Baby gender: Old wives’ tales

Thanks for everyone’s comments on my recent post where I contemplated moving the baby/pregnancy side of my writing to a different blog.  As a whole, the comments seemed to be mainly positive about remaining on just the one blog so for now, I think I’ll keep things all together here for the time being instead.

Baby scan at 13w 3d

(Our first scan at 13 weeks and 3 days)

At the start of last week Dan and I went for our second scan at the hospital.  The anatomy scan.  We had an early appointment booked in at 8:30am, and a trainee sonographer asked if we minded if she led the scan, supervised by a fully trained sonographer.  It didn’t bother either of us, and in fact it actually ended up probably being much more interesting as we learnt how certain tests were done with the two of them discussed technique throughout our appointment.  Although I have nothing to compare it to, our appointment actually ended up very long, at almost an hour and a half in length by the time everything had been checked.

Even since before we got pregnant, Dan and I have always said that we would not want to find out the gender of our children before birth.  I’m glad we’re on the same page, as it would be rather awkward if one of us wanted to find out and the other didn’t!  The second scan is the one where you can find out which gender the baby is and we went in on the Monday morning a little nervous that the sonographer would accidentally tell us what we were expecting, or it would be very obvious on the scan.  Luckily, neither was the case and we came away without any further clues as to what we were going to be coming home with in October.  (Other than a baby!)

In the very early months I had some inkling that we were having a girl.  After our first scan, the pregnancy began to feel more real and Dan began talking about it more often, always referring to the baby as a ‘he’ or ‘him’, which pushed the girl inkling for me towards a boy.  Now, neither of us really have a clue.  Despite not actually wanting to find out though, Dan and I thought it would be fun to test out some of the old wives tales to see what they predicted we would be having.  I’ll post our results below…

#1: If you are carrying high, you are having a girl

21 weeks pregnant - belly popped


(Taken at 21 weeks pregnant, following a run – I think this was probably the first day I really noticed a big bump rather than just a rounded belly)

I’m not sure at what point in pregnancy you can establish if you are carrying high or low?  Four people this week have said to me that my bump is very small for the number of weeks I am at though, so perhaps I will balloon in a few weeks time and can retake this test then.

#2: If the baby’s heart rate is over 140 bpm you are having a girl

Although only just over the 140bpm mark, the heartbeat was recorded at 144bpm at my 16 week midwife appointment.

#3: If you crave sweet foods, it’s a girl

I’ve really gone off sweet foods.  If someone offers me a chocolate, I’ll probably take it, but there has been a pack of chocolate in the top cupboard of our kitchen for months now and it really does not appeal to me at all, whereas in the past I would have probably snuck one or two pieces per evening until it was all gone!  I went out for a meal on Saturday night organised by a friend who is currently pregnant, due at the start of July.  Despite the desserts (and milkshake desserts, – yes apparently that is a thing!) looking amazing, I really didn’t feel like ordering any of them so went without whilst everyone else tucked in.

#4: If you break out in spots during pregnancy, you’re having a girl

I rarely get spots anyway, and haven’t had any at all since falling pregnant.

#5: If you have bad sickness during your pregnancy, it’s a girl

Although I felt ill for much of the first twelve weeks I was never actually sick luckily.

#6: If you are gaining weight all over, rather than just on your bump, it will be a girl

Dan tells me it’s just on my bump.  (Good Husband!)

#7: If your feet are much warmer during pregnancy than they used to be, it’s a girl

Literally only this morning I found myself tucking my feet under the cushions on the sofa when we had friends round as my tootsies were getting cold.

#8: If you end up frequently moody and grumpy with others, you are having a girl

I think it takes a lot to put me in a grump, and if anything I’ve been much more relaxed and chilled out throughout my pregnancy.

#9: If you find you are graceful, and not in any way clumsy, it is a girl

I could never be described as graceful.  Only clumsy!

#10: If you wake up and find you have slept on your right hand side, it’s a girl

Although I always start off by facing Dan and lying on my right-hand-side in bed, when I wake up it’s always facing to the left.  The left is apparently the side you are supposed to sleep on during pregnancy anyway, as it increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta.

#11: If your partner gains weight during the pregnancy it is a girl

Again, I let Dan answer this question and he assures me no weight has been gained by him!

#12: If, when you thread your wedding ring through a strand of your hair and hold it over your belly it swings from side to side you are having a girl (round in a circle for a boy)

Despite Dan being the other side of the room he told me that my ring was clearly moving round in a mad little circle over the top of my bump.


