Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to Not Look Half Dead when Pregnant

See! Lovely!
There's heaps of tips on how to distract from the fact that you are getting fat as a pig when pregnant. As a fan of oversized everything (sunglasses, jewellery, handbags) I already have a lot of these in my armour, and am rocking them on a regular basis to even out my growing tum. 

But by far one of the simplest tricks I found was good old fashioned lipstick. My secret weapon? Chanel Rouge Coco, in shade Mademoiselle. It's the perfect shade of pink: attention grabbing enough that people notice it, not so bright you look like an explosion in a Girls Aloud factory.

I can't take the credit for this find, a few years ago in the fair city of Manchesterford I Single White Femaled it from my friend Emma. Turned out she'd SWF'd it from our good friend Vikki (Von Straussbag). 


However we discovered this, the end result is the same. I've found that a simple sweep of this joyous tube really distracts people and has actually led to hugely positive comments. And as I've discovered, a pregnant woman will seek out a compliment like a pig searching for truffles. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What's in a Name?

It's a big responsibility, naming a child. Now cats, cats I can name. But there's a world of difference between a whimsical, slightly comical name (Frank, Benjamin etc) and a name that a human being has to live with not just as a baby and toddler, but fully functioning adult.

Obviously I am approaching this like any normal person: I have an excel spreadsheet split into: Boys/Girls (obv), and then 'English/Arabic'. It seemed only right that a child born in the country that we've grown to love and call home, should have a name which reflects this.

When I told my lovely Iraqi/American friend of this plan, she was quick to point out a potential pitfall. 

"Britney!" she mused. 
"Bear in mind you'll have a British baby. 
Born in the United Arab Emirates. 
With an Arabic name. 
You are just asking for trouble at immigration desks around the world!" 

She made a good point. 

As it is, the husband and I can't agree on anything, male or female.So the poor child may be nameless for some time. Rumours that Burj Khalifa/Fazza/Twiglet are front runners are completely unsubstantiated!

It will be a nice surprise for you, dear readers!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hunger Games

How dare someone photograph me at breakfast!
You do hear stories about women eating for England whilst pregnant (hello Jessica Simpson!) and there is no doubt that I've been troughing more than usual. I'm aware of what I'm eating, and especially aware that as on an exercise ban from the consultant, I don't have my usual option of running off any extra calories each night.

I've operated three main modes when it comes to food during this pregnancy:

Zero interest (sick as dog)
Self-explanatory really. Whilst I was luckier than most in that I was never actually sick, I did feel grim and hungover until about 12 weeks. Thankfully this was almost predictable to the minute (11 am -1 pm each day) so I could pre-plan. My handbag was never without breakfast bars and dried fruit boxes for the first 12 weeks.

Don't Stand Still, I Might Eat YOU!
I've been hungry before, of course. But until pregnant I had never experienced hunger so bad that it gnawed at my insides and rendered me absolutely incapable of doing ANYTHING other than eat. To the point where I would be reduced to tears and/or violence if anything stood between me and a meal. Again, this was mainly for the first 12 weeks (husband drew huge sigh of relief when we passed this milestone).

"Honestly, I'm Not Hungry." UNTIL Food is in Front of Me.
Towards the end of the second trimester I was really relaxed about food. The sickness had long gone. I wasn't ravenous. I was relaxed. Or so I thought. 

I've now discovered that once a plate of food is in front of me, whether at home, or in a restaurant, I chow down with the ferocity and enthusiasm of someone setting a Guinness World Record for Speed Eating. It ain't pretty, let me tell you. I could clear a plate in the time it takes for others to pick up their cutlery and re-arrange their napkin. Which I can just about get away with at home, but which is NOT a good look in a restaurant. What to do? I'm powerless. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where's the Bump

I couldn't let this be me...
It took me a while to start getting fat. I was still scampering around in a bikini at 22 weeks with no one anyone the wiser and zero bump. At this point I'd put on about 4 pounds. That said, my trousers did start to feel tight. And believe me, there is nothing worse than rushing to get to work and then realising in the melee that your trousers don't zip up and you have naff all to wear.

My tip to avoid this? As soon as you realise a garment is too small, put it away. Don't cling onto it in the hope that somehow you'll squeeze it back on. You may well be able to get the zip up, but as soon as you move you'll feel like you're being cut in half by a cheese wire.

In my case I had a storage box in a bedroom wardrobe where I sadly bid adieu to my loved and much enjoyed pre-fatso clothes. 

