Growing a rainbow baby: 37 & 38 weeks pregnant

Growing a rainbow baby: 37 & 38 weeks pregnant

How big is Baby Button-Nose this week?

At 38 weeks, Baby Button-Nose is now about as long as a leek, weighs just over 3kg. (Length: 49.8cm, head to heel.)

Mood: 

I’ve now passed the stage of pregnancy that Jasmine was born (38+2) so it would be fair to say that my anxiousness about giving birth again have ramped up a little. I’m nervous but excited and feeling ready to meet my baby now. Come on, Button-Nose!

Symptoms: 

Pain under my ribs – particularly on my right side (I think this is where Button-Nose likes to park his/her feet!)

Backache/hip pain

Shooting pains around groin

Calf/foot cramps

Spotty skin/dull hair (Waah!)

Night sweats

Insomnia

Braxton hicks

Period-type pains (particularly if I don’t go for a wee as soon as I need one!)

Swollen fingers and toes!

Acid reflux – I’ve woken a few times in the night feeling very close to being sick.

Highlight of the week(s): 

Watching Jasmine ‘comfort’ her baby – cannot wait to see her as a big sister even more now…

Please ignore the state of my living room…. thanks! ;)

Baby movements: 

As I write this, baby is very, very low down. He/she had hiccups earlier this evening and I could feel them so deep in my pelvis. I’m trying not to get excited about this because baby seems to pop in and out all the time. I keep getting a lot of groin pain, shooting pains either side.

Fundal measurement: 

At 38+3 my fundal measurement was 37cms.

Appointments:

38 week midwife appointment – 

Sadly my midwife, Claire, was off due her father being poorly. She was covered by the lovely Rebecca (who told me that she lives just around the corner so could end up being at my homebirth!) My wee, blood pressure and bump measurement were all fine. I had my blood taken to check that my iron levels have come back up – fingers crossed that they have! Rebecca checked baby’s position and said baby was “head down and ready to go”. :)

Things I’m missing: 

I know I’ll probably miss my bump when it’s gone but I am so done being pregnant now – the constant aches and pains make it hard for me to be a ‘fun mummy’ for Jasmine. I can’t wait to be able to bend over to give her a kiss or chase her round the park without being in agony.

Sleep: 

Pregnancy insomnia has really hit me over the last week or so. I sometimes struggle to get to sleep (especially if I’m suffering with acid reflux) and other times, I wake up to go to the loo during the night and then I can’t get back to sleep again. I end up just laying in bed for hours until the morning – I guess my body is preparing me for the sleepless nights that are to come.

I’ve had some strange dreams too – last night I dreamt that I was on a guided tour around a pork scratchings factory. (I know?!) FYI, I don’t even like pork scratchings.

Pregnancy/baby related purchases: 

Despite the fact that I keep seeing gorgeous baby clothes, I’ve managed to resist making any more purchases!

Stephen got my Medela Swing breast pump down from the loft at the weekend so I checked that was still working OK (it was) so I’m thinking of ordering a few new parts for that.

Will this be my last pregnancy update?! Eeeek, I do hope so! 

TinyFootstepsPregnancy

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My Birth Plan {Preparing for a Homebirth}

My Birth Plan {Preparing for a Homebirth}

I never wrote a birth plan when I was pregnant with Jasmine. It felt a bit pointless writing a ‘plan’ for something that, let’s face it, can’t really be planned. Jasmine’s birth ended up being quite dramatic, I arrived at the hospital 10cms dilated and my body already pushing her out by itself. The midwife who looked after me upon arrival at the Birthing Unit didn’t have time to read the front cover of my maternity notes to see my name, let alone read a birth plan!

