Thursday, 5 February 2015

Fucking fungus.

Sigh. Now the bubs has a thrush rash all over his little body. Fucking fungus! Will this yeast never go away? I am on more antifungal meds and I have to plaster him with cream but how can I zap all of it? It is everywhere.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Feeding woes

This breastfeeding malarky does not get easier. I told people I was more afraid of breastfeeding than I was of giving birth, and I think this is still valid. It is so effing hard. I had another lady visiting me at home today to zap my nipples with a lazer as my nipples are totally messed up and cracked and blistered and not healing. Things had been going fairly well, my left boob always tends to upset the baby and make him pull on and off and twist the nipple and scream etc, just generally a hellish experience, but I somehow hoped it would improve in time. I am so stubborn I just kept trying and trying, and my nipple got more and more messed up. People always say breastfeeding will improve with time. But it just got worse and worse and now the other nipple is cracking and hurting too. It got to the point where I was starting to dread feeding him, which is not helpful as he needs to feed every two to three hours and I can't keep dreading every feed. And there is no formula left in the house. So I finally called the physio lady for some help for my destroyed nipples.

Apparently I have thrush on my nipples and this is why they are not healing. What a bitch. Already had thrush down there and on the baba too. This all stems from the fact that I had to take antibiotics for the mastitis. Ugh the neverending cycle of complications. I have spent a fortune at the pharmacy since I gave birth. I have never really taken medicine or had health complications of any kind until now. I am suddenly becoming familiar with all sorts of chemical compounds. And even though I am a scientist and an utter sceptic, I allowed my midwives to persuade me to buy homeopathic remedies (which are good for a sugar boost at least). One midwife told me to take a homeopathic remedy to turn the baby from posterior to anterior. Because there is a herb that can perform such complicated mechanics... even if it was not diluted into nothingness... and I actually bought it. It was the day before I went into labour so you could argue it was too late but needless to say it did not work.

So now I have a cornucopia of medicines to take and put on my nipples and feed the baby. I really really hope that once the thrush goes away my nipples can heal and then things can really get easier just like all the midwives keep saying. The bub has been gaining like a champ so far and it seems like such a waste of pain, effort and trauma to give up breastfeeding just when it is supposed to get easier so I guess I will keep trying a bit longer.

I had really hoped to pump milk and let G feed the bub once a day, but we tried yesterday and I couldn't pump! Milk did not come out and my nipples were in sheer agony and I even have a bruise on one breast.This totally freaked me out and now I question how much food the poor bubs is getting. He has started feeding much more frequently. Ugh the constant fear and panicking. He is only going to be weighed in two weeks so I really hope he does not lose weight. I had been pumping like a maniac in the first week (back when my nipples were not so sore, oh the good old days) but then I got lazy and stopped. Now I want to pump again to increase my supply for him but I can't, it is too damn painful and nothing came out! I hope if my nipples heal a bit that I can try again, but it may be that we cannot do a bottle feed with him because apparently if you wait too long to give a baby a bottle they won't take it. Ergh. He has taken pretty much everything we can shove in his mouth so far, so maybe he will buck this trend. We will see.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Baby L: weeks 3 and 4

Weeks 3 and 4 were definitely easier than the first two weeks. We had baby L's first clinic appointment with a lovely lady, and he had gained even more weight by then. The nurse was more concerned about me than the baby, as she says that the little ones are very robust. Haha. It felt good actually, her concern. At that stage I was still not doing so well. We were getting a fairly good breastfeeding rhythm going but my nether regions were not doing so well and I was still feeling pretty weak and faint all the time. Going out was always a challenge. Sitting was hell. turns out I had a terrible thrush rash down there that was making everything even more painful than before. Baby L also got a mild thrush rash on his butt, which caused us much panic but it cleared up in about two days, thank goodness. I had to put Canestan down there which was daunting but the rash seemed to clear and then things definitely improved down there. Still have postpartum bleeding though. After 9 months of no period, this seems like the period from hell.

We felt so good after seeing the nurse/midwife. She is lovely and full of advice and help and so calming.  I felt quite cared for as well which does help. She told us that milk production with the hormone prolactin kicks in when I am asleep (it is really true, I always wake up with full boobs!) and so I should be resting a lot, basically just feeding the baby and resting. Of course that is easier said than done but with an amazing guardian angel like G I did lots of resting until he had to go back to work on week 4.

