Monday, 23 October 2017

Getting to know you

Check this out, blogging twice in one week! This could become a habit.

I'm actually writing this yesterday morning, lying awake with my standard case of pregnancy insomnia and enjoying feeling my little guy wiggle and kick. It's got me thinking that I know him pretty well in some ways and not at all in others.

It's kind of weird to think that in less than four months this little near stranger will be moving into our house, so it's reassuring to remind myself that I do kind of know something about him.

Right from the beginning, well 12 weeks, Bo has hated having his space invaded. One of my lasting memories of that scan, our third glimpse of him (not counting seeing his bundle of cells pre-transfer), was the way he turned his back on us. It was done very pointedly, as though he was saying 'okay, you've had your look, now leave me alone'. He rolled over in exactly the same shifting motion as his dad does in bed when I'm talking too much and he wants to sleep.

This hatred of having his personal space invaded has continued as he's grown. We've seen him pushing the scanner probe away from him in black and white on the screen, raising his little hands above his head and giving it a firm shove. He has a special dislike of the doppler and on at least two out of three occasions when he's met it he's managed to land a perfect hit on it as he attempts to kick it away. If you want to incite him to kick, prod my belly, it's rare that this doesn't get you a 'knock it off' kick or punch from within.

He's also not a fan of one of my hitherto most comfy positions. I like to sit or lie with my right leg bent up towards my tummy. Clearly this cramps his space because he's now able to tell me this might be comfy for me, but it isn't for him, and kicks my thigh til I move it. Sometimes I'm a nice mummy and give in to his comfort over mine; sometimes I'd rather sit with my leg where it feels good though, sorry kiddo.

He likes cheese and onion crisps. This is a recent discovery. For the last couple of weeks I've started getting a mid-morning cheese and onion crisp craving. When I inevitably give in to it, Baby Bo gives me this happy little wiggle. It's become a regular part of my work day, sharing a packet of crisps and enjoying one another's company.

Haribo Tangfastics have a similar effect, though I question my wisdom at hyping my son up on sugar this early in his young life. I tired him out the other day when we got a massive bag of Haribo at work and I steadily munched my way through every mini pack of Tangfastics I could lay my hands on. He was so active I could see my belly thumping through my top, but the next day he was pretty quiet. I guess the sugar let down is even heavier when you're only the size of an ear of corn.

Baby Bo seems to enjoy baths. We usually have one on a Saturday afternoon to unwind and when I get in he thumps around then mostly chills, unless I top up the hot water.

Conversely, he did not seem to enjoy ex-Ophelia who paid us a visit last week. I'm sure barometric pressure must have had an effect on him. He was pretty quiet for the two days of strong winds we had, but made up for it after. It was like he knew we needed to hunker down.

He doesn't much like going to work with me. Sorry little guy, since we're a package deal right now, you've still got another three months of that to look forward to.

He has virtually stopped having me throw up for roughly an hour of each day we are there, for which I'm grateful for. He does still impose some pretty strict rules though.

I've already mentioned the cheese and onion crisps which I bribe him with to get through the day. My son, like his father, is very food-oriented. Lunch MUST be Philadelphia and Ryvitas. Attempts to switch the menu to something mummy might enjoy more have been met with violent disgust (and vomiting, from me, not him). Since I'd rather spend my afternoon at my desk than crouched over a loo in a toilet cubicle, I meekly comply with my son's demands and add variety with the occasional second bag of crisps for the day.

He's also not a fan of me writing at my desk at work. I've recently taken on a new role at work which means I have a big notebook on my desk which I frequently spend time writing notes in. Like his aversion to my right leg, he doesn't care for my hunched over notebook writing position. Of course, he has no shame in letting me know this, but as writing angles are somewhat limited, he's mostly going to have to learn to accept this one.

From what we've seen of him in his recent scans, he's fascinated by his face. I can't blame him there. It's an adorable little face and I can't wait to study it too.

And in the absence of a mirror in there, he's having to resort to other methods to explore his good looks. When you've covered that ground with your hands, it's time to branch out and see what you can learn using your feet!

I'm fairly certain he's got my nose, which is exciting. No one else in the family has my quirky turned up nose. I'm looking forward to seeing if this is something we'll share, but based on what we've seen of that little face so far, there's definitely a family resemblance.

He's also a bit of a night owl. He does seem to enjoy a good dance party around 1 or 2am. I'm sure this is partly to blame for my early morning blog post writing. He's been wiggling and kicking pretty much the entire time it's taken to write this post. I foresee many more sleepless nights in our future once he arrives!

