Pregnancy Week 35

Week: 35

Baby: Silverbeet – now we’re getting somewhere with the length! I feel constantly full at the moment, there’s really not much more room for Grub to grow…

What I’m cooking: Still developing the pudge as much as possible, this is pretty much all that’s left for Grub to do – she’s nearly ready for the outside world!

Main symptom: Still the achy hips, still the sore lower back, and more of the cramps. I’m just getting somewhat walrus like – slow, ambling, and averse to any kind of movement. I love love love my couch.

What’s on this week: Still on the work countdown – no appointments, but just trying to wrap as much up as possible in case I pop early! Mr Nester and I are off to the city for a day out this weekend, to have a bit of a last hurrah before everything baby hits!

Week 35 comp

I’m getting progressively slower. I also have a serious case of the can’t-be-fuckeds. Work just seems so unimportant at the moment, especially knowing that I could go into labour at any time. I’m really, really hanging out for maternity leave now, and kind of wishing that I had organised to finish up sooner. I just want to be at home, getting everything prepared and taking it as easy as possible.

I was clever enough last weekend to cook up a huge batch of dinners for the next couple of weeks, so that has taken the pressure off somewhat. My main problem is that I’m running out of freezer space! We only have a little freezer on top of the fridge, so fitting a month’s worth of meals into it just isn’t feasible. I’m very tempted to buy a little bar size freezer to stock up, as I figure it’ll also come in handy when Grub starts eating solids, and I can batch cook and freeze her food. We’ll see. I need to find somewhere to put the freezer first!

I’ve done a little more shopping, and have also been gifted an insane amount of hand-me-down clothes, which is awesome, but I’m a little concerned that Grub isn’t going to have enough outfit changes to get through them all! It’s a little crazy! I ended up buying another carrier, as mentioned recently – the Manduca. I managed to find a fantastic Facebook group that does a buy/sell/trade set up for all types of carriers – I had no idea there were so many! And some are so ridiculously expensive! I managed to get myself a bargain with the Manduca – about half the retail price, and it looks like it’s in great condition. It should arrive next week, so I’ll update you once it comes through.

I’m also trying to restrain myself from buying yet more nappies, as I’ve also found a Facebook MCN (Modern Cloth Nappies) group, that again has some great bargains. Trying to restrain myself, failing pretty badly!

Ah well. Only 3 weeks of work left, including this week! (I’m writing this blog waaaaay late, so now it’s only 2 weeks left! Hurray!).

Yours in walrusness,

Jane xx

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Pregnancy Week 31

Week: 31

Baby: A lettuce – ho hum. I can’t say the thought of a whole lettuce inside of me is particularly inspiring…healthy, but not inspiring.

What I’m cooking: A footballer, it seems! Grub has been kicking up a storm this week, which ties into her getting even bigger and stronger. She’s also worked out how to get a foot up and under my ribs, just for fun. Thanks, Grub. How very kind…

Main symptom: The rib is almost completely better now, and the hayfever has subsided, so now I’m down to the itchy eyes (improving, but still enormously annoying) and general aches and pains. A good week!

What’s on this week: Holidays! Oh thank goodness. I was hanging on by a thread last week, so it’s lovely to have 2 weeks to recuperate and reenergise. There’s a shitload that we need to do in these holidays in terms of organisation for November, but that’s fine. It’s just lovely being home.

