Viability! (24 weeks)

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! ๐Ÿ™‚  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.

In pictures…

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!

 

Bumpie

Yeah, think I may be pregnant…

 

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55 comments

  1. Courtney

    Fun post!

    So, I saw the stroller you’re considering (yellow shade) the other day at an outlet mall and the dad put a light weight bag on the handle and it started to tip backwards. I chuckled (moms know better) and watched them go to the lot with it. It was wobbly and bumpy. Thought I’d pass that on.

    T’s earthy friend sounds like my SIL – who is also in the middle of a divorce (because of her inability to let him parent as well). T must stop talking to this woman about her parenting ideas immediately. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve been wondering if you’re still making cakes! Cute!!

    Like

    • My Perfect Breakdown

      Oh, tippy strollers are the WORST!!! Our favourite stroller – UppaBaby G-Lux – is too light and we cannot put bags on the handles. We still love it despite this, and just don’t put heavy bags on it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      • Nara

        Ha! Yeah the UppaBaby is a popular one here but I think the usual one is a different model. I can see us leaning towards just carrying the baby around! ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Ha! Yes I think we won’t be going for that one. Although we are quite likely to get the other lightweight one, but probably do more carrying than pushing… We shall see! I do think they look wobbly and bumpy which is what puts me off!

      T doesn’t see the friend very often thank goodness! I’m a little scared of how strident she is… Surely these things are not worth divorcing over!

      Yes I am still making cakes but not often! Have to up my game! I think it’s because I don’t really have a big kitchen or oven any more. Or probably just laziness! What have you got planned for this Christmas? Something big I hope!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. meandmycrazywomb

    Yaaay congratulations! I know that feeling of slight relief and hope once you reach 24 weeks. I think that’s when I finally decided to buy my first baby item! You’re doing well. I beyond excited for you ๐Ÿ˜€ xxxx

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! Yes we still haven’t bought anything yet but we do have the baby show this month(!) so we are thinking we will get some stuff there. It still seems quite far away but I’m probably kidding myself! Ha! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sbach1222

    Americans are critical about their government, but also patriotic, don’t say negative things. LOLOLOLOL!!! If you could see the the billboards that people have put up about moving out of the country! I’d be surprised if you were over here and didn’t hear someone being critical right now. lol. You would fit right in saying negative things right now!

    The handshake statement is funny too, I’ve never thought twice about a person’s handshake. Maybe it’s more of a guy thing?

    Yay for your shower and trip all booked!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ha! I know – a guy I work with in the US told me he’s supporting Trump. I’m like, really?!?!? I love America for Disney, that’s all I’m saying!

      The handshake thing is the same here, definitely more of a bloke thing! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      I’m excited for the holiday! Yay! I don’t think I’ve had a proper holiday all year!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Recurrently Unlucky

    Yay for viability!! Baby shower in a pub sounds quite exotic, I think! Can’t wait to hear about it and see pictures! We’ve been to Bruges too and it was sooo nice. Hope you have a wonderful babymoon!

    Like

    • Nara

      Haha, it’s really not exotic at all… It’s five minutes away from where we live so it’s laziness more than anything! I can’t wait to go to Bruges. I love chocolate anyway so that’s the main thing I’m looking forward to! Also we booked into the St Pancras Hotel the night before so that’s really exciting! We thought we might as well go all out!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. stealingnectar

    Such a happy post! I love how you write and think. The catch up was enjoyable! Congrats on viability! I actually bought my first things for little B today. Can’t wait to keep shopping! Xx

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! It’s crazy really. Life just keeps coming and we realised that B is going to be here really soon and we aren’t prepared at all! Haha. Hope all is well with you and little cutie! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you!! I didn’t realise how relieved I would feel. It means he feels more real somehow. I know if he was born now it wouldn’t be good, but at least they’d try. I’m hoping that he sticks around till after Christmas! And definitely post babymoon!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha! I know. I took those with a pinch of salt! I think the pub thing makes me sound like an alcoholic or something but I promise you it’s a food and drink place, not just a drinking hole! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Like

  6. MrsD

    Yay for viability! The tips for traveling in the US are pretty funny- aren’t most of those things (like shaking hands) the same in the UK? And yeah, I have no problem with foreigners criticizing our government. When Donald Freaking Trump actually has a chance to be President, we deserve all the ridicule (or sympathy?) people want to hurl at us. Although on the tipping thing, actually 20% is customary now, not 15.
    Anyway, I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait for January!!!!!

    Like

    • Nara

      Yes they are pretty much the same! I thought it was hilarious, especially the middle finger bit! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I know the tipping thing too as it’s always hotly debated on the Orlando forums! Our tipping is a lot less and more discretionary – 10% is the norm when working it out yourself and 12.5% usually gets added automatically as service charge in London so you don’t have to think about it. But many places outside of London don’t automatically add service. 20% seems so much!

      Like

      • MrsD

        Yeah I think other countries pay their restaurant workers a fair wage so tipping is more reasonable. But here it’s all about exploiting workers so they have to depend on tips. Hey! There’s that whole criticizing the US government again! Lol!

        Like

      • Nara

        Yes there is that! It seems crazy to us Brits but then we do get pleasantly surprised by the nice service! I love America as I’m sure any of my blog readers know!

