Welcome to the 3rd trimester!

Pregnancy cartoon of all the negative side affects such as burping!

There are so many books out there regarding pregnancy however, I have put my head in the sand a bit and just dealt with what comes my way.  If something odd happens, I usually call my sister (who has an 18 month old) or do a quick online search.

So now that I’m 30 weeks pregnant and well and truly into my 3rd trimester, I had no idea of what was in store for me.  So focused sometimes on the birth in 10 weeks’ time, the little niggles beforehand were an interesting surprise!  I think my favourite so far has to be the leg cramps, closely followed by heartburn and then closely followed by constipation!  Nice.

I have never had any of those distractions prior to pregnancy and even, prior to the 3rd trimester – so each was a new “adventure”.

My husband suffers from foot cramps so apparently at 5am when I was awoken by my first leg cramp, I just yelled at the top of my voice, “Honey, honey, honey, honey, cramp, honey, leg, honey, honey!”  Poor thing.  At least he knew what to do.  Straighten, raise and rub.  Not so easy to massage when you have a large bump in the way!  Hopefully it doesn’t happen while he isn’t at home!

Heartburn was another fun experience.  I wasn’t sure if I could take anything and everything online tells you to consult your doctor, so I spent a very painful half an hour pacing the lounge until the heartburn had disappeared (thanks Indian takeaway!)  However, I found out the next day, all mothers around me at the office said that they had a packet of gaviscon

nearby to deal with it.  Who wants that pain for longer than a minute?  (hello again, Indian takeaway!)

And finally constipation.  Never a topic that is high on anyone’s discussion list, however I’m going for it.  I’ve found, after days of looking 10 months pregnant and walking like I’m 124 years old, berries, homemade muesli, natural yoghurt and a huge tablespoon of oat bran for breakfast, followed by a couple of prunes, dried apricots and some red grapes for a mid-morning snack keeps me regular.  I also discovered the hard way what happens when you eat too much of the afternoon snack.  Yikes!!

 

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Not everyone gives up their seat to a pregnant lady….

As naff as the saying is, “Baby on Board”, these underground badges for pregnant ladies are great.  Not only for the wearer, but also for any doubt if someone is pregnant or not.  There is nothing worse than giving up your seat for someone who you thought was pregnant, when they are not.  You just ruined their day when you thought you were doing the right thing.

But unfortunately, when wearing the said badge, it really demonstrates how the world has changed.  Because when you are standing there in front of 4 men (3 different nationalities, ages between late 20s and late 40s, all in suits) sitting down right in front of you, while you have your pregnant belly showing, wearing the badge – there is no doubt that I’m pregnant – so it’s up to the individual to decide what to do with the information.  After about 15 minutes, all 4 had glanced at me briefly and then buried their heads into the newspaper, like the London Metro is the most interesting paper in the world (it’s not).  After half an hour, my back started really aching.

Finally one of them stood up to leave and I got that seat, as everyone around me was starring at these 4 guys, thinking exactly what you are and they all parted ways when a seat was finally available.

Considering that I’m only 5.5 months pregnant – imagine what it’ll be like when I’m 9 months pregnant?  Imagine those poor pregnant ladies who have twins!?

As this is only my 3rd day coming into the office, I’m hoping that this isn’t a common occurrence.

baby on board

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Back in the office

So, I’ve decided to back to the office, part-time.  I still haven’t decided if this was a good or bad decision but we will see as the weeks progress.  After working on just my website for a few months, travelling and being a bit of a lady of leisure, I decided that it may help to get something a bit more stable and consistent while I still can.

As I mentioned in a previous post – getting recruitment agents to remain interested after letting them know that I’m pregnant was a battle and funnily enough, I got a job through my network and not through a recruitment agency.  I still haven’t heard from them, I really had to chase them and I got one job spec over a 4 week period and I know there were a lot more jobs out there during this time frame.

