All over the UK

When I first fell pregnant last year Dan and I agreed that it was time we stopped travelling around the country to see friends and family.  Instead we decided that it was time they came to see us, or that we met in a mutual location, we saw them less often or all of the above.

We do feel really settled in our little town in Northamptonshire, but when Dan and I took the leap of moving in together we made the unwise decision to move halfway between both Dan’s family and mine so that one of us would never be a four hour journey from their friends and family.  All it actually means though is that we end up traveling ALL THE TIME!  Every time one of our nieces or nephew has a birthday, it requires four hours of driving.  Each time we fancy going out for coffee or a beer (or in my case a hot chocolate or wine) with our best friends it becomes a proper long trek, normally tied in with an overnight stay at parents’ houses, fitting in visits to as many people as practically possible during the time that we are back.  The task is made much more difficult now that Oscar is on the scene too.

Of course we have both made fantastic friends in our new area, having lived here for nearly seven years, but that has added to our growing list of commitments!

Over the past two weeks we have attended a wedding in Birmingham, been to celebrate a friend’s son’s first birthday party in Norwich and then headed to Huddersfield for another friend’s son’s first birthday party…

Sarah and Treble's wedding - Oscar in braces(The Pearsons looking all smart for our first wedding of 2017)

Dinosaur cake for Charles' birthday at the Dinosaur Park

(Check out that cake for a first birthday bash held at the Dinosaur Park in Norwich!)

…In our house we’ve managed to touch up final coats of paint on ceilings, doors, architrave and walls, and move furniture to have the carpet laid upstairs.  (Finally.  No more floorboards!)… Oscar's nursery bedroom(Oscar’s nursery when we first moved in)Oscar's nursery bedroom(And Oscar’s nursery now!)

…We’ve bought a new sofa and armchair set for our lounge and we’re about to take up the carpet in our lounge/diner to reveal the parquet floor underneath.  (Please let there be nothing wrong with it.  I want this house to be DONE!)… Angelic sofa from Dfs(Angelic sofa from Dfs)

…Dan and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary on the 9th August.  I bought Dan a new leather wallet and he gave me a gorgeous leather-bound notebook for my writing.  We stayed at Rutland Water for a night the following week with Oscar, who we took on a walk to Bugtopia the following day.Leather bound notebook for our third anniversary(It’s so lovely I’m not sure I want to spoil it with my handwriting!)

…Oscar also managed to knock my phone off the bed a fortnight ago and I have been phoneless ever since.  It has been sent off for repair, but I’m not sure how much longer I will be without, especially as it has been away during the Bank Holiday weekend.

The first time my phone failed to turn on I shrugged it off and was like ‘Meh.  I’m due an upgrade in November.  I can last until then.’  But actually there’s been several times I’ve wanted to take pictures and not been able to, I’ve fallen madly behind with my emails again and I haven’t read any blogs for days.  I could really have done with my phone over the weekend when Dan and I spent eleven hours in a car over three days attending childrens’ birthday parties!
I hope I get it back soon.

Our home computer is all in pieces at the moment as well, as we moved everything out of our office so that the carpet could go down and I’m waiting for Dan to put up our new desk before constructing the computer again.  I’ve still been out running, but the computer isn’t there for me to sync the runs from my Garmin to Strava at the moment.  I’ll have to do a big batch of them all next week.  Then I can add stats to a post about my snail-killer run, my all-the-paths-with-streetlights run and the run where I ran the same one mile loop on repeat for an hour.

Can you tell I’m about done of lonesome night-time running?!

How long could you survive for without a phone?!
Have you had a busy Summer?
When was the last time you bought new furniture for your house?

37 weeks pregnant

This week was a big one in terms of baby, so expect a long post below.  Life has been absolutely manic just lately and with taking on 190 year 11 students for these first few weeks of term, alongside still renovating the house, trying to keep up with running, managing to fit in a wedding and christening at the weekend (both in different counties)…it’s been a struggle this week and I’ve really been looking forward to my bed each evening!  I’m desperately missing blog reading, and the cathartic process of blogging itself, but there literally have been no spare hours in the day.  Perhaps once my maternity leave begins I can have a proper catch up!