Boy: 10
Girl: 1
Inconclusive: 1

Baby scan at 20w 6d

(Our second scan at 20 weeks 6 days)

Do you believe in old wives’ tales?
Have I missed any out?
Any guesses on the gender of my baby?

You can read all of my previous pregnancy posts here.

Five things Friday

1. Five years a runner!

One day last week my Timehop alerted me to the fact that I had joined my running club five years ago.  I’ve been a runner for five years! Although some days I think it feels like I’ve been running for so much longer now. I really cannot remember life before running.  What did I even do before all my spare time was spent planning runs, running and blogging about them?!

Running club poster

2. Living on a building site

Despite having moved into our house last July, there are several remaining unpacked boxes in the garage and we’re still waiting to unpack several of the larger items like bookcases and cabinets until after the house is more complete and new carpet goes down.  I did get desperate for storage in the kitchen though and had to move the TV cabinet in as a make-do larder as there was nowhere to store food!

We have been making much more progress just lately and my parents have travelled up to help over several recent weekends.  The aim is to have our house more or less complete in the way that we want it before the Summer holidays is over.

Working on the houseI’ve pretty much accepted that until the Summer there’s a good chance I won’t see my lounge floor as it’s been completely overtaken by tools.  Frustratingly, lots of the jobs that have been completed during recent weekends have been ones with small impact on the overall look of the house.  Between them Dan and Dad have added extractor fans, changed light fittings and fixed creaky floorboards.  All necessary, but very insignificant-seeming in the grand scheme of things!

Dan and I began the task of knocking through and clearing the archway leading from the lounge into the dining room last night.  I’ve convinced Dan to let me have a dresser in the dining room, but to make room we first need to knock into the wasted space taken up by the archway, a task that has been one of many on our to-do-list since moving in last year.

Dan knocking through the archway

Dan knocking through the archwayThe archway is still a work in progress as it begun to get late before we could finish last night.  Another job for the weekend!  The list is so long!

3. Off on holiday!

A few weeks ago when the first of Dan’s many upcoming stag dos took place I got a bit of holiday-envy.  Dan and I haven’t been away since our honeymoon nearly two years ago and with the impending arrival of our baby this coming Autumn I wasn’t sure when we would next get to go away again.  Luckily, Dan is always up for a holiday, and despite already having plans for three weekends away this year (two of them abroad!) he agreed to head away for a few days with his wife as well! 😉  Initially thinking that it would be nice to head away for some time in the Summer around our anniversary in August I was shocked to discover the other day that with most airlines I wouldn’t be able to fly after my 28th week of pregnancy.  My 28th week falls before I begin the Summer holiday from school!  So, we panic booked and are now off for a few days in Prague over the half term holiday instead.  I’ll admit that work has been so busy since we booked the trip that I haven’t even thought since about going away or what we need until now and I’d like to have some sort of plan for the few days we are away.  At least I’m not so big that I won’t be able to enjoy it yet though.

4. My Nephew turned four

Last week our only nephew Jenson, turned four.  He starts school in September which is a really scary thought.  Although we have two nieces who are slightly older, they are not blood nieces, as they are from Dan’s siblings’ partners’ previous relationships.  (Still follow me on that one?!)

As Jenson was having a birthday party in a village hall in the Midlands, Dan and I found ourselves Midland-bound last Sunday.  May birthdays are plentiful in our family and close friends list, and so we arrived in Birmingham a little before shops opened in order to rush round to find cards and presents for all before seeing them that afternoon.  I literally felt like I was a candidate on The Apprentice.  We had a list, we had a time limit, we each had a credit card and on the drive into the city we worked out our game plan for when it came to collecting the items on the list.  Throughout our mad rush round town we repeatedly phoned each other with updates and caught rushed conversations in passing as we bumped into each other between shops!  No day trip from Lord Sugar at the end for us though!  Instead, just a very bad stitch for me and whinging from us both that we were hungry!

We arrived to the party in time to see a stream of superhero dressed four year olds filing through the village hall doors, excitedly handing Jenson his presents.  Jenson wasn’t a fan of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song and clearly did not enjoy the extra attention!

Jenson's fourth birthday party - superheroes


An afternoon filled with seventeen children running around a hall was very loud!  I don’t remember friends’ parents attending birthday parties when I was younger, but all of Jenson’s friends’ parents remained sat around the edges of the hall.  Clearly the etiquette has changed since I was a child.  I made it clear to Dan that when our child is born that he is to accompany said child to all birthday parties.  I had a headache by the time we left on Sunday night!

