Monday, 27 September 2010

The Bump begins to grow

This week I am 17 weeks pregnant and I decided it was time for a new belly picture...

My bump is certainly looking more pronounced, and is starting to be obvious through my clothes. My colleagues at work have started to notice it, and some of the regular customers who know that Im pregnant too. One of the ladies who comes in several times a week has a daughter due the same week as me, so its interesting to hear whats happening in her pregnancy in relation to mine. She felt movement around the same time as me, and apparently has now felt a couple of kicks too. I may have done last night but I'm not 100% sure. I felt what I thought may have been a kick and then the same thing in the same place a couple of seconds later so it may have been - but we shall wait and see if anything else happens.

Theres nothing else much to report this week. I've been preparing for a craft show that my friend and I are doing in a couple of weeks, so I'm constantly covered in wallpaper paste and ripping up bits of magazines. I'll get organised and take some pictures of what I've been doing before I (hopefully) sell it all. Last day at work the day after tomorrow, and this time next week I will have had my first day of lectures as a PhD student. I'm yet to have my MA results tho. Hopefully I'll get those next week too.

We get our next scan in just under 4 weeks, and then a week after that we go to Barbados - well, I say we, it might just be me on my own as He can't find his passport and seems to be doing nothing about getting a replacement. I do quite like the idea of going on my own though. Might do me good to get a little time away from everything and relax before the frantic PhD work begins and we (mainly I) start preparing for the babys arrival.

I'm going to start exercising regularly next week, and when I'm back from Barbados I plan on starting pregnancy Yoga classes, and booking myself onto antenatal classes. My diary's gonna be pretty choc-a-block with things to do lading up to the birth, but I'm determined to keep busy, keep active and keep healthy for the rest of my pregnancy. As I keep telling people, pregnancy isn't an illness and theres no reason why I shouldn't do anything I'd do normally...

Thursday, 23 September 2010


We've both started looking at furniture for the babys room - which will be half nursery, half my study - although the baby will be rooming in with us until its 3-4 months old. We've both separately looked through the Ikea catalogue - I found it open on the cot page the other day even though I hadn't mentioned anything to Him about looking. When I asked which cot he liked, he pointed to EXACTLY the same one I liked. How cool is that?! So unless either of us change our minds, or find something better, I think this is the cot the baby will be having...


Isn't it awesome?

My little sister seems to be enjoying shopping for her future niece/nephew. Every few days she comes to see me with a new babygrow, or outfit, or something she has seen that was on offer and had to be bought. Yesterday it was a set of nappies and babywipes (with a free hat) which has been added to the pile of nappies and wipe I got on offer at the weekend (and I got a free changing bag too!) Lots of my friends have said that they want to get things for the baby but they want to wait until they know if its a boy or a girl before they buy anything. We will be waiting until the baby is born though, so they've got a bit of a wait.

I'm at the stage of pregnancy now, where to me I look pregnant, and He is definitely noticing a daily change in the size of my tummy, however, when dressed, I just look like I've SERIOUSLY been overdoing the cakes and I'm getting really self conscious about my tummy. Luckily the weather is cool enough for me to start wearing jumpers that hide my tummy, and really loose fitting vest tops that cover all sins and make me feel much better about myself. Give it a few more weeks though and I think cake belly will most certainly look like a bump - then I might be able to get a seat on the bus for once!

I'm feeling the baby move more and more everyday. I notice it when I go to bed, I think thats because I'm relatively relaxed and less busy so I actually notice whats going on. Most of the time I'm so stressed out at work that I don't really notice whats going on with my body as I just want to get the day over and done with and get home! I do love being able to feel it though. It like me and the baby have our own little secret that no-one else knows about and no-one else is aware of when its happening. I find myself randomly smiling whenever I feel it - I must look a bit crazy to other people having this little grin spread across my face from time to time. The other half has taken to lying with his head on my tummy when we're on the sofa listening to all the gurgling sounds as the baby moves around. He's actually started referring to me as Gurgle now, which is quite sweet really. He's definitely getting more involved in the pregnancy and doesn't look terrified when I mention the baby or anything to do with it anymore :-)

Yesterday I registered at uni so I am now an official PhD student, which is somewhat terrifying as it now starting to hit home just how much work I've got to do, and how quickly time is passing. Im really excited though as it means I can finally get started on something I've been working toward for the last 8 years, and I can't wait to get my teeth into the project, get back into the swing of lectures and reading and just generally researching again. I've really missed it the last few weeks - months even as I don't feel like I did much of that during my MA, which is a shame.

Only 4 more shifts left at work. Can't bloody wait to leave that place - and I'm so looking forward to saturday night as we've got two of our very good friends who we've not seen in over a year coming to visit :-) god knows where we're going to put them...

