Friday, 30 November 2007

Blue

I'm feeling a little blue, a little down-in-the-dumps.

I'm not sleeping properly and I feel like I've been pregnant forever.

In the words of a song, 'every silver lining has a cloud, each piece of good fortune must be paid for by the pound...'

Humph, think it's time to put on some tunes and dance.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

In vs Out

My inny is becoming an outy. My tummy button is making a quest for freedom; after years as an unremarkable dimple in my tummy it is trying to broadcast it’s status as an important bodylogical (yes, I know I’ve just made that word up) landmark.

I’m not sure I want the world to know I have a tummy button, (not a belly button; my mother always taught me that pigs have bellies,) but as my skin stretches over my rapidly increasing bump, it is there for all to see. It started it’s quest for liberation many weeks ago and I think it is almost there.

I do hope it goes back in again.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Days and Counting...

It’s 628 days since RD first kissed me, at romantic Earls Court Tube Station (it was the first day I worked with him too!)*; 167 days since we conceived Bobbette, in the more romantic setting of The Wellington Hotel, Ventnor (not Parkhurst Forrest as RD would have you believe); 38 more working days before my self-funded (with help from RD) maternity leave; and most importantly of all…

99 days until D day!

*For the mathematically minded, if the baby is four days late, it will be 2 years, to the day, since that first kiss.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Agent Provocateur

Hooray, I've found something else in the oh-so-virtuous world of Gentle Birth that I can follow: Dr Gowri Motha has helped Agent Provocateur design their maternity and post-natal underwear.

So, not only am I justified in the name of sauce for spending £70 on a bra, but also in all that is the natural, red tent way of birth I'm being good to my baby.

Everyone's a winner, even RD.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

A Lovely Sunday

I have just had a lovely Sunday. Days always start better with a lie in and a cuddle, although Bobbette managed to land a few well aimed kicks on RD’s arm as he snuggled up behind me, so he repositioned himself to avoid the ‘abuse’. (I think she was less disgruntled at his arm positioning as more wanting to play, but more of that later.)

Then I had my photo shoot. Well, RD took some pictures of my bump, it was quite fun really and made me feel a lot better about the changes that are happening to my body; it’s always good to know you are still worth taking pictures of. And, I must confess it lead to a return to bed! I’ve already warned you that I feel saucier than a bottle of HP, and we haven’t had to change position too much, yet.

After chores, this evening was spent on the sofa where I demonstrated to RD how Bobbette plays; gently wobble my bump and she’ll kick back! As much as RD smiles and plays, I’m not so sure he finds this quite as fascinating as I do!

She still makes me smile as I commute, and that’s no mean feat.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

A Wider Stance

My bump now touches my thighs when I do roll-downs in Pilates; wing-mirrors on parked cars make an uncomfortable hazzard; and it gets in the way, slightly when I put on my socks.

I think the time has come to adopt a wider stance.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Fun and Games

I have just spent a blissful half an hour playing with my baby. Yes, you read correctly, I've been lying on my settee playing with my wriggly and giggly bump.

You know what? I think she's been playing back.

I was so excited I texted RD, who's in the pub watching the footie. He'll play too tomorrow; maybe we'll try the light game, apparently she'll respond to light being shone on my tummy.

I'm excited.

Great Skin

I have a theory as to why you have great skin when pregnant, and it's nothing to do with hormones.

It's because you are never too drunk to take your make-up off.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Tired and Windy

I had two heartening pieces of news today. The first came from my consummate-party-girl friend, she announced that she was going organic as she was feeling tired and windy (my paraphrase), and she’s not even pregnant! So, we are planning nights out to Organic restaurants and Art Galleries instead of just the pub; a relief to a tired and windy Mum-to-be.

With my obsession with my weight gain, (gain which will, hopefully, be slowed by my joining in with the healthy plan of party-girl), I asked my yoga-bunny friend how much she gained during her recent pregnancy. As she is a fit, half marathon running (yes, while pregnant), yoga bunny I was almost dreading the answer, but this is what she said:

‘I do think every day or two about the stone and a half I still need to shift and how my running mate gave birth and only was 4lb over her pre-pregnancy weight and then I reach for another biscuit and give Harriet a cuddle and I couldn't care less about it!’.

Nice.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

From Afar

It seems that they do things better oveseas. Look at Bobbette's pretty play gym from France (ok, I got it from Amazon) - not a Disney character in sight.

This lovely vest came all the way from South Africa, it has a whole new view on the world...

an Africa centric one. This is thanks to RD's family, I'm sure they'll teach Bobette all about SA one day.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Farewell to an Old Favourite

A very sad thing hapened to me today. I wore my favourite red-over-the-jeans-dress for the last time for a while.

