Thursday, October 27, 2016

24w1d - movement

I've been away visiting the States and forgot I had blogger on my tablet! It's been a pretty busy trip; usually I take 3 weeks to do this trip and see all my friends and family. This is a somewhat condensed version in 2 weeks, so less down time. I'm only here a couple more days, then it's back to England, and the month of November. Time seems to be moving fast again. With baby coming in February, it didn't feel like much time left!!

At 24 weeks now, everything tells me I should be feeling the baby move. I think i do feel her move but as she's still small, what I feel it's like a small twinge. No one tells you how it's supposed to feel. I completely understand how some women could not know they're pregnant at this stage. It's very easy to ignore those twinges as a muscle thing, not a being growing inside you thing. Now, I can't ignore my shape and body changes, so that's kind of a giveaway, but the movement thing is pretty subtle so far. As she gets bigger, and runs out of room, I resurrect more obvious sensation. For now though, is a funny thing, and not what I expected I guess.

On this trip I've received a number of gifts for baby, pretty much all clothes. I haven't been given a single thing from my registry. It's slightly annoying as I've been given a ton of hand me downs and don't really need clothes. I do however, need the things on my registry. In grateful for the gifts, but wish people were more practical. Ah well.

November will be a busy work month for me, and then it will be December. So crazy. Time is sneaking up on me, is how it feels. It's still hard to believe I'm going to have a baby. Definitely still played by worries though. I think I need a new post for that one.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

22w1d - Advanced maternal age

On Tuesday I had a meeting with the obstetrician at the hospital. This was scheduled because I am borderline for pregnancy risk factors- my age, my weight, and my history of ovarian cyst and abdominal surgery. The meeting, which was very short, was relatively uneventful. However, the registrar said that due to my age, they recommend I have an induction at 39 weeks.  Apparently, once you are 40, your risk of stillbirth doubles from week 39 compared to a younger women. This sounds awful, but what it really means is your risk goes from 1:2000 to 1:1000 which still means you have a .01% risk of stillbirth. Still, this was not news I was expecting or prepared for. It sent me to looking through the internet and forums to confirm this information which does seem legitimate. However, it sort of sucks. Follow up reading suggests that induction does not increase the chance of a cesarean section, although I think this is widely held belief. I guess in part the reality is that older mothers in general have a higher rate of cesareans.

This will be something I need to continue to discuss with my midwife and doulas. I really wasn't planning to have the baby early, and I wasn't even thinking about induction at this stage. I guess I need to, and I need to start thinking about when to do it. It seems unclear if the testing shows a difference between 39w and 39w6d so I could get very close to my due date, or I could just decide to go a week early. Although this would only mean I took a week off of work. Decisions to make. But at least I have time to see how the pregnancy continues to progress and talk to my support team.

In other news, I'm off to the States tomorrow for a couple of weeks which should be good. Going to see family and friends which I'm looking forward to. Although I never look forward to the long flight. Hopefully all will be well. I got compression socks to wear so I can be a good pregnant woman.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

21w1d - Doula interviews

I've been busy interviewing doulas so that there is plenty of time to build a good relationship with one before labour. I started off looking on the Doula UK website and contacted two doulas. One was not available during my delivery. The other I had a nice phone chat with. However, she encouraged me to speak to a few more doulas and even facilitated this by sending around a message to see who was available on my due date to give me a short list to review. It turns out there is a Cambridge specific doula website which was useful, although I hadn't come across it initially.  I looked up everyone on the short listed and contacted 5 more doulas.

Last week I managed to speak to everyone on the phone (and one in person). All of the douals were really lovely and it gave me a very positive feeling about birth. It was hard to think about how to narrow the selection but I felt a slight affinity for 3 of the 6 so I arranged to meet in person with those 3. I've met with two so far and the third will be later today. Again, everyone is lovely so it's going to be difficult to select.  Although in speaking to everyone I think I've decided to do what's called a 'shared' service where you basically have 2 doulas who split your job.  This came about because I was asking what happens if a doula can't make your delivery.  They go on call for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after your due date.  But of course, emergencies happen.  I believe a doula will do everything in their power to make it to your birth, but what if they can't? Okay, they tend to have a backup, but you may not know that person.  In my case, it is possible that there will be no other birth partner (still not clear on the boyfriend situation). So I wanted extra assurance that in case of emergency, there would definitely be a back-up and that I would get to know that person. Also with shared doulas they can support each other- so for example, if my labor was very long, they could trade off so one could get some rest but I was still supported.

So I guess that generally means I need to pick two from the three, and then see what sort of shared packages they can offer me. I will say just from going through the interview process, I feel very positive about hiring a doula and what they will be able to do for me pre-birth, at the birth, and post-birth.  I'm glad to have this being sorted now, as with half of the pregnancy to go, it should give me time to develop good relationships with whomever I choose so that I feel the most comfortable and supported throughout the process.

Monday, October 3, 2016

20w5d - Vaccinations

I rang my GP this morning to see about getting a flu and whooping cough vaccination.  I'm travelling to the States in 2 weeks so on top of exposing myself to germs I'm not used to, I'll be stuck in planes for 7 hours each way.  I figured I should probably get on top of the vaccination thing. I looked online for when I should get the vaccinations because I was sure I'd seen somewhere that you were supposed to get whooping cough at 28 weeks or so.  But then I found this article that supports this site that says from 20 weeks is the right time. I guess that makes me bang on target. And with two weeks to travel, it's time for it to settle into my body to be useful (I hope).

I have no major pregnancy news to report. Feeling good still, which is nice. I can still fit into my baggier regular jeans so I'm not completely onto my pregnancy wardrobe yet. It's funny though- the way pregnancy clothes are cut, the second you put them on you just look pregnant. Not that I particularly mind, although I did see an AWFUL photo of myself from Saturday which was just.... truly terrible. I need to get some nice pictures of me being pregnant and delete the horrid one. Hopefully I can get people to oblige when I'm in the States!

Baby shower invitations have gone out for mid/late November. A friend of mine here (British) asked why baby showers are before the birth since so much can go wrong. I understand her point, but I said it's usually to give you things you need for the baby arriving to which she retorted that the point should be celebrating the baby- not just giving you things. I am always amused by cultural differences!! But it's true, baby showers are not traditional here in the UK really, although quickly being adopted by spreading American culture.