rmc28: Rachel holding newborn Nicholas (rmcf+nhf)
It is 14 weeks now, I should write it down before I forget any more.  Key differences from Charles's birth are that I remember the section fairly clearly, and that thinking about it hasn't made me cry.
Read more... )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Born shortly after 9am today, by elective c-section. 4.8kg (10lbs 9oz) so a fraction bigger than his brother was. He's already breastfed once and generally seems quite mellow and content.

Elective section is considerably more pleasant than emergency. I'm doing fine, can nearly move my legs again, and am in no pain. I'm much less tired than last time.

We are on Lady Mary Ward in the Rosie. Visiting hours 14:30-16:30 & 19:00-20:30 if you want to come & say hello. (No children other than my own allowed though.)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
We didn't get to the cinema in time for the film, so we went for a nice anniversary lunch instead.  During which I noticed that I was having contractions (unusually for being sat down), and that although still very mild, they were coming regularly, every 7 minutes or so.

So we walked home and I fired up the contractions app, and over the course of the afternoon they stayed at every 7 minutes or so, got a bit chaotic whenever I went for a short walk, but never really got very strong or very frequent for any sustained length of time.   I said fairly early on that there was no point getting excited until they were getting to 4 minutes apart and stronger, and that never happened.

I had a bath at one point because my lower back was aching.  Contractions mostly stopped in the bath, but returned when I got out.  However, after dinner they just petered out entirely, whatever I did, and I am back to random infrequent Braxton-Hicks when I walk around the house.    But at least I should now get a good night's sleep before getting up at horrible-o-clock tomorrow to be at hospital for 7am.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
  1. My and Tony's 7th wedding anniversary.
  2. The first day of Tony's paternity leave, followed by 2 weeks of "ordinary" annual leave.  So nice to be at home together.
  3. My last chance to go into labour before tomorrow's elective c-section.  I went for a long walk yesterday evening, in hopes of encouraging things along.  Basically, if I'm upright and moving around, my body is Braxton-Hicks-ing enthusiastically but without any rhythm emerging, and when I rest, it stops (unless I'm on the gym ball, but that's not the most restful seat).
  4. Release day for the ebook of The Apocalypse Codex, the latest Charles Stross book in the Laundry series.  I had pre-ordered, so it quietly appeared on my Kindle and phone this morning.  I am saving it for tomorrow to while away waiting in hospital.
We are going to the cinema to see the new Spiderman film while Charles is at school and we don't have a baby to look after.  And of course we're walking there, because I haven't quite given up hope yet ...
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
"Just bring your slippers, dressing gown and other essential items to the ward before the operation.  You can leave the rest of your stuff in the car and Dad can go get it when you are back on the ward."

Given that I do have a male partner who will be with me, I restricted myself to commenting that I don't have a car, and even if I did, no-one else in my household can drive.  I got a blank look and then "but how are you getting here?" as if buses and taxis (and indeed kind friends) did not exist.  I'd cycle, except that someone else would have to ride the bike home and that's getting into silly logistics.

I have to be there at 7am on Tuesday.  Currently I am the only one on the "morning list", although other people might get inserted ahead of me based on clinical need.  They start operating at 8:15am.

I guess this means my body has about 2.5 days left to get a move on.
rmc28: (mybaby 20wks)
I met the obstetrician and we discussed induction versus elective c-section and my concerns that VBAC success rates fall with induction and also fall after 41 weeks, and my last baby was big, and this one is probably big, and my mother's babies were all big.  So we decided induction was not sensible and she went off to try to book me a c-section "at the end of next week".

Only it turns out that the hospital has lots of sections already booked for next week, and the next available was 17th July, which would be 42+1, and outside both of our comfort zones.  So she went off and wrangled the system a bit more and I am now booked in for 10th July (next Tuesday).  If I understood correctly, on a list which is basically "do these when you can fit them in between the appointments and the unplanned c-sections".  But, if one of the mothers scheduled for Wednesday delivers early, I may get bumped to the timeslot they free up.  In any case, I have a pre-op checkup on Friday.

I do not envy the person who has to try to manage the c-section schedule.

The result is we will have a baby no later than Wednesday evening and probably by Tuesday evening.   Unless I can deliver first.   I shall be stepping up (ho ho) my walking/stair-climbing campaigns.  In the meantime, I've suggested that Tony plans to start paternity leave on Monday at the latest, and that my mother plans to travel down to us on Monday at the latest.

After all that scheduling, we discussed the stretch and sweep and the obstetrician said it was completely optional and was probably not worth doing if it would make me stressed about the pain.  She was happy to do one if I wanted, but if I didn't want, no problem.  So I said no.

And then, because the actual booking of an elective c-section after all the effort to prepare for VBAC was making me a bit weepy, I walked up Hills Road to work off the weepiness/encourage contractions.  I got as far as the bus stop just after Station Road before tiredness won out, and bussed the rest of the way.  It would have been quicker and better to cycle both ways, and maybe I'll do that on Friday.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Still no baby. The Braxton-Hicks contractions I've been having (for over 2 months now!) are getting stronger and harder to keep walking through but still not regular and still don't feel productive. I have started getting a bit desperate and doing things like climbing up and down the stairs sideways whenever I remember.

This afternoon I get to talk to an obstetrician about "delivery options" i.e. what we will do if I continue not to go into labour spontaneously, and by when. cut for medical detail )

I also have to decide very soon how to travel: bike remains the quickest and most reliable transport method over that distance, but if I accept the sweep I might not be up to cycling back afterwards. Bus will definitely get me both ways, but be slower and more annoying.  I could combine part-walk, part-bus for the exercise benefits, but that will take even longer.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I've been getting an interesting range of reactions to casually mentioning having travelled by bike recently, i.e. while 9 months pregnant. So, a poll:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 30


How surprised are you that I am still cycling?

View Answers
Mean: 3.53 Median: 3 Std. Dev 2.45
Not at all surprised 18 (26.7%)
25 (16.7%)
37 (23.3%)
41 (3.3%)
51 (3.3%)
60 (0.0%)
76 (20.0%)
82 (6.7%)
90 (0.0%)
Very surprised 100 (0.0%)

How positive/negative is your reaction to me still cycling?