Oh man I was bummed when he had to go back to work. He helped SO much. He was chief nappy changer and helped in a million ways. The baby is also easier to calm when he is around as the smell of milk on me seems to make him quite wild. But I survived the first week on my own, not that I was really on my own for most of it, as my mom was there too. But I did find it hard. Some days he just cries, feeds, gets changed and then cries again. No naps at all. Other days he is better. I think he misses his dad, who is far more capable than me. His dad also takes him for walks around the garden, whereas I spend most of the day topless and rarely venture outside.

Today (start of week 5 but his 4 week appointment) we went back to the clinic and Squirmy weighed 4.5kg! So he gained half a kilogram in two weeks, which is on the high end of the curve. What a heffalump. He is getting really heavy and I already struggle to lift him. I have wrist strain from hoisting him up. He is so tall and needs to eat so much, I just hope I can keep up with his food demands. It feels like I have been breastfeeing for a lifetime but it has only been 3 weeks. I hope things continue to improve and we can keep this going.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Baby L: week 2

Week two of baby L's life does not stick out in my mind like week one, but it was still pretty tough. My mom was still around helping and cooking for us and that was so great. G was home (he took 3 weeks off) and so things could have been worse.

That week I figured out that we had been underfeeding the little guy because my milk supply was very low due to all the interruptions in feeding. After some panic and tears this brought me to mad bouts of pumping after every feed to increase my supply. My poor boobs were raw and my wrist nearly fell off because I had a manual pump. At some point G bought me an electric pump as well. These things cost a fortune, as so many things related to babies do, but it was taking forever to pump both boobs manually each time. It took a while for my supply to increase and I spent my nights alone in our room pumping and dripping milk everywhere and sterilising everything again and again. We supplemented baby L with my pumped milk quite a lot.  We have breastmilk ice cubes in the freezer right now.

I cannot remember which day it was or even which week it was when I decided to stop pumping and trust my boobs. It was probably week 3. But since then I am exclusively breastfeeding and I am not sure if I am producing enough for the the little guy.

After all that frantic feeding and pumping we were still scared and upset about him being underfed. G took him to the medical clinic across the road from our flat and on the Friday he had regained his birth weight. This was the target we had needed to meet and we had met it!

Despite all the guidelines of allowing only boob into a baby's mouth for the first 6 weeks (in the first week of his life baby L had sucked on boobs, bottles, syringes, fingers and dummies) baby L was fine. He taught himself how to latch better and breastfeeding improved quite a lot.

Now in week 4 I still have one badly mauled nipple and we do still have other breastfeeding challenges but things are easier than weeks one and two, that is for sure! I am sure my mom thought I was insane when I was doing all that pumping but she never had any issues with breastfeeding or with supply. She never ever had to pump.

I am hoping to not need to pump again until it is time to introduce Squirmy to a bottle so that G can do at least one feed with him. They advise to do this at 6 weeks. I am hoping Squirmy will take to the bottle, as he had no trouble with it before. But some babies just won't take a bottle. We will see. Also if his weight is not so great I may need to start pumping again to improve my milk supply. Ugh. Let's hope for the best at the clinic.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Baby L: week one

I have been trying to write baby L's birth story but at the moment it is insanely long. I keep wanting to add every minute detail so that I don't forget anything, even all the gory details (the 3 Ps - pee poop and puke all made appearances for example :P ) and it gets longer and longer. It is not the type of thing anyone wants to read other than me but I want to finish it.

The first week of baby L's life was quite a toughie. It started out in hospital, which was amazing. I mean, I was all broken up and in a bad state but still, the nurses were like angels. I was meant to go into a general ward (I would have had it to myself as not a lot of babies are born at one time in my hospital) but because the whole birth was a bit traumatic and I was not doing thaaat well (kept nearly passing out, I think due to dehydration and low blood sugar and also I lost a fair amount of blood) and had a big wound etc G decided to pay for the room where he could stay in the hospital too. He stayed both nights I was there. It was very expensive. But it was AMAZING. He is amazing. He went from 0 to amazing dad in a few seconds. He is so good with the baby. It may have something to do with the fact that baby L and I did not get to do skin to skin bonding after birth so the midwife gave him to G and made G take his shirt off. Those two do have an amazing bond.

