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40 Weeks Midwife Appointment…

I’m now 3 days past my due date and feeling LARGE…

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I had a home visit yesterday from Carol, my midwife, who brought along a student MW too.

…baby is most of the way engaged, and does appear to have moved into a more favourable Occiput Anterior position though, which is great news!

What wasn’t great news was that my urine had protein in it again. It was just one + but enough for Carol to worry so it was off to hospital again for me last night. I wasn’t worried because I knew I hadn’t drunk enough again.

After a long wait, I finally saw the midwife, did another urine sample, had some blood tests taken and my blood pressure read. My blood pressure was a little higher but not worryingly, so I sat waiting patiently for her to come back and tell me my urine was fine.

How naive of me…my protein was ++ by this point.

I tried to be positive and asked if it might be a UTI…it was a possibility but the midwife didn’t think so. Sure enough, when my blood tests came back I was told that I have mild pre-eclampsia.

So here I am, back in hospital this morning to be induced.

I really didn’t want intervention of this kind but I had told myself that I would do whatever needed to be done for the health of our baby. I asked for a sweep and to be induced on Friday to give natural labour a chance, but they didn’t have room for me so it had to be today.

I had been worried that the sweep would be painful, but it ended up being less uncomfortable than a smear. A pleasant surprise amidst the worry. The midwife told me that I was a centimetre dilated so that was quite encouraging, but it was still quite thick so not as encouraging as it could have been.

I was quite calm and resigned to it at the day centre last night, but as the evening wore on I found myself getting more and more tense. I didn’t sleep well/much and I woke up feeling sick with nerves, gutted that labour hadn’t started naturally after the sweep (along with a hot curry, a walk and an hour of bouncing on the swiss ball).

So here I am!

I was actually in slow labour when I got here so I’m still hopeful that I might avoid the hormone drip. All I can do is wait and see…

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

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Due Date…

So, our baby was due today. He’s got half an hour to make an appearance so that’s totally not happening. But I knew he wouldn’t arrive today…only 4% (ish) of babies are born on their due dates – this is why I think a due date is ridiculous; we’d be better off being told a due week/month.

Despite that, I have been trying hard to influence him out of his cosy space by walking, bouncing on my swiss ball, doing pelvic wriggly actions…I even thought things were starting last night, but here I am, still pregnant.

I just can’t wait to meet him. I want to hold him in my arms and see what he looks like. I still don’t really believe that he’s in there, that I’m going to be a mother in a matter of days…I can’t wait for it to be a reality.

There’s lots of other things I can’t wait for either…

I can’t wait to lie on my stomach again (and my back for that matter)…

I can’t wait to fall asleep without waking myself (and my husband) up snoring…

…or because I’m drowning in a puddle of drool…

I can’t wait for my ankles/legs/hands to be a normal non-swollen size…to get my wedding ring back on, to be able to kneel on the floor without making dents in my knees, to put on a pair of shoes that aren’t Primark men’s flip flops…

I can’t wait for my SPD to be gone so I can walk and bend without being in agony…

I can’t wait to be able to do things around the house without wanting to cry because I just want to lie down…

I can’t wait to eat brie, or pate, or have a bottle glass of wine…

…I have enjoyed being pregnant (even though I may seem to be on a massive moanathon right now) but it’s been a difficult 9 months…far more difficult than I imagined it would be. I knew the downsides of it but I naively thought that I’d be one of the lucky ones who sailed through feeling glowy and beautiful. It’s not been like that at all, but the important thing is that, no matter what changes I’ve gone through or “issues” I’ve had, the outcome will still be the same. He will be here soon.

And I cant wait…

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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39 Weeks…

So, yesterday was the start of my 39th week of pregnancy.

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Today was actually the first due date I was given, but then after our 12 week dating scan they pushed it back to the 7th. I’m still kind of hoping that he might decide to come today (or at least start his journey) whilst also panicking about it.

