38 Weeks Pregnant

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

This I might of turned a corner hospital wise this week! After the doctor told me I’d have to come in every other day until I give birth, I just went with it, me and my mum went back to the ANDAU to have my blood pressure checked again. We saw a lovely midwife that always seems to be working in there alone, she always seems really busy but really happy and willing to take time with us. She wasn’t happy about the plan though, she said it was ridiculous to make me come in every other day for however long it takes. So she got the doctor round to make a better plan! As my blood pressure was still quite high, they decided to put me on medication for it, just a small dose to lower it for the next couple of weeks, and they let me come home! All I have to do now is see my community midwife a few times and just wait til I go into labour. I do have an appointment the day after my due date where I’m guessing they’ll set an induction date incase I go too far over and maybe do a sweep.

Finished buying everything I need this week too, there was just a few little bits left. We bought a steriliser that was on sale but it didn’t fit in our microwave! It’s strange because I thought microwaves were all the same size! We managed to find another even cheaper though, it’s been reduced about 3 times in the sales and it’s a good brand too, so we’re quite lucky. Found some nighties to give birth in too. They always say not to buy anything nice because odds are you’ll have to throw them away afterwards anyway. The ones I got look like old granny nighties haha, but they’re loose and comfy, so that’s all that matters!

I went to see my midwife a few days later to check my blood pressure again, and it was high so she sent me into Triage. I was really annoyed at first, because I’m so sick of going to the hospital now, it’s unreal. But when they checked it there, it was fine, so they guessed that the midwifes equipment wasn’t that accurate. They use machines at Triage and the midwife uses a hand pump one. I was on the Doppler machine for ages too! Charlie just refused to cooperate. He was constantly kicking and going mental, and then stopping completely, and then starting again, so the readings were coming out all funny and I had to sit there uncomfortably for over an hour until he calmed down. I said to my mum that I bet I’ve heard my babies heartbeat more than any other pregnant women by now haha.

I went to Dagfields with my mum and her work friend which was a nice day, I love Dagfields. They were looking at records most of the time and I wondered around looking at everything else, and the books of course. I bought 3, one of Shakespeare’s sonnets (I have a few books of them already but this ones a different one…my mum laughs at me about it), a book of Wordsworth’s shorter poems and a book called A Shropshire Lad of poems from an unknown writer that’s quite good. I got tired halfway round and my mum got me to sit down on the old antique chairs they have for sale. I kept saying you’re not allowed to sit on them but she wouldn’t listen and said that I’m pregnant so different rules apply and no one will make a pregnant woman stand haha.

Paul’s getting more and more excited now too. I asked him what he thought I’m going to be like during labour and he said like Emily Rose. Charming isn’t he? All his family are excited too, his mum has been buying cute clothes and a Christmas baby grow, and she’s got a little chair that you can plug an MP3 player into to play music! I didn’t even know they existed! My family are too though, people keep asking if I’m going to pop soon, and I have to keep saying I don’t know! It won’t be too much longer though and I’ll meet my son and forget all about the struggles of pregnancy!

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36 Weeks Pregnant

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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.

34 Weeks Pregnant

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

It’s getting closer and closer now! I’ve had an exciting week. I bought Charlie’s pram, compact cot, and even a rocking crib! My sister found someone selling a second hand rocking crib for ¬£15 and it’s in great condition! Practically perfect. It’s in the corner of the lounge now and the pram is in the dining room. Once I’ve sorted out my bedroom I’ll be able to build the cot and sort that out too. It’s feeling much more real now!

Me and my mum went to the first Antenatal Class too, which was really good. The lady taking the class was lovely and the majority of the other couple were too. The couple next to us are due a week after me and we were talking about how emotional we’d both been. It’s their first baby too, and I think you can tell when it’s a couples first baby, they seem much more excited and innocent. I suppose the couples with other children know what’s coming…haha.

We learnt loads too, my mum said “I’m 49 and I’m still learning!”. Apparently your happiness and comfort has everything to do with how fast and painful the labour will be. The woman said that they try to keep you at home as long as possible with contractions to keep “happy hormones” high. If you go into the hospital, your adrenaline will build and you’ll feel more nervous and out of your comfort zone and that will bring the “happy hormones” down which can make labour slower and more painful, and sometimes put it on hold all together! I never knew any of that, but it kind of makes sense. I think of it as a similar thing to the placebo effect. The mind is a powerful thing. I told Paul about it and that he has to make sure I’m constantly happy and that he is at my beck and call constantly…he thought I was making it up to try and have him be my slave.

