What To Expect

  • Increased appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Occasional headache

Your Baby This Week

Your baby this week is about the size of a deck of cards.

Dear Diary

It's been a busy old week. 17 weeks marks baby's first panto and if the baby is anything like me they'll grow to love all things theatre. I find myself day-dreaming about what their personality will be. Will they have similar interests to me or their Dad? I hope for my sake it's me because I can't handle any more football in this house. Maybe they'll be into something completely different altogether. I'm definitely starting to think about this little bean as a person now rather than a pregnancy and that is a really lovely feeling.

We really enjoyed the Panto. It was a lovely way to kick off the Christmas season. I just love having family days out. It honestly fills me with a serious amount of joy. I wore the little denim pinafore I bought for our trip to Krakow and I felt pretty good. It was a media event so the photographer snapped a nice photograph of the three of us (well, four now) and it turned out really nice. I was thinking about how this time next year we will have a seven-month-old at Christmas time.

I think I spent more time looking at families than the actual show itself. You can't help but visualise yourself as a larger family and wonder how things will work. Little logistical things. Who will hold who's hand? Would we bring the buggy or the sling? Are the changing facilities good? My mind has a habit of wandering off a lot these days but it fills me with excitement to imagine life with more children.

We've talked a bit about baby names this week and we haven't agreed on a single one which is so funny because choosing our son's name was so so easy. My husband mentioned it in a half jokey way and I just loved it. Baby Byrne became Billy Byrne and we just went with it. It felt right. I have a feeling that we'll struggle a lot more this time around. In a weird way, you want to find a name that "goes" with Billy but I realize even writing that sounds weird. You can't help it though.

Then comes the gender issue. One minute I find myself thinking that I'd like to know the gender and that we might ask in a few weeks at our anomaly scan but I think deep down my gut is telling me to keep it a surprise this time around. Peter agrees too. It's definitely so tempting to find out though. Last time our motivation was to "be prepared" but that kind of gives me a laugh now because how much does it actually change? I've never really been a "put blue on a boy and pink on a girl" kind of person anyway so I imagine we'll get lots of use out of Billy's old baby clothes either way.

Speaking of baby clothes – I started the mammoth task of going through the bags we have stored in the attic and to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. Overwhelmed with emotion and overwhelmed with the actual amount of them. I kept enough clothes for about ten babies and I now have to be seriously cut-throat about what we are going to keep.

I'm mortified to admit that we bought actual, wait for it, newborn flip flops for our holiday when Billy was sixteen weeks old. I can't get over the amount of (albeit cute) impractical actual clothes we picked up. I see now how unnecessary baby shoes are but try telling a first-time mother that. It made for some very cute photos at the time.

I'm feeling way more practical this time around. I'm gravitating towards baby-grows, vests and super comfy items. It's all about comfort and being practical which seems to be classic second baby behaviour according to my friends that have more than one child.

We got a call to say that my MRI results "looked OK". They still can't be 100% sure about the nature of the cyst until it comes out and they can look at it under a microscope but I guess they're not super worried about it having received the MRI report from James' Hospital. For now, they are going to continue to scan it in The Coombe, keep an eye on it and see what happens. I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about it and I'm trying to think about it less and less so that we can focus on the baby.

Emotionally, I'm pretty good this week. I feel a lot more level headed or something. As a result, the whole house is a lot happier. Who knew a pregnant woman had such an effect on everyone else's moods eh?

A Partner’s Perspective

My wife is already 17 weeks pregnant! Time is flying and we can see her beautiful bump getting a little more prominent. Each week the anxiety increases a little bit more, too - we can't wait until the 20-week scan to get a better idea of how everything is going.

My partner called me in work this week to tell me that she felt the baby move. I love keeping up with our baby's growth, it makes me think even more about the responsibilities we have as parents.

Our Midwife’s Advice

Your baby's skin is now thicker. A little layer of fat has started to build up underneath it and a fine layer of hair called lanugo covers your baby.

How are you feeling Mama? Hopefully like Tracey, you are feeling positive and excited. If so it's a lovely time to start thinking about your little one.. what will you call them? Will they be a girl or a boy? It's also a good time to book in for your antenatal classes if you haven't already. Hospital classes tend to book up quickly so make sure you get your name down. Alternatively, you can book in for private classes. These can be group or individual classes.

Part of my job is giving people classes in their own home (see avrilflynn.com) but you can find a list of different sorts of antenatal classes in your area. Do your research and find a class that suits you and your partner. I have compiled a list of the different sorts of classes here. It's important that whoever your birth partner is gets involved as it will make the whole experience easier for you both.

Week 17

Our Wellness Tip of the Week

If you like, book yourself into an antenatal class. It might help to make you feel more prepared and it's a great way to meet fellow mums-to-be in your area.

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