Monday, 20 March 2017

Week 41

Can't quite believe I've made it to 41 weeks! So glad this is a third baby as the questions are starting to be asked on my FB page... for a first baby that's super stressful. By now I'm used to dealing with it. But really - when you see an announcement, that means baby is here. Until that announcement... no!

Here's my 41 week photo compared with the 40 week. It looks quite different but I think I had the dress seams twisted a little in one of them.

Still have a lot of energy for this far along, but can't do much. The leg pain is coming back, and I just feel so heavy. I've managed to keep the lounge pretty tidy during the day but I have to wash up before dinner, as I'm too tired afterwards, so there's always a few dishes left and things like that.

So still no labour signs... now it's just a matter of waiting. I can't imagine it will be too much longer... but if it does go beyond 42 weeks I guess its then time to revisit things. I doubt I'd go for induction (risky for a vbac anyway), but maybe some ctgs.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Labour watch

As per my first and second pregnancies, I'll note down any symptoms that I think could possibly be early signs of impending labour.

39+0 - had some slight niggles in the morning, and a stomach and back ache in the evening. Pelvis feels heavy, like baby's head is lower.

39+1 - slight niggles.

39+2 - a stomach ache a bit like a constant cramp, morning and evening.

39+5 - heavy pelvis and cervical twinges.

39+6 - heavy pelvis, cervical twinges, lots of Braxton Hicks.

40+0 - 40+3 - same as yesterday.

40+4 - same as 39+6, plus some intestinal 'clearing out'.

40+6 - still no change.

41+0 - waters broke! Contractions started an hour later, at 41+1!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Week 40

So much for my (hopeful) first guess date of 39+6! Still pregnant and no signs of baby preparing to make an exit. No show, no niggles, just Braxton Hicks that push baby down into my pelvis and contort my belly with no letting up for ages at a time.

My second, more likely guess date, is 40+2. This number is purely because it happens to also be my firstborn's birthday. This is also my midwife's guess date, as there is a storm predicted, and bub #2 was born during a storm. Can't say I'm looking forward to having two kids with the same birthday 5 years apart. We knew it was a strong possibility though, given my previous labour gestations (40+5 then 40+3). I'll have more of an idea tomorrow at 40+1, if my show appears, which would point to labour beginning the next day. If my pregnancy goes beyond that, maybe the 16th? 40+6?

But ignoring my grumbling, all is going well. Baby has quietened down the last 2 days but is still moving lots. The shooting pains down my leg have mostly disappeared, which means I'm able to move more in the evenings. I've mopped the downstairs floors, kept the kitchen benches fairly clear and cleared off the dining table, and have only the toilet vanity and laundry to clean. Of course, I'll have to redo all this again on the day labour starts (messy kids) but at least I'm starting from a cleaner/clearer base so won't take long.

Here's my 40 week photo - baby #2 on the left and baby #3 on the right. I still think I look bigger this time, which leads me to another guess - baby's weight! G was 3.45kg, I think this one may be 3.6kg.

As to gender, I have no idea! First outfit is neutral, and I have both blue and pink wraps in my photography prop collection to be able to post the first photo on Facebook.

I've bought a very special champagne to toast baby's arrival. All bags are ready and lists on the fridge. I may get out some of my affirmations from G's birth to stick around the room. Tonight I'm working on finishing my birthing necklace, which is a gemstone and lava necklace on which I can put essential oils. I want to go to the shops tomorrow and get E one more present for his birthday, try to find a present for his friend who is having her party on his birthday (lucky we did his party early), and maybe some double Brie at the same time ;)

Sunday, 5 March 2017

39 weeks pregnant

Managed to weigh myself this week, so have copied my format from last pregnancy just to add it in.

And my 39 week photo! Pregnancy 2 on the left, 3 on the right.

pregnant belly side view


How far along: 39 weeks.

How big is baby: mini watermelon

What is baby doing this week: It's all about watching and waiting now, as your baby could arrive any day. Your baby could be up to 50cm long, and weigh about 3kg. But that's only an average figure. As soon as your baby is born, your midwife will weigh him, and it's only then you'll know for sure how much he weighs.

