100 days to go - diary and pen - the bump diaries - week 25

Week 25 – 100 days to go

This week is a huge milestone as it is only 100 days until my due date and has been a hectic week of appointments too!

I am not sure how pregnant ladies with a full time job manage all these appointments – this week I have had four different pregnancy related appointments! As I am quite flexible I’m always honest when they are giving me appointments so that they can save the beginning or end of the day appointments for those who need them the most – plus I can waddle there in my own time.

The first appointment was with the physio. Since getting pregnant I have been struggling with really bad hip pain and shoulder pain so a few months ago I was referred to a physio to see if there was anything that could be done to help. The pregnancy pillow that I purchased back in January has really helped with the pain but it has still be getting slowly worse so this was a much needed appointment. The appointment started fine – standing up I was asked to do certain movements and prodded and poked to find what the problem was. Over the years with all the chiros and physios that I have seen for my back and wrist so I’m used to this and explaining what causes pain or stretching. Now I have not been sleeping on or laying on my back since I found out I was pregnant so I wasn’t aware just how bad my hip was. It came to halfway through my appointment and I was instructed to lie on my back on the table

“Don’t worry this won’t take long and we’ll boost up your back a little to stop any issue – tell me though if your legs go numb” I was told as I swaddled into position.

I lay there and then she lifted my legs only for searing pain to go across my hips. Quickly I was sat up but it was too late as I was in floods of tears. Up until that point the physio had been talking about how flexible and healthy my back seemed – this went out the window though as she rushed to get me tissues and a drink. My appointment was over as I was in so much pain. I left there without any exercises but I did have the biggest tuby grip I have ever seen to give my hip support that would also fit over my bump.

Next appointment was with the Dietitian all the way in Hanover. After my last emotional appointment, where she was the one that helped me with my midwife and eating issues, it was so calm. I finally put on some weight, not much but it is a start in the right direction. She was so happy to hear about how her advice had helped me across my while pregnancy than just in terms of food.

100 days to go - diary and pen - the bump diaries - week 25Third appointment was with my midwife – for me this was an important one as this was going to be my final midwife and would hopefully be a lot more helpful than my last. She was one of the original ladies I met back in December and perfect; she answered all my questions and helped with any worries that I had. On top of feeling really happy (finally) with my midwife, she told me that she wanted to measure the baby so I would need to get up on the bed. After what happened at the physio I was really nervous about the pain yet she was very open how she would stop if I was in pain and do everything to help me feel comfortable. Up went my top and down rolled my skirt and tuby grip to expose my stomach to the world complete with stretch marks.

When we went for the Ultrasound it was obvious how they measured the baby’s size – they could see it, so when she said about measuring the baby I wondered how she was going to do this without ultrasound equipment. Turns out that they feel your bump and work out where they are and measure with tape. Who knew! It was interesting as she handled my bump and while firm it didn’t hurt at all. I really did have an great midwife who seemed to know her stuff. Turns out that I have a big baby – she is in the 90th percentile currently for her size. With me and BF being very short but the rest of our family being very tall it was a bit of a shock – the midwife was really great though by saying that babies go through growth spurts at different times so she will probably return to an average size before too long.

I thought that was it but she then pulled out a device and pronounced she now needed to check her heartbeat and prodded my stomach with it. The weirdest noises came out from the part in her hand and she exclaimed “Wow she is moving around a lot in there!” After a minute or two of her almost battling with my little monkey she finally managed to get her to settle (I had to talk softly to her to calm her which was weird!) and then the noise changed to a fast rhythm coming out loud and clear. The midwife’s face broke into a grin (mine did too probably but I couldn’t see it) and she announced how strong and good her heartbeat was. It wasn’t long until she moved again though and the heart beat noise was gone.

Hearing a babies heartbeat for the first time is an amazing experience – it is really different from seeing a little flashing light on an ultrasound. It might be anytime that you hear or see little one when pregnant that it is exciting and relaxing as you know that they are OK in there. Hearing that pounding and shuffling was so sweet as you are left using your imagination to what is going on. It was a shame that BF wasn’t there but hopefully he’ll get to hear it next time as I’ll have my phone handy to record it.

It seemed to make sense that this week was busy with appointments – on the Saturday it was finally only 100 days until my due date! Pregnancy seems to be full of milestones; I don’t think I have been celebrating so many big milestones within such a short period of time though most involve a very obvious thing or start that you can’t miss it. Using the BabyCentre app I have been keeping a track of how many weeks and days pregnant I am and so the week before when it reached 110 I worked out when 100 days was going to be and put it in my calendar. Unless you track it with an app or diary, celebrating number of days to go is a lot harder. With it firmly in my diary I wasn’t missing this one. There wasn’t a set way to celebrate but it was nice giggling with BF about how far and close the due date was getting. A lot can happen in 100 days which is why there are always reports about the first 100 days of prime ministers and presidents.

So now we are in double figures… this are slowly getting closer and closer, while my bump is getting bigger and bigger! It really is an exciting time and hopefully the last 100 days will be less eventful and more fun than the last 100!

Did you celebrate 100 days or hitting double figures? Are you constantly busy with pregnancy appointments? Have you had to go to a physio or dietitian during your pregnancy? Leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!

 


Week 23: Trains – The Bump Diaries

This week I had the joys of finding out how busy trains and pregnant ladies do not mix.

A few months ago I was asked to run a training session at the Korana Centre on Social Media. I love helping people understand and learn more about social media to help their business or charity so I was so excited. As someone who does not drive this did however involve having to travel via train and bus to get out to Ardlington.

The trip out was easy – I was travelling out in the middle of day with an hour stop out in Haywards Heath where I hid out in a pub grabbing food while talking to a family about video games. It was amazing to take the bus that wound through the countryside and not feel at all ill, dizzy or headachy – this bump is doing wonders for my brain injury.

Stepping off the bus I headed to the Korana Centre and helped set up the session before people slowly started to arrive. I have taught to larger and smaller groups but the nerves of running a training session always hit me – I don’t think I will ever not be nervous as I worry about whether or not I will give the best session for everyone. The session though was a huge success with lots of people afterwards telling me how I had either helped them finally understand the importance of social media, helping them get out of a marketing rut, or in providing lots of great ideas for their business to post on social media. Everyone at the session was so sweet, caring and lovely that I really hope to go back one day – one lady even gave me a lift back to the station so that I wouldn’t have to wait for the bus. If it didn’t take about 2 hours door to door I would definitely go to their weekly sessions as the next few sounded so exciting so if you are based in Sussex it is worth checking them out.

