Some time has passed since I last wrote about pregnancy. In fact, some time has passed since I last properly wrote anything. To be frank, since being pregnant I've really struggled with having the confidence, inspiration or even the know how to share myself on here. I feel like my eloquence has gone out of the window. I've found this really quite frustrating and at times it has really felt like I'm losing my way.
On a more positive note, I’ve grown a fair bit since my last baby-related blog post (both personally and substantially outwards), and it’s been a really interesting and amazing few months. It has definitely had its ups and downs, but throughout it all I have been filled with an enormous sense of gratitude to be in this position. I couldn’t be happier or more excited to be at this point in my life.
Lee and I have tackled an unexpected house move and settled in to our new flat, so have plenty of time to prepare (as much as you ever can) for the inevitable little person chaos.
This growing-a-human business is full of so many unexpected changes to the body and emotions. Nothing stays the same for long, and I feel strongly about documenting these experiences so I can remember as much as possible in the future, whether it be the good, the bad, or the just plain embarrassing.
Baby brain - I swear this is a thing. So do some scientists which makes me feel a little better. I've always had my moments of dippiness here or there, but the more pregnant I get, the more I feel like my brain might be giving way to mush.
The inexplicable sweating. Granted we have had a lot of very hot weather in the U.K. lately, but when you don’t feel too hot but still have to sit there with napkins under your armpits to dry off, you know something hormonal is going on. Additional helpful tip: deodorant on your thinner thighs to help with sweating. The jury is still out for me on how effective this really is.
(I think I may have been rather naive about this one....) Most unfortunately, being pregnant doesn’t make men any less leery. (Is that a word??) They are just as bad, and if anything you feel more vulnerable and indignant being perved on at this point in your life. Some might say I should take it as a compliment but I don’t. Lucky me, I should be grateful you are making me uncomfortable by leering because I'm pregnant, all the while making me feel more vulnerable than ever because I cannot easily run away. SARCASTIC THUMBS UP.
When baby finds your bladder. You can go from 0 to crippled in seconds and there ain’t nothing you can do about it but get yourself to the nearest loo, pronto! (You also better get ready to clench when you sneeze, girl).
Growing pains. As the little one starts to grow and stretch, so do you, and it can be really quite uncomfortable. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that my baby’s movements might actually cause me pain at times. Especially as he has now found my ribs and my abs are being stretched apart further by the day.
The change in your flexibility. As your belly starts to grow, it’s surprising how quickly bending down to do up your shoes, picking up something from the floor, or even getting off the sofa can become challenging. And I can still see my toes, gulp! It was at around the 22 week mark I thought it might be wise to invest in some slip on sandals before I ran out of time and got myself stuck down there.
The heart burn - make sure you keep plenty of milk in the house for this one, because when it hits, it really hits!
The shitty pregnant immune system. I seem to have been hit with a bout of summer flu in the midst of an unusually hot London summer. When all you can take is the odd paracetamol, you can't breathe through your nose, and even the fan you've left on all night doesn't help, cue intense levels of self pity. I am also no good at spending days at a time home alone. There is only so much Netflix or episodes of the Handmaid's Tale (Note to self: Season 2 is not the most uplifting viewing for a pregnant lady) I can watch in one day without losing my mind.
Yes, your boobs are STILL sore and becoming more ridiculous by the day. Lying on your side without supporting them still hurts, and don't even think about going braless. How much bigger are these things going to get??
The one-sided sun tan. Don't get me wrong, I've mostly found it too hot to properly sit in the sun since being pregnant, but if I did I would look utterly ridiculous anyway, because how is a pregnant woman ever supposed to tan the back of her body?! First world problems, people!!
YOU CAN FIIINALLY TALK ABOUT IT! Oh good lord, what a relief!! It’s only the biggest secret of your life!
If you’re lucky you no longer feel like death warmed up, and in my case I was very happy to kiss goodbye to the anti-nausea acupressure bands at around 11 weeks.
If your experience is/was anything like me, you no longer look grey with nausea, either. Grey was rather a distinguishing characteristic of my skin tone for several weeks. (And sadly not the Fifty Shades variety).
You don’t feel the need to eat everything in site. The insatiable hunger of a bear who has spent months in hibernation is not a good look. (Frankly I'm surprised the world wasn't thrown into an Avocado/Mexican food/Salt & Vinegar chipstick shortage.)
You finally begin to actually look pregnant rather than just bloated or like you’ve eaten a big meal. That in between stage where it just looks like you’ve let yourself go, SUCKS. I desperately wanted to start looking pregnant just so I didn’t look bloated. There is also no denying it at 25 weeks - people can no longer irritate me by claiming I don’t look pregnant and saying my pregnant stomach (of which I am proud) is smaller than theirs after a big meal. I’m growing a human people, let me have this one!!
Your energy miraculously begins to return which means that menial tasks like leaving the sofa and walking to the bed become far more achievable. #winningatlife.
The chance to find out what you are having. Some people like to wait but in my opinion there is no bigger surprise than a human being coming out of your vagina. More to the point, Lee and I are also like children at Christmas and just couldn’t wait. So on Monday June 18th our little chum became our little man and we are both super happy and excited about preparing for his arrival come November.
Baby is moving! It seems that I was an unusual one in that I started feeling movement from 2 days before I hit 17 weeks (for those who don’t know, first time mums often don’t feel baby moving until around 20 weeks). Such a weird sensation initially - like a rolling movement in my tummy. Followed by the odd very definite little kick. As the weeks have gone on, the kicks and movements have become far stronger and visible, and finally at around 20.5 weeks my partner was able to feel them from the outside much to his excitement. Now he can find where little chum is just by touching my belly - this has been my favourite part of the second trimester for sure, and his kicks seem to get stronger all the time. Now that I'm at 25 weeks they are more like wallops and Lee's dreams of having a football-playing son seem far more realistic.
Other people's reactions to baby moving. They are quite wonderful. From the tears of my partner's sister to the dinner plate-like wide eyes of her boyfriend, it's amazing to see how much the movements of this tiny little person mean to other people, not just me or Lee.
Baby starts reacting to music and voices . The first time I tried out music on our little one I was at home alone one evening and we chilled out with some George Michael. A bit of Jesus to a child, followed by Father Figure, some other classics and some Wham went down a storm. A few nights later at Eminem he wasn't so happy until the slower numbers came on. This child is too blissed out for his own good unless it comes to booting the inside of mum's stomach at midnight just for LOLs.
Special dispensation/unexpected bonding. ie. The rare occasions when people aren't being self-absorbed douches on the tube and actually offer you a seat. Or the drunk girls at the Eminem gig last week who loudly pushed me ahead of them in the queue for the loos. Or the Welsh couple who were sitting behind us on the same night and despite not knowing us, were so interested and keen to chat about their experiences with their 18 week old. Something about babies still ignites something lovely in some of us, and its wonderfully touching to see.
The generosity and excitement of others. This little man isn't even born yet and he has already been totally spoilt! So have I. From the huge pile of maternity clothes, expensive moisturisers and baby books from one friend, an amazing maternity pillow from another, baby clothes and a whole "travel system" (God, that term is so wanky) from family and friends, the list goes on... Every little gesture of generosity has left us so touched and grateful.
I can't quite believe we're now at 25 weeks. Suddenly time just begins to fly. I'm now caught between excitement at meeting our little man and not wanting the pregnancy to end as I have enjoyed it so much, even the moments where I have felt exhausted or like crap.
However, check in with me in 14 weeks time and lets see which Hannah we get....