Bumpdate: Week 38

Weight: 6.8 pounds
Length: 19.61 inches
Winter melon

I guess this was a massive week for firsts:
first week on maternity leave
first health visitor appointment
first day time NCT meet up (for me anyway)
first time in SINGLE FIGURES on our d-day countdown

I cannot believe how busy I have been! We started off the week celebrating on Monday morning by going out for breakfast at Bills in Highcross. It was a great start to my leave, made even more special by the staff, who were all lovely, but especially Lizzie from BabyBeazle, you can check out her adventures here;
)
She has just got back from a year working at Disney and was probably the best waitress we’ve had in such a long time!!! She was genuinely lovely and made our first day really special.

My very first health visitor appointment also went without a hitch, despite what some of my friends and family had said about health visitors in other local authorities, ours was great; friendly, full of useful information about local services and not at all nosy! I had been a little apprehensive about the thought of a pre-baby meeting, thinking it might be treated like an RSPCA home-check, but it was nothing like that and actually quite reassuring to know who will be coming (and roughly when) after Pip is here.

Over the last couple of midwife appointments, my bump has been measuring smaller and smaller compared to where we should be on the average curve, however this week he must have done some serious growing as we are right back on the average line again. While we weren’t worried about the smaller measurements, it’s nice to see that everything is “normal” again. Although, like the health visitor said; with a small bump, you could have lots of fluid and a tiny baby, or very little fluid and a large baby, until he comes out, we just aren’t going to know.

At the beginning of the week I was very much symptom spotting all the time. I have been counting down to maternity leave for ages, but now that has started the only thing left to countdown to is for him to arrive. Despite what I had hoped was some positive symptoms at the beginning of the week (some very light spotting over the weekend) it didn’t turn into anything more and I am now trying to come to terms with the fact that all the statistics say it is very likely he will be late and I am just going to have to be patient! That is much easier said than done as I can’t help but want to meet him right now!!!

We were really good at shortlisting names back around christmas time… and again a few weeks ago, but we still haven’t officially settled on Pip’s actual name. This week, we decided that we had better start seriously talking about what we will call him (before he ends up as “Pip” forever) and after a very brief conversation in bed one night, we realised that we were both on the same page and are pretty happy with the same number one name. Only time will tell if this actually becomes his name as anything could happen between now and him arriving, but we think we might finally be down to a single name on the shortlist!

Advertisements

Bumpdate: Week 37

Weight: 6.3 pounds
Length: 19.13 inches
Romaine Lettuce

We are now officially at “full term” and if Pip was to be born right this second he’d probably be ok and wouldn’t even need a ventilator, which is some pretty exciting stuff, especially after the adventure that was last weekend. Part of me is really hoping for an early baby; I don’t want him to be so early that he’s in any increased danger, but it would be lovely to meet him sooner rather than later.

We spent easter weekend just relaxing and catching up on Game of Thrones, which we started last weekend while we were away, but hadn’t managed to get as far as expected due to me being so sick. We more than made up for it over the long weekend though and even considered whether there was a Game of Thrones name that wasn’t too ridiculous that could make our shortlist. It turns out the boys names on the show just aren’t as usable as the girls names; I can’t even begin to imagine a Tyrion or a Loros, although thinking about it we could have a Jon, Rob or a Theon… possibly even a Ned wouldn’t be too out there based on the grandad-style names that are popular at the moment!

This is my last week at work, all 4 days of it, and I am definitely ready to finish now. While i’m still not too uncomfortable, or tired, during the day, I am starting to feel ready to hand over and allow myself to spend more time thinking about house things and baby things, instead of just making lists to deal with later.

We finished the working week with a live vlog as we had finally reached 1000 subscribers. This is something that we had been really hoping to do before Pip arrives and we have achieved it! I’m not sure how well it went as we were both bouncing off the walls excited about the start of my maternity leave and the (hopefully) imminent arrival of our little boy, but if you want to check out just how happy we were, you can still see it here:

Bumpdate: Week 36

Weight: 5.78 pounds
Length: 18.66 inches
Papaya

This week was our two year wedding anniversary, and we wanted to go away to celebrate (last year we went to Cheltenham) but knowing that I was going to be 8 months pregnant, we didn’t want to commit to an expensive hotel that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy if the travelling turned out to be too difficult for me. Instead, we decided to spend the weekend at a caravan park in the Lake District which was a low cost, low pressure option in a beautiful location.