It's always been my favourite and I thought it would be faithful to me throughout my pregnancy, but alas not...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Fidget Widget

If you think my widget fidgets (see bottom left corner) that’s nothing compared to the motion in the ocean that is my tummy. Bobbette is an active girl, tumbling, stretching and hiccupping her way through the day and night. Quite often at the oddest of moments I’ll feel her; I could be trying to put forth a controversial point of view in a meeting and suddenly the bouncing in my tummy will make me giggle, or I’ll be chatting away and be kicked, rather rudely, in the ribs.

I love the fact that she is always reminding me she is there; it’s a comfort to feel her, and know she is growing, and growing. So, I spend hours each day with my hands on my bump, stroking and rubbing her, trying to work out where she is. I even read that she will recognise RD’s touch and I can’t wait until she kicks him while he’s cuddling me (us) as we sleep.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Pregancy Ache 57 (or there abouts)

Okay, so I concede that pregnancy does some funny things to a girl's body: I expected the morning sickness, I'm dreading the stretch marks and swollen ankles. I was a little surprised by Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction, but hey, a girls pelvis is bound to take a battering eventually in this saga and luckily my aches and pains haven't been that bad.

But who would expect Carpal Tunnel problems?!

Yes, you read correctly. The other morning I woke up with excruciating pain in my wrist and no sign of a sprain. Luckily I braved Pilates and Chris suggested Carpal Tunnel. I looked it up, and apparently it's quite common in pregnancy - who'd have guessed it. Luckily my lovely Osteopath Tom has now added this to my treatment list!

I know pregnancy does cause some weird aches and pains but I still love it.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Nearly Week 24

Actually feeling rubbish today. Felt sick and dizzy on the train despite being comfortably seated and having had a slice of rye toast before leaving home.

I think its time for a lifestyle change, too much angst, too much socialising and not enough Pilates, exercise and relaxation. These days my only form of regular exercise is the 4 escalators I scale on my way between Monument and Bank tube stations and getting on and off the scales each morning (we all know that ‘getting on and off the scales is not the best form of exercise’)! Oh, I do have bi-weekly sessions with Chris my Pilates teacher.

The escalators leave me out of breath, and so little Pilates is not going to help. And I bought a maternity swimming costume especially. I was determined to be a fit, healthy and glowing Mum; I can’t be tired before the baby arrives…

Monday, 12 November 2007

Party Animals

Yesterday we went to our first first birthday party.

I think for the first 20 minutes or so we were in shock. Not just at the babies and how quickly they grow, (although the thought that we will soon have one of our very own is always a little surreal,) but also at the baby proofing activities at force in the house: the stair gates that amuse babies (they like cage rattling or so it seems) and prevent inebriated (not me) adults from reaching the loo; the rubbery things on doors to stop, or at least reduce the risk of, little fingers being caught in them during a game of how-hard-can-I-slam-this; and the kitchen cupboard security doofries that provide even the heartiest little boy with a challenge of strength. (Not to mention the toilet proofing activities undertaken by RD’s other friend in order to save her tooth brush.) Of course none of this will prevent all mobile babies trying the table cloth trick or a game of hunt the fullest, unattended glass of red wine. (I’m exhausted just typing this.)

RD spent the afternoon drinking beer and talking to his mate, the pretty party girl’s proud father, about work, golf, children (and the possibility of building a side-car to combine the last two), the universe and everything. By the end of the afternoon, a tipsy RD had decided he was moving to the Amazon and couldn’t be contacted for the next 18 years! Me, I did what’s expected of pregnant girlfriends; I talked to the mothers about prams, breastfeeding (some were still doing it one year later!) Gymboree, and Little Acorns music group. And, actually, I quite enjoyed it.

Things I learnt: I was surprised at the cost of Gymboree but maybe it is worth the money as the children were, by varying degrees, playful, friendly and angelic. I also learnt that Zara has cool (i.e. not pink and frilly), little outfits for little girls that cost little pennies. And that you can get environmentally friendly nappies (more of this in another post) cheaply through the NCT. (Okay, these may not be life changing but are becoming scarily interesting.)

One familiar thing about the party was the carnage of empty wine bottles and beer cans that was left in the kitchen, what was unfamiliar was that the party ended at 5, well before any normal party would have begun, and that I was sober. I suppose this is the shape of parties yet to come…

Sunday, 11 November 2007

D Words

Perhaps RD isn’t quite so reluctant anymore. I have definitely noticed the D word slipped into sentences with increasing frequency, the D word being ‘Dad’. I must say I like it, I think he’s going to be a great Dad; a doting Dad, she’ll have him wrapped around her finger from day one because he’s a sucker for a pretty girl, and if she’s our daughter she’s bound to be (not that we’ll be biased of course). He’s busy coding up his photo blog so he can present his beautiful baby to the world. ( He has also made another unaccompanied purchase – a baby sling, so either he is getting used to the idea or there is a pretty sales assistant in Mamas and Papas.*)

The other D word is Daughter, as I said before this is a whole different ball game to ‘baby’. This one always brings those prickles in my nose and tears to my eyes. I mean a baby is kind of a thing, but a daughter is a little person, a lifetime responsibility and, hopefully, joy.