View Answers
Mean: 9.07 Median: 10 Std. Dev 1.36
Very negative 10 (0.0%)
20 (0.0%)
30 (0.0%)
40 (0.0%)
50 (0.0%)
63 (10.3%)
71 (3.4%)
85 (17.2%)
92 (6.9%)
Very positive 1018 (62.1%)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
This is a checklist of questions written for mothers in labour, but I think it could apply to most medical treatments:
  1. Is this an emergency or do we have time to talk?
  2. What would be the benefits of doing this?
  3. What would be the risks?
  4. If we do this what other procedures or treatments might we need as a result?
  5. Is there anything else we could try first or instead?
  6. What would happen if we do nothing for an hour or two?
  7. What would happen if we didn't do this at all?
The handout I have abbreviates this to BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Instincts, Nothing).  I think the Instincts part is childbirth-specific[1] , but BRAN should apply generally.

[1] I find "instinct" a bit of a magical/mystery/woo word.  In childbirth, what people actually seem to mean by it is "the signals the mother's body is giving her during a physically demanding process". What word(s) do we use for the signals an athlete's body gives them during a marathon or similarly strenuous task?

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Things I've done this week while trying to distract myself from obsessing about going into labour:
  • Took Charles swimming in the school pool - this is thanks to nice parents who have passed the resuscitation course and are opening it for a minimal cost after school twice a week.  It is small and shallow and when I next take him I may not bother going in, as he can basically manage just fine in it without me.
  • Cambridge Geek Night which I went to for the first time and really enjoyed.  The first talk, by Greg Law on setting up a software company, had me grabbing to make notes within a few minutes, and led to some interesting conversation in the break.  The second talk, by Lucy Chambers on the Data Journalism Handbook, provoked more questions, and definitely exposed a split in opinion of the attendees between those who wanted to see more journalists understand data/stats/science and those who wanted to see more scientists/geeks get good at journalism and storytelling.    And then lots and lots of interesting conversation with other attendees until I started falling over tired.  The next CGN is Tuesday 21st August, with [twitter.com profile] julianhuppert and [twitter.com profile] markgfh, a combination which I shall certainly be keen to see.
  • Started the Udacity statistics course, which really ought to be pushed at journalists everywhere, along with the Data Journalism Handbook.  Udacity itself looks interesting - currently it's mostly computer science with a bit of physics and the statistics course, so really I ought to know the subject matter already, but I like the concept.
  • Learned some French on DuoLingo - this was recommended to me by [twitter.com profile] catherine237 and it's social-media-gamification applied to language learning.  There are short lessons within which one gains "skill points" and as these build up one goes up levels.  It's in beta, expansion by invite only, and I have two invitations left.  Languages covered are French, German & Spanish for English speakers, and English for Spanish speakers.
  • VBAC class at the hospital with Tony, which mostly covered stuff we knew, but gave us some new valuable nuggets of information.  My favourite thing is the handout of a truly useful checklist of questions to ask when presented with a proposed intervention which I think could be usefully generalised across most medical interactions.  Of the five mothers there, I was the only one who had had a full labour last-time, and I found it annoyingly hard to verbalise what contractions are like and how pushing feels when asked.
  • Avengers Assemble at the cinema with Keith (4th time for me, 2nd for him) and yes I'm still enjoying it.
  • Midwife checkup: routine, everything continues normal & healthy, blood pressure fine, passenger head down and back to front of my bump, i.e. ideal position to start labour.  I probably won't see a midwife at the surgery again: I have an antenatal clinic appointment next week and by the middle of the following week I should have given birth.
  • Walk/leaflet delivery/pub lunch/gossip with [personal profile] pseudomonas which was jolly nice and got me out of the house and gently exercising as I should.
  • School summer fete which was heaving and incredibly hot and sunny.  We got cake for my birthday and I successfully restricted Charles to a very few small toys.  I spent probably too much money on bouncy castle sessions for him, but it's an entertaining way of giving money to the school. We also saw a display of tap and ballet dance from the dance school he's started at this half-term, learning Streetdance and apparently loving it.  He was pretty fascinated by the display, but he's already internalised the "ballet is for girls" message, *sigh*. 
  • Turned 35 but didn't plan any celebration as I wasn't sure what I'd be doing.  Vague hopes of a double birthday were not realised.  I think we'll have a birthday-and-baby party sometime next month.  [livejournal.com profile] fanf got me a large box of chocolates, which was just what I wanted.
  • Talked to a landscape gardener about how to rescue our front garden from weeds and our back garden from hen-inflicted devastation and end up with something we have half a chance of maintaining nicely.  A quote will come sometime next week.

rmc28: (mybaby 20wks)
Still not king given birth.  I am just a touch obsessed with this now.

Tomorrow will be 39 weeks.   At 40+2 I have an appointment at the hospital with a doctor where I expect we will schedule an elective c-section for shortly after 41 weeks (my least-bad option based on my understanding of the RCOG guidelines).  So, one way or another, I only have another 16 days or so of pregnancy left.  I would very much like to avoid the c-section; also the earlier and therefore smaller the baby, the greater chance of successful VBAC.  So I am oversensitive to people saying "ooh, how long have you got?"  Because Now Is Good.

In the last week there seems to have been some kind of growth spurt - the bump is bigger and more awkward, loads more new stretch marks, and my weight has jumped another kilo.  The Braxton-Hicks contractions continue to appear whenever I stand or walk around, and are getting stronger and more uncomfortable but nowhere near productive labour yet, as well as petering out whenever I get hopeful.  Other unpleasant symptoms include my ankles finally swelling up, and noticeably less energy / stamina in everyday life.   Poor [livejournal.com profile] fanf is having to do more and more of the housework.

Based on the theory that babies are always born at the least convenient time, I'm trying to set up things to do which will be inconvenienced by labour starting.  There was a golden opportunity last night, when we had houseguests staying over after a lovely wedding; I was thinking 4am would be maximally disruptive and there was a certain sense of disappointment when I woke briefly at 5am to a complete lack of contractions.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I've now been on maternity leave for four weeks.  The school runs give my day some structure, but I have to admit I mostly sit and rest rather than do much with the time in between, despite my best intentions.  I have managed to sort and declutter the remaining heaps of outgrown children's clothes so we now have neatly-packed boxes of clothes sorted by age group from newborn to five and a couple of boxes of baby toys ready.  

[livejournal.com profile] j4 & [livejournal.com profile] addedentry very kindly gave us a moses basket and a baby play mat when I visited them at the end of May.  I have picked out a buggy and a nappy change table to buy just as soon as I clear the space for them to go into (this is supposed to be an incentive for me to finish the necessary decluttering next week ...).  I have filled in my "VBAC pathway" with my midwife - essentially a structured birth plan on an A4 form - and written out a checklist of actions/decision points for when I go into labour.  Tomorrow I reach 37 weeks and can go into labour without it being labelled as premature.  I expect it will be at least a week or two more though.

