19 Weeks : Coconut

“Your baby is the size of a coconut.”

 I can’t remember the last time I came across a coconut, but I know I needed two hands to hold it. It seems that a lot of growing is happening in a very short time! Thank goodness for my stretchy jeans and my skater dresses.

Our next scan is March 7th, and we are going to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. I am convinced that she is a girl. I can just feel that she is a girl! Some people say that if you get sickness at the beginning then its usually indicative that you are having a girl- the extra oestrogen makes you poorly. I was quite sick. I had pictured myself with a baby boy right from being small and playing with Tiny Tears. I had the girl Tiny Tears, but I desperately wanted the boy dolly.  (I did eventually get the boy Tiny Tears, but I didn’t like him as much because his legs were too stiff). If she does turn out to be a boy, of course I will be delighted (stiff legs or not), but it will be such a shock! Oliver and I made up our minds to find out the gender weeks ago, I am still undecided if we are going to share this information with family and friends or keep it as a surprise for them. It might be a little bit obvious when we start buying clothes and things though…

Tiny Tears

The baby heart listener we bought is fantastic. There was some initial concern (“why is her heart going so slowly?!”), but we quickly learned that we could hear my own heart in my stomach as well as the baby’s! It is useful to listen to and helps to pinpoint her positioning. It is slightly worrying when you can’t find the clear heartbeat immediately though, it definitely takes practise and patience.

I didn’t really plan to write this week. It is getting more and more clear that we have a lot of shopping and buying and spending to do, and I really don’t have time for things like sitting at a desk and typing! I thought it might be useful for me to write a list, and to cross off each time we buy items from it. That way we wont forget anything vital!

Here is my list:

Crib basket and stand

Blankets for Crib

Baby Bath and bath stand

Bottles and dummies

Steriliser Unit

Pram and Car Seat

Baby carrier harness thingy

Changing mat

Changing Table

Cot and bedding

Bouncer seat

Changing Bag

Baby monitors

Bedroom Lamp

High Chair

Play mat

No doubt I have forgotten loads of stuff, but these are the items that we have agreed are essential and cannot-live-without. Anyway, best to get cracking, I plan to get one item each week. I can’t believe we only have on item from the list! Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail! Bye!

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17 Weeks: Avocado Baby

It is quite shocking for me when I consider that I am (almost) half way through the baby-growing process. It has gone by in a heartbeat. There is so much to think about and so many shopping lists to make that I am so much busier than before. In reflection, I have had such a lovely time so far. The sickness was awful, but even then I knew it for all for a good cause, rather than ill health. My brother has been so funny as he has taken to hugging me at arm’s-length “so as not to hurt the baby”.

This last week has been particularly exciting as I have started to feel movement. Before I felt activity, it felt like popcorn popping in a microwave, but now it’s a definite movement. An intermittent reminder and reassurance. At 17 weeks the baby can hear sounds from outside. This is a bit of a wake-up call as I have started skipping the songs on my iPod that have swearing in them. Oliver has been reading stories to my tummy some evenings after dinner. I am sure she likes his voice because the movement quickens when he speaks to my middle! When he fetched me from work one day last week, I got in the car and he said “Hello” quite loud, I felt her turn all the way around to look at him-how funny! I have also been playing her the music from ‘Swan Lake’ in secret, I have my fingers crossed for a ballerina. I really wish it was time to rush out and by pink baby tutus and satin ballet shoes.

baby ballet 2

Yesterday was a little bit worrying as I had some alarming symptoms that Google said needed checking immediately. I went to the doctors and everything was fine after all, thank goodness. She said that I had nothing to worry about as long as the movements do not stop. The Doctor checked the baby’s heartbeat and let me listen to it. It was the first time I had heard her heart and it sounded so tiny and bouncy. Oliver missed out on this as he was working that day, but he found a baby heart monitor, called a Doppler, on Amazon and has ordered it so that we can listen ourselves.

crib

We ordered the crib and it arrived last week. I started to build it whilst Oliver was at work, but it turns out I am not the Flat-Pack-Princess I thought I was. Oliver finished it when he came home and it is beautiful. We chose cream to match the carpet and the blinds in the nursery room, and it is an old-fashioned style with frills and a hood. It reminds me of Baby Prince George’s Christening gown. I had a good tidy up in the nursery and it is looking very nice so far. She has the new crib to sleep in, my dressing table is in there and a nice tall mirror. The wardrobes are floor to ceiling mirrors just like ours and we also have an upholstered ‘Louis Chair’ in there too. The light shade is a gorgeous crystal design that makes sun-shine patterns all around the walls. We were going to paint the window-wall in a unisex bluey-green colour (I have been calling it ‘Tiffany Box Blue’), but we decided against it when we saw it with the crib. The cream walls and carpet give a nice clean look, and we have seen a ‘baby disco’ light in IKEA that makes the room all colourful like a very slow and calming disco! We still need to get a changing table and a cot, and then the nursery will be complete.

chair

The next big-buy will be the pram. We have lots of models in mind so still not set on a particular one, but we want a nice bright colour. So many mums have black and navy, so we are going for sunshine yellow or something equally as bright.

Today is Valentine’s Day and Oliver has planned for us to go away for the weekend to York. This will be our first trip since we found out about the baby and since we moved house. It is well-deserved as we had to cancel our holiday to Tunisia which was booked for June. So we are having what is commonly known in the pregnancy world as a ‘baby-moon’. I have a new pale pink dress (only one size bigger!) to wear and am looking forward to it; we haven’t been away in ages.

