Monday, 28 July 2008

31 weeks, 4 days

Wow! Its hot, hot, hot!

I really hate to complain about the sun and heat as I hate cold, miserable weather so much but I am really struggling with the heat. I've lost my water spray. I'm getting so desperate that I might actually run out now and get a new one. Anything to cool down. Really wishing we had a paddling pool. Might have to be a purchase if this heat continues. It is currently about 29 degrees and really muggy. I'll remember this day when winter comes and I'm down in the dumps.

Also, someone has stolen my feet and replaced them with a rather odd pair. They might look like normal feet to the untrained eye but to me, they certainly don't look like the pair I've had for the last 28 years. They are just starting to get puffy. I can tell because there is a slight crease just before my toes where the puffiness stops and my sausages...I mean toes begin. I'm trying to keep my feet elevated as much as possible - not too much of a hardship sitting around all day with my feet up, even if I do feel a bit lazy.

Baby is still a super wiggler. Was convinced it was doing the hokey cokey last night. Stuart got to feel it have hic cups - and then got concerned because it had them for so long. If only he could feel them the 2-3 times a day that it gets them, poor baby. Definitely doesn't take after me there as I very, very rarely get hic cups. Only really if I am very very drunk - but of course that never happens! :-o

Right, off now to get my water spray...

Friday, 25 July 2008

31 weeks, 1 day

Stomach size: 106cm circumference, 36cm pelvic bone to bra

Ooops! Did I say my baby brain might be improving? Think again. I was convinced my midwife ("MW") appointment was on Thursday this week. It was only when I was in the Post Office cursing the fact there was a huge queue because I wanted to get some lunch before my appointment that I decided to double check the time on the front of my notes and I saw it said "(Weds)". I then checked my diary and sure enough, it was on the Wednesday. Bugger!

I popped along to the doctors and thankfully they managed to book me onto a cancellation for today (Friday) which was lucky as you can sometimes wait 2 weeks for an appointment.

So, I had my new appointment today instead. My blood pressure has crept up again to 120/80 but not anything to worry about. Heartbeat of baby was still really strong. Baby is also in the perfect position (head down, back on the left, bum under my left boob and legs under my right (just where he/she kicks me in the ribs!)).

You may remember me worrying about whether glucose would be present in my blood tests which could mean gestational diabetes? Well, there was a highish level of glucose but was actually just on the cut off point (7.8) where they send you for tests so she said, if it is present/high again when I have my next lot of blood tests done at 34 weeks, they will send me for further tests :o( .

In addition, my iron was lower so I needed to watch that too.

Basically, in interpreted the above two issues as I need to go on the Atkins diet!!! I need to eat more red meat and less potatoes, bread, pasta and rice. I don't think eating pork occasionally (once to twice a week) is enough red meat and I eat nothing but lots of bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. What else am I meant to eat when I get hungry? What do I eat for lunch? Bread, especially, is an ideal snack food as I can have toast.

Hmmm. She basically said I had to eat a piece of steak (which I hate cooked well done and I'm not allowed to eat it rare!), lots of vegetables and a couple of potatoes. Still doesn't solve the lunch problem. I joked that perhaps I had to go out and start eating lots of burgers and she pretty much agreed with me.

She also said that I had to eat lots of fruit too and listed things like strawberries. I said I was worried about eating too much fruit now due to the warning about grapes and she said it was more important to stay away from the carbs! I have a rough idea but I need to remind myself how I can get the maximum amount of iron from which fruit and veg, so I don't have to worry about not getting as much red meat as I need as I really don't want to have to start cooking two meals of an evening (Stuart doesn't eat beef or lamb).

I was armed with quite a few questions on this visit. Firstly, I was curious as to what equipment I could use at the Royal Surrey Hospital (Guildford). I want to go on a tour but they only do them at 2pm on a Saturday and the only day we can now do this is 2 weeks before my due date. This means, there is a chance if the baby is early I wont get to go on the tour and, if they are busy they wont run the tour, so there might not be a later alternative for me! She told me about the Active Birth courses they run at the hospital. They promote 'natural birth' :-o and they provide a tour of the maternity unit including their two home from home rooms which contain birthing pools and other 'natural birthing' equipment. Not sure if this is worth going on for me as I am keen to get on the epidural as soon as possible (something she said may be beneficial for me with my high blood pressure). You can use your TENS machine (similar to the toning machines you get for your muscles but specifically to help with pain in labour - they help you to produce more endorphins which work as a painkiller), gas and air and they also have pethidine. I am not planning on having pethidine (though am open-minded that this may change in the heat of the moment) but I will probably work my way through the TENS machine and gas and air before I go for the epidural but I would like to know it was fairly readily available for me to have if I wanted it rather than having to be moved to the main delivery suit. The course could be worth doing though to get a tour. Although I would want Stuart there so he knew what to expect and could ask questions too. I was also advised by the MW to take my own birthing ball as they had a situation where one of theirs burst while someone was using it. Not sure how we are meant to get that in the car...

