Pregnancy Week 22

Week: 22

Baby: Tropical city, Grub is the size of a papaya! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one, and to be honest they look very…ummm…vaginal to me. Perhaps that’s just because I’m starting to think a lot more about what needs to come out of there…

What I’m cooking: A skinny, but growing baby! This week is all about brain development, and while Grub still has wrinkly skin and hair all over her body, she’s getting bigger every day! She weighs nearly half a kilo now.

Main symptom: still this damn hip. I was back at yoga this week though, and got some great stretches to help with it. I’m trying to do them every night, and hopefully they’ll make a difference soon.

What’s on this week: As you might be able to tell by the lateness of this post, work! There’s not been a lot on in the baby world, apart from some enhanced kicking, but work has just taken over. I’m looking for some stress reducing activities to help me get through the next little while.

Week 22 comp

I’m in kick city this week! Grub has upped the ante, and is really bouncing about in there. She’s not affecting my sleep yet (there’s not much in the world that affects my sleep, including tropical thunderstorms and smoke alarms), but she’s dancing like crazy when I wake up and at bedtime. I’m noticing that she picks up when music is being played, so perhaps I have a dancer growing in there…

The weight is still piling on steadily, I’m up over a 6 kilo weight gain now, and one of my pregnancy apps is happily showing this as being at the very top range of where I should be (I deleted one app for telling me I was over my scheduled weight gain at a massive 8 weeks pregnant, so this one needs to watch itself!). It’s a little disheartening seeing that graph and thinking that maybe I’m doing something wrong, but at the same time I feel good, I don’t feel like I’m packing on weight where I shouldn’t be. That said, my undies aren’t fitting quite as they used to, and I think there’s definitely more, ahem, junk in my trunk. Hoping my arse returns to original size post-pregnancy. I’m still rocking an innie bellybutton, although I have a very deep bellybutton – I feel like it’s a lot shallower than it was, so we’ll see if I get to the outie look at all.

I’m also heading towards the ‘viability’ stage, where the chances of Grub surviving outside of the womb increases exponentially. Some areas I’ve read put this at 25 weeks, others at 27 (the start of the third trimester). Either way, it’s fast approaching, and while there’s still a long way to go before we’re out of the danger zone (while these babies can survive, many have disabilities or ongoing health issues), it’s great to know we’re not far away from a healthy baby being born.

Grub and I are hanging tight this week, and next week looks pretty similar, but at week 24 Mr Nester and I are off to a birth class, which is very exciting. It’s run by the woman who runs my prenatal yoga class, and is basically a shortened version of the CalmBirth workshops (which are much more expensive, and I assume more intensive). This class is a few hours long, and focuses on breathing techniques, birthing positions, and basically ways to deal with the process, without the fear factor. It sounds great.

Until next week (which is very rapidly approaching!),

Jane xx

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Pregnancy Week 21

Week: 21

Baby: Heading a bit hipster this week, Grub is the size of a very trendy pomegranate!

What I’m cooking: A baby with hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes! Grub’s face is fully developed now, and its features are now formed. Grub is also now using their digestive system, and making some yummy meconium to poop into its first diaper. How lovely!

Main symptom: Oi my hip! Still sore on the right side, and of course we’re in the depths of winter, which isn’t making it much better. I’ve been horribly slack with yoga these last couple of weeks, so I’m planning on getting back into it ASAP to deal with the ache.

What’s on this week: Back to work (sob!) and back to normality for a while – the scan and hospital appointment are done, so there’s a few weeks of business as usual before any new additions. On the plus side, my prenatal yoga classes start up again this week after a 3 week break, so it’ll be great to get some stretching it with some other bumpy women!

