The cat’s out the bag

As I walked through the barrier at work just now one of the security gents asked me, “How many months?” rather than simply, “How are you today?” as usual. This means I officially look pregnant. It’s only taken 5 months!

I feel like this is some sort of right of passage.

I’ve also eaten 8 mini chocolates today. This feels less of a right & more of a liberty… New mantra: more fruit less chocolate.

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The Lactose-&-Cash-Flow-Deficiency

At 19, I was diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance. And it sucks.

It’s like having a colour TV your whole life then being told, sorry, we made a mistake. You’re only supposed to have a black & white one.

I used to drink pints of milk. My life was filled with chocolate fudge cake and cheese (not together). And it was fabulous. But as if the cruelty of life without lactosey-goodness wasn’t enough, it turns out that soy, goat’s milk & other dairy alternatives are rather expensive. Which means you not only have a defective digestive system, you suffer a cash flow deficiency as well!

That is, until I fell pregnant…

In a weird, wonderful & unexplained phenomenon, my lactose intolerance has disappeared since falling pregnant.

One 2008 study found that 44% of it’s female participants experienced this same joyous result. What no amount of Googleing can tell me is, is this merry state of cookie-dough-ice-cream-delight here to stay? Or – the horror! – is life merely taunting me for 9 months to plunge me back into my grey world come D-Day? (Because apparently child birth isn’t painful enough.)

So for now, I’m making the most of my new found food freedom and stuffing my face with everything I have (on the whole) avoided for the past five years. I even had a glass of cow’s milk last night. Truth be told, I didn’t really like the taste anymore. But I can drink it. And therefore I will. Purely on principle.

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So now, I just need to figure out the cash flow deficiency. Turns out, that may be less to do with alternative dairy products & more to do with a clothes and shoes surplus… oops.

Blissful & Bumpalicious

Mom went to Champneys recently & brought me back a little something. She gave it to me last night to welcome me home.

Happy to confirm I smell blissfully bumpalicious after use.

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Champneys Blissful Bump Ultimate Collection
Shower cream (gently cleanses – seems to do the trick)
Stretch Mark Oil (helps prevent stretch marks – will confirm at a later date)
Body Butter (helps prevent stretch marks & makes you silky smooth – can confirm the latter)
Ginger Inspired Room Spray (room smells lovely, apparently it’s relaxing – I’ll confirm this at a later date)

Boots also sell the Blissful Bump collection if you’re a mama-to-be wanting to feel bumpalicious as well!

Bump says ‘hello’

It’s official. Bump & I have moved. The place is in utter chaos as we try to find space for everything but it’s getting there.

But that’s actually not the big news of the weekend….

Bump’s dad helped us move yesterday & stayed for a classy moving-day-dinner of Domino’s, chicken wings & garlic bread. (Moving day law states that even pregnant women don’t have to eat healthily after a day of hauling boxes. Or in my case, supervising & carrying the odd cushion.)

And… He felt Bump kick!

I’ve been feeling flutters since the eve of my 18th week. I mistook the first few as my tummy grumbling & then suddenly realised it was actually Bump saying ‘hello’.

But over the last week, Bump’s suddenly grown in strength. I began feeling his nudges with my hand just over a week ago & in truth it quite creeped me out. Felt like a little alien trying to get out! But I’m getting used to it now.

Bump’s dad has been excited & nervous to feel our little wriggler & was quite stunned by the whole experience. It’s strange; being pregnant has been physically very real for me from the start. But for Bump’s dad, it’s only just beginning to be more than something you talk about as Bump starts to properly protrude & now can actually feel him kick. The best part is that this gives him something to feel a connection with Bump about. He’s even nicknamed the littlun’ ‘B’.

Pastures New

Alas the time has come. I’m moving out. I’m leaving my beloved London to move back in with my mom in leafy Hertfordshire. It’s going to be so quiet!

I’m very sad to say good bye to my girls. The Tall One & The Small One have been incredible the last 4 months. They’ve cooked me dinner when I’ve been too tired to even make toast; they’ve sat with me while I’ve cried. These two have injected the fun into the first half of my pregnancy, reminding me of the excitement to come even when I was at my lowest. I have had so much fun living with them (even with The Tall One accosting Bump at regular intervals in recent months! Learn some personal space boundaries girl!) and it is bittersweet leaving them to continue on mine & Bump’s adventure. I will be forever grateful to them for everything.

I won’t, however, miss living on the third floor without an elevator. That’s been a killer.

But London, this isn’t good bye. Merely so long for now. I’ll be back – with a pushchair in tow.

Baby On Board – but who gives a shit?

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As soon as I told people I was pregnant, it was a matter of minutes before they cried, “you need one of those badges!’.

But so far, this is the most pointless  accessory I’ve ever had the displeasure of wearing. I find myself more embarrassed than anything. One seated commuter actually looked me in the eye, looked at my badge and then looked away. (And not before they gave me their seat.) I have never felt more awkward in my life.

