Tick-Tock

Probably one of the mistakes I made from the beginning of this pregnancy was comparing it to the one I had with C. They turned out to be two different events, not as many similarities as I had expected and secretly hoped for, but overall they were both great experiences in their own merits. It was totally unfair to compare one pregnancy with the other, simply because the circumstances surrounding both pregnancies were totally different. First off with C I was not working, I was living in England and I had nothing on my mind except taking care of the small attic we lived in, buying baby things online and visiting the city-centre for dates with my friends. This time round the situation was different. I was (and still am) working full-time, had a three-year old to take care of, I had school preparations to take care, had to deal with a Maltese summer and had a bigger place to look after as well. It goes without saying that all these circumstances shaped this pregnancy in a much different manner than the first one. This time round the nausea in the beginning of the pregnancy lasted for two weeks more, I felt this baby three weeks before I ever felt C, I suffered more heartburn this time round but I didn’t have the awful case of itchiness I had on my legs as I did with C. The same things which bothered me in the early weeks of my first pregnancy, bothered me this time round too – sparkling water and the smell of garlic were the most prominent. The advantage of this pregnancy was knowing, up to a certain extent, what to expect with each passing month. Nothing fazes you as much as it does the first time round. Pregnancy is no light stroll in the park, but now that I’m nearing its’ end, I will miss many things about it – mostly the intimacy of having a baby growing inside you and having ‘it’ all to yourself for the time being. What I won’t miss about these (hopefully) last days – the awful heaviness I’ve become, my aching back, the inability to find a comfortable position when seated or laying down, the painful foot cramps and my newly-acquired penguin walk. And my maternity clothes of course. There’s a bonfire or a visit to a car-boot sale planned for those.

I have been reading and re-reading articles and blog posts about how to prepare C for this new baby. All sorts of opinions and helpful advice has popped up, but I feel as if I can only prepare her so much. Honestly, I think she’s ready for her sibling. She spontaneously gives my tummy kisses and hugs and asks when the baby is coming. She has come up with a name for the baby and helped me set up the baby corner. And apart from mentioning the baby with her, involving her as much as I can with the baby’s arrival and talking to her about how she’s going to be my big baby from now onwards and the baby will be our little baby, what else can I truly do? The only setback is that she will be starting school next week, and that may now coincide with the baby’s arrival. So now I’ve promised her that the baby will be bringing her a gift when she goes to school – I’m trying all that I can to make this change as smooth as possible. But in all honesty I won’t know how she reacts to everything until the actual moment arrives. I can only hope and pray.

In the meantime I once again start thinking about my pregnancy with C, and I remember how at this exact time, C was already seven days old.

I know – bad, bad, bad thing to do.

It's these quiet yet goofy moments that I want to treasure x

It’s these quiet yet goofy moments that I want to treasure x

The Waiting Game

Finally September is here. I have been waiting for this month for weeks now. Not only does it (hopefully) bring about a change in weather from the humid heat to cool breezes, but I’m hoping (and praying, and praying) that this is the month our baby will arrive.

The final months are not glamorous. Not at all. There is nothing glamorous about being at your biggest weight ever, having what looks like the worlds-greatest cankles ever, a painful back to accompany you day and night, and if you live in the Maltese islands, you top everything up with the heavy weather which makes you seem and feel a hundred kilos heavier.

I am now fed up of my maternity clothes. There are only a few ways on how you can make a simple black maternity dress look special and different each time. There are no proper maternity shops here on the Rock, and any shopping I did during this pregnancy were online.  I have a couple of websites which I browse regularly  (Asos, Gap and New Look amongst others) but in all honesty I am now fed up of seeing elasticated waistlines, baby-doll styled tops, high-waisted dresses and flat shoes. So what I have now is what I will wear for the rest of this pregnancy. And after that, I’m organizing a huge bonfire.

It was quite a pregnancy. I had low lows but definite high highs. And now, hopefully by the end of this month, I will have a baby in my arms. I’m so looking forward to meeting the little kicker I have inside me, who starts dancing the minute I lay down on the bed and who has stretched my belly to unbelievable proportions.

We have so many changes in our life coming up this month. A new baby, Cesca starting school, we will be starting building our home soon, the winter season coming up – it’s all about changing and adapting our lifestyles. I have hopes that we will all turn out okay, especially Cesca. The only thing I’m fearing where she’s concerned is her first couple of days of school. But I’m praying to the higher powers that all will be smooth and fine.

