26 Week Update

I wasn't going to do these "X Number of Weeks Update" posts, despite the fact that I really enjoy reading other people's; just because I don't want this space to turn in to a pregnancy blog. However - you know what, it's my blog, and I'll only be pregnant for the next three months, so what the hell.
I decided to take stock of everything at this point in my pregnancy in particular, because to me, it feels like a significant milestone, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I can now say that I am 6 months pregnant. Secondly however, 26 weeks holds a particularly special, albeit odd, place in my heart, because it was at this stage in my pregnancy with my son Sebastian, that I discovered I was pregnant - and considering my current state of being, that seems absurd.
Before I go on to update readers on what's happening now, it's fascinating to consider what 26 weeks pregnant was like last time around. When I was at this stage in my pregnancy with Seb I had a relatively flat stomach, with what I thought was a tyre of podge forming over the waistband of my trousers (it was early January, I expected to have gained weight). I was well and healthy, albeit smoking about twenty cigarettes a day and drinking to the point where I was drunk once a week (I was 22, single and dating, and generally enjoying myself after coming out of a three year relationship). What I didn't feel, at all, was pregnant. I had monthly periods, and took a contraceptive pill in between, and my pregnancy symptoms seemed limited to regular bouts of painful trapped wind and heartburn, which at the time, I attributed to my particularly poor lifestyle, which included an undisclosed number of doner kebabs.
Now, five years later, I'm just a fortnight away from my son's fifth birthday. It's been over five years since I stood with my forehead pressed against the cold shower screen, staring blankly at a positive pregnancy test, whilst a man I'd known for a month made coffee in my kitchen. A whole different world.
Now, here I am, typing this in the sunshine at the same point in pregnancy, but this time with a huge swollen belly. I say huge, but actually, whilst I feel as though someone's jovially pushed a netball under my T-Shirt, I'm about as round as I should be. Of course there are a number of absent factors this time around; no contraceptives, no cigarettes, and the man making the coffee is, at the very least, the father of my child. I'd call this an improvement!
So that aside, here it is - the six month mark, and according to every source I have, it's now all about fat, fat, fat (Baby's fat that is, not mine!) Baby should be a perfectly formed little human now, just in need of a little "bulking out". After our previous trip to the hospital with reduced movements (which you can read about here) Baby has been very active, but where before I was sleeping through most of his/her busy episodes in the night, they're now strong and violent enough to wake me up, and visible too. I have to admit that this time around, as I'm more relaxed and content in my pregnancy, it's lovely to watch my tummy rolling and twitching with Baby's kicks and wiggles. I'm pretty sure that Baby is beginning to practice adopting a "head down" position, although he/she soon gets bored and wiggles back around (and makes me feel somewhat nauseous in the process!) We still have a couple of months to go, in theory, before Baby adopts a permanently "birth ready" pose.
The tiredness is back mind you, though I'm hoping that this isn't the end of any energy resources that I had to run on in previous weeks! At the weekend I fell asleep on the sofa before 7pm and despite Boyfriend disturbing me at 10pm to usher me upstairs to bed, that was me done until 8am the next morning! Seb has been spending weekends with his Dad over the past couple of weeks and I've been using these few days to catch up on rest, despite missing him enormously.
Now that baby is focussing on weight gain, it's the only point in pregnancy at which I am supposed to begin increasing my food intake, but only by about 200 calories a day according to most guidelines. This shouldn't be a problem though, as I want to eat everything, all of the time. I already feel I'm over-eating but thankfully I'm not gaining any unexpected weight, only what I should be expecting to gain, and as such I'm not panicking too much. 
Last week I took Seb to Canterbury for the day, we met up with friends in the park, took a river boat ride out in to the countryside, shopped at Lush (his favourite), ate at a new Italian place for lunch, climbed a high hill, and finally, went a bit crazy in Build-A-Bear to finish the day. Seb was adamant that if he was getting a new teddy (or Labrador puppy as it turned out to be), then Baby had to have a new teddy too, which has solved the "buying Baby a gift from Seb" issue. I didn't really want to spank the extra funds, but his insistence was so heart-warming, that I couldn't refuse. He chose his, as yet unborn, sibling, a baby Toothless dragon (from the movie franchise How To Train Your Dragon), natch. I just hope Baby likes dragons! What's more, he also recorded a message for Baby (which is limited to "I love you Baby" but it gets to the point at least) - which now plays whenever you squeeze the baby dragon's bum cheek - perfect!

I can honestly say that I'm quite enjoying pregnancy, mainly because there's nothing in particular to dislike. Sure I have trouble finding a comfy position to sleep in at night, and with my body temperature now several degrees above normal, my nights are already disrupted. Then there's the crampy, ouchy discomfort as Baby wiggles around to find his/her own comfy position, not to mention those sharp stabbing kicks to the lady-area that have become a daily inconvenience (or fannydaggers as someone reliably informed me they're called!) But there's the good stuff, like sharing each development with a man I love to the ends of the Earth and a touchingly excited and supportive best friend, not to mention an army of pregnant buddies (is everyone pregnant at the moment?). There's the fact that I don't feel as guilty about eating pie. There's the fact that my nails are growing at a phenomenal rate, along with my hair, and that my skin has all but cleared up entirely (we won't mention the enormous one-off Zit King that appeared in the corner of my nose the other day.). For the most part, because I've found it so easy and natural to bond with Baby in this pregnancy, I've loved feeling each movement, and the sense of becoming increasingly aware of this tiny person inside of me.
There is still, however, a distinct problem with name choosing. I have no intention of naming Baby before birth, which is easier, I guess, because we've decided not to find out his/her gender before he/she arrives. However, I would quite like to have a fair sized list of possibilities before I give birth. Finding names that Boyfriend and I can agree on though is proving challenging (though we do have a few), and what's more, our attitudes towards baby naming appear to differ; I'm very much in the "sit down and research potential names" camp, Boyfriend has utter trust that a name will come, magically, from nowhere, and we'll both just know that it's The One. I have my doubts.

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