Week 18 – Starting to enjoy it

Starting to look a bit squashed in there at 18 weeks!

Starting to look a bit squashed in there at 18 weeks!

My dear Button

I have really struggled recently to write about my pregnancy, about what’s going on in my body and about where we are in preparation for you.  It dawned on me last night that in a world of Swine Flu, Recession and other madness, I guess writing about how tired I’ve been or about the cot blanket I got for you just seems so self absorbed and yet I really want to tell you everything. So maybe that’s what I should do – write to you. So here goes.
I was very upset at work yesterday when someone commented “You don’t even look pregnant yet!” I know it’s silly, but I wish I had a big tummy already so that you could be as real to everyone else as you are to me.  I also really wish you’d move around more in there, so I’d know you’re okay!  So far I’ve not felt you yet, and I’m trying not to be scared by that fact. I’m only 18 weeks and they say I should feel you between 16 and 20 weeks. I’m just being impatient, I know.
Now that the sickness has more or less passed and (although I still live off fruit and pita breads with melted cheese!) I am feeling much better, I have started to enjoy things a bit more. I’m still very tired and sleep all the time, and sometimes struggle to even make it through a whole day at work but I’m feeling so much better and really that’s been fantastic! Now I’m able to enjoy the planning for your arrival more, I’m just getting so excited about it.  I’ll be honest: I am terrified. I’m not even sure what of. I know I’ll look after you and I know you’ll be loved by Daddy and me, but I’m still scared. It’s a big life change for us, but that’s okay – I’m looking forward to that part. I guess it’s just that you’re very permanent.  If you buy something you don’t like, you can give it back, even if it’s a house you don’t want anymore you can always sell it again. Marriages don’t even really seem to be forever anymore, even though they should be, but there really is nothing permanent in life anymore (and I’m not sure there ever really was!) But children… that’s permanent. Don’t misunderstand me Baby.  I’m very, very happy that you’re joining our family. I just hope that I’m going to be good enough for you.
But back to enjoying it – every now and then I will have a thought or something will happen that just jolts my insides a little bit.  Like last week, I was trying to book a hotel room in Bath for Daddy and me in October so that we could show you to our friends there.  When doing the booking, it always asks for number of people in the room, and I entered 2 adults and quite naturally, 1 child.  Then I realised that I had just made my first ‘and child’ booking, and tears welled up in my eyes.  It’s funny, when it comes to babies people always talk about all the firsts you experience with your baby, but no one ever talks about the huge list of ‘firsts’ before the baby is born!
A similar thing happened yesterday.  I received a letter in the mail from work saying thank you for my application for a place at the day nursery and that you’re now on the waiting list for January.  How amazing is that?  Of course, I feel a bit sorry for you, not even born yet and on a waiting list already, but even so! I’ve put the letter on the fridge – our first official letter about you.
I have been given quite a few things for you already too.  You have a moses basket so you can sleep in our room for the first while.  You also have some brand new Winnie the Pooh bedding someone gave me. It’s really soft and lovely.  Someone gave me a lovely gold and cream cot duvet and curtain which I put through the washing machine as it was a bit dusty, but now it smells and looks great! 
We are still trying to get the study turned in to a nursery, but it’s a slow process as it was also a bit of a storage room.  The house we’re in now you won’t remember later, but although it’s very nice and quite large, it has absolutely no storage space anywhere, so we’ve just left things we don’t use often in tubs and boxes, and well – they have to move now! I heard about someone who needed a computer desk and chair, so she came to collect those yesterday so at least there’ll be room for your cot now, once we get one! She a very sweet lady and gave us a cute little jersey for you as a thank you.  I know it’s a bit early to be getting the nursery ready, but really I’d rather do the ‘cleaning up and sorting out bit now’ before my tummy gets too big and makes it uncomfortable!
Well, Button, we’re slowly collecting things for you. You’ll be happy to know you have enough clothes for a few days and even nappies for the first two days or so, and you have somewhere to sleep, which I guess will be your main concern! Mommy’s old friend Tanya gave us a blue hippo for you to lie in your cot, and I’m going to get my old teddy bear fixed up so you can have that too.  Aunty Deshaine gave me a big Eyore a few years ago to give to someone, but somehow I never have, so you can have that now too. I need to get my christening gown dry cleaned so you can wear that too! Yours might not be the most luxurious or poshest nursery in the world, and you’re possibly the only baby ever to have two big shelves full of books in your room, but you’re going to be well looked after. Daddy and I will make sure of that.
Love you so much already,
P.S. I measured my tummy this morning and you must be growing in there because by my bellybutton my measurement is 112cm!

