How has pregnancy affected me?
I have always heard horror stories as to how pregnancy affects different women. Judging by what we have read online, in books and what our friends and family have said, we are sure I have had the easiest pregnancy any women could possibly ask for. Morning sickness is just one of the main symptoms I was very lucky to avoid!
Like any other woman, 9 months is a long time to be pregnant, it can be very boring. I feel fat and ugly and generally lethargic all the time. Plus, I can’t even enjoy a drink! Towards the end the weeks feel like years! Almost like the big day is never going to arrive!
Eat pineapple, spicy food, go for long walks, have lots of sex that helps induce labour they said. Well, I can tell you right now none of this worked for us! We have finally come to the conclusion that when the baby is ready, they’re ready and that’s just the way it is! So, go for it, give all these things a go but don’t be surprised if you still find yourself waiting. Trust me, it feels like a lifetime!!
Is anyone else concerned that they have to get themselves back into shape after? I certainly am. And what’s worse is the doctor will advise you rest for a reasonable amount of time before getting back into exercise and fitness. All I can think is, ‘I can’t possibly be this fat for Christmas!’ It really doesn’t leave much time! Plus, I’m not convinced Richard wants me to be chunky any more than I do!
How has my pregnancy affected Richard?
Richard’s feelings on the baby have been similar to mine. He was of course surprised at first and then noticeably disappointed that our travels were coming to an end much earlier than initially planned. 14 months is still a comfortable length of time to travel but that time flies by. At first you feel like you have all the time in the world but before long you realise the end is in sight. To then have to cut the trip short by around 8 months was rather disappointing for both of us.
Richard is really looking forward to being a Dad. The thought that we will have to teach a new little human how to do normal everyday things will be quite exciting. I’m sure at times very challenging. The last few weeks also felt like a lifetime to him and he wasn’t even the pregnant one!
Finding out the sex.
We were so desperate at our 20 week scan to find out the sex of our baby. All our pregnant friends were busy telling us how excited they were, especially now they knew the baby’s sex.
Well, we went for our 20 week scan and could they tell us? Of course not! Typical! We were so keen to know but our munchkin was in a position that wouldn’t allow the sonographer to see!
All the way home I barely said a word as I was so disappointed we couldn’t find out. We were however pleased to hear our baby was fit and healthy.
My mum and partner saw how disappointed we were and bought us a 4D scan package for my birthday. So excited, we headed to that appointment for them to say the same thing “unfortunately, we can’t tell due to the baby’s position” We couldn’t believe it! How can most other people find out but not us?! So, they booked us in again for another 4D scan. This was our last chance to find out the sex of our baby. The sonographer said to us “The baby is still in a position in which we cannot be sure of the sex, however I cannot see any male parts so I would say it’s a girl!” This was not overly reassuring for us, not enough to buy anything pink anyway!
A couple months later, we had a midwife appointment and they asked us to go for another growth scan as my bump didn’t measure any bigger from our last appointment. It was at this scan the sonographer could tell us she was sure we were having a girl! She said she could see ‘Female parts’ We could only guess it was because the baby was bigger and therefore, she could see the female organs.
The next step for us… names!
Names for us were an absolute nightmare! We both like different types of names. For example, I really like old fashioned, classic names whereas, Richard likes more up to date names. We had spent time looking through names online and chatting to family members who also gave us some ideas. We even purchased a name book and after reading through a lot of names, finally, we decided on two that we both liked, these were Ava and Isabelle. The middle name was always going to be Mary as that was my nan’s name and I wanted the name to continue through to the next generation of our family.
Working whilst pregnant
I am a self-employed barber and working on my feet was quite challenging towards the end. I worked up until I was 39 weeks pregnant (part time) but enough to give me swollen feet and a back ache for a few days after! As it happened our baby was late so it gave me a couple of weeks rest before the baby arrived!
We decided to take the same approach to our baby shower as our friends in Australia. Both guys and girls were invited and everyone just enjoyed the BBQ, music and drinks, we had a great turn out of about 30 people. It was almost like the Australian term ‘Sunday Sesh’! My friend and I even made the cake and to be honest we didn’t do too bad. Richard and I managed to pop to Poundland and pick up enough decorations for a fiver! It suited us perfectly. We were absolutely spoilt rotten and fortunately for us it didn’t leave us with too much of a shopping list for our new arrival!
Kitting out Nursery
Before we went travelling Richard painted the whole house ready to rent. That way it looked more appealing to tenants and the place hadn’t been painted for a number of years anyway. On our return I tried to convince Richard that the nursery should be decorated in some way to look like a nursery. However, as Richard had already spent so much time painting the house, he was very reluctant to decorate just 1 room a different colour. Especially as there was nothing wrong with it! It was neutral, clean and fresh. What more could you want (Richard was thinking!) So, we came to an agreement where I could choose some wall stickers to make it look more like a nursery. That’s exactly what we did. We chose some animal numbers and letters, an animal world map and Winnie the Pooh!
In terms of furniture it’s not all new and it is certainly not all the same colour. We had a new cot and mattress, a chest of drawers that we had before we went traveling and received an old changing table. But it was perfect for what we needed. It’s not a show home and our house is lived in. Clean and tidy is all we want.
Our Antenatal class was really good for us. It was informative and it’s amazing really as to what you actually need for a new born vs what society believes you should have. In fact, we were advised on this day that some of the things you can buy for a new born can in fact be very dangerous!
The midwives that took our antenatal class were very friendly and keen to answer any questions we had. The only downsides to our class was it was a choice of a Saturday or Sunday and it was all day, 10am – 4pm. So, it was a long day. However, well worth it we thought. If you get the chance, do it!
There is a ‘Hospital bag checklist’ below for you to download. Just hit the ‘Download now’ button below.
You must bear in mind some people will go home the very same day whilst others could have to stay a few days depending on how their labour goes. If you are close to home and have someone who can race back to the house and collect some bits for you and your family whilst in the hospital then just pack the essentials. This checklist should be enough for 1 night. If you do not have someone that can help you out, or your hospital is too far from home, then maybe pack an extra bag with some extra bits and bobs. You can leave in the car and if you need it, your birthing parner could collect it for you.
Your bag should really be no bigger than 1 cabin bag. But don’t worry you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have a weight restriction! Some ladies do like to pack a separate bag for the baby, just bear in mind space is not something you’ll get much of in the hospital so try not to pack like you’re off to the Caribbean for 2 weeks!!