Thursday, August 28, 2008

17 weeks and things are starting to move

I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate on anything remotely work related at the moment. I think the happy hormones have kicked in and I'm loving life and can think of a million things I'd rather be doing than sitting in the office with my miserable whinging colleagues.

I have to admit that I haven't achieved a great deal today. In between pretending to be the model of productivity I have been catching up on the forums I used to read. They're very useful for finding out what sort of things you might need and getting good links to websites. For example, I never knew that as well as a nappy bag, I might also need a nappy wallet. This is a smaller device to hold a spare nappy, wipes and other baby paraphernalia, which you can chuck into a handbag if you're just popping out. I found a website with some kick-ass designs. Then someone pointed out that it's also useful to have a huge nappy bag for days out or over at someone else's house and you can shove a change of clothes and toys into it, so I found a cool nappy bag too. $189.95!! Sure, it has lots of cool removable compartments (including a pocket to keep baby's food chilled or warm), a super-funky design AND it's reversible. But $189.95? Does this strike anyone else as excessive? I suppose it will get used a lot.

It is exciting to be getting to the stage where I can start buying things. I just wish everything wasn't so damn expensive, but that's one of the reasons I'm starting to buy now. My Nana has sent us our first baby clothes. I think she is convinced it is a boy. I told her I thought it might be so she probably has it in her head that it definitely is now. It doesn't matter; the clothes are lovely and very cute anyway and better to dress a girl in boy's clothes than vice versa. I'm not planning on buying any clothes just yet though. I figure we might be given loads and newborns grow very quickly.

I think we will get some things second-hand, such as a baby sling which is only used for a couple of months. We're also planning on giving cloth nappies a go. These days there is a thing called the modern cloth nappy, of which there are many different types, including the pocket nappy, where you stick an absorbent pad into the nappy lining. You can adjust the number of pads, or type of material according to required absorbency. You then scrape poop off the nappy and pad and flush it down the loo, and then shove the nappy in the washing machine. The nappies themselves come in all sorts of funky patterns and there are no pins, no folding, no soaking. I need to do a bit more research on this but I figure we'll need quite a few to avoid having to do too much washing and they're expensive. I'm also not sure how often we'll need to upgrade to a bigger size but I need to figure all this out before I can decide whether it's cheaper than disposables. And unfortunately I don't live in an ideal world, and I'm not a super-organised green-hippy-mum so I will be investing in some emergency disposables too, especially for the first few weeks. I'm keeping an eye out for when they're on special at the moment.

The clothing crisis continues but at least the weather is warming up so I now have a choice of skirts too. Soon it will be acceptable dress weather. I still haven't popped but I was sure it would happen this week so we'll see. I might be lucky and get another week or two of looking reasonably normal. I really should get Toby to take some belly shots.

I'm pretty sure I felt the bairn move again last night. It knocked on the wall of my belly three times. I asked "who's there?" but there was no answer and I haven't felt anything since. It's pretty exciting but it was hardly a "there can be only one" moment. It would still be nice to feel something a little less subtle. There's a lady in my yoga class who's almost 20 weeks pregnant and as of last Saturday wasn't sure whether she'd felt her baby or not.

Rather excitingly a good friend of mine has recently discovered she's pregnant. It's early days for her so I won't mention any names, not that it really matters as no one reads this but me anyway. She had her first scan this week and saw a heartbeat so I imagine word will get out in about a month or so. It's pretty cool to think we can hang out and learn how to be mothers together.

The Birthing from Within book that I got out of the library talks about birth art. It suggests you draw things to do with pregnancy, motherhood and birth and gives projects, such as "Pregnant Woman" or "Fantasy of Birth". I've been doing this and it's pretty cool actually as it does get you thinking about your views and expectations. It started when Toby and I were clashing one night because we just couldn't seem to communicate about how we should manage our lifestyle and household chores after the baby is born. I suggested that he draw what he meant, and I drew what I imagined when he used the words he was using ("methodical", "shiftwork", I felt like I was at work and was just waiting for "service-oriented architecture" to pop up in there somewhere). It really helped us to get to the crux of the matter and improved our communication no end. Since then I've drawn a pregnant woman, the journey of labour (a HUGE mountain) and me in labour. I couldn't quite manage to draw an open vagina and crowning head as some examples in the book had, but that possibly just highlights that I'm a wee bit squeamish about where babies actually come from and that it's something I should probably work on over the next few months. (I have been totally avoiding trying to think about it too much to be honest. Urgghhh!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Photos of Clucklette

Thought I would finally share with you our scan photos.

