Most weekends of this pregnancy have been spent in bed sleeping … or watching stunning small screen cinematic productions such as Classic Cops and Street Crime UK.  This weekend however, BOB’s been forced to be jiggling and shaken about as I actually got out of bed to do something.   In fact, both days of the weekend will have been spent out and about.

Yesterday, we took BOB (along with Bambino D’Ambrosio), to Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Festival of Food.  Okay, the zoo may have been more up BOB’s alley, but Momma wanted some free samples!  And apparently a £6.50 bottle of Balsamic Glaze with White Truffles that she ( being me) has no idea what to do with other that to eat it straight from the bottle.

Before heading off to Stratford for our walk about the town, I checked the weather that said “light rain and a high of 13 degrees” so I decided to bundle BOB up nicely and head out.  Whilst doing that, I noticed that a shirt that had managed to cover my belly two weeks ago was struggling to do so this week, even when I was yanking down on it as though it would some how Go-Go-Gadget and become a longer shirt.   So I went into the washroom to look in the mirror to see what was going on and before my eyes I realised …. I’m too huge… from the side anyway.  I was just coming to grips with seeing my belly button changing shape, and now I’ve got to think about going and buying clothing that cover my burgeoning belly.

As I was safely tucked behind the over-the-bump panel of the maternity jeans I had on, I thought I’d actually start to properly document BOB’s growth as my aunt has kindly requested me to do weeks ago.  Up until now, I just thought it was “me” that was feeling so big and that there wouldn’t be all that much to notice in a photo.  Apparently, I was wrong… again.

So below you will find BOB at 19 weeks (+ 4 days):

19 week profile

Yay no popping belly button yet!!!

19 weeks front on

Not so bad from the front, but getting there!

19 week belly shirt

This shirt used to go past the top of the jeans!

19 weeks tucked away front

All tucked away and not so noticeable from the  front….

And then…..

19 weeks tucked away side

“HERE I AM!!!”

It frightens me to see these because all I can think is…   oO(and this is is only shy of HALF WAY!)

I’ve officially lost my mind. Every last brain cell has sneaked out my massive head whilst I wasn’t looking. Today was the topper. I don’t think that there is any going back to the woman I once was.

No, I didn’t wear two different coloured shoes to work (again).

It was worse. Much worse. And what adds to it being worse is that it took me AGES to notice.

Notice what, you might be wondering….

… when you find out you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Today, I, all 31 years old of me, wore my underwear/knickers/whatever you want to call them … to work…. backwards.

This was not a tribute to Kris Kross or a bold new maternity wear fashion statement. Nope. I’ve just plain gone and lost my mind.

Excuse me whilst I go to sleep and hope I wake from my lovely slumber to find it has all been a dream.

Today was a good day.  Today was a trying day.  Today scared the crap out of me and today calmed me down.  Sort of.

Lee and I got to start a little later this morning as we had my Obstetrics Ante-natal clinic to attend.  I read last night that I’d need a urine sample so I had the container all ready for the morning.  However, I decided that as it was not until 10.30, that I’d wait for a second pee.  Well that turned into a third and fourth because I’d scared myself so much with my crazy dreams, that I couldn’t go.  A pregnant woman who couldn’t pee – and you thought that was impossible.

Anyway, we got to the hospital and one of the first questions they asked was whether I had brought my “water” sample.  I nervously laughed and explained that I was trying but having some troubles.  Lee located another sample container – this one not so narrow so made me less nervous and I was off.  I produced the world’s smallest “water” sample and went to the reception desk to ask if it was enough.  They laughed and said that they thought it would be fine and not to worry.   Easy for them to say… I still had no idea what went on in one of these clinics.

So we waited and waited and finally a midwife calls my name.  We walk in, Lee yawns and they strap me to the blood pressure machine.  I’d already prepared myself for the fact that I was going to be told that not only did I have preeclampsia but also gestational diabetes.  Thankfully when the machine dinged to let us all know that it was done, they revealed that I had “clean” urine and my blood pressure was great.  Phew!! Two less things to worry about…until next time.

