Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Week 39 - Lightening crotch

Week 39

(I'm currently bouncing up and down on my swiss ball as I write this post. Just F.Y.I)

I have been feeling a lot more pressure in my pelvis, and Braxton hicks contractions have picked up again this week, some hurt while others have just been a tightening of my bump.

Chris has become increasingly attentive and somewhat protective over me in these last few weeks. Every time I groan or make a noise as I bend over or stand up, he is checking on me to make sure I am alright. I have tried to tell him not to worry, as when something is actually happening I will let him know, but it is quite endearing. He tells me that I don't need to be so tough and that he can do certain tasks for me instead, which I'll happily oblige. I'm very lucky to have him as my husband and as our baby's daddy.

Our midwife appointment this week showed that my blood count and vitamin levels are great. The baby is descending slowly but is in an "OP" (Occiput Posterior) fetal position which means that her back is against my back, which is not ideal for natural birthing. My midwife has given Chris and I a series of "exercises" to help the baby turn before I go into labour. 

"Lightening crotch" is a funny name for a symptom I have been experiencing quite a bit this week. Whenever I get up and walk, sit down, or move in almost any way. I get sharp bolts of nerve pain in my lady bits. It tends to fade if I walk more than a few blocks but it can really take my breath away and makes me stop in my tracks. Fortunately it disappears a moment later, just like lightning. 

This week we have reached my original due date (9th July), which was calculated from my previous menstral cycle, but we haven't had any real signs of labour yet.  

I have scheduled a 41 week ultrasound just in case I do go past my due date and need to be checked before induction. Fingers crossed I will be able to cancel this appointment before then, but it's better to be prepared. 

Next midwife appointment I will be getting a stretch and sweep to help induce labour. I'm a bit nervous about it as some people say it hurts or can be uncomfortable. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 

How far along?: 39 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, no way around it now
Stretch marks?: Yes
Belly button in or out?: It looks like a mini volcano sometimes, so is that my version of an outie?
Sleep?: Getting harder. Found it difficult breathing properly a few nights ago, as baby is getting bigger.
Best Moment of the week?:Going out for dinner and a movie with Chris
Worst Moment of the week?:Getting serious "lightening crotch" while walking
Miss anything?: Working out or exercising and being able to push my body and feel good about it
Movement?: YES! She's got a good set of strong legs on her that's for sure.
Cravings?: Nutrigrain, Mandarins (like 6 per day) and Dark chocolate
Queasy or sick?: No.
Looking forward to?: Meeting our little one and hopefully getting labour started before induction.
Mood/emotional state?: Getting a little impatient, I want to avoid a medical induction if at all possible and if we don't get this going soon, that's exactly what will happen. Also a mix of nervous excitement. I'm not completely "over" being pregnant by any means, but the idea of meeting our little girl and becoming a first-time parent has me over the moon and hiding up the table at the same time.
Early Labour Signs?: Mild Braxton Hicks Contractions and Lightening crotch

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Weel 38 - Finishing work & False Labour?

Week 38

This is my last week of work and I am so pleased that it has finally arrived. I have been enjoying working so far, as it makes the days and weeks go by really fast, but in the last few days it has become MUCH more draining. I am training my replacement and trying to tie up any loose ends which can take a lot out of a preggo. Sleep is again a bit more difficult, with me waking up in the middle of the night and laying awake for hours but otherwise not uncomfortable. When I finish work this week I will be able to sleep in or take naps and I can't wait!

We have midwife appointments every week now but they tend to be much more straight forward as I have less questions and no abnormal symptoms. Check blood pressure, weight and baby's heartbeat and out the door. It generally only takes about 15 mins which is good when I need to get back to work asap. We have discussed the birth plan and everything seems to be on track, so far, so good.

A new symptom, or should I say a more exacerbated symptom, is that I am SUPER gassy this week. Poor Chris! I guess it's because space is restricted in that area but as long as I don't have to hold it in (which I don't at home) I'm still comfortable.

