Monday, 30 May 2011

As promised....the drama of week 37

In medical terms i am 37 + 3 ( 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant) in the past 7 days i have been back and forth to the hospital every other day for various reasons, tiring but reassuring to know they are keeping such a close eye on the bump.

My baby has been breech (bum down) for several weeks now, along with making it near impossible to give birth naturally, breech babies are at risk of developing "clicky hips" (CDH, meaning a dislocation of the hips) a condition that can be minor and involve nothing more than wearing double nappies for a few weeks or can mean the baby will need to wear a splint to correct the condition...its impossible to tell if my baby has been affected by being breech until he/she arrives, but i add it to my list, now titled "things i cant control but will worry about anyway"

To correct the breech position my consultant offers to perform an ECV (External cephalic version) where the baby is manipulated by hand OVER the bump to encourage he/she to do a forward/backwards roll into the head down position, this is an optional procedure, with no guarantees of success, but its the only option other than elective C-section, so i was more than willing to give it a try.

The procedure its self seems very back to basics, first the baby is scanned to see the exact position, then i was given an injection to loosen my womb & pelvis (the effects of the injection i can only liken to a temporary hangover, shaky hands and nausea, nothing i haven't self inflicted hundreds of times) the consultant then dons a plastic pinny and covers my bump with baby oil (the boyfriend is given the job of timing the doctor, prompting him when each minute passes, the manipulation (like a brisk massage) can only be performed for 3 minutes at a time, to avoid the baby getting distressed) i am instructed to lie back and relax (easier than it sounds in these circumstances) the doctor then begins.....

Having explained to the midwife i have been practising Hypnobirthing she and the Boyfriend suggested i use my breathing and visualisation techniques to relax me, i am told its essential not to tense up as this can add to any discomfort, i haven't attempted any of my Hypnobirthing under duress before, but every limb was so tense i gave it a go...the outcome is i now have a head down baby, in the engaged position, ready for a natural birth....I would describe my personal experience of the ECV as amazing, considering i have zero tolerance for pain, i would describe the physical feeling as short term moderate discomfort in a non invasive way...fingers crossed baby doesn't decide to practise its gymnastic skills and flip back!!

Midway through the week it was time for our final NCT class (we have been to the free NHS provided classes which have been wonderfully informative) this week included a tour around the women's wards and delivery suites, much to the boyfriends despair i fell for the oldest joke in the midwifes book.....we were warned not to worry if we heard any screaming or yelping during the tour as coming up to summer time a beautician comes in every Wednesday and does the midwives waxing and this was the explanation for the noise.....i thought this to be perfectly plausible and nodded to confirm my understanding (midwives need pampering too) and only realised it was a joke to disguise any labouring women screaming in pain when boyfriend and NCT teacher stared at me in disbelief....prompting the entire class to have a giggle at my expense, and boyfriend to shake his head in shame.

The room i most wanted to see on the tour of the Hospital was the delivery room, i needed to see exactly where i will be giving birth, i have a strong dislike for bright strip walking into one of the brightly lit, stark white (immaculately clean) labour rooms was quite a shock. I hadn't expected cozy couches and fluffy pillows, but i hadn't bet on it being so clinical...i panicked, and couldn't hide my terror, when asked what i thought my immediate response was that it looked just like a torture chamber, the midwife/tour guide was quite taken aback at my response, as were the rest of the group, i wasn't kidding, this was no joke, i immediately felt terrified, tearful and wanted to leave, the midwife made attempts to demonstrate how the room could be made to look more inviting by dimming the lights and then i felt guilty, I was shocked at my own pathetic pansy reaction, and quickly pulled myself together...just in time for us to be shown the human size fishing net and hoist used to fish out and transport women from the birthing pool to the bed......less like Daryl Hannah in Splash, more beached whale....I have warned boyfriend i will NEVER forgive him if i end up in that thing, can you image the indignity??? soaking wet, naked and vulnerable and captured in a net like Free Willy.....don't laugh, oh go on then, just a little bit!

Complaint recieved, noted and understood

Numerous hospital visits this past week, combined with the fact i am still working full time, and trying to prepare for the impending birth of our baby had led me to be a little lapse with my blog.....but having recieved an official complaint from a regular reader, i have promised to buck up my ideas and blog with immediate effect......however my baby & the hospital care not for my time management and Bank Holiday brings with it ANOTHER hospital appointment, so tales of my ECV (baby turning) Last NCT/ Antenatel class, Baby Shower/scone eating contest aswell as my last minute melt downs will have to wait until this afternoon !!! 

