I loved being pampered after an eventful few weeks

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Instalment Number 3 of an eventful first pregnancy diary...

The Pregnancy Diaries blogger Polly Walker gets pampered at a photoshoot
The past month has flown by in a hectic haze as usual, and I am no closer to getting the nursery sorted out or buying any of the myriad of baby things that are needed. I also have a growing pile of baby books beside my bed that never seem to get read and I'm just about starting to feel panicked that I need to get into gear with preparations.

The highlight of this month was definitely the photo-shoot we had for the magazines. I got to meet the other two blogging mums and we spent a day being pampered and made up, hair tousled and then dressed up in various stylish pregnant mama outfits. I felt quite self-consciously bumpy - being the furthest along of the three, but it was great to meet everyone and chat baby-stuff with fellow mums. All dressed up afterwards,

I went to my church for a 'talent show' in which I sang and played guitar, with some difficulty given the baby pushing up and crushing my lungs! I made it through the song, more or less, and was bombarded with a tiny fan club. At one point I had a flock of little girls following me around and cuddling me, and my friend told me that small children tend to be very drawn to pregnant women, something to do with hormones. Whatever the reason, I felt like the pied piper with every finger being held by a different little person!

Blogger Polly Walker with fellow pregnant colleague in Uganda in February

Polly Walker with fellow pregnant colleague in Uganda in February

I managed to survive my trip to Uganda - not so much in hardship this time as we were staying in a beautiful resort for a conference, with excellent food and a swimming pool. Nevertheless at this stage of pregnancy sleeping anywhere except your own comfortable bed is somehow traumatic, and I probably slept about 3 hours a night the whole time I was there, followed by days on my swollen feet giving trainings. I thought I deserved a medal just for turning up! But instead of a medal, I was rewarded with a delightful plane-induced influenza virus on the way home, which led to a terrifying ordeal and five days in the hospital.

I had the flu shot but whatever I picked up must have been outside the vaccine spectrum as it completely knocked me sideways. The hospital took it very seriously: lots of injections, tests and scans. What would I have done without my phone - I was bombarded with messages and prayers, and two dear friends even sent chocolate chip cookies to the ward. You know who you are and you will be rewarded in heaven!

The scary thing is that after such a healthy and active pregnancy with no morning sickness or usual pregnancy complaints, I have now developed quite severe asthma, will need medication until the end of my pregnancy and can't walk more than about 100 yards without getting into problems. It's frightening and just a reminder how sensitive the body is and how quickly things can change.

It's at times like this when 'support' is most needed, and yet sometimes it's so hard to express exactly what I need in terms of help from other people, especially my partner. Being a husband of a first-time mum cannot be easy, because we don't even know what we need most of the time. It might be something simple like a cup of tea, or something complex like painting the nursery. Either way, we want our needs to be pre-empted. We want help but we don't want to ask for it, and have to be doing all the thinking as well, and if you get in wrong there are likely to be tears. My husband brought me green instead of yellow bananas in hospital and I cried my eyes out for about half an hour! He then proceeded to eat the raw green bananas just to prove the point that they were perfectly adequate bananas. There is no reasoning with that, so my response was: there is no question of right or wrong because the pregnancy is always right, and the pregnancy wants yellow bananas. End of discussion.

I might be preaching to the choir here but for the sake of any male readers: try to pre-empt your partners needs, whether its bananas or foot rubs and keep offering to help! Lastly - keep an eye on your pregnant partner especially in this last trimester to make sure you are looking after her, even when she is not looking after herself! The chances are she is keeping up a brave face on a few hours sleep, feels bloated, exhausted and forgetful and could really use a hug!

Polly is 34 years old and is pregnant for the first time.

Follow Polly's progress on The Pregnancy Diaries.

For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life

We're expecting too! Check out handbag.com/babybag
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