So here I am on New Year’s Eve. 20 weeks pregnant. A time when it has become neccassary once again to put makeup on before leaving the house – thank goodness, for the sake of my face and the outside world. I’ve felt human for about 4 weeks now, long enough that I have almost forgotten the hell of the first trimester, only re-surfacing when a well-meaning acquaintance asks how my pregnancy has been going (“WELL… there’s a story. Do you know how it feels to be hit by a bus?” etc etc).
On New Year’s Eve itself we went for dinner at my parent’s house with my mother in law and depressingly they all went to bed at 12.15am drunk and I drove Will and I the 300m home, exhausted. My dad cooked up a feast of lamb and pomegranate cous cous and churros, the non-pregnant people in my family had fun and games with dessert wine and the highlight of my evening was discovering how much better the BBC coverage of the London fireworks was than ITV’s. A far cry from last year’s party debauchery at Pizza East with 23 Australians. Good times.
We were in bed by 12.30am which I think even beats my last pregnant New Year’s Eve experience (Nobu- nightclub- midnight kiss- taxi- 12.45am bed).
As a punishment for not having a hangover my body greeted 2012 with a vile cold. I have termed it ‘manflu’ as it is not real flu but man I am suffering. I can’t breathe through my nose, I have that chapped bit of skin on my top lip that appears when you’ve chafed your face with a whole roll of loo paper and I simultaneously need to sleep but can’t sleep. It’s horrible. I’m sure it’s just a normal cold but with the joy of dodgy pregnancy sinuses I am a monster. A wailing, tired, snot-covered monster.
Christmas was difficult as I count two of my favourite festive activities as drinking wine and eating Stilton, neither of which you are supposed to do a a pregnant person. I embraced the French way and sampled the wine with a couple of mouthfuls of cheese but still had to send myself to bed at 9.45 on Christmas eve. Sneaking a nap with Elfie on the day itself was necessary and I learned that the Radio 4 women’s hour podcast is a very soothing way to fall asleep when your relatives are lucky enough to be downstairs getting rowdy on Bailey’s and Cranium.
(A shot that pretty much represents my daily life: That’s Not My Snowman/Reindeer/Teddy, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mr Men and Bouncy Tiggers)
I can’t remember how much Elfie moved in utero, and at what times, but new baby seems to be a real wriggler. I first felt the baby move about 4 weeks ago whilst driving and Will first felt him the week after that. He is a right kicker, mostly during the evenings. I’ve started getting those weird internal kicks, too, which I used to find hilarious. The ones when the baby either kicks down into the cervix or towards your spine and it just feels like nothing else you’ve ever felt before. Luckily I have grown up enough to not obsessively Google ‘internal injuries from baby kicks’ (or I may have Googled that once, at 2am).
I still don’t feel that I look hugely pregnant which is why I’ve taken to belting a lot of my outfits and my size 10 maternity jeans have become slightly baggy. Whether this is because of my small appetite or the fact they are of dubious Topshop quality, I do not know. I started the pregnancy after losing Elfie’s baby weight at 9 stone 3lbs, dropped a fair amount during the first trimester (I was 8 stone 7 at my week 12 scan) and have now nudged up again to 9 stone 5. I know there is no typical weight gain during pregnancy – I put on nearly 3 stone with Elfie, the last stone being in the final 4 weeks – but I’m confident my diet is as healthy as it possibly could be.
The leaky boobs are back and I’m sure they’ll hang around until needed again, but aside from that and my painful sinuses I’m not noticing any more unpleasant pregnancy symptoms. This is the golden stage of pregnancy – the awful first trimester is over, I can still fit into my clothes, it’s relatively easy to jog or climb stairs and the birth is but a glimmer of reality far in the future. Bring on 30 weeks – that’s when shit gets real.