This time around I’ve felt more inclined to write a birth plan. For two reasons:

  • Because I’m *hopefully* going to have a home birth – I should have at least one midwife with me for the majority of my labour, meaning they will actually have time to read and follow my instructions! I also feel that because I’ll be setting up my own ‘birth environment’ that I will be more in control of how I labour.
  • Having experienced giving birth already, I have some idea of what to expect (granted, all labour/births are different) and therefore I found it easier to know what I do and don’t want to happen – especially when it comes to post-partum procedures such as cord clamping and the administration of Vitamin K to baby.

I’m sharing this birth plan as I found it helpful to read through other people’s when writing my own. It’s short and sweet (which is the best way to keep it if there’s any hope of it being followed) and doesn’t go into too much detail. I’ve based my plan on my own research and my previous experience of giving birth so I’m not looking for opinions on my decisions to do ‘x’, ‘y’ or ‘z’. ;)

Jenna’s Birth Plan:

Birth partner: My husband, Stephen.

The birth environment:

I plan to labour/give birth in our living room (furniture such as the coffee table will be removed to give me more space to move around and change positions). I may also want to have a bath/shower (upstairs) to help ease labour pains. I have prepared a music playlist that I may wish to listen to using either headphones or a speaker. I have put together a homebirth box which is full of items that I feel  I may want/need during labour.

Pain relief:

When managing contractions, I would like to use my TENs machine and Entonox as well as using my Daisy Birthing breathing techniques. I am keen to avoid using Pethidine. Please do not ask me if I would like pain relief, I will state ‘I would like x now please’ when I feel I need something.

Positions for labour and birth:

I intend to remain as active and upright as possible during my labour and birth (particularly during the pushing stage) and would like my midwife to help me to achieve this. I also have a birthing ball and a CUB support available in which to aid me.

Cord clamping:

I would like the cord cutting/clamping delayed until the cord has stopped pulsating. I have provided my own cord tie which I would like to use instead of a plastic clamp. Please offer my husband the opportunity to cut the cord.

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Placenta:

I would appreciate it if you could administer drugs to help me deliver the placenta quickly. We do not wish to keep the placenta.

NB. I was seriously considering having the placenta encapsulated but after a bit of research I decided against it in the end.

Skin-to-skin:

I would like to keep the baby unclothed and close to my skin immediately after birth, to maximise skin-to-skin contact.

Feeding Baby:

I would like to breastfeed our baby as soon as possible after the birth. I’d appreciate some assistance with this to ensure the baby’s latch is correct.

Vitamin K: Please administer an injection of Vitamin K to the baby after the birth.

Sex of Baby: We do not know the gender of our baby and would prefer not to be told by a midwife (sorry!) but instead, find out for ourselves.

Please note: Our two-year-old daughter, Jasmine, may be at home with us depending on what time of day it is and whether or not we’ve managed to arrange childcare. If I’m labouring at night then we are happy for her to stay in bed and sleep through.

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I had a midwife read through my birth plan at my 36 week appointment and she said “This is exactly the kind of birth plan I’d write for myself.” And then went on to ask “But do you have any special requests?” which I must admit, totally threw me. I joked that I wasn’t a diva and wouldn’t be asking to give birth in a room full of Labradoodle puppies!

But actually, the more I think about it…

Did you write/are you writing a birth plan?

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Growing a rainbow baby: 35 & 36 weeks pregnant

Growing a rainbow baby: 35 & 36 weeks pregnant

 

Well today I have made it to 37 weeks (full-term – yay!) and I’m a little late with my update of the last two weeks so here we go…

How big is Baby Button-Nose this week?

At 36 weeks, Baby Button-Nose is over 2.6kg and still piling on the weight at a rate of about 30g a day, is close to the size of a romaine lettuce. (Length: 47.4cm, head to heel.)

Mood: 

Mostly OK although I am finding that I’m becoming more grouchy and short tempered as the days go on. The tiredness, hormones and being generally uncomfortable is taking it’s toll on my mood.

Aside from all of that, Jasmine’s behaviour has been really challenging at times (I think she knows that change is afoot, even if she doesn’t quite understand what that change is).

