Tag Archives: Moods

A self conscious mummy

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They warn you that motherhood brings out just about every emotion from fear, to pain, to joy, to happiness <Insert yours here>. What I wasn’t prepared for was this overwhelming sense of self-consciousness; I feel judged by everyone, all of the time.

When Dexter and I make our daily trip to Tescos Express, I can feel people staring and appraising. They’re looking at:

  • My choice of buggy; how much did it cost? Is it secondhand?
  • They’re peering in at Dexter to see how he’s dressed; is it weather appropriate? Is the sun in his eyes?
  • They are scanning the look on my face; am I glowing and refreshed? Or, is my hair out-of-place and my make-up dishevelled?

Those same people are trying to guess my age; am I one of those school-leaving, council estate, benefit reaping charlatans we all hear about on Question Time. I don’t have any issue with young mums at all but I’m a young-looking 29-year-old so have no reason to be so paranoid. This is undoubtably because I feel young, I feel inexperienced, I feel scared – and I bet every inch of that is etched across my face.

At the supermarket I feel people are peeping into my shopping basket to see what I’m buying; fatty foods are met with a look of ‘knowing’, Infacol or Calpol brings out the sympathetic nods, wine makes people stare in horror. If I buy cigarettes people look at me like I should be shot on the spot.

My health visitor recently came around and I watched every word I said; I couldn’t be too confident or she’d think I didn’t need her help (I can’t afford to miss out on her expertise as I know so little); I couldn’t be too anxious or she’d make me fill in one of her little questionnaires and before you know it we’d have social workers around every day poring over my efforts at motherhood looking for an opportunity to step in with a “Oh I wouldn’t do it like that, it’s like this”.

Even on Facebook I have to make sure Dexter is constantly seen in a positive light; “He’s sleeping so well”, “He’s’ a joy to look after”, or “He’s so handsome” – just so people can see how well I’m coping and won’t feel the need to jump in with their two pennies worth. In the same breath I’m dishing out the same advice I hate to all those pregnant mates who haven’t had the benefit of my infinite wisdom.

I think I’ve always been a little nervous and anxious – I’ve had moments in the past where I’ve been unable to get out of bed and hid away from everyone for days on end – I even missed a Christmas once when I was upset about a relationship break up I felt like a complete failure and unworthy of a Turkey meal with my family! It’s clearly something I need to get over or poor Dexter will suffer and inherit my lack of confidence.

In reality I pass only 2 or 3 people on those supermarket trips and they aren’t at all bothered about me or my son. The health visitor is probably desperate to get out of my house so she can move onto the next mummy who isn’t afraid to admit she needs some support. My Facebook pals have probably got fed up of hearing about Dexter every 5 minutes and opted out of viewing my updates on their timeline. We’re simply a mother and son and are going to make the same mistakes as every one else in the world.

I have no reason at all to be so worried and know how ridiculous all this self doubt sounds. Everyone I meet tells me how fabulously smiley he is. The doctors and health visitors have been positive about every weigh-in and head measurement. He actually seems a little bit beyond all the major developmental milestones cited on mother and baby websites! Best of all, I know he loves me and trusts me and I know there is nothing I could do better as a mum than I do already.

So maybe this is just how everyone feels. I wouldn’t be a good mother if I didn’t worry! That said, at the end of a long day spent pretending to be the Stepford Mum, I always look forward to the solitude of my home, with my Craig and my Dexter – It’s less scary here!

 

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Who are you at 10 weeks?

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Yes. You are now a whole 10 weeks old! You are growing by the day and turning into a lovely little boy before my eyes. Mummy and daddy are now well versed in your ‘little ways’ and you are getting much better at chatting to us and signing what you want. It’s certainly exhausting (and expensive) work keeping you occupied, but every little smile you give makes us all the more determined to fill up your life with wonderful experiences.

So what have you been up to so far, and who is Dexter Thomas Mills? Well…

You are prone to the odd diva fit

I’m sure every mummy in the world has dealt with mild hysteria from their babies. You however, take this to a whole new level. When you’re hungry, the whole world knows about it. I’m seriously surprised the neighbours haven’t called social services about the blood curdling screams emanating from our flat when we’re preparing your milk in the bottle-warmer. Nothing will distract you; no amount of cuddles and singing will calm you, and you’ve cottoned on to the fact that no amount of sucking on a dummy will ever produce the magical elixir that is your milk.

