My third trimester world, weeks 36 & 37
It's been awfully quite over here, hasn't it? Well, not in real time. My present life is full of baby cries, sighs and hiccups, as our beautiful baby came early, right on 38 weeks. Parsley is here. Parsley is a she! Welcome to the world, Joan Scarlett. We are so very much in love with you.
Baby Joan's birth story will be coming. For now, here is my final pregnancy update, which was all typed up and ready to go. My denial at bubs' impending arrival is rather hilarious. Thank you for all the sweet baby love on Instagram. We are so blessed. XXX
This week I finally got over my chest infection, though I’m left with a bit of a cough. It certainly takes longer to feel healthy when you’re pregnant and I found that rest was really the best thing. Now I’m back to sleeping and as a result, I’m feeling a whole lot sunnier.
Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction
Yeah, I’m not really sure I had this issue for real. Or if I did, I only suffered in the typical way for 2-3 weeks before miraculously being let off the hook. Usually they assume that once the pain sets in it’ll be there for the rest of your pregnancy. Either those 5 or so chiropractic adjustments worked or I got lucky! I’m walking and moving so much better, basically as thought the pain isn’t there at all. I just need to be careful about not transferring weight in an unstable manner and doing the usual things to ensure you avoid back pain this late in pregnancy.
Favourite things right now
BATHS. I have a warm bath most days, sometimes twice a day (blatantly hogging the water usage in our house). It’s my happy place. The warm water is great for my pelvic pain and my back, and helps to relax those uterine ligaments, which is what we want when trying to get bubs to turn head down.
PASTA, CITRUS, CROISSANTS AND PEANUT BUTTER. As my love for food continues to diminish, pasta, citrus and croissants remain a shining light (though I’m yet to have a croissant this week!), and we have a new food entering the arena and brining a good amount of joy – peanut butter. I’ve long been eating natural nut butters, only going off them in the first trimester. This week peanut butter has come back as a highly acceptable toast topping. I’ve also been loving a square or two of Pana Chocolate. That reminds me, I need to re-fill my stash! I’ve been craving the peppermint variety, but they say that peppermint extract can diminish your breastmilk supply, and though I’m a month off needing to worry about that I decided to avoid it, just in case.
BOOKS. I’m absolutely loving the moments I escape into the world of Rosemary in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. There’s nothing like a good fiction piece, hey? And though I wish I could recline on the couch and read with a cup of tea (you’re not allowed to recline when you have a breech baby, you need to be upright or on all fours to try and get them to flip in the right direction!), I’m still enjoying my book time. I would aim to find a book to add to my list and prolong this lovelinesss, but I am not the world’s fastest reader and this book is due back to the library on September 1, which is just over a week before our baby is due. Dare I say, I might be a little busy in the first few months to read fiction. I’m not someone who can read when their eyes are perpetually droopy, and this is a disposition I assume I will be inhabiting excessively in the months after Parsley arrives.
MY HUSBAND. Is that cheesy? He’s just been so phenomenally supportive these past few weeks when I’ve been unwell. Even moreso than usual. He’s picked up so many of the household duties, coming home late after a long day at work and doing things for us at home like it’s no big deal. We’ll eat some dish I’ve assembled that is usually rather lackluster (though there was a stellar slow-cooked beef and red wine dish that I served with peas, fettuccini and thick slices of parmesan) and then do the dishes, before settling in for half an hour of moxa stick burning and soon after, diving into bed before a 5:20am wake-up call. I suppose it’s good preparation for when bubs arrives, hey?
This week we had an ultrasound with our favourite technician who always provides a giggle. We saw bubs moving around and he confirmed that Parsley is hanging out in the “Frank breech” position. Because we’re considering an ECV in week 37 to (hopefully) turn our baby head down, we needed an ultrasound to check that this was possible, that bubs’ growth was ok (not too small, not too big), there was a good amniotic fluid level and the cord was not in a precarious position. All looked really good and healthy and normal, with nothing seeming to stop our baby moving head down besides perhaps a stubborn disposition. I think our baby is just comfy and/or lazy. So that’s a good sign! I didn’t move head down in mum’s belly until week 38 when I decided it was go-time (though I didn’t come for 3 more weeks), so I really think our baby is just doing the same thing.
We saw our OB a few days after the ultrasound and he confirmed we were a good candidate for an ECV and *gulp* booked it in for the following week, during week 37. There’s a 50/50 chance it’ll work, and I’m really hoping that it does (and bubs stays head down). Ben and I weighed up the risks (there is a small chance of an emergency C section being needed if bubs goes into distress) in light of our situation and the trust we feel in our OB to be sure and confident and conservative, and we decided to go ahead with the ECV. For many people it doesn’t work, I know this. But I feel it’s worth a try and I am very hopeful it may work for our sweet Parsley. And if it doesn’t work, if Parsley doesn’t budge, well, I will just keep on hoping that our baby pulls a “me” and turns super late when they feel like it’s time (despite there being less room in my womb for acrobatics). I just really feel like Parsley will, you know?
