37 Weeks Pregnant

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(image courtesy of http://www.yourbabylibrary.com)

Everything keeps changing! It’s really annoying me now. After I got back from Paul’s, me and my mum went shopping to get my hospital bag ready for when I go in to be induced, we got almost everything we needed (with what limited shops were open on a Sunday). Then I went to my appointment on Monday to check my blood pressure again and speak to a doctor. They checked my blood pressure and it was fine, so they basically told me to just go home! I insisted that a doctor had told me I was going to be induced this week and that they’d speak to me about it, so the midwife went and phoned whichever doctor was available and then came back and said that because my blood pressure isn’t high anymore, there shouldn’t be a reason to induce me, but that she’s booked me an appointment on Thursday to speak to a doctor and get a final decision. So I went home a bit annoyed.

My mum wasn’t happy either, it’s confusing because I understand that now my blood pressure is low which is good, but the last doctor told me that it was “fluctuating” and better for Charlie to come out. The midwife said that induction isn’t what I want anyway, because it’s more likely to end in an assisted birth or an emergency C-section, and that the labour itself tends to be longer and more painful. So we decided to just wait until Thursday and see what the doctor says.

We went to the last Ante-Natal Class on Tuesday which was good as always, learnt quite a bit about breastfeeding, and the midwife said that it should be alright using bottles as well as breastfeeding once “breastfeeding has been established”, which is good. It’ll be a lot better for everyone if other people can feed Charlie too, I can always express milk and then Paul, my mum or whoever else can feed him if I’m having a rest or something. They’ve both said they’d like to feed him anyway, whether I’m resting or not haha. We have an actual breastfeeding class next week so hopefully that’ll educate us properly.

So we went to see the doctor on Thursday, which was a massive let down. He checked my blood pressure once, said it was fine and wanted to send me home! My mum asked loads of questions and we told him all the things the other doctor had told us, but he just kind of dismissed it all and said that my blood pressure isn’t high now, and that’s all that matters, they won’t induce someone with no reason. Because I kept saying “fluctuating”, he decided to make me yet another appointment to have it checked yet again on Saturday. Obviously by this time I was getting more annoyed and frustrated by the whole situation. Everyone telling me different things and dragging me to the hospital every other day.

This time I was at triage being checked, they took us into a room and literally didn’t come back for 2 hours. They must of been really busy, which is understandable, but 2 hours just to take a blood pressure is a bit excessive. I’m sounding very angry on this post aren’t I? Haha, I was just worried about Charlie being alright. So eventually they checked my pressure and urine, and it was high and had protein in…in that order…so they decided to hook me up onto the machine again, monitoring Charlie’s heartbeat, movement, my blood pressure and pulse all at the same time. Because my blood pressure was gradually getting higher they decided to keep me overnight again. They took more blood and gave me a pill for blood pressure.

The night was pretty uneventful, they checked again every 4 hours like last time and it was low every time. Obviously fluctuating again. They put me back on the monitor in the morning and that was all fine too. When the midwife came in to do my last checks we had a chat about it. I told her how confused and frustrated I was about the whole situation and she tried to explain it to me. Basically, my blood pressure tends not to affect anything else, so it’s just hypertension and not preeclampsia. Hypertension can’t affect Charlie, whereas preeclampsia can. If my blood pressure rose and then stayed high, it would be developing into preeclampsia, but mine has always rose and then gone back down again, which is fine apparently. The reason they keep bringing me back in is to make sure it’s not rising, and if it does rise, they keep me overnight to make sure it doesn’t continue to rise…and it always ends up going down again. She said that even though Charlie is now 37 weeks, and classed as fully term and ready to come out, my body isn’t ready for labour. If they induce me early, when I’m not prepared for it, it could cause complications that could potentially be bad for Charlie and me, so what they rather do, is keep monitoring me until hopefully I go into labour naturally. She said it’s kind of a balancing act getting it right and knowing when to act and when to just be aware.

So that made me feel a lot better, like someone had finally actually explained the situation. Even though it’s annoying having to come to hospital so often and nothing happening, it’s actually better for Charlie and me this way. So when the doctor came to discharge me and say that I have to come back in again every other day until I give birth, I was fine with it. My mum had been texting me telling me to be assertive and demand to be induced because I didn’t want Charlie at risk, and I was all ready to do it until the midwife eased my mind. It’s not going to be fun, it’s going to be annoying and tiring…but whatever is best for Charlie, I will do, no matter what.

