Friday, December 30, 2016

33w2d - Less comfortable

I mean, it was bound to happen. But for sure the belly is getting bigger and the bladder pressure is getting stronger. Positively, I don't have to get up in the night to pee, but during the day I sort of feel like I need to pee all the time just because of the pressure on the bladder.

My hypnobirthing class is almost finished, and my NCT class is about to begin. The boyfriend has decided that he would like to be there for the birth so I said that he had to come to NCT class with me. I hope that goes well. He also needs to meet my doulas, and that's also in progress.

I need to chase up the solicitors here to get my will set up this month. I got in touch with them last month and asked them to email me. They called, and I repeated that I wanted them to email me, and then I got nothing through. This is not necessarily a great sign for these solicitors, but I just need a will drawn up and sorted before the birth.

I've started building the nursery furniture as I'm off work this week between Christmas and New Year. It's all gone slower than I hoped, although I think I've built the most tricky piece. I built the wardrobe and the storage unit. I still have to build the crib and the changing table. However, I can't build those until I move the sofa-bed downstairs, or rather, get someone else to move the sofa-bed downstairs. The storage units look great though, and they do hold a lot. So that's fab. Once everything is built, then the washing and sorting can begin!

Birth seems like such a foreign concept. It's amazing to me how unaware we are in modern society of the various mechanics of birth. They hypnobirthing class has been really good- and I'm looking forward to the NCT class as well. Although I'm intrigued, I'm not exactly looking forward to the birth. I can't imagine how it will be, so I try not to imagine how it will be. I'd like to have a good birth, to be one with my body, to sink into myself and emerge with a baby. But who knows. I have a bunch of appointments coming up this week and next. First is my 34 week scan on Tuesday. Wednesday I have an appointment with the consultant to discuss (and possibly schedule) induction. Did I say this already? I'm going to decline the early induction but I think I'll agree to induction at 40w in the hopes that I go into labor before then. Then the following week I have an appointment with one of the head midwives at the hospital to get permission if I do go into labor naturally that I can go into the birth center as opposed to straight to the delivery ward. I didn't really anticipate all this... hassle about giving birth.

In other news I've started perinial massage with ElastoLabo in the hopes of reducing any tearing during birth. This is probably one of my bigger concerns- I mean everything else heals but tears here can screw you up for life. The massage is not particularly comfortable and not the easiest to manage position-wise. But I'll stick with it because it really can't hurt and it seems like a good idea. At week 36 I can add the Epi-No to my routine. Watch, with my luck I'll be doing all this and then end up with a Cesarean! But anyway, as I say, it can't hurt and lets me feel like I'm doing something proactively to address my concerns.

I've had a mild cold all week which hasn't helped with anything. It's not a very bad cold, but enough to make me feel slightly under the weather. Hopefully I can get rid of it fully soon.

Monday, December 19, 2016

31w5d - Strange dream

Last night was the first time I had a dream about giving birth.  I've had dreams about having a child, or being pregnant, but typically the actual 'birth' is something that gets glossed over in my dreams. Perhaps because this is becoming more prominent and I'm doing more reading and classes, but last night I dreamed about the birth itself. It was very strange of course, because I don't have real experience to draw on, so it was very surreal. On the plus side, it wasn't awful. So there's that.

I had my second official meeting with my doulas yesterday. That was good, they're really great. I need to start writing up my birth plan. We covered a lot of areas and things they will help me with in the upcoming weeks. One of them always goes with me to the hypnobirthing class which is nice for me and a win win for them, so all good. One will come with me to my scan on January 4th and the other will come with me to my obstetricians meeting on January 5th. Not entirely sure why I'm having the scan, though I'm not upset because I like seeing baby girl. The obstetrician meeting will be to discuss induction. I think right now I am going to not agree to a 39w induction but I will agree to a 40w induction in the hopes that I will go into labor before then. The other meeting I need to set up is with one of the head of midwifery at the Rosie to get permission that if I do go into labor I can go to the birth center and not straight to the delivery unit. Apparently this is what is recommended for women over 40 but I'm not very happy with that. If I go into normal labor, I want the chance to have a comfortable labor in the lovely birthing center. If something goes wrong, or I decide I need medical help, then they can stick me in the lift and take me upstairs to the delivery unit. But I don't want to start there.

