Monday, 18 July 2011

My Pregnancy Continued - The Countdown to Labour

My last pregnancy post left me at  33 weeks pregnant. It had been a very stressful emotional weekend, the Saturday was good but tiring as I went to Doncaster wildlife park with my family, however on the Sunday me and the boyfriend had a massive stumbling block in our relationship. That's too personal to write about on here, but its safe to say that's been my lowest point during pregnancy.

Monday was my fourth iron infusion and our first antenatal class. Ashley came with me to the infusion and that out the way I went to buy us some tea and then came back up to work to wait for him to finish so we could eat before going to the class. I bumped into a few of my work friends whilst I was there which was nice =) (oh and the creep too eurgh), it was really good to see them as I've been missing them and feeling pretty unsocial at points whilst I've been away. 
What I expected
Our class started at half 5, and we had a lovely young midwife called Rebecca running it (who I'd met before in the Maternity Assessment Center). It was not how I expected, not like the one's I'd seen in the movies with women sat between their partners legs practicing breathing techniques. I think they had separate 'Active Birth' classes for that which I'd been misinformed about. Instead the first class was a talk through of labour and giving birth, what exactly happens in each stage, how to deal with the situation, when to get in touch with the hospital, pain relief options etc.
Doesn't look fun
I knew roughly what I needed to about the stages, when to contact someone, pain relief options, but it was good to go through it in more detail and feel more prepared. The one thing I hadn't thought so much about though, is the bit after your cervix is fully dilated....when you've got past that pain, you then have to fit this baby through your birth canal! Whenever I'd thought about the terrifying prospect of giving birth before I got pregnant, I always just related the cervix and the birth canal together, thinking they both widened and opened up. I suppose I'd just never thought about it properly. So talking about the actual giving birth and pushing the baby out part of labour in the class and solidifying the idea into my head, I did feel that terror coming just seems impossible to me, even though millions do it.
The main thing that got to me besides that was talking about epidurals, which I no way on earth want, but I know you can never predict what will happen. The thought of the huge needle...and mainly the location where it goes ( could so easily paralyze you if it was done wrong) are what put me off, but my nativity again became apparent to myself as I didn't realise a needle is left in to control and keep the dosage going. Whilst the midwife was talking through this my blood pressure was dropping and I really thought I was going to pass out. I just can't handle hearing about it due to my phobia. 
After the talk she took us to see the Delivery Suite rooms, two types, one being a bit more homely with a separate room with a massive bath, which I would prefer if i get to choose and then that was session 1 over with.

Giving Birth - a Scary Thought
Its funny, since becoming pregnant my feelings towards giving birth have changed a lot. Before I used to think it was absolutely terrifying, that I couldn't do it and I would have to have a C - section and if not definitely an epidural. Now they are the last two things I want (I really don't want my bikini line slicing open and my stomach muscled being a bit damaged) and during most of this pregnancy the thought of giving birth hasn't scared me at all. I think once you have a baby inside you and make a connection with it, most of you just focuses on looking after it during pregnancy and meeting it after the labour. It gives you another focus, but I have to say now I'm counting down the final days until my due date (9 days left at the time of writing this) I am getting a bit scared. I mainly just want her out and also partly still can't imagine it actually happening, but with the back pains and braxton hicks I have been getting the past couple days it is starting to feel more real and I do have fear in the background thinking can I get through it? I'm pretty sure I will be crying! But it will be worth it in the end I know.

So first antenatal class out the way, it was my final Iron Infusion on Wednesday, when I turned 34 weeks pregnant. Ashley wasn't at this one and I was quite unhappy as I didn't have either of the midwives I'd had before and this one kept dropping things on the floor. I'd had a G.I appt before it and once they were both over I thought I'd finally go to the exhibition at the museum I walk past most days. It was the Spice Girls one and was only on until July and I thought I may as well go and have a look especially when I'd just been topped up on my iron!

