Blame it on the boogie 

On Friday night I went out with a three of my girl friends. We popped into the local wine bar and I had a lovely glass of bubbles. Much deserved and savoured! Over tapas and more wine (for them) we laughed and talked and laughed and gradually got louder and louder, as only a group of women can do. Luckily the bar held the sound pretty well so we weren’t echoing off the walls…too much! 

After dinner, the cry was to go a couple of doors down for a dance. Carl had text letting me know that Sam was still sleeping (with a photo of the monitor screen to prove it!) and told me to relax and have fun. Although I resisted the girls telling me to get a taxi home rather than drive, I did have pretty shoes on and pretty shoes need a dance floor!! 

Off we went, to find we were the only people in there. Who cares!? 4 girls and 1 dancefloor; we were happy. As we boogied away, I realised that it had been a long time since I last had a night like this. Even though I had a good dance at our Christmas party, I was 7 months pregnant and unable to bust out some of my best (worst) moved. I needed Friday. I didn’t even realise it until I was out and laughing and dancing with the girls.

To go out with people who knew me before I was pregnant, who I used to see all day every day and laugh with all the time…well, it made me feel wonderful. It was up there with Kate’s burlesque birthday party in the summer. 

Sometimes, as much as you adore your children, you need a couple of hours ‘off’ and to be ‘you’. Not so-and-so’s mum (or dad!). 

I wrapped up my night at about 11.30pm and set off home. 

Sam was fast asleep, but Carl’s evening had been tricky. He’d woken 15 minutes after I left and it was 2 hours before he settled again. Luckily, with Carl’s perseverance, patience, rocking, trying to put him down, hugs, offering the bottle, Sam had ‘eventually’ fallen asleep on his own. When he woke an hour later, he cried for a few minutes and fell asleep on his own again. 

This is very new. It happened for the first time on Thursday night when we’d left him for a couple of minutes before Carl went up to settle him…but Sam fell asleep before he opened the door. Maybe he is beginning to learn to fall asleep on his own, without us doing any ‘sleep training’, leaving him to cry or anything else. He’s 8 months old now and maybe he is simply starting to get it. 

Roll on December, when Carl and I have our Christmas party and a night out together…watch out dancefloor!! 

On-going support

imageOne of the most important things you can have during pregnancy is a support network; from your partner, friends, family, or whoever you would turn to… On the hard days they will be the people who pick you up again. On the good days, they’ll be the ones you want to tell.

A major positive we gained from our NCT classes was that additional support group. We all knew what the others were going through and had the same questions. Now that a few of the group have had their babies, we all get together weekly for lunch to have baby cuddles and spend hours chatting about any and everything.

Jude, as our teacher, was (and is) a great resource of information and encouragement. We bumped into her today and her continuing positivity, advice and upbeat personality was – as ever – incredibly helpful. She is always happy for us to call or email with concerns or for advice; she has gone above and beyond what I expected to gain from an NCT teacher.

No matter what sort of pregnancy you have, make sure you surround yourself with people you can talk to. I mentioned making pregnant friends where possible in an earlier blog post, which is also worth reading: ‘Make pregnant friends…who are due both before and after you‘.

For more information on NCT classes, see my earlier blog post ‘To NCT or not to NCT…that is the question‘ and the official NCT website, along with Jude’s page.

The importance of women

For the last couple of days I have been surrounded by my girls. Aside from those hours being full of tea and giggles, this female time is crucial.

Yesterday, a friend popped round for a cuppa and, amazingly, brought lemon drizzle cake with her!! In the evening, I saw another friend for dinner with her and her daughters. Today, I set off to London for lunch with a school friend and her adorable 1 year old son. Tomorrow morning one of my besties is coming round.

Light reading at lunch - I read a whole book today!

Light reading at lunch – I read a whole book today!

Aside from simply enjoying female company (makes a change from talking to our – male – cats all day), a change of scenery is good for the soul. However, when that scenery is also filled with laughter, a healthy dose of catch up ‘gossip’ and women who all have children so are full of knowledge yet refrain from giving advice, I forget how tired I am and feel like I’m more than a nearly 37-weeks pregnant woman who bears a passing resemblance to a whale! At lunch today I genuinely forgot I was pregnant and tired for a while, wholly enjoying watching my friend’s 1 year old entertain both himself and us throughout the meal.

Once habits are set, the control freak in me will continue with them. Routine is my friend! So I am making time for my friends and making the effort to visit them where possible, in the hope that after Bud is born I will remember how wonderful getting out of the house is and how friends make me laugh and will be happy to help me out!

Plus, they bring or make cake!

Gender guesses and why parents-to-be should be spared them

We’re waiting for a surprise. We’re on ‘Team Yellow’.

However you choose to phrase it, we don’t know the sex of the baby.

36 week bump

36 week bump

Not many of my friends have had babies but, whenever I’ve seen someone pregnant, it has never crossed my mind to either hazard a guess at the gender of their baby or to ask if they know what they’re having. If the couple wanted me to know, they would share. Maybe I’m old fashioned that way!