I was pretty out of it the first day, on a drip and a catheter and all sorts of things, but the angel nurses tried to teach us how to breastfeed and change nappies etc. G was a natural, me not so much. I found breastfeeding hard. Most of the nurses were great but one told me he had a good latch when he didn't and I was basically almost screaming from the pain. I am pretty sure none of the nurses though I would stick with breastfeeding. The rest of the time was touch and go. The big problem was that Squirmy would not wake up to feed. He slept 6 hours at a time and we did not know that this was bad. Then the nurses told us to wake him up but we had no idea how to rouse him. He slept like the dead. Only on day two did someone mention jaundice to us. I really wish he had had the jaundice treatment while we were in hospital but for some reason they just left it and waited to see if it would go away. It was pretty bad and he was really yellow. When the paediatrician came around I asked him about ABO incompatibility which I had heard could  cause quite bad jaundice. He looked surprised and then asked the baby's blood type. We had not been told. He asked the nurses to find out and sure enough baby L was A and I am O which means we could have incompatibility. All of a sudden they took the jaundice more seriously because ABO jaundice can take longer to clear. But still no treatment. I am so glad I had heard of the ABO incompatibility or maybe they would not have checked.

In the hospital we ate well and slept fairly well and felt cared for by the wonderful nurses. Private health care in South Africa is really amazing I have to say. I wish everyone could experience such angel nurses.

Going home was a shock to the system. As we were leaving my midwife told us that they wanted him to stay for jaundice therapy. As we were freaking leaving. This meant if I wnted to breastfeed I would have to stay in the hospital but would have to pay as medical aid only covers two nights. We were sad, especially G, who is my guardian angel and did not want to leave us after being with me 24/7 for the previous two days. Then the midwife said it was possible to hire the jaundice equipment and do the treatment at home. We thought it was a 12 hour treatment like at the hospital, so we said ok, and the medical aid would cover it too. We did not realise what we were getting ourselves into.

My milk was coming in that day but I had successfully fed squirmy in the hospital and it seemed like breastfeeding was going to work.

When we got home he immediately demanded to be fed and I was happy because he seemed to finally have gotten himself onto a 2 hour schedule like he was supposed to be. Then the jaundice lady came and explained that for the next 3 days we would have to keep Squirmy under her lamp 24 hours a day and he could not wear clothes so we would have to find ways to keep him warm. And he had to wear a blindfold the entire time.

It was so so awful for us. Both G and I were traumatised by blindfolding our little one. He would pull it off so we did not sleep for those 3 days. G would let him sleep on his tummy with the lamp on the both of them and apart from that there was no sleep to be had. We also worried constantly about his temperature. We both wished very much that we had gotten the professionals to do the treatment. Oh well. We all survived somehow. Me with more than a few tears along the way.

Back to our first day home all of a sudden my left boob jammed up. It was engorged but also infected just like that. From baby L being able to feed on it to him screaming and refusing to eat every time I offered it to him. All the advice says that if you are engorged or have mastitis you must get the baby to feed like normal, but he refused. So I had no choice but to feed him from the right only. Later that night the exact same thing happened to my right boob. Total blocked flow and infection. So we had a screaming naked blindfolded baby who could not eat.

I had been told that if you give your baby a bottle or formula before 6 weeks then the baby will never breastfeed again, so we kept trying with the boob, but eventually we had to admit defeat and G ran out to buy formula. I was in some distress over this but we had to let baby eat and help him to clear the jaundice.

