The 8th Month Of Pregnancy:

I’ve reached the 8th Month of Pregnancy and I’m feeling less of the ‘Chrissy Teigen glow’ and more of the ‘Jowly Insurence Hound bloat’. I seem to be carrying the majority of my baby-weight under my chin like a sort of fleshy saddlebag, but it does have its upside – I’m able to use it as a sort of built-in travel pillow – perfect for naps on the go!

In the last few weeks I’m also urinating with the frequency of an 80 year-old man with a prostate the size of a melon. This is because the baby pressing down on my insides has reduced my bladder capacity to roughly that of a months. Every time I need the loo it feels like I’m holding back a Hoover Dam-amount of water, but when the time comes to relieve myself, a disappointing trickle is all I can manage…until 20 minutes passes and I need to repeat the lavatory song and dance all over again.

Another telling sign that I’m struggling to keep the waterworks in check this pregnancy is that the other day my phone auto-corrected the word ‘your’ to ‘UTI’ highlighting just how often I’m typing these annoying little letters into my phone. This whole pregnancy has been one giant, literal, pain in my vagina. In fact, if this baby is a girl I’m pretty sure I’ll be obliged to call her ‘candida’ or ‘cystitis’.

But as we’re nearing splashdown, I have massively enjoyed this baby’s 24-hour workout routine (note I nearly called its movements ‘womb gymnastics’ until I realised how utterly wrong that sounds!). This baby has no set ‘busy time’, instead it performs a Latin-jazz infusion Gangnam dance every five minutes throughout the day. I know I’ll miss this feeling the most…except the tap-dancing on the top of my cervix…that I can probably live without. Not long now, baby!

First Trimester Must-Haves:

Having finally come out the other side of the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, I’ve collated a list of a few essentials that made my life a whole lot easier.

  1. Kool N’ Soothe Migraine Patches

My biggest ailment in the first three months of pregnancy was the almost constant headaches and migraines. As my usual migraine meds are off the table now, I’ve been searching for anything to help ease the pain when a paracetamol doesn’t scratch the surface. These patches are quick and easy to whack on your forehead and do provide some temporary relief to a throbbing head. Nothing has come close to actually eliminating the pain, but these do help. Short of performing the medieval procedure of drilling a hole in my skull to alleviate the pressure, these will do until I pop the baby out.

  1. L’Occitane Relaxing Pillow Mist

One of the cruel ironies of early pregnancy is that although you spend most of the day like a semi-conscious walking cadaver, it can still be really tricky to get a good night’s sleep. I’ve found this essential oils pillow mist to be quite calming. It smells gorgeous which makes me relish getting my head down every night.

  1. FrezyDerm foam facewash

Hormones can be a cruel, cruel mistress when you’re pregnant and I’ve found I’m more prone to spots and break-outs than I usually am. As bad as it sounds I don’t normally use a facewash, but when your skin suddenly explodes with lumps and bumps, needs most definitely must! I’ve found this foam facewash by FrezyDerm to be just what I need to reduce redness and clear up blemishes quickly… and it smells great too!

  1. Benefit Boi-ing under-eye concealer

When your under-eye bags are darker than the pits of hell, you’re gonna need a concealer that won’t quit. This stuff by Benefit has been the best concealer I’ve come across. It’s not too heavy so it doesn’t sit in my wrinkles and it’s brilliantly brightening. Essential when you’ve clocked 10 hours sleep over the course of three days.

  1. Decaf Yorkshire Tea

Yorkshire Tea is the best tea on the market hands-down, and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees with me. Cutting back on caffeine has been brutal over the past few months, but the fact that this decaffeinated blend tastes almost as good as the real McCoy has meant I can still enjoy a brew after dinner like the 60 year old that I am.

  1. ‘Bedside table’ Doritos

As much as it would annoy my husband to hear me crunch through a few tortilla chips in the middle of the night, I found this was the best way to keep the middle-of-the-night queasiness at bay. They’re plain enough not to upset my stomach more, and they’re substantial enough to fill me up and stop the nausea. Plus who doesn’t love the excuse of 24-hour snacking on crisps?

  1. Pregnacare

Because salty chips have been my ‘plat-du-jour’ for the last three months, I’ve been taking a multi-vit every evening to make up for the astounding lack of nutrients elsewhere in my diet. It’s not a substitute for proper fruit and veg, but when you’d rather pull your eyelashes out than force-feed yourself some broccoli in those early days of pregnancy, a pill of relative nutrients becomes essential. I bought mine on Amazon as they were generally cheaper than in the supermarkets or pharmacies.

  1. Grey’s Anatomy box sets

Me-time and self-care is so hugely important when you’re expecting, especially if you’re a busy person or you already have little kids to look after. Whatever it is that helps to centre you – whether it’s a pamper sesh, meditation, or like me, TV and sofa time – you need to make an effort to ensure you do this from time to time to keep your sanity. Nothing makes me forget about my anxiety more than an hour of McDreamy. I’d let him give me a thorough examination any day of the week!

From luscious-locks to bonkers baby-hair. Pregnancy does some crazy things to your barnet

Everyone knows pregnancy and birth does some weird and wonderful things to your body. For example, I had a real problem with excess saliva and dribbling when I was pregnant (I bet Beyoncé isn’t a pregnant dribbling mess). And when it comes to pregnancy hair growth, mother nature seems to give with one hand and take with the other.

Around four months into my pregnancy, my hair felt glossier and thicker. It took all my restraint not to flick my hair at strangers whilst saying ‘because we’re worth it’ in a Geordie accent like Cheryl.

Cruelly enough though, the pregnancy didn’t just effect the hair growth on my bonce. I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friends when I was six months pregnant. I was already feeling self-conscious about looking like a sea-cow in my bridesmaids dress, but when I was getting my make-up done, the girl frowned and said to me, ‘do you mind if I just tweeze out that long hair on your chin?’ I could have died of embarrassment. I’d never had a chin-hair in my life, and I had no idea it was there. For some bizarre reason the baby hormones had surged in one direction through my body, pushing a grotesque, straggly hair out of the bottom of my chin. I was the bearded bridesmaid. We tweezed, moved on, but the humiliation of the moment never left me.

I spent the rest of my pregnancy meticulously checking my face for follicle intruders and tweezing from places I had never anticipated; my ear lobe, my neck, and from my widow’s peak that seemed to be traveling down my forehead to hang out with my eyebrows.

By the time I gave birth, I was rocking a full-on Frida Kahlo brow, and a hairline like Eddie Munster. It’s probably a good thing that babies’ sight is poor at birth, otherwise my daughter might have taken one look at me and crawled back into my uterus.

And the hairy fun didn’t stop there. Roughly eight weeks after birth, I started shedding like an Alaskan Malamute in the desert. Huge, terrifying clumps of hair would come out in the shower and patches of bare skin appeared on my scalp. Tying my hair up was a total no-go as the patches were so visible, so the days where I didn’t have time to wash my hair became my designated ‘hat or stay indoors’ days.

Luckily the hair-loss slowed, and it was replaced with strange, unsightly re-growth hair. My hairline started to travel further and further forwards around my head, around my ears, down my neck, and lower on my forehead. Now, with a mini-fringe that runs all the way around my hairline, I’m one facial Immac session away from being a Wookie.

I naively thought my pregnancy would turn me into Rapunzel, but instead it turned me into Sideburns Lady from The Wedding Singer. But with extra dribble.

The Pramshed