* We were looking at the Baby Bjorn which is pricey but looks very good and highly recommended, but then I noticed the Mamas and Papas one looks equally as good and is nearly half the price. Unfortunately the gorgeous guy wearing the sling on the website doesn’t come with, not even to show you how to put it on. I did try on said sling and I think it is definitely an item to practice with – it’s very confusing, the instructions don’t help; it needs a DVD – hopefully presented by the cute guy or my equally good looking RD, of course.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Baby Books

I am an avid reader, I don’t really like to go anywhere without a book, so for me one of the natural reactions to being pregnant was to log onto Amazon and see what books I could order. It wasn’t so much that I was worried about what I didn’t know, but more because I was excited and this was a way of adding to my enjoyment of impending motherhood.

Having been pregnant before I already had one book, and until the danger of miscarriage had passed I didn’t allow myself to buy anymore. My technical book of choice was ‘The Pregnancy Bible’ I love the way it is written: the fold out pictures of what is happening to my body and the graphics of the baby. It’s sensible, down to earth and helpful. (We did have ‘What to Expect when you are Expecting’ but gave it to a charity shop having decided it was too much like a text book and certainly not pretty enough.)

The Fat Ladies Club was a collection of mildly amusing stories about being pregnant, but it didn’t really do much for me. Maybe it’s because I think my girlfriends’ stories are funnier.

The next book I read was Jo Frost (Supernanny) Confident Baby Care, and I loved this book. I love the fact that she sees a parent’s role as being to show the baby how wonderful the world is, she made me excited to be a Mum. I have said if there is one book RD reads it should be this one, it will teach about technicalities such as nappy changing and swaddling but also about the joy of being a parent. Her advice is realistic and practical but loving at the same time.

Next I read a book I knew I’d hate, Gina Ford. I had to read it to make sure I wasn’t dismissing something out of hand without really knowing what it was about. I hated it. I like the fact the baby is quickly in a routine – who wouldn’t (and some of the bedtime advice might be useful), but it made me feel like being a Mum was only going to be a chore, not a thing of joy and wonder like Jo. I wanted to burn this book.

Having watched ‘Bringing Up Baby’ (and sharing the national Clare-Verity-should-be-burned-at-the-stake opinion) I did buy Dr Spock, but I haven’t read it, it looks like another text book.

On the recommendation of my Pilates teacher I have just finished reading Dr Gowri Motha’s Gentle Birth Method; this is where he had picked up the visualisations from. While I’m not entirely convinced thinking of waves will make labour easier, I thought it worth adding to my arsenal. Dr Motha has excellent credentials; she is a disillusioned obstetrician who decided that there must be a gentler approach to birth that would benefit both mother and child. Her pregnancy diet is strict – I don’t think I could give up my cheese and marmite paninis, and there are lots of herbal remedies, but as someone who believes in the strength of meditation and whose spiritual side likes to tap into the power of Reiki, the idea of visualisations and self-hypnosis to help calm and reassure does appeal. So I’ve also bought the CD. (I’m not so sure about the vaginal stretching; I know it makes sense but …)

I have a couple more baby books on my bedside table; I’ll let you know when I’ve read them.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Perambulation

The day after we discovered that we were soon-to-be parents of a daughter we went and purchased a suitable carriage, we bought her a pram. This must be the single most expensive purchase that will be made by a soon-to-be-parent.

I know many Dads pour over technical specifications as if they were buying a car; we didn’t really do that. We had two criteria: it has to fold up small enough to go in my mini (which I refuse to swap for an estate car anytime this millennium), and have a proper carry cot i.e. be a pram not just a buggy. I’m an old fashioned girl who wants to see her baby slumbering peacefully in her pram in the fresh air while I am, obviously, a serene together lady-who-lunches (look a girl can dream).

Armed with this criteria I felt my choices had been limited to the over-subscribed- celebrity/Richmond-accessory the Bugaboo and the Quinny. The Bugaboo, as much as I hate to admit it, is a great pram hence it’s popularity, yes it’s expensive but it is good. The Quinny seems to be gaining in popularity with it’s nifty hydraulic self-rising thingamajig, but is heavier than the Bugaboo, although slightly cheaper and much simpler to operate. Okay, so it was these two choices that I introduced to RD while sitting outside a pub by the river; it was a sunny bank holiday and every configuration of these two prams went by. RD managed, between pints, to feign some level of interest. I briefly flirted with a much cheaper, third option a Nippabout which is sold in one of the only independent nursery shops near me, Happicraft (to be honest I nearly bought it simply because of the shop’s independent status). All these fitted in the boot my mini.