Symptoms: 

A few times over the last week I’ve felt like things might be starting to happen. I’ve had period cramps most days this week. I also felt like I’m ‘opening up’ down there, as if baby could just fall out at any given moment! But I guess it’s just a pressure thing when baby is head down and engaged. It’s eased off the last couple of days so I’m wondering if Baby BN is no longer engaged again!

Pain under my ribs – particularly on my right side (I think this is where Button-Nose likes to park his/her feet!)

Acid reflux

Backache/SPD pain

Increased discharge (Yuk – sorry!)

Calf cramp

Greasy skin/dull hair (Waah!)

Night sweats have suddenly made an unwelcome return!

Insomnia

Braxton hicks

Tiredness. I seem to hit a brick wall in the afternoon and desperately wish I could nap. The toddler didn’t get the memo unfortunately.

Highlight of the week(s): 

Having the house deep-cleaned on Monday – I had been looking forward to this for weeks and I’m so glad we had it done. Now to just try and keep on top of it.

Whilst we had the cleaners here (for 6 hours!) I thought it would be nice to take Jasmine to the cinema for the first time. I wasn’t sure how well behaved she’d be but I figured as it was a Junior showing and only cost £3.60 for the both of us, there was no real loss if we had to leave. She was as good as gold though and sat perfectly through the whole thing – so proud of her. It made me a bit sad that we won’t get to do things like that, just us, for quite a while. I can’t wait for her to be a big sister but having another baby does feel quite bittersweet at times.

And finally, on Saturday I had a ‘day date’ with Stephen. We went to a local Thai resturant for lunch (the food was amazing) and did a bit of Christmas shopping.

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Baby movements: 

It certainly feels like Button-Nose is snug in there – my tummy feels really tight. I tend to only really feel two types of movements – hiccups (low down) and feet sticking out of my right side.

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Fundal measurement: 

At 36+2 my fundal measurement was 35.5cm – that’s quite a lot of growth since my last antenatal appointment, however this measurement was taken by a different midwife.

Appointments:

36 week midwife appointment (home visit) – 

I had my 36 week home visit on Wednesday. I was a little sad that it wasn’t my own midwife who came out for it but this midwife (Stephanie) was equally as lovely. She was here for about an hour. She did my usual check up – wee, blood pressure, bump measurement etc. (all fine) and then talked in more detail about my birth plan and reasons I may have to transfer to hospital etc. She left a big box here full of all sorts of bits and bobs – plastic sheeting, needles, random medical bits and pieces. It all seems very real now.

She checked baby’s position and is pretty sure that they are head down with spine on the left and limbs out to the right. This fits with movements (feel hiccups very low down and kicks on my right side) so I’m confident that baby isn’t breech!

I’m able to have a homebirth from 37 weeks (so from the 31st October)!

Things I’m missing: 

The ability to tie my own shoe laces.

Sleep: 

Rubbish. (And yes, I know the sleep situation is not going to get any better any time soon!)

Pregnancy/baby related purchases: 

I finally ordered our Chicco Next-to-Me (the cramps scared me into action) – although we’ve yet to put it up. Dare I say it, I think we have everything we need now.

I’ve also packed my ‘just in case’ hospital bags.

TinyFootstepsPregnancy

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Life Lately: The Calm Before the Storm

Life Lately: The Calm Before the Storm

With less than one month to go until Baby Button-Nose’s due date, I thought it would be nice to sit down and just write. Not about anything in particular but whatever springs to my mind in a period that I’m currently calling the ‘calm before the storm’. Before our lives change again. Before we become a family of four.

Yesterday we had our house deep cleaned in preparation for a homebirth and regardless of whether or not that’s the kind of birth I end up having, I’m glad we’ve had it done. It’s just another one of those things that make me feel a little more ‘ready’. I’m a bit of a clean freak at the best of times so you can only imagine what I’m like when I get into nesting mode. However, I’ve realised that I need to start taking it easy – this pregnancy has been so much harder on my body. Some days, walking up the stairs is a real struggle due to hip and back pain so scrubbing walls and floors myself isn’t an option. I have been going crazy with my label maker though – now that’s my kinda nesting!

