Monthly Archives: September 2011

Craig is seriously going to regret buying me baby books!

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So where are we at?

At week 5, my baby is now 3 weeks old. He or she measures 1.25 mm (1/20 of an inch) and now has a tail and head. The central nervous system is already beginning to develop, and the brain and spinal cord is beginning to form. Traces of the eyes and ears are discernible, although these begin to form at the sides of baby’s head and will shift into place in a few weeks time. Muscle and bone tissue are beginning to come into being – although the bones won’t harden for a little while yet.

I love this bit… the walls of baby’s heart are now forming – it will begin to beat by the end of the week!

As for mummy – well I’m doing great. Feeling very bloated and experiencing a few aches and pains here and there (I’m sure you can guess where without me having to elaborate). I’m still getting very tired throughout the day. Although I’m always up by 8.30am at the latest, I seem to need a quick power nap during the day and I’m always in bed by 10pm. The morning sickness seems to be abating but I’m under no illusion that I haven’t seen the worst of it. A little cough will lead to me reaching mid conversation with Craig!

It’s pretty hard for Craig. I snap a fair bit where I’m still suffering from stopping smoking, and our evenings are being cut short where I’m so tired. Moving into our new home on Saturday should really help with this as we’ll no longer be managing two homes. He’s been amazing so far. Every morning baby and I get a quick kiss goodbye before work so it’s well and truly sunk in that I’m expecting. His research on diet and vitamins knows no bounds so I’m lucky baby is getting the best possible nourishment.

Tomorrow is Lou’s wedding so I’m planning a fake tan, manicure and pedicure this afternoon. I also have washing of Himalaya proportions to contend with, and haven’t even begun packing up the flat. It’s going to be a very long day! So I’m signing off. Next post will hopefully be from our new home in Tilehurst – here’s some pictures from the estate agency details (with the previous tenants furniture) to give you idea of what it looks like:

The frontage

The frontage

Mummy and daddy's room

Mummy and daddy’s room

Baby's room

Baby’s room

My cravings

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I reckon mine are pretty stereotypical to be honest.

Neopolitan

Neopolitan ice cream!!!

I’m loving COLD things. My drinks have to have ice, and snacks are best served frozen! Before, I used to buy the odd ice cream or milkshake, but I’d always opt for chocolate. Seems baby hasn’t made his / her mind up yet and likes to sample all the flavours…

Yum - Gherkins!

Yum - Gherkins!

And – gherkins!!!! Loving all things vinegary so this includes pickled onions! I could eat a jar of these everyday and it’s only 0.3g of fat per jar (Craig is monitoring my in-take. He approves so it’s all good!).

And finally – Asda’s custard cream slices. I can honestly say I usually avoid sweet things. If I’m out to dinner, I’m the first to push the dessert menu away – Honest! But it seems that baby is partial to some custard cream slices. His / her favourite’s are from Asda (and are handily only £1 for 2!)  – who am I to deny baby???

Baby likes sweet things - It's not for me! Honest!

Baby likes sweet things - It's not for me! Honest!

Has Billy FINALLY got the message?

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So fed up was I of my scatty cat – Paul and I decided to try to tell him about the pregnancy. For a few days now he’s been cuddling up to my tummy and pawing at it. There have been some amazing stories about how cats can sense illness or upcoming events that will impact upon their environment (house moves etc), and usually if I’m poorly, he’ll spend lots of time by my side or sleep beside me. I am therefore convinced of Billy’s psychic abilities and felt ready to break the news.

As previously mentioned, Billy struggles with English. Craig is also convinced he’s a bit ‘mutton’ (deaf – in daddy speak). So we had to come up with a creative and fun way to tell him he’ll have a new brother or sister. I’ve already tried pointing at my stomach and rubbing it animatedly in front of him, but for some reason Billy seems to think this means ‘dinner-time’. I’ve also waved pictures of babies in his face, but unfortunately he just bats at the paper like we’re playing a game. So we decided to meet him on neutral ground and go into ‘his’ garden (he RULES our garden) with props to get the message across.

Here’s how he took the news!

Billy and Mummy - reaction: INDIFFERENCE

Billy and Mummy - reaction: INDIFFERENCE

Unfortunately, at first, Billy didn’t understand the significance of the pregnancy test, and certainly didn’t appreciate the strangle-hold mummy had around his neck. But mummy was determined to get the message across and kept prancing in front of him until it sunk in. Here’s the moment where Billy finally got it – check out the look on his little face!

Billy - reaction: APPREHENSION?

Billy - reaction: APPREHENSION?

