Last week, on, “Amber Worries About Everything, OMG, When Will This Woman Calm Down?!” I had the cold, and was convinced it would kill my baby, even although every single person I spoke to about it – including my midwife – was all, “LOL, nope!”

This week, I do NOT have the cold! And no one died! And, actually, it wasn’t even THAT bad a cold, now that I’m able to look back on it, with the clarity of a whole new week behind me. (And quite an important one, too: at 24 weeks, my baby is now technically viable, which means that if he was born now, he’d have a chance of surving: wow!) As if that wasn’t enough good news, however, the baby’s movements have also been much stronger and more regular this week, which means I’ve had slightly fewer freak-outs than usual. I say “slightly” – I do still have my moments, of course, and, unfortunately for me, most of those moments seem to come right before my various medical appointments, which I’m pretty sure is the baby’s way of trying to mess with me, somehow. Thanks, little guy!

week 24 pregnancy diaryThis is how I came to find myself arriving at the hospital for my appointment last week, totally convinced that there was no point in even going ahead with it, because I hadn’t felt the baby move in hours at that point, so some variety of Very Bad Thing had obviously happened: WOE. Luckily, there was a midwife present at the appointment ( A real one, I mean: not a surly teenage one, like I sometimes get…) who was happy to doppler me then and there (I was well and truly doppled, my friends…), and, naturally, the second she put her hand on my bump, the baby kicked her hard, as if to prove that his mother is a lunatic – just in case that wasn’t already obvious. She went ahead and listened in anyway (Everything was totally fine), and she also measured my bump. This was the first time I’d had this done, and because I wasn’t expecting it, I hadn’t thought to worry about (I know, it’s not like me to miss out on an opportunity to worry: I’ll be ON IT next time, though…), but as it turned out, there was no need to worry anyway: the bump was 24cm, which the midwife told me is exactly what they’d expect at 24 weeks. I felt oddly smug about this… right up until Saturday morning, when an appointment for a fetal growth scan dropped through my door, and then all hell broke lose.

So, as I think I’ve mentioned before, in the UK, the 20 week scan is generally the last one you’re offered on the NHS, with growth scans in later pregnancy (This one has been booked for me when I’ll be 28 weeks) normally only being done if the midwife feels there’s a possible problem: normally that the baby isn’t growing properly. Even although I’d literally just been measured a few days before, and had been told that everything was on track, and looking totally normal, I naturally convinced myself that the doctor/midwife must have changed their minds once I left, and booked me in for this extra scan: OMG!

Frustratingly, because it was a Saturday, I wasn’t able to get in touch with someone (Other than Dr Google, who just laughed evilly, and confirmed that, yes, there was almost definitely something wrong: baaaaad Dr Google!) to find out what the hell was going on, but I had another appointment with my midwife this week, and she was able to confirm that, actually, it’s just my advanced age that’s triggered this one: apparently it’s totally normal, and I’ll get another one four weeks after that, so it looks like my days of sitting shaking with nerves in the hospital waiting room are not over quite yet.

On the one hand, I’m quite pleased about this, because it obviously means we get to see the baby again, and make sure everything is OK. On the other hand, though, I find scans pretty terrifying, and was secretly relived to think I wouldn’t have to have another one, unless we do decide to get a private one, for our families to see. Overall, though, I’m fine with it if it’s what the experts deem necessary, so on to this week’s  report…

Next Bonjour baby slogan t-shirt(Slogan t-shirt c/o Next)

Week 24 Pregnancy Symptoms

I actually don’t think there’s anything new to report here, other than the increased strength of the kicks. Terry actually found this pretty freaky earlier this week when I grabbed his hand and placed it on my belly during a particularly vigorous kicking session: I, on the other hand, have come to quite enjoy it, purely because of the reassurance it gives me. I actually think I might miss it once he’s out of there…

Week 24 Pregnancy Purchases/Preparations

I’m pleased to report that this week we FINALLY started to make some progress with my To Do list! We sold our old bed and some of the other contents of the Room O’ Doom (a.k.a the nursery) on Gumtree, and the treadmill is going to my friend – who, luckily, lives right across the street, so I’m sure she’ll let me visit it if I really want to. The old mattress, meanwhile (Which was actually still quite a new mattress…) went to Terry’s mum, and basically everyone who comes into our house is urged to leave with a random item from Doom Room. Having a bit of trouble getting people to take us up on that one, but hey, I’m sure we will prevail!

(There is still no sign of Shed Man, though. He has 11 days to make good on his promise to build the damn shed by the end of the month. Anyone want to place a bet on whether or not he’ll do it?)

