Week 23-Going stripey

Stripey Maternity Skirt 2 I made this skirt this morning. It’s a winner!

How far along| 23 weeks
Baby’s Size| Chexie is 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound.
Weight Gain| Down 1.5 pounds. This fluctuating weight might be due to so much walking I’ve been doing, maybe? I went on a long walk this past Saturday and I felt great but it took me all of Sunday to recover. I was BEAT.
Sleep| I’ve been sleeping well except for recently. The last three or so days I’ve had a pinched nerve in my left shoulder and neck. Sucks donkey balls.
Clothes| I am still wearing my regular clothes with some maternity bits thrown in. And my wedding ring is still on. Huzzah to no swelling!
Cravings| Chocolate, with a side of chocolate and a touch of chocolate sprinkles.
Food Aversions| None.
Symptoms| Growing pains. I know Chexie is going through a growth spurt every time my lower back starts hurting and those darn round ligament pains show up.
Movement| We have quite a kicker. He’s active in the mornings and late at night. I find it very comforting.
Belly Button| So in. I doubt it will ever pop. I have the inniest innie ever.
Baby’s Sex| Un nene lindo.
Highlight of the Week| Testing negative for preeclampsia. I had a scare in that it tested positive. But two follow-up tests came back negative. My blood pressure is fine and I have no signs of swelling. So fingers crossed nothing changes in regards to that.
What I miss| Sleeping on my stomach. I have a bad left shoulder so it only leaves me being able to sleep on my right. Not comfortable so I wake up to adjust twice or so a night.

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I’ve failed at my yoga challenge! I set myself up for failure when I decided to start it two days before going on vacation. What was I thinking? I definitely need to regroup and start again. But at least I haven’t been sat still at home. I am definitely going out and about here and there, which is great. I am finding it a bit uncomfortable to walk for long periods on some days but on others I am a real trooper and can go the distance. Who knows what’s that’s about.

I am set to see a GP next week instead of my midwife. I am not scheduled to see her until after I leave the country. Guess I won’t be attending that appointment (reminder to self: must cancel!). The doctor is supposed to measure the bump and see if baby is doing well. Fingers crossed all goes well. I’m now dreading peeing in a cup ever since that false positive. I’d hate for something to come up right before we’re scheduled to leave in December. I imagine a complication would make the trip harder and more stressful. I chatted with my mother last night and she assures me she didn’t have high blood pressure when pregnant with me or my siblings, so that’s a bit comforting. I’m hoping I take after her in that regard.

What more is to come? I’ll be learning to crochet with my friend Joanne this week. Maybe then I can keep busy making granny squares on our transatlantic flight. That would be awesome because I need distractions for this flight. I am so not looking forward to it. We’re breaking up the flight by visiting my family in NYC before heading on to San Francisco. By the end of it all we would have flown 14 or so hours. Crikey! I haven’t wanted a drink all 23 weeks until now. Ugh. Flying is the pits.

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A Public Service Announcement

Taking a babymoon seems to be a trend that is here to stay. If you’re North American, pregnant and traveling to Europe for the first time, it’s good to be prepared, even if just mentally. It helps to know what you’re getting your pregnant body into.

1. Always know where the nearest toilet is. I’m not kidding. Your bladder will thank you later. In London I take it for granted that I can easily nip into a Starbucks or pub to use their facilities. But that’s not always the case on mainland Europe. In Paris we thought we would be sly by going to a café, getting a drink and using the loo. No go. You had to pay to use the toilet! Can you believe it?! The nerve. But that’s how a lot of places roll in Paris, you have to pay to pee. So always have change in your purse. Again, your bladder will thank you. If you’re lucky you might run into an Irish pub (they are everywhere!) and they might kindly allow you to use their toilet (shout out to the Irish pub in Rome that hooked me up!). And there’s always trying another café, they don’t all charge to use their toilet. At last resort, if your bladder is crying, you can always go into the nearest shop, and rub your bump as you plea for the toilet. But if you’re like me and you’re sporting that “Is she fat or pregnant look?” you might look like you need to take a serious dump. So yeah. Use that tip at your own risk.

2. Embrace the stairs. North America is shiny and new. Europe is dusty and old (in an AWESOME way, really) making it not very handicap accessible. Don’t expect to have elevators and escalators at your convenience. Be prepared to hike up 2-4 flights of stairs at a time. Over, and over again.

3. Beds in Europe are small. Double (aka full-sized) or two twin (aka single) beds put together are the norm in hotels. So I hope you like to snuggle. Maybe your partner can cuddle you until you forget how uncomfortable that damn bed is.

4. Carry water. I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve been looked at as if I asked for the combination to the safe after requesting tap water at a restaurant. Europe isn’t huge on hydration. If you’re not given a small shot glass worth of water, you’re asked to pay for it. I always want to ask, “You don’t do tap water? How do you clean your dishes?” But I don’t. I’m not rude 🙂 Paris and Rome have their fair share of city water fountains but you have to be choosy as to which you’re willing to drink from. Some are nice-looking, some are not. You’re better off carrying a water bottle and topping it off before leaving the hotel.

5. Take a break. One of the best parts about eating in European restaurants is that they never want you to leave. Just try getting a waiter’s attention to get the bill, might take you a while. But take advantage, stay a while, enjoy the view and give your back and feet a break.

6. Grin and bear it. Everyone in Europe seems to smoke: dogs, kids, clowns. It’s just how it goes. So if you’re anti-smoking, just walk away and hope you don’t walk through another fog of cigarette smoke. And don’t be surprised if your non-smoking hotel or restaurant smells of smoke. In a Brussels B&B we complained about someone next door to us smoking and all the owner did was shrug his shoulders. Grin and bear it my friend.

So there are my warnings/tips. Pays to be prepared, I say. I know I’ve taken the joking route to express my experience of traveling while pregnant in Europe but I do hope someone can find it helpful!

*************Click photo for source.*************