Baby is Here!

Sorry to leave you hanging…

Just over a week ago on Sunday 23rd July I gave birth to my precious little boy. He was born at 8.02 pm, weighing 3.13 kilos and measuring 50 cm.

It took us a while to give him a name, but we have decided on August Gilmore Juergens. Which was the boys name we had chosen all along, but we had last minute doubts in our fog of tiredness (and hormones!). The name August is after my mum’s birth month and Gilmore is the name of AJ’s dad’s family farm. We really wanted to honour both our parents who had passed away, but in a unique way that was special to us.

It is safe to say that AJ and I are completely in love with the little guy. But oh my god, it’s been such a whirlwind. An amazing, tiring, crazy whirlwind!

I’ll be back with all the nitty gritty details when the little guy gives me a break!

Due Date!

Well today is my official due date and baby hasn’t shown up yet. I never really expected bubs to arrive by the due date. He/she has always felt pretty comfy in there and like they weren’t going to have an early exit. Here is the little reminder that popped up on my phone this morning, in case I forgot…

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On the baby forum I have been frequenting (and I quote to AJ a hundred times a day as though I know all of these people) all of the women have been so desperate to have their babies and been trying to do anything to bring on labour from about 38 weeks. I have been pretty much the opposite and trying to keep bubs cooking as long as possible while I get myself ready. Despite the pain and discomfort of pregnancy, I figure bubs is much easier to look after in my tummy, than out.

I saw my obstetrician on Wednesday and she said that she doesn’t let her patients go over their due date by more than 10 days as it can increase the risk of stillbirth. So I guess I am having a baby before the end of this month. I think if I was desperate to get bubs out, I could pretty much request it any time now, but I am happy to just relax and see how things go for another week. I’m in no hurry!

My brother, sister in law and niece are arriving from Sydney tonight to stay for the weekend. I think they were hoping to be meeting bubs, but I am pretty sure there will be no new arrival for them. My sister in law, Connie, and my niece are staying in town all week and next weekend too because Connie has a work conference here in Melbourne. My dad and step mum are coming down from the country to look after my niece while Connie is at work, so if baby arrives next week, most of my family will conveniently be in town to visit. My brother plans to fly down again next weekend if bubs doesn’t make an appearance for his visit this weekend. Talk about extra pressure though. I was hoping to fly under the radar and not have people swarming me. I just know I am going to be getting a million and one questions from them this week. They are very excited!

This is me this morning at exactly 40 weeks pregnant. Not exactly your typical baby bump. I can see why no one ever offers me a seat on the tram!

So I think I am finally as ready as I will ever be now (which isn’t ready at all) so I guess bubs can arrive any time now. Bring it on…

Week 39: 14 July

There have been so many birth announcements on my online baby forum for July babies over the past couple of weeks. It’s quite surreal to read about all these babies being born and all the different birth experiences that women have had. It hasn’t been too scary so far. Most importantly, it’s been a good reminder of how newborn babies actually look… let’s face it, most newborns are not the most attractive little things. It’s good to set my expectations before I meet my own red, puffy, squishy little creature!

AJ edited my head onto Beyonce’s birth announcement and I sent it to my family in a photo sharing thing we have and my dad and step mum seriously thought I was telling them that I was having twins. I don’t think they even know who Beyonce is… LOL.

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Weight:Β I almost didn’t weigh myself because I knew it would be very bad, but I also knew that I’d appreciate the record in years to come when I look back and try to remember my pregnancy. I didn’t weigh myself last week due to moving house, so this is actually the gain for the past 2 weeks.

This week: 95.3 kilos (209.6 lbs)
Up:
2.5 kilos (5.5 lbs)Β 
Total pregnancy gain:
15.3 kilos (33.6 lbs)

Wowser, I had done so well my entire pregnancy and in the last few weeks my weight has just exploded. I know some of it is due to fluid retention (I can feel it everywhere) but some of it is also all those takeaways and chocolate I have been eating while moving house. Whoops.

One thing I have to say is that no one at the hospital, or my fertility clinic prior to pregnancy, has once mentioned my weight to me as an issue. I have not been weighed once throughout this pregnancy. I was all prepared to be given the third degree about my weight and healthy eating, but never once has it been mentioned.

