Take Two: Week 30

This picture is relevant, honestly…read on.

Week 30 really isn’t a milestone in your pregnancy, but somehow because it starts with a 3 and not a 2, it feels like one. I think especially when you know you’ll be delivering in a week beginning with a 3 not a 4, it makes it all seem eerily close. I don’t know if that really makes any sense but I understand it nevertheless!

This week has mostly been the same: feeling a little tired, struggling with my back and mostly just feeling HUNGRY. Like non-stop, I need to eat all the time, I’m angry because I haven’t eaten for ten minutes – although I’ve actually also got to the point where I’m quite looking forward to exercising after the baby’s born. I think about chicken nuggets a lot at the moment (I had not one single McDonald’s in the 11 months that I wasn’t pregnant between Alex and this baby. Now I could quite happily eat one every day. Nuggets are an all-consuming thought for me. I probably won’t get any work done for the rest of the day now because I’ll be thinking about nuggets).

In actual, important news I had a midwife home visit on Wednesday. This is where they normally talk to you about birth options I think (but obviously that’s highly irrelevant for me because I’m not giving birth in the county I live in) and they also chat a bit about breastfeeding. All the normal checks showed up fine, baby had moved again and was head up (I also got to feel his head which was pretty cool, the midwife said it was like a perfect little cricket ball).

Then on Friday it was back to hospital for a growth scan and an appointment with my obstetrician and rheumatologist. The scan went well, they estimated he was just under 3lb 12 and that equates to be just under the 50th centile. He’d moved again and was head down which is where we’d like him to stay! My regular obstetrician was on annual leave so there were some questions I went with which I’ll have to wait til next time to get answered, but overall the appointment went fine. I don’t have to see them again for another month which is longer than I was expecting, but I’m seeing the midwife weekly and the haematologist and cardiologist in two weeks so they’re definitely not leaving me to fend for myself!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

 

Take Two: Week 29

Alex has been spending a lot of time practising how to look after a baby. It’s going well…

So here we are, into week 30 and reflecting back on week 29. Less than seven weeks left now til induction. I’ve just quickly read back by week 29 post from my pregnancy with Alexandra (you can read it here if you like) and the summary was the morning sickness was back, I was really tired and it was my birthday that week.

Well I’m happy to report that I’m not feeling sick at all this time round in the third trimester (so far) and clearly, it wasn’t my birthday this week! As for tiredness, I don’t think I’m as bad as I was last time – then I was getting up mid morning, needing a nap in the afternoon and feeling wiped in the evenings. Now Alex, working and various other commitments just don’t allow for that. It is getting more of a struggle to go out and do things, and I’m definitely starting to notice the bump slowing me down a bit now. But by and large we’ve been continuing life as normal here at the EE house.

My last lot of blood results have come back within normal range which is obviously great and there’s no concerns at the moment about myself or baby. He’s very active, a lot more so than I remember Alexandra being, and his little kicks and rolls are now becoming really obvious both on the outside and the inside. Alex was head down, ready to exit for basically the entire time but this one is in a different position every time I get measured.

We think we’ve finalised his name. For a long time we were scouring through boys’ names trying to find ones we both loved. Eventually we settled back on the name we would have used for Alexandra had she been a boy, but were looking for a longer version of it (so he would have a long name on his birth certificate and use either that or the nickname day to day, like we do with Alexandra/Alex) and we weren’t really set on any of them. So we think we’re just going to use the short one as it’s a name in itself and we don’t see the point of giving him a full name he never uses.

Nothing else to report at this stage, which is always reassuring!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

 

Plans For Baby 2: Feeding

Today I wanted to talk about my plans for feeding Baby 2. A quick recap of the Baby 1 feeding story is that when I was pregnant, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself but ideally wanted to breastfeed. I breastfed Alexandra for almost a week after she was born. It was tough! The first issue we had was that she was hardly making any effort to feed, she would latch properly sometimes but then just sat there doing nothing – not particularly helpful! So we were topping up with expressed milk/formula from the second day I think and everyone at the hospital was spending an inordinate amount of time trying to help her start feeding properly. I’ve heard a lot of women say they didn’t feel supported to breastfeed while staying in hospital but I felt exactly the opposite, everyone spent so much time trying to help me.