It was rather entertaining to watch the children interacting though, and I had to stifle my laugh as one Batgirl wearing a lot of leather-look clothes appeared to be doing some sort of interpretive dance to ‘Let it Go’!

No birthday cake this year but I did bring home almost a week’s supply of leftover caprese salad and miniature cheesecakes to take to work with me.

Caprese salad

5. Still loving the ultras

So, even though I can’t run ultras at the moment, I’ve managed to keep involved with one or two…

I am gutted that I am not able to run at the Shires and Spires Northants 35 mile ultra next weekend.  This was my very first ultra back in 2013 and I’ve run the race every year since.  As the race is organised by Go Beyond, I have put my name down for marshaling duties instead this year.  Although I’m not sure if that will make me more aware of the fact that I am missing out?… :(  If you are running next Sunday then look out for me on the registration desk and also at checkpoint 2 out on the course.  This year the design for the medals is looking pretty awesome too…
Shires and Spires medal

…medal envy!

My big target running-wise is still the South Downs Way 100.  I’ve volunteered to marshal at the event this year on the 11th June to get a better insight of the event and hopefully chat to lots of more experienced ultra runners too.

I’d like to think that I will be able to recover from childbirth and return to training quickly, ready to attempt the event myself eight months later in 2017.  Obviously though, I’m still several months away from giving birth so if that becomes an unrealistic target then I will adapt my dates accordingly.  A 100 mile event will still be on the cards though.  And anyway, I hear that women are supposed to be much stronger at running over long distances after having had a baby! 😉 After powering through uncomfortable baby kicks on Tuesday night’s run I figure I could probably power through any stitch I got from running now!

Do you have any plans for the long weekend?
How long have you been running for?
Any suggestions for places to visit/eat out at in Prague?

Running at 20 weeks pregnant

I’m thinking about starting up a second blog.

There are a few things I want to write down about pregnancy and potentially baby musings after having the baby, but I don’t feel like this blog is the place to do that.  This blog is my current baby (along with Bella-cat of course!) where I can chat all things running and doing my best to fit in a healthy lifestyle around the madness that is my life.  I don’t want pregnancy or being a Mum (Uggg! That makes me sound old) to take over from that.  The second blog isn’t in place quite yet, but I very definitely do not want to change AHM from what it has become, so watch this space!…

Having said that, at times I know that pregnancy and baby will cross over into this blog, as they are quickly becoming more and more part of me and the madness that is my life at the moment.  (I have no desire to stand on the scales anytime soon, but when your belly struggles to fit under the desk at work anymore you know you can no longer deny your pregnancy!)
For example, today I want to write about running at 20 weeks pregnant.  That, to me, still fits in with where I see this blog.

Technically I’m actually in my 21st week now, with my final scan taking place next Monday morning, but for the purpose of this post, I am writing about week 20.
This is what I looked like at the start of my 20th week…

19 weeks pregnant


(Yes, the horrific wall colour in our dining room is one of the items on our current house-in-progress list!)

Week 20 was when I started to feel BIG.  Not just that my clothes no longer fit and I was a little tired, but big and incapable of completing silly little tasks that I had always taken for granted before.

On Saturday my parents came to visit for the day.  I say ‘visit’, but my Dad can never just ‘visit’.  His visits always have a purpose and this weekend, like the one a fortnight before was to help us sort out some of the jobs that needed doing on our house.  We moved here last July and although entirely liveable, there were lots of areas of the house that needed improvement.  The bathrooms being one.  We’ve had a plumber round on and off for the last month fitting a new boiler and replacing our old suites for new ones.  (It is so nice to finally have a bath that I can sit down in again…Simple things!)  Anyway, the plumber being in kickstarted a whole host of other jobs that needed doing, including the need for extractor fans, new light fittings and re-tiling of the bathroom.  It was some combination of those tasks that saw my parents arrive bright and early on Saturday morning at our doorstep.  Dan disappeared upstairs to help Dad and my Mum soon settled in the garden to pot up some of the flowers she had brought over for our garden.  My task was to make the drinks and fill the watering can.

Apparently I’m not supposed to put my hands in compost as it contains some element which is not very good for pregnant women.  I also couldn’t lift the heavy pots up to move them across the garden.  I felt a little guilty when I shot out at lunchtime to meet Steph at the Northampton Food Festival, but it was something I had told my parents about before they had arranged to visit.  And besides, several portions of tasty cheese and fudge could only cheer me up, right?!  I could be useful selecting tasty cheeses to bring home!