In the meantime, this is what we’ve been up to…

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Bump is now 35 weeks old. This photo was taken at 34+1 weeks when I was off for what was supposed to be a girly dinner. My friends had other plans…

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..In actual fact I was dressing up for my baby shower! It was quite the surprise seeing all my family and friends gathered up. Best feeling ever 🙂

We have avoided playgrounds because of the total lack of shade. However I took advantage of the shady weather and took her for an hour to run around. Her facial expression was priceless :)

We have avoided playgrounds because of the total lack of shade. However I took advantage of the cloudy weather and took her for an hour to run around. Her facial expression was priceless 🙂

August was a tough month where the weather was concerned. When not plastered underneath the a/c unit, I am normally lying down on the floor trying to catch a cool (or otherwise) breeze.

August was a tough month where the weather was concerned. When not plastered underneath the a/c unit, I am normally found lying down on the floor trying to catch a cool (or otherwise) breeze.

As in Cesca's pregnancy, I am gorging on fruits this time round. I can eat fruits all day long and be happy. Better than sweets and chocolates I guess. Though I'm not exactly abstaining on those either...

As in Cesca’s pregnancy, I am gorging on fruits this time round. I can eat fruits all day long and be happy. Better than sweets and chocolates I guess. Though I’m not exactly abstaining on those either…

I have started unwrapping and washing the baby's clothes, linen and blankets in preparation for the little one. I absolutely love these Webbs products - their smell is purely baby-in-a-bottle!!

I have started unwrapping and washing the baby’s clothes, linen and blankets in preparation for the little one. I absolutely love these Webbs products – their smell is purely baby-in-a-bottle!!

 

Ten Things

I’m pregnant, my face is supposedly growing, a miracle is happening within my body, everyone is happy, we’re all healthy and thankfully everything is perfectly fine.

 

Yet I can’t help but say that pregnancy does have some minuses…

 

1. You fail to walk in a straight line. You inadvertently find yourself wobbling and walking to the side, and realize that straight-walking is out of the question. Especially so when you notice how fellow pedestrians are avoiding you in the street not because they fear you, but because you are walking straight into them. Beware, the fat cow approaches.

2. You do not calculate how big you have truly become. You feel yourself growing bigger and actually stretching by the minute, but you only truly realize the humungous hulk you’ve become when you start bumping into things, knocking your child over (I’m so sorry C!) and start huffing and puffing to arrive from point A to B – five minutes away.

3. You look at your pre-pregnancy wardrobe and cry. Yes, true tears. Especially when you compare your current clothes – elasticated waistbands, baggy tops and flat shoes, with the skinny jeans and high heels. And you then cry that bit harder when you think about the size you once were.

4. Whilst appreciating the extra attention and care you get as a pregnant lady, you sometimes hate feeling like an invalid. The ‘ah, poor you…pregnant in this heat!’, and ‘you’re going to be pregnant for the whole of summer? hmmm…’ does not exactly help my mood. The worst though – elderly ladies who smile sweetly to your face, and then fail to hide their loud whispers “Miskina, rajtha dik?” Hello?! I can hear you!!

5. You stop being a human being and exist only as a bump. Whoever meets you stares for that extra second at your tummy and then moves up to your face to greet you. I now understand how big-breasted women feel.

6. Being pregnant seems to give everyone the permission to touch your belly. The next time a stranger does that to me I’m going to touch them back. Or smack them. On their belly, back, crotch, I don’t care. My belly, my body, my rules – buzz off!

7. You get used to the awful two-inch roots and sprouting white hairs growing on your head yet you are counting the days until you can visit the hairdresser and get a proper hair-do,. You start envying everyone’s shining bright locks and despair over your own, utterly convinced that it is now the time to invest in hats, hairbands and oversized bandanas.

8. Forget comfort. You will not be comfortable again for a while. If it’s not nausea, it’s heartburn. If it’s not heartburn, it’s back pain. If it’s not back pain, it’s swollen ankles. If it’s not swollen ankles, it’s being unable to sleep because it is impossible to find a good sleeping position. I can go on with this list but I won’t. You get my drift. I can however compile a new list once the baby is born. But I won’t.

9. You will get sick of drinking water. How much water can you drink without getting tired of it? Yes, you can add mint and lemon but it’s still water. And when it’s summer and you see everyone around you drinking wine and beer, it is a million times worse. Water takes on a bitter taste. I miss my wine, I miss my beer. Yes I’m pregnant and craving alcohol. You can now put on your shocked face and talk about me behind my back. Don’t think I care.

