Where to start …
Well my bubble (or bauble to be festive!) has burst, my idealistic image of floating on a lily pad as our little cub enters the world with calm breath and Enya has somewhat changed!! Not to say I was naive in the slightest, or airy fairy about this whole giving birth business, but lets just say I had a “slightly” unrealistic view that I was going to be able to have our little cub at home, which only dawned whilst having my pelvis clamped open and my cervix scraped in hospital last week waiting to find out whether our little man was going to make a very unplanned early show!
Timeline: 29 weeks, 2 days (75 days to go!!) – Third Trimester.
Size: 15 inches and he weighs just over 2.5lb
Gender: Boy, around this time his testicles are descending into their final resting place!
Baby: He is now opening his eyes and becoming sensitive to light and dark. He is also practising breathing, although with the amniotic fluid, not air. Although he now looks like a newborn, he is still very skinny and wrinkly and so now begins the phase of him piling on the pounds and plumping out, gaining about 0.5lbs a week. Not only can he hear noise and voices, but now he can recognise them, so now is the time for us to start reading that favourite story and playing that one magic song which is going to lull him off to sleep every time!! He also now tastes all that I eat (see cravings!!). He is also now having sleep cycles which include lots of dreaming … so getting more like his mummy then!
Symptoms: ACID!!!!! … the vile stuff that creeps up my throat every time I have eaten and even on some occasions just drunk water. Every meal is now followed with a shot of Gaviscon and around 20 mins standing up, rocking and walking around trying to get my food past the bump, which has creeped right up below the ribs now. On the topic of bodily fluid, it doesn’t just stop there, the discharge has now hit a new level of intensity, which after the last week’s scare of my waters breaking can be a little disconcerting when with every trickle you panic; for any of my friends that have noticed that I suddenly get a wide crazy look in my eyes before dashing off … that’s why!! The itching has got better though, which is a huge relief after 2 lots of tests for obstetric cholestasis. There are other symptoms, however I have decided to put these together in another blog post, as they are the things that no one talks about and no one tells you, which you know by now i’m happy to!
Cravings & Aversions: Well I have gone completely off soup, following a very unpleasant acid incident and I’m still not at all bothered about meat in the slightest, although I have ordered a turkey for our xmas day, but currently more inclined to have sprouts and hummus, which goes on to cravings … Now here I use the word “cravings”, however I must admit that Christmas marketing campaigns may hav had an influence and of course I should listen to my baby’s demands that seem to be very much in tune with this festive time of year … so Mince Pies, Spiced apples, chocolate coins, matchmakers, sprouts (yes yes spouts, I love them!! Which combined with a pregnancy digestion is a hoot in our house!!!) …. one real and quite crazy craving though has been strawberry jelly and sucking on cheese, especially as I’ve never been a big fan of cheese in the past, although I could happily dive into a baked camenbert right about now!!
Bump: Ever extending!! I swear I have gone to bed every night this week and come the morning it has grown again. It grew as we were watching it the other night, with my mini cumberland sausage belly button popping out right before our eyes! It would also appear that I have a linea nigra, which Mark says has been there for months, however I just think its another sign that my jeans are too tight and it’s a permanent elastic mark!!
So far no stretch marks. I kid myself that the bucket load of Bio Oil I have been going through is accountable for this, but I know that there is still plenty of time, especially as cub has now entered his growing phase.
Body: Apart from all the funny little functions it now does daily, it’s holding up quite well under the strain of growing a human. I’m still doing yoga everyday for about 30 mins, strengthening and stretching anything I can to make birth go easier. The boobs have behaved this week, I even managed to get them into a real bra with lace and everything! I have now got the point though that I am starting to feel uncomfortable with anything over the bump, even my most perfect pair of H&M maternity jeans with their super stretchy waist I can tolerate for about an hour at most before they are swapped for my chosen outfit for any occasion these days; cotton pj bottoms, a stretchy slightly greying crop top and the biggest baggiest t shirt i can find … you wouldn’t catch me popping out of the house in this get up to pick up some mince pies from the local shop, never, not even more than once!!!!!
Missing: My sense of balance and any grace whatsoever! From walking into the table on numerous occasions, to dropping everything, passing wind without any control at all, having a nose that’s snottier than a 5 year old child’s, sitting with my legs wide open to make room for the baby bump and breaking into a waddle when no ones looking, because lets face it, it’s comfortable … and its not me, its the baby!!
Scariest Moment: Being told that our son may have to be delivered early was probably up there with one of the scariest few hours of our lives ever, not that he wouldn’t have been in the best possible hands and have a very good chance of survival, it’s just when a doctor starts talking about your baby’s teeny tiny lungs and the care they would need you can’t descibe the overwhelming feeling of protection, worry and love you have for this tiny little soul that is oblivious to all the people earth side that want to keep him safe, happy and healthy. However as worrying as it was, it really did make us appreciate how incredibly fortunate we are to have a baby in a country where we have an amazing health care service. It also made us realise that although we had this very tranquil and idealistic idea of a home birth it really doesnt matter where our little cub is born, whether it be on that tranquil hyperthetic lily pad or in the most clinical aesthetic environment as long as he is born safe and happy, surrounded by love nothing else matters and although there will be a few things on the birth plan that will aim for the most active and holistic birth possible, we are more than prepared to let go of any control and let the amazing hospital staff take over if needs be.
Happiest Moment: Sitting cuddled up on the sofa before I go to bed in my big fluffy dressing gown with the Christmas tree lights twinkling whist reading A Christmas Carol to the bump feeling (and seeing) him wiggling around trying to get comfortable, before he fell asleep with the hiccups, that was pretty wonderful.
Looking forward to: Christmas with our little bump!! Something that this time last year seemed so very unobtainable, having just found out after 5 rounds of clomid that in fact “the drugs dont work” for some people and although we had ramped them up to their very highest dose and I was as hormotionally unstable as bambi on ice my body was just not producing eggs, so we were left feeling uncertain about the success of any future treatment. 12 months ago there were many Christmas wishes made … and we also may have both written letters to Santa asking him for the one present we wanted with all our hearts and as our little man is currently sticking his bottom out of my tummy as much as he can that’s why you should never stop believing kids.
On that note, I shall leave you to go and have some festive fun and frolics!!
We wish you a very Happy Christmas and whatever the last year has held I sincerely hope that your 2017 is filled with lots of joy and love. Thank you again to you all for your amazing support with our journey so far and we cannot wait to introduce you to a new addition to our family next year.
Big love Annie, Mark & Bump xxx