The next morning I was in quite a state and asked the jaundice lady what the heck I was supposed to do (she is a midwife). I was sure my breastfeeding days were already over and was very upset. Also I was in a lot of pain from infection and jammed milk ducts. She called my midwife for me and she came over in the morning (all of these midwife ladies are angels too. It is amazing the support you can get as a new mom). She told me I had mastitis in both boobs ALREADY, probably because of retained fluid from the drip I had been on. She helped me use a pump (I was not going to buy one as I had no idea what I would use it for but at the last minute I asked G to go out and buy me one, glad I did). My left nipple was horribly chewed and damaged from the baby's hysterical attempts to feed. Sadly that nipple is still totally deformed and damaged and feeding is affected. She also helped me massage the blocked ducts, but he still would not feed on that boob. We managed to get him to feed on the right one though. The midwife then had to go deliver a baby and told me to hire lactation consultants to help me rectify the boob situation. She recommended that I hire two, one for each of the next feeds, so that is what we did (lots of money but worth it I guess.). The first LC was awesome and hand pumped my boob (all dignity is gone once you have had a baby it seems) and got me a GP appointment pronto so that I could get antibiotics for my double infection. She told us we would have to supplement with formula until all was well and that I should pump my left breast at every feed to keep the milk supply going.

Then the next LC came and gave me lots more information and told me to rather feed him formula that day because his weight was low and everyone was very concerned about his weight. It is weird to be advised to give formula by a breastfeeding advocate but it brought home how serious the situation must be. So we fed him formula. It was awful because it gave him terrible gas from the fast flowing bottle and for the next two nights he screamed all night. I was also convinced he would never breastfeed again.

Over the next two days the jaundice lady visited and finally we were allowed to stop with the awful lamp treatment. We were SO relieved. She also helped me with breastfeeding on the last day out of kindness and did not charge us. At that point I could feed him on the right boob only but he would take it. I also supplemented him with pumped milk and the jaundice lady showed us how to feed him with a syringe while sucking on a finger so he was more used to breastfeeding type sucking.

My mom arrived from the UK to stay for 3 weeks and she was awesome. She cooked for us every night. I had dropped about 9kg since I had left the hospital and much as I wish I had dropped all my pregnancy weight (13kg) I was actually scared to in case it affected my milk supply so I made an effort not to lose any more as 9kg in one week seemed a bit dramatic.

Of course the stress did not stop there because baby L had become very sleepy after the lamp treatment and again would not wake up for feeds. He could sleep 6 hours and we would fight for hours to wake him up trying every trick the midwies had shown us. A few times we had to feed him in his sleep with a syringe. It was scary and upsetting. At first I thought he just had his circadian rhythms confused by the lamp. But by the weekend I was breastfeeding only and it took me 3 days to figure out that the real problem was that I had a tiny milk supply and the poor baby was being drastically underfed and his blood sugar was too low for him to wake up and feed. That was a realisation I made on week two of his life. Luckily we did syringe him at times so he did get some extra food. Of course when I figured this out (after pumping both boobs and seeing how little came out) I felt so so terrible. We were accidentally starving our little one, after all the other things he had been through. But during week one we had not realised.

I also got terrible diarrhoea from the antibiotics and had to actually crawl to the toilet in order to avoid incidents. But I will leave out those really not fun details.

So yeah, Week one of baby L's life is not one I would want to repeat ever again.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Squirmy is here!

It has been just over 3 weeks since Squirmy (also known to us as Small Fry) was born. Things have been so hectic. I have not had time to look at the computer. I want so desperately though to record everything that has happened so I am going to make an effort to write it all down. It feels so different to the rest of my life, so worth recording.

He was born 28th December, his actual due date, which is very unusual, at 5.20am.  3.87kg and 54cm. He was (is) big. Not chubby, but long. That is why he weighs so much, he is a really tall baby. This is really odd because both G and I are short, G particularly so. We will see what being a tall baby means for his future. He also has a head of black hair and came out dark brown (due to jaundice) so that everyone looked at me suspiciously and called him an Indian baby. He is in my unbiased opinion pretty adorable, but he has lost his tan now that the jaundice is gone.

We had quite a rough start in my opinion, well, rougher than I expected. I know many people with much rougher starts, after all he did not need to go to NICU and I did not need a C-section. Nevertheless I definitely need some time to get over what happened, even though it is really not that bad. I am a bit sensitive to things relating to my body. Due to a few circumstances his birth was much harder than I expected and did not go at all how I thought it would. If I think about it now I may have chosen a C-section after all - at least when it comes to healing you know exactly what to expect! I am a real wuss that way. On the plus side most of the actual labour was bearable even though I had back labour, and I feel that I could do that part again (just don't talk to me about the pushing). G was the most amazing birth partner ever. We laboured alone together at home from about 10am on the 27th (although my labour started at about 7am but very minor contractions) until 11pm before we left for the hospital (I was already 8cm when we arrived!!) and it was actually about as wonderful as you could hope for and that part was much much better than I imagined it could be. I never imagined he would be quite that wonderful. He really is amazing.

