Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Second Trimester Update - Weeks 13 - 18

As I write this I'm currently 19 weeks pregnant. I don't have any diary entries since the 12 weeks scan.
The days following the scan were a blur of telling people, excitement and then soothing injured feelings as some people didn't get to tell the people they wanted to because others had got there first... Let's keep the important thing in mind, here, okay folks? I'm having a baby - it's a happy occasion....
I still haven't been feeling any sickness. I get tired more easily and out of breath more quickly. I haven't had any cravings.
I've managed to put off buying a pregnancy pillow - still not entirely convinced it'd be worth the money - and been making do with two extra pillows. I'm getting used to the pillows but finding it a real struggle to sleep on my left side. I'm a 'front-sleeper' by habit although that hasn't been possible since about 7 weeks as it was uncomfortable on my growing bump. Some nights are okay but other nights my shoulder is in agony and it's now getting more difficult to move about in bed.
Last week we had a major scare as Cillian developed GI stasis - the very thing that killed Pancho. He seems to be doing fine now, but he's still on medication.
I hadn't been feeling like I was looking pregnant - more like I'd been at the mince pies early - but now I'm uploading the pictures I realise my bump is definitely looking like a baby bump!
Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17

Week 18

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

12 week scan

Waiting for the 12 week scan was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. We were excited to see the baby for the first time but terrified that there wouldn't be a heartbeat.
My appointment letter said to drink a 'large glass of liquid' one hour before the appointment. Now a 'large glass' is pretty subjective - to me that means a pint, and I knew that if I downed an entire pint of water I was going to be distinctly uncomfortable by the time the scan came round. As it was I drank just over half a pint of water and was still very uncomfortable.
The outpatient clinic - running both antenatal and obs and gynae clinics - was surprisingly quiet. As it was I overestimated how much time it would take for us to drive to Newport, park and then walk to St Mary's hospital. My full bladder protested somewhat at the short walk but we ended up arriving 40 minutes before our appointment.
 We headed into the room and the sonographer set me up with the jelly - which was surprisingly warm. I caught the barest glimpse of a baby-shaped being before she announced that my bladder was 'far too full'. She told me to go next door and to take a urine sample while I was there. Then she handed me a pot with a circumference only slightly larger than a test tube.
"You're going to need good aim," she advised.
I didn't empty my bladder, thinking that the letter wouldn't have advised to drink something if a completely empty bladder was acceptable. So I went back in and off we went with the jelly again.
"Your bladder is still far too full," she said immediately. "Do you have trouble emptying it completely?"
"Only since I became pregnant," I replied.
"Well, we can still do the scan. The pictures just won't be good."
And then we got to see our baby - she spent several minutes pointing out various body parts before finally confirming there was a heartbeat. I don't think SBB and I breathed or took in a single word until she did. It was only after she pointed out the heartbeat that the baby finally moved and it was gloriously active.
SBB and I left with 3 photos and walked on air for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Painting the nursery

I know this may seem a little premature as we haven't had the scan yet but it was a job that had been on the cards for a while.
Years ago when we moved in we painted the back bedroom a lovely apricot, thinking that it was a gender neutral colour that would suit whatever type of nursery we eventually ended up with. The colour was fine and in fact I think we would have kept it if not for one crucial problem; the texture was awful. Every time I reached in to turn on the light and missed, it was like running my fingertips over a blackboard *shudders*. SBB agreed and so it had to go.
We have a bit of a condensation problem in our house. The exterior walls are freezing - SBB is thinking about taking down the exterior brickwork and fitting some insulating board - but until that happens I've done some research into thermal paint additive. As we needed to redo the back bedroom it presented a perfect opportunity to experiment.



I bought some Thermalmix paint additive, the instructions for which said it leaves a slight texture to the paint when dry - which, given the fact that we were repainting due to a texture problem, was a bit of a red flag. However, it also said that the thermal properties were still effective under a coat of normal emulsion. Perfect.
We went to B&Q picked up some basic white paint to mix it in to and also picked up some coloured emulsion for the top coat. We picked 'Custard Cream' - sounds deliciously edible and is such a lovely colour. There was only one pot on the shelf so I snagged it and carried it around the store, jealously guarding it.

I mixed the Thermalmix into the white paint - people on the reviews had suggested using a drill attachment to mix it but I did it by hand and it was surprisingly easy. I'm not sure if it was the additive or the paint already on the walls, but my 5 litre tub of white paint only just managed to cover the two walls - considering it was supposed to cover about 20 square metres - and you're supposed to do two coats - it was a little surprising and I had expected it to go further without watering it down.
When I'd painted one wall with two coats I tested the temperature and I thought the one painted with Thermalmix felt warmer. SBB wasn't convinced, but we'll see.

