Wednesday 30 March 2011


I'm pretty poorly today and I'm feeling more than a little bit sorry for myself. I've felt like I've been wrestling with a bug for the last week or so, and it's now decided to come out with a vengeance. I'm full of cold and sore throat, and I also have a fever - one minute I'm absolutely boiling, the next I'm shivering. Not great stuff.

I'm not a brilliant patient at the best of times. For someone like me who loves being in control and likes to be able to do 20 different things at once, being ill especially sucks. I find it very hard to give in to an illness and just rest. That concept isn't really in my programming! Invariably I'm at home in the flat when I'm ill as well, and spending lots of time in bed or on the sofa I start to see all the jobs that need doing - cleaning, dusting, decorating, washing... and I find it hard to resist the urge to get up and start organising the place.

Being ill while I'm pregnant feels even worse than normal. Even though I know it's a common cough and cold bug that will pass in a few days, I can't help but worry about the timing and whether this will have any impact on the baby. I also can't really take anything much to stave off the bug. When I've felt the onset of a cold before I've stocked up on Beechams flu tablets or get the trusty Lemsip out, and I normally manage to catch it in time before it progresses to full impact. But now all I can rely on is the odd paracetamol to keep my temperature down and it's not really doing much of a job.

Yesterday I let myself get a bit overwhelmed and upset by it all but I'm hoping today will go better, and I'm going to try my damnedest to relax and rest, and encourage this bug to make its way out of my little system. So, daytime television and magazines beckon - and I'll try and turn a blind eye to any chores that might need doing.... until tomorrow at least!

Monday 28 March 2011


Today you find me tired but happy after an exhausting, exhilarating and emotional weekend. The march and rally in London we've been working on for the last few months was a tremendous success - nearly half a million protesters joined the three mile march from the Embankment to Hyde Park, and I was so proud to be a part of a little piece of history being created.

At one point on Saturday I was stood at the back of the stage helping the BBC get some footage and as I looked out at the thousands of union members, community groups, voluntary organisations and normal British people gathered in Hyde Park, I felt very moved. The scene of peaceful and powerful demonstrators almost took my breath away. The proudest and most important moment of my career so far. Faith in human nature restored!

So, now I'm not sure that I'll know what to do with myself - work has been so manic preparing for the march that I might actually have some time on my hands now! Certainly more time to think about the Baby and about the future. We're the next little pigeon step along the way today - 10 weeks. And the antenatal appointments are in touching distance now... I'm really excited although trying to keep a lid on it for just a while longer, until we know we are on safer ground.

I watched a really interesting programme last night called Cherry has a baby on BBC 3 with the Boy. It was about a presenter in her last month of pregnancy, meeting up with other mums-to-be of all different ages and backgrounds, listening to their fears about the birth and their hopes for the future. I found it fascinating and also moving - again I blame tiredness and hormones! It tapped into a lot of my own thoughts about my pregnancy, and my heart was particularly stirred by a 40-year-old mum who's baby had a higher risk of Down's and she ended up having to have the baby at 28 weeks, which must have been very frightening.

Both the Boy and I found the programme very evocative, and it enabled us to broach our hopes and fears more freely. I am so thankful to be going through this with the Boy. I don't think our relationship has ever been better, or our communication any more open. And I am very thankful for that as I know we'll need that strength and security as time goes on.

Friday 25 March 2011

Fatty boom boom

I've been feeling a bit sad the past few days and out of sorts - I'm sure it's because my hormones are all over the place, and because I'm quite tired and stressed from working hard for the big work event on Saturday. But I think a lot of it is to do with my self view and gaining weight.

I've had issues about my weight in the past and have yo-yo dieted, varying in weight from nine and a half to over 12 stone in the last five years. I feel as if I've completely ballooned in the last week or so. Every time I look in the mirror my cheeks seem chubbier, my behind seems a bit more 'womanly' - and my chest seems to be exploding out of my (already H cup!) bras!

Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond thrilled to be pregnant and I love that my body is changing to let me carry a little baby - and I'm desperate for this baby to stay with us full-term - but it's as if it's hit me for the first time that my body isn't quite my own anymore. And this is just the very beginning, if all goes to plan I am going to get quite a bit larger!