Week 23 - Trains - the bump diairesNow I haven’t had to take the train much over the last year and a half, and if I did have to take the train any where it was never during the rush hour. As the session had ended at 6pm and I arrived at the station at 6.20, I managed to get a very busy commuter train with cancelled trains before and after it… it was therefore very busy! I managed to get on the train but as it was so busy I managed to get to hold a pole just because I had a bump – if I had been pusher I may have been able to get a seat. Being pregnant I could have probably convinced someone to give up their seat but I was just so happy to get on the train, hold on to a pole and not feel ill. The people around me were also so sweet and it was fun to talk about work and life as the countryside wizzed by.

Everything was fine and then the train suddenly jolted and three people around me tried to catch me and support me as much as possible even asking if I was ok. At the time I thought nothing of it – I only had a little bit of pain in one of my ribs and an achey hand but that changed. A couple of times people tried to squash my bump but the wonderful people around me helped to stop this happening – I really am thankful for those three people who took the effort to look after the short little pregnant lady on the train. By the time I got home a rib on my right was hurting. The next day it was far worse – I seem to have hurt myself and the pain at times was unbearable. The next few days this has continued – I don’t think this is going to be going away any time soon.

When you are pregnant the hormones flowing do crazy things, including making injuring your self far easier… and with no access to painkiller far more painful too. That’s right I am stuck with a painful rib and nothing but paracetamol and warm baths to help the pain.

If you are pregnant, get a seat. It is far too easy to injure yourself and it isn’t until afterwards that you find out how painful it can be. Get a seat, get a “baby on board” badge and be stubborn that you need a seat. Hopefully other ladies can learn from my mistake and get a seat so they don’t get hurt.

Do you have travel horror stories while pregnant? Have you had to demand a seat? Do you have stories of commuters helping or going the extra mile? I would love to hear from you so leave a comment below!


Week 22: Itching – The Bump Diaries

A few weeks ago I started to scratch – this week the itching it got worse.

I am ashamed to say that I have put off writing this week’s blog post – it was a really hard time and having to relive the week was not something that I wanted to do but I feel that it is important that I do.

Pregnancy is always painted as this wonderful time in life when women can “eat for two” – not only is the eating or two a lie but not every pregnancy is easy. For months I have dealt with nausea and food issues where I have struggled to basically eat anything. It has not been an easy pregnancy – I’ve been exhausted, nauseous and emotional. This week though was the hardest so far.

I have been itching for the last few weeks but it was this week that everything really came to a head – I got some blood test results that were not good and all of my symptoms had gotten worse. At the start of the week, even before I got the results I had two panic attacks – I have never ever had a panic attack before so it was a scary experience for me.

Last week, along with spreading the news of the gender to family, I found out that I needed a blood test as I could have a liver issue that only occurs in pregnancy. I did the worse thing you can and googled it only to find out that it could make me worse and even risk the life of our little baby girl. In that moment when you realise that your liver could do something that could kill the baby I had been growing and thinking about all those months – I walked into the kitchen terror filling my head. Suddenly it felt like a ton of bricks was on my chest and breathing felt so hard. I had to sit down. I grabbed my phone and messaged BF even though he was in the other room – trying to call for help or talk was just too difficult.

Week 22 - itching - the bump diaries - PillsBF worked out very quickly what was happening and quickly helped me get my breath back and calmed me down but it still left me in shock. He really was a super star and put on something to cheer me up. Once I had really calmed down he talked through that it sounds like I had a panic attack. He starts to ask what had happened and why this had occurred. It was this point I broke down and explained how I fear about killing our baby because of my stupid liver and quickly descended into a second panic attack. Straight away BF went into superman mode and helped me quickly recover with calm breathing and logic that they are getting blood test results so if I have an issue they will now be aware and fix/monitor it, as well as the other wonders of modern medicine.

He really is amazing – I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have him.

A day or so later I have the blood test and told to wait a day or so for the results. Results day rolls round and I call my GP. Between the panic attack and day the results came in the itching, nausea and exhaustion got worse. I would cry quite a few times a day as I struggled to eat anything or would wake up to my legs bleeding or finger tips red with blood. Despite such a terrible week, I had managed to stave off any panic attacks constantly running through what BF had told me again and again to keep me sane and looking positive.

The day my results were due in I called and was hit with the news I was hoping to never hear – there was a problem. I broke into tears that I could hear the poor receptionist was worried about me. She was so amazing though telling me that she was going to get an emergency GP on the phone to see if there was any more information or help that they could give – they would call in the next two hours so I was instructed to keep my phone near me.

Sure enough an hour later the phone rings and it is a doctor with an update that there was an issue with my liver so a second blood test that would look for something more specific. After she found out the struggles I was going through, with the panic attacks, sleepless nights, waking up from scratching or nausea every few hours to feeling awfully sick all the time she told me there was a prescription already waiting for me at the GP’s that hopefully should help.

It was a week from hell but great that my surgery was so good at being quick to try and help me – I have not actually had this sort of reaction from a surgery before. There was still the terror from there being a possible issue and feeling so terrible but for once I felt listened to and cared for by everyone around me. BF had been superman and my GP surgery had been supportive.

If you are itching after 20 weeks pregnant that you are drawing blood, talk to your midwife immediately – it is best to not let this fester and get checked out. Whatever you do, if you have crazy symptoms don’t google… it might just lead to a panic attack!

What was your worst week during your pregnancy? Do you have a superman story about your partner? Did you itch during your pregnancy? Leave a comment below as I would love to hear from you!


heart button in a book: Meeting the midwife - the bump diaries

Week 18: Bump – The Bump Diaries

All through my pregnancy I have not felt like I looked pregnancy. I started with a lot of squishy parts; I had a bump but it was made up of squash-able fat. For weeks neither me or BF could see a difference – to us I was still the same width.

imageSince about 8 weeks I have been losing weight from struggling to eat enough food but my stomach stayed the same – little did we know that I was losing fat from my stomach. On top of this equilibrium between bump growing and fat loss, as we were seeing my shape everyday we didn’t realise that over time I had changed shape in a subtle way.