My last day at work was wonderful. My colleagues put together a farewell morning tea baby shower. We had a selection of 5 kinds of cake (2 dairy-free especially for me) and lots of other nibbles. A number of people gave me gifts (teddy, clothes, and toys) for baby and pamper products for me. It's a good thing I decided to drive in on that day, as it would have been difficult taking all of that back on the bus home. Which is what I had still been doing up until then. I received hugs and well wishes from almost everyone in the office (and it's not a small office). It was the perfect way to end the week, my face ached from smiling all day. It's a weird feeling to know that I won't be employed for an entire year. I mean obviously I will still be "working" and busy looking after baby, I know that it's no easy task, but this is all new to me and I'm still a bit weirded out by it all.

My belly is measuring at 112cm around my belly button now and we get to meet our baby this month (July) which is crazy to think. It's also weird to know that at any point I could go into labour. Not that it is likely right now as my bump is still high and baby's head is not engaged, but it could happen quite quickly at any point. So I am looking out for labour signs every day.

On Sunday (38+4) I woke up (after a somewhat restless night) and promptly threw up, like I did in the first trimester. After which, I was fine and my day continued as normal. Nausea can be considered an early labour sign but nothing changed throughout the day. Until I went to bed that night.

Shortly after we went to bed that night I started feeling contractions. I was laying in bed trying to ignore the gradual build to a peak and then fade of what felt like strong period pains. Starting in my lower back and moving across either side of my belly towards the centre. Baby was moving a tone until they would start and then would brace against my muscles contracting. These moderately painful contractions continued for over an hour until I feel asleep. When I woke up in the morning I felt fine, so they must have come to a stop while I was sleeping. My thoughts the night before were that if I was about to go into actual labour, I should try get as much sleep as I possibly can, but it was a false alarm. I texted my midwife the next morning telling her what happened (as it was the first contractions I had felt) and she said that it was Braxton Hicks or a False Labour Start. Where, when I actually go into labour, that is what it will start like, except in actual labour it won't stop.

I spent the morning (on my first day of maternity leave) getting blood tests done to check my vitamins and antibody levels and then got fitted for my new nursing bras at a specialist "big boob" store, "Avokado". As normal retailers can't even stock my size #bigboobproblems. My old size at the mid-way point of pregnancy was a 12G, but to accommodate for when my milk comes in, they measured me as a 12H!!! That's crazy, I never thought they would be that much bigger, a G was big enough in my opinion, but pregnancy doesn't work that way.

The rest of the week I have been feeling more Braxton Hicks tightening in my belly (which do not hurt) and pressure in my pelvic area. I wonder if baby is dropping, although my bump still looks the same.


How far along?: 38 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, no way around it now
Stretch marks?: Yes
Belly button in or out?: Hasn't changed, still looks like a pouting pair of lips.
Sleep?: Broken, mostly due to stressing about work, rather than anything pregnancy related. Now that I am on maternity leave it is MUCH better. Naps are amazing too!
Best Moment of the week?: Taking all the naps I want.
Worst Moment of the week?: Throwing up
Miss anything?:Having the energy to do all the tasks that are in my head or on my list.
Movement?: YES!
Cravings?: Anything sweet and snacky
Queasy or sick?: Just the once.
Looking forward to?:Meeting our little one.
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive
Early Labour Signs?: Braxton Hicks Contractions and a bit of nausea

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Week 37 - Nesting

Week 37


I think nesting has officially started this weekend. No, I have not become a cleaning freak just yet, in fact I resent bending over so much now, that anything that lands on the floor which I cannot pick up with my toes is "dead to me". I have however been feeling the urge to organise the baby room and make it her own. I have put all of her new bedding in her cot, even though she won't actually be sleeping in there for another 6 months, well that's the plan anyway (we'll see). On her cot bedding their are lots of little woodland animals which I think are adorable and decided to bust out my old paints, which have been sitting un-loved in a box since before we went to the UK back in 2014. I made some little pieces of wall art to hang around her room. It was a good feeling and I can see more painting happening if I find myself idle after I finish work this coming week.

We are taking the advice of other parents we know and we out for dinner (just the two of us) for what may be the last time in a while. We went to a Irish pub as we haven't had a good pub meal in what feels like a year (probably since we left the UK to be fair). I got super excited when I saw Pimms on the drinks menu, went to ask for it and then realised that I can't have it anyway. Dammit! Cue new craving of the week.