When AJ’s sister was pregnant her weight was closely monitored and she was even told if she gained much more then she would have to go to another hospital with stronger beds. I think she was probably around 100 kilos (maybe a little more), which is not unusual these days. She went through the public system and maybe that is the difference? Anyway, it’s been a relief not to have to worry about being lectured about my weight as I am still super sensitive about it.

How far along: 39 weeks. This could be my last pregnancy update… (don’t get too excited, next I’ll be boring you with baby stories ha ha). I don’t feel like baby will arrive before my due date though, it seems pretty happy where it is.

How big is baby: Apparently as heavy as a mini watermelon. That makes sense. I can feel that!

Sleep: Insomnia is back this week, but I think it’s mostly about some pre-baby anxiety I have been having this week. Plus it is almost impossible to find a comfortable position right now. It doesn’t bother me too much because I don’t have to be at work and I can laze about in bed and the couch if I want.

Symptoms: I’m still struggling with pretty bad back pain and sharp pains in my sides. My dad said my mum had the same issue when she was pregnant, so I guess it’s a body shape thing. It was kind of cool to hear that mum and I had something in common in our pregnancies. The only way I can be comfortable is by laying on my side, which makes it hard to get much done around the house.

One thing I have noticed throughout pregnancy is that my freckles and pigmentation have become worse. It doesn’t bother me at all, in fact it might be a good excuse for some post-pregnancy skin treatments. The light in my new house is a little too good though and I am discovering lots of new wrinkles, hairs and spots… eeek!

Best moment of this week: I’ve pretty much put together the nursery now thank god! The space I have is so small that I have tried every possible way to arrange the furniture and nothing 100% works, but I’ve got it as good as I can. I just have to finish the last minute decorating, which is the fun bit!

My favourite part of the nursery is a special surprise I arranged for AJ. I asked a very talented designer friend to make me prints of some song lyrics that were special for my mum and AJ’s dad and were played at their respective funerals. We just love them so, so, so much and it makes me feel comforted to have them in bubs nursery. Now I just have to find the perfect spot to hang them, I have been agonising over this and totally overthinking it of course!

In case you’re wondering, they say:
My mum: All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise
AJ’s dad: And I think to myself what a wonderful world

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I also have this cupboard which is to the left of the photo above. I am keeping it pretty empty so I can fill it with photos, toys and books for baby as I get them.

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As you can see above, I also finally packed my hospital bags… well as much as I can anyway. It’s hard to pack a lot of things that you are still using like phone chargers, my kindle and toiletries. Plus I only have so many pairs of undies and maternity bras so I can’t pack them all while I am still need to wear them. Does anyone have any suggestions on hospital bag must haves? I basically have pjs and chocolate! πŸ™‚

Miss anything: No I think I am pretty content now that I am set up in my house. Nothing to complain about!

Movement: Some people say that movement slows down near the end, but so far I haven’t found that to be the case. Bubs is still kicking and punching all over the place, but particularly under my right ribs.

Food cravings: I am so, so, so enjoying having a kitchen again and doing a bit of cooking and filling my cupboards and fridge with food again. It feels like such a novelty to have a kitchen that I am buying a few treats that I probably shouldn’t… but who cares now. It’s lovely to sit down in the evening in front of the TV with a cup of tea and a biscuit (or a pack of biscuits).

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, I think nausea is all fine as long as I keep up a steady stream of carbs.

Gender: I keep picturing myself with a little girl, but I don’t actually have a feeling either way. I’m still struggling with boys names… I really hope I will just know what bubs should be called when they are born, but I suspect it isn’t that easy. I had lunch with the girls from work yesterday and we were talking about baby names. They suggested I look at the cafes at the hospital and use that as inspiration. So straight after I met with them I had an obstetrician appointment and there were two cafes at the hospital: Sargon and Isabella… not the worst options!

How’s your mood: Oh god. This last week the anxiety about having a baby is really increasing. I am not scared about the labour, more about the fact that I am having a baby. I have had some lovely reassurances from mothers that I know that tell me how wonderful it will be. I guess I just need to trust that I have made the right decision and remember the reasons I wanted to have a baby. Plus, it’s a bit too late to change my mind now…

Looking forward to: More time on the couch with my feet up catching up on reality TV before bubs arrives. I should stop subjecting my unborn baby to the Real Housewives of Sydney, it’s probably child abuse.

