40 weeks: Pregnancy Update (OVERDUE)

Taken at 39 weeks!

Oh my, it’s been almost a month since I last updated. Life has got somewhat hectic recently – plus there have been lots of changes! I have started maternity leave, our kitchen was gutted and replaced, my parents are in the country and … erm, I’m still pregnant. Yes, it seems Baby Bug may need a bit of a push (and a shove) to get him out. I’m now going more by my dates (which are 40+4) than the NHS dates as they make me feel better.

In other news, I was somehow, crazily nominated in the MAD Blog Awards for Best Pregnancy Blog. To whoever nominated me: THANK YOU! I absolutely was not expecting it (and thoroughly do not deserve it) and it was such a lovely, wonderful thing to have happen.

Weeks: 40 + 4 (my dates) / 41 + 2 (NHS)

New developments:
I am overdue. My actual dates have now become quite a bit more important because I knew my dates within a 48 hour time period – but, when we had the scan, they bought the dates forward by a few days so due date was 21 March rather than 26-27 March. I know this may seem trivial but, when you’re really, really pregnant, it becomes really, really important. It means that, today, I’m 4 days overdue rather than a week and 2 days.

Importantly, it also means that they are talking about inducing me earlier than I believe necessary. I also don’t want to be induced but that’s a whole other story. My takeaway lesson from this is, if you know your dates, highlight this earlier as it’s easier to discuss it when you’re not the size of a house and desperate for baby to arrive.

I received a bit of an annoying blow last week when I was told I tested positive for Group Strep B (GSB). I was told, however, that they weren’t sure if the sample had been contaminated or not. Argh.

For those who haven’t heard of it, GSB is a pretty common bacteria which CAN – in rare circumstances – cause newborns to be quite seriously sick. For this reason, women who test positive are given IV antibiotics during labour and bub needs to be monitored afterward. It’s not a massive deal but it will (would) mean that I have to go to the labour ward (old and crap) not the birth centre (new and swish) at my hospital.

However, as mentioned, there was some confusion over whether the sample was contaminated so I have taken a five day course of antibiotics and, today, given another urine sample to see if it comes back clear or not. It does mean that, if I go into labour before the results come back in a couple of days, I’ll need the IV antibiotics as a precaution. So I’m now in the weird position where I’m overdue but really hoping bub gives me two extra days so I can get the all clear!

Apart from that, I’m huge – so sleeping, walking, breathing, eating is all, as you can imagine, SUPER FUN.

I’ve been having loads of practice contractions, a show, bub is super engaged…and yet, nothing. No cigar.

Nausea is back intermittently.

Randomly, I’ve developed a sudden, unending love of grapefruit. Grapefruit has not really featured massively in my life before but, suddenly, at around 39 weeks, I insisted we go and get one (someone on Four in a Bed ate one and I was insanely jealous) and I haven’t looked back.

See pic above (which was at 39 weeks – it’s got bigger!).

Maternity fashion:
I am living in leggings. A lot of my tops are now a bit too tight. I bought two long-line cardigans which I adore. My Mum also bought me a massive pink hoodie which is my at-home uniform. Suffice to say: I’m not going to be winning any fashion awards.

Anything else:
I have a midwife appointment tomorrow and plan to have another sweep (I had one last week). I’ve also had to book an induction date which is Sunday (3 April). However, I’m planning to see if they’ll be happy to do the continuous monitoring thing for a while given my dates are slightly off (on Sunday, I will be 41+1).

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35 weeks: Pregnancy Update

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Un-glamorous work bathroom selfie at 35 weeks!

Weeks: 35 (NHS) / 34 + 2 (my dates)

New developments:
I’m 35 weeks, according to the NHS! This feels like a mini-milestone although I’m not sure why. Perhaps being, honestly, in the midst of hyperemesis hell, I truly did not believe that I’d ever get to this stage. It seemed so far away and every day seemed so interminably miserable. So, wow, amazing to be here.

Bug is still pretty boisterous. I’m not entirely sure when he sleeps as I feel like he is constantly awake and kicking me. He loves doing the odd roll also, which, literally, takes my breath away as he’ll move from one side to the other. I’m pretty sure he is now head down and I’m trying to monitor how I sit and lie down to encourage him to stay in that position.