Two seconds later he fell off the wall… I’m hopeful that his poor balance is indicative of his excitement…

It’s just one long list of Can’ts

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CAN’T hold it together

I knew I’d be emotional but this is ridiculous! I’m moody, irritable, excited and tearful – all in one big scary bundle. Poor Craig took me to the cinema three days ago only for me to blubber through the entire showing. I turned up with a full face of make-up (liquid eyeliner etc) trying to look remotely glam for Craig. The film starred Seth Rogan (Knocked Up, Pineapple Express), so I’m expecting something funny and targeted at the” beer lout” generation – How wrong was I??? I’m restricted on what I can say as it was a preview screening (meaning the audience were tasked with road-testing the movie; we were made to sign disclosures, the security guards resembled MI5 agents, and Craig was ‘politely’ asked to hand in his iPhone before entering the auditorium doors). All I can say is that I left the Vue in Reading looking like a member of Kiss. My cream cardigan was stained black as I was forced to use it to wipe away my tears (too scared was I to ask agents A, B, E and F if I could get some loo roll from the ladies).

But tears turned to frustration a few days later when Friday’s episode of A Place in the Sun turned out to be a repeat of Thursday’s! What was More 4’s production team thinking??? I went so far as to type  ‘More 4 complaints’ into Google before I realised how stupid I was being!

Not complaining baby – you’re worth it x

CAN’T stay awake

As this rate I’ll be lying in bed for the whole 9 months and being fed through a drip! I know the experts say this fatigue will subside by the second trimester, but personally, I’m doubtful. I’m in bed by 9pm every night! I’ve missed Educating Essex, The Eviction of Dale Farm, Downton Abbey – and a whole host of ‘educational’ programming I’ve been waiting for all week. Why do the terrestrial channels tease us by putting such gems on past the watershed? My dongle credit is dwindling as I’m forced to turn to BBC iPlayer (and the like) to catch up!

Last night I was forced to call out to Craig to plead for a glass of water; I had no energy to even get out of bed and fetch myself one. I’m lucky he’s so good-humoured and sweet. If the situation was reversed, I’d be lifting up the bed covers to see if he still had legs of his own! Speaking of the man of my dreams… Craig ordered the pregnancy books I wanted! I must have been in Waterstones for hours on Thursday – wading through the millions on sale; I figured there must be an ideal bed companion that would teach me enough to earn an honorary degree in obstetrics – the amount of time I’m spending in bed, there has to be some good to come out of it! My list of requirements was therefore exhaustive – I wanted pictures, I wanted diagrams, I wanted daily progress reports, I wanted medical jargon… a tome of a pregnancy manual. Having narrowed it down to two (ISBN numbers scrawled on the back of an old receipt), I came home and trawled price comparison websites to find the best price. Good old Amazon came through. I logged in as Craig, added them to his shopping basket and waited for him to tell me off for accessing his account. Imagine how my heart melted when he came into the bedroom last night and whispered to his sleepy and barely deserving girlfriend that he’d dived straight in and ordered them… I love you Craig xx

Your Pregnancy Bible

Your Pregnancy Bible by Dr Anne Deans

CAN’T smoke!!!! Argh!!!!

I don’t want to complain too bitterly about this. It’s been consistently reiterated to me about the harm it causes to the unborn baby; increased risk of SID, developmental problems, suppressed appetite leading to low birth weights etc. I know it’s wrong, I know they’re cancerous, I know I should quit for myself aswell as baby… but it’s a 15 year habit that’s proving SOOO hard to kick!

Needing some medicinal support, I went (head hung in shame) to the NHS Stop Smoking stall in the Broad Street Mall outside TK Maxx and plead my case to the advisor. I was somewhat optimistically hoping that overnight a new miraculous alliance between science and faith had occurred, and that the NHS now recognised hypnotism as a tried, proven and humane way of curing the afflicted. But of course they would ever make it that easy. I was offered gum, an inhaler, lozenges, even nasal sprays… surely one of these solutions would work for me! But no. When I mentioned my pregnancy, this huge choice of nicotine replacement therapies was diminished to just one. The dreaded PATCHES. How could these flimsy plasters possibly reduce my craving? Just how does said nicotine hit enter my bloodstream and replace my beloved physical cigarette? And (if I’m truthful) how can it possibly be this easy to quit?! If the answer has really been staring me in the face since the naughty’s (remember those adverts with impossibly attractive female jogger karate-kicking human sized cigarettes out of her way) – then how have I wasted thousands of £’s on Mayfair Superking’s ALL these years????! BUT acknowledging this is for the health of my unborn, I pessimistically collected my little prescription headed to Superdrug.

