It is a cold and wet day in London, I have lit some candles and I am listening to First Aid Kit’s beautiful new album, Ruins. Buying candles is one of the luxuries I have allowed myself in the run up to maternity leave.
I am nearing the six month pregnancy mark and the time has passed really quickly. I am no longer able to disguise that I am pregnant with baggy clothes. Although my love for the fashion label, Cos, has grown greater as their dresses are perfect for pregnancy.
I am conscious that my life as I know it is about to completely change.
I spent this weekend with a dear friend who has a 10 and 6 year old. She is very organised, an excellent cook and a brilliant mother. Someone who I aspire to be like once we start being parents. I am trying to see all my friends before I go into hibernation. I have a weekend in York planned with my uni mates and lots of dinners and catch up. J and I are going to Ghent, because we love Belgium and Rye in Sussex because we had one drink at the Standard Inn over New Year and decided we wanted to come back and stay.
Last week I bought my first thing for the baby, four gro-bags from a lady who lives down the road, through the local parents Facebook group (a great source of free/cheap baby stuff). I am trying to not get carried away with all the beautiful clothes and accessories you can buy.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about buggies this week. Checking out the ones I see out and about in London and asking my friends with babies millions of questions. I have been offered a second hand one, which is very kind. But I am really tempted to get a new one. I met a lovely lady at pregnancy yoga, who recommended a Babyzen Yoyo as you can squeeze into cafes and it is really light. However, once they reach six months they face away from you, apparently that is not a good thing! We are visiting John Lewis this week to be talked through the options, my other half is really into his bikes and hopefully this expertise on one kind of wheels will help with this fairly substantial purchase. They are expensive!
On all the other baby stuff, we are really lucky to be loaned lots of things, a moses basket, a Baby Bjorn bouncer, a snuzpod (a cot that slots next to your bed), a baby car seat and a cot. We have been given lots of lovely baby clothes and baby books. Last weekend we picked up a travel cot and a carrier from a family friend. I am lucky to have really kind friends and family.
When I spotted someone giving away a pile of books on pregnancy and parenting on our local Facebook parents group I jumped at them. I have been dipping into them and my favourite is What To Expect When You’re Expecting and The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, which is very funny. I have been warned that you should take them with a pinch of salt as every baby is different. This Guardian article says that reading pregnancy advice books can make you a bit miserable and so I will try to not take them too much to heart.
Our spare room is currently full of all of J’s records, books and clothes, we need to make some space for all the baby’s stuff. Creating that Instagram nursery of dreams may have to wait a while. We either need to get some storage or move when the baby needs to move into his own room. Storage may be more straightforward.
I went along to a session last weekend and it was brilliant, I met some really lovely people and it was great to have a proper stretch. It was also incredibly relaxing. I slept incredibly well afterwards. I am going to try and fit in some more sessions in the weeks ahead.
Sleeping, the joys of pregnancy insomnia
Sleeping has been interesting, some nights are fine, others I wake up in the early hours and struggle to get back asleep. The baby likes to wake up about 4am and have a bit of a dance or perform some kung-fu moves. How well you sleep does depend on how stressful work is and how late we eat. Apparently you need to cut back on the caffeine (although I am only drinking one or two cups a day) and everything will be OK.
I am conscious that I will be leaving my lovely colleagues behind for a while. J only has three weeks parental leave (we are lucky to have an extra week than most UK employers). In order to have some people to hang out with after he is back at work, I’ve made some efforts to make some Mum friends. I put out a request through a local Facebook group and I am having a coffee with someone who lives down the road this week. I’ve had an introduction through a lovely friend to someone else due at the same time who lives five minutes away and I met some nice people at pregnancy yoga, I am sure it will work out. Another bonus of having a baby on board badge is I met two lovely people who were pregnant on the tube last week.
Next week we start our NCT classes, I have another midwife appointment and more planning… We may even decide what buggy to get. I am open to all advice and so if you have any top tips, please let me know. What do you wish you had known before you had your baby?