Week 21 comp

I’ve decided that winter is a great time to be pregnant. Other than the aforementioned sore joints, you get to rug up, not go anywhere, and eat lots. Perfect pregnancy tasks. I have been doing all of those, with great success this week. The issue is that now I have to return to work, return to trying to look presentable 5 days a week (outrageous!), and turn my brain back from mush mode to “trying to look like I have any idea what I’m doing” mode. There may be trouble ahead…

On the plus side, the cot’s up!! Yay Mr Nester!! He and a lovely friend of ours shifted the sofa bed out from the nursery (it weighs approximately 1,000,000kg, so no easy task), which meant we had the room to put the cot together, and arrange as we saw fit. There’s still a bit to do in terms of layout of the nursery – there’s a hideous bookcase full of rubbish that needs moving to another room, our pictures need hanging on the wall, and the built in robe is packed to the brim with god knows what – but we’re getting there! Once I’m happy with the room and we’ve got everything in that we have bought so far, I’ll take some pics to show you the transformation.

I’ve also been shopping a bit more (eek!) now that I know we’re having a girl. I’ve managed to restrain myself quite a bit, but the sales are on at the moment, and there are so many cute baby girl’s things, I just can’t help it. Like I’ve said previously, I’m not a fan of the pink explosion, but I don’t mind the colour itself. So, yes, I’ve bought some pink stuff, but I’ve also bought gorgeous yellow, mint, purple and white gear too.

I’m feeling a lot more kicks now, mainly at night which seems to be when Grub is at her most active. It’s been lovely knowing we’re having a girl, as now I can think of her as more than an “it” and start to connect a little bit. She is really giving herself a good workout in the evenings, and it’s wonderful knowing that she’s doing well in there.

Otherwise I’ve been pretty tired this week, getting back into the swing of work has been harder than I’d anticipated, and I’m feeling very sore dragging my sorry arse out of bed in the mornings, in the cold, dark mornings. Come on Spring!

Looking forward to seeing how this bump progresses in the next few weeks – I have a feeling that by the time I hit the 3rd trimester (only 5 weeks away!) I’ll be thinking I can’t possibly get any bigger…

Until next time,

Jane xx

The Second Hospital Appointment

Pretty much every hospital waiting area.

The funny thing about hospitals, is I used to hate them. There was a fear associated with that space, that was where things went wrong, where the sickest people were, where people died. That is obviously still the case – people are sick, people die. However, having spent quite a bit of time in and out of the hospital over the past year, firstly for Mr Nester’s cancer treatment and then through my own IVF and pregnancy appointments, I have lost that fear. Yes, hospitals can be places of despair and loss, but they are also where we go for hope, to be mended, to be saved. While the actual visits themselves were pretty awful for Mr Nester, and fairly exhausting (both emotionally and physically) for me, we were there to fix Mr Nester, to help him recover from a nasty affliction that needed urgent medical care (what a longwinded way of saying cancer!). And so, my attitude towards them has changed somewhat. Now, they are places where people are treated, where you meet the specialists that (hopefully) know exactly what needs to be done. For me, now, they are places of waiting. Of people watching and wondering what journey the others around me have been through.

My appointment last week was a regular check up, but this time with an obstetrician. The only thing I have had an issue with in this entire process is not knowing what to expect, every time I go to the hospital for a planned visit. Usually, my appointments with other medical specialists are either a check up, or because I have a specific reason for needing to see them. With pregnancy, it’s a little different. Yes, it’s a check up, to make sure things are progressing as usual, but other than that I’m in the dark. We had our morphology scan of Grub early last week, so my assumption was that I was going in to discuss the results, to make sure everything was alright on the scan. Of course, the hospital didn’t have the results. So no go there. As far as I know, everything is fine (my lovely GP gave me a copy of the results yesterday, and he seemed to think everything looked good). What is more frustrating is that I had brought in the scan images, just in case the results hadn’t been sent through. I offered them to the obstetrician, who looked at the CD, and said “no, that’s fine”. No other comment. Good-oh.