10. You realize that you’re becoming a bit too grumpy. Look at my case. I’m grateful for everything that’s happening to me. Pregnancy is a miracle. A baby is growing inside me, I’m happy and everyone is healthy. Yet I’ve just written this grumpy post. Pff, pregnant lady complaining about everything.

I’ll soon put up a positive post, I promise.

In the meantime, happy weekend!

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(These C-taken selfies do make me smile 😉 )

Fly By

This summer is flying by. July is suddenly nearing its’ end and I’m three-fourths of my way through this pregnancy. It seems I’m growing by the day and my wardrobe is becoming more and more limited as the days pass. Unlike my pregnancy with C, I am still able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy dresses and tops, although trousers are now out of the question, because even the elastic-band trick is not working any longer. So I have my ever-faithful numbered tops, skirts, trousers and beloved flat sandals, and I’m set it seems. The only items of clothing I can experiment with are accessories, so at the moment I’m splurging  on necklaces and bracelets. And clothes for C of course..the little missus is constantly outgrowing her clothes and gives me the perfect excuse to go shopping for her. Her clothes are my guaranteed ticket to burn.

We are spending our days swimming, going out for ice-cream walks, meeting up with friends and eating. I don’t know about you but (pregnancy aside) I eat more in the summer months. I go out more often, dine out more frequently and finish each meal with an ice-cream or something sweet. Winter plates may be heavier, but summer eating is much more frequent it seems. At least for me.

I’m enjoying the last few weeks of being a mother of one.  I am sometimes scared of ruining the balance we have reached with her when the baby comes. We know her routine and her dis/likes, we love her late mornings and laid-back attitude, and I do fear, yet know, that she will change with the new arrival. She is a tall three-year old, yet she is still such a young girl. She still needs reassurance and warm cuddles, she looks to us for smiles and kisses and is full of love. A new baby will take away some of the attention she has grown used to now, but I’m believing and hoping it will be for the better. Add to that a new school and lifestyle and she sure is in for a change. We are trying to make the transition as easy as possible for her, we talk about the baby everyday, she kisses and hugs my tummy and has started helping me out with daily chores I’m no longer able to do myself, yet I know that it will still be a shock for her. However her character reassures me that she will be the best older sister for her sibling.

Again, I can’t believe that at three years of age she will already be an ‘older’ sister.

Time is flying by. Our days are lazy ones and I’m trying to enjoy each day of this summer to its’ fullest. I can’t fully appreciate the summer as much as I did in previous years, with my aching back, tired legs and a kicking baby, but I’m doing my best.

So far, so good.

I can't believe we will soon be going back to these days...it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

I can’t believe we will soon be going back to these days…it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

 

 

Something Beautiful

When you live on a Rock, it is very difficult to keep certain things hidden. Not that you actually have anything to hide, but you prefer talking about some things a bit later rather than sooner. When we lived in England we managed to keep most of our things to ourselves and reveal them at our choice and timing. Gozo is a hundred times different. Some people here are gifted with that particular talent of recognizing the tiniest iota of change in others before they’ve been told about it, and you can not refuse answering their questions or queries.

Again, we have nothing to hide. At this point we can not hide anything not even if we wanted to.

I will let this photo of myself (on the right) and my friend Maureen (on the left) do all the talking…

Two friends, two bumps :)

Two friends, two bumps 🙂

That’s right. Cesca’s going to be an older sister!

I’m more than halfway through with the pregnancy, and have started recently growing on an hourly basis (or so it seems to me!) We feel blessed and thankful, everyone and everything is so exciting and I can’t wait for summer to end and get to meet our Number Two! We talk to Cesca about the new addition all the time, mainly to get her used to the idea that she will soon have a sibling to share her life with. I don’t know whether she fully understands what is going to happen, but she makes me smile (and shed a tear) when she hugs my tummy, kisses the baby and tells us that “mama’ has a baby in her tummy swimming upside down”.

So the not-so-secret secret is out. Again, it has not been a secret in Gozo for a couple of weeks now.

And nor do we want it to be. Not when something so beautiful is happening 🙂

 

Remembering Days Gone…

Living with an 18-month old in a country with no family around sort of compromises your weekend options. Add to that the freezing weather that we have here in England at the moment, and you wouldn’t want to go out of the house unless really REALLY necessary. And when it snows heavily you’d have to be a bit crazy to want to venture outside on a cold January night (except if you’re me of course).

