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.

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