Sunday, 24 November 2013

Week 116- stretch marks, stonewash jeans and second hand bras

It’s bonkers how quickly your body changes when pregnant.

One minute you can just about do up the last button on your Primark stonewash (impulse buy) jeans that are only really to be worn in the garden.
The next, you have to look in a full length mirror to see if you need to have a bikini wax as you can’t see past your tummy.

As if that isn't bad enough, I don’t have any decent clothes to wear, and am loathed to buy anything new. So am squeezing into pre-preggers clothes like a woman with chronic body dysmorphia.

There is nothing worse than seeing a pregnant gut hanging out of the bottom of your T-shirt.
Espesh in the freezing weather, as the chances are it’s not only covered in stretch marks from baby one, but also purple from cold.
Lovely stuff.
They say that you should be able to feel the baby moving about more second time round as you’re more familiar with the sensation.

But I’m inclined to disagree.

I thought Tiddler, as it is called for now, was having a bit of a stretch the other day so called Ben over to see if he could feel anything ‘from the outside’, just as I farted without warning.

Then the ‘moving’ stopped.

I’m turning into someone who has no control over bodily functions; I literally want to curl up in a big methane-infused ball and not come out again until after the baby’s been born.

I had to bite the bullet and buy new bras the other day, mind.
I’d passed on the nursing bras I used for Nancy to someone else, and can't for the life of me remember who that was.
And short of asking for them back on Facebook, which did feel a tad like social media suicide, I thought I should at least purchase one item in the next nine months.
So I bought some off E-bay.


I have some standards.

But none-the-less, half the price of if I’d bought them in M and S.

Turns out they’re too small. Obviously.
But that’s not a reason to return them on E-bay. Soz I didn’t realise how massive my tits have got- can I have my tenner back please?
So instead I am going to have to endure wearing them over the foreseeable months.

The plus side is, I now look forward to coming home and taking off my bra.
In fact, you know when you’re comfortable at other people’s houses as you can take it off there are well.
If my pre-Nancy self could see my now self, I think we’d be having strong words.
There was a time not that long ago when my idea of a good night was going to the pub followed by a proper dance to cheesy music that makes you want to sweat your face off and move till your feet bleed.

Now that life feels very much like someone else's. I start to get a bit panicky if I'm up past 11 these days.

But at least there’s a mega ace prize at the end of all this- a new person to join our team.
I just have to remind myself of that on a Saturday night when the highlight is taking my bra off and eating a Twirl.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Week 115- fibbing, farting and staying at boys houses

Nancy’s learnt to fib. 

I’m not sure where from, but she has.

We’re staying at my mum’s house for a few days, which is ace, as Nancy wakes up and wants to play with Nanny so I get to have a lie in for the first time in what feels like two years. 

And I've started noticing little untruths she's saying, not only to her grandparents, but her plastic toys too. 

Nancy’s first whopper was when we’d gone over to see another set of grandparents, and she was sat with her Nanna, and was asked if she’d done a poo. 

To which she said she hadn’t. 

And when asked what the smell was, she totally straight faced, claimed, ‘it was Nanna.’


She has also been drinking out of the bowl when having cereal at the childminders, which she’d told them she’d learnt to do from me.

Not so ace.

But it’s not the fact that she’s fibbing, as we all do that. 

It’s that she can do it while looking you straight in the eye, with no signs of cracking. 

She’s two, and will happily tell me she’s eaten all her carrots, for me to find she’s been sitting on them throughout dinner.

At the moment I’ve got to be extra vigilant, as I don’t really trust my memory either. 

The other morning Nancy claimed she’d already had her teeth brushed, but I assuming that she was telling a porky so brushed them again, only to remember later that I had already done them, as had Ben. 

Three times is quite a lot for a child who totally hates having it done once.

So I’ve got to keep my wits about me. 

Because girls are better at manipulating situations. I know. I am one.

Nancy may only be two, but I’m not going to let her catch me out.

It starts with them publically blaiming a fart on you, and ends with your 14 year old staying at over at a boys house they've met while on their GCSE work experience week having told you they’re staying with their best friend*.

*I've heard. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Week 114- headlocks, avocado sized babies and lying to the shop assistant in M and S...

I can’t cope with the lack of sleep being pregnant and having a two year old allows.

I know it’s THE most boring, repetitive conversation a parent can have.
Blah blah blah I’m tired.

Blah blah blah I could do with going to bed.
Blah blah blah the inside of my eyes feel prickly and I can’t remember if I’ve said the last thing out loud or just in my head as I’m so exhausted.


I remember when I was pregnant with Nancy.
I’d get in from work about 6ish. Watch Neighbours while stretched out on the sofa. Doze until about 7.30. Eat something, then go to bed. Sleep nine hours, then roll out of bed at my own leisurely pace.

