32 Weeks – Parent Craft, Decorating and Scans.

Last Saturday we attended a ‘Parent Craft’ class. We had been invited by my midwife who had given a gushing speech about how useful they are. Not knowing what to expect, we were pleasantly surprised and had a lovely day. The class was held at the hospital, and was a ‘take it in turns to introduce yourself’ affair. There were ten couples in total, and all were totally different. One couple refused to wear their name labels, and sat with their arms folded throughout the first half of the session. They didn’t speak a word to the rest of the group, except “we are worried about incompetent medical staff”, which caused a bit of an awkward silence, and then didn’t come back from their lunch break for the second half. The leader took us through subjects that we decided we wanted to cover as a group, touching on baby bathing, baby sleeping, baby feeding and things like different approaches to parenting and what to remember at the birth etc.

The weekend was also spent decorating the nursery. Still fixed on ‘Tiffany Box Blue’, we trawled B&Q for the perfect paint shade. I had never painted a room before, except for once when I was very little: I had insisted on a half green, half orange bedroom (don’t ask why) and was probably more hindering than helping the grown ups. As our home is a new build, the nursery room had four white walls. One wall has our tall-mirrored wardrobes, and now the window-wall is painted in ‘Up Beat’! It only took one coat of paint and looks so much better than I was expecting! The other two walls are staying white, but we are adding wall stickers next week, after we have added the cot and the changing table. We are going for trees on the white-walls. Photos to follow- work in progress. I cannot wait for the finished result, and suddenly feel like painting the whole house.

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Sunday we had booked a 4D scan, following the recommendations of friends. Unfortunately baby was in a difficult position and so the scan had to be re-booked for next weekend. But we did get some perfect 2Dphotos of her face and feet and a DVD of her. Why can’t I watch this DVD without crying?! I just wish she would hurry up so that we can meet her! We could have only five weeks to go if baby arrived the early side of on time, and I have begun packing the hospital bag today.

Poppy

(Baby’s face is on the right with her right hand and arm lifted to the side of her head)

Poppy's foot

(Baby’s left foot and ankle)

In other news, I have done my dance exam the weekend before last and I finish work in twelve shifts-its so nearly time for a big rest!!

Also, this article is really interesting, about how professional dancers carry on practice during pregnancy: http://www.behindballet.com/waiting-for-baby-what-our-dancers-do-while-theyre-pregnant/

 

30 Weeks – I’m Feeling Lucky.

Upon discovering our happy news, one of my first decisions was “we’ll go private”. I didn’t mind paying, and after all the recent headlines slating NHS services and lack-lustre nurses my mind was temporarily made up. An awkward phone call to my GP minutes after the positive result appeared backed up my decision, and I still feel today that who ever I spoke to should have had the words ready to make me feel at ease. Perhaps this man should have been a mechanic, and not a doctor? Had he been speaking about my catalytic converter I would have trusted him implicitly.

I have since changed my mind, as unusually for me, I developed a “lets see how it goes” approach. I have been thrilled with the service I have been issued from the NHS since December. I have had a better experience in certain examination rooms than I have had on some airlines, and I can’t say I have ever flown budget. I can honestly say, absolute hand on heart that I have been cared for with the utmost vigilance. Whooping cough vaccination? Flu Jab? I had no idea that I needed these. Luckily these clever people wrote to me and invited me-free of charge- to receive said treatment at a time that suited my work-schedule. I have a midwife who warms her hands before she touches me, who has given me her personal mobile number, who has asked me a thousand questions to double-check that I am happy and doing OK. If I do ever get a worry or concern, I have been given a contact number for a 24 hour line to speak directly to a midwife or doctor. This number has been sent to me through to post, it has been texted to me, it has been emailed to me, it has been printed on my care record notes, it has been put into my hand bag on a handy credit card type thingy, it is re-issued to me at each and every appointment. I could not misplace this number if I wanted to. I have phoned this number once. I was given advice from a professional over the phone, and then a call back three hours later to check my symptoms had calmed. They had. I had a brief spell in hospital where I was given a room and as many snacks as I could have possibly wanted, as well as re-assuring smiley faces and test results. I have a home visit booked in so that they can check I am in a safe environment and to check that I have everything I need to look after a baby. I have folders full of leaflets/postcards/free samples. I have been totally awed, and am so pleased that I decided to stay with the NHS baby service. How lucky we are!