The way I looked at it, it's something to look forward to when the sprog pops out and you snap back into shape immediately, yeah? (snorts derisively.)

I fought the urge to burst into tears as my favourite Whistles skinny jeans went into the box. Along with the pencil skirts and much, much more.

So long, dear friends. See you in 2014.

Crying Over Split Milk...and Everything in Between.

Watch out, there's a blubber about!
Lord knows there's been reasons for tears this pregnancy. It's been stressful and high risk, and therefore traumatic on far too frequent occasions. However I think it's safe to say that not all of my tears have necessarily been rational. 

One thing I realised early in is that pregnant women cry like fountains. Well this pregnant women does anyway. Show me a picture of a kitten on a plate and I could easily break down.

Top (ridiculous) things I have cried about so far this pregnancy:
My GHDs smashed
The husband was well and truly to blame for this one, in his rambunctious striding across the bedroom he tripped on the cord, as I was using them. As I saw them ricochet out of my hand and onto the tiled bedroom floor, I knew it wasn't going to end well. Ceramic plates and tiles are not the best bed fellows. And as I picked the shattered pieces up, I cried like a baby. I was half way through getting ready for afternoon tea at Atmosphere in the Armani Hotel, it was 40 degrees outside, I looked like an Afghan hound at the groomers : the 'before' shot.

Ghds are extremely hard to find in Dubai, and when you do, they cost around 200 quid. In my defence I probably would have wept over this when not pregnant.

Molly the cat stayed out (almost) all night

We tend to keep MTC in at night. She's black, cars drive fast, the roads aren't that well lit. And well, I just feel better knowing her hairy wide ass is snoring and safe within the walls of Casa Satwa. To be fair, she rarely shows any interest in going out, at all, during the summer months so it's not usually an issue.

One night she did venture out, and there was no sign of her at midnight. I had visions of her poor broken body at the side of the road (morbid thoughts also more frequent when up the duff I found). My mind imagined her dying a long painful death, ALONE.

This just broken my heart into a million pieces. Hot fat tears ran down my face as I explained this to the husband. And I cared not one jot that I was sat in a crowded bar as this happened.

Obviously when we got home she was nonchalantly on the front step like nothing had happened. I gathered her up and whispered sweet nothings into her hairy ears. The husband eye rolled.

Raw bacon
Only a pregnant woman can understand the ravaging hunger that can come over you. This, coupled with morning sickness, can make you like a heat seeking missile where food is concerned. 

So you can imagine my horror when sick as a dog, starving, yet realised I was physically repulsed by the (normally) delicious pack of bacon in the fridge. I literally couldn't touch it without dry heaving. When then turned into huge heaving sobs. Not my finest hour.

Sad movies
Pregnant women: do yourselves a favour: do not watch The Quartet (nursing home with old folks and Billy Connolly) or Song for Marion (woman dying of terminal cancer). Well you can, but you will be bereft for DAYS. I sobbed into a towel in the bathroom for at least three consecutive nights.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pitter Patter in Le Famille Britney

The times, they are a'changing. 

I'm getting fat for the second time in my entire adult life. 

(The first time was a few years into Dubai when I put on about 10 pounds. I was miserable for 6 months until I stopped eating like a pig. Then I returned to my happy, svelter self.)

Why, you say? Yes, you guessed, I'm up the duff! 

What, you hadn't guessed? Well luckily I haven't turned into Kim Kardashian (yet). Although there is plenty of time for that. And, if you live overseas, you haven't had a chance to see me from the waist down (god bless Skype).

You may have gathered from the low key Las Vegas wedding that I'm not a pomp and ceremony kinda gal. So don't expect this to turn into some glowing, slushy, Earth-Mother baby blog. But I will share some observations and tips (bear in mind I am far from your traditional fawning pregnant woman) which may or may not entertain you. 

Answers to anticipated questions:

  • No, we don't know if it's a boy or a girl
  • Yes, I was sick as a dog at the start (never actually threw up)
  • Yes, I have felt the baby kicking
  • Yes, this heat is killing me
  • No, I haven't had any strange cravings
  • Yes, the husband is the giddiest goat on the block (as am I)
  • Yes, I am having the baby in Dubai
  • No, this doesn't mean it is a UAE citizen
  • No, we haven't decorated a nursery

Oh, and all things being equal, baby Britney will be rocking our world by the end of October.

Watch this space.