On Saturday, we decided to go for a private scan at BabyBond to check Baby Bug’s position and, also, hopefully get some 4D pictures of him. I’m not quite sure why it’s called 4D but, either way, the imagery is pretty impressive. We were able to see Bug moving around, making quite a few moody faces and rubbing his face with his hand. There was also a smile in there!
I find it amazing that babies can be comfortable in that tiny space – Bug had a hand and foot stuck right up against his face. No wonder he looked a bit moody. Mr Bug and I were totally n00bs during the entire scan – I’m not sure what we were expecting but a baby that actually looked like a baby was clearly not it. I think Mr Bug may have even said “HAH, he has a nose” at one point.
The other awesome thing that this scan revealed is that Bug is head down, not transverse. I breathed quite a large sigh of relief when we heard that. He’s quite large already – 4.8 lbs at just over 31 weeks. I think he’s packed on a few more ounces since then as my back has really started to hurt and lugging him around is getting harder.
I’ve got 8 weeks till Due Date. EIGHT WEEKS. I go through periods of intense panic about logistical things (kitchen is being renovated; we haven’t finished the nursery; the Christmas tree is still outside!) to intense calm (meh, we can move in with Mr Bug’s parents if we need to).
But, underlying all of this, is a deeper, more intransigent set of fears that are harder to express. When I try – when I give it a go – people say “Don’t be silly!” or “It’ll all be FINE”. And…that’s the end of the conversation.
Certain fears – and certain realities – are very taboo. I have the feeling that even voicing them can make people uncomfortable. It’s easier to dismiss the very idea as preposterous, ridiculous, the fears of a totes emosh pregnant lady freaking out 8 weeks before the birth of her first child.
I would like to express my fears around becoming a parent without feeling like I’m doing the equivalent of worrying about monsters under my bed. These fears are real; people actually have children and feel like this. If we talked about it more, we might fear it less.
So, after that dramatic introduction, what are these fears?
The scariest one – the one that can make me pause a moment and catch my breath – is the fear that I won’t love my child. I fear that I’ll give birth and someone will hand him over to me and I will feel nothing. Or, worse, I will feel revulsion or panic. That I will want to hand him back.
I’m quite good at loving people. I love my family and my close friends and I’ve had quite a lot of experience with how to love people. But this is totally different, this isn’t like any other relationship I’ve ever had, and I have zero guarantees about how my heart and mind will react. I THINK I’ll love him; I’m pretty SURE that I will; I see NO REASON why I wouldn’t. But.
Another fear – and they are all linked – is that I will regret having him. That he’ll come along and everything in my life will change and I’ll look back and decide that, on balance, it was better before he turned up.
Again – I have no reason to believe that I will think that way but I’m marching at light-speed into the unknown right now. I have absolutely no idea what the day to day struggles of parenthood are like or how I’m going to react to them.
The final fear I’m going to voice here is the fear that I won’t like my child. This has been something that has stayed with me every since reading “We need to talk about Kevin” (such an interesting book by the way!). The idea of nurturing a child, of investing everything into them, only for them to turn out to be a bit of an arsehole (or mass murderer in the case of Kevin – but something a little less apocalyptic would still be distressing) sounds pretty gutting. I know I’m naively foraying into the nature vs nurture debate here but the fact that there is still a debate going on means I can’t 100% assume that my amazingly awesome (obvs) parenting skills will ensure that Baby Bug doesn’t turn out to be a total wanker.
Ah. I feel better already. I don’t want to know that these things aren’t going to happen but saying them (or writing them down) means they are a lot less scary. It also means I can think about these things logically – both in terms of “this is probably not going to happen because x, y and z” but also (and importantly), “if it DOES happen, this is what you can do”.
The little monsters under the bed will still be there, and I’m very likely to spend the next 8 weeks having a little panic about them every so often, but confronting them makes them a lot less scary (and makes me feel a lot less like a crazy person).
I had my 31 week doctor appointment a couple of days ago and everything was fine. Well, everything except he suspects Bug is in a transverse position. This means that Bug is lying sideways with his head on one side of my abdomen and his bum on the other.
I wasn’t that surprised to hear this because it’s where Bug has been for most of this pregnancy. I’ve never felt any kicks or movement above my belly button and it’s how he was lying in each of the three scans we have had.
It does mean, however, that Bug needs to move before D-Day as he can’t be born vaginally like this. I’ve found some exercises to do via the Spinning Babies website so will give those a go.
I’ve got my 34 week midwife appointment in early February and, if she suspects he’s still transverse, I’ll go in for a scan to confirm. Then there’s the option of having ECV (external cephalic version) where the obstetrician will try to turn the baby manually. Finally, there’s the option of a caesarian.
These are all the stages that the doctor wanted us to be aware of, but I’m not too concerned right now as I’m still only 31 weeks, so bub has time to turn on his own. It’s good to be aware of the game plan though.
