Changes

When I had my other kids I was considerably bigger than I am now, so there are a few experiences of pregnancy that I sort of missed out on. One was an appreciable difference in the size of my boobs. The thing was I had pretty huge boobs to begin with and they got a little bit bigger, it was enough to notice having to go up a cup size or two but it didn’t make a huge difference overall to how my cleavage looked. When I lost the weight I lost my boobs along with it. I shrunk from an E cup to a C. Now a C might not sound that small but to me they were positively tiny, they also took on a look of being slightly deflated. I started saving then and there for the boob job I plan to have once I’m done with baby making and nursing.

But all of a sudden they’ve sprung back again, gone is that spaniel’s ear look and I’m back to big bouncy globes. I keep staring at my own chest in wonderment. I can’t believe it took me to my 4th pregnancy to experience this. It’s joyous. I can actually laugh at this poster now

The downside is though that I think my milk has dried up. I tried to express a little this morning and got absolutely nada, zlich, none. Now I know that Squishy is far more efficient at extracting milk than either myself or a breast pump but I can’t help but feel this is another nail in the coffin.

My bump also appears to have rapidly expanded all of a sudden too. I’ve been reading the baby centre app on my phone that the baby is going to go through a major growth spurt about now. I can well believe that. I spent the weekend feeling either ravenously hungry or thoroughly nauseasted. The faint pregnancy glow I had for around half an hour last week (when I thought to myself “ooo my skin has cleared up and it’s feeling really soft and my hair is quite shiny!”) evaporated rapidly and has been replaced by another skin outbreak. This has to be a hormone surge.

Still not feeling much on the movement front, still at the point now of not being sure if the little bubbles I feel are kicks are wind. By this stage with the boy I’d been feeling him kick for weeks and the husband was able to feel the kicks too. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I have an anterior placenta. They didn’t mention it when I had my last scan but I’ve been comparing my scan picture with other scans of anterior placentas and they all look quite similar. I’ve never really noticed my placenta in any scans before and it was quite obvious at the twelve week scan. It would explain why I am getting so little movement. It’s another four weeks almost until my anomaly scan so I suppose I’ll have to wait until then to ask about it.

So finally, here is my bump picture from last week. It was taken at 16 + 5.

I Hate My In-Laws.com

Wow.

I’ve just spent the last twenty minutes on that site reading rant after rant about awful in-laws.

It’s made me realise something.

I don’t want to sound like that. Yeah they annoy me, yeah they hurt my feelings, but sweet baby Jebus, I’d like to retain my dignity, I’d like to retain some grace and not vomit bile all over the internet.

So I am done bitching.

Let’s keep this strictly about my important immediate family and the new little sproglet.

Speaking of which I dreamt last night I had a baby girl and my placenta was shaped exactly like a very large Birkin bag. I had to take a picture of it on my phone to put it on Facebook, so incredibly was the similarity.

Week 16

I’ve been a bit lax on posting this week I admit. The weight gain thing is bugging me again as I went to Slimming World on Tuesday and was greeted with a 2 1/2 pound gain, bringing my total weight gain so far back up to 11 and a half pounds, still 4 or 5lbs more than I should have gained at this stage. I keep looking at threads about weight gain on the July 2012 birth board and it’s depressing, either I’m the only honest one there or I’ve gained the most weight, even when you include the women that are having twins. It seems like everyone else has gained at most 2lbs or even lost weight. I feel like I’m the only one who is waddling my way to 40 weeks. I hate that weight gain seems to be all I’m obsessing about at the moment, but I’m in that kind of boring middle stage. There’s minimal movement, weeks to go before the anomaly scan and because we’re not finding out the sex this time I’m not really bothered about going to the scan at all. Now I KNOW the medical reasons for the scan and that’s why I WILL be attending, I know that finding out the gender is a luxury and some people might view it as almost a vanity sort of thing, I’m just saying that assuming everything is okay with the baby I’m not bothered about getting scanned again at all for the rest of this pregnancy. It’s too early to start my hypnobirthing preparations and it’s probably too early to think about the birth. Occasionally we talk about names but nothing is really jumping out at me. I want a name that I absolutely fall in love with, not a name that I think yeah it’s okay or that’ll do. Well I have girl’s name that I feel that way about, but I’m 100% convinced to my core that this baby is a boy. Oh and it’s too early to start shopping yet too. It seems like all the other mothers due in July have 16 week midwife check ups, but I’m not due back to see them until 28 weeks. They really leave you alone after your first. So I’m twiddling my thumbs and getting on with it and trying not to think about the pregnancy too much.

But I do think I’m starting to come out the other side of the fug of hormonal madness. I’m feeling much more positive the last few days. I have to be grateful for the hormones for giving me the strength to confront the evil BIL, of course I got no apology but I didn’t expect it from them, and admittedly I’m not going to forgive him for everything he’s done because (as I heard a psychologist put it rather aptly on television last night) the unrepentant are unforgivable. But I feel more settled about it, I feel that I don’t have to put up with it any more, that I’m not putting up with it any more and that he has no power to upset me or my family except the power I give him. See it has to be boy, because it appears I’ve grown some balls.