This isn’t to say I necessarily mind the inevitable guesses – I’m continually amused to see that there is generally a (wait for it…) 50/50 split in the predictions (shock!) – most of the time it doesn’t bother me. However, there are some people who I just ‘know’ that, if their guess is right, will be all “Yeah, I knew that”…and that drives me crazy. It almost makes me think that if we have another, we should find out the sex simply so we can say “Yes, we know. No, we aren’t telling” and maybe we’ll be left alone. (FYI, this is a terrible reason to find out).

My advice to non-parents or people who need to be right (you do know if you’re one of them!)…keep your guesses to yourself and, when the baby is born, be pleased for the new parents, with no mention of whether you were ‘right’ or not. The parents have just been through labour and are likely completely overwhelmed with their new addition.

With only 4 weeks to go, we’re likely more curious than anyone and going round in circles about names, decorating decisions and the like. Let us enjoy these final weeks of the unknown, and then be pleased for us once we have our baby in our arms and announce the news.

Afternoon tea with the girls

Tea and cake

Tea and cake

Even if you’ve finished work, if you’re friends with your colleagues then make sure you keep in touch. Today, 5 of us set off to Gorgeous Gerties in Dorking for a spot of afternoon tea – the perfect way to spend a Friday lunch. Some tea, sandwiches, scones and amazing cakes were definitely a great way to end week 2 of maternity leave, especially when coupled with a girly catch up! Unfortunately, they had to go back to work….but I followed them back to the office to continue chatting for a little while!

Before the baby comes, make sure you get out of the house and socialise, just keep plans flexible and local in case you’re exhausted on the day.

Of course, I only went out for 2 hours and returned to find a stack of a parcels waiting! Baby bath, cot bed mattress (since it had £40 off in the Mothercare sale we ordered it well in advance!) and a load of other boxes. Once the nursery is decorated we will be pretty much ready for Bud to arrive…goodness me.

Have a good weekend all, enjoy tea and cakes; that’s an order! x

Uh oh, the 2 week blip

After nearly 2 weeks at home, today is the first day that I’ve thought “would it REALLY matter if I just stayed in my pjs today and didn’t bother to have a shower?”.

In the grand scheme of things, no, it wouldn’t matter at all. However, I promised myself that I would stick to some kind of routine until Bud is born and it’s a slippery slope once you start slobbing out!

Fortunately, I was half way through trying to make a decision when the postman rang the bell. Once you’ve managed to get out of bed and dressed in 5 seconds flat…well, you might as well just get up and shower.

Still, it is hard to motivate myself today; especially when my house job for the day is doing our filing. Hardly the most stimulating task! Also, I was meant to be meeting a friend for lunch in London today but the train station was flooded so no trains were stopping. I’ve been looking forward to it all week so it put me at a bit of a loss.

On the other hand, I just won a gorgeous little all in one suit on eBay, our pram arrived last night (and was immediately claimed by the cat) and the crib bedding has just arrived!

Well, there’s no putting it off…time to do some filing. Or maybe I’ll have a cuppa first….x

"A new bed for me? Thank you!"

“A new bed for me? Thank you!”

eBay bargain of the day

eBay bargain of the day

Make pregnant friends…who due both before and after you

Rather than writing a ‘day by day’ blog, I am simply going to pick up whatever is on my mind that day, interspersed with updates of how we’re getting on.

So, why are pregnant friends important? Firstly, they UNDERSTAND. Others will try and will offer tips/advice (unwanted from those without experience) or empathy (always welcome if you’re feeling rough), but they won’t really understand what you’re going through.

However, when you find out you’re pregnant, you will no doubt start spotting other pregnant women wherever you look; in the street or on facebook, be they strangers, friends or acquaintances. In the early days, knowing people who are further along than you can be a real lifeline. When I suffered with morning sickness until 23 or so weeks, knowing someone who was the same kept me sane in a world where all I could see were women who glowed and danced their way through pregnancy. Other women are wonderful sources of comfort and tips…You can find out when other peoples’ belly buttons popped out and watch yours obsessively…or is that just me??

But then what happens? They have their babies and you’re still pregnant.

I speak from experience when I say that you will be over the moon for them, adore looking through all the newborn photos and love hearing about how naturally they’ve taken to parenthood.

But what you also feel is a form of envy. Firstly, they have met their baby! What greater moment, it’s what we’re all waiting for. Secondly, and let’s be honest here, whether you are scared of labour or – like me – accept it as an inevitability, you will be envious that they have it over and done with!!

If you have friends due after you then you can continue talking pregnancy to them and hopefully pass along tips and advice from your experience. You won’t feel alone and like everyone else is settling into the life you’re unable to prepare yourself fully for, while waddling around getting bored of the wearing the same 3 outfits in rotation because you’ve tried to buy as little as possible in a bid to be frugal…and swearing that if there’s a next time, you will own more than 2 pairs of maternity jeans.

I would recommend ante-natal or NCT classes for this reason alone, if you don’t have any friends due around the same time as you. They will make you feel normal and it is so refreshing talking to others in the exact same position as you. I will go into NCT classes and why we’ve loved them in greater depth another time.

That’s all for today, I’ll be back with something lighter soon! x