2014 in review

I’ve seen a couple of these flying around and just found out where to find ours this afternoon. It’s probably not very interesting for you guys to read but it’s certainly something that I can look back on over the years.

I just find it interesting to see how our blog has developed! We never planned it to become something “big”, it was just meant to be a place where we could document our journey, little did we know where it would be over a year later!

Anyway… here is our 2014 in review…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

27w

We made it!! I am OFFICIALLY in my third trimester with approximately 3 months to go until the due date, 3 months until Beansprout makes their arrival. It really isn’t that long now (and breath) and I know time will probably fly, the last 3 months sure have!

At the moment, I’m currently content with Beansprout staying in the oven (ask me again in February and I may have a different opinion) however once they do make their arrival, I am so looking forward to losing the back pain that I’ve been suffering with for the past 4 months – if I ever do lose it?!?

After the first trimester, I thought I was cheating pregnancy when I had had zero sickness, zero food aversions (apart from the look of scrambled egg – go figure?) and generally having an enjoyable time, however toward the middle of the second trimester I started really suffering with this almighty back pain. It started as sciatica-like pain but then it surged all across my lower back – it was excruciating, sometimes bringing me to tears. I didn’t do anything to bring it on, it just happened all of a sudden.

I know why it’s occurring but I just didn’t think it would have started so early or be so painful! I thought I would have done myself a favour having done a ton of gym work beforehand, but alas no. Nothing can clearly prepare you for the changes in your body when it’s preparing the departure of a baby from your uterus.

On top of this, I’ve had an awful cold for the month of December as well as a rough time sleeping due to said cold and general irritable-can’t-get-comfy-ever feeling in bed. I still use my dream-genii pillow, which I started using early on to keep me on my side as I’m a front sleeper, but some nights just don’t happen and I end up waking every 2 hours due to simply being uncomfortable.

Apart from that though, as I really don’t want to moan, we have tons to look forward to and do. We have our nursery furniture arriving in January, which will then be built by S sometime in February.

I imagine this will be the time when things will feel real for me. I know I’m pregnant; that’s obvious, and I know we’re having a baby, which is accountable by all the stuff we’ve bought for said baby, but at times I’ve somewhat forgotten that we’re going to have an actual ACTUAL baby by the end of it. An actual human being. So when their furniture arrives and their bedroom starts to look like a place where a little person will be sleeping, it will certainly start to feel real. You know what I mean?

On top of this, we also have several birthdays and events to go to and by the end of February I go on maternity leave! Gosh – that really isn’t long.

K

26w6d – Feeling Thankful

Every Christmas I try and think of all the things I’m thankful for, and at New Years I try and think of all the things I look forward to. They’re not something I have made myself do over the years, they’re just something I find myself thinking about or doing when S is finally home for Christmas and the festivities truly begin. Other years, it’s usually been around 3pm when I’m crammed full with Turkey, had a few glasses of Vino, and I’m cuddled on the sofa with S watching Home Alone/White Christmas/Hook/All of the above.

Over the past few years however, although I am always eternally thankful for all the things we have; a beautiful home, an amazing family, wonderful friends, and, of course, each other, it was always difficult to think of new things to be thankful for over the year as the only thing we had wanted and worked hard for throughout that year was a baby. Sure, we still enjoyed Christmas but there was always something missing.

This year, however, it’s all change. Beansprout isn’t even here yet and they’ve sure as hell already made a difference to the Christmas festivities! Not that I’m complaining, but this year I will be without the following:-

But as much as I jest about what I’m missing out on, I really couldn’t care less. I’d give up all the Smoked Salmon in the world (and I frickin’ LOVE Smoked Salmon) if it meant gaining a Beansprout. Likewise, all my Smoked Salmon in the world is not enough to say thank you to those that have been there throughout our journey – some even making this journey possible! So without further ado; trying not to sound like an Oscar’s speech, I have made a very small but thorough list of all the things I am thankful for:-

Our Donor
Quite a big one here – without them we literally wouldn’t be where we are right now. We’ve had our fair share of rubbish Donors and seen several who we’ve been thankful for NOT getting involved with. Over time we thought we’d never reach our goal, we thought “The Perfect Donor” didn’t exist, but then this one came along! They’ve been with us through ever necessary step, making the journey a whole lot easier and certainly a lot less stressful – again, something we didn’t think was possible. We are so very lucky to have found them. We probably won’t ever be able to repay him the gift that he’s given us.

Our Kinesiologist
Some say that they were just doing their job, but for us they opened up doors we didn’t even know were locked and bolted shut! We went in blind when we went to see Kate, we really had no idea what a good Kinesiologist was and what a bad one was – we didn’t even know whether I was fixable! On top of this, I cannot emphasise enough how little we could afford if TTC didn’t work for me – it probably would have been the end of the road – IUI/IVF was not an option financially so getting in touch with Kate was our last hope – and are we glad we did! She really did fix me and 3 tries later we have a Beansprout. For this we are thankful for the recommendation given to us, and of course to Kate.