Week 31 comp

Aaaah, holidays. A place where I can fall into a heap and not emerge for two weeks. This time around, I also have the added bonus of warmer weather, so it’s basically heaven. I’m loving waking up without an alarm (even if I do pretty much wake up at 7am on the dot), love pottering about the house with a coffee, spending time with Mr Nester, and getting things marked off my to-do list. There’s a lot of stuff on that list. So far, I plan to do the following in these holidays (and remember, I’m nearly half way through the break already):

  • clean out the built in robe in the nursery (almost there!)
  • hang pictures in the nursery
  • wipe down/clean out our bedroom
  • check second hand nappies for elastic slackening
  • replace elastics in nappies where needed
  • buy car seat thank you target – half price Safe n’ Sound!
  • buy nappy bag Target again, $40 (no way I’m spending $150 on a bag for dirty nappies!)
  • start on wedding present for a friend (artwork…eeek!)
  • check out other daycare centre close by
  • start making freezer meals
  • organise hard rubbish collection
  • put away baby clothes
  • organise carpets to be steam cleaned
  • get car serviced
  • start on student reports for school

So, as you can see, I have actually done a few of these, but there’s still a mountain ahead of me, and no, it’s not just my stomach. Speaking of my stomach though, I have certainly noticed a step up in the amount of growth over the past couple of weeks. I feel properly pregnant now, with all the sore muscles and joints that come along with it. It’s not particularly a specific pain, it’s more a general ache if I sit in a less than optimal position for too long. Ditto if I don’t put my feet up often enough in the day. I was at our prenatal classes last night, and I could barely stand at the end of it from the pain in my tailbone, just from sitting on a less than couch-like chair for a couple of hours.

Shopping-wise, I picked up a couple of bargains from Target as I mentioned above. I’m not one to skimp when something’s really important, but I also don’t buy in to a lot of the marketing hype surrounding so much of the baby shopping experience. The biggest annoyance I have is the nappy bag, or diaper bag for the US readers. I just can’t justify spending $150 or more on a bag that will carry poo-ey nappies. I have a handbag, a lovely one, but it can annoy me sometimes having to lug it around, so adding another enormous tote for god-knows-what seems overkill to me. As such, I was looking at nappy backpacks instead, so that Mr Nester could also use it without feeling too prissy. Target saved me here, with the Fisher Price backpack below. It’s a good size, has heaps of pockets, and wasn’t stupidly expensive. We also grabbed a car seat, as it was half price (Target do this for this particular seat twice a year, so it’s not because it has problems). I researched the seat before buying it, and it has great safety ratings and can be used from birth to 4 years old, so it seemed a no-brainer for me! Two big things ticked off the list.

The nappy backpack

the car seat

Otherwise, this week has been a much slower pace than the last two, allowing me time to recover a little, and get my head into the right place for the rapidly approaching labour. The antenatal classes have been great for information regarding the hospital, and last night’s one on breastfeeding was really good (even if they did tell me I’d bought the wrong bottles), but they haven’t done much to assist in preparation for labour. The midwife running the sessions has rightly said that labour is only one day, and the baby is for a lot longer than that, but I’m still very glad I’ve been attending my yoga classes and reading as much as I can, just to take the edge off the anxiety about the pain of labour.

I have another midwife appointment next week, and I’m sure you’ll hear from me soon to let you know I haven’t finished any of the things I’d hoped to…we’ll see!

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 26

Week: 26

Baby: Once again, we have some conflicting info on vegetable sizes this week – one app says a coconut (at 35cm??), one says a papaya (we’ve done that!) so I’m going with a butternut squash, or pumpkin if you prefer. My little pumpkin, awwww.

What I’m cooking: By the end of the week, Grub’s lungs will be mature enough to breathe air, which is very exciting – yet another milestone towards her being ok if I happen to go into labour early.

Main symptom: Rib pain – ouch, how my ribs ache! I’ve progressed from a popping feeling when I sit up, to consistent tenderness at the bottom of my ribs, to last night where I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled a muscle somewhere under a rib, which means I can’t take a deep breath. Way to prepare for the third trimester!

What’s on this week: No appointments as such, but after being knocked over by the cold last week, this week I really, really want to get back to yoga!

