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Not long left…

There’s no doubt pregnancy is a beautiful and miraculous thing, and there’s a lot to be said about bringing another life into the world. Yes it’s a magical time, but here’s also moments when you just want to scream “GET OUT OF ME YOU LITTLE SOD!!”

I have to admit, as I’m nearing the end of this pregnancy, I’m feeling quite bittersweet about it. We’ve decided that this will be our second and last baby, so this will (hopefully) be my last pregnancy and, while there’s some things I’ll miss about being pregnant, there’s no denying I also wish I could turn the clock forward a few weeks towards my due date!

Here’s a few things I’ll miss about being pregnant, and some things I definitely won’t…

  • Little baby kicks – there’s no nicer feeling for me than feeling my baby wriggling around inside my belly. In those moments, it feels like we’re the only two people in the world and we’re sharing a little moment, especially when the baby responds to our voices. Isla loves kissing my belly and enjoys blowing raspberries on my tummy to get him/her to move, and I love that baby responds to her as well.
  • The nice comments – I know it’s a bit egotistical, but people definitely are nicer to you when you’re pregnant and I’ll admit, part of me actually likes the attention sometimes. And people definitely treat you with kid gloves – open doors for you, pick things up off the floor when you drop them (which I’m very grateful for!) and offer to bring you drinks if you’ve (finally) made yourself comfortable and don’t want to move for a while. Nice!
  • Knowing you’re bringing a new life into the world – yes it’s soppy, but the miracle of life does amaze me. The growing of a baby and birthing from it fills me with wonder, what our bodies can do to create a new life is incredible.

What won’t I miss? Well….

  • The aches and pains – yes, growing a baby is wonderful, but the strain it puts on our bodies is bloody hard. I’ve really struggled with this pregnancy, especially with insomnia, back pain and sickness well past the 20 week mark. Now I’m 34 weeks, I can’t walk far at all before my belly and back start to hurt and I end up sweating like a heaving beast. Which leads me on to…
  • Being restricted – bless her, Isla is a really good girl and understands that mummy can’t do certain things because of the baby in her tummy, but I hate not being able to do things with her that I could earlier. For example, I love taking her to the park and swimming, but I can’t do these things on my own as I can’t lift her up or carry her – as I found out a couple of weeks ago when I took her to an adventure playground and she climbed up a slide and got stuck and I couldn’t get her down! Thankfully, another parent came to our rescue, but it frustrated me that I can’t be the parent I want to be to Isla , and won’t be able to for a while as I’ll be on Planet Newborn for a while.
  • The lack of sleep – yes, I know I should be getting used to not sleeping well, but juggling working full time (which includes 80 mile round trip of a commute) with an excitable toddler means I’m constantly shattered, yet I’m so uncomfortable with my aforementioned bad back and massive belly that I can’t sleep, plus the multiple trips to the loo all hours of the night. Fun.
  • Missing my favourite things – I know it’s only for 9 months, but who can honestly say they don’t miss having a glass of something naughty when they’re pregnant? And yes, without wanting to sound like I have a drink problem, I have missed not being able to have a Pimms or a glass of prosecco in this lovely weather. And I also love desserts like cheesecake and tiramisu, which are both off limits too. Hubs and I have got a bottle of our favourite wine chilling in the fridge ready for when I’m able to drink again!
  • The not-so-nice comments – yes, most people have been lovely and have told me how well I’m looking in this pregnancy, but there’s always the odd one comment that makes you feel like shit. “Ooooh yes you’re big all over with this one aren’t you?” was one, “Gosh you look very big and tired today dear” was another. Charming.

But hey, enough of my moaning. It’s all worth it in the end, and I can’t wait to meet our baby. Just wish he’d get a move on…

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Boy? Girl? Boy? Girl?

The sex of our baby has been a hot topic ever since we announced we were having another back in March. The reason? I decided that as we found out the gender when I was pregnant with Isla, I really wanted a surprise this time and didn’t want to know. Hubs, on the other hand, didn’t want to wait and wanted to be as prepared as possible.

So at the 20 week scan, I shut my eyes while the sonographer showed Hubs what sex our baby is. 14 weeks later, he’s not told a soul – I’m really proud of him as I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to keep schtum! I’ve had a few moments of weakness where I’ve wanted to know, but just reminded myself that it’ll be a wonderful feeling to have the big reveal at the birth.

