Monday, 10 October 2011

28 Weeks


Well, this week's been a bit of a nothing week really. It hasn't been terrible but it certainly hasn't been super awesome either.

I haven't seen my special boy as much as usual the past week which is always a bad thing but also, the week was largely overshadowed for me by feeling utterly exhausted all week and that's why the blog entry is running a little late to press again. Generally, pregnancy-wise, I'm actually not feeling too bad, probably better than I expected to by this stage but the key thing that has been affecting me is lack of sleep (and yes, I know there will be more of this to come as people keep reminding me, but that doesn't mean I should find it easy to live on very little sleep right now as well!). The problem I have primarily is that I am a useless sleeper. I don't like being useless at things but I've been suffering with this my whole life and have tried every possible cure that has ever been written about. Anywhere. Unfortunately, once I'm awake, I find it very difficult to go back to sleep again and seeing as I wake up 2 - 3 times per night to go for a wee and sometimes more with severe leg cramps (normally when I have rolled on to my back in my sleep) and then with poor old Ron snoring away, I normally don't make it back to sleep again much at all after 3am. This catches up with you in the end and despite working from home Tuesday and Thursday already last week (the extra day due to a midwife appointment, I'll get to that shortly), I still ended up being off sick from work on Wednesday after a night of virtually no sleep at all.

Still, I thought, Wood, don't fight the night-time toilet trips, you need to find a way to make the whole experience more enjoyable. To that end, I decided to go for some mood lighting so that I could at least set the atmosphere for my night time tinkling - that and of course it makes it a bit easier to find the loo in the middle of the night when it's pitch black and my eyes are half-closed.

Atmospheric Tinkling
The other thing that happens though when you get very little sleep night after night is that you get a little emotional and there were a few things this past week that seemed to be so obviously upsetting to me but sometimes other people couldn't understand why I was getting upset about them, and that can be hard, as you feel a little like you are going mad but mostly, I just needed a little more TLC than usual (I always like a bit of TLC, mind). Still, I'm feeling slightly better today and hopefully I'll sleep better this week.

So, I saw the midwife again on Tuesday last week - an experience I have come to find rather weary and it seems that she feels the same. I know I have said it before but it never fails to amaze me how incredibly disinterested she is about, well, anything pregnancy-related and doesn't seem to even try to hide the fact that everything she does is purely to make sure if she was audited, she has ticked all the boxes (she pretty much said this to me this week in slightly different words).  She did the usual taking of blood pressure, ticked some boxes, arranged the next appointment and then asked if there was anything I wanted to talk about. I said, well, yes, there's still this being really out of breath all the time thing and I also need a letter from you for when I fly next month. She simply said that being tired and out of breath was all part of being pregnant I'm afraid and that she would see if she could find time to write a letter for me but if she didn't get time, I'd have to get one from the doctor. Useless old bint. I'm really not sure why she ever became a midwife, she doesn't seem to enjoy her job at all.

The thing that I find concerning about the midwife though is that it's fine in my situation that she is entirely disinterested, doesn't follow up health issues, delve in to any of the psychological issues or divulge any information at all about what steps we should be taking, at what point etc. as I'm generally fine health-wise and mentally and am very thrifty with the old internet so manage to find information very easily but I've no doubt there are lots of ladies out there with far less thrifty fingers, a much lesser general support network, who are feeling far more anxious about the whole thing than I am and if the midwife's job is just to tick boxes, what's the point if she's still going to miss giving the extra help and support to someone who really needs it?

Following on briefly from what I was talking about last week as well, the more I know about the pregnancy services and the people involved in them (such as my lovely midwife), the more I feel like the whole thing is badly designed to increase anxiety about being pregnant rather than reduce it. For example, this week, my midwife asked me if I was feeling the baby move yet (I already told her I could at the past two sessions but I don't think she remembers one patient from another), I said yes, she said, at least ten times a day? I said, oh, goodness, I don't know, I've never counted, possibly not that many, is that bad? She just passed me an NHS leaflet and said, here's more information about monitoring your baby's movements and moved on to the next box. I read the leaflet when I got home and it talked about counting the number of times your baby moves and writing it down daily and I thought, jeez, talk about yet another thing that could make someone feel anxious! As if most people, especially those of us who are still working very hard and will be right up until near the end, have the time, the energy or the memory capacity to write a note every time the baby moves. That just sounds like another thing to panic about to me. People didn't used to incessantly monitor how many times per day their baby kicked so why should they now. All I know is that each time Shrimpy gives me a boot, it reminds me that the little fella is still doing just fine and I move on to doing / thinking about something else.

