Category Archives: pregnancy

Hiccups and the false drop

A couple of nights ago I went to bed very grumpy. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get comfortable and everything hurt. I lay on my side with about six pillows pushed in around me and rubbed my belly murmuring “please move, just a little bit.”

Then it did.

Step away from the lungs

I felt a kind of squirming motion and suddenly I could breathe – and was desperate for the loo. I got up amazed – my chest was so much lighter! The relief was wonderful and I climbed back into bed with a big smile on my face. It was still moving about, so I rubbed my belly gratefully – and felt a kind of pulse. It wasn’t the same as kicking and it was like it came from the back of my womb; regular and insistent. Could it be hiccups?

Eventually it stopped and I drifted off to sleep, but the next day I looked it up and yes, babies get hiccups in the womb! It’s had them quite a lot since and Rod was quite freaked out at first. “But it doesn’t breathe air, how can it have hiccups? Should we phone the doctor?” he said, as he pressed his hand on the bump and looked concerned. I was smug – my baby had dropped early and was clearly at an advanced stage of development if it could manage a bodily function like hiccups.

Four days later, I’m not convinced it has dropped. Or maybe it’s moved back up again. My ribs are aching, my skin’s tight and I’ve developed backache for the first time. I’m not sleeping through the night any more and I can’t go anywhere without a hot water bottle and bag of microwaveable beans. I’ve lost my apetite, developed a raging thirst and I really am eating Gaviscon like sweeties.

But I’m on the home straight. I’m due in four weeks and three days. Our nursery’s built, the pram is waiting and my sweet Mum has organised a small Baby Shower for me! I can cope with a few aches, pains and hiccups!

Share

2 Comments

Filed under pregnancy

Building the nursery – a picture story

A daunting prospect

 

 

But, after a short tea break, Rod got stuck in

Fifteen minutes later, the cot was standing

17 minutes later it was also a changing station

It involved glue and some screwing, but the glider chair didn't take too long either

Then, from the last box, fell these two bags...

...so I left him with these little babies lined up and went out for lunch

As if by magic, this was waiting for me when I got back

(In case you’re wondering, the furniture all came from John Lewis – wardrobe, Rachel cot, cot top changer and glider chair. We chose the delivery day and slot (7am-2pm) and they delivered everything at 11am on the dot! Would definitely recommend them for choice, value for money and customer service.)

(And no – this is not a sponsored post. I wish.)

2 Comments

Filed under pregnancy

First antenatal class

Both Rod and I had been working late, so when we raced into the hospital just in time for the 7.30 start of our first antenatal class we weren’t exactly “in the zone”. Plus I’d cooked sausages while sending my last emails and was suddenly aware that I smelled like a burger van.
We had no idea what to expect. We sat meekly alongside 12 or so other couples and stared at the diagram of a non-pregnant human body – so that’s what I used to look like.
The midwife grinned at us, introduced herself and suggested we all do the same. Everyone was married, everyone was having their first baby and everyone was due within a month of each other… I instantly felt like we belonged. Two husbands were missing due to car trouble (a loose handbrake and a flat tire) so when it came to us I joked that Rod was in the car game if anyone needed a hand. One of the women was having twins (so that’s why my belly seemed so small!) and the lady on my right shared my due date, so all in all I’d say the ice was broken pretty quickly.
The first class focused on our bodies and our pain relief options. The diagram we’d been staring at was flipped to show a pregnant body… Jeez, where did my intestines go? “This is why you’re all probably guzzling Gaviscon” the midwife joked and there were several nods and smiles round the room. And that wee black blob right under the baby’s head is my bladder? “Yup, that’s why you’re in the loo constantly!” It’s always nice to be reassured that your symptoms are totally normal.
When it came to birth plans I was the only one who raised my hand when she asked about water births. She was really supportive and explained exactly how it would work, including the fact I could effectively deliver my own baby by grasping him/her under the arms and pulling him/her to the surface. I loved this idea! She said that Rod could even be in there with me – “Great! I’ll bring my mask and snorkel!” he piped up. Everyone laughed but then there were a few murmurs and I wondered if some other mums were beginning to consider the idea.
At the end of the class we were offered additional breast-feeding and physio classes so I signed up for both. A few others did too, so I’m looking forward to getting to know them. Isn’t the NHS a wonderful thing?