Therefore our options are very limited. Although we try and enjoy the weekend as a whole family, cold weather puts a damper on things. We can’t go out with the pushchair in snowy weather because it’s so difficult pushing it and remain standing when threading on ice. Wherever we manage to go, Cesca will have to remain straddled in her pushchair and she hates that, especially since she discovered the independence and excitement her two long legs give her. Even car drives are a scary outing. And if daytime outings wherein we all try and do something different for our sakes and more so for Cesca’s, night time outings for us is even harder.

Enjoying this year's first proper snowfall.

Enjoying this year’s first proper snowfall.

Trailing after papa' - with no falls!

Trailing after papa’ – with no falls!

So our preferred weekend thing is inviting friends over for dinner at our place. We’re all happy that way – I get to bake something yummy, A stocks up the wine, we decide on the menu, and Cesca gets an extra hour awake at night, basking in the extra attention she gets. And the worrier in me gets the night off from thinking that Cesca will catch a cold. It’s a win-win situation.

One of our friends is 33 weeks pregnant. She seems to be growing more and more every time I see her and she has an inner glow emanating from her – I guess the cliche’ is true, the ‘pregnancy glow’ does exist!  She’s at the phase where every bit of her body is aching, simple things irritate her and everything itches and is sore! I could not help telling her that unfortunately things will get bigger, heavier, less pleasant and more frustrating. She was up and moving every couple of minutes, unable to find a comfortable sitting position, craving oranges and eating and tangerines, and then gulping down milk because of the heartburn it caused her.

Inadvertently her talk took me back to my 33rd week of pregnancy. I was big and growing. And it was the week I travelled to Malta alone, to spend the three months of summer there, waiting for Little Miss C to arrive.

And now ‘Little’ Miss C caresses and touches our friend’s belly whenever we tell her to say hello to  baby Chris.

Life is one big beautiful circle x

P.S. Three days left folks – enter the giveaway going on here – and remember you can enter everyday for more chances to win 😉

With a Little Bit of Hindsight…

These past couple of days, I can’t help but think as to how I was last year. I’ve been looking back at past posts, pictures and reading my pregnancy diary. I can’t believe it’s been one year already, and yet some memories seem so distant (I’m thinking it’s due to the lack of sleep and foggy brain I had at the moment).

This time last year I was nearing the 36th week of pregnancy. The following week I would look something like this:

This picture was actually taken 3 days before C was born. I was nearing 37 weeks of pregnancy. You can even see the dark nailpolish referred to below!!

I was wearing my pregnancy ‘uniform’. I had my faithful long white skirt, my denim one, a couple of singles and dresses, and I hated them by the end of the pregnancy. I would cry when I opened my wardrobe (still do sometimes) and felt like a whale in a sea of goldfish.

Me, as the giant blob, at week 36!

I had terrible backache, heartburn sucked and finding a comfortable seated position was a feat. I had attended three maternity classes and was looking forward for the fourth, where we were supposed to discuss breathing techniques during labour. That lesson never came for me.

I was thinking I had 4 weeks left of pregnancy. I had a pedicure and facial planned for before the baby arrived. I missed those appointments and went into labour with dark nailpolish on my digits.

I had ugly thoughts about being out in public and having my water break there, for all to witness. Sort of like being a teenager, going out, getting your period and marking your white jeans. Thankfully both never happened, and that deed was left for the midwife to perform.

I had prepared my hospital bag, although when the time came, I didn’t even take it with me. We had a camera with fully-charged batteries, I had reading books and snacks packed in there. In actual fact we were lucky to get a couple of pictures of C’s moment of entering this world with A’s iPhone, just before the battery gave away.

I was worried (petrified, terrified and so scared) about labour, when in actual fact I was really, really (I mean REALLY) lucky with the whole ordeal. My delivering midwife still mentions this to me every time we meet.

And my luckiest bit of it all was having A by my side. He made it with only a couple of hours to spare but was there when I needed him the most. Deep down I was convinced he wouldn’t be. I can never be thankful enough for that.

I’ve probably bugged you all with this photo, but it is one of my favourite. Me, a couple of hours before C arrived. Wearing my pregnancy ‘uniform’ and holding the obligatory fan at hand!

There were a hundred other bits I was worried about after Cesca was born. A left 3 days after C was born, and I decided to stay at our place alone with C. I was worried about that. I was worried about everything concerning C and her feeding. I would panic thinking about moving back to England with an 8-week old and 3 months worth of things, AND more so thinking about how I would take care of a baby alone with no help at hand. Somehow it all worked out and we’re all doing good 🙂

So to last year’s Josepha, I wish I could reassure you that all was going to be okay. I need not have worried about the little bits and bobs. The world works in mysterious ways, and things do fall into their place.

xxx Jos