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As the cleaners were working in our house for 6 hours, I decided it would be best for me and Jasmine to go out somewhere, to get out of their way. I thought it would be fun to take Jasmine to the cinema for the first time (if you don’t count the Big Scream showings I took her to when she was a baby). I was a little nervous as although I know she is able to sit and watch a whole film at home, I’m wasn’t sure how she’d behave at the cinema. Especially as she seems to have developed a fear of the dark. I booked tickets to a Junior showing of Ice Age: Collision Course which only cost £3.60 for the both of us (bargain!) so I figured if she played up or wasn’t keen on being there – we’d just go to the park instead and there was no real loss.

I needn’t have been so worried because she was as good as gold – sat through the entire film perfectly. She’d occasionally get excited and shout something like “Look mummy, a hotcano! Look everybody, a hotcano!” (That’s a volcano to you and me.) She munched her way through a big bag of popcorn whilst I spent most of the film watching her watch the film. I couldn’t stop from smiling. I also felt a little sad that our days alone together are numbered. Having another baby is so bittersweet. On the one hand, I cannot wait for Jasmine to meet her sibling and become a big sister but on the other, I will miss our time together, just the two of us.

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We had our annual visit to Undley Pumpkin Patch at the weekend (we’ve gone there every year for the last 3 years). It’s only when I look back at our photos of our visits that I realise just how much Jasmine has grown and changed. This will probably be our last ever visit to this particular pumpkin patch as we are relocating back to the South West early next year. I’m sure we’ll be able to find somewhere just as awesome to pick our pumpkins!

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I’m not sure how much Jasmine understands about the ‘baby in mummy’s tummy’. We try to talk to her about the baby but it’s a lot to take in for a 2.5 year-old. Hell, sometimes I can barely get my head around it. To think that I’m growing a brand new human inside of me – it boggles the mind. I do think Jasmine understands more than I give her credit for though – the other night she pointed at my tummy and said “baby”, completely unprompted. When asked “Do you want a brother or a sister?” which tends to be something that family, neighbours and strangers ask her a lot. She’ll either reply “no” (oh.), or more often than not, “a baby brother”. No pressure then.

She’s also become quite protective over me, shouting “my mummy” at strangers in the supermarket. As if she suspects the lady buying milk and baked beans is going to pick me up and carry me away. To be fair, she reacts the same way with the toy cars at playgroup. (“My cars!”) But at least there, the threat is real. You’re gonna have to learn to share real soon, baby girl!

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I should probably touch upon my mental health, seeing as I’ve written about it a fair amount on blog over the last few months. I’m still taking my anti-depressants and I feel like I’m currently in a good place. Yes, I feel quite anxious at times but at 36 weeks pregnant, I think that’s perfectly normal. On the whole, I am excited about meeting our newest addition and whilst I know it’s going to be a big adjustment. I feel I will be able to cope – and if I can’t, I won’t be afraid to ask for help.

I ordered our last few baby essentials last night. I’ve packed our ‘just in case’ hospital bags. Put a box together for my homebirth. Bought biscuits for the midwives! Written a birth plan.  And so I’m feeling as ready as I’ll ever be.

There are a few things I’d like to do before baby arrives such as have a dental check-up (joy!), get my bump Henna’d and treat myself to a haircut and some reflexology. Time is of the essence so I need to get a move on!

Any advice for a soon-to-be mummy of two?!

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Growing a rainbow baby: 33 & 34 weeks pregnant

Growing a rainbow baby: 33 & 34 weeks pregnant

How big is Baby Button-Nose this week?

At 34 weeks Baby Button-Nose is about the size of an average cantaloupe melon, weighing 2.1kg. (Length: 45cm, head to heel.)