On a lighter note (needed on this post!) Paul gave his mum my number so she can contact me and make sure me and Charlie are alright. She’s been texting quite a bit checking on me, and she’s actually really funny. It’s nice talking to her, she’s genuinely concerned and really excited about Charlie coming soon. It’s obvious from all the little hints that she drops that she really wants me to get back with Paul and move there. You can’t blame her I guess, Charlie will be her grandson after all. She said that the bigger your feet are, the easier labour will be for you haha. These funny old wives tales!

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36 Weeks Pregnant

IMG_1462.JPG (image courtesy of http://www.yourbabylibrary.com)

What a week!

I can’t believe how much has happened in just a few days. I went to my mums friends 40th birthday party on Saturday night and on the way there, we saw a man running in the road and jumping on the bonnet of a car! He was shouting like crazy and it looked like he was trying to tear his own face off! I think it must have been drug related, it was quite scary to watch to be honest, especially so close to home. But that’s just the start of the drama this week.

I went to see my midwife to finish the Birth Plan on Tuesday, she did my blood pressure and said it was quite high, and there was also traces of protein in my urine, then she checked my measurements and felt for Charlie. He’s in the 90th percentile which means he’s a lot bigger than the average baby. Worrying. She did my blood pressure again and it was still high so she said I had to go straight to the hospital! I went up to triage with my mum and we were there for hours. I was on a bed with straps around my belly, listening to Charlie’s heartbeat. But because he kept moving around, my mum had to sit there holding he Doppler in place. I had a blood pressure strap around one arm that pumped up and took a reading every 15 minutes, and a button in the other hand that I had to press every time I felt Charlie move. It was quite uncomfortable hand Charlie got hiccups so the readings were really high for movement!

Because my blood pressure was high and then low and then high, they said it was fluctuating, so they took some blood from me and some more urine, we sat waiting for the results for ages and they ended up sending me home saying that all the blood were fine and that if there’s anything wrong with e urine they’ll call me. So we assumed everything would be fine and went home. A few hours later we were at the Antenatal Class. Getting sick of the hospital already! Haha. The class was good though, we put nappies on dolls and talked about all the things that might go wrong during birth, and different types of assisted labour, like the forceps and vacouse thing. They all sound pretty horrible but I suppose it’s better to know as much about it in advance than be shocked when the time comes.

We also went on a tour of the Labour Ward. There’s two different sections where you can give birth. It depends on if you’re high or low risk. The high risk rooms are for if you’re being induced or if there are any complications during labour or birth that needs extra attention. The rooms are nice, but quite clinical and I don’t imagine you’d feel completely comfortable in there. The low risk rooms are amazing! They’re really big, with a bed in the corner where the gas and air is and an iPod dock-in station. There’s a birthing pool on the other side of the room, again with gas and air nearby, a huge bean bag bed type thing on the floor a bit further up, an en suite toilet with a walk in shower, glass doors leading outside onto your own little patio area and mood lighting that changes colours on the ceiling! I can’t express how badly I want one of these rooms!

The morning after this, I noticed that I had floaters in my eyes that I’m sure I hadn’t had before, so I spoke to my midwife who said I should call triage. When I did though, they told me they were just about to call me themselves because somehow my urine sample became “contaminated” and they need another one. So I took one up later in the day, just to get a call telling me I need to go back in on Friday because there’s still too much protein in it. The woman said to keep calm and not worry, but that’s easier said than done isn’t it?

Friday started off the same as my trip to triage, just having my blood pressure checked every 15 minutes or so, it was still fluctuating so the doctor sent me in for a scan to check on Charlie. He’s so big now that it was difficult to get a decent view of his entire body on the screen, but the woman showed us his face! It was pretty special, and it looks like he’s got cute little chubby cheeks too! They’re guessing that he weighs about 7lbs 8oz! According to Emma’s Diary he’ll grow by about 1 pound each week until I give birth, so by my due date he’ll be about 11lbs! They say it’s never 100% accurate, so I’m hoping beyond hope that it’s not! Haha.

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I now it’s not the best quality image, but it’s the best they could take this late in pregnancy

After the scan I had to be strapped up to a machine listening to Charlie’s heartbeat again, which was all fine. Basically, Charlie it totally fine, it’s just me that’s mysteriously ill. I say I’ll, but I feel totally well in myself, which was a bit frustrating. The doctor decided to admit me for the night, and check my blood pressure every 4 hours. I was a bit nervous because I’d never stayed I’m a hospital overnight, I knew I’d have to when Charlie’s here, but now felt too soon! My mum took me to the ward and got me settled before she left to bring me some stuff up for the night and next morning.