Once again, imagine that I was super organised and had posted this on Tuesday morning, not Friday morning…

37 weeks pregnant

First off, I am now 37 weeks pregnant.  Baby is apparently the size of a striped skunk.  (I gave up hunting for fruits that measured the same size as baby as there didn’t really seem to be very many towards the end, so I moved onto the animal kingdom instead!)

21 days until my due date, although my delivery date may be much closer.  More on that to follow though…

Appointments

Last Thursday was a busy day for me with both my Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) in the morning, followed by a midwife appointment in the afternoon.  I didn’t believe that I had gestational diabetes, despite a trace showing up twice.  The baby has always measured as small, and I don’t eat a huge amount of sweet items on a day-to-day basis anyway, but I really went off chocolate and dessert in general when I fell pregnant at the start of the year.  To be on the safe side though, the midwife booked me in for a GTT following the two appointments where my samples showed a trace.

A GTT involves fasting from 10pm.  You then arrive at the blood centre the following morning to have a sample of blood taken.  This blood is used to measure the baseline level of sugar in the blood.  After your blood has been taken, you are given a sugar-based drink to consume.  Speaking as someone that barely strays from water or milk when it comes to drink choices and who had been dreading downing a sickly, sugary drink on an empty stomach, it wasn’t actually that bad.  I did have to sip it slowly though and it won’t be anything I rush off to stock up on in my fridge!  You’re then moved into the waiting room, where you have to sit still for two hours until they can take another sample of your blood.  Sitting as still as possible whilst baby feels like it’s squirming around in your stomach – high on a sugar rush – is very difficult and I felt rather squirmy myself by the end of it!

37 weeks pregnant

I returned to school for the afternoon following my GTT, only to rush back after my final lesson for a midwife appointment at 4:30pm.  I felt much better at this appointment than I had done at the previous visit.  My sample showed no trace this time, and when questioning my blood results from that morning, I was told that my iron levels had increased marginally from 105 to 107.  Still a lower number than they would like, but heading in the right direction.  The midwife wasn’t able to confirm the results from my GTT at the time, but I have since had confirmation that I do not have gestational diabetes.

I told the midwife that I was pretty sure that the baby was still head up, despite my attempts to turn it with bouncing on my gym ball amongst other things.  She confirmed almost immediately that this was the case, and the baby’s head was in fact still very much lodged up in my ribs. She located the heartbeat with ease and everything sounded healthy from that respect, before measuring bump at just under 33cms.  For the first time she commented that this was rather small for the number of weeks that I was at.

After returning to my seat she told me that she was going to refer me to a consultant at Kettering Hospital.  Baby should not still be this way up in the 37th week and Kettering Hospital would not let me deliver naturally if the baby was to remain breech.  She explained that the procedure would be to head in for a scan at the end of the following week (today) where they would determine the exact position of the baby and establish whether or not attempting to turn it would be an option.  Attempting to turn can itself become a problem if the waters break or the umbilical cord becomes tangled.

If turning was an option, then they would offer it to me, and if not/if turning failed, I would be booked in for a caesarean at 38.5-39 weeks.  NOT the news I wanted to hear, and I was rather upset on Thursday night following my midwife appointment.  The midwife was so sure that the baby wouldn’t turn at this point and that they would also be unable to turn it manually, that I do not even have any more midwife appointments booked in following my scan.

I have come to accept the decision over the course of the week and obviously know that if ultimately the decision is made by the hospital that I require a caesarean, that they know best, and it will be best for both me and baby.  But it still wasn’t the easiest to get my head around.  (I will blog about my feelings on this at some point in more detail.)

Purchases

Not a purchase as such, but the midwife handed me a Labour Information Pack at my appointment.

Labour pregnancy pack from the midwife

To be honest, it was a bit of a kick in the teeth after literally just having said she probably wouldn’t see me again before the baby as I would need a caesarean so I’m not sure what use she thought a ‘labour’ pack would be if she didn’t think I was going to go into labour!

