Friday, 17 June 2011

Sitting Duck

I turned on my laptop this morning and the first thing that popped up was a reminder for tomorrow I set 6 months ago

"18th June Baby Due"

In hindsight it probably wasn't necessary to set a reminder, its not something you can forget, especially with a bump this size, which by the way you don't get used to, i added yet another scratch to my bump using a kitchen drawer today, i forget it sticks out a good few inches from the rest of my body.

In official terms i am 24hrs away from my due date, unofficially i cant see this little one making an appearance on time, if this baby is anything like its mummy it will be fashionably late! The feeling of waiting for a baby to arrive is very strange, its entirely out of your control as to when and where, but it hasn't stopped me going out yet  (i hear if your waters break in John Lewis you get gift vouchers, and in Tesco you get a years supply of nappies, so i may just spend tomorrow going from one store to the other!)

I have made food related attempts to bring on labour (hot thai green curry/raspberry leaf tea) as well as making sure i keep moving about, i have also showed the bump around its gorgeous new bedroom in an attempt to entice it out (at this point i am past caring that i sound and look like a crazy person, i walk like one so i might as well go the whole hog) so i tell the amazing little alien kicking about inside my overly stretched stomach everyday how excited everyone is to meet it, but still no movement, its been suggested my sweet tooth  (which has spiralled out of control, yesterday i fancied Mr Kipling jam tarts, but this week has also seen me eat Battenburg, chocolate fudge cake and homemade scones) may be encouraging the little one to stay put, its cozy, warm and VERY well fed, who would want to vacate??

Speaking on eating habits, they inevitably lead to me thinking about / moaning about weight gain. I have been relatively lucky in the past with my metabolism allowing me to indulge more than occasionally and staying at roughly the same weight, i fear i am about to get the shock of my life.
I wont divulge exactly how much i weight i have gained (i may do post birth) am not that brave yet, but what i will say is i feel an urgency to lose it, for reasons of vanity, sanity and wardrobe of course Ive heard every possible piece of advice on this matter, the most frequent one being that I shouldn't be worrying about my weight, i should be concentrating on the baby, well of course i plan to concentrate on the baby, i have just spent the last 9 months growing a mammoth bump in which to house it, planning and preparing for its every need and worrying every time i don't feel regular kicks, i merely intend to eat more healthily, cut out the refined sugar (bye bye Battenburg, au revoiur Mr Kipling) and exercise as much as possible.

Now before those in the know (yes you, mummies) laugh at my naive ramblings, i know these good intentions aren't going to become a reality straight away, sleep deprivation and the general whirlwind of having a new baby will put paid to that, but i don't see the harm in making my future intentions known, i believe its known as Positive Mental Attitude!

I am off to spend day 10 of Maternity leave padding around the house, cleaning, occasionally flinching from Braxton Hicks, chatting to the bump and making the most of the time i have left on my own with unlimited access to refined sugar

I will keep you posted


Monday, 13 June 2011

Crib Sheet

It took about 7 months, but eventually i saw the domino effect of my pregnancy that I am told all pregnant women notice, and all of a sudden lots of women around me announced they were pregnant, there is something quite special about sharing baby news when you`re expecting yourself.

I have been asked by one friend to compile a crib sheet of pregnancy style essentials, while putting this together it naturally expanded into all the items that actually helped me through my pregnancy, food, cosmetics etc and i think they are worth a mention too, mainly because i have been told i will forget all of these details as soon as the baby arrives.

Like i have said before, i jumped into pregnancy suitable clothing very early, comfort has always been a big factor in my day to day wardrobe ( i know, i know, as someone who works in fashion this is a sin to admit to) but its true. I also put a lot of weight on early days, which rendered a huge portion of my wardrobe useless, the first casualties were my jeans and trousers, i didn't purchase any maternity jeans, my feelings on this decision in hindsight?? a possible mistake, although in my defence the only Maternity jeans i wanted were J Brand, a big expense and my thighs and bottom are much bigger than pre pregnancy, so buying my own size jeans in a maternity style would have meant they wound up being too small,  but i could have bought a pair in the correct size at 5 1/2 - 6 months, or got off my high horse and bought a pair from Topshop Maternity.

Vanity led me to avoid leggings as much as possible during my pregnancy, i can count on 2 hands the total amount of time i wore them (in public) my legs have never been my best feature and pregnancy hasn't helped this, so they wont feature on my personal crib sheet, although had the latter stages of my pregnancy been in winter, rather than spring this may have been different, as black pregnancy leggings layered up with long jersey / knitwear and my Acne boots may have been a good look, the way my pregnancy fell meant i didn't need to buy a pregnancy suitable coat, but i will be keeping a close eye on my fellow bump carriers choices, my money is on wrap styles.

