Friday, 30 July 2010

39 weeks pregnant

A week of lasts, maybe. My last visit from Frances. My last Nandos treat without having to juggle a chicken pitta in one hand and a baby in the other. My last ladies-wot-lunch date with Donna and Sheli. My last waddle round the racecourse with D-W before we have a buggy with us on the morning walk. My last supermarket trip without having a rage about B*****DS in big cars using the mother & baby parking spaces because its beneath them to park in coach class like the rest of us non-parents. My last long bubble bath with the latest Dan Brown novel. My last [insert activity here]..... MAYBE.

I say 'maybe' because this is all assuming she's on time and arrives in this next week. She may of course be late. Statistics suggest 20% of babies come early, 75% come late, and only 5% come on time. Of the 8 women in my NCT antenatal group, 2 have already had their babies - that'll be the 25%. Who's to be next I wonder? Susan missed our lunch meet up this week as she'd started having regular contractions, so fingers crossed for a progressive labour and the safe arrival for her baby with a natural birth which is what she's hoping for. She's overdue so no doubt relieved finally to be seeing signs.

My last pre-baby lunch with Sheli and Donna? Maybe.

My last pre-baby visit from Lady Frances HRH? Maybe.

As for me, I am officially fit to pop. My belly feels like an African drum, taut to say the least. And if I'm lucky between now and B-DAY, no stretchmarks... yay! Surely there cannot be any more room for growth in there?? I met a friends baby this week for the first time, a little boy called Toby. He was 3 weeks early and is now weighing in at around 9lbs - and that's a reality check for me... the thought of pushing a 'Toby' out into the world seeing as I'm predicted by the health professionals to be having a biggy. I think I need not explain further. Added to this fear, my hormones have finally started raging over the past few days and poor Matt the Husband is taking the brunt. I hope for his sake that Gracie-wiggle sticks to her mothers ethos of never being late for anything (ones own birth included), as I feel there is only so much the Husband can take before he runs for the hills to take cover. I feel exceptionally mean spirited over these pregnancy hormones since the aforementioned lovely Husband made his last pre-baby guilt free splurge by buying me a new SLR camera to capture the life of the little one with a bit more creativity than this automatic Canon can do. I am a big meanie and he's such a sweetheart x x x

My last pre-baby antenatal photo? Maybe.

So wish me luck, I imagine I'll need it. Or it may be I'm back again next week blogging my annoyance that someone little in my family is LATE. I am planning on having a few stern words with Baby L this evening - WATCH THIS SPACE!

39 weeks down, 1 week to due date.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Morning musings of the stinkiest kind

Poop. In all its crappy whiffy stinking glory. Nappies. I look forward to you, not.

Not quite John Keats, but an admirable effort for this time in the morning. You're probably thinking I've lost the plot writing poetry about bodily functions when I should be tucked up in bed with Matt the Husband, and alas you may be right. Nevertheless I am awake, bright as a button and browsing the internet for something to occupy me until its time to make sandwiches and pack him off to work in a few hours.

I was at the park yesterday with some friends, who much to their joy, are already afflicted with the art of nappy changing. If I'm honest, nappies weren't high on my list of 'first-time mum' fears, but all this changed with one swift motion from a darling toddler which saw her mummy rooting around in the back of the car with baby wipes and nappy sacks. What a stink! I am now approaching motherhood with a resounding reluctance to delve into dirty nappies, although I realise one cannot be blessed with a wonderful baby without taking on some crap too. (You can include sleeepless nights in with nappies there).

This got me to thinking, and I remembered an earth-mum type mentioning Elimination Communication some weeks back. Something I had never heard of, and until yesterday had no interest in knowing more about. It's also known as Nappy Free or Natural Infant Hygiene. Unthinkable in this day and age one might be forgiven for thinking. Not so, according to the wealth of articles and books out there dedicated to the practice, and one I have spent the last hour of a sleepless night reading up on.

Is it genius or potty? (pardon the pun).

Still practiced routinely throughout many developing countries, some western mums are doing this too. It's based on the theory that no mammal wants to soil its nest, and so relies on the mother picking up cues from the infant in order to take the infant to the toilet/potty/whatever, rather than soiling a nappy. It sounds bonkers, but there's an interesting article in The Green Parent, which points out it isn't a radical practice, rather something natural and logical. And when you read into it a bit more it makes some sense.

