Bump Watch

It’s fair to say that I have always been fascinated with pregnancy, even when I wasn’t keen on having children myself yet. It is an amazing feat that the human body creates a whole tiny human from a single cell, supporting and growing it then expelling a baby into the world. Like so many other things these days, pregnancy has now become the object of cosmetic scrutiny too, from bump watch features of celebrities and their ‘baby bumps’ before even a decent 12 weeks has elapsed, to comments on their weight gain, it seems the pressure is on to not only grow a human, but look good whilst doing it.

On a personal level, I didn’t expect to gain tons of weight in pregnancy as that’s not my natural predisposition anyway but I also didn’t want to. This wasn’t from a vanity perspective, but a health one. Women who gain a lot of weight in pregnancy (in case you’re wondering, the normal range is about 1.5-2.5 stone) are at risk of gestational diabetes and at higher risk of complications in labour and postpartum. That’s not to mention the difficulty of losing it afterwards. Aside from these thoughts, it is a huge shift in your body image and whilst I have loved seeing my baby belly emerge and swell, I still catch sight of myself sideways in shop windows and am surprised at how different I look.


(A selection of bump shots from readers around 20 weeks)

Added to all of those things are the constant comments people feel inclined to make about your changing shape, that you may or may not feel so confident sporting. Anyone who is pregnant or has been will know that they range from the complimentary, ‘You are so neat!’ or ‘It’s all baby, you haven’t gained any weight!’ to the unintentionally panic inducing ‘Look at the size of you!’ and everything in between. I have tried to take them all in my stride – I want to grow a healthy baby, who is gaining weight normally and keep myself healthy enough to breast feed easily afterwards. Comparison is also the thief of joy – my best friend is 6 weeks less pregnant than me and although quite a way off when you compare a 20 and 26 week bump for example, she has also been carrying a completely different way to me, not popping out a bump until much later. At one point I felt like a house by comparison, but I know I was desperate for my bump to pop out and now at term, it all feels like par for the course as I realise I haven’t actually morphed into a baby elephant as it sometimes felt like I would!


(A selection of bump shots from readers around 28-31 weeks)

Lastly, there’s the power of the pregnant blogger (I don’t count myself among). I know before I was pregnant and during, I have looked at my favourite bloggers sporting a neat and fashionably dressed bump with no weight gain and then snapping back to shape almost instantaneously it seems on social media. Whilst I know the reality is not always presented, it’s hard to remember that when fashionable maternity clothes are few and far between and you just can’t stretch that non-maternity dress over your bump anymore!


(A selection of bump shots from readers around term – 37w+)

All this made me think, women carry so differently and look so different in pregnancy, why not make a montage of women, all at the same stage of pregnancy and here are the results. I want to thank each and every one of you that sent in your pictures – I’m so grateful and I loved looking at so many happy, proud, glowing faces. Funny snaps in the booze aisle at the supermarket, holiday pictures, excited dads getting in on the act, post waters breaking grins, and a generally fab time in your lives. This is the real shape of pregnancy, and every single picture is beautiful. Thank you so much!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

25-33 weeks…

The last 10 weeks of pregnancy has absolutely flown by and I feel bad that I have let these updates slip, not because I think you’re hanging on my every pregnancy related word, but because I use this as a record for myself too. I even have a little note book of pregnancy milestones and haven’t recorded anything in it since before 20 weeks.

The truth is, so far (touch wood,) I have been very lucky and pregnancy hasn’t really stopped me at all. That is definitely changing now (more in my next update,) but up to 34 weeks things have been pretty normal. That coupled with all the things we have been having done to the house has been a massive distraction and I speak no word of a lie when I say aside from the pram, we are no more prepared for a baby now than we were at my last update.

I feel kind of sad about this. I know my second pregnancy (again, touch wood,) won’t be the same as my first, with a small one around to run around after I doubt it will be given much attention and I wish I had had time to indulge in pregnancy related treats like Yoga. I haven’t done a single jot of regular exercise since becoming pregnant and never made it swimming as I intended. But, I guess the physical activity in the house has more than made up for that and whilst I now feel huge, I’ve only just hit the 2 stone weight gain mark. And health wise, it’s only really been working hard in the house that has phased me – my lower back has been really stiff and sore if I over do the cleaning or decorating. Oh that and tennis…

28 weeks seemed like a good time to suggest a game of tennis with Pete and whilst we took it easy – I wasn’t sprinting for any long shots, it was fab to be active again. I more than paid for it however and had terrible back pain for about three days, even sleeping propped up one night, then fortunately it passed. Lesson learned. We also went to a wedding at 28 weeks (I posted my outfit here,) and I felt fantastic. One of the lovely things about pregnancy has been how happy people are for you. Everyone is interested and wants to talk about the baby, and whilst it’s not helping me get my patients seen on schedule at work at all, it feels really special.

At 31-32 weeks we travelled to Italy for our friends wedding, a little over the recommended time limit for flying but I paid for a fit to fly note from my GP and had no problems at all. I wasn’t going to not go ‘just in case’ when in all likelihood baby’s arrival was another 10 weeks off. As a side note here, if you do intend to fly with a visible bump, it’s well worth getting a note – I didn’t think I looked that big but was asked for my note on both legs of the journey at check in and although I don’t know what would have happened if I had simply said I was under the 28 week limit most airlines impose, it was good to have the back up and no stress. Travelling was fine – I made sure I stayed hydrated and did leg exercises but it was a short 3 hour flight and all felt pretty normal. We did make concessions to our usual style of travel – after Barcelona I knew an all day sight seeing walking tour wasn’t for me and we had a lot of ice cream stops but I was still fine cycling all around Florence for the day. Tuscan hill top towns were another matter and I felt like a steam train much of the time puffing around!

We went away mid kitchen renovation and came back to the final weeks of it which have since passed in a blur of project managing electricians, buying and returning lights, co-ordinating flooring fitters, painters (for the kitchen units) and marble installation, whilst actually decorating ourselves. In the midst of this we thought we had better get on with one of the attic guest rooms as Francesca is still with us due to hold ups in her purchase and so we need somewhere for relatives to stay when the baby is here. So that has been stripped, re-plastered, a new window is being fitted as I type and carpet coming later today. And before you ask… no, the nursery isn’t even partially started. Although the wallpaper did arrive yesterday!

All in all I had so many people scare-mongering about the third trimester and how awful pregnancy is/was that I hope a positive account of it is a balancing post for those of you contemplating making the leap. I know when I was planning to get pregnant (I promise, more on that too soon,) I had seen so many people struggle with it that I wondered how I would even manage to work, but even now I’m doing fine, so don’t worry before you have to! I’m hoping I can squeeze in another 2 updates before baby arrives, more for myself than anything so I’ll keep you posted, but we’ll see… 😉

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. My pregnancy so far…
The first three months…
14 – 20 weeks
20 – 25 weeks

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...