When I got to my ward, I was put in a bay with 4 beds in it, there was a woman in the middle of a contraction on one of the beds when I got there. She was really nice. Felt a bit sorry for her though, because her husband didn’t seem very caring at all. He just ignored her most of the time, she was in pain during contractions and he just played chess on his iPad! I was texting Paul while I was there, telling him about it all and he said it sounded like I was giving him examples of what not to be like haha. I guess I was! Paul was surprisingly sweet too. He seems really worried when I told him I had to stay in and immediately asked if I wanted him to come to me. I told him there’s no point, I’m just going to be sat there getting my blood pressure done every 4 hours, it’d just be boring. Plus by the time he got trains and taxis here, it’d be about a half hour before he got sent home when visiting finished. So he offered to send me money or buy me books for my kindle. He said he’d stay awake all night and talk to me if I couldn’t sleep in there. I said I know perfectly well that he was going to be up all night anyway, because it’s he launch day of FIFA 15 and he’ll be addicted to it haha. He was still really nice though, and it made me feel happier and more relaxed. Maybe he’ll be a brilliant birth partner after all!

Not long after I got there, the woman having contractions waters broke, and she felt sick and threw up a few times. She kept apologising to me! I told her not to be silly and got her some water and waited with her till the midwife came to see to her. Her husband had just popped out to find something for his lunch, typically. When he came back (not very pleased that he didn’t have time to eat his sandwich), they went down to the labour ward to have their baby. I shouted good luck at them as they left and the woman started crying and I heard her say “oh she was so nice!” as she was wheeled down the corridor, which was lovely.

Another woman came in later on, her waters had broken earlier that morning but nothing else had happened so they’d set her an induction time for the next morning, and she was expecting to just sleep in the hospital that night. Her and her husband were talking about him leaving at 8pm when visiting hours ended, and about someone looking after their other two children, when her contractions suddenly started. I’m not joking when I say this, it was less than an hour and a half later when she got taken down! It went so fast it was unbelievable! She was saying she felt like she needs to push as they took her away. I can only hope mine is that fast!

I was quite impressed with the whole hospital experience too. It was probably so nice because it was the maternity place. All the midwives seemed genuinely happy all the time, it must be a nice job. I literally didn’t see any miserable ones or anyone that seems tired or a bit fed up. They were all lovely, even the cleaners and other staff. All happy and smiling. I slept well too, the bed moves into all different positions and once I found a nice one I was so comfortable I couldn’t stay awake for long. They had to wake me up at 2am to do a reading, but they didn’t wake me at 6am because they thought I needed the sleep more, and they just took it when I woke up after 7am.

The same doctor I’d seen the day before came to see me again around 9am, and because all the midwives had been in and out checking on me (the ward was strangely quiet, they said it was because I seem to have an effect on women that sends them into labour quicker haha) they came to listen to what was gonna happen next too. He said that because it’s still fluctuating it’d make more sense to induct me next week! At 37 weeks, your baby is classed as fully term and it’s perfectly safe for them to come out, and because they couldn’t pinpoint a reason why my blood pressure is acting the way it is, he thinks the best plan is to induce me when in 37 weeks. I was terrified and I think it showed on my face because midwives kept hugging me.

The thing I was most worried about was my hospital bag. I kept thinking my due date was ages away so I didn’t need to get it ready yet. I was going to do it on Tuesday but got sent to triage instead, then I was going to do it on Friday and ended up having to stay overnight in hospital! It was like I wasn’t meant to get it done at all! The doctor said to come back on Monday to get rechecked and we’d go from there.

I called Paul, who was still half dead after playing FIFA till about 4am. He was a bit freaked out too, naturally. Because I was so emotional and couldn’t stop crying I asked if I could go see him and he said yes. I had to wait to be discharged and my mum came to pick me up, everyone else got really excited about me being induced, which I guess was nice, but I was still quite numb and shocked.

I felt a lot better after being with Paul though. It’s like we both kind of new this would be the last time we’d see each other in this situation. The last time it’s just the two of us. Everything changes when Charlie comes. Despite all the arguments on and off and how we are with each other, I had a great time. His parents came round too, and his mum was really lovely saying that if I ever want a rest I can just turn up at her house and she will take care of me and Charlie and that I can go sleep in her bed or just relax, whatever I want. She kept feeling my bump and saying she feels bad that we haven’t seen each other much because we’re going to be a family very soon. She made me feel great too, and I know that when I go down with Charlie every weekend, regardless of mine and Paul’s private situation, the rest of his family will be glad to see me and Charlie. It’s very relaxing, especially since I wasn’t aware I was so stressed about it!