Your baby is shedding the greasy, white substance (vernix caseosa) which has been protecting his skin. This turns the amniotic fluid, which was once clear, pale and milky. The outer layers of your baby's skin are also sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

The hair on your baby's head may now be thick, and his fingernails extend beyond his fingertips. They may look long when he's born. Your baby's skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap as he passes through the birth canal during labour. This is the reason your baby's head may look cone-shaped after birth.

And if the week passes and there's still no baby? Try not to worry – babies have a habit of not arriving on their scheduled due date. Most doctors wait another two weeks before considering a pregnancy overdue. Check out how to cope with being overdue.

Total weight gain: 60.2kg, about 13kg up from pre-pregnancy weight.

Maternity clothes: Maternity or anything stretchy.

Sleep: Usually wake once a night to visit the toilet. From now I'm going to attempt to go to bed at 10pm. Normally I'm up till 11:30/midnight.

Best moment of the week: I've had a few days without the shooting pains down the front of my left leg... and have almost got everything for my birth kit. Everything essential is in there anyway.

Food cravings/aversions: None.


Nausea: None.

Fatigue: Not bad at all. Have been falling asleep on the sofa at night though!

Other: Had my first ever nosebleed. Was at the shops after school dropoff with the toddler, thought my nose was running and put one hand up to stop it while I reached for a tissue with the other, but when I took my hand away my fingers were covered in blood. Lucky I've seen enough people with blood noses that I knew vaguely what to do. It wouldn't stop while I was standing though so I walked out of the shop and found a seat, and it stopped after that.

I did get it back again that evening, during one of my leg pain attacks. But not since thankfully. And I've had about 3 days this week free of that severe pain (the milder twinges still could be felt). It's a dull sort of feeling, but feels sharp as it happens so suddenly and is quite strong. It starts in my left hip capsule and travels down between the mid centre of my inner thigh and the front of my thigh, for about 10cm. I think it's the obturator nerve. Crouching relieves it most of the time, but this then means I can't move. Lying down stops it but it can come back when I get up again. Sometimes it's so bad I yelp. That evening it was very bad... I just kept crying out every time I tried to move back to the sofa so I could lie down, and ended up half crouched in the hallway for several minutes as it was the only position that stopped it. That's when the blood nose started back up!

Movement: Head down, usually left occiput lateral (LOL/LOT) but was LOA at last check, 4/5ths above brim. Lots of kicks and stretches. Baby feels very low.

Gender: Surprise!

What I'm looking forward to: Finding out baby's gender. Hoping also for a quicker pushing stage than last time.

What I miss: Being able to bend over easily.

Next appt: 7 March.

What else I've done this week: As much cleaning as I can manage in preparation for the birth and photos, which with the leg pain and a toddler at home isn't much. I've packed my birth bag and just have a few minor items to tidy up, including getting hubby onto checking that we have the hose fittings for the birth pool. I can just see him having to make a last minute dash to Bunnings!

I've also picked out but have yet to buy my big boy's birthday presents. His birthday is when I am 40+2... so I'm going to get the presents this week and bake him some cupcakes to freeze. That way I don't have to stand longer than to make the icing on the day, so should be able to manage that even in labour.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

38 weeks pregnant

And almost ready. My pool has arrived and I've got most of my birth kit together.

There's just a few more things to collect - namely a sheet of plastic and some hot/cold gel packs, plus an ice cream container in case I'm sick again at this birth.

And then also perhaps some snacks for the birth team? I was thinking crackers and dip, and a fruit and nut energy mix. I know my photographer brings her own, and we called the midwife after dinner last time (and hubby cooked dinner for himself and my doula - I was throwing up by that stage so not eating). But the energy mix doesn't need to be refrigerated so pretty easy to handle.