Labour pregnancy pack from the midwifeI didn’t open it straight away as I took time to get my head around the possible caesarean first.  It contained the usual though – lots of small samples of baby products and a booklet on what to expect during labour.  One of our upstairs spare rooms is pretty much full with samples now!

Social

Although work has been manic Monday-Friday once again, Dan and I still made it to the pub quiz on Monday night, where the regulars all questioned me on how I was doing.

On Saturday we were at a wedding in Norfolk.  Dan offered to drive luckily (on the condition that I was to drive home afterwards so that he could have a drink).

Dan and I at Mike and Jo's weddingUnluckily, this meant that Dan was then free to drink quite a lot of the red wine (of which we ended up with four bottles on our table?!) as we were sat with friends – quite a lot of them who had kids.  Moment of the evening: when Dan fell over our friend’s 16-month-old at the table and poured an entire glass of red wine over the top of her, covering her and her white dress.  She just looked up with wine dripping off her from everywhere!  Luckily her Mum was prepared and had brought a spare dress.  Before swapping them though, she quickly opened up a new bottle of white wine and started dousing her child in that as well!  Apparently white wine eliminates red wine stains!

The wedding was for one of my friends from uni, and it had been quite a while since I had seen several of the crowd that were there on Saturday.  In fact, having not made large announcements about my pregnancy on social media, and not being one to rush to text people when we got our positive test, none of them actually knew I was pregnant until I saw them at the weekend.  It took a friend’s partner to say “Oh congratulations, Al never told me you were pregnant!” following the service before everyone else uttered noises of “I’m so glad you said something!” to her and began asking me questions about the pregnancy.  It was really good to catch up with friends who I had spent all my time with at uni and find that we could just pick up where we left off.  Nearly all of them have young children now, and so I heard lots of birth stories and was asked lots of questions about things Dan and I hadn’t even considered yet!

Wedding food…(as that always gets photographed at weddings!)

Roast dinner…

Wedding roast dinner…followed by a trio of desserts (cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding and brownie), all adorned in flowers (which no-one on our table were brave enough to try…were we supposed to eat them?  Or were they just for decoration?…!)

Wedding trio of desserts

We stayed at my parents’ house in Norfolk on Saturday night, before making it back to a different friend’s (also from uni) Christening for her daughter.

Dan and Me at Vicki's kid's ChristeningDan and I were both knackered and had to really put a face on for day two.  Getting in past 2am is not an everyday occurrence for us nowadays and we both struggled to function the next day.  Plus, Dan’s car alarm had gone off three times during the night.  Not ideal!

Running

Just the once this week as I couldn’t make parkrun on Saturday due to the wedding, and any other spare evenings were spent working on our house or completing work for school.

I still managed to slot in what has now become the regular-10k trail run on a Tuesday night with a  friend though and despite feeling a bit rubbish during the day (the hottest day of pregnancy so far!), managed to surprise myself by running at about the same pace that I have done for the majority of my pregnancy.  I’m quicker to slow to a walk up inclines now, but other than that I’m still running fairly consistently and at a chatty pace, which is nice so that I don’t feel too out of the loop from the running crowd.  Although I stopped running the group trail runs several weeks ago now, I feel a bit safer running with just me and a friend as I am able to dictate the pace a little more if necessary and don’t feel pressured to have to keep up with the group if any faster runners turn up.

For the first time my legs felt a bit stiff following the run, and stiff again the following morning, although the feeling soon faded.  I don’t know if this was perhaps because I only ran the once this week?  I’ve only just been hitting my 10,000 steps a day challenge over the week as well, purely because of the amount of work I’ve had on and the lack of time to head out on a specific walk each day.  I’m still fairly active at school though, easily ticking off 5,000 steps during teaching hours at the moment.

Symptoms

Other than leg cramps through the night, I could easily forget that I was pregnant quite a lot of the time I think!  The baby feels as though it has moved down slightly now.  Although it’s head is still up, not down, it no longer feels like it is wedged in my ribs and I can do my sandals up again once more!

