Faye Bartle, 34, is mum to two-year-old Xander and is charting her current pregnancy in Baby&Child. You can follow her pregnancy diary in the magazine, as well as regular updates online. Here’s how she’s getting on…

Date: April 2016

Stage: 26 weeks pregnant

Mindset: Rapidly expanding, yet thankfully enjoying the second trimester energy boost and happy to feel the baby move.

How does your pregnancy compare to your first so far?

This pregnancy has been very smooth sailing compared to the first. With Xander I was rather violently ill, multiple times a day for months. We also had a scare early on where Xander was given a high risk of Down’s Syndrome and we were advised to have chorionic villus sampling (CVS) - a prenatal test that is used to detect birth defects, genetic diseases, and other problems during pregnancy. This is quite an invasive procedure with risks attached and, although the test came back clear, it was a traumatic start to the pregnancy.

This time, I have been sick only a handful of times, which has been a revelation! I did feel very nauseous and tired during the first three months, however. Luckily my dad was staying with us during that time and I could sneak in the odd nap – I really don’t know how I would have coped otherwise.

How’s the baby doing?

All our scans and tests have come back normal so far, which has helped me to feel a bit calmer. I’ve felt under a lot of pressure as my husband and I have recently bought a house in Dubai and I have found the entire process - not to mention moving day - quite stressful. I was worried this may have affected the growth and development of the baby but at my recent scan I was reassured he is bang on target.

I have been much more relaxed about the pregnancy overall, and instead of keeping track of every little milestone, I check in every so often for an update on baby’s development. On the advice of my doctor, I have minimised the number of scans, tests and appointments we’re having, which is helping me look at the bigger picture and focus more on the birth date.

How is the bump developing?

My friends say my bump is smaller this time around but I still feel huge and am finding it difficult to pick things up off the floor or jog up the stairs without getting out of breath. I started feeling the baby move a few weeks ago and the kicking is getting stronger by the day. Just like Xander used to, he likes to have a good wriggle around in the evening and during the night.

Have you had any cravings?

I just want to eat fruit and vegetables the entire time, which is great. I think it’s my body naturally craving nutrients – I felt exactly the same way the last time. Asparagus, sweetcorn and berries are favourites but I try to limit my intake due to the high cost. I can easily eat an entire packet of cherry tomatoes in one sitting. I struggle to eat any meat while pregnant, although I do have the occasional steak if in the mood. We eat quite a lot of fish at home but sometimes it can make me feel sick so my potions are small. Funnily enough, I’m usually a massive pickled onion fan but go off them completely during pregnancy. I can’t get through the evening without a mug of full-fat warm milk – and a bar of chocolate.

Have you had any annoying symptoms?

The smell of meat and alcohol makes me heave, as does the smell of eggs being cooked. Xander has an omelette most mornings though, so I just need to open the back door and get some fresh air. Frequent headaches during the first trimester were a real niggle, as they put me out of action, although thankfully these have now eased. I do seem to get a fair few nosebleeds, which is odd, although I read that this can be common.

Have you told your little one that there is a baby on the way?

He knows there is a “waa waa” on the way. He says “hi” and waves, and he kissed my bump the other day, which was really sweet and spontaneous. I talk to him about how his baby brother is coming in July and that he will soon have a playmate. Xander says the “waa waa” is currently sleeping and yawns to show me what he thinks the baby is doing. He sees the scan picture on the fridge and says “waa waa” then yawns. As we get a bit further down the line I will start reading a book to him that helps introduce a new sibling.

What preparations are you making now for the new baby?

A number of Xander’s old things have been placed in the spare room. I have a Stokke Cot, which is lovely, although it looks like it has been used to house animals as it has lots of Xander’s teeth marks on the sides! We need a day bed for the room for 2am feeding sessions - and general passing out from exhaustion - as well as a chest of drawers with a changing table on top. Ideally I’d like to make a chic monochrome nursery, but as Xander still spends more time in our room than his, I’m not going to go too mad on it.

Are you going to antenatal classes?

I went last time to Horizon Nursery and have all the handouts, so was going to review them in my spare time. I would like to attend a seminar of some classes on VBACs within the next few months, however, so watch this space.

The expert view

Dr Tahira Sadigova, obstetric gynaecologist at Euromed Clinic Center (04 3945422/www.euromedclinicdubai.com) outlines the 25-week milestones for mum and baby.

The baby

A baby at 25 weeks weighs nearly 660g, on average, and is about 35cm long from crown to heel. His appearance is changing too – the long, lean look is being replaced by baby fat, giving him a more newborn-like appearance. Plus, his senses are becoming more sophisticated.

By now, the baby will have developed his own little routine in your womb. He will play by turning, doing somersaults and wriggling around – usually followed by a little nap to recover! The baby will also enjoy hearing mum’s voice at this stage and may move around in response to it, so talking and singing to baby is really important. You may even want to read to him too.

The mum

You should have an antenatal appointment at 25 weeks and your midwife might talk through your birth plan or your thoughts about the type of delivery you would like. Make sure you birth partner is aware of the kind of birth you wish to aim for and your thoughts on pain relief.

You might be given a test for gestational diabetes at this point in pregnancy, if you have gained weight rapidly, or if your urine or blood sample has flagged up cause for concern.

Your fingers, wrists and hands may be feeling achy and numb. The passageway, or carpal tunnel, in your wrist that carries your nerve and tendons to your hand is swollen, as are many other tissues in your body. The nerve that runs through the tunnel is pinched, creating pressure that causes shooting or burning pain. Wearing a brace may help. Talk to your midwife or doctor if you are experiencing this sort of pain.