I'm also pretty certain that Baby Bo will not become an Alexander in four months time. This was a bit of a surprise to me when I realised it about a month ago, but as I get to know him better, he just doesn't feel like the Xander I've been imagining all these years. He's someone else entirely and that's pretty cool. Especially since the name he feels like seems more and more right for him as the weeks progress.

We still have an awful lot to learn about him. Will he settle best for mummy or daddy? Will he enjoy car rides or see them as a special kind of torture? Will he be an easy going little guy or a demanding baby?

Who knows?

But I feel like I'm starting to get a handle on this little fellow I'm sharing my body with right now. And I'm sure I'll learn so much more about him in the coming months before B-Day (that's Birth-Day, obviously).

Saturday, 21 October 2017

24 Weeks Pregnant

I'm sorry, I've been neglecting the blog the last few weeks. Pregnancy has been eventful as always and that's my main reason for not updating. So here's a quick rundown of what we've been up to, more or less in the order it happened.

There is no denying the bump now. I feel like I get bigger by the day. Honestly, I kind of love it. We only have one teeny tiny shaving mirror in our house so when we stopped at my in-laws' house last week (due to Ophelia potentially cutting us off at home) I may have spent longer than necessary admiring my belly in the mirror there. It's just lovely.

In my 22nd week I had a midwife appointment to check up on me, Bo and pick up my MATB1 form. While there I mentioned the weird rash that had developed on my right cheek (you can see a hint of it in my 21 week photo up there).

Suddenly the midwife was pulling out an info sheet on Slap Cheek (also known as Fifth Disease or Parvovirus B19) and getting me an appointment with the doctor for that afternoon. Bloods were taken and I was checked to see if I had an active infection. I didn't and when they discovered this the lab helpfully cancelled the test to see if I had an immunity to Parvo (which would mean I'd had it in the past and was immune now). So we're none the wiser as to what it was but at last it's gone now.

Of course the highlight of the appointment was listening in to Bo's heartbeat again. One of Baby Bo's last favourite things in the world. The midwife said he sounded like a boy.

We also had a Superhero Day at work that week. I dressed up at Super Mum-to-be, complete with cape, mask, L-plate, and accessory belt containing a bottle, nappy, teething ring and Superbaby onesie.

Note the strategic placement of my L-plate. The skeletal baby on my top is making a rather obscene, work-inappropriate hand gesture.

And then we hit the weekend which was pretty eventful.

I spent the weekend wondering if I was getting a UTI, despite there being no sign of a problem at my midwife appointment. The needed to pee almost all the time, felt generally uncomfortable down there and pretty much bleh. But it wasn't constant.

I felt well enough on the Saturday to escape the island for a while to get measured at M&S for some maternity bras (ZOMG! The comfiest bras I've ever owned). But by Sunday I was feeling more rotten again.

Mr Click gamely produced two cartons of cranberry juice and I chugged my way through them as the day went on, trying to see if it was making a difference.

That afternoon I got back ache. Just mild at first, which I put down to sitting in my in-laws' uncomfortable sofa. The evening wore on and it got worse and worse, all centralised on my lower right hand back and no amount of shifting position would help it was.

At 10.30pm I admitted defeat, accepted paracetamol had made no difference whatsoever, and called the midwife, who told me to head in to hospital. This was all very similar to my kidney issue of a couple of years ago, something she agreed with after finding blood and protein in my urine sample.

I was allowed home with antibiotics and painkillers, and an appointment at Day Care at the mainland hospital for that day (by this time it was after midnight). But not before a thorough examination.

One again, Bo was most miffed at having his space invaded. The midwife prodded my belly all over to check I wasn't having connections; Bo responded to that by kicking out at her. Then she grabbed Bo's old friend, the doppler. His little heart was pounding away at around the 155bpm mark, but he didn't appreciate being spied on and squirmed away. When the midwife chased him across my belly, he let her know his displeasure by aiming a direct kick onto the doppler probe. Even the midwife felt it.

To cut a long story short, this week, I did manage to pass a large kidney stone. Followed by what I suspect was a smaller one a couple of days ago. Hopefully that's the last of it now.

And as of yesterday, I'm 24 weeks pregnant.

It feels incredible to have reached this point. Aside from the tiredness and nausea still, I'm feeling pretty good. I definitely have more energy than before but I have to use it sparingly, if I do too much I need more time to recover afterwards. But I don't feel the need to spend all my time in a darkened room napping anymore.

