Week 27 and 28- Transatlantic and Cross-country travel!

We made it.

20121211-081839.jpg Outside the hotel, along the bay.

After a 7.5 hour flight to Newark, followed by a 6.5 hour flight to San Francisco a few days later, we finally made it “home”. Hoping that the vacation feel will soon come to an end. Staying at an extended stay hotel doesn’t help matters. But we are two seconds from closing a deal on a place to live. So living out of a suitcase may soon come to an end and I can start nesting!! Wheee!

20121211-082345.jpg Here I am at 27 weeks. Looking quite round.

Sadly my diet has suffered in the last two weeks. I am finding it quite hard to make good decisions. But today I skipped on the greasy complimentary breakfast and went for cereal and a yoghurt. Baby steps…

20121211-082946.jpg 28 weeks as of Monday. Time is flying.

I don’t know how much weight I’ve gained but I don’t feel overly pudgier than usual. My belly has gotten bigger but I can’t see any other changes. To keep any extra weight gain at bay I’m going to start walking along…wait for it…the bay! There’s a great path along the bay and I am looking forward to seeing how far I can go.

As for Chexie, his movements are getting quite forceful and constant. He used to mostly move in the early morning and at night, like clockwork. Now it’s throughout the day. I don’t mind, I quite enjoy his jabs. I guess his internal clock is messed up like mine. I have been waking up at 3AM. Not sure if it’s the pregnancy or jet-lag. But luckily I’ve been getting enough sleep to carry me into the evening. At 5PM I just want to pass out. If I make it past 9PM I’m golden.

So that’s that. We are in the States and looking forward to feeling/getting settled!

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.

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!

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Week 19-Something’s finally happening!

19 weeks and 1 day
Ack! I just noticed that the lines on this shirt/dress do not line up! My sewist’s eyes are ruining my Ready-to-Wear clothes for me.

How far along| 19 weeks and 1 day.
Baby’s Size| Chexie is the size of an heirloom tomato. I don’t eat tomatoes so I don’t have a clue as to how big an heirloom one is. But what I do know is the my baby bump is catching up to my chubby bump (above the baby bump). Woo hoo!
Weight Gain| Four pounds less than when we found out we were pregnant. Here’s hoping the weight gain stays minimal, once it starts packing on, 10-15 pounds. Funny thing I’ve noticed is that even though I’ve lost weight I haven’t lost it in the usual places, like my upper abs (I swear I have some!). It seems to have actually gotten fatter. Ugh. But it’s all for the greater good: breastfeeding energy storage.
Sleep| It has gotten better. I definitely have no trouble falling back to sleep after a late night bathroom break if I exhaust myself the day before. Sunday we walked for 90 minutes and I was exhausted by the time we went to bed.
Clothes| Same ‘ole same ‘ole.
Cravings| I’m not craving anything at the moment. If someone mentions something yummy or if I see it on TV, that’s when I crave it. So yeah, nothing in particular.
Food Aversions| Leftovers never sound nice lately. And I am a lover of leftovers!
Symptoms| Holy heck. I’ve been having some short, but sharp pains along my lower abdomen. I’m not alarmed because they are not constant and signs point to round ligament pain.
Movement| Chexie is most active between 5AM and 9AM. I still can only feel it mostly when I place my hands on my tummy. I am looking forward to that karate chop to the gut soon.
Belly Button| Not out.
Gender| In less than one week we find out, assuming Chexie flashes the goods.
Highlight of the Week| Going on a lovely picnic with my husband. It was nice to have some alone time outside of the flat and just enjoy each other’s company in nature. Corny, right? But the truth.
What I miss| Allergy meds. What wouldn’t I give for some Sudafed and Claritin. I get really bad sinus related earaches when my allergies are at their worst. And I’ve been at my worst these past few weeks. The pain just adds to the trouble of staying asleep.

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Planning for baby is made difficult when you don’t know where you will be in the new year. You see, we decided we would move home before our visas expire in March if we got pregnant before then. Being close to our family and friends, having the support system, is very important to us. London has never quite felt like home. Home for us is Austin, Texas, where we met, built our lives together and made strong friendships. Unfortunately it’s up in the air if it will be our home again. My husband has invested quite a few years with his current company and would love to continue with them. He’s been working on a job transfer for the last couple of months but we’re still no closer to knowing where we stand, or where we will be come baby time. To open up the options he has applied to offices in Seattle, Raleigh, and San Francisco. San Francisco seems to be the best bet because the company is based there and offers the best chances for a job opening.

But San Francisco would feel like an extension of the life we live in London: high cost of living, still far from family and no support system. The only up side is that it’s in the States and travel won’t be as troublesome and costly for people when they visit.

So you can see my hesitation when it comes to prepping for baby. I’d love to sign us up for prenatal classes and go to mommy meetups. But where will we be doing these things? I’d love to shop for bargains and start hoarding baby stuff. But what if we have to pay for the move ourselves? The last thing we need is to add more bulk. **Sigh** So that leaves me making cute little baby stuff like bibs, blankets and clothes.

There’s always the option of staying here, extending our visa and moving later. But the thought of having to deal with the U.S. Embassy to register the baby for a birth certificate and passport, waiting for it to have its vaccinations so it can fly, ugh…Gives me indigestion just thinking about it. Maybe I’m a sap but I want my family there for the birth and a few weeks after. And sadly the answer isn’t simply to have them fly in. My family just can’t afford the costs of international travel. And one thing I’ve come to realize is that even though my family can be crazy at times, they are always there for me and have made me the woman I am today. And I so miss them.

Here’s hoping we get some news on the pending move (or stay?) soon! The suspense is getting to me. I want to prep a nursery dammit!