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.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Maternity leave

I'm on "maternity leave" if a student can call it that. Finally! It came not a minute too soon. I am taking some serious strain. The world in general is of the opinion that I am particularly large, and I concur. My belly is huge. I am not just saying this. The last few days it grew even bigger. It is so heavy now. G and I walked downstairs to hang up some washing and I felt like I ran a marathon. I am struggling now and all I want to do is sleep, but sleeping really hurts my hips. I wake up every morning in so much pain.

The baby has dropped and as a result I have to pee every few minutes. Which does not bother me that much actually. But today a new symptom happened. The sharp, agonising pains in my groin region that are continual and don't go away. I think G thought I was in labour, poor man, because I was squealing with the pain. Apparently this is quite common and is the baby resting on a nerve or stretching a tendon or something. Ugh. It was bad.

I was really looking forward to having some time off to get lots of shit done, but I get so tired all the time that I do wonder just how much I am going to get done in the next few weeks.

And I weighed myself today and I have gained 11 kg! I was really hoping to not go over 10. And I have 4 weeks to go. I do feel that it is almost all in the belly and to look at me you would agree, but I am sure that when the baby is out I will find out how much of that is not in my belly but in other areas... ugh. I did not really experience the increased appetite that some pregnant women get so I can't really say it felt like I ate all that much, but then exercise has been an unreachable goal for some time now so it could also be down to that.

I know I sound like a typical moany pregnant woman in the last stages of the third trimester. And that is what I am. Well technically I only have 4 weeks of this to go. That is crazy little. I am kind of terrified now based on the size of my belly that I have grown a real chunker (my midwife did say I grew Squirmy "very well") and squeezing him out is going to be a real battle. Shudder.

Better go try and get shit done before this baby arrives. We are so not ready.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Another one bites the dust.

A lady in our antenatal classes had her baby last week! She was 34 weeks. The day before she went into labour we had our class. We had similar due dates and were discussing how uncomfortable we were. She did mention that sitting was super uncomfortable for her and you could see she was pretty uncomfortable throughout the class. But wow, bam the next day she had her baby!  Another lady in my pilates class had hers at 31 weeks, but that is a little bit more serious as the baby is still pretty small at that stage. He was fine in the end but he needed quite a bit of TLC in the beginning.

Too soon, too soon. 34 weeks. I am so not ready for that. I want my baby to bake as long as possible. I am sure in a week or so when I start to get ridiculously uncomfortable I will be singing a different tune but I want to avoid the issues that prematurity can bring. Of course at 34 weeks the baby should be fine and probably only needs a little bit of time and assistance in NICU, but still. Prematurity has been linked to some physical and developmental issues in some cases.

And anyway. Soooo not ready to actually have this baby. Will I ever be ready? No name, no hospital bag packed, total denial. There is not actually going to be an actual baby at the end of this, right? That was totally just a  rumour.

Squirmy has been pressing down on my pelvis and the pressure (and pain) down there is increasing and I am just a lumbering sphere at this point. I feel like I could pop at any moment. But would appreciate the extra 5 weeks to do some preparation, thanks.

Monday, 17 November 2014


Another midwife appointment today and it was all good news, yay! I still have ridiculous fatigue that made me lie down all weekend while the BFG cleaned the whole house (ok I did the dishes) and painted a wall all on his own. I feel terrible. But I am so dead tired all the time. The midwives tested my haemoglobin and apparently it is at a really good level, higher than most people's at this stage of pregnancy, so the fatigue is not related to that. I guess it is just related to carting around a 2kg lump in my belly.

They asked if I was eating a super iron-rich diet. Um, no? My diet has been horrible the last few weeks. I seem averse to vegetables again and averse to cooking in general. I don't eat meat every day and my spinach intake has dropped considerably. Can I chalk it down to my Clicks prenatal vitamins? They are clearly good stuff.

