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.