And everyone was interested in the pregnancy.
Friends wanted to know how I was feeling.

I’d get lovely texts from those I didn’t see so regularly saying they were thinking of me.
Family would talk excitedly about what it was going to be like, having a newborn in the family.

And I showed more interest too.
I knew exactly at what week the baby was the size of a walnut/ avocado/ honey dew melon.

I went to pregnancy yoga from week 12. I knew when I was at week 12. And 17. And 21. In fact I could, at any one time, tell you exactly how many days until my due date.
This time round, I’m lucky if I remember the midwife's appointment, let alone how pregnant I am.

On the whole, second pregnancies just don't seem as interesting to people as the first.
There was initial interest. Of course. But after the ‘surprise, we’re doing it again!’ convo, we might  as well have all locked that vital piece of info in the memory bank for the next few months.

That is apart from the daily reminder of the too tight jeans, heartburn and constant lack of breath.
Second time round is harder.

Much harder.
Now I know I got myself into this situation in the first place, so I’m not looking for sympathy.

But, jeez, it’s almost like the people who used to give up their seat for me on the bus know it’s baby number two, and don’t bother getting up, as if they’re subliminally telling me, ‘you had this seat two years ago. I’ve done my bit, fatty.’
The long restful nights of pregnancy one are now replaced with a 2am, 4am and often 6am wakeup call from Nancy asking me if it’s time to get up yet.

And after countless times of putting her back in her own bed, the meltdowns start to go off the Richter scale.

So we relent, and let her sleep in our bed, where she likes to hold onto my face whilst simultaneously digging her heels into my bladder, and almost instantly falls back to sleep.
While I’m being given a headlock by a two year old.

I know I’ve done this all before.
This pregnancy lark.

So this should be a walk in the park.
My body obviously remembers, that’s why the bump has popped out so quickly, making me look about three months further down the line than I actually am.

But I feel like my head’s not even a bit there.
I used to buy odd bits of baby clothes to make the bump feel like a baby when I was pregnant with Nancy.

But we’ve got drawers bursting at the seams of baby stuff so it’s not so much of a treat to go and hang around the child section of Marks and Sparks.
Maybe I should.

Nancy can go to the child-minder for the afternoon.
And I’ll peruse the new-born babygro section.

Tell the shop assistant that this is my first pregnancy, and see how she congratulates me and wishes me luck for the future, lost momentarily in nostalgia as she reminisces about her own first born.
Then I’ll go home, lie on the sofa and watch reruns of Come Dine with Me before having an afternoon snooze.

It will be like hitting the reset button, before continuing with real life.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Week 113- researching plays, brilliant women and asking for your help...

I can’t remember whether I mentioned I’d started a theatre company with some friends back in 2008. 

I don’t remember a great deal these days, so that’s no surprise.
But I did.

I can’t take credit for the name, Dad thought it up.

Anyway, the reason I wanted to tell you about it, is cos we’re starting to research our new play.
And I need your help.
It’s called Three Generations of Women, and it’s an intergenerational play that will explore the lives of three British women, born in the 20s, 50s and 70s.

The play will question if life is easier for women now or whether they face the same challenges as their mothers and grandmothers but in different guises.

Things feel like they’re changing at the moment, and fast. Campaigns like the Everyday Sexism Project, No More Page 3 and Pink Stinks to name but a few, highlighting inequalities, prejudices and dated attitudes.
But is this just the tip of the iceberg?

We want to speak to women to gather their stories and experiences. We’re building a website at the moment, but in the meantime there’s a facebook group-
We are also going to be meeting with groups of women in Brighton, Leeds and London to have an informal chat about what it is to grow up as a woman in Britain.

We’ll be in Leeds on Tuesday 19 November at 3pm, meeting in a central location, so if you live round that way, drop me a line on so I can give you some more details as I would LOVE to have a brilliant group of fantastic women to talk to.

I want to write something that reflects what women ACTUALLY think, instead of having a guess based on my limited experience.
I know this post is a shameless plug.

But I also know I’ve been contacted by some absolutely brilliant, inspiring women since starting this blog a couple of years ago.

And I know there are loads more that I haven’t yet had contact with.

So I thought there’s no harm in asking you for your help.

Because at the end of the day, the worst you can say is no.

Actually you could say loads worse than that, but PLEASE don’t cos it’s been a sleep-deprived weekend, I’m a whirlwind of hormones at the moment, my boobs have grown by two cup sizes in weeks and not in a good way, and I may just burst into an ugly cry with no obvious end in sight.
Sooooo... if you fancy meeting us in Leeds, let me know, if not I’ll keep you up-to-date as to when the website will be launched so you can share your stories with us through that if you're up for it.

So that’s it.
Oh. Apart from I’m going to have a baby slap bang in the middle of writing the play.
But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...