Baby is the size of: The apps say a small-clawed otter, the crystal ball from Harry Potter, a fanny pack and a coconut so who really knows haha! Average for this week is around 40cm and 3.5-4lbs. At my 20week scan baby was in the 94th percentile for estimated weight and 76th for femur length so I may have a biggun in there!
My weight: Pre-pregnancy I was 70kg, I am now 80kg so only gained 10kg so far.
Cravings: I haven’t had any cravings or aversions the whole pregnancy!
Symptoms this week: I am CRANKY. I’ve just started on iron supplements as my bloods came back quite low, so the tiredness has started to subside a little thank goodness. I miss being able to take a deep breath, bubs dropped low for a day on Wednesday, so I got to experience pelvic pressure which was so worth it to be able to breathe before they popped back up into my lungs!
I’ve been feeling: Tired and moody but so thankful and full of love and adoration for my little “Thumper”. Every somersault and dance move they do makes me feel so much joy.
I am most looking forward to: Having my baby snuggled on my chest. Placing my hands on my belly doesn’t feel close enough, I know I’m going to miss these movements so much but being able to physically hold them turns me to mush! And seeing my husband hold them, he is such a softy I know he’s going to be wrapped around their little finger!
I’ve been spending time with: Mainly myself to be honest, enjoying my alone time and focusing on me and my growing Bubba. I have given my all to my friends and family for 25years so I’m making an effort to put myself and my needs first now and I bloody love it! I’m still working in a supermarket, so I get almost too much human interaction most days. When I need company, I go see my mother-in-law and my retired workmate.
Advice I’ve been given: If using dome onesies, do the legs up before putting them on bubs and slide them on like pants so you don’t have to fight wiggly legs!
The most uncomfortable thing has been: Physically, feeling like I cannot breathe and heartburn/reflux. In general, I have discovered I HATE strangers (customers) asking me anything about my pregnancy. This is my body you are asking me questions about; this is my child you are asking about; I don’t know you, we have never communicated before and you will have no part of mine or my child’s life so why do you think you can come up to me and start asking me questions? I haven’t invited you over to discuss my stomach or when my vagina will be destroyed, I have most likely avoided eye contact all together to show I am not interested in having a conversation, but they still come over thinking they have a right to know all the details.If I know the person, even just a customer I have interacted with often or someone I follow on social media, I am 100% an open book and will answer all the questions no matter how personal but complete strangers fill me with rage.
Life a year from now: Call me crazy but in a year I see myself trying for another baby! I LOVE being pregnant so unless having an actual child throws me for a loop, I want to have another quite soon.
Nicest reaction so far: We’ve had quite a few lovely reactions from close friends and workmates, their joy and excitement for us was so heart-warming.
What I am anticipating with apprehension: I have a feeling someone is going to post on Facebook before us, whether it is an excited family member or a workmate congratulating us. We have kept the pregnancy very private and haven’t done any public announcement, there is nothing on social media at all and I’m not planning on posting a birth announcement for quite some time, but I have this feeling that someone will. Even when I shared my sister’s birth announcement, I had workmates commenting that they thought it was mine or I will be next, and I had to go through and delete those comments. I thought it was pretty obvious that there was nothing on my page about my baby so no one else should be posting about it but apparently not!
What I would say to baby right now: Thank you. I have learned so much from this tiny life so far and they are not even here yet. They have already changed me and my husband into better people and I cannot wait to see how we grow as a family. I would also thank them for staying, our first bub left us at 7weeks, and it left us shells of ourselves for so long. Wee Thumper has put us back together, made us whole and made us grow, I am so thankful for this wee monkey and I owe them the world.
Will we find out babies gender: We haven’t found out the gender! My whole life I said I would find out, there was no way I couldn’t know, and I had even considered the blood test to find out early but as soon as we found out about Thumper, we both knew we wanted the surprise. There are not many nice surprises in life so we wanted this one so bubs got the nickname Thumper since we couldn’t say he/she. Right from the first kick I felt they were thumping around like they were practicing a dance routine and failing.
I’m most nervous about: I’m a little nervous about how my pets will react, we have 3x cats and 2x large breed dogs who haven’t had much to do with babies. They are great with toddlers and up, but my biggest dog has no spatial awareness. I trust them with my whole heart, but I know that animals can be unpredictable, and accidents do/will happen. I also already feel pet-mum guilt about them not getting enough attention so I predict there will be tears over not giving my fur babies the loving they are used to!
Things I’ve found most difficult with this pregnancy: The thing I’ve found most difficult about being pregnant has actually been other people trying to help too much. I know it’s for a good reason and it’s out of love, but I hate feeling useless or incapable and when people offer or don’t let me do something I take it to heart that they don’t think I CAN do it. Which I know is not true but I am just too stubborn and independent to let people help. And then when I cannot do something or get tired before I can complete a task I feel like a failure. My struggles at the start of pregnancy were completely to do with losing our first. I had a really cruisey first trimester, barely any nausea, I was not overly tired or sore, my moods were normal, I felt great! But that led to so much paranoia. I felt so held back from bonding with our baby because I was so terrified, they would join their sibling. We got pregnant the first time after a year of trying but from the first moment I saw the test I felt like that baby was not going to stay for long, and I was right. The spotting started at 5 weeks and at 6w5d I fully miscarried. 3 months later we became pregnant with Thumper, and I didn’t have that initial feeling of ‘this is temporary’ but I did have the feeling of ‘what if it happens again’ and I held back my excitement because I thought it would hurt less if something did happen. We found out about Thumper at 3.5 weeks, and I spent all day, every day until 8 weeks just repeating to myself and baby ‘please stay’ and googling why I felt so good. I was hoping to feel terrible. Because of our first loss we managed to get an early scan at 5w3d and actually saw a heartbeat which gave me some relief at first and then I just panicked that it would hurt so much more if they left. Around 9 weeks into the pregnancy I started to relax a little and get excited but then at 10weeks every symptom I had disappeared, and I was heartbroken, I was certain it was happening again. We got another scan and baby was happy as, thumping around like crazy. Turns out they were giving me a wee break from minor symptoms before smashing me with morning sickness from 11-16weeks and I couldn’t help but love it, every time I was running to the loo for a vomit I felt so much relief that they were still there, my baby had stayed The fear of losing them didn’t start to go away until around 15/16 weeks and it’s not completely gone, I still catch myself checking for blood every time now at 31 weeks, but my joy and excitement smothers that fear. I don’t know if I’m generally a ‘good’ pregnant person or my loss has made it this way, but I love pregnancy. Every part of it. Every vomit, ache, mood swing, discomfort, weight gain and size increase has made me so happy, and I feel so blessed to actually absolutely love every part of it as I know so many women struggle and feel awful during pregnancy. Fingers crossed it is like this next time too!
So overall, pregnancy has been amazing and even when I felt terrible, I felt great, I just wish my paranoia and trauma hadn’t pushed the joy back to the second trimester, looking back I would have loved to enjoy the first trimester and how cruisy it was!
I also can’t wait for labour! I have zero fears going into it and I’m actually looking forward to the experience! That will probably change in the moment but right now, I’m so excited to be able to experience childbirth, no matter how baby decides to arrive.
If after reading this you’d be happy to share your own experience of pregnancy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send you one of thee pages (or you can send a photo of your own pregnancy journal.)