The journey turned out to be ok; we took loads of breaks on the drive up and didn’t end up arriving until about 11pm, but I stayed awake for the whole trip and wasn’t too uncomfortable.

It was lucky we had the place to ourselves because I woke up early on Saturday morning generally uncomfortable; I couldn’t work out if I was hungry or thirsty, so I had an apple and some water and then instantly wanted to be sick. The pain got slowly worse until it was a sharp pain lasting no more than a minute or two and coming and going really often. I could not do anything to alleviate the sharp pain, although changing position and walking circles around the living room did help with some of the discomfort. I had really started to think that it could be proper contractions at only 36 weeks, in the middle of nowhere!

In the end, I decided to have a shower, which helped enormously, although I was still getting some pain on and off the worst of it completely dissipated in the warm water. After about 3 hours, although I was feeling a bit better, we called the midwife office (in Leicestershire) and she thought it was probably not contractions as I could hold a conversation with her but arranged for an appointment with the local drop in centre so that I could be checked over.

By the time we made it to the appointment, I was not in any more acute pain and just had a little discomfort that was no worse than the Braxton Hicks contractions I have been experiencing earlier this week, so there was nothing for the doctor to do and he sent us on our way again.

I was so glad that we had packed both mine and Pip’s hospital bags in the car with my maternity notes, just in case, because I felt quite prepared. While the whole situation wasn’t perfect, having a Cumbrian baby wasn’t too scary a concept for me and I definitely feel ready for him to arrive as soon as he’s ready!

After our trip was over, we had a scheduled midwife appointment for week 36 where my bump was measuring quite small, but still within the “normal” category so we were told it was nothing to worry about. Also, the midwife wasn’t completely sure if he was still engaged, but ultimately decided that he probably was still 1/5 engaged just the same as last time. I was really hoping that we would have progressed a little, but there is plenty of time for that yet as I still have one more week left at work!

Bumpdate: Week 35

Weight: 5.25 pounds
Length: 18.19 inches
Pineapple

I had an appointment this week to collect a 24 hour heart rate monitor, wearing it was a real pain as I struggled to find clothes that were baggy enough (with my bump) to fit around the monitor and all the wires!

Time will tell if they found anything unusual on it, but I am hoping no news is good news, as I did it at the beginning of the week and still haven’t been given any results from the test… who knows how long it will take, but if it was something problematic i’d hope that they would get back to me asap.

This week I think I have found the first of my stretch marks; I have symmetrical horizontal lines around the centre of my bump. Strangely, they are already silvery coloured, which I wasn’t expecting, so i’m still slightly hopeful that they aren’t actual stretch marks but just other marks that will fade to nothing…

We have still not managed to narrow down our three name shortlist to anything more specific, so this week I decided that the best way to know that we have chosen the “right name” for Pip was to go back to the drawing board. I scrapped all of the names that we had so far and went back to looking at name websites, the “Top 200 Names of 2016” list and “Names Inspired By…” collections and drew up an entirely new long list of about 10-15 names. Then I showed Chris. There were a couple that he didn’t like and veto’ed straight away (Im sure Pip will thank him in the long run for that) and there were some that he really liked. After a long chat on the park, we now have nearly an entirely new shortlist of our 3 current favourite names and surprisingly only one of these is from our original shortlist!

I’m not going to give away any clues to the names we are thinking about though, and to be honest, they could change at any moment. The only way to know for sure is for you to come back to check on us after he is born to find out what we have chosen.

Bumpdate: Week 34

Weight: 4.73 pounds
Length: 17.72 inches
Butternut squash

This was my last 5 day work week pre-Pip, although I still have almost a month left to work, after this week I have:
Week 35: 4 day week (holiday on friday)
Week 36: 3 day week (holiday on monday and bank holiday on friday)
Week 37: 4 day week (bank holiday on monday)
Week 38: maternity leave starts here!

At the moment I’m still feeling really good, but I can imagine that the slightly shorter weeks will make the next month a little bit easier.

We had a midwife appointment again this week, and from now on they will be every 2 weeks until week 40. For once, we actually got to see the same midwife 2 weeks in a row and it was really nice to get some consistency. At our 31 week appointment, the midwife checked his position and told us that he was 1/5 engaged; this week she wasn’t so sure, but in the end has decided that he’s still at 1/5 (I really wish I knew more about what that means!)

