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braxton hicks

BABY ON BOARD Pregnancy updates

35 Weeks

35-weeks-lifebylotte

The most flattering photos of me now are those in which my face is mostly obscured. Also; check out the new saddlebags. And: too lazy now to even move the washing out of the way. It’s a slippery slope I’m riding…

I turned 35 weeks pregnant yesterday, and now I am really on a countdown! My due date is 26 August, which is now just over a month away, making it feel all the more real.

I’ve had a very lazy week really – the only thing of note was that we finally made it to our NCT classes. I’ve never been a fan of group activities (I’m not one to form friendships at first sight) and was pretty much dreading the whole thing if I’m honest, but I was pleasantly surprised. The other couples were all perfectly lovely and nice, there were shedloads of biscuits, the atmosphere was very relaxed and although (as I had been forewarned) I didn’t exactly learn much (maybe there’s not much to learn?!) I did feel that the classes focused my mind, and made me really think about what I wanted from my ‘birth experience’.

There’s a space in your maternity notes for your ‘Birth Plan’. I didn’t really intend on filling it in before, because as far as I was concerned there was no point planning anything, because everyone I’ve ever known seems to have been taken by surprise at some point during their ‘birth experience’.

birthplan-lifebylotte

Shall resist the urge to write: ‘give birth to baby without either of us dying’

But now, I’m going to add two things: I want skin-to-skin contact with the baby as soon as she’s born (no rushing her off to rub her in towels – this way she will hopefully get to know me straight away) and I don’t want the cord clamped immediately, but left to pulsate for ten mins or so (apparently this gives the baby an extra boost of oxygen and iron from the placenta that can really help her in the first few days). Last one sounds a bit new agey but I don’t see how it can hurt so I reckon it’s worth a try. But of course, all this is if I don’t end up having a c-section etc etc.

We also had an NCT breastfeeding session. The highlowlight of this was watching a video of a pregnant lady hand-expressing her own colostrum (the yellow gunk you make before you make proper breast milk). Basically squeezing it out. We have been encouraged to try this in the shower ourselves. I will not be trying this in the shower myself. I figure it will come out of its own accord when required.

The main message I’ve been receiving re breastfeeding is:

IT CAN BE REALLY HARD. IT’S BEST FOR YOUR BABY BUT IT CAN BE REALLY HARD. IT WILL PROBABLY HURT LOTS AND FILL YOU WITH FRUSTRATION BUT YOU MUST PERSEVERE FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR BABY, YOU SELFISH COW.

It’s not exactly filling me with confidence I have to say, and sometimes I wonder if less knowledge is actually better in these scenarios?

Chip-wise, things have been good I think. She’s been moving loads and I can tell she has proper bones now, IYKWIM. When she moves, her little legs, arms, hands and feet feel properly solid inside me. It’s very reassuring. She spends a lot of time rolling her back from side to side and I *think* her head is still down as my tummy hasn’t really changed shape since she moved into position. Fingers crossed. We’ll find out more at my (eighth!) scan next week.

My tummy in general has gone really hard a few times in the last few days, which has been quite a strange sensation – it feels like a rock. I *think* this may be Braxton Hicks, but it hasn’t felt like contractions at all. I’ve noticed it more just bending forward and realising how stiff it feels. So maybe not BH, but if not, what!?

35-weeks-lifebylotte

Better bump pic at 35 weeks + 1. Check out my new M&S (shock!) loungewear. Loungewear is my new favourite thing

Other than that, all I have to report this week is that I am feeling MASSIVE. I can’t be bothered to walk anywhere because I’m so damn heavy (have put on two stone now in total!) that my legs and feet kill, and I look like a whale in all my clothes. My face has gone from relatively podgy anyway to full-on eighty chins and counting and I feel pretty damn unattractive. I’ve lost the pregnancy ‘glow’ (if indeed I ever had it, which is debatable) and now just look knackered from lack of sleep. I’ve had a properly stuffy nose every night which is making me snore (sorry again Saint Oli) and I don’t really have much energy at all. I’m also massively constipated, which is super fun.

So yes, quite anxious to get Chip out sooner rather than later! Two weeks till full term!

 

BABY ON BOARD Pregnancy updates

30 Weeks

30-weeks

Apologies for the pyjama bottoms, but I AM ON MATERNITY LEAVE! I SHALL NEVER GET DRESSED AGAIN!

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I didn’t manage to do a 29 week post last week. It was my last week at work, and everything was just rather crazy. So this post is going to be a bit of a double whammy, with random musings from the past fortnight.

So! I’m 30 weeks pregnant and Baby Chip is now the size of a cabbage. Don’t I know it. I think I look like I’ve swallowed a basketball today. It’s quite impressive. And more excitingly, yesterday a complete stranger asked me when I was due. I haven’t actually had anyone try and rub my stomach yet though, which is probably a good thing and means my resting bitch face continues to do its job.