On the subject of kicking, Shrimpy really seems to be getting in to full swing now! Sometimes, it almost winds me from inside! Yesterday, and I've no idea what position he was in, there were about 4 different places simultaneously being kicked / punched really quite hard! He must have been in a star shape or something. Sometimes he sticks his little tootsie up in to my ribs as well and as a good old poke about - that can be quite painful even now so I can't even imagine how uncomfortable that will feel in the last couple of weeks!

The weekend was a little disappointing as well really. I had booked in a pregnancy massage but the lady had to cancel at the last minute and this was then followed by a trip to the local NCT Nearly New Sale, which I would advise anyone who isn't in an extraordinarily aggressive mood to avoid like the plague! I couldn't believe it. There were some great bargains there if you could get anywhere near them but I have never seen so many vultures in such a small space in all my life! I could barely get in to the room and once in, was sort of stuck being herded round in a pack and then every time I went to reach out for something, another Mum would grab it out my hand! It was a very bizarre experience. I don't have the kind of nature to fight that hard for a £2 outfit so I left very promptly and went home to await word of when I could go round to visit my friend - which never came - and by the time Ron came back really late, I was feeling terribly sorry for myself to be honest. In fairness, I've had some great weekends recently and there are quite a few to come but this wasn't one of them. Sunday, I spent a lot of it in bed feeling particularly tired so I was quite glad last night to say bye bye to the week and start with a new one. So far, not so bad.

Anyway, on the whole, I'm feeling very relaxed about the rest of the pregnancy, the birth and having a mini-us screaming away. I probably should be a little more nervous about some of it, particularly the birth part but the way I feel about it is very similar to how I've always felt about some of the crazy running events I have done in the past, like The Grim Challenge (a ten mile run in the height of Winter through deep puddles, under cargo nets and over various objects, which last year a few of us decided to do in full old lady fancy dress with virtually no training). Here's us eagerly awaiting the start of the last one (Ron was supposed to join us but had the perfect excuse of spending the day with his middle daughter instead!).

Old Ladies Jogging
The point being that when one of these events is coming up, I know I will hate the actual running part (as I despise running and find it a real challenge) but I always feel very elated and proud of myself as I cross the finishing line and I love picking up the medal and free t-shirt at the end. In the case of Shrimpy entering the world, the labour is the running part and he is my medal and free t-shirt - only he will be so much better than a free t-shirt!

Then, the having a little person in the house screaming, pooping, feeding and occasionally sleeping, well I'm not too nervous about that either but I think that is because my expectations are set fairly low. I think the reason people find it such a shock is that they are expecting something very different. I expect it to be extremely tough for the first few months and when I joke about swanning around the house baking, painting pictures with my feet, laying back and watching The Judge, I really am joking. But we'll see, perhaps it will be way harder than I imagine and I can blog all about it then but until then, I'm certainly not going to worry about it - life's just too short for that.

So, let's see how this week pans out. I'm meeting a friend of mine I have known for a very, very long time on Wednesday who happened to fall pregnant three days before me right after both of us came back from a skiing holiday in early April so it will be great to compare notes and just generally catch up and see how she's getting on.

On the plus side, my bum doesn't hurt anymore, so that's nice! Oh, also, this week I learnt that babies can turn their head a full 180 degrees! How bizarre is that?

Current Symptoms:
  • Toilet stops through the night
  • Swollen ankles
  • Sore feet
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • No contact lens wearing


Daddy has had an extraordinarily tiring and busy week so he will be blogging but will add in his post when he gets a couple of minutes to himself, poor Daddy ...


Curled up, I am now about the size of a large butternut squash (but hopefully less pear-shaped - I'll leave the pear-shape impressions to Mummy I think). Generally, I'm just all about the laying down fat these days and getting these bones all firmed up.

I learnt this week also that it is around about now that I start developing my first stool! Wow, 12 weeks of effort will go in to this, I tell you, it's going to be some stool (I shall call it 'The Stool of Perfection') - something for Mummy and Daddy to look forward to!

So, this week, I started thinking about the birth - my entry in to the world. It seems that Mummy is totally relaxed about the whole thing but she should try walking a mile in my shoes! All she has to do is squeeze something out of a hole. Try being the thing that needs to get squeezed through that hole! Talk about traumatic. I hear my poor little skull will go all cone-shaped like Daddy's to help it fit through the hole and I just hope that, unlike Daddy, my head goes back to normal head-shape soon after. I have to breathe air for the first time when I've become very accustomed to breathing fluid and I have to have my life support cut off and start going it alone. And I have to do all this without attending a single support group! I tell you, there's just no justice in the world.

Anyway, let's just say I'll be glad when it's all over. No wonder little people like me scream for weeks after being born, it's probably post-shock syndrome.

Other than being a little terrified about my entry though, I'm doing grand and can't wait for my first cuddle and of course the hat with silly ears.

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