I also cannot imagine anything coming out of that region ever, ever again, so Squirmy may be an only kidlet. Unless adoption. Or C-section. We will see. Everyone says I will change my mind. I have my doubts. My midwives acknowledged that I had a really rough labour and said I will never have such a tough labour again. Um, but how the heck do they know that? It could happen again! Maybe I just make long, big babies that cannot come out!

Let's not mention my stomach. Squirmy was so long that my stomach was enormous and all the extra skin and stretch marks are pretty hideous. As much as I want to do a million situps (not that I have the time) I need to wait for my stomach muscles to heal. My friends having babies now do not look like me. Their babies are short and chubby and their tummies are flat already. This is also hard for me but luckily I am so tired that I don't have much time to focus on the wreckage of my body. On the flip side, I have no more agonising hip pain can sleep on my bac, and that general uncomfy pregnant state is gone. If I could just heal up so that I can walk properly then my body will be free again! Except for the boobies. Those things no longer belong to me.

I want very much to write his birth story, warts and all, and memories of the first chaotic weeks, not that the current weeks are not chaotic. For now I just have to figure out how to get him to go back to sleep!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Tick tock...

Tick tock. Had a midwife appointment today. Apparently my uterus is "irritable". Freaking understatement, my whole body is irritable right now! Please come soon baby. I think he dropped even further down today as my tummy has changed shape. And was planning to go an walk up and down UCT steps today in hope of some kind of labour induction but am not sure I actually can walk any more.

But irritable uterus sounds promising right?? It must mean something right?? I am grasping at straws here. Even though my due date is Sunday the midwife wants me to go to the hospital for monitoring on Friday because Squirmy is now so big and it seem like the fluid is getting low. I have to admit it makes me anxious and I may beg for some kind of induction by then. In midwife care, at least mine and I think in the UK they only tend to induce at 42 weeks, but I agree, this baby is running out of space and it just makes me nervous! Apparently sometimes a membrane stretch and sweep can induce so I may ask for that. I am sure no one who has not had one ever wants or needs to know what that is... so I will leave it to the imagination.

But I am having loads of Braxton Hicks so my uterus is both grumpy and practicing and this can only be good.

Still struggling with names, can you believe it. Have the original back up name and a new name that I love but G-man pointed out issues with his surname. Again. They seem minor issues to me but it is so freaking upsetting. I never would have guessed naming would have been such a nightmare for me.

On the babycenter naming board someone wanted to name their son Jamon. If you know any Spanish you will know why this is hilarious :D (Ok the spelling is missing an accent but still. Bwhaha).

Friday, 19 December 2014

Exit this way.

Oh man. 39 weeks today and still pregnant. Sob.

I had painful cramps all day today. Tried to do grocery shopping but it did not go well. I tend to always take the G-man shopping with me now and am so glad I did today. These cramps are not like contractions at all, because they don't go away. I could not think straight enough to select potatoes.

Google tells me that sometimes early labour starts this way, and other times you can have the cramps for weeks. Weeks! Please no. And my hips are tingling with weird nerve pain now and I don't think blood or lymph is necessarily reaching my legs - judging by their tingliness and the fact that they look like I have elephantiasis. My back, well it is sore but seeing as everything else is too it is not as prominent as usual.

Do I sound like I want this to be over? And Squirmy remains nameless - he shall probably remain that way forever as we just cannot find a name that we like that does not clash in some way with the surname.

In America everyone gets induced and in SA the babies get C-sectioned out of there. Am starting to see the appeal of these options over being slave to the readiness of a fickle and untrained uterus. My midwives follow a fairly British protocol of care and I am with the British ladies... waiting... and waiting... and going slowly mad.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Friggin measles!

There is a measles outbreak in South Africa at the moment and it is making me feel uneasy. Bad enough that I am not immune to Rubella and it is not something that is on the free vaccination schedule in this country. I seem to have avoided that issue and the horrible things it can do to unborn babies, thankfully.