All of this time I had been either wearing big baggy t-shirts or maternity clothes – with my boobs having grown so fast early on I’d not been able to fit in my normal clothes for a while. It is surprising just how well maternity clothes are good at hiding a bump. This week my friend from school visited for the weekend – this was when it really hit me that I had a bump.

It was Saturday morning and rather than heading back to mine straight away we explored Brighton’s Vegfest. Nothing other than my food aversions or quick exhaustion came up until we left. On our way to Bravissamo, as there was one not in my friends city, I asked if I looked pregnant at all.

“If I didn’t know you no… but as I know you I can definitely see a difference.”

Turns out that I had a subtle bump even with the maternity top with a high bump rather than just spare tire. She felt really bad but for me it was a break through – I had a bump even if it was small!

At Bravissamo my friend searched for all the items that she wanted to try on. After finding some great things to try I grabbed a few too just so that I could go into the changing rooms with her and giggle. I also never get to go clothes shopping with friends so despite having a growing bump that was going to make any purchases pointless it was fun going in and enjoying dressing up.

With only three items to her eight I waited a few items before I tried anything on. The first top I tried despite being a 16 very curvy wouldn’t go over my boobs – oh well I knew they had gotten big. Next top went on and this time it was a light stripy jumper. Made from stretchy fabric this was actually got passed my boobs and down me. It was this point that I looked in the mirror and laughed – I had a bump and a very clear bump at that.

As I had struggled with the last top I had calls of “Did you get stuck and need me to help?” thinking it was another top that wasn’t going over my boobs only for me to tell her that I got it on and she’ll understand why I was laughing. With a call that she had another top on that she wanted an opinion on I opened the door to my changing room to a gasp.

I was very much pregnant and my clothes had been hiding it really well but this top showed off my real figure complete with very clear bump. As this had been a top that she had just tried on just before we had both seen what it should have looked like. There was no doubt now that I was out of the baby or burritos stage but my maternity clothes really hid that. It was that moment that I wondered when what I had thought was still just tubby old me was actually a baby bump – how long had I actually looked pregnant but hidden it from the world.
image

It is a crazy moment when you realise that you have a bump – there really is someone in there and soon it is going to be very obvious that you are pregnant to strangers. For a lot of women the emergence of their bump is worrying as they try to keep it a secret for as long as others, while for some it is a great moment that they can start to dress in a way that proudly shows it off. I could have bought that top and clearly shown off my bump to the world but for me this top was out of the question; the weather was starting to warm up and so even this light jump will be too warm to wear in a matter of weeks. It was fantastic though to see my bump and really feel pregnant especially with such a close friend present for that moment.

Finishing off our shopping trip we head back to mine to rest, eat and gossip for the evening. With such a big moment of feeling pregnant I had my next big moment when I got my first ever baby gift from my friend.

It turns out that my friend, since finding out about my pregnancy, had knitted the most adorable little baby jumper for me and my little one. As she, and I, didn’t know what the baby’s gender is she had kept it gender neutral so that no matter what I could use it.

I loved it! It was such a thoughtful, beautiful and wonderful gift that she had spent ages making especially by hand just for me. There was so much thought into it as she told me how she worked out what size the baby would probably be when the weather started to get cold so that the jumper should fit just right.

What an incredible week – not only do I officially have a bump but an incredible present from a close friend for my little one that I can imagine them in. It is weeks like this that make pregnancy great.

When did you realise that you had your bump? What was your first baby present? I’d love to hear from you about your pregnancy stories so leave a comment below!

This blog post was written March 2016 when I was 18 weeks pregnant and published in April 2016.

 

Life with Baby Kicks A Cornish Mum Life Love and Dirty Dishes


Week 17: Haircut – The Bump diaries

I hate having my haircut so I only manage to gather the courage to go maybe once or twice a year. The past year with my TBI really messing up my health I just didn’t go. Finally feeling well enough with bump and wanting to glamourous it was time to get myself a nice haircut.

I have a huge fear of hairdressers, especially female ones after growing up with my scary aunt cutting my hair or memories of my sister cutting off a lot of my hair. Over the years I have tried going to hair dressers but every time a lady does my hair I never enjoy it and they all seem to want me to dictate what I want. As someone who literally doesn’t own a hairdryer and just ties their hair up after a bath or shower I know nothing about how to do hair. There are pictures after pictures of me with hippy long wavvy hair that I can sit on because I would leave so long between haircuts.

The Bump Diaries - Hair Cut by the House of Hair in BrightonAbout 7 years ago I walked into a hairdressers two days before my dad’s wedding needing a haircut and I couldn’t put it off any longer. I asked for a haircut and didn’t care who it was as long as it was as soon as possible before I panicked and backed out. A tall tattooed cover man called Tony walked over and did my hair – it was the first time I felt not as scared and was happy enough to decide on what would look good on me. Ever since I have had a similar experience with the other male hairdressers – I don’t seem to panic so much and often they are really happy to design and decide on what my new haircut should be.

The last year and a bit I have been lucky to find a hairdresser that doesn’t scare me and I really do relax with. He used to work at Fordes in Brighton so with that now closed I had to track him down to find out he was now based at House of Hair in Kemptown a 5 minute walk from a regular appointment I had booked on the Thursday. After my early morning appointment I rock up ask if I can have an appointment with Dan to find he had a free slot in an hour.

After killing some time in a lovely cafe just up  the road I returned and it was time for a great catch up. The reason I love Dan is that he really knows how to calm and relax even the most terrified person, he will happily gossip away and take your mind off things, and designs your haircut based on what is best for you both in terms of up keep and appearance.

Now if you are pregnant there are a few changes to your normal hairdressing experience; for me the majority of those occur when they wash my hair. On top of not being able to use anything with essential oils or other pregnancy unsafe chemicals they are not allowed to give you a head massage for various reasons. For me this isn’t too much an issue – I actually hate people massaging my head with all the head injury and spinal issues. I know that others struggle though as they can’t have various hair treatments that they would normally get to enjoy, such as certain hair dyes.

The Bump Diaries - Hair Cut by the House of Hair in BrightonMy hair all clean and wet I sit down and the gossiping with Dan begins as he works out what fun exciting plans he has for my hair. As I barely manage to get my hair cut even every 6 months, and I do nothing with my hair other than brush and wash it, he asked just how much he could cut off. As my next haircut could be anywhere from 6 months to a year away I tell him he can cut it to just below my shoulders; this means I’ll have over a foot of hair cut off.