2 Comments

Filed under education, health, pregnancy

In praise of the bathtub

I hope this is what's waiting when I die

When it comes to life’s little disappointments, a tepid bath is up there with soggy chips and films whose trailers steal the best scenes.

A roasting hot, bubbly, candlelit bath, with chilled out tunes playing in the background – now that is my idea of heaven. That moment of leaning back in the only-just-bearable heat, resting my head on the rim and closing my eyes as I exhale every last bubble of air in my lungs – it’s magical! There is no other way to relax as instantly and completely.

Now that I’m 31 weeks pregnant, I’m appreciating this zen-like experience on a whole new level. I felt actual joy the first time I realised that the upside of having the heating on almost constantly was instant baths. Usually I’d have to decide an hour in advance when I wanted to soak so that there’d be enough hot water in the tank. One of my friends bought me The Sanctuary’s Mum-To-Be range for Christmas, which includes bath salts, so I have been generously sprinkling them and indulging in a bath nearly every night. It’s actually getting to the stage where I look forward to seeing my tub more than my husband at the end of a day’s work!

The funny thing is, now that I’ve fully appreciated how much this small experience enhances my life, I’m completely reconsidering my view of a water birth. My sister-in-law has done it twice and swears by it, while I’ve always shied away from the mere thought. All that gunk floating in there with you? But if the key to a good labour is remaining calm and breathing deeply – well, I’ve just argued that very point.

I’d be very interested to know if anyone’s had a water birth and if it is, in fact, just as soothing as a bubblebath?

4 Comments

Filed under health, pregnancy

Godfather X Factor

Who else could I possibly dress up as at Christmas?!

Our friend Euan, who’s nuts, has suggested that we host ‘Godfather Xfactor’ to determine which of our friends gets the responsibility. This upset my friend Tonia, who’s quite taken with the idea of being godmother, so she’s renamed it “So you think you can be a godparent”. She wants us to distribute an application form and has suggested scenario-type questions like:

Child is 16 and calls you from the city centre to say they’re steaming drunk – what do you do?

I’m not particularly religious and I haven’t been christened myself so I’m not really sure what the rules are – but I like it! It’s a good excuse for another party after our nativity-themed Christmas shindig – so if you have any ideas for what questions we should be asking our eager pals, please let me know!

(PS The Christmas party was in our cabin, hence the random street sign we stole to remind us of our year living in Switzerland and the stag’s head shot by Rod’s uncle)

Leave a comment

Filed under pregnancy

Hello 1.1.11

Launching a wish for 2011

It was our last Hogmanay without responsibility and my first without a drink for about 16 years!

12 of our best friends had rented a cottage up north, but we’d decided to have a quiet one this year – dinner with our family and the TV on at the Bells.

Rod and I got quite emotional at midnight – 2011 is going to be a huge year for us. We also have six weddings this year – all our best friends are getting married! (Yes, I’m wondering how quickly after giving birth I can employ a personal trainer!)

So after a sip of Champagne, we went out into the garden and Rod and his two brothers lit a Chinese lantern. Watching it float away, we wished for our wee one to be a high flier and for our engaged friends to have a flying start to their married lives.

Happy New Year everyone – what are your wishes for 2011?

2 Comments

Filed under pregnancy

Punching is better than kicking

I really hope this has been photoshopped (*not my belly*)

After weeks of nudges on my left side, I was intrigued to feel new movement on the right side this week. It was much softer and prolonged – pressing my hand to my bump I realised it was an arm moving. For the first time I could make out a body part as the wee one stretched and pushed and moved its tiny arm and hand around. It was a lovely feeling – much less uncomfortable than the jabbing its feet have been giving me.

The midwife told me this week that I’m going to have a long baby. This is not a euphemism for heavy or fat, she assured me – both my husband and I are tall, so it makes sense. It also explains why my left rib is aching – it seems to have found a nice wee spot for its foot. I was trying to encourage it away with a gentle massage earlier and got a sharp kick for my trouble – seems the battle of wills has begun already!

I’m not complaining though – I love feeling it move around. Plus the midwife said she’s a bit paranoid about foetal movement and I’ve to call her if it suddenly goes quiet. So I’m enjoying keeping tabs on its whereabouts… It’s probably a skill worth learning!

