So, week 28 has been kind of a rough-one, anxiety wise. I’m just going to get that out of the way up front, so that when this post takes a quick detour to Crazyville, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
(The detour is coming up right now, btw. It’s worth sticking around, though, because there are woolly mammoths later. Yes, really…)
See, health anxiety, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is basically a form of OCD. People who suffer from it have, well, an obsessive compulsion to worry about certain things, or to constantly check symptoms. So, say someone who doesn’t suffer from health anxiety/OCD notices their leg hurts when they move it in a certain way: they’ll likely just think, “Ouch, that hurt a bit!” and go on with their day, won’t they? The person with health anxiety, on the other hand, will repeatedly try to re-create that pain, by obsessively moving their leg around in the way they know will trigger it – not because they like pain, obviously, but in a futile, and ultimately doomed, attempt to reassure themselves that it’s not happening any more.
(But, of course, it WILL still be happening. Because, like the fool you are, you’ve now MADE it happen so many times that even if your leg wasn’t all that sore before, it sure will be now. Well done, you!)
For me, in the context of this pregnancy, my OCD has attached itself to a few different things, but this week – and I suspect for the rest of the pregnancy – it’s been all about fetal movement. Yup, THAT again. The problem here, however, is that, unlike that sore leg (Er, I don’t actually have a sore leg, by the way, although I think I’m STARTING to, now that I’ve mentioned it so many times…), the health service actually encourages pregnant women to obsess over the movements of their babies in the third trimester. Well, OK, they don’t tell you to OBSESS, exactly, but they may as well do: I’ve been given leaflets telling me I MUST make sure I monitor the baby’s activity, and immediately report any changes; the pregnancy app I stupidly downloaded keeps encouraging me to actually COUNT the number of kicks I feel every day, and, at every single appointment I have, I’m questioned about it, and reminded that I must be super-duper aware of every moment this baby makes. AS IF I WASN’T ALREADY.
Honestly, I suspect this would drive even someone WITHOUT health anxiety to the brink of insanity (I have friends who’ve confirmed this to be the case), but given that I was standing on that brink anyway, is it any wonder that this week I fell right off, and spent many long hours lying on my side in the bedroom, drinking hot/cold/sugary/fizzy drinks, playing music to my belly, eating chocolate, and doing all of the other things everyone tells you will definitely make the baby move? Er, not really, no.
(And, just for the record – and for anyone else out there who find themselves in this position – NONE of those things work for me. None of them. No, my baby moves when he feels like it, and that’s that. Stubborn little tyke, isn’t he?)
I should probably add here that I HAVEN’T been doing these things because the baby hasn’t been moving. He has been. Sometimes in a way that makes it look like he’s literally about to tear his way through my stomach, and emerge triumphant in the middle of the living room. So, honestly, there’s been no real reason for me to obsess over this quite as much as I have – well, not other than the fact that I suffer from anxiety, obviously, and that this week? Anxiety has taken the wheel. It has made me feel like I can’t really do ANYTHING at all, other than monitor those movements. Honestly, I’ve been reluctant to even leave the house, because how can I accurately count the baby’s kicks when I’m distracted by other things? And, come to think of it, should I even be sleeping? I mean, what if this “change in movement” I’m supposed to be ever-vigilant about, happens in the middle of the night, and I miss it? WHAT THEN, PEOPLE?
So, it’s been a rough ol’ week, basically, made worse by the fact that this was Baby Loss Awareness Week here in the UK. Now, as someone who’s suffered loss myself, I’m obviously well aware of the importance of this: in fact, I’ve written before about how I firmly believe that pregnancy loss should be talked about more openly, rather than swept under the carpet, the way it is now. As someone who’s currently pregnant, though, I have to admit, I found it really, really distressing being bombarded by statistics about stillbirth etc every time I looked at social media. At one point, I was lying on my side, desperately trying to concentrate on feeling the baby move, when the news app on my phone flashed up an alert telling me that stillbirth is much more common than most people think it is – and, honestly, it just about destroyed me. I don’t have news alerts switched on any more, needless to say.
That’s the bad news. (And yes, I have a counselling appointment booked for next week…) There was, however, also a lot of GOOD news this week, so, now that I’ve thoroughly depressed everyone with my tales of woe and anxiety, let’s see if I can rescue the mood slightly, with…
Week 28 Pregnancy Highlights
This week I had my 28 week growth scan. Given that the baby had kicked me all morning leading up to it, and was still merrily kicking away as I sat shaking with nerves in the hospital waiting room, I was a little less nervous about this scan than I usually am, although, for me, that’s still pretty freakin’ nervous. Honestly, I absolutely HATE these appointments, and, as I sat there waiting to be called in, I found myself really wishing I’d refused this one (It’s not a scan the NHS routinely offer: I was given it because of my age, but the midwife had measured my bump and listened to the baby’s heartbeat just a few days earlier, and had told me everything was right on track). Luckily, though, it all went smoothly: baby boy is measuring exactly as he should for 28 weeks, and is looking healthy, active, and almost exactly like Terry, which, WHOA. I swear to God, as soon as I glanced up at the monitor, I was just like, “Er, how the hell did Terry get in there?!” WEIRD. But also very cool, obviously.