Having said that, I have wondered if there are ways to tell what we’re having. A quick Google search revealed so many old wives tales which apparently will allude to the baby’s gender. So I decided to give them a few of them a try…

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  • Wedding ring test – the legend goes that if you tie a thread around your wedding ring and hold it above your belly, the way it swings will tell you what you’re having. If it swings back and forth, it’s a girl; if it turns in circles, it’s a boy. I tried this and the ring swung very clearly back and forth. So this apparently means… Verdict: girl.
  • Dry skin? – apparently if your skin dries out during your pregnancy, it’s a boy. I can certainly attest to this one as I’ve been having to smother myself in Aveeno all over every day or my skin resembled a flapjack! Verdict: boy.
  • Pupils – the saying goes that if you stare into a mirror for a minute, if your pupils start to dilate, baby is a boy. I tried it and, as well as reminding me of all those times me and my cousin sat staring into mirrors trying to see ghosts when we were kids, nothing happened to my pupils. Verdict: girl.
  • Linea nigra – you know the lovely brown line that you get on your belly when you’re pregnant (I didn’t know it was called this either!)? Apparently, if the line extends over your navel, it’s a boy. If not, it’s a girl. The jury is out on this one because while it does stretch way past my navel, it did when I was pregnant with Isla too. Verdict: inconclusive.
  • Bump high or low? I’m sure every pregnant woman has had people stare at their bump and declare that as they’re carrying “all out in front” that it’s a boy, etc etc. So the theory is that if you carry baby all out front and quite low, it’s a boy, whereas if your bump is high and all around you, it’s a girl. I carried Isla quite high, almost all the way up to my bust, whereas this one has always been very low, all out in front, and I’ve been told you can’t even tell I’m pregnant from the back (😀) so on that basis: Verdict: boy.
  • Hair growth – supposedly boy babies also make your body hair grow thicker and faster too, whereas with girls, it stays the same. Without going into too much detail, I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference to be honest. Verdict: girl.
  • Baby’s heart rate: some midwives agree on this one, whereas others don’t (mine dismisses this one as nonsense). The thought is that if baby’s heart rate is below 140 beats per minutes, it’s a boy, whereas above 140 means it’s a girl. Every time I’ve heard baby’s heartbeat, it’s never once gone above 140, and has averaged between 100-120bpm. There’s also the thought that a girl’s heart rate sounds like galloping horses, whereas a boy’s sounds like a train, although this one is open to interpretation as when I asked my midwife at my most recent appointment, the trainee midwife and I both heard galloping horses, but my midwife heard a train. Hmmm… Verdict: inconclusive, possibly boy.
  • Looking good? – ever heard the saying that girls take your beauty? Well when I was pregnant with Isla, my hair was lank and greasy and my skin was so oily. This time around, my skin has never looked better and my hair is so glossy and thick. If this expression is anything to go by…Verdict: boy.
  • Chinese Gender Prediction Chart – this one has been popping up everywhere. According to this chart, the age of the mother and the month of conception determine the baby’s gender. So i was 30 when baby was conceived, and the conception occurred in November… Verdict: boy.

So what have we learned? Not a fat lot to be honest, although it was fun tying some of these theories! Ho hum, only 6 weeks til we find out for sure!

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The bump, the toddler, and me 🤢😴😃😡😭

So here we are, pregnancy number 2, and as this will be our second and final baby, I’m determined to enjoy this pregnancy.

Except it’s really bloody hard to enjoy this one so far…

When I was pregnant with Isla, I was tired all the time and was constantly sick, morning, noon and night, right up until 21 weeks. But at least I was able to rest a bit and didn’t have a toddler to chase after. Without wanting to sound whiny, this pregnancy is so much harder than my first.

I’ve got the crushing exhaustion and sickness as before, but there’s a huge variety of food and drink that triggers the sickness this time – spicy food, rich food, any hot drinks, dairy (even butter on toast or milk on cereal is a no-no) – and I’ve also been blessed with insomnia this time. Because I’m so tired, I’m asleep by 9pm most nights, which in turn then means I’m awake at 3/4am and can’t sleep for love nor money, so I’m exhausted by 8pm, and so the cycle continues.