Over the past few weeks my wardrobe has been squashed down to a capsule of approximately 6-8 pieces, i should frame them but all i want to do is burn them on a bonfire, am so sick of wearing them!

This isnt the definitive list, and i imagine i will add to this but my essentials included
  • Alexander Wang T or Topshop black jersey maxi dresses worn with Topshop grey jersey cropped ribbed long sleeve top and cropped Day Birger et Mikkelsen leather jacket layered over, good for covering my arms, as well as balancing out my changing shape.
  • Falke black tights, after month 6 you will need pregnancy tights for comfort
  • Beige food. This started out as a joke, that i craved only beige food (potato cakes/croissants/sui mai) and may have contributed to my weight gain, but boy did they stave off the hunger pangs and nausea
  • The Body Shop coconut cream, not only is the smell incredible, like beach holidays which conjure up happy thoughts, but its meant my bump is very smooth and soft ( i also have no stretch marks, but this could be luck / good genes) 
  • Dream Genie pillow, i cant say enough about the wonders of this curved pillow, one problem? i may never stop using it!
  • Pedicures. Not a luxury, but an essential as i cant physically paint my toe nails myself. And the heavier i have become the more necessary it is to look after my tootsies, they are after all taking the brunt of the extra weight. 
  • H&M Mama maternity black stretch vests. Dont ask why, just buy at least 2 of these, you wont be sorry.
  • Bloch Ballet pumps, a lifesaver now that my feet are officially a size bigger, the scrunched elastic detail stretches to accommodate my poor swelled feet
  • H&M (elasticated back) tapered cuffed ankle trousers in black and khaki, these trousers looked great with my ankle boots (pre swelling) sandals on warm days and even heels on brave nights, they have been my saviour, and worn more times than i can count. i owe them big time.
  • M&S Brazilian lace trimmed knickers. for when the bump gets big and only low rise knickers can be worn as anything else roll down to create a hula hoop effect around your bottom, these are comfortable, reasonably priced, and quite nice looking, unlike most maternity items, i also bought all of my maternity bras in M&S, i bought only a couple each time (one white/one black), as you grow out of them very quickly and have to replace them.
  • Cotton Pyjamas with an Aline adjustable strap top and elastic seam under the bust....i was given a pair that should be issued to all pregnant women, as they are so perfect in shape and flattering on the bump (even now)
Looking over this i have realised how very low maintenance my pregnancy has been and how little i have wasted on a maternity wardrobe (there are other things i have bought that didn't feature on this list, as i could have lived without them, but nothing bank breaking) am surprised, and a little disappointed at myself, i know the boyfriend was bracing himself for diva behaviour that never surfaced, i feel like i have let the side down!

I have been advised to purchase plenty of nice pyjamas and lounge wear, as visitors come thick and fast post baby, and i will still be a chub rock (the boyfriends words, not mine) and will want to feel nice,  this is my "couch task" for the next few days, God Bless the Internet

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I want to hear the best bits

I was given a piece of advice at the beginning of my pregnancy that rightly or wrongly i ignored, the advice was "don't read any of the books" I was given all the books i have, so one excuse i have is that i didn't actively go out and purchase them, and to be fair the first few months of my pregnancy i devoured them, most of them have a week by week account of what to expect, including side effects, and regardless of how many nieces / nephews i have (7) how many of my friends that have children (the majority) i have never actually lived daily through someones pregnancy so 99% of the information was news to me. I also joined who send you a weekly update detailing approximate size & weight of your
baby (with lots of vegetable comparisons) and what developmental stage your unborn is at, which i loved,

I don't ever comment or ask questions on the online forums but there were occasions i looked through other discussions of other mum-to-be and found useful answers (much to the amusement of my elder relatives who scoff at the thought of using the internet to find answers to pregnancy or medical related questions...."what did we do before the internet????" they say, i have genuinely NO idea, lie awake worrying? ask a neighbour?
I do have concerns the information available online can fuel some womens fears, especially those with even slight hypochondriac tendencies and have warned a newly pregnant friend to avoid Google to avoid any irrational worrying, your midwife is there for any questions you have, at my Hospital they encouraged you to call them should we be worried, as its better safe than sorry.