For some reason this week, I decided that now was the right time and I really needed to learn to crochet. So i started watching youtube videos and actually managed to get myself quite addicted! It is so much easier than I remember from my previous attempts and I am considering packing some in my holiday bags to take to the caravan next week. I can only imagine it’s some sort of nesting, as what I’d really like to do is make things for Pip. As I am an absolute beginner, that is completely impossible, but I might start thinking about a (very small) blanket that I can add to over time.

Bumpdate: Week 33

Weight: 4.23 pounds
Length: 17.2 inches
Celery

This week started with a baby shower all organised and arranged by a friend who lives over 100 miles away. The event and guest list wasn’t a surprise, but I had no idea what to expect when we arrived.

We had a lovely afternoon tea and played some games, including 2 versions of adult pass the parcel which were really complicated, and therefore hilarious! She had also printed some predictions cards; the first asked us to complete sentences about our wishes for Pip, things like:

“I hope you learn…” and “I hope you love…”

and the second was a host of “predictions” were everyone had to guess the time and date that Pip would be born, then things about him – like, hair and eye colour, length and weight … and most importantly NAME!

IMG_2937

It was really lovely to see what everyone has written for their wishes, there were some really beautiful ones, but I really can’t wait to see whose predictions are the most accurate. Although I am pretty confident that no one has predicted his name – unless we drastically change our minds!!!

I felt completely spoiled throughout the entire day, mostly as people had travelled so far to come to celebrate Pip, but above all I couldn’t believe the amount of gifts he (we) received!!!

IMG_2787

In addition to the whole wardrobe of outfits Pip received (he now has significantly more than me) we also received a car seat and base as well as a cotbed, from Pip’s soon-to-be-grandparents. These have kept Chris quietly occupied this week with building and installing.

Now the car seat is in the car and both Pip and I have hospital bags packed; I am feeling pretty prepared. It’s still really early for him to make an appearance, but if he chooses to – i think we’re ready for him now.

Bumpdate: Week 32

Weight: 3.75 pounds
Length: 16.69 inches
Squash
At 32 weeks + 30 minutes (i.e.. half past midnight on Saturday morning) Chris and I were chatting in bed about Pip and feeling for him kick when my whole belly went really hard. There were all sorts of lumps and bumps; I’m pretty certain that I could feel an arm everything was so tight. I have remarked on how tight my tummy has been a couple of times in the last few weeks (I don’t even know when it started happening) and I haven’t thought much more of it, but when we googled it, it turns out it’s been Braxton Hicks contractions this whole time! For some reason I thought that BH only happened in the lower half of your stomach, and I expected to feel them from the inside, so it didn’t even cross my mind that’s what it was. I am so excited to be able to say that I have “started having contractions” … even if they are just practice ones for now!
Symptoms this week include light headedness again which is a bit scary! I hope this feeling doesn’t remain until the end of my pregnancy (or even worse, it could be nothing to do with Pip and this could just be my new normal.) I can live with the threat of passing out at any time, as it happens to me somewhat regularly anyway but I’m terrified of the thought of looking after a newborn and possibly passing out!
Again, it was Monday morning that it all happened; 15 minutes earlier than last week according to my colleagues. It started with me instantly feeling exhausted in a meeting first thing, then I got really hot and light headed and had to put my head down.
After all the advice I got last week (and the reading I did afterwards)
  1. Opened a window behind me – the paramedics did this last week and I felt a lot better for it
  2. I had a handful of sweets from my emergency supply – low blood sugar
  3. I had a half pint of water – low blood pressure / dehydration
  4. I lowered my head (although putting it between my knees is getting harder and harder
It wasn’t until a colleague brought a desk top fan for me that it started to pass. I don’t know if the cause of the whole incident was just me getting too hot, or whether it was all of my treatments that just took some time to work, but the fan is staying planted on my desk (and I really hope that I don’t need it again next Monday!)

Bumpdate: Week 31

Weight: 3.31 pounds
Length: 16.18 inches
Asparagus

Luckily my leg cramps are over again, although this week I have had a rather more unpleasant symptom… light headedness.

Now I know what you’re thinking; that doesn’t sound too bad, right?! Surely everyone gets a little light headed from time to time? Why don’t you just sit down for a moment and let it pass? Is that REALLY a pregnancy symptom?!

The truth is, it might not actually be a pregnancy symptom, but the fact that I am pregnant (and at 31 weeks too, if anyone is counting) makes it a whole lot worse!

It’s a long story, so I will try to keep it brief. The day started like most other Mondays, I had breakfast and went to work; everything was fine. Early on I started to feel a bit dizzy and funny, but it passed. Then suddenly, I didn’t know if I was going to faint or throw up, I asked a colleague to come over and by the time he got from his desk to my desk to help me up, I was much worse and the second I stood up… BAM, I passed out… I really shouldn’t have stood up.