Week 26 comp

This week has been a bit of a return to normality – I was back at work on Monday, and I’ve managed to last the whole week! Amazing! But I’m pretty exhausted. I’m still recovering from last week’s bug, but the coughing is slowly subsiding, and the congestion is clearing up nicely. Today was the first day I’ve felt energetic at all, which I think has been helped quite a bit by the gorgeous weather we’ve had. Suddenly today feels like the start of Spring – blue skies, warm breeze, blossoms starting to pop on the trees. It’s funny how much just a blue sky makes me feel happier – like I’m waking up from winter’s hibernation. It’s an exciting feeling, I’m really looking forward to Miss Grub being able to experience her first Spring and Summer!

I’ve also been shopping up a storm this week – I think it’s the knowledge that we’re nearly in the home stretch that has spurred on a bit of a preparation frenzy. As you know if you’ve read this post, I’m planning on using cloth nappies, when Miss Grub starts fitting into them. I’ve decided I’m not going to give myself a hard time about using them as a newborn – I’ll wean her into them depending on when they fit. I managed to score a bulk set of lightly used BumGenius Freetime nappies earlier this year, which have looked the best in terms of reviews and ease-of-use so far.

One of the BumGenius nappies in the super cute Harper print

I’ve added to that with 6 Baby Bare ones (check them out, they’re ridiculously cute and fluffy!) – these have the absorbency bit as a snap-in, which is a little more time consuming, but from what I’ve read it’s very useful at night, when you might need an added few layers so there’s no leaks.

 

the Baby Bare “Bare Cub” nappy in Dazzle (I have two of these!)

 
So now I have a stash of 20 one-size nappies, which I’ll add to down the track if I feel the need. This should mean I have enough to only wash every second day, depending on Miss Grub’s toilet habits! On top of this, I’ve bought 4 “boosters” for night wear (you add these into the nappy as an extra), which again I’ll try out and add to later if need be.

In other purchases, I realised that I have a few events coming up that I need to dress up for, so ASOS has been my friend here! I’ve found that the official pregnancy stores charge ridiculous prices for even the most basic items ($40 for maternity tights!), and the more budget stores (Kmart, Target etc) are great for basics, but rubbish for anything fancier. So, ASOS. What a saviour! The amount of maternity clothes are ridiculous, and as long as I buy in a generous size (who am I kidding, there’s no way I’m an Aus size 10 anymore!), they seem to fit well. Cue more money leaving my bank account. I picked up two great looking dresses for under $60 this week, and I’m looking forward to them arriving soon.

Lastly, I finally made it back to yoga this week, and it’s been great. I was a little bummed out that I’d missed the birth preparation class a couple of weeks ago, so it’s been great to get back into the breathing, exercising swing of things. This should all help me with techniques for when D-Day hits. This week, for the first time ever I was the most advanced in pregnancy! It’s getting real! Also, I’ve started reading yet another book as recommended by a friend, called Birth Skills.

my current read

my current read

It has a similar focus as the Calm Birth or hypnobirth classes, but is a little more tolerant of the possible need for pain relief. The book goes through a heap of difference ways of dealing with labour, including movement (active labour), breathing, visualisation exercises, and general coping strategies. It’s been great to read this, as I feel like I’m getting the info that I missed at the birth prep class.

This is also the last week of my second trimester – next week I’ll be writing to you from the steep slope that is the third trimester. Again, the combination of excitement and terror is ever-present!

Until then,

Jane xx

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

Buying the Pram/Stroller

We snuck away this week for a fly by visit to see my Mum, and her family. It was lovely to catch up with everyone, and to update them on how we’re progressing. Everyone was really excited for us, which was lovely, and the boy/girl guessing game has begun. I must say, being told “it’s definitely a girl”, because “the bump is spread all around the sides” (i.e. my waist is now nonexistent) is going to take some getting used to. I had to work pretty hard at not being offended by that one! On the plus side, my lovely mother offered to buy us a pram. Whoo hoo! Mr Nester and I have been in serious discussions about this purchase for months, and we’ve tried out way too many styles, brands and price ranges at baby stores in this time. My original “must have” list was:

