Week 22: 17 March

How far along: 22 weeks.

How big is baby: The length of a cucumber. Sounds a bit dirty really…

Sleep: This week is the best I have slept since I got pregnant. I think I am feeling much less anxious and stressed now that I am staying at the hotel and I am getting way more sleep. What a relief.

Symptoms: The usual… heartburn, afternoon fatigue, easily emotional. Plus I got my fourth pregnancy cold. OMG I am so sick of these colds because I can’t take anything to help. I went to the pharmacy and tried to buy Strepsils for my sore throat and the Pharmacist said I couldn’t even take those! Only Panadol allowed.

Best moment of this week: My friend, B, sent me bub’s first toy. So cute! I opened the present at work and one of the girls I work with said “Can you believe that something inside your stomach right now is going to play with that bunny?”. That was surreal!

IMG_7749

Miss anything: Today it was 3 years since my mum passed away. It’s hard to put into words how much I miss her, especially now I am pregnant. I miss having her support at this time when I really need it and I am sad that she misses out on being here for this experience. She would have loved every second of it.

Movement: Bubs has been going crazy with movement this week. I can’t seem to find any patterns to the movement, it happens randomly throughout the day and night and isn’t connected to food or drink that I consume. It just comes out of the blue and gives me a total surprise.

On Saturday night I took bubs to see the Adele concert in Melbourne. I think he/she enjoyed it because they were bouncing around a lot. Or maybe it was that it was so bloody hot and my jeans were way too tight?

IMG_7740

Food cravings: On Monday night I just really felt like ice cream for dinner, so I went to the supermarket and I was finally able to buy Halo Top ice cream. Yay! I have been looking everywhere for these for the past 6 months. They were pretty good, definitely not as creamy and delicious as regular ice cream, but a great treat.

IMG_7754

Anything making you queasy or sick: I’ve had about enough of the hot weather. I got pretty grumpy over the weekend when I was out and about and over-heating myself. Plus all my clothes are suddenly too tight and everything I wear is annoying me.

Gender: I hope it’s a girl because I just cannot come up with any boys names. Any ideas???

How’s your mood: Apart from my occasional  emotional moments, I feel pretty positive and happy this week. Moving into this hotel has just made such a difference to my mood. I feel like my old self again. I love being in the city and having my own space. Plus all the nice restaurants, markets, parks and beauty shops in my neighbourhood are giving me life. Love it.

Looking forward to: When I really start showing and people offer me a seat on public transport. That will be nice.

The Bump: It may not seem like it to anyone else, but my bump has grown a lot in the past 2 weeks. I think I had a little growth spurt. I have really thickened up all around my middle too, as you can see in the photo below, my roll of fat under my boobs is expanding rapidly. So it’s not exactly a cute little bump, I’m just getting fatter, but I kind of expected that to happen. I knew I wouldn’t ever be one of those cute little pregnant women!

IMG_7758.JPG

 

Week 21 : 10 March

How far along: Week 21. Only 131 days to go…

How big is baby: As big as a carrot. According to my app, bubs weighs 360 grams and is 27 cm from crown to heel. Wow, that’s almost as big as a ruler!

Sleep: Normal pregnancy sleep right now. A bit of insomnia, getting up to go to the toilet a lot, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Symptoms: This is not a symptom as such, but I am finding my underwear quite uncomfortable. My bump is not big enough to necessitate buying new underwear yet, but I do find they roll down a bit when I walk any distance and they are digging in and giving me a rash in sensitive areas. Not very comfortable in the heat of summer! I might have to buy some bigger knickers soon.

Best moment of this week: My family hired a holiday house by the beach in Jervis Bay and we joined them for 2 nights. So I got lots of cuddles with my sweet niece Penelope. I hadn’t seen her since Christmas and she is so big! She is just such a delight. When I worry at all that I won’t be able love my baby enough, I only have to think about how much I love her and I know I’ll be OK.



Miss anything: Hanging out with my family for a few days did make me feel like indulging in some nice wine and cheese. My family like a drink or two and it would have been nice to enjoy some crisp cold wine by the beach with them. I did have a little bit of wine, but the heartburn got to me, so it wasn’t worth it.

Movement: Yes, bubs is still bouncing about a fair bit. It still feels more like flutters than actual kicks, but it is quite cool.

Food cravings: Nothing in particular. Mostly I am craving foods that don’t give me heartburn.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not queasy or sick, but just about everything is giving me heartburn/reflux. When you are on holidays you don’t eat quite so healthy, so I have been paying for it. Ouch.

