Tag Archives: pregnancy

Week 23: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

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“Your baby’s hair is beginning to change to the colour it will have at birth. Her weight will double in the next four weeks. Your baby has a 50% chance of survival if born at the end of this week. The chance of survival depends of the week of gestation, mothers health, the reason for premature labour and the quality of medical care recieved. The lungs are developing and preparing for their first breaths. Loud noises may startle your baby, causing a sudden jolt in your uterus. Due to her growth, space in your uterus is getting reduced even further.

If you are getting wobbly whilst walking at this stage, this is a normal reaction to the change in your centre of gravity. Take extra care, especially whilst climbing stairs. Stretch marks are becoming more noticeable and may even itch as your skin streches. Some women may notice increased sensitivity to the sun, changes in sleep patterns and bleeding from gums. Always discuss with your doctor any changes in your body which you feel are not normal. You may begin to notice some pain your shoulders due to the strain caused by your growing breasts.” My Pregnancy App- Health & Parenting

Princesses kicks are becoming stronger and stronger and are now easily felt by Mr W. She kicks mostly when I get into bed and lie down. According to my pregnancy apps and books this is very common as lying down on your left side gives your baby more room to kick about. Another theory is that when you walk, you create a natural rocking motion inside your uterus- when you lie down this stops and wakes your baby.

This week has seen us take some lovely day trips to Studland Bay, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. Originally, I wanted to visit Corfe Castle but upon seeing the climb up we realised it probably wouldn’t be wise. Since I reached 18 weeks if I walk too fast or do anything too strenuous I get a hideous stitch in my right side and I mean hideous! It feels like a knife being dug into my side at force!

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The consultant assured me it’s from where my uterus is growing and pushing everything else around and nothing to worry about. I know I’m more than capable of making the climb but mother was adamant. No way. So we settled for Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door to be on the safe side. Once my mother has spoken, it’s kind of law!

We also visited Studland Bay which was beautiful and me and Mr W went on a little trip to Bournemouth for the day (I love Bournemouth!) and feasted on a delicious meal at Chimichangas! This has to be once of my favourite places! Spice, veg and of course cheese and I’m in heaven!

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The only down side is the closest one to us when we’re at home is again Bournemouth- an hour drive from home. While I think it’s worth it, I’m not so sure Andy will agree to regular hour long drives to Bournemouth to satisfy my Mexican cravings! I mean he’s great and I get away with murder; I’m completely spoiled but that’s probably asking too much!

Studland Bay was probably my favourite place. The views are amazing! It’s breath taking to see so much natural beauty and I found strolling down the beach, shell collecting with Mum and throwing the ball for Bonnie (the family dog) incredibly relaxing. The whole thing has really helped keep my mind occupied and my thoughts positive.

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Lulworth Cove was equally as beautiful and the little cottages in the surrounding villages are picturesque. We enjoyed slurping an ice cream whilst gazing at Durdle Door too. What fantastic views Dorset has to offer.

So days spent gently strolling along various beaches and evenings spent lounging around in a cosy cottage in front of a log burner seemed to be just what I needed to repair myself after the “week of doom” I experienced last week. Of course, it helped that Mum was on hand to spoil me with breakfast and dinner appearing without the need to even request it!

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Water is definitely key to relaxing me! Whenever I’m near water I feel so much better. If this pregnancy goes full term and I get the chance, I’m definitely going to to request a water birth. Even if I end up having to get out half way through to be pumped full of epidural I’m adamant I’m trying it. I know it will help relax me.

Returning home has been quite depressing I have to say! But on the positive side next week is my last full week of work. What with all my holiday still available to take, I’ve booked off various Monday’s and Friday’s over the next three months so that every week is a 4 day week, which is nice.

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I’ve chosen to take my mat leave 2 weeks before I’m due as I want to spend as much time at home with the baby as possible and I also have the added benefit that my job is hardly physically strenuous, so there isn’t really any reason for me to leave early. Although if anything changes with the pregnancy I may have to go earlier. Time will tell.

This week has seen me thinking about my birth plan. I don’t see my midwife again until week 28 and I’m pretty sure she’s the person who I do my birth plan with? I’m seeing my consultant next week, however, and my doctor the week after so I’ll be sure to ask for their advice and input on it too.

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Highlight of the week? My whole week really! What a fantastic break we had; it was just what me and the Mr needed!

Low of the week? Returning back to reality! Although even that came with a bonus as I get to snuggle my beautiful fur-babies again!

Week 22: Fear Nausea!!