My last set of bloods came back and my iron levels were quite low so I’ve started drinking Spatone which is iron but in a liquid sachet (apparently easier to digest).  I mix it with orange juice and can’t taste it. I’ve always had quite low iron levels so this wasn’t a surprise but I have been feeling super tired and breathless so hopefully the Spatone will help. I’m sure Mr Bug will appreciate it if I’m able to stay up past 9pm (or maybe not! It has allowed him to finish The Witcher without me whining that I’m bored…).

We’ve begun to get our hospital bag packed. I will do a post on what we’ve included as I found it a bit of a nightmare, if I’m honest. I guess part of the issue is you don’t REALLY know how long you’ll be in for so you’re probably going to pack either too much or too little. I’m shooting for too much. Also, I think we need to talk to mother nature about babies coming out as a standard size. It would make life MUCH EASIER.

I still need to pee all the time! I’ve also been getting those sharp jabs to the bladder/groin area which, as you can imagine, are SUPER fun. Pelvic pain is still an issue, especially when I sit down and work at my desk for too long. It’s hard to keep reminding myself to get up but I do try.

My back is still quite sore, I can’t quite find a good position which stops it from aching.

Nausea is back. No vomiting as of yet (fingers crossed it stays away). The nausea is worse in the mornings, evenings and whenever I haven’t eaten so I have a stash of biscuits/fruit with me at all times. Special K chocolate cereal bars are my new best friend, diet be damned.

Curries. Still.

I feel huge.

Maternity fashion:
I have found maternity jeans uncomfortable for the last couple of weeks so I’m currently living in leggings and tights. I dislike having anything constricting bump (and bug doesn’t seem to enjoy it either) so I think that is a personal opinion thing as others prefer more support.

I’ve just bought a couple more leggings as I’m living in them when not wearing tights for work. I’ve also bought myself a couple of long t-shirts from New Look as everything is getting just a tad tight.

My coat has stopped fitting around Bump, so I’ve nicked my Mum’s slightly larger, very warm North Face coat (she lives abroad so doesn’t need it, I’m not that mean). This should definitely last me until D-Day.

Anything else:
I’ve got one more week at work! My maternity leave starts on Tuesday 23 January. We then have the kitchen being ripped out and replaced (hopefully). We have also started on a hypnobirthing course, so I’ll post about my thoughts on that soon.




4D Baby Scan at 31 weeks!

On Saturday, we decided to go for a private scan at BabyBond to check Baby Bug’s position and, also, hopefully get some 4D pictures of him. I’m not quite sure why it’s called 4D but, either way, the imagery is pretty impressive. We were able to see Bug moving around, making quite a few moody faces and rubbing his face with his hand. There was also a smile in there!

I find it amazing that babies can be comfortable in that tiny space – Bug had a hand and foot stuck right up against his face. No wonder he looked a bit moody. Mr Bug and I were totally n00bs during the entire scan – I’m not sure what we were expecting but a baby that actually looked like a baby was clearly not it. I think Mr Bug may have even said “HAH, he has a nose” at one point.

The other awesome thing that this scan revealed is that Bug is head down, not transverse. I breathed quite a large sigh of relief when we heard that. He’s quite large already – 4.8 lbs at just over 31 weeks. I think he’s packed on a few more ounces since then as my back has really started to hurt and lugging him around is getting harder.

3.5 more weeks of work to go.


Baby in transverse position (31 week pregnancy update)

Transverse lie

Weeks: 31 + 2 (NHS) / 30 + 4 (my dates)

New developments:
I had my 31 week doctor appointment a couple of days ago and everything was fine. Well, everything except he suspects Bug is in a transverse position. This means that Bug is lying sideways with his head on one side of my abdomen and his bum on the other.

I wasn’t that surprised to hear this because it’s where Bug has been for most of this pregnancy. I’ve never felt any kicks or movement above my belly button and it’s how he was lying in each of the three scans we have had.

It does mean, however, that Bug needs to move before D-Day as he can’t be born vaginally like this. I’ve found some exercises to do via the Spinning Babies website so will give those a go.

I’ve got my 34 week midwife appointment in early February and, if she suspects he’s still transverse, I’ll go in for a scan to confirm. Then there’s the option of having ECV (external cephalic version) where the obstetrician will try to turn the baby manually. Finally, there’s the option of a caesarian.

These are all the stages that the doctor wanted us to be aware of, but I’m not too concerned right now as I’m still only 31 weeks, so bub has time to turn on his own. It’s good to be aware of the game plan though.