It is at this point that another member of staff is shocked but we both giggle and he explains the situation. She investigates my hair and gasps at how great the condition my hair is. “This is what happens when you don’t own a hairdryer or use straighteners!” I’m used to the shock of people finding out how low maintenance my hair routine is – Dan couldn’t help but giggle.

The experience was wonderful – Dan really does know how to make a girl feel wonderful and look that way too. I loved my hair and couldn’t stop grinning; my haircut was also so practical for my life. My haircut was designed so that no matter what I do my hair will look good when tied up or down, and won’t need any styling.

Of course I had to get photos and it was so wonderful that staff were quick to help with directing me to the best light and take the photos for me from various angles.

Now I’m a little embarrassed to admit that with all the flutter and conversations going on I sort of forgot to pay. As I stopped to send a photo to BF of my new hair I heard my name called. Ah has the dreaded baby brain hit me already! A quick return to the shop to sort out things (and everyone being very sweet about my bit of baby brain) and it was back to enjoying my hair.

I have promised to go back with baby in hand and after bump is born I will probably want to have some me time too. With how amazing I feel after weeks of exhaustion, headaches and other issues, it was nice to feel so wonderful and beautiful with an appointment in the hands of a hair expert. I can see why all the baby books tell you to treat yourself to a haircut every so often – it so easy to forget these little luxury me moments. I should follow their advice and get one just before bump arrives but I’ll see how I feel closer to the time.

Did you get a nice haircut when pregnant? Did you find your experience different? Did you have to avoid certain treatments because of your pregnancy? Do you have a favourite hairdresser; if so why? I can’t wait to hear about your stories so leave a comment below!


Week 16: First Kicks & Brain Rewiring – The Bump Diaries

After all the excitement of pregnancy yoga the week before, I was so excited for my next lesson. I thought nothing could top all of the excitement but boy was I wrong.

The first lesson had been wonderful but the next day I had started to suffer with a headache; the first one in a couple of months. With my TBI I had always suffered with a headache after pushing myself too much so my first thought was I had done just that.

By Monday my headaches were getting worse – this wasn’t from pushing myself but something else; I had a pregnancy headache. Most people suffer from more headaches when they are pregnant; my daily headaches and dizziness had gone and I was living for the first time in ages without suffering each day.

For me it was a huge blow that I had such a bad headache that I worried my symptoms were going to come back full force. It knocked me that I did cry and stress. I don’t think people realise how terrible my health was just before I was pregnant that even going to appointments in the same city could make me ill for days just from the travel. The fear of going back to that life really hit me hard which probably made my headaches all the worse.

I slept, rested, took a paracetamol and avoided looking at screens as much as possible. By Wednesday my headaches had started to ease but what followed was a little weird. I would have a terrible headache for an hour or so before it would settle; 30 minutes after going I would be flooded with random memories in seconds. In 30 seconds my brain went through so many different memories from when my sister had ice poured down her top after swim class by the boys to playing table tennis on a roof top in France. My brain felt overwhelmed with all these and brought up emotions of painful memories too. It took until Friday for me to realise that there was a connection – the flooding of memories would always follow the headaches.

By the end of the week I was still struggling to cope – it turns out that I have a lot of painful memories and broken promises from people, that I was emotionally a mess. It was great though to finally figure out that these headaches were not my normal TBI headaches – this was something new and even good news.

I was told this pregnancy could rewire the brain – I wasn’t told when or what it would be like. This is clearly it. I had been told how pregnancy could completely cure my TBI so I would be able to live without any of my triggers giving me headaches and may even be able to live a normal life again. Before my head injuries I had been able to recall so many crazy memories at the drop of a hat – in recent years I had to really focus and pull forth the things I wanted to remember. It felt like the flood gates were broken open but by the weekend I was starting to get a handle of it. I could slowly stop the crashing of visuals, noise, smells and pain the flashed through my brain but I still couldn’t control it.

It showed me just how much I had to learn to adapt after my head injuries. I forgot all about having to learn how to recall information easily through new tools or how to write and draw again. It really did remind me just how much it changed how I functioned as a person for even the simple things. If this is the start, what else have I forgotten all about and how else could I improve. Questions of just how much I could or would improve filled my mind just as much as the memories. It was by the end of the week not a bad thing any more – these headaches might be proof that I could get better. Week 16 for me it seems was a big week; little did I know it would be even bigger.

Saturday morning I was back in my yoga clothes and sat in class at LushTums. It was only my second lesson but I was still shocked at just how different a lesson it would be!

first kicks bump diaries pregnancy yoga week 16As I mentioned before, each pregnancy yoga lesson at LushTums is different as it depends on what everyone is dealing with emotionally and physically. The first lesson had been very energetic compared to the second but it was perfect – as someone who had been dealing with an overwhelming week of headaches, emotions and personal revelations this much calmer lesson was exactly what I and the rest of the ladies needed. By the end of the exercises I felt in tune with myself, the first time I had all week. It really did make me think even more of these classes; they really do cater for their students by adapting every class where they need to.

Feeling refreshed, relaxed and completely at peace in mind and body we settled for the mediation aspect of the class. This, if you haven’t read my previous post, involves a talked through mediation with relaxing music and an abundance of pillows or blankets if you want them. As we focused slowly on relaxing different parts of the body bit by bit, we got to the stomach.

I let a deep breath out finally relaxing and focusing on my stomach only for BOOP BOOP.

The baby kicked – not only kicked but did so twice! I guess all week I had been so stressed about my head so I tensed up; when I finally relaxed I could feel bump kick. Funny thing about the first kicks, you need to be relaxed to feel them but then when the first one comes you tense up in excitement.

I couldn’t after that point focus on the mediation – all I had running through my brain was “Baby kicked!!! The baby kicked!!!” Interrupting the lesson with this wasn’t an option; I’m not going to ruin this moment for others and actually thinking about this first kick was just so exciting I made the most of that feeling. It is  shame that I didn’t get to mediate, something I clearly needed, but it didn’t matter as I had really had that moment.

