This was originally the blog of a first-time Mum to remember the ups and downs of my pregnancy - and chart the first year of my daughter's life. But I've kept it going, and am now a mother of two! More than anything, it helps me to get to sleep once I've emptied my brain of issues and concerns and emotions onto the laptop.
If you're reading this and also a mum- or dad-to-be, first time parent, or just someone who's thinking about it - I hope it gives a little insight into one person's experiences - good and bad....

Thursday, 31 March 2011


A fairly quiet week - had my 28 week ante-natal check up where everything seemed fine. Although it turn into a massive headache. My GP didn't fill in my maternity notes - and it took THREE trips back to the surgery to get it sorted. Just one of those little hassles I could do without, and although it was only a little thing, it did make me disproportionately angry and stressed.

All sorted now - although for all I know she may just have made up the measurements and readings to keep me quiet. My GP is also pg - and goes on maternity leave on May 6th. At first I was concerned because it means she won't be around for my final month and the first months of the Little Monkey's life. But her performance has been so wishy-washy of late, I'm hoping the locum will prove more reassuring.

The other thing to come out of this week's check-up is an appointment at the local Breast Clinic next week - on my birthday :(. It's nothing serious. I'm having a small flap of skin looked at (about the size of a sweetcorn kernel) on my left nipple. I'm worried it's going to be a hindrance to breastfeeding when the time comes, and would really like it removed as soon as possible - just to give me one less thing to worry about.

Despite everything seeming on track from the check-up, I'm still struggling to relax about the last stages of pregnancy. This week I'm worrying that my bump isn't growing enough. Maybe I've just got used to it - or maybe it's just dropped down a bit because the Little Monkey's moved - but I'm finding things like bending over a bit easier, and I don't feel any bigger at all than about three weeks ago. But my GP didn't raise any concerns and DP is convinced I'm still growing... he's still slapping on my stretch mark oil and body butter every day (his favourite part of the day!), so sees the bump from a different angle. My massive boobs still hide my bump from me most of the time! And there's still plenty of movement most days, so I'm trying not o worry too much.

I definitely feel like I'm letting small things get to me a bit more than usual. Aside from the fiasco over my maternity notes - my Mum managed to upset me this week too. I know it was totally unintentional, but when I called her after my 28 week appt (she was expecting my call) - all she could talk to me about was my brother and the fact she was busy in the supermarket, before she got round to asking me how things had gone. I know she didn't mean anything by it, and she did call back the next day to find out a bit more about my Breast Clinic appt, but it upset me at the time. Perhaps the pg hormones are finally starting to creep in....

Friday, 25 March 2011


It definitely feels like we're starting on a bit of a countdown now... into the third trimester, so hopefully still 12 weeks to go. Only FIVE weeks until I finish work, which at the moment is one of my main focuses. I know I'll have plenty to keep me occupied after I finish work, plus I will most certainly be taking up all my friends' advice to rest as much as possible in the last few weeks.

Making some headway with clearing out the flat to make room for the Little Monkey. 'New' doors that have been cluttering up the spare room for two and a half years are finally up, and got rid of bits and bobs that were frankly just collecting dust and more clutter. Won't be buying and putting up the baby's furniture for at least another month, but at least there's starting to be a bit of room for it to go.

Was up at DP's parents last weekend. All was fine - no pressure from them at all. Think they were just pleased to see me looking well and finally looking 'properly' pg. I think DP's Mum really wanted to feel the bump - but she didn't ask, and - more importantly - she didn't just kop a feel. I would have let her if she asked - and I hope she didn't feel she couldn't, because I know it's important to keep her as involved as my own Mum (not that she's touched the bump either - I think they might both know me well enough!).

DP's gran also treated me to seeing some phots of DP when he was a baby/toddler. If he/she takes after his/her Dad - we're in for a big, chubby, curly-haired budda! But that's absolutely fine by me.

