38 weeks pregnant and engaged!

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The first snow came and went, now the second snow has come with the first advent. I’m starting a two-week countdown to my due date. I’m now with my most precious thing in the world – the couch. My days recently are spent sitting on it, binge-watching a Turkish soap opera online. Very unlike me, I don’t really like soapies, but I saw one episode of this one while visiting my parents, and got hooked! It’s a never-ending drama, intrigue and cliff-hangers. I don’t go out or move around much, for which I do feel a bit guilty, I should be more active. I promise, I’ll try to do better!

The only pregnancy symptoms remaining recently is the hip pain, which I’m used to. I tend to have more intense training contractions, which come on more at those few times when I’m not sitting on the couch and am somewhat active. One of those times was a few days ago, when me and my partner went shopping for a week’s worth of food. Good thing I had a shopping trolley to support myself on, as the contractions were pretty much back-to-back constant, and the bump hurt in between them from how the baby is moving in there. Must be a funny sight, me bending over all the time at the shop to relax.

The bump is stretched out to the max and very itchy, I feel bad for the little peanut, he doesn’t have much space to move around anymore, he can just slightly stretch his limbs and change the position of his feet from one side to the other. It’s OK, the day of freedom is getting closer and closer.

I also have gotten some small stretchmarks – not on the actual bump surprisingly, but on my sides, although nothing really seems to be that stretched out there. I hope they will disappear without scarring later, as they look like they’re in the deeper layer of the flesh, not the surface of the skin.

In hopes to prevent or at least lessen tears, I’ve started doing perennial massage on myself – not a very pleasant process to be honest. During pregnancy, everything down there has gotten very sensitive and different. I saw a video on YouTube where episiotomy is performed during birth – no, I don’t want that! And I probably shouldn’t have watched that… No, no, no, no, no!

I’m almost ready to give birth – all the lists are checked off, hospital suitcase is ready, baby has a GP, I’ve written a birth plan, his bed is waiting next to ours. The only thing missing is his wardrobe with changing surface – the shop I ordered it from is late. I ordered both the bed and wardrobe six weeks ago, and have only gotten the bed. Must call tomorrow and demand my stuff, it’s been too long! Because of this, all baby clothes, toys and other things are lingering in his pram and bed. I’m frustrated that I can’t put everything in its own place.

My mum brought me some wool and knitting/crocheting sticks, so yesterday I not only sat on the couch, but also crocheted baby booties by following instructions given in a YouTube video. Finished the first bootie, started the second, and realised when I was halfway through the second that it’s a lot smaller than the first! I had such a laughing fit because of this, with laugh tears, that was so funny! Shared a picture of them with my family – dad said the baby wouldn’t know the difference anyway! LOL! Eventually I took the bigger one apart and crocheted a new one, then they both matched more or less in the end.

 

 

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The ring!

It was my birthday last week. I had a nice and peaceful day with no guests, my partner cooked me dinner while I had cake. We had a skype call with his parents and unpacked presents that they sent me for my birthday. After that call, my partner presented me with his gift – a ring, and not on the phone! We were both holding back tears, as he gave me a touching speech, got on one knee and proposed. I said yes, of course! We are now engaged, I’m so very happy about it and can’t wait to be his wife! I feel so blessed for all the good things that have come my way this year.

35 weeks pregnant!

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Holy guacamole, this is getting real! The birth is approaching inevitably. I’m not freaking out or anything yet, trying not to be scared. I’m trying to look at labour as hard work, that’s why it is called labour. My bump circumference is 106 cm, and I weigh 68 kg on my home scales (70 on doctor’s scales, for some reason they always show 2 extra kilos). Baby seems happy and active mostly, he’s having hiccups as I write this – that happens every day.