“Umm… Bottle please mummy… Mummy, bottle?… Bottle NOW please mummy… Maybe you didn’t hear me – Bottle NOW.”

Similarly, you’ll whinge at the slightest indication that you need a change of clothes. You’ll happily coo whilst mummy or daddy perform Operation Nappy Change, but lift a t-shirt over your head and your bottom lip wobbles. If there is even a fraction of a second where the fabric obstructs your view then we’re in for at least one full minute of unadulterated strop.

Surprisingly, nothing else will give you the hump in the same way. You can fall asleep anywhere, in any position, regardless of the noise around you. If you are bored, the simplest of things will nip a tantrum in the bud. You are in fact, so chilled that even your first set of immunisations only produced a 2 second whinge.

I’m convinced that your behaviour now is likely to be representative of your behaviour when you’re older. This means you are most definitely your daddy’s son. Daddy is the most patient, loving and funny man that mummy has ever known. Daddy, however goes into a Dexter-like meltdown if he’s tired, can’t find his mobile phone, is forced to watch Jeremy Kyle, or gets stuck in traffic. Any one of these world-ending events will result in daddy throwing his toys out of the pram in a momentous fashion.

You love water

Yep. You’re a water baby! It didn’t take you long to work out that washing is a daily necessity you can most definitely live with. Strip you naked and dunk you in the bath and you transform into a right old exhibitionist. You love showing off your newly acquired skills in your plastic tub in the hallway (we have to wash your here as mummy doesn’t like sitting on the tiles in your bathroom). Next to singing-with-daddy, bath time is the only time we’re guaranteed a smile.

Bath time with daddy!!!!

We are most definitely on Dexter-time

Many babies at 10 weeks will have settled into the semblance of a  routine. It’s pretty rare they will get a full 12 hours sleep at night, but many will reach a certain point in the evening and know that it’s bedtime. Most babies at this stage will also be feeding at regular intervals throughout the day (usually every 3-4 hours) and be steadily increasing the amount of milk they’re taking onboard. Unfortunately your obstinacy has led mummy and daddy to believe that you, Dexter Thomas Mills, are clearly either a trend-setter or set to be a very unpredictable teen.

We’ve tried everything, read every book, scoured every website and parenting forum… looking for answers as to why your sleeping pattern is so inconsistent. Although you are pretty consistent with the whole feeding thing, there is simply no dictating to you when you’ll sleep. You wake between 2 and 3 times a night for a feed and like to surprise mummy and daddy by changing the times of said feed every night.  You also enjoy the odd nap in the day and like to take said nap at different times everyday. There is simply no telling you otherwise. If I try and rouse you throughout the day when a nap is in progress, you play dead and refuse to open your eyes. If I try to set you down when you aren’t ready, you cry uncontrollably and thrash until I pick you up.

However unpredictable you are, there are some times we can guarantee, without fail, you will be awake; when mummy and daddy are watching a programme that requires concentration, eating their dinner, or bidding on eBay. But these few occasions of irritating regularity don’t end there! There are also guaranteed sleep times! Every time we step a foot outside the front door your eyelids come down and you enter a sleep coma. Many mothers might be jealous of mummy about this, and it does have its benefits, but it would be nice to show you a little more of the world than our two bedroom flat.

I’ll decide when I sleep

Butter wouldn’t melt hey Dex?

So there you are youngest Mills! Lots coming up for you over the next few months with a weekend away in Leicestershire (going to a theme park / zoo), a holiday in Portugal, a house move, and mummy going back to work! More on these as and when you allow mummy an hour on the laptop…

 

Love you baby!

 

 

Week 15

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Not too much to report for you baby, but mummy has had loads happening this week. She’s been feeling you move around and hiccupping inside her belly. It’s not exactly painful, more surreal. Interestingly you have a routine already and will wriggle and jerk just when mummy is trying to sleep, and straight after she’s eaten. Just so you know, this is when mummy is at her tiredest so thanks for that! 🙂 We’ve tried to help with this by adding 2 more pillows to the bed – this makes 6 in total. Mummy has always slept on her front so it’s going to be tough adjusting to sleeping on my side. If I accidentally flip onto my tummy then don’t hate me! Mummy will get used to it.