I painted the two exterior walls with a slight overlap on the interior walls to make sure the corners stay warmer and condensation free.

I painted them over two evenings and then tackled the top coat over the weekend.


The long exterior wall (the one without the window) didn't need to be painted with emulsion as I plan to paint a woodland mural on it. I've not settled on a design yet but I've been looking around the internet for inspiration.

Now that room's done I'm planning on tackling our bedroom and the living room - but as we're going to have to ensure everything at the flat's finished first I'm not sure if I'll get round to it before the baby arrives.
However, I picked up a paint chart in B&Q which has got me thinking about new colours....

Saturday, 31 October 2015

First Trimester Update

I'd always thought that I'd be prompt with writing first trimester updates for each week... but they seemed to have slipped by and here I sit, at the end of my first trimester, having only written the announcement a couple of days ago. I've taken entries from my diary for each week.

7 weeks

We found out we were pregnant at 6 + 5 weeks and I phoned up my GP surgery on the Monday morning to make an appointment. The receptionist told me that the GP was a trainee - 'That's okay,' I thought, 'I only need them to make a referral, they're bound to know that much.'
Oh ho ho! If only I'd known...
I downed a load of water before we went in and then kept sipping from a bottle while we waited - expecting to take a pregnancy test when we saw the GP.
While I was expecting a rather young GP I wasn't expecting to see someone that looked disheveled and confused, like the bloke in the Student Union laundry room who has suddenly realised he is away from home (and his mother), with no idea how to look after himself much less operate one of the many machines staring back at him with intent expectation.

"I need a referral for antenatal care," I said.

Blank look.

"I took two pregnancy tests at the weekend and they were positive," I added.

Again, a blank look, shortly followed by mild panic, then; "First pregnancy?"




"Right. I'm not actually sure how to do a referral. I'll have to ask a colleague."

So, he makes a phone call and disappears. We both burst out laughing. He was gone so long I was beginning to wonder how complicated the procedure was. When he came back I noticed his shoe was untied. He told me that I needed to collect a form from reception and then spent several minutes trying to work out how to enter me onto the system. Eventually he put me on, twice, and then turned to me.

"Are you taking folic acid?"
"Okay... Are you taking anything else?"
"Calcium with added vitamin D."
"Right... Do you smoke?"
"Drink alcohol?"
"Um, okay... That's pretty much it... You can go."

The appointment was much shorter than I'd thought it would be, in fact, the only reason it lasted as long as it did was because he had no idea what he was doing.
So we went to the reception. There was a woman at the desk asking several questions about repeat prescriptions, appointments for someone else and changing personal details. By the time she'd finished a queue had formed behind us, including someone that works with my Dad. I hid my face and hoped he wouldn't recognise me.
The form I was supposed to collect turned out to actually be a scrap of paper on which I wrote down some personal details. The receptionist told me that the community midwife would be by to collect my scrap of paper from where it was randomly inserted into a notebook with other bits of scrap paper. The process didn't entirely fill me with confidence.
The receptionist then gave me a sticker with the community midwives' numbers on - attached to another scrap of paper. So we've been through the referral process and are still not actually sure how it works. We'd said that everything would feel more real after our appointment but actually it doesn't and we're more confused than ever before.

Week 8

As it happens the midwife hasn't rung us in time about our appointment because we're in Crete! I've left messages with one of the community midwives and hope she'll pass on the message to the right ones but I'm not sure what to expect when we get back. My bump is already starting to show - it's still quite small at the moment so we're sort of hoping that my parents will just think I've put on a little weight. We're also hoping that I don't suddenly start to get morning sickness as that could be a bit of a giveaway. Luckily the weather's not too hot so I'm not wilting but I've only brought one bra - the only bra that's the correct size after all the weight I've lost - only to discover I'm starting to outgrow it! I've also discovered that it's not supportive enough - nor is the bikini top that I bought. The roads here are so rough and my breasts are so sore. Luckily, though, that seems to be my only symptom so far!
Obviously I'm also very conscious of what I should be eating, which is a little difficult in a foreign country, and I'm trying not to be too obvious in front of my parents.