I’d like to think we would have got over the first issue if it hadn’t been for the second: the fact that I was so poorly, trying to feed (or do anything) was horrendously painful. I had a scan which meant I had to express and throw all of my milk away for 24 hours which was the most disheartening thing ever – especially as I was expressing a ridiculous amount. It got to the point where I was crying every feed, which probably wasn’t helping Alex with her feeding issues (I’d probably be a bit weirded out if someone was crying at me every dinner time) and the midwives said to me they were concerned she wasn’t putting weight back on and could become jaundiced again.

So Dylan and I had a chat and we switched to formula and that was that. (I realise that was not a particularly quick summary!).

This time round, I would still like to give breastfeeding a go. I think it would be easy (and probably justified) for me to say let’s just formula feed and avoid adding any more stress on to the situation. But I know for me, I would feel incredibly guilty if Baby 2’s newborn days were less dramatic than Alex’s and we hadn’t at least tried to establish breastfeeding. I will still probably feel an element of guilt if we end up formula feeding, but at least I’d have given it a go.

Also I think there’s an element of ‘making it fair’ in my mind. I tried to breastfeed Alexandra, I want to at least give my second child that chance too! I know it’s ridiculous but they’ll never know, it’s not like he’s going to turn round to me in years to come and query why I fed his sister for a few days but didn’t with him, and equally it could work the opposite way. I could end up breastfeeding him for a year and then he would be treated differently to Alex.

I am firmly, firmly in the camp of ‘fed is best’ and really can’t stand the *minority* of breastfeeders who are so judgemental about formula feeders, as if they’re pouring vodka down their baby’s neck. But I do want to give it a go this time and it would be lovely for it to last a little longer than the first attempt.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: Second Trimester Part Two

A growth scan at 26+6 showed Baby 2 flexing his guns!

Saturday marked a key point in my pregnancy: 28 weeks which is the start of the third (and final!) trimester. Although it feels like a significant date nothing actually happens – baby is still growing at the same rate and doesn’t magically have a spurt or start doing something fancy in there to celebrate. But still, the third trimester is when all the action happens ie getting the baby out at the end. If you’d like to read my Second Trimester round-up from my first pregnancy, you can do so here or you can read my summary of weeks 14-21 of this pregnancy here.

So how’s it been? Well, right now my main complaint is that the bottom of my back is absolute agony! I can rarely get into a comfortable position and when I do, manoeuvring myself out of it is just ridiculous. I remember my back aching when I was pregnant with Alexandra but I don’t think it was this bad – it’s probably not helping that I’m hefting a toddler in and out of her cot, in and out of the car and up and down from the table all day. I’m just counting down the days until such a time when I can actually do any of that without doing lots of swear words very loudly in my head.

I’m definitely feeling tired but as I mentioned in my previous update post, that’s fairly normal anyway with a toddler on the go all the time! If you compare it with Alex’s pregnancy too where I wasn’t getting up til late, then having a couple of hours’ nap in the afternoon then going to bed early, I’m doing pretty well.

I feel like we’re just in limbo now, we know 37 weeks is the end goal but every week we could be in a position where we need to get the baby out now. In a lot of ways I feel wholly unprepared for Baby 2’s arrival – like how the hell do you look after two small people at the same time? I took Alexandra and my nephew Zachary out for an hour on my own the other day and managed it fine although it takes SO long transferring two kids and their paraphernalia into a pushchair! But doing it full time? Help!

We’ve got most of the items you need for a baby like clothing, nappies etc and we’re picking up the car seat this week but I still have to finish my hospital bag and make sure all the plans are in place for Alex’s care while I’m in hospital.