Monday, 20 September 2010

Time to start uni... again

This week is Freshers Week at uni... although I am not partaking. Instead this week will be my last week at work, as I am leaving next Wednesday 29th September. I'm sad to be going as I will miss many of the people I work with, and lots of the regular customers who I have made good friends with, but I am also pleased to be leaving as it gives me time to rest, and to concentrate on my phd work.

Over the past couple of weeks I've actually found the time to do some reading for my course, to try and get some background information on the actual PhD project, as its something totally new to me - and given that I have less time in my first year to work on things, the sooner I get started the better. The project title is 'Knowledge Brokering in Health and Social Care' and involves exploring how knowledge is transformed and transferred between health workers and social workers using certain individuals who act as intermediaries. Much research has considered the transfer of explicit knowledge, in the form of facts, data and pieces of information but I am also interested in the implict and more tacit knowledge that is developed within teams, but is difficult to share with others due to its unwritten and informal nature. The project will involve two case studies: 2 in mental health (1 adult focus, 1 child/youth focus) and the other on long term illness (again 1adult focus, one child/youth focus). I am thinking of looking at dementia in the elderly, and anorexia in teens for the mental illnesses, but am unsure on the long term illnesses. I need to discuss this more with my supervisors.

That reminds me actually, I had an email from one of my supervisors last week to tell me that he, and my other supervisor, are taking new jobs at Warwick University Business School and that they will no longer be able to work with me. They have however assigned me two new supervisors, both of whom I know, and one was the inspiration behind my route into medical sociology so I am delighted to be working with him. Both of them come from a background firmly routed in sociology as opposed to business and management studies, so at least we will all be on familiar ground.

I'm looking forward to starting the project and really getting my teeth into something new, but the closer it gets to lectures actually starting, the more I realise what a monumental task I'm about to take on, and how difficult the next three years are going to be, even without having the baby. I just hope that the rest of my pregnancy is normal, and relatively easy, so I can get as much work done as possible before the baby is born. The more I can get done, the more time I can have with the baby before I need to pick it up again, but I don't want to take too much time out, so as I don't completely loose interest and motivation for the project. I've worked so hard to get to this point that I don't want to let anything prevent me from achieving my goals.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

We have movement (and also a small breakdown)

I'm not gonna lie, the last couple of weeks have been pretty tough and its really starting to get to me now. The cafe where I work has just undergone a management change which has stressed everyone out, and theres been a lot of changes we're all trying to get used to. On top of that, a few people have left and we're very short staffed at the moment. Everyones working extra hours, and extra hard to get everything done, especially us casuals who've suddenly found our hours increasing from 5-15hrs a week to 35+. It'll be great when we eventually get paid for it, but its really taking it out of everyone. We're all stressed, overworked and overtired and its starting to show on everyone.

I feel like I haven't got the right to moan about it, because we're all in exactly the same position, and we're all taking on extra hours to help each other out, but that combined with trying to do some PhD work, keeping on top of my housework, not to mention the fact that I'm growing a baby, its all just getting too much to deal with. I've found myself acting completely out of character the last few days. I'm snapping at my colleagues, and saying things about them or to them that I'd never usually say, I'm short and snappy with customers which I NEVER do. I pride myself on my customer service and being able to put on a smile and treat everyone the same no matter how shitty I'm feeling - I actually had a lady tell me I was being rude to her the other day which really shocked me. I wanted to burst into tears I felt so bad.

It all came to a head today when my assistant manager felt he needed to say something to me, and that was it, that set me right off. I knew I wasn't being myself and I kept hearing myself saying things and couldn't believe I'd just said it. It's like I've regressed to being a stroppy teenager again and I'v got no control over what comes out of my mouth and I hate it. For my manager to feel like he needed to say something means its got bad - I wasn't even getting upset coz he was having a word, I was just disappointed in myself that it had got to that point and it made me realise that I've got too much going on at the moment. We had a really good chat and it made me feel much better to have a little cry and get a few things off my chest, and it was lovely that he was so understanding and supportive about it. Even he said he's been quite shocked at how I've been behaving as its totally out of character for me.

I had a word with my manager and said to her that although I understand she's in a difficult position because we're so short staffed, I need to be doing less hours and having more breaks, just so I'm not getting as tired and ratty at work, and I've got the odd moment to pull myself together, put the happy face on and just let whatever it is thats bothering me completely go. I don't want my colleagues to feel like they have to be on egg shells around me incase I snap at them, or to mollycoddle me - I'm a grown up, I should be able to keep myself under control - and I certainly don't want to use my pregnancy as an excuse for being out of line. Lets just hope that less hours, and maybe an extra day off helps me keep it together!

On a positive note, I did have an exciting moment at work today while taking a quick break. In the lower right side of my tummy, I felt actual proper baby movement!! It wasn't like anything I've ever felt before, not like trapped wind, or tummy rumbles, this was definite bubbles, like butterflies or something, which is what the first movements are meant to be like. HOW EXCITING, and its great to have something positive like that on a day like today to remind me how wonderful and amazing pregnancy actually is - its not all doom and gloom!!