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Week 32: Distractions

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“Even though her bones are hardening, the skull is still not solid and the skull bones are not fused together. This allows for head to reduce in diameter as it passes through your birth canal. Her brain is developing more distinct features and is capable of controlling breathing, digestive functions and body temperature. She can now tell the difference between night and day. Lungs are almost completely ready for breathing on their own and if your baby is born now, she would only need a little medical support.

As your discomfort increases, you will probably be wondering about methods of pain relief during child birth. It’s time to talk to your care giver about the options you have, so that you are prepared once your in labour. You’ll be gaining a pound a week at this point, half of which is baby weight. Your amniotic fluid is at its highest level now. Mild swelling at this point is normal; however, it’s very important to know the difference between this and the sweeping that occurs with preeclampsia. If you notice any symptoms such as severe or sudden swelling, stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, severe headaches or spots in vision, get immediate medical attention. Due to increased pressure in your abdomen, you’ll be urinating at all hours, which may add to your sleep woes.” My Pregnancy App- Health & Parenting.

The nausea is yet to let up and indigestion is worse than ever 😦 I’m starting to feel quite drained and very tired too now which, although I expected it, is very unwelcome! Worst symptoms however? Two words; restless legs. Some nights I’m close to tears because they’re so bad, I just hope that they at least let up after princess is born. I used to have mild restless legs before pregnancy but nothing to how bad they are now.

In lighter news- I’m still not finding myself rushing to the toilet in the middle of night (something I have been assured by countless other mums that I would be experiencing by now!) maybe I have a super strong bladder? Maybe princess doesn’t reach my bladder at night? Either way, I’m happy and hope it stays like this for as long as possible! Frequent midnight trips to the toilet will do nothing to help my tiredness I’m sure!!

Also, I’m finding myself still pretty mobile which I’m pleased about! I do have PGP but its bearable and only flairs up after long periods of standing up and rushing around- lucky I have an office job really! I can still reach my feet- it’s not easy I won’t lie but it’s not yet impossible for me to trim my toenails and put on my shoes and socks!

This week I had a particularly short working week- off Monday, consultant Thursday and off Friday- so I only worked 2 ½ days which was nice. I’ve made the most of my time off by throwing myself into the nursery. I have now managed to wash, tumble dry and iron all princesses clothes and put away all of her 0-3 month wardrobe. All her outfits are hung up, her long sleeved vests, short sleeved vests, day onesies, night onesies and casual clothes are all folded neatly on the shelves. I’ve lined up all her 0-3 pram shoes at the bottom and sorted her socks, booties, hats and mittens into her little drawers. She’s even got a little collection of headbands building up!

For now, it looks perfect- not sure how long that will last once she’s here but now I’m enjoying seeing all her cute little clothes ready and waiting for her!

I also took a trip to Costco and stocked up on some much needed nappies and essentials! I didn’t go to overboard as I know my mum and my nan are preparing hampers full of essentials for me but the changing unit is now full of toiletries (shampoo’s, bath wash, lotion, oil, talc, sponges, cotton buds, cotton wool, grooming kit etc) as well as changing essentials like wipes, nappies, nappy cream etc. I also have a load of bibs and muslin clothes stashed away ready, as well as numerous towels, sleeping bags and blankets- she already has more blankets than I know what to do with and I’ve been told there are more on the way!

But the best news is on Friday we ordered the cot- it look perfect and I can’t wait for it to go up in the room! Me and the husband are off on Monday so the plan is to put the cot up then- can’t wait! All of this has helped immensely with distracting me from my pregnancy- as was intended- and this week I haven’t had any real moments of panic. Thankfully.

This week we had a consultant appointment in Reading. At first, I was rather pissed off to realize that we were unable to see my consultant, but the registrar turned out to be a lovely man who answered all of our questions perfectly and made us feel at ease. He suggested that, as long as I felt comfortable with it, we could go 4 weeks until our next appointment as he was very happy with how I was progressing, he also confirmed that I could stop taking cyclogest (Progestrone) at 34 weeks, as we had previously discussed.