Next question was regarding breast feeding and my inverted/flat nipples. I said I didn't want to get the nipplet (a device that sucks out your nipples) because I thought they were quite expensive. She recommended getting a breast pump which would encourage the nipples out after 3 seconds. I could then get the baby to latch on. She said they would show me how to self-express but that a pump could help me for when I was home. Still not sure if I want to shell out for the expense of this if it turns out I don't continue with the breast-feeding. Normally, I wouldn't need to buy this for about 6 weeks as it isn't recommended during this time. I guess I will wait and see.

I then asked about having a Group B Strep test (go to http://www.gbss.org.uk/ for more information about this) and whether they did it. She said that they don't do it and kind of encouraged me not to bother. She said they were very good at monitoring the baby once it had been born for any signs of infection and, if they were in any doubt, they would immediately administer antibiotics. She said there was also a midwife there that had studied up on the infection. The reasons she had for me not doing it was that I could be positive for the infection this week and next week I could be fine but because I had a positive test, I would have to have the IV antibiotics which had their own issues. I really don't know what to do about this now. I know it is a low risk but the question is, if our baby is born with this infection and I knew I could have done the test (I can do it myself privately), will I regret it? Might have to discuss this further with Stuart.

My final question was who I should contact should I have any questions. I've had so many different midwives since being pregnant, I didn't know who my key contact was so I was happy to clear that up too.

That pretty much sums up my MW appointment.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

30 weeks, 3 days

(Still not measured stomach size)

Well, I'm into the last 10 weeks until due date (of course, I may have baby a couple of weeks either side of this). I thought it would make it all seem so close when I got into last 10 weeks. It does a bit but, saying my due date is end of September, still seems like some time away for me. I think it will all change next month when I am in August as it will then be "I could be having my baby next month" Eeek!!!

Having another sad day today. I say another, but I haven't written about many sad days in my blog but I have had a fair few of them. I can't say what causes them. I may even start the day in a good mood but then just go down hill and find myself crying for no reason. Just the thought of crying will set me off. The only explanation I can come up with is that I push myself too much doing stuff round the house and tire myself out. It seems so silly to me though because I feel like I spend so much of my time sitting on my arse in front of the TV. Then when I do do stuff, I get knackered and spend the rest of the day sad and exhausted - with my ankles and back in pain. I just get really frustrated.

Today, I was trying to clear out the nursery. Which, in itself, is enough to make anyone down as there is so much junk in there and I just didn't know where to start or what to do with it all. I felt like I was just making more mess and then had to stop because I was so knackered.

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow though.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

29 weeks, 6 days

Haven't measured stomach size but I do know I've lost a pound. Hmmm! Must be all the decorating I've been doing because I've certainly not been eating less!

I have also realised that I should have probably also measured my bump the way the midwives do - from pelvic bone to top of bump. This is because, I haven't grown around my waist for a while, in fact I have shrunk, but my bump has definitely grown. Basically, because the baby has grown upwards towards my lungs etc, it hasn't changed my waist size but it has changed my bump size. I will have to start measuring differently and will put an updated measurement in next time I write (can't be bothered to go upstairs for the tape measure!).

After having enough of baby brain, I have decided to start taking my pregnancy vitamins again. I think I might have even noticed an improvement. Although, it could just mean I'm getting used to being absentminded.

Finally, thought you might like to see some silly photos I took and a short video I tried to take of baby moving. Look for movement on the left and try not to mistake it for my breathing. Keep watching as it starts moving about 12 seconds in. Also, turn the sound off/down as I forgot to mute the TV.

I'm turning into a weeble!






Where are my toes?




My little Alien...



video

Monday, 14 July 2008

29 weeks, 4 days

Stomach size: 104 cm (shrunk a couple of cms)

Overall, I think I'm really grateful that I'm having a relatively easy time of being pregnant. My biggest gripe has got to be the emotional roller coaster I am on but physically, I'm not doing too bad really.

Hearing of all the problems other people are having or have had makes me count my blessings.

I'm sleeping through the night without any trips to the loo until about 6-6.30. I am not suffering from any pain in my hips. My back aches occasionally but normally because I am pushing myself too hard decorating/housework/garden or even just walking. Same with legs and ankles. Any aches and pains are the result of self-infliction rather than all the time.