So, a few lists to help those who are also planning a homebirth:

Homebirth kit:
Pool and pump
Hose and fittings (make sure it can reach a warm water source)
Lots of old towels
Plastic sheet/shower curtain to cover the sofa (if you're planning on birthing in your room just use a waterproof mattress protector)
Old fitted sheet to go over the plastic on the sofa
Pillow, new still in plastic or popped inside garbage bag
Old pillowcase to go over the pillow
Old face washers
Clothes for labouring that you don't mind getting wet
Net or sieve for any solid matter in the pool
Lip balm
Hair ties
Homeopathy and/or aromatherapy
Bowl for placenta
Nappies and wipes
Postpartum undies and maternity pads
Maternity bra
Clothes for you for after the birth
Clothes for baby for after the birth

I didn't pack one of these last time. Decided to do one this time, on the premise that if I do it I definitely won't need it!

Emergency hospital transfer bag:
The rest of the maternity pads (2 1/2 packets)
Disposable breast pads
Toiletries (just the basics - toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, body wash)

I think that's it but I'll edit later if I've missed anything.

Something new that's happened - around 36 weeks I started getting random shooting pains down my inner thigh. Sometimes they were so bad I had to stop and screw my face up or yelp out loud. Mostly happened in the evening so I was home and not embarrassing myself. I think it's the obturator nerve being bumped by bub's head. My chiro tried some horribly painful things which she said was in the hip capsule, but it didn't help.

And onto something positive - I managed to take a 38 week photo :)

pregnant belly side view

I've put it in a side-by-side comparison with my second pregnancy at 38 weeks. Don't mind my fingers in the second photo - I forgot to put the camera on delay so I've still got the trigger in my hand. I think I look slightly bigger this time.

Friday, 24 February 2017

36 weeks pregnant

That really did come up quickly.

Far more so than with the first two. An indicator, I think, of just how busy it is with two kids under 5 and another on the way.

I've finished work - started my leave just after I turned 34 weeks. I'm now doing the school runs morning and afternoon for my big boy who has just started full time school (after part time kindy last year), and looking after the increasingly difficult (terrible 2s anyone?) but happy 2 year old the rest of the time. It's not so bad during the day, especially as I have got his day naps back to normal after a brief period of him refusing to nap, but if hubby is out in the evenings it's a real struggle for me. He's out regularly twice a week but often will have something on on an additional day, which means mealtime, shower time and bedtime are all mine and it takes all of my energy to get this all done by about 8pm. Then i try to ignore the chattering coming from their room unless it goes longer than half an hour or so at which point I have to act, as otherwise I have a tired school child to deal with the next morning.

I've also finished my physio appointments until after baby is born. Still trying to regularly do my exercises each night, as well as try to do perineal massage. And am going weekly to the chiro to balance my pelvis - after the first two appointments baby moved from slightly oblique to 1/5 below brim!

Good news: I had my scan at 34 weeks and my placenta has moved away from my cervix and is no longer considered low-lying! So all systems go for a vaginal birth.

I got a bit of a surprise at the ultrasound, when the sonographer told me they would have to check it using the trans-vaginal wand as well as just the regular one on my stomach. They check measurements, placental blood flow, cord placement etc using the stomach wand, but because my placenta is posterior they needed to see the trans-vaginal view to measure how far it had moved. The stomach ultrasound did show placenta up the top (i.e. fundal) and some down the bottom below baby's head, but didn't show how far it was from the cervix. Turns out it's moved 3.21cm upwards as the lower part of my uterus expanded. Plus it wasn't uncomfortable at all - thanks pregnancy hormones!

She did mention that baby is on the smaller side (estimated at 2.2kg), although with long legs, and asked the birth weight of my two previous babies (3.03 and 3.45kg). She said she didn't think this baby would be quite as big as my second.

I then had to attend the antenatal clinic to discuss the results with the obstetrician there. She stated that my baby was currently on the 10th percentile, a drop from my 20 week scan where it was on the 50th. She was concerned about the drop in size and suggested I book in for a repeat scan at 36 weeks to ensure baby hadn't dropped further in percentiles.