He said he was more than happy for me to be admitted in the midwife led ward as oppose to the delivery suite- as long as I made it 37 weeks- but the best bit was he said for our next appointment (at which I will be 36+3 weeks) which will probably (hopefully!) be our last appointment (as long as she’s not too late!) we could have a more detailed and thorough scan! This really pleased me, because although we get a scan every time we see the consultant, the scan is usually done on a fairly low visibility scanner without a printer.

The last time we were given photos was at around 22 weeks and the last time we managed to catch a nice detailed look at her face was at around 24 weeks and far as weight estimate and measurements go, the consultant usually measures her head and stomach circumference and arm and leg length and tell us how many weeks she’s measuring. Eg. “she’s measuring the size of an average 23 weeker” etc etc. But this time we get a good estimate of how much she’s weighing and how much she should weigh at birth. I know these aren’t 100% but I’m still excited to see how my little princess is doing!

All in all- it’s been a fairly a good week 🙂

Highlight of the week? Sorting princess’s wardrobe out- I can’t wait to put her in all her cute little outfits 🙂
Low of the week? RESTLESS LEGS- GO AWAY NOW!!

Week 31: Belief?

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“Space inside your womb is becoming increasingly scarce for your baby, making its movements less dramatic and slower, almost as if your little one is practicing a synchronized swimming routine. The fetal position is becoming a familiar position to her. Your baby can now use all of the 5 senses. She is busy looking around, practicing breathing, grabbing whatever is in reach, tasting amniotic fluid and listening to the sound of both you and your partners voice. If you’re carrying twins, there is even less space for your babies to move and they made decide to make an early appearance this month. Your baby will weigh about 3 and a half pounds at this points and measure around 42.4cm from crown to heel.

Your uterus is now about 5 inches above your belly button. This leaves so little room for your organs that breathlessness, constipation and heartburn are becoming facts of life. Due to the hormone relaxin, your hip joints are softening in preparation for child birth and you may begin to feel like a duck, waddling from place to place. Your baby may be head down at this point and pushing its way towards the birth canal. If Braxton Hicks contractions become painful or regular, it’s time to call your caregiver, especially if you feel like you may be in early, active or hard labour.”- My Pregnancy App- Health & Parenting Ltd.

Nausea is the word of the week. This week I have really felt like a bag of shit, on and off. The only thing that appears to keep it at bay is eating, and eating constantly is impossible! Not only that, I’m getting full super quick again so I can’t really eat that much. I’ll eat, feel good for all of 20 minutes and then feel poop again. It comes in waves and there’s no rhyme or reason for it anymore. Earlier on I used to get morning-sickness-in-the-afternoon, now it comes and goes when it pleases, it has no curfew anymore!

Restless legs still haunt my evenings and PGP is still there ready to pounce when I walk around for longer than an hour; making cleaning and tidying a nightmare at a time where I really want to clean and tidy everything all the time! *sigh*. I’ve only had two episodes of my recurring dreams this week, which is an improvement!

I am feeling the baby hiccupping regularly now, at least that’s what I’m 99% sure she’s doing! I don’t know what else would make her jolt frequently and almost in a rhythmically timed beat! Her movements are slowing down on last week. She still moves fairly regularly, which helps keep my fears at bay, but it’s not quite the same as it was before. Her movements are slow and objects stick out of me now and I’m starting to get better at guessing what these objects actually are!

This week I had my 31 week doctor’s appointment which went well. My fundal height is exactly 31cm so I’m on track there and my glucose test results came back as normal, so no pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes or any other form or diabetes for me to worry about! Baby is still head down but not engaged which is right for the gestation.

This week I allowed myself a moment where I actually believed everything was going to be ok; just for a moment. This is something I haven’t done before. I actually stopped and thought, “This is it, and she’s going to be ok. She’s going to be here soon. I’m going to be able to take her home, feed her and cuddle her and she’ll be all mine, it’s really happening!” What a lovely feeling it is to be overwhelmed with excitement!! I sharply brought myself back down to earth however. It’s not over yet. I can’t afford to get too excited yet. I can’t afford to admit this might be ok. I can’t afford to jinx it!

