Friday 29 July 2016

Beach Ballin'

My (first attempt at) maternity swimwear arrived this week, and I can only liken myself to a sausage bursting out of its skin, with a beach ball at my middle.

It's strange, as for maternity items I've stayed at my usual size 10 for the time being - but have bought things up to a size 16 for the non-maternity bits. Comfort is key and I'm more concerned with the fit than the label. It's just a number?!

So there I am scrolling through asos to select my fave swimwear in my usual size, eagerly awaiting its arrival. And then they arrive and I try them on. Well. It was quite something to behold. I couldn't even get my boobies in one of the tops and the pale pink and white pattern really offset against the green of my veiny titties. Hey sexy holiday mama.

Luckily I decided to order a few bits in the hope that at least one would fit; it was a gorgeous hot pink, one shouldered, ruffled swimming costume in a size 12. I've realised all those words together make it sound like someone vomited the 80s, but I am ready to embrace the look and be a big ol' bumpy berry on my holidays.

I imagine I'll save any imagery of it for my week 24 #bumpingalong as that's when I'll be in the sunshine, mid-Baby Moon. In the meantime here's an apt animal representation of the trying on escapades:
Don't even get me started on the nerves of having to holiday groom though. Is it going to make me cry to get a wax when preggers? You know the way it's all a bit more sensitive down there when you're ovulating? Is that applicable when with child? How do you tense your stomach muscles in preparation when there's a small person chilling out in there?! So many questions for tidying your nethers.

At least I can still reach to shave my own legs - bet the other half can't wait until he has to Venus my shins.


Monday 25 July 2016

All Change

My last post didn't really seem the right setting to casually show you a picture of me at 22 weeks #bumpingalong so I gave it a new one of its own.

The look I've gone for today has indirectly ended up looking like a burnt orange with two toothpicks for legs. Sure.
Getting bigger by the day. Obviously.

Maternity (bargain) shorts from H&M which actually only cost me £7, despite the label and protests from the checkout lady that it should in fact be £24.99. Paired with a non-maternity t-shirt because I just needed to be comfortable with bump today after this morning's escapades. Both in a size 10.

This photo has also shown me how much I am in need of a tan as I'm almost see through. Luckily we have our BABY MOON to look forward to next week! Roll on the non-alcoholic Sangria in the Spanish sunshine. Even ordered some maternity swimwear today and if you're lucky I might show you all. Oh aye.

So many changes happening to my body though. Some glorious that you can't help but be in awe of what the human body can do. And some, can't help but be in awe of what the human body can do. Just for very different reasons.

Let me break it down for you, with some bodily highlights.

Baby Moving
As my last post pointed out, our baby has been moving for a while now and there were a few developments this morning that reiterated to me that it's not always as straight forward as you think. But good news is, baby is well and that's what matters. Hopefully the other half and I will still get to see the movements get bigger, despite our baby hiding behind my placenta. Yum.

These are out of control. They've grown like three sizes in a matter of weeks and now they're just all over the place and under my armpits and simply ginormous. You can call me Tits McGee. Are they going to keep growing the rest of the time? If so they will undoubtedly end up larger than my head and I don't know how veiny they can be before they're essentially green in colour. And I'm not even starting to lactate yet...

No one told me how windy you'd get when preggers. I've always been of the upper wind section with Crohn's (although sometimes pretend the bathroom is a soundproof room as an orchestra falls out my ass). Yet the noises coming out of me are shameful. No odour. Just noise. Although sometimes no noise; just air slowly escaping like from a deflating balloon. It's terribly embarrassing. But that - if anything - is where my Crohn's is an advantage: awkward flatulence is not a new situation. It's just the volume, in every sense when pregnant; noise and amount.

Baby Bump
I still very much from the back look like a regular gal who is not with child but then when I turn around it's a baby. Here it is! The bump is getting bigger every day and I'm awfully concerned about just how far out it's going to go by the time I'm at my 38 weeks, just from a practical side of things. How do I even stand up straight then? At least we'll have these #bumpingalong posts to look back on for comparison!

Now I had to put this in because it made me laugh so much. I read in one of the pregnancy books that around these last few weeks of pregnancy (so week 17-22 ish) piles can begin to become a problem for ladies. The best thing about what I read was one of the old wives tales that supposedly 'helps'. Ready? Cut a potato wedge and stick it between your bumcheeks on the area that's sore. It was slightly more eloquently put than that - but the imagery! A cold potato wedge in your bottom! If anyone gives this a go, I hope it works. I'm clearly not from the medical profession but hey if you're into that sort of thing...

I'll be hiding in a dark room now - but these things needed to be said.


