My Third Trimester World, weeks 32 & 33
We're in the eight month, folks. And I’ve realised that if I were to continue with monthly updates, we'd have two left. One, if bubs comes early! So I'm thinking I'll post fortnightly from now on.
OB appointment and breech thoughts and things
We went into this appointment hoping that bubs had flipped and was now head down, but alas, Parsley (our baby’s womb name) is still breech. Our baby's head is under my left ribs and his/her legs are up my right side. I mean, it's SO cute, but not what we want for a healthy, natural, vaginal delivery. And, as I mentioned in my previous pregnancy update, this means a lot to me. My amniotic fluid level looks good, so there’s absolutely still a chance that bubs can turn head down. In fact many do during this time, only a tiny percentage of babies are breech come full term. But it’s really not what I wanted to hear, because giving birth is important to me. It’s something I REALLY want to do. And to be put in this limbo phase of waiting to see if Parsley flips head down in the coming month...well, that’s kind of torturous.
The best thing I can do is hand over control of the situation to my baby. And while I am definitely being proactive and doing helpful things to encourage bubs to move if they’re ready, I’m finding it quite easy to trust in our baby. I’m sincerely comforted by the fact that most babies do turn eventually. And I believe that if bubs does not turn and remains breech, it’s for a reason, whether it’s safer for him/her there or for whatever reason it’s just not possible to be head down. But all this doesn’t change the fact that I still really want to give birth. But, as I need to keep reminding myself, there's no point thinking too far ahead. I just need to trust and wait and see and adapt. And focus on my goal of a healthy baby.
The things I am doing to encourage bubs to flip are: acupuncture (to start next week!), chiropractic adjustments to help my pelvic alignment, swimming once a week, daily inversions as per the Spinning Babies website (only the ones that feel good and right), visualisations and gentle massage in the bath. I’m also playing music to my belly, down near my crutch (hilarious, I know), and Ben talks every day to my lower belly, trying to get bubs to bring his/her head down to his voice. I’ve even done the frozen peas on the top of my belly, and something warm down the bottom. Madness. But why not?
If it comes to week 37 and bubs still hasn’t flipped, I have the option of an ECV, which involves my obstetrician manually turning out baby from the outside (which we hope would be successful and bubs would stay head down). There are risks here, and if bubs’ heartbeat drops due to complications, an emergency C section could happen….which is obviously not ideal, but also rare. I know quite a few ladies who have had an ECV and all worked out perfectly. So we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it, but at the moment I’d lean towards having that procedure.
The belly grows...
Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction
My obstetrician also said that my pelvic pain is due to something called symphysis pubic dysfunction, as a result of pregnancy hormones, baby and belly growth, ligaments relaxing - all that jazz. It’s in my right pubic bone at the back, and makes walking really difficult. I get super sharp pains like someone is stabbing me every time I step and particularly when I transfer weight between legs. So walking up steps, moving side to side, unstable weight-bearing, etc are things I need to avoid. I’m hoping my chiropractic adjustments help ease things a little, perhaps acupuncture too...but I think the pain is here to stay until I give birth (well, hopefully it goes away after that!). I’ve been given some lovely advice and I plan to see a physiotherapist and perhaps an osteopath soon. Moving is really important to me, and I don’t feel like myself if I can’t go for a walk or just move easily. It really affects how I feel mentally as I struggle with not being productive. Oi! What a learning curve. It’s been a tough week.
I still can’t really be bothered with food. Though I am particularly pleased when someone cooks for me or we go out for a meal. I had a beautiful beef cheek meal this week at Three Wild Ducks in Mt Eliza (everything there was super delicious, actually), and Shop Ate continues to keep us terribly happy with their pasta dishes and cakes. Our weekend dates bring me so much joy. This week we went out for lunch before hitting up Baby Bunting and then Rebel sport for a fit ball. PS I'm OBSESSED with my fit ball, I adore it, it's the best purchase. It's like I'm sitting on a big round gummy bear.
In other food news, my dad has been baking like a mofo. We have sourdough bread coming out of our ears! Lucky we now have that stand alone freezer. I’ve been devouring slices of sourdough with avocado and fried eggs this week. I’ve really taken to frying eggs in butter, just a little, enough to coat them in that sweet, butter flavour I so adore. Plus, butter is an easy/delicious way to get in extra calories. Yeah, Ben’s taken to running…
I visited the pool this week and had a fab time floating and using my arms to move about. I can’t really kick properly, even doggy paddle style is tough (breast stroke is definitely out) with this pubic pain. But I’m MOVING. And that feels blissful. If only it were summer and I could swim daily at the beach. I’ll be keeping this up once a week for as long as I can.