And Bo is getting stronger now. He's able to kick hard enough to actually see the movement on the outside. I've spent way too much time this week watching my belly to see where the next one will hit. It looks pretty freaky but so cool at the same time.

I may have eaten a few too many Haribo Tangfastics this week in an attempt to encourage the little guy to kick. I'm practicing already for my Bad Mother Award, hyping my son up on sugar to get him to perform.

But it just feels lovely to have him wiggling away in there. Apart from when he scores a direct hit right before the belly button; that's a very odd sensation!

Friday, 29 September 2017

21 Weeks Pregnant

Dear Baby Bo,

I feel like it's time that I addressed one of these updates to you directly. Hi little guy! I'm your mum. I'm the one whose bladder you're currently using as a pillow and enjoying feeling you kick.

Right now I look like this:

We got another sneak peek at you today, thanks to your shenanigans last week when your heart rate was higher than they liked for a baby of your age. I must confess, thus was entirely my fault. After you wouldn't move from your Baby Buddha position in my pelvis, I took it upon myself to try running up the stairs back to the maternity floor at the hospital. It got my heart pumping and apparently yours too!

This time we were a lot calmer. The consultant we saw complimented us on what a compliant baby you were, just to show us up after last week, I'm sure. Your heart was perfect, just like the rest of you.

You did put on quite a show for us though. Even Dr M couldn't help but laugh when you decided to demonstrate how flexible you are by sticking your foot up your nose!

So not only are you a great thinker; you're a bit of a clown as well!

I feel like I'm getting to know you now.

We often lie awake together in the wee small hours of the morning, you giving me little kicks and nudges and me rubbing or gently poking you back.

You tend to find work boring and don't bother kicking too much, unless I crack out the dry roasted peanuts. I tried switching out the Philadelphia and Ryvitas we have been having for lunch there for cold pasta, because I was getting bored. You weren't impressed and I threw up on both Monday and Tuesday this week. We switched back to the Philly on Wednesday and you've gone easy on me ever since. I can't believe you're not even born yet and I'm already giving in to your demands!

You don't like having your space invaded. You didn't seem to appreciate your 12 week scan. When the midwife used the doppler on you at 17 weeks you kicked out at it. At your scan last week you were pushing up against the scanner as though you were trying to get it out your personal bubble. I don't blame you, I don't like people invading my personal space either!

You've got a comfortable spot in there too and don't seem in any rush to move out of it. I kind of like that though. The strong thumps to my right are your feet, the lighter ones to the left or middle are your hands, the occasional jab to the left is your head and is usually followed by a ripple as you adjust your position. Yesterday at work I got a strange flip flop sensation which I think was you turning over.

It's going to be a long wait until we see you again in December, but I'm going to enjoy getting to know you from your movements in the meantime.

Keep growing and getting stronger, little boy.

I love you so much already and more with each passing week.

Your Mummy

Friday, 22 September 2017

20 Weeks Pregnant

We've reached the halfway point! Who ever thought I'd ever get to this stage?!

This week Facebook popped up a memory reminding me that a year ago that day we'd gone to Glasgow for our WTF appointment after our failed cycle that summer. That was the day when we put the plan in place which ultimately led to Baby Bo being conceived, transferred and us reaching where we are today. It's been a long time coming.

Today I'm looking decidedly rounder than I was last year:

And the reason for the big grin today?

Well we had our 20 Week scan today. And I know you've seen pictures of Baby Bo before, but humour me with one more.

Allow me to introduce my son:

Yes, son.

It's looking like Baby Bo is almost certainly a boy. I'm having a son. A son who apparently is already an intellectual given his evident resemblance to The Thinker.

For a while it didn't look like we were going to be able to find out. Bo was sitting nice and comfy with his bum planted deep in my pelvis and his head off towards my left hand side.

Eventually, after trying a hip wiggle which did absolutely nothing to reposition my stubborn little son, I was instructed to go take a walk. We took the stairs down to the ground floor, walked round then back up the stairs again. I may have jogged on the spot and tried touching my toes in an attempt to shift him up a little way.

It made very little difference.

Baby Bo turned round slightly so we established he has a spine and pair of kidneys. But we still have to go back next week to have another look at his heart which was registering a little above the normal range; probably because of the orange juice, chocolate bar and running up and down stairs. Hopefully all will be good at that scan and we'll get to enjoy another sneak peek at our baby boy.