The last week has been half-term for Charles (and I think pretty much all schoolchildren in the UK).  We had a lovely long weekend featuring parties on Friday night, Saturday, and Monday night, plus a Big Lunch organised by the local Residents Association on Sunday.  Tuesday was rather quiet as a result, and on Wednesday morning Charles & I headed off by train to stay with my mum and stepdad in Todmorden for a few days.  It was very rainy throughout the visit and we mostly stayed indoors .  Charles seemed to appreciate having lots of one-to-one time with me, and time with his granny.  He also spent a lot of time watching Mick lay flooring in the attic.  I got to have a fair bit of time talking to my mum about everything and nothing.   Overall it was a very restful and pleasant little holiday, even if both Charles and I missed Tony a lot (video calls at bedtime helped).

While I was in Todmorden, I finally got around to reading a couple of books bought several months ago, on the grounds they would rapidly become irrelevant if I didn't: Pregnancy & Birth Handbook, by Dr Miriam Stoppard and Your Best Birth, by Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein.  The former felt very much like a revision session and I basically skim-read it.  The latter is very US-centric and puts my irritation with certain patronising obstetricians at the Rosie into perspective - I am left profoundly grateful that I'm giving birth here rather than there. The book has a good chapter on VBAC and again I felt as though I had usefully revised everything I needed to know rather than learning new stuff.  There was some other good stuff  about birth companions and having reasonable expectations of one's partner under stress, and talking about worries together in advance. 

I was amused by the little section in Your Best Birth on using art and creative writing to bring out and address one's fears of labour and birth.  I summarised research and wrote checklists to do that.  Checklists are sort-of creative, right?

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Election over: last Thursday.
OU over: last assignment for current module submitted on Monday
Work over: today

On Tuesday I removed work email and calendar from my phone.  Yesterday I emptied my desk drawers and brought home everything I wouldn't need today.  Today I took in excessive amounts of cake, was given some lovely presents and cleared my remaining email and helpdesk queue.  I sent a final thank you email to my team and put on my out-of-office and left.  (And then had to go back because I'd left food in the communal fridge.)

Next Monday I start a new routine: school run morning and afternoon, and space in between to rest and prepare.  At some point in the next 8.5 weeks I will give birth or have a c-section.  Hopefully not for at least 4 weeks, and hopefully not the full 8.5 either.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
So far on my day off I have:
  • Done the morning school run, which always raises Tony in my admiration for managing it every day.  (It will be my job for much of maternity leave and when working part-time, so I will need to get better at it.)
  • Obtained lucozade for the silly "lucozade challenge test" .  Still hate lucozade as much as I did when pregnant with Charles.
  • Walked to doctors for blood test following above.
  • Returned unread and overdue library books: I am still struggling to make time to read for fun.
  • Walked home again.
  • After a short rest, cycled to Histon and picked up a hire car for the weekend.
  • Packed surplus eggs to take to sister-in-law
  •  
Still to do:
  • Pack for weekend and family wedding
  • Pick up Charles from school
  • Pick up Tony's mother from Stansted
  • Drive to High Wycombe (M25 at around 5pm on a Friday, what could possibly go wrong?)

Tony & Charles have new suits for the wedding.  I have failed utterly to find a dress that I like so am improvising with palazzo trousers, a pretty top and a jacket.  I'm not going to be as smart as them, but at least I have a really obvious reason why.

My bump seems to be growing daily; my appetite has got silly; and I have started having Braxton Hicks contractions.  It took me a while to be sure that's what they were, but a series of them yesterday evening convinced me.  They don't hurt (at least, they don't hurt me) but can be surprisingly distracting: the muscles around the belly all tighten up involuntarily for a while and then relax.  With Charles they didn't start until much later, but perhaps my body wants to get ready nice and early.

I have three weeks left of work and am very ready for the break,.  I've still got slightly more to do than is realistic in that time, but it should all be doable or delegatable now.  I've caught myself eyeing up cleaning & decluttering tasks around the house, which is unusually houseproud for me, so probably early manifestation of nesting.  There's still two weeks of local election campaigning and a final OU assignment to finish before I can start on that, though.
rmc28: (wonderfrown)
I've arranged a short trip, just me and Charles, to see my mum and stepdad in the remainder of half-term not taken up with a double bank holiday.  It's probably the last journey of any distance I'm prepared to take before my due date, but we'll be back in Cambridge before I reach 37 weeks.

Even so, the bit of my brain that likes to think What Could Possibly Go Wrong woke me up in a cold sweat this morning (yes, literally) because I Didn't Have A Plan for if I went into labour while on that visit.  There followed a frantic half hour looking up maternity services, travel times and installing an app to time contractions.  And now I have a Plan, including what to do if I go into labour on the train, and when to call the whole trip off, and then I was able to relax and get up.

The timing app is cute and will be useful anyway.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I seem to be getting my second-trimester burst of energy and optimism at last (only two months late!).  It is very pleasant.  It would be even more pleasant if my pelvis didn't keep trying to fall apart painfully, but one can't have everything.  Walking seems to help the pelvis behave, lots of walking is good for me generally, and the recent run of springlike weather has been good for doing lots of walking.  Also our IKEA POÄNG chairs are the business for sitting comfortably.

I am having fun shopping for maternity clothes and flattering my vanity now there is a visible bump to show off.  Few high-street stores keep maternity wear in store, but several have a model where you order the clothes online, have them delivered free to the local store, use the store's changing rooms to try them on, and immediately return what's unsuitable for a refund.  I have been burning up my credit card accordingly, to the point that I triggered a fraud alert.  The main consequence of this has been to delay my pre-ordered copy of Raven Calls, but I haven't had time to read it anyway.  Hopefully both it and some spare time will arrive this weekend.

I also finally got around to a much-needed haircut and re-dye of my "flashes".  They are purple this time.

rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Nearly 20 weeks pregnant and suddenly I have a bump.  It is visible enough to distract me, though less obvious to others, depending on what I wear.

A few weeks ago I started digging out the maternity wear I kept from when I was pregnant with Charles.  I was delighted to find most of it still fits: I started this pregnancy about 16kg heavier and 1-2 dress sizes bigger than last time. Though now only about 11kg heavier thanks to TMI.  However, it is basically jeans and slogan tshirts, which was very much my personal style back then; I seem to have shifted up the smart-casual scale to more tailored shirts and fewer jeans.  And more skirts.

Most of my shirts & blouses still fit; in fact some of the ones I had put away as too big are now beginning to look okay again, but all of my 'usual' skirts and trousers are unbearable around the waist.  I have one remaining pair of leggings that are just about comfortable, and two pairs of identical maternity jeans, and it is getting very boring.

