An Invitation to Questions

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed odd behaviour when it comes to how people react to me when I’m around them as well as what they talk to me about. It’s not everyone, but it’s more than I would expect.

When I walk into the office every morning, for example, some people will stop and go “there she is!” as if it’s my birthday, other people will be sweet (kind of) and ask me questions about how everything is going at the moment (I wouldn’t mind this so much if they hadn’t asked the same question literally the day before), and others are caught just staring at me.
One lady at work approaches me EVERYDAY I SEE HER and says; whilst pointing at my belly, “there’s a baby in there” in a voice similar to how you would speak to a new born puppy. It was cute the first few times but now it’s just annoying and I just fake a laugh.

When I’m out and about in general, people will take a double look, which I imagine is because I’m with S and they’re trying to work things out (I do, however, tend to find this funny when I’m on my own in the booze aisle of the supermarket). Other times, I just attract the small talk – I find this most frequent in shops or when I’m on the bus.

I don’t know if the bump is now a sign that I’m open for conversation but I do remember being almost invisible to people I didn’t know, before pregnancy.

The weirdest and most personal aspect of pregnancy that I have found though are the questions. I find it even stranger when they’re asked by ladies I rarely spoke to before pregnancy or never even met!

“Have you got nipple cream yet?”

“Have you noticed hair sprouting from weird places?”

“You’ll need <insert item> later on DEFINITELY.”

“How often have you been sick?” 

“How much weight have you gained?” (I know! This is a whole different post).

“Are you eating again?”

“Should you be doing that?”

“You won’t be able to that that soon!”

When I fell pregnant I was warned early on that people will want to touch my belly and that they WILL ask questions, however I expected on a daily basis the usual questions regarding when I’m due and how I’m feeling, and I’ve even prepared myself for touchy-feely people, but these ones are a whole new experience. Some really shock me.

Is it not enough that people feel comfortable to ask me questions all at – I don’t mind normal questions – but to go that extra mile and then ask quite personal ones? I don’t understand it. When did my pregnancy become an open invitation for people to ask me very personal questions?

I enjoy chatting to people, especially when I’m stuck in an office all day – I’ll chat to almost anyone I meet on the street, but I don’t dig these questions at all – and how do I even answer them? Do I even answer them at all?

Do I tell them I’ve sprouted hair? That I actually haven’t been sick at all during pregnancy? That I don’t own and don’t intend to own <something> yet? I feel that whatever answer I give it will open the table up for a discussion on said topic, invite criticism that I don’t want or need, or make me feel like I have to justify why I have/haven’t done this or that yet… or worse – ENCOURAGE MORE QUESTIONS!

“You haven’t been sick? Gotta watch that one”, “You’re not actually eating for two y’know” are but a few responses I have to my answers. (It does make me laugh though when said mum-with-personal-question later on sympathises with me about how many questions she got during her pregnancy and how annoying it was).

I really do appreciate the warm and welcoming feeling I’ve received from other mums over the past few weeks – I know how open mums can be and I really love that – but I really don’t love trying to answer some particular questions. Maybe I just need to get over it and go with the flow, but I’m just not there yet.

I’m pregnant, and by all means ask me if you can do anything for me (I’ve submitted and do let people ask this now), or ask how I’m feeling or whether I know what I’m having, but unless I ask you – don’t ask, or at least think before you ask or ask yourself whether what you’re asking is actually quite personal for me.

K

A Letter to Beansprout.

To my baby Beansprout,

On Wednesday, we saw you for the last time before you arrive in this world properly. It was amazing, it was special, you are so beautiful. I know I’m biased but you really are – I will never stop telling you that.

In the two times we’ve seen you (not enough in my opinion) you’ve never been that camera shy, unlike you’re mum and mama, and as soon as the lady puts her special wand on my tummy you’re there in all your glory.

Like your mum though, you soon become disobedient and do your own thing by turning away from the wand making any checks difficult – I don’t care though as it means I get to see you that bit longer.

Our first sighting of you was a scary time I must admit – we didn’t know whether you were really there, we didn’t know how strong you’d be, but you were there waiting for us. This time however, although just as nerve-wracking, we were just pleased to be able to see you again. I knew you were there as you’ve made yourself known to me pretty early on but mama, mama needed to see you – and that’s fine. You gave her a wave and even gave me a kick – thanks for that.

You’ve grown so much since our first sighting of you, you have long legs and a perfectly shaped button nose. We saw your beating heart and almost every bone in your body, it really was incredible. Talking officially, the lady at the hospital even said everything about you is perfect – but we know that already.

We’ve almost completed your room now, it really is a lovely space – we hope you like it as much as we enjoy preparing it for you.

Anyway, I’ll write again soon – I really can’t wait to meet you now.

I love you lots.

Mum.

