Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Dressing the nursery

Well the process has now begun whereby my challenge is to bring to life an otherwise pale cream painted room that is soon to be our nursery. My inspiration started when I happened across some photos on flickr of a nursery that had been accessorised by placing pretty fabric into embroidery hoops which were then hung on the wall. These looked really effective and I wanted to try to achieve something similar on a tight budget.

Donning my dusty Blue Peter hat I decided to put good use to an old cardboard box and bought some colourful wrapping paper. First cutting the discs out from the card in different sizes (attributed to my wok and popcorn bowl among others), I then wrapped them snugly in assorted papers until I had the 6 discs covered. I had some leftover paper, so I have filled two frames for the opposite wall - and voila! Quick and effective wall decorations. I can't wait to see them up on display.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

25 weeks pregnant

It feels like its been a busy week and at the same time it seems to have dragged. Have been on regular bump-watch as the wiggler has been very active this week, something akin to playing the harp. Typically every time I feel a big one, I stop what I'm doing and watch, and ever so typically in return she holds her breath and doesn't move a muscle until I resume what I was doing, and then the same thing happens all over again. Needless to say I have had a very unproductive week!

Heartburn has well and truly kicked in, from the moment I first eat or drink anything, until I go to bed at night. Despite eating pigeon portions and a healthy dose of Gaviscon, I'm still suffering so have ditched the small portion theory and been to Potters for a hearty supper of Stew & Dumplings. And as I write I'm warming Rhubarb Pie in the oven.

Other perks of pregnancy this week include experiencing swollen feet and ankles for the first time since my last long haul flight, along with beginning to have difficulty reaching to put my socks on or tie my own laces. In a bid to stem the decline further (I may not be able to control the growing bump, but I can tackle my flexibility), I dug out my yoga mat and spent a very ungraceful practice dusting off a few asanas. I'm hoping to keep up with this seeing as it made me feel a little better about things and it is terribly naughty to have let my practice slip so much.

25 weeks down, 15 to go, and 10 left at work...

Monday, 19 April 2010

24 weeks pregnant

Well I had my 25 week midwife appointment today. I'm actually 24 weeks 4 days, but she's only in on a Monday. Was surprised to see a new face inviting me into the consult room, apparently my midwife Mandy 'left very quickly' and now I have Fiona to look after me until G-wiggle is born.

Fiona did some routine checks on my blood pressure, foetal heart beat (15-160bpm), and says everything seems to be moving along normally. Apparently I have a 'neat' bump. We have scheduled my next two ante-natal appointments. I'm going to St. James Hospital for my 28 week appointment where they'll test urine, draw blood to check iron levels and a few other measures, along with giving me an injection of Anti-D (which apparently is to do with me having a rhesus negative blood group). I have no idea what Anti-D does or is for so I'm off to google that tonight so I can shed some light on it for my Husband (no idea why I didn't ask the midwife, must be my preg-head!). Assuming everything's ok at 28 weeks, I see the midwife again at 31 weeks. Time is moving quickly now!

The midwife has today issued my MATB1 which is the form I submit to my employer in readiness for claiming maternity benefits. I have today also given written notice of my intended maternity leave - I'm taking 4 weeks holiday from 25th June then starting mat-leave on 24th July... a week or so before B-DAY! The HR Manager says I can take less holiday and carry some over to next year, so I'm going to aim for 25th June and see how I feel. If I'm feeling good and the weather is poor I may work another week or so, I can cross that bridge when I get to it and its nice to know they're flexible.

Lastly, I have posted my claim form to receive the governments Health in Pregnancy Grant, which will see £190 hitting the account at some point in the coming weeks. Of course I will abide by its intention and spend the lot on healthy fruit and vegetables. (Or it may buy the car seat). We'll see.

24 weeks down, 16 to go, and 11 left at work.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

A rare moment of calm

Daisy-woof still, but just for a moment....

Visiting my bump buddy

Today Matt and I took Daisy-woof down to Clumber Park to picnic and dog walk with Christina, Andy and Evangelia. Christina is also expecting, due 3 days after me in August. It's the first time I've seen her since January and was really excited to see her bump. She's carrying more gracefully than me, neat and high up (whereas mine seems to be lower down and wider spread). She says when she carried Evangelia she looked the same as I do now, so she thinks she may be having a boy. I guess it has to be one or the other!

