Take Two: Week 33

Apologies about the lack of post last Thursday, or any sort of update since my ‘I’m in hospital’ post. The good news is I got out of hospital on Wednesday evening – but I then managed to completely break our laptop and could not for the life of me log in on my mobile hence the silence the following day.

Last Saturday (March 11th) was when I turned 33 weeks which seems a long time ago now. I celebrated by being allowed out of hospital for four hours to eat some real food and go to the park with Dylan and Alexandra, the latter of which LOVES parks because not only do they have swings, they also have lots of ducks which are one of her favourite things in the world.

Everything was still very normal and stable when it came to my blood pressure and other obs, yet they were still talking about keeping me in until delivery so I’d kind of resigned myself to being there for the long haul. However on Wednesday my obstetrician decided that, if my haematologist and cardiologist agreed, I could go home later that day.

With the former having said yes during my appointment with him, it was over to the hospital over the road (in a mad rush because it’s their policy to send patients in a taxi – even though I had been walking over there by myself whenever I wanted to get off the ward – and there had been some kind of mix up with the booking. So I ended up running across without my notes because they couldn’t give me them). There had then been some sort of issue where my echocardiogram was booked in for a different day, so I had to wait 1.5 hours for that.

After all that I finally got discharged in the early evening and was able to come home. It has been glorious to relax at home and spend time with husband and toddler. It’s significantly reduced my Netflix consumption though! And my family have very nicely passed a delightful cold on to me so I’m struggling to sleep even more. But for now it’s three lots of monitoring a week and the aim of 37 weeks still.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: Week 32

Well this isn’t going to be the 32 week round-up that I was expecting, mostly because last Monday at 32+2 I ended up taking residence in hospital and it looks like I’ll be here until baby arrives. I debated just not mentioning it on here, but it’d pretty hard to do a weekly update without doing so – I thought I might get away with it for a week but five weeks is pushing it a little. It was actually Dylan who persuaded me to include the fact I was here (I didn’t know if it was a little attention-seeky like those people who post pictures of themselves with a cannula in or tag themselves at the hospital and then go through the whole ‘are you okay hun?’ ‘I’ll inbox you’ comments saga). He said actually the fact I’m a ‘high risk’ and have ended up here is what makes my pregnancy different and surely that should be included on the blog.

Anyway, I’m here. No great panics, I just had some short-lived symptoms like slightly elevated blood pressure. Everything has been utterly stable for the past week but so far the doctors have wanted to keep me here just in case anything creeps back up. Baby is absolutely fine, moving and growing well – there are no concerns for him which is fabulous.

I’m on the antenatal ward which means while there are some women here just for monitoring like me, a lot are here for induction. I’ve heard more contractions in the last week than I ever wanted to, I’ve heard a woman give birth in half an hour (from first contraction to baby arriving), I’ve also heard a woman who showed off an interesting range of farmyard noises for an entire night. Before I was moved into a side room by myself, I discovered how loud a pregnant woman could snore and then didn’t get much sleep the night after worrying if I was snoring.

I spent far too much time wondering what the ‘PET Centre’ was across the road before I googled it and found out it was sadly just a type of scan and did not involve puppies and kittens. I’ve secretly enjoyed being one of the least heavily pregnant patients which means I get to the food quickest when it’s served, and then wondered why the hell I bothered when I’ve had to choose between Unidentifiable Mush 1 or Unidentifiable Mush 2.

I’ve felt like I’m on a holiday somewhere really hot as they insist on having the heating full blast (they can’t even control it on the ward for some bizarre reason) so it’s windows open and fan on 24/7. I’ve laughed at the fact I’m allowed to walk over to the hospital over the road to go to the café there but they want me to take a taxi over to the same hospital for my appointment there tomorrow?! (I can actually see the entrance from my window it’s so close!).

It goes without saying that I am extremely fed up in here, missing Alexandra and Dylan like crazy and just wanting to be at home for the last few weeks of this pregnancy. There’s been a whole lot of feelings going on, too many to throw at a blog post. But baby is well, Dylan is doing a fab job of keeping Alex’s routine going with the help of family and friends, everything is very stable at the moment. So we just have to keep going day by day and accept that we knew this pregnancy would throw some crap at us at some point and we were probably lucky to get away with it for 32 weeks!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: Week 31

The bump featuring my nephew Zachary

Week 31 was fairly uneventful – although it’s getting to the point now where we’re on super alert in case something happens! The plan is still to get to 37 weeks although we know there’s a chance of induction before then. So it’s one day at a time at the moment.