The Bump:Β Here it is, probably not your typical 39 week bump. I’m totally blown away by the bumps on the other women in my obstetrician’s office. I feel very inadequate in comparison!

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Week 38: 7 July

Since week 36 I have been on weekly obstetrician appointments. This week my ob did an ultrasound of my tummy, she normally only measures fundal height with a tape measure, so it was cool to see bubs and he/she actually looked pretty cute looking right back at us sucking away.

Everything is ticking along well with my pregnancy, but much to my frustration, there is just no way to predict when bubs will arrive. I’m at the point now where I question every ache and pain as a sign of labour, but it always fizzles out to nothing. I don’t exactly want bubs to arrive early (in fact the later the better because I need all the time I can get to organise the house and nursery), but I am just on high alert all the time now. It really could happen at any time I guess. Please don’t let my waters break while I am in Coles! I don’t even look pregnant, so I’ll just look like I have wet myself in the supermarket.

Here is a photo I took of myself yesterday. You can see when I wear my normal leggings and jumpers that I don’t look pregnant at all, it’s only if I wear a tight dress that I look pregnant. My obstetrician said it’s probably to do with the body lift I had and how it affects the shape of my tummy and the way I hold baby, which all makes sense.

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Weight: I didn’t weigh myself this week because I have been in the midst of moving house and had crap everywhere. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it anyway. I am not looking forward to seeing the numbers, between the take away food we are living off while moving house, the growing baby and the swelling… numbers won’t be pleasant.

How far along: 38 god damn weeks. Good lord, I guess I am going to have a baby soon.

How big is baby: As long as a leek. It definitely feels bigger than that!

Sleep: Really not too bad lately, insomnia has worn off a little, probably due to being so bloody exhausted. The bump doesn’t bother me too much when I sleep, but I have trouble changing position or getting up to go to the toilet because my back hurts so much.

Symptoms: Would it be easier to list what I don’t have? I don’t want to go on and on, so I’ll just say the big ones.

My bloody back is still in a world of pain. I guess because baby isn’t poking out the front too much, it’s all in my back and it is aching all of the time. I can’t do anything to get comfortable. It’s enough to make me want to cry some days. I would just kill to have a bath right now.

I also have a lot of cramping (Braxton Hicks?) which I guess is my body preparing for labour. I tend to get it worse at the end of the day and it’s noticeably much worse on the days when I have really overdone it with lifting boxes, unpacking and cleaning. The last few days I have tried to slow down a bit, lucky most of the house is pretty much unpacked now.

The other thing that kicked off this week is swollen feet and ankles. I have had slight swelling in my hands and feet for the past couple of months, but nothing you could really notice. Well now my feet are twice their size and not at all comfortable. I know the photo below doesn’t look that bad, but I used to have very skinny feet and ankles (my only skinny part!). For some reason it hurts all the way up my shins too. Walking used to relieve the swelling a bit, but nothing really helps anymore.

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Best moment of this week: Where to start? There have been so many great moments this week!

  • We got to move into our house on Friday at exactly 38 weeks pregnant! There is still lots to do, but at least we are in and pretty much set up.
  • We got our car fixed (but we still have to pay the excess because the guy who hit us has done a disappearing act) and I was able to get the car seat fitted. Someone from a child safety company came out to the house and did it for me. Unfortunately baby is sitting behind my passenger seat and is really going to affect my leg room. Bloody baby ruining my life!

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  • Our cot was delivered and when I text AJ at work to tell him he was so excited he wanted to leave work early and set it up. I persuaded him to wait until that evening, I didn’t think bubs was going to arrive before then! That night AJ put it together and I supervised from the rocking chair. AJ gave me a piece to hold so it looked like I was helping, but really I was so sore and tired I could barely move. So now our little nursery is almost set up, we still have some last minute things to buy this weekend, so I’ll have photos next week.
  • I was able to wash all bubs clothes and linen and put them away in the nursery. I had been looking forward to doing this to make it seem more real. I’m sure it’ll be the last time I ever look forward to doing washing though, the novelty wore off pretty quick. I have to admit that I am not even sure what some of the clothes I have been given do or how to put them on a baby. I had to text my sister in law a few photos asking for a please explain!