You can read all of my previous pregnancy posts here.

Could I have eaten those flowers on my dessert?!
When was the last time you caught up with old friends?
Have you been to any weddings/christenings lately?

Running at 27 weeks pregnant

Last week – 27 weeks pregnant – was the week that people started to tell me that I ‘popped’, that I had begun to actually look pregnant.  Two strangers came up at separate points during a wedding at the weekend and asked me how my pregnancy was going.  Two strangers that, as far as I was aware didn’t ‘know’ that I was pregnant other than by looking at me.

27 weeks pregnantExcuse the state of our bathroom – I am so ready for our house to be ‘done’ now, apart from all the actual decorating!  I do love a house project, but living in the house whilst doing the work on it, and both Dan and I out at work full time and with our own hobbies to slot in, and adding in a baby-deadline has meant that we’re relying on getting a lot of work done this Summer, with me currently looking like I might topple face-first at any minute!
Our new bathroom suite is all set in the bathroom – we just need the ceiling skimmed, the bath panel added, tiles on the wall and flooring down.  Just a few hours of work along with the work that still needs doing on the rest of the house then(!)

Last Thursday I headed out on a run with group 6 from my running club.  I usually run in group 4, two groups faster than group 6, and I don’t know very many of the ladies in group 6, but they were all very friendly and accommodating to this rather large looking stranger – eager to ask me questions about my pregnancy and my intention to run through it.  As always, I was worried before running with others (What if I need the loo?  What if I’ve gotten really slow since the last time and can’t keep up with anyone?…etc) but there was no need, and I found that I could comfortably run the 10k distance at the front of the group still, despite the humidity of the evening.  I do miss my social chatty runs…and my pushing-it parkruns…and my tempo sessions…and my progression runs…

Still, I really don’t think I can moan.  I’m so happy to be as comfortable running as I am during my 28th week of pregnancy.  I know there are so many women who have had to give it up before this point.  I know that I really am pretty lucky.

I took the Friday night off and hoped to get to a speedy parkrun on the Saturday morning.  I was due to travel up on the Saturday to a wedding in Knutsford, an alleged 2h 15m journey.  As the wedding was for one of Dan’s best friends he was playing usher, so had driven up the evening before, giving me the freedom to parkrun on the morning, and then travel up alone afterwards, making sure that Bella had been fed before I left home.  When he sent me a message on the Friday night to tell me that his journey had actually taken him over 4 hours to complete due to roadworks and accidents on the motorway I decided to play it safe and give parkrun a miss instead.  From Dan’s commentary I expected to have a longer journey than the satnav had shown, but not quite as long as his had been, as I would be travelling mid-morning Saturday rather than during rush hour on Friday evening.

This little fact didn’t actually seem to make any difference though, and I ended up arriving after the bride.  :(  (Sorry Lynn!)  It was a stressful journey, especially when I was sat in non-moving traffic with more than 50 miles left to travel, watching the expected arrival time on the satnav creep ever closer to the time I knew the wedding would be starting.

Luckily, I didn’t miss too much – apparently arriving just five minutes after the bride herself.  Although I then stood like a wally at the back of the incredibly hot service room, with a sweaty face and bursting for a wee as I’d just spent the last four hours sat in traffic before legging my way down a steep, cobbled hill in heels at seven months pregnant.  Not my finest moment!

Dan and me at John and Lynn's weddingI didn’t take very many pictures at the wedding – mainly food related to be honest(!)  The food was some of the best wedding food I’ve had though…

…Butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds and a bread roll on the side…

Butternut squash soup with pumpkin seeds…Wild mushroom gnocchi…Wild mushroom gnocchi …and Chocolate fondant…

Chocolate fondant dessertLovely food!

My placename at John and Lynn's wedding

I regret not remembering to ask one of my bridesmaids to photograph the food we had on our wedding day, as I don’t have any pictures of it and our caterers had done a really good job.

Anyway…back to the topic of this post…!