Well… It turns out these patches are genius. I can now stand next to smoker’s in a pub without wanting to rip their cigarette’s out of their hands. I can now make it through the day on 2 cigarette’s (I’ve promised to do away with these remaining little crutches in one week’s time). I can now wake up and not search frantically for a lighter down the back of the sofa. These tiny patches are AMAZING. Their effectiveness isn’t my gripe. What irritates me is the following: They AREN’T truly translucent, and they AREN’T even remotely waterproof as promised. If you were to lift up my sleeve during the day you’ll find a frayed and yellow patch barely clinging to my skin. From afar you’d be forgiven for thinking I have a patch of leprosy.

CAN’T drink!

This is considerably easier for me than not being able to smoke. I’m not as big a drinker as I was before I came home from London and Craig and I only usually drink at the weekends. But when you tell someone you can’t do something, you want it all the more. I’m actually beginning to resent Guinness and Carling for putting on television ads during the Rugby World Cup schedule. Nevermind the fact that I can’t actually stand Guinness. Just stop with the adverts!

And the dreaded weekend… this being my first full weekend knowing I am pregnant. I am literally so jealous of Craig! I know he’s not deliberately drinking in front of me and he has every right to enjoy his weekend after working so hard to provide for us during the week – but I want a beer too! Drinking your body weight in Diet Coke watching the football at the pub, just simply isn’t the same. And Craig is simply rubbish as pretending to be sympathetic and sober. I know every single nuance of his personality; If he’s tipsy, I know it. I’d actually rather he came home stumbling through the door so I could laugh at him and pat myself on the back for being infinitely better off.

I guess I need to get used to this as I’m reluctant to drink around baby after he or she arrives anyway. I hate seeing new mums in pubs downing wine with their child in their arms – it makes me so angry.

CAN’T dye my hair!

At first I thought this was a mistake. When I picked up my bottle of ‘Nice and Easy’ by Clairol yesterday morning, I couldn’t believe they were advising pregnant women against using it! Why? So confused was I,  I Googled it. This made my heart sink:

… One study suggested that it could cause babies to develop the cancer neuroblastoma. This is a rare childhood cancer that affects the nervous system and other tissues… It’s possible that a few of the chemical compounds in hair dyes could cause birth defects…

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy

Apparently the above risks decrease as you enter the second trimester. This is because during the first 12 weeks the developing brain generates between 50 and 100 thousand new cells  per second. The hair dye could, in theory, enter the bloodstream through my scalp, and travel to baby!

WHAT????????! Come on now. Really????? I have dark hair – greys show and I’m about to start a new job.  I find this whole rule pretty incredible and there’s conflicting advice everywhere you look. I’ll admit to ignoring this one. Sorry baby but I just don’t believe it.

CAN’T feed my cat!

So my GP advised me against feeding the cat or emptying his litter tray; chores that his mum has performed for all of his life. Again, I couldn’t understand this so turned to Google:

Toxoplasmosis caught during pregnancy can cause an infection in your unborn baby resulting in eye problems and brain abnormalities. Toxoplasmosis is usually caught through eating raw, undercooked or cured meat but it can also be caught through contact with cat faeces and, in rare cases, cat saliva

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy

Okay, so there does seem to be considerable medical research supporting this one. In fairness, I’m happy to go along with it too. The smell of Billy’s food makes me feel ill and I wasn’t looking forward to the re-introduction of a litter tray in the new flat. The problem is that I can’t tell Billy about the change in routine; he’s learnt many things in his short life, but the ability to speak English isn’t one of them. So he literally whines, paces and chases my feet ALL day whilst Craig is at work. He’s turned into a lunatic. As if to fully articulate his frustration, he’s become fussy about his food too. No longer is Purina or Iams enough for Billy. Now he likes a variety of wet and dry food and it’s a guessing game as to which he wants on a given day. One day, he wants a Whiskas tin, the next he fancies Felix’s offering. This is literally doing my head in.

Billy

His Royal Highness (as taken by Craig)

Sharing the news with your brand new family

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Yesterday evening was a very exciting time for mummy and daddy as we told daddy’s family about you! Usually mummys and daddys wait a little while to share the news that a baby is coming – but we were soooo excited, we wanted all your new family to know as soon as possible. Mummy told grandad Dean and nanny Diane, uncle Dan and nana Jayne a few days ago. Daddy waited a few days longer to tell his side of the family as he wanted to see the doctor first. A few close friends also know as mummy and daddy might need to talk to them as you grow. Here is an introduction to those special people who know you exist:

Grandad Dean and Nanny Diane – this is mummy’s daddy and his wife. They met around three years ago and got married a year ago. They live in Southampton which is by the sea! Mummy and her daddy are very close and I know he’s going to be an amazing grandad for you. Grandad is very good at business and finance so if you ever need any advice, he’s a very wise person to ask. He has silver hair and an ever decreasing waistline as Di has been whipping him into shape. Di is very glamorous and pretty. She has a funny accent though (Scottish) so you’ll need to get used to that – luckily your daddy does a very good impression of Billy Connolly so he can help you with this :-).