Wellbeing Wallets by MAMA Academy – Review

A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from @mamaacademy asking for pregnant bloggers to review a new product they were releasing. I don’t usually do this sort of thing, as I can’t always commit my time what with work, but I thought I’d give it a go just incase it was something useful.

The product they were releasing were their “Wellbeing Wallets”. The wallets are a bit bigger than say an A4 piece of paper and made of plastic, and made for carrying maternity notes around with you. I was over the moon as I had just spoken to S about getting a new wallet for my notes as my Bounty envelope was getting a bit worn and bent at the opening.

So a few days after agreeing, my wallet arrived in the post and I have to say that I was really impressed.

The wallet is made of a really strong plastic that looks extremely waterproof and there’s even a zip at the top. I’ve been caught out a few times in the rain now and its really held up – the ink hasn’t run and my notes are perfectly dry. I’ve also spilt drinks on it a few times (I’m currently a clumsy fool) and again, it’s held up so much that it didn’t even stain when I spilt coffee on it.

On one side of the wallet there are boxes with useful hints and tips to having a healthy pregnancy such as; foods to avoid during pregnancy, how to look after yourself and ways to keep active during pregnancy.

On the other side, there were more serious notes in relation to your baby such as; when to call your midwife, what to ask your midwife during appointments, as well as a reminder to monitor baby’s movements. There were also links to their website for further help and advice.

What I think I liked most about the way the available space was used on the wallets was that there was even a space to write your relevant contacts, such as midwife or the hospital, so that you don’t have to get your maternity notes out of the wallet. Personally, mine are in my phone but if you’re out of signal or battery you still have access to your midwife’s number – perfect.

The pictures used to advertise the wallets really do not do them justice as they look really thin and flimsy – very similar to a bounty envelope – but they’re not at all. The only thing that may hold some ladies back is the sheer size of them if you don’t have a handbag or rucksack – but then the notes are hardly small so there’s no excuse.

I would highly recommend getting one – they’re really comfortable to carry (no sharp edges) and really colourful. There’s plenty of room in the wallet, even when you have your maternity notes in them, to put extra bits in them such as spare pee pots or even a pen. I really do like these wallets.

IMG_5649

*We were sent our wellbeing wallet for the purpose of this review. All opinions on our wallet are our own.

K

19w2d

So here we are…

You’ve read all the updates up until now – we feel terrible for not announcing as soon as possible, and keeping you guys in the loop, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to announce something amazing and then having to announce something terrible. We’d rather just announce the once. We hope you understand. Believe us when we say that apart from our parents, you guys were the next to find out!

Anyway, we’re currently 19w2d with our 20 week scan booked for the 12th November (20w6d).

Things I’ve experienced since our last proper update include:-

Bump – This has been a constant debate in my head. Before losing tons of weight, I was a big big girl. So when I started to show, I genuinely believed it was just my previous fat belly showing it’s ugly head. I had heard, like second time mums, that your previous “room” that was made by the first baby, or in my case the fat, would show a lot sooner as the space has already been stretched. Thankfully, I was reassured by my midwife, that although you bloat; if you were gaining fat you would be putting it on else where such as your face which has also had the room made by old fat previously. So that helped, and I can happily say that I’m now forming a nice, solid (something else different from my old fat) bump (pictures to follow soon).

Tears – I’m more emotional than before. A lot more emotional, and it’s very irritating as I’m not an emotional person. I’m not dead inside, I’m just very matter of fact with certain things and with this, I rarely cry – with happy or sad things (apart from that bloody donkey sanctuary commercial with the donkey that has to walk miles a day – I hate that ad). Over the last few weeks, I have cried at the following:-

  • Music coming from a crib mobile.
  • One of the cats washing the dog.
  • S bringing home flowers.
  • A simple cuddle in bed.

Rage – Leading on from tears, also comes rage, or sometimes the other way round. Let’s just say I’ve lost it a lot quicker than I would have done before… again, very irritating. I’m quite hot blooded anyway being my mothers daughter and part Greek, combining that with my OCD and having these hormones have made it a lot worse. Poor S has been on the receiving end of most my disproportionate outbursts but I think she is handling it well by ignoring how unreasonable I’m being and going a long with it. When it’s safe to approach me, she asked whether she could have a traffic light system so that when she’s reaching the stage of me getting annoyed about something she’s not done when I’ve asked, I warn her by saying “amber”. It sounds harsh, but it’s a way for me not getting annoyed but to also give her a get-out-of-jail-free card. So far we haven’t used it, but if she doesn’t clear her receipts of the sideboard soon, I will.

Back pain – More so Sciatic pain around my left bum-cheek and on the rump. I think it’s come from the constant laying on my left side when I sleep but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m dealing with it in the form of my click heat pads walking it off at work.