But position-wise the baby is head down and engaged in the pelvis and anterior, and basically a great position for labour and vaginal birth, so he better not decided to shift because this is all great news. I do find it a bit disconcerting how much focus there has been on the labour and birth part - I've been going to classes and reading natural birth books and gearing up for all that - but I have not put much focus on how to actually be a good parent. You know, the stuff that happens after you just need to feed and clothe your baby - the part when you actually have to make good parenting decisions and stuff. I am so scared of all that but I have not read or prepared for it at all. Not sure how you would even do that. I mean, the labour part IS important. I want it to go well so that both the baby and I are healthy and it is also important that it is not a traumatising experience that could exacerbate post-partum depression. But the actual parenting vibe, that seems so much more important. I guess we all just wing it to some extent.

My general exhaustion and inability to clean our flat has prompted some people to suggest we hire some help around the place. That is a whole other issue for me. Something I am not very comfortable with at all, and wondering if I should somehow face up to my hang-ups over hiring someone to clean up after me or just do what I am most comfortable with, which is how things work in the UK - people clean up after themselves, if they are working they just allocate the weekend for cleaning. This is what I am used to. I think the issue of hiring help in South Africa is a whole other post's worth of confusion for me. I honestly cannot picture myself being anyone's boss, ever. But I do feel bad that G is having to clean and work full time right now. That is not cool. As soon as I am done with university I can at least focus on doing tiny bits of cleaning during the week and hopefully stay on top of it all. But when the baby comes, gosh who knows how things will work out.

I handed in my dissertation last week, hurrah. I just need to get through a presentation of my results next week and then I am freeeeeeeeee. Oh I cannot wait.  Just hope the baby does not decide to come any time soon. There are still major preparations to be done.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Pregnant ramblings

Still totally flummoxed on the naming debacle after people have been posting our "already named" child's name all over Facebook. This is not the first time, it started months ago. I managed to get over it the first time. Ugh. People are the worst. I thought up a new name that I like last night but the BFG nixed it - apparently a kid with that name bullied him and sat on him when he was little. Ouch. It's so tricky when you have an association with a name to avoid thinking about it. I have rejected many names because of people I know or knew with the name. Basically our child is going to be called Bob, which is our default name for everything, because we are so stumped on names.

On a positive note, I am loving our antenatal classes. The lady taking the class is a third generation midwife. She was born at home with her gran as midwife and has been attending births since she was little. I love how pragmatic she is. This is a class for people who want to attempt vaginal delivery and she is obviously giving us as much advice on the matter as possible, but she is not one of those militant natural birth advocates. Some people feel that we should not even be told about pain options or the fact that birth is even painful at all. Apparently even saying that it will be painful is causing it to be painful. If you say it is uncomfortable then the idea of the pain supposedly goes away... please, spare me this. I know I personally am going to feel some pain. And that is fine. I am guessing there are some women who do not feel pain during labour and that is wonderful. But I think that most of us are going to have to face the pain but accept it and not be scared, you know? So yes, our midwife explained all the pain management options to us and when they are likely to be appropriate or innapropriate depending on how labour is unfolding. There are some cases in which an epidural is very appropriate. I appreciate her honesty and I appreciate that she is removing the guilt some women will feel if they end up having one despite their best intentions.

I am hoping to avoid one for reasons pertaining to my messed up back. I have a scoliosis and apparently it is harder to insert one in a skew back, but I also have a damaged back and epidurals can cause permanent back pain in a few unlucky people. Also I react badly to anaesthetic and it scares me because of that. All that said though, if the time comes and I really feel I need one I am sure I will not hesitate! I am not trying to be a hero. Just so scared of operations. Ridiculously scared. Like when the baby was breech every time I tried to mentally prepare myself for a C-section or read up on how to recover from one I would panic and just shut the idea down. I know I should try to prepare myself in case Squirmy (this could be his name?) decides to flip again. But I just can't really bear to think about it. I am such a ninny. Please don't flip, Squirmy.

The midwife also showed us a birthing video. Again I am impressed by her pragmatism. I have watched tons of episodes of the UK version of One Born Every Minute so I though I was totally prepared for the whole birth thing, but the video she showed us made labour look HARD. The lady had no pain meds other than the laughing gas and she had a short active labour of about 4 hours before the baby was born, but she was suffering. She was in a lot of pain. They don't usually look so scared and sore in One Born Every Minute! I am wondering how much they edit out?? But again the midwife emphasised that this was an example of a good birth. She had no complications, and her pain and discomfort never got to the point that she needed anything more than the gas and air. So we should be accepting that that is how a good unmedicated birth looks like.