In terms of the actual appointment, she asked me how I was going, confirmed that Grub is an IVF baby (no other comment there), and gave me a blood pressure check, breast check, listened to my heart, and felt my stomach. The only comment from all of that was “your uterus is nice and high, looks like you’re growing nicely”. Yay me! She asked me if I had any questions, I asked about the next appointment, and how many I was likely to have. She told me the next one was in 4 weeks – that’s it. No more info. At one point she left the room to take a phone call. I have to say, I’m very glad I’ve booked into midwife care, rather than general care with an obstetrician (or obstetricians). While the obstetrician wasn’t aggressive or mean in any way, she was obviously busy, and I was obviously not the priority. I get it, but as a first pregnancy it’s nice to feel like the people in charge care what’s happening to you. The experience with the midwife was completely different, and I’m looking forward to my next appointment to hopefully return to a more personal approach. I don’t think of myself as a princess, but it’s nice to feel like the medical professionals actually give a shit who you are, and what’s happening in your pregnancy.

On the plus side of the appointment, the obstetrician used a doppler to listen to Grub’s heartbeat, which was lovely and strong again (although the OB didn’t say a word). After about 5 seconds of listening, Grub moved out of the way, and the OB had to search around again to find her heartbeat. When she did, she had it locked for about 3 seconds before Grub kicked the doppler wand. Right on it! I giggled, the OB didn’t change her expression. Tough crowd! It’s lovely to know that Grub is getting a little more control over her kicks, although it probably doesn’t bode well for my bladder or ribs in the near future…

So, in all, not the most thrilling of appointments. As the OB said, I have another one in a month (I was very specific with the booking desk to get back to the midwife program), and I’m assuming sometime soon after that I’ll have the glucose test for gestational diabetes, which I’m told is a big sugary drink that tastes awful. So much to look forward to!

Weekly update coming soon,

Jane xx

The Anatomy Scan…and the sex!

Today was the anatomy scan day, and just like last time, I was completely calm and chilled, until it was time to go to the imaging clinic. Driving there, my heart started racing, and all I could think of is what would happen if something was wrong. I wasn’t concerned about the sex at all, being almost certain it was a boy.

The scan itself was, well, long. And very quiet. We didn’t get to find out the sex until right at the end, and the scan itself took about 45 minutes. The technician checked everything. The head, brain, nose, jaw, palate, heart, stomach, kidneys, arm bones, leg bones, hands, feet, and of course the sex. She spent absolutely forever looking at the heart, which completely freaked both Mr Nester and I out. She was zooming in and out, taking photo after photo of what seemed to be the same image, and not saying a word. I finally brought myself to ask if everything was looking ok, and she glanced up, looked at me, and said…

“Yes! Everything looks good.”

Thank fuck for that! Seriously, you’d think with the amount of pregnancy scans these people must do, they’d develop a bit more of a bedside manner. Way to stress out a pregnant lady!

Of course, our baby was looking amazingly perfect, and behaved beautifully throughout the scan (can that continue, please?). The only issue was Grub didn’t want to give us a good look at its face, its hand was covering most of its face for the majority of the scan, although we did get this shot:

20 week scan

And so, we reached the end of the scan, and the technician asked if we’d like to know the sex (she said gender, which annoyed me, but I managed to keep it to myself), and I nearly cut her off with my “yes please!”. She manoeuvred the ultrasound wand around to get the “potty shot”, and after a little adjustment, got a clear confirmation of…

A GIRL!!

Mr Nester and I were so shocked we both responded with a “Really? Are you sure?” – I had been certain from the very beginning that it was a boy, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind. So to be told we were having a girl was quite a shock, and I’m still having to adjust to the new idea. I’m crazy excited, of course. A girl! A beautiful, strong, independent girl to bring into the world, to make waves and push boundaries. Or not. Her choice, of course. But how wonderful to be able to have a mother-daugher relationship, to see her grow into a young woman, and hopefully be able to help her along the way.

I’m also very excited about shopping for her, although I’m trying to steer clear of the “princess”/sequins/frills/pastel pink overload – I don’t mind a bit of that, mixed in, but I despair at the cotton candy explosion that seems to dominate in girls’ clothing stores.

The only other issue is the name. We had been so sure it would be a boy, our list of boys names far outweighed anything we’d come up with for a girl. Now, the boys’ names are on ice (until possibly Baby #2 – watch out Mr Nester!), and Mr Nester and I are deep in discussion about potential baby girl names.

On that note, I’m off to have my dinner, so from my baby girl and I, see you next time!