Evangelia was well behaved as ever although apparently she had a meltdown yesterday after not one shop on the Mansfield high street sold a green dummy. Angelic and cheery today, she amused herself while we ate a picnic lunch and chatted about all things baby and parenthood. Christina and Andy have two names in mind, Sevena for a girl, and Dimitri for a boy (this one drawing on her Greek roots). I'm glad the name Grace Mae was chosen so easily.

We had a nice leisurely stroll around the lake at Clumber letting Daisy-woof let off steam and bounce through the heathland. She had her first boating experience (which she wasn't a fan of), and then we bid Christina and Andy goodbye so we could get home to put our feet up.

So lucky to have close family near by and to have Christina going through pregnancy at the same pace as me is reassuring for me being a first-time Mum. No doubt between now and b-day I will have umpteen questions I need to quizz her on, but for now it's just nice to be out in the spring sunshine enjoying pregnancy with my cousin.

Bump pics

This is Gracie-wiggle growing, 20 weeks, and 2 at 24 weeks.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Up to speed: a 6 month snapshot

Without wanting to sound Julie Andrews-esque, let's start at the very beginning...

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and a whole lot of stuff has happened between then and now, so there's a lot to catch up on. Overjoyed to be expecting, our baby-to-be was conceived back in November when Matt and I were down enjoying the late autumn sunshine in Norfolk with our dog and best friend, Daisy-woof. I knew almost straight away I had fallen pregnant, as my cycle has always been like clockwork. Husband is particularly excited as he'd been wishing me pregnant since we were married, and here we are less than a year from walking down the aisle and baby is on the way.

My first trimester was over in a flash and thankfully not encumbered by too much morning sickness or any other ailments. I did succumb to a rotten head cold and for once appreciated what over-the-counter remedies actually do (obviously not being able to benefit from them being so early in pregnancy). I am grateful (touch wood) that there have been no other rumblings of illness since, so fingers crossed for the next 16 weeks until due date.

The first scan took place at 12+1 weeks and we were quiet stunned seeing our handiwork on the big screen! Everything seemed to be fine and we treated ourselves to a jolly good fry up after the early appointment. Typically the anxiety floating around in my head worked up into being convinced the scan picture looked abnormal, irrational I know when the ultrasonographer had assured us everything seemed to be developing normally for this stage. Nevertheless I drew on stories I had heard from my own mother who had multiple pregnancies that weren't viable including a stillborn, with spinabifida and another condition affecting the development of the skull. Utterly freaked out, we decided to book a private scan to put my mind at rest.

Our second scan took place at 13+3 weeks, and we were immediately reassured by seeing our little-one on the screen again. Being a private clinic, the time was taken to show us all the growing parts from many angles and the ultrasonographer really put my mind at rest. Money well spent, as I slept well that night for the first time in over a week.

By this time both Husband and I felt very firmly we were expecting a little girl. Just a gut feeling, but one that couldn't be confirmed or refuted until our next scan at 20 weeks. And that time dragged, and dragged, and dragged some more! We broke the wait with a week in the sun - our last guilty pleasure before making the transition from happily married to happily learning the new art of parenthood. We spent a glorious week in a wonderful spot on the beach in The Gambia, West Africa, relaxing in the abundant sunshine and generally making the most of doing very little.

Working full time has been ok for me. I'm lucky to be able to work flexi-time and have been able to work longer days when I feel up to it which makes up for days when I feel drained and need to leave early. That said, I feel fortunate to be a pregnant worker who hasn't suffered a difficult pregnancy. So far, fingers crossed! Apart from a scare when I experienced my first bout of growing pains where I thought my uterus was being over-inflated with a bicycle pump, I've been in every day with only 1 day lost.

Our 20 week scan was wonderful and quite emotional. We killed time in the morning, until the appointment at 1.30pm. Nervously waiting for the heads up that there were no obvious abnormalities, I could feel the tension coursing through me. We had a trainee ultrasonographer and her mentor was very supportive, helping her get the measurements that she needed, showing Husband and I shots on the screen whenever an anatomical feature was obvious. After almost 40 minutes we were given the all clear, told that baby-to-be was measuring normal in all areas and nothing untoward had been picked up on. We were asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby.... IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

So now bump-to-be needs a name, and we're planning on calling her Grace Mae after my granny that passed away when I was quite young. The bump soon became affectionately nicknamed Gracie-wiggle once I began feeling regular movements at 21 weeks.

4 weeks have passed since then, and it's another 16 weeks until Gracie-wiggle is due to hit terra firma. And so that's how we got from then to now. And now I hope to get on here regularly enough so that one day, Grace can log on and read about her life, from the very beginning.