Nevermind – I’ve managed to find something and it’s 4 days a week, which means I can continue working on my website OR take it easy as my energy levels aren’t what they used to be!

Most pregnant ladies with their first child work up to almost 9 months, so if they can do it, I can’t see why I can’t.  I’ve been very fortunate to be able to not work in the office up to this point.

Meeting everyone and being the “newbie” in the office is amusing when obviously pregnant as it’s an easy ice breaker and it seems to be all anyone talks to me at the moment.  Looking forward to talking about other topics and work stuff.

I just wish the commuters on the train could see my obvious stomach as well as my new work colleagues!

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Uncooperative baby during the 20 week scan

Is this an indication of what’s to come?

My husband and I have been counting down to the 20 week scan.  Of course we want to know that our baby is healthy and happy but we are both impatient and over curious and really, really wanted to know the sex of our baby.

It’s against the trend, amongst my circle of friends.  Most theorise that there aren’t many surprises in life and this is one, so they didn’t want to know until the birth.  My husband and I however are planners and we are also moving to a new house on Saturday – so do we decorate the nursery for a girl or boy (my question), or do we buy a rugby outfit or tennis/golf outfit for a girl (my husbands concern)?

We get to the hospital and the medical consultant we have to perform the ultrasound is a very friendly and patient New Zealander.  Patient, because I think our little one has my husband’s sense of humour.

Not only did the poor guy have to chase my baby around my womb for half an hour to be able to view certain parts of the body for longer than a few seconds, but the little bugger kept hiding it’s private parts and so we never found out the sex!

This is the third scan we have had and this baby has been very, very active in all three.  All I can say is thank god my placenta is at the front, so I won’t feel any kicks for a couple more weeks.  I think this baby is going to kick the crap out of me!

Oh dear….!

(at least he/she is very healthy so far, so we are very happy and excited…!)

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Flying while pregnant; don’t do it with a bad airline

Back from a long holiday and I’m very happy to see that the weather has improved in London compared to the day that we left at the end of March – when it was still snowing.

We were travelling to South Africa which is an 11 hour flight from London and as I’m only 21 weeks pregnant, I was able to fly.  The only conditions, my midwife told me, was that I have to take asprin for 3 days prior to travelling in both directions, wear in-flight travel socks and walk every hour.  What should have been added to that list, is not to travel with a cheap and/or bad airline and perhaps fly during the day.

I took my asprin, I already had in-flight socks, having been on many, many long haul flights, and tried desperately to walk every hour.  Unfortunately we were flying SAA and both directions were overnight flights.

On the way to South Africa, I think my favourite part of the journey was the fact that the in-flight entertainment wasn’t working.  For the entire flight.  I know, I know, 1st world problems and back in the day there wasn’t even in-flight entertainment or even commercial flights to different continents, but today you get used to the basics of travelling and in-flight entertainment has become a basic need for travellers.  Especially travellers who have to walk every hour and therefore need something to keep them entertained for 11 hours.

I had a few favourites on the return flight.  Firstly, just trying to get on the plane at Johannesburg airport.  There was no system and the staff who were checking our tickets at the gate, didn’t really know what to do, so everyone behaved quite badly and I was squashed by irate passengers for about 20 minutes.  It was hot.  I am pregnant.   So of course by the time I finally got on the plane, my hormones kicked in and I started crying.  A good start.  (it’s amazing how a group of people can behave when there is no organisation!).

Thankfully, the entertainment system worked, however, the plane was quite an old one and the seats were unbelievably uncomfortable.  After about 3 hours my coxic or tailbone was in so much pain, that I had to try and sit on the side so that my thighs would take the weight.  This isn’t something that’s easy to do for 8 hours on a small seat.  Even putting those lovely beige coloured pillows under me didn’t help.

Oh how I couldn’t wait to get off that plane.

So my advice for travelling pregnant ladies: pay a little extra for a better airline or better still, make trips by car and avoid the plane!

