Wednesday 27 August 2008

35 weeks, 6 days

Just wanted to update on my physio appointment and MW appointment.

I had my physio this morning. As I expected, my aches and pains are more to do with the general aches and pains of pregnancy, combined with my body telling me I am doing too much, rather than actual SPD. She has given me a tubi-grip to wear around my bump and some exercises to do. She also gave me some advice for turning over in bed too. Finally, she said I should no longer be doing the hoovering, mopping the kitchen floor or cleaning the bath (or similar activities) and advised me to get a cleaner for the next 4 weeks and the first 4 weeks after baby has arrived. Oh how lovely that would be! However, I'm still working on trying to get a gardener for a one off spritz of the garden. A gardener and a cleaner could be a luxury too many (and too expensive). Not sure I can live with a dirty house for the next 4-8 weeks either.

I had my MW appointment this afternoon. Blood test results came back clear of sugar - yipee! My iron was also back up so the Spatone (and beef-burger eating) must be working. Blood pressure was fine and so was urine. She was a little surprised at the swelling in my feet but as long as I keep an eye on it (told you they looked like the elephant man's feet!). If the swelling starts going to my hands and face too and is accompanied by headaches, lights in front of eyes and/or bad indigestion that I can't shift then to get it checked out but other than that, nothing to worry about. Also advised I put the yellow pages under the end of my bed to keep my feet elevated while sleeping.

Baby's heartbeat was good. She had a little guess at whether the baby was going to be pink or blue but she said it was unclear as the speed of the baby's heart was on the boundary. You may remember from an earlier post that it is an old wives' tale that if the heartbeat is 140bpm or above then it is likely to be a girl and if it is below 140bpm then it will likely be a boy. She said she would normally guess it was a girl if it was above 145bpm. It kept varying between about 144 and 150.

She also confirmed that baby is starting to engage. She said it was 4/5ths palpable - 1/5th being fully engaged. Unfortunately, the baby still isn't quite in the right position as it's back was partially facing my back where it should be more round to the front, so recommended spending lots of time on my hands and knees to encourage the baby's back to drop to the front (hope all those fronts and backs aren't too confusing).

I'm going to an aquanatal class tonight which I'm really looking forward to. May be a bit of shock to the system though after 4-5 months of limited exercise.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

35 weeks, 5 days

Stomach size: 111cm - waist; 40 - pelvic bone to bra

I'm really suffering with the aches and pains today. It was the August Bank Holiday yesterday and Stuart and I were out and about, which resulted in me being on my feet for a lot of the day. This means I really hurt today. I found it really hard and painful to turn over in bed last night too which meant I didn't sleep very well. Felt like and old woman trying to walk to the toilet in the middle of the night!

Thankfully, I have a physio appointment for the SPD tomorrow and another on Friday for my shoulder.

I still feel bad for having these as I'm sure others are in more pain than I am - though, feeling what I do today, I really wouldn't want to be them.

My feet are well and truly swelling now - they looked like the elephant man's feet yesterday :o( However, they are a bit more evenly swollen rather than it just being the right foot.

Have been getting some very weird feelings lower down in the area of the head. Can't really explain what it feels like - perhaps like a very thorough, rough internal examination. It was getting a little painful too last night. No idea what the baby is actually doing. I think it is the baby engaging. I have a MW appointment tomorrow so I guess I will find out.

Again, fingers crossed my blood sugar will be low and my Iron will be up. Been taking Spatone for the Iron and I'm hoping it will have made a difference.

Can't believe, I've only got just over 4 weeks to go - eeek!

Wednesday 20 August 2008

34 weeks, 6 days

Just had to write and say...

I've just eaten my lunch and looked down at my belly and thought - cor, I look bloated. He he :-D

34 weeks, 5 days

We went for a tour of the Maternity Unit at The Royal Surrey Hospital on Saturday. Was definitely worth doing so we know where to go on the big day. I wasn't expecting anything else but it really is so clinical. If you go in early for any reason (i.e. they need to monitor you, induce you or something) you go to the antenatal wards. There are 6 beds in each ward which could be quite frightening if you are watching others in different stages of labour and in their own world of pain. And demoralising if you are watching them come and go before you and you are still sat there waiting.

Lou said that she didn't have to go in there even when she was induced, she went straight to the delivery suite (makes it sound posh and cosy saying suite doesn't it!!!???? - it isn't!) so hopefully, I wont have to experience that.

If I am in established labour I will go to the delivery 'suite'. Just a room with a bed, various bits of equipment round it, a couple of shelves in the corner with a stereo on one of them so you can play music if you wish.