We spend 2 years or so promoting a baby who wears nappies to go to the toilet in them. And then in some cases another 2 years trying to wean them off the nappy and onto the potty - something which the majority of toddlers by then are reluctant to give up. In other words, we train them to use nappies, and then have to retrain them not to. A waste of time perhaps?

For those using nappy free toileting, the baby from birth is taken to a 'place' to toilet, and the mother uses cues like 'wee wee' to encourage urination and so on. Eventually, the baby learns to wee on cue, without the need for nappies. Same for poop. Now this feels really bizarre, but I think its actually rather like toilet training a puppy. With D-W she had her bed in a crate in the kitchen, and we took her outside regularly to be given the opportunity to toilet. It's generally accepted that dogs wont want to soil their bedding, and so why would we expect a baby to soil a nappy?

Of course, I am planning on using nappies. I doubt I have the time or the patience to dedicate to raising a child nappy free. But I am intrigued and somewhat awed by those I have read about who have the time and dedication to work at the nappy free toileting with their babies from birth. Hats off to them. As the article in The Green Parent says: "save a nappy, save the planet".

If you're even remotely interested, you can read the article here:

Friday, 23 July 2010

38 weeks pregnant

With 2 weeks left to our due date, I am beginning to get fed up and tired of being pregnant. In real terms, it may be 4 weeks until the little wiggler shows her face and that thought fills me with dread! I'm almost envious of Christina having her caesarian booked in and knowing when her new baby will arrive. Of course I rationalise that these things must not be rushed and Gracie-wiggle will make an appearance when she's good and ready, but I can't help getting impatient. I am trying to make the most of my time alone to be well rested and catch up with all those people I haven't seen for a while. Today I'm having a duvet-day on the sofa, slowly plodding through one DVD after another as I'm still getting over the summer cold I have been afflicted with this past week.

38 weeks and still growing!

Well my parents visit came and went without much aplomb, and I know the next time I see them we will have a new addition to the family. Having seen the midwife on Monday, she confirmed that baby's head is fully engaged and just a case of waiting. She did talk about what happens if I go overdue, but we're not thinking about that too much at the moment as she says she hopes she doesn't need to see me for a 40 week appointment!

Our nursery is finished, my hospital bag is packed, I have batch cooked until I have lasagne portions coming out of my ears. The only thing this week that has tickled my interest, is trying to think of the positives of being pregnant in order to convince myself to relax and enjoy these last few weeks with bump...

1) Eating what I like, when I like without worrying about the effect it may have on my weight. I'm now 3 stone heavier than I was when found out I was pregnant so I figure 'what the hell'. Naturally this is with good intent to ensure baby in utero is well nourished. Calorie counting is not advised by the NHS in pregnancy, and I thank them for that wholeheartedly.

2) Being able to excuse myself from household duties without too much guilt coursing through my veins. Didn't feel up to hoovering today? I'm pregnant. Didn't get round to clearing the backlog of laundry? I'm pregnant. You get the gist. This also works for being in PJ's all day... I'm pregnant.

3) Wearing big knickers without having to explain why. I like big pants, and while pregnant I have not had to worry about what the emergency services might think should I be rushed into hospital and being exposed as a granny-pant wearer. My midwife actively encourages expectant mothers to wear them, and I do so with no encouragement needed. Once baby is here I will no doubt begin to worry my M&S biggies will be less acceptable, but at least if ever I'm on a ship when it goes down I will have enough material for making a sail.

4) Taking daytime naps infinitum.... sometimes 3 in one day!

5) Having a cover for bad parking - it's at an angle so I can get the door open enough to get myself and my bump out.

6) Having my supermarket shopping packed by a volunteer fundraiser for free while I catch my breath (this was only once and I would have left a donation had I had anything other than by debit card with me).

And that's all I can think of at the moment. Probably not enough to keep my sanity in check over the next fortnight until due date, but certainly enough to make me smile when I'm feeling a bit blue... another good reason for that duvet-day today!

Daisy-woof enjoying duvet time with her Mummy!

38 weeks down, 2 to go. Show me a sign you're cooked Gracie-wiggle...

Friday, 16 July 2010

Bump buddies day!

Bump getting big at 37 weeks...

Christina with Evangelia, waiting patiently for arrival of a little brother or sister, due to be born by caesarian on 4th August!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

37 weeks pregnant

And the nursery is finished! Finishing touches done, and we're good to go. Gracie-wiggle get your skates on and show your face!