Lynn Bank Farm cheese from the Northampton Food FestivalI thought the Tomato & Basil was my favourite, but then I tried the Garden Herbs and Garlic one, was torn between the two and ended up coming home with four cheeses!

There was lots going on at the food festival (mainly cheese and fudge!) and Steph and I nibbled on lots of samples on our way round the event (again, mainly cheese and fudge!), stopping to watch a couple of demonstrations taking place.  Luckily, most of the cheese samples were cheddar, so I didn’t have to forgo too many of the offerings.  Although I did look rather longingly at the Prosseco and Baileys shots that were being handed out in one tent.

The weather was rather miserable which was a shame, but it didn’t rain whilst we were there.

On returning home I made another round of teas and offered out slices of fudge before scrubbing the garage door and then waving my parents off as they returned home to Norfolk.  I attempted to help Dan tidy the mess from the drilling upstairs but the task he set for me was to bend down to pick up items from the floor of the hallway, walk to the airing cupboard and place them on the floor inside the airing cupboard door.  Bending over and me haven’t been getting on very well this past fortnight and my belly is now at a size that makes bending over forwards incredibly difficult.  In the end I sat on the floor by the airing cupboard and Dan passed things down to me.  So I did play a part in tidying up, even if it was rather a small one!

Last week at work was a busy one.  Friday was the deadline for the majority of GCSE and A level coursework marks to be sent off to the exam boards by.  Having taught 170 year 11s this year, along with a handful of A level students I had rather a lot of paperwork to be filled in towards the end of last week, meaning that I didn’t manage to slot any evening runs in at all.  With my parents down on the Saturday and the 25k walk on the Sunday I didn’t even get a run in over the weekend either.  This meant that most of Monday at school was spent thinking about where I planned on running that evening and planning some nice easy miles outside in the sun.  I changed into my running gear the second I got home, snapped my watch on my arm and tied my trail shoes in place.

As soon as I got out of the door I knew it wasn’t going to be a good run.  I felt big, I felt blundery and my stomach just felt uncomfortable.  It seemed like my stomach was moving all around inside yet the outside of it was still pretty solid.  I’m at the stage now where some people have started realising that I am pregnant, although nobody apart from one year 10 boy in my ICT option class has mentioned it to my face.  I just see the odd person glancing down to my belly from time to time, and the question silently pass over their face.

Knowing that some people are now aware of my pregnancy has meant that what runs I have gone on I have headed out on the trail or out-of-the-way roads, as I don’t want people to a) assume I am much slower because I am overweight or b) judge me as I have decided to run through my pregnancy.  Both very vain remarks I know, but that is what runs through my head when I’m out with my trainers on at the moment.  I had a few judgemental comments from people (non-running people!) that knew I was running the Milton Keynes half marathon the other week.  I am not someone that is able to just sit in the house and not get out and exercise.  I pity the poor women all those years ago when that was what was advised as best for them for 9 months!  There is every evidence now that in the majority of cases, it is better to be out and gently exercising than sat on your bum for 24 hours of the day!  My midwife even allowed me to start at the Thames Trot 50m event back in February!

So yeah, I managed to get about 3/4 mile on Monday before realising I needed to cut my losses, turn around and head for home.  I’d already walked by this point.  I wasn’t tired, or out of breath, it was just super uncomfortable in my belly and I knew that the walk would do me just as good, probably more so as I wouldn’t overstress my body on a day it clearly wasn’t ready to run.  I reckon my body is having a super workout every time I do run anyway, as it’s now carrying so much extra weight! 😉

Rubbish run

Like last time I posted, sometimes the running is fine and just like pre-pregnancy, but other days I have no chance of completing my planned session and really need to play it by ear.  Annoyingly I’ve felt like I’ve had to avoid my regular club and trail runs with friends for the past couple of weeks for this reason.  It’s frustrating, as I am already starting to miss my running buddies and there are several weeks to go yet!

May steps

To try and make up for my poor running days I have been trying to ensure that I hit 10,000 steps on my Vivofit every day.  I find that this target still gives me an achievable focus even if the baby is lying in an awkward position and making running near-impossible on that day.  There have only been one or two exceptions where I haven’t hit my target since very early on in my pregnancy and I find I feel so much better afterwards for having got out there and moving rather than curling up in a ball on the couch like I find I want to do on some days.

Bump at 20 weeks pregnantThis is me at the end of twenty weeks.  Squinting in the sun, with one foot missing and Dan’s shadow over the top of me.  I got Dan to take several photos for me and this was seriously the best one!