In other purchase-related news, although I’ve personally been very good, I think (that new dressing gown I bought totally doesn’t count…), this week packages started arriving addressed to Terry (This was a big shock to the DHL delivery drivers, who are much more used to bringing me ASOS packages…). It turns out that while I’m most looking forward to buying cute baby clothes, Terry’s mostly been using this pregnancy as an excuse to accumulate gadgets. (Baby-related ones, I mean. Well, mostly…) We’ve managed to acquire quite a few of these in the past week: so many, in fact, that I think I’m going to do a separate post on them, as I know everyone will enjoy telling me that there is NO WAY a baby needs all that stuff, and that, in THEIR day they just stuffed the baby in a drawer, and that was that.

Our baby, however, will have gadgets, and we’re not sorry about it.  (His mother, meanwhile, will have a new iPhone for her trouble. That has absolutely nothing to do with anything, by the way: I just want one.)

Oh, and I also re-packed my hospital bag, which, as you might recall, is not a, “going in to have a baby” kind of hospital bag, but more of an, “I’m sure I will randomly have to be hospitalised at some point during this pregnancy, and I really want to make sure I have my earplugs packed,” kind of hospital bag. Yes. There was a request last week for my readers to have “eyes on” the bag, as it were, so here it is:

hospital bag, packedI have a feeling that was probably quite underwhelming, really, but what you can do? This bag is actually designed to be an airline carry-on bag, so I’m hoping it’ll one day get to carry my stuff to somewhere a lot more pleasant than the hospital. I can but dream.

Oh, and when we were visiting my parents, who have been struggling under the weight of a baby-shopping ban (Things my dad has had to be talked out of buying so far: a ride-on car, a train set, a tiny Ralph Lauren jacket, and a small aircraft. And no, that isn’t gender stereotyping, by the way: with the exception of the jacket and, well, the airplane, I had all of that stuff myself as a child, so he’d have wanted to buy exactly the same for a girl…), this weekend, I mentioned that Stuff had started to arrive, and my mum immediately left the room and returned a few minutes later clutching a packet of muslin cloths. It seems that at some point in the last week or so, the strain of not shopping had broken her, and she’d gone rogue in the baby department somewhere. She had managed to restrict herself to just one set of muslins (Which she’s now washed and ironed: awww!), but while I was writing this post, she’s just messaged me from Sainsbury’s to say she’s bought some more, so we are sorted for muslins, people: I repeat, WE ARE SORTED FOR MUSLINS.

(We will definitely be needing more muslins, though.)

Honestly, I’m not totally convinced that there isn’t a small, pedal-powered airplane lurking somewhere in my parents’ house right now, but now that they know we’ve bought a few things ourselves, I guess it’ll be a bit like that time the Chamber of Secrets was opened in Harry Potter, and who knows what will come out of it? Other than muslin clothes, obviously?

Week 24 Pregnancy Fears

In addition to the whole, “how on earth am I going to get this baby out of me?” debate, I’ve also started pre-emptively worrying about post-partum hair loss. Yeah, I know it generally doesn’t start until a few months after the baby is born, but hey, its never too early to get in a good ol’ worry session, is it? On second thoughts, don’t answer that…

I’m particularly worried about this because, although I know it’s totally normal to lose more hair than usual after having a baby, I also know that my eyelashes just haven’t been the same since those methotrexate injections I had back in December, and I’m worried that this means my hair will never grow back either when it does start coming out in chunks, which seems to be inevitable, from what I’ve read. And no, I should stress here that it hasn’t actually started falling out – YET – but it doesn’t seem to be any thicker than usual, either (WHERE IS THE THICK, LUSTROUS HAIR I WAS PROMISED?!) and although people say you only lose hair post-partum because you DON’T lose it during pregnancy itself, my rate of hair loss seems to be exactly the same as it’s always been so far. So if my hair isn’t any thicker than usual, and then I suddenly start losing tons of it, on top of the hair that I ALREADY lose naturally every day, well, I’m going to be straight-up BALD, aren’t I? And what if it never grows back? WHAT IF, PEOPLE?

Hey, you know what else makes your hair fall out? Stressing over whether or not your hair will fall out. Pregnancy is just SO UNFAIR, really, isn’t it? I mean, here was I thinking I was really looking forward to 2018, because I’ll have my body back, and won’t have to worry about medical stuff quite so much, but now I’m facing going into next summer bald, overweight (Because you NEVER lose the baby weight, apparently. Never.), and with my feet wrapped in a couple of old sacks, because none of my shoes will fit me any more, and I really can’t afford to replace them all.