I’m not sure if I’ve said already but I’m starting to liken this whole pregnancy thing to queuing for a popular rollercoaster on a busy day. You spend hours being excited and scared (but in a good way), and getting impatient with all the waiting…then you start to feel a bit uncomfortable and like you could do with a bit of a sit down (okay, a LOT of a sit down). All of a sudden, the wait is over and you’re the next person into the car, and you start to panic and wonder if it’s too late to run for the exit.

It’s terrifying, but I also can’t wait. I’m bouncing on my swiss ball as I type this. And I’m finally starting to get my head round the fact that there is actually a baby in that big massive belly of mine…

…on Sunday night he was pushing a foot out on my right hand side, which was kind of freaky. I pushed it back in and he immediately stuck it out again…and so we started our first game together. I think he was enjoying my giggling too.

So…39 weeks, and where am I now?…

Well, my belly button is STILL an innie (hooray!), but I think that’s because of the chub/swelling. If I didn’t have so much padding it’d totally be out and making itself known.

I’m incredibly swollen. We’re talking EVERYWHERE here. I get up in the morning and my legs (especially the left one) look normal but if I press on my shin for a few seconds I leave a monumental dent, which goes to show that I’ve been swollen for so long that I can’t remember what “normal” is anymore.

None (NONE) of my shoes fit me anymore. I’ve been reduced to wearing a pair of men’s flip flops from Primark. Not that it matters because I can’t walk that far anyway.

My SPD is getting worse all the time (the reason for my not being able to walk far) and I can’t do anything that involves leaning forwards. I still do bits of washing up and emptying the dishwasher etc, but it’s agony within seconds. When we do get out of the house I have to try to tuck my tailbone under as I walk to stop the dreaded pelvic aching, and I walk at about a fifth of my normal speed (frustrating for me and Luke).

I am VERY breathless most of the time, which I think is a combination of being very unfit and having a baby squashing my lungs. I’m looking forward to the “lightening” feeling that I’ve been promised. It’d be nice to be able to breathe and eat a proper sized meal.

My snoring has become epically bad. I can’t even describe it. And the drool…oh my god the drool. I have taken to sleepingon a flannel because at least that way I can swap it out halfway through the night and don’t have to sleep on a soggy pillow…

But! It’s not all bad! I can still get in and out if the bath on my own, and I’m quite proud that at 39 weeks, with all this swelling AND the five and a half stone I’ve put on, I can still shave my own legs and bikini line.

I’ve also stopped putting weight on (FINALLY), which I think can be put down to two factors…1) I can’t eat more than a few bites of something and then I’m full for HOURS, and 2) dragging my huge self around burns a buttload of calories.

Weirdly, I’m sleeping far better (we’re talking like THREE HOURS in a row here) and peeing in the night far less. It must be the way the baby is lying but I’m not going to question it too much. I’ve had three nights of *almost* normal sleep and I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

These may all be small victories, but they’re victories nonetheless. And I’m celebrating them!

As for signs of labour, well I’m getting LOADS of Braxton Hicks and crampy period pains, as well as those weird back contractions. I’ve had a few of those that have gone all up my spine and into my scalp, and they’ve been quite unbearable. I also had what I think was a proper contraction yesterday: it started in my back, spread across my belly, and felt a little like the gripping feeling you get when you have a dodgy tummy…but I’m not going to let any of it trick me into thinking anything is actually happening.

I clearly have a body that likes to practice a LOT before the main event…

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

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38 Week Midwife Appointment and Hospital Tests…

I’ve been seeing the midwife every week for the past few weeks so they can keep an eye on my swollen ankles and slightly raised blood pressure. It’s great that they are so attentive, but it does stress me out a bit.

At my 36 week appointment, Carol, my regular MW, found a trace of protein in my urine, which only served to make her more worried. Swelling (especially if it is sudden), high blood pressure, and proteins in urine are all signs of pre-eclampsia (along with headaches, visual disturbances and pain in your abdomen), which can lead to eclampsia, or seizures, that can be fatal to mother and baby.