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“Your baby now weighs around one pound and is approximately 29cms. In the next five weeks your baby will experience a major growth spurt. Her cerebrum, the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory, motor skills and intellect is preparing to be able to conduct communication between cells. Rapid eye movements (REM) have begun to occur during her sleep. The hair on your little ones body and even the skin is gaining some pigment. The bones and organs are still visible through the skin; however, they will soon become less visible due to continued formation of fat.

If your suffering from back pain, it will bother you more as your belly gets bigger. Depending on what offers you relief use ice packs, warmth, or gentle massage to make you feel more relaxed. You may notice some other changes in your body including heat rash, skin tags, a reddish tinged colour to your soles and palms and blotchy legs. All these changes are temporary. Your uterus is expanding and is now 4cm above your belly button.” My Pregnancy App- Health & Parenting Ltd.

So this week started off pretty bad I have to say. Monday morning I woke with a raging migraine and spent the day in bed as a result. Tuesday I woke up and the panic attack started…

See, the time is getting nearer to when I had my last baby prematurely and no matter how many people (as well meaning as I’m sure they are) tell me “everything will be fine” and “it won’t happen again” and “there’s no point in worrying for no reason” it doesn’t change the fact that I do worry. Constantly.

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The only purpose this “advice” serves, is to ensure a change in my emotions from worry and fear to all consuming rage! When people say ridiculous things like this, it makes me want to rip their stupid little heads off and mush them to a pulp, much like I used to enjoy doing to play dough when I was younger…

In all fairness- it’s not all people. Just the people who have never been in my position before. People who have been in similar awful situations, tend to be a lot more sympathetic and offer constructive advice on how to relax and anecdotes from their own past traumas, which actually help.

I think theres almost an unspoken “bond” between people who have been through distressing times. Just by talking to someone who I know understands how I feel completely, really helps me feel less alone; more supported. If you haven’t ever been there, you simply cannot relate.

Which is why it was my mother, to whom I turned, when I needed someone to support me during my latest panic attack. Mr W was at work, I had rang my consultant in somewhat of a fluster and she had asked me to come to the hospital to visit the assessment ward to be checked over- which I did willingly.

Of course, as soon as I got into the Maternity Ward I felt the all-to-familiar feeling of my “fear nausea” (as I like to call it) rearing it’s ugly head. Several hot flushes, spent vomit bowls and cups of cold water later, I was checked over and assured everything was looking good.

Thankfully, everything was fine. The staff were lovely and mum was hugely supportive. The midwives assured me I could go the assessment ward for daily check ups if I wanted and, in the circumstances, it was only natural for the odd panic attack or two- you can never be too careful.

So, reassured, I went off home and slept like a baby that night. I had my consultant appointment the coming Thursday and was even more reassured to hear my cervical length was 43mm, higher than it was last time! The only reason my consultant could think of for this was that my previous scan, which showed a drop to 38mm, was actually done at an angle and brought up the incorrect reading!

Phew…

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So, after my strange hellish start to the week, we set off for our little holiday on Friday afternoon both fairly comforted and relaxed.

Princess is wriggling and kicking still at her regular intervals. She definitely has her own little routine and me and Andy are starting to know her movements like clock work!

The place we’re staying in Swanage is beautiful and I’m really looking forward to my week of rest! I think I’ll be able to enjoy my little break a lot more now knowing that everything looks as positive as possible.

Highlight of the week? What better way to kick off a week by the sea than a tea of fish and chips! 🙂

Low of the week? I’m fast becoming an expert on the term “worried sick” it would seem!

Antenatal Classes…?

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Antenatal Classes…?

I’m hoping my fellow pregnant bloggers/mummy bloggers will be able to help me here, as I start to wonder about antenatal classes…

In my last pregnancy I didn’t end up having any classes, as I had H at 24 weeks spontaneously, this time round I have everything crossed that I’ll go to full term and have a “normal” birth.

A few people have questioned if I need to go to antenatal classes as I’ve “kinda-already-done-it” before. Well yes, I laboured for 21 hours and gave birth to an agreeably small baby (who also happened to be breech and positioned back to back with me) I would agree- I’ve “kinda-already-done-it”. However, preterm births are different to full term births… Right?

This is a hard one. The only person I trust to give me honest advice here is my mum who, sadly, had her first baby at 24 weeks the same as me. She said pain wise the preterm birth was actually worse.

She feels a combination of her body not being ready, the baby not being in the right position and the obvious mega stress of the situation, all contributed to more painful birth than when my brother followed 12 months later, weighing 9.5 pounds after a “reasonably good and speedy” 3 hour labour- but the beauty of child birth is that every one is different from the next!

