I sort of can’t believe it but we somehow reached viability last week. 24 weeks! It’s the division between the medics not trying to save the baby, versus being in with a chance of saving him if he were born prematurely. (I am hoping this does not happen.) Baby B still seems teeny but he is apparently the size of a cantaloupe, or an aubergine (eggplant to you guys!). That seems quite unfathomable to me but something is definitely causing my stomach to stretch!
How do I feel? I feel a lot better than I did earlier in the pregnancy. First of all, I feel like it is somehow easier to be “out” about being pregnant, and it almost makes me feel more positive because when people know, they just assume the best (rather than being anxious about loss and assuming the worst would happen). It is hard to explain, the conflicting feelings but I’d describe it as being too afraid to be excited this time round. We already went through the excitement and the imagining a life last time, and that was lost with the miscarriage (after years and years of infertility). So it seems really scary to hope now… But I am.
It’s easier to have a bump because people actually treat you like you’re pregnant. And people are on the whole pretty nice about it. How I have spent years resenting the pregnant women on public transport sporting their Baby on Board badges (see previous posts… It’s something Transport for London gives pregnant women for free, which is meant to increase the odds of someone offering you a seat)… Now I am one of them. The other feeling is sort of like survivor’s guilt, I guess. Others I know are still in the trenches. Especially my sister, who lost a baby a few months after I did last year. She’s still trying and so I’m conscious of not wanting to hurt her, but she’s been really nice. Another friend is starting IVF soon and again I know what it feels like to feel desperate and hopeless/hopeful and it sucks.
Those things being considered though I feel as if I’m finally gearing up to be properly pregnant. I can only fit in pregnancy clothes now, and I am enjoying having a bump I never thought I’d have. I have a bunch of tight stretchy dresses and I kind of like it! Although every now I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think What a heffalump! Part of me feels disgusted about how my body has changed and part of me doesn’t care at all because I’m bringing a bloody human into the world. I mean, I have had so many years of infertility and hopelessness, and then a big hope and a big loss last year, that it seems crazy not to embrace it. I envy women who just get pregnant and take it for granted that everything will be okay, but I’ve been working on getting closer to that.
I met up with my amazing midwife last week, and she was just as nice as I remembered. She reiterated her promise not to go on holiday in January! And also I saw the doc and he seemed super pleased with me. He asked what changed and I said, meeting L (midwife) and also reading the Ina May childbirth book and getting my head around it. I think I’m around 90% convinced now to try for a natural birth. I’m not sure exactly why, but it’s a combination of knowing that L will be there (I think I’d change my mind if she wasn’t) and reading all the facts about birth in the Ina May book, which is total hippy dippy s*** on the one hand but also pretty informative and persuasive on the other. Oh and also the eight flights of stairs to our flat and the 24 steps inside between the bedroom and bathroom are kind of encouraging me not to go for an unnecessary Caesarian – although I will feel fine if it has to happen. Doc said that’s the best attitude to have!
Last weekend we went to a big birthday party for a really great friend of mine. She had hired out this huge mansion for the celebrations and it was kind of crazy when we saw it… There were 20 of us so it meant we could afford between us to stay in this massive place for the weekend.
It was really fun, although so weird because of not drinking. I suppose it’s to be expected what with being pregnant and all, but you kind of forget about the drinking thing unless you go out. I haven’t really been going out much so this was the first big social occasion where everyone else was drinking… Apart from the other pregnant woman. It was really fun but also a bit tiring. You realise time goes normally when you’re sober but quickly when you’re drunk! Anyway our fancy dress outfits went down well and Dog was even allowed to stay too so we had a nice family time! It was a fun weekend. The first night we had fancy dress themed around 1976, and then the next night we had black tie catered dinner so everyone got dressed up and it felt very posh. And I made a cake! The birthday girl’s nickname has to do with the size of her bosom so this is what I came up with…
She absolutely loved the cake and we had a great weekend. They are a really nice bunch of people who I met through the birthday girl when I was going through my separation and really needed a friend. The nice thing about that bunch of people is they embrace newcomers and aren’t very territorial about it, which is a refreshing change… I think it’s maybe because they’re not English. In my experience the English can be a bit less friendly than other Brits! (Welsh, Scottish, Irish…) Maybe it’s because those groups tend to drink more and that makes them happier! 🙂 The annoying thing I’ve been afflicted with and had all last weekend was a dead arm. I think I posted a few posts ago about how much my legs hurt that I went to hospital. It was so frustrating… No idea why I got it, but I wasn’t worried – just in pain. Once I managed to get hold of some paracetamol on the way home, it abated some.