It does explain a few of my aches and pains. My bump is really tight around the lower part but quite loose up top (near my ribs) which puts quite a bit of pressure on my back. All the kicks/rolls are around my lower abdomen, usually to the extreme right and down into my cervix.

Watch this (increasingly tight!) space.

I constantly need to pee. As soon as I pee, I need to pee again. I try and restrict how much I drink before bed so I’m not up constantly through the night but it’s usually at least twice.

Pelvic pain is getting worse. I’m making a conscious effort to get up from my desk while I’m at work because sitting for a long time usually makes it much worse. I’ve given up trying to walk the 15 minutes back from the station in the evening (hello taxi!) but am still perservering with the morning walk.

Despite trying with ALL of the cushions and pillows, sleeping on my side really hurts my back. I’m not sure if the fact bug is transverse plays into this. I usually end up on my back as, even though I can’t really breathe, it’s less painful than on either side!

Nausea has come back a little bit but no vomming. I’m eating little and often, as is recommended.

Curries. Bug loves curries.

I feel massive now but I’ve had a few “you have such a compact bump!” comments so it’s hard to tell.

Maternity fashion:
I haven’t bought anything recently, I’m trying to stick with what I’ve got.

Anything else:
4.5 more weeks at work to go!

29 weeks: Pregnancy Update

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Third trimester bumpalicious
  • Weeks: 29 (NHS) / 28 + 3 (my dates)
  • New developments: Bug is quite boisterous. He’s constantly rolling and poking and kicking and generally making his presence felt. It’s very reassuring, if a little painful at times! Walking is becoming much more tiring now, which is to be expected. My ten minute walk to the station now takes me about 15-20 minutes and I’m knackered when I arrive. Stairs at tube stations are also not my friend anymore.
  • Symptoms: Insomnia has arrived! I’m finding it hard to fall asleep and then, when I manage to, I have to get up again to pee! I’m also finding it difficult to get into a comfortable position. I’m also getting rib pain at the top of my stomach so I’m moving around as much as I can while sitting at my desk to alleviate that.
  • Sickness: Nausea has come back a little bit but no vomming. I’m eating little and often, as is recommended, and that is definitely helping. I’m pretty used to nausea now, I think it’s going to be weird when I give birth and it goes away completely.
  • Cravings: Curries. Bug loves curries.
  • Bump: It’s definitely got bigger (see above).
  • Maternity fashion: Coat issue was fixed because I realised I could still *just about* zip up my lovely warm winter coat. I’ve also got a slightly bigger North Face coat (belonging to my Mum) which I can use. Then I might just hibernate.
  • Anything else: Weird dreams!

7 weeks until my mat leave starts, which is crazy! Happy 2016, everyone. 🙂

Pregnancy update: 21 weeks

Baby got clothes. Lots of clothes.
Baby got clothes. Lots of clothes.

Mr Bug told me that my blog was starting to come across slightly Ranty McRanterson so I thought I’d better update with some normal stuff rather than just armchair feminist warrior posts (hah).

On Saturday, we went to see Mr Bug’s sister, S. She and her husband had baby M a year ago and very kindly gave us a whole pile of baby stuff that M has now outgrown or doesn’t use anymore. When I say whole pile I mean a MASSIVE PILE OF STUFF. It was mainly clothes but also a Tommee Tippee bottle steriliser, lots of books on breastfeeding (currently having a nose through Clare Byam-Cook’s) and new babies (I gave this to Mr Bug as he has no clue), a Sleepyhead Pod (I’ve heard great things about this), an Isofix base and car seat (not sure which one, it’s at Rob’s parents’ house) and other stuff that I’ve forgotten.

The entire chest of drawers above is rammed full – two drawers for 0-3 months, one drawer for 3-6 months, bottom drawer for blankets and sleeping bags and then, upstairs, another drawer full of 6-12 months. I’ll devote a bit more time in later posts to the various things we’ve picked up.