Although I think on some level my subconscious must be slowly coming round to be possibility it may all be ok. I’m having less panic attacks and even less scary dreams- this is surely a sign of belief right? I like to think positive thoughts for the baby at much as I can, but that doesn’t mean I’ve walked through this pregnancy with rose-tinted glasses, quite the opposite in fact. I’ve been weary of getting my hopes up too much in case they get dashed again…

Preparations at home continue and we’ve almost finished sorting out the living room. It’s so close to be how I want it! There are still bits to do in ALL the rooms at home; however, the list is decreasing as the weeks go on. I’m certain we will be ready by 30th May which was the date I set for everything to be complete! I have picked out the cot and am ordering that this week so that’s another item off the list too!

Highlight of the week? I have 6 weeks, YES 6 WEEKS left until I should go maternity leave from work! I can’t believe how fast the time is going!
Low of the week? Nausea, nausea, nausea!!!

Week 30: Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

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“Your baby weighs around 3.5 pounds now and fat continues to accumulate under the skin. She is around 41.1cm long. While she can gain as much as half a pound a week from now until birth, the weight gain varies from baby to baby. The lanugo is continuing to shed, although babies born prematurely may still have some of this at birth. Even though the lungs are the last of all the organs to develop fully, she is practising breathing 30-40% of the time. Bones are busy hardening and preparing to support her body after birth. The adrenal glands, which produce those important hormones called steriods, have doubled in size in the last 10 weeks.

Your uterus is now about 11.5 cm above your belly button and space has become very limited. This will likely increase your aches and midnight keg pains. You may even be feeling some anxiety, not only due to your decreased ability to function but also due to impending labour. Brixton Hicks may become a regular occurrence and can happen at any time. The extra weight that you are gaining is likely to be the baby weight, plus the weight of your body that is compensating for your growing baby.”– My Pregnancy App- Health & Parenting Ltd.

This week marked clearing my next hurdle! I now only have one milestone left to hit- 37 weeks- and I’m home and dry 🙂 I can’t tell you how good it feels, and how quick the time is going! It’s flying- I can’t wait!

This week we decided to get my maternity bag ready. This may sound stupid but I had no idea how much stuff you had to pack in a maternity bag! For anyone as unaware as me, here’s the list of maternity bag “must have’s” I found:

For Mum-
Slip on shoes,
Socks,
Birth plan,
Maternity notes,
Old night dress or shirt (to labour in)
Light top (in case you want a water birth)
Lotion/Oil,
Lip balm,
Snacks and drinks,
Entertainment eg, books, magazines etc.
Hair bands,
Pillow,
Hand held fan,
Water spray,
Phone charger,
Camera,
Knickers (5 pack of cotton ones)
Change of clothes (after labour)
Night wear (in case you spend the night)
Change of clothes (going home)
Nursing bra,
Bra pads,
Deodorant,
Shampoo,
Conditioner,
Shower gel,
Bendy straws (to make drinking during labour easier)
Tooth brush,
Tooth paste.

For Birth Partner:
Comfy shoes,
Change of clothes,
Tooth brush,
Snacks and drinks,
Entertainment eg. Books, magazines etc.
Phone charger,

For Baby:
Sleep suits X2,
Vests X2,
Baby blanket,
Nappies,
Wipes,
Muslim cloths x2,
Socks/booties,
Outfit for going home,
Hat,
Mittens,
Bottles,
Car seat.

Wow… Ok I get the maternity notes, birth plans etc. I had thought about the shower stuff, changes of clothes and nightwear for possible overnight stay. I remember when I had Harry obviously we didn’t have a bag, we didn’t have anything with us.

I remember having to wear a horrible hospital gown because obviously the clothes I had arrived in we’re covered in amniotic fluid and Christ knows what else. I was lucky enough that the hospital had some shower gel and shampoo so I could at least have a wash.

Mr W had to go home and grab me some bits in the morning and not to go too far into the details of my underwear drawer, I remember thinking “Shit I don’t have any knickers!” I’m a string girl- tmi I know. So I had thought about the knickers, I had thought about the shower stuff, the clothes and the tooth brushes and the toothpaste.

