As of today, I am 2 days off 23 weeks pregnant and over the halfway line. My little bump is definitely still little and housing a little karate apprentice, who loves nothing more than to give me the odd boot in the tummy to let me know he/she is about.

I am happy as a clam.

This isn't where I say it hasn't all been smooth sailing, because - and curse me for saying it - it really bloody has. I've been very, very lucky to have a complication-free pregnancy, with only some nasty nausea in weeks 5-9 to contend with. Other than the early bedtimes, which I secretly love, we've been coasting along Easy Street.

My Mum bought me a baby book to document my pregnancy and the baby's first year, which I've been rubbish at doing in real time but it's been fun to write in retrospect... which made me think about all the things I've been contemplating during my first but mostly second trimester, in particular. Here goes.

  1. Everyone will ask how you're feeling and you may just in that split second temporarily forget that you are actually pregnant. Yep. Because although your body changes, if you're anything like me it changes pretty s-l-o-w-l-y. So you're just going about your normal day-to-day and when someone pointedly asks after your health, you think - I'm fine of course...? I'm sure I should feel guilty about that, but gah, this is my first time at this particular rodeo. It is what it is.
  2. Your bump may not be all that noticeable when it's your first pregnancy. I'm naturally a size 8-10 and quite tall, so my bump has taken quite a bit of time to show. I didn't really see very much in the way of bump action until hitting the 21 week mark, and it's still not particularly noticeable now. Put it this way, if I saw you in the street, you wouldn't know - and I'm 1 week off the 6 month mark. Crazy, right? I always assumed that you hit the 3 month mark and BAM. Bump. But nope, not everyone is like that.
  3. Pretty much anything can be seen as a symptom of pregnancy. Apart from the obvious danger signs, all sorts of weird and wonderful things seem to happen to us women when we are with child and you can more or less blame it on that. On my list of strange symptoms: a mouthful of ulcers for the last two weeks, a slowdown in overall hair growth (really), the ability to sleep at any time of day...
  4. The only people who seem to be able to honestly prepare you for the first few weeks after birth are other newbie mums. Midwives are amazing up to and during the birth, but with the NHS as stretched as it is, breastfeeding and general after-care for new mums seems to be sadly lacking across the UK. I can't help but feel new mums would feel more confident (and stats for PND may drop, too) if more support was made obligatory. New mums used to be in hospital for 2 weeks back in the 1960s and anywhere between 3-7 days in the 1980s to establish feeding and ensure both mum and baby were doing well. 
  5. It's a good thing it takes 9 months to grow a baby. Without being a total sap here, I honestly believe this isn't all physical - mentally and emotionally you need the time to adjust to this new chapter. In the first few weeks after finding out I was pregnant, I panicked about losing my independence - my career, my ability to swan off on holiday at the drop of a hat - and it still scares me a bit now. But time gives you the grace to grow and adapt... and I'm so happy, right here and right now in the moment, and that's good enough for me.  I have faith that new adventures await. 
While I've got you (and hopefully haven't bored you to tears with my pregnancy thoughts) I'm adding in a little update, totally stolen from my lovely online friend Rosie (hers is a blog I've read and loved for years, I really recommend a read over at Cider with Rosie)!

How far along: Almost 23 weeks! I’m in my fifth month and baby is roughly 30cm, which just makes me think of those rulers in school and how long that actually is...

Days until due date: 121 - that makes me feel a lot better than thinking I could give birth in 15 weeks time...

The bump: Teeny, tiny but definitely there. Although as above, you can't really tell until you're up close to me (and you know, because I could just be a bit chubby).

Weight changes: Last I checked, I'd put on 2.5kg overall which is fairly bang on.

Stretch marks? None yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if they spring up later on - especially on my boobs, which are enormous.

Cravings: Very cold fruit, namely berries. I have frozen berries that I love as an evening snack and can't resist cold blueberries straight from the fridge. I could easily average a punnet a day these days...

Sleep: I'm still trying to get in a good 8 hours a night and I'm usually hitting 9 or 10 at the weekends. I tend to hit 9pm and start wilting, so I'm just giving my body what it needs and going to bed whenever I need to. It's lovely.

Symptoms: Crazy heartburn, which if folklore is anything to go by means I am having one hairy baby!

Best moment this week: Cuddling my brand new baby niece and feeling their cousin kick me at the same time. Incredibly surreal and very special.

Worst moment this week: Heartburn. It's been so bad sometimes I've felt like my oesophagus is actually burning and my voice gets hoarse, which is not pleasant. Gaviscon is my #1 pal.

Miss anything? Would you judge me if I said wine?

Movement: Lots of kicks, rolls and jabs, several times a day. I made a joke the other day that the baby  was star-fishing in there, because I'm starting to feel kicks further up and out than before, as well as a fair few headbutts to the cervix, which is always great.😬

Gender: A surprise until the day! We were leaning towards a girl for a while but now we're back to having absolutely no idea.

Belly button in/out: Still in...

Wedding Rings on/off: Still on!

Mood: Annoyingly, buoyantly happy.

Looking forward to: Official viability at 24 weeks - we've been super lucky so far, but it's good to know they'd have a pretty high change of surviving should they decide to make an early entrance (please God no)!

Hope you're all having a happy Sunday!