© Proper Fud 2016

Week 29

I have reached a strange twilight time in this pregnancy. So near and yet so far. So many maternity clothes not fitting but still 10 weeks of wearing them to go.

Did I tell you about the time my husband brought a pair of my normal skinny jeans into the hospital for me to go home in after I had our first child? True story. Genuine mistake though; I mean we were still at that point where we weren’t quite sure whats the difference between a babygro and a vest and thinking “holy crap someone expects us to bring this child home?” I can’t remember what happened, pretty sure I got my legs into them and left the top open.

That wouldn’t happen to Kate Middleton I’m telling you.

So I’ve finally discovered leggings as trousers, for the weekends at least. I’m not saying I condone it. They must be black, they must be opaque and the bum must be covered with a long top. And I’m still not that comfortable in my rigout. I have flashbacks to the too many thongs I have seen that I did not want to see. I have seen gussets and wanted to ask the woman do you not know, do you really not see that these are tights that are solely gracing your bottom half? But also I am not the patriarchy and they have eyes and mirrors so if they want to shake their bum bums I suppose go for it.

I have one cute black dungaree dress that I realised only has a couple more wears in it. The jeans I have are too tight or the overbump bit is falling down so in the meantime my fancy pants are the absolute rock in the stormy seas of my belly size. When all this is over, I may frame those jeggings and write a poem for them. I’ve been getting compliments on my preggo style but I might be about to move to the dark side and buy those ugly ass skechers that so many healthcare workers, middle aged women out walking and pregnant women love so much. (Tell me no, don’t do it!)


Oh yeah, we went for a gender scan because I really needed to know so that’s that revealed. But to be all modern about it what does that really reveal but but a set of societal constraints conferred by an XX or an XY? So yeah, it hasn’t made a massive difference to our prep work at this point but it’s nice to know. Speaking of prep work…

Week 30

At this stage in the game I thought if an impending baby wasn’t going to stir me into purchasing action then at least budget concerns might spur me on. We will have a new baby, christmas and a 7th birthday all within a couple of weeks, never mind that we’ll be down to one income plus state maternity benefit. Head in the sand much?

This week the man in red finally made, if not exactly inroads, then a little start on the list; picking up a big something for the four year old and a couple of little somethings for the one that may or may not be here when December 25th rolls around.

I’ve started some gentle gathering, plenty of which is costing me nada but goodwill (and wine) and a promise to pass it all on afterwards; with thanks to real life friends and relatives and the lovely parenting blogger community. Slings, buggy, cots and carseats are coming out of the woodwork and I have a bag of 0-6 month clothes on the way too. Seems like lots of people are happy to clear out their attics and wardrobes of baby gear.

Just like I did this time last year then. Ahem.

Five Family Dinners


If you follow me on social media (and if not why not? No excuse now, buttons are on the right or underneath on mobile) you’ll know how often I meal plan. I mean, I post a picture of it each time I do, so I know it’s not that frequent – I guess that’s about every few months. Right now, I have some potatoes in the oven baking, and I’m trying to get some writing done before yer man gets in with the two Tasmanian Devils. We decided on baked potatoes about half an hour ago, while he was getting up from his desk to leave work and I was on the bus home. Plan-schman. That makes me an idiosyncratic parenting/food blogger really; to neither meal plan, nor batch cook. We’ll soldier on…

Here’s a selection of family dinners we’ve eaten recently, old favourites and new attempts. The one thing they have in common is I’ll make them again. We all ate them happily, including the fussier four year old. (Proof is below!) Continue reading

Weeks 27 & 28: Repeal & Encapsulate

Week 27

March for choice, repeal the 8th This week me and my bump went out to #MarchForChoice. I don’t really talk politics on the blog, but it’ll come as no surprise if you follow me on any social media that I am absolutely for bodily autonomy and believe that women should be trusted with final decisions regarding their own bodies. As a pregnant woman by choice the 8th Amendment affects me in terms of consent; Repeal The 8th movement is more than a single issue cause. If you’re interested in reading about it outside of the context of <whisper> abortion, I’m just going to leave this link here, and actually this one, and yeah, this one too.

Courtesy of @ciarampsi on Twitter
Courtesy of @ciarampsi on Twitter

In lighter news, despite us not knowing the gender of the bump both sons are now referring repeatedly to their pending “sister”. Ted has changed his mind on the name, and now “she” is to be called Baby Teddy T. Which has a certain je ne sais quoi. Dominic is absolutely insistent that Hermione is the the only show in town. To put it diplomatically, I just think it’s not quite ‘us’. Mind you if my little muggle turns out to be a witch I’ll eat my hat.

Week 28

Speaking of odd things to eat – I’m researching placenta encapsulation. Am on the fence but leaning towards doing it this time. Listen, I hope to give birth in water, so I may as well go fully crunchy on this last hurrah of a pregnancy. The only sticking points for me I can see are, will someone collect my placenta on christmas day, and can they use vegetarian capsules? (I’ll get extra hippie points for that you see)

In other news:

I’ve joined a #tcl31daysofhappy photo challenge started by top funnywoman and blogger The Clothesline on instagram for October, in a bid to focus on the positive. However because that all seems a bit chirpy for my nature, I’m considering a “30 days of moaning” alternative in November. You can follow me, @jillo_properfud here, over there.

