Week 30 was a busy one! I’d been looking forward to Christmas since we found out I was pregnant as I’d realised I’d be 30/31 weeks by then and thought I’d be HUGE. Strangely, I reached 30 weeks and didn’t feel absolutely huge – more like definitely bigger than before but still not heavily pregnant as I’d anticipated. I’m finding this very odd as I’ve always struggled with body image and thinking I’m bigger than I am, but while pregnant, I’m absolutely loving it and also feeling strangely smaller (at least than I expected)! I’d worried I would panic over the thought of my growing body, but I’m not!
Anyway, on the first night of 30 weeks, Ben’s sister and her boyfriend came over with bags of cat food and chocolate and we had a Chinese takeaway, yum!
Friday was a little annoying – I woke up with a sore throat and Ben going to search for a missing cat at 6.30am. Sleeping is getting more and more difficult now – I woke up 4 times to wee overnight (which wasn’t that bad compared to other nights!) but I was awake from about 2.30am to 4am so it was quite frustrating. I think this is it for sleep for a while now!
Friday evening meant Christmas Eve number 1! We had Charley and Frankie over as Frankie had to work over Christmas Day and his birthday (Boxing Day), so we decided to hold our own (slightly Italian!) Christmas gathering for the four of us. It was very wonderful! Normally I see Charley every couple of weeks minimum, but she’s been working down in London lately which meant it had been a gap of a few months – meaning, I’d gone from barely just showing to full 30 week bump since I’d last seen her!
We held Frankie’s birthday celebration on Christmas Eve, with a camembert sharing starter, a tortellini soup in a rich broth that had cooked all evening, followed by…okay, our dessert went a little awry! I’d finished work for Christmas at 1pm that day (woop!) and went home to cook my trusty Snickerdoodles. I knew there was something wrong as soon as I took them out the oven but couldn’t figure out what…they were much more “melted” and the taste of salt, despite them only having a pinch, seemed much higher than before. They were just not right and I was very disappointed! Despite coming from a baking family – literally! – I’ve always thought I’m a better cook than I am baker, and phoned Ben saying “I knew it!!”. It turned out it was more than just my lack of baking skills and a lot more baby brain though…read on to find out what had happened later!
We spent the rest of the evening eating chocolate and playing pub quiz board games which was very wonderful – our favourite thing to do!
Saturday morning, for us, meant Christmas Day! We woke up, I announced I must be in established labour as I’d had 3 Braxton Hicks contractions in the space of 10 minutes, then we had a breakfast of English muffins, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. It was present opening time then – and Sunshine got her first present! This little knitted onesie (that’s fleecy inside!) is a bigger size ready for her to wear next year – and I’m SO excited!!
Our Christmas dinner was, again, Italian inspired (to explain, Frankie’s family is Italian, plus we all like to mix up our food options) – the boys were making porchetta – rolled belly pork with herbs – plus roast potatoes, sprouts, stuffing and pigs in blankets. It was at this point we realised what had gone wrong with the Snickerdoodles…Ben went to get the beef dripping out of the fridge to use for roast potatoes and found it was all gone…but the vegetable shortening I should have used in the Snickerdoodles was still there. YES OKAY, maybe that’s why the Snickerdoodles went wrong!! And tasted “slightly chickeny” as Frankie had mentioned the day before!
Anyway, as it needed plenty of cooking time, Charley and I made the tiramisu for dessert, watched Nativity, then the boys came back to join us for more board games – and feeling baby kicks and trying to listen to baby’s heartbeat!
In case you’re wondering, Frankie’s a doctor, so we weren’t just guessing! We couldn’t quite manage to find her heartbeat and kept picking up mine, probably because of my anterior placenta, and it’s definitely trickier with a stethoscope than with a doppler, but we did hear the swooping kind of beat of the placenta which was very strange! On top of that, Frankie managed to figure out which way she was laying and identified various limbs while she was kicking at different times over the weekend, so it was amazing to know that – we were partly right about where her back was too! Although she’s very wriggly so was all over the place!
That evening, alongside board games and watching Christmas TV, we heard there were carols in the market place – we realised we’d missed the start but decided we’d hurry down there anyway. Luckily, they were still going on and we managed to sing a few carols and see Father Christmas!
Sunday morning meant Boxing Day and time for our Christmas weekend to be over, boo! Ben and I had to pop to Aldi for a couple of things so, now that it was (back to “reality”!) the day before Christmas Eve, we were pretty nervous it was going to be super busy. Luckily we were in and out pretty quickly and back home with plenty of time to get the house clean after our Christmas weekend. I spent the whole afternoon wrapping the last of our Christmas presents, then that evening my family called over to see our Christmas decorations since they hadn’t been yet this December. We made them a quick tea of pork bao buns with fried rice and homemade pickle that all turned out pretty well actually!
Monday – the “real” Christmas Eve – meant back to work in the morning for Ben while I was lucky to have been given the day off! Annoyingly though, I’d been awake at 4am (thanks to a bout of hiccups from someone in my stomach!) and absolutely starving, so I was ready to get up at 7am when Ben was getting up for work. Luckily this gave me a chance to prep everything for going to my parents’ for Christmas. We always hold a big family party for Christmas Eve with my mum’s side of the family, but my dad’s side are now also invited too, plus the family is beginning to expand, so we had almost 30 people going this year!
In the morning, I finished the last few presents that needed to be wrapped then prepared some food to take with us for the party. This year, our contribution was mini pastry pizzas (in four different kinds) and Snickerdoodles – don’t worry, they went much better this time as I didn’t use beef dripping!
Somehow, I didn’t manage to take any photos of our Christmas Eve party, but did get a photo of me prepping food for my mum before everyone arrived and one of my family’s new kittens under the Christmas tree…so there’s that!
Then, the big day itself – Christmas Day! We stayed overnight at my parents’ house to wake up with them – my sister and I have always grabbed our stockings and opened them together by ourselves first thing, but when I headed up to her bedroom with them both this year exclaiming “He’s been!!” (yes, we might both be in our mid-late twenties…keeping the magic alive!), she burst out laughing at me – pregnant and stumbling up the stairs with stockings in hand!
Although in reality, it’s the dog who really gets in there first! She got her presents before everyone else!
After a morning opening presents – Ben and I got an amazing baby rocker from my parents which I’m super excited to use for the first time! – we headed over to Ben’s parents’ house for our Christmas dinner as has become our tradition lately. Again, it’s another growing family so there were 12 of us this year around the table! It’s weird to think that this is our last Christmas just the two of us and that there’ll be another person around the table with us next year. We’re not entirely sure what the whole experience next year will be like, but I’m excited for it!
After a rather chaotic present opening experience there (it was his grandparents that were making all the chaos, not the kids!) we headed back to my mum and dad’s again to see my grandparents who came by in the evening. It’s a hectic day! We normally stay there overnight again, but this time we decided to head home where I’d be more comfortable in my own bed…but not after letting my dad open his last few presents with one of his earlier ones…a spade!
And finally, we’re reaching the end of another pregnancy diary week as well as Christmas, but first – Boxing Day. It was a crazy week! My grandparents on the other side invited us round on Boxing Day, along with my little cousins and their parents, so we gathered for drinks, a slightly lighter meal, even more present opening, and a game of Chinese Whispers – because, obviously! This is something I do with Mollie at Brownies (she’s in my local pack!) – Eva had joined us for the last meeting of term, even though she’s too young, this was a Christmas party games night so she was allowed to stay, and absolutely loved the game. So she decided we all had to play! Again, I failed to get any photos, but we do have some brilliant videos of my grandad dancing to Baby Shark – I feel like that song might be our life over the next years…