Thursday, 31 May 2012

baby brain

Silly stuff I've done while pregnant:

poured orange juice on my cereal
locked myself out of the house
gone to the men's toilet at the hospital and not realised until I was washing my hands

and the rest I forget...

And in other news the cat gets excited every time I decide to sit on the sofa instead of my birthing ball for a while, so that he can come for a cuddle, but then realises how big the bump is and that he can't fit properly and has a big sulk. Boy is he going to be jealous when the baby actually arrives. Poor Sulli.

x x x x x

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

bump diary

Weeks 32 - 34.

I'm almost as big as I'll get now, thank goodness!

x x x x

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

In Position!

I'm 34 weeks and 4 days.

I've just got back from an appointment with the midwife, and I'm happy to say that baby's head is facing down. Yay! I just hope that she stays like the until the big day! At this stage the baby takes up most of the room in my tummy so she doesn't really do somersaults anymore, so it's pretty likely that she'll stay that way. It's more important that she's in position by 36 weeks, in a fortnight's time, so nice to know that she already knows which way is out. I've found the midwife appointments a blur, they last about 5 minutes and consist of me sitting and nodding while the midwife ticks things off on forms. Because I've read up on everything a lot on my own, I haven't really had to ask any advice from the midwife, and the pregnancy has been (touch wood) really smooth, so I haven't needed her as much as I'm sure a lot of mums-to-be do. At each appointment the midwife takes your blood pressure, checks your wee, and listens to the baby's heartbeat, and since about 28 weeks she's also been measuring my bump to check that it's growing. And everything's fine. They stopped weighing pregnant women a few years ago because it's not healthy to obsess about how much weight you're gaining, which seems sensible. I'm happy that I've been eating well and that the bump is growing, and that's all that really matters.

We had our "parentcraft" session at the hospital last night, so in theory I now know how to get her out and how to take care of her. It was all quite basic but reassuring to know what to do/where to go as things progress. 37 weeks is technically full-term, so in 3 weeks she could come any time. Wow! I'm as ready as I'll ever be, and SO hot in this weather, so I'd be happy for her to come early!

x x x

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hot stuff

I'm 33 weeks and 6 days.

So, the past two days have been a glipse of what it means to be heavily pregnant in hot weather. It's really nice to be able to get out and absorb some vitamin D, but I fear that it's going to get old fast. My waddle-walk is slower than ever, and with baby sitting right under my ribs I'm out of breath on even the slightest of inclines. Plus there's the issue of clothing to think of; I'm wearing some knee-length leggins with a t-shirt today and I feel a bit naked, but most of my maternity dresses are polyester so I dread to think of the sweating which'd ensue. I'm super proud of my bump so not bothered about wearing clothes that show it off, but I am quite conscious of my thicker arms and legs and not particularly keen on having them out on show. Vanity.

At around 36 weeks (in a fortnight) baby might drop lower into place, which would mean that I've got much more room to breathe. I hope she does. I think about half of first babies do around that time. I think her legs and bum are lying under my right rib, and her head is down under my belly-button and to the left. She's pretty active so I feel her pushing around those areas lots of times every day, and about twice a day she'll have a wild half hour jiggling around my whole tummy. It's the best thing ever.

I've been a bit lazy updating this blog because I'm not really doing much, just enjoying my maternity leave and getting the last few things sorted for when she's born. But I do read-up on pregnancy/birth/childcare almost every day, so maybe I should blog about some of the things that I'm learning. I've very quickly become one of those mums who thinks of NOTHING apart from baby. I fear that I've become massively boring to anyone who isn't particularly interested in the subject. I always thought that I'd want to make loads of cute/useless things for her, but I've found that I don't really care about that anymore and instead I'm too busy thinking about breastfeeding, child-birth and nappies.

I've written out a rough copy of my birth plan. It's a bit misleading to call it a "plan" because it's more like a list of things that could happen in order of preference; i.e. I'll try to use breathing/"active birth" positions as long as possible in labour (I've been practicing some yoga for this, but don't see myself holding out for long on d-day), then I'd like to use gas and air, and if that's not enough then I'd like one of the morphine based painkillers, and finally I'd turn to an epidural. But you just don't know what's going to happen, so it's impossible to really "plan", and probably best that I'm not too precious about it going how I want it to go, I'll just do whatever's best at the time. It is useful to think it all through though, especially the little things I hadn't really thought of as choices, like using drugs to help out the placenta (sorry!) and if you'd like the baby given straight to you or cleaned up first. It's all getting a bit graphic so I'll stop there.

x x x x x x

Monday, 21 May 2012


Baby's bookshelf is something which I'm massively excited about. I know that it seems a bit early to be stocking up on picture books, she wont be able to read for YEARS, but they're lovely things to own and look at, and we'll be reading bedtime stories from pretty early on for our own pleasure. I'm a HUGE fan of children's books, particularly picture books, and I'm fairly knowledgeable on the subject after a stint as a children's bookseller. Here are some of my favourites which I either already have or will be sure to buy soon...

It's an obvious one, but Eric Carle is wonderful. The Hungry Caterpillar is one of the many "classics" we'll have to get, but I like some of his other stories more...the bear books are really simple and his animal illustrations are so good in them...

