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....

Friday, 22 April 2011

Mum of a Monkey: PREGNANCY - MONTH 8 (WEEK 32)

Mum of a Monkey: PREGNANCY - MONTH 8 (WEEK 32): "The Little Monkey is perfectly average. In a good way. I don't think there's any danger of any child of ours being 'average' once they're ou..."


The Little Monkey is perfectly average. In a good way. I don't think there's any danger of any child of ours being 'average' once they're out - but for now, I'm happy if all the measurements, positions etc are as average and 'normal' as can be.

Had a precautionary 32 weeks scan to check the position of the placenta, which has moved up so that's good. And the sonographer told us the Little Monkey is - going by the measurements - weighing around 4lb. Given that there are still eight weeks to go, and from now  on it may well put on half a pound a week, it could be a biggun'. Given The Little Monkey's Dad though, that's no great surprise! No picture this time - too big and not in the right position to be especially photogenic.

32 week ante-natal check up at my doctors (with a locum) also went fine. No concerns. So all looking good. And we went to our first ante-natal class together this week. I would say it was definitely useful to be able to ask seemingly 'stupid' questions, and learn a bit more about the actual biology of what will happen through labour and birth. I felt a bit uncomfortable though - everyone was a bit quiet and nervy. There were only four couples there, and I can't really see me making any new Yummy Mummy friends from them. But DP tells me it was "fascinating" and really helpful and useful for him, which makes it really worthwhile for both of us.

Can't believe I only have one week left at work (and a full week at that - no Bank Holidays off for me). One of the things I think I'll miss is the office being a bit of a sanctuary away from constant 'baby stuff'. My pregnancy isn't discussed all that much at work - which is fine by me. Sometimes a bit odd when people are discussing my colleague's impending arrival of twins, and I'm not brought into the conversation, but I get all the attention I need from DP and family - so it doesn't really bother me. And I can quite understand how TWO babies in one go is far more fascinating than a "run-of-the-mill" (to them, certainly not to me) pregnancy.

Still reflecting on how it's all gone so far. Aside from the anxiety and rhinitis that I mentioned last week, the other things that have not really impressed me is my HORRIBLE outie tummy button, and very dark, hairy belly. Hopefully they will both disappear not long after I've had the Little Monkey. 

And if there's one thing I regret, it's that I've not been able to relax and enjoy my pregnancy as much as I'd like. Now that I'm on the home straight, I'm going to really try to enjoy these final weeks - especially once I'm on maternity leave. I'm going to try and see it as a bit of a holiday - before all the hard work really starts...

Friday, 15 April 2011

PREGNANCY - MONTH SEVEN (week 31 part 2)

With the weeks left to go until my due date now down to single figures, I've found myself reflecting on the last seven months of my pregnancy.

I think it can be mostly summed up in three words: anxiety, rhinitis and natural.

I have no idea whether I would still have been this anxious had I not had the two miscarriages last year - but I'm sure they're at the root of it. I only seem to go a few days feeling 100% relaxed and positive about everything. Often there's still a nagging worry in the back of my mind that things can still go wrong at any time. It's obviously worse on days like the last few when the Little Monkey is very inactive. Nothing beats the reassurance of contant kicks, squirms and hiccups. I have never complained on the rare nights that he/she has kept me awake or woken me up - to me it's the best feeling knowing he/she's merrily playing away in there...

I've now had the pregnancy rhinitis for four months - but it's much, much milder than at the beginning. I still have a phlegmy cough most mornings, but not blowing my nose nearly so much or nearly so congested. If this is the worst side-effect that I end up with then I count myself very, very lucky.

Which brings me on to how natural the whole pregnancy to date has felt. I know I still have two months to go, so I'm at risk of tempting fate, but the biggest surprise to me has been how it's been almost exactly how I imagined it to be - certainly in terms of how my ever expanding bump feels as part of my body. If I'm completely honest (and again, may be tempting fate) I expected to be a lot more achey and tired at this stage - I'm really surprised at how - so far - I've managed to avoid hardly any backache. I feel really well, still got energy, don't feel too huge at all, and know I'm lucky to be having it so 'easy'.