Okay, so it looks a bit weird but you can actually see fingers, an ear, the brain, a leg and can vaguely make out facial features.

This one shows the heartbeat, or was it blood pressure? I forget. I can see two ears and two legs in this one.

These were both taken at 11.5 weeks, almost 5 weeks ago, so the baby has changed quite a lot since then. It's now much bigger and more in proportion, basically more baby- and human-like.

In about a month I should have some updated images to post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baby Dream

After yoga on Saturday a friend of a friend, whose baby is due the same week as ours asked if I'd dreamt about my baby yet. I'd had some really vivid and weird dreams, not all of which I could remember, but couldn't recall specifically dreaming about the baby.

Last night, in a bizarre collision of personal and professional, past, future and present life references, I did.

The dream was based in the office, not the office that I actually work in but an office that I was working in. I was no longer pregnant, having very recently given birth, remotely. Imagine that!

"I was wondering if it is absolutely necessary for me to be present at the birth? I'm not sure I can get the time off work or whether my sensitive nature can handle it."

"No, Ms Buckle. We anticipate a perfectly normal, uncomplicated birth. We don't require you to be there."

So somehow the baby had found its way from my womb to an incubated crib in another area of the organisation. Assuming I was working at the University, perhaps she was in the Nursing department of the Faculty of Science, Health and Education.

I was visited at my desk by someone I worked with at HSBC seven years ago. He asked me how I was; I asked what he'd been up to since moving to Sheffield. He denied ever moving to Sheffield. (I woke up this morning thinking, "he did move to Sheffield; I'm sure of it.") I hadn't been overly fond of this chap when we worked together and, deciding it was about time I visited my baby, I made my excuses.

There was a suite of about nine cribs in the corner of an office. They were all full of baby girls with black hair and different faces, and names beginning with A. I had given my baby girl the temporary name of Alsace, after the server that was operating her crib and, in real life, the name of the server I use for web development. I'm not sure whether this was the first time I'd seen her or not. It seemed to be at first but then I knew what she would look like so perhaps not. At first I went to the wrong crib and cooed over someone else's baby. The receptionist in the office laughed at me just as I thought, "hang on; she doesn't look right". I then noticed a different name on the cot. I found my baby and picked her up. She was tiny and unbearably cute and I loved her instantly but was incredibly disappointed that she insisted on sleeping during the whole bonding experience. I wanted to see her eyes.

Then I went back to work. Later, I discovered a wormhole/portal from a museum or concert hall (not sure which) in Brisbane to a really impressive music hall in London. I used this frequently to visit my family in England. This was illegal as I wasn't paying for it, nor had I been invited to use it, so I had to be very discreet.

Weird dream or what?

By the way, I weighed myself this morning (before breakfast) and was 2kg lighter than I was on Monday. So I've only put on 1 or 2kg really. Ha! Mrs Midwife, 5kg, my ar.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

16 weeks and all's well

I saw our baby again yesterday.

I had another appointment with the obstetrician and he did a very brief scan and all seemed to be well. The baby was still alive, which is good, and his heart could be seen beating but he was very quiet compared to last time. I thought perhaps he was sleeping but the doctor pointed out that an arm was moving around so perhaps he's just getting a bit better at controlling his movements. They do all sorts of things at this stage (about 16 weeks) such as sucking their thumbs; the baby was facing in towards me so I couldn't see its face.

It was such a relief (again) to know that everything was looking okay and I was in such a good mood after the scan, having expected only to have my abdomen prodded a bit and perhaps some other technology used to detect a heartbeat.

I'm starting to get a bit more into the spiritual side of being pregnant, partly thanks to yoga but also because it's an amazing experience to have another life, with its own soul, its own personality and thoughts, growing inside of you. It's part of you, but it's separate. Not being religious, I view spirituality as a connection between the mind, the body, nature and the universe. I can think of few things that exemplify this better than pregnancy.

It all started in yoga on Saturday when we were doing supported uttanasana (forward bend); in this posture you bend at the hips, legs engaged and working but upper body relaxed, arms and head resting on the back of a chair. Sherry told us to soften our bellies and imagine them as a hammock which the baby is lying in. I thought that was a lovely visualisation. I'd never really visualised my baby in the womb before; every other time I'd thought of it had been more in the context of an ultrasound picture.

