It’s been another one of those weeks where, every time someone’s asked me how far along I am, I’ve had to stop for a few seconds and think about it, before going, “Oh yeah – 26 weeks!” Or six months, if you prefer, which is just… WOW.

I’ve been pregnant now for half a year: it simultaneously feels much, much longer than that (When I think back to those first few weeks, it feels like a whole different lifetime), and a whole lot shorter, too. Similarly, I feel like the time remaining before he’s finally here is both absolutely endless, and no time at all. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

So, week 26 has been a pretty hectic one: Terry’s mum is still in hospital (Although doing much better than she was this time last week, thankfully), and Terry and I have both had a lot of work stuff to deal with, as well as all of the baby-planning. People tell such dire stories about life with a newborn, though, that I basically feel like once the baby is here, we’re more or less going to just slip into a weird kind of coma state, which we won’t emerge from for at least six months – or possibly not ever, if the worst of the stories are to be believed – so I’ve been doing my best to cram in as much as possible before that happens.

Here’s what we’ve been getting up to this week:

Autumn leavesWeek 26 Pregnancy Highlights

Not strictly pregnancy-related, but this week Terry and I headed into Edinburgh for our friend Gillan’s birthday party. Between Terry’s mum’s illness, plus all of the pregnancy and work-related stuff we’ve had on our plates recently, this was actually the first time we’d managed to catch up with some of our friends since announcing the pregnancy, so it was really great to see them all. I took the opportunity to ask a ton of questions, and it seems that very few of my friends’ feet changed size after pregnancy, and no one went bald, so PHEW, THAT’S A RELIEF.

(There’s always one in every group, though, isn’t there, and whaddya want to bet that I will be that one? That bald, big-footed one? GOD…)

Week 26 Pregnancy Symptoms

I think the only real thing of note here is the fact that my bump has reached a stage where it’s absolutely huge starting to get a little bit… let’s just go with unwieldy here, shall we? Once I’m actually on my feet, I’m fine, and don’t really feel any different, but getting in and out of bed (or up and down from squishy sofas) has started to make me feel a bit like I’m starring in some kind of slapstick comedy, and things like tying my shoelaces (slip-on shoes are my BBFs right now, seriously…), shaving my legs or putting on things like leggings or tights is just a bit… I’ll just leave that to your imagination, actually: it’s better that way.

Oh, and I gave up on painting my toenails a few weeks ago:  I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually quite glad it’s autumn now, and no one ever has to see them!

Week 26 Pregnancy Purchases / Planning

It’s been another big week on the baby planning front, so I’m just going to dive right in, and separate this one into sections again, starting with…

THINGS MY PARENTS BOUGHT:

Now that the ban has been lifted, my parents are shopping with gay abandon. There are more muslin squares. (Seriously, if you’ve been trying to buy muslin squares, but can’t find any, it’s because my mum already bought them all, soz…) There are teeny-tiny socks. There is a cloth thing for swaddling:

Toby the dogAlso pictured: TOBY – who was released from my mum’s custody for just long enough for me to take this photo, before being whisked away again, because I’m pretty sure my mum thinks I’ll just keep him for myself. And I’m pretty sure she’s right, too.

There is this item of complete and utter cuteness:

baby's first dungarees

It’s baby’s first romper suit! Or dungarees! Or whatever it is you call these things, don’t look at me, I don’t know anything about babies, other than that they’re a great excuse to buy cute things! (I know someone’s going to want to gleefully inform me that, “he’ll just throw up on it!” Or that, “babies should only wear onesies!” but… please don’t be That person…) Speaking of which:

Fin the sheep nightlight

There is Fin, the Sheep Night Light! Who is a nightlight, but also a sheep! And, OK, in fairness, my parents didn’t just randomly go out and buy a sheep nightlight (even although that’s totally the kind of thing they would do): I came across him online, instantly wanted him, and then, because my parents are awesome, the next thing I knew, there he was, sitting on my coffee table like it ain’t no thang.

Oh, and when I was speaking to my mum on the phone yesterday, I heard her say to my dad, “There’s another bag in the car: it’s the one with the pram blanket in it!” so either they’ve ALSO bought a pram blanket, or there’s something else going on there that’s just too weird to even think about. I’m guessing it’s the pram blanket, though.