So back to the waiting room where we waited to be seen by the obstetrician.  This man calls me in, not who we were expecting, but better than the option of the woman I had already decided that I could not stand.  We go through my gyne history and the pregnancy so far, he tells me to hop up on the table and starts feeling around my stomach.  The first thing he says:  “I don’t feel anything”

My heart leapt into my throat and then sunk into a pit in my stomach.   Then he explained “I don’t feel anything…wrong”.

So PHEW number 2

Next he whips out the heartbeat listening thingy.  I was so happy that Lee was finally going to be able to hear BOB’s ticker since he had missed it last time and I knew that we have such a well behaved child that it would go off without a hitch.  And that’s when the games began.  Every now and then you’d hear the *whoop* of the probe catching a heartbeat…and then nothing.   Then you’d hear a quiet one ….and then nothing.  And then for the longest time… nothing.  I was seriously on the verge of both crying and passing out.   And then, to the left and above my belly button this *whompwhompwhompwhomp* comes out of nowhere.

The weirdest of places to find BOB, but as my mom says – “BOB’s got a big house”, so I guess he or she is making use of it before they grow too big for fun and frivolity.

I cannot believe that my child is already  playing mind games with me.   At least there is no doubt who the mother is.   Am I ready for another me?!!?

— kind of off topic — last time I heard the heartbeat it was a strong steady but mellow beat.  I was convinced that BOB was indeed a boy.  This time out…. totally different heartbeat.  Lee says that it resembled a helicopter.  I’m now no longer totally convinced of the boyishness and believe that BOB may indeed be a girl, or that the ultrasound lied and there was a second one lodged up on my left side that went undetected.

For now I may not know, but I’m just happy that BOB is being BOB and still playing hard at the growing thing.

We’re over 45% of the way in to this.  I am getting better, and at the same time getting worse.  This week I managed to get three different sort of stomachaches in one massive stomach.   Now THAT’s talent.

But worse than that, so much worse, is that I’m losing my mind.  It’s sad but true … I’m becoming one of them.  “Who?” you may ask…. a blonde.  Yes, one of THEM.  How can I go from being normal old me, to rivalling Jessica Simpson for lack of oxygen to the brain?

Tonight alone presented too many examples.  One a day I may be able to take, but in the span of two hours I had both Lee and a colleague thinking that I was completely loopy.  Far more than normal.   For instance, when we were done our meal and they brought out the hot towels and a plate of lemon to the table.  We sat there chatting for the longest while, and then I innocently turned to my colleague (family restaurant) and said “are these for our fingers?” and he laughed and replied “no, their to cleanse the palate”.   He thought I was joking and I thought he was being sarcastic.   And then I was told, that the plate of “lemon” was a plate of orange slices.

At least it was only Lee around when I asked “how do you do Balti for takeaway”… innocently assuming that it HAD to be served in a Balti dish.

It’s getting to frightening levels.  I was only just getting used to asking Lee the same thing 2 times in 10 minutes or faxing the same request for something 3 times in a day because each time I was convinced I’d never done it before.  I’ve heard of pregnancy amnesia, but this is straight up pregnancy brainfarts.  I am losing the ability to process thought and the ability to cache any thought I manage to process.

Please tell me it gets better from here.  Because walking like the hunchback of Notre Dame thanks to the torn stomach muscles and being perma-spaced are not really looks I wear well.   Then again, they cannot be worse than the excess baggage I’ve been dragging around for weeks on end.

I want to bloom damnit.  Surely it’s my time to “glow”?   Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

The hardest part of this pregnancy so far has not been all of the nausea, headaches, sleeping, stuffy nose etc. It has been doing this all without my Daddy. I know that it is supposed to be the happiest time in my life, but I am struggling to allow myself to enjoy it because my heart is still completely shattered. I never imagined that I’d go through this without him and even though it is happening, I still cannot imagine it. Probably more so that I don’t want to imagine it.

It’s become something to laugh over at how easily I cry at the television these days and although I am sure that some of it is down to hormones, most of it is down to the fact that I expend most of my energy trying to be as happy as I am “supposed” to be right now. I’ve just not figured out how to do it properly. And it is something that I wish I didn’t have to figure out.