It does explain a few of my aches and pains. My bump is really tight around the lower part but quite loose up top (near my ribs) which puts quite a bit of pressure on my back. All the kicks/rolls are around my lower abdomen, usually to the extreme right and down into my cervix.
Watch this (increasingly tight!) space.
I constantly need to pee. As soon as I pee, I need to pee again. I try and restrict how much I drink before bed so I’m not up constantly through the night but it’s usually at least twice.
Pelvic pain is getting worse. I’m making a conscious effort to get up from my desk while I’m at work because sitting for a long time usually makes it much worse. I’ve given up trying to walk the 15 minutes back from the station in the evening (hello taxi!) but am still perservering with the morning walk.
Despite trying with ALL of the cushions and pillows, sleeping on my side really hurts my back. I’m not sure if the fact bug is transverse plays into this. I usually end up on my back as, even though I can’t really breathe, it’s less painful than on either side!
Nausea has come back a little bit but no vomming. I’m eating little and often, as is recommended.
Curries. Bug loves curries.
I feel massive now but I’ve had a few “you have such a compact bump!” comments so it’s hard to tell.
I haven’t bought anything recently, I’m trying to stick with what I’ve got.
An update from my previous post about decorating our nursery in prep for Bug’s arrival!
We painted (Rob painted, I made tea) the room Farrow & Ball Cornforth White, which I absolutely love. It’s a really lovely, warm colour (my amateur photos do not do it justice) and, also, smells lovely! Random, but true.
All that is left for Rob to do is paint the doors and radiators. Then we can start putting the furniture in. So far, we have the Rachel Cotbed, which we bought from John Lewis.
I’m still sold on getting a day bed in there but Rob isn’t sure. Our plan is to get a chest of drawers, changing table and bookcase and then assess the space. It’s quite a large room but I don’t want it to look overcrowded.
In other related news, I think we have narrowed down a name for Baby Bug. We actually have two – one preferred – and will meet him before absolutely finalising it. Very exciting and also, omg choosing baby names is HARD.
We’ve decided to have our kitchen replaced. It all started because our tap is leaking so we decided to replace it. But it’s a deliciously gorgeous brown 80s colour which matches our sink, so we would have had to replace the whole sink. Given that faff, and given the general naff 80s-ness of the entire kitchen, we decided to go whole hog and replace the entire thing. Our plan at the moment is to start the works when I start maternity leave so I can ‘project manage’ it as much as required. That should also give us enough time for the inevitable delays.
It’s risky; Bug may come early but what’s life without a little risk?! Above is a pic of the colour/style we’ve decided to go for. I can’t wait for a brand new kitchen and all its clever storage ideas and solutions!
One of my best friends has a one year old baby and she practices baby signing with her. I had never heard of this so I’ve been looking into it a bit more, and I’m intrigued! According to babycentre.co.uk, a baby’s “understanding of language and ability to make gestures” develop much faster than his/her ability to speak – so they can use gestures to express themselves before they can talk. My friend says it really helps her bub to not get too frustrated – obviously it’s all pretty simple stuff but she’s able to communicate if she wants more food, is too hot or cold etc.
I somehow doubt it will negate tantrums completely (HAH) but it does sound like a sensible way of helping a child to express themselves before they can talk. I think my hubby and I are going to try it when our baby comes along and see what we think.
It’s the end of another week and I’m about to hit 30 weeks, which feels like a real milestone. I’ve also agreed the start date of my maternity leave with work, so I now have six more working weeks to go. I made the decision to go with the doctor’s advice and stop at 36 weeks. I’ve found myself really slowing down and feeling a lot more cumbersome over the past couple of weeks so I’m happy with my choice now. It does mean that it’s creeping up very fast!
New developments: Bug is quite boisterous. He’s constantly rolling and poking and kicking and generally making his presence felt. It’s very reassuring, if a little painful at times! Walking is becoming much more tiring now, which is to be expected. My ten minute walk to the station now takes me about 15-20 minutes and I’m knackered when I arrive. Stairs at tube stations are also not my friend anymore.
Symptoms: Insomnia has arrived! I’m finding it hard to fall asleep and then, when I manage to, I have to get up again to pee! I’m also finding it difficult to get into a comfortable position. I’m also getting rib pain at the top of my stomach so I’m moving around as much as I can while sitting at my desk to alleviate that.
Sickness: Nausea has come back a little bit but no vomming. I’m eating little and often, as is recommended, and that is definitely helping. I’m pretty used to nausea now, I think it’s going to be weird when I give birth and it goes away completely.
Cravings: Curries. Bug loves curries.
Bump: It’s definitely got bigger (see above).
Maternity fashion: Coat issue was fixed because I realised I could still *just about* zip up my lovely warm winter coat. I’ve also got a slightly bigger North Face coat (belonging to my Mum) which I can use. Then I might just hibernate.
Anything else: Weird dreams!
7 weeks until my mat leave starts, which is crazy! Happy 2016, everyone. 🙂