So I have started investigating plus-size maternity wear, a rare beast.  La Redoute have quite a lot that I like that goes up to size 20, and a substantial order is on its way.  I tried the city centre shops today: New Look had maternity wear in store; it goes up to size 18 which is not quite big enough for me.  Top Shop have a tiny range in store, in both senses (nothing above a size 14).  Next told me to try their Grafton Centre store, and Dorothy Perkins said to try their Newmarket Road store.    I didn't get to either, or to John Lewis as I got too cold and decided to come home. Perhaps tomorrow.  (The Grafton Centre also has Evans and Ann Harvey for plus-size, though I don't know if they do maternity, and Mothercare for maternity, though I don't know if they do plus-size.)

M&S said to order online and bring returns into store for refunds.  Perhaps I should take a look now.

I don't want to spend too much, because I won't need the clothes again after this summer, but at minimum I want a couple of pairs of smart trousers and/or a smart skirt, and a nice jacket.  A couple of the New Look tops really did emphasise the bump in a startling way; if they had been a little less snug I would have got them, purely for the "pregnant, not (just) fat" vanity they enable.

I also have to find outfits for at least three weddings this summer (yes, the diamond shoes are really pinching, how terrible that we have lovely friends and family wanting us to share in happy celebrations).  So far I know I need outfits for when I'm 30 weeks, 34 weeks, and ~4 weeks post-partum.  Tony & Charles will be wearing the same things to all three events; I doubt I will.  Last time I managed to outgrow my planned wedding outfit in the week before the wedding.  Twice.
rmc28: (mybaby 20wks)
I am feeling occasional fetal movements now - it took me a while to distinguish them from indigestion, but there was an unmistakeable kick at the weekend and have been a few since.   I expect the novelty will wear off soon.

Since fairly early in the pregnancy, I've "felt" confident/certain that everything is fine.   Put into words as "I'm having a rough time, but the baby's just fine". I've no real evidence for feeling this way but it's pretty constant; the only time it was shaken was when I had the bleeding scare before Christmas, and even that didn't really panic me so much as worry me.

Feeling movements now gives me some evidence to add to the general sense that all is well with my passenger.  I might just be making it up, or it might be like knowing all is well with my big toe, or my elbow.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Today was was a cover midwife, not the 'usual' one for the surgery who left me saying to [livejournal.com profile] fanf  "I don't have to bond with the midwife, I just need her to do her job and I'll do mine".  But today's, oh she was lovely and enthusiastic and supportive and reassuring.  I wish I could just see her from now on ... 

She had a student midwife with her, who I consented to sitting in, who was also nice and reassuring, and found the fetal heartbeat (eventually).  The key things we covered were: seeing the consultant midwife about VBACs, my thoughts on VBAC, my blood test results (all fine, in healthy ranges, "nice high iron, nice low blood sugar"), and the due date.  The midwife was quite firm that we should go with the scan date of 2nd July rather than my calculated date of 6th July.  So we will (& I'll go change all my dates I worked out).

Anyway, onto birth options and risks, as we discussed them today:
Cut for length and medical detail )
rmc28: (uterus)
I have done lots of reading about VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) and ERCS (elective repeat c-section). It might have made a more productive meeting with the obstetrician on Monday if I'd done it first. I've primarily used the following resources:

Home Birth Reference Site (HBRS)
Guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists on Birth After Previous Caesarean Birth (Green-top 45) (PDF downloadable from that link). (RCOG)

I very much like this sentence from the RCOG guidelines:

There are no randomised controlled trials comparing planned VBAC with planned ERCS and this may be an unrealistic aspiration.

Onward to the vast screed of research )
rmc28: (uterus)
... and a flaming temper does wonders for cycling up Castle Hill - I overtook at least five people rather than my usual puttering quietly at the back of the queue.  But anyway, what I need to do is separate out facts and emotions after today's appointment with an obstetrician at the Rosie.  
Cut for medical detail and crossness )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I'm now officially into the second trimester. My body hasn't read the book, but hopefully the first-trimester symptoms will bog off soon.

A little planning switch has flipped in my head, because the chances of miscarriage are now much lower and so I am "allowed" to start making real moves to prepare for the new arrival.
Read more... )
rmc28: (mybaby)
Short version; we had a scare on Wednesday when I started bleeding lightly. I had an ultrasound scan today and everything is fine. Phew.

Read more... )
rmc28: (smile)
I'm 10 weeks pregnant, due on 6th July 2012, which was the birthday of my maternal grandmother Ada.

Short version: I'm really happy to have conceived, and really looking forward to the eventual baby, but I'm disliking the experience of pregnancy even more than I did with Charles.

Long version behind cut:
Read more... )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Last night we had some discussion about maternity leave and return to work.
Read more... )
rmc28: (OMG)
So, Charles is now about 20 months old.

When he was about 1-2 months old, all the pain went out of my memory of labour. I remember remembering how it felt, but I have no direct memory any more. I remember the facts of the labour, but the details are all a bit hazy now (and I'm not sure I only remember the facts from having written them down and repeated them to people so much). It coincided with the c-section area finally stopping hurting.

When he was about 12 months old, all the angst went out of my memory of having a c-section. About this time last year, I sobbed over an article on normal birth after c-section. By December: no problem thinking about it.

When he was about 18 months old, all the aggravation went out of my memories of pregnancy. I remember that I greatly disliked most of it, but there's no substance to the memory any more - all black-and-white facts, the feelings all washed out and sepia-toned.

My guess is that the last point indicates when my body finally felt recovered enough to do it all over again. It coincides with when I asked to go back to work full-time and started stepping up my exercise level (all indicators I'm feeling stronger and better). But it is freaky losing bits of my memory like this. I am so glad I LJ-ed obsessively at the time, and that I have whim-proof contraception.
rmc28: (finches)
Since the middle of September, and the anniversary of starting my maternity leave, I have been having lots of little reminders of this time last year, waiting for Charles to arrive. His birthday is on Saturday, coincident with my mother's wedding. Hopefully I won't be awake for 60+ hours this year!

The oddest reminder of waiting-for-Charles was the arrival of mince pies in the local Co-op. My early labour was fueled with mince pies: small, calorie-dense and not too sickly, they made excellent small snacks during that long long day. Later on I got in the (bad) habit of eating them after nursing Charles. When I ate the first of this year's mince pies, the taste and smell brought back a kaleidoscope of impressions/memories, including Sue's presence.