I haven't suffered with indigestion or heartburn, only reflux which isn't pleasant but at least isn't painful.

Despite my moans and groans, I'm doing ok!

Had some discussion and tears re the breastfeeding debate. I have decided to 'try' breastfeeding as I wont know what it will be like unless I do. At least, if I decide not to continue I can say that I at least tried. Also, there have been a few people that have said they have felt similarly to me but have gone ahead and tried it, loved it and kept it up for 6 months. So, we shall see.

I think this has been quite a difficult thing for Stuart to get his head round. At first he was quite supportive of whatever I decided to do but, a downside for getting Stuart clued up on babies by encouraging him to read my baby mags, he has since struggled to understand why I wouldn't do it.

I do see why that it must be difficult for men to understand the issue. They can only see the benefits to the child and any reason the woman has for not doing it must seem really selfish. I wish I could explain it better from my point of view but I can't. From Stuart's point of view, the pain shouldn't matter for the advantages the child gets.

Anyway, having read about women's personal experiences of breastfeeding I think he can understand a little better my concerns and has agreed to just be supportive rather than lecture. Unfortunately, the more under pressure I feel and the more pushed I am, the more my barriers come up and I back away. He understands this and, especially now that I have said I will try, he appears happy to just offer encouragement and support.

I had a lovely weekend visiting friends, Jenny and David. Jenny has given me lots of her leftover bits from when she had her baby a few months ago and has lent me lots of maternity clothes - it's great, I have a whole new wardrobe :o)

She did alert me though to my wedding and engagement rings - to get them off quick before I can't at all and they have to be cut off due to hands/fingers swelling. I hadn't thought of this and it was already a struggle to get them off. However, they are now safely round my neck! I miss them from my hand though. Thought this might be a good bit of advice for others too - so remember take rings off before your hands swell!

Think we have finally decided on a car seat too. I had three options in the running and this isn't any of them!! After visiting Jenny and David, we headed to nearby Pramworld (in Wigan) which have a large selection of prams and car seats - which is why I wanted to go. It was the only place I had found that could have all three seats under one roof. However, this shop is only the front for the business as they have a warehouse nearby and most of their sales are probably done online. Plus we only got there 15 mins before they closed. Normally, you could probably arrange an appointment telling them which prams/car seats you wanted to try and they would then bring them over from their warehouse to discuss with you and try them out in your car. Therefore, we didn't get the time to try the seats in our car and one of the options wasn't in the store (was at their warehouse) but it was really good to actually talk to someone rather than relying on reviews on the internet. So, as a result of talking to the sales assistant, we've ended up deciding on a different seat altogether!

My choices were Recaro Young Profi Plus as this went with our MacLaren buggy and clicked on as a travel system; the Primo Viaggio as it got a good review from What Car; and finally, the Bebe Confort Creatisfix because it has the flattest position for a new baby and is light. I also read that the Creatisfix and Viaggio were easy to fit in your car. However, the shop assistant said they were really difficult to fit with the exception of the MacLaren. In her opinion, she didn't think it was a good idea to get the car seat to match the buggy as it encourages parents to leave the baby in it, which is bad for the baby (you aren't meant to leave them in there for more than 2 hours). I don't think we would but it was a fair point. However, it didn't seem worth paying the extra money just because it matched the buggy. She said the lightest and easiest seat to fit was the Maxi Cosi. I thought this was quite heavy so had dismissed it but it turns out this is the lightest!! It is actually the same seat that Jenny and David had too. She said that this seat was also extremely easy to fit in your car with or without the base. Because of its ease , it was not necessary to get the base, saving yourself between £45 and £100. Looks like this is the winning option then! Just need to check that the covers are washable and then that will be the next purchase sorted. Thankfully, another one we wont have to pay out for too as my parents are kindly contributing some money for us to buy something for the baby and we have decided to put it towards this.

We are slowly getting there but I still have so much more to get. We'll get there though!!

Monday, 7 July 2008

28 weeks, 4 days

I had my MW appointment last Thursday. All was pretty good, although she hurt me quite a bit doing my blood test. I actually cried out in pain. She said, "was that more than you bargained for?" - Yeah, you're not kidding! Also, there was a bit of sugar in my urine which could have been caused by eating too many grapes - nothing to do with all the sweet stuff I've been eating lately, honest!!!! :-o One of the blood tests is for the glucose test so I am still hoping that the blood will be clear of glucose. I wont get the results until the next appointment in 3 weeks unless there is something wrong.

