It’s been five weeks since I last posted a pregnancy update and I will be completely honest, there have been a few moments when I wasn’t sure we were going to make it to this point. I think I’d be under exaggerating to say that the last five weeks have been nothing but eventful, so there’s plenty to catch you up on.
Contractions at 30 + 2?!
Waking up to sharp pain across my abdomen and along the bottom of my back was quite a shock on what would have otherwise been a fairly normal Wednesday morning. At first I thought perhaps it was a trapped nerve, but as the pains kept on coming intermittently every 5-10 minutes my thoughts quickly turned to contractions. Trying not to panic (myself or anyone else) I ran a warm bath and got in to try and ease them. My efforts at this point were unsuccessful and I ended up calling maternity triage to just talk things through. They said they thought it was probably a UTI and that instead of going to the hospital I should book an appointment with my GP for a urine sample. That’s easier said than done really isn’t it? But anyway I managed to get a telephone consult with the paramedic at the practice who asked me to drop a sample in and head back home to wait for the results. 4 weeks later and I still haven’t heard anything back. I can’t help but feel let down by our local medical practice time and time again. Frankly, if I had in fact been in labour, no one would have even known or seemed to care that it might all be happening 10 weeks early! The pains continued, regularly throughout the day but passed by the time bedtime came around thankfully.
A scary couple of weeks – for reasons other than baby
A couple of days later, after spending the day soaking up some Christmas magic with a visit to Father Christmas, we came home and had dinner as a family before my Mum became very ill as we began to put up our Christmas tree. The weeks of recovery and symptom spotting since have been pretty scary but with any luck we are all hoping she will start to get better over time. Baby boy seemed to settle down and showed no more signs of making his arrival any time soon for a couple of weeks which was one less thing to worry about I guess!
Losing my plug at 32 Weeks Pregnant
That was until I lost my plug at 32 Weeks. Whenever anyone talks about losing their plug, it’s generally a milestone you reach to signify that baby is going to be on their way pretty soon, so unsurprisingly looking down at the stringy mucussy gunk in my knickers made me panic a little. After consulting google my initial instinct that it was my plug was confirmed and so we phoned the maternity ward to see what the best thing to do was, considering I was still 8 weeks away from my due date. The woman I spoke to was quite dismissive and as I wasn’t showing any other signs of labour she didn’t seem in any way worried. The same couldn’t be said for my Mum & Sean who immediately prescribed me a week of bedrest and insisting I lay still and do nothing until baby comes. Hmmm. I’ll be honest, I found the whole thing entirely frustrating because I’ve heard so many stories since of this happening to other women and the plug just growing back. With it being so close to Christmas, being housebound hasn’t exactly been ideal!
I had one day where Braxton Hicks arrived combined with some tummy cramps but they soon stopped after changing position and having a bath so as far as I was concerned baby was sticking in there for a little longer at least!
I gave myself a target of teaching 35 weeks but now things seem to have calmed a bit and we’ve been on our tour of the birthing centre I’m determined to keep baby in until at least 37 weeks.
Baby has always been a non stop mover but now his movements have been taken to a whole new level of strength! My tummy morphs into all sorts of shapes and find myself flinching several times a day where the kicks and turns and wriggles actually hurt! It is lovely to know he’s active and well though, and also to be able to feel his limbs and bottom with my hands through my bump. All of that is a completely new experience as my placenta with Florence was at the front and cushioned so much.
My bump has expanded massively over the last week or so and I can really feel the weight of this little one taking its toll on my back and playing up my SPD. Clothes barely cover my belly now, so I’m down to just a handful of outfits that actually fit.
Baby feels really low down most of the time now too, and I’m finding it hard to cross my legs or sit in any position that’s remotely lady like. I have to wonder if baby might be popping in and out of engagement, but I won’t know for sure until I finally see my midwife again at 36+2. Is it me or is 6 Weeks a long time to go without a midwife appointment at this stage in pregnancy?
I’m struggling with keeping any fluid in for any length of time now and so I end up running to and fro the loo about a hundred times a day. It’s particularly bad at night where I wake up in pain across my back and tummy where I need to pee every other hour and it means I’m getting up at least three or four times a night just to empty my bladder.
A wriggly baby, a pea sized bladder and a bed stealing toddler all mean that actual sleep here is pretty hard to come by. With Florence ditching her nap most days now too, I’m learning to exist on just a couple of hours sleep a night again. At least I’ll be well prepared for newborn feeds. If only I drank coffee!
Closing the world out
As the time for baby’s arrival draws nearer and after such an intense and stressful end to the year, I’ve felt a real protective instinct kick in this week and I find myself wanting to close all the doors, batten the hatches and just quietly spend the time we have left as a family of three. Of course, that’s easier said than done when there are factors out of your control so I’m taking every ounce of peace and snatched moments of quality time I can get and running with them!
Planning a positive birth
I’ve been thinking a lot about birth recently and how, while Florence’s birth was far from traumatic, I didn’t feel at all in control throughout. This time I want to take a bit more ownership of what’s going on and so I’ve enrolled on a digital hypno-birthing course with The Positive Birthing Company*. I’m going to do a full dedicated post on my hopes and preferences for labour and birth either this week or next week so if that’s something you’re interested in keep your eyes peeled for that.
What’s baby up to?
Baby boy has been pretty busy over the last five weeks and has grown to roughly the size of a cantaloupe. He’s had a real growth spurt, can move his head and limbs freely, has toenails, fingernails and hair, started to gain fat which will help him stay warm once born and most importantly, his lungs have been busy maturing ready to make sure he can breathe when he arrives earth side.
I told you it had been an eventful time didn’t I? For the next few weeks my focus is going to be firmly on trying to relax mentally and remembering to take the time to just breathe. Sean hopefully returns to work after what has been a very long 7 weeks without any which will be a big weight off of our minds and with any luck 2019 and the final countdown to baby boy’s arrival will slightly less dramatic than recent times.
JUST SO YOU KNOW…
I have been gifted a digital pack from the Positive Birthing Company in return for a full review once the baby is here.