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.
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.
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.