I've been thinking that perhaps the enormity of what's about to hit us really hasn't sunk in yet. As far as my body's concerned - Yes, I'm obviously pregnant, but to me much of it just feels like random bodily functions - like my intestines shifting, or a lot of food digesting. That might sound odd - but I'm still not quite equating the kicks, punches and squirms to an ACTUAL BABY!

DP remains as excited and pro-active about the impending arrival as ever - probably more so. That helps me more than anything. He makes me feel like together we can deal with anything. He's definitely assessing his own mortality though - doctors, dentists and opticians for him this week - and, ooops, he's going to finally have to wear glasses. From experience, I know that will provide hours of entertainment for the Little Monkey - taking them off Daddy's face over and over again!

Thursday, 17 March 2011


I've been trying to put into words to DP exactly what the movements of our Little Monkey feel like. It's all very well occasionally feeling the odd kick from outside - but I'd love for him to have more of an idea of the all sorts of different sensations going on inside my body. One woman on another forum described some of the movements as being like holding a moving frog in your hands - and that's a really good description.
The thing is, there are so many different types of movement that I'm feeling. Sometimes it's an obvious fullblown kick, but not very often. More commonly I guess I'd describe it as 'squirming'. And then there's like different sized bubbles  popping, varying degrees of pressure against my insides, flickers up inside my ribs, tightening, rumbling, etc. I also can't quite differentiate between all the different movements - what's a kick, punch, hiccup, turning over, stretch...? The main thing is that, at the moment, no more than a few hours go past without feeling something - which I'm very thankful for. 

At this stage (and friends keep telling me this will change in the next month or so) I still really enjoy and look forward to feeling the little monkey - even when I'm trying to drop off to sleep. It reassures me that he/she's OK in there  and hopefully happy. He/she's never really woken me in the night with his/her movements - I'm woken more frequently when I try to turn over which takes more and more effort. Although last night, for the first time in a long time, I slept right through (albeit only 5 hours as I work crazy shifts). I'm sure it was no coincidence that I put a pillow under my ever expanding bump for the first time, so maybe that made me more comfortable and stopped the need to roll over.

We went on another fact-finding/shopping expedition last weekend - and it was far more successful than previously. While we didn't actually buy anything, we've got a far better idea of what we will be buying - by way of furniture, Moses basket , bath stuff etc.  And I think we've decided on our pram/transport system.... the Bugaboo Bee. We've looked at and researched loads - until our heads have been ready to explode - and typically this was the first one we ever really looked at! It is expensive, but living in a pokey flat in the city - on and off public transport and in and out of the car - it just ticks so many of our boxes, being small and light.

I thought I really wanted a carry cot with our transport system, but given the limited space in our flat - a cot, moses basket and car seat (which I think we're inheriting from my best friend, a  Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix) will be more than enough - and when we visit grandparents they'll have sorted their own sleeping arrangements for the Little Monkey.

Visiting DP's family this weekend, who we haven't seen since Christmas. Actually really looking forward to it - and I think they'll notice a BIG change in the size of my bump, which was virtually non-existent three months ago. I think I'll revel in being pampered for change, instead of offering to help out...


BOOBS.... mine have not stopped growing throughout my pregnancy so far. And they weren't exactly small to start with. I've gone from a 30H to currently a 34J. It's costing me a fortune everytime I have to buy another 2 or 3 bras at around £25 a time. Dread to think what size nursing bras I'm going to have to buy.. and not quite sure when to get them, especially if my breasts expand even more at the last minute once they're full of milk. And they're so big, I can't really see my bump properly when I look down. It's quite a surprise when I very occasionally catch sight of it in a full-length mirror!

My ample chest has always been the bane of my life, so I'm hoping they put themselves to good use and I'm able to breastfeed simply enough. I guess the one saving grace is that because they've always been big, my body's been used to carrying the weight - and so far the extra weight hasn't given me any backache. We'll just have to see how they manage over the next three months...