As everyone slowly got up as the session finished, the teacher asked how it was. I couldn’t help it but after someone said how relaxed they were I had say “I’m not – well I was until I had babies first kick!” After the coos and congratulations, stories quickly turned to how being relaxed and in mediation that many of the others had felt more or their first kicks too. Many of the ladies talked about how in tune the pregnancy yoga sessions made them with their bodies and babies that I should expect more in future weeks.

For me I loved having that moment; I don’t think I’ll forget those first two kicks as I curled up in a relaxed class after such an emotional week. It seems now that I can feel one I can feel more as on Sunday I had another kick as I lay in bed reading. This time with BF in the room he got to share in the moment and was quick to rush over to try to feel it, though we both knew he wouldn’t, and enjoy a hug as we celebrated that moment together.

Not only do we think my brain might be rewiring but I felt babies first kicks and I got to share it with others who shared their wonderful stories afterwards as well as BF.

Have you suffered from pregnancy headaches? Did you find a change in your brain when pregnant? When did you feel your baby first kick? What was it like? Did you find relaxing or mediation help you feel the kicks? I would love to hear your stories so share them below!


The Bump Diaries Week 14: The Glow

The world now know our baby secret – well some of the world does any way. Even a week after sharing the news on Facebook it is surprising just how many people you meet and interact with that you might not have on Facebook or may not have seen the news.

After last week’s exciting news and message after message or comments from friends about the exciting news I have gotten better about being open about my bun in the oven. Most people just want to know how far a long are you in months not weeks (which is weird going back to), when your actual due date is and do you know if it’s a boy or a girl. The closer the friends ironically the more the questions that you get so once the closest and close friends know it is surprisingly easy to talk about it.

This week I did also find out one key fact – it is far easier to tell people in person that you are pregnant than online or over the phone. Here is the trick say “I’m…” and just do a bump shape and they’ll know and it will go straight to jumping up and down. If you don’t want the rest of the room to know it can be a bit harder but this week I found this trick was so effective and cut down on the uncomfortable way to bring it up. I even found once just grinning and motioning a bump shape worked. Seriously body language is way more effective sometimes than trying to use words.

Officially I am in my second trimester this week and things have changed. I was told that the morning sickness and food aversions would probably go around this point – if not I was going to be stuck with it probably for the rest of the pregnancy. Yes the morning sickness did go but the food aversions did not. Turns out I may be stuck with my inability to be in the same room as pizza, cheese, chocolate or ice cream most days but I no longer feel sick all the time. That being said both through hardly being able to eat anything and my stomach being squished more and more my food portions are now tiny.

nSpa mum to be creamAlong with food changes, my skin has changed too – after weeks of dealing with spots trying to reappear and nasty drying skin, I’ve been left spotless and back to having soft skin again. Others have noticed a change too – I have started getting the “You’re glowing comments!” with one friend mentioning how she wondered why my skin was so good before I told her about the bump and wondered if I had finally decided to start wearing foundation.

My stomach is also not just a tubby lard of fat any more – it has changed shape and no longer is squishy but solid. I officially have the start of a bump! I also now am beginning to work out where all the weight I have been slowly shredding the last few weeks has disappeared from – my stomach of all places.

The only down fall is feeling itchy – especially in the middle of the night. Along with bump stuff being great for helping skin stay stretchy and not lead to stretch marks (though I already have lots of them from being suddenly fat when I was a kid after a car accident), I have found that are also the best solution for anything itchy.

I tried to use other creams that I would normally use for my skin when dry but these now only make things worse or when I have checked I can’t use them while pregnant due to the essential oils in them. My normal go to cream is from Lush called Celebrate – I generally use it for massaging as I have found it far better than traditional oils or bars but it is not pregnancy safe so it is off the table for now. I tried Nivea but while pregnancy safe it just make me itch even more.

materelle cream - Week 14 - the glowThe best one I have found is Palmer’s Bump butter – both for bump and itches. It is rather solid but unlike a lot of others we have tried it is not so sticky and keeps in moisture far longer. When it comes to itchy spots anywhere I have found this is like an instant relief that also works for hours.

Having had stretch marks and scars I have fallen for Bio-oils marketing in the past but since my lovely OT friend has enlightened me to how there is no proof it helps I don’t deal with the slimy, greasy and mess making oil any more. I have tried other creams but I always return to the bump butter so far. I tried one I picked up from Waitrose – the smell was off-putting and I just felt sticky afterwards.

The biggest changes still remain food related though – I have had to try to work out how to eat little and often or I end up curled up in a ball of hunger or pain from over eating after eating a single bread roll. The start of the week I will admit was hard and I cried, a lot. By the end though I have found a few hacks that are really helping. I am still exhausted, I still don’t think that I am managed to get all the calories I need each day but at least I am achieving over 700-800 like I was at the start of the week. I have also stopped shaking, almost passing out and the crying has decreased by a lot.

My biggest find is an unusual one but if you are in a similar situation definitely worth checking out. I have started getting toddler sized portions. My biggest problem was finding the right portion sizes without going through a lot of discomfort (from both shaking, hunger and eating too much just from a handful of nuts). After finding “little dishes” in Waitrose, I thought I’d try it just to see if it would help. Holy smokes was this the best fricking idea ever!

It turns out that these little fresh microwave meals for little kids are the perfect size for my squished stomach and a they are so kid friendly in the taste and texture, they are also perfect for getting around my food aversions.

Now normally I would not rely on microwave meals but these little dishes are the perfect size and so easy when you need food quickly. With eating little and often comes the added issues in feeling exhausted before you eat – when you have to cook stuff before hand it is so hard to find something small enough that won’t fill you up that can give you a boost long enough to cook it yourself. Since finding these I have been able to find something that works to help me eat and not constantly feel painfully bloated. As a supertaster these are really easy on the palate, have nice soft consistent textures and still feel like a delicious meal.

Other things I have found similarly effective are the mini Chicago Pizzas – one of them is the perfect portion right now. They, just like Little Dishes, are really easy to manage with the ability to microwave or oven cook but even before I was pregnant I loved these more when microwaves unlike the rest of humanity.

I am definitely getting comments now about a “glow” though coming from people who know I’m pregnant I am not sure if I really do have it just yet or if it is just the polite thing people say. Either way I am finally finding my feet when it comes to the small little meals even if it is cheating for the moment. Hopefully I’ll slowly be able to find more healthy things to eat that I can make.