I’m at a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia because my BMI has gone over 35, and because my mom had it. She ended up being hospitalised and induced because of it when she was pregnant with me, but that was at 41 weeks and three days. I’m trying not to let it stress me out but it’s difficult, especially because it has Luke worried and because the health of our baby is at risk.

Last week (week 37) I saw Carol again and got a clear result from my sample, so I felt much more relaxed about going along to another appointment yesterday with Barbera, the head of the community midwives. I was so relaxed, in fact, that I forgot to take a sample entirely. Idiot.

I did one when I got to the clinic but, because I’d not drunk much during the night (or yesterday morning) I ended up doing a very small, very concentrated pee that showed + protein. It was only one plus (four is the highest) and it could very well have been an error because I was so dehydrated but, coupled with my puffy ankles and legs, Barbara had cause for concern. My blood pressure was fine, and I tried to reassure her that my swelling wasn’t sudden, and that I have been much more swollen than I was yesterday, but she wasn’t having any of it. After talking with the midwives at the hospital she booked me in to the hospital this lunchtime for blood tests, more urine tests and possible monitoring.

Great.

When it came to listening to the baby’s heartbeat, Barbara also commented that I seemed to have swelling and water retention under my bump too. I had noticed that it was feeling a bit bruised under there – which is exactly how my feet feel – but I hadn’t associated it with water retention…I thought it was just saggy belly fat. So it looks like I’ve swollen all over, not just in my legs, hands, and face.

I’m hoping that after drinking a buttload of water (and raspberry leaf tea) I will have normal urine results back this afternoon. The blood tests should help to get a more accurate picture too.

I’m just hoping that they won’t want me to stay in overnight or anything. If they say I need an induction (which I really don’t want) then I’m going to ask if I can have it done at Worcester hospital. I’m pretty sure that I have the right to choose where I go into labour, even if I am being induced.

*happy thoughts*

…edit:…as predicted, after lots of sleep and lots to drink I had 0 protein in my urine (gosh, i hate the word urine)…and despite having an incredibly stressful morning my blood pressure was the lowest it’s been in weeks! Huzzah!

The lovely midwife there said that all my swelling was normal and that it was common to put more weight/swelling on on your dominant side, so no more worrying about my big fat right leg either.

I got sent home with a warning to call delivery suite if I had pain below my ribcage or a headache that wouldn’t go away with paracetamol. I was also told to drink more water…

I don’t think I could be more pleased right now!…

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

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Full Term!…And 38 Weeks…

Okay, so today I am 38 weeks pregnant, but I totally missed out on my 37 week (aka FULL TERM) update, so I’ll start with that really quickly…

...please excuse my terrible hair and general grotty appearance...

…please excuse my terrible hair and general grotty appearance – also, I’ve realised that Luke is *always* sitting playing Xbox on the bed while I take these…he DOES do other stuff, I promise…

I am terrible at organisation and getting things done. I think it’s because I get a bit too excited about things a bit too quickly, and I let myself think that a) I’m jumping the gun by doing more than writing a list (or two or three), and b) I have LOADS of time to do whatever it is I’m obsessing about.

Take my hospital bags as an example. I knew what was going in them 8 weeks ago, and I knew what I needed to buy to be “ready”. There was no point in packing then and there because I had six weeks ahead of me to do it. Suddenly, SEVEN weeks had gone by and not only was I not packed, but I also didn’t have half of the things I needed.

One major problem was that all the baby clothes remained unwashed…so, I celebrated 37 weeks of pregnancy by doing about 4 loads of washing (and then I spent the remainder of the – very damp – week trying to get it all dry…see, THAT is why you do it early)…

...just some of the washing - and our naughty dogs...

…just some of the washing – and our naughty dogs…

…and then I spent last Tuesday packing and panicking that I didn’t have enough onesies or long sleeved vests. Needless to say, my packing is almost done now. Almost.