Week 28 Pregnancy Symptoms
Still with the insomnia, unfortunately. I’m actually not sure if this is a pregnancy symptom or an anxiety one, though, to be totally honest – ditto the extremely over-emotional state I’ve been in all week. I’ve basically just come to accept the fact that my eyes are, er, “leaking” at all times right now – if you happen to bump into me, it’s probably best not to ask why I’ve been crying: I won’t have a clue. And will probably start crying, again…
Week 28 Purchases:
Things My Parents Bought:
Having tested the water with the previous week’s purchases, this week my parents threw caution to the wind, and when we went to visit them on Saturday, we were presented with an entire box full of STUFF:
Now, to be fair, this also contained the muslin squares, and some of the items I’ve shown you in my previous pregnancy diaries, but there was also:
I’ve actually had my eye on this for absolutely ages now, because, honestly, if there’s something cuter than this in the world, I don’t know what it is. If you don’t believe me, go to the Mothercare website, and look at the photo of a baby actually wearing it. See what I mean? Oh no, wait: there IS something cuter, actually: it’s these little slippers, which match the hat and gloves my parents bought last week:
When I posted my gender announcement on Instagram, someone saw fit to lecture me about how newborns shouldn’t wear shoes, because it’s so sad to see them “struggle” in them, etc etc. So, obviously we are well aware of this, and because I am not some unfeeling monster, I will not be forcing my baby to “struggle” in shoes, just for the record. (I absolutely HATE that I have to even say that, but apparently at least one of my followers thinks I literally AM that stupid, so…) These are super-soft, and he will obviously not be walking in them, though, so I’m sure he’ll be fine to have them on his feet for a few seconds, when he’s big enough. I am slightly concerned by the fact that they have faces, though, because it means I’ll have to keep them forever, basically…
Speaking of things with faces:
It’s a towel. With a face. I will also have to keep it forever. (Seriously, though, I still have MY old baby towel, and it DOESN’T have a face, so you can see what I’m up against here…)
There was also a selection of socks, onesies, and the contents of the entire baby section at Boots. Sorry, Boots shoppers, they’re all sold out, now! Moving on…
Things Auntie Lila Bought:
This week my sister-in-law, Lila, also entered the shopping fray, with this selection of adorable little onesies:
I can’t even tell you how much I’m looking forward to dressing him in these. It’s possibly going to be even MORE fun than choosing outfits for myself, and those are words I seriously didn’t expect to ever say. Who knew baby stuff was so cute? (Answer: everyone, basically.)
Oh and on the subject of baby clothes, yesterday I popped into ASDA to return something, and came out with an entire baby outfit:
“Will he always be dressed like a French mime?” was Terry’s question, and, I mean, of COURSE not. Like, sometimes he might be dressed as a 1930s playboy, say. Or a cheeky chimney sweep. The possibilities are just endless here, seriously. (Mostly he will be dressed like a mime, though, yes…)
Finally, it’s been a big week for Terry and I, too, with the arrival of something I’ve been super-excited about:
It’s our pram! (Well, actually it’s the BABY’S pram, because neither of us will fit into it, but you know what I mean…) And I was SO excited about it, I didn’t even stop to put on some mascara before taking this photo: D’OH!
So, this is The Ultimate Stroller by Dubatti: in this photo, we’ve got it set up with the carry-cot attachment (which detaches from the frame, so you can carry the baby around in it), but, as the name suggests, it also transforms into a stroller, and a very stylish looking one, too. I’ll take some more photos of it for next week’s post (I’ll even try to remember to break out the mascara for them and everything), but if you really can’t wait, you can see it here , along with all of the various configuration options. You get to choose the colour of pretty much every part of it: we’ve gone for a soft grey and white combo, because that’s how predictable are, but I’m also a big fan of the congac leather handles.
(Oh, and this also works with our car seat, but more on that soon…)
Needless to say, this was a really exciting delivery, and I’ve spent a LOT of time pushing it around the living room and kitchen – as has my mum, who goes to it as soon as she enters my house, and pushes it around, muttering, “God, I love a pram!”