Have you ever chosen to run away from where people can be seen ‘judging’ you?
Do you feel lost when you have to miss out on running sessions with friends?

You can read all of my previous pregnancy posts here.

Waendal walk – 25k

Last weekend was the Waendel walk. Back in 2015 I ran the 25k distance with a group of friends from running club. This year I managed to persuade Dan to join me and we walked the distance instead.

Waendel Walk stamp card

Not only is there a 25k distance, but there are also options to complete a 5k, 10k, 15k, 25k (trail or road) or the 42k (also trail or road) distances. Dan was undecided between the 15 and 25k but I managed to convince him to cover the longer distance, knowing that he would enjoy the plenty of pub stops I knew were along the way!

Initially aiming to arrive by 10am it was probably closer to 10:45 by the time we signed up and were given our wristbands with emergency contacts on.  We were handed a map, along with written instructions and sent out of the back doors to find our own way in the countryside!  There were arrows at every turning anyway, although I think it would have made things even more fun if walkers had to rely on map reading and route directions alone.  The directions were very good to be fair.

The weather was perfect for a walk on Sunday. Beautiful sunshine, happy people and lots of burgers on BBQs at all of the checkpoints. We stopped for ice creams after about a mile! 😉

Dan and I on the Waendel Walk

Every year thousands of walkers come from all over the world to take part in the walk and it’s quite interesting to hear all of the different accents and languages babbling away at each of the pub stops. Several of the foreign entrants tend to display their home flag on their bodies or bags somewhere for all to see, so are fairly easy to pick out.

The first few miles were on road up until we reached checkpoint one at the Old Grammarians Sports field. From here our route took a more off-road path and headed off onto footpaths and bridleways through the surrounding villages of Wellingborough.
Dan got rather frustrated at this point as we became stuck mooching along behind a group of rather slow walkers whilst crossing a series of fields with rather narrow paths crossing through.

Dan and I on the Waendel WalkHe shot past them as soon as the track ended up out on the road again!

The next checkpoint wasn’t long after this, and so we stopped for a drink in the pub after getting our cards stamped.

Dan at The Lamb pub on the Waendel Walk

At each checkpoint you pass you receive an ink stamp in your checkpoint card.  Some of the checkpoints had tied in their stamps with their location.  Checkpoint two was at the sports ground, checkpoint three was at the pub called The Lamb, the fourth checkpoint was by the church and the seventh was run by the local scout group.

Waendel Walk stamp cardAfter the stop at The Lamb we started to lose walkers around us as some of the shorter distances turned off along a different path.  We had started towards the end of the 25k allowed starting time, so had probably begun as some of the back walkers at the event.  Dan and I are both fairly quick walkers though and we found ourselves overtaking others along the whole distance.  (We were probably overtaken back during our pub stops though!)

Dan and I on the Waendel WalkIt was nice being outside and having a route for our walk in the sun.  Since first finding out I was pregnant I’ve made it a mission to try and fit in at least 10,000 steps a day and Dan has been joining me on evening walks around town to make up my step count a couple of times a week.  I must admit I am feeling a little bored of my immediate walking routes now though and it was nice to have a change!

Dan and I on the Waendel WalkWhen we reached the village green at Orlingbury it was time for a burger stop.  Dan had been eyeing the burgers up at previous checkpoints, but we had both decided that it had been too early for lunch until this point.

Dan and I on the Waendel Walk

Checkpoint before last…

Dan and I on the Waendel Walk

It was hot out there.  I got a little burnt!

Several of the footpaths I had run with the trail group at club before, so I knew the majority of the route quite well.  I’d be interested to see where the 42k route took walkers.  Perhaps I’ll try that one next year and learn a few paths for some of my runs!

Just as we were arriving back at the walk HQ we realised that the board for the car park had read that the car park would be shutting at 4:30pm!  (WHY do I always do this?!)  We rushed through the finish, collecting our certificates before speeding back over the road to the public car park only to discover that drivers had 15 minutes grace to exit the car park after it shut.  Phew!

Waendel Walk certificate

Start time: 10:45am ish
Finish time: 4:35pm ish
Burgers consumed: 2 (between us)
Liquids consumed: 2 pints of beer, 2 pints of water, a glass of cranberry and one of apple juice.
Toilet stops taken: 5 (again, between us.  My pregnancy bladder isn’t quite that small yet!)

It was a lovely end to the week.  Shame work starts again on a Monday!

What’s the furthest distance you have covered by walking?
Have you ever taken part in a walking event before?
Do you like to explore the countryside where you live?