Gender: No idea. I still want a girl, but I am getting better with accepting how lovely a little mini AJ would be too. 🙂

How’s your mood: It is fair to say that I am still easily emotional. When we were driving home from seeing my family over the weekend I got quite teary because I was sad to leave them. It was so nice to be around people who really care about you, especially when you’re going through a significant change in your life and things have been difficult with work, my living situation and just being pregnant. It’s just nice to see some friendly faces.

Looking forward to: We are moving into a hotel closer to my work on Monday while we continue to wait for my stupid townhouse to be finished (no idea when this will be). This will save me about 4 hours of commute each day, which I plan to use for sleep! I do also want to do more walking and find a pregnancy pilates/yoga class now that I’ll have more time. I can’t wait.

The Bump: It feels like it is finally starting to pop a little now and making itself known to me. When we were at the beach I tried to lie on my stomach in the sand and was shocked to realise that my little bump was in the way. This has definitely been the week where I have noticed the most dramatic growth spurt so far. It is starting to feel like I have a lead balloon in my stomach and I am feeling a bit of pressure in my downstairs area. It’s starting to feel more real!

Here is a photo from today. This dress is not a great example at all, it seems to almost camouflage the bump, but it is there now! Actually, this dress was waaaaay too big for me 6 months ago and I was going to donate it to charity, now it is tight everywhere (not just around my tummy).

IMG_7711

Oh and AJ made me pose for this silly photo at the beach. 🙂

IMG_0018

20 Week Scan

IMG_7574.JPG

Last Monday we had our 20 week scan (I was 20 weeks + 4 days). This is the last big scan we will have as long as everything continues to go well with bubs. Over the last few weeks I have had a gnawing little concern that something could be wrong because of my lack of bump. I was 95% sure that everything was OK, but there is always that little doubt in your mind that likes to worry you at 4.00 am. So I was really pleased to have a scan and be reassured that bubs had all the right parts and is developing well.

Unfortunately though, bubs was not cooperating and the sonographer couldn’t get all the angles he needed to get to finish the scan. So I went away and met with my obstetrician and came back an hour later in the hope that bubs had changed position. Lucky for me, bubs was cooperating a little better and we got everything we needed.

Even when bubs was facing the right way, the sonographer had some trouble seeing everything and had to do an internal scan (which has been the case at all 3 of my scans so far). My first thought was that it was my weight, but he then he asked me if I had any stomach surgery, because I had a lot of scar tissue, so that was the issue. I’ve had two laparoscopies, gall bladder removal, lap band and body lift, so I guess it makes sense that I have a bit of scar tissue. I don’t know if this will have any impact on giving birth?

As we don’t want to find out the gender, we were advised to look away during certain parts of the scan. The sonographer was very good and didn’t let anything slip. AJ had to go back to work for the second part (it took 3 and a half hours!) and I was worried I would accidentally see something while he wasn’t there and trying to work out if I should keep it on the down low or share the news. Lucky for me, that didn’t happen.

It was a bit of fun and very reassuring to see that bubs was doing ok, but as with the last one, I can’t say I felt overly emotional during it. I just don’t feel a massive connection to the baby yet because it doesn’t feel real and, to be honest, it looks kind of like an alien. Obviously I am still waiting for those maternal vibes to kick in! At one stage I almost fell asleep during the scan and AJ had to give me a nudge. I feel like a better mother would be much more alert during these important moments ha ha!

Week 20: 3 March

How far along: 20 weeks. Now we are really getting somewhere. It feels good to be out of the teens and into the twenties.

How big is baby: Apparently bubs is about 16.5 cm and the size of a banana. Yum, that’s making me hungry. Everything makes me hungry.

Sleep: Nothing to complain about too much this week. Whoa that doesn’t sound like me! I must be in a good mood this week.

Symptoms: Well I had been getting bad chest pain after eating. It felt like heart attack sort of pain and not heart burn, so I mentioned it to my obstetrician and she said it’s reflux. I’m like, no but it feels like a heart attack and she said that is what reflux is. Whoops. I don’t think I actually knew what reflux was, so that was embarrassing! I thought reflux and heart burn were the same thing, but reflux seems to be more of a chest pain thing. I have no idea. It’s not comfortable though!

Best moment of this week: Our 20 week scan! We got to see that bubs was all ok, which was nice to put my mind at ease. More on that in another post.

Miss anything: I missed my mum after my 20 week scan, I really wanted to show her the photo of bubs.

Movement: Yes lots of flips and turns and flutters. They are quite quick and only last a few seconds, so not long enough for AJ to feel, but hopefully soon.

