Mother and Baby

Rebecca Adlington’s pregnancy diary: Week 23

Becky and Harry

Rebecca Adlington keeps a diary for M&B throughout her pregnancy. Read Week 23: The double Olympic gold medallist races past the halfway mark and discovers she’s having a girl

I’m startIng to feel really pregnant. I went for a swim on Wednesday and I could feel my tummy hanging down in the water. It’s hard to get comfy. I’m having to get up four times a night. If I’ve got a journey over two hours I need to plan a pee-stop. People keep asking when I’m due and when I tell them end of June, they say, ‘Ooh, not long now!’ I’m like, ‘Long enough thank you – don’t freak me out!’

Our 20-week scan was a massive relief. All my books kept saying I should feel a flutter at 19 weeks, but I hadn’t felt anything I could pin down as a flutter. I kept thinking, ‘Well, that might be me just needing a burp.’ I felt a bit rubbish about it, to be honest, so to see that the baby was OK was really, really good.

It was really cute because the baby kept opening her mouth and moving her arm

The baby was facing the wrong way, so I needed to stand up, have a little jiggle and go for a pee to get it to turn around. The sonographer showed us everything. It was really cute because the baby kept opening her mouth and moving her arm. But every time we got a flash of skeleton I was like, ‘It looks like an alien!’ It did freak me out a little bit.

The sonographer said, ‘I can’t guarantee it, but I think it’s a girl.’

My heart had always said it was going to be a girl. Harry was a bit ‘Ughh, I wanted a boy’, but then he was ‘Yay, a girl.’ I think you naturally want whatever sex you are. I was like, ‘I can take her shopping and plait her hair.’

Friends and family said, ‘Don’t find out.’ I was like, ‘Seriously? Our baby! Back off!’

There wasn’t even 1% of us that didn’t want to find out the sex. We were so excited to know – we couldn’t have waited any longer. I mean, it killed us that our scan was six days after our 20 week mark. Friends and family said, ‘Don’t find out.’ I was like, ‘Seriously? Our baby! Back off!’ I don’t know if it’s the athlete in me, but I like to visualise what’s going to happen, to be prepared. I understand some people want the surprise of finding out the gender at birth, but isn’t it enough of a surprise that you’ve got this human coming out of you? That’s certainly enough for me!

So, now we know the sex, we’re going to paint the nursery. There are so many paint samples on the wall, but we’ve gone for a soft lilac – Harry and I aren’t ‘pink’ people. Harry’s going to do the painting while I’m going on a girly trip to see Fifty Shades of Grey. 

We can start thinking about names. It’s so weird because pretty much everyone in the Olympic swimming team from my era has had baby girls. There’s not one boy! We’re all like, ‘Is there something in the chlorine?’ But they’ve nabbed all the good girls’ names like Evie, Mia, Piper, Hallie and Ava – dammit!

Everyone had described the flutter as like nervous butterflies

And then last week, I felt a kick. I had my feet up on the sofa, rubbing my tummy and trying to get comfy. I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ I shouted, ‘Babe, come here!’ to Harry. He was like, ‘I felt it too.’ It was really cool. Everyone had described the flutter as like nervous butterflies. But I can see now I was waiting for a massive nervous flutter like I used to get when I was competing. Because I used to get really nervous before a race. And it didn’t feel anything like that!

I’ve been feeling her kicks every day since, which has been really nice. I say ‘her’. The sonographer sounded pretty confident. We’re trusting her professional opinion. We’ve gone with the lilac now, so I’ll be a bit upset if she’s wrong...

Watch Becky’s video blog at

  • Author: Emma Bailey Emma Bailey
  • Job Title: Deputy Editor

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