 

Miss anything: Well not missing yet, but getting a bit anxious about missing my old life. I have had frequent moments wondering what the hell have I done? I had a really nice life and now everything is going to change. I am going to miss having AJ to myself, long sleep ins on the weekends, having money to splurge on the good life (restaurants, winery trips, overseas holidays, plays and musicals, new homewares, books and movies). I like my life as it is now and I don’t want to be broke, tired all the time and covered in baby vomit. I guess the good will outweigh the bad right?

Movement: Yes, still keeping me amused with frequent movement and kicking. AJ came to bed late last night and told me this morning that bubs was going crazy while I was asleep and he was cuddled into my tummy.

Food cravings: Not really, but now that I think about it, that McChicken I had last week was good. I could eat another one…

Anything making you queasy or sick: Only when I realise that I haven’t eaten for ages because I have been busy unpacking or racing around the shops and then feel like I need to eat right now or I am going to be sick. Dramatic much?

Gender: I can’t wait to find out! I still don’t have names ready, so this is going to be interesting!

How’s your mood: Pretty good because I am so grateful to be in the house and have everything almost set up. It is just so bloody lovely to be in a home again after being homeless for almost 6 months. You appreciate the little things like being able to do washing and ironing, make a cup of tea in your kitchen and get into your own bed at night. There have still been lots of little set backs and frustrations with everything that comes with setting up a brand new house, but my mantra is that the only thing that matters is that we are in the house, everything else will be OK.Β 

Looking forward to: More time pottering around the house and getting prepared for baby over the next week or so. I am basically trying to fit 9 months worth of nesting into 2 weeks!

The Bump: First bump picture in the new house. Yay! AJ took the photo and before he showed me he said “just remember that you’re 38 weeks pregnant” knowing that I would feel bad by how shitful I am looking right now. LOL.

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Lessons from Mum

Mum

My baby will never get to meet my mum, but there is still so much I want them to learn from her. We were complete opposites and so I feel like it’s such a loss for my baby that they won’t have her unique guidance in their life.

Where she was strong, I am weak. Where she was brave, I am scared. Where she was wild, I am meek. All I can do is keep my mum’s memory alive for my little baby and hope that I can impart all the wisdom and life lessons that she would have.

Here is what I know my mum would have taught her grandchild:

The importance of learning
My mum was kicked out of just about every Catholic school in Melbourne by the time she was 15 and then pregnant at 16. It’s fair to say she had a wild side! Because of her lack of education, she was adamant that us kids would have a good education. Me and my brothers were all lucky in that we did well academically at school (PE was a very different story though…). Back then we didn’t have labels for kids who struggled in school and misbehaved and most teachers just pegged them as bad or stupid kids. My mum had a great affinity with these kids and spent countless hours at the school helping them with their reading and writing. She refused to give up on any kid and never made them feel stupid because they couldn’t read. Even when they acted out, she didn’t get upset with them or judge them, her only focus was making sure that they had every opportunity to learn and that they knew they were worth the effort.

How to have a good time
Compared to my mum, I am a total stick in the mud. She was impulsive, silly and maybe a little crazy (OK, pretty crazy). She didn’t plan things, she was late for everything, she was too loud and often times a complete embarrassment to me. She just didn’t see the point in following the rules of life (as long as it didn’t hurt anyone).Β She loved nothing more than laughing hysterically until she fell into a coughing fit or wet her pants.Β When she started laughing, you would start laughing too because her laugh was just hilariously infectious… and because you knew she was going to wet her pants!

Don’t let people push you around
She didn’t put up with people pushing her around and she certainly wouldn’t tolerate it if anyone did it to her kids. I was an incredibly shy kid who was pretty much scared of my own shadow. If she ever thought I was being mistreated or missing out on anything, she would march over and sort the situation out. Many a teacher, doctor, shop assistant, extended family member or school parent would cop her wrath if they thought they could get away with pushing me around. Even when I was well into my 20’s (OK, maybe even my 30’s) she would hear about something that had upset me and try to work out how she could sort it out for me. It might make her sound overbearing, but she just hated to see people who couldn’t stand up for themselves get pushed around.