This weekend I was back down at my parents' house. It was much better than last week - I don't know if that's because DP was with me to deflect some of the attention, or if we exhausted a lot of the talking last week. Having said that - Mum gave me some knitted shawls that I had when I was a baby, and we went back to the same baby shop for more brain strain over which pram/transport system is best for us. But I didn't feel any of the pressure of last week. Starting to feel like we really ought to get a bit of a move in actually buying a few bits, and properly sorting out what will be the little monkey's room soon though.

Also caught up with loads of my old friends from home - they were all very excited to talk about our impending arrival. But there were two things I was a little surprised at. Firstly - pretty much EVERYONE wanted to touch the bump. A couple of people asked first (one bloke touched it and then asked if I minded) - and to be honest I wasn't all that comfortable with it. Most of the girls that were there and touched it know me really, really well - and I would have thought they'd known that I wouldn't really like it, yet they couldn't help themselves.

The other thing was the doom-merchants - and it was all the Dads! Few of them had much positive to say. One told me I'll spend the next years of my life lamenting the loss of any lie-ins EVER AGAIN. Another told me I'll never want to leave my child for a night with its grandparents; I'll never want to be parted from him/her. How on earth do they know how I'll feel? I don't know how I'm going feel - but I'm pretty sure I've got a little more of an idea of my own instincts than they have.

Even a male colleague - with two teenage daughters - can't stop himself from keep saying stuff like "your life is going change beyond your wildest imgaination" and "it's going to be the toughest change ever to your life". Well, Yes - that's kind of part of the reason for taking the plunge and starting a family. All these negative comments - from people who obviously found it so bad and hard the first time round, they went on and had another! I think it a little sad they couldn't think of anything more positive to say.

Anyway, talking about more positive things - good check-up at my doctor's on Friday. She just did all the regular checks. First time my bump had been measured and she said it certainly wasn't small - if anything, it's on the big side... 28cm at 25 weeks. If big equals healthy, than that's good.

The little monkey's had a couple of very active days indeed. I have a friend who's a couple of months further along than me and is really fed up with the kicks in the ribs. I really like it at the moment - definitely find it reassuring and makes me smile. But maybe ask me again in another two months when they're bigger and stronger....


Spent the weekend at my parents' - and it's frankly left me feeling quite odd... pressured, not excited enough and all "baby-ed out".
I haven't seen my Dad since we told them the good news, so he's had two months of excitement and talking about all aspects of pregnancy and babies stored up and ready to chat to me about. He's more than excited and enthusiastic (it's their first grandchild) - which is lovely, but a bit overwhelming, especially when he referred to my baby as 'his baby' a couple of times. I know he and Mum mean well - being very generous with what they're offering to buy etc - but I feel their excitement is almost zapping my own.

I did say to them "Look - I'd like to buy my baby some of its stuff too, you know", and Mum just said "Oh, there'll be plenty left for you to buy", which I'm sure there will, but I'm just finding it hard to involve everyone in this pregnancy. I guess I'm getting a bit insular about it all  - a big part of me just wants to hide away with DP and deal with everything ourselves at our pace.

I was even uncomfortable chatting to the shop assistant in the baby shop we popped into - of course she's going to ask me things like when I'm due... it's her job! And at work - I like that it's my sanctuary away from baby talk, but even that's slipping away as there's something of a baby boom in our office at the moment with pregnancies and new Dads talking babies a lot of the time.

I know all the above is unrealistic, unfair and irrational - so I'm just going to blame it on hormones for now. I know my Mum and Dad - and DP's Mum - have only our best interests at heart and want to help us as much as they can for all the right reasons, and we will need their help - but in my head it's putting expectations and unwanted pressure on me.

I guess I just have to strike the right balance of involving them and embracing their excitement - while keeping some for just DP and myself. When it's just the two (and a half) of us, then I am excited and positive and happy to talk baby stuff - just not so comfortable sharing it all with everyone else.