Considering his distinct lack of interest, imagine my, and his, surprise when RD came home from town one day and announced that he had seen a good looking pram in the window of Mamas and Papas. I felt it my duty to investigate an option that had actually grabbed his attention. So a couple of Saturdays ago, we braved Regents Street on a Saturday and went to look at said pram – the Ziko. It’s cool, it’s green, it’s light, has a tight turning circle (a must in Victorian terraced house) and it’s a pram. Best of all, Mamas and Papas do a car seat in which the baby can lie down when it’s not in the car, i.e. when it’s on the pushchair or free standing. This is a big plus for someone whose journey home to visit her grandma would take longer than the 2 hours recommended for sitting in a car seat (it crushes their diaphragm apparently).

So we bought it, we bought it all, but because of superstition all we have to show for our investment is a receipt! (It’s believed that to have the pram in the house before the baby is bad luck.

RD has since made another, unaccompanied, baby purchase: we have a cool Baba Bing! nappy bag, chosen because it has labels on the pockets so he knows what to put in them.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

23 Weeks Pregnant

I think I might have to succumb to being 23 weeks pregnant. I keep filling my diary with evening engagements and my weekends with long-to-do lists, brunches, lunches and nights out. But, as much as I am loathe to admit it, I’m tired!

I love the fact that I have a life; I’ve made sure of it, in many ways I’ve been busy just to prove that I shouldn’t be written off from the social world, not yet anyway. I know my life is going to change, for the better, but please, please remember I want to have fun too. Yes, I’ll be a Mum but I’ll still be me won’t I?

So, perhaps being busy 5 nights of the week is a little over-the-top so I’ve decided to spend my weekday evenings, mostly, swimming and chilling. Good for baby and good for me – especially as I’m started to gain weight and girth.

As with all well intentioned regimes, it will start next week; I’m out for dinner tonight with my BFF, and then, tomorrow, I have a hot theatre date with RD (box seat tickets at the sold-out Macbeth no less)…

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Amelia

When I was a little girl I had a favourite book, it was so much a favourite I can even remember the bookshop where we bought it, not the name or the place but just the shop, I know it was on the mainland and it had been raining. I still have the book, 'Come Back Amelia Bedelia'.

I loved this book so much that as soon as I was old enough to think about having children I said I would name my daughter Amelia, not Amelia Bedelia but Amelia Millicent (after my maternal Grandmother). As my friends and family have also always known this they dutifully resisted naming their own girls Amelia.

Now I'm having a baby girl but she won't be called Amelia. As I have mentioned, earlier this year I had a miscarriage and both RD and I, independently, believe that that child would have been a baby girl, and in my head she is Amelia.

At 10 weeks I may not have known much about her, but she's not forgotten, she's at the seaside where we were when we lost her, and she's called Amelia.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Pilates

Today I spent a very rewarding hour with another man in my life – my Pilates teacher Chris, from Pilates on the Green. I’ve doing Pilates for about 10 years now, some years more earnestly than others, and recently it has been less earnest, but during some of my darkest times Pilates has helped. Yes, I know it sounds strange to say that a form of exercise can see you through, but I love it, I don’t really know why I don’t do it more often.

Anyway, back to Chris. I used to attend Chris’ classes at the gym but now I have one-to-one sessions as well. I try and see him every fortnight, especially as I get ready to have this baby. Chris seems to specialise in ante and post-natal Pilates and today, as my bump is definitely more pronounced, he started some work on breathing and visualisation. This, hopefully, should help me during labour. Chris has a very soothing voice and it was actually a wonderfully relaxing exercise. Although, let’s face it, I’m trying hard not to think about labour too much, and I doubt it will be so relaxing then, but every little helps.

Another strange thing happened today, I was doing stamina pelvic floor squeezes (RD will be pleased) and as I did so Bobbette started exercise classes of her own. I realised this was the first time I’d done Pilates since I really could feel her move; I guess my bouncing pelvic floor was like a trampoline for her! Our exercises weren’t always complementary and I must say it’s a very odd sensation something inside moving independently from your outside.

In the bath this evening I could actually see her move, as well as feel her. RD seemed quite please on Thursday when he felt her for the first time, I’m sure he’ll be fascinated by seeing her too.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Booty

The shopping has begun…

I seem to have overcome my issues with buying things for the baby. As you can see she has a bumper haul…




Dresses from Next; babygros from Baby Gap (note to self: let these be gifts next time); essentials from Blooming Marvellous; bedding and towels from Mamas & Papas; books from Tate Modern (RD bought these)… And so the list goes on… and on…

Not to mention the goodies that came over from South Africa with RD's Sister...