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Reduced Fetal Movement…

Before I start, I want to make it clear that everything is fine!…and now I can begin…

So…ever since the little one turned himself head-up on Saturday his movements have been a little bit off. He’s still been moving and kicking about, but it’s been different.

Yesterday, aside from feeling a bit of pressure under my ribs (which made me think he might have flipped back to his former head down pose) he seemed to be exceptionally quiet. We were out and about for most of the day so when I got home I got straight in the bath. He really likes the bath (or really hates it…one of the two) and usually has a good old wriggle when I’m relaxing in there, but yesterday I got a half-hearted flutter or two and not much else.

After that I had a sugary drink and lay down on the bed for a few hours to relax and wait to feel him kick. I used this time wisely to watch Doctor Who, because I haven’t watched that enough (she lied convincingly). Normally he’d make his presence known after twenty minutes or so, even if it was just a tiny movement, but 90 minutes later I didn’t think I’d felt him once. I drank cold drinks, ate an ice lolly, put a cold bottle of cola on my tummy…nothing. I was on the verge of calling the delivery suite to let them know that things were different, when he decided to give me a few kicks and wriggles. I was SO tired (and quite stressed by this point) that I let relief wash over me and settled down to go to sleep.

So, morning rolls around. Normally I’d lie in bed and feel him have a shift about before I got up, but this morning there was no wriggling at all.

I fed the dogs, made tea and sat down in the garden with Luke. A hot cup of tea usually gets our boy jumping, but this morning it didn’t have any effect at all. I suddenly felt very guilty that I hadn’t called the hospital the night before. I called the midwives an hour after I’d gotten up (an hour in which I would normally have felt him move a few times at least) and told them that I was worried and that things weren’t normal, and they asked me to come in.

…but not before making me feel a bit stupid for worrying. I mean, it’s not like I know my own baby’s normal movements.

I decided to go on my own so Luke didn’t have to sit around waiting for ages. It turns out that it was a big mistake to leave the gatekeeper at home.

So, I got there and I was put into one of the delivery rooms to wait for the midwife. When she eventually came in (it was busy and I wasn’t a priority) she was nice, but also quite condescending. Amongst other things she said “And what makes you think it’s abnormal for a baby not to move for 90 minutes?!” and it was a bit like being asked trick questions in a job interview. I honestly felt that she saw me as an inconvenience…as someone who was worrying over nothing. Maybe I WAS worrying over nothing, but I have been told at EVERY midwife appointment that I need to call the delivery suite if my baby’s movements change and if I’m worried.

The movements had changed. I was worried. Q.E.D.

I had to do a urine sample (which turned out to be perfectly fine) then she measured my uterus to make sure he had enough room in there and had a good feel around to see where he was lying (head down! Huzzah!). Then it was time to monitor the baby’s heartbeat electronically. I lay on the bed and had two monitors strapped to my belly – one for the baby’s heartbeat and the other, which would usually be used to monitor contractions, was there to pick up on any movements. I was also given a manual clicker thing so that I could click when I felt him move.

After her initial brusqueness she became quite friendly and pleasant and started explaining EVERYTHING in great detail (what she was doing, how the machines worked, the things she was looking for, etc.). Her general manner was a little “odd” which made me think that perhaps she just wasn’t a people person, or was having a bad day, or that her knicker elastic was too tight…whatever it was, I forgave her initial snippy manner.

She brought me a cuppa and left me and the machine to do our thing.

15 minutes later the machine decided it knew enough to say that the baby was fine, but I’d only felt three movements so she left me for another 15 minutes to see if he did anything else….and that’s when he went all crazy dance party on me and did at least twelve separate movements. His heart rate got quite high at times while he was boinging about, but apparently that’s quite normal (just like anyone’s heart rate increase when they’re moving around).

She was really pleased with the results and said that she was happy to release me without having me seen by a doctor, and off she went to write in my notes. I was feeling quite buoyant by this point…

…and then she came back…

With a forced smile and a voice dripping in condescension she told me that “in the future” if I call the delivery suite first thing in the morning I’m likely to be met by lots of questions as to why I’m concerned, because if I’ve not been up long I’ve not given my baby chance to move. She also (with the same voice and smile) told me off for not calling the night before if I was “so worried”. She did add on the end of it all that even though the baby was fine this time I shouldn’t be put off calling them back as soon as I’m worried again, although this was less reassuring and more “just because you were a big faker today, doesn’t mean that we won’t look after you tomorrow“.