Some good news - we have ordered the nursery furniture :oD. I'm so excited about it. Having it ordered is really helping me to push on with the decorating too. Nearly finished the painting of our room - should be done by the end of this week - so I can get the carpet ordered and, once it is fitted, move the furniture in, then start all over again with the nursery!!!

Also, Stuart's parents have kindly offered to buy us a moses basket which is really nice of them. Everything is on the go with the baby stuff!

I've also started to buy a few bits in preparation - like nappies, milk etc. I've so much I still need to get but I am taking the advice of a friend and buying a few bits in with the shopping each week so as to spread the cost. I think there is actually more I need to get for myself though rather than for the baby.

Stuart and I have been talking a fair bit about breastfeeding. Since I was a young teenager, I had decided I wasn't going to breastfeed and I would bottle feed instead. I have many reasons why and I will admit the majority of them are selfish or you can give a good argument against my excuse:
  1. Very squeamish about the thought of baby sucking milk from my breast - I have also heard that it hurts.
  2. I have flat/inverted nipples which makes it more difficult (though not impossible).
  3. I don't want to lose my breasts completely, which is what happened to my sister (34B before pregnant, 32AA after).
  4. I want Stuart to be involved with feeding right from start to encourage bonding between father and child (I know I can express a little but baby will get majority of milk from me).
  5. Due to above, I would be doing all the night feeds instead of having the support of Stuart.
  6. Not comfortable having to breastfeed in public.

Now, I know there are also many reasons for but these reasons above are really important for me and have outweighed the reasons for breastfeeding.

However, understandably, Stuart would be keen for me to at least try, even for only a couple of days so the baby gets the antibodies. I have said that, despite the reasons above, I will keep an open mind for immediately after birth in case I am happy to try it.

Having discussed this on the forum I am a member of, I think I will give it a try. As many say, at least I will know I have tried even if I decide to give it up. A couple of my friends who have had their doubts about breastfeeding have at least tried it before dismissing it.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

27 weeks, 6 days

Stomach size: 106cm

I've got my 28 week midwife appointment today. Bit nervous as they are going to do a glucose test - I'm worried they are going to tell me I've been eating too much sweet stuff and I'll have to be a bit more careful in future :o( - Too much sweet stuff could mean we get gestational diabetes which will make me have a fat baby!

Also a bit apprehensive about the upcoming months ahead. All the aches and pains and other typical pregnancy symptoms come in the last trimester which I'm about to start tomorrow. I already have the achey ankles, my face is now becomming podgy (probably down to the sweet stuff!!!). However, rather strangely, my hair seems to be improving which is an unexpected bonus!!!

So, following the last trimester, I've obviously got the labour to get through which isn't likely to be a picnic!

Then, once the baby is born, I have the knackering sleepless nights and constant feeding, burping, changing nappies along with trying to keep up with housework and dinners etc. Everyone who has had babies in the past year (and anyone that has ever had children likes to share their experiences too) has said how difficult the first six weeks are. I guess I will have to make the most of Stuart being on paternity leave and then I've asked my mum to come and stay for a few days.

Baby is still wiggling lots. I think it looks like my bump is going to get up and walk away the way it moves and ripples. He he. It has a life of its own! Literally, cos there is a little bubba in there.

I'm trying hard to find the perfect nurser furniture at an affordable price. I know specifically what I want which makes it that much more difficult. However, I have found a set. It is actually a 5 piece set though and we only need, as a minimum, the cotbed and changing unit. This has, in addition, a wardrobe, toy box and shelf which would all be really useful and would save us having to shell out later and struggle to get the furniture to match.

Unfortunately, though, despite finding it £230 cheaper than the manufacturers price and being a real bargain, it is still over our budget. We were hoping to find the furniture on ebay, therefore getting it cheaper but finding what you want on ebay makes it more difficult. You need to have your make and design in mind so you know what it is going to look like when you buy it so you are unlikely to get what you are looking for in your area - this kind of thing is nearly always going to be for collection only. You never know though - must keep looking and have faith :o)

I know what car seat I want, which is actually £10 under budget.

We have another unexpected thing to pay out for unfortunately. My sister had said we could have the moses basket she had for her children. She had thought she had only leant it to her sister-in-law thinking it was a nice thing to keep in the family. Instead, she had actually sold it to her because, at the time, we weren't having children for 3 years. I was chuffed to not have to worry about the moses basket, especially as it is one of the main things you need straight away and it meant more that it was being passed down from my sister so this is a real shame - but it can't be helped - we were adamant that we weren't going to be having children for a while.