Weeks 31 – 35

Right, what have I got to moan about this month?

London weekend
Well to start with, I tootled off down to the big smoke on the glamorous national express to stay with Stef and meet up with my friend Holly. We ate tapas, looked at dead things in jars (so much better than it sounds), Sky Gardened and ate steak.

At the Sky Garden

At the Sky Garden

Oxford weekend
A couple of weeks later, I had ANOTHER girly weekend, this time in Oxford with more steak (its for the anemia, yo), afternoon tea and dominoes. The non-pregnant amongst us (so everyone apart from me) also had a shit tonne of prosecco and a hot tub. Honestly, preggos miss out on all the fun.

Oxford

Oxford

On the Sunday, we went for a mooch around the grounds of Blenheim Palace, which was gorgeous. On the 5 minute drive back, I passed out twice and ended up having an ambulance called for me. I thankfully managed to avoid the public pooping this time, so be grateful for small mercies. My blood pressure was low but my blood sugars were fine, so its been put down to heat and dehydration. I think (with my extensive years of medical training) that diet played a part, as this weekend was more cookies and junk food than bran flakes and complex carbs. But I feel fine now, and I’m taking it easy, OK?

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

For the record, I did this last pregnancy as well, but that involved me being naked except a pair of knickers and some massage oil, leaving an imprint of my bum on the floor. 

Tits!

Around this time last pregnancy, I posted a blog about all the nursing bra research I’d done and which ones I bought.

Nursing bras, the PJs I bought to fit me in later pregnancy and the big boy-short pants I bought to wear after giving birth are the three items of my maternity wardrobe that never *quite* made it in to storage and stayed in my general clothes rotation. OK, so they might make your tits look like shit but hot damn, those things are so comfy I’ll forgive them. This does however mean that 2.5 years down the line, I have a lot of nursing bras which my boobs looked crap in when they were brand new, which have been washed and tumble dried and worn a million times, to the extent that there are patches where the lycra has given up the ghost and gone completely see-through. Not in a sexy way.

32 weeks

32 weeks

So, it was time to look for some alternatives.

It basically turns out that all the brands and types of bras I used to like have been discontinued, so I dropped a couple of hundred quid on figleaves and bought all the nursing bras I could get my hands on. Either DD+ nursing bras have come a long way in the last 2.5 years, or I made some terrible choices last time around, but I was pretty bloody impressed with my haul. Special shoutout to Cake’s underwired bras in particular for being pretty, supportive and not making ones tits look like a sack of spuds.

 

The “nursery” 

Seeing as we’re still calling “the nursery” the “junk room”, we’ve got a long way to go before it’s going to be on anyone’s pinterest inspiration board. This month, Neil did do a heroic 4 hour flatpack session to make the 8 drawer Hemnes unit so at least we have somewhere to put all the baby shit when we get it out of the loft.

Not that we’ve actually got to that bit, like.

34 weeks

34 weeks

 

Home Birth Meeting 

This pregnancy, my pre-natal care has been shared between community midwives and an obstetric consultant, what with the previous massive baby and all. This has culminated in the grand total of two 30 minute consultations (and a 3 hour wait each time) with a registrar in the consultant’s team who hummed and hawed about me having a home birth until I told them I had the express blessing of both the consultant AND the supervisor of midwives so HA.

Firstborn being all gorgeous

Firstborn being all gorgeous

Side note: I’m not being a crunchy militant home-birther for the sake of it, I love the NHS with all my heart and I know the suggestions I received from the registrars were done so with (what they perceived to be) my best interests at heart. What I do take offence to is consistently not being listened to, being given shoddy “facts” that don’t stand up to AIMS, NICE and NHS guidelines and being scare-mongered in to something for which there is no statistical evidence that the outcomes will be better for me or the baby. For the record: “…home birth is equally as safe as a midwife-led unit and traditional labour ward for the babies of low risk pregnant women who have already had at least 1 child previously”.

I’m also well aware that there are a million and one reasons that might mean we have to transfer in to the hospital, and if that happens, I won’t have failed, or done a bad job. Basically, if there’s a chance I could have this baby in my front room and then get in my own bed with a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits, then that sounds pretty ideal to me.

Important Baby Related Purchases this month

Important Baby Related Purchases this month

Anyway, that all got a bit serious for a minute, but what I was actually trying to say is that my community midwife and the supervisor of midwives popped round to meet with me and Neil and discuss our plans. They were on board with everything we said and were refreshingly straightforward about the whole thing. My community midwife has also typed up the notes from our meeting for the benefit of the midwives who attend when I’m in labour and has generally been a bloody star. SHOUT OUT TO JEAN FOR BEING AWESOME.

My maternity cover started at work

This month, an amazing lass called Kerry started with us at Fat Free Media to take over from me when I leave. Last time I went on maternity leave, my employer took so long to organise my maternity cover, that it never bloody happened, so this is a bit of unchartered territory for me. I’m used to being the person who knows everything, who has their fingers on all the pulses, all of the time, so it wa’ a bit bloody weird to hand over the reins to someone else. At first, we seemed to awkwardly be working on the same thing at the same time. Then we’ve transitioned to her doing some things and me doing the others, and we’re now working towards her doing pretty much all of it, and me solving problems/being there for back up if and when she needs it. Soon, I will be entirely surplus to requirements, which is probably a good thing, especially as, at one point, I had very real concerns about being back at work with a week old baby in a moses basket under the desk.

Battle of the bellies with Neil's best friend's wife

Battle of the bellies with Neil’s best friend’s wife

What this process has taught me, is that I bloody love my job. So that’s good, isn’t it?