Work is going okay, although I have to figure out a replacement for me when I go on maternity leave. I’m only going to take four months off, which is nothing for the UK although I know elsewhere it’s quite normal. In the UK people generally take a year but that’s usually paid, and because I started my job pregnant, it means I don’t get the benefits so I’ll effectively be taking unpaid leave. The government gives you some maternity pay but it’s negligible. We are also hoping that T can take 18 weeks of shared parental leave and that would be paid as he’s been at his work longer, so that would help a lot and we think if we overlap we can cover around 6 months leave for B. I can also take holiday throughout the year so we might try and have a little break when he’s older. He is already signed up for nursery so that’s one thing ticked off the list!
I’m going to have to travel to the US next week – it’s the last time I can travel before the flight restrictions kick in. Annoyingly I have to travel cattle class (economy) so I’m hoping it’s not too bad. I like flying usually but haven’t flown whilst pregnant. I’ve been having a bunch of annoying debates with our travel agency about what flights I can take and what hotels I can stay in… I told them I’m not staying by myself in a different area and taking Ubers at night on my own as a 6 month pregnant woman! Anyway they finally gave in after I got approvals from all the bosses. Maybe they just don’t want to argue with a pregnant hormonal woman!
Hilariously I was sent these cultural tips for visiting the US… Let me know if you are American and can identify with these things! Ha!
In other news, I finally booked my baby shower! Super exciting. We are having it at a local pub onsite. (This probably sounds very horrendous to non Brits but you’ll soon realise everything revolves around drinking here!) It’s not as bad as it sounds – we have a private room and it’s a very family (and dog!) friendly pub. Yay. This means Dog can attend so I am already thinking I need to dig out his tux. My BFF is organising it, although she lives in a different country so I booked the place and did the invitations (e-invitations from Paperless Post) to save her doing the guest list and all that. Although she probably would have happily done it. We are having Christmas dinner which is like my favourite thing ever! She probably thinks I’m a horrific control freak but then she has known me for a really long time so I don’t think she would be surprised! Bless her… She is like the nicest person in the world and never gets annoyed by anything, which is a rare quality!
The other thing we have planned is to go to the baby show in London in a few weeks. It is just before our Babymoon, which we have finally booked! So we’ve booked both those things. Yay. We have this idea that going to the baby show we’re going to miraculously decide on things. It’s quite funny really. T has been talking with a friend of his about it (he met up with her last week or so) – she’s a bit of an earth mother so told him to do all these things… So now he has ideas in his head about “elimination communication” (where you potty train from birth). I’m like, sure, go ahead… You’re welcome! Ha. She was also stressing about how you need to agree on parenting things. I am less worried about this… I mean, it obviously matters – she’s in the process of getting divorced so it clearly mattered to them – but I think if you are both roughly on the same page about it in terms of approach that it won’t be as big of a problem as that (she says, naively!). I mean, we are both quite similar in our approach to Dog… although T does say I spoil him. Oh dear! We’re going to be terrible parents!
We’ve booked our Babymoon to Bruges. I’m very excited as it will be the first place we’ve been to that neither of us have been to before, or with an ex(!) which is quite funny. And it’s the capital of chocolate! At least we don’t have to get a flight and can just enjoy the Eurostar. I’m looking forward to it. We have about 5 days there in a really nice looking hotel and I think it will be a nice break as we haven’t really had a holiday this year. And chocolate! Yay.
My sister sent me some cool shoes to say thanks for the spa weekend. You can’t properly see but the coloured part is gold!
Yeah, think I may be pregnant…