Tag Archives: pregnancy
It’s a common problem for pregnant women – even if you’re lucky enough to be able to see your feet, you can’t reach them.
I was complaining to my friend Jenny, who’s an Occupational Therapist, about how difficult it was to put my socks on in the morning. “I have the very thing,” she said. “A Foxy.”
A more blinding misnomer I have yet to find, but don’t let that put you off. This simple wee piece of plastic has made my mornings. Look:
My due date has been and gone with a Red Nose on.
Although I’ve had plenty of Braxton Hicks over the last two weeks, junior isn’t showing much intention of appearing.
I’ve been getting loads of calls, texts, tweets and messages from friends and family. The best ones say things like: “thinking of you”; “hope you’re not too uncomfy”; “let us know if you need anything”. I don’t so much like the “any news?” messages and the “keep me in the loop” ones are worst of all.
I know they’re all very well-meaning and I’m lucky to have so many people care, but those last ones make me feel like I’m failing somehow. I’m keeping people waiting (which I hate, I’m always early), I’m not holding up my end of the bargain and I must explain myself. It’s like the boss is calling to ask why I’m still off sick.
I know I’m overreacting. I’m hormonal, bloated, uncomfortable to the point of being in pain and, despite my hypnobirth training, more than a little bit apprehensive about what lies ahead. Really all I want is to be left alone to slink off into a dark quiet place and do what I have to do. Then I’ll be able to emerge into the light with my gorgeous baby and share all the joy in the world.
Please let that day come soon.
Of the five community midwives in the Pink Team, I’ve seen Lesley most frequently. She exudes authority but she’s also friendly and I’ve always felt like she really listens. When I told her on Monday that I’d had an off week she agreed it was unlike me and asked me to come back today. After my examination she said I was close but she’d like to see me again on Monday. I was disappointed, but as I dressed behind the curtain I told her my Dad was working in Sicily until Sunday and didn’t want to become a grandfather in the land of the godfather. She laughed and we chatted about the work he was doing out there.
“Wait, what’s his name?”
I zipped up my boots and told her. There was a beat and then the curtain was ripped back.
“You’re not going to believe this!” she cried.
“You didn’t deliver me!” I teased her, knowing full well she was too young.
“No, I delivered your sister!”
“I remember it so clearly – your dad was sitting there in his leather jacket, reading the Herald. And your mum gave me a present afterwards. Clarins. We never get presents! How old is your sister now?”
“19!” I told her. “I can’t believe that coincidence!”
“Wait, do you have another sister?”
“Yes, Laura’s 25…”
“My best friend Noreen delivered her! Do you mind if l I tell her? This is amazing, you know, I’ve not had a good morning – there are things I have to do as a manager that I don’t like doing, and there’s more happening this afternoon, but this has made my day! Please tell your mum I was asking for her!”
We chatted away as we walked back to the reception – my sisters and I were all born at Rutherglen Maternity hospital which has since been knocked down. It seemed amazing to me that of all the midwives in all the city, she should be the one looking after me the most.
I see coincidences like this as sign posts that I’m on the right path – I’m more convinced than ever that I’ll have a good labour!
We decided that, with five days to go before my due date, we should probably check that the babyseat would fit in the new car.
I was apprehensive cos Rod had already flung his PS3 controller at the wall in a fit of pique this morning. Occasionally his temper gets the better of him so as he unpacked the carseat I warned him to read the instructions and be gentle.
Fifteen minutes later I went outside to check his progress.
“I’m not happy about this,” he said, shoogling the seat violently.
He was right, it was slipping all over the leather and didn’t look secure at all. But one side of the carseat seemed to be moving a lot more than the other.
“Why is…” I peeled back the cover to find the, albeit polystyrene, wing had snapped clear of the plastic.
“You broke it,” I accused. “You lost your temper and you f*ing broke it.”
I stomped inside, then stomped out through the back and stood taking deep breaths in the garden trying not to cry. I’ve been very stressed lately and this could have pushed me over the edge. But I realised we still had time, we’d just need to go to the Pram Centre today and buy a new one. And get it fitted, which we should have done in the first place, except we bought the pram travel system before we bought the car.