I have packed the baby bag for when I go into labour, it's ready and waiting at the door, but I haven't put together my own yet. As I still wear all of the maternity gear (and anything else that fits) on a daily/weekly basis so if I did pack it, I would also need to live out of a bag for the next few weeks. Or however long it is that I have left.

My sleeping has been a bit harder this week, I have been waking up at 1am, 2am or 3am and lying awake for a few hours thinking about work and or what life will be like with baby. This always makes the next day harder but fortunately it's not every night and it's not because I'm uncomfortable. I just can't shut my mind off.

Baby girl's movements have become a lot slower as she runs out of space. I still feel her all day but rather than quick, sharp kicks, I now get slow rolling and stretching movements which are somewhat more comfortable and easier to work around.  Her hiccups have become stronger also which are rather hard to ignore due to their strength.

This is a bit random but worth mentioning for other Mums-to-be. A few weeks ago I went out and got some Maternity underwear and I have been so much more comfortable ever since. The ones I got were from Kmart and have extra wide, extra stretchy waistbands. So when I am sitting at a desk all day at work I am not having them cut into my waistline like my old ones were before. It means you don't have to go up a size and have them be too big in other areas or fall down. They are like yoga pants but for underwear and I am a complete convert.


How far along?: 37 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, no way around it now
Stretch marks?: Yes
Belly button in or out?: Hasn't changed, still looks like a pouting pair of lips.
Sleep?: Mostly pretty good, but I do get more tired throughout the day than I used to.
Best Moment of the week?: Seeing baby's room coming together
Worst Moment of the week?: Being tired at work
Miss anything?: Walking through a room without everyone looking at my stomach. I'm more than just a baby bump people... nah just kidding it's not so bad, just something I have noticed these days.
Movement?: YES! Movement all day. She's getting way stronger and has a lot less room so I get a bit of a shock sometimes when she thumps me good.
Cravings?: A good Pimms cocktail and ice-cream
Queasy or sick?:No
Looking forward to?: Having Mum come visit on the weekend
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive
Labour Signs?: None so far, not even Braxton hicks (practice) contractions as far as I can tell.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Week 36 - Final ultrasound & at home photoshoot

Week 36

We had our final ultrasound this week to check babys measurements and position for birth. The midwife had noticed that it seemed like she was laying transverse (horizontal) across my belly rather than head-down, bums-up ready for birth. By the time our ultrasound appointment came around though, she had moved into a much better position for birth, which is comforting to know. The technician also re-measured and checked various parts of her body. Revealing that her weight is bang on where it should be 5lb 15oz according to her measurements, although they often over estimate. She has a slightly larger than average skull, I blame her father, as Chris has a large head and mine is practically child size. Her heart and stomach look perfect, and her femurs (leg bones) are just a little shorter than average, but not abnormally so, she will most likely catch up in another few weeks with the average measurement.

We saw her moving around, sucking her hands and feet. We got a good view of her profile (like in the anatomy scan) and also a few good shots of the front of her face too. She is big enough that we could see details like her ear and her finger pointing around the place.
Side profile and hand
Front view of her face
Ear and shoulder
Sucking her finger
Foot and leg pushing against the womb

 This weekend we organised more of the nursery and washed all of her clothes (my clothes line has never been so pink) it's starting to feel real, although I don't feel ready quite yet.

We made the most of a lazy Sunday afternoon by having an at home DIY photoshoot with our new camera. I saw a few photos on Pinterest that I really liked and we tried to replicate them. I'm pretty pleased with the end result, although a little self conscious about my body as well. This is by far the heaviest I have ever been, but it is the most body confident I have ever been as well, as I love my baby bump and how my body has changed to accommodate her.

Baby "name removed"
We went for a walk up Mt Albert later that evening and watched the sun go down. We are trying to soak up these last few weeks with it being just the two of us but we are also so looking forward to becoming a family in the near future.