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I’m still achy in the hips and pelvis, especially after doing yoga where focus is on stretching and opening hips a lot. After that I do feel like sticks and stones have broken my bones! Hopefully though it is for the best and will ease the birth. In addition to the good old hip pain, I’m also experiencing difficulty breathing, like my nose and airways swell up, especially in the evenings, and I feel like I’m choking. I don’t know if the reason is the dry air due to central heating, or maybe the baby is laying on some blood vessels, restricting blood flow. Also, for a few days I was experiencing hormonal fluctuations, which caused me a few pimples, which I don’t mind, these are the least of my worries. But they also brought on a range of negative emotions. I was angered to the point of tears about what now seems small, insignificant things. Cried my eyes out one day because there was not enough natural daylight to successfully take bump pictures so that they wouldn’t be blurry. Picked myself up the next day, but still felt like crying over little things. Cried a bit about finances melting like butter on a hot sunny day.

Another day, a week ago I kind of had a good day where I got a lot of things done – I went to yoga in the morning, came back home, had a snack, then went to a car workshop to put winter tyres on, and after that went to Baby City shop to buy a bathtub for baby. On the way to the baby shop I needed to pee badly, and was already moaning with pain on the way there in the car. However, when I got out of the car – that’s when it got real! I felt like I can’t move and take a single step because the baby’s head was laying right on my bladder and it felt like it’s the heaviest bowling ball ever. With difficulty, holding on to my partner, I made it to the toilets. Felt so much better after, such a relief. We could move on with buying the baby bathtub. Apart from the peeing thing, seems like a good, resultative day, yet when I was finally home, I crashed onto the coach and all I could do is cry, the long, tiring day and the pee situation had gotten me. This time I didn’t let it continue for the rest of the evening, I let the tension and the tears out, wiped them off after a moment, picked myself up and moved on. I’m proud of doing so because I know how much my emotions affect the baby. Previously, after the first day of depression over the bump pictures, I barely felt the baby move or kick in the belly the next day. So, the sadness and depression gets to him too. I must keep it together for him. Should do things that make me happy.

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Sooo pretty! I love how every smallest twig has a fluffy white blanket!

The first snow came like a ray of sunlight – something nice, instead of the gloomy, cold and wet autumn weather. Now the snow is covering everything like a thick fluffy duvet, I feel so Christmassy! I listened to the Coca Cola Christmas song over and over, it’s so cheery! This might be the first Christmas away from my family, but I hope it will feel special, with our little bundle of joy as the biggest gift we could have.

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Hospital suitcase almost done

I’m slowly getting things checked off the baby-related list. The baby now has a GP, hopefully I’ve made the right choice, the doctor seemed nice when I met her. Have also packed 90% of the hospital suitcase. I now still have to write down a birth plan and I have to wait for baby furniture to be ready. For some reason the shop where I ordered the furniture has not been answering the phone yesterday and today. I hope that doesn’t mean that I will have to start over with the furniture…

This week I had the third and final ultrasound, and Hallelujah, everything is ok! The baby is laying with his head down, is still a boy – saw his balls. Ha ha! He weighs about 2.4 kg, which means he could be about 3.5 kg when I give birth, depending on when that happens. If he comes after the due date, he’ll be bigger. According to the ultrasound specialist, the growth rate now is about 300 grams a week, and my diet affects it. That seems quite a lot. I feel a bit anxious about it, considering that I crave sweets a lot and can’t resist mostly.

Something I wanted to do but wasn’t sure it would happen is a pregnancy photoshoot. As always, the reason why not is finances. A photoshoot would mean a few pretty pictures that make me a bit poorer. In the end, I was presented with an opportunity right when I was doing research about it, and me and my partner decided to go with it. We did a half-hour long shoot and paid 40 euros for it. I enjoyed it a lot, very positive, we giggled a lot, I felt pretty and…. fluffy would be the word, I guess. I think I’ll be blushing, red faced in half of the pictures though, that’s what I’m like. It takes for someone to look at me and it seems like all the blood in my body rushes to my face within nanoseconds. To my surprise, my partner did very well with posing. Up to now he has hated pictures of himself being taking, and him posing for a photo has meant that he just stands there frozen with a weird poker face, no smile, no emotion whatsoever. So, that was nice and positive. About 3 weeks to wait for the pictures, which seems like eternity now. The photographer was very nice too, telling us what to do, what positions to take and implemented the ideas I had too.