THINGS AMBER AND TERRY BOUGHT: 

As for Terry and I, meanwhile, we’ve been doing a bit of shopping, too, which has included:

Miniature Eames rocking chair

A tiny little rocking chair! It’s a mini version of the larger rocking chair you can see behind it (We got both of them on eBay), and, OK, we DO realise the baby won’t be sitting in a rocking chair for quite some time, but … we just couldn’t resist it, and if you could, well, you’re a better person than me, and that’s a fact.

We also bought:

DIY HELL

A large amount of wood, yay!

This is to allow us to re-fit both the closet in the nursery and the  linen cupboard, so while it’s a boring-ass photo, I’m actually quite excited about it, because, well, I have an entire Pinboard dedicated mostly to the interiors of closets, and I just can’t wait to add my own to it. To move us further towards this goal, this week we sold the existing nursery closet doors on Gumtree (Because you can sell ANYTHING on Gumtree, seriously. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one day Terry lists ME there…): they were sliding mirrored doors, and I hated them with a fiery passion, so we’re replacing them with non-sliding wooden ones, which will allow us better access to the space. When the people came to collect them, they all wished me “good luck” on the way out, and I’m honestly not sure if they meant, “good luck with the rest of the pregnancy,” or just, “good luck sorting out that absolute disaster of a room you’ve got there”.

This is the room in question, as it is right now:

messy junk room: before

It’s, er, one of those, “It has to get worse before it can get better,” situations. Apparently.

Finally:

SHED MAN UPDATE:

I’m just going to sum up the current “shed man” situation with this handy gif:

via GIPHY

So, that’s how I feel about THAT. Yes.

Week 26 Pregnancy Fears:

Again, it’ll come as no surprise to anyone to know that, the more time goes on, the more worried I get about the whole “pushing an entire person out of my body – or, alternatively, having him CUT out,” scenario. It’s … not good, folks. Basically, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve become convinced – like, absolutely 100% convinced – that, no matter which option I go for, I’m going to die in childbirth. I am so sure about this that while half of me has been really enjoying the process of getting everything ready, the other half is just all, “I hope everyone enjoys using that sheep night light and all, because I sure won’t be here to see it!” And I really, truly, think that, too: mostly around 20 minutes after I get into bed, at which point I start panicking about it all, and can’t sleep. It’s a bit of a bummer, really.

As sure as I am that I’m going to die, though (I know, I know: this post started off with cute baby clothes and a sheep-that-is-also-a-light, and now it’s ending with the literal fear of death: sorry…), there’s also a small part of my brain which is still managing to pre-occupy itself with hospital-related fears, so that’s been fun too, obviously. I know I’ve talked this to death, but a large part of my health anxiety is hospital-related, and, as I mentioned last week, my mother-in-law’s current hospitalisation has only served to confirm my worst suspicions about the place.

Right now she’s still in that communal ward, which has six beds, all crammed together, with zero privacy, and one toilet/shower between them all. It still just seems so archaic to me, and I know the maternity unit has the same set-up, so I’m getting gradually more and more freaked out by it. People keep on telling me I won’t care when the time comes, but, even if that’s true, it doesn’t really help me NOW, when there are just SO many health anxiety triggers, and I’m really scared about how I’ll cope being left alone with a new baby and absolutely no privacy. “Not very well,” is my guess (and also Terry’s guess), so that continues to be a source of anxiety, but it’s one I’m going to try to stop talking about now, because I’m even boring myself. GAH.

In an attempt to end this post on a slightly happier note, then, here’s another photo of the tiny chair: you’re welcome!

white Eames chairs: adult and kid's versions

16 Comments
  1. I would like to give you a virtual hug in case it helps with your fear, but I fear it won’t… So I’ll just comment on the lovely chair. I completely empathise. I totally wanted the tiny version of the Ikea Poang chair, but couldn’t justify it because we have no spare space in the house. The first time I was with my child in Ikea and she was old enough to be asked (maybe about 2 and a half?), I asked her if she wanted it, thinking “now is my time! If she says yes there is no stopping me!”… and she said no. Woe is me.