So this is were i am at, books read, almost everything prepared, Braxton Hicks kicking in every night (for those unfamiliar with the term these are pains downstairs brought on by my uterus contracting in preparation for labour, which i have to be truthful feel like mini lightening bolts where the sun don't shine) and Edema (more commonly known as swelling / water retention) in full force on every limb, putting a cup of tea down on the patio yesterday i was told i looked like an Olympic weight lifting champion, on the bright side at least i am of Olympic standard, heaven forbid i just look like a weight lifter!

But I have a complaint to make, I am now 10 away from my due date, and on day 3 of official Maternity leave, which feels a bit like a holiday, but with a hint of guilt attached (cleaning eases the guilt, and they say cleanliness is close to godliness, which makes me practically angelic these days, my friend insinuated last week my oven was far too clean to be used regularly, in my new role as a stepford wife i took this as a huge compliment) my complaint is that i have heard, read about and lived through the negative side to pregnancy, i am having to remind myself there is soon to be a little bundle of wonder less to make it all worth while.

I can list the negatives related to having a baby off by heart, starting with the below...

* Weight gain ( and never regaining pre baby figure)
* Pain
* Lack of sleep (pre and post baby)
* Strained relationships
* Career implications
* Impossible life juggling

Am i being naive but are things really going to be that bad? does the good not out weigh the bad? I have read so many articles about "Women who want it all" those who dare to juggle motherhood and home life with a career, and dare i suggest it, a life of their own, and rarely do the stories i read have a happy ending, am pretty sure daytime television watching and Daily Mail online reading has accelerated these feelings but I am  worried sick i am hurtling towards becoming a a bitter, overweight, neurotic, Jeremy Kyle watching, Loose Women quoting elasticated waistband wearing slummy mummy....and i havent even had the baby yet...I need some warm fuzzy thoughts sent my way, pronto.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Scone Eating Contest

So baby is facing the right way thanks to Dr I and we have completed the NCT / Antenatal course. Hospital visits have been frequent this week, Doc took a preventative step by giving me a cervical suture to keep baba in place back in January, and it was time for this to be removed, I was given Gas & Air, which gave me a little taster of what to expect, i can only liken the feeling to very short term intoxication, which passes pretty much as soon as you stop inhaling, and then we have been on several foetal monitors to check our little one is happy and comfortable  (which it seems he/she is, having kicked like a kung fu fighter through my pregnancy the midwife had said the movements should stay strong and frequent, baby may have less room but this doesn't restrict baby from wriggling)

This weekend it was time for the Scone Eating contest, some may call this my baby shower, but i felt slightly diva-ish calling it that, Scone Eating contest sounded much more relaxed, not to mention tasty.
Thrown by my lovely Mum and sisters it involved my closest friends and female members of my family joining me to dig into a wonderful spread....including plenty of Joan`s now legendary scones (weighed down by a ton of strawberries, jam & clotted cream...I think i may have taken the prize for eating the most scones, although i has STIFF competition, you know you are!!)
Baby showers may be an idea we Brits have stolen from American movies, but i think having a girlie pre-baby gathering is a brilliant idea, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with my friends (those with children are known as the Mummy Council, i tried my best not to bore them with too many quick fire baby questions) the whole day was lovely, very civilised (one of my dearest friends arrived clutching 2 home made Lemon drizzle cakes, which made me giggle, until recently the only thing she would have brought to a party was a large bottle of chilled Sauvignon and taxi fare home, how times change?) And yes, i received some incredibly generous presents, lots of teeny tiny white things, which are now hanging on teeny tiny white hangers in babies wardrobe, which i keep sneaking a little look into, just to check they look as cute as i remember.

It was time for my final Hypnobirthing sessions this weekend, boyfriend joined in on one session, my "Guru" thinks its a good idea for him to see exactly how the process works, so i don't freak him out attempting to self hypnose during my early labour, thankfully he is very open minded so plonked him self on the couch next to me, shut his eyes and listened. I think he relaxed a little much, about 20 minutes in, prompted by the light snoring i could hear, i had to stop the session to check he was still awake!! Although when tested on what had been said he passed with flying colours...i stand corrected.
Boyfriend wasn't invited to the final session as this involved talking me through the final stages of labour, the baby working its way down the birth canal, the language used is very flowery and not at all graphic, but i felt it wasn't necessary for him to hear the actual visualisations, he is open minded but there are limits.

Now i am repeatedly told Labour strips you of your modesty, but we have already made the decision by mutual agreement that during my labour as the the midwife will be down the business end he will stay up by my head.....or as football fans in Liverpool call it, the Gwladys Street or Kop End.