For now, that’s all from Ms. Bumpiness!

33 weeks pregnant!

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I am almost 33 weeks pregnant, bumping along, only 7 weeks left until the due date. Thinking more and more about birth, especially because I’m reminded of proximity of labour every time I get a fake contraction, aka a Braxton-Hicks contraction. Mostly they are just uncomfortable, but here and there I can also get a bit painful one, which makes me practice some breathing and relaxing. It will be hard and I hope I’ll be strong enough and will be able to bear all that eminent pain.

I am looking forward to meeting my baby, holding it in my arms for the first time and look into his eyes. At the same time, I feel like it’s going to be a bit weird not having a baby bump anymore, I think I’ll be feeling empty without it. But what I’m really looking forward to is feeling normal, being able to switch sides in bed or stand up without pain in my hips. And I’m hoping that my body won’t look flabby and weird with loose skin on the tummy. Thank god, I still don’t have any stretchmarks, and hope I won’t have any, although they can pop up in the last week of pregnancy. What I have noticed I do have is cellulite, which is bad, but easier to fix than stretchmarks. So praise Shiva and pray to him about all this.

Apart from the painful hip situation, I’m feeling alright. My main focus physically now is to not fall ill – it is autumn, it is cold and damp outside, which makes many people fall ill. I don’t want that but have been on the edge of getting ill for a couple of weeks, so now I’m avoiding being outside for too long, as the cold air instantly irritates and makes my throat sensitive. That sucks because I’d like to go on a walk and be active in fresh air, but because of this I can’t do that and am stuck at home mostly, which is boring and a bit depressing.

My pregnancy brain is manifesting lately as well, lots of small things that I forget but it also got dangerous once. I was driving home with my partner and was approaching a traffic light for a pedestrian crossing. The light went red but somehow my brain registered that as red for the pedestrians, not me. In shock I watched how many shameless people were “braking the rules”, crossing the street during that “red” light, whilst seeing me approaching in my car. I even was about to beep them to show how shocked I was and that you can’t do that. Luckily I had my partner next to me to look out for things like that and he returned me to reality, by repeating “Red light!” three times. Only then did I realise that the red light is for me, not them, and stopped just in time. Thank god for him, because I don’t think I would have stopped, and don’t know how that situation would have ended without him. Not a nice glitch in my brain.

I’m almost done getting baby products and essentials, only a few things left to get. We ordered a 3in1 pram on ebay, cost us 315 euros, which is dead cheap for a normal quality product. I just don’t see the point in spending big money on things like that, some prams cost even over a thousand euros, and that’s just insane! You can buy a car for that! I’m satisfied with the purchase and happy that I could cross one major purchase off the baby list. Another expensive thing to use with the pram and car seat is Lodger Bunker footmuff, which is like a very warm sleeping bag for the baby for winter especially. That cost me around 80 euros. I was thinking of buying a used one cheaper, but these things apparently are so popular and in demand, that as soon as anyone posts an advert about selling theirs, it’s sold and gone within minutes, if not seconds. We have also ordered a crib and a wardrobe with changing surface for the baby, which should be ready in about two weeks.

I also have enough baby clothes and have been washing ironing them recently, which is very tiring and time-consuming. The new-born clothes need to be ironed both from the outside and inside, for the time period while the baby’s belly button is healing. Today I washed the last load of baby clothes and will iron them tomorrow most likely. That is when I’ll be ready to start packing the hospital bag. Excuse me, no – the hospital suitcase. It’s literally like going camping, you need to take so much stuff. I’ve only put in there a labour set of diapers and pads for me, a sterile labour set, and a package of diapers for the baby, and the suitcase is already half full. This is ridiculous. My partner keeps joking, saying: “Don’t forget to pack the kitchen sink!”

