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08 Nov 11

Week 34 – Christmas comes early

Babycentre facts Baby’s weight – about the size of an average cantaloupe melon, around 2.1kg Length – 45cm, head to heel   This week our doorbell hasn’t stopped ringing with deliveries for baby Strong. It’s surprising just how much kit such a tiny person needs. From a cot, changing table and bath to bedding, a buggy and blankets, our hallway has been overrun by what seems an insurmountable number of boxes. It’s better than Christmas. And just like an excited child, my initial instinct was to rip into each box and pull out everything inside. Chris had other ideas. Not known for his self-restraint, he decided this was the time to begin paternal preparations and assert some authority over the situation.   The first items we were allowed to unpack were the parts for the cot – and that had to be fully constructed before we could move onto box number […]

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17 Oct 11

Week 33 – the eight month scan

Babycentre facts Baby’s weight – almost the size of a pineapple, about 1.9kg Length – 43.7cm, head to heel   Every woman’s pregnancy revolves around just one day. Your due date dictates everything, from scans and appointments to nursery planning and nappy shopping. So it can be quite a shock when ‘B-day’ threatens to change. At our recent eight month scan, Chris and I were told from our very confident doctor that we should expect our little boy to make an early appearance. I had always been told that the majority of first babies arrive around two weeks late. And given Chris’ laidback approach to life, I expected his son to be no different. But it would seem our little boy has other ideas. (My dad regarded lateness as a character flaw; perhaps baby Strong has more Hollingsworth genes than I thought). While my 40 week date is November 15, […]

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06 Oct 11

Week 32 – back to (baby) school

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – about as much as a coconut, nearly 1.7kg Length – 42.4cm, head to heel   Pre-pregnancy, I used to look at expectant women and wonder quite literally how they slept at night. The idea of having a baby terrified me – to the extent that if I thought about it too much I would start to feel incredibly anxious. And, as I say, I wasn’t even pregnant. Now here I am, with eight weeks to go until B(aby)-day, and on the whole I feel surprisingly calm. You see, pre-pregnancy you only focus on the physical, and not how you will feel emotionally towards the little person you have been carrying around for nine months. Yes, there are the 8-12 traumatic hours to get through – but at the other side, our baby boy will be here, and life will never be the same again. My […]

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27 Sep 11

Week 31 – fabulous friends and birthday fun

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – about as much as four navel oranges, nearly 1.5kg Length – 41.1cm, head to heel   This week I celebrated my birthday – my last one before motherhood. It’s bizarre to think that from this point on I will receive birthday cards from ‘my son’ (provided Chris gets his act together!). My 28th has not come at an ideal time given Chris’ work schedule. He is never home. And even on the weekends he is either in the office or spends all day at the dining table plugged into his laptop. And it was really starting to take its toll. Come Monday morning I felt pretty down and really lonely. Never seeing Chris, general baby anxieties and missing my family had gotten to me – that, and the fact that I had had about three hours sleep. I made it into work around lunchtime. And I am […]

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20 Sep 11

Week 30 – my big baby bump

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – about as big as good-sized cabbage this week, weighing in at 1.3kg Length – 39.9cm, head to heel   I woke up on Monday morning suddenly looking very pregnant. Just two weeks ago in the UK, a lady approached me and asked if I would like to attend a wine tasting event, failing to notice that I was seven months pregnant (a no-brainer if I wasn’t expecting!). She wouldn’t make that mistake now. Probably for the first time I feel like I have got a proper baby bump; I can’t see my feet anymore, which, by the way, have started to swell up at the end of the day. And I no longer need to push my tummy out to bag a place on the metro – people see me coming a mile off and immediately give up their seats. I must admit, I do love […]

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16 Sep 11

Week 29 – the seven month scan

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – almost the size of a butternut squash and weighing just under 1.2kg Length – 38.6cm, head to heel   Doctors and nurses aside, does anyone ever really feel at ease in a hospital? I don’t. For starters, there’s the negative connotations we all associate with them – surely having a baby is the only time its ‘good’ to be in one. And there is something about waiting rooms that brings out all my nervous energy. I know I am not the only one. I have looked into the eyes of fellow mums-to-be in the maternity unit, and I’ve seen the apprehension as they wait for their names to be called. Yes, there is definitely tension in that waiting room – that said, I fear that the majority of it stems from me. I am one of life’s worriers and it’s hard for me not to panic […]

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08 Sep 11

Week 28 – the final UK visit

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – just over 1kg; close to a Chinese cabbage! Length – 37.6cm, head to heel   “The next time we see you, you are going to be a mum – can you believe it?!!” These were the words that followed me round the south of England as I visited family and friends for the last time. And no, for the record, I can’t quite believe it. My only trip back to the UK since finding out I was expecting meant that for many it was the first – and conversely the last – opportunity to see ‘the bump’. I have never felt more pregnant than I did in those eight days. The excitement over the baby and my ‘blossoming’ tummy was amazing; it’s something that I have really missed out on living away in Madrid. I was treated like a queen. There was my first spa […]

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19 Aug 11

Week 27 – and in the home stretch

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – around 875g; about as heavy as a head of cauliflower Length – 36.6cms, head to heel   Two trimesters down, one to go. In less than three months baby Strong is due to make his appearance – alternatively I could say 12 weeks on Monday, but that sounds terrifyingly imminent. And things really do feel like they are happening now. For a start, our little man is on a major growth spurt – my sides and stomach are being seriously stretched and his kicks have transitioned from little flutters to more forceful movements. All this activity has got me worrying about my stamina when it comes to D-day (I am an exercise-phobe and a weakling), so in the last two weeks I have taken up swimming in a big way. To be honest, it hasn’t been difficult to find motivation – if I thought Madrid was […]

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17 Aug 11

Week 25 – the six month scan

BabyCentre facts Baby’s weight – around 660g; about the same as the average swede Length – 34.6cms, head to heel   Seemingly overnight I have succumbed to ‘the pregnancy brain’. I was absolutely 100 per cent sure that my six-month scan was on August 4th; I told everyone, lined up Skype dates to show off the new pics and took some time off work. I had also decided to arrive at the hospital early and undergo two blood tests for diabetes, thinking that the scan afterwards would be a lovely reward after a horrible hour at the blood clinic. Well I was right about one thing – it was a horrible hour. I am terrible with needles, and having to wait around for 60 minutes after taking a drink so sugary my teeth hurt, seemed like a cruel torture. But I bravely did the tests without running from the building – […]

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03 Aug 11

It’s a boy!

On June 6, Chris and I found out we were expecting a baby boy. It seems to be common practice in the UK to choose not to find out the sex of your unborn child – the majority of my UK friends wanted it to be a surprise and decided to wait until D-day. That is not the case in Madrid. Generally speaking, all mums-to-be are told the sex of their baby at the four-month scan – one friend specifically requested that she not be told, only for the doctor to then repeatedly refer to her child as a ‘chica’. Cultural differences aside, we wanted to find out whether we were having a little boy or a little girl as soon as we could. From my point of view, it was all about bonding. Having decided to have our first baby on our own in a different country – an […]

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