Our TTC Community
Our TTC journey really wouldn’t have been the same if we didn’t have this wonderful community around us, and we are so very very thankful for being welcomed into it with open arms. It really does give you hope knowing that you’re not alone in this harsh journey.  To those that have given us advice, who have given us virtual hugs when we were at our lowest, and to those who have just listened – Thank you.

If you’re just starting out in the TTC journey, I urge you to communicate with others in the same boat – whether it’s via a forum, a blog, or even via Twitter/Facebook. The community is not only a wealth of knowledge and experience, it’s a shoulder to cry on if it doesn’t work the first, second, or even fifth time – these guys will understand wholeheartedly when others may not.

So there we have it. Only three things, I know, but to us these three MASSIVE things are what we are thankful for this year.

K

24w4d

I’m currently 24w4d. I go on Christmas leave on the 18th December (just under two weeks to go!!!) and return to work on the 6th January, at which point I will have around 7-8 weeks until I go off on maternity leave for a year. I apparently have around 15w to go until beansprout makes their arrival.

I recently discussed time flying, and how much I would like time to slow down just for a sec, but it really hasn’t.

Since our last post, and even before then, we celebrated our nephew’s 2nd birthday! Without getting mushy, I remember when he was born. I remember when he started walking. And now he’s 2! 2 years have slipped under my nose – I can’t imagine how my sister feels. His words are coming along quickly and he definitely is his own little character with his own personality. He is one amazing little dude. He laughs at his own jokes, and loves entertaining people – even if it sometimes means injuring himself! He loves to create things with lego and stickle bricks, not to mention create a mess. I love him so much and often miss him when I haven’t seen him.

I’ve also had my works Christmas do, which was enjoyable as I got to eat lots of meat (we went to a local BBQ/Meat smoking place) and despite not being able to drink I had a remarkably pleasant time watching others get drunk and be merry. I managed to score a nice maternity shirt for the event as well which was a bonus. I really didn’t want to wear my office clothes, although they are smart, but I couldn’t really afford to get anything too fancy/pricey but thankfully I found something smart and not too girly and fit well within a decent budget. It doesn’t show my bump too much which is a tad annoying, as I love my big bump, and so I then just look fat, but at the same time it does give me room to pig out and bloat out!

IMG_5907

A colleague of mine brought their wife who is 15 weeks pregnant with their number two so it was nice to have someone in the same boat as me (ie. Sober and proud) – we even chatted about family and other pretty grown up stuff not around pregnancy which was a refreshing change – I pretty much saw into our future and it looked idyllic.
I really enjoyed hearing their stories about what their daughter does now at 2 and a half (she swore the other day which was a hilarious story), it really made me remember why we got into this whole parenting business, we want to raise a little person!

Anyway!

Looking forward we have S’s works do, which always out does mine as she works in the private sector and everything is paid for by the company. This is nicely on the day of my last day at work before my Christmas leave. I’m so excited as those who work from Brighton always get to stay up in a London hotel as part of the event. The company’s summer parties are always in Brighton, by the beach (of course), and the Christmas parties are in London – perfect. On top of a night in a hotel, we get to enjoy an open bar! This year will be the first year I won’t be able to take advantage of this feature, but I sure as hell will be emptying them of their soft drink and juice!

Finally, after all that will then be the home stretch to Christmas. I’ve already done S’s Christmas shopping as well as our family shopping. We’ve decided to set a small budget this year as we really don’t want to be overspending what with a baby on the way. I say this like it’s a new thing but this year I’ve been really strict with S and our budget for each other. Most years, we set a rough guide so that one person (I mean S) doesn’t over do it but it never works out and I generally feel cheap after not being able to do as much due to a clear difference in earnings in comparison to S. Although my gifts are still just as awesome, it’s always hard not being able to be the naughty one when it comes to gifts. Anyway, this year, we’ve both stuck to the strict budget and it feels really good!

I can’t wait for the holidays to finally begin (they always officially begin once we’ve finished work, although I get into the spirit once the decorations go up). Although S thinks this won’t be as good of a christmas as others as I can’t drink or eat some of my favourite foods, I think it’ll be special as it’ll be our last one as a couple before we become a family, and this year I’m going to cherish every moment.

K

Time

It’s December. I can’t believe it. I remember being with friends at Christmas and then sitting at home with S at New Year watching the fireworks like it was just yesterday – where has this year gone?! I say this every year, but this year has been especially fast.

Like every year prior to that, our year generally started with the arranging of when my cycle was meant to begin, it was no different to any other month. AF came and went, so that’s when the OPK’s started. Being a new year made no difference – it was just another month – except that we made ourselves promise at new years that that year would be our year. Sure, we had birthdays and events planned throughout the year that often broke the month up, but every month for us was another month to arrange trying for a baby – and that was it, that was our life.