But it will ALL BE BE WORTH IT. Obviously.

(Talk to me about post-partum hair loss, though, people: tell me it’ll all be OK, and it will grow back, I beg you!)

25 Comments
  1. Loving the hospital case, it will look good post-partim when you’re trying to get an upgrade on a flight.
    When you get the next scan they might do a 4D one so you can see the baby’s face (that will make you cry with joy).
    One thought about your hair – if it’s not thicker now, maybe you won’t lose it at all.

    Another thought, about bras – wait and see what your breasts are like (they may be bigger and tender if you are breastfeeding and you’ll need specialist bras).

  2. If you haven’t noticed any difference in your hair now then I doubt you will notice any difference after. My hair did get thicker during pregnancy. It was the only time in my life I have ever had long, lustrous, locks. However, even afterwards, it didn’t fall out in any dramatic way. No clumps of hair in the shower or tons of hair in my brush. I just slowly returned to the mediocre hair I originally had. And since you don’t have mediocre hair to begin with I think you will be fine.

  3. I don’t remember my sister complaining about hair loss with either of her two.
    Tell your parents that whatever they buy stays at their house. My sister is quite adept at keeping stuff at grandma’s house, and she’s even managed to palm off a large dolls’ house on one of her neighbours! (Who, to be fair, is kind of a surrogate grandparent to my nieces and does look after them both on a regular basis.)

  4. My hair is usually quite thick. It got no thicker in pregnancy and was lacklustre rather than lustrous for the first 20 weeks. I noticed no extra hair loss afterwards and I assumed that was because I hadn’t been follicly blessed during the pregnancy.

    1. Finally an upside to not getting the pregnancy “glow” everyone talks about! I was quite disappointed that I didn’t get the thick, lustrous hair I was promised, but I’d rather than just continue with my usual hair, if it means I don’t have to lose it afterwards!

  5. Funnily enough I didn’t really notice the hair falling out post-partum, but what I did notice was the subsequent regrowth – like a little fuzzy halo of new baby hair all over my head. Mostly it wasn’t noticeable because I still had lots of normal length hair on my head (and I do not have thick lustrous hair at the best of times, quite the opposite) but around my hairline it came in like a teeny fringe. Sorryyyyy. If it’s any consolation, it’s mostly caught up with the rest of my hair now, three years later – except of course I am stupidly having another child now so here we go again! I already have plans to get a proper fringe cut in after the baby’s born (last time I went for a pixie crop which worked great to hide the regrowth but was pretty drastic in hindsight).

    On the subject of baby kicks, one of the most delightful things after your baby is born is seeing it wriggling and waving its wee arms and legs around every time you put it down, and suddenly realising that that’s what it was doing INSIDE YOUR BODY. It’s mesmerising and adorable and meant that I didn’t miss feeling the kicks on the inside at all.

    1. I think I can deal with the regrowth, it’s the idea of bald spots that was freaking me out!

      I can totally imagine how amazing it must be after they’re born to see them kicking etc! I remember visiting my friend in hospital when her baby was born a few weeks early (totally healthy, thankfully), and I just couldn’t get over the fact that she should technically still have been in the womb at that point, and would have looked exactly as she did at that moment -it really is amazing!

  6. I had the same experience as Jennifer: thicker hair during pregnancy, back to normal a few months after my daughter was born. Also neither of my sisters had hair loss with their kids so it isn’t inevitable.

    P.S. I still wear all my old shoes too!

  7. Have to ask – what are “muslins?” I know what muslin cloth is, of course – but in the UK or Scotland, is “a” muslin a nappy/diaper? Or another type of baby clothing, perhaps? Or what my family elegantly called “spit-up cloths?”

    Whatever they are, I know you can count on your Mum to provide All You Need.

    1. It’s a cloth made out of muslin that has a various different uses: you can drape it over your shoulder to protect your clothes if the baby throws up, use it to mop up afterwards, or if they’re large enough, you can use them for swaddling:

      http://www.mothercare.com/muslins/my-first-grey-muslins-xl—2-pack/245140.html?cgid=feeding_muslins#start=7

  8. I am a redhead, too, and I never lost any hair or had any thinning.

    As for the c-Section business. ..I had to have one after 33 hours of labor. The little guy could not get through the canal (too small for his head). I was given a spinal block and breezed through it. Healthy baby, healthy (albeit tired) mama. I stayed 4 days in hospital and took full advantage of it. We made my room like a ☆☆☆☆ hotel room with a beautiful throw on my bed, flowers, my own robe and slippers, lotions, and such. I slept…a lot…and one nurse even rubbed my aching back as my milk came in (after a hot shower). We were also allowed to keep wine in the room as a wee dram helps with the milk coming in.

