Monthly Archives: August 2016

24 weeks pregnant!

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Two more weeks and the second trimester will be done! Time flies so fast, I can’t believe how little is left. Also – can’t wait for maternity leave, so I don’t have to work and can be lazy (lazier). I’m not getting much work anyway, but then I wouldn’t be tied to the work computer.

There isn’t much of pregnancy symptoms to tell, or maybe I’ve just gotten used to them. Still sometimes feel stabbing pains in the tummy, but quite rarely and not as bad, so the extra magnesium supplement has helped. I’m taking extra iron supplement too, and will see if that improves my blood test results when I next do them. Another annoying thing is the itchy skin on the bump, but for some reason it has gotten less itchy (or, again, maybe I’ve gotten used to it). Emotionally I still can get upset by small things, and my mood gets spoiled a lot if my partner starts being cranky or bickering about unimportant things.

One of the things to get upset about was coming up with clothes to wear out on a summery day. Comfortable and good-looking is getting harder and harder to achieve. I have significantly less amount of T-shirts that I can wear because most of them have gotten too short and my bump is hanging out. However, I’m not going to buy new summery clothes because summer is almost over anyway.

[caution – disgusting paragraph] I got shocked a little about my boobs. They haven’t gotten too big or anything, and I was looking at them one day and thinking – how the hell is there going to be milk coming out of these? I can’t see anywhere that they could come out of, as my nipples are just solid flesh. Sounds stupid, but I can’t find and see any holes or dents or anything of that sort that would expel the milk after the baby is born. So, being curious, I squeezed one boob, and to my surprise and shock, a drop of clear liquid came out of the nipple, and not the middle of it, but the corner! Squeezed the other boob, and the same happened, but the liquid came out from two spots on the nipple. Well, that was exciting for me. 😀 Every day is a school day, I guess, and it’s weird seeing my body do that. Also, it was a bit reassuring, I am now certain that I won’t have problems with breastfeeding or with absence of cholostrum/milk when baby is born. So there you go, some detailed, disturbing and weird nipple discharge discoveries from me! 😀

The baby is quite active, I’ve gotten used to him fluttering his extremities in my tummy, and not only can I feel the movements, I often also see them. Makes me feel proud and happy.

A little problem that I have with myself is eating. Because my stomach and all other intestines are pushed up and squeezed in, I have to eat small portions of food frequently instead of 2-3 normal sized meals. I’m finding it difficult to do because I just don’t get hungry that fast and don’t feel like eating often. But when I do, I can’t stop eating, I don’t feel full and want more, more and more. Only when I have stopped, in 10 minutes it dawns on me how much too much I’ve eaten – I almost can’t move or be active, breathe heavy, and every smallest burp feels like could be more than just an innocent burp. 😀 I need to learn modesty when it comes to meals.

Ever since I’ve gotten pregnant, I think some sort of baby mania is happening to me. Whenever I’m out, my eyes are like scanners for other pregnant women, I always notice them, even if they are early in their pregnancy and it is barely noticeable. Well, there is also a children’s playground in the park next to my home, so not much surprise there. But it doesn’t stop there. Nature is also showing me babies all the time. At my home I have an orchid-type plant that never blooms. It had one tiny flower when I moved to my previous flat, but other than that, no action at all. Now, not only has it bloomed, but full on with many flowers. Also my two aloe veras are both having babies. So my plants are following my suit. 🙂 It’s not just plants – also babies of birds have been kind of in my face. When me and my partner visited his parents in the UK, we had a nest of house martins right above our window, which had baby martins. On the second day of us being there, the baby birds were learning to fly, bumping into the window and clumsily landing on the windowsill outside. That was very cute. 🙂 Then another day we went on a walk to a canal about an hour’s walk away, and of course, there were ducks in the canal, and of course, also ducklings. Nothing that special, it is the season after all. We fed the birds some bread, and afterwards sat down on one of the benches next to the water. And then, the most surprising thing happened – the mother duck and its ducklings came out of the water, not just anywhere, but right where we were sitting, in front of us, and started rearranging and tidying their feathers, in order to go on a nap! I haven’t seen anything like that before – usually animals are more timid than that and at least would have chosen a different spot for napping. To me all these occurrences are just fascinating, and I see them as good omens and blessings from nature for me and my little mini-me. It is all so sweet and touches my heart. 🙂

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Courses at hospital about childbirth

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Yesterday was the last of three days of classes at the Hospital about giving birth. Overall it could have been better because much of the content was quickly rushed over, just touched upon, and there was little to no interaction with the attendees, or any practical part. We all just sat and listened, I took some random notes. Only a few bits of information  were new to me, for example, that it is time to go to the labour ward when your contractions last around 45 seconds. But otherwise, I went in already knowing a lot, thanks to the classes about pregnancy and babies that I attended in the yoga centre. Otherwise, if I went there as a blank page, I wouldn’t have understood much.