Patience is a virtue after all  x

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Essential Maintenance & preparation

8 Months exactly, and i have to be honest i am feeling the strain of being quite this big & heavy, never again will i take my ability to reach into the foot well of a car for granted. This week it was time for what i call essential foot maintenance (my pedicure) the wonderful Rebecca comes to my house and gives my feet and ankles a whole hour of TLC, if i was Prime Minister i would make pedicures available on the NHS at the later stages of pregnancy, as you have a physical inability to DIY, and your poor feet take the brunt of the added pressure day in day out, my own tootsies have taken to swelling up, taking my ankles down with them, most unattractive, people keep offering me sympathy "oh your poor swelled feet" but what i cant see doesn't hurt me, and when standing up my feet aren't visible to me at all, this weeks dark berry shade on my toe nails is purely for other people visual delight.
NB This isnt an affliction all pregnant women have to deal with, so dont panic, as the boyfriend says my feet have never been lithe....such a cad, isnt he?

We attended another NCT class this week, dedicated to feeding your new born, it should have been called "Breast is Best"
Now i love the miwife who holds the class (incidentally also called Joanne) she is warm, funny but to the point, she makes everything to do with having a baby seem a breeze, but she is an NHS midwife, therefor she is obligated to encourage women to breastfeed, although she insists they will equally help and guide you should you choose to bottle feed, they highlight the pro`s of breastfeeding so much, bottle feeding is left looking like the poor cousin., the North West, namely Merseyside has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding mothers, I wonder if that statistic has anything to do with the fear of what breastfeeding is said to do to your assets aesthetically (ie droop / sag / disappear) ??
My personal intention is to stay very open minded, with my initial wish being to Breastfeed, for all the health benefits, as well as the practical ones (its free and without sounding crude, on tap) but if i cant/am unable for whatever reason, am not going to beat myself up about it, as with everything in life in the words of the lovely Doris Day, Que Sera Sera!

As of today my baby is still breach, so my birth plan is up in the air, incidentally my NCT midwife doesn't believe in birth plans for first time mums, she thinks they are restricting and unrealistic, her opinion is that we should prepare for the birth having been given sufficient information about all the analgesics available (she doesn't call them painkillers as the word pain is a dirrrrty word in our class) and then we can decide on the day.
I am booked in to have an ECV (External cephalic version) which involves a doctor externally manipulating my bump to turn my baby into an engaged position (head down in my pelvis) if this is unsuccessful its an elective C Section, which after all my Hypnobirthing sessions feels disappointing, but after speaking to my guru (my tongue in cheek name for my hypno teacher) she has assured me all the things i have learnt aren't wasted regardless of the final birth method, as they've helped me to have less anxiety during my pregnancy (which is true, i am virtually horizontal am so relaxed) and also my breathing and visualisation will help me prepare, should a C sections be unavoidable...this level of positive thinking should be available by the bottle, there is literally nothing i can say to my guru that she cant spin into a positive, all together now ooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmm

Sunday, 15 May 2011

On the home stretch

Am now 35 weeks into my pregnancy, but i have actually started to count down rather than up, it feels more comforting/exciting/real.

I haven't attempted to step on the scales since my last shock, approximately 3 weeks ago, i see no point in upsetting myself, and my inner earth mother tells me i should only be thinking about the well being of my unborn baby, and that worrying about my weight is futile and selfish. Boyfriend offered to buy me a gym membership for my upcoming birthday, i declined politely, he means well bless him (as an exercise fanatic, he assumed someone carrying as much extra weight as me would jump at the idea) but the weight loss will have to be on my terms, and a gym filled with superfit people isnt appealing to me right now.

My bump is huge and heavy, and baby is in breech position, as this is my 1st baby i have nothing with which to compare the discomfort i am feeling too, but i do know for someone who has earnt the name bagpuss due to my love of sleep, i spend as little time as possible lying horizontal, lying on my back i feel as though i have a sumo wrestler nestling on my chest, lying on my side renders me awake at regular intervals desperate to get some feeling back in my numb limbs so i can stagger to the toilet for one of numerous visits, as baby is well and truly pressing on my bladder, and to make matters worse i am always thirsty as a camel, the boyfriend is appalled at the rate (and decibel) at which i can gulp down a Robinsons Apple & Blackcurrant juice in the middle of the night.