I was pretty upset when I left and had gone back to feeling like I had wasted their time.

Since then though, he’s been incredibly active and has been wriggling about and kicking the living daylights out of me ALL DAY.

He’s back to normal, and with every kick I feel more and more like I did the right thing by going in to get him checked out. His movements were definitely off  and there could very well have been something wrong with him. Thank the stars that there wasn’t anything wrong and that the two of us are fine, but I feel like my trip to the hospital should NOT have left me doubting myself and my instincts.

Today is the first time that I have had a bad experience with a midwife, and the first time that I have been made to feel out of control of my own pregnancy. She should have reassured me that I had done the right thing by calling, and not made me feel undermined. It has made me a bit fearful of having to use the Alexandra Hospital in an emergency and if, during labour, I was faced with the same midwife again, I think I would demand that she get out of the room. At least in that situation I will have Luke with me to nip the condescending comments/behaviour in the bud. All hail the gatekeeper!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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Where My Head’s At…

This isn’t going to be an easy post to write (or to read, I’m guessing). I say that because I don’t quite know how I feel and I’m completely lacking the words to even begin to describe the bits of myself that I do understand.

I’ll just get on with it. I apologise in advance for how confusing this is going to be…

I’m 27 weeks pregnant today with only 13 weeks left until my due date. That means that in 9-15 weeks time our baby will be in the world.

We will be parents.

I will be a mother.

LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME…

…and you know what?…I can’t get my head around the fact that it is happening.

I mean, I KNOW that I am pregnant (I’ve gained 48lbs and have the most impressive 6 month bump) and I KNOW there’s a baby in there (I can feel – and love – the kicks and the hiccups and the stretches)…but I just can’t get my head around HOW there can be a baby in there (physically I mean…I’m 33, I do not need the birds and the bees explaining to me).

I look in the mirror and a pregnant woman looks back at me, but I (mostly) don’t feel any different, and I just cannot begin to comprehend that in three months our baby (OUR baby…a baby that is OURS) will be a part of the real world, part of our lives.

I can’t imagine how a baby could even fit inside me, despite all the extra weight/inches. I know that my bump is more than big enough to accommodate a 27 week fetus (hell, it’s more than big enough to hold twins), but I’m almost utterly convinced that it’s all fat and guts and there can’t be any spare room for babies in there. I can’t picture it. Right now I’m sitting cross-legged on the bed typing and I can feel kicks right down at the base of my belly, but are they kicks or punches?…or are they hiccups? Is the baby head up, head down or transverse? Is it back to front or back to back? For that matter, how can there be a baby in there at all? (I may have said that already…)

I don’t really know how else to explain it without just repeating myself over and over again. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. I. Do. Not. Get. It.

I’ve almost managed to convince myself that our baby is in some other dimension and I’m actually just growing a portal to this alternate dimension inside my uterus. Yes, I know I’m strange.

It’s been surreal right from the very beginning. When I first found out I was pregnant I convinced myself that it would all feel real after the first scan, and it did….for a while. I had been worried that I was imagining it all, but I saw our little one bouncing about on the screen and I cried with a mixture of joy and shock. That “OHMYGODITSREAL” feeling wore off though and soon I was telling myself that feeling the kicks, or having our 20 week scan, or knowing the gender of our child would help me to get my head around it.

Nope.

I guess I thought that I’d feel different once I was “with child”…that something in my brain would change. I suppose it’s a bit like when you’re a kid and you look at adults as if they’re different. You expect to feel like an adult once you get past your teens, and then you get to your twenties (and then your thirties) and you still feel like the same person, just a bit more tired because now you have to look after yourself and all that shenanigans.

When my cousins and friends have had children I’ve always imagined that they’re different to me, but now I’m beginning to suspect that they’re exactly the same as they were before, just even MORE tired because now they never sleep and they have to look after themselves AND a baby…and all that shenanigans.

Luke gets it. He can visualise the baby, he gets the reality of the whole “we’re going to be parents” thing, and I think he finds it a bit odd that I don’t, especially considering it’s happening in my body. He has to put up with me saying things like “we’re having a baby” and “it’s really real, isn’t it” at least a couple of times each day. Sometimes I’m in awe and I want to share that with him. Sometimes I’m struggling to believe it and I’m looking to him for reassurance. Thankfully, he always knows what to say.

