Friday, 26 July 2013

So, Where Were You ...??

... when Wee Baby Cambridge was born?

I was sitting in my home office, laptop open, contracts strewn around the place and BlackBerry on silent whilst I was glued to Sky News on my iPad. Same scenario for Monday and Tuesday

I'm a huge Royalist. I hadn't realised until Wills & Kate got engaged and my previous curiosity turned into all out fangirling. I suddenly felt the urge to know ALL about the Royal Family. I bought a commemorative mug. I bought the Diana biography in order to gain an insight into the Royal Household and even a book written by the Queens cousin, one of the Queens 'ladies-in-waiting'. I was excited for the Jubilee and bought another mug. I watch everything on TV that has any mention of the Royal Family, especially if there are horses involved. I've followed Zara Phillips career obsessively and I'm almost as excited about her pregnancy as I was about Kates.


I've followed Kates pregnancy closely, scrutinised every picture to detect her growing bump (if you can call it that) and counted down the days to her due date. Last week was spent checking the news every hour and when the news came on Monday morning that she was in the early stages of labour I almost wet myself with excitement (literally - pregnancy does that to you)

So Monday and Tuesday were spent watching Sky News and checking the Clarence House Twitter feed for updates whilst tweeting Eleanor, Becca, Charlotte and Alice to try to keep the excitement in check. Watching the Royal couple leave the Lindo Wing with Prince George on Tuesday afternoon and talk to the frankly staggering amount of waiting press was the highlight of my month. And as you can imagine - I've ordered another mug.

And now it's all over. And Sky News really ought to back off because explaining to viewers that the Royal couple want 'some private time to bond with their new arrival' whilst you are camped out on the grass verge outside the Middletons house is a bit of a joke really

Enough now. They've been more than generous. Let's leave them in peace

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

26 Weeks

That's right - 26 weeks (and 3 days) pregnant, which means I'm now officially in the third trimester! The baby is about 38cm long. So there's not long to go now and I've started to stock up on essential baby kit in earnest. It's basically an excuse to do A LOT of online shopping, so there's no complaints from me :)

The sickness is under control with minimal medication but my SPD has got a lot worse over the last week and it's been getting me down a bit. I had really looked forward to pregnancy and imagined myself being serene and calm, wafting about the place in something floaty and ethereal, probably from Monsoon. But the reality is very different and mainly consists of regular, undignified physio, wearing a belt around my hips which is basically a very tight band of thick elastic and wincing with pain any time I move. The baby doesn't like the belt, it pummels it mercilessly and squirms against it. To be fair, the poor thing is probably being squeezed! 

On the subject of baby movement, there's plenty of it and it's NOTHING like how I imagined. I expected little kicks and flutters and that's what I got at first but now the baby's bigger it can really pack a punch. It's surprising how violent it feels! Perhaps it's trying to escape?? I read somewhere that it should be awake for around 6 hours per day but I think it must have jet lag - it's awake and rolling around pretty much all the time. When it changes position (usually at night when I'm laid on my side) it's really quite bizarre. You can see it all from the outside too which is really weird. I called Matt over earlier to feel it squirming and it did what felt like a forward roll under his hand, causing him to recoil with a look of horror!

I'm feeling a lot calmer overall but still have little unexpected bouts of rage. I don't see them coming and even I'm surprised at what comes out of my mouth sometimes! Plus I dissolve into tears quite easily still, I've been in bits about Wee Baby Cambridge :)

I'm eating pretty much normally now, the sudden hunger attacks of the first trimester are a distant memory and I'm managing to eat some more healthy foods, rather than the chips I seemed to crave on a daily basis. I'm not getting any exercise as I'm trying to keep my pelvis stable and I'm under strict instructions to rest but I'm not too worried about that. As soon as the baby's here and my body is back to normal I can play catch up as my physio is opening a new gym later this year, purely focussing on exercise to manage existing conditions, which will be perfect timing for me

I'm still doing my natal hypnotherapy, although I don't know how much use it is as I fall asleep every time I listen to it - the woman's voice is so soothing!

It's strange to think that we won't see the baby again until it's born as we've had both our NHS scans, as well as the private Downs Syndrome screening at 13 weeks. I'd been planning to have another private scan at around 30 weeks but I'm not so sure I want to now - they tend to be 4D scans and they freak me out a little bit! You can also get a DVD of your baby moving around inside which I would love - I'd really like to know which bit of the baby is prodding me all the time!

Despite having so much to moan about, I must say I'm loving my bump! I've been forced to wear slightly more feminine clothes than I would usually wear (I used to live in boyfriend jeans and hoodies) to accommodate my expanding tum - dresses are just way more comfortable at the minute and comfort is everything. I invested in a pair of Mama Spanx fairly early on so I don't look too lumpy and bumpy in my favourite fitted Isabella Oliver dresses - I find it's best to go for ruched, fitted clothes that accentuate the bump rather than trying to hide it. Apart from when I'm at home, then I'm happy to wear huge baggy T shirt dresses as I don't have to worry about just looking porky! Although I lost weight in the first few months due to the sickness, I've put on 6.9kg in total (just over a stone) and it's not all bump I'm afraid - although I'm told my bump is 'very neat' I know I've put on weight all over - my thighs are enormous (even my maternity jeans have become snug) and not being able to exercise is not helping. But if growing a baby isn't a good excuse I don't know what is!

