Pregnancy Diaries – Month 9

This last month has been so diverse… the first half was full of work related finishing tasks and generally higher energy riding a wave of completed tasks… the second half… not so much!

Can barely get close enough to the sewing machine!

Heartburn has been a constant discomfort with a whole bottle of gaviscon not lasting a week! Without it I’ve not been able to lay down… not even for a quick nap! I nearly hugged the pharmacist who gave me my latest bottle on prescription even though the doctor had messed it up and it wasn’t at Tesco’s waiting for me like I thought. “Don’t worry, here’s the bottle and I’ll sort out the paperwork” was literally the best thing I heard that day!!

So the biggest panic of the month is the realisation that having HNPP is highly likely to impact on the birth in some way or another. I’ve been desperately seeking help and advice to come up with the most informed options in time for d-day. The best case scenario so far is that I rock the hypnobirthing and sail through a beautiful, calm and awesome water birth. This is my dream but I’m massively aware that wishes don’t always come true. Worst case scenario is that things go wrong, nerves get compressed/compromised and I end up with all sorts of numbness and dysfunction!!

With very little evidence to go on, the go to answer from the hospital is that c-section would be “safest” in terms of nerve damage but that quantifying the actual risk is challenging. Best guess is that I’m 6 times more likely to suffer nerve damage but that its actually only a 1% chance that things could go wrong. Epidurals or spinal blocks are out of the picture as I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between drugs numb and pressure numbness; as are any forms of assistance such as forceps and ventouse, these would undoubtedly cause high nerve damage in my case. I won’t be permitted to go past my due date so I’m booked for induction (do not want!) the day after if there is no sign of movement. I’m very reluctant to have any intervention and it’s making me rather anxious as I fear that once on the slippery slope I won’t get off it.

So the plan is… go for the best but plan for the worst. The bar is set very low for c-section, any sign of nerve palsy in me or distress from baby will rapidly turn into surgery. No pressure but I have to stay extremely calm and use everything I’ve learnt to achieve the water birth of my dreams!!! And breathe!!!

These last few days I’ve started to express colostrum and save it in the mini syringes that the midwife gave me. It’s by no means essential but I like knowing that there is a little stash for emergencies all ready in the freezer. Just need to remember to take it with us when we go to the hospital.

A surprise parcel arrived from way up north… what could it be? Hang on this looks very familiar… This little wooden bike is a heritage item that so many of the children have ridden. At a best guess it is about 45 years old! It has had a new set of wheels as my Mum and Dad recall replacing them when I rode it and wore them out!

I also got down a giant bag of my old soft toys from the loft and picked out a few to give to little one to play with. It was really fun to line them all up on the sofa bed and relive all the old memories. A small selection have stayed out to great our new arrival.

I’ve really been enjoying putting together a visual “Crib sheet” – forgive the pun! It’s got all of the positions, resources, a pain scale and emotions. All so that I don’t have to think and speak… I can just point. I got right up to black lines and had to go get it scanned and copied out of fear of ruining it while colouring. Daft I know but it’s actually given me a nice resource that I can share with other expecting mums. The guy in the copy shop was very complimentary and asked if I was running a course, think he also thought I was a little bonkers but wasn’t going to rock the boat with a heavily pregnant lady! Colouring is so therapeutic for me, hope I get it finished in time.

Rawmums Birthing Crib Sheet

I’ve actually finished off most of my baby craft items. I’m especially proud of my green waffle stitch crochet blanket. It’s so soft and I can’t wait to wrap baby in it. It’s definitely going to the hospital with us.

Sunday morning pains and contractions… Is this it? So on the morning of my baby shower at 2am I am woken up with very sharp pains and waves going through me. Pretty regular at 10 minute intervals with not much letting up. They were really intense and, while I bounced and moaned on the gym ball, hubby called triage. We’ll be seeing you soon, take it easy and call back when they get closer together…

Wave after wave caught me and I tried to put into place all that I had learnt… not particularly effectively I have to admit. Most of me was panicking: we aren’t ready, the house is a mess, it’s my baby shower in 10 hours time, the travel system is in the loft in boxes, I’ve not got my bag packed properly!!!! Arrrghhhh! Hubby was amazing and did lots of massage and calming, he put the music on and helped me through. By 7.30am I’m desperately exhausted and there’s no real change in the intervals. I fall into a fitful sleep on the beanbag on the sofa.

When I wake up an hour later the contractions have stopped… or have they? I feel heavy and keep having to breathe deeply. Family have arrived and are setting up at the village hall… I have no idea whether I’m going to make it to my own baby shower!

Somehow we make it down to the village hall and my sister and mum have done so well. It’s a lovely low key affair with delicious (and dairy free) nibbles, close friends and family, some silly games and an overwhelming array of presents! Such generous gifts both new and preloved. Everyone knew us better than we hoped and we got lots of really useful bits and pieces, books books books, plus some stunning knitted clothes, hats and booties. My mum had even learnt to knit!! Needless to say I was very emotional and exceedingly thankful. Guessing the arrival date was entertaining… with me in obvious early stages some of the guesses came forward somewhat! A this point I’ve still got 2 weeks to go…

Family really helped out over the next few days with a huge house, allotment and garden blitz. The travel system got assembled and mum helped me rationalise and pack the hospital bags. Just for the record… if you are hosting a baby shower it’s a good idea to do it before the lucky lady is 36 weeks pregnant. It’s a little too stressful to be so heavily pregnant and be holding on for the baby shower in case people buy things that you need, because all I was worrying about was how to get things ready in time. Bits and pieces that were still needed somehow appeared and I began to feel better that we were ready…

Then…

Everything stopped!

For some reason this was crushingly disappointing. I felt ready, I’ve been hoping for baby to arrive on the earlier end of “ready”, it all felt like we were getting started.

So onto all the “come on baby” techniques…

  • Pineapple – omg so delicious to have fresh pineapple
  • Raspberry leaf tea – love the clipper version as it tastes fruity, i used to drink this anyway
  • Curry – one of our staple meals anyway and I don’t think I like it spicy enough
  • Walking – just about able to hobble around the block a few times a day, nice to get some fresh air
  • Sex – um, how??? nevermind – too tired anyway.
  • Bouncing – my ass hurts sitting on normal chairs so I’ve been sat on the gym ball for months.

Fairly sure all the “things to try” are just to keep pregnant ladies busy for the last few weeks!

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