I’ve seen many an article on the matter. Some saying how disgusting it is that pregnant women even need to wear a badge. That those more able should simply have the common courtesy to give up their seat to an exhausted woman carrying a second human around all day.

Others suggest that true Londoners wouldn’t wear them but would take pride in the usual fight for a seat. Because ‘any real Londoner knows, it’s every man for himself during rush hour’.

Well I’m a Londoner. Born & bread (with a 10 year hiatus age 4-14). And I wore the badge because I’m so petite many friends & colleagues didn’t realise I was pregnant – and even now at 22 weeks. (They just think I’ve eaten one too many Krispey Kremes.) But some days, when you’re so tired you’re swaying and a headache’s coming on and your growing bump feels like the weight of the world; when you’re carrying your laptop and charger, a bottle of water, your wallet, a notepad, other bits & bobs… You really do just want a seat. Even for 5 minutes to take the weight off.

And if I’m honest? Even as a Londoner, born & bread, I think those ‘less able’ should be given priority. Whether you’re pregnant, elderly, disabled, whatever. Because having been previously fully ‘abled’, I can guarantee, no matter how tired you are after a day at work, they are more so. So do them a favour. Give them your seat. Because one day, you might find you need one. Karma bites people.

My nose is working

From bigger bosoms to a perpetually runny nose, pregnancy has brought with it many perks & pitfalls. Some I was warned about, some were miserably unexpected.

However, one thing that I didn’t anticipate was gaining a sense of smell.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an incredibly weak sense of smell. I can smell things like onions cooking, or nail polish remover. But as an avid baker, half the time I can’t even smell my cakes in the oven.

Not any more! Today, we made a Sunday roast and I smelt it all. And I can smell flowers! I’ve never smelt flowers before!

Alas, it’s not all a bed of roses. I can also now smell the tube. Definitely one of the major pitfalls of pregnancy so far. I could have happily gone my entire life without smelling the BO on the tube. I feel a little sick just remembering it.

Bump’s first holiday

This week I popped to Italy for two days. Casual.

My dad & his girlfriend (H) were at their house on a hill top about 30mins outside of Perugia (in Umbria) for the week so I nipped out for a few days much needed R&R.

I heard a handful of cars in two days. Read over half a book in a day. Slept for 14 hours one night.  And the best part, even though I work for a telecoms company they turn our roaming off when we go abroad so no phone. There’s also no wifi. The silence was golden.

Bump seemed to enjoy himself. I mean, obviously he didn’t say so, but he was particularly active on decent into Perugia so I took that as a good sign. Perhaps he’s got my travel bug or his daddy’s linguistic skills. Here’s hoping to both!

Snazzy panormic view (Bottom right: say hello H!)

The big announcement

25 years ago, in the summer of 1988, my mom rang her mom from a pay phone in London with some rather unexpected news.

Meanwhile, my dad took a train from London to Sunderland (practically at the Scottish border for you timid Southerns who’ve never ventured beyond the Watford Gap) to tell his parents two was about to become three.

But let’s be honest. This is 2013. From the minute you’ve found out you’ve got a bump, you’re thinking about that status update. Or once the shock had subsided in my case.

Obviously, I told my parents & closest friends face-to-face. Ain’t no way I was giving up the chance to see those reactions! But there’s been great debate since I hit the 12 week mark as to how to announce Bump’s arrival.

Due to circumstances, one of the cute ‘daddy, mommy & baby socks’ type announcements isn’t really an option. But this weekend I felt the time had come.

And so Bump met the world;

FYI I'm only 5ft 3/4 of an inch. So finding someone smaller than me is quite unusual!

FYI I’m only 5ft 3/4 of an inch. So finding someone smaller than me is quite unusual!

The Half Way Mark: 20 week scan

I’m actually quite lost for words, which isn’t that helpful when you’re writing a blog.

It was an incredible experience. Made all of this so real. This is inside me! (Happy to report it looks nothing like anything in Alien. This is a relief.)

We saw Bump’s  little face, little hands, little lips, little toes. Everything – even the kidneys (was a real Kodak moment, right there. Two kidneys. Boom.)

So. World, meet Bump –

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However, we told the sonographer we didn’t want to know the sex. At one point, he turned around and said, ‘You’re looking! You said you didn’t want to know!’. Then  we clocked what we were looking at. I was quite upset as with this all being rather a shock back on pee-on-a-stick-day, I really wanted something to look forward to (other than the actual baby, which admittedly, is rather a large prize to wait 9 months for). So we don’t 100% know.  The sonographer laughed & didn’t confirm anything. But I’m pretty sure Bump is of the blue variety. So for the sake of this blog, Bump will now be referred to as ‘he’. Because always saying ‘he or she’ is tiresome and ‘it’ seems a bit mean.

But the important thing is that at the moment, there’s nothing to suggest there’s any abnormalities. I’ve never felt so grateful for anything before. Thank you universe.