If it was important to me, it was important to her
My mum always made sure I knew that my feelings were important. Maybe it was because she really wasn’t that much older than me, she remember what it was like to be ignored or not heard because you were just a kid. Our family didn’t have much when we were growing up, but if I really wanted something, even if it was frivolous like an ice cream cake for my birthday or 90210 pjs or a fluro ski headband (WTF was I thinking?), she would move heaven and earth to make sure I didn’t miss out. Often to my poor dad’s frustration who then had to find the money for these treats! I wrote more about it here at my old blog all the way back in 2008. She would stay up late sewing clothes so I had something to wear to the school disco and wouldn’t be teased. She paid attention when I said I didn’t want to go to sports day and be humiliated. She would drop me off in town to hang out and spy on my crush, even though we had no money for petrol. In hindsight I can see that none of these things really matter, but they mattered to me at the time, so she made sure it was important to her too.

Being different is OK
She was different to the other mum’s in our very small country town and she was judged quite harshly by a lot of people. She swore, she smoked, she didn’t go to church, she wore pyjamas all day, she laughed too loud, she made dirty jokes, she dyed her hair crazy colours and she wore big jewellery. That might not sound crazy, but back then in our little country town it was outlandish behaviour. She didn’t change who she was though because other people didn’t like it. Not even slightly. If people didn’t like her the way she was, then she simply didn’t want to be around them. It was their problem, not hers.

Being a mum is an important job
She loved being a mum, it was all she ever wanted to do (and be a grandparent). She thought kids were important and raising them was a privilege. She never acted like she needed more or that being our mum was a let down. Even when I would snottily make it clear that I was going to be a career woman, she didn’t mind my attitude and just said she would gladly look after my kids so I could go and have a career. She saw value in her role in the world and wouldn’t let anyone take that away from her.

Maybe that last lesson is more for me than my baby. As I am about to become a mum, I want my kid to know how much I will treasure that role, even if I am not perfect, I will be doing my best. Just like my mum.

Me and mum

Week 37: 30 June

I decided to make AJ a little present for being such a good support, working so hard and putting up with my moodiness while I have been pregnant. So I got him some ‘new dad’ supplies for the hospital and after baby arrives.

Present

– Sleepwear: new pjs and slippers for the hospital, the midwives made it clear they don’t want to see any naked men in your room!
– Penfolds Father Port: we bought the Grandfather Port for my dad when my niece was being born, so I bought the Father one for AJ
– Books: a book to read to the baby and a silly dad joke book (because he already loves to tell terrible jokes)
– Puzzle: a little game to keep him occupied at the hospital
– All his favourite choccies: to keep us both going during labour (you can see he loves white chocolate and Snickers)

It is so hard shopping for men!

I had also wanted to get him a cute onesie for the baby with something like “I love dad” but everything I found was a bit tacky or over-priced. Maybe I’ll find something like that for father’s day in September instead.

I haven’t given it to him yet, maybe on the first night in our new home. πŸ™‚

Weight: Holy shit! I gained almost 2.5 kilos this week. I have definitely been indulging my sweet tooth a little more than usual, but not that much. I can only think that it must be from fluid as my feet and legs are all puffy.
This week:
92.8 kilos (204.1 lbs)
Up:
2.3 kilos (5 lbs)
Total pregnancy gain:
12.8 kilos (28.1 lbs)

How far along: 37 weeks, which means I am officially at full term (babies between 37-42 weeks are considered full term). Baby better stay in there for another few weeks, I have a house to unpack!

How big is baby: About as long as a stalk of rainbow chard, Seriously, WTF is that?

Sleep: It’s hit and miss, some nights are OK and others are a struggle. No big deal because I can sleep in late or have an afternoon nap if I am exhausted. I better enjoy that luxury while I can!

Symptoms: Oh my aching back. It hurts all the time and I just can’t get comfortable. I sit, then I stand, then I lay down, then I change sides and I still can’t find a way to be comfortable. Nothing helps.