Hidden Kicks

22 weeks today and as we're all aware, Mondays are never the best days of the week anyway. And today was certainly no different as I sat in my GP waiting to see the doctor after a lack of sleep for worrying about our baby.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I've been feeling baby movement for a good while now - established timings and a pattern to keep an eye on. Even being able to see the moving through my clothes. But over the last few days, the movements seemed less often and when they did happen in the usual time slot, they just seemed so faint. I've been beside myself with worry the last day or two and it culminated in me being awake last night willing our baby to do a big movement so I knew all was fine.

You just feel useless. And then you worry that your body isn't working properly and that your baby isn't going to be all right. So when you pass a time frame where usually things would happen and there's just made me so anxious. Especially as a first-time mum-to-be as I have absolutely zero experiences to base this all on, so naturally you look for reassurance where you can.

My doctor felt my bump this morning and said it was the right size and felt as it should for my gestation. And the main thing for me was that I also got to hear our baby's heartbeat. I can't describe the relief of knowing that baby was doing ok and things were actually as it should be.

Turns out that looking back over my scan notes, my placenta is positioned anterior high which means it's at the front of my uterus, as opposed to the back; when the placenta is at the front it can sometimes cushion the movement of the baby. So it seems likely that our hyperactive mini human went on a wander and moved to a place where even though they're moving all the time still, they've softened the blow of kicking me hard. They just put us through the mill emotionally instead of physically!

I spoke to my midwives this morning and they let me know that I'd done exactly the right thing in following it up with a medical professional. At the risk of sounding silly, I was all sorts of emotional, worrying and I just wanted to someone to tell me that I was being dramatic and it was fine - again searching for that reassurance.

My other half was so incredibly supportive with all this going on, too. Speaking as the pregnant one in our relationship, I've had to have moments to sit back and realise that he only knows how I'm feeling with baby based on what I share with him. He can't tell the difference in feeling of a flutter and more substantial kick. Let alone if those patterns of feeling have changed? So for him to be able to keep me as calm as possible when really he has no idea either, just makes me appreciate him even more.

What an anecdote to share when they're older: "Ahh, do you remember that time you played hide and seek with my placenta? You rascal, you."

But yes, at least now we know that our little one is actually doing wonderfully. They just made their mummy and daddy temporarily shit themselves.


PS: Kicks Count do a band you can use to keep track of periods of movement. Super helpful in these situations, especially if the baby brain has kicked in. And their website is full of such useful info as well.
My Kicks Count wristband on arrival


Wednesday 20 July 2016

A Tad Warm

So anyone in and around the general UK area can't have missed the wonderfully British heatwave we've had for the last two days. Steady on, now. It'll be drizzly again before you know it.

But jeewhizz being pregnant in this heat is something else! And getting the London Underground has turned me into a sweating hormonal angry woman. SOMEONE FAN ME OR SPRINKLE ME WITH ICED WATER. And yes please I would like to sit down immediately. Thank you ever so.

Enough about my overly sweaty self commuting, here's me looking less sweaty for week 21's #bumpingalong (you can sort of see the internal struggle I was having with trying to stay cool). Wearing a lovely maternity asos dress in a size 10, a jazzy sun hat from Tiger and children's shoes from Next.
Just hanging out in my garden
In hotly anticipated news, we had our scan on Friday where we could find out if the small human I'm carrying is a boy, or a girl...and we decided...not to find out!

So that means there is one sonographer in this world who knows what gender our baby is - but we are still in the dark. When we finally find out, it will be when we see our baby next. In real life!

The technology these days absolutely astounds me though. Especially after seeing the level of detail in our scan: nostrils, upper lip, bones, ribs, two tiny feet and two tiny hands. Even got a little 'ok' sign from the bab! Apparently it's not something the sonographer sees very often - such an amazing special moment to share with my other half. Everything checked out though which is just lovely and such a relief! All organs are as they should be, so now we can just let baby grow.

Had a wedding over the weekend and took the bump out for a boogie; at one point the DJ said "I didn't think I'd ever say this, but follow the pregnant woman!" Basically my enthusiasm for 90s and 00s dance routines are forever embedded in my soul and if 5,6,7,8 comes on then boy will Steps make me dance.

Wore another maternity dress from asos in a size 10 with floral shoes from Primark. Felt very pregnant and blooming - if you pardon the floral headband pun.

Belly button still hanging in there
Enjoy the rest of the warm weather, pals. I'm off to be clammy in my garden and make the most of these Summer nights.


Friday 15 July 2016

In my 20s

Yes, in my age but also my baby weeks.

I am now 20 weeks and it's also the week of our scan where we get to see our baby again! I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE SMALL HUMAN. It's like the Christmas Eve feeling. Roll on this afternoon...