The worst feelings about the birth have definitely faded away into acceptance, but I still find pregnancy unpleasant to remember (of course it lasted rather longer). I find I am delighted with my own little boy and get very excited about other people's tiny babies but still have no desire whatsoever to be pregnant again. So, as many people ask me when I might have another baby, the answer is always "not for some time". I used to want at least four children, and I do very much want Charles to have a sibling, but right now I am not sure I can make myself go through pregnancy even one more time. It will be interesting to see if this too fades into acceptance over the next few years. In the meantime, I have whim-proof contraception.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Went to bed about 10:30 and got lost in a rather good book. The third time I had a period-pain like cramp, I twigged that something might be going on.

I am now downstairs, sitting upright, reading email, sitting on #labour on chiark and timing the contractions to get an idea of how far apart they are so I have something to say to the midwives when I call. Looks like roughly 5-10 minutes apart, rather than the (estimated) 15 minutes apart while I was reading, and definitely easier to cope with while upright than when I was lying down.

The house is cold now I'm not under my duvet. We've put the fire on low in the living room and I'm currently dressed (but in distinctly *not* my nicest clothes).

Hmm, that's two in a row 5 minutes apart. Time to call the delivery unit (between 10pm and 8am they cover first-contact calls for the community midwives).

Edit: The duty midwife says it's too early and the contractions aren't intense enough to do anything. She recommends taking some paracetamol, a hot drink and a hot bath and trying to get some sleep, rather than staying up all night being excited and timing contractions. I'll skip the bath (I had one earlier this evening) but the rest of it sounds sensible, if a bit dull.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I went out late, and then just missed the bus 10 minutes after the ideal one to catch. No problem, think I, it's an every 10 minute service. Half an hour later two buses turned up at once. So I was rather late to meet Tony et al for lunch but they were very tolerant. I just managed to finish in time to pick up some CUMC stuff from Pembroke and get to the midwife on time.

Lovely lovely midwife. She confirmed she's happy for me to home birth despite the big baby - the things that could go wrong are "all things we can spot coming and discuss transfer". We have provisionally booked an induction at the hospital for 42 weeks, though I can probably refuse it at the time if I'm feeling unhappy. If I do so, she will have to "strongly recommend" I go into the hospital and talk through the choices and risks with an obstetrician, and they will want to do full fetal monitoring. Fine by me, so long as I actually get to talk through choices and risks and don't get ordered around again.

She also wrote in my notes (with my agreement) that I declined to see the obstetrician again at 41 weeks, as I already have a midwife appointment at home at 41w2d, where if I want she can do a stretch-and-sweep. But she was very clear that I was under no pressure to accept that offer, and that she'd respect my fear of vaginal exams, be very careful, and stop the moment I told her to.

Should baby and I actually make it to next Wednesday without parting company I am probably likely to accept the stretch-and-sweep. Of the methods of attempting induction it is the least offensive, and I do trust my midwife to stop if I can't cope. I'd certainly rather try that in the relaxed environment of my home if it keeps me from the hospital the following week.

After all that, she checked the baby and thinks it has engaged a little more, and we both heard the heartbeat strongly. All continues healthily.

After the appointment I did more walking - paying in rent money from Sue, paying in CUMC cheques, and going into Cambridge Library for the first time in about 7 years. My membership had expired so I had to reregister, but at least that avoided the "I've changed my name to this complicated alternative" conversation. I borrowed four books. One I've read before, two unread ones by authors I already know and one completely new one.

I'm hoping to get back in the habit of using a library - yes I have a giant to-read pile and yes I have all of Tony's books that I haven't yet read, but for some reason I have this urge for variety at times, for books that haven't been staring at me for the last n months or years. Up till now I've just bought more books in that mood, but I'm going to see if the library makes a good substitute. I already noticed that it certainly makes me more willing to try random new authors.
rmc28: (glowy)
Yesterday:
TMI )
I thought/hoped things might kick off in the night, and went to bed early just in case. I did wake up at 3am, but it was because I was desperately thirsty with the tail end of the cold. I spent about an hour drinking lots of water, eating a mince pie, doing Hanjie and wandering around the living room a bit. Then I realised I was too cold and went back to my nice warm bed and slept in late this morning.

The GP said the rash could be anything, probably not to worry, could take antihistamine but best not for baby's sake, and took a blood sample to rule out problems with liver function. I had a hot salt-water bath last night which seemed to soothe it but it was worse again this morning. I had a bright idea that it might be the new sheets we put on the bed on Sunday - I didn't wash them between buying them and putting them on, so they have gone in the wash today and the now-washed ones they replaced are back on.

Routine 40-week visit to midwife this afternoon. I want to discuss how she feels about big baby and home birth and be sure she's still happy with me delivering at home. I tried out the new 50p bus fares with university card yesterday and it seems to work ok, also my pelvis is definitely much more tolerant of walking than it has been. So I should be able to meet [livejournal.com profile] fanf and colleagues for lunch and do a couple of minor errands in town before meeting the midwife. Walking to get the bus got me out of a foul impatient mood yesterday afternoon, so I think I should try to do as much gentle walking/getting fresh air as my pelvis can stand.

Three Mitch Benn CDs arrived today, hurray.
rmc28: (glowy)
Braxton Hicks galore but nothing more.

The cold seems to be getting better. I woke up about every two hours in the night to have a drink but feel fairly rested. Here's hoping it's just my body trying to get it out the way before venturing into labour.

Yesterday I developed an itchy rash on arms and legs. I managed to remember to ring my midwife this morning (I was going to yesterday but forgot), who said it didn't sound worrisome but I should probably see the GP. So I rang them and they were on triage because of registering new students - however the GP triaging decided I was worth seeing today. So that's something to get me out of the house today.

I'll be there again to see my midwife tomorrow afternoon, subject to continued non-arrival of baby.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I developed an annoying cough yesterday, although [livejournal.com profile] fanf makes a good hot toddy. There was an exciting moment on the way to the pub when I had to stop walking because of a stitch-like pain in my side. We wondered if it was the start of real contractions, but on later reflection it was probably just a stitch because I haven't walked that far in ages.

More mucus came out in the night, still unbloody. On Saturday I started having a great many more Braxton Hicks contractions and this is still happening. In general I have a feeling of "things are moving" and I'm not going far from home. I do wonder if the cough is holding things up and am hoping it goes away soon. Occasionally I get an urge to walk around, and pace up and down whatever room I'm in - I may go outside for a short walk later to see if that helps.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
But I did get a reasonable night's sleep.