My all time favourite children's author is Tove Jansson. Her magical world in the moomin stories is so whimsical and lovely, I really could never get tired of reading all the moomin stories aloud. And until baby is big enough for the tales from moominvalley we can introduce her to moomin loveliness with some of Jansson's illustrated books. There were some moomin books aimed at babies and toddlers brought out a couple of year's ago. They've got nothing on Jansson's original illustrations, but there is a story about buttons I don't know if I can resist...

A lot of my favourite pictures books are ABC books, because the illustrations are often amazing. I love these flashcards by Julie Morstead, but I think they've gone out of print so I might have to get some second hand. I remember putting some to one side at work years ago to buy, but I never got round to it, dammit! F is for Fort in this sweet collection of flashcards.

Another favourite ABC illustrator is Bruno Munari. I like his Zoo book too, but it's the ABC book I'll probably get for the baby's bookshelves. The colours and simple lines mean that it should be interesting to her even when she's too small to know her abc's.

I bought the Tilly and Friends set of Polly Dunbar books as soon as I knew we were having a girl. The stories are so so sweet, especially Where's Tumpty about an elephant playing hide-and-seek, and they're really nicely printed with a red and white polka dot pattern on the insides of the cover. I'm looking forward to using them for bedtime stories, and enjoying the traditional illustrations together. They are slightly grossly obvious in their heartwarming messages of friendship/sharing/etc, but I can't help but love them.

I love Dick Bruna. I know the Miffy stories are easy to snub, but I love his simple images and the colours he uses, and if nothing else I'll be framing a few images for the nursery. I'd love a print of one of his "zwarte beertjes" (black bear) designs for a German book publisher in the 1960's, but they're hundreds of pounds, so I'll probably settle for a few brightly coloured postcards of Miffy n crew. I did just find this poster though, it'd look cute in the nursery...

I've long been a big fan of Shaun Tan. His illustrations, and stories, are fairly dark, so I'm not sure that a tiny little child would really appreciate them, but I do already own a few so I look forward to baby being old enough for Tales from Outer Suburbia.

Emily Gravett has some great picture books, my favourite is the simple "Orange Pear Apple Bear", which uses those four words repeating throughout the book to help the little one learn through wordplay. The watercolour pictures are whimsical and should make baby smile, I might even get this one as a board book for her to hold and drool over in her first few years.

And finally, we've already been reading this one to the bump at bedtime, it's the hilarious "I want my hat back". Best children's picture book last year by a MILE, this book is beautifully printed and so darkly funny. I laugh every time.

Oh, following his recent death I will add Maurice Sendak to this list. He seemed like such a brilliant guy, I love that he was such a grumpy old man and have enjoyed reading his views on things, namely the art of writing stories for children, over the years. It saddened me that Julia Donaldson was a go-to for interviews following his death, she pretty much represents to me the exact opposite Sendak...commercial dummed down children's stories with a load of disney-like merchandise to secure her brand. Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are has stunning illustrations, but the best story is probably In the Night Kitchen, I'll have to add that to the "to buy" list.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I'm 32 weeks and 4 days now. Final Stretch.

I'm on maternity leave from work, so it's all feeling very real. The ailments are mounting up, I wont talk about it because I feel like all I do is moan about aches and pains at the moment, and my tummy is rapidly rounding. It feels like the majority of space in my belly is taken up by baby now, and I can spend all day watching my tummy move as she wriggles around. I've ticked off almost everything on the "stuff to buy baby" list, and have been getting some exciting parcels from shopping for stuff online. I say exciting but they're mostly just very practical things...buggy, car seat, re-usable nappies and a second hand breast pump (fun!).

I had handmade craft fair last Saturday which took up a lot of my time, but now that's over I'm 100% all about baby. Bit scary! So far days have consisted of small amounts of house cleaning (I can only manage half an hour at a time, silly back-ache), a bit of yoga in preperation for birth (argh) and more sewing for etsy (I've recently seen pretty good sales so it'd be a shame to let that drop when I've got all this time on my hands).

I'm packing my hospital bag this week, just in case she's early. Advice is fairly wide ranging from "don't even pack nappies, they give you some for free" to "pack everything, and spares of everything in case you're in hospital for weeks". I'll go for somewhere in between. I need to buy a cheap nightie for giving birth...I have been considering wearing one of the many massive t-shirts I've built up over time from work, namely a Jaqueline Wilson one as it's the biggest, but now that bump's grown I don't think it's long enough to walk around in and I'd like an "active birth" - lying down as little as possible - so need something a bit longer. Yoga is helping me to gain a bit of confidence that I can cope with birth, and I'm trying to build up strength in my arms so that I can try to be on my hands and knees for a lot of the labour because it's much better for my back. It's all pretty embarassing though. I'll probably just chicken out and ask for an epidural as soon as we get to hospital.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

bump diary

Weeks 29 - 31. I measured a little bit small at my last midwife's appointment at 28 weeks, but I've grown loads and she's moving around all the time so I'm sure she's growing like a good 'un. If she's on time then yesterday was the 2 month final countdown!