I’ve been busy working a lot this week. I’m very lucky in that being a freelancer I can pick and choose what I do, but it also means some weeks are busier than others. It’s been a very welcome distraction from the worry of what’s to come! I’m intending to work right up until 36 weeks then having a week off before Baby 2 arrives, but that’s obviously subject to him staying put til then.

Symptoms wise I’m still getting away fairly lightly, and haven’t experienced any of the third trimester sickness (yet) that I had last time. I am super hungry all the time and eating enough for about 57 people, obviously tired and my back is achey but I’ve been very lucky symptoms wise this time. Although, you know, the whole ‘super high risk’ thing isn’t the best so don’t feel too envious of me!

I haven’t actually been to the hospital this week so a midwife appointment was the only thing on the calendar – all was fine there. Knowing we’re only five weeks away now we’ve reached 32 weeks seems very surreal – at this point last time I thought I had ten weeks because I was so sure I’d go overdue. I keep looking at Alexandra thinking she’s only got a very short time left as the baby! So many emotions about that, although she loves babies so much I’m hoping she’ll take to him pretty quickly. Or at least not strangle him.

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

 

Take Two: Week 28

28 weeks first time round and second time round.

If you’d like to read my summary of the second trimester of my pregnancy, you can do so here – I will be putting up other posts during my third trimester but intend to do a weekly update as I did with my first pregnancy.

Looking back on my Week 28 report with that pregnancy (available here), I was complaining of feeling huge and my back aching, we were halfway through our NCT antenatal classes and I’d just bought the blender I’d use when Alexandra was weaning. This time round, I don’t feel as huge (picture above for comparison!), some people have said I’m carrying around the same size, some have said I look a little smaller this time. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been this pregnant before (and I was 28 weeks with Alex in June 2015 so not really that long ago!) or perhaps because I weighed more last time (around the same when I got pregnant with Alexandra as I did at 24 weeks pregnant with Baby 2).

Either way, while I don’t physically feel massive, I’m definitely feeling the effects of carrying another low baby around all day. My back is really sore, I don’t remember it being so bad last time but maybe it was. Getting off the sofa and bending to do anything is a huge challenge and I’m looking forward to having a comfy night’s sleep at some point post partum. I’m really trying hard not too moan to much about it (apart from to Dylan who unfortunately has to put up with me yelping around the house a lot) because quite clearly there are bigger issues going on, both in pregnancy and more widely, than a sore back.

No NCT classes this time which is sad because I really can’t imagine having had Alexandra without the benefit of the classes and the friends which resulted from it, friends who we still keep in contact with and love dearly. But we figured we already knew what they were going to tell us this time, we’re still in touch with our course leader so could just ask her if we had any different questions, it would involve trying to sort childcare for Alex multiple times of an evening and we didn’t think we could like the new group as much as we liked our first group.

I had a midwife check on Monday – if I’m not at the hospital in any given week then I have to see the midwife for the blood pressure, wee and bump checks. All went well, I’m measuring fine, baby’s heartbeat is great and he’s very active, my blood pressure is reassuringly low and there’s no protein in my wee. Basically the second that BP starts creeping up and protein appears, then it’s a blood test and panic stations if my platelets have dropped.

So far, so good though.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Alexandra’s Instagram Year

As of this week, I’ve officially been blogging for a whole year! It seems crazy that I started Growing The Bump when I was just about 18 weeks pregnant, and had no idea what the hell I’d let myself in for! To celebrate I had a little look back through my Instagram and I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures which track the bump growing into a bouncy beautiful seven month old baby:

The pink shoes were purchased the day we found out we were having a daughter, her tiny feet still don't fit them. The middle picture are some beautiful shoes made for us by a former colleague of Dylan's. The bottom middle is me with my aunty, nan and mom on the second half of my hen do when I was about ready to pop. And the bottom right is my favourite pregnancy picture, I look HUGE!

The pink shoes were purchased the day we found out we were having a daughter, her tiny feet still don’t fit them. The middle picture are some beautiful shoes made for us by a former colleague of Dylan’s. The bottom middle is me with my aunty, nan and mom on the second half of my hen do when I was about ready to pop. And the bottom right is my favourite pregnancy picture, I look HUGE!