I remembered a pregnancy yoga book that Sherry had recommended to me a couple of months ago. She'd said I could borrow it after another lady but I went online and tried to buy it. I have a pregnancy yoga book, which isn't bad, but this one looked much better and had lots of nice essays, breathing exercises and visualisations. I'm sure all of this stuff is great for helping to switch off and work through the pain of labour. Anyway, the book turned out to be out of print and I forgot about it for a while but after Saturday's session I decided to check the local libraries. I found a copy and placed a reserve on it but another book caught my eye. It's called Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives by Deepak Chopra. I've never read any of his stuff, although I know some people think he's great. It sounded interesting but a bit airy fairy. Nevertheless one of the local libraries, which just happens to be next to my obstetrician's surgery, had a copy so I popped in and got it before my appointment yesterday. I also grabbed a pregnancy yoga book and a book called Birthing From Within, which I think is about the de-medicalisation of pregnancy and labour, connecting with your body and trusting your instincts. Or something.

The Chopra book is pretty good. It is a bit "trees and flowers" in places but it has some nice exercises that really help you to connect with your baby. Many of them involve the partner too. He encourages drawing and writing about your baby, keeping a pregnancy journal (well, would you look at that!), talking and singing to it and there are lots of visualisations. It's much easier to imagine Clucklette now, having seen it looking a bit more human, and also being able to see my body changing.

It appears I have put on weight. I thought this was a good thing but the nurse said to be careful because I've put on almost 5kg (slight exaggeration on her part there) and should be aiming for only 10kg throughout the whole pregnancy. Personally, I think 10kg is a bit stingy but I'm also aware that my weight can fluctuate on a daily basis so I'm not too concerned just yet. And I'm only a few weeks off halfway. I didn't put on any weight at all during the first trimester and somehow I've managed to gain about 3kgs in 3 or 4 weeks. How come I was snacking like mad for two months and didn't put on any weight? I think it's because I still snack (although not quite as much) but I'm eating bigger meals now). I could also be building my muscle mass back up now that I'm exercising a bit more again but I doubt it's made that much difference. Anyway, I shall endeavour to eat only when hungry and have sensible portions. Not sure I can give up the cakes though. It's the baby that likes them; I was never bothered about eating them before I was pregnant.

I have to get some blood tests done before my next appointment in a month's time. They test for spina bifida and down syndrome. I guess if something is detected then an amniocentesis is offered so fingers crossed that won't be necessary.

I still haven't felt my baby move. Or at least I don't think I have. It's pretty hard to tell. I thought I felt it a couple of weeks ago but convinced myself it was too early and I haven't felt anything like it since. Its legs are now quite long, longer than its arms and it kicks to move itself into more comfortable positions (a bit like me in bed, much to Toby's annoyance). They call the fluttery feeling you get when the baby does this "quickening". When I'm sure I have felt my baby move for the first time I shall run around the house, pretendy sword aloft shouting "there can be only one!" - bloody hope there's only one anyway - and then I'll sing along to Queen's entire A Kind Of Magic album.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

15 weeks

Ho hum!

When will the tiredness end? I expected to get to 14 weeks and suddenly have all former levels of energy restored. But it was not to be. Certainly, in general my energy levels have sky-rocketed from what they were a month or two ago, but it has been quite a gradual thing and I still experience dips. I suppose it's a bit much to expect to experience the kind of energy I had before I was pregnant, especially as I was reasonably fit. Last week I was getting to bed too late, which didn't help things, and then we spent another weekend painting, which, although not as full on as a couple of weeks ago, still took it out of me a bit.

Swimming and other achievements

I should, however, make note of the fact that I am able to do so much more these days, so whilst I might still get tired, I probably have good reason. Yesterday I managed to swim 550 metres at lunchtime, not much I know, and certainly not up to my usual ability which is around 7-800 metres, but I was incorporating some new techniques I have been picking up from watching the Olympic swimmers. I think I was going much faster than I usually would, I was putting a lot more effort into lengthening my stroke by incorporating a slight twist, and for the last 150 metres I attempted the wide hand stroke with my fingers slightly apart. I'm not very good at it but I could feel how the power and speed would increase if you could perform it effectively. There hasn't been enough Olympic underwater footage for my liking; you really can learn a lot from those guys.

To continue my achievements of yesterday, on the way home from work I filled the car with petrol and then went to the fruit shop and the supermarket. By the time I got home I was a bit tired and had a rest but was able to get up 15 minutes later and help Toby make dinner. This is so much more than I was capable of 6 weeks ago.

As for other symptoms, even though the nausea has stopped I still feel icky some days thanks to a strange taste in my mouth, apparently to do with hormones, and occasionally the headaches and sinusitis still occur.