Had a fun afternoon this week theorising over a playlist for the labour ward. I'm actually not a fan of music when I'm strung out, so in actual fact the list is staying in my head, but I did enjoy putting a few thoughts out there...

1) I'm torn (Natalie Imbruglia).... idea courtesy of Kevin - thanks for that, ouch!
2) Supermassive black hole (Muse)... my own offering, along with
3) The final countdown (Europe)... and
4) The ring of fire (Johnny Cash).
5) Shout (Lulu)... thanks to Laura.
6) Like a virgin (Madonna)... bit late for that Nicola!
7) Scream if you want [it] to go faster (Gerri Halliwell)... from Kevin and Laura.
8) Ripcord (Radiohead)... not a nice thought Laura!
9) Dignity (Deacon Blue)... as Laura says - for that sense of irony...
10) Everybody Hurts (R.E.M)... from Frances.

Others included "Help" (The Beatles), and "It's the end of the world as we know it!" (R.E.M). Thanks for all the ideas guys!!

So now that's done its down to business. No new pregnancy perks this week, but we did have a period last weekend whereby Gracie-wiggle stopped 'doing the dance' so to speak. After advice from the midwife went in to the maternity assessment unit at the hospital for a spot of monitoring. 45 minutes strapped up to a machine and we're back in business - fetal heart rate and movements all fine. Just been overdoing things it would seem, and so Matt the Husband and Daisy-woof have taken over garden duties so I can put my feet up.

37 weeks down, 3 weeks to due date... its getting so close I can smell it! I'm considered 'full term' today, as most women go into labour between 37 and 42 weeks. Little G-W is fully developed and now just putting some fat on her bones ready for arrival. Can't wait!!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

36 weeks pregnant

It's all happening here in the land of maternity leave... I feel I have been busier this last week than I have in the last few months! Matt the Husband points out this is just perception; things are just taking me longer to do - he's probably right.

Visiting the midwife on Monday confirmed we're still cooking nicely and my blood pressure is still normal (which surprises me considering MTH is on a weeks leave this week, ha ha!). It's official now, my BUMP HAS DROPPED! Having a good prod at my lump, the midwife says the baby's head is now 3/5 engaged... exciting news! It's bringing it all home that life as we know it is in its final chapter, and we're trying to make the most of doing things together on our own while we can.

Our antenatal classes with the NCT have now finished until the reunion sessions kick off again in September. Already 25% of the group have had their babies - Leona and Eric with baby Amelia (3 weeks early by caesarian), and baby Toby born to Emma and Phillip (by waterbirth 3 weeks early)!! Makes me realise Gracie-wiggle really may arrive at any time, and that's quite a prospect!
The rest of the group enjoyed a fabulous feast at the Three Houses Pub to mark the end of our education into the transition into parenthood, and we had a wonderful afternoon laughing with like-minded couples. Good luck everybody!!

I have a new pregnancy perk since the bump has dropped - the pressure of the head in my pelvis is causing wierd sensations in my thighs and hips, an awful achey cramp that I can only describe as the 'post Snowdon tremble' or like having whopping great big cable ties wrapped around the top of my legs. I feel like a puffy Bambi. Of course I'm grateful, many women suffer much worse!

Other things of note this week - feeling very grown up making a will at the Solicitors in town. And planning what moves to make with the rambling foliage on the driveway, not to mention calling time on the B&Q hanging baskets. Having mistaken over watering for extreme under watering (its common, honest!) I've sent the sorry souls to the brown bin, and I've made an effort at creating our own masterpiece from the discounted line at the local nursery. I hold little faith these baskets will fair much better - Matt the Husband insisted on rescuing the most sorry looking of plants, so instead of creating a blooming affair, we're keeping our fingers crossed as the plant-orphanage hanging at the front door makes a shaky start into basket life. Fingers crossed.

So yes, lots been happening. Oh, good news while I remember, I was offered and have accepted the job with Head Office, so this week marks something quite remarkable for me - AN END TO FULL TIME WORK!!!!!!!!!!! I will be returning on a 3 day week, so much better for raising Gracie-wiggle and spending quality family time at home. YAY!

36 weeks pregnant, 4 weeks to go. I'm verging on panic!

The last of my leaving flowers from work...

A quick pic with Dad during his whistlestop pitstop at Ferrybridge.