  • Weeks: 21 + 1 (NHS) / 20 + 3 (my dates)
  • New developments: Bug is now moving enough that kicks can be felt on the outside! Mr Bug felt one and his face was a picture, it was as if he had momentarily forgotten there was a baby in there and didn’t know know what was happening. I can now see that I’m going to be obsessing over kicks from now until birth. Bug tends to be active in the afternoon, late evening and very early morning.
  • Sickness: Still nauseous all the time but the level is low enough that I can get on with most things. Mornings are still a struggle as that’s when I feel nauseous enough to throw up. Some toast and steady breathing usually rectifies that.
  • Last vom: Monday 2 November – over a week ago! *Cue dancing banana*
  • Cravings: I’m still all about the carbs and unhealthy foods. I’m trying to eat other stuff but, because of the nausea, I’m just going with what my body wants. This may mean I’m the size of a house by EDD but, after HG, I really don’t care.
  • Bump: It’s definitely getting bigger! Will do a bump pic soon.
  • Maternity fashion: Rob’s sister gave me some dresses and jeans from when she was pregnant, which is amazing. Most of them are Top Shop or Next. I’m still absolutely loving my Mothercare work trousers and my Asos jeans. My biggest fashion issue at the moment is a coat – or a lack of coat. None of my current ones fit over bump and I’m not someone who enjoys the cold so having bump exposed is Not Ideal. I’m going to have a go with a thick scarf but, if not, I may have to invest in a maternity-type coat. I always said I wouldn’t because it feels like a waste of money, buuut winter is coming (insert GoT gif).
  • Anything else: I woke up today with a sore throat. Boo.

On Thursday, Mr Bug and I, along with Mr Bug’s parents, are off to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My parents live there at the moment so we thought it would be nice to visit them and do some sight-seeing. Of course, this was before I got pregnant and had HG! Just to be safe, I won’t be going on any of the tours (around Lalibela and Axum – super jealous) but will be living it up in Addis for 10 days. If you fancy seeing snaps, please follow me on Instagram – my username is @katinda.

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Our 20 week scan!

20 weeks old!

I’m 20 weeks pregnant today, wohoo. Yesterday, we had our 20 week scan, which all went very well. Baby Bug was being a bit uncooperative and kept putting his hands over his face/above his head and moving *just* when the sonographer was trying to grab an image. Attaboy, a rebel from the start. We had to go for a little walk but, thankfully, the sonographer got everything she needed so we don’t have to go back. It was great seeing him on screen because he is finally starting to look like a human rather than a cute little alien.

I was pretty nervous going into the 20 week scan because this can be the point where parents-to-be can hear bad news. We aren’t special because we had the all-clear at this stage; we are just lucky. I took a moment, after the scan and with Mr Bug, to actively NOT take our good news for granted. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought about how I would have felt it we had heard something terrible. I really hope that doesn’t sound weird and morbid – I just wanted to be part of the ‘team’ for everyone who has ever suffered pregnancy loss. They were with me today.

Today, we’re off to see Mr Bug’s sister. She has a one year old boy and has kindly offered to give us a bunch of stuff that they no longer need. Then, tonight, Mr Bug wants to see the new Bond film in the cinema. I’ll be going for the popcorn. Have a fab weekend, everyone!

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Bump Envy

Your bump is better than my bump
Is your bump better than my bump?

Oh no, is this how my life as a parent is going to begin? I’m now 18+5 weeks according to my dates (19+3 according to the NHS but they are wrong, hah). Yesterday, I went into work and saw my colleague, K, who is a week ‘behind’ me in the Great Pregnancy Countdown. And yet, her bump is a Real Bump. It’s lovely, she looks actually pregnant as opposed to muggins here who looks sort-of-maybe-not-really-can’t-actually-tell-if-I’ve-just-eaten-a-massive-curry.

I was super envious* of K. It was made worse by the fact that she admitted to having had no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever except being ‘a little tired’.

She’s basically Doing Pregnancy a hell of a lot better than I am.

K was totally lovely and said my bump was small and perfect but, in that moment, I wanted a big I AM PREGNANT bump** and no symptoms and, basically, the complete opposite pregnancy to the one I’m actually having. It just didn’t seem FAIR. I wanted to have a proper little strop in protest and stamp my feet and maybe roll around on the floor in the way that Baby Bug is likely to do in a couple of years.

When do I start blooming? When will I feel like an earth mother, at one with nature and the world? When do I STOP feeling sick and bloated and rubbish?

Of course, the answer to all of that could very well be never. And, actually, I’m okay with that. I’ll deal with whatever; I already have. The nausea could last until I push and puke this baby out – and I’ll happily (well, I might swear) do that. But, every now and then, I want to take a moment where I get my moody face on and feel super sorry for myself.