We're back down at my parents this weekend - but this time with DP in tow - so I'm going to try and be a lot more positive, engaged and excited WITH them all about their first grandchild, and not save it all for my treasured private time with DP.I'malso not quite ready to start buying stuff yet - although we've spent much of this week trying to sort out the flata bit to make more room - and we've had a bit of a play and been researching prams and car seats. There'sstill that nagging doubt in the back of mind that when we start forking out on the big items something can stillgo wrong - at any stage.

The Little Monkey's movements have continued more and more regularly over the past couple of weeks though, which is really encouraging. I'm very much hoping the suggestion that the baby's sleep/wake patterns in the womb often mirror what happens once it's born is true - because, so far, the LIttle Monkey appears to only be awake when I am and sleeps when I sleep! It's especially active after food, and as soon as I've woken up, and just resting before bed. And he/she's definitely discovered his/her arms - definitely getting punches (although I guess they might be kicks) in my right-hand ribs! Love it.

Oh, and my pregnancy rhinitis continues. I think it's improving a very tiny bit each day - but that could just me getting used to it. I fully expect to have the excessive mucus for the rest of my pregnancy - the joys...! 


And the pregnancy rhinitis continues. It's now been more than six weeks of a hacking cough and a combination of both a congested and constantly running nose. I think it's easing off very slightly though - either that or I've just got totally used to it.
Had a very relaxing week away in Scotland for our 10th anniversary this week. 

It really was heavenly with no one and nothing else to worry about. Had one slightly freaked out day when I didn't feel the little monster move at all, but he/she's made up for it in the last few days. I really hate the days when I don't fell anything. DP is very reassuring about it though. In fact when I came home from work the other day and was concerned about lack of movement, he ran me a candle-lit bath, and sure enough, once I was relaxed the little monster started squirming.

Baths always seem to get him/her going, and I love watching my belly bounce when he/she moves. He/she also moved loads the other day on our tour of a whisky distillery - now I'm pretty certain they haven't got any sense of smell in the womb, but the little monkey got very excited around the very strong smells of whisky - definitely his/her father's son/daughter!

Even though we're now more than halfway - we've still not made any effort to sort the flat out or buy anything. We're both still a bit scared of tempting fate. I think that's something we'll seriously start looking at in the next month, but knowing us we're likely to put most of it off until much later when the pressure's properly on. Let's just hope the little monkey doesn't come too early - or there's every chance we won't be prepared.

The other noticeable change this last couple of weeks is how horny I've been :womanwink:. The midwife has previously advised us against fully 'dtd' because of previous m/cs  - but, in her words "there are other ways to love DP", and we've certainly been making the most of that. I'm sure this phase will pass once I'm even bigger,  but while I'm still fairly small and comfortable, we're making the most of it!!


Oh my word - so much mucus! Since the start of January I've had a chesty, phlegm cough. Went to the doctor, but - despite being prescribed a course of antibiotics - it's not a chest infection. A couple of weeks later the nose started - both blocked and streaming with snot! Pleasant... and shows no sign of abating.It got me down last week, but now just resigning myself to having to put up with it for possibly the next four months. After having a relatively easy ride with morning sickness and aches and pains (so far), I guess I should just keep my fingers crossed that this is as bad as it gets. As for all my colleagues who are fed up with my constant coughing and blowing my nose - they should try being me!

20 week scan went fine - the little monster (note: when he/she is being good they're a monkey, but on bad days they're a monster!) was in the wrong position to see everything the sonographer needed at first. So a cup of tea, a bit of jigging around and some pelvic floor exercises later - he/she was moving around almost TOO much! 

Sonographer was pleased enough with all the measurements, organs etc - which was reassuring enough for us. She has asked us to come back at week 32 just to double check my placenta - which is a little low-lying at the moment so far as she could tell.

With that in mind, we also asked her about flying to America - as we're planning a pre-baby, 10 year anniversary break. She said it was best to be on the safe side, and would avoid long-haul flights. So we're off to Aberdeenshire next week instead! Still hugely looking forward to it though.