For people in Cambridge, Tony & I are intending to go the Carlton for Sunday lunch, from about 2ish, anyone wanting to join us would be welcome.
rmc28: (mybaby 20wks)
I just had a show. cut for TMI )

I just double-checked my memory against Google and this could mean labour is imminent, or could mean it is still a week or two away. I'm going to attempt to get some sleep now (I've been in bed most of the afternoon/evening dozing or reading), and will give my midwife a ring at a sane time of day tomorrow, assuming nothing exciting happens in the meantime.
rmc28: (glowy)
We made it to the last NCT class, which was all about babies: what they need, what parents need, getting them to sleep and feeding them.

I've taken my bump belt out of the car and written my last cheque to Cat for borrowing it - I'm not planning to use it again.

While spending money, I ordered two more Bravado bras as I am now definitely shifting out of the Plus size into the Double Plus and am only going to get bigger once the baby arrives.

I'm now very sleepy and going to bed with a good book for the afternoon.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Keith lent me a copy of Mitch Benn's album Radio Face, and after nearly falling out of my chair laughing I bought all three of his albums currently available on Amazon. My particular favourite is Macbeth (My Name Is), which anybody who knows the play has to hear.

I found a change bag I liked in Babies R Us. It's a messenger-bag style with zillions of pockets and a nice sturdy comfortable shoulder strap. I think it'll do for "out all day with baby" holding my stuff as well. Alternatively "overnight bag for baby", together with my small rucksack as an overnight bag for me and we are sorted for train journeys to visit family. (I am assuming decent sling holding baby at front here).

I was resting after buying it when Steph rang me to say the car purchase was taking longer than expected so I took a wander around ASDA which was two shops down. I bought a rather random set of things, including lots of dairy-based food and paperback copies of Thud! and the most recent Harry Potter. My SPD has definitely improved, as I had no problems pottering slowly along the aisles and occasionally leaning on the trolley for a good 40 minutes. After getting through the checkout I sat down and had a drink of water and was just about to get started on Thud! when Steph rang me from outside the store and we went home.

We had a late lunch of pizza from my purchases, and sat chatting for a while. I spent the rest of the day sitting in the bay window doing very little while people came and went. Cat came home and had some food sitting with us, then she and Keith went off into London, and Steph went off shopping. A while after that Sue came home in her hire car, and Matthew came to meet her to hand over a faraday-cage passport holder for Kate, and to get a lift to Girton for a shiny bike. Steph came home again not that long after they'd departed, and a while after that Cormac met her and we sat around chatting some more before eventually it was time for them to go. We then played car shuffle, as next-door had a visitor blocking Steph's car in our driveway and I wanted to bring Cat's car into the driveway.

I emptied the boot of loot. Tomorrow is the last time I need to use the car (to get to NCT class in Bassingbourn), and Cat may decide to get rid of it soon. With the improved SPD, the Carlton is probably not as out of reach as previously, and Gilbert Road has plenty of garden walls I can rest on if necessary. I think everything else I can do by bus.

I'm still feeling tired and haven't done any of the organising/sorting out I wanted to, nor am I up to going and celebrating [livejournal.com profile] covertmusic's thesis hand-in, which is a pity. I shall probably go to bed with a nice book soon. If I'm not feeling more rested tomorrow morning we may not go to NCT class, as I don't fancy being stuck 15 miles from home by exhaustion. Hurray for laptops and the ability to spod from bed.
rmc28: (glowy)
Yesterday I got the following done:

Mission 1: local shops
Posted the accumulated pile of letters.
Photocopied marriage certificate to get yet another name change done (they still turn up).
Bought drinks cartons, cereal bars, yoghurts, fruit juice, bendy straws & large tissues from Co-op, clearing a significant number of outstanding 'things we need'.

Interval: rest, lunch, rest

Mission 2: driving-distance shops
Bought tarpaulin, big cotton dust sheet and bucket from B&Q.
Disposed of large bag of charity things to charity shop opposite John Lewis, bought two big baggy tshirts.
Bought mattress protectors, and extra bedding from John Lewis at Tony's suggestion (if nothing else we'll be laundering more often so a bit more slack in our bedding would be useful). Also flannels from home birth list.
Failed to find any slippers I liked in my size (was size 7, appears to be size 9 now with the swelling).
Bought a small pack of 24 disposable newborn nappies from Boots, for an astonishing 99p. I don't really want to know how they achieve that.
Ran into my midwife unexpectedly, had a brief chat.
Looked at change bags in Mothercare, hated them all.

I got back to the car feeling very strange, despite sitting down a lot on the way from Mothercare. After some thought I decided not to go to some planned drinks, or to pregnant-swimming, but instead went home - I didn't want to be stuck somewhere in charge of a car if I got any worse. I think I was just tired - a rest, some water and some biscuits revived me enough to spod from bed, and later on Steph and Cormac came round to chat for a bit and eventually I dragged them to the Carlton for dinner. I was tired again by 10pm though, and went home then while still safe to drive.

Both times I got home I was too tired to empty the boot of all my loot. Cat has taken the car to work this morning, so I won't be able to now until she gets home this evening, but I don't think there's anything I really need in there (unless I go into labour in which case I can call her). We now have everything from the home birth list, with the exception of slippers for me, food in the freezer and food for partners/midwives. I'm not that worried about slippers, and we have food shops very close by, so we're pretty much there. I just need to do things like actually pack the hospital bag, and actually sort out the pile of baby clothes in the moses basket and actually finish the labour playlist.

I'm still tired this morning, though slowly waking up. I have a promised lift to Babies R Us today while Steph & Cormac buy a car, so I can see if I like any of their change bags. As I already have a good change mat and waterproof bag from the Nappy Lady, I don't have to stick to "official" change bags, but it's a place to start. I want something to carry on one shoulder comfortably, with multiple compartments, and ideally with a convenient pocket into which my own cruft (wallet, keys, railcards etc) can go. If I find one I like today, I can pack baby things in it, so we have separate hospital bags for me and baby. In the scenario where we end up in hospital, that makes it easier for someone else to find baby things without throwing my knickers around.

HAH

2006-09-27 23:01
rmc28: (grouchy)
We had NCT class tonight, mostly concentrating on interventions: induction, augmentation, monitoring, ventouse/forceps & caesarian section. At one point the teacher said "if they've tried membrane sweeps and pessaries and the cervix isn't ready then you are basically looking at caesarian because there's no point putting syntocinon up if the cervix is unripe. So it's never done lightly and there has to be a good reason."

HAH. Apart from the induction that bloody obstetrician tried to book me for on Monday. Am really pissed off with her now. At Mum's suggestion, I will talk to the local PALS people, but after the baby is safely arrived. There are two issues: poor communication between sonographer and obstetrician; and poor communication/lack of respect for patient consent by the obstetrician herself.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
A giant box of nappies arrived today and I just got around to opening it. They are amazingly cute and fluffy and soft, and I love them. They also seem to be fairly easy to open and close, and the waterproof (yet washable) wraps to go over them are similarly easy to use and look quite cute into the bargain. I took some photos (yes I am that sad).