This week our baby is the size of an avocado (!), learning this reminded me of a story book my Year One teacher used to read to us called ‘Avocado Baby’. About a baby who loves avocados and eats nothing but. The baby boy gets really strong and does ridiculous things. I must look this up!!

avocado

Fifteen Weeks : Apple of my Eye

What is a ‘nappy-cake’, and is it for eating? How do you know if it’s ‘top and tail’ time, rather than bath time? What if I can’t tell if she is unhappy/hungry/uncomfortable? I obviously have a lot of learning to do.  The aim of picking up the text books was to answer my questions, not create more.  Every couple of days I spend one hour in a bath of bubbles swotting. Oliver and I have a text book each, mine is deadly serious, with photographs and diagrams, and Oliver’s is light-hearted and jokey, with animation and scribbles. My most horrifying text book discovery so far was made in Oliver’s book: “Feeling the need to cheat? Try your best not to.” I am still not sure if this is a joke or not. I put a bend in the page which says that the Father should buy the Mother an expensive gift, to be given at the birth, to say “Good Job-you got our baby out!”.  I am excited for the birth and my gift.

This is week fifteen, three weeks into the second trimester. I had previously been counting down the days until this trimester, relying on advice from advice-givers and Google. I held out for this week, looking forward to having the energy needed to climb the stairs and carry out other ordinary tasks. Annoyingly, the energy has still not returned. I have stopped being sick though. The dry-retching first thing lives on. But actual vomiting has gone. Break through.  Eight thirty onwards I am fine. Something I am thoroughly enjoying is the attention I am getting. Colleagues are constantly refilling my water bottle and bringing me fruit and snacks. I have never been so hydrated in all my life. Oliver bought me a pre and post-natal fitness DVD, with Davina. I watched it through first (following Davina’s advice), and then gave it a try. Davina doesn’t once jog, jump, hop, or do anything really pulse rising. In her defense she is weighed down by a massive tummy for the whole 45 minutes.  I love exercise and had hurried into my running clothes (let’s face it, they won’t be used for actual running any time soon), pushed the furniture out of the way and got going. I had underestimated again, it was exhausting. I totally understand why mums-to-be in Victorian times were prescribed 9 months of bed-rest. I wish I was a Victorian sometimes.

At four months I had expected to look pregnant. I don’t. Granted I have tired eyes and usually only half my make up done. But I am wishing that I had a bit more of a bump. I do have a small one, but to people who do not know me I feel that I just look chubby. I spent my day off last week packing up my tight jeans, fitted dresses and bikinis into a suitcase, zipping it up and closing the cupboard door until summer 2015. It felt sad but happy. The blow was definitely softened by my ASOS.com delivery of seven new dresses, all ready to fill the wardrobe space. They were maternity dresses, and I will only be wearing them for a couple of months, but they still count. I have also just this morning invested in a pair of maternity jeans; they have a fantastic stretchy panel. I think everyone should have a pair-jeans are so uncomfortable.

We had our first scan at twelve weeks, and decided that this was the time to tell the world. What better way to spread news fast than social media? We decided on a Selfie. It is 2014 after all. We posed the photo and then uploaded to Twitter and Facebook. The response was spectacular. So many shocked well-wishers wrote so many kind messages. Miss Karen had spread the news at my dance school and all of the children I teach are so excited. It was so exciting to have the scan appointment. The Jessop department at the hospital was lovely. The staff were so welcoming and Scan Room 6 was softly lit and nice and warm. The sonographer pressed the equipment on me and explained what she was doing. She quickly confirmed that there was only one baby and that there was a heartbeat, before turning on the screen on the opposite wall so we could both watch. I don’t know what I was expecting to see, but it wasn’t what I saw. On the screen was a trapeze shaped frame which clearly had a tiny person inside! The head and arms and legs and body could be seen perfectly, as well as a little nose. The lady measured each bit of her and said all was normal and developing correctly.  She calculated the due date as 27th July 2014. We then went through the routine health checks and tests, and went to buy a photo of the scan. They cost £4.00 each and we bought four.  Everything has felt a bit more real since the scan day, and the photo is such a nice thing to have. Ours is framed in the hall way, and we have an extra one each to carry around. It is too early to tell the sex of the baby just yet, we have a second appointment on 7th March to find out if it will be a little girl or a little boy.

News

Something I have learnt from my text book is that a premature baby can live if born after 24 weeks. Therefore you should have everything you need for the happy new arrival by 24 weeks, just in case. This meant I only have a few weeks to buy everything I haven’t already got. That is a lot of buying to be done as I have only bought a couple of cute baby grows. I had been for walks around baby shops looking at prams, but I definately hadn’t considered anything seriously yet. The following weekend we went to John Lewis and went straight up the baby department. The world of ‘designer-prams’ is totally new to me. We didn’t know which type of terrain we would be pushing our pram onto, we didn’t know how much we wanted to spend, and we didn’t know what would fit in the boot of our car. Since this particular shopping trip we have made a few more visits to view the prams. We are better informed now, and know we want a ‘travel system’, in a nice bright colour.

pram

We have been calling our baby ‘Poppy’ up to now, and both like this name for a little girl. Choosing a name for a boy hasn’t been quite as easy, and we have had a few disagreements about this so far!

P.S. A ‘Nappy-cake’ is a hamper gift given to new mums. It is made out of different coloured nappies arranged in a cake design. ‘Top and tail’ is a quick wash, rather than a full on bath, ideal for during the day. A baby has different cries according to her needs; a hungry cry is easily distinguishable from a “I am so tired and irate” cry.

nappy cake