Now I’m not too worried about the pain, believe it or not. There are far worse things than a few hours of physical pain- which will inevitably end- in my opinion. Having a baby is going to hurt. It’s accepted. But totally worth it.

Having H hurt a lot and I won’t try and deny it. But the pain was nothing compared to the pain that followed when all hope was lost and we realised we would never get to take our little boy home; it still hurts now.

I had no idea what to expect when I went into labour before- which probably explains why I went about my day as normal (work, home, cook, clean- denial) until the pain became too much, I discovered I needed to push and it dawned on me everything was not right.

I didn’t really have any great knowledge on pushing, panting, breathing, labour positions, pain relief options and to tell you the truth I’m still not 100% now!

The furthest I’d got in planning my birth with H was: “I want to try and rely on gas and air only if I can” and “That water birth thing looks like it’s right up my street- I love water” I thought I had months left to read up on everything I needed to know.

By the time we got to hospital I was fully dilated and pushing- too late for any pain relief, even gas and air- so I put on my best brave face, had a crash course on breathing from a lovely midwife and Harry was there little more than hour later.

My husband assures me I wasn’t a raving, yowling mess but then even if I was, he probably wouldn’t tell me. He’s far too nice for that. As for my memory it’s all fairly blurred. All I remember is stress, panic, pain, being boiling hot (it was the hottest day of year) what felt like a million people in the room and a tiny incubator being wheeled in ready. It was all stress, panic; uncertainty.

Not a very pleasant experience to say the least. I know you can’t completely control labour- it pretty much happens as it wants- but that experience was probably the furthest thing from what I wanted when I thought about having H and is definitely not what I want to happen this time around.

Which is why I want to do the whole antenatal-class-thing. One thing that surprised me when I was having H is how much breathing properly helped me! It calmed me, I could control the pain, I was focused and before I knew it the pain was gone.

I think the more I learn of these techniques the more prepared I’ll feel this time round; the more I’ll be able to cope and (hopefully) I can have the birth I want this time- a water birth.

I’m also the type of person that thinks knowledge is key (typical Virgo!). I know the more I know, the more relaxed I’ll feel about the whole thing. I like to be an expert in all things relating to me, this way I feel more in control of a situation even if I’m not!

So we’ve decided to take the antenatal classes but here’s where it gets tricky…

With my hubbies current work pattern and my annoying habit of not being able to stay awake past 8pm on a “school night”, attending a class is pretty much out.

I could always attend a class at some point on my own, but one of the reasons I want to get more clued up on labour and the like is so Mr W can help me during labour- he is my birth partner after all and I don’t think I would enjoy classes so much without him there.

What I would like to know from all my fellow pregnant ladies/mummies is, is there any DVDs, books etc on antenatal classes that you would recommend for me? Instead of me having to attend classes on my lonesome? Are there any other ladies in the same position as me? If so, what are you planning on doing?

All advice welcome 🙂

As ever, thanks for reading.

A public announcement for all “Bump Touchers”

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A public announcement for all “Bump Touchers”

One thing that I’ve noticed as I continue to get bigger, is that people are starting to gravitate towards touching the bump- GAH!

I don’t know why, but this makes me really uncomfortable. I’m truly not prepared for it so it shocks me every time. I actually grabbed someone’s hand rather fiercely when they touched my belly the other day- not intentionally hard it was just such a shock to feel a foreign, alien hand caressing my stomach; it was a gut reaction. Especially at the moment, I instinctively feel like I have to protect the bump.

Of course, I don’t mind when Mr. Wood rubs the tummy. He’s seen me at my most vulnerable plenty of times- not just physically but emotionally. And then there’s the big obvious, he helped make the baby in the first place. The baby is as much his as it is mine, therefore, he has every right to cuddle my bump- and do you know, when HE does it, I quite like it. Just the three of us together, mummy, daddy and bump. It’s nice. I feel secure.

I think it’s a really intimate action to rub someone’s belly- am I wrong here? I have heard other pregnant women liken “bump touching” to being assaulted. May sound dramatic, but I can see where they’re going with this. If your not pregnant or never have been, consider this; would you like it if someone came up to you and rubbed your tummy without so much as a “Hello” first? I’m guessing no!

Just because a woman is growing a baby inside her does not give people to an automatic pass to use her as a lucky Buddha statue- Trust me; unauthorized rubbing of my stomach will bring you the exact opposite of luck!