When I stepped back into the kitchen Rod was on the phone. He was arranging to take back a ‘faulty carseat’ and evidently they were being very helpful because he wasn’t in the middle of breaking anything.
Sheepishly he turned to me and asked if I’d like to be dropped off at Mum’s while he dealt with this.
“I’d rather come with you.”
We drove to the Pram Centre in silence – until an idiot in an Audi TT cut me up and we bonded in our swearing at a common enemy. It softened the atmosphere. Then there were the fantastic staff at the Pram Centre. The woman at the service desk agreed the carseat was faulty and arranged a replacement (which they luckily had in stock) within five minutes. Another girl, called Nicky, came out with us to the car to fit it. She wasn’t happy with it on the side with two plugs, so moved it to the side with one plug (diagonally opposite the driver) and then called out her supervisor to double check. The supervisor checked it thoroughly, gave the belt plenty of good tugs and advised a seat grip for added security. It cost £10 – a hell of a lot less than an iso-fix system or a new carseat – and made that little bit of difference that set our minds at rest.
As we drove home, relieved and back on speaking terms, Rod tapped out an email to the Pram Centre manager on his iPhone, with the subject ‘Superb customer service’. He read it out to me and I couldn’t help but grin at his final line:
“We’ve gone from wanting to murder each other to being back in love – isn’t that great?”
There’s a secret, subterranean oasis in Glasgow that is a complete contrast to the bustling, traffic-choked city – and my sister and I spent a blissful afternoon there yesterday.
From the moment I climbed the stairs to The Blythswood, passed through the opulent lobby and descended in the lift to the fragrant, dimly-lit hallway to the spa, I relaxed.
LJ joked that we should whisper and tiptoe as we made our way to the reception… We tried not to laugh as a whispering, tiptoeing receptionist led us down to the wood-panelled changing room and passed us our gowns and bottles of Strathmore.
We crept out into the hydrospa, peering through frosted glass doors at the variations on ‘steam room’ and ‘sauna’ (at least I think that’s what a tepidarium is) and bypassing the bath full of seaweed in favour of the lovely hot pool.
The jets worked wonders on my shoulders (and soaked my sister who was trying to keep her hair dry) and when we swam through into the funny wee cave we found we were joined by a familiar face.
“That was Paolo Nutini!” LJ hissed and our giggles echoed round the chamber. She swears he winked at her as we climbed out and headed for the enormous jacuzzi.
I could have sat there all day as the LED lights played a rainbow around us, but I know it’s not good for the baby. Besides, it was time for our treatments.
We were collected from the relaxation room by two floating therapists and led along the candlelit corridor to our treatment rooms.
As she massaged my feet with a fragrant black herb, my therapist explained she would lie me on one side for the first part and turn me onto my back afterwards. If I was ever uncomfortable I was to let her know and was I happy for her to work a little on my belly? Normally I wouldn’t have liked that, but she exuded such serenity that I trusted her and nodded.
There followed the most blissfully relaxing 90 minutes that I actually slipped into sleep! She worked on my back, legs, arms and the top of my belly, leaving a warm poltice in each area and covering me with warm towels. I had added a 30minute facial to the treatment, and the cool potions felt wonderful. When she eventually whispered that she had finished and would fetch me some water, it took me a few seconds to come to. I gratefully sipped the ice cold water (my mouth was very dry) and savoured the moment – until the baby shifted painfully and I had to stand up!
Luckily there was the halfway house of the relaxation room, where I could drink peppermint tea, lie back on an electrically-reclining bed and flick through magazines waiting for LJ.
She emerged looking as dazed as I probably did, breathing “That was amazing” and describing her body scrub and full body massage.
As we regretfully ascended to reality and walked down Bath St towards the carpark we decided to go without something at £40 each month so that we could visit every eight weeks. It’s a small price to pay for feeding your soul for an afternoon.
All pics from http://www.townhousecompany.com/blythswoodsquare/
*not a sponsored post*
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.
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!
(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.)
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?
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)