They also have 'Home from Home' rooms and a birthing pool. Don't be fooled by the name of the Home from Home rooms. The only visible difference I could see between this room and the delivery suite was it had the equipment stored away in wooden wardrobes and they had squeezed a two-seater sofa in the room. It was also smaller than the delivery suite. I was definitely expecting something a bit more...well. homely. Oh yeah, they had put 3 small pictures of flowers on the wall which obviously made all the difference. These rooms are for women who want to have 'active births'. This means as little medical intervention as possible. Less technology and more fluffy stuff like aromatherapy. They also have gas and air and pethidine available but if you want an epidural, you would be moved to the delivery suite. People also use this room if they are using the birthing pool. The birthing pool was the inside of the hot tub (no bubbles I'm afraid) in a room. Nothing particularly exciting.

Although, interesting to see these rooms, I wont be using them - bring on the epidural!!!

It was funny as most, if not all, the other mums were all really interested in the Home from Home rooms or birthing pool and were all eagerly grabbing the leaflets where I was like "I've just got one many anesthetists do you have and is there one available 24 hours?" (I guess that is two questions). I know those other mums were all dying to ask and were just gonna go home and put those active birth leaflets straight in the bin :o)

We also saw the post-natal wards. Pretty much the same as the ante-natal wards. We didn't see them but were told they also have single rooms which are available on a first come, first served basis for a fee. We decided it was worth paying for if we can get one. I am keen to stay in hospital to get all the help and rest I can before I am sent on my way. However, it would be completely pointless if I was kept awake by 5 other mums and their babies (as well as mine) while I was there.

Off to doctor today - I got bitten by a nasty insect at the weekend and appear to have had a reaction to it and can't take antihistamine cream because I'm pregnant - grrr!

Thursday 14 August 2008

34 weeks

Stomach size: 109 waist; 39 pelvic bone to bra

Ahhhh, my belly button in starting to pop out!!! The top half has popped out and the bottom is still in. I don't want an outie!! I was really hoping it wouldn't happen. Thankfully, although it does still feel quite weird to be touched (only by me), it doesn't feel quite as horrid as it did before being pregnant. It has become slightly desensitised. That doesn't mean people can start prodding me in it and my defensive karate arms will be at the ready to slap them away.

I used my birthday pressie from Stuart yesterday and had the model make-over day. I had a number of photos taken of me clothed and then the photographer took a number of photos of me, Stuart and bump. The first lot of photos didn't really show off my pregnancy belly much and in some I just looked fat - you could especially see how much weight I have put on around my face - my cheek bones are threatening to swallow up my eyes when I smile! The pregnancy ones we then had done were with me wearing one of Stuart's shirts open at the front to show bump and hide boobs. Then I took the shirt off (:-o) and covered my boobs with my hands. The first shots were done in colour (I wore white trousers with a bright pink top) and the second lot were put into black and white. We got one photo free with the shoot and then we decided to buy one other photo. Unfortunately, the photos were soooooo expensive so we couldn't afford more. Because of this, we decided to go with two of the pregnancy ones as we can get them framed together in a double frame. To be honest, although the colours in the clothed photos looked really good, I don't think I looked so great and wouldn't have been as pleased to have any of them on show. Also, the pregnancy ones showed off my bump more and, therefore, were more appropriate. However, I think they might still be displayed in the bedroom - not sure I want all our friends seeing my pregnant naked body, no matter how much editing and touching up they do!

I had another MW appointment today. Baby is well - heartbeat still sounded healthy and happy. I had more blood tests done to test my blood sugar levels. Hopefully, these will be better than the last tests. Also, I've been taking an iron supplement (Spatone) for a week now and I am hoping that will be enough to show my iron levels are up. I mentioned the back pain I have been having (across the top of my bum) and she suspects I am starting to get SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) which is basically pelvic pain. Where everything is loosening and moving, it can cause my pelvic bones to become uneven and cause a bit of pain. The pain isn't too bad until the end of the day and is worse when I have been on my feet all day but I think it might have been making my age old shoulder pain come back. That is really painful. The MW said I should get a support belt to help with the back pain and to see how it is at the next appointment. Although, if it gets too painful before then to see the doctor. I might actually go to the doctor about the shoulder pain on its own as that is causing me more discomfort. The back pain just makes me behave like an old woman when I get out of a chair or out of bed. I can put up with that for a bit longer...

Friday 8 August 2008

33 weeks, 1 day

I feel like my bump is growing and quite a bit bigger today but I've just measured and I'm exactly the same as the last measurements.