…but aside from all this, even though I have all these weird thoughts and panics, I still can’t wait for our little one to be here. I can’t wait to have a baby in our lives. OUR baby. I live for the kicks and I lie down at every available opportunity, and not because I’m fat, tired and lazy (although I am), but to see and feel those little feet and fists battering away. I cradle my belly ALL THE TIME in the hope that I’ll feel a little elbow or knee slide past my hands. I might not be able to believe there’s a baby in there, but I absolutely can’t get enough of all the little movements that this impossible baby makes.

I think the weirdest bit of it, the part that makes me so disbelieving of it all is that I’m not scared and I’m not panicking when I feel like I should be. I mean, I am, but I’m mostly scared that I’m not scared, panicking that I’m not panicking…if that makes any sense at all?

Surely I should be scared of labour? Surely I should be worried about how we’ll cope? Surely I should be dreading never EVER sleeping again, of feeling like a milking machine, of having SO much responsibility for a teeny tiny little human? Surely I shouldn’t feel so normal and so capable?

I’m finishing this post feeling much the same as I did when I started it. Confused. If you’re reading this you might feel confused too. Or maybe you get exactly how I feel.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy, Random

 

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23 Weeks and Feeling Wriggly…

I’m close approaching 24 weeks pregnant and there are a LOT of things that I thought I’d have had chance to write about by now. Amongst other things…

…we have had our 20 week scan…

…we know the gender of our baby, and the reason why I haven’t been feeling as much movement as I thought I would (neither of which I’m going to reveal just yet)…

I’m working on getting these things written about and posted, but it’s hard at the moment as I am SO TIRED.

I’m finding work very difficult at the moment, and by the end of the day it’s all I can do to drag myself to my car and drive home, let alone get myself together to write in the evening. My days off are usually spent in a haze of cleaning and sorting and trying to do all the things I’m too tired to do on work days. By the time I’ve finished all that I’ve got just about enough energy to fall asleep with my head on my husband’s shoulder. Snoring, more often than not.

I wanted to write this post, partly to apologise for my lack of content – and to promise that words are on their way – but mostly to share the baby happenings of today while it still is today…I didn’t want to just add it to the ‘to write’ list and maybe manage to document it in about 5 weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the little thumps and kicks that I’d been feeling from the baby, and about the farts that I thought were kicks, and finally (and most exciting of all) about the kicks that I’d actually seen.

Well, it seems that our little one is getting stronger and more persistent as each day passes (and bigger too, if the round ligament pain is anything to go by)…

Not only have there been more visible kicks (and there have been a few of those), but I’ve also been a weird pressure and firmness in the bottom of my bump when I lay down on my back that I guess is a bottom or a foot pressing outwards. In the past week or so I’ve started to experience the same feeling when I’m standing/walking around, which is both very exciting and incredibly odd…like the little one is playing at being a starfish. A strong little starfish.

Even more exciting (and odder) than that, I was sitting in the car on my way to work this morning when I felt what I think must have been our baby actually turning – twisting and wriggling around – for the first time ever. Forget starfish, think octopus writhing.

It was a little like the butterflies you get in your stomach as you go over an unexpected drop, or like the flutters of sudden, unexplained anxiety. As I focus on it more, I realised that it probably also felt quite a bit like a small human rolling over in my uterus. It was totally new, totally different to anything I’ve felt before…it was totally amazing. I felt excited and scared, and just a little queasy.

I’ve felt the same, complete baby movement a couple of times today, but none of the others have been as strong and definite as those first twisty squirms that I felt this morning. I can’t wait to feel it again…

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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Counting The Kicks…aka Zzzzzzzz

I’m 21 weeks pregnant now and my Mini should be awake every hour or so. At this stage, I should be able to feel all the little kicks and stretches that come with my babba’s wakefulness.

Most of the time I get overcome with excitement when I feel something stirring…but then I get awfully disappointed when it turns out to be just (another) fart…

*sigh*

As walking around can often lull the little one to sleep, it’s recommended that you lie on your left side (the best side for your circulation) for two hours and count the baby’s movements. You should feel at least ten individual “kicks”, and hiccups don’t count (not that I’d know the difference).

This is all well and good, but if I lie on my side with the intention of counting kicks, I’m often asleep before I’ve even counted one.

Saying that though…last week I was propped up on my bed reading when I felt an almighty kick from within. I looked down at my belly as another kick followed, and this time I saw it too! I actually SAW our baby’s movements…mind blowing stuff.

It hasn’t happened again since, but I can’t wait to see it again.

Now it’s time for me to lie down and nap count the kicks…

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Pregnancy

 

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