Unfortunately it was up several flights of stairs and I did get bad backache while looking round, so didn't get to the rest of the exhibitions such as Ancient World which looks really good. The Spice Girls exhibition was quite fun to to round though, mainly very nostalgic, especially when I spotted things I had owned, so I'm glad I had a look. 
The other regions will be much more worth looking round, but it will have to wait until I'm not carrying this heavy little one round in my tummy!

I had my next antenatal appointment the next day, where they weighed up how things were going and my bump was measuring average still and on Friday I was very lucky and excited to receive a parcel from my lovely mummy to be friend Mel, who was due in just over a week at this point. She was really generous and sent lots of lovely baby things, including the first pair of booties my baby has received and the Disney nursery fragrance which I'd wanted so much but couldn't justify buying. It made me very happy :) 

Hello Kitty outfits from Mel, shoes from Emma Louise :)
The next day I managed to walk to the sorting office to get another lovely parcel from Emma Louise, mummy to Cameron. So I got two lots of lovely gifts in the space of two days.  Emma sent me a few things including my babies first pair of shoes and a couple things for myself such as an Elephant ring which I love!

My next antenatal class was the next Monday, so after a trek round a couple shops I walked up to work (this time hiding from the creep in the tea room but bumping into about 3 people and finding out yet another work colleague is pregnant. Definitely something in the water!) and waited for Ash to finish. This talk was mostly about breastfeeding, how to do it successfully, reassurance, techniques etc but it also covered how to bath a baby and how to change its nappy, at which stage we all got baby dolls, where the women had the practice the positions to hold a baby in for a feed and then men had to practice changing the nappies! Ashley swiveled the dolls head round so it was looking at me to creep me out, like that moment with the giant baby doll in Toy Story 3. 

When I'd passed 35 weeks it was almost Tasleen and Mel's due dates (24th and 26th), which was SO exciting, but both came and went with no babies being born! I'd been trying to stay active and still had to get things done so over that weekend I trekked to several areas in town to try and get crib sheets, the next day to do a big grocery shop, and then again on Monday out to the shops again. I was still keeping up with the housework too. I think I'd been over doing it a bit, but there were things that needed doing so I didn't have much choice and you are meant to stay active to a certain extent.

When I turned 36 weeks I had a bit of a scare .....well it was a big shock. I had a bleed, and not just a tiny bit of blood, what seemed like a lot. I was worried but thankfully Ashley was with me so I wasn't alone but I was thinking is this it, is she coming now ?!! Is she Ok? Besides those passing thoughts I was kind of numb and just on automatic mode I think. I called the Delivery suite who put me through to the Maternity Assessment Clinic and they told me to keep an eye on it, but that it was probably nothing to worry about as sometimes hormones can cause this to happen. So I managed to calm down, but later on I realized I was still bleeding and had what seemed like a show. I started getting sharp pains low down as well and during the evening and night, barely once felt my normally extremely active baby move.
So I was worried again and in the morning with no make up on, hair not brushed I got a taxi to the hospital to get checked out. They monitored babies movement and her heartbeat for fifteen minutes and not long after the monitor straps were on she decided she was coming out to play and started moving loads, which was a relief but probably made me look silly. They also checked for a reason of bleeding and to see if I was dilated at all. I wasn't and the bleeding had been caused by a hormonal erosion which goes away after a bit. 
For people who've had babies before it would probably seem like nothing, but it was all a big concern for me so I am glad I went and got checked out because I felt a lot less stressed afterwards.

