Here's my latest bumpdate for those of you that have been following along with my progress to date. I am getting to the point where I don't just feel like my body looks different, but I also feel pretty cumbersome as I try to get around the place these days!
I wasn't quite prepared for how different the second trimester would feel to the first. When my sickness eventually tailed off around week 16 and my appetite and energy returned a few weeks later, I actually felt fitter and healthier than I was before the pregnancy began!
Despite this, I have recently been diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism, which basically means that my thyroid gland isn't producing enough hormone to sustain both me and the baby, and I'm having to take hormone supplements to make up for it. I have suffered with this issue in the past, but it seemed to correct itself at the beginning of my pregnancy, before slowly declining again - something which I'm told is all too common. Nevertheless, I'm still feeling fit and healthy and with consistent monitoring between now and the end of the pregnancy, everything should be fine.
With a matter of weeks left to go until our little girl joins us, there is so much we still have left to do. Therefore, in the spirit of new year, I thought I would share some of my pregnancy-related new years' resolutions with you, with everything I am aiming to achieve over the final semester.
1. Attend some classes. Qatar doesn't have an equivalent to the NCT, which provides antenatal classes as standard for all expectant mothers that are interested in gaining more information and support. Therefore, we had to do a little bit of research to seek out our own. In January and February we're booked onto two courses: one at our maternity clinic, which will teach us the basics of everything from labour to feeding and baby care, and one at Yama Yoga Studios, which will impart some techniques for natural childbirth.
2. Learn the basics of hypnobirth. After speaking to Mr Sunshine's sister Lisa about her positive birth experience (which involved absolutely no interventions at all!) over the Christmas break, I was inspired and I am keen to learn more about how I can use positive affirmations and calming music to achieve a comfortable and natural birth. This might sound a little bit hippy to a lot of you, but I am keen to try anything that will reduce the pain and result in an easier and happier experience for us all! Lisa's kindly leant me a book on the subject and burned some CDs for me, and I'll keep you updated on how I get on.
3. Finish furnishing the nursery. We have all the basics now including a cot, bassinet, daybed and hopefully a nappy changing unit as of this evening, but in order to make the room perfect I am busy scouting out soft furnishings and pictures to complete the look and feel. I've really enjoyed this little project so far and can't wait to share it with you all in due course! Here is a tiny sneak peek to whet your appetite until then.
For anybody worried about our use of bedding in this picture, these are just a couple of blankets I've bought - we won't actually be using them in this way!
4. Buy all of our final bits and bobs. From scratch mittens to baby nail clippers, gripe water to nappies, I want to make sure that we have everything bought and stashed away ready for the baby's arrival. No mum wants to head down to the city to stock up on provisions 4 days after giving birth on 2 hours sleep.
5. Read, read and read some more. I've been gifted some truly excellent baby-related reading material over the Christmas period, which I have been absorbing at a rate of knots. I would like to get to March knowing that even though I will feel as clueless as every other first time mum when our baby joins us, at least I have prepared as much as I can for the basics!! Mr Sunshine also has a book targeted at dads, and has been receiving updates on all of my reading too - something which is really important to both of us so that we feel like we're in this together. Some book reviews to follow once we have read them all.
So there's quite a lot to accomplish in a short space of time, but it's really important to me that I get organised. Only when I've completed all of the above and finished all of the necessary life admin that comes along with giving birth outside of your home country will I feel like I am truly ready for this to happen!
For any of you Doha-based mums-to-be that are interested in the classes I've mentioned above, please do drop me a comment below or get in contact with me via my Facebook page and I'll provide you with all the details. Also, for those of you that have already given birth, check out my friend Hannah's post-natal yoga classes which start on 10th January. Hannah's a qualified teacher and yogi, and a lovely lady to boot, and these classes are going to popular so book yourself in quick!
Happy new year to all you yummy mummies across the world. I hope that 2016 brings lots of happiness to you and your little ones.