The last few days I have seen a few moms post that their babies have measles on Facebook. My immediate question is WHY? Measles vaccine IS on the free schedule because it can be a very serious illness, especially amongst immune compromised and malnourished people. I have seen very distressing photographs of the havoc measles can wreak on the eyes of children who have a vitamin A deficiency. In this country where many people have AIDS and others have a high likelihood of being malnourished you would think the measles vaccine would be taken VERY seriously. So why are these middle class babies getting it? Did they not get vaccinated or are they just not finished with the boosters yet? I also understand that in this country not everyone has easy access to good healthcare and many young ones are not getting vaccinated as they are not being reached and this leads to outbreaks of these illnesses. But these are middle class babies I am seeing on Facebook, with access to both free and private vaccinations.

It scares me because I am about to have a newborn and by default they are immune compromised. I don't want my tiny baby catching measles! I have had measles as a teenager. It was horrible and the worst fever ever and my eyes have been light-sensitive ever since. And I have a great immune system.

I wish people who refuse to vaccinate realised how much of a risk they put other people in by not getting their kids vaccinated. People with cancer, AIDS, other immune disorders and old people whose immunities to measles have worn off are particularly vulnerable, as are little babies. We vaccinate not only to protect ourselves but everyone in society too.

I feel very vulnerable right now. And saddened by the bad advice out there. My own midwife advised us to plan our own vaccination schedules if we wanted to rather than following the scientifically tested and validated schedules that are used. Awful, awful advice. If those ladies delay the measles vaccine then this outbreak could become even worse. Ugh. I can't believe she is advising a group of people with no scientific background to go over the heads of scientists in these situations. So dangerous.

I will just be hiding in my flat for the first few weeks of my baby's birth and just hoping I don't meet up with a measles baby at the clinic or anything. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Moving office.

I'm feeling sad. This is a tiny thing, not a big deal at all, but G has been working from home since we moved back to SA. Since my own job hunt did not go so well and I became a postgrad student instead, I worked at least twice a week at home too. It is so nice having both of us home. Obviously I try not to bug him toooooooo much during the day, but if I need to ask him something or have a little chat then I can, and we can go for lunch time walks, and have quick cuddles, and we just generally have a very insular but harmonious vibe going on.

However, we only have two bedrooms in our flat and the baby needs his office so he is moving out to a shared office with some climbing friends. He is probably going to move at the end of the week. I know this sounds lame but I will feel so lost without him around. It is amazing what you get used to. Obviously in the UK we both worked all day away from home and just crashed in the evenings, but this house is going to feel so empty with him gone and me just mooning around (I actually am the shape of a moon) and then obviously looking after a baby soon.

Also we will have to majorly downgrade our home internet, haha. His boss was paying half the bill as it was for work so we had unlimited. We are probably going to have a cap, this unheard of thing that South Africans have to deal with. We are internet spoilt brats, coming from the UK where internet is dirt cheap and caps are more of a myth. Saying that, G did once get us capped internet in the UK just because he thought it was the best thing ever that it was only 5 pounds a month, but we (he, actually, he was watching Game of Thrones and stuff like that every day) speedily exceeded the cap every month and immediately paid more to increase it each time. Lame. Please note that it is not that we could not afford unlimited internet, which was dirt cheap, it was just the novel thrill of SUPER cheap internet that attracted him, and we ended up paying more than we would have for unlimited each month anyway.

Saga of the internet aside, I wish we lived in a big house with an office and he could work at home, but this could actually be good for him. He was used to working in a busy office with friends. Maybe these last two years have been too lonely for him. I think he will really enjoy an office vibe again. I will just miss him like crazy.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Winter melon

I am very happy and relieved to have made it to 37 weeks! Phew. Baby is the size of a winter melon, whatever that may be. I am sure it is big. It seems that doctors used to be gung ho about taking babies out at 37 weeks, but recently a full term baby has been redefined to 39 weeks, so that is how far I want to make it! Sometimes it seems unlikely now that I am so huge and I get this intense pressure down below... last night I thought perhaps he was going to bust out of my belly, he was squirming so much. That definitely caused me to panic because I do not feel even remotely ready for this all to actually happen. Which just shows me that I will never feel ready, I guess.