Bub’s is definitely still breech. I feel his/her little head under my ribs and it breaks my heart because it is SO sweet….but of course, I’m hoping it moves down in the coming weeks. Oh my, friends and instagram folk have been so lovely, sending love and support, helpful comments and empathy, sharing their stories. I feel very blessed and comforted to have friends texting and emailing me, sending a bit of comfort and helping me realise that I’m doing everything I can and reminding me that this is great practice for parenthood, the fact that we cannot control everything and babies are their own beings! I’m reminded of people who struggle to get pregnant, and feel blessed that I am creating a life in my belly. Man, that’s some perspective for you. So, when I find myself overwhelmed with disappointment that I may not be able to experience birth (premature thinking, but it creeps in occasionally), I remind myself of this fact, and the sweet, sweet truth that there is no reason we shouldn’t have a healthy, beautiful baby in our arms in under 2 months time. That makes me smile and forget. Or rather, remember what’s really important.
I had my first appointment with a fabulous acupuncturist this week. We did the needle thing then she sent me home with moxa sticks to burn near my toe. For real, this stuff is supposed to work. For ten days I’m to burn the sticks near my toe and hope that bubs flips head down. We'll wait and see!
Porridge just isn’t doing it for me anymore. Food in general isn’t, really. The thought of it is nice, but then I come to eat it and I’m just not rapt. The only food that is truly wonderful is fruit, particularly oranges. Even potatoes have lost their charm. How lame is that?! Weak lattes bring me a lot of joy also, but other than that I feel like I’m force feeding myself a lot of the time, which is so weird for me. I'm keeping my calories up with generous serves of nut butter, orange juice and cheese. Thank goodness for these foods!
This week I went to the shops to try and encourage a happier appetite, buying whatever I pleased to tempt myself. I came away with the following “treat” purchases (i.e. things I wouldn’t normally put in my cart due to budgeting reasons): Nudie juice, Nudie fruit sodas (I'm sensing a theme here), fresh Medjool dates, organic apples, sea salt crisps, 5:AM yoghurt, fancy imported pasta and organic minced beef. Oh, and a can of corn kernals. Here’s hoping they do the trick and get me out of this food funk!
I’m missing our farm fresh produce (Transition Farm have a break over winter), and have been buying produce sporadically from a few different vendours. At the end of week 33 I came across red capsicum on sale (completely un-seasonal) and started to jazz up my salads, along with tinned salmon, toasted pinenuts and cheddar cheese cubes (always cheddar cheese cubes). I actually really enjoyed those salads, one of which is pictured below.
Struggle town and Pubis Symphysis stuff
The pain a the back of my pelvis has felt much better this week. I know I’m getting used to managing the pain, avoiding side stepping and weight transfers, but I also think that perhaps it’s getting a little better and I wonder if the chiropractic adjustments are truly helping. I’m down to visiting once a week and I have to credit them for helping realign something down there!
Honestly, I’m quite up and down with how I’m handling this “wait and see when baby flips” stuff. Ben was gone for three days and nights this week, and I found myself really missing his strength and reassurance that bubs was doing what was right. When he called Wednesday night to tell me he’d be gone another night I balled my eyes out. It’s all fine and good to be doing these inversions, burning sticks and putting peas on the top of my belly when I am in a good frame of mind, but left to my own devices for too long and I can get a bit stuck in that world. Ordinarily I’d go for a long walk outside to get fresh air and perspective, but with this back pain I just cannot do that anymore, at least not in the same way (or even in a way that feels terribly good). Though I did I step out this week for a slow little walk...or a hobble, really. And boy, did it make me happy.
I’m also not very good at being unproductive, which is precisely how I’m feeling at present. With my limited movement I am not moving at a fast pace, nor am I physically able to do much of what I’d like. Cleaning the house has become really tricky and simple tasks like tidying and sorting, all those good nesting things I should be doing, are hard and tiring and painful. I am working through this, adjusting my expectations as to what I would achieve in a day, which, let’s face it, is great practice for when bubs gets here...but I’m still coming to grips with it all. Every now and then I’ll wake up and metaphorically slap myself in the face, realising bubs and I are healthy and who the heck cares about anything else. But there’s a bit of boo-hoo’ing in there too, I won’t lie. Hopefully I’ll get over that soon, it’s a waste of energy, truly.
I’ve created a playlist on my phone, songs I love and that I think Parsley will love. I’m hoping that by getting him/her familiar with them, she’ll be soothed by them on the outside. Or even during labour, it’ll make bubs be all like “yeah, ok, this is cool! I’m all good, let’s come on out now, easy peasy, hello world!”... and labour will be super easy because our baby will be dancing to Daft Punk. I did a science degree, so you can count on my thinking here. I'm pretty sure this will work.
I’ve switched from childbirth books to what happens after bubs is born. I finished Ina May Gaskin’s guide to breastfeeding this week and am now working my way through Baby Love, which has some great tips. I highly recommend it, as do friends who have recently had babies. I’m steadily adding things to the list of things to do in the next 6 weeks (and gradually crossing them off). Things like ensuring you have a first aid kit ready to go and what to take to the hospital.
Sometimes I'll sit in bubs' room with a cup of raspberry leaf tea and read. Well, I try to read. Mostly I just look around the room and try to comprehend the fact that we will have a little one in here soon. I still cannot quite believe it.