(Just a little note about the title – I’m 15+ weeks pregnant, so in my 16th week, think it looks better than 15ish weeks)

How To Be A Good Mother

For those of us in the UK this was the name of a documentary that aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday night (right after One Born Every Minute). Well I say documentary, it was more of an amusing look at 6 diverse families by actress/writer/comedian Sharon Horgan, and of course the were people with pretty extreme views or ways of doing thing, because if they’d been anything like approaching the middle ground it just wouldn’t have been that interesting.

Ten minutes in and I was already feeling like a terrible parent watching the ridiculously slim and flat stomached woman who had home birthed six kids, extended breast-fed them all, pregnant with her seventh and was now home schooling (and was younger than me). I looked at the tv with a growing sense of guilt as frequently IT entertains the children while I’m doing dishes or cooking dinner or *ahem* writing this blog. I then thought about what a bad tempered oul witch I’ve been for the last few months and how the little uns I’m afraid to say have a borne a certain amount of that, especially yesterday when the Squishy one was stuck on a two minute temper tantrum cycle and by 3 o’clock I had lost not only all my patience but the will to live too. I get scared sometimes, really scared, at the thought of throwing another baby into this mix. How on earth will I cope with it all? Will activities with the toddlers suffer even more because I’ll be occupied with the little one?

There is something I have noticed though, my kids’ behaviour is directly proportional to the amount of attention I am paying to them. If they have my focus they are (mostly) a dream, if I am distracted or trying to get something else done they are (mostly) a nightmare. I am far from having worked out what it takes to be a good mother but I know a big chunk of that is keeping your sanity intact and here’s a few lessons I have learned that help you to do just that –

1. Accept that the minute you hand children play-doh, plasticine, moon sand, paint etc they will immediately smush all the colours into one revolting shade of brown. I spent so much time with my eldest stressing about how she wasn’t “doing it right” or “ruining” the play-doh. I have given up on such ridiculous adult notions, the kids don’t care how it looks, if you just let them get on with it you may get up to 45 MINUTES of unbridled peace as they have an important learning experience AND lots of fun.

2. Equally don’t be a control freak in the kitchen (within reason, obviously don’t let them play with the oven). When it comes to baking don’t sweat them making a mess, sticking their hands in the dough etc. I wouldn’t advocate letting them make the chocolate souffle for your fancy dinner party, but as much as possible let them be hands on with the baking. One tip I did get from that How To Be A Good Mother show is sticking a craft mat on the floor and letting them do all the mixing and measuring there, so simple but so genius. I made cranberry and white chocolate cookies with the kids on Thursday and I was 90% less of a control freak than usual, okay I still measured out the ingredients but I let them tip everything into the bowls, they held the electrical mixer and then the wooden spoons etc. I only took over at the end to give everything a proper good mix. Another lesson is don’t be offended if other people do not want to eat your children’s creations. I wash my son’s hands frequently but in between times he usually has one finger up his nose and the other hand in his butt crack (come back nappies, all is forgiven), so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone looked at them, then at the cookies and said “errr, no thanks.”

3. They will value the activities that you value. When the kids are painting, or drawing or colouring, it helps to sit down beside them and doodle a bit yourself. It’s a fabulous stress reliever and it helps them to see that it’s an important activity, it must be because mammy is doing it too. Also never try to direct your children into drawing particular objects or people, free drawing is just as important as impressing your friends with their portrait of “Daddy”. They have years of schooling ahead of them where teachers are going to try and shape their art, just let them explore.

4. Make tidying up a game. There is actually a very limited window where children WANT to help you around the house, when it has a big novelty factor for them and makes them seem oh so grown up. EXPLOIT THIS. No they are not always going to be cooperative but it’s worth a try, start as you mean to go and all that. It’s far better to get them used to putting their stuff away at the end of the day than you collapsing on the sofa after finally getting them to bed and then dissolving into tears at the unholy state of your living room.

5. Remember to enjoy them. The time when they are small is so fleeting. Even the newborn, sleep deprived, give me coffee or kill me stage is over all too fast. There is such a limited amount of time when they will lie curled up on your shoulder, there is such a limited time when you are their world and all they want is to be close to you. The stage of their life where they are pushing for independence or being independent is many, many times longer. Keeping your sense of humour is vital too.