I’m getting tired again too. My heart is pumping approx 20% more blood around my body to get you the essential oxygen and blood you need. This places a bit of strain on mummy and makes her sleepy. You’re also quite heavy which tires mummy out even more!

You’re quite noticeable now and mummy looks enormous carrying you around. People have begun to comment, and some have started to guess at what you might be; a boy or a girl. Only 1 person has said girl so far, the rest all seem to agree with mummy that you’re a boy.

I’m also sneezing a lot more, suffering with a stuffy nose, and coughing a little. This is where mummy’s immune system is in overdrive looking after the two of us. Nevermind, I’d rather suffer than you so hopefully I’m sheltering you from the colds and viruses making the rounds. My memory is also a little rusty and I’m a bit slower that I used to be. The books all say this is natures way of making sure I de-stress and take it easy – here’s hoping it comes back though as mummy has lots to do in December at work.

More importantly, mummy and daddy are getting along much better. We were never really angry at each other, there was just lots going on and mummy’s hormones were making her horrible to be around.  Now things are back to normal and we’re happy again. This is just in time as I know you can pick up on my moods now.

Baby at 15 weeks

Baby at 15 weeks

Now onto you…

  • You’re now about 7 inches long and weigh in at 2.5 ounces – this makes you the size of a grapefruit!
  • You’ve grown soft, downy hair all over your little body. Mummy and daddy won’t see this hair as you’ll have shed it before you meet us. This is to protect your skin from the constant exposure to fluid, and help regulate your temperature inside mummy. Just as well as it’s freezing outside at the moment! You brand new seat glands will also be helping with this
  • Speaking of hair, if you are going to be born with a full head of hair, this is already decided. As mummy and daddy have dark hair, I suspect you’ll have lots of this!
  • You also now have eyebrows to frame your eyes
  • You can grasp things now, although there’s not much around to grab hold of! You can also suck and swallow and (as pictures before have shown) you’ll most likely be sucking your thumb xx
  • Your little leggy’s are now growing longer than your arms so you’re looking more like mummy and daddy
  • The bones in your ears have hardened, further improving your hearing. You are supposedly fascinated by my voice and comforted by the sound of my heartbeat. We’ve heard somewhere that if we start singing to you now, there’s a good chance you’ll recognise the tune when you’re born. This frightened me a bit – we’ll have to watch our p’s and q’s and avoid pop music with swear words!
  • Your salivary glands are also now starting to produce saliva. You’ve started moving your tongue and lips quite freely. Hopefully you won’t exercise these quite so much when you’re born as mummy and daddy will need plenty of sleep whilst we adjust to having you in the world

That’s all from a development point of view. It’s also been a big week for daddy as he turned 41 on Friday. Mummy will post about this tomorrow. Love you baby xxxx

 

 

 

 

A mini round-up!

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I’ve really neglected this blog over the last few days so I’m feeling a little guilty. In fact, it’s been so long since I last posted, I’ve had to keep a list or I’d forget what to talk about. The truth is, I’ve been hugely busy at work, I’ve been feeling incredibly rough, and I’m more than a little stressed! It’s hard job being a mummy-to-be, full-time at work, and trying to be the model blogger!

Let’s start with where we left off – the scan…

Pride of place - our first photo of baby!

Pride of place – our first photo of baby!

This was of course, the best day ever! We had a trainee sonographer (Doreen) who was a sweet girl of around of around 18 (?). As she was trying to complete her training and impress the lead nurse, she spent considerably more time inspecting the contents of my ever-expanding belly than most. It felt like we were in there for around 30 minutes which was fantastic as we had more time to get-to-know baby. I was a tiny bit overwhelmed and had a mini cry, but Craig was much more together.