So that's what's going on in pregnancy world at the moment. The pregnancy itself is progressing fine. Baby girl is obviously getting bigger so I can feel her more. Last night she really poked out prominently which was almost shocking! I wish I'd filmed it. I still cycle to and from work which feels perfectly fine. I might even be getting used to my hand and feet issues as they don't seem to be bothering me as much. I guess I'm in one of the 'accepting' phases of physicality. Give it a week or two and I'll be more uncomfortable again!

I can't believe that it's the last week of work before the holiday break. When I get back to work in January, it's a one month countdown until I'm off on maternity leave. It's so fast!! I'm starting to look forward to the change and for baby girl to go from an idea to reality. And I can't believe it's going to be happening so soon. I can't even begin to imagine all the different ways in which my life is going to change, but I'm getting excited about it.

Friday, December 16, 2016

31w2d - Hypnobirthing class and things

Pregnancy progressing- bump getting bigger.  I still feel pretty good in general.  Maybe I am starting to need to pee a bit more often but not to the point where it's unreasonable, and I don't get up at night needing to pee, so that's good. 

I have one more week of work before the holiday break.  I'm definitely looking forward to some 'nesting' time at home. My IKEA deliver is coming a week from today so most of the break will be spent setting up the nursery. I can finally start washing and sorting all the bags of hand-me-downs which would be fun and exciting. I also have some new things to wash and get ready like muslins, wipes, and cloth outer nappies. I'm just looking forward to starting to prepare.

The other day baby girl was in a position where I didn't feel her very strongly. My midwife definitely got me a bit anxious about 'not feeling her kick' which I don't think was helpful. With the anterior placenta, I think sometimes she's just muffled and I don't notice her moving for a while. With what the midwife said, this of course makes me start to worry that something is wrong. Then the next day, I feel her moving fine. I understand being aware of risks, but I don't think this is something I need to be so anxious about so I'm trying to manage it.

Went to my second hypnobirthing class last night. I've added a link to the right-hand side bar if any one is interested in finding classes in the UK or for more information. I am interested in the theories behind hypnobirthing, even if I find self-hypnosis challenging. I'm not sure that part matters so much, more the understanding of the state you are trying to achieve. I won't know until the moment obviously but if I hold on to the ideas of the course, I may be able to find that mental state in my own way at the time. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the visualization and positive thinking that goes with it.

The big thing on the pregnancy agenda right now is the process of birth. Induction or no induction? And where can I give birth? I am off work from the first of February. My plan is to do every old wives tale in the book daily to try to jump start labor. This includes nipple stimulation, orgasms, eating spicy food, raspberry leaf tea, acupuncture, reflexology, etc. Anything and everything, I'm pretty much up for it so that I can, if possible, avoid an induction. If I get to my due date at 40w, I may decide to go ahead with the induction. So we'll see. The thing is, right now they are telling me I can't go to the birthing center because I'm over 40. Apparently if I go into labor, I will need 'continuous monitoring' which they only do on the delivery unit. But that's ridiculous if there are no other risk factors and anyway they do intermittent monitoring (every 15 minutes) in the birth center, so what the fuck? I may need to go have a meeting with the head of the center to get permission to go to the birth center. I find this all frustrating. And then I hear in class, that although you may not be allowed in the birth center, you are allowed, or rather, they can't stop you from having a home birth. Now, I in no way whatsoever want a home birth. But if threatening them with me deciding to have a home birth is what makes them relent and allow me into the birth center if I happen go to into labor, then we'll see. It's really all a bit ridiculous and annoying. Which is not how you want to be feeling about giving birth. I have a meeting on Sunday with my doulas to discuss options and strategies. Fucking hell.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