P.S. will be 33 weeks tomorrow. Cannot believe how huge my belly is. It just feels like a giant bag. I could actually feel it growing! At the beginning of the week all of a sudden my skin got tighter and thinner around the belly and I knew I had grown. So weird. Now the skin is a bit looser again. Ugh. I am so scared to see how this stomach will look after birth and how the heck I will ever restore these stomach muscles. For vanity purposes of course, but also, my back needs tight stomach muscles, it cannot hold itself up without them.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Naming debacle

So how would you feel if your partner's friends and family decided on a name for your baby and started using it in public, and worse, on FACEBOOK, for the whole world to see, before you even gave birth and made any announcement about a name?

This has happened to me. It is making me so angry I just don't know what to do. Unfortunately when the BFG went over to the UK a while ago he told his family and friends some names that we liked. Knowing him, he is very unpredictable in what he says, his idea of our reality does not always translate to mine, he may have told them that we had made a decision. Which we definitely had not and still have not.

They as a group decided which name they liked and are now referring to my unborn child by that name on Facebook. This is blowing my mind. I am the most stubborn person you are ever going to meet. No way in hell is a group of people deciding my child's name for me. No way in hell do they get to use it on Facebook. Most people make a big effort to keep the name secret. I want the same rights! I want to keep my child's name a secret. Not have it splashed all over Facebook! This is ridiculous.

The name they are using was my number two choice and became my number one choice. To be honest in the last few weeks I had secretly decided that that one was probably the one. But now I don't want to use it. Because of the way they have appropriated it and not respected our privacy or even consulted me in any kind of manner. I don't have a number 3 name choice. I just generally don't like names for boys. And they have ruined one of the only two that I like!

ARGH and oh man. I just see red every time I see my child's "name" on Facebook. It makes me so mad. And I do like the name a lot. But I dislike what they are doing so much that I am willing to drop that name, and go back to my original favourite even though that one has many issues and many people told me not to use it. Screw that! Screw everyone.

Never make the mistake of discussing names with people. I have had some pretty awful experiences every time I mention a name to anyone. I won't even go into the flak I recieved for my number one choice. Just lie. Make up a lie name and tell everyone that name. Please learn from my mistakes. People are just awful and have no boundaries. Sigh.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Medical mystery

So it appears that I am a medical mystery, ha ha, not really. I had a midwife appointment today, it was a good one, the baby is head down today! This makes me happy but I know I should not get too excited because it is still early and the little rascal can flip again at any time. Stay down, baby, down!

I asked my midwife about a weird clicking sound that I hear up to 4 times a day, a sound like a knee clicking. I started hearing it at about 28 weeks. Just before I heard it the first time I was on the Babycenter forum and someone brought up that they had heard a clicking or cracking sound coming from their baby. Most people thought she was mad and teased her about giving birth to a dolphin. LOL. I thought she was probably just feeling hiccups. That was because I had not actually felt hiccups yet. Now I have felt both the hiccups and the clicking, and they are totally different. And everyone I mention the clicking to says it is probably just hiccups. It is not! The internet is full of women asking about their clicky babies, and there does not seem to be a proper answer to what it is. It could be clicky joints, or apparently it could be amniotic fluid bubbles bursting. It sounds more like a hard click than a pop of a bubble to me but who knows. The BFG has heard it too.

My midwife just stared at me as if I was crazy and said she had never heard of a baby clicking in her life. Then she phoned the senior midwife and she just laughed and called it Bic syndrome, and said she had never heard of it either. These are experienced ladies. Why has no one heard of this?? At least I know I am not alone, thank you internet for introducing me to other ladies who have heard it.

I do think that if I had not read about it before, I might not have noticed it. But sometimes it is very loud. I just hope it is not painful, poor little thing.

Less than 2 months until Dolphin baby is due.