Whether Hubs agrees with this or not is debatable, but I didn’t really have mood swings with my first pregnancy, but this time around, my moods have been up and down more than a whore’s drawers, as my mum would have said. It’s not fun.

The positives? This time my skin and hair are less greasy and my hair feels thicker, which I didn’t have first time around.

I’m also so excited that we’re completing our family, and despite the icky symptoms, I am loving being pregnant again. Being able to feel the baby wriggling inside me is a magical feeling.’

And the biggest positive? Isla is so excited to be a big sister. She kisses my bump and says hello to the baby all the time, and has been telling everyone that “mummy has a baby in her tummy”. Thankfully, she doesn’t seem to have a preference over whether she has a brother or sister, which is just as well since we’re not finding out what we’re having this time, but that’s another story…

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Ding ding, round 2…

Remember how, pretty much 18 months ago, I said I wouldn’t be having any more kids because of how tough my first pregnancy was and blah blah blah?

Yeah, that didn’t last.

Roughly about 6 months after I published that blog post, I woke up one morning and just decided I desperately wanted another baby. Like, right now. All of the reasons I said to stay on just the one child went right out of the window.

So Hubs and I talked and decided that as we had problems conceiving Isla, we should probably get a move on if we wanted to try again, as my PCOS would probably have gotten worse over the past 3 years. So I made an appointment with the lovely gynaecologist who helped us conceive Isla (with the right medication you understand, no funny business…) and he put me on Clomid, as he did before, and we started trying in May last year.

Only this time, Round 2 proved to be more problematic. The first three cycles were unsuccessful, and the multiple negative pregnancy tests I took each month were incredibly disheartening. I went back to my gynaecologist for various tests which showed I was ovulating, so I was given three more cycles of clomid and it was just a case of “keep going.” I started using a fertility app to track my cycles and scrutinised any signs that I might be ovulating each month, putting ridiculous pressure on us to “get it right”.

Two more unsuccessful cycles followed, and by October, after I got my period at work and had a little cry in the office toilets, I was beginning to panic. I’d already read a lot of websites about secondary infertility (yes, I know…) and was so worried it wouldn’t happen for us. I know how lucky we are to already have our beautiful girl, but I felt like a failure for not being able to give her a brother or sister.

So in November, we decided to get Hubs’ swimmers tested, which meant that we’d have to “abstain” for a week before the test. This week happened to fall during my fertile period, so in my eyes, November was a write-off to try properly. Or was it…?

On December 1st, my period was a day late. And I knew. I just knew. Just as had happened with Isla, the second we stopped “trying”, it happened. It just goes to show that putting too much pressure on yourself only makes it harder. If you’re struggling to conceive, take a break from it and try to relax, and maybe, just maybe…

So here we are, 20 weeks along with baby number 2. And remember I was concerned that being pregnant and coping with crushing exhaustion and constant sickness while running after a toddler would be incredibly tough? I was right. This pregnancy is much tougher than my first! But more on that later, I’ve rambled on long enough here!

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The small milestones

Obviously, a baby’s milestones are big deals. Their first steps, first words, first time they sleep through the night etc etc.

But now I’m starting to notice Isla’s smaller milestones that make me well up just as much.


This was the first time Isla slept under a duvet instead of her sleeping bag. She was in a sleeping bag up until she was almost 2 because she wriggles in her sleep so much, but we thought tucking her in nice and snug in a proper duvet might help keep her a bit more still. She slept absolutely fine that first night and we only had to tuck her back in once after she wriggled her legs out at about 10pm. She looked so cute I couldn’t resist taking a photo!


Then there’s the first time I watched Isla use a knife and fork. Without making a mess. We were at her best friends birthday party in July and she had some chicken nuggets with chips and peas. She not only gobbled the lot (and turned down ice cream in favour of finishing all her peas!) but used a knife and fork properly, the first time I’d seen her do it. I have to admit I did well up!

There’s also the times she’s said things that make me so proud. We’ve been teaching her to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but she still needs prompting from time to time. So when I plonked a yogurt in front of her at tea time a few weeks ago, and completely unprompted, she looked up at me and said “thank you mummy!” for the first time I could have burst with pride!

I had a similar reaction last week when I was tucking her in to bed and said “night night Isla Bear, love you” and she said “love you mummy”. I just wanted to smother her with kisses!