*The other reason why I’m super envious of a proper bump is because I feel like a bit of a fraud wearing my “Baby on Board” badge on public transport. A lovely man gave me his seat on the train yesterday and I was so overwhelmed I legit nearly cried. IT WAS EMBARRASSING, I had to pretend I’d suddenly become long-sighted and shield my face with my “The Casual Vacancy” book. Thank goodness for JK Rowling.

**I am fully aware that I’m being a complete idiot and, once bump is properly here, I’ll probably whine and complain even more. Sorry.

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In praise of friends and family

Honeymoon before Hyperemesis
Honeymoon before Hyperemesis

I’m not sure if they say that it takes a community to have a baby but if they don’t then they should. In my experience so far, it definitely takes more than two people and I’m only 17 weeks pregnant.

When I first got sick with Hyperemesis, I was on honeymoon. We had just had the most amazing, three day wedding weekend in Tuscany with all of our nearest and dearest. We were on the highest of highs and our 10 day trip to the Maldives was meant to be the cherry on the cake. Instead, by day 3, I was curled up in bed, unable to move. Mr Bug was fantastic. He looked after me, comforted me when I cried about how unfair everything was and didn’t once even hint that this wasn’t the honeymoon he had been hoping for.

Once we got home, my parents – who live abroad – became my full-time carers. Together, we worked out what I could and couldn’t eat; what was staying down and what was coming up. They ran my baths, helped me wash my hair, rubbed my back when I was throwing up and, most importantly, just sat with me when I was sad so I wouldn’t be alone. They stayed with us for about three weeks until it seemed like I was improving, so they went home (a 9 hour flight away).

I then had a relapse and my Mum got back on a plane and looked after me for a further three weeks, leaving my Dad on his own. I felt guilty and I worried about my Dad being lonely but they were adamant. Mr Bug was also amazing and having my Mum around meant that he could still go to work every day without leaving me on my own. On the weekend, he’d try different things for me to eat and we’d sit on the sofa and watch silly TV to take my mind off things. He was worried and he was stressed but he kept smiling and giving me cuddles and telling me to keep going.

During this time, my brother and his wife, H, came to see us whenever they possibly could, keeping me company, making me laugh, gossiping, chatting and just being there. These are people that I didn’t need to pretend with; I didn’t need to put a brave face on or act as though I was feeling better than I was. I could just lie on the couch or run off to vomit without having to explain anything. Their presence honestly helped me from going absolutely crazy and I hope that each of them know how important and special they were to me at what was the worst time of my life.

Having a baby is hard. I have no doubt that when Baby Bug comes along, it’ll be tough. Amazing, but tough. This whole experience has taught me that reaching out and telling people that you need help is okay. With my friends and work colleagues, I’ve always tried to make things sound better than they are but I’ve tried hard not to do this here because we should be honest about things and tell the truth about the reality of what we’re going through. If we don’t, not only are we isolating ourselves but we’re also making it harder for others going through the same thing.

So, tell people how crappy things really are (if they are!) and ask if you need help. Finally: appreciate the help you get. Those are my three takeaways.
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mums' Days

Work life

My office
My office

It was with quite a lot of trepidation that I started this week. This WORK week. For the past 9 weeks, I’ve been signed off with hyperemesis and generally living in a world of pain, but, given my symptoms have lessened quite a bit, I thought it was time to try easing back into the world of work again.

My company have been really great and very understanding. They agreed that a phased return made more sense and so we agreed that I would start by working from home and just doing afternoons. My worst times are usually mornings and late evenings so this suited me.

Our study is on the top of our house’s three floors and I’m not quite up to doing that trek every day, so Husband brought our large computer screen, which I’ve linked up to my work laptop, into the dining room. I’ve got lots of natural light (which you can’t very well see in my awful iPhone photo, sorry) from the double doors out to the garden as well as both the kitchen (for food) and toilet (for vomming) within easy reach. I’ve also got my trusty tupperware box for when the toilet isn’t quite reachable!

So far, it’s been difficult but manageable:

  • Not having to commute the hour into London on the train and tube is an absolute godsend.
  • Vomming and feeling nauseous are really personal things and I’m SO glad I’ve got my own space where I can do/feel both without others watching.
  • Working from home means quite a lot of phone calls. This can be tough when my nausea is bad as opening my mouth/throat can make things worse.
  • I’m still getting tired really quickly. A couple of hours in front of a screen and I feel like a need a lie down. So far, I have avoided that – although both yesterday and the day before, I went straight upstairs and had an hour nap at 5:45pm.

I’m hoping I can continue to keep this up so fingers crossed!