Expanding waistline

But I really don't want this blog to be a big whinge-fest listing the awful ailments that pregnancy bestows upon you because it really is a magical and exciting time. Watching my body change shape is quite astounding. Every few days my uterus just suddenly expands and when I look at my naked body it amazes me that no one can tell I'm pregnant once I'm dressed. I have invested in another couple of long tops that nicely hide my expanding waistline as it isn't quite at the attractive baby bump stage. The safety pin has become my best friend as maternity trousers are WAY too big for me at the moment, and a couple of people have now mentioned clips that you can get for your trousers to expand them a bit. They probably won't quite fit yet either though. It's annoying being at this in between stage.


I started pregnancy yoga on Saturday and really enjoyed it. I didn't find it as challenging as my usual sessions but there were a few new poses in there that should be helpful during pregnancy and labour. As you can probably imagine in a room full of pregnant women there was a lot of talk about pregnancy and babies. I do hope that isn't all they talk about as although it is interesting to hear what other people are going through I find an hour and a half of that kind of talk a bit much. I'm concerned that I might get a bit bored with the pregnancy sessions but I will give it a few weeks and see how she changes it around each session. If it is a bit dull or non-challenging then I'll double it up with my usual Monday night session.

Brain melt and other exercise

My brain is still struggling. This morning I was incredibly impressed with myself as I actually managed to leave the house on time for my 8am pilates appointment. I was slightly embarrassed to be arriving on time as this is my first independent session and for months now I've consistently been a few minutes late when meeting with my physiotherapist. Still, it was no mean feat as I had to feed the cats, empty the bins and recycling box into the outside bins and then place them out for the bin men, as well as getting myself ready. Driving down my street, I was pondering on how I was on time for once, and the slight embarrasment at being on time when not actually meeting my physio, when something caused me to question the time of my appointment. I checked the card in my wallet and discovered that my appointment was actually at 8.30am tomorrow morning. GODDAMMIT! Instead of turning right I turned left and drove right around the block back to my house. I was surprised to learn that was 2km! I'll probably end up being late tomorrow.

It was damn disappointing though. I'm trying to do at least 30 minutes of exercise every week day and after changing into my work clothes I wondered how I would achieve that today. I shoved my pilates gear into a bag along with my trainers and decided a lunchtime walk would be good. But once at work I began to suffer from cubicle complacency, where it's really too much effort to move from your desk, got distracted by the thought of last night's left-over curry for lunch, and thus far haven't managed to go anywhere other than the toilet, the fridge and the microwave. Perhaps I'll sneak out after I've finished this blog. Hopefully the fresh air will pep me up a bit as I'm feeling a bit sleepy.

I've been trying to get to bed a bit earlier this week to help with the tiredness. I expected an immediate improvement but it doesn't seem to be working like that. I want to start getting up earlier in the mornings and doing things before work but it seems like a lost cause at the moment.

I have my next obstetrician appointment on Monday and I'm feeling nervous and excited. I just want to hear that everything is okay... but I guess I'm a bit worried that I won't. I thought about telling my team during tomorrow's meeting (if it happens) but now I'm thinking I might just wait until after my appointment. They don't need to know yet.

Maternity leave

I've also been trying to get my head around maternity leave. It all seems surprisingly complicated. I was already aware that I could take 6 months full-pay, or 12 months with 6 months full-pay and 6 months unpaid, or 12 months at half-pay. Today I discovered that you can't actually take maternity leave before the bub is born, which seems insanely crazy to me. What use would you be when 9 months pregnant and all whale-like and huge? Would you even be able to reach your keyboard? I doubt it. And do they really want to risk the waters breaking in the office? In an office full of men who love their toilet humour I can only imagine the repulsion.

I've been advised that it would probably be fairly easy to acquire a doctor's certificate and take sick leave in the final weeks but that's a bit difficult to plan for. I also learnt that you can't take more than 12 months in total but I'm waiting for confirmation as to whether this is just maternity leave, or whether it includes recreation leave and sick leave. I suspect it may include rec leave but not sick leave. I suppose I can't complain - 12 months off is better than a kick in the face - but it does make planning the whole thing more tricky than I first thought and has possibly thrown a spanner into my leave-at-christmas idea.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ailments de jour

Now that the nausea, and to a lesser degree the tiredness, are abating, I am being blessed with a range of new symptoms that I thought I might share with you, as strange and weird symptoms are a fascination of pregnancy and we all want to know if what we're feeling is normal.

