It’s official: I’m HP – Heavily Pregnant

I think there should be 4, not 3 stages of pregnancy:

First trimester: weeks 1-12
Second trimester: weeks 13-24
Third trimester: up until Week 34
‘Officially Heavily Pregnant’ stage or ‘the Last Leg’: 6 weeks to go

This is the stage where NOTHING fits, not even your hubby’s T-shirt; and the baby moves into your pelvis so you start to WADDLE.

12 signs that prove I am officially Heavily Pregnant:

1. A friend asked me if I had enjoyed sledging in the snow last weekend. An innocent enough enquiry to which I replied, ‘Sledging? Are you feckin’ serious? I can barely walk!’ I only managed to put the final twig in place for the snowman during our ‘snowman building’ activity and even then the walk to the park nearly floored me.

2. My belly is stretching so fast at the moment that I have developed a rash that itches like MAD.

3. No amount of Walls Vienetta or Tangle Twisters can ease the heartburn, but I continue to try this method nonetheless.

4. Even though it has been -2 degrees outside this week I can’t seem to escape the heat. I am sleeping with the duvet off as if it is mid-summer.

5. I’ve started to have horrendous, anxious, horrible dreams.

6. The ‘nesting instinct’ has officially kicked in. To date I have cleaned out the fridge, reorganised the cupboards, sorted paperwork, bought lots of storage boxes. Oh and bought lots of Housey magazines. That counts, right?

7. I decided to work right up until 2 weeks before the baby arrives, just so I can enjoy a longer maternity break at the other side. But I’m beginning to regret it. I had a 2-hour conference call today and I found myself wheezing and panting by the end of it. And I hadn’t moved from my chair- just talked for a bit!

8. I am constantly switching between immense fatigue and little bursts of energy. So I’ll get the hoover out, put on a couple of washes and clean the bathroom in a spurt of energy, and then collapse on the sofa with an achy back and discomfort in my pelvis, thinking ‘why, why, why’.

9. I feel like my bump has exploded recently. I had my 34-week GP appointment today and my doctor suggested that this was very probably a big baby. ‘Well, it’s certainly a very big bump’, he laughed. Hmmm.

10. Who am I trying to kid? I’ve been HP since Christmas at least. I spent all of Christmas Day puffing and panting not only because I had eaten too much turkey but because my gorgeous red (non-maternity) dress which I had thought was sufficiently loose-fitting was FAR TOO TIGHT.

11. Even though we decided to spend New Years’ Eve at home, I got all dressed up for the delicious meal John was cooking, chilled a mini bottle of Prosecco for midnight, lit the candles and put the Amelie soundtrack on. Not having much ‘spare’ room in my belly anymore, I had eaten far too much by 9.30pm, was sick and in my bed by 10, and only staggered out of bed at 11.50 so I could watch the Jools Holland countdown with Johnny and make a wish upon a star.

I was back in bed by 12.05.

12. Maggie and I travelled to and from Belfast on our own over the Christmas holidays. On the way over she sat on my lap. On the way back she didn’t fit – there was no room! I had to put her in her own seat beside me when the cabin crew weren’t looking.

So here I am, 34 weeks and counting….

Here’s (nearly) looking at you, kid! :)

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Maggie kissing The Bump

Top 10 things new mummies can’t do without

1. Muslin Squares

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Everyone says it, and everyone is right. You will need them for everything from mopping up milk on your little one, to mopping up boke on you; from emergency changing mats when you forget yours to emergency bibs; from sunshades to playmats; they can (just about) cover your boob if you are caught out & need to breastfeed in public and can be used as an alternative to cotton wool to top and tail your little one. I have always used one as a comfort blanket as they are so light and breathable and Maggie still uses them now. They are, in a word, indispensable. Just make sure you get enough of them! You can get them everywhere: Boots, Asda, Mothercare, Amazon – the cheapest I found were at Tesco for less than £1 each – but there are prettier ones too. These ones are from www.toysrus.co.uk £6.99 for 4

2. An iPhone

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Or similar. Apart from the obvious benefit of taking great quality photos and videos of your little munchkin, it also becomes an essential lifeline for the new mum (well, me anyway). It saw me through those early, sleepless nights in so many ways..online sudoku games, online shopping for newborn essentials, being able to read a book or magazine with just the nightlight and your iPhone, all while your little one doesn’t sleep or tries to sleep. Once the fog of those first weeks have lifted, it is great to be able to share photos, update your Facebook and Twitter friends, email your new NCT mums to arrange coffee mornings, book your trial class at Gymboree, write a blog (!), without it feeling like too much of a chore.

(Of course, as your little one grows it will become his or her Favourite Thing too, but that’s for another day and another post). If you don’t own a Smartphone now, you should! Believe me you’ll never look back.