When did you get your glow? What is your favourite maternity cream? What is your favourite pregnancy food? What food tips do you have? I’d love to hear all your stories so leave a comment below!

This was written January 2016 and published April 2016. All the views are my own and have not been sponsored in anyway.

Linky

The Bump Diaries Week 12: The First Scan

Week 12 was a biggy – it was the first time we would have photographic proof about bump. Scary and exciting this was always going to be a highlight in the pregnancy as well as a clear worry.

You know that a key part of any modern day pregnancy is the ultrasound. It isn’t until you get pregnant that you realise that there are in most pregnancies two of them – one at 12 weeks and the second at 20 weeks. There are times when you might have a scan, such as certain high risk pregnancies or with bleeding, but generally you’ll only have two.

On all of the forums it was crazy as when I was barely 7 weeks there were women having scans left, right and centre. Turns out that a lot of women today go for private scans so that they can get confirmation early and meet their little bean sooner. It came up between me and BF – having a scan before Christmas would be a great way to tell the family but was it really worth the money? Would it be better if we just found another way to tell them (we did through gifts which you can see here) and we could wait. So we waited. And waited. And I am really glad that we did.

Upon telling the family we were asked a couple of times if we had a scan yet or when the date was – it wasn’t just us who wanted to see the new addition to the family. If we had done it before, they would’t have been involved in the build up to this moment and gave us a reason to go and visit some of my family in Bournemouth with the photos. Rather than just a “is she or isn’t she showing a bump” focus it was all about the photo – something that I am really grateful for. People staring at your stomach when you just look fat is not comfortable.

Now I have had ultrasounds before but they have not been baby related – in fact last year I had two. I know the procedure quite well; drink lots of water and try not to pee. Since getting pregnant all I do is pee – BF now says that I a three states, “need to pee”, “too full” or “really hungry”. I’ve sat bolt right up in the middle of the night and yelled “I NEED TO PEE” before falling asleep and snoring moments later… When you are pregnant you pee… a lot!

At the last few ultrasounds I have had a lot of water to drink two hours before hand and been fine but this time I struggled. I struggled so much that an hour before, against what all the paperwork tells you, I went to the loo with the promise of drinking a whole little bottle of water. I don’t think that it helped that just before BF and I disappeared to the hospital for our appointment that we celebrated with a meal in a restaurant – the day had finally arrived after all and neither of us could believe we would see a picture. It was also still playing on our minds that something could be wrong but that is why drinks were involved; he had a beer and I had a wonderful mocktail.

When they send you the letter with the date of your ultrasound, along with “try not to pee and drink lots” you get information about how much money it will cost for x,y and z of photos. We had decided that screw it, we wanted the biggest package of 8 as it meant we could give them out to the family. Upon entering the ultrasound ward there are signs everywhere that tell you “You must buy the number of photos that you want before you go in for your appointment!” After settling down and drinking the last of my water we sorted out our photos then starred at this little piece of paper hoping that everything was ok.

As a specialist ultrasound ward just for pregnancies, the other other people in the room waiting with us were pregnant women alone or couples. It felt strange, the walls were bare and the room was full of dread and excitement at once. Our appointment was booked for 3.10 but we had turned up early as it was a windy cold day so we both just wanted to curl up somewhere warm and wait. They must have been having a rather efficient day in the ward as by 2.55 we were already in  trying to get my short arse up onto the chair and wiggled into the right position.

As soon as I was in the right position, top went up and gel went on my stomach and boy was it warm. In the past whenever I have dealt with ultrasounds the gel has been cold so it was weird that not only was this gel warm but it felt like it warmed up as it was smeared across my belly. The ultrasound lady put her wand on my stomach and gasped – turns out she had found our little bump straight away! Not only had she found it without even starting to look but our little one was in the most perfect position for what she needed. She was quickly rushing through lots of photos and doing measurements talking to her assistant who was busy in writing everything down while we just gasped… there was our little baby with its nose, lips, and heart beat as clear as day. Soon the wand moved sideways and we saw a top view as she went through the babies brain before returning the the side on view to find each hand and foot quipping “Sorry I’m doing this so fast but your baby is in the most perfect position that I want to get all this important stuff before they wake up or move; we’ll then be able to slow down and get photos for you!”

We didn’t care though – we were still just in awe of seeing our little one being alive and well with the little heart beat flickering quickly away. As she went through finding everything she needed, our ultrasound lady would quip “It was as if they knew just the position they needed to be in and when” or “You have a little poser!” and “They must be sleeping – they are so relaxed with their feet crossed and so still!”

It  turns out that our little one had “made her day” as it was just so perfect. Now with her vital details checked it was now time for her to get photos for us to keep. Rather than the 8 that we paid for we ended up with 10 as she happily took more and more of this little sleeping bump. Being pregnant, despite peeing only an hour before, as soon as I could I rushed out to the loo only to come back and find that all of our photos were ready and printed. We stepped out of  there before our original appointment time!

Photos in hand it was time to navigate through the hospital and have my blood taken. Although you know about the ultrasound, unless you have had a baby you don’t know about the vast number of different and weird tests that you have to take throughout the pregnancy. Almost every time you see someone they will want a sample or measurement of something. In this instance it is for a combined sampling test to see if there could be any issues with the baby such as downs.

This is where the next wave of worry hits – yes there is a heart beat but what if something is wrong! As I have a member of my family with various disabilities there were added worries. Unlike before, the waiting room we sat in waiting was high up with views overlooking the Palace Pier as the sun slowly set with colour and noise around us. This room was filled with people who had been in the other waiting room, all with their photos still in hand along with others waiting for other maternity services. The atmosphere was so different – for most people there wasn’t a worry or excitement, it was just a normal appointment.

People came and went; time seemed to slow as we waited. Soon it was 45 minutes and we were still sat wondering how long it would be – it felt like we would never leave that room until finally my name was called. This was it; time to get prodded with a needle.

I hate needles; I can’t stand to see them or go into people, especially me. When BF had to have an IV put in when he was ill I had to leave the room and even seeing the tubing going into his arm had me freaking out internally all while I tried to be supportive and not faint. All that aside, as long as I don’t see the needle before, during or after I am ok having injections or blood taken. Every time I have to explain “I’m bad with needles!” a face of dread flashes across their face; I have seen how bad people can get with needles and it has involved an 11 year old being held down by three health professionals… the relief though when I tell them it will be fine just don’t let me see anything and keep talking.