Let’s face it, if my Dad were still around I’d be told every day that I am doing this all wrong and I’d get a list of “how you should do it”, and even when I would complete the list I’d still be doing it wrong. But at the end of the day, I’d know he’d still be there and inside he’d be even happier than I would. But as happy as I am, and don’t get me wrong.. I am thrilled, I can’t ever be as happy as I imagined I would be. And that, that makes me sad. Sad to the point where I have more snot running down my face than tears. Sad to the point where I feel lost all over again. And I don’t want to do lost, I’d only just started to find my way.

This is hard. I knew it would be, but I had no idea how hard. I just hope that it gets better before it gets worse. That, I cannot handle. And it would not be fair to BOB (nor Lee, but he can escape the tears and snot bubbles, BOB’s kind of stuck with me).

Some people like to play Mozart to their unborn children in order to ensure that they will be born the future Bill Gates or Richard Branson.  Lee and I are different.  We want BOB to be culturally aware and sensitive to those from other backgrounds, so on Saturday we decided to take him on an outing… to Africa.

Srengeti National Park

Okay, so our little bit of Africa was actually located in Whipsnade, but on short notice it was the best we could do.  Plus there were just as many animals to be seen… if you could find them.

We saw lemurs (that scared me), chimpanzees (that did nothing much really), Bison (that smelled), Mara (which were cool), Wolves (I didn’t get why they were there), wallabies, tigers, yaks, rhinos etc.   We even had the opportunity to show BOB what babies of other species looked like.

We’re hoping the baby giraffe doesn’t give him (or Bobette!) a height complex:

Baby Giraffe

However, the baby elephant was quite cute and far enough away that it didn’t smell or make noises to startle BOB like the whistle of the steam engine appeared to do (either that or I just received a coincidental kick right in the middle of my stomach).

Ephalumps

All in all it was a good afternoon out… even if there were no otters in the otter pool, no baby sea lion like advertised outside the pool area and too much mara and wallaby poo around the grass.  BOB enjoyed it for the most part.  At least I am assuming.   When I thought he might be frightened (or I was), I kept him under wraps:

BOB on the inside

But for the most part we released him to enjoy the day and he even proudly sported his Whipsnade Zoo button like I did!

BOB first Badge

It was definitely a good day out and even if she (or he) didn’t learn anything from it, we did!  I mean who knew that red pandas a) existed… b) looked like raccoons and foxes has a swingers party and invited the plushies or c) were so tiny!!!

When I get home from work, I come online and check the same few websites before I get into pyjamas and veg out. Usually I am met with the same old same old and not much that actually shocks me or surprises me or makes me want to cry.

Tonight however, I was met with this when I went to CNN.com:
Police: O.J. possible suspect in alleged theft

SAY IT AIN’T SO! I don’t have enough energy in me to fight the OJ fight. How many classes did I skip in university to keep my eye on The Trial of the Century?! Okay, there were other reasons that I skipped too, but that trial was the most important one. I couldn’t miss a damned thing. Even when I had no idea what was going on… it was still the best thing ever… like Law and Order – LIVE! Like CSI – How not to do it!!

This time though, you’re on your own Orenthal James. This time there won’t be a Johnny Cochrane (mostly because he’s head) or Robert Kardashian (because he’s dead too) and there won’t be me (because although I’m alive, I’m far too tired and nauseous to deal with your ass).

Sure, you’re sitting there thinking “it’s only theft”… but when it comes to OJ Simpson, there is no “only”.

If I was a praying girl, I’d pray for his ass. But I’m not. So I believe I’ve got to finally cut the apron strings and let him go.

Silly man. Silly silly man.

*please note that if he is not charged with this alleged theft, then I will secretly breath a sigh of relief, but continue on the outside to pretend to be completely disgusted.

I swore to myself at the beginning of this roller coaster ride that I would not be one of “those” women who didn’t enjoy every moment of being pregnant and couldn’t wait for it to be over.    I must have crossed my fingers without realising it because as opposed to how the days seemed to be flying by in the early weeks, they are dragging already.  I’m not even halfway there yet.  Everyone at work seems to be going on holidays to lovely, sunny, not Milton Keynes type places … meanwhile I look forward to the end of the day where I can put on pyjamas and ‘enjoy’ my nausea in the comfort of my bed.  That’s when I can get comfortable.

