Category Archives: Pregnancy

Off the Charts

Oh hey.

Remember when I said, weeks ago, that my midwife measured this baby on the 10th percentile for size?

And remember when she said that if he didn’t grow, I might need to go in for a growth scan to monitor how things were progressing?

Yeah.  Remember that?

Somehow I don’t think I’m going to need that growth scan….


…..unless they do it because they are afraid your stomach is going to EXPLODE because of the amount of baby you’re carrying.

Can you make sense of that projection?  Can you?!  Because my eyes can, but my head can’t.  This kid is LITERALLY off the chart.

Can someone please remind me of how I said I don’t put much stock in these fundal height measurements?  Because right now my mind is going to interesting places – bad places – places that fear the headline, “Woman in Britain gives birth to 20lb baby” with a picture of me craddling my toddler-sized newborn.


Bump Update: 33 Weeks


Weeks ago it was as if someone pushed a button and Autumn just was.  There was that crispness to the air and the need to start to layer after a summer where we got to wear SHORTS and feel good about it (pretty significant for England).

We’ve got so much to look forward to in autumn.  The food, Bonfire Night (that is an ACTUAL thing),  traditional carnival in the Southwest, our annual Thanksgiving, celebrating six years of marriage, and of course, the arrival of this little one.

I feel my natural instincts kicking in that delivery isn’t too terribly far away.  Today I spent hours de-cluttering and reorganizing our bedroom – and it.was.glorious.   After doing my Big Night In post, I have this CRAZY desire to make S’more cookies.  I want to paint.  I want to do furniture renovations.   My body is telling me to get this house ready and I’m glad I have (hopefully!) a few more weeks to do it.

And to spend time with this little monster once I begin my maternity leave.

Here’s to autumn!



Bump Update: 27 weeks


I’ve been so laid back this pregnancy.

I went to have my bloods taken last Friday and my midwife did my first fundal height measurement.  The baby is only measuring on the 10th percentile and I’m all,  “::shrug::  Yup.  Okay.”

If that would have been the case with The Duchess, my butt would have been Googling the heck out of fundal measurements before my feet hit the parking lot.   But it just so happens that my midwife was super laid back my last pregnancy so she always saw me and said, “You’re growing” and didn’t chart my measurements – well, because it was obvious that things were heading in the right direction.

I’m bigger right now than I was during my first pregnancy and after having an 8lb 3oz’er on the first go, I’m not at all worried about this little one packing on the pounds he needs before he arrives.   Plus, I know my own body well enough to know that I have a tiny frame.  Always have.  And something in a chart can’t account for how all women carry.

While knowing what to expect and not going into “crazy pregnant lady mode” is useful the 2nd time around, it hasn’t at all been useful for planning.   I just tend not to do it because I think most things we need will be lying around.

So, we have a baby carrier and a double pushchair.

That’s enough, right?



This milestone in my pregnancy has opened my eyes to the fact we do need to do at least a little bit of thinking about what else we need before baby arrives.  So here we go – 13 weeks left – better get cracking.

Any suggestions for #2?  


25 Weeks 6 Days

Today I am 25 weeks and 6 days pregnant.

A strange milestone to point out, admittedly – not a round number – not even the milestone of the 3rd trimester.  My family will know this number.   They will remember it.   For my sister and brother-in-law those numbers will conjure intense memories of fear and hope because on January 1st at 25 weeks and 6 days pregnant, my niece and nephew were born.  Unbelievably small.  Fragile.  Dependent on modern medicine for survival.  Oblivious to the road ahead.  Here.  Living.  Loved.



There were times in the earliest days that we feared the worst.  The absolute unthinkable.  Where we longed to wrap our arms around my family – to hold them because we could do nothing else.  My husband and I made tentative plans in case I needed to get on a plane in a moment’s notice.  It seemed we were all holding our breath.

We did make that trip home.  Weeks ago we flew across the Atlantic to meet thriving, growing, beautiful babies.  They are home from hospital.  Living.  Loved.  And so unbelievably adorable.  Am I right?  Image


Today, I feel the movements of the baby within.  He’s a kicker in a way that his sister never was. I watch my stomach jump as he faces another bout of hiccups. I look forward to the day we go to hospital, hold him in our arms and introduce him to his big sister.   And I am so grateful that I am blessed to continue to carry him.  I don’t take these precious days and weeks for granted.

No one should because mothers all over the world, today, this very night, are facing the emotions that my sister and brother-in-law did just over 7 months ago.  Those same emotions of overwhelming fear as they hold on to hope, praying through each moment of each day because their sweet babies have arrived far too soon.

To find out more about premature birth and to support families who will so appreciate the smallest acts of care and kindness for their babies, please have a look at the links below.

If you are in the US and know a family who has had a premature baby, you can arrange for a free care package to be sent by visiting Graham’s Foundation.

If you are in the UK, you can order a free TLC package from Pop N’ Grow for families who have a premature or ill baby.  You can also order a free clothing modification pack for babies who have special medical needs.  Their clothing is adapted to fit over the wires and tubes that often come with treating these little ones.