Top left is the first picture we ever shared of Alex on Instagram. I love the pictures of her with daddy, especially the top middle ones as they both look so calm and happy. Top right and middle right are two of my favourite pictures of the squish.

Top left is the first picture we ever shared of Alex on Instagram. I love the pictures of her with daddy, especially the top middle ones as they both look so calm and happy. Top right and middle right are two of my favourite pictures of the squish.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my year of blogging almost as much as I have. Here’s to next year and all it brings!

Harriet and Alexandra x

Hen do!

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For some people, the phrase ‘hen do’ is synonymous with going out, getting absolutely ratted and having a ‘last night of freedom’ – luckily I’m not one of those people otherwise the idea of a hen do at nearly 35 weeks pregnant wouldn’t have been that appealing! As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I didn’t really drink for a year before becoming pregnant and so I was more than happy to be completely sober during my celebrations!

I was a very lucky bride-to-be as my best friend (and chief bridesmaid) Manda organised it all with some help from some of the other hens. The day saw us all head to Birmingham for a matinee performance of The Bodyguard which was absolutely brilliant – I’ve never really rated Alexandra Burke who took the lead role but she really was excellent, in fact the whole cast were great. Also I’ve never actually seen the film so it was lovely to go and see something at the theatre when you don’t know how it’s going to end!

We then headed to Gas Street Social in the Mailbox, sadly a couple of the ten who’d been there in the day couldn’t make it in the evening but we were joined by four more hens so that was ace. We had a lovely meal and there were also plenty of games organised by Mand and fellow bridesmaid Beccy – including a Mr and Mrs game where they’d asked Dylan for his answers earlier in the week and one where people had to write down clues as to how they knew me and I had to guess who was who.

I found that wearing a ‘bride to be’ sash and being SO pregnant meant I attracted a lot of stares in the theatre – it would have been an attention seekers’ dream come true! And I got very tired when it got a little later in the evening, especially as it was the week I’d got an ear infection so I was feeling a little poorly, plus it was so warm which wasn’t helping! But overall I really wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I feel like a random night out getting drunk wouldn’t have really stood out from any number of other similar nights in the past, whereas this was really memorable – not least because of all the little ‘added extras’ like a book Manda had put together including advice from the hens and lots of pictures of me and my friends. So not only did I come away with a crystal-clear memory of the day but also with some mementos too!

Harriet and bump x

The Week That Was: Week 35

35+5 bump

35+5 bump

Apologies for a very late update this week. It hasn’t been the best of weeks health-wise although it could have been a lot worse and thankfully baby is absolutely fine. In my update last week I spoke about the pesky ear infection which had invaded my life completely uninvited, unfortunately it’s been lingering on this week too and that’s resulted in two hospital visits over the weekend.

I started getting really blurred vision and dizziness yesterday so called up the day assessment unit and they asked me to come and get checked over. Everything was fine with the little one but after three and a half hours of being monitored and waiting around for doctors etc I was definitely feeling worse for wear. They wanted me to stay in but weren’t actually going to monitor me overnight, I was just meant to have a blood test and then wait for the ear, nose and throat doctors to visit me this morning. Instead I decided going home would be much more beneficial to try and get some sleep – and to let poor Dylan sleep as he wasn’t well either and it was nearly 11pm by this point.

So we went back this morning and eventually after another four hours got prescribed some stuff by the ENT doctors which will hopefully shift the fluid which has apparently built up behind my ear and is causing the pressure and headaches in the left side of my head.

Thankfully I also got the bump remeasured – the midwife yesterday measured me as 32cm which is obviously behind what I should be and is also lower than I’ve been measuring for a few weeks. Cue the need for a growth scan, both myself and Dylan were puzzled wondering how the bump could have shrunk?! But this morning a different midwife got 37cm which is perfectly fine and thus she was happy to cancel the scan and let me see my own community midwife on Wednesday to be measured again.

Apart from that, baby is moving well and her heartbeat is alway super loud and strong which is very reassuring. We bought her a baby bouncer this week but other than that I haven’t really done much cause I’ve felt so rotten! I’m hoping to write next week’s update feeling much brighter.

See you on Sunday when I’ll be term!