Week 9

Back home again and with our little fur-baby. We really missed him while we were away and I don't see us leaving him again any time soon. I tried not to think about it too much but as we got closer to England my paranoia that something had happened - that he'd gotten ill and passed away and that I wasn't there when he needed me - almost had me in tears several times. We'd only just left the airport when I insisted SBB text his mum to check everything was okay and to confirm when we'd be there to pick Cillian up. 
When I turned on my phone I had a message from the community midwife asking me to call for an appointment so I phoned the day after we got back. Luckily they had a free slot that morning so two hours after I made the phone call SBB and I were at the children's centre, waiting to go into our appointment.
I think the receptionist was pleasantly surprised that we were so polite and normal - the same of the midwife and healthcare assistant that was with her.
Obviously there were a lot of questions to be answered but I have to say I found some a little insulting, e.g. the questions about whether I felt safe at home and whether SBB had a criminal background - I understand they have to ask these things for the safety of the child but the questions were one-sided and it's not just men who can prove a danger to a child. In the name of equality I would have hoped that they would ask the men the same questions. Neither issues are problems for us so it didn't really occur to us to be offended at the time but afterwards SBB admitted he felt almost like a spare part, that his input didn't really matter as it wasn't also his child. I'm disappointed that the denial of 'father's rights' starts so early on in the process.
The fact is we are a happily married couple who made a considered and joint decision to have a baby, we have planned and prepared for years and then at our first midwife appointment we get asked if there's anything about my husband's behaviour/lifestyle that should be a concern. I was obviously asked the important health-related questions but wasn't treated to the same level of mistrust.
They had to take some bloods - but didn't take a urine sample or check my weight and height - but apparently my veins were being 'difficult' and it took four attempts to get all the blood they needed. My inner arms were a bit of a mess afterwards. The midwife and healthcare assistant were surprised how difficult it was to get the samples and were also astounded that I don't drink and that I haven't told my parents about the pregnancy yet.

Week 10

The date for our scan arrived today - it's not for another 3 weeks! We'll need to keep busy.
We've both got an early case of 'nesting' and did a massive clear out of the back bedroom, the conservatory and the flat.
I've been concerned about not having many pregnancy symptoms. I'm showing a little bit - I've had to stop wearing a belt with my jeans - but I haven't had any sickness other than feeling a little nauseous after eating during the day the week after we found out. I've been tired but not overly so. I've been emotional but only because I have good cause to be. I haven't had any cravings. My breasts are growing and are still quite tender and I'm getting up at least once a night to go to the bathroom.

Week 11

Heartburn has made a reappearance - usually after lunch and around 4pm when I'm starting to get hungry again. I've been going to the bathroom every hour during the day and getting up about twice a night. I've also been feeling constipated and my breasts are getting massive and are still tender. SBB measured my belly last night and it has grown an 1 1/4 inches in a week. This sounds like I'm moaning - I'm really not. I'm glad of the symptoms. I got really worried that I hadn't had morning sickness as if you have it, it's supposed to be a sign of a healthy pregnancy (so mine ISN'T healthy?!) but apparently there's only a 50/50 chance it will happen with each pregnancy - and some women will experience it with some pregnancies and not with others. Personally, I haven't found the over-emphasis on morning sickness very helpful and it has led to hours of needless worry and stress.
The scan is still over a week away - 10 days - which is SO FAR AWAY. I've been thinking about our announcement to our parents. I can see it so clearly that I'm terrified the scan will reveal something's wrong. 

12 weeks

This week has brought headaches, which paracetamol doesn't touch. I've also been falling asleep after dinner and sleeping badly when I do go to bed, so this week I am tired. I've already bought some maternity trousers and am so much more comfortable. Our scan isn't until next week - we're counting down the days. I told SBB that I thought this wait is worse than the two week wait to take a pregnancy test - he didn't agree, but I think that the results of this wait are much more serious.
We'll be 13 weeks pregnant on the day of our scan - that is, if the dates are correct. I've got a day-by-day pregnancy book that we've been reading every night. The scan could show us to be days or weeks behind where we think we are so we could have to go back through a few pages.
Now, we've just got to wait - I'm feeling so impatient! - and pray that everything goes okay. I did see on Youtube some videos from a lady who discovered at her 12 week scan she'd lost the baby at 6 weeks. She did then go on to get pregnant again a couple of months later but her video about her scan day has stuck with me and I'm starting to get anxious.

Sunday, 25 October 2015


After the devastation of losing Pancho in August it's pretty safe to say that TTC was about the furthest thing from our minds so we expected it to be a 'dud' month.

[ This is a post about pregnancy stuff so if you'd rather skip it and wait for a DIY post (I promise one will be coming soon!) I won't be offended.]