Pop N’ Grow is aiming to raise £3000 by the end of this month.  Would you please consider donating via their site or sharing their site to raise the profile of this great organisation?

Of Jetlag and Late Night Conversations

We have been away.  Just your last minute, run of the mill quick getaway.  To America.  It took us 2 travel days and we were there 6 full days.  It was to meet these two:SONY DSC

but more on that to come.

Long-haul travelling at 24 weeks pregnant is not to be scoffed at, but it’s hard to call the look anything other than scoffing as I passed fellow jet-setters in the airport with my emerging bump and toddler in tow.  People stared.  Especially middle-aged women type people.  Sure they could have been admiring the miniature-sized Thomas backpack I had stylishly slung over my shoulder, but I think it was the bump.  And I was never sure if it was a look of concern or of judgement.

I often underestimate how your body really does demand more of you when you’re pregnant (especially my back, legs and digestive tract).  When travelling in the past, I normally adjust to new timezones quickly, but this time, at 24 weeks pregnant, 12.30pm would roll around and I’d feel like I was dying.  On my feet.  Dead.  Sleep or die.  SLEEP or DIE.  I could not shake the tiredness.

And after adjusting to that 5 hour time difference – oh – like ONE DAY before left, we are now 2 days on from our arrival home and our bodies are struggling to swing back to British Summer Time.  This means the Duchess is raring to go at 1am and I am back at work tomorrow.  And I am actually going to die.  At work.

Last night when the awake-ness struck, I thought I’d try to get her to softly sing songs to lull her back to sleep.

Me: Do you want to sing a song?

TD: Yes please, Mummy.

Me: What would you like to sing?

TD: 5 Currant Buns.

Me: …………

I think that is a British song.  Do you sing it with Granny?  Mummy doesn’t know it.  How about another one?

TD: (Indecipherable…I think it was something about bananas.)

Me: Hmmm.  Don’t know that one either.

TD: Wheels on the Bus?  Mummy, you KNOW that one.  You know that one!

Me: Hey, thanks for being patronising.  I do know it.  And I am going to sing the poo out of it.  That bus will be taken to places it’s never dreamed.  The WORLD will be talking about that bus.

Call it American competitiveness, but that’s when the plan back-fired because in the haze of jetlag, I was about to show her that Mummy may not know 5 Currant Buns or a good banana song, but she could take that bus to a higher plain.

Week 20: Finding Out What We’re Having

SONY DSCSince  The Duchess never cooperated when we hit the 20 week mark, we weren’t holding our breath this time.  I think a big part of us expected to walk away not knowing.  That has been our experience.  So when the technician turned to us and said, “I think it’s pretty obvious,” I  sat looking, knowing what we were having and felt this strange finality wash over me.  We actually know who will greet us in 4 1/2 months.  A little boy.  SONY DSC

I had a hunch that was based on ABSOLUTELY NOTHING except the fact that I don’t feel out of my mind with this pregnancy, and with The Duchess – oh did I have my moments.

It will be so interesting to see if the world of boys really is different since we have spent the last two years getting to know a little girl.  One thing I know for sure, if Thomas and Cars end up being his thing – this kid hit the big sister jackpot.   SONY DSC

Bump Update: Week 17 & Birthing Plans


Today I tweeted a lady who had a bowl of sick in her lap on her drive home because she is 9 weeks into pregnancy and struggling with morning sickness.   That is pregnancy (or one part of it, anyway).  I am SO glad to be on the other side of all of the nausea and am feeling really good, despite some occasional hip pain.

I saw my lovely midwife when I hit 17 weeks and we started talking about birthing options for this little one.   When I was pregnant with The Duchess, The Native and I were pretty relaxed about our birthing plan, opting to use the birthing centre and pool if it was free (there is only room to facilitate one birth at a time there), knowing that we’d likely end up on Labour Ward instead.  We were possibly a bit TOO relaxed about it all because I nearly popped that kid out in our upstairs bathroom – only making it to the hospital in time for the grand finale.   We are talking a Richard Curtis style labor.  Yeah Rich, call me if you want some ideas for your next film.

While speaking to the midwife this week, we got onto the topic of home births.  I was only curious about how many women opt for them.  Genuinely.  It’s not something that I know is commonly done in the States, but we have known a few people here who have gone that route, including our very best friends with their 2nd child.

It was then that my midwife is all, “You would be PERFECT for a home birth.”  And that is when, friends, I got this image of my husband’s face that will be forever seared into my memory bank.  That look he had when I woke him up in the middle of the night shouting, “THE BABY IS PUSHING!”  That is the look I knew I’d likely get if I went home and said, “Hey honey, Let’s do this thing in the family room.”  Because when we nearly unintentionally had The Duchess at home, it was pretty freaking terrifying.

Who knows?  We have time to think about it.  I know planning to stay at home is different than not having the choice.

Anyone reading who can offer guidance/thoughts on home birthing?  Would you or wouldn’t you?