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 20

Week: 20

Baby: Sticking with the tropical theme, and making me yearn for sunshine, Grub this week is the size of a banana! Which reminds me, I should be eating more bananas.

What I’m cooking: A suddenly much bigger baby! Measurements this week change from head-to-bum, to head-to-toe length, as Grub is now stretched out enough to get an accurate measurement. He/she is focused on gaining weight, and is starting to develop more consistent sleeping patterns. I’m noticing much more movement at night now.

Main symptom: Hip pain – my right hip has been aching pretty much every morning, which I’m putting down to a combo of an adjusting pelvis and the cold weather.

What’s on this week: Everything! On Tuesday we have the anatomy scan (we’re we’ll be finding out if we’re having a boy or a girl!), Friday is another hospital appointment, and in between there somewhere is the pram delivery! Along with that, we are definitely putting the crib together. No excuses, Mr Nester!

Week 20 comp
The middle of pregnancy is a funny thing. While I’m now much more aware that I’m growing a person (Grub has been kicking up a storm this week!), the lack of other symptoms, along with the lack of a well defined bump is making me forget what my body’s going through. Until, that is, I eat too much, sit at the wrong angle, try to get up quickly, or burst into tears for some minor reason. Mr Nester thinks I’ve been the happiest he’s seen me, ever. I’m consistently upbeat, smiling, and bursting into laughter, which has been lovely. I think experiencing such an exciting time, plus happy hormones is giving me a much sunnier outlook than usual. Not that I’m all doom and gloom otherwise, it’s perhaps just a little more balanced.

On the other side of the coin, I’m also weeping with increasing regularity. Yesterday I broke down over packing away my clothes that no longer fit me. What’s strange is that I’m loving my new shape, and the growing bump, but I think it’s been a while since I’ve felt attractive, sexy, appealing, however you want to put it. Having shaved my head (for charity) back in February, and steadily putting on weight in this pregnancy, I’m feeling very unlike my old self. I think it took putting my dresses in a suitcase for that to sink in. I’m also badly in need of a haircut, which isn’t helping. I realised yesterday that I’m basically wearing only my “comfy” gear at the moment, whether at work, home or heading out. All my fancy stuff no longer fits, so it’s tricky to feel like I’m really bringing it when I’m in tights and a flowy top. Anyway. That culminated in me sobbing to Mr Nester, who of course being the champion that he is was telling me how gorgeous I looked. What a star. It was a moment of weakness, but one that stems from trying for my entire adult life to stay fit, healthy, and be able to rock it when I wanted to. That has changed slightly for the moment, but I know I’ll get back there after the baby’s born. It just seems a long way away at the moment!

I’m also counting down to the next scan (tomorrow!!). This is a biggie – it’s the anatomy scan, which is apparently quite intensive – they check out basically everything about Grub, including all organs (making sure the heart has 4 chambers, etc etc), and taking a bunch of measurements. The very exciting part of this scan is we get to find out the sex! I still think it’s a boy, but I really have no preference either way. I feel for people who are desperate for one specific sex, but I think either way it’s an adventure. We’re hoping to have two kids, total, and it would be a completely different experience having one of each, or two of the same, but I think any combination would be just as exciting. I’m not going to mourn the loss of whatever people generally classify as having with a boy or a girl, because I’m sure the experiences will be just as special with either.

I’d love to keep writing to tell you about the other things that have been going through my mind this week, but to be perfectly honest, there’s not been anything else. I’m either laughing, weeping, or thinking about the scan tomorrow! I’ll provide an update tomorrow night, and I might even tell you what we’re having! I’d say I won’t be able to sleep tonight, but I sleep like the dead, regardless of what’s going on.

Until tomorrow,

Jane (and unidentified baby!) xx

Pregnancy Week 19

Week: 19

Baby: back to the sweet stuff! Grub is the size of a mango this week, which is making me dream of summer, and tropical fruit. A much nicer fantasy than those evoked my a sweet potato or an onion…bring on the warmer weather!