The pregnancy book - which has become even more of a good friend to me in the last few days - tells me it's absolutely normal to feel like this at this stage, in fact so far I seem to be following the 'plan' to a T and I am the perfect case study. I hope I will feel better as it becomes more obvious I am pregnant - at the moment I just feel like a fatter version of me all over and I can't help but wonder if people are noticing I've put on a few pounds. I guess that's the old weight gremlins popping up to say hello, they always seem to find the choicest moments.

As usual the Boy is being incredibly supportive telling me how much he loves me, how gorgeous and sexy he thinks I am, and how happy he is that my body is changing for us to have a baby. Last night he said he was the happiest he'd ever been with us both in good jobs, in our lovely flat, married and with happy and healthy friends and family, and our own baby on the way. And as usual he's right. We have such a lot to be thankful for and if I even started counting my blessings I'd be here all day. Sometimes I wish I could see myself and life through his eyes...

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Another step on the way

Just a quickie today (matron) as I'm super busy at work this week preparing for an event on Saturday, when we're hoping 100,000+ people will be marching through central London to protest about the government's cuts to public services. It promises to be quite something.

But I wanted to check in now we've hit another tiny landmark - nine weeks. I found this image of a baby at nine weeks which was interesting to see. I seem to be going through a phase at the moment of forgetting I'm pregnant - it's interesting to see this is what might be growing inside of me if all's going to plan. A mere 1.5cm long just now... it's hard to take in this is happening when it's something so small!

Well, today I'm nine plus two as they say. Monday week we get the booking-in appointment, which the Boy and I are desperate for. I really want the midwife to check the baby's heartbeat so we can find out if things are going to plan, or if this is not meant to be. It's difficult to bask in ignorance before we get to that stage - I want to know for sure whether things are progressing well or not.

And after the huge level of nausea I've felt after the last couple of days - an old wives tale says this can be a sign of twins - I'd like to check there's just the one baby in there, or the Boy and I may be in for quite a shock!

Friday 18 March 2011

Big up the bloke!

I'm going to put it down to my hormones being all over the place - so that the Boy doesn't develop a big head, and god forbid start to think he wears the trousers ;-) - but I've been falling in love with the Boy a little bit more every day for as long as I can remember.

He absolutely rocks my world and has given me a level of happiness I never thought was possible - a beautiful, whirlwind fairytale kind of happiness that I used to scoff at in the movies. I would be absolutely lost without him and I am so glad we found each other in this mad, bad, crazy world.

So, in honour of him being the best ever husband in the world, the best ever friend in the world, and I have absolutely no doubt that he will be the best ever dad in the world, here are a selection of photos that capture some of the happiest memories I've shared with him. May there be many, many more to come! (NB: Those of you with a low cheese threshold, you may prefer to look away now...).

Numbers game

I've noticed over the last few weeks that I've become something of a statistician. For someone who lost interest in Maths as soon as I'd taken my GCSE (somehow a year early, so 18 years ago!) this is rather a turn-up for the books. But even before the Boy and I became pregnant, I was aware what lay ahead was something of a numbers game - and even after just a little reading my brain was swimming with fascinating facts such as '95 per cent of couples become pregnant within their first year of trying' and 'there are only three or four days of the month that you can conceive'.

And the numbers game has got worse since I found out I was pregnant. I could quote you what the odds of a miscarriage are at almost every week of your pregnancy, an interesting specialist subject should I ever wish to apply for Mastermind...

I'm now eight weeks plus four, as they say, and the risk has dropped slightly but some sources still say it's one in five. Normally if I had a chance of being 80 per cent successful at something I'd be over the moon, but somehow now it's not enough and it seems easier to believe we'll fall into the 20 per cent that are so very unlucky. I think my 'glass half empty' psyche is having something of a field day just now - luckily I can ignore it most of the time!

The latest number to fall into my periphery is the odds of having a child with Down's Syndrome. I hadn't really contemplated when we started trying for a baby that we might have a child with disabilities or something wrong. I hadn't been able to look beyond falling pregnant in the first instance ('glass half empty' popping up again!).