I'll read that last paragraph back in another few weeks and curse myself for writing it I'm sure - but by then I'll be off work, so that will be one less thing to worry about.


I've had a couple of really quiet days movement-wise which has really freaked me out. Got quite wound up yesterday, but as soon as I got home to DP (who'd been abroad for a few days with work), the Little Monster seemed to spring into action. Perhaps he/she was just missing Daddy's voice! Anyway - today's been a bit more active, and I have read that as there's less room in there I'm likely to feel fewer kicks. I just find it so un-nerving.

I've read articles, blogs and forums on a number of different websites, but I've found the Pampers one especially good for what to expect week to week, tips etc. A lot of the 'chat' on the likes of Mumsnet and iVillage can make me paranoid and worry about things for no reason. As every pregnancy and baby is totally different, it's not healthy to read so many scary stories, so I'm trying not to do it so much. Although it is nice to read the heart-warming stories of which there are lots, and find people with the same concerns/experiences as you.

Before the last few days we'd had a couple of really productive weeks. My 30 week ante-natal check-up and first Anti-D injection went really well. Had the best experience we've had so far at the hospital - no lengthy waiting time, really friendly and helpful midwife (third different one, mind), and everything seems well on track. The sun was shining, and I even got a rare parking space right outside work - it was a good day!!

The next day was my 34th birthday - and as a present I got a 'nipple-ectomy'! I may have mentioned before about a skin flap on my left nipple that has grown since my breasts have got bigger during my pregnancy. I was already concerned how that would affect my attempt at breastfeeding, but in the couple of days before my appointment at the breast clinic it started bleeding and looking a bit grim. Anyway - after a thorough examination of both breasts, the doctor simply sliced it off there and then, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Two days later when the dressing came off, I couldn't even see where it had once been - incredible!

One of my best presents - from DP - was a picture we'd seen in a little cafe when we were on our holiday in Scotland back in February. We both thought it would be perfect for the nursery,  though at the time we weren't really planning on a 'proper' nursery, and we were still holding back on buying stuff for the Little Monkey. But several weeks on I had thought it would have been really nice - a momento of a special holiday and unique original piece of art for the nursery. So he'd rung up and bought 'Fergus McTed and wee Scotty' from the cafe:

Had a lovely birthday weekend - a good Friday night out with friends, and then on the Saturday the grandparents-to-be (my parents) came up. As if their very generous birthday presents weren't enough - we then blitzed Mothercare. Although DP and me already knew precisely what we wanted - having made several fact-finding and window shopping expeditions - it still felt rather stressful. At one point, we had two shop assistants 'suggesting' what was best, but frankly confusing me even further, and I just had to walk away. Even had a few hormonal tears.

But once we put our collective foot down as to what we wanted, and just dealt with one sales manager, we managed to make quite a lot of headway. We've stuck all the big stuff (nursery furniture, travel system, car seat and base) on their BabyPlan - most of which has very kindly been paid for by both sets of GPs-to-be. We may be borrowing a car seat from my best friend, so that might come off the order. The furniture and pram aren't being delivered until the middle of May, but we did take a moses basket, rocking MB stand and stacks of bedding home with us.
So bit by bit we're starting to get there with the nursery and essentials. Still lots of odds and sods (bottles and steriliser, clothes, muslins, bath etc) to get - but I'll need to do some shopping on my maternity leave!

My Mum and Dad were very helpful and generous - and still really, really excited - but I still sometimes feel that over-excitement a bit overwhelming and have to step back from it for a bit. I guess there's a little part of me still worried things can go wrong, and I could end up disappointing a lot of people. I know that's not the most rational of thoughts, and I am excited - but just more privately, inside myself and find it difficult to share fully with anyone other than DP.