Mood: 

Honestly? I’ve been feeling massively fed up. I’m in so much pain almost constantly that I’m struggling to do ANYTHING. My due date still seems so far away (even though it isn’t, not really) but the thought of being in agony for the next 6+ weeks makes me miserable. I hate moaning about pregnancy aches and pains and usually I just grin and bear it but the last few weeks have been a real struggle.

Aside from from the pain I’m generally feeling a bit ‘meh’. I think I look like a big, fat frump. I’m still waiting for my soddin’ ‘glow’ to arrive.

I also keep having mini panic attacks when I think about giving birth. I’ve started getting super, super nervous about going into labour and y’know, pushing a baby out. I was sat in the waiting room before my midwife appointment and I suddenly thought “Oh crap, I’m going to have a baby”- which was then followed by heart palpitations. I used my Daisy Birthing breathing techniques to calm myself down.

Symptoms: 

Stretching/burning sensation around my rib cage (below my breasts)

Acid reflux

Backache/SPD pain

Bloody nose

Bleeding gums

Occasional cramp in feet

Boobs have been leaking colostrum every single day. I also keep feeling the ‘let down’ sensation.

Skin breakouts.

Highlight of the week(s): 

We booked a last minute Air BnB trip to Norfolk at the weekend. It will almost certainly be our last weekend getaway, just the three of us, before Baby BN arrives. Although it was only two nights away, it was lovely to have a change of scene and spend some quality family time together. We took Jasmine to Dinosaur Adventure Land which she LOVED.

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Baby movements: 

I still can’t quite work out what position baby is in most of the time. I’m pretty sure I’ve felt some little feet sticking high up out at my sides over the last few days which hopefully means baby is head down. Baby BN seems to be most active late morning around 10/11am and in the evenings.

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Fundal measurement: 

At 34+3 my fundal measurement was 32.5cms – right on track. :)

Appointments:

34 week midwife appointment – 

I always really look forward to my midwife appointments because Claire, my midwife,  is so lovely and she always seems to make me laugh and feel relaxed about everything. Blood pressure, pee and bump measurement were all fine. Because I’ve noticed an improvement in my energy levels (finally) she said I wouldn’t need to bother having another blood test to check my iron levels. She was happy for me to just continue taking my tablets. Oh and I am now booked in for a homebirth – eek!

My midwife asked if she could have a feel of baby’s position because she “cannot resist having a prod” even though she said she probably shouldn’t be checking the presentation until my 36 week appointment (I think this is only the case for subsequent babies, not your first one). She said she couldn’t tell if baby was head down or not as my stomach muscles are too tight (I can assure you, they don’t look it).

She also arranged my home visit for my 36 week appointment, unfortunately I don’t think it will be Claire that is coming to see me even though she tried to make sure it was. It will be an hour long appointment to go through all of the practicalities of having a homebirth. (Claire told me that the most important thing to have ready for a homebirth is biscuits for the midwives!)

Things I’m missing: 

Actually quite fancied some pâté this week!

Sleep: 

Not too bad – but I seem to wake up a lot feeling uncomfortable or laying on my back which I know isn’t very good for me and baby at this late stage of my pregnancy. Even though I have always preferred to sleep on my left side, I seem to really struggle to do so at the moment. A big baby lump sticks out into the mattress and it makes me feel queasy so I end up turning over.

Pregnancy/baby related purchases: 

I’m coming to the end of my shopping list now (although I’m convinced I’ve forgotten something important) but my only baby purchase over the last couple of weeks was a Close Caboo baby carrier.

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Doesn’t it look gorgeous?

I didn’t wear Jasmine much when she was a newborn – I found my wrap too fiddly. Obviously with a toddler to wrangle, I’m gonna need my hands free as much as possible when baby arrives so I’m hoping this will be the answer.

The last things on my shopping list are: muslins, our chicco next to me (which I will probably order in the next two weeks), bottles and a steriliser.

 

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