I'm going to go back to my previous obsession and give you an update on my boobs. I can hear your joy now - I bet you feel like you know more about my body than you ever wanted to know. Sorry about that.

Anyway, they have grown. I'm not sure by how much because my cup size is the same it is just my back size that has changed. Apparently, when you go up a size, the cup gets bigger but doesn't necessarily change. I am now a 38C (from a 34C). If you look at them and ignore the rest of my body it is clear they are bigger but compared to my belly, they don't really look like they have grown because my bump is so big. They do now look ugly. As is normal in pregnancy, my nipples have grown and have gone from pink to brown :o( . I have also got two horrible purple stretchmarks on each breast. They just look very unattractive to me! I guess it is true that we never are happy with our bodies even if we do get what we ask for!

On to the aches, pains and ailments...I'm back decorating this week so that means the usual very, very achey ankles and legs. When particularly bad, I get a nervy pain in my right bum cheek and my right leg feels like it is going to drop off. I feel like an old woman when I get up and down. As for new aches and pains, in the morning, I now wake up with achey finger joints. I was waking up with pins and needles in my hands or, worse, they would be completely numb. Now, my joints feel achey or bruised - which I guess isn't so bad. All normal parts of being pregnant I'm afraid. Apparently, it is to do with water retention putting pressure on your nerves and joints. The last aches and pains development is my pelvic bone. This also feels bruised. I'm guessing this is to do with the baby's head moving into place.

Other news...the nursery is coming along. I have now painted the walls too. Today I will be pulling up the carpet, painting the windowsill, painting the skirting boards and radiator. My body is suffering a bit today though so will take it easy and what I don't get done today, can be done on Monday. I will then just need Stuart's help for putting the curtain rail up and the border.

I still can't get over there is only 7 weeks left until my due date. Some of the girls on the forum I talk on are a four or three weeks on from me which means they could drop any second now. That's what is frightening. It is going to be really weird and scary when they actually start having their babies.

Tuesday 5 August 2008

32 weeks, 5 days

Stomach size: 108cm - waist; 36cm - pelvic bone to bra

Looking at the opening sentence of the last email - my, how the weather has changed. Well, actually, it is still warm/muggy, but now we have rain. In a way, I'm quite relieved as it is a little cooler but I would prefer a good thunderstorm to clear the air and then fresh, non-humid sunshine.

Anyway, I am not on here to talk about the weather.

I went to a 'Preparing for Childbirth' physio class today. Don't know if you remember, but I missed the first one back in March due to my absentmindedness. It was another one of those times where I got ready for it the day after the actual event and only noticed at the very last minute that it had already been and gone! Well, I made this one on time and on date. Pat on the back, well done me (its the little things you know)!

It was a really useful class. I wasn't alone in having missed the first class as many others had too for various reasons. This meant that the course leader recapped a lot of what was covered in the first session. We concentrated on the first stage of labour - the different positions which may be more comfortable during contractions and what your partner can do to help. It isn't an ante-natal class so it doesn't go through pain relief, and the such, in detail but it covers massage, relaxation and TENS machines.

It was a real shame Stuart wasn't there. When my midwife told me about the classes, she said the partners didn't really need to be there but in hindsight, I think Stuart would have found it useful. Out of about 16-18 women, only four of them had their partners with them but I spoke to one partner and he said he found it really helpful, even just to know what to expect and how he can help when the time comes. He wasn't going to attend the session next week but after this session, he was going to try to get the day off work so he could attend again.

I have just realised I have come straight back and ignored the first thing we were taught regarding sitting correctly, so I have just moved to sit on my gym ball. It is actually a lot more comfy so I don't know why I haven't already been doing it. Plus I can have fun bouncing around at the same time as using the laptop, watching the TV etc. 'Bounce, bounce, bounce...bouncing's what Tiggers do best.'

Also, I have finally started painting the nursery - yay! For speed and convenience, we have decided not to strip this room of the lining paper and, as it is already painted white, we (I use the term we lightly...I) are going to just paint straight over it. No doubt, we will be decorating it again in a couple of years time when it reaches it's toddler years anyway so we can do the full job then if necessary. There is still pressure though to get the painting finished and book the carpet to be fitted before the furniture arrives on the 21st. Because they assemble the furniture for you when they deliver it, we need to have everything done. I have so far only painted one coat of the ceiling but I am going to paint the second coat this afternoon. It is so demoralising/demotivating (?? whichever is the right word) painting the ceiling. It is already white, and you are painting it with white paint so it doesn't actually look like you have done anything. Need to get a move on to paint the walls - providing I can colour match the paint with the border we have chose.

Anyway, best get on with it...