Me and Paul acted just like we used to, it was like we were a couple again which was quite nice. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I like to think that me and Paul can stay close whatever comes, and Charlie will be surrounded by family members that totally adore him.

I’m not scared anymore. I can’t wait to meet my son and start my new life with him.

Worries of a Mother-to-be

What if he doesn’t like me?
Those little kicks from within
that get stronger by the day,
giving such comfort that he
is safe and sound, have been
the only thing that could portray
whatever his feelings may be
for a woman whose life will begin
when he enters the world to stay.

What if I am not good enough?
The constant and unyielding care
that he will need, my whole life now
entirely dedicated to him, above
anything and everything, no spare
moments for selfishness, I wonder how
I will find the patience, the love,
the unrelenting maternal instincts to share,
I hope I surprise myself somehow.

What if I am just a bad mum?
The balance of love and kindness,
discipline and anger, how will I know
when to fight or when to succumb,
when to let it go and not stress,
without hitting an all time low
and being wrapped around his thumb
wondering if more really is less,
desperately trying not to let fear show.

20 Weeks Pregnant

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(image courtesy of http://www.yourbabylibrary.com)

Officially half way through! Emma’s Diary says he/she is 7 inches (17cm) long and about 11 ounces (310g) in weight. Apparently there are grown-up teeth growing under the baby teeth in the gums now. It’s mental now when I think about it, all the teeth will already be there by the time he/she is born!

I forgot to of this yesterday, normally do them every Wednesday, oops! I’ve got my scan this afternoon. So I’ll find out if the baby is all healthy and if there’s any problems, and fingers crossed I’ll find out the gender too. It depends how cooperative he/she is feeling though! All the other pregnant women I know have been told the sex, most of them are having girls, only one is having a boy. It would be typical if they couldn’t tell me mine! My mum keeps telling me not to get my hopes up because she never knew what sex my little sister was before she was born, she had scans every month and they still couldn’t tell her because the baby was always facing the wrong way! As long as it’s healthy and well though, that’s all that matters.

I’m going to have a look at some of the classes I can take too. Considering I know next to nothing about taking care of a baby. My sister went to an all day one before she had her daughter and said it was really good and she learnt loads, so it’s worth a go, especially since it’s free!

Me and my sister are meeting Paul at the scan. We’ve been up and down this week, but he’s coming to the scan and we’re going to try to make it work despite us not getting along. I had no idea it would be so difficult. I’m trying desperately to only think about what’s best for my baby, and not let my own emotions involved. I hope I do it right. I guess only time will tell.

17 Weeks Pregnant

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(image courtesy of http://www.yourbabylibrary.com)

17 weeks! It seems to have gone so fast but so slow at the same time. Emma’s Diary says my baby is about the size of a small melon (fruit again!), 5 inches (14cm) long from the top of his/her head to his/her bum, and if my baby could stretch out he/she would be about 9 inches (23cm) long! It’s hard to believe there’s something that big inside of me, especially when there’s no physical evidence of it yet.

This weeks been quite uneventful, which I’m pleased about. There’s been illness again but on and off and not really that bad. The worst thing is people. Don’t get me wrong, I love that everyone is getting involved and trying to help, but sometimes it’s just so overwhelming. Older women tell me “oh you shouldn’t be feeling sick anymore” as if that will magically cure me. I spend a lot of time just smiling politely and trying to hide my pregnancy hormones (if they took over I’d give them all a piece of my mind, but I know it would just be emotions speaking and wouldn’t be fair)

We have our next scan in 3 weeks! I’m more excited than nervous about this one. I can’t wait to find out if our little one is a boy or a girl, I really hope they can tell us, sometimes they can’t see it can they?

Still haven’t felt any movement. I googled it and apparently loads of women don’t feel anything this early either, so nothing to panic about.

I saw my midwife on Friday and there is a complication. I have rhesus negative blood, which could be bad for the baby. Now, I’m not going to try and explain it all because I barely understand it myself, but basically my blood cannot mix with the baby’s blood, as it’d be really harmful for both of us. As long as I’m careful, everything should be fine. My sister has it too, and her and Chloe are both fine.