As the weeks pass I look ahead to the 12 week scan which - if we get there - will involve the first test for Down's as the sonographer will measure the baby's nuchal thickness. I have to admit I'm a little bit nervous about this, and what a bad result for us might mean... but I think the Boy and I are strong enough to cross that bridge should we get to it.

And once again it's all about the numbers game - at 30 you have a one in 1,000 chance of having a baby with Down's, by 35 it's gone up to one in 350. So at 33 I guess my numbers are somewhere in the middle, around one in 500... and even for someone like me with that half-empty glass, those are good enough for me to keep this in perspective!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Electric dreams

Another early wake up this morning, although I was asleep by 9pm last night so I guess I can't really grumble! I've had a few late nights recently and I think it had all caught up with me a bit. And telling my boss about my situation (which went really well) had used my last bit of nervous energy so I was totally wiped out when I got home. I just about had enough energy to make some dinner and then it was game over - feel a bit sorry for the Boy just now, he's not getting a lot of quality time with his Mrs. An indication of what is to come I expect!

I am finding my dreams at the moment really bizarre. They are very colourful and flit from one dramatic scenario to another, often including faces from my past who I haven't seen for many years. I'm not sure there is a method to the madness, although it feels like some anxieties and tensions are being played out.

Only one of my dreams - so far - has featured a baby. A dream I had on Saturday night was that I had given birth to a baby boy who we called (somewhat bizarrely as it's not a name I like!) Leonard. He was also born with a mouthful of teeth! That detail is I'm sure the result of a conversation I had with a friend's wife recently, who was talking about one of her NCT mums having a baby who already had teeth and so she wasn't able to breastfeed him. My mind is obviously working overtime on that one... :-)

I'm not finding any of the dreams troubling or upsetting. Even thought they feature anxiety themes, they are not particularly frightening or unsettling. And I feel relaxed when I wake up, and stay that way for the most part throughout the day. So perhaps it is better I'm working through the nerves in my dream life, not my reality. Long may it continue!

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Bag of nerves

I'm just about to tell my boss I'm pregnant, as we have a big work event in a week or so - a march and rally in London which we're expecting 100,000+ people to attend. So he needs to know in case my nausea and fatigue gets in the way, or there are any other hiccups. I'm sure he'll be fine, but I feel a tad nervous... eek!

Another mini milestone!

Another week has passed and yesterday I was eight weeks pregnant - another mini milestone! The weeks seem to be passing so slowly for us at the moment. I'm sure if the pregnancy continues time will go by more quickly, but it seems to be taking an age for one day to move into the next... we're so keen to get to 12 weeks we want the time to race away! It's still three weeks until my booking appointment, and four weeks until the precious scan.

We had a lovely weekend celebrating my sister's birthday with my parents back in Kent. And because the celebrations included a spa day (booked a long time ago) with treatments I could no longer enjoy, we told my parents, my sister and her boyfriend at the dinner table on Saturday night - so our secret is (slightly!) out.

It was very nerve-wracking telling them. I was a little worried about how everyone would take the news - and as I've said before I also have a nagging fear that we shouldn't have told anyone before the 12 week point. But we didn't really have much of a choice as we couldn't think of any suitable excuses why I suddenly couldn't take part in any of the spa treatments - or in the champagne drinking!

But everyone was really happy for us and it was lovely to be able to talk about the news with my family. I really, really hope we get the chance to tell the Boy's family after our scan too - I know how happy and excited they will be for us as well.

Saturday 12 March 2011

(Not so) Sleeping beauty

Another day, another 6am wake-up call... I had hoped for a little Saturday lie-in but it seems whatever time I go to sleep these days (it was 8.30pm on Wednesday!) I'm ready to rise and shine at 6am. Maybe it's my body's way of getting me used to the sleepless nights and early starts that might be to come! What I wouldn't give for a lovely long lie-in right now... but I'd give an awful lot more for this baby to get here safe and sound and if early mornings is a part of a natural, healthy pregnancy, then bring it on!

Friday 11 March 2011

Sharing the secret

The Boy and I are staying with my parents this weekend as it's my little sister's birthday, and we've decided that we're going to share our big news with them!