Another thing to strike off the to-do list is filing for pregnancy leave money, which I have done, and already got the money, which will have to last for about three months I think. All I had to do is get a sick-leave certificate from my doctor, go to the state social insurance agency, fill in a form, and file both these to an employee. I can apply for the next lot of money – childbirth support – only 8 days after the baby is born, which might be around Christmas holidays. That will complicate things, I think, I’ll definitely have to count on delays with transferring money because who even wants to work around that time! So I most likely won’t get any more money until next year.

One thing I have been delaying doing is finding a GP for the baby. Not a big thing to do or much effort, I just haven’t gotten around doing it. I’m now committed to do that in a week’s time.

I have an ultrasound and a check-up scheduled in two weeks, which is exciting – I’ll get to see how my baby is doing, what position it is in, and if it is still a boy. Until then – Pooot! :p

Approaching 30 weeks of pregnancy

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In 4 days I will be 30 weeks pregnant and my maternity leave will start officially. I am already off work, using up a week of vacation days that I had left. So whoopty-doo, no more working for at least a year! I brought my work computer to the office, so now I’ll be able to free up a bit of space at home and arrange furniture so that there is place for baby’s bed and wardrobe, which we don’t have yet.

Today is the first day that I went out to charity shop and Kilomax clothes shop to buy some clothes for the baby. Otherwise I couldn’t spend a cent on baby things earlier because our budget was quite tight after car repairs. Now I have just been paid, so I want to buy everything! I am looking for the cheapest options though, I don’t understand how a long-sleeve onesie can cost 15 euros at normal clothes shops. I bought quite a lot today and only spent around 20 euros. The clothes are only going to last a few months, so I don’t see a point in spending a lot. Same as with pregnancy clothes for myself. I’ll only get one pretty and new outfit for baby for homecoming, after all it is a celebration. 🙂

I also went to pharmacy today to get Pregnacare vitamins – I’ve been taking Amway Nutrilite daily ones, but ran out a few weeks ago, and thought I would give myself a break from those specific vitamins. That was not a good idea, I’m deteriorating – my nails have become brittle and have started peeling and my tongue problems have aggravated. So, at the pharmacy, I found the vitamins in the shelf and was just looking at other baby stuff, just to see what they have, what I’ll need, etc. The cashier offered her help, asked if I need to buy things for labour, told about how it is cheaper to buy a set for labour, rather than buying diapers and pads and stuff separately. I ended up getting that, and a sterilized labour set (which should be provided by the hospital, but is recommended that I get it myself). In the end she gave me a special discount because we are frequent customers there, and because it’s for a baby, as well as the Pregnacare vitamins came with a gift – a onesie for the baby. Plus I got a 2 euro coupon for the next purchase there. So quite a pleasant experience there, nice that the cashier was so kind to help and give a discount.

I’m happy about buying things finally, as I’ve felt quite anxious about it, the due date is quickly approaching and I want everything taken care of ASAP, so I don’t have to think about any of that and can relax and just enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. Right now, we haven’t gotten much, apart from what I’ve written above. No crib, no pram, no car seat, no wardrobe. The small things, however, are the trickiest because there’s so many of them.

My partner told me that last night I was talking in my sleep. He said I tapped him, and murmured something about the list. He asked a few times, what list, to which I eventually responded – the baby list! So I’m even anxious in my sleep. I’ve now drawn up two lists: general baby list, and hospital “bag” list. Really it will be a suitcase because you practically have to take your home with you, even spoons, forks, mugs, towels, water, anything you could think of, even toilet paper. As if we were going camping for a week. It’s so ridiculous, really. Good thing we don’t need to take a tent, sleeping bags and blow-up mattress with us. Seems like they will literally be providing us only with four walls. What a nice, civilized EU country we’re living in! I really hope I won’t have to stay there for too long.

As to pregnancy symptoms and how I and the baby are doing, everything is kind of the same as a few weeks ago. My hips are still hurting; my lower back muscles start aching when I go on longer walks, but I still try to have them anyway, determined to keep up my stamina. I haven’t really gained much weight lately, and even the bump size seems the same – 101 cm. I guess the baby is growing upwards of my tummy instead of forwards. The baby is active, sometimes makes me jump from unexpected and even painful kicks. Had a doctor’s appointment last week, again, no problems, everything looks good.