Once we'd established all of this A, who was doing the scan, asked if we'd like tip know the sex. Well, Mr Click and I have £35 riding on whether we're having a boy or a girl. She took a look and she was pretty certain Baby Bo is a little boy.

That means I won the bet.

And I get to have a little boy too.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

19 Weeks Pregnant

By this time next week we will have had our 20 week scan and may even know if Baby Bo is Baby Boy Bo or Baby Girl Bo. After being so sure Bo was a he, I can't help but feel myself swinging in the other direction a little now. I'm hedging my bets, I guess.

Opinions on what you're thinking it is, besides a baby, obviously, are most welcome. Perhaps we should have a poll.

I've been a little bubble of anxiety this week just thinking about it. Perhaps part of the reason why I'm awake at 4am writing a blog post (the other part is because I was dithering about buying a second-hand cot which I checked on at 3am, as you do, to find I'd missed it, now I'm considering springing £100+ for a new one just because).

I've had three scans in this pregnancy and before each one I've worked myself up about it. There'll be nothing there, it'll be bad news, something will be wrong. I'm reassured by the fact that these seem to be fairly normal worries and it's perfectly natural to care about the health and well-being of your unborn child, but that doesn't make it any easier to sleep through the night.

Added to this, Baby Bo helpfully fell silent on me for most of this week.

Since I started feeling little ripples of movement, things have been fairly consistent. Midway through or after meals I get some movement and sitting upright for a while then quickly lying on my left will prompt a wiggle (I like to think the baby suddenly finds itself upside down and this wiggle is a general complaint about me moving without warning, sorry kid, but it's pre-emptive revenge for all those nights you're going to spend trying to get your feet into my lungs).

Well, aside from odd little flutters, from Sunday onwards Bo has been rather quiet. I was still getting occasional 'was that the baby?' moments but it wasn't as familiar as it has been which of course does nothing to quiet the worry of the upcoming scan.

Reading online shows that I'm still pretty early to be feeling anything as a first time mum, that I probably won't notice a real pattern to movements for another month or two, and that the baby has a lot going on at the moment so may be sleeping a little more for growth spurt energy. Despite knowing this, I had several conversations with my belly begging Baby Bo to kick or something.

Bo responded by having me throw up in the shower on Wednesday. All normal in there then.

Thursday I tried playing classical music to my abdomen to see what Bo thought. I selected tracks by Donald Fraser, who does arrangements of Disney songs in the style of classical composers. Age appropriate and soothing to the foetal brain.

Bo wasn't impressed. Not a wiggle did we get.

Later that day I was listening to the Moana soundtrack, post-shower, phone in hand, reclining in bed, when I got a definite movement. Bo has good taste. Moana was the film I watched the day after our embryo transfer and again on the day I found out I was pregnant. Bo obviously recognises the significance there.

Which brings me to yesterday, 19 weeks on the dot. I had to do a comparison photo showing two weeks ago (roughly) because the bump is definitely bumping now:

It's so unbelievably amazing to see me with this little proto-bump, after all these years of reading blogs where other women graduate and get theirs, that I can't help but go back and keep looking at it.

You can also see that I'm finally putting on weight now I'm eating more normally. The chubby cheek look is how I normally look, the one on the left is still rather 'recovering from malnutrition'. Until I was pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis I never had such defined cheek bones. I'm not a fan of my chubby cheeks but I'm kind of glad to have them back.

It's also weird to look down at my big round belly (I should take a top view photo, it looks much bigger from up here compared to the side view) and realise that it's going to get a lot bigger yet! Sometimes it feels so stretched and uncomfortable that I can't believe I'll grow anymore, then I see photos like that one and realise it still has it in it!

Anyway, back to yesterday. I've been craving dry roasted peanuts this week, Bo may finally be getting over the Philadelphia kick, so I sat at my desk at work shovelling peanuts into my mouth (why does the phone ring right after you've put a handful of nuts into your mouth?!) and Bo started having a little party in there. I have no idea what he was up to but there was almost constant swooshing and ripples going on down there. Very nice and reassuring.

I guess this means Bo is as nutty as his (her?) parents!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

18 Weeks Pregnant

Well, 18 weeks and 1 day today. It's been a long and tiring week after traveling back from Lincolnshire on Sunday. In hindsight, I probably should have taken Monday off to recover from the journey.