Hospital bags

The little pregnancy app on my phone I like to largely ignore and occasionally roll my eyes at keeps reminding me that I should have packed a hospital bag by now, and to make sure I remember to pack warm socks and fluffy slippers because people’s feet get cold when they’re in labour. HAHA FUCK OFF, I wouldn’t have even known I had feet when I was in labour.

So far, have only packed biscuits and sanitary towels. On two occasions, I’ve taken the designated hospital biscuits out of the bag due to an unforseen emergency* (*hungry) and had to repack them a couple of days later.

That’s pretty much all my bases covered, right?

Disclaimer: I will at some point actually pack my hospital bags, I just probably won’t be so organised and smug about it as I was last time. Don’t believe me? See “On Hospital Bags” and the slightly less naive “On Hospital Bags…reloaded” if you want a quick lol.

Next month: Who knows what new and exciting things I’ll find to moan about next month. Probably the fact I’m finishing work, I’m too sweaty, I can’t sleep and that crocheted blanket I thought I would leave until I was spending more time sat on the sofa when heavily pregnant is really fucking hot and definitely not a good idea to have on your lap when it’s 34′ outside.

Progress

Progress

Advertisements

33 weeks

This week, I turned the grand old age of 27. When I was a kid, 27 was the age that I thought you became properly grown up. Twenty-seven year olds had savings, and made grown up purchases, and were all domesticated and stuff.

Fast forward to actually being 27, and I feel a bit different. I had to get my mum to help us hang some curtains, as we did such a comically bad job on the first attempt. My bedroom is still a mess. I can count the times I’ve ironed an outfit before wearing it in the last year on one hand – a grown up I am not.

But then again, I’m married, own a cat and a skillet pan, I’m 8 and a half months pregnant and I seriously considered buying new towels with my birthday vouchers, so maybe I’m half way there.

To celebrate my birthday, and my new maternity dress from H&M, here’s a bump shot at 33 weeks.

33 weeks pregnant bump

On my birthday, my Mum cooked homemade pizzas and I literally ate until my knee length boots didn’t fit any more. Either that, or I experienced leg swelling for the first time. Either way, calves the same width as your thighs and having boots that have an inch space around the calf at mid afternoon, and having the same boots not do up by 9pm is SO NOT COOL.

Like the Queen, I also had a fake birthday two days later. I booked a day off work and Neil surprised me with a pre-natal massage. We had a double room at the spa, and my bed was covered in these heated water pads which felt lovely on my sore bones. Everything was going swimmingly until I realised the ringing in my ears was not part of the relaxing soundtrack, and I desperately needed to get off the hot bed and on to the cold floor before I was sick on myself or passed out. I sat my ass on the floor in a very unglamorous manner (which wasn’t helped by the fact that A) I was only wearing my knickers and a blanket and B) I was covered in massage oil which may or may not have left an imprint of my knicker-clad bum on the cold hard floor).

After a few minutes, I felt OK enough to give it another go with the heat pads turned off, but the same thing happened again, so we cut the massage short and admitted defeat. I’m going to put it down to sod’s law, low blood sugar due to a breakfast of hastily consumed banana, and lying on my back for any length of time. But mostly sod’s law.

So, what does a pregnant girl do when she’s feeling flaky and is too weak to lie down in a dark room and have a massage?

She goes for pancakes.

We’ve been meaning to go to Warsaw Diner for ages, and the need for a substantial breakfast seemed like the ideal excuse. It was also bloody lovely to spend some time with Neil without a to do list in hand or one of us having to work. Look at that face. Isn’t he lovely?

Warsaw Diner, Nottingham

After ‘breakfast’, we mooched around town, stopped every 5 minutes for another wee, spent birthday vouchers and generally walked v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. Before we knew it, it was time for Afternoon Tea at Larder on Goosegate to top up our calorie intake for the day.

Larder at Goosegate, Nottingham - Afternoon Tea

Neil got in to the swing of afternoon tea. I looked like a bufoon as usual.

Afternoon Tea, Larder at Goosegate, NottinghamI can confirm that afternoon tea was every bit as yummy as it looked

Also this week, we went to an ‘Active Vision, Active Birth’ class at the hospital. It was refreshing to hear the midwives talk about normal birth and active birth in such passionate ways, as I think in my head, you were given an epidural and episiotomy as you walked through the doors of the labour ward whether you wanted one or not. It certainly did a lot to calm my nerves about being in hospital, although I am still suitably terrified of ending up on a ward with 7 other women and babies, especially with my ability to tolerate people being knobheads being at an all time low.

If you’re not all up on your active birth knowledge, basically, a lot of maternity units seem to have recently stocked up on snazzy birthing stools, hammocks, birthing balls and beanbags for you to use to help nature take its course. Sounds very sensible to me, but can’t help but wonder whether some accountant has worked out that the cost of a normal, active birth is significantly lower than a birth full of interventions and can therefore save the NHS a few quid. Still, works for me.

I’ve also found my nesting urge. However, it comes more in the form of micro-managing Neil and roping my mum in to doing stuff around the house that I’ve been meaning to do for months. Although I didn’t do any of the heavy lifting, or curtain hanging, I did an impressive amount of baby laundry and folding. The cupboards are full, the nappies are organised in to size order and the bedding is on the crib. I’ve even started my hospital bag, if putting a 5 pack of massive granny pants, a Dairy Milk, a top with boob-holes for breastfeeding and a botttle of moisturiser in a bag counts. I won’t need much else, right?