I also celebrated by cutting into the gorgeous cake that my sister-in-law had made for my “not a baby shower” party, as I had been reluctant to cut it (aka “ruin it”) at the party itself…

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Oh my god it was delicious. Not cutting it at the party was the best decision ever a bit selfish of me…I have ended up eating a slice (or two…or three) of it most days and I still have a tiny bit left a week later…

And today I’m 38 weeks

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…and boy do I know it…

Our Mini one has dropped so low into my pelvis that I can no longer bend forward or squat without a feeling of sudden sharp pressure on my cervix (sorry, but it’s true), and my legs are now so swollen that they’re vaguely reminiscent of chip shop donner kebabs One good thing about his lower position is that I’ve not suffered acid reflux in the past two days. Hooray for small (very significant) mercies.

I’m also sleeping almost exclusively in the spare room…

Some nights I feel like I might be able to get away with snuggling up to Luke and going to sleep in my own bed, but less than two hours later I’ve either woken myself up with the sound of my snoring, or he’s woken me up to tell me about how loud it is. Most nights I don’t even bother trying, and I just wait til he’s asleep and slink (okay, waddle) off with my pillows. The two of us are missing sharing a bed very very much. I just hope the snoring subsides when the baby is here, otherwise I’ll be keeping ALL of us awake.

Only two weeks left to go now…or four if you’re being negative about it.

I feel like I’m jinxing things by saying it so much, but I really do think he’s going to come early. All day today I have been having period pain-type aches, the odd twinge across my bump and a LOT of cervical pain. Walking has been quite a challenge because of the sudden, sharp stabs (a woman on my birthing forum calls them ‘Fanny Daggers’, which is not only a very good way of describing them, but also makes me laugh like an idiot)…and (AND) as the evening is wearing on I’m starting to get those hot, pulsating back pains again. They’re AGES apart though so are probably indicative of nothing.

I think I’d like him to hang on in there a while longer, but I can’t deny that it’d be good to have the waiting over. The control freak in me does not enjoy the not-knowing part of birth.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

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I Lied…

I may have said that my Epsom salt bath helped my swollen feet…

That was definitely true. Well, at least until I started walking around again.

Approximately four hours after I got out of the bath I had to lie down (propped up with pillows) with my feet up on my swiss ball.

Oh my, oh MY…do they hurt…

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LOOK AT THEM!

It’s like my body knows there’s a nuclear holocaust coming and it needs to hoard enough water to get us through twenty years under ground…

So yeah, Epsom salts for sore muscles?…possibly, yeah.

Epsom salts for swollen feet?…nah, not really…

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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Curing Ham Ankles…

So. I’m swollen.

Feet…

Ankles…

Calves…

Lower back…

Hands…

Lips…

Mouth…

It’s GREAT fun.

Most days I can get a pair of Birkenstock-type sandals on (but not actual Birkenstocks as they don’t expand wide enough…) but this morning I struggled to even get those on without a good deal of squishing. I feel quite a lot like one of Cindarella’s ugly sisters when they’re trying to get that glass slipper on their big fat trotters after the ball.

And then, after the squishing (and the crying and the feeling sorry for myself) Luke and I went to do a bit of standing up in the heat at the Bang Muay Thai interclub event…and that’s when my swollen feet/ankles/legs turned into HAMS OF DOOM. 

Attractive.

So I’ve gotten home and poured myself a cool bath with about half a kilo of Epsom salts in, and my hams of doom seem to be shrinking back down from point of explosion to merely swollen. I’ve also been doing a bit of foot-on-foot massage to help the fluid move. There’s no way I can reach my arms down there anymore…

They’re nowhere near back to “normal” but my feet are definitely a lot better, and I highly recommend an Epsom salt soak to reduce foot swelling as well as ease sore muscles. You do need to use a LOT though. I’ve been getting this kind…

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…from home bargains for about £3 a kilo, but the packet does recommend using between 500-1000g in the bathtub to ease sore, swollen muscles (and, I presume, swollen feet/ankles/legs).

Now I just need to figure out what to use to reduce the swelling in my mouth. I’m sick to death of my massive tongue, my enhanced lisp and the fact that I bite my cheeks ALL THE EFFING TIME…

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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