This week I also went to pregnancy yoga class for the first time, and enjoyed it very much. I just love the atmosphere at the yoga centre, and the class really is much better than the exercise classes I went to before. What I really loved was that the end of the  yoga class was us mummies just laying down while the teacher worked with singing bowls. I just loved it.

Tomorrow I’ll go to so-called Mummy Thursday at Domina shopping centre. It’s like a free class for mummies, covering various topics, taking place once a month. Hope it’s interesting.

Lastly, another list we need to make – baby names. At least that doesn’t cost anything. Maybe just my nerves. 😀

26 weeks pregnant!

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I’ve come so far – the end of second trimester, where the journey starts to end. So proud of myself for being a strong and mostly happy mummy to be. I’ve had moments of sadness and tears, even just a few days a go, but mostly I remember the good and the happy me.

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Baby bump has grown quite big and symptoms of pokey stomach have changed to achy pelvic bones/hips. My hips are naturally quite narrow and stiff, I can do the splits only in my dreams. So no the bones are shifting for my precious baby to be able to slide through unharmed. However, the pain is quite annoying and I hope it won’t make me unable to stay active for the rest of the pregnancy, which is important. I want to be strong and prepared for the labour.

In addition to occasionally doing some yoga stretches plus squats and other strength building moves, which I do at home, I’ve started attending so-called pregnancy movement classes. They also help, although some of the things or movements seem unnecessary and too easy, and the class instructor doesn’t seem to know how to breathe right sometimes. Well, whatever, I breath the way I know to be right. The classes means something regular, otherwise I tend to be too lazy sometimes and lack motivation to get off the couch when I’m home.

In addition to hip pain I’ve also gotten coming and going small painful lumps in my armpits, which feel  like a huge painful pimple. Doctor explained this today, saying that there are glands in the armpits that are a part of breasts and that they are getting ready for milking, the same as boobs are. So nothing to worry about.

What has made me worry and triggered me to go into miserable crying mode is that my blood test results came back with diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia, as my hemoglobin level has again fallen to 106, and iron reserves are low too. It made me feel so angry because I’ve already been taking so many vitamins, iron especially – in shape of pills and a syrup too. It all seems to have been in vain and I was so very disappointed. Now, unfortunately, I have to take iron supplement called tot’hema in ampules, which is what I wanted to avoid and tried to be so diligent with vitamins. Oh well, I’ve come to terms with it, I guess it could be worse.

Another test that I had to do is glucose tolerance test, to make sure that there are no tendencies towards diabetes. For this I got my blood drawn first, then I had to drink a big glass of very sweet sugary water, sit at the lab waiting room for an hour, get my blood drawn second time, then wait another hour, and then get blood drawn the third, and last time. So my arm got poked with needles three times, as a result of which it is now bruised and looks like that of a drug addict. 😀 The results of that test were OK, at least that’s good. Like everybody else in town, I got up early and was at the lab shortly after its opening time. I had to wait in queue for 30! other people to go first, which took me nearly an hour just waiting for my turn, as there were only two employees servicing people. Could have easily slept in and gone there around 10 am, as that was when there was almost no people there, no queue at all. I was eventually sitting there alone, reading my book in the waiting room. My bum was stiff as hell after sitting in their uncomfortable chair for so long.

Keep on bumping until the next time!

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! 🙂

 

It’s a boy!!! 20 weeks!

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I’ve gone half-way through my pregnancy now, I’m a bit more than 20 weeks, and I had the second trimester’s ultrasound done 10 days ago and found out the gender – it is a boy, just like I thought it would be, before I even conceived, and even before I met my partner. LOL.

Everything in the ultrasound looked perfect, it was a bit bigger than I thought it would be, but according to measurements it matches its age exactly. It’s spine looked so pretty, like a zipper, and he was sucking his thumb in the end, so adorable! My partner will have to wait until next pregnancy to have a daughter.