The Nappy Lady says "New nappies should be washed a couple of times before use as this improves absorbency" which gives me something to do this afternoon.

I need to finish going through the lists of things to have around for the birth and make sure we have them all. Then maybe it will decide to arrive.
rmc28: (grouchy)
Looking back now, it seems clear to me that the doctor thought I had requested to see her because I was concerned about the measurements. In an ideal world I would have explained that I was only there because of the protocol followed by the ultrasound people, but that I did want to know what the potential risks were of large baby and excess amniotic fluid. And then maybe I'd have got something out of it and she wouldn't have been left with a frustrating appointment with a woman who just said no to everything.

I was very thrown by the stating, not offering, that I was going to be induced at 40 weeks, and for the rest of the appointment I was just on the defensive and wanting to get out of there. In hindsight it seems that I could have rescued it and made it useful if I'd realised in time that we had crossed wires. I wonder if there is someone I can talk to at the hospital to suggest improving their communication with each other to avoid this happening to other women.

I still don't really know what the risks are, so that's some research that I should do - being lazy I decided to wait until after I'd seen the obstetrician so I could start from what I was told there. I also want to talk to my midwife, both to check that she still thinks a home birth is ok, and to discuss how the appointment went.
rmc28: (grouchy)
What a thorough waste of time!

It didn't start well, given that I arrived on time for a 3:30 appointment, but had to queue for 10 minutes just to see the receptionist, who seemed to be very confused by her booking system. I was then called within about another 10 minutes and taken by a nurse to a consulting room, where she took my blood pressure and asked why I was there. "Because your sonographer told me to." Then she went away and asked me to wait in the room for the obstetrician. I estimate that wait at about 20 minutes, during which I could clearly hear at least two other interviews taking place. I really didn't want to know the gory details of someone's difficult delivery last time and why she wants an elective c-section this time.

Eventually the doctor turned up, went through my notes and confirmed it was a first baby and I was under midwife care, so why was I there. I explained about the sonographer and the graphs, and added that I wasn't surprised the baby was large because my mother had had 4 large babies. She looked at me, asked my height, and agreed that I was a large woman and large babies were to be expected. Then she asked me to get on the exam table, so I asked "what are you going to do?" and she said she was going to check the position of the baby, whether it was engaged or not and so on. She did this much more painfully than the midwife does, and confirmed it isn't engaged (which I could have told her), and then chased the heartbeat around for a while, saying casually that the large amount of fluid I have was making it difficult. I said that he'd been kicking me only a few minutes previously and she nodded.

Then while I was cleaning up the ultrasound gel, she said "Ok, I'm going to bring you in at 40 weeks for induction," at which point I sat up quite quickly and said "Er, no." She looked at me a bit puzzled and I clarified "You're offering me induction at 40 weeks, and I'm going to think about it" after which she backpedalled a bit. Of course it was my choice, and normally they wouldn't offer induction untl 42 weeks, but with a large baby I might want it earlier. I said firmly that I certainly didn't want to be induced at 40 weeks. She then offered a membrane sweep and I said "No" again quite firmly (I wasn't sure if she meant now, or at some unspecified future date, but was going to play it safe). She said "You're a woman of opinions," and I said "Yes," but went on to explain that I really didn't like exams so membrane sweep was very unwelcome unless the baby was in distress, but as he was moving strongly several times a day I didn't see that he was. So then she said I should come and see her at 41 weeks and we could discuss induction if I hadn't had the baby yet, and to call if the baby stopped moving. I said "if I come in and you induce me, can I go home and have the baby there?" and she said quite dismissively that midwives don't want to attend home births of big babies, to which I replied that I'd discussed the ultrasound results with my midwife who seemed quite happy and was seeing me at 40 weeks anyway.

It was all very polite but completely bloody useless. No discussion of the risks of big babies, or of the "excess" amniotic fluid, just an attempt to get me on the conveyer belt. If I were a good little sheep without "opinions" I'd now be booked in for induction next Monday, and if the baby isn't ready, as far as I can see that just leaves me open to more and more intervention for "failure to progress" and a much higher risk of c-section. Needless to say I have no intention of going back at 41 weeks - I will see my midwife then if I make it that far, and my midwife is perfectly capable of discussing (and carrying out) the physical induction methods which are generally tried before syntocinon. The only good thing is that the doctor really did seem quite content that my baby should be big and I do wonder if we had crossed wires, if she thought I had requested to come in because I was concerned about the size when instead it was the sonographer and the bloody charts and the 95% lines.

It does make me feel that I made a mistake consenting to the ultrasound scan last week. I would rather have trusted to my and my midwife's judgement about the baby's position - the ultrasound showed the baby was exactly the way she said it was when she last palpated - and then I wouldn't have been open to these damn measurements (which I didn't know were going to be taken until they were) and the first step on the conveyer belt. I'm going to discuss that with my midwife when I next see her, as I'm not happy about going through a lot of unnecessary faff and being put at increased risk of medical interventions.
rmc28: (silly)
When is the baby going to arrive?

Place your bids by commenting and I'll update the grid. Information you might want to bear in mind: The due date (40 weeks) is 2nd October and I believe current protocol is to offer induction and daily fetal monitoring from 10 days overdue. I am unlikely to consent to induction unless the monitoring indicates the baby is in distress. Normal human gestation can be anywhere between 37 and 43 weeks. At the time of writing this entry I have no indications of labour being imminent.

Edit: OK, I'm going to allow multiple people to pick the same day - you can divide the virtual prize between you if you 'win', and it allows more people to play as well as having a pleasing visual 'vote' aspect. I've done a bit of re-editing where I know people had preferred days that had already gone. Let me know if you want to change your bid based on this information. I'm off for a few hours now but will sort it out when I get back.
Grid now behind cut as grown immense )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I pottered around getting the odd thing done, finishing a good book, and then started on the major job of filing the large boxful of CDs that [livejournal.com profile] fanf handed me after I thought I'd nearly finished the filing-CDs job. I set up on the dining table, and had the laptop there for CD-ripping purposes (I'm attempting to put together an iPod playlist for labour).

The laptop belongs to [livejournal.com profile] james_r who has kindly lent it to me for purposes of being able to check my email/LJ wherever I am in the house, especially after the baby has arrived. I'm also trying to get used to the Apple way of doing things after years of being used to Windows. In the long term I'm going to get my own Apple laptop and transfer most of my routine home-PC-use over to it.