I actually got a little bit emotional when this arrived (Not that that’s particularly unusual for me right now, obviously: I mean, I ALSO got emotional at an article about wedding photos that someone posted on Facebook this morning…) imagining our little baby all tucked up inside his new pram. Not nearly as emotional as I got when these arrived for the nursery, mind you:
Mammoths. Woolly ones. The big guy is a rocking mammoth, the little ‘un is a pull-along mammoth, and they’re both c/o Simply Colors at Not On the High Street. Obviously the baby is going to have to wait until he’s old enough to actually play with these, but, until then, I think they’re going to look super-cute in the nursery. I mean, seriously, just look at those faces!
The larger mammoth is actually customised, and has the baby’s name written on the base of the rocker in a lovely cursive font, which you can see on the brand’s website. (There are actually a few different fonts to choose from.) I’ve cunningly hidden the personalisation in these photos, though, because although we’ve had a boy’s name picked out since long before I was even pregnant (I was actually quite relieved to find out that he WAS a boy, because we were totally sure about that one, and just could not agree on a girl’s name AT ALL…), we’re going to be Those People who don’t want to reveal it until he’s here. Feel free to leave your guesses in the comments, though, if you particularly feel like it: we also need to pick names for the mammoths, so that would be quite handy, actually!
(I’ve spent WAY too much time playing with these. I may even have brushed their hair. This baby is going to have a fight on his hands when he gets here, is all I’m saying…)
Speaking of the nursery, meanwhile…
Week 28 Pregnancy Preparations:
This was the state of play at around 5pm on Tuesday, after our friend Barry had come round to help Terry start painting the walls:
Now, you might be tempted to think that this is progress, because at least there’s a whole lot less junk in there now, right? Er, other than the HYUUGE pile of junk in the middle of the floor, which includes painting equipment, YET MORE POWER TOOLS, a small Christmas tree, a beach bag, and I’m pretty sure that’s one of Terry’s socks, too. Well, what else would you expect for a baby’s nursery, seriously?
(You might also be tempted to think, “Oh look, MORE GREY, HOW IMAGINATIVE,” but I will thank you to keep that particular thought to yourselves, out of respect to the emotional pregnant lady writing this…)
Where was I? Oh yeah: you MIGHT be thinking this is an indication that we’ve finally managed to wrestle the house back into some kind of order since last week’s update. You’d only be thinking that because you hadn’t seen the office, though:
Or, indeed, the kitchen:
In this shot, you’ll notice how we’ve cunningly picked up the green of the chair with the green sections on the Bag for Life, and the dustpan and brush. Yes, that was a deliberate choice, and not AT ALL just the random results of having SO MUCH CRAP in one place, and nowhere to store your dustpan because the hall is so full of junk that you can no longer gain access to the cupboard there. The eagle-eyed amongst you, meanwhile, might have noticed that the Bag for Life has made its way downstairs, having been last spotted in the upstairs hall. Unfortunately, the rest of the stuff in that hall has not been quite so pro-active, and is still there, but I DID catch some of the debris from the nursery trying to sneak off upstairs, to the promised land of the master bedroom, which I’m still guarding with my life, given that it’s the only room in the house I can still breathe in right now:
OH NO YOU DON’T, RANDOM BOXES!
Finally, and in particularly earth-shattering news:
Yes, I know, you thought you’d heard the last of this, but you are not so lucky, my friend, because THERE IS A NEW SHED MAN! I repeat: we have a NEW SHED MAN! This is NOT A DRILL!
So, after the absolute fiasco that was Shed Man 1, I’m pleased to announce that we’re now about to embark on Shed Man 2: Return of the Shed Man, only with a new Shed Man in the principle role. I’m really, really hoping that New Shed Man is going to be the new AND improved version (and, I mean, let’s face it, he’s not exactly up against stiff competition, is he?), and that he will, indeed, deliver on his promise to provide and construct a shed for us, on the agreed day, which is, just so you can all mark it in your calendars, October 27th. Now that we have the pram, and will shortly be taking delivery of a car seat, we really need to free up the space in the downstairs cupboard (and also in the kitchen, which, since the photo above was taken, has been changed around again, and now also contains an old cabinet, which Terry is going to use as storage in the shed.), and, being able to forget about this would also give us some time to concentrate on our next project, which has the working title, “How Can We Persuade That Guy Who Said He’d Fix Up the Car So We Can Sell It to Actually Follow Through on That?”
Or, alternatively, we could just call that one, “AAAAAAARRRRGHHHHH.”
(I’m taking no part in this, obviously: everyone who comes by the house says, “Wow, I can’t believe you want to sell that car – that’ll be worth a bit of money one day!” And then I throw myself on the ground, and weep hot tears of misery, because, God, I love that car.)
And that was week 28, also known as the first week of the third trimester. It was messy, emotional, and contained a few more stray socks and historic meltdowns for my liking, but it also contained two woolly mammoths, a new pram, and, most importantly, the news that our baby boy is still doing well in there.