She wasn't happy with a homebirth with a placenta under 5cm away from the cervix either, although did agree it was well within their limits for a hospital or birth centre birth (2cm). The risk is with post partum haemorrhage because part of the placenta is on the non-contracting lower part of the uterus, and the way of avoiding this in the hospital is to have something called an oxytocin infusion (basically syntocinon or syntometrine through an IV). She did say however in the hospital setting they would wait and see before administering the infusion - I can't remember if she said but I expect they would have started managed third stage with an injection of synto in the thigh regardless. I researched this when I got home and decided that perhaps proceeding with a managed third stage immediately baby is born would help in preventing a severe haemorrhage (or at least give us time to get to hospital if needed). My midwife agreed that was a good idea for this birth, and suggested she would use syntometrine, as it is stronger (and we don't want a preventable transfer).

And of course, she didn't recommend a homebirth for a VBAC mama either, despite the fact I've birthed successfully since the CS. She preferred me to come in early in labour and be continuously monitored, with a cannula in place. Not surprising to me!

Regarding baby's size, I had a look at E's scan around the same time - he was estimated at 2.55kg. So 2.2 is a little smaller... however, all the information on baby's size at various gestations I found on the internet all seemed to indicate that 2.2kg at 34 weeks was average! So I can't understand how they have it as 10th percentile. Baby is incredibly active and hasn't dropped in activity like you would expect a baby who is not getting enough nutrients and thereby dropping in percentiles would do. And also, as she actually stated in her letter to my midwife, I'm not a large woman and so a 10th percentile baby would be expected for someone my size. (Which is what the senior OB said about my second pregnancy too). So I rang and cancelled the 36 week scan.

So onto my belly shots! Been really slack this pregnancy. Think for the next 3 photos (which by the time I've published this are 38, 39 and 40 weeks) I'll pop on the striped dress I wore for the previous pregnancy shots and take a comparison photo with the camera instead of my phone.

So left to right are pregnancies 1, 2 and 3 at 36 weeks. Pregnancy 1 was breech position and without a Tubigrip. Pregnancies 2 and 3 are both with baby head down and a Tubigrip worn the whole pregnancy. I think I look slightly bigger if anything with pregnancy 3. Be very interesting once baby is born to see how he/she measures compared to the two boys.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Diastasis recti update - third trimester

Have just come back from my final antenatal appointment with my physio at 33 weeks - next one will be after bub is born. Have been doing pretty well with my exercises - probably managing them 6 times a week. She wasn't able to get a passive measurement this time, due to baby now filling my belly, but she was very pleased with my active measurement - 3-4-3, down from 4-4-4 last visit!

So plan is to continue with my exercises until baby is born, at which point I am to stop. Then I'll visit within a fortnight after bub arrives and she'll check me and give me some (possibly) new exercises to do. Fingers crossed we'll be able to close the gap this time! I'm quite hopeful.

Bub has been head down since 31 weeks (yay!!), but is slightly oblique with head in my left hip. Will be trying a few Spinning Babies exercises to encourage him/her to move into my pelvis, and also have made an appointment at the chiropractor to see if they can help align everything (and also help with my right hip which is sore - the ligaments are much looser than my left).

31 week photo (because I haven't taken a 33 week one).

And a comparison at 31 weeks with baby 2 and baby 3. Looks bigger and higher this time round.

The scan to check placenta position is booked in for a week and a half. I'm getting more nervous as it gets closer. I really hope it's moved well away.

I'm also finishing up work next week. Earlier than normal, I'll only be 34 weeks, but we've pulled the kids out of daycare and hubby has been looking after them during his holidays. When he returns to work, I have to then take leave to look after them, and so I'll take a month of annual leave and the 8 months that my employer gives me, so will be back to work in November. Seems so far away, but I'm sure it will go quickly.

I hope to toilet train G while on my annual leave, before bub arrives - would make it much easier for me to only have 1 in nappies. He's not really getting the idea yet though... happy to sit on the toilet but doesn't actually do anything.