38 Weeks

38weeks-lifebylotte Yep, this is what 38 weeks pregnant looks like folks. Ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream (trust me, it's a more attractive picture than one of me right now). I've been obsessed this week and have no idea why - maybe Chip is desperately trying to build up her fat stores? Maybe I'm just a massive pig? Who knows. But Ben & Jerry's have done well out of me this week (sidenote: Phish Food is still my favourite, mmmm those dark chocolate fishes....).

Anyway, I can officially say now that I've had enough of being pregnant. Two of the ladies in my NCT group gave birth last week and for the first time in my life I'm feeling really quite envious! I don't normally get jealous at all but seeing their excited messages and cute little pictures has made me feel desperate to meet Chip... it's like waiting for Christmas Day as a child all over again. Except that in the meantime, your feet and hands are constantly swollen and sore, you have non-stop reflux and burping issues (digestion woes are back again - maybe the ice cream is to blame?), your brain doesn't work properly and real, deep sleep seems like a distant memory...

Alas, Chip shows no sign of turning up any time soon. I had my 38 week check up yesterday and all was totally fine - the GP seemed to think that Chip's head was 3/5 engaged but I know that doesn't really mean anything, as heads can be engaged for weeks before birth. I've had some strange incidences of period-like pain which have got me all excited, but nothing consistent or lasting very long.

Other than that, we've been thinking more and more about names. I had a mini rant on Twitter about the fact that, since Oli and I are not married, we have to choose which of our surnames to give the baby (legally, we could actually give her a totally random surname in fact - one that neither of us have, which is WEIRD). This is now starting to stress me out quite a lot, and I'd love to hear what other unmarried parents have done?

I much prefer Oli's surname (Darley) to mine (the constant Jack/Vera comments and quacking noises have taken their toll on me over the years) but then I also feel a bit sad about having a different surname from my daughter. It's really tricky. Getting married is not an option (been there, bought the t-shirt, happily returned it) and changing my name to Oli's just seems like an odd thing to do. Not to mention a load of hassle. Oli's said that he's happy for her to have my surname but then I feel that he's not really connected with her, which is daft I know... it's just obviously I am going to give birth to her so I very definitely am. So basically, I'm moaning about a problem that there's really no solution to - I suppose I just have to get over it.

Also, we have a first name we love, but we stupidly told a few people what it was early on, and I've realised now that you mustn't tell people your baby name ideas until AFTER THE BABY IS BORN. Otherwise people think they've got free rein to express their opinion on it, and then you start bloody worrying what other people think, and questioning yourself. Which is stupid because you're never going to find a name that everyone in the whole world loves. At least once the baby is born and the name is a fait accompli, people usually have the manners to nod and smile politely, and say how delightful it is... (and then slag it off behind your back, but y'know, them's the breaks).

We've spent most of this week on Nameberry, shouting out different options to each other and getting more and more confused. I am now hoping that once Chip is born, we'll look at her little face and the right name will become abundantly clear. What do you reckon? Otherwise we may end up calling her Chip* for life...

Sigh. Back to the ice cream, methinks.


*for those that are interested, 'Chip' came about from when my pregnancy app Glow told me that Chip was the size of a chocolate chip. I started calling her 'the chip' when referencing how she made me feel (nauseous, tired, hungry etc etc) and it stuck. I quite like it as a nickname actually and if she'd been a boy, we really might have considered it...

23 Weeks

Look, I'm all in a muddle now. I'm 23 weeks today (hurrah!), which I thought meant I had graduated to a butternut squash, but apparently not, apparently (at least according to my Glow Nurture app) I'm on an ear of corn (spiky). Yet the handy chart above says that that's actually next week, and I am in fact still on a papaya. I'm not trying to cheat, honest. Can we all just agree that the fruit and veg thing is COMPLETELY STUPID AND ANNOYING? Thank you.

Not much has happened this week except for the following:

1) I have developed acid reflux/regurgitation. This is pretty horrible, especially after my bout of norovirus the other week. Now, after every meal, all the food I've eaten seems to decide to jump up and down my oesophagus, despite the fact it's been very firmly SWALLOWED. Put simply, I keep being sick into my mouth. It's lovely. Really lovely. The only thing that helps is Gaviscon Double Action (the liquid), which I am getting through tons of. I think it basically creates a seal on the top of your food pipe that keeps the food in your stomach where it belongs.

What's weird about this is that I don't feel nauseous at all, but I can't seem to keep food down. Literally! It's especially bad in the evenings when I slump on the sofa after dinner. Slumping is bad. Slumping has always been bad, but is now forbidden.

2) The baby has been doing lots and lots of partying in my uterus. And I really love it! Oli got freaked out the other day because you can now actually watch my stomach jumping about. I have yet to see a hand or foot print emerge from under my skin, but there are definite ripples and peaks that appear when the baby moves. I know it sounds kind of gross and horrible, and I always saw it that way before I got pregnant myself, but it's actually so cute and lovely and really does make me grin. (Apart from when the baby decides to do it at 2.40am and keeps me awake - babies seem to like moving about just when you want to go to sleep, so I've realised. Guess this is something to get used to).

Other than that, I thought this week I might have a bit of a rant about maternity clothes. If blue doesn't suit you and you don't like wearing stripes, you better adopt. That's all I can say. ALL HIGH STREET MATERNITY CLOTHES ARE BLUE AND/OR STRIPED. Seriously, it's like some kind of friggin' uniform, marking you out. 'Look everyone! this bird had sex in the last few months!' There's truly nothing more depressing than JoJo Maman Bebe's maternity section - I managed to find a few pieces that didn't make me want to shoot myself but the lack of imagination involved in designing maternity wear is shameful. And don't even go into Mothercare unless you want to despair for humanity.

As I'm so vain (as established earlier in my pregnancy) I have been scouring the internet for alternatives to traditional maternity clothes and thus found Seraphine, Isabella Oliver and my absolute favourite, Madderson London. These brands have saved me, but my god they're pricey. I've also bought a load of things in Cos, which has plenty of oversized tops that aren't maternity but work really well. But I would say 90% of my maternity wardrobe is from Seraphine, who thankfully have really good sales on quite often. Their bamboo leggings are my new favourite things in the world (something weird, is it just me? I really don't like wearing trousers now I'm pregnant, and jeans especially, even maternity ones - too much constriction around my tummy). And I've also picked up a rather yawnsome but practical grey maxi skirt from them which I can see myself wearing all summer until it falls apart.

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Anyway to end this post, here's a pic of me in both the skirt (looking depressingly knackered) and some stripes (conforming). Apologies for the black bra under the white vest top (rant on maternity bras also soon to come) and the massive VPL in both pics (made you look!) but common decency has given way to comfort and I don't care anymore. I'm pregnant. This is the only time in my life when eating microwave spaghetti carbonara will not make me feel guilty, and when I don't give two hoots about the state of my underwear. So there.