Happy New Year

The New Year has started off really cold here in Brussels. It’s -10°C as I write and yesterday I woke up to this:

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It was still dark outside at 8am. Everything is still white today… well, sort of white! Snow in the city gets sloppy very fast.

2008 was a great year and seems to have gone by really fast… I can’t believe 2009 is here already and we’ll soon have a new addition to the family! In (probably) less than four more months our little sprout will be here. I’m really excited and have finally made a list of what I think we’ll need.

We’ll have to hit the stores soon to figure out where we’re going to by things and if we’re going to have a baby list or not at any store. As with everything else, I’m really keen on buying environmentally friendly and healthy products for little sprout, but choice still seems to be limited. I’m thinking of getting some things on-line, such as cloth nappies. I know most people say they’re a hassle, etc but I really want to give them a try. Now I just have to figure out what kind, brand, size and how many!!!

Here are some I’ve been considering:

They are the Imse Vimse all-in-one, Bambino Mio,  Tots Bots and Bumgenious all-in-one. They have to be really simple to use and (practically) leak-free so that I can convince my dear husband and daycare to use them as well. If anyone has any opinion on these (or others), all advice is welcome! I’ll let you know which I chose and where I got them once I make up my mind. i may actually get one of each and see what works best once sprout is here and use Eco-friendly disposables such as these for the first few days.

In other news, I’ve been making more maternity clothes to help fill out my wardrobe. Here another skirt and my bump at 24 weeks:

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And a pair of pants at 25 weeks:

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I always look so unnatural in pictures! And what’s with my hair? I swear it doesn’t look like this live 🙂 New Year’s resolution: learn how to take and pose for pictures!

Saving back

I must thank my friends that have already had babies for the wonderful tip. I must admit I never imagined how much it would help until I bought one myself. I’m talking about a maternity belt to help support the weight of your belly and reduce (or in my case eliminate) backache. I can’t tell you how fantastic this is!!! I bought the Anita maternity belt (you can see it here). I’m not crazy about the cloth that goes over the belly, but you get used to it after a while and I’ve been using mine everyday. Fabulous!!

And here, another belly pic at 21 weeks

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We’re having a baby boy!!!!

And boy, he wasn’t shy to show it! Actually, it was hard to get him to show us anything else 🙂

Can you make out the boy bits below?

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So, that means R was right all along, and very smug about it as well 🙂 And I’m sooo happy!!! I didn’t really mind if it’s a boy or girl, but was dying to find out so I can officially refer to “it” as “he”.

Everything is going beautifully and our doc at Clinique St. Michel has been very nice. R was late for the appointment because of a meeting, but the doc kept going outside to check if he had arrived and let him in, so he ended up not missing a thing. It was much harder to figure what’s what at this sonogram, but doc talked us through it and it was wonderful. Everything is perfectly normal and mr. sprout seems to be very healthy and active.

Now we have to start thinking of names…. and maybe start buying things as well?

Prenatal Yoga

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On Saturday I had my first prenatal yoga class. Actually, it’s called “Active Birth Yoga for Pregnancy” (more information here). I loved it! I always liked yoga, and enjoy doing my Shiva  Rea Prenatal Yoga dvd, but it’s much nicer in a group and with a teacher helping you with correct posture and breathing.

The group is fairly small and everyone is at different stages in pregnancy – from 4 months all the way to 9!!! The classes are in English, which is nice since all other exercise classes I’ve  been to here have been in French. The teacher is very sweet and some time is set aside for us all to talk about any possible niggles and to share experiences. The whole group seems quite nice. I’ve signed up for 6 classes so far, once a week on Saturday mornings, and can renew when the 6 classes are up. Which I probably will, for as long as I can.

I’m very keen on having as natural a birth as possible (yes, that does mean without any drugs) and I hope that this will help me prepare body and mind for that.

A productive weekend

This weekend it snowed! Perfect excuse to stay indoors and get some of my maternity sewing done.

And so I tackled my very first piece of clothing without a pattern! I must admit I didn’t really know what I was doing and had to rip it apart a few times, but I’m quite proud of my accomplishment.

Voilá my first maternity skirt:

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Oops, didn’t notice I still had some pencil marks in this pic…
It took me an afternoon to do this. Now I’m looking forward to making more clothes! Can’t wait to find out if I’m having a boy or girl to start making stuff for little sprout as well. 2 more weeks… Yay!

