Thursday, 25 June 2015

41 Weeks Pregnant

Today I'm 41 Weeks, 2 days, or as the hospital staff refer to it, "term + 9". This week has been very difficult, with many hours of non-progressing contractions, restlessness, 2 'stretch & sweeps' and more crying episodes. Every morning when I wake up, still pregnant, I get more discouraged, frustrated and depressed. It's so hard to maintain enthusiasm when every day, you think this could be it, and every morning, you realise it wasn't. I'm scared of being induced, because I don't want the interventions to result in a c-section and difficult recovery, but I'm also scared of going through this prolonged early labour for many more days and then still ending up with a c-section, despite all of my efforts to avoid it.

Rationally, I know that once the baby is here, all of this will just be a blur leading up to the wonderful moment of meeting him/her, and it will all feel worthwhile. At the moment, though, that is seriously difficult to imagine. It is much easier to imagine being pregnant and uncomfortable forever, outgrowing my maternity clothes and never being able to drink alcohol again--because that is the life I've known for the past 41 weeks and 2 days, and I'm losing the ability to picture the next stage quite as clearly...

On a happier note, there are plans in the works to actually get the baby here within the next few days, and my mom's coming on Saturday. I can't wait to see both of them!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Oakwell Hall

Last Friday Richard surprised me with a day out at Oakwell Hall--we had a nice walk around the gardens, ice cream at the tea room, and then went to lunch at a nearby pub
Our last visit was on our 1st wedding anniversary, 6 Sept 2013. I love having a personal connection to this amazing historical site, and being able to visit & remember our lovely wedding day!

39 weeks, 3 days

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

40 Weeks Pregnant

Yesterday was my due date, and I've got very mixed emotions. On the one hand, making it to the due date (or even going past) means that I've been lucky enough to have a full-term, uncomplicated pregnancy. After years of reading the Spohr family's blog and learning about prematurity and NICU experiences, I know that making it to 40 weeks is not something to take for granted. We have had such an easy time of it, compared with a lot of people--no morning sickness, no gestational diabetes, no pre-eclampsia, etc. I'm very thankful for that!

On the other hand, my gratitude for a full-term pregnancy does not mean that I'm not impatient to be done. For the past week or so, I've been a mess--mood swings, crying, getting annoyed at silly little things, etc. Richard keeps telling me that I'm "doing so well," and people are still telling me that look well & 'blooming', and I'm glad it looks that way to others, because on the inside, I'm definitely having a hard time keeping it together. I just want to finally meet our baby--see what it looks like, try breastfeeding, read it all of these board books we've been picking up, dress it in the clothes we've been buying, stop referring to it as 'it,' etc. 

The statistics on due dates show that they're not very accurate predictions--only 5% of babies are born on their due dates, and 40-50% of first time moms go past their due date. Natural childbirth advocates like Ina May Gaskin are against the idea of babies being 'overdue,' even after 42 weeks (as long as baby is not in distress and placenta is still working, obviously), and even my midwife said today that they really do try to think of it as a 'due month' rather than a 'due date', because 2 weeks either way is completely normal and healthy. Inductions have plenty of risks, and they need to be weighed against the risks of going past term. If I go past 41 weeks, I'm willing to be induced at the midwife-recommended time--for my emotional well-being, as well as avoiding the potential risks of going past 42 weeks.

At today's midwife appointment, everything still looked ok. They weren't able to do a 'stretch and sweep', but apparently that's common at this stage for first pregnancies. Baby's head is well engaged, though, so that's great news. He/she is very long, though, according to the midwife. My next midwife appointment is scheduled for next Wednesday at 41 weeks and 1 day--let's hope that baby comes this week and I don't make it to that one!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

39 Weeks Pregnant

I have been feeling so much better since the baby dropped over the weekend! From what I'd heard about 'engagement', I thought I'd be trading heartburn and breathlessness for waddling. That hasn't really happened--I'm not waddling and my heartburn is still sticking around, although I can breathe a lot better. I had a lot of lower back pain and hip pain on Friday and Saturday but now I'm feeling great! On Monday I had a burst of energy and got some nesting tasks done, too, so hopefully that means baby won't take too much longer to make an appearance.

On Saturday we went to the annual Leeds Food & Drink Festival

Richard had a beef brisket & porter pie with a half-pint of Italian porter from the Kirkstall Brewery, and I had delicious pulled-pork nachos (too busy eating to take a picture of them, lol) from El Kantina

Trying out the rocking chair--do these horizontal stripes make me look pregnant? Lol!

Last night we did one more finishing touch on the nursery--Richard hung these alphabet cards that I found online here. They came out so well!

Our stash of board books has outgrown the shelf--Baby Bettie is off to a good start!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

38 Weeks Pregnant

At around 7 lbs and full length, Baby Bettie is nearly ready for the outside world! Last week was officially full term, so his/her lungs are functional but there are still some final touches to the brain & nervous system going on at this stage. We're getting so excited to meet him/her--wondering what baby will look like, who they'll take after in looks or personality, etc. I'm also getting tired of saying him/her and I can't wait to find out if we have a son or a daughter! 

I'm still feeling pretty good, considering I'm at full term now. I'm happy to keep him/her cooking for another couple of weeks, but I would really love it if he/she would drop. The midwife commented today that the baby feels very long, with head down and legs and butt in a line right under my lungs, which explains why I can't breathe these days. On the bright side, I'm proud of still being able to put my socks & shoes on and the fact that my engagement & wedding rings still fit!

We've been trying to keep active and get out and about while we wait for baby's arrival--May had two bank holidays, so that helped! We've been to Bolton Abbey and Skipton over the past couple of weekends.
The bluebells are in bloom at Bolton Abbey--so gorgeous!