Food cravings: Not really a craving, but I do just feel like hot chips this week. Let’s face it though, I always feel like hot chippies, it’s not unusual. I think I see a maccas drive thru in my future!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. I have replaced my beloved Pepsi Max with Diet Coke, for some reason it doesn’t make me feel sick (I only drink it very occasionally). All the foods/drinks that were making me sick for the first 12 weeks, don’t make me want to throw up anymore, but they still turn my stomach a little.

Gender: I am still feeling (or projecting) girl vibes.

How’s your mood: I’ve been in a good mood this week because I had my 20 week scan and my mini break to look forward to. Just knowing that I had a few days off work to look forward to made all the difference this week.

Looking forward to: Seeing my baby niece, Penelope, this week. I haven’t seen her since Christmas and she has grown so much. We are meeting my family in Jervis Bay for a few days at the end of the week. Only my sister in law knows we are coming, it’ll be a surprise for my brother, dad and step mum. They planned the trip away and we couldn’t get the time off work, but since AJ is starting a new job next week, he was able to get a few days off work between jobs and the timing was perfect.

The Bump: I think you can see the bump a little bit in this photo! I mean, I still just look fat, but it’s taking shape. These photos are taken at 5.30 in the morning, so that explains my crazed look.

img_7576

Eating for Two

One of the happiest days of my pregnancy was on the first day of my second trimester when my app told me that I could eat an extra 1400 kilojoules per day (334 calories). I screenshot that and sent it to AJ immediately and told him to go shopping! 🙂

img_7362

But it turns out that this whole eating for two thing is a total myth. Damn it!

There is so much conflicting information about how much you should eat while pregnant. A lot of the information I read said that you didn’t need to increase your calorie intake for the first and even second trimester, especially if you are already overweight. OK, that’s fine, but what if I don’t know what a normal calorie intake should be?

I’ve spent about the last 30 years of my life on a diet and I don’t know what a normal healthy food intake is anymore. For the past 8 or 9 years since I have had a lap band I have aimed for 1000-1200 calories per day to lose weight. Because let’s face it, I was always trying to lose weight. I knew that absolutely wouldn’t be enough for me and bubs though!

Since I got pregnant I have been ravenously hungry all of the time. Even when I have been sick, I wanted food (carbs) to help ease the nausea. When I was trying to get pregnant I had all sorts of virtuous plans to eat super healthy and be careful with my weight gain if I did manage to get pregnant. That went out the window as soon as morning (all day) sickness hit and I just needed to eat sandwiches at all hours of the day and night to get me through.

I realised quickly that I just needed to eat as much as my body told me I needed to eat to stay energized and help baby grow. I have tried to make good choices as much as possible, but I have also been kind to myself when I gave into the potato cakes and the donuts. I am far from perfect!

As the second trimester hit and I felt better, I have been able to make healthier choices for me and bubs. In fact, I’d say that being pregnant has been amazing for my disordered eating issues because for once in my life I am not trying to lose weight. I don’t feel guilty for eating when I am hungry because I know that I need to eat for me and bubs. I also know that I have to fuel my body so that means feeding it healthy foods.

To be honest, I could probably quite happily live off cheese on toast and 2 minute noodles, but I know that isn’t going to be good for either me or bubs. Plus there is the fun issue of pregnancy heartburn and constipation… sorry for TMI. Let’s just say that when I look at food now, I first consider how it’ll affect those lovely issues, before I really worry about taste! The joys of pregnancy.

So this is a typical day for me when trying to make good choices with my eating. I have no idea how many calories it is, but it keeps me satisfied most of the time. It does vary depending on where I am and how much access I have to a kitchen right now while I am homeless and crashing with family. It also depends on my proximity to donuts and potato cakes, but we all have our good days and bad days!

Did anyone else struggle with knowing what and how much to eat during pregnancy?

BRAKFAST
Greek yoghurt and muesli
Apple

LUNCH
Cup of brown rice (those microwave pods)
Tin of tuna in oil
Steamed broccoli

SNACK
Fruit or Muesli bar or nuts (or all three if I am hungry!)

DINNER
Microwave meal/sandwich/soup… whatever I can pull together without access to a kitchen

DESSERT
A few (or more)squares of dark chocolate or a skinny cow ice cream sandwich

Week 19: 24 February

How far along: 19 weeks, which is apparently half way. Woo hoo!!! I thought 20 weeks was half way, but my app tells me 19 weeks is, so that seems like something to celebrate.

How big is baby: This week bubs is the size of a heirloom tomato. Weird, that seems smaller than the capsicum from last week. These things make no sense.