Week 16 – Nothing new to report

In the first trimester those close to a pregnant woman KNOW that she’s pregnant, by the exhaustion, the throwing up and the not drinking or doing extreme sports like lifting heavy things.  The third trimester is great because everyone short of the blind can SEE that she is pregnant by virtue of the definite shaped bump she carries around, and the pained expression standing seems to cause (I expect so, at least!).  I think the second trimester is the hardest.  The first trimester is hard due to the sickness. The third is hard due to the other stuff, like a human bouncing up and down on your bladder. (Recognise that I’m only focusing on the negatives for now, there are great things too, like the growing of your nails and the fact that your hair doesn’t fall out as much!) The second trimester is a strange in between middle place though.  Your body is changing, but only so that you yourself, your favourite jeans and maybe an attentive partner can really tell. Your abdomen changes shape so that you actually just look like you’ve indulged in a few too many beers and are growing a paunch. No matter how much you ‘suck in’ your stomach, there’s no flattening the 16 cm human with ears in place and fingertips that are starting to develop their own unique swirl!

What’s more is the nausea has, for most women, stopped by now.  For me? Well, it’s a lot better. I’ve not had any nausea tablets for three days now, and although this morning was a bit tough, it was nothing a few well placed strawberries didn’t cure. So yes, it’s certainly better, so long as no one tries to each chicken or any form of meat within smelling distance of me.

I am subscribed to three or four “Your pregnancy week by week” mailing lists and according to most of them, it’s in this week that expectant mommies can feel their little bundles move for the first time.  They say it’s like a little gurgle or bubble in  your womb, but that first time mothers might not recognise the feeling for another four or so weeks.  So again, it’s this in between phase where nothing really seems to be happening. But I know that in the deep dark depths, a beautiful life is being formed.

So – I’ve been trying to occupy myself with other things that are baby-ish, such as deciding what we need for a nursery.  I’m sure most first time parents are the same in this regard.  You look at the list of ‘must haves’ and feel a slight bit of panic. There are, it seems, about 2000 must haves for a baby’s nursery.  Well, our baby will be doing without about 1800 of those.  Poor thing. But so long as our Button has somewhere to sleep and food to eat, I’m sure we’ll have a happy baby, lack of all singing and dancing baby accessories notwithstanding! My Dad’s mom, my Ouma, has knitted some really beautiful baby clothes for us, and they’re waiting in a drawer along with the blanket she knitted (hoping it’s a girl, as it’s pink!). I also still have the christening gown she knitted for me when I was a baby. I need to get it out of storage and have it dry cleaned so we can use it for our baby. Quite special, I think!

Deshaine, my sister, suggested some time ago that I create a list on one of those ‘gift registries’ so that I can see what I have, what I need and what I can ask people who ask me what they can get me for, so I spent some time over the weekend doing that. ( Click here for the list if you want to see the extent of my unpreparedness!) It was quite fun – although it did make me realise how little I really know.  Like what are muslin squares for? Or receiving blankets? Do you need a steam steriliser? Can’t you just wash bottles in the sink? Or am I making more work for myself not spending £30 on a steriliser?  My sister has been working with kids and babies for about 10 years or so – I have her number on speed dial.

I am also aware of how much my life is about to change.  My hubby and I have spent all afternoon lazing on the sofas, music videos on tv, playing about on our respective laptops – no interruptions, no responsibilities, no stress.  I’ve spent 12 years as an adult doing what I want, answering to no one in particular and having no special agendas.  It’s not that I want it to continue, necessarily, I mean… I’m all up for growth and all that, and it’s not that I’m afraid of giving that up, it’s just daunting. I’m sure it’ll be worth it, but – well, I guess I’m allowed to be a little scared, aren’t I?

And there are going to have to big changes afoot for us as a couple too.  It’s likely that I won’t have much maternity leave available, and although our first floor, South London flat with a shared study/guest room/nursery might be perfectly adequate for the first year or so, we’ll soon thereafter have to start making some choices about the kind of area we’d like our child to grow up in, the people we’d like him/her to mingle with and the lifestyle that we’ll subject him/her to?  Big decisions. Big choices.  Too big for a lazy Easter Monday afternoon, but questions we can”t keep putting off indefinitely.

A baby at 16 weeks

A baby at 16 weeks

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