I have eight weeks until my maternity leave starts and I'm already counting down the days! Speaking of which, I'm off to cross off 23rd July right now ...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Friday Round Up

flaked out in the heat - hot dog - does ice cream count as fluids??
new housekeepers cupboard all finished (and half installed) - yums - cute sign outside church
sunday afternoon in the garden with the family - bliss - getting plenty of rest

instagram - madeupoflittlethings

I don't want to brag or anything. But I've had a FABULOUS week! I had a week of annual leave to use up before my maternity leave starts in September and, having heard that we were due a heatwave, I surprised myself by being organised enough to book this week off work. And I'm mighty glad I did!

Pregnancy is pretty knackering and the heat really doesn't help matters so I've done a bit of sunbathing but not as much as I would have liked to, I just can't bear the heat. So on my days at home I've bobbed in and out of the house, resting in the shade between short bouts of sitting in the sun. But I've enjoyed it so much! Sitting in the garden with the dogs, sipping a cold drink and reading a book, watching the chickens amble about the garden and listening to the birds in the trees - it's just been heavenly. You know that feeling of not being in a rush, not mentally planning what you are going to do next and for the rest of the day because you don't have anything pressing to do except relax? I can't really remember the last time I had that feeling - probably the last time we went abroad, which was Goa in 2010 - far too long ago!

I've had a couple of days out of the house, I had a midwife appointment on Tuesday so as we were in town we went and did some carpet and sofa shopping for the new house as well. Wednesday was my sister's birthday so I took her and my nephew out for lunch and a quick amble around the shops. And yesterday we crossed the Humber Bridge to Hull to visit a couple of retail parks where there were lots of shops in one place, to save me from more walking than necessary. We managed to find two perfect armchairs for the new kitchen and a gorgeous sofa for our 'cinema room'. It's U shaped and it's all different bright colours which I really wasn't keen on, being a fan of neutrals. But when Matt pointed out that the room would have to be painted in a very dark colour, including the ceiling to prevent glare on the TV screen it suddenly made sense and I agreed he was probably right. Even if it does look like a clown has patched it together!

The biggest purchase we made was ... wait for it ... a solid oak cot bed and mattress for the baby! We spent ages dithering over it and then Matt went and made the decision himself, including picking a mattress, whilst I popped to the Ladies. I was most impressed! With the cot and pushchair ordered I'm starting to feel a little more organised. Despite making endless lists I haven't really bought much yet so I need to get cracking. It also brought home how expensive baby stuff is, I really do need to start buying the big items otherwise I'll bankrupt myself come October!

After our shopping expedition I'm resting today, I'm a bit achey and sore. The SPD is still an unwelcome guest but it's manageable now, I just need to remember not to do too much. Rest is the best thing and let's face it, who wants to do much else in this weather??

This weekend we'll be having barbecues and sitting in the garden a lot, as well as keeping up with our nightly ritual of watching the Tour de France highlights. I'm already dreading going back to work on Monday but I'm officially on maternity leave countdown now - just eight more weeks of work for me!

What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Recent Reads

Since being pregnant my pace of life has slowed right down, I've been needing to rest more, especially in the early days. Spend more time with my feet up and going to bed early has meant that I've rediscovered my Kindle and with it, my love of reading

I've always been an avid reader. As a child I spent most of my time in my bedroom with a book and even when seen around the house, I would usually have a book in my hand. I can thank my mum for this - although she wasn't a huge reader herself she enrolled me in the local library pretty much from birth and used to take me there for story time and to borrow books for us to read together at home. As I got a bit older I would borrow seven books per week and read them all before returning the next Saturday, hungry for more. I have strong memories of being on family holidays - reading a book, long car journeys - reading a book, eating lunch - reading a book, being dragged round the shops on a Saturday - reading a book ... you get the picture

Since I met Matt I've probably read less than I ever have because I'm kept so busy. His pace of life was something of a revelation to me and it took me a while to learn to keep up, meaning that reading fell by the wayside. Plus, last year I had a run of really bad books - you know when you start a book and don't make it to the end? I was starting to think I'd lost my passion for reading - not a good omen for a budding novelist - but it turns out they were just bad books!

Anyway, here are a few of the books I've really enjoyed recently and which have rekindled (geddit?) my love of reading

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I read this after seeing people raving it about it on Twitter and it didn't disappoint. Extremely clever and gripping, I loved it from start to finish

Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes 
After reading Elizabeths debut, Into The Darkest Corner and being so impressed by it that I was moved to write my first (and only) Amazon review, I'd been looking forward to the release of this novel for a long time. This author makes crime novels accessible and appealing because of her interesting and engaging characters and has opened up a whole new genre to me 

Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter
A long awaited debut - I love Dawn O'Porters documentaries and her writing style is exactly as I expected - engaging and funny but with a real message in the background

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
If you loved The Time Travellers Wife you might love this too. Even more unusual and intriguing, I loved every character in this book

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A slightly more fluffy novel as you would expect but surprisingly addictive. A perfect summer read

What have you been reading recently? Have you any recommendations for me?

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