In this weeks pregnancy diary entry our baby is the size of a cabbage. The growth in terms of length will start to slow down, but he continues to gain weight, and fast apparently. He can now see inside of me as he has been able to open and close his eyes for a while now. If I was to try and shine a light on my stomach, he may even reach out to touch the moving glow. Why have we not tried this yet?!
This is the time, that I can also start to gain weight pretty quickly. About a 1Ib a week. Our baby’s needs for nutrients are at their greatest during this final growth. I really need to think twice about eating that 4th piece of cake from now on!
Well I hit week 30 with a bang! It was like my body was giving up. I had an awful night sleep going into my 30th week, tossing and turning and then when I finally gave in to that 4am toilet visit, that was that. No more sleep. I think this was due to letting my mind wonder off into worry mode about money and maternity leave. However, the physical elements didn’t help either.
I experienced some pain in my pelvis and hips that I hadn’t had before and it was so uncomfortable. It was like everything was pressing down on my and the commute to work was difficult for the first part of the week. Back pain was hitting me by the end of the day, I felt heavy and suddenly the pregnancy felt very real.
Also, what do you say to people, when they say:
‘Oh look you have the pregnancy waddle’
Thanks love, I know I do, but I really don’t need to hear that!
On Wednesday evening, I was back at antenatal yoga and it was just what I needed. I had 3 weeks off with Easter and work commitments so I was desperate to get back. If you are pregnant, I would highly recommend taking up some sort of exercise like this. By late Thursday and Friday morning, I felt a million times better. The pain in my hip was starting to subside and the back pain had eased. The stretching, breathing and relaxing was a great way to get my body moving.
My teacher was also really helpful. She told me that a lot more babies are being born breech because of our postures these days. We are so much more likely to be hunched over, especially at work and this can cause the baby to not sit in the right position. She recommended for me to get a gym ball to sit on at home and if I felt comfortable, at my desk at work too! This would ensure I sat up right, I could also do small rotations to help my hips and pelvis and would elevate the back pain.
She also told me to keep an eye on pelvis pain, as the relaxin hormone can make the joints in the pelvis unstable, and cause a lot of pain when walking and other movements. It doesn’t effect the baby, but for the mother it can be extremely painful, even after the birth.
We have already been talking about our choices and have a good idea of what I would like and where, however, we had a tour of both the birth centre in and out the hospital and it is all starting to become very real now.
You are given the choices of; home birth (there is something both very comforting about this but also very strange), birth centre or in the labour ward (or as the kids call it these days, the delivery suite). If you are classed as low risk pregnancy then you are automatically placed in the birth centre within the hospital. However, we also had the choice to refer ourselves to the birth centre that sits outside the hospital. Which we have done.
The birth centre in the hospital, was nice. We were shown 3 rooms, 2 of which were probably bigger than our whole flat put together and had everything in there. Birth pool, gym ball, double bed, ensuite, birthing stool and supports… it was slightly like an obstacle course. One room was referred to as the penthouse as the views overall London were beautiful.
There are a couple of things putting me off here;
•You are still in a hospital, and although this is great incase of an emergency, you still don’t get that sense of homeliness.
•If a postnatal room is available you will get moved after the birth and I am not sure I like the idea of potentially being upheaved.
•You are still only allowed 2 in the room during the birth.
The free standing birth centre has pretty much all the above, each room has a fibre glass birth pool, double bed (so daddy can stay after the birth), gym balls, TV’s, music systems, ensuite and a private terrace! I know right.
3 things that draw me towards this one, despite the slight worry that if there was an emergency you would need to be transferred to the hospital which from making the call to getting there could be 30 minutes, is;
•You can have as many in the room as you like. Not that I want a big party, but just the choice is good.
•You can order a takeaway after the birth!
•The feeling it gave me. It felt peaceful and homely in a way.
Do go prepared with some questions and don’t be afraid to ask anything. You have to feel safe and secure so don’t feel silly asking anything.
•Percentage of women who need to get transferred
•What pain relief do they offer (most birth centres promote natural births, but you need to know what they offer)
•How do they support breastfeeding
•Any Statistics about emergency care
•How long can you stay in there after giving birth
•What is protocol once you are in labour
•What kind of care you get during labour
There will obviously be more you can ask, but the above is along the lines of what people were asking on our tour. Don’t forget, birth centres are led by midwives, so you need to ensure that you are in environment you feel safe. If the worry of not being closer to emergency care is going to make you panic then maybe a birth centre in a hospital is a better choice.
Our classes started this week. It was nice to be around other parents to be, sharing questions and thoughts. The women taking our class put us all at ease and we had a laugh. The first week was about birth choices, skin to skin contact, knowing your baby is well and the fathers role. My favourite part was her telling all dads to give the mums 15 minutes of massage a day! I will not be arguing with that request! She also gave them a list of jobs to do and consider.
We started to see videos and photos, including ones of explosive nappies! Nothing was too graphic, but next week is all about labour so watch this space!
What has been good so far in this whole journey, is that the process of giving birth hasn’t particularly scared me. In fact, I am looking forward to the experience. I don’t want to be so naïve to think, nothing can go wrong or there might be complications, but I just have this feeling of calmness. How long that will last, I don’t know, but I want to embrace giving birth. I want to make Michael proud and make this is as easy as possible to make any kind of stress for myself, the baby and Michael as less as possible.
Lets see how I feel once I start to hear, watch and come across more birth stories!
9 weeks to go! No more double digits…. arghhhhhh xx