And I guess it’s a good time to show off my new skirt AND  my bump!

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Sorry for the poor quality pics. Dark house and auto-timer don’t help much.
And yikes, talk about bad hair!

I’m now 19 weeks pregnant, almost halfway through and I already managed to put on 4kgs… I’m going to be so BIG!

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Aquanatal or how much of a geek am I?

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Yesterday I went to my first Aquanatal class at my nearby pool, the Poseidon and I got to try on my sexy swimsuit.

Class started at 6.30pm and, of course, as usual, I was running late and left the office past 6pm already. I still had to go home (by metro), grab my things and dash to the pool. Amidst all this confusion, I managed to get in my bathing-suit at home, stuff towel and slippers into a bag and make a run (or drive) to the pool. Since this was my absolute first time to the pool, I still had to buy a swim-cap, find my way around and get a €1 coin for the locker. Of course I was late… But at least I wasn’t the last one.

The class was nice, not very challenging physically, which is understandable, but it felt good to be moving around in water. I must say though, at a certain point I started to feel cold.

Now, I don’t know what’s wrong with me (besides my fear of deep water), but I’m totally awkward in water! while everybody seemed to be doing their exercises in place and not moving while floating, I managed to be all over the place! Can anyone explain? Really? I mean, I kept bumping into others constantly… I’ll have to figure that out.

Anyway, out of the pool, quick shower to get the chlorine off and then change. When I realised… Oops!!!! I forgot to bring a change of underwear!!! Can you believe that? What a geek! Anyway, I dried up and put on my clothes over my wet swimsuit and shivered my way home. I also ended up not knowing if they have hair dryers available… Hmm, I hope I’m more organised when I’m a mom!

Out and about in Italy

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I was in Italy for work most of last week, at the Beautiful Peschiera del Garda near Verona. I had to get the above pic off the Internet though because unfortunately the weather was terrible… rainy and dark the entire time. And wouldn’t you figure that it was nice and sunny in Brussels? Who’d guess?

This was my first flight since discovering I’m pregnant (although I did fly to and from Portugal early in the first trimester without knowing). All went great, no hassle with the travel as my bump isn’t quite that big yet. I did get support/flight socks for the trip because I was afraid to get all swollen up due to pressure changes. That was my first adventure: buying the socks! In Portugal, you can get them at any pharmacy, but here you apparently have to order them in advance unless you go to a specialist shop (bandagiste). Of course, as always, I only went to buy them at 5.30pm the Friday before I left, with a holiday the next day (which in Belgium = everything is closed!). After going to a few pharmacies and not finding an open “Bandagiste”, I tried the department store. Fortunately they had them (ridiculously expensive), although only pantyhose and nothing specific for pregnancy. I ended up buying a size bigger than usual so I wouldn’t squish my belly and they were actually comfortable, although it took ages to manage to get them on!

I didn’t manage to see much of Italy as I was locked up in a hotel in meetings for 3 days! Plus, I had to wake up at 3.45am on Monday, travel, work, have a working dinner… I was dead! This was definitely the most tiring trip I ever had and I don’t think I would have managed during the first trimester (please excuse me while I take a nap!)…

Anyway, got back to Belgium Wednesday evening and after working on Thursday (my b-day, sniff, sniff) I had a nice long relaxing weekend to recharge my batteries! Hurrah!

My energy is back!!

Yeah! I’m finally able to stay up past 8pm without dozing off on the couch! Actually, I don’t even feel like staying on the couch anymore! yippee!!! I guess this means the second trimester has officially kicked in!

So, what better time than now to (re)start exercising (after a 3 month break). I began by looking for classes: prenatal aqua gym, prenatal yoga… Well, the yoga classes are fully booked until January and I need a one-piece bathing suit for the aqua gym. Off to the stores on Friday!

I was stunned to find that my size was basically sold out in just about every maternity shop in Brussels (ok, I may be exaggerating here) and that a maternity swimsuit is not easy to come by… Anyway, my little bump doesn’t want to fit in my regular clothes, but seems to still be too small for maternity pants 😦

So, after many unfruitful hours of shopping, I go home and shop online!

This is what I managed to buy:

Sexy swimsuit

Black pants

and….

my first purchase for sprout! A bit bland, I know, but not knowing if it’s a boy or girl (or what I will need even), I thought it’d be the safest choice!

I bought everything at La Redoute – Vertbaudet