Getting baby ready
Nope, I still haven’t packed my hospital bag. But I DID ask for tips on Instagram and you lovely people gave me a bundle. Packing a nice fluffy towel and my own pillow, as well as a large plastic envelope to put baby documents in and bringing my own muesli are just some of the ace suggestions. I now have the tough decision regarding which baby clothes to pack. It’s entirely too difficult as whenever I look at our baby’s wardrobe I throw myself on the day bed in complete disarray, unable to handle how cute and teeny tiny the clothes are (don’t even get me started about the thought of our baby in them!) One outfit I will definitely be packing is the “going home” dress that my brothers and I all wore home from the hospital. Mum kept so many of our baby clothes, many of which my nana knitted, and I am so very thankful. I even have a red beanie that my mum wore as a baby. Three generations of cute, warm heads.
This week we got our car seat installed by the good folk at Baby Train, and also purchases some sun shades to help keep bubs cozy and comfy in the car. Naturally this will mean he/she never kick up a fuss on car trips (he he he). Following this errand we attended an infant CPR class with Vital Aid. My parents and my mother-in-law joined us, and we all found it invaluable. Ambulance folk (or whoever dictates the info) update this stuff regularly, so it’s good to do even if you vaguely recall the recovery position from your high school lifesaving sessions. Now I feel like I have a clue what to do when it come to CPR on infants and children, as well as burns, fevers, choking and more. I sincerely recommend every does one of these classes, even if you’re not expecting.
Oh, one more thing, I picked up my nappy bag this week. I was debating as to whether this purchase was necessary (I mean, I know it is a great idea but I am being picky with what I spend money on these days), but as my Aunty and her partner gifted me some money to put towards the bag I decided to go for it! After a bit of research I went with a Vanchi bag. It has so many compartments and is, in my opinion, super stylish. I carried it around the house for a good while when we got home, just holding and stroking it. As an avid op shopper, new bags are a novelty for me. I also bought this sleeping bra and a cami with belly support for post baby, two things I have been told are must-haves!
Our bedroom is upstairs. So is our baby’s bedroom (though for the first 3-6 months (at least), bubs will be sleeping next to us in a bassinet) and our bathroom. The rest of the house (the kitchen, lounge room, study, laundry and second toilet) is downstairs. I imagine I will be spending most of our days (once I initially migrate from the comfort of bed) downstairs, and therefore I have been faced with a dilemma… where will bubs sleep?
Originally I solved this by suggesting, somewhat impractically, that I will simply carry the bassinet downstairs every day and back up every night. My parents and Ben informed me that this was rather ridiculous, as it’s heavy, the stairs are steep and where would I put the baby. Right. So we need two bassinets. That seems excessive! But I know that I want bubs sleeping in the same room as me at all times for at least the first three months, so we resolved to get a second bassinet. Mum found a gem at the op shop and cleaned it up. We ordered a mattress and got it all ready, but when the mattress arrived we realised that the sizing was off and there was a big gap between the mattress and the side of the bassinet due to some structural design as a result of removing the bumpers, because they don’t recommend you have bumpers in bassinets these days for safety. GAH! So many safety recommendations change over the years, it’s hard to keep up (and keep your wallet full). Back in mums day they just did whatever, but these days they’re so cautious and you don’t want to do the wrong thing, God forbid something should happen. Anyway, we resolved to fork out another couple of hundred getting the same bassinet as our upstairs one. But that very day we had a discussion/I had a brain meltdown in Baby Bunting, my mum sent me a text from our friend Rosa’s house proclaiming that they had a bassinet we could use! We darted there and found she had the sweetest whicker bassinet that her daughters had used, all ready for us to take home. Rosa and her family are all angels. So now we have a second bassinet that is completely beautiful and means a lot to me because it was lent by a friend. What a sweet solution.
Acupuncture and Chiro visits
Well, I’ve stumped my acupuncturist. She says that most baby’s move by now and she’s perplexed as to why bubs isn’t moving. I maintain that our baby moves more after a bowl of pasta than the moxa use, so am switching my focus towards spaghetti and rigatoni. She gave me a great tip to get a specific breastfeeding herbal preparation if I do need a C section, to help my milk come in, which ill definitely try.