Hunger – They told me that hunger would be a huge thing in the first trimester and will subside during the second, however for me I’ve not had a break. I’ve continued to eat really well during the pregnancy which has meant I haven’t gained any unexpected wait, but in addition to this I’m constantly hungry. My day usually starts with toast or cereal for breakfast (usually a bran based product to fill me up), but then an hour later I’m ravenous, want-to-rip-my-arm-off-and-eat-it hungry. I then eat several pieces of fruit spaced out throughout the day, a salad, sandwich (depending if I had bread for breakfast), or left over pasta from the night before, with a yoghurt for lunch, with more fruit and/or nuts with either popcorn, sesame-snaps or raw veg to act as snacks. Dinner is then a light (ish) meal so that it doesn’t bloat me but fills me up – thankfully we cook a wide variety of dinners so I’m never bored of food, however the hunger during the day has started to depress me. I eat little and often as advised but what I’m eating obviously isn’t cutting it. I’m still struggling now to find that perfect snack without spending too much on food or spending my life in the kitchen cooking. Any advice would be great.

And finally…

KICKS

It started at 18w4d with a week or two prior to that of feeling bubbles in the muffin top area, like when you leave an aero to melt on your tongue. At first I thought it was gas, but then it became too regular and (most of the time) there wasn’t any gas to follow, and then one night after finishing 4 pieces of my favourite milka chocolate, I felt it. A little delicate thud from inside.

It was a bizarre feeling but as soon as I noticed it, it had gone. Did I just imagine that? I quickly told S and lifted my top up to look – I’m not sure what I was expecting but it felt like the right thing to do. She ran to my end of the sofa and knelt down next to me, both of us looking intently at my stomach, and then it happened again. A little twitch right below my belly button. Both of us jumped and started crying, more so than me (this is a common occurrence).

As mentioned previously, pregnancy isn’t always the most relaxing time as you don’t know what’s going on inside and whether they’re ok – but this sort of thing is just what I needed, a nice reassuring thump to say “hello, i’m in here”.

Finally, I’m really enjoying reading up on everyone’s progress, especially Pepibebe who have recently announced a BFP – I’m so excited (and emotional) for you guys. I’m also super chuffed to be pregnant at the same time as a long term blogger who I’ve followed since day one, Al from The Gayby Project – it’s really nice to have someone at around the same stage as me.

K

The Baby Show – London’s Kensington Olympia – 2015 – Our Favourite Stalls

*** If you would like to read about our visit, you can find this here***

Please see below a list of our favourite stalls, out of many, from this year’s Baby Show at London’s Kensington Olympia – this was certainly a hard list to compile, but I think we did it. We look forward to properly reviewing our purchases over the next few months, but for now I want to spread the word about our favourites from the show.

Nuna – Although not much on show, in comparison to guys like Stokke, these guys were where we bought our biggest purchase of the day – our baby seat. A Dutch company, these guys create gorgeous products for eating, hanging out, travelling, and sleeping. They’ve really taken the products back to basics without a battery or plug in sight. I really love these guys. You can find them here: http://nuna.eu

Mamas and Papas – I don’t remember them being at the last Baby Show I went to, so I was super excited to see them here this year. As well as furniture, they had tons of accessories for sale at really good prices. Probably our second biggest spend of the day. You can find them here: www.mamasandpapas.com

Cheeky Wipes – Every time we see these guys we always say Hi. Located very near to where we live, we feel especially close and really like their products. As a strong hater of “fads” I was very reluctant to go down the line of anything reusable as I don’t believe they’re practical but since seeing these guys in action, I cannot wait to use and review their wipes. You can find them here: www.cheekywipes.com

Pink Lining – One of the smaller stalls out there, and branded as “designer” – which is usually a no go for me, I really liked their artwork/designs, we even bought our mobile from these guys – which is something I’ve had trouble deciding for a while! You can find them here: www.pinklining.com

The Book People – Ok, so not at all linked to Pregnancy or Babies per se, but I have been using The Book People for a while now, not just for me but for getting hold of my future kids books. They have a massive range of old school books (that I even remember as a child) as well as new/current ones. They always have really good deals, especially on box sets or collections, and have excellent customer service. I cannot stress how great this company is for all things book related. You can find them here: www.thebookpeople.com

Ergo Baby – After discussing how we would eventually travel with our baby, we agreed that a harness would be safer and more comfortable for S’s back. Looking at Ergo Baby, we really liked their designs and the way one particular harness can be used in several positions throughout the age of the baby. I know that there are others out there that do the same, but I also know plenty who have recommended them already as well – I’m now glad that I was able to check them out. You can find them here: www.ergobaby.co.uk

The Gro Company – Finally getting round to purchasing our sleeping bag, we went straight to these guys. As well as a wide range of products from the cute Gro-Egg to the Gro-Swaddle, their primary product are their Sleeping Bags. Although there are now alternatives on the market, these guys have such lovely designs and are well priced. You can find them here:- www.gro.co.uk

We’d also like to shout out to the following who we really liked and/or also made purchases with throughout the day:-

www.pregnacare.com
www.drbrowns.co.uk
www.littletimbers.co.uk
www.babyplanetonline.co.uk
www.kiddisave.co.uk
www.fayeandlou.co.uk
www.funkygiraffebibs.co.uk
www.wauwaa.com

We really enjoy going to “alternative” stores rather than typical high street stores, so please let us know about any recommendations that you think we should have a look at.