I did not have a baby shower, mostly because I don't have enough female friends to invite to one (I know, how sad). But seriously I could think of 4 ladies to invite and they don't know each other and that would be lame. There was G's family I could have invited but in the end I just didn't. Babycenter members are of the VERY strong opinion that it is absolutely wrong to host your own baby shower, which I had no idea about. I mean, what is the big deal? My cousin threw her own in the UK. She gave us food and drink, we gave her gifts, it seems a fairly normal transaction to me. We throw our own birthday parties after all?

Anyway. Despite the lack of baby shower, we have been given so many new and second hand clothes that I feel slightly overwhelmed. One friend's brother gave us two huge bags of clothes. Our unborn child has more clothes than either of us have ever owned in our lives.

It makes me feel a bit funny how these things work - cycles of privilege. While I don't consider myself to be rich amongst my peers, in South Africa as a whole I guess we are definitely on the rich list. We could afford to buy all the clothes we needed for the baby if we had to. We feel so grateful that we don't have to but we could. We are lucky to have other fortunate friends who pass on their clothing bounties. I am sure the poorest people who cannot afford to buy baby clothes do not have rich friends who can pass on tons of clothes to them. IT makes me want to go out an donate all of these clothes immediately. Or at least use them and then donate them. But here is the slight catch - I think it is expected of us to pass down these clothes to the next baby in the family/friend group.

I think I am going to try and donate as much as possible and save a few things to pass down. This seems the best way. I feel kind of embarrassed right now with our cupboards stuffed full of clothes for the next two years, but so so grateful too. This has definitely been the biggest-spending year of our entire lives as a couple. It has been CRAZY. So every little helps. I just want to pass this abundance on to someone else who really needs it, like really. Not like us. We are just spoilt.

Friday, 28 November 2014

BFG mini.

Eeek! So just to reiterate, I am growing a BIG baby! I had a doctor's appointment today, first one since 20 weeks. Because I see the midwives, I only see the doc 2 or 3 times in pregnancy. It is always nice to have a scan, although at this stage there is almost nothing to see as Squirmy is too big. Apparently the doc projects that he weighs 3.2kg. Already! This is not off the charts big but it is at the end of the spectrum for size. When the doc said the number, I assumed that he meant that Squirmy's projected weight would be 3.2, but no, that is what he is now. Obviously these scans are known to be very inaccurate regarding size predictions, but I can believe it, considering how everyone reacts when they see my belly.

I was less than 3kg when I was born. How is it that I have incubated such a giant? Is that what an aversion to vegetables and nik nak cravings does to a baby? Yikes. It is funny to think that if I were seeing many other doctor's in the city, I am pretty sure I would be recommended to have a C-section about now. I feel relieved that I chose the midwives and doctors that I did. My midwife explained to me that the size of the baby means nothing as to whether he will come out vaginally or not. The actual passage of my pelvis is the one key point, which no one can know the size of, and the other point is how loose my pelvis has become thanks to the relaxin hormone. If I am wide enough and loose enough, any baby can pass through, otherwise even a small baby could get stuck. Judging by how painful my pelvis is every morning I think my tendons are pretty loose. Another factor is the baby's head. His skull bones slide over each other during birth and how well the bones retract defines whether his head will fit or not.

My doc did say that he hopes for my sake that the baby comes in the next 2 weeks (no no no too soon!!!) otherwise I will be birthing a 4kg baby. Um, ouch. However, no, the next two weeks is too soon.

Also we found out that from January next year our hospital will be included on the Delta network for Discovery medical aid. This year it was not and we have the Delta plan, so we have to pay a R5000-something fee, which obviously sucks. But as this hospital is THE one to go to if you want to attempt a vaginal birth we decided to bite the bullet and pay the fee. Obviously it hurts. But from next year we would not have to pay the fee!! If Squirmy could just arrange to come a few days late (he is due on the 28th Dec) then our birth will essentially be fully covered. Ha, I wish. Unfortunately I have a feeling this one is coming earlier rather than later, just by sheer lack of room and inability for my body to house him any longer. He will just have to be an expensive baby.