Baby wouldn’t stay still and was bouncing around and stretching. It was really interesting to see all the things I’ve described in ‘development posts’ live on the screen before us. We were able to see all five fingers and toes which was truly amazing for something so tiny. I remember saying aloud how I thought it looked like a boy, and Doreen seemed to confirm this by referring to ‘him’ and ‘he’ throughout the scan. I have no idea if she was able to confirm my thinking so early, but she definitely didn’t contradict me. Oh and the due date hasn’t changed – baby appeared to be 12 weeks and 4 days (6.2cm) so this means we’re looking at the 30th May / early June – just in time for summer xxx

We booked scan no 2# for the 11th January (20 weeks). At this time we should be able to find out whether we’re having a boy or a girl (if baby decides to give us a sneaky peek!). We’ve had conflicting advice from friends and family on whether to keep this as a surprise or not, but I’m leaning towards finding out. As I already know in my heart, it’s a ‘blue one’ -this will just confirm what I already know so we can buy suitable things. Let’s just call it women’s intuition.

Following the scan I had the photos blown up to 8″ x 6″ for friends and family. Having then spent a further £40 on frames in Debenhams, you can imagine how disappointed I was to get home and find out I’d lost the copies (don’t worry the originals are safe). I was absolutely gutted and cried for a few hours Sunday night 😦

Speaking of dates…

I’ve already mentioned January 11th but it’s also worth plugging in 13th December (our 16 week midwife appointment). I’m dead excited about this as Louise has tipped me off that we should get to hear baby’s heartbeat.

Choosing  a name!

Guess what name we won't be choosing!?

Guess what name we won’t be choosing!?

After weeks of searching, I also found a baby name book whilst browsing in town on Monday with Paul. As I knew it would take me less than day to pick out the gems from the utter rubbish – I was holding out for a charity shop to come out good for me, and Cancer Research didn’t let me down. Interestingly Craig and I seem to be picking really traditional names. This is really strange as I’ve been keeping a list since I was at university with names I have fallen in love with; a real assortment of Welsh, Latin and obscure names from TV programmes. Among them were Beba, Sian, Daisy , Eva, Penny… the list was endless. Since I’ve been pregnant, my choices have changed completely. Instead, Craig and I want something noticeably English with a few syllables to complement the shortness of ‘Mills’. I also originally had my heart set on something that couldn’t be shortened, but again, I’ve changed my mind. I now seem to prefer names that offer up plenty of choices e.g. Isabella: Ellie, Izzy, Isa, Belle, Bella etc.

I don’t want to give anything more away now as it’ll ruin the surprise but needless to say we won’t be picking the one in the picture above!

As for me!

I’m shattered, I’m losing my concentration at work, and I’m hungry all the time. Yesterday was particularly bad one as I ate 2 Burger King burgers, and two sausage rolls from Greggs. As it’s all saturated fat, this is really stupid and I literally cried when I got home. I’m getting ridiculously fat and it’s embarrassing. I don’t want to deny myself food as baby  needs to eat and my body is using up lots of energy reserves to power us both. However, I will be buying fruit every morning from now on as it’s depressing to think that I’m throwing bad food at such a tiny constitution. I get so many things wrong as a mummy-to-be and this shouldn’t be one of them. It’s just as easy to nip into M&S and buy some strawberries, as it is to queue up in Burger King.

I’ve also been feeling really insecure and paranoid. Things that should take 30 seconds, now take 30 minutes, and I worry that I’m slowing down too much at work. I also find post-it notes on my desk (that I’ve written  5 minutes earlier) and wonder how they got there! They say this is pregnancy brain but its way too early for that! I’m hoping its tiredness and it’ll pass but it’s worrying me nonetheless. I’m going to monitor this over the next week and try not to be so hard on myself. I just really hope it’s a blip and things will get back to normal.

Of course, this could just be tiredness. I’ve definitely been more short-tempered and irritable with Craig! I know he’s really trying so 90% of the time I feel like a total bitch, but my emotions are all over the place and stupidly difficult for him (and me) to track. We’ll argue over the silliest things so this has got to change. Baby needs a united front at the moment so everything else should take a back seat whilst we iron out these wrinkles.

That’s it from me! This has been a long post and I’m shattered.

Week 11… What a week!

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In 3 hours 7 minutes I’ll be 12 weeks into my pregnancy so this one is very late coming!!! I’m also wayyyy too excited about the scan to concentrate on this post so apologies if it’s a little ‘bulleted’.