How far along?: 36 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, no way around it now
Stretch marks?: Yes, and my belly is itchy again so I'm keeping a close eye on them
Belly button in or out?: Hasn't changed, still looks like a pouting pair of lips.
Sleep?: Mostly pretty good, but I do get more tired throughout the day than I used to.
Best Moment of the week?: Seeing our baby again and seeing how much more developed she is now
Worst Moment of the week?: Being tired at work
Miss anything?:Yawning to maximum capacity. I get to a certain point in the yawn and then have to stop abruptly because my lungs won't expand past my bump and it hurts. Very unsatisfying since I am yawning a lot these days.
Movement?: YES! Movement all day, where my belly visibly undulates when she pushes against it
Cravings?: Peanut butter on muffin splits (just like I did as a teenager)
Queasy or sick?:No
Looking forward to?: Meeting our little one in only a handful more weeks
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive
Labour Signs?: None so far, not even Braxton hicks (practice) contractions as far as I can tell. As far as I know, Braxton hicks are meant to feel like a non-painful tightening of your belly, but since my bump is rock hard and tight most of the time I don't think I can tell.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Week 35 - Taking our own maternity photos

Week 35

It has been another good week. Lots of people at work are commenting on how big I am getting and have been asking how I have been. They are often surprised when my response is "Good! Quite good surprisingly, just a little tired" as I have very little to complain about at the moment. Yes, my sleep is a bit disrupted, but not too bad, and yes, my hips sometimes ache, but that doesn't stop me from doing anything major and really isn't that bad either. I'm feeling very fortunate with how pregnancy has been for me so far and grateful for every day that passes without fear or pain. I'm pretty chill about birth and can't believe how quickly the time is passing. 5 weeks to go!!! (or so)

My belly is getting itchy again so the stretch marks might be getting worse but I'm not too fussed over it. What will be, will be. Still, my bedtime routine is to take my vitamins and slather my belly with cocoa butter every day/night. This means that I have also received a few complements that I smell really nice, or that I smell of chocolate from the Cocoa butter I use. Haha, an unexpected bonus I guess.

I have cut down my hours at work a little bit, just a few hours here and there. This has made a big improvement to my energy levels, just being able to start a little later and finish at the normal time, rather than working late, like I was before.

We decided to make the most of a beautiful Saturday sunset by taking some photos of my bump down at Western Springs park. We have recently got a new Sony A5100 digital camera as an early birthday present for me, and so we wanted to try it out. Here are a few of my favourite shots.



How far along?: 35 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, no way around it now
Stretch marks?: Yes, but they haven't got any worse lately
Belly button in or out?: It looks like "a pair of lips" but hasn't popped yet
Sleep?: Mostly pretty good, but I do get more tired throughout the day than I used to.
Best Moment of the week?: Spending a beautiful evening taking photos
Worst Moment of the week?: Being tired at work
Miss anything?: Mulled wine.
Movement?: YES! Movement all day, where my belly visibly undulates when she pushes against it
Cravings?:Not really
Queasy or sick?:No
Looking forward to?: Meeting our little one in only a handful more weeks
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive
Labour Signs?: None so far, not even Braxton hicks (practice) contractions as far as I know

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Week 34 - Baby shower

Week 34

Only 6 weeks until my due date, where did that time go? Ahhh!

We had our baby shower this weekend. Which meant squeezing 24+ people into Mum's living room. It was a blast, with some fun games and lots of good conversation. We received such lovely and practical gifts from our friends and family.

An added surprise for our friends was that we revealed our baby's gender, which we had been keeping private up until that point. As this pregnancy has progressed I have realised that I am a terrible liar and have such a hard time using equal he's and she's or his and hers when talking about the baby, so we may as well celebrate her in style. We did this by popping a big black balloon to reveal our baby's gender with pink glitter confetti (which managed to spread throughout the entire house on peoples feet). I have a lot of friends who have baby girls so they were very excited for me to join the girl gang. It's going to be fun when all of our kids get older and play together.