 

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Amazon rainforest and oil drilling

Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest

Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest (Photo credit: CIFOR)

Today, I saw an article headline on the Guardian that I hesitated to read.  It was, “Ecuador auctions off Amazon to Chinese oil firms”.  I almost didn’t read the article, because sometimes putting my head in the sand, helps with my stress levels and sanity.  Thankfully, I didn’t because this heading (surprise, surprise) is a just little misleading as it hasn’t been sold yet.  Unfortunately, that’s about the only positive I can gain from the article.

Basically, as we all know, the Amazon rainforest is full of wildlife and contributes a large amount of oxygen into our polluted air.  It also houses many indigenous groups who have been living there for centuries.  Not only could it be potentially devastating environmentally by destroying the forest and it’s wildlife, but the indigenous tribes who live there have been largely ignored of the Ecuadorian governments plans.  They could lose their culture and way of life as it currently stands.

When reading these kind of reports it just makes me wild.  After most of the world destroying it’s own forests by chopping everything down – to then poach on others who have the last remaining natural forests left and destroy that as well, have we not learnt anything?  Is history just there to read as a good story – or are we to learn from it?  Do politicians always only look at the short term gain and never the long term consequences?  Surely the Ecuadorian’s air pollution and tourist trade will suffer during the drilling.  Once all of the oil has been taken and what’s left is baron and polluted land that can’t make any further profits or be used for any other purpose, what then?  It will affect the politicians own families as well – or do they get a nice kick back for the deal, that is again a nice short term gain?

If this makes you as mad as it makes me, then please sign this petition.  I know that this may not stop anything, but it’s definitely worth a try.

 

 

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So, what do you do now since you don’t have a job?

This weekend I went to a birthday party of a friend of mine and there were a few people there whom I haven’t seen for many months.  The conversations at this party were very reminiscent of last week’s catch up with my ex-colleagues.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m showing – so there is the initial surprise and congratulations on my bump.  Then is the question that I haven’t worked out how to answer yet – so, what do you do now since you have quit your high flying job?

As I haven’t quite worked that one out for myself being in limbo land, it’s a very difficult question to answer and I’ve noticed depending on the person I’m talking to, I get very varied reactions or facial expressions when I bumble out an answer.

So, what are you doing now?  Well, I got married, travelled for a few months, got pregnant and relaxed at home for a few weeks, launched a website that has absolutely nothing to do with finance which I’m maintaining now and I’m thinking about going back to the workforce temporarily.

Depending on how I’m feeling at the time, the above answer varies slightly on what is included or omitted.

There are some wonderful people out there who say that my life sounds fantastic and very relaxing and express their wishes for doing the same thing (if only they knew that it sounds much better than it is).  I then found the judging looks and comments such as, “but there will be a gap in your CV and how do you expect to get a job post maternity leave?” to be surprising and then concerning.  Concerning because I’m now questioning myself again on what I should be doing with these next few months.  Should I just forget my website and my ideas for new businesses and just go back to the workforce?  It would help the finances in the short term…..

Here in London, I’ve heard mother’s comment that it’s very difficult to choose to stay at home full time  or go back to work part-time after their obligatory 12 months maternity leave, not only because it’s hard work staying at home, can be lonely at times but also because in London it’s just not the done thing.  You are judged for choosing this option.  Even going back to work part-time is considered “lazy”.  Even though I’ve heard, going to work is like taking a break.

However, just across the Channel, we have our Dutch friends who have quite a different view on working full-time.  I’ve read a few articles discussing how the Dutch view part-time work for parents.  Apparently 60% of women work part-time and this is therefore considered very normal.

Should other western countries take a leaf out of the Netherland’s book and encourage employers and society to appreciate part-timers or people wanting to start their own business at home?

Aside from the financial benefits of working full-time, what are the other benefits?  Acceptance.  Career progression.  But what about working part-time?  If we didn’t spend all of our money on consumer products or a large house that we want more than we need, is spending more quality time with our young children, having the time to relax and even doing things that you enjoy, better?

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