But that's the only real complaint i have, i love my sleep and miss it dearly, but as i am frequently told, this lack of sleep is excellent practise for the months / years come.

The nesting instinct has well and truly set in, my latest purchase is a Dyson vacuum cleaner, and its my new favourite thing, but its not just cleaning i am obsessed with, i want to organise each and every corner of my life, which is exhausting! Old fashioned supersticion meant we were unable to prepare anything baby related until just recently, which has led to a hectic few weeks recently, the list of things to prepare for the arrival of a new born baby seems endless, kitting out the Nursery is a task and a half, i want the babies room to feel cozy but fresh, a friends excellent advice was to keep the room as neutral as possible as it will inevitably be filled with primary colours from toys soon enough.

Furniture wise we eventually opted for a Stokke cot in dark walnut, i love its oval shape and that it transforms from a tiny cot into a day bed for up a 10yr old, my nursing/rocking chair was kindly donated by my brother in law and fitted wardrobes were the most practical option for the small room, i nearly cried with happiness when i saw the joiners handiwork, the rails are measured perfectly to fit a little persons clothes, why are miniature versions of anything so cute?? Just carpet / black out curtains, changing table/chest of drawers to go, oh and mini hangers,dimmer switch, night i said the list is endless...but thoroughly enjoyable, for a clucky,waddling, hungry Horace like me.

Wardrobe wise, capsule doesn't even begin to describe it, the denier of any jersey i wear has to be able to disguise/hide the area my neat and tidy belly button used to reside, depending on the position of the baby i either have a prominent outy or its non existent (the boyfriend amuses himself by asking où il est?) baggy maxi dresses now only serve to make me look and feel like a hippo, funny as i thought the bigger i got the better they would be, alas no, they long to be worn with a bony collar bone and bee sting boobs.

My thoughts have turned to my immediate post baby wardrobe, pyjama shopping is top of my list for this week, time to google "how to look respectable and stylish whilst wearing pjs 24hrs a day"

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Lesson Number 1

Last night we attended our first NCT / Antenatal class at the Hospital where i am due to give birth, now i know people have mixed feelings about these classes for various reasons, I have heard some women say they are a waste of time as information on all aspects of the birth is so readily available in books / online, some say organised classes are their definition of hell,  other women said they made new friends at their classes that have endured as they were experiencing the madness of childbirth and having a new born at similar times, so i entered the class (with the boyfriend in tow) with much trepidation, all of these opinions spinning in my head, and found myself too scared to look around too much in case the other bump-carriers suspected me of being a saddo desperate to make new friends!

The first thing on my mind (as a mature young woman with only 6 weeks till D-Day) was to check out the size of the other bumps, and how they were faring in the weight gain and maternity wear stakes, without making eye contact or looking too much like a nosy parker, a skilled task i can tell you, had i been properly prepared i would have worn thick rimmed glasses, i imagine they allow for much more under the radar snoopage ?
Of course i could have just come out and told people i was conducting research for my blog, but the boyfriend would have left me immediately, and lets face it, i don't want people to hate me yet, they don't even know me, plenty of time for that. 

My main observation is that a large proportion of the ladies in attendance were wearing trousers in various permutations, lots of jeans (possibly maternity versions, worn with long tops) a fair few smart trousers (am assuming they had come straight from work, which reminded me how lucky i am that i can pretty much wear what i like for work...within reason, but without the constraints of having to wear a suit/suit trousers) there were even some printed Palazzo pants (she was young, it was warm, and this is Liverpool, nothing gets between a girl and her fashion!) interestingly enough very few leggings, i wonder if at this point in time, like me, the comfy-ness of leggings is outweighed by the unflattering sight of pregnant thighs encased in elasticated cotton?? I will admit to owning/wearing one pair pair of black leggings during my pregnancy but they have always been relegated to being worn as more of a thick footless tight, under dresses.

Just when i thought it was safe to assume all the bumps in attendance were 33/34 weeks like me, they sent around a register to sign, on which you were required to fill in your due date, thank fully one of my super powers is “speed reading” which was put to great use, i quickly scanned up and down the list and saw due dates of mid July, a whole month after me....furiously i tried to count backwards around the couples to work out who was only 6 months pregnant and see how big/small they were...the boyfriend quickly cottoned on to my madness, so i passed the register on and continued my “research” in silence.

