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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
State of the bump
Just thought I'd do a bit of a general update in case anybody's interested. Contains whinging and mild TMI!

At 29 weeks the bump is looking fairly huge and I'm finding it more and more unwieldy; turning over in bed is a major undertaking (actually made more awkward by the addition of a pregnancy pillow -- it helps once I've got it in place, but it makes shifting position more complicated) and walking is exhausting. Cycling, fortunately, is still OK (much easier than walking!). It seems silly that I can still cycle from home to work in 15 minutes and not be out of breath, while bending down to tuck my jeans into my socks leaves me puffing and panting.

Talking of jeans, maternity jeans are infuriating; they all seem to be "under-bump" which means they're basically standard low-rise jeans. For those who are either male or have lived on another planet for the last 10 years, "low-rise" trousers are the sort that barely come up to your hips, so every 10 seconds they slide back down over your bum. I can wear long tops to avoid showing my pants (BIG POLKA-DOT MATERNITY PANTS, since you ask) but that doesn't avoid the necessity of undignified trouser-hitching-up all the time. What I really want is either a) trousers that go over the bump, which do exist but seem to be no longer fashionable (maternity-wear seems to be no longer exempt from the general fashion principle of trying to look as skinny and available as possible, hence the importance of having jeans cut low enough to show off your "maternity thong") and hence harder to find, or b) a dress which is short/straight enough to cycle in without trailing in my gears/brakes, long enough not to be indecent/draughty when cycling, stretchy enough to go over the bump, and HAS POCKETS. Such a dress does not exist (though my mum is doing her best to knit one for me!). I do have a couple of pairs of trousers which are big enough at the waist to go over the bump (thanks vinaigrettegirl!) but they're not going to fit over the bump for much longer.

Trousers aside, it's mostly just tiredness, being kicked a lot by an extremely wriggly baby, various aches and pains and twinges in the lower back/bottom area, and non-stop wind, heartburn and constipation. (I know wind doesn't sound like a big deal, but imagine someone's inflated your stomach with a bicycle pump until it feels like it's actually going to burst. It's painful and it makes walking very difficult.) The kicking sometimes seems to help (as if she's helping to shuffle the wind and stuff around) and sometimes makes it even more painful. If the stomach issues aren't too bad, though, the kicking is kind of cool, and increasingly when she starts bouncing around it makes my stomach look like a skin-coloured bag full of over-excited badgers. God knows what she's doing in there but she seems to be having a whale of a time. I just wish she wouldn't do it at 3am...

The weepiness and depression is not as bad as it was, but still sometimes grabs me and whacks me over the head with a load of negativity and doom which is only too easy to mistake for a rational response to things.

I had my 28 weeks midwife appointment yesterday, and the midwife says the baby is the right way round (ie head down) but they still move around a lot at this stage. We also heard the baby's heartbeat again, which was nice (and addedentry was there with me this time so now he's heard it too), though not quite as cool as actually seeing the heart and major veins/arteries (ZOMG science!) on the magic scans they do for the Intergrowth stuff. Blood seems to be slightly low on iron so they've done a couple more blood tests and will check that out; wee seems to have a bit of protein in so they're checking that out too; but otherwise everything seems to be proceeding normally. I asked the midwife about home birth and she said they were very positive about home births but I didn't need to do anything until about 34 weeks, which is ages away (except of course it totally isn't ages away). She gave me a leaflet, anyway. (I am amassing an enormous collection of leaflets. I think I will scan the entire lot for posterity.) I also asked about the Health in Pregnancy grant (I am surprised that they don't prompt people about this; I only know about it because I'm the sort of interfering person who reads articles on websites and asks people about things, and I suspect the people who need it most are less likely to do that) and got the relevant form, so that's an extra £190 with which to buy fruit and veg (at least that's the idea).

Think that's about it so far. Still feels like I have ages to go but I realise with horror that I only have 2 months left at work (and about 6 months' work of stuff to do in it) ...


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atommickbrane From: atommickbrane Date: January 18th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have seen those under bump trousis! And mostly thought, holy heck, how do people bear wearing those? Like when tights are too small to go over yr tum and end up rolling down to yr pants? BUT ON PURPOSE??

Anyway I empathise with yr issue and can only suggest, i dunno, er... are there maternity legginz? Legginz SURELY can't be under-bump. Right??

And I am glad you and bump are both well!

(I am enjoying typing the word 'bump'! today, simple pleasures).
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)


Like when tights are too small to go over yr tum and end up rolling down to yr pants? BUT ON PURPOSE??