Symptom No. 1: Stuffy/runny nose and sinuses
This is incredibly irritating. Some days I have blocked sinuses and feel like I'm wandering around with my head in a goldfish bowl. Occasionally it gives me a darned awful headache. Thankfully Dr Stokes said it's quite alright to use my trusty nasal spray on such occasions. When my sinuses aren't blocked often my nose is, and if it isn't, it's probably runny. I've been sniffling and blowing like you wouldn't believe. I am relieved (I think) to report that this is all normal in pregnancy and is thanks to progesterone. Progesterone has got a lot to answer for if you ask me.

Symptom No. 2: Light-headedness and faintness/dizziness
This one is more debilitating and I still haven't established the cause. Possibilities are:
  • low blood sugar
  • low blood pressure
  • tiredness
It often occurs at mealtimes whilst I'm preparing food, the result of which is a race to complete the preparation of my meal before I get so faint that I either fall over or have to sit down. Sometimes I have to sit down to finish getting lunch ready; sometimes I have to have a break and come back to it but often I just make it. This suggests it could be related to blood sugar.

However, it also occurs when I've eaten recently enough to have reasonable blood sugar levels, like last night in Big W, whilst I was waiting for an assistant and had to lean across the counter and take deep breaths to relieve my dizziness. I should have taken it as reason to leave but I kept on with picking up the bits and pieces I needed. When I got to the checkout the lad serving me kept making small talk and I kept responding with one word answers, concentrating on my breathing and remaining conscious and thinking "when is he going to realise I'm not in the mood for a chat?" I had to sit down for a few moments on leaving the shop and on getting to the car required another breather before attempting to drive. I got home, left the shopping in the car and headed straight to bed.

This could have been due to tiredness as I was extremely tired yesterday. Whilst I've been sleeping better this week I probably haven't been getting enough sleep. It could also have been low blood pressure, which can occur in pregnancy anyway due to the increased amount of blood circulating around my and the baby's systems, but could have been exacerbated by slight dehydration. Due to increased blood circulation it's very important that a pregnant lady gets enough fluids and it's possible I didn't get enough yesterday. Whatever the reason it's damn annoying. Faintness is something I'm prone to anyway but I do hope this isn't going to be a trend for the next 6 months. It's probably genetic - I remember my mother fainting in Savacentre when she was pregnant with my sister.

Symptom No. 3: Tubbiness/lack of comfortably fitting clothes
I briefly looked at maternity clothes last night but they're all way too big for me so I just don't really know whether to bother buying anything new just yet. This morning I had a fashion crisis. I just couldn't find anything that I wanted to wear that would fit me comfortably. I decided to wear a top my mother sent over for my birthday last year, which nicely hides my tummy and hips. It goes quite nicely with cropped trousers and I cunningly thought I could fasten them together with a hair elastic. It so didn't work. My belly isn't quite big enough to warrant an extra inch on my waist, plus it wouldn't lie flat and I looked like I was smuggling some strange shaped thingy in my waistband. In the end I resorted to the use of a safety pin. Don't know why I didn't think of that earlier, which leads me on to the next symptom.

Symptom No. 4: Vagueness
Otherwise known as placenta or pregnancy brain, vagueness is annoying. It's supposed to abate slightly in the second trimester but so far I've seen no evidence of that. It's all about lack of concentration and focus, poor memory, disorganisation. The other morning I scraped the paint of the garage door frame, reversing the car out without thinking. It was early, I was late, Toby had parked the car and he always parks it differently to me. I forgot this and just drove out as I would had I parked it. I felt a bit of resistance and as I looked back to check the door was closing noticed a mark on the paintwork and thought "huh! never noticed that before. Did I do that?" so I got out and checked the wing of the car. Sure enough, there was the paint. Two weeks ago I forgot the name of my street. Twice.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Week 14

I am currently suffering from some very unpleasant, almost painful abdominal cramps. They're coming and going and are most distracting. I think it's wind. Perhaps it's pregnancy's way of preparing me for the labour pains.

I have started trying to spend a few minutes each day (usually lying in bed at night or in the morning) tuning into my body, noting how it feels and what it does so that I can feel the baby move as soon as possible. According to The Pregnancy Bible, for subsequent pregnancies this can be felt around 17 weeks but most first-timers don't notice it until 20-24 weeks as they pass it off as something else. I wonder if I become aware of what is normal movement, stretching, wind etc. then perhaps I will recognise when something different happens. I'm really looking forward to that first wriggle so that I can know my baby is doing well, rather than having to wait for the next visit to the obstetrician. A month seems like a very long time when you don't know how your baby is.