All the same, I've slept really well this week, aside from the middle of the night trips to the loo. And I'm spending my Saturday morning chilling in bed with Tara and Bo watching 101 Dalmatians. Tara likes it because there's a black Labrador in it; Bo is still forming an opinion.

Despite being tiring and busy, it's been a fantastic week.

The first highlight was surprising everyone by returning to work with a bona fide bump.

This photo is actually from 17+3 because my bump yesterday looked smaller. I think it was a combination of the trousers I was wearing and the angle I was standing at.

Of course, I've been aware of a bump for a few weeks now, but it was fun to have other people spot it at last. I even got my first unsolicited bump handling, it was from a friend who is generally touchy feely so I didn't really mind. I may slap the first stranger who touches my tummy though!

Second highlight was definitely my midwife home visit on Tuesday. Everyone else I've spoken to has their home visit much later in the pregnancy, with the exception of a few who have had their booking appointment at home. Here on my little island home, that's just how we roll, I guess.

The midwife also brought a student midwife with her. I'm a teaching case, apparently. She went over my notes with her to show that just because a pregnant woman has no ketones in her urine (because she's only able to stand sucking on sweets, rather than eating or drinking) doesn't mean that she can't be dehydrated and going into liver failure. I'm guessing the consultant at Inverclyde may have been in contact with them.

Most of the appointment was spent filling in a rather repetitive form about my Strengths and Pressures both now and when the baby arrives. It seemed largely geared towards women who are maybe having an unplanned pregnancy or who or younger and having been trying to start a family for upwards of seven years. Yes, I'm taking my vitamins. No, I don't smoke, drink or take drugs. Yes, I understand the baby will need love and care once it's born.

Then there was the pee test in a leaky pee pot.

I was given one of those foil containers which always remind me of Chinese takeaway tins. I was instructed to use it to fill a sample bottle and leave some in the container so the midwife could do a dip test too.

I set it all out on the bathroom floor on folded up toilet paper, in case of drips, which was just as well because between filling the pot and going to empty it into the sample bottle there seemed to be a lot less in the container. Then I noticed the sodden toilet paper beneath it. I'd basically peed all over my own bathroom floor!

Luckily there was enough left in the pot to dip (all good there, yay!). And our bathroom floor is wood rather than carpet so it was easily mopped up and disinfected.

But that obviously wasn't the highlight of the visit.

At the start of the visit the midwife mentioned that we could try listening with the doppler if we wanted, with the heavy proviso that it might be to early to hear anything. Right at the end of the visit she pulled out the doppler, invited me to lie on the sofa and we could give it a go.

For a long moment there was nothing, just swishing and gurgling noises. Then the wonderful WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP sound started. We listened for about a minute until Bo had obviously had enough and kicked away from it. I felt a little ripple and we actually heard the movement on the doppler too. If I'd had any doubt about what I'd felt last week after the chilled orange juice, it was completely dispelled, I'm definitely feeling Bo now.

This week I also feel like I'm becoming more aware of Bo's movements. I guess since my bump has popped up, he's in a better position to feel them regularly.

Mostly I feel him after I've eaten. Especially at tea time, when I recline slightly. The flutters are also giving way to the occasional definite 'pop' sensation which I'm guessing are definite kicks or punches. Bo is certainly an active little bub.

I've also had a crazy craving for Philadelphia this week. Normally a tub will last me four or even five days for lunch at work. On Thursday I polished off half a tub in one go. I was restrained enough to spread it on Ryvitas but that was only really because I was in public; if I'd been at home I'd have just gone to town on the tub with a spoon!

Friday, 1 September 2017

17 Weeks Pregnant

I'm still here. Actually here isn't the usual here as we're on holiday right now.

Baby Bo is currently chipmunk size, clocking in at around five inches long. Hopefully he's not looking like a chipmunk, though I hear he's cultivating a full body hair covering right now, so maybe it's not a bad comparison after all.

I'm currently looking like this:

This was taken earlier today at the Skegness Aquarium after a magical moment when I had a big swig of chilled orange juice which set off a wonderful fluttering in my lower abdomen. Apparently it gave Bo a bit of a shock!

Sadly our time away is coming to a rapid end but we've had a lovely time. I've not been able to do as much as I might normally have done and we've had lots of rest days too, but it's been nice to get away for a while. Especially as the week before, well, the day of the holiday, we were still considering cancelling owing to my sickness.

I'm coming home with lots of goodies, photos and a far bigger bump than I left with. I may start taking bump photos soon.