After researching a bit more into what it means to have a low-lying placenta (which still has plenty of time to move) - it's put my mind at ease a bit on the days I don't feel the little monster move. Last week I went four days without feeling anything, and got really worked up. But he/she's probably just in a position where he/she's kicking into the placenta and softening the sensations.

The little monster can't win though - yesterday I started getting concerned about quite HOW MUCH I was feeling him/her. Worrying he/she hadn't slept at all all day. Back to more 'normal' feeling today though. I've felt him/her a few times - enough to put my mind at rest.

The only other thing that's been bothering me this week is the grandparents. Both sets are sooo over-excited as it's the first for both of them. But, as generous and lovely the constant calls about buying stuff for the baby are ("which pram do we want", "what can we buy" etc) - it's all a bit over-whelming, at a stage when DP and myself aren't yet ready to start buying too much. I'm anxious neither side get too over-bearing, but it's hard to strike that balance between being grateful for their generosity, interest and support - and letting us get on and do things our way.

That said, my Mum took me maternity clothes shopping last weekend - and it was a pretty successful trip. I hate clothes shopping at the best of times, but managed to come away with a few really nice tops, one pair of (too big) jeans, trousers and BIG PANTS! Oh, and jumpers for our trip to Scotland!


Straight after Christmas (at 16 weeks) we had something of a scare. Just got back from a few days at the in-laws, and my stomach - which had been starting to nicely firm up and get a bit rounder - just suddenly 'shrank'. It was looser, I was easily fitting into my regular clothes, and things just didn't feel right. Even though I had no pain or bleeding, I was concerned enough to call the midwife, who told me to go to A and E. That in itself worried me even more, as it sounded like there was something to be concerned about.
We went straight to A and E, and were referred to the EPU within an hour. After another hour, I was given a scan. The sonographer said everything was fine - happy with the heartbeat, measurements etc, and told us there was nothing to worry about and we could relax. Although he did say he'd never come across anyone with my 'shrinking tummy' complaint before.

So, relieved, we had a nice afternoon out and went out for dinner. I didn't have any mobile phone reception until after dinner, and when it came back I had an answerphone message from a consultant at EPU. He said he'd taken another look at my scan and was concerned about my levels of amniotic fluid... and could I go in for another scan. Our relaxed relief from the earlier scan was instantly replaced by worry and confusion. We immediately went home and researched what low amniotic fluid levels might mean, and were terrified and really anxious by what we found. If I'm honest, I think we'd both written off our little one's chances, and were most definitely struggling to keep positive.

I called work to take the day off, so I could go straight to EPU as early as possible the next day. We were seen pretty swiftly by the consultant and sonographer. They were both happy with what they saw, and said we actually had nothing to worry about.... fluid levels were fine. I think I was actually shocked into a kind of numbness as I had been so prepared to hear bad news. 

So this is what the rollercoaster of emotions is going to be like for the next.... well, forever?! This won't be the last of what I call my 'thin' days - more on that in month five.

I must mention that I've been very impressed with our EPU (I've been there often enough in the last year). Far more so than the main ante-natal clinic. There, they can keep us waiting for up to two hours after our appointment time. Not good with a waiting room full of very large, very hormonal and very tired women! Each time we've been so far, we've both said it feels like we're on a conveyor belt for pregnant women. I'm just hoping it all gets a bit better at the 'business end'.

I've also been battling to get the flu jab. Went to my GP surgery before Christmas, but as I have an egg allergy, they wouldn't give it to me. Was pushed from pillar to post trying to find an alternative, or get it administered at the hospital where they could keep an eye on me. But by the time I got as far as just an appointment with my consulatant it just didn't seem worth it - even my GP said it hardly seemed worth it. So I've given up. I can't be the only person in the area to have an egg allergy that needs the jab. So I'm just going to have to avoid sick people - and take it very easy at the first sign of anything flu-like....