It’s important to point out a lot of “bump touchers” are clueless here. Monkey see- monkey do. People go through life seeing others touch pregnant ladies bumps and they assume this is the norm and continue the deed. Before you know it it’s socially “accepted”. I feel more of the same happened when people started thinking it was appropriate to rain a hail of unwanted advice and labour stories on expectant women.

Children saw mothers and fathers, friends, family, strangers “advising” pregnant mothers without invitation, ergo, the chain continued, snowballed and we ended up where we are today- pregnant woman = green light, do and say as you please.

I find it all very Un-English. Aren’t we supposed to be all manners and chivalry and “stiff upper lip”, no emotional involvement, prudish and prim even? Anyone who’s been to England and has known English people well, knows this is far from accurate but there are truths to the stereotypes or else where would they have come from?

As a nation we are thought to be fairly well mannered- we don’t like people who queue jump, for instance, and most of us would hate to cause a scene in a restaurant. So why do manners disappear at the sight of a bump? A question I don’t think will ever be answered…

Of course some women don’t mind their bumps being stroked by randomers. Some even love it. And I do understand why (to a degree). They are so proud of their glorious achievement they want to share it with everyone and that’s truly beautiful! Fair play to them!

So all I have to say, possible bump touchers, is this. In my case, it’s simple- ask me first. If you’re a stranger I’ll probably grudgingly agree (see very English- not even wanting to offend a stranger) if you’re a relative or friend I’ll definitely agree! In fact, as you can (almost) feel defined kicks from baby wood on the outside, I’ll probably be forcing your hand on my stomach at every moment in the very near future; so we can both enjoy the wonderful weird miracle of my pregnancy!

Your hand will, most probably, be on my bump so much you’ll be sick of it. You’ll be tired of seeing my gleeful smiling face cooing at the wriggly mass that is my stomach! You’ll find everything and anything to do with babies so mind numbingly dull.

You’ll think it’s so bizarre that I STILL get so much enjoyment from feeling my little alien twist and turn inside of me a whole 3 months on. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that by the end you’ll be so consumed with exhausting coma-inducing boredom from my belly, you’ll never want to spend another minute with a pregnant women and her bump again! So yes you can touch my bump…

…Just do me a favour and ask first.

Never ending cycle of fear…

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So today I had a full scale panic attack that I still haven’t 100% recovered from… I feel like I’m constantly on edge, it’s only a matter of time before something terrible happens.

I’m desperate to get to 27 weeks (4 weeks and 6 days to go) as the survival rate is classed as “good” from then on.

I went to the day assessment unit at the hospital today (on the advice of my consultant) for a check up because of said panic attack.

They checked my bp, temperature, baby’s heartbeat, gave me a scan and checked me internally. Everything came back as fine- my cervix is still fully closed.

My cervix is what I’m paranoid about- I keep thinking it’s going to open and bring on labour. I have no idea why, but I have this in my head constantly.

I’m also worried for some reason that my placenta is going to haemorrhage. Again no idea why, it’s just a fear that won’t go away.

Then I’m stressing about stressing. Stress releases bad hormones that have been linked to preterm labour so I’m worrying that by worrying I’m going to make something bad happen. Can you make bad things happen?

It’s a never ending cycle of fear.

Week 21: A Rainbow for my Rainbow…

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Week 21: A Rainbow for my Rainbow…


“Your baby weighs almost a pound now, even if you’re having twins. Movements of your baby are deliberate and with the purpose of preparing its motor skills and coordination. Even though hair is growing on your baby’s head, the colour will be white as the pigment has not yet developed. Your baby’s skin is wrinkled and is of a pinkish-red colour, but still translucent. The limbs are proportionate, but your baby is still very thin, weighing approximately one seventh of the final weight at birth. Your baby’s brain is beginning to have a period of rapid growth and delevlopment.

Your uterus has reached about an inch above your belly button. Leg cramps can become an unpleasant issue for women around this point. From now on its possible to have some leakage from your nipples at any time; this is just your breast preparing to breast feed your baby. If you are experiencing back ache it’s likely to be bothering you more. Your lower back is experiencing a lot of strain. Your physiotherapist may recommend a pelvic support belt to help ease your pain, especially if you suffer from PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain). If you haven’t noticed them yet, stretch marks may be beginning to appear.” My Pregnancy App- Health and Parenting Ltd

We kicked off this week with another set of scans which all went well! I posted the pics in one of my previous blog posts, but if you want to check them out (and didn’t see them before) the link to the post is here. We finally got a good view of princess face on so the sonographer was able to finish checking for all anomalies and everything seems fine 🙂

