My Third Trimester World, weeks 34 and 35
I'm presently 36.5 weeks pregnant and it's time for my week 34 and 35 update!
Light, warm, trusting, sure and peaceful. That’s how I’m feeling this week. The events on Monday and the following days made me stop, breathe and see things clearly.
On the Monday this week I had an appointment with my OB. First up, I met with a midwife and we spoke about preparing a hospital bag (huh, I still need to do that), when to call in and all that jazz. She was kind and sweet and I felt very comfortable in her presence as she confirmed bub’s position - head up, bum down below, legs up the side. Ahhhh sweetie. You’re still breech. I knew it, you cannot mistake our baby’s dear little head under my ribs, and the kicks on my left side, which are now super strong. We joke that Parlsey’s best friends are his/her legs, laughing as we picture him/her kicking and staring at them, not even knowing what a leg is. Oh boy, folks, we cannot handle the cute. I spoke about vaginal breech birth with both our midwife and our obstetrician, and I though I know that it is possible, I also appreciate why they are not keen for it to happen with first time mums. There’s still a bit to consider there, folks, and I’m honestly not sure anymore if I would push for it. It depends on a few things that will become clearer after a scan in the coming weeks, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Our obstetrician confirmed our baby’s positioning with a little scan, during which we saw our baby’s face. It was so incredibly clear... chubby little cheeks and sweet little nose. Oh, it was unreal, the clearest picture we’ve seen. “It looks like a real baby!” Ben said. Totally is. Because of bubs’ position, we spoke about what our next step would be, which is a referral for an ultrasound next week to check our baby’s growth and the surrounding fluid level, plus a few other things - stuff they need to be sure of before they attempt an ECV (external cephalic version -attempting to move the baby from the outside into the head down position). I asked a lot of questions and we spoke about it all and I now feel really comfortable with going ahead with an ECV at week 37 if our baby is still breech.
And you know what? I feel so much more comfortable with everything now. Even if it is a C section. Of course I don’t want it to come to that, I’d LOVE a natural birth...but the difference is (unless I'm feeling particularly emotional or vulnerable) I have stopped grieving the fact that I may not be able to give birth vaginally and I am now fully and beautifully focussed on what our baby needs. My acupuncturist said that if bubs doesn’t move with moxa and an ECV, it’s for a reason. She has seen this in her practice and she believes it completely. And I do too. I’ve known that all along, truly, but now I feel it deeper. In my heart...it’s clearer now. I know that I have done everything I can to ensure our baby turns, and I know that if our baby is meant to turn head down he/she WILL. But if our baby doesn’t turn, it’s for a reason. Our smart baby knows. I am now finally ok with that. And now I can now get back to being excited! I feel like I’ve woken up. I'll continue to do all the things I have been for the past month to get bubs to flip - stretch, do inversions and swim (in the pool when I can and float in the bath), as well as some gentle rebozo sifting, weekly chiro and acupuncture visits, but I also know that bubs will only move if they’re ready. And *sigh* that is ok. Truly.
Speaking of acupuncture, this is now our evening moxa stick burning ritual. Ben is such a champ. This corner of our house looks like a little, dogdy drug station, as every night we burn these sticks near my toe and collect mugwort ash. I breathe and relax and read baby books while Ben listens podcasts for 30-40 minutes. This, friends, is a good example of the weird shit you do when you decide to have babies...the lengths you go to for this little person.
My HypnoBirthing instructor, Emily, came around to my house this week and did a script with me - visualisations, fear release and speaking to my body, my uterus, my baby. She is an angel, I swear. I felt blissful during the session, light and sure and excited for my baby’s birth.
Now all I need to do is relax...relax my ligaments, trust and be with my body and my baby. No tension, no fear, just trust and see what happens over these next few weeks. My baby knows what to do and I will keep looking after my baby and my body with joy, love, warm baths, stretching and relaxation, tea and rest. That’s my job now. I get it. And it feels really wonderful.
PS this growing belly! I cannot get over how much I adore it. And my back/pubic symphysis pain is SO much better, it's amazing. Each day it seems to improve, which blows my mind because I am only getting bigger! My father-in-law has stopped taking photos of my face to send to my sister-in-law overseas and is now purely focussed on the belly.
I have only two things to say about this chest infection I collected during weeks 34 and 35. 1) coughing violently with a big belly is awful, and 2) I think we need another orifice to be able to breathe through. Not being able to use your mouth or your nose means you don’t sleep, and that, folks, is the worst. I vote for the ears.
On the final day of week 35 I started to feel a whole lot better. A 2.5hour nap did that. And though it’ll be a little while until I’m fully back to normal, it’s so nice to be able to sleep and function properly again. The things that helped me get through were hot water with a LOT of fresh ginger, rest, chicken soup and a lavender heat pack gifted by my friend and super mumma, A.
I didn’t speak about food at all last week, but not much has changed. I’m still completely disinterested in food that isn’t oranges, pasta and croissants. Even potatoes are becoming a bore. This week I was sick, so that made my appetite even worse, but this is what I ate:
› Chicken vegetable soup.
› Salted potato crisps.
› Toast with vegemite, sometimes cheese too.
› I choked down yoghurt and porridge on occasion. › Citrus fruit and orange juice. › Pasta. › Potatoes (regular or sweet) with toppings like avocado, capsicum, canned salmon and cheese. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love any of these. I've even gone off potatoes and avocado! Oh man.
Baby Blessing Party
Here's a link to my post on our baby blessing, in case you missed it. I’m still high from all the love. I should also say that I am thankful my friends showed up despite me sounding like I’d been smoking 10 packs a day and coughing everywhere. We ate leftover potatoes and doughnuts for days following and have a whole leftover apple pie in the freezer for breastfeeding fuel.
I’m continuing to ready Baby Love, by Robin Barker, just to feel a little prepared for those first few months, but truthfully I am craving fiction. I’m tired of the shows I’ve been watching and re-watching, from Downton Abbey to the occasional movie that appeals, so I asked for some book recommendations via Instagram. Thank you to those who sent their book thoughts my way! After the Chiropractor this week I visited our library and borrowed We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler. I’m four chapters in, which not as grand as it sounds as they’re small chapters, and am LOVING it! I’m getting that blissful escapism I so desire when reading fiction. And it’s not about nipples or baby poo, so that’s awesome.
I did it... I made a hospital packing list. I swear I’ll actually pack my bag the coming weekend.
Spoiler alert: I absolutely did not pack my hospital bag. I guess I was too busy sleeping. And from what people tell me, that's a stellar use of my time right now.
1 month to go, peeps! How mad is that?!