30w - 75% cooked

Well that's just crazy, isn't it? On the one hand, it seems very far along the journey, on the other hand there's still 10 weeks to go. Still, at this point, baby girl is pretty much well cooked and would have a 95% survival chance if she were to come early. It's a bit funny because I never think about an early labor. It's one of the things that I don't worry about or think about at all, other than this early induction issue. Perhaps because the pregnancy has been so 'standard' and I don't have an obvious risk factors, it just doesn't cross my mind that the baby could come early. Of course she could- I know some people who just had their baby very premature (she's fine). All I can think is that if that were to happen I'm completely not ready! I haven't actually set anything up, I don't have a hospital bag packed, I haven't washed any of the clothes. It would be a mess! Of course I would just deal with it, but still, very not prepared.

I've just gotten in touch with a solicitor to start the process of getting a will set up. I've never had one before as I never particularly felt I needed one. With baby girl on the way and slightly complex family dynamics, I think it's important to do so. As my Dad so lovingly pointed out to me, I could die in childbirth, so really, I should get it all in writing before then (thanks, Dad). But there is some truth to this. I would want guardianship of baby girl to go to one of my friends, not one of my parents. This has caused some issues with my mother who balked when I told her, but it's just sensible. Not to mention the fact that she and my father don't get along at all, so not only would she make no effort to ensure baby girl had a relationship with that side of my family, my Dad would retaliate by not helping to support baby girl whereas if it goes to a friend he would set up an annual trust payment to help with maintenance, etc. Plus my parents are old and not particularly capable of running around after a small child. So friends it is.

Baby girl is clearly getting bigger and space is getting tighter because I feel her more strongly at times. She has yet to punch or kick me in a sensitive area, although I do think she was using my bladder as a pillow at one point. I'm so far lucky that my need to pee still hasn't gone up all that much and I don't need to get up at night to pee, yet. Again, I think these things are coming, especially in the last month, as I know you need to get uncomfortable enough to desire labor. At least, that seems to be the way with every other pregnant person I know.

I wish I had more pictures of my pregnancy. I have a few. It's hard to take them of myself however. I'll need to carefully collect the ones I have as it's a scant record of what is most likely my only pregnancy. I know that I am intrigued by the one or two pictures I have of my mother pregnant and I'd like to be able to share that with daughter in the future. For sure one picture I must get at some point is me on the bike, pregnant. I'm still cycling to work, which is fine. Of course it's winter so I just might look all bundled up instead of pregnant, but if I can get someone to take the picture, I could unzip the bulky jacket for a bit in the spirit of documentation.

Monday, December 5, 2016

29w5d - Extremities

So overall, I have had a relatively easy pregnancy and for this I cannot complain. With 2.5 months to go (give or take), I am starting to get awkward and more frequently 'uncomfortable' but not in anyway intense yet. So overall, I still feel lucky.

There are however a few issues that have bothered me this pregnancy, and one that is getting worse. The constipation I've talked about before- it's still happening, and upsetting. I long for a the day when I can poop normally. The other issue seems to be joint/tendon/ligament issues most likely related to the relaxin that surges in pregnancy. Basically, I'm having carpel tunnel issues in my hands and what often feels like I imagine arthritis feels like in my finger joints. I've tried to mitigate this a bit by purchasing some wrist guards that I am sleeping with so I don't bend my wrists and allow my hands to go numb while sleeping.  My finger joints still ache, but at least my hands don't fall asleep. This however is manageable.

What is less manageable is the growing issue I am having with my feet. I should mention that over a year ago, I did some serious damage to my feet when I started running (bad idea). I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it seems like the stress from running caused some bone growth on the back of my heel which irritates my tendons and has caused me pain of varying degrees since it happened. Mostly I have addressed this issue by wearing clogs and heel pads. That seemed to work until recently. Suddenly it seems that when I bend over, or bend funny, the tendons down the side of my foot pretty much feel like they are ripping. It's very painful and worrying. I'm sure it's related to pregnancy hormones, I just don't know what to do about it. I will probably make an appointment with the GP because it's getting to the point where I can be sitting and just move my foot the wrong way and it hurts badly. Fun times.