I had a little panic attack when my cervical scan pulled up a shorter measurement than it had before but, after a phone call to my consultant, she assured me it’s perfectly normal for my cervical measurements to decrease at this point and that my results (38mm) are still very good. However, she did offer to do another cervical scan for me at my next appointment with her the day before I go on a little local-ish holiday to put mind at rest for the break. I see her again Thursday 13th Feb, which means I get to see princess again too- bonus! 🙂

The bump is getting bigger, which I love. No sign of any stretch marks yet… I have a little routine where I apply baby oil in the morning, first thing after a shower, and last thing at night before bed. I also apply bump cream during the day at work. It’s not a vanity issue- I just love massaging my bump! It makes princess kick and stops my growing skin from itching, but if helps prevent stretch marks I’m not complaining!

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In keeping with the whole positive-energy-over-negative-energy vibe, I’m still trying to channel my creative streak. This week I’ve decided on new decor for the hallway, living room and kitchen.

I’ve gone with a kind of American Diner theme in the hallway and kitchen. I adore old fashioned, shabby style plaques and bright coloured advertising tins, so I the idea is to select some of my favourites and some that I think represent mine and Mr W’s tastes and passions and intersperse them with lovely, glossy black and white photos of our friends and family. I’m also in the process of asking my step dad if I can rummage through his collection of vinyls and steal any unwanted ones to put on the walls too!

I took the idea from the 50’s American Diner restaurant we have nearby. Every time we visit I find the decor just as interesting as the food! I’m a very visual person and I love looking at all the different pieces around the room, imagining what it was actually like to live in time period. I love the way they cover the walls from top to bottom in different pictures, vinyls and tins. It’s chaotic, colourful, bright and interesting- exactly what I’m looking for!

I want the living room to have a relaxed, peaceful and clean feel to it. I want it to be a light, airy, comfy space that people can feel happy and at ease in. The words romantic/shabby chic spring to mind. We’re lucky enough to have the benefits of two windows and a full glass back door which enable a lot of light into the room during spring and summer.

The colour scheme is going to be a lot more laid back and soft in this room; lots of cream and mink colours with shabby chic tables and of course my big squishy sofa that should be here in a few weeks. We’re going to keep a little bit of colour in the room by leaving the bright purple feature wall that we already have painted- even in one of the most serene rooms of my home I still want to keep a little bit of colour!

This is all a massive work in progress which should keep my mind pretty busy up until the birth of baby wood. After the living room, kitchen and hallway I want to spruce up the bathroom and our bedroom; then finally decorate princesses room ready for her arrival. This will be my last port of call. I have tons of ideas already stored up in my head but I don’t want to act on any of them until I get to the 30/34 week mark- I have good reasons for my superstitious behaviour!

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I’m actually looking quite forward to going for the week soon. It should be a great opportunity for me to relax and unwind as well as hopefully finding some more inspiration. We are staying in a little cosy cottage with a log fire and the town is supposed to be idealic, with cathedrals, castles and beachfront nearby. I’m always calmer, contented and more at peace when I’m near the sea, I find it incredibly comforting- Probably one of the reasons I chose to get married on a beach!- Even without the sun shining its bound to keep my spirits high!

Although I try to stay positive at all times it’s hard not to have a mini panic attack every now and then. Especially as I come closer to the 24 week mark which saw the arrival of Harry.

I noticed something strange but bizarrely comforting this week. This baby is classed as my rainbow baby (a baby conceived after a loss) I haven’t seen a rainbow in at least 2 years, maybe longer. I’m sure they were still about but I just didn’t happen to see any. In the last 3 weeks I’ve seen no less than four big beautiful rainbows and everyone has appeared either the day or day after a particularly big freak out.

I like to think this is a little sign telling me not to worry, that everything will be fine. A rainbow for my rainbow. It’s more than likely nothing more than a huge coincidence but I’m not hurting anyone by taking comfort out of it, so I do. Plus rainbows are lovely colourful, natural things- from what you know about me, I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that I think they’re beautiful!

Highlight of the week? Seeing our beautiful princess in our scan. As lovely as it was to see the back of her head and bum for three consecutive scans (the most beautiful back of head and bum ever!) it was wonderful to see her face!

Low of the week? Realising half way through a wee at work that I had forgot to lock the bathroom door… Those footsteps in the corridor reeeeally helped speed things along! If you ever need waking up a “danger wee” is definitely the way to do it! Will I ever get my pre-baby brain back?