16 Weeks Pregnant

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(image courtesy of http://www.yourbabylibrary.com/)

My little Midge is now the size of an avocado apparently! I have to admit I don’t even know what an avocado looks like let alone how big it is…but he/she is about 5 inches (12cm) long and weighs around 3.5 ounces (100g). Emma’s Diary says that the eyes and ears are now almost in the right places on Midge’s head and he/she has tiny little ears that can pick up sounds and hear what I’m saying!

Reading that makes me want to talk to my belly, but I feel a bit silly doing that if I’m honest. I don’t have a bump yet because there’s a bit of belly that needs to be overtaken by the baby. I can apparently start feeling the baby move now too. It says that most first time mothers won’t recognise the fluttering feelings as the baby moving around, but that in a few weeks time it’ll be much more obvious, so I’ve been really concentrating on that area trying to feel anything at all!

Mine and Paul’s money budgeting didn’t go amazingly well, we could live together but it would be tight every month, so we can’t decide what to do really. I want to be there sooner rather than later because I don’t want him to miss out on anything, I want to be with him when I can feel our baby moving and I want him to be a part of everything. I understand it’s different for him, because all these changes and feelings are just within me and he’s a bit left out, so I want him there to at least share the experience with me.

Luckily this week I’ve felt a lot better, less tired and a bit more lively. This part of the pregnancy is supposed to be the “feel good” bit, with glowing skin and beautiful hair, so fingers crossed I get that effect from it!

How can I be a mother?

How can I take care of you
When I can’t even take care of myself?

How can I make you safe
When I always feel like I’m danger?

How can I make you strong
When I constantly feel so weak?

How can I make you brave
When I have always lived being scared?

How can I make you sure
When I am always clouded in doubt?

How will I choose what’s right
When I’ve always seemed to be wrong?

How can I be a mother
When I’m not even sure I’m human?

Pregnant and Paranoid

I suppose it’s totally normal to be nervous before a scan? I’ll be 13 weeks on Wednesday, the scan is on Thursday. Even though I’ve had 2 already that showed the baby was wonderfully well (and enough morning sickness, going off foods, heartburn and emotional depravity to last a lifetime! Which I also suppose is totally normal in pregnancy), I can’t stop panicking.

I worry that after a nerve wrenching few minutes of the nurse pushing the scanner into my bladder (that they insist must be full for the duration of the scan, no doubt so you’re forced to put all those pelvic floor exercises that they recommend so highly into practice), she will turn to me saying “There is no baby! Get out of this clinic and stop wasting our time!” or even worse, that something has gone terribly wrong.

I find myself paying much more attention to all the little things I do each day. The things that come naturally now seem very important. I get paranoid about the way that I’m sitting, where my legs are, whether they’re crossed or not. I won’t lie on my front anymore when I’m in bed, I don’t have a bump, but my mind won’t let me rest that way guilt-free. Regardless of the fact that little midge is only about 2.5 inches long, and I’m sure very little would affect him/her on the physical side of things, I just can’t stop considering everything. That’s normal, right?

Maybe it’s just because I never expected this to happen. After being told the chances of you having children are slim-to-none, you kind of live your life a little differently. It’s easier to be selfish and to indulge. I’m not naturally maternal. I wonder if I would be if the opportunity for children was more open to me? It’s all very different now though, the way I think has altered.

I hope more than anything that I am a mother midge can depend on, turn to and trust (I won’t say a “good mother”, because what is a good mother? Everybody makes mistakes, no one is perfect, and I expect to make many of them, and probably often. All I wish is that the way I deal with those mistakes is in a way that would bring us closer together).

Despite the nervousness, I am terribly excited too, I can’t wait to see my little baby on the screen again, see the tiny heart beating. It’s all rather confusing to me. Wish me luck!

“Midge” is the name I’ve unwittingly given to my unborn baby, not sure where it came from, but it’s stuck.

Wrath

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People say she’s a fiery soul
It doesn’t take much to happen
Her anger is like a black hole
Any other emotion sucked in
And it’s like a wall of red
As her voice echoes around
Screaming so loud that her head
Empties, nothing else to be found
If she keeps her mind hostile
And the madness looking real
She can act for a while
That there’s nothing else she can feel
When she’s weak, the mask slides
She can’t expect to make it last
Behind all the anger, fear hides
A deep sense of dread from her past
So she’ll keep her temper short
Scowl her eyes, constantly frown
As long as she doesn’t get caught
Her fear can’t make her drown