Sleep: It’s about the same, I’m getting used to not having a lot of sleep. I seem to wake up about 4.00 am and struggle to get back to sleep. Then at 3.00 pm I am ready for a nap (if only I could!).

Symptoms: No major symptoms, but this week I’ve had my 3rd pregnancy cold. The worst part is that you can’t really take any drugs to help you feel better. It has really wiped me out this week.

Best moment of this week: No particular moment this week, just every day that passes and gets me closer to moving back into the city is a good moment. The final countdown is on!

Miss anything: I’d love a McDonald’s thick shake, but you aren’t allowed to eat softserve ice cream. Boo hoo. 

Movement: I am feeling baby flutters on and off again this week, nothing major, but something is definitely going on.

Food cravings: I’ve lost my appetite a bit this week- shocking! It hasn’t exactly stopped me from eating, but I haven’t felt overly excited by food this week. It’s a weird feeling.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I think the long car ride to and from work is making me feel a bit off. When I get out of the car I feel shaky and nauseous. Oh well, not too much longer before I move and won’t have such a long commute.

Gender: I still don’t know, but I did a Chinese gender prediction test and it said it was a girl. Yay!

How’s your mood: I am feeling a bit tried, irritable and hormonal. I hate not feeling like myself. I can tell sometimes that I am being a bit sooky or getting angry about work emails that are not that big of a deal. It’s awful feeling out of control and knowing that you are being unreasonable. 

Looking forward to: I have a few days off work next week for a little pre-baby break. I am counting down the minutes. God I can’t wait.

The Bump: It’s more of a bulge than a bump and it’s getting more pronounced to me, but its hard for other people to tell that I am pregnant at all. I’d love it if colleagues would stop commenting on my lack of bump, but I suspect that’s not going to happen any time soon. Today at work I was telling the reception ladies that I was pregnant and a girl I don’t know came over who also happened to be pregnant. She had a bump as big as a basketball on her little frame. I just assumed she was due well before me, but it turns out that she is due the same time. Oh my god. This is getting embarrassing.

image-1

Why I Decided to have a Baby

I’ve been blogging for a long time now, over 10 years on and off. So if you have been reading for a while, you might have heard me say that I wasn’t planning to have kids. I have never felt a strong maternal urge to have kids. I didn’t ever grow up assuming that I would have my own family. It was just never that important to me. Like marriage I suppose, I didn’t need it to be happy.

As the years passed and I turned 30, nothing changed. My biological clock didn’t start ticking. I had a great life without kids and I didn’t think I needed to change anything. AJ and I have a blast together and I was surrounded by good friends and family. Plus, I was working on finding a good place in my career, managing my weight issues and enjoying a new-found love for travel and experiencing life.

I think that another factor in my lack of biological clock was that I always had a reverse mother -daughter role with my mum. My entire life she was severely sick with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I cared for her and was the only one who she would listen to, who could get her to take her meds, who she would let visit her in the psych ward. I think I was the only person who didn’t judge her and gave her unconditional love. Like a mother would I guess. So I didn’t ever feel like I needed to be a mother.

Then, after my mum passed away, I decided that I could never ever have kids without my mum. It was non-negotiable. All my mum wanted was to be a grandmother and I hated the thought of having kids and her not being here. I still hate it. Then as the fog of grief cleared slightly I felt such a big loss in my life. I had such a massive hole which used to be filled with family.

You see, after mum passed away, my older brother became estranged from our family and my younger brother and his wife moved 900 kms away. My dad had always lived far away and had remarried after divorcing my mum years away. I have only ever had sporadic contact with my extended family every few years. Suddenly I felt like I had no family. I didn’t realise how much I needed my family until they were gone. That is where the urge to have my own family started.

I don’t want this to sound like I decided to have a baby because I was lonely. It was much more than that. It was about creating a family for me and AJ. I wanted to have those happy family memories of my own, Christmases, family dinners, laughter and tears. I wanted to love and care for and be part of a family again.

I didn’t need to convince AJ. While he was happy with our life the way it was, I knew he would be up for the adventure of having kids. Plus, I always knew he would be the most amazing and supportive father in the world and it was almost a waste for someone like him not to be a father!

I was still petrified about whether I was making the right decision. Was I letting grief and fear and loneliness guide my decisions? How was I going to do this without my mum? Was I going to be tired and stressed and broke for the rest of my life now? How could I cope with changing nappies, snotty noses and the chaos and mess that comes with kids? I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I am happy that I have this baby in my tummy and that in 5 months we’ll get to be his/her parents.