As I did the first time round, I’ll probably update every week now until I have baby – which could be eight updates or could be a case of telling you next week that there’s a new arrival in town. Gulp.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Your Second Pregnancy

So you get pregnant for the first time, it’s great, you spend hours languishing in the bath, you sleep in, you spend most of the time eating and eating and eating, you wander in and out of the nursery just to touch their tiny little baby clothes, you spend hours in that middle part where you can feel the baby kick but no one else can getting your other half to put their hand on your belly ‘that was a kick’ ‘I didn’t feel anything’ ‘that was definitely one’ *repeat a trillion times*. That was my experience anyway. As a mother of a bump, you have all the time in the world to revel in your pregnancy, to wallow in sorrow or immerse yourself in the joy of it all. Your focus is the baby, a lot of conversation revolves around the baby, you probably have one of those little chalk boards to count down the days.

I’m heavily editing out all the time you spend rearranging pillows – at least 50 per cent of your pregnancy, and moaning about various aches and pains – probably another 40 per cent, with baths taking up 9.9 per cent of the remaining time. I also didn’t have a stereotypical pregnancy in that I wasn’t working from 12 weeks onwards so there was a lot of extra time for baths.

Now, roll on to your second pregnancy. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m positive this child is trying to claw his way out through my spine currently (I’m now at the stage where every moment has to be accompanied by a dramatic sound akin to the sound I imagine a pensioner would make if they ever had to run for the bus) I would barely notice I’m pregnant. I mean yes, I attend more than my fair share of hospital appointments and I have to pee A LOT all night. But gone are the wistful days of standing in the nursery looking at all the baby’s stuff – I sorted out Baby 2’s wardrobe as quickly as possible while Alexandra threw coat hangers everywhere (incidentally, is it just my child who goes gaga for a coat hanger?). Gone are the two-hour baths, instead I try and manage a half an hour one a couple of times a week.

I spend more time than I’d like to on the floor picking up toys (and all 300 of the balls from the ball pit which regularly gets tipped up, because it’s a HILARIOUS game!), lugging a toddler in and out of the car or up and down the stairs when she’s having a grump or we’re in a rush, oh and did I mention picking stuff up?

All in all, it’s crazy how different the two pregnancies have been. In some ways, I’m slightly envious of my first pregnancy self, who was just completely selfish for nine months, but in other ways being so occupied with a toddler is probably helping this pregnancy go much quicker!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Great Things About Being Pregnant

Exploring Wales

I feel like when I was pregnant with Alex, I focused a lot on the negatives. Mainly because I was fat and tired and grumpy. This time round I’m trying to embrace it a little more, although still ticking all three of those boxes. So I decided to list some of the good things about pregnancy:

FOOD. I don’t care that you’re not meant to eat any extra calories til the third trimester. I don’t care if there’s probably some study showing your kid will get better GCSE grades if you eat a diet of lettuce and grapes. I will spend the next nine months gleefully eating anything and everything that takes my fancy. I will without any regret send Dylan out to the shop for food when I want something we don’t have in (although I’m always very thankful!). I will not care about the scales one jot while I grow a child.

TOP TRUMPS. Nope I’m not talking about wind, I’m talking about the fact ‘because I’m growing a whole human inside me’ is enough to win any argument. It’s a valid reason why you should get the last cake or be excused from doing anything boring and/or tiring. Try as they might, your partner will never be able to better ‘but I’m carrying around your child for nine months AND THEN pushing it out my hoo ha’.

KICKS. There aren’t many times when I appreciate being kicked but being pregnant is one of them. I’m not gonna get all slushy here but there’s something a little bit magical about being the only other person in the world who knows when your baby’s moving around. It’s an incredible bond to have with another human.

HUSBAND. I like to think I appreciate Dylan and all he does for us most days but I think when you’re pregnant and you need a little extra help or perhaps a back rub or just someone who understands that you’ve gone absolutely mental because hormones and just lets you cry for utterly no reason and doesn’t back out of the room and/or leave you, that’s when you most appreciate that you live with someone utterly lovely.

SEATING. People always let you sit down when you’re pregnant. If they don’t then you need to get some new friends.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x