MAD Blog Awards (and 40 weeks!)

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So, this is a little embarrassing, given that I haven’t actually blogged for a number of weeks, but it seems I’ve been nominated for a blog award.

Some kind soul has nominated me for Best Pregnancy Blog in the 2014 MAD Blog Awards. If that’s you, thank you! Lovely to know someone’s reading and liked my blog enough to make the effort to actually nominate me.

I believe that the winner is chosen by the number of votes on the MAD website. If you enjoy reading and would like to vote for this here blog, you can fill in a short online form. The deadline is 14 March.

And on that note, I’m off to scribble down some post ideas so that I can make amends for lack of blogging over the next couple of weeks. However, please note that I’m now 40+3, so on borrowed time with the pregnancy blog status. Let’s see how long it lasts…

Pregnancy insomnia

It makes sense really, once two months of excruciatingly, to-the-core-of-my-bone-marrow-tiredness is over, that pregnancy insomnia sets in.

(Picture my sarcastic face).

It’s just past 4.00am on a Sunday morning and I couldn’t be more wide awake. Just a shame the sun hasn’t caught up with my brain.

Never having been someone who has trouble getting to – or staying – asleep, this is still admittedly a little bit novel. I do quite like being up in the middle of the night with the TV to myself and an excellent excuse for drinking hot chocolate.

Fine on a weekend morning – but not so much fun when you have a full work day ahead of you on less than five hours’ sleep – especially for someone who panics if less than eight hours is on the agenda (yes parents, feel free to laugh at me and the sheer knackeredness that awaits once the baby is here).

Apparently suffering from insomnia during pregnancy is A Thing. But there don’t seem to be many useful explanations for exactly what causes it. Not being able to get to sleep because you’re uncomfortable in bed; have heartburn; or if you’re worrying about the baby’s imminent arrival: yes. But suddenly waking up in the middle of the night like it’s 9.00am: nope.

Guidance online helpfully suggests napping during the day (yep, sure that would go down totally well in my office at 10.00am), reducing caffeine content (already pretty nonexistent) or not eating dinner too late (definitely not a problem in this greedy household).

A couple of suggestions which might actually be useful:

  • eating more vitamin B – not sure exactly why, but can’t do any harm
  • getting adequate exercise during the day – definitely something that’s been lacking from my routine lately
  • ensuring that you’re comfortable in bed – coincidentally, we have a new mattress on order which is a million times better than our current old, sagging Ikea one.

Do you have any ideas about what causes pregnancy insomnia – or any solutions? Please let me know!

Getting over the first trimester

People say that you don’t know how awful the first trimester can be until you’re pregnant, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

Think back to your last pretty horrible hangover. Waking up to a stomach bubbling with acid; waves of nausea as you roll out of bed and stand up straight. Thoughts that you need to eat something to absorb the acidity: but not being able to contemplate anything that could make it past your lips and stay there for more than a few seconds. The overwhelming heavy tiredness that creeps up by 10am and slams you over the head, so you’re actually pinching your face to stay awake at your desk. Then again at around 5pm once the rigmarole of playing ‘normal’ all day at work is over.

Repeat every single day for approximately six weeks.

I won’t go on – and of course it’s different for everyone. Some b*astard women don’t get sickness at all. I’ll take that option next time, thanks.

Thankfully I’m past that stage now. Pretty much as soon as it crept up on me, the dark shadow that was the first trimester faded into the second…bar a couple of days of incessant vomiting at weeks 16 and 17: a fitting swansong to this utterly miserable couple of months. 

Happily, I shrugged off the sickness off finally and the second trimester has been treating me well so far. 

However, having got to used to continuous exhaustion and sickness, normal life has been chucked to the wayside. My twice or thrice-weekly spinning and bodypump classes and occasional weekend run are a distant, endorphin-tinted memory. Even the halfhearted swimming sessions that I started after discovering I was pregnant are looking like a good effort. In short, I’ve turned into a right lardyarse and my lack of energy isn’t being helped by the lethargy that no exercise brings.

I really could do with getting out there and back to the gym, but I’ve completely lost the motivation and a bit of confidence. It’s not all me (I tell myself) – advice around exercise is pretty patchy and who knows what’s really ok to do while pregnant. The generic advice seems to be ‘ask your midwife’. When I asked my midwife, she gave some generic advice along the lines of ‘whatever feels ok; don’t overdo it’.

Now that I can contemplate anything more than a walk from my car to the office, I’m starting to think a gentle run (who am I kidding: probably a run-walk-run-walk) might be possible and even enjoyable.

To nip my exercise apathy in the bud and to get some solid ideas about what I can and can’t do, I’ve booked a personal trainer. Might seem extravagant, but for less than the price of a massage, I get a session going through ideas for workouts at home, outside and in the gym and then no obligation follow up sessions if needed.

I’m raring to get going with it… But not quite enough to tear me away from the TV and back to the swimming pool in the evenings. With my training session a couple of weeks away, I really need to pick up the exercise in the meantime – if only for my sanity. I’m one of those people who gets grouchy, impatient and generally unhappy if I haven’t been exercised in a while. I’m thinking a short, slow run might be in order tonight – then we’ll see if I can brave the swimming pool tomorrow.

In the meantime, any tips to get my increasingly chubby butt moving again during pregnancy would be much appreciated. Just don’t tell me to stop eating chocolate.