BF is brilliant on the other hand – he has donated blood and is fine to see all sort of blood and guts. For him it was funny watching me trying to keep talking about anything I could think of that wasn’t needle shaped, in this case food, and catching the interesting (to him) procedure of taking blood. As soon as the needle was out I couldn’t help but let out “I’m such a woss!”

The nurse tried to disagree but BF just laughed, he knew this was scary to me and knew at this moment a “you’ve been so brave!” was not the answer I needed… I needed to feel like a woss – this was my coping mechanism or what they had done was really as scary as my mind made needles out to be. Plaster on my arm and it was over – all the tests were over and I had the photos of our little person to share with who we wanted.

When it comes to tests, sometimes it can be weeks before you get a result and in this case we were told “if you don’t hear anything by Monday it is all fine” was a relief. We had a deadline of when, if any, bad news would come and it was only a few days away. We only had to wait and we would have the all clear – then we could start spreading the news.

All of those weeks of worry and excitement were over and now a new chapter of the pregnancy started – we had proof, there was a heartbeat and it was now about the rest of pregnancy and beyond.

Did you have a good experience getting your first ultrasound? How did your go? Did you struggle with the blood tests or not peeing? I’d love to hear your stories so share them below!


The Bump Diaries Week 10: Maternity Clothes

I love pregnancy books – they are very good at telling you when you will probably need to do things.

They will also tell you not every pregnancy is the same. Being a very curvy girl before I was pregnant this couldn’t be more true and despite all the books saying to put off buying any maternity clothes just yet I couldn’t put it off any longer.

Now I’m curvy in one place and they have a lot of “fun names” ranging from titties, boobs, boobies, tits, lady lumps, the girls and many more. Normally I am a 36F without additional pregnacy boobs so I have always struggled to find clothes that could contain mine. I still would get tuts as tops would sometimes pop open or the tops that did stay in place just made my cleavage look very revealing. Seriously I struggled to find a way to not make them look huge, me look like I was wearing a tent or offer a lot of skin or curves to see.

I was at 10 weeks popping open my normally big boob friendly clothes, particularly my coat. There are lots of corsets in my closet (seriously a life saver for house work when you have back problems or struggle with huge boobs) but now extra sensitive the clothes squishing them just hurt. For me I was lucky that all of the post-Christmas sales had just started. Coats, tops and trousers that I had fallen in love with before Christmas halved in price in some instances.

The shops post-Christmas were busy and manic though in all the baby and pregnancy shops or sections it was pretty quite. I was able to slowly browse everything and not feel like I had to rush grab things. In one place I tried on so many clothes yet the whole time I was the only one even in the maternity section. It was amazing – here was all these clothes that I desperately needed to stop me from having a Superbowl fashion accident and it was all cheap.

Despite having almost all of my clothes not fitting over my growing lady lumps I only picked up 4 things that day – a pair of jeans, a nice warm coat, and two tops. Being at home so much I didn’t need much but these vital items mixed with stealing BF’s big baggy t-shirts and my bra PJ top was going to cover most situations.

The coat for me was the main reason for the shop so of course was the priority – I spent almost all of the time looking for the perfect coat – something that would hide the bump, keep me warm, be useful in future years, was not too hot or heavy, as well as something that wouldn’t make me look like an elephant. I found the perfect one – a purple coat that despite hanging straight down actually looked less of a tent on me than the ones with a belt. Turns out that coats can be deceiving sometimes.

Next up were the two tops – one was a casual yet smart white a blue striped top that had a lovely waterfall effect to hide a little bump and expand out for a big one, the other was a sparkly wrap around number that would be great for smart or special occasions. At the moment I can still fit into some of my tops but my boobs are making my selection of clothes smaller each day so with items on sale and a bump due to appear in a few weeks these tops were more an investment than an immediate requirement.

Saying that, when putting on the stripped waterfall top I suddenly felt wonderful – it has been designed in such a way that it hides bumps and curves while being highly comfortable. I have tried a few maternity tops on in the past as they are often the only affordable tops with added boob space that become very reasonable in the sales. I have found them hit or miss. Some maternity tops I have tried have looked incredible at the front but highlights all the wrong bumps from the back. Other maternity tops though make you look so slim and beautiful as they have the space for big boobs and great at hiding a fat stomach.

After slipping on the stripped waterfall top I felt wonderful and I hadn’t even looked in the mirror yet. The fabric was so soft and the design felt like it pulled in at the right places, while being free flowing at the right places. Looking in the mirror I felt amazing – I was right that with the added boob space the design pulled in just under my lady lumps while the waterfall front hid my tubby belly. It was clear that the design was crafted so in early pregnancy it would hide your baby bump all while giving space for your bump to grow into.

I have a few wrap around garments already – these currently make up the majority of the clothes that still fit. I have found in the past that for someone with big boobs, wrap tops and dresses are vital – they often are the few things that actually cover your lady lumps all while not making you look like you’re wearing a tent.

When I pulled this top off the rack I immediately thought this would probably look amazing just from the cut and type of the fabric. I was not wrong – the top made me feel glamourous. The design is made up of much longer wraps than I am used to, so while I was worried that these might add layers, it is really doesn’t as it can only wrap around once. I loved the idea of this top – it lets you sculpture the top around you based on your body and how far you are in the pregnancy. It wasn’t surprising then when I found the tag explaining how it had been designed for maternity and nursing. This top therefore was double the investment – I would have a fancy top for when I wanted to feel and look smart both when pregnancy and once the baby was born. While this top was not as soft as the stripped top, unlike a lot of sparkly tops, it was not itchy and still was gentle on my skin.

For only £25 I had two amazing tops that would serve me well until the warm weather hits with my changing body. Two tops may sound very little but when I spend a lot of time at home, stealing BF’s big t-shirts to lounge around in and my existing wrap tops would suit me until I needed to find summer pregnancy clothes.