This week was the week that my antenatal classes began.  Frustratingly, the first two weeks of classes run on a Wednesday evening – my trail running night!  When a friend messaged on Monday to see if I wanted to head out for a run on Tuesday instead this week, I quickly said yes!

We headed out for what was supposed to be a fairly straight forward 10k route around Stanwick Lakes near to where we both live.  We’d run a 6-7 mile route around there a few weeks back and know the area fairly well.

It wasn’t long before I needed the toilet though.  Stupid pregnancy bladder!  All fine, as there are visitor toilets outside at Stanwick Lakes…
…which were locked by the time we arrived!

The thing about needing to pee when you’re pregnant is most of the time you don’t actually really need to pee.  It’s the baby crushing your bladder inside that gives you that impression.
We ran on, and the urge passed – although we kept a look out for suitable coverage along the paths.
Then the urge returned!
It actually took me a while to find a secluded spot that wasn’t covered in knee-high nettles and didn’t have groups of people passing by.  Guys have it so easy!
All fine after that though.  :)
…until we decided to experiment with a different path back.  One which involved balancing over an iron beam and being no-where near we needed to be!  Haha!

All in all with the tree-toilet divert and the iron beam (that I found an alternative route for!) our 10k of trail became just short of 10 miles!  It felt really good to head out for a social, chatty 10 miles on a weeknight though.  I’ve felt really restricted in which runs I can say I’ll join in with lately, but it’s nice to know that I can still cover the distance and my legs remember what to do!

I’ll just have to suss out a few well-covered outdoor loo stops for future runs!  😉

I wasn’t sure what to expect at our first antenatal class the following evening.  I still don’t really feel pregnant yet if I’m honest.  It hasn’t kicked in that actually I am now in the third trimester and not a huge amount of time away from giving birth.  Perhaps over the Summer when I have time off work and there is less going on reality might start to kick in?  It needs to at some point.  We have bought nothing yet!  People keep asking what colour we have decorated the room.  Several times I’ve not been sure what they’ve meant and talked about how we’re still waiting for a plasterer to come in before we can decorate several of the rooms in the house.  People want to know if we’ve bought baby furniture or put together the crib we’ve been given yet.  But, right now my priorities are getting a carpenter in for the doors, fitting the new kitchen and thinking about what type of carpet to lay down!

A baby is classed as viable after 23 weeks, so technically as I’m more than a month past that point now things could progress at any time…  :S  I like the idea of having the baby as soon as possible rather than being stuck in pregnancy-limbo for longer than needs be (obviously I know I have no say in this!), but we are so nowhere near ready or prepared yet!

It’s a very bizarre feeling to be sat down minding my own business and all of a sudden be able to see my stomach moving all over the place!  Movements are very visible from the outside now!  The baby moves around all the time and has started to wake me up in the mornings with movement just lately.  Baby movements or cramp are usually my get-up call now.  The middle-of-the-night cramps I’ve had over the past few weeks have been agony.  So much worse than when I don’t stretch after a run!  I never seem to get it in just one place either.  It’s always my left foot and right leg, or both legs, or both feet at the same time.  Apparently it’s really common to cramp up in pregnancy because the hormone progesterone affects the muscle tone in your legs.

There were three other couples and a lady without her partner at the antenatal class on Wednesday evening.  We didn’t do a huge amount to be honest, and most of the information shared with us I had already researched online or in books myself.  We were shown an American video about pre-labour, were each given a pack of information about planning for the birth and then told that we really should have packed our hospital bags by now.  I haven’t even thought about packing my bag yet.  I know we own nothing off the list that we were given.  Except snacks.  And I’m sure that if I were to pack those now, I would have eaten most of them by the time we made it to the hospital!

Any tips for outdoor calls of nature?!
Have you ever missed the start of a wedding before?
If you have been pregnant before, when did you pack your hospital bag?

You can read all of my previous pregnancy posts here.

A bridesmaid and an usher

Dan and I were on holiday in New York with our friends Vicki and Alex when they got engaged way back in December 2012.

Vick and Alex engagement in New YorkBoth us and they took a horse and carriage ride through Central Park a couple of days before New Year.  We had actually transported the engagement ring to America for Alex and had been in on the proposal the whole time, which was nice as Vicki and I have been friends since we met at Uni in 2005.