I had even thought about the hand held fan and the water spray- one thing that will always stick with me was how damn hot it was in that Delivery Suite- and obviously the clothes and nappies etc for baby. But when you see it all listed out it’s quite shocking!

There’s no way I’m going to fit that all in one bag let’s be frank! So we’ve decided on a bag for my stuff and a bag for Mr W and the baby’s bits.

And if you’re wondering about the lip balm and socks- because I definitely was- apparently your lips get really chapped during labour and your feet get cold, so there you go!

A couple of additionals I have thought of, have to be contact lenses, hair brush and make up- don’t you judge me for being vain! If you know me you’ll know I’m a pale kid. If you saw me after I’d had Harry, we’ll, in the words of my mum, I was “so pale I was see through” and my lips were blue.

This was probably a combination of a traumatic experience and the beginning stages of mourning for my baby. But trauma is enough to drain my face of what little colour it possesses and I don’t want my daughter to look back at the pictures of her first few days of life and ask “Who the hell is that creepy pale woman who looks like death holding me… Oh wait, thats you Mum. Jeez, is giving birth that bad?” So in the bag the make up goes.

Luckily we have quite a few of the above bits already, so we don’t have that much more to buy. I’m aiming to get it complete in the next week or two so I can have it ready in the nursery to grab when the time comes!

This week I’ve noticed a change in princesses movements. Through out this whole experience she’s gone from feeling like pop corn popping, to an elastic band pinging, to actual kicks, to kicks which vibrate my tummy, to movements which make my whole tummy violently move, to what I now experience- objects sticking out in random places.

It’s only the start, so I’m not 100% on form when it comes to guessing what part of her body is sticking out of where! But I’m getting there! It’s so bizarre seeing what looks like a little Mexican wave going across your stomach!

Most of the time I’m pretty sure it’s hands, feet, elbows and knees that are causing what looks like, in Mr W’s words “A hernia” to stick out of my tummy, but once or twice I’m pretty sure I’ve noticed her derrière sticking out the side of me!

The feeling is crazy too, if she moves lightly- like when she’s dozing- it feels like maybe a paintbrush brushing my insides; it almost tickles! But when she’s fully awake- particularly after a large meal- it’s more like a fish out of water, flopping and flipping and wriggling around, I’m sure one day an arm is going to break free of the skin and stick out of me like in some alien film!

For now I’m enjoying it though, according to my pregnancy app, pretty soon she’ll start slowing down through lack of space and I’ll feel her less.

Symptoms wise, restless legs are still my enemy. Talking about them is enough to set them off so ill move on. My back is bad- I have made a mental note to speak to my doctor about this at my 31 week appointment next week.

No change with the nausea and the indigestion, though this week I have, so far, been nightmare free 🙂

Highlight of the week? Game of thrones is back- completely unrelated to baby but a highlight all the same! And baby wise, knowing we’re finally at the stage where I can see her through my tummy! Insane!

Low of the week? Two words? Restless legs.;

Week 10: Back with a Bang!

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All good things must come to an end and this week they definitely have. I am well and truly in the swing of the gross pregnancy symptoms! I suppose I deserve it for having such a foul-free first 10 weeks but here we are!

Nausea? Check!

Vomiting? Check

Headaches? Check!

Fatigue? Check?

Constant Constipation? Check!

Unforgiving Food Aversions? Check!

Immobilizing Sciatica? Check!

Constant Never-Ending Indigestion? CHECK!

Restless Legs so bad you can’t help jerking them constantly around- and really wish you could cut them off if only it would give you a 5 minute respite from the unrelentless desire to flick them around? Which, apparently, also really annoys your husband as he hates watching you twitching around?! (Poor ol’ him how terrible it must be to watch?!) Massive CHECK!

What’s the deal with the restless leg thing? I never had it before and even talking about now is making me kick my legs around! Ick.

photo 1-3The worst by far is the indigestion- it brings on the vomiting like you wouldn’t believe! It’s makes me gag and to top it off if I eat anything with an after taste it keeps bringing an off version of the flavor back up violently again and again and again which leads to a sprint to the bathroom! To make matters worse I hate the flavor of mint and it kicks of my IBS cramps. So if I do pop a Rennie for some light relief from the burping I then I suffer with tummy cramps all afternoon.

