On Friday we will be 18 weeks pregnant. Inching closer and closer to that half way point and hopefully the point where my IP’s can feel their little bubba wriggling around inside of me! That all too familliar STRRRRRETCHing feeling is making another appearance as bubs goes through a significant growth spurt.
A couple of weeks ago, I hit the wall. Everything in my life seemed like it had to be given the highest priority and I felt like I was going under. So I took a break. Without announcement or explanation or one single root reason. And it was JUST what I needed. I am a mum of 3 kids- the oldest having just turned 3. I work 4 days a week. I am moderator for 3 websites/groups and have 2 voluntary roles that also take up my time. Oh and of course, I am surro pregnant!!! Now I am certainly not one to say that I am any more or less busy than anyone else. But in the weeks leading up to my self imposed break from all things, I was snowed under- particularly with work and my online commitments. So I gathered up all of my self control and said “enough is enough”. I spent an entire week without social media, I didn’t moderate any forums, we had no visitors, nor did we do any visiting. I focused on myself, this bubba and our family. We watched movies with the kids, we cooked together, we went to the park, we did silly things that made a mess, we appreciated each other and I am all the better for it (I think hubby is too). He and I watched a video, snuggled on the couch and talked. So moving forward, that self control is remaining. I will learn to say no. I will learn to take a break if need be. I will have LIMITS for what I do. And if that’s not good enough for others, then I wont allow it to become a massive problem. I will do things with and appreciate my children more than ever. The busyness of life made me slow down and appreciate what matters. And I like it! Yesterday we made forts with the couch cushions and some blankets- then the cushions became mountains to climb! I sat on the kitchen bench and blew bubbles for the kids to dance around in, we cooked a chocolate cake and ate some of the mixture before it even went in the oven. THEN we ate more cake when it was finished. We read books and danced to music. Sure, I was still “connected” (we send lots of pics and videos to daddy), but I was reasonable. I glanced at emails but didn’t respond to them- people will survive another 24 hours! I am all for the benefits of technology and introducing them to our kids. But there will be limits and I want to lead by example with that.
OK, enough about that- I have waffled on for long enough! Back to what this blog is about.
It occurred to me the other day that to avoid questions from colleagues at an upcoming birthday party this weekend, I had better let work know that I was pregnant! So I came into the office armed with my “official” letters- one for my manager, one for the GM and one for the director. I gave my manager his letter and he read it in my office. He was a bit gobsmacked and didn’t really know what to say, so didn’t say much at all! The GM came in next and I could hear him opening the envelope in his office. And…. NOTHING. He has avoided me like the plague ever since. Then my director read the letter. All he had to say was “Well you are full of surprises, aren’t you?!” and then proceeded to launch into a discussion about our upcoming marketing meeting. What was I expecting? Well actually, I am not sure! Announcing this type of thing, you really cant predict what anyone’s reaction will be. I am sure that the questions will come. They always do. So for the first time in weeks, I am not wearing a jacket in the office! I have been walking around and have had a couple of curious glances from colleagues but no comments or questions. Yet. They are certainly not being polite- they are not your politically correct workmates, that’s for sure! It will only be a matter of time because I am DEFINITELY showing. I have “half a basketball” guts. It will be nice to wear some true maternity clothes from now on. I do find them a little more comfy!
So yesterday we had what we thought was another midwife appointment. But no, the “big head honcho” Obstetrician (I am sure that description is on his business cards) wanted to see us instead! Curiosity with us being the only surrogacy case at the hospital we suspect… Usually patients going through midwife care only see an Ob once (if they continue to be low risk), but he said he will see us 2-3 times. It will be a nice comfort that someone else will be keeping a close eye on the pregnancy as well as our wonderful midwife. Best of both worlds I think! He asked me if I was feeling okay “yes”, threw the scanner on/in me for a couple of minutes “baby okay, cervix long, no issues” and that was it! Gotta love a “to the point” Ob- its like he has a daily spoken word limit and doesn’t want to waste any if he doesn’t need to!
This weekend I will be going back to the gym. It feels like I have been saying that for forever but now that I have some energy back, am not nauseous 24/7 and have a little more time on my hands, I am really looking forward to it. Its only 1 hour a week but its a good release and the benefits to a pregnant woman and the baby she is carrying are immense. I will definitely be taking it easy though and am doing all of the pregnancy recommended movements.
So what comes next?
We have our 20 week scan on the 1st July. That’s the BIG one! The last sonographer has already written on our file that we have special permission to have 4 people in the room. Usually they allow 2-3 maximum. So it will be me, IP’s and hopefully hubby as well. Then the following week we will see our midwife again. Appointments will be spaced every 3 weeks at the moment. A little shorter than the norm but I think they want to keep a close eye on us. No complaints there! It feels nice to have so many people on our side and looking out for us through this journey.
And bubs development, you ask? I will do a combo of the 17 and 18 week rundowns, as per the kidspot website:
“Now around 16cm or so in length, your baby continues to grow and her four-chamber heart is now pumping as much as 24 litres of blood a day through her little body. Baby’s eyes are still fused shut, and even though she can’t see what’s going on, her eyelashes and eyebrows have grown longer and she has proper little finger and toe nails forming.
Baby starts to become sensitive to light now, as her eyes and brain are working together – so if you could shine a torchlight into your baby’s little home, she would likely recoil from it. Because her hearing is starting to work better, she may also recoil from loud noises. Your baby is likely to hear your heart beating, your stomach rumbling and blood moving through the umbilical cord.
Baby might be emptying her bladder every 40 to 45 minutes in the watery world she lives in, with the umbilical cord removing all the waste back to your body where your bladder takes it all away. Baby will also be having a grand old rollercoaster ride inside your belly, not only playing and moving around but also experiencing your motion as you sit, stand, walk and run.
Fat stores begin to develop under your baby’s skin, in particular what is known as ‘brown fat’, which will provide energy and help keep your baby warm after birth. These fat stores will account for anything between 2 to 6 per cent of your baby’s birth weight when she finally comes out to meet you. The brown fat also means her skin is becoming less transparent and she’s more ready to meet the big wide world in another 23 weeks or so.
From now on, you need to be attuned to feeling your baby somersaulting around your tummy. Known as ‘the quickening’, this is one of the most exciting times in pregnancy as you feel the flutter of your baby’s movements and know for sure that he’s having a lovely old time inside you. Those sweet little movements will gradually evolve into pokes, prods, and even outright painful kicking as your break-dancing baby grows in size and tries to straighten out in his increasingly cramped quarters.
If you have an ultrasound right now, which most health experts will recommend at about this time, you might see your little one sucking his thumb, not to mention the necessary signifiers to let you know whether you’ve got a boy or girl inside. Of course, some babies refuse to show their genitalia in an ultrasound, and you will only get a best guess from the sonographer (not helpful if you want to know whether to buy blue or pink clothes!)
If you’re having a girl, her uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. Little boys will have dangly bits by now.
A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around baby’s nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he’s born. The major ultrasound you will have around this time will check that all baby’s organs are in the correct place and growing at the right rate.”