  • sturdy/stable – able to be taken wherever, so I don’t have to worry if it’s suitable
  • 4 wheels – I know there are many who swear by the 3 wheelers, but Mr Nester and I didn’t like the “tip” effect of the single wheel at the front, and regardless of the title “jogger”, unless you get a very specific athletic-designed pram, they’re not designed for jogging
  • lay flat option – I didn’t want to be forking out extra cash for the bassinet attachment, when it would only be used for a few months
  • forward and rear facing – an important one. My aim with this was to get a pram that was as customisable as possible to deal with all different stages of baby’s life
  • a big basket – a bit of a luxury request, I envision I’ll be shopping a bit with this pram, and I don’t fancy trying to steer a pram and a trolley at the same time!
  • Sturdy tires – obvious, but I don’t want one cracking (plastic) or going flat (rubber) in the middle of a walk
  • colour – another luxury, but I want to be able to identify my pram in a pack!
  • a big canopy – Grub is due in November, so early use is going to be in the peak of summer.
  • easy fold up – we have a decent sized car, so size isn’t too much of an issue, but I didn’t want a fiddly, multi-step folding system
  • additional seat capacity – so that if we have another baby at some point, the pram will adjust to suit our needs.

Not picky then, am I? As you can imagine with this list, it took some time to find prams that suited our budget (under $1,000), and met our needs. I was willing to bend on some of these, but the pram would have to impress me. *a note here – this is not a sponsored post, these are just my opinions and musings* Our shortlist was:

  • Steelcraft Strider Plus or Compact
  • Valco Rebel Q Air
  • Uppababy Alta or Vista
  • Baby Jogger City Select

These are those prams, in order:

Strider Compact

Rebel Q Air

Uppababy Alta

City Select

Now, as you can see, these all look really rather similar. They are. There are pros of one, cons of the other, and some we just didn’t like when we tried them out. To run through our feelings on these quickly, I’ve summarised below:

  1. Steelcraft Strider Compact: We loved, loved, loved this one. Almost everything was exactly as we were after, including foam filled wheels in the 2015 edition. Our only annoyance was that the seat didn’t lay flat. It had absolutely everything else. I was dubious about the Compact over the Plus model, but after seeing the sizes side by side (the Compact is 7cm narrower), it really did make a difference.
  2. Valco Rebel Q Air: I was sold on the Rebel Q from the beginning, after reading about it and researching it online. Again, it had pretty much everything on my list, including the ability to lay the seat completely flat. Mr Nester and I checked it out in store, pretty much expecting to walk away with one, and, well, I wasn’t that enamoured. While it had everything we were after, the folding mechanism was fiddly, and I kept catching my hand in it. The shade cover came up at the back when I pulled the front forward, which was really annoying. The different seat positions didn’t seem to click well into place, and the peekaboo window (who’d have thought that was a consideration?) was a very noisy velcro. I so wanted this pram to be the one, but unfortunately for us it wasn’t.
  3. Uppababy Alta (or Cruz in the US): This one was a surprise – we saw it at the doctor’s a couple of weeks ago, and it wowed both Mr Nester and I straight away. It seemed to have everything we were after, looked light, easy to manoeuvre, and was an awesome colour. I immediately went home and looked it up, and it does look fantastic. Again, it ticks most of the boxes, however the one flaw was that the Alta is only a single pram. No way of adding a second seat. For that, you need the Vista, and with a retail price of about $1500, it was well out of our range. I was a bit gutted by this one.
  4. Baby Jogger City Select: This one has been winning all the awards this year, and last year. It’s a hot favourite at the moment, and I can understand why. It again ticks most of the boxes, with the exception of the lay flat seat. My issue with the City Select is firstly the price ($800+, depending on where you buy), and secondly the brake. You’d think that would be fairly straightforward, especially in an award-winning pram, but it’s the only one I’ve seen that is a hand brake, and not a foot brake. It also requires a couple of steps to lock or unlock, which for some reason just annoyed the hell out of me! Once again my big hands kept getting caught, so this one was also crossed off the list.