I saw a new midwife today, who was so lovely. She’s older than my usual midwife, and has 4 children so it’s easier to trust what she says, because she’s been through it all herself, if that makes sense. We talked about some of the Birth Plan, mainly where I’ll be giving birth (hospital), who will be with me, what I need to take, what kind of things I can expect. Next time we’ll be talking about pain relief and the possibility of assisted birth too. She was telling me about breastfeeding too, and how it’s the first few days that are the hardest. She said a lot of women crack and give up, which she totally understand because it’s exhausting enough after labour let alone the emotionally draining experience of struggling to nurse. But she did say that if you can persevere through the rough days, it’s gets so easy and natural, so fingers crossed I can, because I’ve really got used to the idea of breastfeeding. She also said that she would never make me feel guilty if I can’t nurse, or choose not to either (a lot of midwives look down on you if you choose formula instead), so I like her a lot.

When she put the machine on my bump to hear Charlie’s heartbeat, he kept kicking it as if he was trying to make it move, which made us both laugh. I love being able to feel him so much. She said that every time he kicked his heartbeat got a little faster, which means he’s really healthy. He’s also seeming a bit on the large side if her measurements are anything to go by, which doesn’t surprise me, my mums always saying how massive I was when she had me!

This week has really got me excited though, it’s all very real and my due date is less than 6 weeks away. I can’t wait til that moment when I see him, and my life changes forever.

30 Weeks Pregnant

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

I can’t quite believe I’m three quarters of my way through! The closer it gets the more nervous I get, and I think it’s the same with Paul. I have an app on my phone that tells me how many days left until my due date, I sent a screenshot to him yesterday when it said 70 days and he said he’ll be having nightmares now because he’s not sure he’s ready. I don’t think anyone is ever really ready though. How can you be? Especially when you have no idea what it’s going to be like.

This week has been quite good. I’ve been getting really tired in the evenings, even though I haven’t been mega active during the day. Just regular day to day stuff really. Went blackberry picking with my sister and niece, which was quite nice until I started needing the toilet (more and more these days, pregnancy classic), but my niece was loving it so much I didn’t want to make them stop early or anything, so just held it as long as physically possible! On a brighter note though, I’ve gotten back into writing this week. It’s been quite dry for a couple of months now, just not really feeling like it, and I won’t force myself to write, that’s defies the purpose. So I’m happy I’m feeling in the mood again.

My pregnant friend has already packed her hospital bag! She’s two weeks ahead of me, and I haven’t even thought about mine yet. Started panicking that I was leaving it too late, but when I had a look on my trusty Emma’s Diary app, it says that women are recommended to pack their bag about 3 weeks before they’re due. So that’s plenty of time yet. She also says she’s excited about the labour! I can’t imagine that. Obviously I’m excited about meeting my son, but the actual labour? Not so much…everyone is different I guess.

It’s my sisters birthday on Sunday, and Paul’s on Monday. I’m not sure what we’re doing for my sisters yet, but I’ve got her present sorted and ready to wrap. Paul kept telling me not to get him anything but I’d feel weird not getting him anything. So I compromised and got him an Expectant Dads Survival Guide. All the reviews say it’s really funny and entertaining but also really helpful for new dads. So it’s his birthday present, but it’s also Charlie-related so I can always say that when he’s moaning at me for spending money on him. Plus, I’ve had it delivered to my house so I can read it first!

I wish we had a decent bath too. Never been much of a bath person, always preferred showers as they’re quicker and feel cleaner. But loads of people, including my midwife, say that babies seem to get more active when you’re in the bath. My friend says she can see the water rippling away from her bump when her little girl kicks and moves around, and the Emma’s Diary app says Emma used to put soap on her bump and it would be kicked off into the water! But our bath is really shallow, it’s meant to be economical or something…but it’s just annoying! Feel like I’m missing out.

28 Weeks Pregnant

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

I’m into my 3rd Trimester! Can’t believe how fast it’s gone actually. According to Emma’s Diary, if Charlie is born now, it’s almost definite he will survive! I find it really hard to think of that as true, he’s so tiny still! I mean, I know 15 inches seems quite big, but even so! He should weigh about 1000g now too! In case you can’t picture that, it’s the amount of flour you need to bake 60 fairy cakes!

He now has eyelashes, he can breathe, and he can see light filtering in to him through my womb. It just seems like he’s a proper baby now, and all he needs to do for the next 12 weeks is grow and grow so he’s ready to meet us all in October.