My uterus has been doing lots of growing. Previously I only noticed at night but I've started noticing it at other times too. Every now and then I get this heavy feeling in my belly... and it's so small compared to what it will be like. Sometimes at night it can feel a bit uncomfortable and it got me thinking that it might be nice to have a pillow to wedge under my bump later on, to support it in bed and stop it feeling so heavy. I have a nice layer of fat just above my uterus too so I'm feeling quite lardy. I'm now looking forward to actually looking pregnant, rather than just over-indulgent. My clothes are getting quite tight, and in some cases uncomfortable. I usually wear my trousers on my hips and they sit across my belly, but that's becoming difficult, if not impossible, so I'm having to hitch them up a bit towards my waist. Consequently, my trousers are becoming shorter and shorter. I'm thinking of shopping for a new pair of trousers and a couple of tops this weekend... but I've been saying that for the last couple of weeks and keep putting it off.

I have completed the telling of important family members, continued telling friends and started telling colleagues this week. I told my director on Monday and she seemed very pleased for me. She went a bit mother-hen and started offering lots of advice on pregnancy and motherhood. Her advice was quite good but it reminded me that I'll be getting a lot of that over the next few months (or more) and that I should take it with a pinch of salt. In fact one piece of advice she gave me was that everyone will offer advice but that I should follow my gut instinct. She's right; already my in-laws have been chastising me for climbing ladders at 11 weeks and insisting that I don't do it again. Other advice she gave me was not to be too analytical about stuff, to float above the angry, stressful moments as they eventually become insignificant, to remember that children are resiliant and that as long as they have a consistently loving home, they'll forget the odd harsh word. At least I think that's what she said.

We discussed when I might go on leave but didn't discuss how long for, or the terms of my employment on my return. I figure there's plenty of time for that. She also thanked me for telling her early on so she can plan ahead.

Today I told my line manager. He's a family friend and we swim together at lunchtimes so I told him on the way to the pool. It was relevant; he is currently seconded to a project and was talking about his plans for the team next year and how he didn't want to work on another project because there was a lot that needed to be done from a team management perspective. I felt it only fair to warn him of one other thing he would have to plan for. I guess I'll tell the rest of the team either in passing, or at the team meeting on Friday. Then I'll just let word get out.

Most of our Aus friends were told at a party this weekend. It's nice that we don't have to hide it anymore but I do hope it doesn't end up being the only thing that people want to talk to me about. It is fascinating, especially if you've never been pregnant but would like to be soon, but you know, I'm still Lindsey and there is a lot more to me than pregnancy. Or at least that's what I like to think.

I seem to know a lot of pregnant people at the moment. We found out a couple of weeks ago that a couple who met at our engagement party are expecting a baby at the same time as us. I will end up doing pregnancy yoga with her. It's seems romantic somehow that they met at our engagement party, deliberately brought together by mutual friends who have just had a baby of their own.

I also know one less pregnant person. Nicola shocked me this week by sending word via a mutual friend that her daughter, Sienna, had arrived 10 weeks early. I've just seen photographs of her and she's so adorable and tiny. It seems like she's going to be okay, which is an immense relief. It did get me thinking though that after all my efforts not to have a Christmas baby it could still happen. I suspect that if our little one does arrive that early though, that having a Christmas baby will be the least of my concerns.

A good friend called me from England yesterday morning as soon as she had read my email conveying the news. She was so excited and it was lovely to talk to her and her hubbie, who is also a good friend. She told me about the first time she felt her second baby move. Funnily enough she was at a wedding in Australia at the time. She also told me about watching the first one squirm around inside her... that would be so freaky. She told me she was going to monitor my progress in her pregnancy books and she read out what would be happening this week. According to my weekly email it's about 8cm long, weighs 25g (feels like more) and its head is now a third the size of its body, rather than half, so it looks a bit less freaky and more baby-like. I'll take their word for it. I now have a fully developed placenta, passing on most of what I consume (enjoying your green curry, wee one?), and the baby can now swallow and urinate amniotic fluid (clever boy!). The external genitals are now forming and in a week's time he will be fully formed and spending his time maturing. Apparently if I prod my abdomen he will respond by moving around (probably thinking "oi! less it!") but I won't be able to feel it so it's a bit of a pointless game really.

Notice, I am referring to Clucklette as "he". This is just for ease and because I think it's a boy. It in no way indicates that I actually know anything regarding the gender. Nor do I intend to find out.

I think that's all for now.