It's quite a big decision and I'm not totally sure it's the right one, but there's a couple of factors that have swung our thoughts this way. The first one is I am going on a spa day with my sister and my Mum on Monday, and one of the treatments we've got booked in might not be suitable for me. I rang the spa this morning and the receptionist said it wasn't recommended to have this particular massage - a therapist from the salon rang me a bit later and said it should be fine, but I'm a bit nervous about it now and for the sake of a 15-minute massage I'd rather leave it and err on the side of caution. The other factor is that we have quite a lot of alcohol and food-based celebrations planned over the weekend and I can't take part in many of them. Rather than tell them an increasing bundle of white lies, it seems to make more sense to be honest.

I'm nervous to tell anyone before 12 weeks (I'm nearly eight weeks now) but I think I'll be nervous after that date as well! We want this baby so much that we're both crossing everything that nothing will go wrong. I can swear my Mum, my Dad, my sister and her boyfriend to secrecy for the next few weeks (they're off on hols on 28th March anyway) and I know we can trust them to respect our privacy.

I feel really excited now we've made this decision - my only nagging doubt is that we should tell the Boy's family at the same time. I wouldn't want them to think we value them any less because that's absolutely not the case. I adore my in-laws and I suspect the Boy's Mum will be very excited for us! But we've planned to tell her in person just before we go to Venice in April, as by then I (again, everything crossed) should have the picture back from our scan which we can show her and surprise her with. We hope that will be really special for her.

So - we're into the last 24 hours or so of having our 'little secret'. It's been nice to have a bit of time to get our heads around what's happening and talk together about how we want things to be, and our hopes and dreams for the future and for our little family. It's been a really special time for us, and I hope that will continue as we begin to share our secret.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Baby bunting

I do the odd mystery shop assignment here and there to bring in a few extra spends, and I had one to do in Accessorize on Regent Street at lunchtime. I had a good nose round and checked everything I needed to, and was about the head back to the office when, on a whim, I strolled into the Mamas and Papas shop next door.

Big mistake! Everything in the shop was so beautiful. Lovely clothing for babies and beautiful toys and soft, furry animals that were like silk to the touch. It felt like being in Aladdin's cave. I haven't been in any baby shops - purposefully - since we found out we were pregnant. I haven't wanted to tempt fate in any way and I've been trying not to think too much about the fact I'm actually pregnant in case anything goes wrong...

I have a bit of cracked sense of logic at the best of times, and I am always quick to think the negative rather than the positive. When anything good happens, I view it with suspicion. My instinct is if something sounds too good to be true it usually is. With the pregnancy, it feels too good to be true that I have got pregnant this quickly and this easily. I have difficulty believing good things can happen to me - perversely I have no such trouble thinking bad things can!

I felt really excited looking at the clothes and toys in the shop, and ended up in there for quite a while picking up lots of bits and feeling their textures. It all got a bit overwhelming and from nowhere I suddenly felt like I was going to cry in the shop! I had to make a quick exit and couldn't catch the security guard's eye as he said goodbye when I fled from the shop.

It really seems too much to take in that I get such a wonderful relationship with the Boy, and we get to be parents too. The level of happiness I have in my life and feel in my heart at the moment surpasses anything I anticipated I could experience in life.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Dates for the diary...

So now as well as Monday 24 October - our due date - we have another couple of dates to think about. I heard from the antenatal clinic at St Thomas's this morning that my first appointment will be on Monday 4 April, and my 12-week scan will be the day before we go to Venice with the Boy's family, on Monday 11 April!

Staying put

I'm feeling a little bit disappointed as I write this, as we had some rather bad news from the mortgage advisor at the Boy's bank, and from an independent broker yesterday. It seems unless we have a bigger deposit that 10 per cent to put down, we're not in a great position to get a mortgage. So, for now at any rate, we won't be moving away from Borough.

I think it's a mixture of good and bad news really, I keep changing my mind about it! The bad feelings I have are because I would have loved us to be in a new home before the new baby arrives. I was ready to start kitting out a nursery and to have a garden, and a bit more space - to live somewhere that feels like a family home rather than a couple's pad. It would have been great to have more space so our families, my Mum or the Boy's Mum could have spent a few days with us and helped out if things were difficult.

