Friday, 28 October 2005

30 weeks and counting

The pic is a bit out-dated. It was taken in week 26, and I’m now in week 30, but it gives you an idea of the size I’ve become!
I read recently that as we near the end I need to keep an eye on how frequently the baby kicks – anything less than 10 times in 12 hours and we have a problem. Needless to say, no sooner did I start trying to count, than she went through a VERY quiet phase, and I started to panic quietly to myself. However, she soon picked up again and has been VERY active since.
At the moment she seems to be lying diagonally across my stomach – one end up under my ribs and the other pushing down into my pelvic area. Because she’s getting so big now, when she turns you can actually see a wave across my belly – it’s like watching a tsunami wave before it reaches the beach: you have no idea just from watching it of the power beneath the surface!! Most of the time now, when she’s kicking, it’s incredibly uncomfortable and frequently quite sore – especially when she kicks up into my ribs and lungs.
Again, because she’s getting so large, I’m finding my lung space dramatically reduced, so I’m finding even little tasks take far more energy than previously simply because I can’t get enough air. In terms of teaching, that means that I no longer have the lung capacity to yell at kids! I’m sure they appreciate it, but it is really handy to be able to yell when you need to – particularly in emergencies where they are in danger!
I’ve only got another 7 weeks left at work. It feels like an eternity, but I’m sure it will pass quickly enough. I’d love to start maternity leave sooner, but then that means I’d have less time at home after the birth, which is more important to me. So I guess I’ll have to just slow down and pace myself to ensure I can make it at work till then!

Saturday, 15 October 2005

28 weeks

Another milestone reached – 28 weeks! It’s amazing to think that if the baby were born today, she would be able to survive. It’s incredible that all she will do from now on is mature and grow, but that she is already fully formed.
So of course, I’ve been thinking a lot about a prem birth, particularly as I’ve recently heard from a number of first-timers who have had one, usually with complications. And feeling suitably terrified of labour. I still don’t want to think about it, and I’m not sure that I will want to think about it at all between now and then; not that I want to be uninformed or ill-prepared, but my imagination is active enough and thinking about the pain makes me feel rather … I don’t know… “uncomfortable” doesn’t begin to cover it!
I guess I’m also trying to avoid thinking about what happens after the birth… from chronic tiredness to post-natal depression (which I know I’m going to have… and I’m not just being pessimistic here – I have both the temperament and the hormonal make-up that are common in women who get it), from having to get over the gag reflex and dealing with nappies to dealing with a screaming baby and split nipples; to the ultimate terror of having to be completely responsible for this little thing for the next umpteen years.
I know there are plenty of joys – bonding with her, first smiles, first everythings… but right now it’s a bit hard thinking about those when I know there’s a lot of really unpleasant stuff to deal with as well. I know I’m not ready for this – not in a million years – and it doesn’t help that I know no-one ever is.
So that’s my current psychological state. Physically I’m okay. She’s still kicking ferociously, and doing millions of tumble rolls. At times it feels like someone is running a finger down the inside of my stomach, and squashing my solar plexus against my stomach muscles – very weird! She’s been kicking my ribs and lungs quite a bit too, which has been really sore – to the extent that I have to get up and walk around a bit to calm her down.
Having said last time that my cramps had gone, it seems they’ve returned. The past few days I’ve had really bad foot cramps again, which neither heat, nor massage, nor walking, nor salt seems to have helped. My indigestion has also gone through the roof again the past few days.
I’ve been really trying to keep calm at work, and not yell or get angry (to keep my blood pressure down, amongst other things) and to work shorter days (rather than the usual 10 hour days I do). This past week was really good – I even managed to leave school at 4pm on 3 consecutive days! (That’s an all-time record for me!) As a reward for this, I took myself shopping on Friday, and got a really nice preggy wear outfit for work – who says you have to look frumpy when you’re pregnant?!?!
Graeme’s had the cold I had, so neither of us has been sleeping well, with the result that I’ve been more tired than normal. We’re both on the mend though, so hopefully sleep will return to normal soon, and with that, some more energy! I’ll need it next week – my work load shoots through the roof (it’s tests and projects week, so marking will be my primary, secondary and tertiary activity for the week!)
This weekend we spent some time getting the spare room more or less ready to become a nursery. As baby will sleep in our room for the first while (and my mom will be in the spare room), we just sorted and cleared to make space for a rocking chair and stuff. It felt odd – like planting bulbs for spring – you put them in the ground according to a how you imagine they will look when they flower, but you really won’t know whether you’ve been successful or not until the spring. You put all this effort in, but you still only have bare ground to look at all through the winter. (Of course, it’s all worth it for the sudden bloom, but it’s a long time to wait!) So we’re trying to imagine how all the baby stuff will fit in the room, and what needs doing in anticipation of that, but the room is still far from being a nursery, and won’t be one properly till April some time… about the time my bulbs will be flowering!

Tuesday, 4 October 2005

3rd trimester already!

I can hardly believe that I’ve already reached the 3rd trimester! 26 weeks! We’re into the final stages now…
I feel even more huge than ever, although everyone says how tiny my bump is. Looking at some of the other women at the clinic today, I have to agree. I am tiny. Definitely in the round, rather than a protruding bump. The blessings of a first pregnancy and unstretched muscles I suppose – except that that means the baby pushes on your organs more….
Had a slight concern at my check-up today as it looks like I may have developed diabetes. It doesn’t come as a surprise – I’ve always been on the high end of the normal bell curve where it overlaps with the diabetes bell curve, so I’d anticipated getting it during pregnancy. At this stage, they’re not going to do anything about it, just monitor it at the next check-up. Less biscuits for me then….
I’ve also picked up a cold – nothing too serious – which means my heart rate is up even more, and I’ve been feeling rather faint. Still within normal rates, I’m assured, but definitely higher than normal for me. Even the short trip to the clinic today (by car!) was enough to lay me out for a bit afterwards.
Sensibly, and before anyone tells me to take care of myself, I’ve taken time off work, so hopefully this won’t go down into my chest, which is when my other normal problems tend to arise. Given that the weather has turned, and winter is definitely on its way, I need to avoid getting worse at all costs, and I’m being good and taking care. Can you imagine trying to give birth with bronchitis or pneumonia??? Nah, thanks, I’d rather not!
On the up side, my leg cramps seem to have all but disappeared! I still get twinges, but nothing near as bad as previously. While my sleep is now less disturbed by them, I’m starting to find turning over in bed difficult and that because of my bump pulling my spine in odd directions, my back is getting sore at night.
I’ve taken to having extra pillows for support for the first part of the night. They’re too much hassle to sleep with the whole night – making turning over a complete nightmare – but at least it seems to have stopped the backache.
The other up is that the Tissue Oil my mom sent me (South African miracle skin product!!) has stopped that horrible stretching sensation – both muscular and skin. I use it religiously every morning, except on weekends when my morning routine is different, and on those days I can really feel the difference! As yet, no stretch marks either.
Baby is doing well – kicking ferociously now, especially any time I raise my voice (usually to tell a kid off for not doing their homework…) or use my stomach muscles or change sitting/ sleeping position. All the measurements are normal, and the heart beat sounds normal. We’re still no nearer to naming her, although *ara variations are all high on the list (Tara, Zara, Lara, Cara, etc.). We’re in no hurry about this – when we see her I’m sure we’ll figure out what suits her best.
OK – time to rest some more while I can.