Best moment of this week:Β Getting all of our stuff moved into our new townhouse. WOO HOO! We were able to have our movers deliver everything on Monday, but we still can’t get the keys until the occupancy certificate comes through from the council, which is hopefully Friday 7th July (I’ll be 38 weeks pregnant). The builder let me in on Tuesday and I spent the day unpacking the kitchen. It was so exciting, but so ridiculously exhausting too. I can see now why everyone told me that I shouldn’t do it on my own. You just forget how hard it is to do normal tasks when you are 37.5 weeks pregnant. By Tuesday night I was in a world of pain. Lucky I couldn’t get on site Wednesday so I was able to have an enforced break.

Here is a little sneak peak of the new place. More photos to come when I get a bit better set up!

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Miss anything: Having clothes that fit properly. It has been so ridiculously cold this week and none of my clothes fit me, so I am always under dressed and freezing. People say that being pregnant in summer is hard, but at least in summer you can wear a stretchy little dress and sandals. In winter I am trying to squeeze myself into stockings, boots, dresses and jackets and it is not comfortable at all.

I have tried to buy maternity pants, but every pair I have bought just fall off me. I think my bump isn’t big enough to hold them on, so they end up dagging around my knees. I had one pair that worked as long as I had a belt, but I have grown out of the belt now, so they don’t work. I bought maternity tights and they roll down too, but my regular tights are too small. The only thing that is comfortable is my big old nightie. Maybe I should just stay in bed.

Movement: Yes, baby is still doing gymnastics and likes to really kick into my right ribcage. Cheeky monkey.

Food cravings: I really felt like a McChicken meal this week and I had one Tuesday night and it totally hit the spot. I almost went back and got another one, but then I remembered the 2.3 kilos I had gained and decided against it…

Anything making you queasy or sick: Just healthy food. I never want to see another bowl of brown rice, broccoli and tuna as long as I live.

Gender: Ummm I still don’t know. I thought we had names sorted out either way, but I am freaking out that I am not really settled on our name choices. I really can’t think of any boys names, all the names I like are a little too popular and I wanted something a bit more unique. I know people say that you can wait until you meet your baby and it makes it easier, but I don’t want to make a decision when I am tired and emotional… anything could happen. Eeeek, I’m really starting to think this baby will be nameless for a while.

AJ and I were brainstorming names on Sunday afternoon and decided to make a baby out of a rice bubbles box and test out names on it. Well strangely enough, it actually worked, a few names that were on the shortlist felt really dumb when we said them out loud to the rice bubbles box. I’d say “here AJ, can you hold XXXXXXX while I put the kettle on” and some names just did not work for us at all.

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How’s your mood: The usual ups and downs. I’m excited about the house, but sometimes it feels like one step forward and two steps back when things keep going wrong. It sends me into panic mode, and when I get anxious, I get snappy. Plus, I get a little grumpy when it feels like my whole body is hurting and I haven’t had enough sleep. Poor AJ, no wonder I have to buy him presents to put up with me.

Looking forward to: A spa day with my BFF from high school on Saturday. I haven’t had a single massage this whole pregnancy and I just can’t wait. I really need it this week. The baby better not come before I have had my massage or I will be very upset!

The Bump: Here is it! Hopefully next week I’ll be taking my bump picture from my new house!

I had an exciting moment this week when, for the first time ever, a stranger made a comment about me being pregnant. I was in the elevator at my hotel on Saturday night and wearing my most pregnant looking dress and the other person in there said “I was going to ask if you had a big night out planned, but then I saw… (points to my stomach)”.

I could have cried with happiness. Someone finally realised I was pregnant. The last few weeks in particular I have had to tell a lot of people (hairdresser, eyebrow waxer, house movers, builders, staff at the hotel, uber driver etc.) and they are always so surprised, especially when they ask how far along I am and hear that I am almost full term. It is getting beyond embarrassing.

I know a lot of people have the opposite problem with strangers always making intrusive comments and asking questions, but I haven’t had anyone do that to me at all. When I do tell people I am pregnant, it’s always really nice when they ask lots of questions, it makes it all fell more exciting and real.

I had lunch with a friend today who has had similar weight issues as me and she said it was exactly the same for her when she was pregnant with her daughter and that it feels like she missed out on the pregnancy experience. It was nice to hear someone acknowledge and understand how I feel because I feel like I am the only one. I know there are way more important things to worry about, like a healthy bub, but it has sucked a bit.

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