Me and my mum were talking about the labour last night, and all the options I’ll have and what I’ll want. I think I’ll just see how I am when it happens, but I’m not really against anything. My sister says she doesn’t like women having epidurals because it’s like cheating. I think that’s ridiculous, how is it cheating to have less pain? That’s just science and progress! It’s common in America too, over there if you don’t have an epidural it’s really strange. The only think I’ve not really considered is using a birthing pool, it’s meant to ease the pain but I can’t imagine being comfortable in water like that.

I’ve got another midwife appointment tomorrow, same as before as far as I’m aware. I’m going to record Charlie’s heartbeat on my phone this time though so I can send it to Paul, since he won’t hear it at all. Then I need to book my Whooping Cough vaccine and on Monday I’m at the hospital for all my injections and blood tests and fun stuff. It’s my mums birthday on Tuesday so that’ll be a nice evening, going out for a meal with the family.

On another note, we got a puppy on Saturday! We called her Tessy and she’s the cutest thing ever! A tiny 7 week Jack Russell. I’ve been spending pretty much all day every day with her while everyone else works and has stuff to do, so we’ve bonded and she loves me. My mum jokes that she’s my little baby and no one else’s. I was a bit hesitant at first, getting a puppy a few months before I have a baby, but my stepdad says he can get her housetrained well before then, and Charlie will always be priority. Running around after her all day is good practice for when Charlie is here too! So that’s good. It’s been a nice week.

27 Weeks Pregnant

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Apparently not only can Charlie now blink his eyes, he can also “sniff out” my breast milk from other women’s breast milk! How is that possible from inside me anyway? And what is the use? It made me laugh, like at some point I’d try to trick him into drinking someone else’s milk and he’ll be like “this is unacceptable mother!” I still don’t know how I’ll be with breast feeding. At the moment I feel like I really want to try it and hope it goes alright, but I don’t think any of the women in my family have ever managed to do it. Not sure if it’s genetic or not.

Still feeling him moving around all the time, a bit more during the day too. It used to just be really early in the morning and late at night, but now he’s a bit more active around 2pm too. It’s funny how he’s got a little routine. Must be the times I’m most relaxed.

My cousin and his wife had their daughter! She looks beautiful and she’s nice and healthy. We’re going to see them next week at some point I think, which is exciting. I’m not sure how I’ll be though. I can imagine them passing her to me and everyone watching me, to see how I am with a baby, since I’ve not had much to do with one since my sister was born 15 years ago…so could be awkward.

Also, they’ve said that she had a really bad birth. Not sure what that means exactly, but it was 31 hours long and she refused any pictures to be taken for the first few days afterwards. Lots of things are making me nervous about the birth now.

Me and my mum have been watching a new show called Nine Months Later. The latest episode was about the first couple of weeks being home with a baby. It follows about 5 couples and we just see how it was for each of them, they all say the same thing really. That it’s amazing and wonderful but at the same time it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done and has really affected their entire lives, not always in a positive way. More nerves…

23 Weeks Pregnant

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

I swear Charlie is nocturnal! I hardly feel any movement during the day, as soon as I get into bed and snuggle down to sleep he starts punching and kicking me! It still feels quite faint at the moment, but it’s definitely him. My bumps getting bigger all the time and I’m loving my new leggings, they’re so comfy! Just makes me wonder why I haven’t worn maternity clothes all my life, I’ve been missing out!

Had another quiet week, mostly played Assassin’s Creed and eaten. My appetite is ridiculous. Everything I’ve read says it starts going up now, but I had no idea it’d be this extreme. I’ve always been a big eater anyway, but I’m eating more than I ever thought possible and still feeling hungry afterwards! Everything says that pregnant women shouldn’t “eat for two” but I can understand why they do. It’s not just greed, it’s hunger! It’s difficult to not eat when you feel like you’re starving.

Had a nice day on Monday, my niece is starting school in September and one of her teachers were coming for a home visit to meet her and my sister and just kind of have a little introduction. My sister moved in not long before Christmas, so we haven’t done anything with the garden, but now it’s getting sunny and it grew up to my waist! So my dad came down with his strimmer and me and my mum and stepdad did other parts of the garden and sorted the house out. After my stepdad had gone to work, it was just me, my mum and my dad. It was strangely nice. They’ve been separated since I was young, I barely remember them being together. So seeing them working together and chatting about funny things that they got up to years ago was a nice experience for me.

Also started watching One Born Every Minute with my mum on Wednesday nights, I’ve never been interested before, but I am now! Luckily none of the women I’ve seen seem to suffer all that much, so it’s not a traumatising watch, thank god! Emotional though, me and mum are tearing up the whole hour that it’s on! Who knows what I’ll be like when I go into labour…