Yes! Exactly! & I don't know why people do it on purpose! Also, trousers that sit on the hips end up pulling your pants down with them. BAD IDEA.

There are maternity leggings (and even maternity JEGGINGS! my 6yo niece had to explain to me what jeggings were) and I guess they do go over the bump but... they're still leggings? They have no pockets and they make even long skinny legs look lumpy, & I am starting with short fat legs. I mean I know I shouldn't care how I look, but... urgh. I dunno.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 20th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bump!

Once you find somewhere selling trousers/jeans that DO fit (I hope you do!) buy a whole bunch if you're hoping to have more kids - because my experience is that nothing is the same in 2 years times and you'll have to start over on your hunt for stuff-what-fits.

I gave up on jeans and went with trousers with very long stretchy waist bands, and execise trousers. I found a pair that are like leggins with flares at the bottom, but they had elastic you could literally stretch up under your tits if you were so inclined (in the earlier months) which means they fit nicely over the bump (in the later months). Also, I still wear them, with the waistband folded over.

Have you tried looking online? Given that you have a couple of months to go - and they're likely to be cold months - it might be worth ordering something from the states, if there is more choice over here. I specifically really liked the Target brand maternity clothes.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 21st, 2011 10:37 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bump!

We're not planning to have more kids, and even if we were I don't want to waste space/money now on stuff that I'm not going to use for another 2 years if at all (also that'd require me to be the same size as I am now -- seems like a rash assumption).

Yes, I've tried looking online -- I've mostly been looking online (there are basically no shops in central Oxford which sell maternity clothes) -- but all new maternity clothes seem to be absurdly expensive (honestly, I have never paid as much as 60 quid for a single pair of trousers, I don't intend to start now for something that I won't ever wear again) and it's a pain not being able to try things on. And ordering things from the US triples the cost of postage (which I then have to pay again when I have to return them because they don't fit) & the time it takes for things to arrive (not to mention the carbon cost of getting them flown over).
atreic From: atreic Date: January 18th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
You must have got the HIP grant by about a week! :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was pretty close -- had to be over 25 weeks on Jan 1st and I was 25 weeks at about Christmas. We also just catch the new paternity leave regulations (as far as we can tell... but work's HR folk are not very sure either) which apply for babies due on or after April 3rd (which is my actual due date).

Purely luck though!
geekette8 From: geekette8 Date: January 18th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could lend you my old maternity jeans which very definitely go over the bump (being as how I was pregnant when dinosaurs walked the earth and the yoof hadn't yet started with the falling-down-trousers), EXCEPT that I think my legs might be approximately twice as long as yours and you might end up trailing the ends of the legs out behind you, which would be just as annoying. If you think they might be take-uppable I'd be more than happy to send them on, though? They're currently unloved and unworn in my loft, so.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's kind of you but I think you're right about the height difference... and I am terrible at sewing & have pairs of trousers which have hung around for 3 years waiting for me to "just take them up a bit", so I suspect the chances of me getting round to it now are approx zero. So thank you for the offer but I think probably not practical, sorry!
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: January 18th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I will look to see if my over-bump actual maternity trousis are still lofted. Also have another pair of possible over-bump jobs of the elastic waist kind.

Disturbingly, the only person I can imagine wearing a maternity thong is Elton John.

I have a useful breastfeeding pamphlet if you want one to add to the collection - it's one I wish they'd bloody given me when I was actually pregnant as opposed to after giving birth with a baby losing weight every damn day. Yes, I did succeed in feeding him, it does work out, but you can have it now if you like.

I love looking at old heartbeat records and notes, incl. comments like "very *active* [sic] baby!"
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Disturbingly, the only person I can imagine wearing a maternity thong is Elton John.

You're right, that is a disturbing image. :-}

If you have more trousers that might fit & you're not using them (& can find them without too much loft-related hassle!) then I'd be glad to give them a try, thank you!

Breastfeeding pamphlet also welcomed if it was a useful one -- I have picked up lots of books & leaflets by now but personal recommendations for Stuff That Actually Works And Makes Sense are always good.

I love looking at old heartbeat records and notes, incl. comments like "very *active* [sic] baby!"