In the end of each class we watched some videos. On the first day it was about birthing positions, second day – about the actual birth process, and on the third day – about breastfeeding. The videos were really old, from the 90s or so, in video cassettes, and the first one about the birthing positions just gave me and my partner the worst giggles! I tried suppressing my laughs so bad, to not let them out loud, I was in tears! 😀  The combination of the old style clothes, the man’s moustache and the circling hip movements made by the woman, together with her partner – it was all just too funny!

What I did like about these classes is that they cleared up some fears and stereotypes about the birth process and the procedures of the hospital. After the first video I asked the hosting midwife if the fact that a woman wants to give birth in any of those positions is supported by the staff there, because my concern was that it is inconvenient for everybody if I want to do it any other way than on the bed (I was the only one asking any questions, by the way). The midwife responded that you have to come with your own initiative, and be prepared for the labour both physically and mentally . According to her, the problem is that majority of women have not done any of that, come to the labour ward, and instead of moving around, knowing how to breath during contractions, etc., they just get in the bed and stay there, ask for epidural, and that’s it. She said that even if you get an epidural, and it is done correctly, you should still be able to move around, walk and do things and take different birthing positions, you don’t just get paralysed from the waist down. So, if you are the opposite of that, then you will be able to do it how you like it. Unless I change my mind about giving birth there, then I’ll see in December if this actually works out in real life.

All in all, the midwife just encouraged to aim for the process to be as natural as possible, without any interfering with hormone drips or inducing methods, and to try give birth without pain relief. To try to have a peaceful mindset without fear or tension, to see it as hard work rather than an excruciatingly painful nightmare that you don’t know how to get through. If you need interference, then fine, don’t beat yourself up about it, doctors do know better in the end, and many mummies do have complications. But in the ideal scenario the doctors would be there to just monitor your process and be ready to help if anything goes wrong.

Regarding the pushing out period, she told and emphasized that it is not necessary to PUSH the baby out. There should be no need to push as much as you can to get the baby out. Your body will basically take care of it itself, that’s what the contractions are there for, they move the baby out gradually, and there is pressure there, etc. Especially if you are in a position where gravity helps the process as well. Emphasis on making the birth less brutal, make it a beautiful peaceful process and, again, if you have prepared for the birth, breath the baby out. 🙂 Just like I was taught in the pregnancy classes in the yoga centre.

Also, as of recent years they also don’t cut the umbilical cord right after the baby is born, but wait a few minutes until it stops pulsating. It is scientifically to do with the baby’s blood system and lungs rearranging, or something, I didn’t get that completely. But I’m glad about that, it was one of the things I want to happen.

After the baby is born, you are left holding the baby for at least two hours and then a doctor comes to assess, examine and weigh the baby, and a nurse will dress it in his/her first clothes.

So, mostly what I heard was positive and encouraging, I’m glad I don’t feel afraid anymore that I’ll be forced to do something I don’t want to in the process or that there will be objections about birthing positions, or that meds and induction and whatnot will be forced on me. Any medical manipulation that is done, must be explained beforehand, and with some of them you have to sign and give your permission. So that’s all reassuring.

On the last day we also went to see the labour ward, the rooms, premises and equipment. It didn’t look too bad. They don’t have abundance of equipment, but the birth rooms did have a beanbag and a fitness ball, so at least something to use. According to the midwife, they also have laughing gas for pain relief, which is the least intrusive one, and it is also for free, good to hear that. They only have two showers for the entire ward, and the same ones did not look very fabulous – not a positive. We only saw one room for staying in after the birth, which was a private one. It looked very basic and small, but at least it would be private. We didn’t see any of the shared rooms though. If you have a private room, your partner can stay overnight on a very modest worn-out folding bed, but at least that would be for free, instead of ~60 euros per day, like it is in other places. Although, it depends on pure luck if a private room is available for the time of birth or not. I really hope for the best, that we will get a private room, because my partner will definitely not be OK with going home and leaving us for three nights.