On a happier note, it turns out my closest friend at work is also pg! Except she's expecting TWINS! She's the only one who knows what I went through last year, so she was really nervous about telling me about her good news. But I'm totally thrilled for her, and don't envy her twins one bit. It's really nice to have someone so close to go through pregnancy with - we're even due in the same week, although hers are very likely to come earlier as there's two of them. We've had very uncannily similar symptoms, fears, experiences so far - it's really quite odd.

So everyone at work also knows my news. While they all seem happy for me - there's definitely more interest in my colleague's twins... unsurprisingly. But I'm actually quite pleased to go to work for a bit of a baby-free zone. At home, it's all DP and me talk about - not in a bad way... it's usually excited plans, talking over concerns and worries - but every conversation does end up back at the Little Monkey.

The other good thing is starting to feel him/her a little bit. Around week 17 I wasn't sure if that's what I was feeling or not - but by weeks 18/19 there were definite what I would describe as 'pulses' happening inside me. Not quite the flutters I had read about and been told about - more like tiny, tiny little kicks - and not every day. But enough to know there's something going in there....


(please note - the first five posts are back-dated from another fourm)

I've waited until 22 weeks to start keeping a diary - something I've wanted to do for a long while - having sadly last year had two m/cs.
But now, I'm happy to say, everything *seems* to be on track - and I'm trying to stay very positive that this is now my time.

FIRST THREE MONTHS: Oh My God - they seemed to last FOREVER. I just knew before I'd even taken a test that I was pg, and it was only a month after our second m/c. So we spent week after week trying to both stay positive, but also not to get our hopes up too much in case it ended badly again. Although at least this time we knew that I could start having tests on the NHS as to why I might not be having a successful pregnancy if it did go wrong a third time.

We were very grateful to be able to have a 'reassurance' scan at seven weeks - and although there was only a little bean-shape, there was most definitely a heartbeat, which we so so pleased about. The next three weeks - to get past the 10 weeks where I'd previously lost one - was the slowest ever, and a tricky time to keep it all secret as we had various unavoidable social events to go to (and I'm usually a big drinker) - but managed to get through that with no one the wiser.

Had a period of about five or six weeks where I was absolutely whacked with tiredness, and off my food with nausea - mostly in the late afternoons and early evening. But not nearly so bad as many people I know - for which I was also very grateful. I generally managed to eat something, and keep it down - but normally I LOVE my food, so it was odd not to have much of an appetite. It's not fully back yet, but sure it will be in time.

By the time I got to my 12 week scan - despite seeing our 'little prawn' at 7 weeks - I had convinced myself there was nothing there, or it had already died. Was so, so relieved that all seemed fine - in fact we were almost a week further along than we thought I was.

So now it was time to finally go public. We had told very very few friends about our previous losses - and certainly not family. So no one really knew we were even trying. As it was a couple of weeks before Christmas, we went to see my parents on the pretence of a pre-Xmas drinks among friends in my hometown. When we gave them a Xmas card with a copy of the scan picture in there was a long pause - a look of confusion from my Dad (not entirely sure he knew what he was looking at), and then a big "WHAT?" from my Mum. They were - once they realised what we were telling them - absolutely thrilled and over the moon. This is their first grandchild, and I don't think they ever thought it would happen - from me or my brother, So the evening progressed with lots of questions, trying out different names, and general excitement, advice and pampering.
Mum was upset that I felt I couldn't tell her about the m/cs when they happened - but I reassured her that DP had been so amazing, it really wasn't necessary and we coped the best way for us. Besides, we wanted to try to give them good news first.

My 'sort-of-in-laws' knew we must have had some sort of news, because we were spending Xmas with them and then suddenly turned up a couple of weeks before hand, which isn't like us. Again - it's their first grandchild (and also weren't sure it was ever going to happen, from us or DP's sister) - so they're also totally thrilled. It also made Xmas with them a little easier, as I didn't have to make up any more long-winded excuses as to why I wasn't drinking.
Sadly, a day after we'd seen them, they got some very unexpected and sad news of a death in the family. On the plus side - our good news has given them a glimmer of something to look forward to in the coming year...