“They” say that pregnant women should lie on their side (preferably left), but “they” forgot to tell BOB, because BOB hates it.  I swear every single time I lie on my side the little dude pinches me or something as evil, because it does not feel nice at all.  Then again, it could be because every now and then to make sure that I am not imagining the belly, I attempt to lie on my stomach which feels really and I mean really strange.  And no doubt is quite uncomfy for the little one.

Speaking of The Belly – how is it that at 17.5 weeks pregnant, I look like I’m waaaaaay further along.  How come I’ve got this Salma Hayek sudden eruption of baby belly, without the benefit of looking like Salma Hayek (minus that short and surely pregnancy caused frizzy hair she had there for a while)?!  Though I really don’t need the Boob Explosion that she has going on.  Not cool.  Lee may disagree, but carrying them around normally would be a pain, never mind them and BOB.

I digress…  back to BOB.  When I told my mother about my last midwife appointment and how she said BOB was so well behaved and that the ultrasound photo was so nice, she responded with “what do you expect coming from.. Lee”.  Well, I’ll have her… and anyone else reading… know, that BOB takes after me too!  Today I got some money out that I was going to exchange and as I counted it, the tiniest feet in the world started making sure that I knew they were there.  I put the money away and the feet went away.  Later on at the dentist I went to pay and when I got the money out again, the feet came out again.  I think the second time it was in protest at being separated from the money.  Awww.. like mommy like BOB.

So there it is.  The past ten days have seen BOB start kicking … though it feels more like he or she is fluttering their uber long eyelashes (from Lee!) against my insides… and the return of the choking nausea feeling, my first purchase of maternity jeans (which make me feel really weird) and the first time we have purchased something specifically for BOB  – a lovely happyfaced skull and crossbones number courtesy of Lee’s Taste.

Other than that, not much action.  Still struggling to make it through the day and addicted to Take on the Takeaway and Hell’s Kitchen.   BOB is so going to be a foodie.

I think I’ve just jinxed myself.

Update time! Only …. 157 days 18 hours 47 minutes left!!

Today was my 16 week mid-wife appointment (coincidentally on the day that I become 16 weeks pregnant).  I went to give my verdict on whether I was going to go for the screening for Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifida and some other degenerative spinal cord diseases.  Oh, and also to find out if I’d test positive for Syphilis, Gonorrhoea,  HIV ….or  low  iron.  We went through the results first and I am pleased to say that my blood is all good.  Even my iron levels were described as “very decent” – a first in my often low ironed life.

Then came the “do you want to…” question regarding the screening, to which I declined.   I was expecting some sort of lecture, but she laughed and said that so far everyone that day had said no.   We did the blood pressure thing – all good, and tested my pee – all good again,  and then we weighed me.  With my head turned away I was nervous that she was going to lay into me and say that I must be eating crap because I’d gained too much weight, yet in the past 8 weeks I’ve gained 2.2 lbs (or 1kg).  When I asked if that was alright she replied with “that’s normal for someone who hasn’t been eating much”.  haha hahahah HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

ha.

I should have recorded that.

Actually, what I wish I had recorded was the heartbeat listening session.  Knowing how the horseshoe up my bum has rusted over the years, I’d braced myself for the inevitable – ooh we can’t find the heartbeat today… maybe next time.  Instead, as soon as the gellified probe was placed on my tummy there was a “whomp” and then nothing.  She had a slight giggle and explained that the baby was moving.  She put it back on and you could hear a quiet and steady heartbeat that got louder and louder and louder, but stayed very steady.  I asked if it was normal and she said it was great… I said I think it’s a boy and we discussed why… and then.  And then…..     And then….. I was told magical words that all mothers want to hear, though most never get to…… and which I’ll probably never hear again:

…. “What a well behaved baby you have.”…..

(16 weeks in and I’ve got this little monkey under control.)

(for today anyway)

Only 167 days 18 hours 51 minutes left until BOB arrives and shatters my illusions of producing angelic offspring (much like myself).