6. Love them and show it.

Blah

 I forgot to post a pic of how the 14 week bump is looking so here it is in all its glory. I feel fat. I had weigh in last night at Slimming World and was very surprised to see 1.5lbs gone, I didn’t exactly stick to the plan last week, but wii fit still insists of making the shaming dumpy noise when I stand on it because I’m officially 2lbs overweight. My skin is awful and I seem to be suffering from some sort of mutant strain of dandruff that cannot be destroyed by Head & Shoulders or even the most potent T Gel. In short I feel like crap. I feel crap about myself physically and emotionally. I spent a lot of time before this pregnancy day dreaming about what it would be like, how wonderful it would feel and how special it would be, how I planned to embrace and cherish every minute. It’s not living up to the fantasy. I look terrible and the in-laws have managed to piss all over any joy I was feeling. I’m looking at the next six months and just anticipating how the next argument is going to happen or what else they are going to do to try and ruin this. I KNOW I should be sitting here saying well I’m just not going to let them, but it’s hard not to feel a bit emotionally drained when you know there is someone out there actively working to be a negative force in your life, and that you can’t get away from them. I’m just waiting to see how the email I sent back is going to ignite the next argument because I doubt BIL is the sort of person who can admit he was in the wrong and let something go, you know I don’t even care about him admitting he’s wrong I just want him to quit making life so difficult for us. It’s the Husband that I really feel sorry for. I mean I feel bad for the kids because I think they’re excluding from a lot of stuff and I feel angry at the in-laws for it, but if it was my family that was behaving this way? I think I’d be inconsolable. I wish I could just delete them all from Facebook but I think it would just be a ball ache for the Husband so I’ve unsubscribed from them all instead and restricted what they can see in my profile. Maybe it’ll be a bit easy if it isn’t so much in my face. I’m trying very hard to not let this situation reduce me to tears again. In other news I got the appointment in for my Fetal Anomaly Scan scan today, it’s not until the end of February and I hope by then I’ll have mustered up a bit more enthusiasm for it.

Right now I’m off to try and find an exercise class for preggos and try to stay away from pinterest and the Farrow & Ball website as I don’t think they’re helping my crazy nesting urge.

The Saga of BIL continues….

*Sigh*

I wish I wasn’t posting about this. I wish I was instead going into an extended rant about the teenage skin outbreaks I’m experiencing (my god they suck!) but I have bitched about the BIL before I feel the need to conclude the tale.

The husband had a bit of an argument with his sister at the weekend. She rounded it off by saying she wanted to avoid an argument for the sake of FIL and we should all just drop it. Then she then discovered via a mutual friend that we were hurt and annoyed with BIL and his fiancée for not acknowledging the pregnancy and in the spirit of burying the hatchet decided to pour oil on the fire by skyping BIL and having an extended bitching session about us and how dare we be annoyed with them for ignoring the pregnancy.

Well I’m assuming this is what happened because last night we received a rather long email from the fiancée in which she admitted that they had been purposely refusing to acknowledge the pregnancy. BIL was throwing his toys out of the pram because he found out about the pregnancy via my facebook wall and “other family members” when we should have hired a singing telegram or a sky writer to put it in 20 foot tall letters to break the news to him.

Now I can’t speak for the husband but for me personally there is a LONG history of antagonism and bullying where BIL is concerned and given his reactions to my pregnancies with the boy and with the squishy one I wasn’t going to be in any great rush to share the news with him. We may be related by marriage but he is most certainly not my friend, nor someone that I would wish to have any sort of relationship with whatsoever given the choice.

The fiancée also complained that we had spoken to another family member about it (we actually haven’t) instead of coming directly to them. Erm…. does she see that BIL has been throwing a 3 month long huff and then discussing it with other family members instead of us? I’ll just write this in the other room since they are already up on the cross….

But in a victory for personal growth I wrote a similarly long reply where I pointed all of this out but in an unfailingly polite manner. I took no shit. Yeah for me.

You know I don’t even care any more. I’m the way I am, they are the way they are, there’s an incompatibility of ethos and moral code there somewhere that is unlikely to be resolved in our lifetimes. I need to let experience triumph over reason and lower my expectations where BIL is concerned, and be grateful that he is around 3000 miles away.

14 Weeks (More or Less)

So today I am 14 weeks by my count (14+6 by crazy scan date). As I said before I have decided to stick by my Fertility Friend chart dates as I trust them.

I’m fairly certain that I am feeling movements not that AREN’T gas related. I was walking around Tesco last night doing a little shopping and I could feel kicks. You might think it’s a bit early for actual kicks but I felt them very early with the boy and by 17 weeks it was possible to feel him kicking from the outside, which was no mean feat considering I was at least 80lbs heavier back then. It’s good to get the movement, since the nausea has faded away I tend to spend a lot of time not feeling pregnant and doubting myself as to whether or not I’ve made the whole thing up. One thing that I can’t avoid though is the broken nights as I need to get up at least once to go use the bathroom. I know this is common in the early weeks and I KNOW it’s par for the course in the last few months but in the second trimester? In the second trimester it is just plain unfair, especially as it is winter and freezing and the cat uses any opportunity to steal my spot.

I’m also experiencing quite a heavy sensation in my uterus and what I’m fairly certain are the odd round of Braxton Hicks. I once had a midwife tell me that it was impossible to get Braxton Hicks before 36 weeks, I call bullshit on that one. They aren’t painful or anything, I’m just very aware of the tightening sensation, in fact I’m having one right now as I type this.

I discovered this week that Babybond have opened a clinic not too far from where I live and now I’m very tempted to book in for a 4D scan. I had a 4D with the boy and it was fantastic. The husband is against it though because we didn’t have one with Squishy (we were planning our wedding while I pregnant with her and that ate up all our spare funds) and he thinks it would be unfair. He’s also worried about it accidentally relieving the pertinent parts since we are determined to stay Team Yellow. I guess we have some time yet to make up our minds.

So that’s how things stand at 14 weeks. Until next time….