K

The 1st Scan

How terrified were you in the run up to your first scan?

Me…well what with all the heartbreaks K and I had endured with BFNs over the last 18 months, I was feeling pretty sick with fear that there wasn’t a baby there and that this was K’s body play a sick and cruel joke on us.

In the few days running up to it, I was unfortunately poorly, and being the good wife that I am, I opted to sleep on the sofa to prevent K from getting sick – so that combined with the stress of the upcoming scan caused many sleepless nights.

The morning of the scan finally arrived, and with all the nerves (they were worse than the day we got married) I decided breakfast was a no go, whilst K managed to stomach it, and was not showing any nerves. She just seemed to be full of pure excitement.

We were very lucky as our appointment was booked for 08:55 in the morning, so we had to get a move on early and start to make our way to the hospital.  Anticipating and envisaging huge tailbacks from Brighton to where we live we decided to get on the road early so not to miss our appointment.
In the car on the way there, we were happily talking about the excitement of seeing Beansprout, but in my head I was still preparing for the worst.  I was also preparing myself to cry when the more than likely relief of seeing a wriggling little body on the screen was to happen.

On arrival in Brighton (which was a good 30 minutes early for the appointment, as there was absolutely no traffic to be seen – typical), we took a slow bimble to the hospital from the nearby street where we parked (if you’ve every tried to park near the hospital, you will know it is an absolute nightmare, unless you are a local resident with a permit – which sadly I miss in cases like this – we literally lived 5/10 minutes walk from there only a few years ago).

Now I’d done my research on where we needed to go and knew it was just inside the main entrance on the right hand side, but being with (dare I say it) a hormonal pregnant woman with an apparent 6th sense about the direction, I let her lead as she wasn’t going to listen to a word I had to say, anyway.

After getting lost and possibly insulting a woman who was waddling towards us, assuming she was pregnant, K gave up and asked for some help from a very sweet male nurse who walked us back to the entrance of the hospital (and yes… I did say, I told you so!).

We booked in and took a seat with the other couples, and waited for it to finally be our turn to be called in.  This could not have been more than 15 minutes that we were waiting, but it felt like an eternity and I could already feel myself getting worked up. I managed to stay strong and held the tears at bay… at this point at least.

Our turn was upon us and we were being summoned by the Sonographer into a very cosy, clean, and comfortable looking room.  Instantly we were welcomed as the couple that we are, not that I expected any different; but you know how it can be and sometimes people mistake you for “the friend”. We were made to feel at ease and very comfortable.

K was asked to hop (not literally) onto the bed and prepare for the scan, and within a matter of seconds K had rolled down her trousers and they had the equipment on and it was almost instantaneous.

There he/she was – our little Beansprout.  It was the most amazing feeling ever but also the most emotional I’ve ever felt during my 32 years in this world.

I was just about to release the tears when I turned to look at K and found her crying and laughing at the same time, and I just knew I needed to be the comforting one for her, so stopped myself.

Then the next bit came – the heartbeat. Although it was only for a brief moment, unfortunately, it was still our baby’s amazing little heart saying hello to us.  If only I could have that as a message tone for my phone, as I just want to hear it all day long – its such an amazing sound.

In no time, the scan was over and it felt like it took a lifetime for the Sonographer to get the measurements as Beansprout was clearly camera shy and was not wanting to cooperate, but eventually they got what they wanted, and recorded a huge amount of pictures of our little sweetie.

Now, we went in there knowing full well when we conceived so we could pretty much say with certainty what our due date should be, but by their calculations, from Beanspouts size, we found out that rather than being 12w1d, we were being told that we were 12w5d – so due to this our due date has been brought forward to 26th March 2015.

We’ve either got our dates really messed up (which I highly doubt), or that we have a slightly larger baby being baked.  Personally I’m not worried as luckily I’m not the one with the job of pushing this little bruiser out. To be fair, K isn’t that bothered either as she’s just over the moon that we’ve managed to conceive, lets see if she’s still so happy when it comes to giving birth.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings, and on a final note, please say hello to;

BEANSPROUT

IMG_5452