What I’m cooking: A cheese baby – this week the vernix develops, which is a thick, waxy/cheese like coating to protect baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid. It should hopefully disappear by birth!

Main symptom: Bloody nose – yes, still. Not really the full on nosebleeds, just constant snuffles, and tissues streaked with blood. Appetising, isn’t it?

What’s on this week: Nothing! How lovely. The first week of the 2 week break, and I plan to loll about and not really get anything done. Heaven! Also, a short trip to visit Mum and her family (she lives interstate), which will be a lovely change of pace. I also have another massage booked on Friday, and I’m aiming to inspire Mr Nester to start getting the nursery organised – I want that cot put together!

Week 19 comp

My photos are starting to take on more of an “S” shape now – I’m certainly not getting any skinnier, but I’m not looking much more pregnant either (at least not in my eyes). We’ve just come back from the trip to see Mum and a bunch of other family members, which was lovely. It’s amazing the comments you get, they’re never what I expect! The main question was whether I’ve been feeling sick (standard), followed by how much time I’m going to take off. Then there’s the “how far along are you??” questions, in which I seem to be pulling off some great con in making them think I’m 19 weeks. “Where?”; “You’re so tiny!”; “but there’s nothing there!” have been the common responses, which of course prompts me to lift my shirt and stick my stomach out. Very dignified. I also had my 94-year-old, very conservative, English grandmother give me a lecture on breastfeeding, and how important it was. This is a woman (whom I love very much) who can’t say “bottom” – she prefers “seat” instead. I was very surprised to hear the word “breast” pop out at such regular intervals! And yes, of course I plan to breastfeed, but I also mentioned to her about the difficulty some people have, and that I was certainly aiming to breastfeed for as long as possible (that said, I’ll be stopping before it gets weird. You know what I mean. Weird.).

The pick of the bunch was the comment I mentioned in the last post, where someone basically told me I was definitely not just bump. Oh no, I was “spreading all around”. It’s very difficult to keep a sunny disposition to these well meaning comments, when on reflection I’m basically being told I just look fatter, not pregnant. Oh well. Hopefully that bump will be shoving its way out in the next few weeks, and then I can deal with the “you’re about to pop” comments for 15 weeks.

I’m back off for another massage this week as well, which I’m looking forward to very much. I’ve been waking up with an aching right hip the last few nights, which is apparently very common at this stage, as your pelvis starts to bend and stretch to accommodate the extra weight. I’m hoping the masseuse will again release all the kinks I’ve worked up, which will give me a lovely ache-free week next week.

Shopping-wise, the last post was all about the pram. I’ve also been researching a carrier quite manically, as I like the idea of an easier run to the shops, or walk with the dog, without having to lug the pram about. I was initially all but clicking “checkout” on the Ergobaby 360, until this week I found the Manduca.

the Ergobaby 360


the Manduca

This carrier is very similar, however it’s German-made, contains a good proportion of organic/breathable materials, and is quite a bit cheaper (the Ergo 360 is about AUD $240 with the newborn insert, and the Manduca AUD $170). It also has the added benefit of having a newborn support built in, whereas the Ergos need an additional insert, at an additional cost. The other prohibitive factor with the Ergobaby range is that the reviews have said they don’t breathe well, especially with the newborn insert, and since Grub is due at the start of summer, I don’t fancy increasing the heat load at that time. I took myself off to the local baby store today to check both out, and they’re very nearly identical. They feel very similar around the hips (although the Manduca has two adjustment straps – one on each side – instead of the Ergo’s 1), similar shoulder straps (although again the Manduca can be adjusted to a crossover strap set up, which to me felt firmer), and similar quality (high). Whether it was knowing the added plusses of the Manduca or not, I was quite taken with it. I think that will be my next purchase.

What else is on this week? I’m planning to recover the cushions of our glider chair I bought months ago (a steal on eBay), so I’ll be posting hopefully in the next few days with the results of that effort, successful or otherwise! I own a sewing machine, and have used it for a few things, but I’m by no means an expert. Eh, what’s the worst that could happen? (Expect a post from the hospital after sewing my fingers together, or similar…).

Until next time,

Jane xx