Week 26 – Sugar Rush and the GTT


I drink enough water. In that I don’t worry about those ‘drink X amount per day’ challenges that pop up on Facebook from time to time, or those tips about putting fruit or cucumber in tubey bits inside water bottles to make it more palatable. I’m a fiend for the stuff, and can easily drink three litres a day no hassle. So I hate fasting with a passion. Not the food bit, that I can manage, but the withholding water feels like torture.

This week I was scheduled to get a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) to test for Gestational Diabetes. I’m not that sure why to be honest. Well, family history because my mum has been diagnosed with Type 2 since my last pregnancy. She’s borderline, and it’s diet controlled but absolutely nothing has changed with me. Decrepit as I feel, I’m not in the age risk category yet, and I’m not overweight so that’s 2 of the other risk factors gone too. My GP seemed surprised I was being asked to go for it. I will pick my battles though, when it comes to consent in pregnancy (#repealthe8th). This is a reasonably benign test and I do have a very sweet tooth. Now, I should at least make this post helpful right?

So what does it involve?

  • Try your hardest not to eat crisps or salty food the night before. It’s not going to help the thirst battle.
  • I had to fast, both food and water, from midnight. Hospitals vary though; some require you to abstain from food for 12 hours but you can drink sips of water, so check the fine print if you have a test due.
  • Arrive on time if you possibly can – they’ll see you in the order you get there, and a lot of women are scheduled each day. The sooner  you start the sooner you can eat. Dublin had a bus strike the day of my test so one poor girl was only starting when I was having my 2nd blood test because traffic was so bad.
  • First, they take a blood sample
  • Then you’ll be given a measured sugary drink to down in 5 minutes. I was asked to bring Lucozade, but one woman near me hated it, so they made her up a generic glucose drink.
  • You’re given the exact time, and you have to come back after one hour and two hours to have more blood samples taken. You must continue to fast during this time. I arrived at 7:55, had my blood taken and drink finished by 8:09, so had my second and third blood tests at 9:09 and 10:09.
  • I felt queasy in the first hour, unsurprisingly. It wasn’t so bad as to make me think I might actually be sick, just that much sugar on an empty stomach is a bit bleugh. I sat in a quiet corner of the hospital cafe and did some work.
  • In the second hour I felt a good bit better, so by the time I had the last sample taken, I was ready for my tea and toast. In the hospital I’m attending, they give you a voucher. Unfortunately it seemed to coincide with every staff member going on break, and the queue was long so I would advise to bring a snack for yourself  – a banana and water kept me going while I waited. Happily, I noted, the default is brown rather than white bread which I was pleased to see in light of how poor the nutritional content of hospital food often is. But I will say this: this is not the best tea and toast you will eat; that accolade is of course taken by the tea and toast that arrive shortly after you give birth. End of.


Further reading on the GTT:

I found this article by AIMS Ireland very helpful in advance of my test.

Second Trimester Swings and Roundabouts

Week 24

I am being kicked simultaneously in the bladder and the ribs. My sacroiliac joint has decided it will generate a dull ache for the whole day and seize up entirely around 8pm. Stairs and walking generally are not my friend so off I pedal every day diligently and slowly. We have reach a pinnacle of post holiday/pre back to school anxiety and everything feels so fucking hard. I can’t see how I can keep going at this level of working and parenting for another 16 weeks give or take. There’s a massive disconnect between my body and my mind – I want nothing more than to get loads of fresh air, or walk for miles for my physical and mental health but my body says no way. With that in mind…

Bobbie junior
Keep on truckin’

Week 25

…I start pre-natal aqua aerobics and not a moment too soon. I’ve done this class on each of my other pregnancies. People often think of aqua aerobics as something for old people or very unfit people and it’s true that being in the water means very little strain on our joints. Which is why it’s so bloody brilliant! If I can’t live in an inflatable ring on my front, on the sea, then a weekly trip to the pool will do.

The class is run by a physiotherapist who’s a mother of four herself so she knows what she’s talking about. It consists of a good warm up followed by loads of arm work to prep for newborn life. Sitting hunched over feeding a child who only gets heavier and heavier can put quite a strain on your arms, chest and back. Then we do a bunch of cardio, and you feel all light and airy hopping about the pool in a manner you just could not do on dry land. We do a bit of pelvic floor stuff, have a chat to the women around us, and do a great breathing and kicking exercise which prepares you for dealing with contractions. Basically – you can do anything for a minute.  This really stood to me in my last labour; I remember really clearly thinking just as I do in the pool: “you can do this, it’s just 12 breaths and then you get a break” in some more difficult moments.

Mental health levels:  balanced (probably temporarily)

Laundry levels: high (always)