better than guinea-pigs…


So much to write, but will need to assimilate thoughts, and there are more important things to do first.

Just to say this: labour was 1000 times worse than I could ever have imagined, but parenthood is 1,000,000 times better than I could ever have wished.


38-week midwife appointment

So the due date is officially 12 days away, but the books say “any time now!” The pregnancy is considered full-term.

However, I just saw the midwife – mine’s on holiday so I saw a different one. She was much more scary and really really rough. The way she handled the baby – I tell you I felt bruised, so I don’t know how the poor baby felt! It’s in the same position as last time, with it’s back on my right.

She did say they would like it to be a little more engaged at this point, and the things to do about this are: relax, distract yourself – try not to think about it. Sit on the birthing ball whenever you get the period-type pains to encourage the baby down a bit. Gentle exercise like slow walking or swimming are good. But most importantly – stop stressing! She said for many people it’s the first time in their adult lives that they have the opportunity to sit and do nothing much. She said not to feel like I should be doing something all the time, and I should be doing exactly that – nothing! This should help the baby along.

So, I’m going to invest some time on the sofa with all the books I want to read, as well as start working on my “teach yourself Catalan” book.

I finally plucked up the courage to ask about circumcision, if it was a boy. You’d think I’d asked about female genital mutilation!! Circumcision is a definite no-no in this country. No one would do it at the hospital, and while GPs might consider referring you privately, some of them won’t even do that. If we want to do it for religious reasons, we should go through our religious leader. Anyway, I’ve just read a few articles about it, and am starting to think that maybe, it is just an irrational preference, and not actually the best thing for the baby. *sigh* maybe it will be a girl, and we won’t have to worry about it.

On a lighter note, we went canoeing yesterday, which felt really good. It feels like such a good way to relieve tension. If the baby doesn’t show up before, I’d like to go again next week!



37 weeks…

Well, the 20-day countdown has begun. I have finished at work, where to my surprise we got a £35 gift voucher for Boots, and a “Baby’s keepsakes” box to put all the pics, and locks of hair and footprints etc in, from everyone!

Today we were going to walk around Whitlingham broad, but when we got there we also went to investigate the new “Outdoor centre” there, which wasn’t ready when we tried to use it back in July. Anyway, it looks really good, and the weather was so nice, we decided to take a canoe out:

e in canoe

It was wonderful – we are definitely getting the hang of it, because we argue less and less each time! David can’t wait to take the sailing boats out. Oh, and we found out he is scared of Swans (big girl’s blouse!).

We also had a go at fitting the car seats – good grief! It’s an absolute palava! Someone did tell me that you have to pick a car seat that suits your car… well we were very kindly given two seats, which I thought would be plenty to choose from, but we are struggling to make the seat look even vaguely safe, – at best the baby will be leaning forward, like that ride at Alton Towers which is supposed to feel like flying! At worst, if we are hit in a collision from behind, the seatbelt will lock the babyseat in a backwards position against the rear seat, suffocating the baby! So our attempts have not been altogether successful. We are wondering if they are just too big for the car… we are considering spending some of the money we saved on the pram on a cosatto car seat that will fit on our chassis, as we think it will be smaller than the seats we have. We think the biggest car seat we have will be fine as a forward-facing one, but you can’t do that until the baby is at least 10-13kg.

We’d better get it sorted soon, as we won’t be able to bring the baby home until we get one!


36 week check-up

So everything is still going well. The baby’s heartbeat is still strong at 126 to149 bpm. My blood pressure is still normal for pregnancy: 95 over 60. The fundal height is 36cm (this is from my pubic bone to the top of my uterus, and, as my favourite colleague pointed out, after a certain number of weeks, the length in cm is roughly the same as the number of weeks gone you are). It is still correctly positioned, with its head down – cephalic – and back to my front (ish – it’s sort of sideways actually) but the head hasn’t begun descending into the pelvis yet. This is no bad thing, because when it is fully engaged, although you can breathe properly again (it gives your diaphram its space back) apparently its head bumping on your cervix can be pretty painful. So all-in-all ours seems to be a kind, well-behaved individual, and it only kicks me if I’m being really boring (lying still) or upset (to try and perk me up I’d like to think!).

The only thing it does which is pretty unpleasant is poke my bladder with sharp objects. My midwife says that “unfortunately they do tend to do this as it is squishy and fun for them”. It is squishy and bloody painful for me! But the baby does get the hiccups a lot, and I always feel bad that I can’t help it with these.

I met our Health Visitor yesterday – she’s very nice – very personable, and even said the cookies I’d made were very nice. She helps out for the first 5 years. I tol her I’d made cookies because I was trying to get used to the idea of being at home, with only the terror of daytime television to keep me company! She recommended the radio, so I am currently listening to Dad’s Army on BBC7, and looking forward to “Just a Minute” which follows. Thank goodness for the internet!

I’ve just had my first mug of raspberry leaf tea, which is recommended by most books and people. Herbal teas do not do anything for me, but this one is vaguely drinkable, apart from the dregs, and you can keep telling yourself that it’s not for much longer…


dreaming of dreams…

Well, now in my final 4 weeks of pregnancy and I’m supposed to be having vivid dreams, particularly about babies and birth… I wish! I can’t believe anyone manages to stay asleep for long enough to get some REM sleep at this stage!


pregnancy cravings

Well, I’ve tried to look this up on the web, but I’ve only found one mention of a pregnant woman loving the smell of musty basements. It’s getting pretty bad now – David even brought an old boot into the lounge the other day so that I could get a regular fix while watching tele! We also have a couple of cushions that have been in my possession since I was about 3 years old, and I just cannot get enough of inhaling them.

Now I know there’s probably no harm in this, as long as I don’t start carrying the 26-year-old cushion or army boot around with me, but it just doesn’t make sense! There are theories that the reason women get food cravings, or “Pica” (for really extreme cravings such as bricks, soil, chalk, coal etc) is because they have a mineral or vitamin deficiency, but how can a smell indicate anything? I mean, I’m not tempted to chew on the cushions or boot, but I’m driving myself crazy even writing about it now (as I’m at work and do not have access to the smell).

Anyway, on an unrelated note, I’ve not been terribly good at documenting the books I’m reading, so for the record, I had to speed through a few Terry Pratchetts, while going through a particularly insecure-feeling stage… I think I re-read all the Captain Vimes books, from Guards! Guards! to Going Postalwhich isn’t actually a Vimes book, but he does make a brief appearance. Then I went through a miserable time where I didn’t have a proper book to read, so finally picked up Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco: Foucault\'s Pendulum

It’s really good, but hard-going: I practically need to read the dictionary alongside… but he is a professor of semiotics, so I suppose this is only to be expected. I read a collection of his short stories a few years back, and these were also really great. I have a few other books lined-up, not least Thud by Terry Pratchett, which only came out yesterday. I can’t wait to let myself pick that up, but I’m trying to save it until I’m threatened with “baby blues” or PND, and I have good books to tide me over til that risk has dropped to less than significant.


charles kingsley eat your heart out!

So we are getting very excited about the imminent future, and I’ve been looking at the sort of things that people do with these new creatures…

I had been planning to join this: waterbabies.co.uk which looks really good, but someone has also recommended this: merbabies, which is a bit cheaper, and also looks good. I can’t wait!