Some pregnancy symptoms that I’ve had are more visible veins on the sides of my tummy, I’ve snored a lot lately, although I think its because of a too big pillow, a little bit of fatigue, but not too much. Also, I sometimes get emotional and upset about things that are not going my way, and it’s very difficult to stop tears from coming. I do try to tell myself that it isn’t that bad, that it’s all hormones, that sometimes helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I really don’t want to lose my cool, my reasoning abilities, don’t want to be a psycho hot mess mum.

The baby bump is seemingly getting bigger with each day, the skin is getting tighter, and it itches like hell too, especially around the belly button. I try not to scratch to avoid stretchmarks, and lather the skin with stretch-cream, bio-oil, and healing cream. I do suspect that I’ll get stretchmarks anyway, I don’t think my skin is very flexible. But we’ll see. 🙂

I’m starting to think about getting baby stuff, such as car seat, a pram, a scarf sling, some clothes. I want to do it all gradually, so that the costs are leveled out through the months. I also need new, bigger maternity jeans for wearing in autumn and winter, as I have gotten a bit bigger and it is quite difficult getting the first ones on at the rare occasion that I wear them this summer – I prefer looser, comfier clothes instead. I will also need some bigger T-shirts too for the growing bump.

We are now visiting my partner’s parents in UK, and went to London for two days with them. I’m very proud of myself for how much I walked around, to the point of lower backache, but I got through it. Thankfully the baby also endured it very well, with no bad signs or anything. Hopefully I have now walked so much that I’ll have strong legs of steel for birth. 😀 We were at the Hyde park, saw the dinosaur section of the history museum, saw the Buckingham Palace on the second day, and went to the Sea Life Center. Did not go on the London Eye ride because, even though I’m not afraid of heights, I don’t want to get a vertigo feeling while pregnant. Some other plans flopped, but at least I can say I’ve seen more than the train station in London and my partner’s parents’ home town.

Having a nice time here, and partner’s parents also gave us the first gift for the baby – a plush bunny, which is very cute. 🙂  A pretty white&blue blanket is also being crocheted for my little nugget. I assume we’ll be getting some more gifts from close relatives, now that they know the gender. At least I know my mum planned to get us some baby clothes or something while she was in America and was a bit upset that gender is not known yet, and she wouldn’t know what colour to get. I know that my mum is knitting something too. 😀

Everything seems to be going very well so far, and I hope it all stays that way.

Baby movements

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In the past week the baby has been moving much more, and I’ve been noticing more. It is no more a light caress from the inside, it’s more like “let me pinch your uterus so I can get from one side to the other”. The feeling is weird, sometimes literally like pinching or tugging. My little alien. 🙂

Five days ago I had a long day weeding my mums garden because she’s away for a month. Should have gone a week earlier because it was not in a good state after all the raining. That was not easy, my right hand and fingers hurt from the grasping motion, and my legs are still sore. A lot of squatting, which is supposedly good for pregnancy, as it opens up the hips and exercises the legs, only I don’t know if it’s good to do that for such a long time. Was a bit worried that baby has been squeezed in all day, if he/she is OK. But no, more active than ever towards the evening. I was laying on my back in bed, being on the phone, just resting my body and mind, and the baby kicked me for at least 5 times straight. My partner was next to me so I told him to quickly put his hand on the spot, and he did feel  one last little impulse! First time he felt my baby move too. 🙂 He tried to wait for some more thereafter, but no – baby was done!

Several times now I’ve laid down on my back to find that baby has crawled into and made himself comfortable on one or another side of my tummy. I feel where he is, and when I’m laying down, legs straight, it literally looks like there is a potato stuck in the side of my stomach! 😀 That’s something new for me, I know it moves around and when it’s bigger, you can see the movements and limbs pushing through the skin, but I never imagined this, and so soon as well. Some other women don’t even start to feel the baby move until 20 weeks, and I feel it a lot, since week 16! 😀 Maybe my uterus or just my body structure is smaller and that’s why. Every time it swaps sides, I feel it. He/she likes the left side most.20160713_164038

A bit more than a week, and we’ll be half way. 🙂