 
 
 

How far along?: 34 weeks!
Gender?: Girl, and now our friends finally know!
Maternity clothes?: Yes, dresses and maternity leggings are my saviour!
Stretch marks?: Yes, but they haven't got any worse lately
Belly button in or out?: It looks like "a pair of lips" but hasn't popped yet
Sleep?: Mostly pretty good, but I do get more tired throughout the day than I used to.
Best Moment of the week?: Revealing the gender of our baby to our friends
Worst Moment of the week?: Being stuck in a car for 4 hours between Auckland and Taupo. Fortunately I won't be doing that again before baby gets here, it's too far away from our midwife and just plain uncomfortable.
Miss anything?: Mulled wine. As the weather gets colder it would be really nice to wrap my hands around a nice warm mug of it.
Movement?: YES! Movement all day, where my belly visibly undulates when she pushes against it
Cravings?:Not really
Queasy or sick?:No
Looking forward to?: Meeting our little one
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Pregnancy diaries || Week 32 & 33 - Baby Hiccups & Checking out the Birth Centre

Week 32

Our baby has the hiccups! It took me a minute to figure out what this rhythmic popping was, but after looking it up online I'm pretty sure it is hiccups. Right on track according to our midwife too, as baby practices for breathing on the outside. They are cute but get a little repetitive and distracting after the first 30 mins of pop, pop, pop, pop etc.
  
We had our second antenatal class this week, which was equally as insightful as the first. This one focused more on breastfeeding and taking care of baby when they get here.
We even bumped into some of the other couples outside of the classes later in the week, which was fun to catch-up.

We did a major baby shop at the Baby Factory, so I feel like we are getting more organised which helped put my mind to rest knowing that we have mostly everything we need, at least when she first gets here.

I'm back to a relatively normal appetite, no bad symptoms to complain about. Still getting up 2-4 times each night to go to the bathroom but at least that means that I'm hydrated, right?

We met our backup midwife at our appointment this week, as our LMC was in Rarotonga getting married. She seems very nice and knowledgeable and I would be perfectly comfortable with her being at my birth.

How far along?: 32 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, dresses are my saviour! Not having a waist band cutting into your bump is the best.
Stretch marks?: Yes, they are gradually spreading further and but seem to be fading a bit
Belly button in or out?: It looks like "a pair of lips" but hasn't popped yet
Sleep?: Mostly pretty good, but I do get more tired throughout the day than I used to.
Best Moment of the week?:Getting ready for baby to arrive
Worst Moment of the week?:Being tired at work, as I'm still there full time. I might look at cutting back my hours soon.
Miss anything?: Not really, pretty content this week.
Movement?: YES! Movement all day, where my belly visibly undulates when she pushes against it and of course her cute little hiccup sessions too.
Cravings?:Not really
Queasy or sick?:No
Looking forward to?:Taking a tour of our birthing centre
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive

Week 33

On Saturday morning we took a tour of "Birthcare" where I will hopefully be birthing if all goes to plan. It was comforting to ask them questions and visualise the birthing experience. The temperature has plummeted this week, winter hit with full force, well at least by Auckland standards. It feels like 2 degrees most morningw so I am trying to rug-up, even though I can't actually do-up any of my winter coats over my big belly. And no wonder, my bump is now measuring 106cm around my belly button, so that's a big ask for an old winter coat to get around. Baby girl is moving ALL THE TIME which is great but sometimes makes it hard to get to sleep with a tornado in your tummy. We can now feel babies body parts through my belly. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between her head and bum (large bulge) or whether it is one of her arms or legs, but you can definitely use your imagination and figure it out.

How far along?: 33 weeks!
Gender?: Girl
Maternity clothes?: Yes, dresses and maternity leggings are my saviour!
Stretch marks?: Yes, but they seem to be fading a little bit
Belly button in or out?: It looks like "a pair of lips" but hasn't popped yet
Sleep?: Mostly pretty good, but I do get more tired throughout the day than I used to.
Best Moment of the week?:Seeing the birthing centre and feeling more prepared
Worst Moment of the week?:Being exhausted at the end of my work day.
Miss anything?: Fitting into my old winter clothes
Movement?: YES! Movement all day, where my belly visibly undulates when she pushes against it
Cravings?:Not really
Queasy or sick?:No
Looking forward to?: My baby shower next week!!!
Mood/emotional state?: For the most part I'm very happy and positive