Anyway it’s day three of maternity leave and I’m already twitchy – I don’t really like not having anywhere specific to ‘go’ in the mornings, and I’m thinking I need to get into some kind of routine. Exercise could be good, given that my love affair with prenatal yoga was rather short-lived (I kept missing classes because of various work/social life things – whoops). I thought swimming might be a good idea but first of all I need to get over my phobia of public swimming pools. I’m considering investing in a yoga DVD to do at home but my motivation to exercise at home has never been great so I can imagine this may be doomed to failure too.

Symptoms-wise, it’s been a mixed bag lately. The most annoying and most horrible thing are my swollen feet. At the end of the day they are just SO big now, and I can no longer fit into ANY of my shoes. Flip-flops are my only option. But of course flip-flops aren’t great for your back, so after a long time walking around in them I’m in quite a lot of pain. The swelling doesn’t really seem to improve much no matter what I do either. I had hoped that it was the sort of thing that would disappear the second I give birth, but one of my friends told me she still has one swollen foot eight months after her daughter was born! Eeek.

Other than that, I’ve been feeling really tired and not sleeping well at all – instead I’ve been having a weird half-sleep where I am sort of conscious but not fully. The weird dreams continue, but luckily I forget most of them by the time I wake up…

30-weeks-2

Some nicer things: Chip is moving about all the time these days and I can tell he/she is getting much stronger, which is lovely. I can also tell when he/she has changed positions. One of his/her favourite positions, it would seem, is sitting directly on my bladder, giving it random little kicks every so often and making me absolutely convinced that I’m about to wet myself. It’s a very weird feeling: being completely desperate for the loo all of a sudden, but only for a few seconds before he/she shifts out of the way and the sensation disappears.

Talking of going to the loo (sorry), I now do approximately six drops of wee every time I go. It’s like my bladder has shrunk to the size of a thimble. Weird.

oliver-bonas-olivia-bag

But back to the good things: we have ordered the car seat, car seat fixer thing, bedside cot and buggy! I also bought my hospital bag this week – I was in town and saw this (not so) little beauty in Oliver Bonas and decided to treat myself, even though I thought it was probably a bit early. Ironically my 30-week pregnancy email from Bounty then informed me that now was a good time to start packing my hospital bag! So maybe not too early after all. I’m now watching endless hours of YouTube videos on ‘what’s in my hospital bag’ from other pregnant ladies – the list of things needed is pretty extensive. So far I have:

a battery-operated fan (randomly picked up for £1 in PC World, so no doubt will not work by August)
two baby grows
a dressing gown

So yes, still some progress to be made on that front methinks.

I had my 28 week midwife check up last week, which was much better than expected actually. My blood pressure is back down to my normal levels (phew) and although I’m still measuring 2cm behind, the midwife said that this wasn’t anything to worry about. She did, however, worry me by introducing me to the world of the perineum massage, and suggesting that I might like to start doing this to myself. If you don’t know what it is, I suggest you google it. Or don’t google it, depending on your squeamishness levels.

An alternative to the perineum massage is even more alarming: the Epi-No. Here’s a picture:

epi-no-delphine

I’ll leave your imagination to fill in the blanks about how this little device works. Not cheap at £90 (and clearly not something you can resale afterwards) the Epi-No sounds like a REALLY fun way to spend an hour or so every day, don’t you think? I guess once the baby’s born it might be useful for inflating their first birthday party balloons. Sarcasm aside, I am actually considering it, although can’t help fearing that I’ll blow myself up or something.

On a more vain front, I’ve finally had my roots done, and am feeling much more like my old self. I am not sure I’ve talked about this before, but since getting pregnant my skin is so much more sensitive. I’ve had to completely change my normal skincare routine, and then when I last had my hair done, I had an allergic reaction to the organic Aveda colour I’ve used for about eight months now, and developed some really attractive scabs on one side of my scalp.

So I put off getting my roots done for as long as I could bear it, and then decided to go back to my original chemical-laden L’Oreal dye when it all got too much. I had it done on Monday and so far, no reaction at all. I do genuinely believe that organic products are pretty bloody awful for your skin – I had a huge allergic reaction to Neal’s Yard skincare many years ago and clearly my body now also doesn’t like Aveda. Shame, because organic stuff smells much nicer, but I’ll be sticking to peroxide from now on.

On another note, did anyone notice their hair getting darker while they were pregnant? My roots this time seemed almost black, which was a little distressing. Am hoping it’s just a temporary change.

And finally: I have STILL not had any Braxton Hicks. I am feeling left out. If any other mothers hadn’t had any by the time they were 30 weeks, please do come forth and share. Apparently it doesn’t matter that I haven’t had any but it does make me wonder if I will be chronically underrehearsed for the big event at this rate…