Baby Neve with Mummy Mel
It was now the Friday 1st of July and both Mel and Tasleem were having their sweeps .......was anything going to happen. For Tasleem unfortunately not, but for Mel who was already slightly dilated......finally progress....she was getting stronger cramps and it looked like early labour was starting.....cue massive excitement from us all! By the next day at 20.10 Mel had given birth to Podge.....who turned out to be a beautiful baby girl that they named Neve Evelyn! She'd done it! She gave birth and Podge was finally here! It was an exciting time for us, checking for updates constantly and I imagine an absolutely exhausting one for her!
I had had my mobile glued to my hand from Friday night, but when she actually gave birth I was in the cinema seeing Transformers 3 3D (my baby did not like the noise!) and had no signal!!
 Taz finally had her baby on Tuesday 5th of July at 18.15pm and she too ended up having a beautiful baby girl called Zara. So now both babies were here I got very inpatient haha. I'd started thinking Woah this has actually all gone pretty quick, considering its been almost 9 months of my life, but then having no babies to wait for anymore except mine, it suddenly felt like AGES to go again even though it was only 3 weeks!

Tuesday the 12th I finally saw my G.P midwife again. I had avoided her a bit as she had been so useless and it was literally a waste of time seeing her and I'd been having plenty of hospital appointments.
She finally measured my bump for the first time and felt for the baby, but didn't tell me what her findings were, but I knew from my hospital check after my scare that the sharp pains had been the babies head engaging and from another appt that baby was now 4/5ths. The one good thing she did do however, which I'm not sure she is meant to, is to book me in for a sweep on my due date to get things going if they aren't already by then. So I'm glad I won;t have to wait a few days for that if she isn't on time. 
Finding out baby is getting herself ready to come out and is almost fully engaged was exciting, but also I found out the day before was making it much harder to get about. I'd gone shopping and therefore done quite a bit of walking again, and my god by the time I was walking down the very long road to our house, my pelvis/hip region was so stiff and painful. As a result I had to walk very slow. So I then realised I couldn't go shopping anymore!

The Picnic: Ami, the only boy there, took the pic
After the midwife appointment on tues I went into town and then to work to meet Tammy and Lina as we were going to Tasleems when they had finished. I got there early so saw quite a few people and then when the girls were ready it was time to go! I was really looking forward to seeing Taz (who I hadn't seen since she was 37 weeks and I was 32 weeks, at a picnic we had at Kirkstall Abbey) and obviously baby Zara! 
I couldn't believe how tiny she was! I was actually too scared to pick her up at first in case I broke her lol, but when I did hold her it was lovely. She is beautiful and seems to have a great temperament. It was really nice to spend time with the girls too as I'd been missing them, and we also met Taz's 3 year old nephew who was very chatty and cute, but as he spoke their language as well Taz had to translate half the time.
The rest of the week remained quite busy with another hospital appointment on Thursday morning where I ended up on the monitor again and this time for quite a while as babies heart rate was seeming quite erratic, but ended up all ok. They are happy with my haemoglobin levels now, but don't know my iron levels, but the Hb levels returning to normal suggests they are ok, even though I have been starting to feel a bit funny again with palpitations. I think it may just be may low blood pressure again. 
Friday was a G.P appointment, like the hospital one, very early in the morning and I went into town after it to get hold of some raspberry leaf capsules (even though I currently now have no money) and my free mum & baby pack from Sainsburies. Walking through town was very hard and I was so glad when I made it home. I think that will be my last trip in whilst I'm still pregnant! My pelvis was so bad after these active days that it killed just to roll over in bed!

So now I've reached the 18th of July, I'm 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant and 9 days to go until my due date! I've been getting more braxton hicks the two days I took the Raspberry leaf, but also terrible back ache, so I skipped the tablet yesterday. They don't induce labour however, just help your cervix to dilate when you are actually in the process. Something I'm trying to get across to my mother who still goes my the knowledge of when she did midwifery briefly 37 years ago. She thinks they are terribly dangerous, so I've told her to do some research :)

I have taken it today and have no symptoms as of yet, so hopefully the backache was unrelated, and very possibly baby just squashing me when I needed the toilet or something (t.m.i sorry!).
My baby bump seems the lowest ever today so I'm thinking it won't be long. Wish me Luck! Next time I do a pregnancy post it should be about my labour and new arrival!

                                                             x - X - x

1 comment:

Rachael x said...

Hi hun, how you doing? Any signs?