Mummy tells her daddy most things so he was very aware that your daddy and I were trying to make you. Grandad has always wanted the best for mummy and for her to be happy and successful. He’s very pleased that mummy waited to make you until she was old enough and sensible enough to provide a loving home for you. As your mummy has lived in lots of different places, worked and studied very hard, and has found the perfect daddy for you – grandad is thrilled. Mummy very much hopes to instil the same values in you so you get the best out of your own life.

Grandad Dean and Nanny Diane

Grandad Dean and Nanny Di on their wedding day

Nana Jayne – mummy’s mummy! Mummy’s mummy lives very close by so you’ll see lots of her. She’s not very good at keeping secrets and is so happy about you, she’s told some of her friends already (but mummy doesn’t mind). Nana Jayne is obsessed with make-up, jewellery, clothes and shopping – something tells me you’ll be very spoilt! She was very poorly ten years ago as her heart beat a bit too quick for her body. Sadly nana Jayne went from a person with two working arms, and two working legs, to a person with only one of each. This makes her very unsteady as she can only feel the ground with one foot. Because of this nana Jayne needs a scooter to get around and needs lots of help to do things like cooking and cleaning. When mummy was growing up, your nana was so funny and beautiful, I like to think her heart was so full, it burst – now she needs other people to give her lots of love to keep her with us.

Uncle Dan – mummy’s brother. Your uncle is a few years older than mummy and lives in a town a couple of miles away. He works in insurance which is very boring. You’ll love your uncle though as he’s a big kid himself; he still watches children’s telly and loves superhero films. He’s also very good with animals, is very funny (without realising it) and has been a very good brother to mummy. He also wears glasses so you can fiddle with his face and make him look silly!

Uncle Dan (right)

Uncle Dan (right)

Mummy’s mate Paul – Mummy and Paul went to big school together.We didn’t know each other very well then but we are very good friends now and he knows all about you; from how upset mummy got when she saw negative home pregnancy tests, to which moses basket she’s earmarked for your first sleep, to the names she’s considering calling you. I’m sure Paul will be able to tell you many embarrassing stories about mummy when you’re older as we’ve done some very silly things together. Like daddy, he’s done lots of research on what mummy can expect as she carries you in her tummy – you and I are very lucky to have so many people making sure we’re both safe and well! Paul sells watches for a jewellers in town so he’ll be a very handy person to know when you are rich and famous and want to buy your first Rolex (after you’ve bought mummy and daddy one of course!). He’s also a genius at pub quiz machines, has a semi-photographic memory, and knows EVERYTHING about sport – even more than daddy… (athough I strongly suspect daddy will disagree with this!).

Now to daddy’s family!

The first people we told about you were Nanny Lynne and Grandad Terry. Again, they live very close to us so we’ll see them all the time. You will be their fifth grandchild as daddy is the last of their children to have a baby. They’ve been married for forty-three years so are very inspirational to mummy and daddy as we want to be as strong as them. They’re very spiritual people and believe you should always be good and fair to everyone. This makes you very lucky as they will protect you from bad things and teach you how to be a nice and caring person.

Grandad Terry looks a little like Philip Schofield who is a presenter on morning television. He has lots of female fans and gets the giggles when presenting serious news items (Philip, not grandad). Nanny Lynne doesn’t particularly look like anyone famous but she’s very sweet and kind and is great at taking photographs and videos. Nanny Lynne will therefore be invaluable to mummy as mummy plans on keeping a record of your progress throughout the years.

Aunty Louise and Uncle Ben – Aunty Louise actually went to big school with mummy. We were in the same year and have many of the same friends. Aunty Louise and uncle Ben are getting married in one week’s time so now is a very exciting time for everyone. They have been together for years and years and around eighteen months ago your little cousin Lenny was born! I suspect you’ll spend lots of time with Lenny and maybe even go to the same schools as you grow up. This would be pretty cool as you would have a big cousin to help you out if you ever got into trouble. Remember though that uncle Ben and cousin Lenny are Chelsea fans – daddy would be devastated if you decided to become one too. Best to stick to United as they win everything anyway 🙂 – I won’t write much too much more about aunty Louise now as there’ll be lots of pictures and stories from the wedding in a few week’s time. All I will say is that aunty Louise already guessed mummy was pregnant before we called her. This is because mummy told her friends on Facebook that she kept being sick and was very tired (which are common signs that a mummy is expecting a baby). Facebook is a website that allows friends to share pictures and news with one another – I suspect it’ll still be around when you are grown up. Daddy and mummy like Facebook as this was how we stayed in touch when mummy lived far away.

