Can you believe we are in 2018? It’s going to be a great year, I can feel it! What a whirlwind the end of the year was for us. Because I’m 35 weeks pregnant, we had a quiet Christmas Eve with my close family before KB’s eldest and middle daughters arrived from Johannesburg and Durban respectively. The highlight for us was meeting KB’s little granddaughter (pictured above) for the first time. She is a year and 10 months old, is a busy little thing, absolutely delightful and such a character! She was smitten with KB and constantly sought his attention, calling, “Gan-daa, Gan-daa.”
Appointment at 35 weeks, 5 days
We saw our doctor yesterday for the first time since my last scan at 30 weeks. I checked my blood pressure during December and it was regular enough not to cause alarm. However, yesterday my blood pressure was a bit on the high side so our doctor asked me to monitor it. I’ve had my blood pressure taken twice today, both readings were high. I didn’t sleep well last night and only got to be after midnight, I’m also back at work, perhaps these are contributing factors? I’ll check it again tomorrow, after a good night’s rest, and see if there is any improvement. If there isn’t, I’ll call him and see what he says.
We also discussed the fact that I want to attempt a natural birth with an epidural. I ain’t no hero and am opting for the pain relief drugs! The doctor explained to us that administering an epidural/spinal block can be tricky. It can only be administered once you are in active labour and around 3cm/4cm dilated. Administering it too early could slow labour down. However, if you progress too quickly, you could potentially miss the window to have an epidural. This means delivering the baby without pain relief. He also cautioned that, as with any anaesthetic, there’s associated risk.
We chatted about what the hospital process/procedure is. I.e. whether or not KB can be by my side throughout labour, and what will happen if my labour doesn’t progress and I require a cesarean. We also discussed that we want KB to have the opportunity to have skin-to-skin contact with baby K if I am unable to or if there is an emergency situation that prevents me from doing it.
Sjoe… Things are getting real now!
- I’ve been slowing down over the past few weeks and have started referring to myself in the third person as “Shamu” (as in the killer whale).
- I’ve started to feel out of breath walking about, and shaving my legs has become an interesting experience.
- My body has reached maximum capacity as far as blood goes – my blood capacity has increased a whopping 25% and stands at 5 litres according to the pregnancy app we downloaded. The app also stated on Monday that baby K weighs the same as a honeydew melon. (It was a cantaloupe the week before ¬– they’re roughly the same size in my opinion? Anyway).
- I can only eat or drink small amounts at a time and on some days my tummy feels ready to burst.
- My feet are very swollen and look like they belong to a hobbit. This has only started happening over the past 2 days or so. I find it hilarious to look at…!
- My total weight gain has gone up to 7kgs on the dot. No surprises here as there has been a lot of “festive eating”!
- Baby K’s weight has doubled. She has grown from the estimated 1,26kg at our last appointment and is now estimated to be around 2,4kgs.
- She has turned from a breech position and is now lying in the correct position for delivery. Yay!
- She is lying back to back with me, i.e. she is lying face up.
- She is still very active and her kicks and dance moves are more evident each day. KB and I often just sit and watch my tummy – it’s pretty mesmerising (and yes, it does feel a bit weird).
- I had an epic nosebleed on the way home from work a couple of weeks ago. It happened as I was driving in the fast lane in peak traffic of course, with no tissues in sight. I managed to rustle up a till slip to use. The doctor explained that this is not uncommon in pregnancy, and it’s been incredibly hot in the Western Cape (we’re in the middle of a severe drought), so we shouldn’t worry about it.
Food and cravings
- I can’t say that I’ve had any cravings lately, though I do feel like eating sushi and enjoying a nice glass of wine.
- Sleep is still elusive and uncomfortable despite all the pillows. I like to drink a cup of camomile tea before bedtime.
Buying all the things
I’ve pretty much bought all the outstanding items we still needed to get (it wasn’t much), including this black denim nappy bag. There are so many bags available on the market and so many gorgeous brands. But I also wanted something practical that doesn’t cost a small fortune. I figured denim is hard-wearing and easy to wash. Win-win for a new mom!
I also bought extra sheets and blankets for the cot (I hear you can never have enough of anything with babies/kids), terry cloth nappies to use as burp cloths, a few more long- and short-sleeve vests and a couple more baby grows that I found on sale. KB’s eldest daughter also spoiled her youngest sibling-to-be with the sweetest baby blanket, decorative pillow and some very cute outfits! Her mother-in-law (whom I’ve never met) also sent some cute outfits, I was so touched by this sweet gesture!
We’ve had family visiting and the house has been full over the past 2 weeks and we decided to wait until everyone had left to decorate the nursery. The last of our guests only left this morning and I was surprised to come home and see that my housekeeper had taken it upon herself to sort out the bedrooms and switch the furniture around. About a month ago I had mentioned to her in passing what I had in mind and I feel so blessed that she is as thoughtful as she is.
In addition to sanding down the compactum he bought, KB also bought all the paint and brushes, rollers, paint trays, etc. for baby K’s nursery. He plans to get cracking on painting the compactum and nursery walls in the next week. I also bought some floating shelves and frames for prints that I want to hang in her room.
Believe it or not, the reality that I’m going to have a child still hasn’t completely sunken in. I’m acutely aware that I’m pregnant, but the reality of the situation and how my life is going to change is still an abstract concept to a large degree.
I’m starting to feel a little bit anxious, not necessarily scared, more a sense of anticipation and anxiety mixed together. Naturally, my thoughts are turning to labour and what to expect. I am trying not to spend too much time thinking about it though; I think I’ll do better with a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach, as opposed to overthinking everything (which is my natural state of mind). Plus, women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, without medical intervention or direction, and they seem to have pulled through just fine. When it comes down to it, at the end of the day we are in our most basic form merely mammals. So I’m sure I’ll be just fine.