Baby is now about the size of a small lime, about 1.5 inches (35mm). It is almost fully formed and is weighing in at 8 grams

11 week old embryo
11 week old embryo

The webbing between fingers and toes has disappeared and tiny tooth buds are forming. The senses are rapidly developing and baby can now feel. This is the beginning of quite an active phase for baby who will be somersaulting in copious amounts of amniotic fluid. Baby enjoys wriggling, kicking, and stretching and these small movements help to strengthen the developing muscles and bones.

These movements are also becoming increasingly sophisticated – baby can punch and arch its body, flex its fingers, form a fist and wrinkle its forehead (aw!). It can also suck and swallow and is able to move freely. The intestines are already able to process the liquid that the baby is swallowing. The kidneys are producing urine and baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and wee’ing regularly (great…). This is important because it helps to regulate the amount of amniotic fluid in my womb.

Baby is starting to develop hair, irises, fingernails and toenails. Although its head is still nearly the same size as its body, head growth begins to slow. The brain has become more complicated and all the areas you would normally find in a newborn’s brain are present.

Finally, the diaphragm is forming so baby will hiccup regularly.

As for mummy….

Well I will soon be entering the second trimester of pregnancy and it’s recommended I now take time to concentrate on interacting with baby. Some baby sites insist that I think “happy thoughts” because baby can now sense my mood and will react to it. Hopefully this will be possible now as Craig and I are through the worst of it and my irrational moodiness seems to have lifted. If I’m honest, I wasn’t so keen on the first trimester as I felt a little bit out of control. I’d regularly cry and sulk and seemed to pick fights all the time. Even though it wasn’t my intention, I was difficult to talk to and pushed Craig away constantly. This may have been, in part, due to starting a new job.

Speaking of work – I’ve finally told Laura (my boss) – she gave me a massive cuddle and promised all the time off I needed. I have a review with my MD on Thursday so expect more on this over the next few days. I feel really positive though, like a big weight has lifted. Even though I’m not planning on taking lots of maternity leave, I feel confident they’ll respect my decisions and try to support me as best they can – I can’t ask for any  more than this and I’m really pleased.

One more sleep until the first scan… Craig has the afternoon off and so do I (just in case we get a little weepy). I literally CAN NOT WAIT so I’m off to bed so it comes around sooner.

Goodnight everyone xxx

My raspberry-sized miracle is 2 months old!

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I’ve given myself 1 more month to break the news to my boss that I’m having a baby. Won’t pretend I’m not nervous. This means I’ve got 1 more month to a) prove myself b) revel in my pregnancy without worrying! It’s amazing how quickly this is going. To think I’m nearly 1/4 of the way through is incredible really – I can definitely thank my job for keeping me distracted.

So 8 weeks in, where are we at with the pregnancy? Here are the highlights:

8 week old foetus

8 week old foetus

Baby is now the size of a raspberry (about 18 mm (3/4 inch) in length) and is growing at a rate of about a millimeter every day – 10,000 times bigger than the size of the fertilised egg.

Baby is busy moving his or her little arms, legs, and slightly webbed fingers and toes as their muscles and nerves start to function more efficiently

Upper and lower limbs all show recognizable elbow and knee joints and the lower limb bones are starting to ossify

Baby is finally starting to take on some very distinct human features; nostrils, external ears and eyes are now visible under a thin membrane of skin. The mouth has lips and a tongue and, amazingly, tooth buds have already formed. The eye colour they’ll have at birth is just starting to show.

Right now, baby’s head is disproportionately larger than the rest of the body making up almost half of little one’s height and weight. This is due to the rapidly growing brain which now has two distinct hemispheres

And mummy?

Emotional! I cry at everything – 5 times in the town centre today! I can’t remember the last time I really smiled and giggled as I’m so moody – Craig jokes I’ve had a sense of humour failure. He’s also managing most of the household tasks at the moment where I’m so tired. My boobs are also now a staggering J cup so I’m looking a little top-heavy.

Other than this – I feel great. It’s a strange sensation as I feel fine, but outwardly I suspect I’m difficult to live with. Going to do something special with Craig in the week next week. Not sure what yet but he deserves something nice. I’m hoping this will all get easier as I get used to working again and the 2nd trimester kicks in. It’s both of our first pregnancy so I want us both to enjoy it.

So this post is dedicated to the man I love, and our beautiful baby to be. You guys are the most important people ever xxx

My man, your daddy xx

My man, your daddy xx

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)