It’s worse in the afternoon- 3pm to 7pm. Whilst the experience is still unpleasant id rather it came in the afternoon than the morning- with Harry getting out of bed was the worlds worse struggle so the fact that I feel good in the morning definitely helps get me to work!

The statistics for sickness are surprising- I think; 50% of women experience nausea with vomiting, 25% are said to experience nausea without vomiting and a very fortunate 25% are said to experience neither! You lucky devils you!

Symptoms generally start around week 6 of pregnancy (but have been known to strike as early as week 4!) and become the strongest around week 10 when they peak and filter out (hopefully) by week 14. Around 60% of women report symptoms stopping after week 14, around 38% report that symptoms are gone after week 20 and a very unlucky 2% report symptoms continuing almost until birth- Here’s to praying I’m not in the unlucky 2%!!

photo 2-3

According to About.com the most common signs of pregnancy are:

Missed Period/Abnormal Period

Nausea and Vomiting

“Feeling Pregnant”

Changes in Libido

Soreness in Breasts

Frequent Urination

Strange Cravings

Fatigue

Food Aversions

Skin Changes

Other symptoms can include; back ache, headache, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, restless legs and acne.

The symptoms are seemingly endless but the thing that keeps most women going is knowing this is all to make their beautiful little babies!

Annoyingly for me the appearance of my pregnancy symptoms happened to coincide with my first appointment with my consultant- Helen. I’ve met her before as she was the lady who went through the post-mortem results for Harry with us.

I have a vague idea of what to expect here; blood tests, swabs, a scan and chat with Helen. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer volume of women in the waiting room! I’m not stupid or pig headed enough to think I would be the only one there by far, but Jesus Christ- it got to the point where there were no seats left there was that many people waiting!

Considering Helen is just one of four consultants (she does Thursdays and the others have other days) it was madness! It really brings it home just how many women have babies in the UK every year and how many of them have suffered with Preterm deliveries. Roughly 2000 babies are born in the UK every day- that’s 80 a minute- so I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me but it does!

The consultant is backed up- obviously- so we have a fair wait to seephoto 3-3 her. First I see a Care Assistant to takes my BP, tests my urine and updates my pregnancy notes. Then we wait until the midwife is ready to take some blood from me or rather drain several viles of the stuff from me at a painfully slow rate. Apparently my veins are reaaaally small- good to know I’d make a terrible smack head! Next stop is Helen, we have a chat about what to expect this time round- she tells me she’s prescribing me Progesterone which I must take daily until I’m 34 weeks.

The idea with Progesterone is that by keeping the levels up in a pregnant women you reduce the chance of her going into premature labour, as before a woman goes into labour her progesterone levels drop. It’s also thought to strengthen the uterus which can’t be bad!

Then for the best bit! We get to see the little nugget on the big screen for the first time! I’m so lucky as normally parents don’t get to see their little ones until they hit the 12 week mark. Baby looks fine and I’m calmed to see a little heartbeat flickering away. After an Ultrasounds confirms a heartbeat the risk of miscarriage is lowered to 3% and the risk falls even lower- to just 1%- once the heartbeat is confirmed at a 16 week ultrasound. Although this didn’t prevent anything bad from happening last time it’s still comforting to see.

I’m back on the 3rd December for a Nuchal Scan and checking in with Helen again on the 19th December.

Something else that’s cropped up this week I think some people may have started cottoning on the pregnancy- my girlfriends especially. It couldn’t last forever and I’m pretty chuffed that I made it 5 weeks without being outed to be honest!

It was inevitable someone would discover this soon. Next week we have a Halloween party to go to and I’m obviously not going to be drinking which in my case means I might as well be walking around with a giant neon sign flashing “PREGNANT”. I’m taking a bottle of alcohol free wine concealed in an empty bottle of real wine (of course), but there’s only so far one can go… I can hardly start acting tipsy!

Highlight of the week? Definitely seeing my little one on screen 🙂

Lowlight of the week? INDEGESTION!