Today is 30 weeks. A full term birth can happen anytime between 37 and 42 weeks. This means there could be as little as 7 weeks remaining. My recent days off have been filled with tiny little laundry, and actually my baby has a pretty healthy wardrobe! Why is it so much more enjoyable when you’re washing and ironing tiny little sleeves and hems? We have bought our own stuff, but then have had kind gifts from friends and family too. Our next big-buy will be a changing table and a cot. Babies do not require a cot until 6 months old but we want to buy it now so that we can complete the nursery. Next stage will be to decorate the nursery and then we are almost finished-phew!

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29 Weeks – You’re never fully dressed without a smile.

I have a bad habit with dresses. After the first ‘wear’ I fall totally out of love with them and do not want to wear again. This makes things hard because it means that I need a new dress for each and every occasion that warrants a dress. This is a lot of occasions, I am not a jeans girl-They just don’t fit me. Particularly, if I have had my photo taken in one particular dress I also cannot and will not wear it again until I have forgotten about it. I feel that people will think I cannot afford new clothes if they see me in the same thing over and over! I do know this is ridiculous, but people do judge, no matter what they say. Over the past three or so years (when I reached the sensible stage of realizing I simply can’t keep throwing money into department stores-after all, I had a wedding to pay for), I have developed a fail-safe solution: the dress is worn, washed, ironed and then put carefully away for several months, or until the next season, somewhere I can’t see it by accident. This means that by the time I come back to this dress it has been forgotten about and brings the same elation as when it was brand new! Some might call that type of behavior thrifty!

I have hit a wall with my dress-recycling system. My expanding circumference means I have no chance of getting into these recycled dresses, and so I have had to start the whole cycle again, except with maternity sizes. Maternity clothes are rubbish. There is only about six shops in the whole of Meadowhall that actually stocks any maternity wear, and even then most of it is jeans with a leggings-tummy panel or an embarrassing T-shirt with a caption like “Does my bump look big in this?!”, or something else equally as cringe-y. I will not be wearing anything with cheeky slogans emblazoned (Thank-you very much). I have tried two sizes bigger than normal; a size 14 is about appropriate just now, and with certain cuts of dress (tunic with a thin waist belt) looks very nice. Other cuts (skater, pinafore, cap-sleeve, shift) look huge everywhere except the tummy, and fall inappropriately down or roll unflatteringly up.

I just knew this would turn into a fashion blog.

I love Kate Middleton and everything that she wears is gorgeous. I don’t know where she found her maternity clothes but she must have needed an ordinance-survey map and a compass.

big tummy

This weekend marks 29 weeks. I have a suspicion that baby will arrive early and so this means there is only ten weeks to go! We still have a few bits and bobs to buy, but I am feeling all-together very prepared. I am finding the whole experience much more enjoyable now (must be my second wind!), the attention I am getting is fantastic! My tummy is rubbed by curious hands at least three times each day, one girl at work insisted she was feeling what was unmistakably a leg, I didn’t have the heart to tell her it was my leggings elastic… I have also had my first instance of a stranger having a feel too. It was at a cash point in town, I jumped to the conclusion that he was going to steal my handbag, and there was an awkward moment of eye contact as I snatched my belongings into my other hand. In my defence he was wearing a baseball cap with three stripes on it, but I wont be so quick to judge in future, and not just because I nearly gave myself whiplash. Anyway, he had placed his hand on me for about a fifth of a second and said “awww” before snatching it away and moving on, probably more embarrassed than I was.

I am keeping active and can’t bear to be sitting for too long. I have my dancing exam in a couple of weeks and so practise is keeping me fit without having to do too much. I have put on nine pounds already; I don’t mind really, it is a treat look in the mirror without willing myself to look smaller. Davina McCall said of ‘post-baby-bodies’ that there is no rush to lose weight: “Nine months up…nine months down”. I am feeling very lucky that everything is going so smoothly. I did have a very brief spell in hospital a couple of weeks ago, but testing confirmed that everything was normal and no need to worry (It also meant I got an extra scan which was a treat). I haven’t blogged for a while because I did not want to focus on the negative. I have had a few weeks of worry, nothing at all serious, just my own self doubt, but I am feeling so much better now and am full of excitement. My energy is totally up. I have 26 working days to go and am so ready to start this new chapter.

new look dressnewlook dress

This emerald dress is from New Look and is their maternity range. I like the pleated neck. The cardigan is Debenhams and is not maternity-wear.

deb dress

This one is Red Herring at Debenhams. A t-shirt shape with elastic waist. I think my favourite thing in the world is an elastic waist!