My cycles had evened out to 33 days but the July's had been 40 days - bearing this in mind we waited until the 40 day cycle would have been a week late (47 days) which took us into September. After the 40 day mark passed we took bets on when my 'lady time' (as SBB calls it, and I think sounds rather elegant) would arrive. He thought day 43 and I guessed 45. I'd been cramping on and off for a few days - i.e. I would cramp on and off throughout the day, then nothing the next day and then it would all happen again - so we were utterly convinced that my 'lady time' would either turn up spectacularly late or I'd have to go and see my GP. Both our bets passed without anything happening and I was sure that the stress was just making me late.

So on the Saturday (one week late for a 40 day cycle, two weeks late for 33 days) I took a test. SBB was getting ready to go to work and we were chatting while he was in the shower. After he got out I dipped the test into the cup and set it on some tissue. He teased me about holding it in for the 'longest 10 seconds [he]'d ever seen' as I washed my hands and he joked about me needing to watch the clock next time as I had probably mucked up the test.

"Not that you're pregnant anyway," he said.

I rolled my eyes, chuckling ruefully, lent over to check the time and happened to glance at the test, expecting to only see the control line as I had oh-so-many times before.

Two lines.

I gasped, putting both hands over my mouth and SBB got up to look. I'm pretty sure I immediately burst into happy laughing tears and SBB, smiling, hugged me. I think I clung to him, sobbing in sheer disbelief and bewildered happiness.

I had to keep checking the test to make sure there were two lines, that I hadn't imagined it. I hadn't and there they were, no matter how many times I came back to check them. SBB reluctantly left for work and I sat on the sofa, beaming and a little dazed.

I was just under 7 weeks pregnant.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Afternoon walks - June and July

A bit tardy, but I've taken the October photos so I need to share these first!

June photos:

July photos:

Monday, 28 September 2015

Ooh you stud(ded jumper)

A while ago I had a bit of a case of jumper envy while watching Ellie Mecham's channel. It's a pale mint green/turquoise jumper with stud on the arms. I tried to get a screen shot but couldn't seem to time it right so ended up with a few un-flattering pictures. Out of respect for Ellie I'm not going to show them - so I'll just direct you to her 14 week pregnancy update to see the original.

I had the thought at the back of my head for a few weeks but couldn't find a jumper of a similar colour so had pretty much shelved the idea until one evening SBB and I were in Newport to collect a healthy and nutritious meal (*cough*McDonalds*cough*) and I saw a suitable jumper in the window of Oxfam. By that time Oxfam was closed so I went back the next day. It was no longer in the window but it was still there and in my size! Obviously meant to be...

I bought some iron-on studs from eBay and on a Saturday while SBB was watching football I set to work.
My materials:
  • Jumper
  • 100 iron-on studs
  • Iron
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Folded cardboard


I used the greaseproof paper between the studs and the iron - just in case any glue leaked out - and the folded cardboard I put inside the arm to prevent the material sticking together. I have a thing about finding patterns in things - knots in wood, freckles etc - so I wanted the studs to be as random as possible. It took a little while to get the timing right for the glue to stick but I got there eventually. I'd split up the studs so that it was 50 per arm - 25 for each side - but ended up with a few left over.

SBB eventually wandered in and looked over my shoulder.

"Don't say it," I warned, seeing the look on his face. "Whatever you're going to say about my jumper... just don't."

"I wasn't going to say anything," he said blithely. "If you want to look like rhinestone cowboy that's your business."

Thanks, honey.

When it was finished I asked him to take a couple of photos of me wearing it and discovered that he really sucks at taking blog photos. He took a few - initially of himself because he'd managed to switch it to the front camera (bless!) - but they all came out blurry. Every. Single. One. (sigh)

But here it is, the finished article. Not bad for £3!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Taking a detour

SBB wants to buy a new car. I'm completely fine with it and don't really have a preference. He wanted to go driving at the weekend to find out if anywhere on the Island has the one he wants (some kind of BMW - I don't really know which one. A car's a car as far as I'm concerned!)
We were in Newport when he decided he wanted to go looking and wanted to head out to Rookley to the place where he'd bought his first car. From where we were he just had to head down through Carisbrooke high street and turn right.
He did not.
Instead he headed out towards Shorwell - hoping there'd be a left turn towards Chillerton.
There was not.
We ended up heading out almost to Brighstone and then a large circular route through Blackgang. It was a random detour, but at least there was some lovely scenery.