    Recovery is about 6 weeks and I was actually relieved to have had a c-section. Hint: Roll onto your side to get out of bed to avoid soreness from the surgery site.

    You are going to be fine and so is your beautiful baby. ❤❤❤

  9. Hair loss stories: in the first pregnancy I didn’t get the wonderful pregnancy hair, but then I didn’t notice that much of a hair loss. In the second pregnancy my hair looked AMAZING, and this is said by someone who has never loved her hair. When my baby turned three months old though, my hair started falling down in CHUNKS (helped by little fists), especially along my hairline. It’s all growing back, though. (Good news, I know, but this amount of baby hair along my hairline is weird…)
    So maybe it will be for you as it was for my first pregnancy, and you won’t be hit so hard…

  10. I noticed my hair getting thicker towards the end of pregnancy and hardly any fell out. A few months afterwards, it had gone back to the normal amount falling out – no chunks or bald spots whatsoever. Hope that hair related tale helps a little 🙂

  11. This truly is the first I’ve ever heard of hair loss, before, during or after pregnancy – and my baby is 38. My hair was fine throughout. If it changed, I didn’t notice and I didn’t lose any more than normal either. To my chagrin, though, I was called an elderly prima gravida because I was ‘quite old to be having a first baby’ (I was 28). Also the baby weight dropped off me quite soon afterwards, so that tale of never being able to get rid of baby weight is – well – just a tale as far as I’m concerned. Mind you, in my case, it could have been something to do with the fact that I gave birth in Australia, didn’t have any family around me and my partner had just one day paternity leave (ha!) – and only then because it was a bank holiday! So I think the weight dropped off because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Amazingly, we did survive and returned to live in the UK with our healthy, live specimen seven months later. That was just my experience though, and everyone’s experience is unique. Looking back, I just wish I had enjoyed the whole thing a bit more. Easy to say, difficult to do at the actual time.

  12. Love your hospital bag!! I definitely want a more posh hospital my next time around. With my first pregnancy, my hair flourished. It grew incredibly long and super thick, which was great but frustrating since I already had thick hair and had to be pregnant during the summer months. I didn’t experience a ton of shedding either during postpartum. Fast forward two years later after I had my son and my hair was a hot shedding mess.

    I say all of that to say that the hair shedding is a complete catch 22. It might happen and it might not happen, but if it does, just continue to nourish your hair and it will get back healthy.

  13. I have a lot of hair anyway and didn’t notice any dramatic changes. When hair did come out I didn’t lose in patches. It did feel a bit traumatic seeing the hair but mostly because long hair looks like more. One of my concerns was that my feet would go up in size. Need not have worried, absolutely no issues like that at all. Sure, I was a bit wobbly first time in narrows heels and I don’t often wear my very high ones (i.e. 4+ inch) now but fit is not an issue. It is usually more of a practical consideration around picking up and/or holding (carrying) a child for a long time or actually chasing after a child. Goodness they have a fair turn of speed once they get going! Because I don’t wear the heels as much, I’m just a bit out of practice really. At some point I expect to be racing after taxis, along cobbled streets, in massive high heels again. (I should highlight that this is to attempt to get in said taxi, I’m not a crazed taxi stalker.)

  14. My hair fell out with nursing and it all grew back. And I didn’t really get much more either with my first pregnancy– but it also did NOT fall out in chunks like all my mom friends warned me. Just strands in slightly higher percentage. It all came back, and with this pregnancy is long and thicker. So don’t worry! I mean, you can. But just so you know it’ll be fine. And I am lucky enough to have suuuuuper thin hair. And my feet did not change AT ALL (another thing I was warned about) and all my shoes still fit.

  15. Only now catching up with your blog (baby feels best on my arms and can be very angry if I lay him down). Had no problems with my hair after both pregnancies (only the usual ones I always had). So don’t worry about this!
    I also fit in my old shoes just fine. My feet were only a bit bigger at the end of my second pregnancy, but this was mostly because of the weather (it was so hot the last weeks, had no problem with this at all with my first pregnancy). And I am almost back to my old weight after three months after my second son was born.
    Oh, and you can never have too many muslins. My three year old still uses these to cuddle and to play dress up (he used it to play Darth Vader (don’t ask me, how he knows him) and it was hilarious). They are everywhere in our home.

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