Aunty Louise and your big cousin Lenny

Aunty Louise and your big cousin Lenny (wearing a Chelsea shirt ahem *cough*)

Aunty Sam and Uncle Carl – Mummy hasn’t met aunty Sam yet as she has been very busy giving birth to your tiny cousin Bella. We did call aunty Sam though and let her know the news. Mummy will tell you much more about aunty Sam and your cousin’s Sky and Bella when she meets them all later.

Uncle Tony – Your uncle Tony is your oldest uncle (even older than daddy, and daddy is ancient!). Daddy lives with uncle Tony at the moment, but mummy and daddy are moving to our flat in just over a week’s time. This will be our first home together and maybe even your first home when you’re born! I’ll do a video tour when we get the keys so you can see what it looked like before mummy and daddy made a mess of it!

Uncle Tony works as a scaffolder. This means he’s not scared of heights which is good as he lives very high up in a block of flats. Uncle Tony loves films, just like your daddy, and is always joking and smiling. His daughter Antonia is your only grown up cousin! She found out this morning 🙂

So that’s your brand new family! Everyone is so excited to meet you and they will all add things to your life in lots of different ways. You’ll have five grandparents, two aunties, two uncles, and four cousins when you are born – a lovely big family to teach you things and make you laugh. Add to this two loving parents who will always put you before themselves and go to the ends of the earth to keep to you safe, warm, happy and healthy, and you’re the luckiest baby in the world xx

Love Mummy xx

Hi baby – welcome to my tummy

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So you’re in my tummy! Mummy and daddy made you
about two weeks ago and now mummy is stumbling around on wordpress
trying to make a diary about your journey into the world. This first
post is about your mum and dad and how excited we are to have you
join our family.

Your Mummy and Daddy

Right now you’re less than a millimetre big
(that’s soooo tiny you’d need a magnifying glass to see you).
Amazingly however, your hair colour and eye colour are already
decided. I’m hoping you get mummy’s blue eyes and daddy’s height
(mummy is on the short side). We don’t know whether you’re a boy or a
girl yet – we won’t find out for a few months yet. Daddy doesn’t want
to know until we meet you so it’s a surprise, mummy wants to know
beforehand so she can paint your room and buy you the right colour
clothes. Being a funny guy, daddy reckons you won’t care what you’re
wearing, or what the décor is like in your bedroom – but mummy
thinks you will.

Your daddy is 40 years old (he’ll be 41 when
you’re born) and works as a courier. This means he delivers letters
and packages to people in his car. Mummy is a little bit younger (28)
and about to start a new job as a recruitment consultant. This is a
posh term for someone who helps people find jobs. We met ten years
ago as we used to drink in the same place. Daddy really fancied mummy
and asked her out several times, but mummy was doing her A-levels
(these don’t exist any more but they are certificates to measure how
clever you are) and thought daddy was too old. Turns out mummy was
really quite good at studying and clever enough to go to university.
So she went far away and learnt lots of things about films and
books as these were the things mummy found interesting. She didn’t
come back to Reading (the town you were made in) for ten years
whereupon she met your dad again. We’ve been together ever since! We
love each other very much and spend all our time together – so we
decided to make you so you could join in the fun and live with us.

Daddy is very funny and will make you laugh every
day. He likes cooking, football and watching films. When he knows
what you like to eat, he’ll make it for you; when you’re old enough
to watch the telly, he’ll watch your favourite programmes with you –
he’ll also take you to the cinema to watch longer programmes on a
HUGE screen. You’ll be able to make your own decisions about almost
all these things! ALMOST. Unfortunately you’ll be a Manchester United
fan as daddy is less flexible about this.

Mummy isn’t as funny as daddy. She can’t cook
and hates football. This makes her sound really boring but she’s not!
Mummy will help with your homework and teach you all about the world.
She’ll read you stories, play games with you and make sure you look
cool in photographs. She’ll encourage you to work hard and get the
best out of life. Whether you want to be a doctor, a lawyer, a
swimmer, a chef…. mummy will make sure you are successful.

That’s enough about us! You’ll learn more and more
as you grow inside mummy’s tummy and enter our world in 8 months (and
a bit) time. Love you more than anything and promise to carry you
safely until you feel ready to make your grand entrance. Sleep tight
and grow, grow, grow!