So with a coat and two tops down, it was time for another must have purchase – jeans. Now I could wait for maternity jeans but last week my normal jeans split in an unfixable location. As in a few weeks a bump would appear and I have no idea about what size I would be after the pregnancy, It couldn’t see the point in buying a pair of normal jeans now only for them not to fit in a few weeks time, and by then the maternity jeans would rocket back up in price. Browsing the racks here I had jeans that would fit now and as my bump grew only for £10 – the cost of a normal pair of jeans. I couldn’t find any that I liked or fitted at Jojo Bebe so I headed across town to Mothercare. Straight away I found an amazing pair of jeans that while were a bit long (I am short so that was expected), were a great fit and with the wide elastic belly band would grow with my bump. I tried on other dresses and tops but none of them compared to the ones I had already purchased so I only got the pair of jeans from Mothercare but I have worn them every day since.

I will admit that it is a bit weird to get used to the wide band instead of a tight belt but after having to have a belt squeeze around your waist it was actually nice to not feel squished. The extra band also kept my stomach warm during the cold weather – something I had been having huge problems with in the past.

My final trip was to Debenhams. In the past I have found that their maternity stuff has been very fashionable and shaping for someone with big boobs though it can be hit or miss each year. This year it seemed was not favourable for me with my back fat rolls (yuck). Their range felt smaller than normal too which was a shame and was already stripped of most sizes. Either other curvy women have found my trick of looking at the maternity line, that there were just more of a demand of maternity clothing or it was easier for early pregnancy women to hide their early bumps with this range. I am probably going to go with the last option – most of Debenham’s maternity clothes are great for hiding little bumps but not as good as the baby shops when it comes to bigger and more practical maternity clothes. I will admit that the feeling of going into a baby shop when looking for maternity clothes is scary – what if someone you know sees you go in to that shop or see you with a mothercare bag, they will know and spread a rumour!

All in all though I ended up spending less than £100 and had four key items that would help me see through this pregnancy until the summer weather hits the UK and I’ll be out hunting for Maxi dresses and other items to stay cool in.

What was your first pregnancy clothing buy? Have you found any amazing maternity bargains in the sales? Do you have a favourite winter maternity clothing item? I would love to hear more about your maternity clothing stories so leave a comment below!


Caramel bar as unconventional morning sickness cure. Week 9 - Nausea - The Bump Diaries

The Bump Diaries Week 8 : Nausea

This was written December 2015 when I was 8 weeks pregnant and scheduled to go live once my pregnancy was public in March 2016.

When we see a women throw up in a film our first thoughts are to question if she is pregnant. It is such a common early pregnancy symptom and like many others I am struggling with it.

Since about week 5 I have been dealing with nausea being a problem with it slowly getting worse as each day goes by. At first it was just maybe once or twice a day but as the weeks have gone on the nausea is all day and causing a lot of problems.

Although I managed to keep it at bay with crackers and lots of walking when my mum visited, it got worse to the point I’ve been curled up in tears on the bed as BF tries to work out how he can help. At first the same things worked every time – get some ginger ale, crackers or ginger nuts and I would normally feel a little better in a few minutes.

Jacob's crackers for morning sickness - The bump diaries Week 8 NauseaThese tricks have now stopped working and its has been slowly been getting worse that now morning, noon, night and midnight I get hit with the dreaded morning sickness. I’m even being woken up now because of nausea so I’m getting used to waking up every few hours only to run to the loo and then the kitchen to get rid of it before nodding off back to sleep.

When it comes to morning sickness things that will work one day won’t the next – this seems to be the case with food aversions too as one day I can’t look at cheese without curling over a bowl to engulfing a whole block the next. One day 3 ginger nuts will get rid of nausea and the next the smell will make it worse. There are a few things though that has helped and some of them are actually pretty surprising.

For me and many other women it turns out Weetabix is a saving grace when pregnant – it is full of B6, iron and with some milk somehow helps and unlike other tricks seems to be consistent. Having said that if I try to have it more than once a day it stops working so it now I have great mornings where I try to get a lot done before I try to work around morning sickness the rest of the day.

Before my mum came to visit I worried that she would figure out I was pregnant from morning sickness yet for some reason it didn’t hit during her visit. We spent most of the time walking and it turned out that this was helping stave it off – now as it has gotten worse I find days I don’t go for a walk are far worse than the days I disappear out for an hour. It may feel like this is the worst thing yet after struggling to get on clothes without hurling and getting out in the fresh air and walking I feel so much better. Even after 5 minutes on the worst of days it makes a huge difference. There is a down side – when I get home and stop working it all comes back until I eat something so heading straight to the cupboard or biscuit tin is a must for me.

When you ask for advice on battling morning sickness the first thing people tell you is to eat little and often. It does work but it is hard to now find tiny meals or healthy snacks that aren’t too filling. Before I was pregnant I could have a small apple for lunch and feel stupidly full – now my stomach can’t handle half as much food in a sitting so I struggle to have a whole apple. It means a full-sized meal for me include a small chicken pie and that will fill me up. I’m lucky that I work at home but I ponder what it must be like for women going through this while in the office.

Tunnocks Caramel bar helping with my morning sicknessHobnobs are amazing – at the moment they are the biscuit of choice but like ginger nuts this could soon change and I’ll have to find another that works. They work really well for me as they are oaty goodness so with two biscuits I can feel full but it will also settle my stomach. Recently we have found though that traditional Caramel Bars are the best invention ever – even the look of chocolate seems to make me nauseous but for some reason the chocolate mix that they use on this bar doesn’t – it is also very thin. The layers upon layers of wafer and thin caramel seem to help those times when I’m nauseous and feeling run down with the added bit of sugar.

Now it may come as a shock but when I asked the midwife for some help with morning sickness her suggestion was to try sweet and sour sweets like Lemon Sherbets. I tried lemon sherbets and didn’t find them very helpful but Tangfastics are incredible! When I am feeling too sick to even leave the bed I have two of them and a minute or two later it settles my stomach for long enough to get some food in me or get shoes on and go for a walk. Now there is a packet by the bed as they work far quicker than biscuits are small enough so I can get up to make dinner or breakfast for a longer lasting effect. Flying saucers also work but they aren’t any where as effective and are much harder to pick up locally.

I love being pregnant – it has really helped clear up my head injury symptoms that I am no longer battling with dizziness or crippling headaches on a daily basis but I can’t wait until these symptoms pass like they normally do at 12-13 weeks.

 

Are you dealing with nausea? What tricks have you found work? What have you found really doesn’t work for you? leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you!