My work colleagues were worried and called an ambulance (who arrived in under 6 minutes by the way!) the paramedics said I had low blood pressure, that wasn’t going back up and although everything seemed ok, they wanted to get Pip checked out “just in case.”

Off we went in the ambulance to the first hospital of the day, with me feeling like a bit of a fraud and with Chris following in the car to bring me home again afterwards.

However, it was about to get a whole lot more interesting as I fainted again in the ambulance, from a horizontal position – I didn’t even know that was possible, which meant that now I had to get checked out too (something about p-waves) and the first hospital wouldn’t take me if I was an “emergency” so off we went to the second hospital… with the blue lights flashing and the siren wailing, Chris now more than a little further behind in the city traffic and me definitely not feeling like a fraud anymore!

Luckily, everything turned out ok. I had to wait to see a cardiologist, which took about 10 hours, but I was allowed to go home as soon as he was done with me. All the while plugged in to various machines, but I had no further “episodes.” I was diagnosed with low blood pressure (nothing new there,) low blood sugar (despite having had breakfast,) and a sporadic heart rate and told to lie down if I felt like that again.

If you still want more information on the most eventful day this week, check out our daily vlog, here;

The following day I had a standard midwife appointment, did I mention that we are at 31 weeks this week? Where I tried to summarise what had happened the previous day, she really didn’t think it was a problem and I was informed that most women have low blood pressure during pregnancy because your blood vessels dilate and so the pressure within reduces. This is the polar opposite of what everyone at the hospital had told me, who said that you have more fluid and up to 1/3 more blood during pregnancy, therefore the pressure in your blood vessels is INCREASED, so I really don’t know what to think.

Either way, low blood pressure is normal for me and the rest of the week went without a hitch, so hopefully whatever was going on has stopped and it’s plain sailing from here for the next 9 weeks.

At the midwife appointment, I was told that bump is measuring “normal,” all bloods came back “normal” and there is still no cause for concern about gestational diabetes, which is all great news. Also, at my next appointment we will be discussing birth plans, which is so exciting as mine has been written for about 3 weeks!!!

Bumpdate: Week 30

Weight: 2.91 pounds
Length: 15.71 inches
Courgette

This was quite possibly the busiest week of my life, and it wasn’t particularly easy to get through at 30 weeks pregnant!

My week looked like this:
Monday – NCT Class
Tuesday – Walking tour of DMU campus
Wednesday – NCT Class
Thursday – Dinner with Sarah
Friday – Dinner with NCT Class

As you can see, it was very NCT focussed! I have really enjoyed getting to know all the other couples, but I have really not enjoyed the pace of the classes. In the 7 days (from Wednesday to Wednesday) we had 3 classes and its really hard going at this point, when all I want to do after work is curl up on the sofa.

I think the classes would have been much more enjoyable if they were once a week, on a given day (instead of randomly being on sundays/mondays/wednesdays) or even once a fortnight and had started earlier before our due dates. This would have given us all time to get to know each other and discuss the pregnancies as they were progressing, instead of it all being crammed into 3 weeks right at the end.

I also made the mistake of putting a pair of heels on this week at work. My flats were at the end of their life and I hadn’t got around to going shopping for more yet, but I figured it would be ok as I don’t have to go anywhere while I’m at work so I would just wear heels at my desk. Bear in mind that I haven’t worn heels, at all, in MONTHS at this point and it WAS fine, until I stood up from my desk!

My hips instantly hurt so badly, that I spent the rest of the day in the office in my socks, and was forced to go to shoe shopping the next day!

Bumpdate: Week 29

Weight: 2.54 pounds
Length: 15.2 inches
Acorn Squash

NCT class was busy this week, we started with a 5 hour class on sunday all about birth, and had another class on wednesday about the first few weeks of life with a newborn.

We also went to the Mothercare New Parent Event on Monday night which marked the start of some big sales for them. It would have been a great night to go to at the beginning of the pregnancy, as they has speakers on pushchairs (and travel systems!), car seats and cots, but unfortunately we have already done our research and didn’t learn anything new from the event. The whole thing was a bit like a TopShop lock in (from my student days) with drinks and nibbles and sales, but a whole lot more civilised!!!

I can’t believe how close we are to Pip being due now, and soon we get to put all of this learning in to practice.