  2. I am hoping your nesting instincts kick in to help calm all the other thoughts. You’re going to be fine, Amber. Really!
    The chair is great, but oh that lambie!

  3. That lamb is the absolute dog’s b……. I have a daft question – what are muslin squares used for? I mean I know what I use them for, but I’m not sure your baby will be needing to filter black currant rum just yet so?

    1. I’ve obviously not tried using them myself, but here’s an article on how other people use them: http://www.uk.momtastic.com/life/173109-muslin-squares-possibly-the-most-useful-baby-item/

  4. I’m going to hope that you’re going to make 5 new best friends in the hospital. This is the optimist in me because I just went on a fantastic girls trip. You’re hanging in there and doing great <3

  5. Have you looked at birth centres? Where I live, there are free standing centres and also centres alongside hospitals. You have your own room, your partner stays with you and all being well, they will send you home the same day. Im sure you’ve already looked into this, it just seems like a good option for you to avoid a hospital stay whilst still being close to the hospital

    1. Yes, there is a birth centre, but they’re only for natural births and I’m possibly having a c-section, which has to be done in the hospital. Even if I don’t, my health anxiety means I’ll feel safer being in the hospital, despite my anxieties about it!

  6. Your post reassures me that my own feelings of living a “double life,” one where everything appears fine on the surface but then there are fears, is not unique. Glad Terry’s mom is doing better and LOVE that lamb! My trick to reaching shoes, painting toenails, was to bend sideways, if that seems possible.

  7. Thank you so much for making me laugh. I have to say that Fin is such a cutie but Toby (especially in that lovely swaddling cloth) has stolen my heart.

  8. My sister had her second child in a public maternity ward and was very apprehensive after using only private healthcare for a long time, but it was great. She was in one of those big rooms alone, then got a chatty neighbor who ate meatballs all the time so she requested another room and got four beds to herself. Hope yours will be nice and quiet too!

    1. I think it’s quite different when you’re dealing with an actual phobia, unfortunately – the wards in our local hospitals are very crowded and noisy (and I’m also extremely shy/introverted, so really hate the thought of people constantly trying to make conversation with me – the chatty neighbour would drive me crazy!), which makes me anxious just visiting them: just hoping the counselling will help!

  9. I’m new to your blog and nowhere near as fashionable but I just wanted to comment on the pregnancy anxiety because I’m so with you on that! I’ve done this whole pregnancy thing twice and I really struggled both times – the first time I struggled to make plans for the baby because I was absolutely certain that something was going to happen to him and that in buying that cute babygro I was in some way jinxing it. When people asked me questions, my answers would always include ‘all being well’ which was code for ‘I know it could all go wrong, don’t think I’m counting on getting a baby out of this.’ I had some complications at the end of my pregnancy and stayed in hospital for a week but honestly – giving birth, in the grand scheme of things, is really really quick. A day or two of your life when you’ve just spent nine months slogging through and worrying about pregnancy. My baby and I were totally healthy in the end and I did it again but the second time around I realised that the way I’d felt was a horrible way to spend 9 months and got some counselling and CBT. The biggest takeaway that came from that was ‘is worrying about this thing right now actually going to make any difference to the outcome?’ and if not, to really try to let it go. That time my labour was less than 3 hours and I was in and out of hospital in less than 12 so it does happen! But being in hospital with my first was actually fine because there were all these people around to help with breastfeeding etc and by the time I got home I was in much better shape than I would have been leaving a day later. So basically, you’ve got this! It will be okay and you’re not alone in feeling this way 🙂 And the baby will totally be sick on that outfit but that’s what washing machines are for.

  10. Don’t know if anyone has told you, but you mustn’t sit up in bed like you’re doing a sit up, you have to roll onto your side and get up from there. Equally as important but almost never mentioned is that you mustn’t lay down that way either – I.e. Do the reverse by lying on your side and rolling over. Your abs aren’t able to work as they were and you can increase the chance of having permanent separation, or something… I’ve never been pregnant but my friend was told this too late and your comment about getting up made me think of it.

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