But there are good feelings too and the longer I ponder the equation of variables, the more I wonder if this could be a blessing in disguise. This gives us more time to get our finances totally in order, we don't need to move and we know all our financial outgoings now down to the last penny, so we know we can afford a baby where we are. We also have enough space - there is a little alcove in the lounge where we currently have the computer and office set up. We plan to get rid of the office area and make it into a cosy little place for the baby, with the cot there. I feel excited thinking about that and I know we can make it as special and nice as we'd want it to be.

It also means we have no serious upheaval before the baby arrives. With moving you never know what is going to happen - we could have ended up not moving for six months, when I would have been touching eight months pregnant which would have been a nightmare. My head has certainly been feeling the strain of worrying about a new baby, selling our flat and buying a flat - now I can 100 per cent concentrate on the baby and being a Mum. And that's more than special enough for now!

Monday 7 March 2011

Secret seven!

Another little landmark reached today - seven weeks pregnant! Hoping this week will bring a letter from the midwife as both the Boy and I are keen to get in and see her, and I scamper home to check the post every day hoping something will have arrived! I'm feeling OK today - a bit tired, but generally well and the nausea seems to have passed and I feel like I'm fretting less about whether the baby will stay or not.

Today I'm hugely preoccupied with all things financial - can we get a mortgage, how much can we borrow, can we possibly borrow enough to get that flat we love... it's such a tricky time. It's a bit of a waiting game as well - and, as I've said on here before at least one, patience really isn't a virtue of mine!

Sunday 6 March 2011

Fabulous flats

The Boy and I had a great day house-hunting in West Charlton yesterday - I hadn't realised how much walking we had done, my calves are aching today! It went really well and we have a definitive list of which roads we like and which we're less keen on. I think we've even narrowed in down to two streets, from matching up our desirable areas to properties we can afford - Eversley Road and Sandtoft Road.We were really impressed with both roads - residential, period houses, quiet, and up on the slopes so they had views over Greenwich and to Canary Wharf.

We saw three lovely flats on Eversley Road which gave us lots to think about - one upstairs flat with four bedrooms but a tiny garden, one downstairs flat with a huge garden but only two bedrooms, and the last visit of the day was another upstairs flat with three bedrooms, loads of storage, and a beautiful garden. We were sold! It was everything we were looking for and ticked every box. It's right at the top of our price range so we need to check our figures with the broker tomorrow, and the Lloyds Bank on Tuesday. It may be an unaffordable dream.

We also need to get a move on with our flat now as well so we're in a position to begin making offers if we see anywhere we like. First job will be to get it valued, the Boy and I hope to get some quotes for this tomorrow. As soon as we have a valuation the housing association put the flat on the market and have eight weeks to sell it. If we can get a valuation of £320k and a buyer through the housing association we would be in a very strong position to move on the flat we like. But there are quite a lot of 'ifs' in that statement! And I have to accept that the likelihood is by the time we have our act together, the 'dream flat' will be gone.

But it was very encouraging to find potential places in the area we love for the price we can afford, and as we get into Spring and more properties begin to trickle onto the market, I'm sure it won't be too long before something we love comes on at a time when we are ready to proceed. 2011 could be an unbelievably exciting year for us - a baby and a new home. I couldn't wish for anything more.

Friday 4 March 2011

Sweet dreams aren't made of these...

I had a very restless night's sleep last night. I haven't slept well all week, and I think the well-being and safety of the baby is playing on my mind much more than I realise. The anxiety seems to be coming out in my dream life. Last night my dreams were all over the place - vivid, raw, garish and edgy... and during one of the dreams I felt like I was having a miscarriage. It was pretty upsetting and led to a disturbed night. I thought I'd managed to settle down about this and was making some progress, but apparently not.

One little step I can take to help is to stop looking on the internet. I'd turned to the mumsnet website for some advice and company through the early stages of my pregnancy, while I'm not sharing the news with anyone apart from the Boy. But I didn't find much comfort there - in fact, it was almost completely the opposite. Lots of terribly sad stories of people sharing their experiences of losing a baby, at different stages of their pregnancies and in increasingly gruesome detail. I quickly moved away from the page but I think some of the stories must have stayed with me.