I am OBSESSED in how far along other people are in their pregnancies, i even get annoyed when the newspapers gratuitously add on weeks to celebrity bumps, according to one news website Victoria Beckham is 7 months already, which makes me stare at the photographs of her in sky scraper Louboutins and skinny jeans even more intently, wondering where i went wrong, am sure she is only 6 months....but dont get me started!!

I digress. NCT classes are described as "parent craft and relaxation" but thanks to the multitude of books i have consumed i was prepared for the sight of the Midwives box of tricks, which included a model of a pelvis, two dolls, a teacosy (which turned out to be a knitted vagina) a hook on a stick (for breaking waters) and a cervical dilation gauge...all of which she demonstrated and were passed around to much nervous giggling.

The main thing i learnt? that i have a LOT to learn,  I know the ins and outs of how the baby moves down the birth canal, how the baby knows to TURN to fit through the pelvic bone!!! and what a "show" involves,but learning these things brought it home to me how many aspects of this weird and wonderful process i am yet to experience.

On a lighter note, after an over dinner discussion about body proportions, how your wing span is approximately the same length as our height, and if you multiply the length of your head roughly 8 times it should be equal to your height, the tape measure was turned on me and my ludicrous waistline, which currently stands at 40"...which gives me the Body Mass Index of a weeble, help!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Long time no blog!

This is the longest i have gone since i began without writing a blog post, but Mr Bump and i took the opportunity of 11 days holiday for the price of 3 between the bank holidays, and it was bliss. This is the only  time i have taken off during my entire pregnancy, and boy did i need it, am over 7 months now, with a bump to rival even the biggest contenders, i weigh enough to crush a small child and the sound effects i used to jokingly make when getting out of bed are now real and unavoidable, laughable even.

We have taken the first steps to prepare for our new arrival and bought the pram/carry cot/moses basket and car seat, all in the space of half an hour, preparation was done before hand, but i don't hang around, it’s my job to be decisive (this however does NOT apply to food, choosing from a large menu leaves me flummoxed) as we don't know what we are having, the colour palette for the pram is neutral, Midnight blue to be exact, the main points i was told to consider when choosing a pram was simplicity of assembly and collapse, and ease of movement, Stokke was our brand of choice, him indoors being a boffin (engineer) meant the aesthetics of the pram came second to the design ...luckily it’s a good looking Scandinavian number, meaning we both win.

We have stayed away from home a few nights this week, mini breaks and visiting friends, meaning my dream genie pillow is very well travelled , i am way past the point of embarrassment, i no longer care i enter people homes clutching a metre long snake shaped pillow like my life depends on it, getting to sleep without it is now impossible, staying asleep however is another matter, and women who have young children understand, and don’t even question my version of a comfort blanket.

This week pregnancy related purchases have included new knickers, my trusty no VPL boy shorts are reduced to a cylindrical skinny hoola hoop after less than a hours wear, this is not uncomfortable as such, but leaves me wondering how long before they make the journey down my thighs and wind up around my ankles, pregnancy knickers are one of the only things i have not read about, i can only assume this is because there really isn't a perfect solution for later on in pregnancy, the only advice i have is opt for low waisted, i am finding Marks & Spencers low rise Brazilian perfect, they are 3 for £10 and come in black, white and nude.....but one complaint i do have is M&S don’t do a nude/skin colour maternity/nursing bra, the options are black or white...what if i want a softer hue for under my white tops????? Although i know Elle Macpherson does maternity bras in her intimates this excessive??? I will look into this and report back my findings!

With only 6 weeks to go, i am stuck in a quandary, i am destined to grow much bigger, yet loathe to spend any more on clothes i won’t wear again, not helped by the changing seasons and having events to attend in the coming weeks, i am down to only a handful of things that fit, let alone look nice, my main focus should be spending money on the dozens of things clogging up my baby list....including pyjamas and "lounge wear" for me to wear post baby, when visitors are inevitable and my personal grooming time is plan is to have these hung and ready for action.

I think it’s also time for me to fess up about the few bits and bobs i have bought in preparation for my post baby weight loss, and allow you to pass judgement on whether or not i am totally mad or (hopefully) entirely within my rights to envisage getting reacquainted with my waist published today of Ms Abbey Clancy  looking super toned and reed thin 7 weeks after having her baby are totally unrealistic for me...but hey they say reach for the stars!

I am off to inspect the inside of my eyelids for the next 8 hrs or so....more confession time tomorrow