2 Comments

Filed under pregnancy

More snow woes & feeling vulnerable

After a wet weekend we were all fooled into thinking the thaw had come and climbed optimistically into our cars on Monday morning. Then the snow came back.

5 inches fell in a couple of hours

I had only a short journey to make from my home to my office, but arrived in tears. The sudden drop in temperature combined with the furious snowstorm to make the roads an ice rink with a lovely slippery coating of fresh snow on top. After a seriously near miss with a car full of kids, I pulled over to call my husband for advice. Should I go back, carry on or park and walk? That’s when I realised my options, as a 6 months-pregnant woman, were limited. Walking any distance in the cold, with a very high risk of falling, was clearly stupid. But so was dodgem-driving. People seemed to have lost all common sense. One guy in a wildly wheelspinning Mini insisting on inching up past a broken-down lorry to get to the roundabout, with the result that he got stuck in the only passable lane. Then, when the lorry driver pushed him out of the way, the rest of us struggled because we’d lost any momentum to get us up the hill.

Eventually, many skids and slides later, I arrived at my office. Despite my ordeal it pained me to email and reschedule all my meetings. It made me feel like a quitter. I didn’t want to say “I’m pregnant and I don’t want to risk falling” – it sounded pathetic somehow. I didn’t like knowing that I wouldn’t be able to help push a stuck car, or go out and rescue relatives who were stranded around the city. I wanted to go outside with my camera and my Flip to get footage for my video blog, but I knew it was too dangerous. I knew this because the M8 – the busiest motorway in Scotland – was a carpark. The whole of central Scotland was gridlocked because of the snow. It had taken everyone by surprise at rush hour, which meant ploughs and gritters couldn’t get through. I was glued to the news channels, incredulous at the stories of people stuck in their cars for seven and eight and nine hours. My husband phoned to say one of his staff had broken down on the motorway, waited 5 hours for rescue and ended up in hospital with mild hypothermia. I worried that people would be stuck on these impassable roads overnight – and sure enough, the next morning, the news was full of stories of snow ploughs’ blades snapping in the minus 13 degree conditions,  and tales of motorists spending the night in their cars.

So while I may be feeling sorry for myself for feeling weak and helpless – I am a very lucky girl indeed. I’ll certainly not be taking any risks that might lead to my need for rescue!

3 Comments

Filed under pregnancy, work

Snow trials

This was the view from my bedroom for the third day running today:

Snowed in?

My husband had parked up on the main road and sent me a text when he got to work warning me to stay inside, where it was safe. But the thought of working from home for a second day, worrying about the cost of keeping the heating on, or my health if I didn’t, wasn’t pleasant. I saw an awful (but quite funny) clip on BBC of a little old lady getting flattened by a snowdrift falling off a roof and decided, at 6 months pregnant, I was just as vulnerable. It wasn’t worth the risk.

Half an hour later, stircrazy, I decided it was. Using a golf umbrella for support I gingerly made my way up the drive. I opened the car door, sending a cascade of snow onto the driver’s seat, turned on the engine, pumped up the fans, pressed the button to heat the back window then, slowly and carefully, used the brolly to sweep the 12 inches (honest) of snow off the roof, windscreen and sides. Then I scraped away the ice, taking care to hang on to the wing mirrors and not reach too far. Eventually I got in. It took me precisely four minutes longer than usual to get to my office. What a bloody fuss about nothing.

2 Comments

Filed under pregnancy, work

Being thankful on Thanksgiving (even tho I’m British)

I just read a lovely blog post here written by a woman who has moved from London to New York and who’s celebrating her first Thanksgiving. She said: “Taking time to really appreciate what you have is something I certainly feel I benefit from.” I totally agree. So here are some things I’m thankful for:

  • A healthy pregnancy
  • My husband (in general)
  • My husband’s boss, who’s recognised Rod’s 15 months of hard slog commuting to Edinburgh and working 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, by promoting him and letting him be based in Glasgow.
  • My great circle of family and friends who always support me

I don’t take any of that for granted, but today, especially, I appreciate them all.

What are you thankful for?

1 Comment

Filed under pregnancy