We're expecting a letter about our first midwife appointment in the next few days, and I think that will help calm me down. I'm keen for a midwife to check the size of the baby and hear its heartbeat. I know in my head that's a really important appointment and I think I will feel wary until it happens. Hopefully we'll hear in the next few days and the appointment won't be too far away.

I'm hoping a restful weekend with the Boy will settle me more. We have a lovely free Friday evening stretching ahead together. The Boy is cooking and I think cuddles on the sofa will definitely be in order! Tomorrow is the first day of the house hunt. Three properties to see and some real exploring to be done. A mini adventure and I'm sure that will give us food for thought. And on Sunday we have a trip to Guildford in the diary for lunch with a friend of the Boy's, his wife and his little daughter who is just shy of a year old. Will be lovely to see them all, and I'm sure being around the little girl will be even more of a joy that usual.

Thursday 3 March 2011

What's in a name?

When we started trying for a baby, the Boy and I talked about what names we liked for any children we were lucky enough to have. Luckily we have fairly similar tastes - although some of my more old-fashioned options for a girl have been firmly ruled out by the Boy!

At the time our favourite combinations for a girl were: Lola Rose, Ava Gabrielle and Ruby Grace. For a boy we both really like: Alfie John, and Archie or Noah Thomas. We like Dylan as well but we're keen on Thomas as a middle name, as I lost a dear friend with that name to cancer when he was just 20 - and I think Dylan Thomas may be a little bit much to live up to, regardless of how poetic any little boy we have might be! Might as well go the whole hog and call him William Shakespeare ;-)

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Time waits for no (wo)man

The Boy is out with some friends tonight so I have a night 'home alone'. I've got one eye on the football (the mighty City 2-0 up at home in the FA Cup to Villa! Come on the blues!) but I'm feeling so distracted. My head is so full of jumbled up thoughts I'm finding concentration hard, at work and at home.

In the last few days I've been thinking about the baby so much. It seems time is going impossibly slowly - I want it to be our midwife appointment, our eight weeks, our 12 week scan... But tick tock, tick tock, time may wait for no man but it certainly seems to wait for this woman...

While I am enjoying just have this news to ourselves, I also really want to tell people, and I've started imagining in my head how I might do it and how the conversations might go. I picture seeing people's faces - especially my family and the Boy's mum - and feel warm and happy, lost in the smiles I know will be waiting if we get to the end of the first trimester safely. The only thing I've ever wanted more than this baby was the Boy. I wanted that for myself; I want this baby for us.

When I'm getting dressed in the morning I've started sticking my tummy out as much as I can and looking at myself side on. Trying to see how I might look if this pregnancy continues and evolves. I want to feel and look pregnant. I even bought a maternity dress this week - it felt a bit like tempting fate and I hesitated, but I want to believe this pregnancy will work out and I don't want to be too fearful of bad news and hold back at every stage.

My head is also full of the future and building a home. I want to nest! We've done a lot of work on moving this week. We have a few viewings lined up on Saturday, the paperwork's all in place to see the mortgage man on Friday, and we're getting the process underway to sell our flat. We've had tips from friends and colleagues who live in the area, and we're getting our ground work done. The places we're seeing are both three bedroom and I daydream about what the nursery could be like. Found myself looking at cots online the other day at work in my lunch hour - might need to be a bit more careful about that or my colleagues might just twig something's up!

My colleagues might do anyway. Being at work is a struggle at the moment. I've lost motivation and concentration (even though I love my job and, for the most part, my colleagues) and it takes every ounce of dedication and professionalism I can muster to get the work done. I am totally absorbed in what is happening inside of me. What's happening outside of me doesn't really capture my imagination just now.

I also REALLY want a nice cold glass of wine... I'm trying not to drink in this first trimester, had a few rather boozy nights out before I knew I was pregnant so I think the baby's had enough to drink for now - don't want it turning out like its lush parents! I keep reminding myself that if all goes well all the champagne at the end of it will be more than worth it for these weeks and months of abstinence...