome for you, but ifyou don’t want the hassle of tying one the close caboo is brilliant, J lived in that early on 😂😂

    Like

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