Harriet and bump x

Hospital Bag Part 2

I wrote a post about packing my bag ready for going to hospital a few weeks ago, just featuring the stuff we’d put in for baby (read it here), I’ve now finally got round to adding all the bits and pieces I’ll need (or most of them hopefully!) so I thought I’d share that too. The only things really missing are extra pillows which I’ll take in separately, the car seat which we’ll pop in the car before we leave and if I’m induced I’ll take some stuff to stop me being bored as apparently these things can take ages!

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First up I might be looking terrible but I do want to use some nice products when I have that first shower after baby’s here! I’ve packed a mini deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, shower gel and body butter (thanks to my sister for the last two as part of my birthday present!).

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The not-so-glamorous bits! Breast pads and maternity pads/pants. Mmm delightful! I’ve also packed a tankini in case I get to go in the birthing pool and a big towel too.

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A hot water bottle to help with the pain, maternity bra, some BIG pants in case I need a C-section, some bobbles (I’ll probably have my hair up to go into hospital anyway but nothing more annoying than one breaking and not having others to hand!) and a lip balm.

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Some really loose comfy clothes to come out of the hospital in and two nighties (notice the dark colours!), one of which buttons up the front for easy skin to skin contact/feeding.

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Flip flops seem like quite an odd choice for a hospital bag! But I don’t really like slippers and I figured I’d want something on my feet which was easy to get on, I could wear outside if I want to go on a little walk and also that I wouldn’t mind ruining/losing! Also some bendy straws so Dylan can help me have sips of water without drowning me every time!

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This is Dyl’s section of the suitcase – a deodorant as I imagine it will be warm and sweaty in there! A top which buttons down in case I can’t do skin to skin so he can step in and do that and some trunks as he might come in the birth pool with me if we get to use it.

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Last but definitely not least some snacks! Plenty of water and sports drinks to keep my energy up and stop me getting dehydrated (and same to Dyl as well!) plus some sweeties, nuts and cereal bars for us to share (apart from the nuts, I can’t believe I’m allowing him to bring something I hate the smell of into the room! But I’ll probably have bigger things to worry about at that point!)

So that’s about it for the case, hopefully I’ve got most the things we’ll need but if not there are plenty of shops nearby and we only live a ten minute drive from the hospital. Obviously if I end up staying in quite a while Dylan will be popping back home to sleep so he can bring extra supplies in for us.

Harriet and bump x

It’s Not An Illness

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If you’ve ever been pregnant, the likelihood is you’ll have heard someone say ‘it’s not an illness’. There’s this huge school of thought (and it does make a lot of logical sense!) that you shouldn’t really stop being you and stop doing all these things you used to do just because you’re up the duff. But on the other hand, you constantly get people telling you off for trying to do anything – pick up a shopping bag, reach somewhere high/low etc. People step in at the slightest hint you might need to move just a centimetre in case they need to assist.

It’s a tricky one because yes there are times when you might want some extra support or someone to lend you a hand to save you spending ten minutes doing a ten second job (especially during the third trimester) – and of course you don’t want to offend anyone who’s genuinely trying to help – but on the other hand some people totally overreact! Some guidance here: if I’m trying to lump round 20kg weights then yes please intervene and tell me to stop being silly, if I’m carrying a small bag with one or two light things in it it’s absolutely fine! I have actually on occasions had to remind people I’m not actually dying!

It’s such a weird concept because you get people like our grandparents’ generation telling us in ‘their day’ they just got on with it and were probably still down the mines or sweeping chimneys when they went into labour, then about five minutes after giving birth they jumped out of bed, cleaned the whole house and put the dinner on the table ready for their husband coming home. But there’s so much research now into pregnancy and so much more we know about the long-term effects what we do during those nine months can have on the baby. Taking regular breaks when we need them, not overexerting ourselves too much, not taking up exercise we weren’t doing before we got pregnant – we know that’s all positive!

Also I don’t know about anyone else, but I slightly feel if I want to ask Dylan to pick up something that’s dropped on the floor to save me having to contort myself around the huge bump to get all the way down there and back up again, I feel that’s kind of okay! I’m not being lazy/feigning an illness/pretending I’m desperately unwell, I’m just being heavily pregnant!

Pregnancy is not an illness, but it is nine months of carrying round a person inside you, letting them kick your insides constantly, having your centre of gravity change completely, getting swollen and sore in places you didn’t know could hurt and that’s not mentioning getting the thing out of you at the end!

Harriet and bump x