Aww. :-) This baby has so far managed not to be particularly active while doctors/nurses/midwives are looking at her or listening to her -- these are pretty much the only times she isn't kicking me, so maybe I should have more scans to get a break from the kicks. ;-)
shermarama From: shermarama Date: January 18th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
This might sound a bit odd but I'm appreciating your description of how visceral (and not even metaphorically) an experience this is. Big thing growing in the middle of you all wriggling around and getting in the way and having to try and work a digestive system around it and suchlike. Not that I'm likely to be pregnant any time soon but I think I'd enjoy the doing-a-giant-experiment-with-my-body side of it.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you're enjoying it! From the point of view of the experimental subject it is interesting but I have to say it's an experiment I wouldn't be keen to repeat in a hurry. :-}

The wriggling (and kicking and elbowing and what-have-you) is definitely the weirdest and coolest bit so far though. And the realisation that this wriggly thing inside me has, like, eyes and ears and stuff! WTF?! -- I mean, she now has her eyes open, apparently! What does she see?? It's dark in there!

So, yeah. :-)
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: January 18th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can recommend Isabella Oliver over-bump trousers (or indeed anything they make):

And also buying them second hand on ebay as they wear really well and are rather expensive!

And also Crave: http://www.cravematernity.co.uk/categories/Jeans/
tla From: tla Date: January 18th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Second the Isabella Oliver recommendation - I didn't get jeans from them but their tops were great.

Mothercare certainly did some over-bump maternity jeans last year, but my favorite ones were actually under-bump with a firm enough waistband that they didn't ride down at all. Unfortunately those were from Blooming Marvellous, which Mothercare has now devoured.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Looks like there's lots of Blooming Marvellous trousers on ebay, so will have a look at those too, thanks for the suggestion! Though doesn't look like they do a 'short' version... at 5'1" I find most 'normal' trousers are trailing all over the floor. :-/

Sometimes I feel like I should just give up & wear a sack for the next 2 months. :-}
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Blimey, those Isabella Oliver ones all look designed for people with size zero legs... I honestly can't imagine fitting in anything like that. The other ones look more person-shaped... :-} But yes, would have to get them second-hand... no way am I paying 60 quid for a pair of trousers I'll only fit in for 2 months max. I've never spent that much on a pair of trousers in my life!

I also have the problem that I'm too short for most trousers unless they actually have a 'short' option (M&S are the best for this usually but they don't do maternity stuff, bah).

Will have a look though, thanks for the links.
emperor From: emperor Date: January 18th, 2011 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Might braces help with the not-having-to-hitch-trousers-up thing?
From: rmc28 Date: January 18th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found braces worked for about 2 weeks and then my breasts got too tender to cope.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was going to say "there are two problems with wearing braces" but rmc28 has pre-empted me. :-} They are bigger problems than they used to be, too...
emperor From: emperor Date: January 19th, 2011 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, sorry. Male ignorance!
claerwen From: claerwen Date: January 18th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've got jeans from Gap and combat pants from Next with stretchy over-the-bump bands. My bump is still too small for them so regardless of efforts at rolling the band up to make it firmer they tend to slip down and chafe the inside of my thighs. I'm not sure whether the band would comfortably go over a bump thirteen weeks bigger than mine but I'd say there's a fair chance.

I would totally wear maternity dungarees if I could find them.
From: rmc28 Date: January 18th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have a bump too! Hurrah :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! I didn't know you had a bump too. :) Congratulations!

While my bump was still on the smaller side I found those belt-extender things quite useful -- I think these are the ones I got -- ie I could carry on wearing my normal trousers but with an extra bit of elastic. I wasn't convinced by the 'modesty panels' they provide, I just wore a belly band and/or a long top over them to hide the gap.

I hadn't thought of dungarees, but googling for "maternity dungarees" suggests such things exist, & actually that might not be a bad idea... Another thing to hunt for on ebay -- thanks for the suggestion!
claerwen From: claerwen Date: January 20th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, those belly belt things look quite good - thanks! I might try one of those. Looping hair bands through the buttonholes of my normal jeans worked for a bit but no longer gives enough extra stretch, plus you get a narrow tight digging-in bit.
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j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've got a support-band kind of thing (stretchy lycra, goes over the bump with a bit of ribbed supporty-stuff underneath it) but I don't see how it would keep the trousers up (it's too close-fitting to go over jeans-like trousers, & none of the trousers I've got really come up high enough to meet it anyway) so we may be talking about different things... what sort of thing do you mean?

It does feel like the bump is dragging down, yes, so I am obviously not trim enough. :-( The support-band thing I have does help though.
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j4 From: j4 Date: January 19th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bump band - as in one of these? Thanks - might give it a go. (The one I've got is OK but I could do with an alternative anyway, if only so I can wash this one from time to time!)
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