When you’re TTC, time can help you or it can ruin you. Most of the time it ruins you as it’s not going your way. When you’re in the TWW, it feels like an eternity. Some want time to fly so they get their result – good or bad – and most of the time that was me. I was happy for time to hurry the f*** up as I wanted my BFP! Other times, especially ones with lots of symptoms, I enjoyed the not knowing – or more like the pretend knowing of maybe something has worked and you’re pregnant. The longer AF wasn’t around, the better it feels. You’re in that blissful land of “what if”. You’re still waiting for your result though, just to be sure, looking into every non-symptom that’s there and starting to believe that this month is your month… And then she comes, AF, and it starts all over again. We rushed through every month waiting for our next opportunity to rise.

Despite waiting for an eternity during the TWW, in no time 6 cycles had passed and I’m no where closer than I was before, but looking outside of the word ‘cycle’ is the word ‘month.’ For me 6 cycles was 6 months! Sometimes a whole season or two had slipped by without me realising apart from the fact that I had moved in and out of shorts.

This year will probably be no different, what with time flying, except that something completely alien and out of my control is happening for the first time – we’re having a baby. After 2 and a bit long years of actually trying, god knows how many tries, we’re finally having a baby. I still can’t believe it at times, even with this bump growing. I just always thought we would be a childless couple with lots of dogs. I wasn’t ready to start that life, but I had accepted that that may have been us.

I’ve heard time is something that you desperately hold onto and crave when raising a child, you want to cherish every moment – I’ve seen it a lot lately over at other blogs, mums wanting things to now slow down, and that’s understandable. I’m now in a good place, in the same place as others, I’m happy for things to slow down now. I’m enjoying being pregnant and enjoying the time I have alone with S (something else I probably took for granted when TTC). Although taking it slow will be a fine thing once beansprout arrives; days will become weeks, weeks will become months, now is definitely the time where I would like time to slow down… just for a minute… let me enjoy the time.

K

Hunger With a Side of Insecurity

As mentioned recently, I’ve had a bounty of questions come my way during pregnancy, the worst ones coming from women I rarely know – women who probably only found my name out a few weeks ago. During said week of stupid questions, I got this whopper:-

Her: “So how much weight have you gained?”

Inner monologue me: HOW MUCH WEIGHT HAVE I GAINED?! Seriously? 

That’s right.

To be honest, I expected this question a lot sooner, so 22w3d isn’t bad. I’d also like to think that any weight I have gained isn’t noticeable (apart from the bump) which is why they’ve asked, but for all they know I could have one hell of a bump band on that nicely conceals everything.

S will tell you that since about 12w, I’ve been quite self-conscious about my weight. I would ask her whether I looked pregnant yet and whether I had this “bit” before. See, I lost 3-4 stone last year and I aimed to keep it off until I fell pregnant at least, and even then I wouldn’t be gorging under the pre-tense of “well I’m going to get fat anyway”. I aimed to eat normally albeit make some small changes for the sake of beansprout. However, an unexpected hunger where I want to rip my arm off and eat it, that attacks every few hours, has meant that I eat a lot more than I would have done previously. It’s very frustrating as whatever I eat sometimes is not enough and I have to raid the kitchen for more!

Early on, I started with dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit, or popcorn as snacks between meals but they now don’t cut it – I’m hungry an hour or so later despite drinking a regular intake of water on top of eating. So, I’ve now moved onto snack pieces of cheese, rice crackers, and cereal bars (Nak’d bars are one of my faves but can be quite expensive) as snacks in addition to the current snackage – which is helping in comparison to before, but I now can’t avoid and think how much of a difference they it’s making to my general waistline, especially as I can’t do anything about it.

Without boring you with detail, I eat quite healthy meals – not too big, not too small – but I know I now have to eat a little extra to compensate for beansprout as they’re taking everything from me first. With this, I eat a lot more bread than before (although it is still wholegrain) as it holds me a lot longer, as well as a lot more dairy (which has been changed from skimmed to semi-skimmed). I’ve moved back to white pasta and rice from brown, as the taste of brown is now disgusting to me, and I’m eating lean red meat more regularly than before. On top of this, I’m not as active anymore as I get out of breath, become tired, or my sciatic pain kicks in, so with all this it’s expected that I will put on a bit of weight but I can’t help but worry at the same time.

It’s getting me down, I’m not going to lie – and I really don’t want this to come off as a moan as I have wanted this more than anything in the world. I really do enjoy being pregnant and in comparison to other people I’ve spoken to, I’m having quite a nice pregnancy apparently, but there are some things I didn’t count on during pregnancy – and this hunger with insecurity on the side is one of them. I don’t want it to be there – I want to have fun and go “what the hell” but at the same time, I worked hard to lose the weight, I don’t want to put it all back on.

I’m sure this is a normal feeling, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I doubt there is anything that can be said or done to help – I just need to deal with it and reassure myself that what I’m doing is fine as long as I’m gaining weight at a steady rate (I really do need to get on those scales) but I can’t help but feel insecure about the changes in my body. Beansprout won’t give a monkey’s what I look like, and S sure as hell doesn’t – so why should I?

K