#bumpingalong this week was a maternity monochrome affair in leggings from asos (size 10), vest from New Look (size 12) and then a non-maternity kimono from H&M (size 10). I have broadened my maternity gear significantly now, so getting dressed every day isn't so much a guessing game of what still fits or not!
Ha ruddy ha
Some of my new maternity items include a slogan t-shirt (I don't know what's happened to me) and a second pair of maternity jeans. Now I embraced the overly elasticated waistband my first pair brought me - but this pair?! Something else entirely. No extra waistband...just a whole new section of material to hold your trousers up. Gone are the days of tucking anything in then!

Such a mum-to-be purchase
Flattering angle perhaps? My bump looks smaller...
Other half and I have also been taking polaroid photos every four weeks (supposed to be every week but #bumpingalong in clothes was more convenient) and we decided the other day to do a comparison of week 12 and week 20's bump. Obviously I am aware that my body has changed shape...but seeing the two photos side by side. Well...see for yourself...
I still have 18 weeks to grow. What's going to happen to my body?!
[Excuse the poor quality of the photo of the photos]
Will blog again once we're scanned because quite frankly I can't think straight when I'm this excited/nervous/anxious. WAH.

Baby baby baby.


Friday 8 July 2016

Hips Don't Lie

But Christ on a bike can they hurt!?

I saw on MadeForMums an article about waddling when pregnant; whether it's a scientifically proven thing or you know, you waddle because you kind of think you're supposed to and what not. (Spoiler alert: it's a fact) But I am really coming into my element to take the lead role in March of the Penguins.

Me, just waiting for my gals.

It's to do with your centre of gravity shifting and it can happen from as early as the end of your first trimester. Makes sense when your body shape starts to noticeably change from then - it really does make you do all the waddling though!

I'm sleeping much better - probably due to the fact I'm currently anaemic - but also because I have my pregnancy pillow, so I am more comfortable. Thing is, despite this I'm waking up and not being able to walk very well... the only relief is holding my own hips and doing a Mick Jagger-esque strut as I loosen up. I just need the inflated lips and I'm basically him. Albeit musical talent aside.

Are there any good tips for easing the hip pain though? Or is this another one of those things that's part and parcel of my ever-changing pregnant body, so deal with it vibe? *waddles ever so slowly to a soft chair*

Another bodily change that's so on the cusp it's kind of terrifying is my new look Jabba the Hutt belly button! I have scars in and around there from previous abdo surgeries, so it's getting pushed out in all directions at the moment. We currently have the top half almost out/bit bumpy and the bottom half is sort of flush. My belly button beforehand was like a crater so it's most odd seeing it as it is now, with its nod to Jabba. Regular updates to follow (or perhaps not...for everyone's sake).


Wednesday 6 July 2016

Half Time

So although Monday was my 19 weeks, it was officially my halfway point as I'm booked in for my c-section at 38 weeks. Where has the time gone?!

Also had the hospital on Monday to see the Crohn's midwife team - I explained to them that I'd been feeling a tad under the weather the previous week but wasn't able to tell them if it was Crohn's, pregnancy, or a combination of the two. Got my bloods done to check all my levels for general pregnancy but also IBD and they said they would be in touch if something came back off kilter.

Then there I am yesterday at my work Summer Festival with a missed call from the hospital. WAH. Luckily they called back; I was dreading it a bit as they said they'd only call if the results weren't fine...Turns out it wasn't my Crohn's flaring which was a massive relief - my inflammatory markers were hardly noteworthy. It's my iron.

I've always been borderline anaemic for as long as I can remember, but on the right side of normal, still. It seems that now my iron levels have dropped quite a lot since being preggers and my hemoglobin levels are rather abnormal. Still no giving blood for me then! Oopsy daisy. I'm putting this decrease in iron down to essentially being a vegetarian because meat is still making me feel poorly. Looks like I'll have to go on prescription iron for a while to make sure that I'm not a temporary narcoleptic whilst growing the bab and to also make sure I eat more spinach like Popeye for an extra boost. Just not looking forward to the side effects of the iron tablets (oh my Crohnie bowels).

But enough about that! Onto the nice things! Here's me #bumpingalong for week 19 in a maternity purchase from asos in a size 10, plus my new 'mum' barnet. Look at my's getting so big carrying my mango-sized baby. Ahh.

This baby is so active though! I find it all so amazing and surprising as I am only 19 weeks - I feel lucky to be experiencing such movement already.

We were starting the foundations of nesting for after our scan next week and there was one moment this weekend where our baby was going nuts! I didn't even have to get baby daddy's attention as it was so noticeable through my clothes. Our baby is definitely in a routine now, so I'm aware of when to keep an eye out for the dancing and can move my Kicks Count band around another number.

Am hoping to capture the moving on video and if I do I will share on here. It's magical/like something out of 'Alien'.

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