3. Lansinoh nipple cream

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Nipple cream is essential. This one was recommended to me by lots of mums. Thankfully I didn’t get it too bad myself and only used about 1/4 tube throughout the whole BF episode, but I know some mummies who had to lather it on constantly & went through quite a few tubes! Just buy one to start with and see how you go.

4. Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddling Blanket /Muslin Squares

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Brilliant for all the reasons listed above as they are basically very large muslin squares, but a friend told me that they would be the most useful present I received and she was right! Especially for summer babies, these are so soft and light they make perfect swaddling blankets to keep babies warm without overheating (all new mummies freak out about this, right?) Apparently a big hit in the US amongst celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Julia Roberts, they are becoming a big hit here too. I got mine from my friend Anna from www.amazon.co.uk

5. Ariel Whitening Powder

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You will get a lot of what my sister and I call ‘up the backers’, where literally your little dote has pooed and it has gone up and out the back of the nappy. Could equally be called ‘out the siders’ for the same reason. When this happens his or her little vest tends to be full of the stuff, so you need to steep it straight away in this. This miracle powder was recommended by my sister-in-law mum of 3 after a particularly nasty up-the-back incident which threatened to ruin forever Maggie’s new, white, designer sleepsuit (a gift, of course). But no, steeped in this (you can add it to your main wash too), the stain disappeared like magic. Miracle stuff I tell you.

6. Geraldine the Giraffe

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It doesn’t have to be Geraldine herself, of course, but very early on Maggie adopted her favourite toy, and the two of them are best friends still. Geraldine is great because she has black and white crackly feet (baby’s favourite colours apparently) and lots of rings which she had used to reach for, grab onto and chew on as she has grown. Now the pair of them just chew the fat and have a good old yarn.

7. A Rocking Chair

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A great place for your little one to chill out, go for a snooze, mooch in, play in, sit in while you have a sneaky shower or pee (!) and later reach for and play the mobiles attached to it. One friend took hers everywhere as their little one loved it so; another swore that the chair on vibration was the only thing that chilled hers out when he was little.

They do grow out of them quite quickly so try to borrow one from a friend if you can. Our friend Susan lent us hers which was a huge help as you only need it for about 6 months.

8. A Bucket Bath

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I was very confused about baby baths when I was pregnant with Missy. The books didn’t help – the advice seemed to swing from a baby plastic bath to no bath at all (one suggested taking a bath with your darling one every time they needed it. I did try it – but it’s hard enough getting your little one out and dried and powdered and nappied and creamed without doing the whole thing stark naked!) So I called upon my Facebook mummies and the resounding consensus for those first few months was a bucket bath. I don’t think this is the actual name but it’s what my mum called it when she first saw it: ‘What? You’re going to bath Maggie in a BUCKET!?’ (I’ve just googled it, it’s called a Tummy Tub). Not only do they look very cute in them, it really helps bring up wind and they get to sit up in lovely warm water almost unaided from such an early age. It helps make bathing a very relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone.

9. Cloud B Sleep Sheep

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A strange one to recommend on my Top 10, as I didn’t actually buy one! But I was very lucky as Maggie was a good sleeper from the start. For those of my friends whose little ducks didn’t sleep so contentedly, many of them swore by the Sleep Sheep. They rated them up there with other ‘white noise’ devices like the Hoover and the hairdryer to help settle their little ones.

10. A Baby First Aid Kit

Along with general First Aid Kit essentials, this collection should include :

For every ailment- Calpol
To check baby’s temperature- a good quality digital thermometer. Many people (me included) have the Braun Digital Ear Thermometer
For colds/blocked noses- saline spray, decongestant rub & a plug-in vapouriser
For ezcema- every baby is different so you’ll end up trying everything! I have found Cetraben Emollient cream or Epaderm is best for everyday moisturising and Hydrocortisone cream (sporadically) for bad patches.
My friend’s mum swears by a herbal remedy Chickweed, but I’ve not tried it, so ask your health visitor and health shop to advise you.
For teething- Teething gel & powders. I found the powders worked better (Nelsons) but used both for bad cases
For nappy rash- typically linked to teething, sometimes you need Canesten if normal nappy cream isn’t clearing it.

Until you get to know your own little bundle & what particular things might ail them you’ll just need Calpol. And cuddles.

Welcome to my blog

I am thrilled that eight of my good friends are pregnant & due to have little bambini in 2012. So, before my mushy brain forgets everything that the last 8 months have taught me, I have decided to share some of the advice and funny stories that helped me get through those first, mad, wonderful, crazy, incredible few months with my little duck. And of course we are still learning on the job so I hope all you mummies out there will continue to share your advice and entertain us with your witty banter.

So, to my scrummy mummies & mummies-to-be, this blog is for you. Enjoy!

Love Me & Maggie aka Missy, Duck, baby bean (8 1/4months)

Follow on Twitter @BabyLovesBlog

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