Soon after 6pm I conceded I wasn't going to finish the filing job, so did my best to tidy it out of the way of housemates and joined Tony in getting ready to go out to New Hall's Alumnae Dinner. They had particularly encouraged alumnae from matriculation years 1996, 1986, 1976, 1966 and 1956 to come along, and my year had a reasonably good turnout - probably because lots of us still live in Cambridge. It was good to catch up with people a bit, answer the usual questions about the Enormous Bump[1], and generally enjoy the atmosphere of a place I'm very attached to. Feels odd to realise I have now lived in Cambridge for ten years, and only three of them in New Hall, but it had a big (and positive) effect on me.

[1] On going out, me to Tony: "You look gorgeous"; Tony to me: "You look pregnant".

The food was also very good and tasty, and the after-dinner speaker interesting. She was Kate Pretty, now one of the Pro-Vice-Chancellors and someone of whom I am quite aware. I just hadn't realised she was a NH alumna. We stayed for a while after dinner chatting to people, until I felt I was reaching the end of my safe-to-drive stamina. Today there are tours of the art collection and the garden which I can't manage, but maybe next year they'll do something similar.

Annoyingly I threw up all the lovely dinner in the middle of the night. I'm hoping it's just a case of 'too much rich food' but am going to take it easy today anyway (ok, even easier). Plain porridge for breakfast seems to have stayed down so far, and I am cautiously drinking water to rehydrate.
rmc28: (mybaby 20wks)
The baby is head down (no surprise there), curled up with his back on the left side of my bump and feet tucked up under my ribs.

However, the sonographer also took some measurements: biparietal diameter and circumference of head, abdominal circumference, femur length and amniotic fluid. When processed, these also spit out an estimate of the baby's current weight. I waited while the sonographer did her stuff, but when she came to see me it was with that careful don't-panic-the-patient look. She said that the baby was measuring big for dates and that if I had time to wait, she thought it best that I talk to a doctor about the measurements and their implications.

I did my best calm smile and said sure, no problem, I can wait, and she went off to talk to the duty registrar in the Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit, who in turn recommended that I see one of the obstetricians in the clinic. None of them were available (delivering babies perhaps?) so she asked if I would be able to come in on Monday or Tuesday. I said yes, still calm, still smiling, and I am booked in for 3:30pm Monday.

I then had a long and very dull bus journey mostly involving standing still in traffic on Hills Road (but brightened briefly by running into Ingrid), and on getting off the bus near home, went straight into the Co-op for comfort food as my calm was wearing a bit thin. Once I got home, I rang my midwife to let her know and to ask her what the concerns might be that the sonographer was so careful not to worry me with. Essentially they boil down to concerns that my baby might be too big to come out normally, and that the labour might be long and slow. She said she and her team would still be happy to attend a home birth, but they might be more careful about checking for fetal distress and more inclined to recommend transfer to hospital if things are going slowly. If I go into labour over the weekend I should still call her and she or whoever is on duty will still attend me, but of course if I want to go to hospital that's fine too.

Some facts. All the body measurements are on the 97% line of the standard growth charts they use, with the exception of the femur length which is bang on the average line. The estimated fetal weight is 4044g (just under 9lbs) which is on the 95% line and the amniotic fluid index is above the 95% line. My mother delivered four babies normally, ranging from something under 9lbs to 10lbs 10oz. I am very similar to her in build, and was over 9lbs at birth.

I find I am more worried about being bullied into a hospital delivery than I am about the additional risks. I am a big woman and it doesn't surprise me that the baby is on the big side. If the labour is going to be longer, then I definitely want to be at home where I feel safe and comfortable. However, I will go and see the obstetrician and listen to him/her, armed with a very useful phrase learned from the ukmidwifery list: "Thank you for your advice. I will consider it and let you know what I decide."

Questions that come to mind are:
What are the uncertainties on these measurements?
What percentage of women with babies at or above these lines on the graph actually have problems delivering normally?

I already know that if I need an emergency caesarian, it makes little practical difference if this is recommended by a midwife attending me at home or in hospital, given theatre preparation times and journey times to the hospital from home. I suspect also that the constant attendance of someone at home will mean any problem is spotted sooner than on the ward, where midwives often have to cover more than one mother.

I am doing my best to stay calm and unstressed about it all. Can't help thinking that the baby could solve my worrying by turning up over the weekend, although I think Tony's colleague David might be annoyed at losing his leave next week (and [livejournal.com profile] nassus would also be somewhat inconvenienced).
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Yesterday I met up with Tony and his colleagues for their regular Wednesday lunch. The USSC had Manx kippers which were delicious (but I couldn't finish mine). Then Tony & I met up with his sister Sarah who had a business meeting near Cambridge and drove in to meet us afterward. She had lunch and we had drinks with her. When they both had to go, I amused myself in Borders for an hour or so (managed to only buy 3 books) before going to see my midwife at 3:30.

I mentioned the swollen feet, but blood pressure is fine and no protein in urine so she is happy. Then she tried listening for the heartbeat and had to chase it around a bit before we could hear it clearly. I had a moment of panic and had to remind myself that I'd had my ribs kicked not 20 minutes previously. Fundal height is above the expected range, but midwife was quick to reassure me and tell me it was almost certainly because the baby hasn't dropped. We can tell this by the way I still have bladder capacity, can't eat much in one go, and wake up with acid indigestion. I also mentioned that my mother had four large babies and I'm not exactly narrow-hipped, so I'm expecting baby to be large. Anyway, she's pretty certain baby is head-down but I'm still going for tomorrow's positional scan so everyone is reassured about my home-birth plans. They may also measure baby at that point. My next appointment is in 2 weeks time, and she finished by saying "see you soon, one way or another" which amused me.

After all that, I was fairly tired. I caught the bus most of the way home. Richmond Road seemed longer than I remember, but there are lots of garden walls so I sat on one for a bit halfway down. After that I did a brief email check and then spent the rest of the evening either reading or doing colour Hanjie puzzles as my brain didn't want to work. Cat called her car rescue people out to the car because it didn't start Tuesday evening, and it turns out the alternator is broken, so they took it away to fix it. We should get it back today, with any luck in time for me to use it for getting to aquanatal. As my walking is getting better, I may be able to get there on foot if I sit on some more garden walls on the way.

Mike P came around last night to catch up with Sue and they got pizza with Cat, and I scummed a piece of garlic bread and a couple of pizza slices from them while also getting Cat hooked on standard Hanjie. I need to find the other book I have so Sue can give it a try too.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
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