In the end, it was a tough decision, but we chose the Strider Compact. It really was everything we were after, and even after putting it through its paces at the store, both Mr Nester and I were impressed with it. The bonus with this one was that a friend is giving us a capsule for the car, and it’s compatible with this pram. That means that the issue of the lie-flat seat is now not an issue, and so the Strider ticks all the boxes. Which is why I just ordered one. In the most delicious teal colour. I can’t wait!

The winner…the Strider Compact!

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 17

Week: 17

Baby: An onion – not quite as yummy as the last few weeks, but guaranteed I’ll be eating a lot of Grub this week…sorry Grub!

What I’m cooking: A big ol’ baby! For the first time, Grub is now bigger than the placenta (its evil twin). The brain is also now communicating with the muscles a lot more, which means more concentrated kicks to my tender areas…

Main symptom: Emotions! I’ve always been a bit of a robot where weepiness is concerned, but I’ve been crying at anything that pulls on the heartstrings this week, and when I’m not crying, I’m in a ridiculously good mood. Gooooo preggo hormones!

What’s on this week: Still counting down until the holidays, and this week is the biggie for getting work done. Not a lot of baby related stuff, just lots of regular adult crap.

Week 17 comp

Thankfully this week that flu seems to have started to make its evil way back to germ town, and no longer resides in my chest, head, throat and nose. One of the big symptoms of pregnancy is a constantly stuffy nose (due to increased blood flow, which in turn makes the nose blood vessels swell), and this coupled with a real cold has been no fun at all. I’m coming out of the haze now, and I’m very much hoping that I’ve now had my cold of the year – the rest can bugger off, please.

I was off to prenatal yoga again this week, which was again a great way to unwind, stretch out some sore muscles, and realise how weak my thigh muscles are. A lot of prenatal yoga is to do with breathing, but also with strengthening the muscles that you’re going to need in labour. Apparently squats are vital (I’ll report back on that in 6 months), and my poor legs haven’t been subjected to a squat in quite some time. Cue lots of wobbles from my side of the room as my legs spasmed frantically under the strain of doing any exercise. I’m planning to do a lot more so I can wow the instructor next time. That said, that ice-cream over there does look good…

The other excellent part of prenatal yoga is the breathing exercises. Sure, we do the deep breathing, yoga style, but this week we also looked at making noises as a focusing technique. Basically this involved a roomful of very rounded women making “shhhhh” noises for half an hour. Surprisingly, I found it helped quite a bit, especially when I wanted to give up on the stretch that was making me shake like a jelly. You “shhh” or hum on the exhale, and it helps in relaxing as well as focusing.

I’ve found a video on the “humming bee breath”, but I can’t find anything on the “shhhh” breath (although there’s a few references to it if you have a look at vinyasa flow yoga). Have a look below (we didn’t put our fingers in our ears!)

I’ve just realised I’ve spent pretty much this entire post on yoga – can you tell I’ve had an exciting week?

I’ve also done a bit more shopping this week, as the end of financial year sales are on. I’m still holding out on the big items, but I’ve read amazing things about Aden+Anais swaddle wraps, so I splashed out and bought a couple. Along with that, I got an “easy swaddle” from the same site, as I have a funny feeling it’s going to take me a few goes to get this swaddling this right…

the swaddle wraps

the “easy swaddle”

While I was there, I also grabbed some baby scratch mittens (they are impossible to find in chain stores!), and I also splashed out on this little item, as it was on sale today:

it’s. just. so. damn. CUTE!

So I may have gone slightly crazy this week with shopping. I’m dying to get the nursery together, and I have to wait until the holidays when Mr. Nester can help me get the sofa bed out and into the lounge room, before we can put the cot together and really start getting the design going. I want it now!

See you at Week 18 (in a day or so if I can get organised enough to post on time for once!),

Jane xx