It feels like they have been planning their wedding for the longest time, especially since Dan and I got engaged and have had our wedding since their engagement began.

As I was one of Vicki’s bridesmaids, I spent the day helping her to purchase last minute bits and organise at the venue on Friday.  After the longest church rehearsal I have ever been to (over 90 minutes long!  The wedding itself the following day was only 30 minutes long!) all members of the bridal party headed back to Vick’s for pizza and curry before the bridesmaids then headed to the hotel where the reception was to be held the following night.

Sharing a room with a bridesmaid and her six-month old I had prepared myself for not getting much sleep, but baby Russell was actually very good and only woke me up once before we got up at 6:30am.

Hair and makeup started very early.  As the ‘most organised bridesmaid’ I was down to have both done first and so my makeup appointment was at 8am.  The hotel kindly arranged for our breakfasts to be brought to the attached hairdressing salon so we enjoyed some girly giggles on the morning itself.

Me and Vicki on her wedding dayVicki loved the idea of each girl having a plait somewhere in their hair, which was something that my bridesmaids had done at my wedding last year.  For Vick’s wedding, each one of us had a different type of plait in our hair.  Mine was this gorgeous waterfall braid.  I wish I could recreate this myself every single day.  The hairdresser made it look so easy!

My hair for Vicki's wedding

Then it was to work for me whilst the other girls went through the hair and makeup chain.

As Vicki was getting married in a hotel most of the work had been done by the hotel staff but there were still some finishing touches to be added and the cake lady/florist to let in and help set up.  The place looked amazing by the time we left for the church.

Vicki's wedding flowersAlong with another bridesmaid, Steph, my pre-wedding church tasks involved pinning buttonholes on the groomsmen…

Pinning Alex's buttonhole on at their wedding…decorating the path with rose petals…

Steph and me scattering rose petals…and directing cars with Dan!

Dan, Alex and Me at Vicki's weddingVicki was twenty minutes fashionably late (out of her control – the car didn’t go any quicker!) and the service went without a hitch.

Vicki and Alex getting covered in confetti…so then it was time to head to the hotel, drink a welcome cocktail, have some photos taken and get ready for some gorgeous food.  Vicki appreciates a good salad as much as I do so I was super happy to see Caprese salad on the menu as a starter.

Caprese salad at Vicki's weddingMains for me was a risotto baked in a pepper with veg.

Risotto baked in a pepper…and, because I’m a blogger I made the guys on my table take photos of the other two dishes as well which I was assured were just as tasty!  (Pork or fish)

Pork wedding meal Fish wedding meal…and then we all finished with a delicious strawberry cheesecake.  (Dan assured me it wasn’t as delicious the strawberry cheesecake I made last weekend though!)

Strawberry cheesecake wedding dessertSpeeches were next and I caught a few nice photos of moments between the family members before the evening entertainment arrived.  I’ve not been to a wedding before with a magician but he was fantastic and kept us entertained for ages before we competed for chips in the casino they had booked.  (All fake money but competing for real prizes!)

Obviously the final important part of the wedding to report back on is the cake.

Vicki's wedding cakeUnfortunately, Vicki’s two year old niece got there with her fingers on the bottom tier before I could take a photo but I don’t think Vicki noticed the three small (but pretty deep!) holes in the cake on the night, so that was OK!  The cake was cookies and cream flavour and one of the tiers was with raspberry icing.

The main drama in the evening was when Alex lost his wedding ring!  Every guest was out hunting for the ring and overturning every blade of grass in the hotel garden where the photos had been taken.  Eventually the ring was found in the toilets where Alex had taken it off to wash his hands and forgotten to return it to his finger again.  It was all hands on deck to help with the search for a while there though!

Have you ever lost your wedding/engagement ring or been at a wedding where someone has?!  I think it’s pretty easily done.  I take both of mine off my finger when I’m washing up and have forgotten to return them a few times now, resulting in a panic later on in the day!