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 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.

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