Well, this blog hasn’t ended up being as regular as I was hoping it to be. In my defence, the terrifying realisation that Maternity Allowance, while very welcome, won’t even cover my rent has meant that I’m working every humanly possible hour. But as I’m now in the depths of the enforced self-employment holiday that is the wasteland of Christmas and New Year, I find myself with time to give you the update you didn’t ask for.
So, everything is still going smoothly. Scans have gone well in that they have showed the baby is healthy, not in a way that they create a lovely scan that’s useful to show to anyone who’s remotely interested. Our baby has an incredible knack for turning away when a sonographer comes anywhere near them, meaning our two scans depict less of an unborn foetus and more of a hazy blur. It also means we don’t know their gender as they refused to open their legs or get their clenched fist out of the way. Given the work I do over at castingcallwoe.tumblr.com, I can hardly be surprised that my offspring keeps themselves covered up.
I could easily spend this blog complaining about all the things that pregnancy brings up. The aforementioned Maternity Allowance, the lack of paternity pay for self-employed men, the constant aches, tiredness, hunger, worries, the fact that, if all is well, you don’t get another scan after 20 weeks unless you’re willing to pay, but I realise I’m incredibly lucky to be in this position. So instead I want to look at the things that have genuinely surprised me so far…
1. People are incredibly nice when they see a bump. It makes people talk to you, ask questions, offer you a seat, ask how you’re doing. While waiting to board a flight in Geneva last month, after the various privileged seats had been called forward, the cattle were eventually asked to board. A group of women caught my eye and ushered me forward, insisting that I be the first of the plebs to board – a tiny gesture but one that was so very welcome.
2. Having a midwife appointment 2 days after Christmas makes you terribly aware of your salt intake. Midwife appointments will always include a blood pressure check to ensure you’re not at risk of pre-eclampsia, and as someone who has been on the verge of high blood pressure in the past, this is something I’ve always been wary of. Add the knowledge that you’ll be checked in 48 hours, suddenly every crisp, nut, olive, drop of gravy becomes an enemy, a gorgeously tasty and tempting enemy.
3. And the subject of Christmas brings me to cheese and wine. For me, these make up 2 of my major food groups, especially at this time of year, so pregnancy bring up their own challenges. Cheese tends to be one of the first things that comes up in foods to avoid, but actually there are very few you can’t eat. Basically, as soon as I found out that baked Camembert was A-OK, carrying a baby for 9 months suddenly felt like a much more manageable task. I still have to check the NHS site about 3 times a day to double check what I can and can’t eat, but if in doubt, if it’s cooked then it’s fine. And then, of course, there’s wine. Now, I’m of the school that cutting out alcohol ENTIRELY isn’t necessary, but I’m well aware of the limits. I was recently introduced to a chapter from the book Expecting Better that suggests a small glass of wine a day is probably fine. Now, as much as I love wine, even I don’t need a glass every single day, but knowing I can have one every now and then is lovely, especially at this time of year. Add to this that I’ve found a palatable non-alcoholic wine (details below), I’m a happy, bumpy, waddling bunny.
4. I would like to take this time to thank the magic of maternity clothes for their gentle, easily expandable support during this festive period.
5. Good intentions go out of the window. I was going to be a yoga-practising, 20-a-day fruit and veg eating, wholesome machine. The closest I’ve got to this is a couple of easy peelers a day while looking up local North London pregnancy yoga classes before gasping at the price and then watching Netflix instead. Regular pelvic floor exercises and vitamin taking have also managed to fall into the ‘oh Christ, when did I last remember to do this?’ camp, while toast-eating and tea drinking (decaf, obvs) have deftly worked their way into becoming an hourly routine.
So there we are for now. I’m now entering the final 10 weeks or so with NCT classes starting next week so I genuinely hope to start updating this blog a little more frequently. But before I go…
Currently in need of…
In a previous post, I mentioned my utter horror at non-alcoholic wine. I’m sadly yet to try any Seedlip (non-alcoholic gin), but I’m delighted to report that I have now discovered Eisberg Cabernet Sauvignon, which is the closest to real wine that I’ve found and is making me very happy indeed.
Currently appalled by…
Converse trainers. Now, I’m a Converse lover, and recently treated myself to a new pair what with winter and increasingly tired feet approaching. Well, I have since found that winter plus pregnancy basically make Converse trainers into a skating death trap. I’m desperately avoiding the inevitable but it might soon be time to start embracing * deep breath * sensible shoes.