My chiro says my pelvis is looking mighty fine, in the best shape it’s been in, and she encouraged me to push for a vaginal birth (which I’m still undecided if I will or not, as I said I’m feeling like bubs will turn when shit starts getting real). Things are looking good and healthy and like there’s no reason why bubs can’t move down, even though we’re at 36 weeks, which is considered very late and things are getting very, very cluttered in there.
I mean, I know you can’t predict everything, but I feel like with all these alternative therapies and the daily inversions I’m doing, I’m in a great place for our baby to move head down when he/she is ready. And I feel so at peace with the fact that I have clearly done everything to encourage this to happen, including handstands at the pool this week. And though were fun and I’m sure bubs enjoyed the pool time, I know that our baby is entirely moving to his/her own tune and will not be persuaded by a few handstands or a bag of peas on his head. Parsley just doesn’t care. Not until he/she is ready. And you know what, maybe Parsley will stay bum first and think that is a super smart way to come out. We’ll see. Either way, I know I’m not smarter than my baby and funnily enough there’s great relief in that.
When I was lying in the pool during the relaxation time of the class, I kept thinking that all I care about now is meeting our baby and making sure he/she is healthy. The countdown on my phone says and 3 weeks 2 days. I won’t have to wait long.
This week we went out to dinner at Ten Minutes By Tractor for our dating anniversary - 14 years on the 29th! We classed it up and ate things like whipped, house-made hazelnut butter, quail with rhubarb and fresh brioche as we spoke about all the things we cannot wait to do with our cherub when he/she arrives. It's been the two of us for so long, we can't quite believe that in a few weeks we will meet this little person, our creation.
On the Monday this week we had our ECV attempt. That made me 37 weeks + 4 days. In the morning I did inversions, read a bit to take my mind off things and had a lovely bath. Then just prior to the procedure I had an acupuncture session. Ben came along too and burnt moxa sticks to get bubs active, and afterwards we checked into the hospital. Gulp! After a bit of time monitoring bubs’ heartbeat and mine I was given a drug to relax the uterus. They say it can make your heart race and make you a bit twitchy. I think I may have gotten a little twitchy but honestly I didn’t feel very different. Ben was stroking my belly and my hair, talking to me about our baby and all the wonderful things we’ll be doing together as a little family of three. My husband was, he IS, just incredible. I am so lucky to have his love and support, to be the person who gets to receive all his sweetness and care. He made it all ok. And I did feel ok. We honestly had a really nice time. Our midwives were all glorious and we think our OB is just the best ever. And it wasn’t painful. Sure, it was uncomfortable, but it was totally fine and bubs’ heartbeat was fine all throughout the attempted version. But my sweetheart would not budge his/her little head. Our baby’s butt would move but the head would not. My placenta was a little in the way (I have an anterior placenta), making it hard to grip the head, and after three or four attempts we called it quits. Bubs just wasn’t ready to move.
I know the statistics are not great for baby’s turning head down at this stage in pregnancy, but I am certain that our baby will and I wont need a C section. I was lying in the birthing suite and it felt so right being there, not in an operating room. On a truly deep level I felt this.
So it’s a little while longer that we have to wait, and hand control over to our baby…trusting and waiting to see what our Parsley does. I am doing positively everything to get our baby to move, all the suggestions and old wives tales you can think of. The acupuncture, chiro, inversions, baths and swimming, walking, birth ball exercises, being on all fours, visualisations, talking to bubs, it all helps and keeps things open to allow our baby to move down. But I know for certain, even more so after the ECV, that our baby will not move until he/she is ready. Oh baby! You are teaching me things.
Here I am doing an inversion this week, my brother keeping me company and jiggling his keys to get bubs to move down.
After the ECV attempt I was monitored for a while (our baby was super active, they needed to be sure he/she was ok) before finding my mum in the coffee shop downstairs, just to be there and support us. Bless, she’s amazing. Thanks to all my dear friends for their support and love also (Robin, you’re an angel). After a good amount of tears my appetite returned (I was advised to not eat lunch beforehand) and inhaled some chicken soup and toast at home. I then attempted a nap but instead heading out for a long walk then a bath.
We’re having another try at the ECV next week. I’ll be 38 weeks and 4 days at that point. Oi! This is getting real. We’re at the business end.
Getting baby ready
I ended this week with a newborn care class at my chiropractor’s office. The midwife speaking gave a lo of great advice which got me so incredibly excited for those sweet, sleepy and snuggly newborn days. Afterwards my mum helped me with shopping so I could stock up on things like coconut water (to take to the hospital) and food for me to make and freeze a few more meals (I've done bolognaise, soup, vegetable curry and date balls so far! Plus there's heaps of Dad's bread in there and some meals from loved ones). She checked in on my packing progress and told me I really need to finish organising my hospital bag. And she’s right….I’m 38 weeks tomorrow! I just really feel like I have a long while to go yet.