Mostly this was a positive experience, although initially there was something that threw us off too. In order to not disturb the main entrance and area of the labour ward, we were told to go and use a lift that isn’t the main lift and brings us to the back of the ward. To do so we had to go through the cellar, which looks quite scary, and even had a cat hanging out there, which is probably not very good for a hospital. My partner joked about the appearance of the place – not only the roads in Latvia have potholes, but also the hospital floors! But I guess that is only the cellar where you wouldn’t be supposed to go normally, and other premises are not scary. 🙂

In the end we were also given two books – about breastfeeding, and one about pregnancy and labour in general. That will be something to read. 🙂

 

Meh…

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That’s how I feel today – meh… woke up at 7 am, stayed in bed for a while, trying to fall back asleep, failed at that, got up, had breakfast. Then got back in bed and slept until noon. Feel tired and uninspired, at least today. Would love to just lie on the couch all day, watching TV, but thought I should at least do something “constructive”. Also, there isn’t really anything to watch. 😀 So here I am to whine about my life. 🙂

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I’m in my 23rd week of pregnancy, proud that I have made it this far – all this is hard work. It isn’t too bad in the recent week or two, but before that there were a few days when I was thinking (and saying) – I’m done. I can’t. Can someone else just take over now, even just for a little bit? I just want to feel normal! This better be worth it, because I’m going through so much, and I do believe I’m having it easy. My tummy is itchy as f**k, I’m smearing whatever I can on it, praying that I won’t get stretchmarks. My guts are in pain from every little gas that passes through my intestines, I proper can’t hold back moans when that happens. Every time I go to pee, which is every half-hour sometimes, I get stabbed in the tummy, so much, so painful, that I can’t even stand up straight afterwards and feel like I need a walking stick like an old crab. My mood swings are also not nice, I can be set off to tears by the smallest things, and have to remind myself – it’s just hormones, it is alright, It’s not that bad. I spent half of a night until 4 am crying because I didn’t feel comfortable. One evening I just sat in bed and cried, and laughed at myself at the same time because I didn’t even have a reason, I just felt like crying. I struggle putting socks or shoes on, or even trousers, anything, the bump is in the way. I’m always hungry, and when I eat, I feel I’m blowing up like a balloon, can’t move, just want my couch. I can’t imagine how I’m going to be able to carry the baby bump when it gets, like, 3 kg heavy because it’s already hard, and it now weighs only around 0.5 kg. On top of all that, I need to stay active, exercise, walk a lot, etc. to prepare for the hard work that is labour. And when I’m active, my left ear pops and I can’t breathe like a normal person because of it. Also my brain often leaves me and I can’t name things or describe what I’m thinking, so my sentences end up containing mainly the words “thing”, “thingy” and “stuff”.

That is how I felt a few weeks ago. I have either gotten better, or have just gotten used to most of the above, and it isn’t too bad now. By the doctor’s recommendations I’ve upped the dose of magnesium supplements and am also taking cranberry syrup for bladder health, I guess that has helped somewhat. Two days ago me and my partner went for a long walk, for over two hours, in a brisk pace. That is very good, considering that a month ago it was half-hour in a slow pace and I almost crawled back home with stabbing pains in my tummy. A very good improvement. My mood is usually also good, some days I feel so good, I want to dance, be goofy and active.

I went shopping for clothes again to charity shops, and am very glad that I bought two new pairs of maternity trousers/jeans, two maternity T-shirts, and a onesie for the baby. The first maternity jeans still kind of fit but are not very comfortable anymore. I’m very glad that I don’t have to spend a fortune just on clothes for myself that I’m only going to wear for a few months.

Tonight me and my partner are going to attend the first class on childbirth (out of three classes) at the hospital where I’m planning to give birth. We’ll see how that goes, I’ll take laptop with me, but don’t know how much I’ll be able to use it. Was hoping to write down everything that the midwife says in English, so that my partner can also understand what’s going on because he doesn’t speak Latvian. He understands some bits of conversations in Latvian sometimes, but mostly he normally just zones out. 😀 Don’t really want to be the person who is annoying to everybody else because of whispering translation into my partner’s ear. I hope we’ll be fine. 🙂

Have seen two movies about mums in two days. We watched Mother’s Day at home, and yesterday treated ourselves to watching Bad Moms at the cinema. It was so funny, we loved it! Want to go see Ghost Busters next, enjoy the ability to go places while we can! 🙂