Monday, 11 November 2013

29 weeks - 10 weeks to go!

I am officially on the downhill stretch – 10 weeks to go! It suddenly became real over the weekend so I’m glad I’ve got 10 weeks to mentally prepare myself for our impending arrival.

Two things happened over the weekend that made me suddenly realise I AM HAVING A BABY. I know that sounds weird because clearly I’ve known for quite sometime that I am having a baby. But, being pregnant, and believing you will be holding a baby at the end of it, are two entirely different things.

The first thing was attending our first hospital class. At the start, we had to say our names, due date and what we liked about being pregnant. There were about 12 couples in the class and everyone was due between the beginning of January and February. Five were all due around the same day as me so I was noting the differences in our belly sizes. One woman was about the same size as me while the others were much larger. It was interesting to see how different our bodies all looked.

The majority of the women said the best thing about pregnancy was feeling the kicks. I think that’s the same for all of us. It was interesting that two of them said they also liked the fact they were pregnant because it had been such a long journey for them. My heart ached for them in the way that only a heart that knows that pain can.

The first lesson was the stock standard run down on labour – what the signs are, when to come to hospital, pain relief options etc. We were shown a DVD on the different stages of labour which luckily for the husband’s, wasn’t too graphic, but I did notice some of them squirming in the chairs. It showed the progress of 4 different women and I did quite emotional at the end when they showed the baby being put on their chests. I figured it was just the hormones!

We were also shown some pictures of the process for an elective caesarean. Of course I was very interested in this as I had never been told what the entire process involves. So you come in, get taken to your room, put your gown and pressure stockings on and sign some paper work. Then, you get taken up to the theatre, wait around until an anaesthetist comes to talk to you, and get wheeled in. You get given the epidural in your spine and they erect a curtain so you don’t see the gory bits. They also insert a catheter to collect your urine because you won’t have feeling in your legs and you can’t walk for a day afterwards. They then cut you open, pull out the baby, show it to you, take it away to check it, wrap it up, and put it on your chest. You’re then sewn up, taken into recovery and eventually wheeled back to your room. The whole process takes about 2 hours. It all seemed very calm, neat and orderly compared to the labour DVD!

After the class, we went for lunch and my husband asked me what my main learning was. I told him the fact they give you a catheter! I didn’t know that. He just shook his head at me. His learning was much more sensible – we need to make sure I’m mentally prepared to go into labour. I told him I was prepared to go into labour but as soon as I did, we would go straight to the hospital for the caesar. That was my understanding from our last discussion with the obstetrician but he wasn’t so sure. I told him we’d clarify it with him at our next appointment. I hazard a guess he might have been slightly projecting and thinking he needs to be prepared for the fact I might go into labour! It was scary looking stuff!

That night he asked me how I was feeling after the class and I said freaked out. He said he was feeling very excited. I told him I was feeling anxious, scared, excited, nervous and overwhelmed. But, I was also feeling mostly happy. However, the recurring thought in my head was “Oh my god, what have we done. Is it too late to change our minds?” He told me it was way too late. I told him I didn't really think that - it was just the anxiety talking.

I suddenly burst into tears for no real reason, other than the fact I was happy. But, I realised the reason I had had such an emotional reaction to seeing the DVD was this pregnancy had suddenly become real. For the first time, I actually believed we were having a baby. It reminded me of a friend who said when she was pregnant after her miscarriage, she never believed she would have the baby. As a result, she felt totally unprepared when the baby arrived because she spent the entire pregnancy convinced she wouldn’t – it was a rather large shock to her system.
I can totally empathise with her situation because it’s been mine. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I haven’t let myself believe we would have a baby. Now, I do. I’m very thankful I’ve reached that point now because I at least have 10 weeks to work on that mental preparation. I think the timing is good because now I am eager to throw myself into getting everything sorted that I need to. Belief is a truly wonderful thing. I’m glad I got there eventually!

The second thing to happen is I popped! I went to bed on Friday night looking normal and woke up on Saturday morning with a much more defined pregnant belly. It was another sign that things were happening and Sticky is growing!

I weighed myself this morning and I’ve put on 2 kilos since my last obstetrician appointment. This is the largest amount of weight I’ve put on in between appointments for the whole pregnancy. I’ve still only put on 6.5 kilos for the whole pregnancy so I’m not concerned. I knew it was going to sneak up on me eventually. I actually felt relieved to see the increase. I was starting to worry that Sticky might not be putting on enough weight, even though I knew the real weight gain will only now begin.  

So, it was a busy weekend with some pretty significant milestones. In some ways, I feel like the pregnancy is really only beginning today. I guess in some ways it is because it’s only starting to be real for me today. But, I know this next phase is going to be completely different to what the past 28 weeks has been. I can already feel it’s getting harder to walk and I’m starting to get some shortness of breath so things are happening. I know my body, and Sticky, are about to undergo the most significant changes of the whole pregnancy. Bring it on I say!     

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