        Like

  7. Amy M.

    Congrats on hitting this big milestone! Glad you’ve been having fun with friends, that house looks insane! And your cakes…I really want one!! Good luck on your trip to the states. Not sure where you’re going, but I hope it’s somewhere that you can have at least a little fun while you’re there. Oh and happy to hear that you’re really opening yourself up for a vaginal birth, not just a c-section! Hope your pregnancy keeps going quickly and smoothly!

    Like

  8. dreamseggsandsperm

    So happy to hear (and see) that you re doing so well! Except for your arm and not drinking at parties… But hey, for being so far gone I think you sound and look super! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sounds lovely with some baby moon to. Haha, with two kids now I wish we would get ANY time for ourselves, but maybe in a couple of years…. I wish…
    Congrats to your 24 weeks and keep your spirit up now!
    BTW your cake was awesome!!!!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you!! Yes I wonder when do parents get time for themselves… Are we just blissfully unaware now?! I enjoy lazing around doing nothing!! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Like

  9. Dubliner in Deutschland

    That cake looks great. The idea of a bunch of friends renting a mansion for the night sounds really fun. But yeah, definitely more so with alcohol. I know what you mean about time going much faster when drinking. It’s definitely a different experience being the only sober one. Anyway, great you’ve made that milestone! Hope your baby shower will be lots of fun x

    Like

    • Nara

      Hellooooo! I was hoping you’d comment. I tried (I promise I tried) to comment on your last post about the immune stuff… You know how I feel about it! I think it’s worth a shot. Although of course it depends on your circumstances and I know a lot of people don’t support it. I just tried to do everything I could to make it work, but who knows, it might have worked anyway (and believe me, heparin shots are awful!). I would be happy to chat on email about it. Zero to zygote at gmail. If you fancy a chat! Yeah the alcohol thing was a bit strange but I got through it! I’m mainly looking forward to the Christmas dinner! Xx

      Like

  10. My Perfect Breakdown

    I just realized I never commented after I read your post yesterday! Ops!!
    I’m glad you are doing well. I love that you are past 24 weeks! How exciting! That said, baby had better stay put for a little while longer! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love that you have the babymoon coming up. This is just awesome. And you look so cute! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, and I love the cake! Every time I see your cakes I am so impressed!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you!! Yes I hope he stays put for a while. Ideally towards the end of January! I can’t wait for the babymoon… Well mainly the chocolate. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope all is great with you! X

      Liked by 1 person

  11. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    It is def easier with an obvious bump…no more hiding!! Except now I get all the random strangers ask me dumb questions!!!

    It’s so wonderful you have met a great midwife who has given you some confidence in a natural birth!! BTW- talking about stairs…how are you feeling about going up them now??!! I’ve avoided going up more than 3 flights of stairs because I’ve got dizzy!! I can’t imagine how you are coping with coming home!!!!

    Haha Cultural advice on Americans. It’s so true. I’ve been here for 4 years almost now and I STILL can’t tell if they are just saying hello or asking how I am!!! Depending on which city you are going to depends on what is considered business attire. Business casual is very casual here in my opinion!!! I have a blog post ready to go on flying transatlantic when pregnant, you have reminded me I haven’t posted it yet!!! I’ve got two more trips to Europe, one at 29/30 weeks one at 31/32. Hopefully if the doc gives her approval!!! I’m not looking forward to it at all ๐Ÿ˜ฉ which airline are you flying with? Just make sure they can see your bump when you go to check in…you never know!!!

    Loving your bumpie!!! Looking lovely ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Like

    • Nara

      Hi! I’m slow on the stairs! Very out of breath! Thankfully I’ve trained Dog to wait every second set for a treat, so I kid myself I’m stopping for him! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Everyone says How are you? In London! When I first used to get asked I would actually start explaining… Now I know the correct answer is “Not bad. How are you?” and carry on walking and don’t wait for an answer! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      I only have maternity dresses now so I’ll just be wearing those! Poor you flying so much! I don’t mind this one trip but I’m glad I don’t have to go again. We will be on eurostar to Bruges which is easy! I’m flying with Delta operated by Virgin… I hope it’s okay. I’m quite small so usually the leg room thing doesn’t bother me! โ˜บ๏ธ

      Like

  12. andthewindscreamsmary

    Haha. Those cultural tips are funny. I will say that 1)I definitely notice a weak handshake 2)I don’t care if you mock or criticize our government, and I do so on a daily basis when a dolt like Trump is a “serious” presidential contender 3)In my experience tipping is generally 18-20% now, however I DO NOT tip on tax, and tax is always factored into the total when you get the bill.
    And, glad to see this milestone. I too read Ina May’s book, and other than making me terrified of Pitocin and other hormonal induction methods I found it very enlightening and helpful.

    Like

    • Nara

      I know right?! I remember that people usually tip a lot in the US! I suppose 20% is easier to work out but still! It’s a lot! We do 10% – 12.5% here and generally Brits are stingy about it!

      Yes I found the Ina May book really educational! Also it made me feel better as the way she advocates giving birth is similar to the UK model so it felt reassuring!

      Liked by 1 person

      • andthewindscreamsmary

        Yes, it is a to tip. My husband is generally a lot more generous of a tipper than I am – so he always errs on the high side and I always err on the lower side.
        Boston to Connecticut, you will be in my neck of the woods!

        Like

      • Nara

        Woohoo, I see from the weather it’s quite warm there! Unfortunately I’m accompanying the client so won’t have any time off, apart from maybe some time on Monday! Any recommendations for what to do for a day in Boston? I was thinking I’ll go on a boat tour. Also to find a Sephora! ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Like

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