All these things are just reminding me that she’s growing up so fast, and soon we’ll be celebrating milestones such as her first night in her big girl bedroom (stay tuned to see how that turns out!) and then before long, her first day at school. Oh god, here come the tears again…

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Our two year old

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Today is Isla’s second birthday, and as cliched as it sounds, I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and how quickly she’s growing up. Our laid back little red headed baby girl how grown into a laid back but spirited and cheeky little girl. She loves nursery and all her little friends, and she’s incredibly sociable.

 We’re amazed every day at how intelligent she is. She’s speaking in three or four word (mostly coherent!) sentences and understands everything we say. She loves reading and knows the names of most every day objects, the favourites are currently Piggy Wiggy, chocolate and dawberries (aka strawberries)! She’s also quite good at counting and knows her numbers, but will sometimes miss out 4 and 7 just to tease us!

We’ve found that she’s very bossy, and if she wants to read or have us read to her she’ll demand it. One of her favourite things to do in the morning is to have us all snuggle up in our bed (she’ll demand “mummy/daddy/Piggy/Isla sleep in bed!”) and we have to pretend to sleep and snore, just so she can jump on us and shout “wake up mummy/daddy!” She also loves her food and eats huge amounts considering how small she is.

I was worried that she was a late walker (she didn’t take her first unaided steps until she was 16 months old)  and this might be because of future mobility problems, but as it turns out, she was just lazy and once she discovered how much fun it is to be walking and stomping about, she is now making up for it! She runs around with the other kids and has no problems keeping up with them, and one of her favourite things to do is go swimming. She loves wriggling around in the water with her armbands on and will swim back and forth between Hubs and I if we stand 10ft apart.

So far, Isla very rarely throws tantrums and seems to have learnt that throwing a hissy fit doesn’t work on us and that if she throws a strop, she won’t get what she wants. If she throws a tantrum we simply walk away from her (only into the next room and if it’s safe!) and after a few minutes of whimpering, she comes in and climbs onto our laps for a cuddle, like she’s saying sorry, and then she forgets all about it. Gradually her hissy fits seem to be getting shorter so hopefully the terrible twos won’t be too traumatic!

Ok I’ll stop gushing now. I know we’re very lucky to have such a happy, placid little girl who’s a joy to be around (her grandparents’ words, not just ours!) and that if we are lucky enough to have another one, we’re very unlikely to be blessed with such a “good” baby next time around so we’re just enjoying it while it lasts!

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I wish it was me

My baby girl isn’t a baby any more – she’ll be two next month and I can’t believe how much she’s changed in these past few months.

Her vocabulary is brilliant as her teachers at nursery have commented on many times, she’s putting together 3 or 4 word sentences and understands everything we say. She also repeats everything we say so we have to be so careful now! Isla is great with colours and numbers, even if she does tell us every colour we show her is red sometimes, and on her occasion her number sequence sometimes goes 1,2,3,5,8! She loves animals too and will happily tell us the right names and sounds of every animal we see.

Her social skills are pretty great too, she’s very friendly with anyone she sees and will shout “hello!” at anyone who stops to see her, and she’s really good at sharing her toys.

Honestly, this blog post isn’t just a brag about how proud I am of my beautiful, cheeky daughter. It’s about how sad I am that all the credit for my little girl’s development isn’t down to me, it’s down to the lovely ladies at her nursery.

As we work full time, Isla is in nursery from 8.15 to 5.30 Monday to Thursday and til 5 on Friday, and I’m well aware that all of her skills and development is due to the amazing care she receives at nurseryas they’re the ones who are with her full time. We do our best to offer her as much of a well-rounded and educational but fun environment when we’re together at home, but I’m well aware that her teachers at nursery have worked wonders with her, and I wish it was me.

As we don’t see much of her grandparents due to living so far away from our families, every time we see them they gush at how well she’s doing, and I feel bad that I can’t say I’m the one who’s taught her to count or that cows say “moooo”. I know I’d’ve done my best, but had I been a stay at home mum, I’m sure I wouldn’t have done as good a job with her as her teachers have.

And while I know it can’t be helped, as Hubs and I both have to work, I wish I could be the one to teach Isla her ABCs and 1,2,3s. I take my hat off to the lovely ladies at nursery for being so wonderful with my baby girl, or toddler as I now have! Gulp.

  • I’m delighted that this blog post was published on The Motherload! You can read it here…