Woah there, I’m 25 weeks pregnant (actually, as I write this I am 28 weeks pregnant and in my third trimester but let’s take a little creative licence here okay?). Anyway, how on earth am I this pregnant already? Oh yeah, because time.

This week was Christmas week, and as you all now I spent the festive period in Paris with Mr Wanderluce. If you want to catch up on everything we got up to head on over to my Christmas guide to Paris. From now, expect the tone of the Pregnancy Diaries to shift a little because up until now, I have felt better than before I was pregnant (barring the trying first trimester).  I’m still loving life in the family way, but this week marked a shift in how I feel day-to-day.

Because I now get really tired! Occasionally, not every day….and it’s definitely not on the same scale as the first trimester where it felt like I’d been hit by a truck most days. But it’s still something to get used to. I can’t go about my daily routine in the same way I did before, long walks with the pup are a bit harder some days and I definitely need to take things slower. But that’s okay, I just need to be aware of it and make time to allow my body to rest a bit more without feeling guilty.

Needless to say Paris was amazing, and not a lot slowed me down. There was so much to see and do, and we spent plenty of time eating contraband mince pies (yes, we brought them with us) and eating banned camembert (becauase it was cooked yoooo!). And when we came back to the UK, I even managed to stay up with my mum and aunty until about 1am  on New Years Eve…..check me out!

So, yeah. I’m tired sometimes. Big deal. Now onto what I really want to talk about – counting kicks. This is a little bit of a sensitive topic, so I apologise in advance to anyone who disagrees with me. If I upset you, I definitely don’t mean to but I’m simply sharing my experience, and why I don’t count kicks.

Baby kicks to be specific. You’ll have heard about when the baby starts kicking right? So it starts at different stages for everyone, and most people in their first pregnancy don’t notice it until later on anyway. But I think I started to feel mine around 17 weeks or so. It’s a really weird sensation at first, which is often describes as ‘fluttering’ or ‘butterflies’ which I guess is about right. It’s just so hard to describe, you just sort of know when you know.

Christmas in Paris - autumnal colours

At the beginning, Oli definitely couldn’t feel anything though. That’s how slight the kicks were. And because they were so slight i didn’t really have to worry about them too much — I didn’t pay attention to when, how much, how strong the were.

Until week 24-ish. I was laying in bed one night and the baby kicked SO hard it made me jump. It had already been kicking enough for Oli to be able to feel it for a few weeks, and we knew as soon as I lay down in bed or sat down to watch TV or ate something sugary (which is all the damn time) the baby wakes up and has a kicking fit for a wee while.

The difference with this kick though, is that it was really, really strong. And I was freaked the fook out. Why? Oh, because I had just spoken to some friends the night before who explained to me the theory behind counting kicks. Why you should do it, and what variations in kick patterns mean. I’m actually not going to tell you what exactly they told me, because I don’t believe it’s helpful when read out of context.

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At 25 weeks, the baby is kicking lots. But I'm choosing not to count them....and sharing a few reasons why I'm not giving into the scare-mongering.

I will tell you what my midwife told me when I asked her about it after my massive freak out. She told me to note the pattern, not the number (my friends also told me this) – don’t worry so much about the general assumption that 10 sets of kicks a day (10 episodes of kicking, not 10 individual kicks) but be aware of the rough timings of the kicks. How often, and what triggers them. She also said that sometimes, I’ll be out and about and so busy I won’t notice the kicks…..again, nothing to worry about. If the baby stops kicking entirely, that is, of course something you should check with the hospital but it isn’t necessarily something to worry about.

So, why was I so worried? 

Given that I’ve never been pregnant before, it’s really hard to understand what I should be checking for. How vigilant I should be, and how much I should shout if I think something’s wrong. Which is why I want to tell you not to listen to any of the crap. Listen to you midwife, listen to your doctor but don’t listen to anyone else. Even if what they’re saying is coming from a good place, and for a good cause — if you are anything like me, you won’t necessarily be able to separate the fact from the sensationalist stuff you know?

One of the things I was inadvertently scare-mongered into believing was that healthy babies could kick so hard they could strangle themselves on the umbilical cord. I did some reading, spoke to some doctors and my midwife and this is what I found:

A lot of babies are delivered with the cord wrapped around their neck. It’s actually really common….and it won’t kill the baby.

Another fact: babies don’t breathe through their necks in the womb. Mind blown right? I dunno why I didn’t think about this to be honest.

That’s not to say this can’t happen, it’s just to say it’s rare. And it’s not necessarily indicative of a healthy baby dying in a freak accident. There’s something called Wharton’s jelly, which lubricates the cord and helps it slip around the baby seamlessly. This is seriously rare though.

I am NO expert, and there are real life stories on various websites telling you what could and couldn’t happen to your baby. Sometimes babies die, and it’s really shit and hard to find out why. But more often than not, they don’t. Personally, I am going with my gut, which has served me pretty damn well so far, and if something feels off I’m not scared to speak up and call my midwife. But I’m not going to spend my days counting kicks, and worrying when the baby doesn’t move in the exact same way it did the day before.

That might be stupid or naive, but with parenting you gotta make your own choices and not give too many f@@cks what anyone else says.

Because everyone has an opinion but it’s your decision which opinions to take on board and which to throw away.

L x

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