Having Baby: Part 1

I really want to write down my birth story so I remember how it all happened because it is already becoming a blur. Skip over if this stuff bores the hell out of you, I don’t blame you! It’ll be in a few parts because the little guy is not cooperating with giving me any time in front of my computer right now. Who knew babies were so bloody needy…


The Wednesday before I gave birth I saw my obstetrician for a check up. I was just two days off my due date so she did a stretch and sweep which is a simple procedure that can help initiate labour. She said she only sort of did one because my cervix was still pretty closed up but that I was 1 cm dilated, which is a bit of a start.

Next we discussed plans to get bubs out of me. She didn’t want me to go too far over my due date as it carries an increased risk of stillbirth so she looked in her diary and found when she was next in the labour ward and booked me in for an induction. This way I would guarantee that she would be there for my full delivery. So I was scheduled for an induction on Thursday 27th July… if bubs didn’t arrive before that time.

I left my appointment feeling pretty normal and like bubs wasn’t anywhere near arriving. Now I had an induction date, I kind of just assumed that would be when I would meet bubs. Over the next few days life continued as normal. I was busy running around unpacking the house, doing copious trips to Kmart and setting up for baby. I didn’t tell anyone (except AJ of course) about the planned induction because it was still a week away and a lot can happen in a week!

On Saturday 22nd we had a lazy morning at home with my brother, sister in law and niece, Penelope, who had arrived from Sydney to stay with us for the weekend. We spent the day chasing around after Penelope who is 9 months old and a crazy little bundle of energy. By that evening I was seriously wondering what I had got myself into, no matter how cute Penelope is, this baby stuff was starting to look way too exhausting. I guess it was too late to turn back now…

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AJ with Penelope and my sister in law

My house guests went out for dinner with friends and so AJ and I enjoyed a quiet night in with Uber Eats and Netflix. Then, at 9.15 pm, half way through the final episode of Master of None and after eating a mac and cheese burger and a Halal snack pack (big mistake!) I felt a weird pop between my legs. My sister in law had told me that when her waters broke she felt a pop, so I suspected what had happened right away. I froze and just held my legs together tightly while I quietly panicked. I seriously wondered if I could hold it in if I stayed really still. Then I decided I better make a dash for the bathroom upstairs before I ruined the couch.

I really wasn’t expecting my waters to break because in all my classes and research it seemed that most women had contractions as their first symptom of labour and the big waters breaking moment you see in movies is less likely. I had also been told that when your waters break it is normally a slow trickle. Well mine was more like a waterfall. A massive waterfall! We called the hospital and they asked me to come in for assessment. I asked if I could have a shower first to clean up, but it was pointless because my waters just kept flowing… it was messy to say the least. Even as I was walking from the hospital carpark to the admissions desk I was trying to mop up with paper towel as I leaked everywhere. I was so glad this was happening late on Saturday night and no one was around to witness me wetting myself in public.

We got to the hospital and they set me up in a birth suite for monitoring. I felt fairly certain that I wouldn’t be having a baby that night as I had no contractions yet. The hospital monitored me and bubs for about 90 minutes and they confirmed that I was not in labour. But, because my waters had broken, the hospital decided to induce me the next morning. We made a plan for me to come back at 7.30 am on Sunday to have a god damn baby!

When we got home my sister in law was waiting up for us because she had heard us go out earlier. I knew she would have heard us leave, so I had text her to say we were just getting a check up. I was trying to downplay things, but obviously she knew something was happening. I didn’t tell her that my waters had broken or that I was being induced, I just wanted to keep things to myself to lessen the pressure that I was already feeling. I am surprised she didn’t cotton on when AJ went knocking on her door for extra towels (as we keep our spare towels in the guest room) after I had soaked through every towel in our bathroom!

We didn’t get home until around midnight and I was starting to have pretty regular and painful cramps. My main concern was having another shower to wash and dry my hair in readiness for the next day. My hair was super greasy and I was terrified that I wouldn’t have time to get myself together before baby arrived. So I showered, but by the time I finished washing my hair my cramps had escalated and I was in quite a bit of pain. I had to get AJ to blow dry my hair because I really wasn’t up to it. I thought this was the start of contractions, but little did I know that these cramps were just niggles in comparison to real contractions!

The hospital had sent me home with sleeping tablets and Panadeine Forte so that I could try and get some sleep before the big day. Between the cramps, the leaking waters and the fact I was about to have a baby, I didn’t get much sleep that night.

To be continued…

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Being monitored at the hospital

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The view from the hospital room

 

Week 23: 24 March

How far along: Week 23, my lucky number!

How big is baby: Baby weighs about as much as a mango, which is a little over 500 grams and measures 29 cm from crown to heel.

Sleep: It’s OK, my bump isn’t big enough to affect my sleep yet, but my bladder pressure and insomnia keep me awake a bit. It’s not too bad though. I think I am used to it now.

Symptoms: I think my feet are getting a tiny bit swollen. I have never had a problem with puffy feet before, but this week I noticed some indentations in my feet after I took off my heels at the end of the work day. It might be time to switch to flats.

Best moment of this week: I should be saying hearing bub’s heartbeat again at my obstetrician’s appointment, but in all honesty, it was sitting in bed on Saturday afternoon watching property shows and reading baby books with a block of dark chocolate. Bliss.
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Miss anything: Having clothes that fit me. Almost everyday I have to retire another piece of clothing that is bursting at the seams or cutting off my circulation. My bump is still not really big enough to wear maternity clothes, so I’m stuck in limbo. This is a photo I took of myself at work the other day to amuse AJ.

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Movement: Lots and lots of movement! AJ even felt the baby move for the first time this week. Bubs was going crazy and so I called him over to feel. Pretty cool!

Food cravings: My head wants pizza, but my heart(burn) doesn’t want to risk it.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I just need to look at food to get heartburn. Ouch. On top of the heartburn, I get chest pain after I eat which feels like having a heart attack. I raised the issue with my obstetrician again and she reassured me it was normal and not to worry. It makes me very selective on what I choose to eat, which I guess is probably a good thing…

Gender: ???

How’s your mood: Feeling a bit tired and worn out this week. I’ve started to seriously question how long I can continue working in such a high pressure job while I’m pregnant. I find it so mentally and physically exhausting to deal with while I am growing this baby. I am set to take maternity leave on 16 June, which is 5 weeks before I am due, but I have some annual leave to use and perhaps I might see if I can go on leave a couple of weeks early. I just have to muster up the courage to speak to my boss about it…

Looking forward to: The weekend and putting my feet up.

The Bump: Hmmm, I still look more chubby than pregnant.

Though, in exciting news, a guy gave me his seat on the tram this week. So maybe I look more pregnant than I thought I did? He jumped up like his seat was on fire to make sure he gave me the seat, which I really appreciated because it was the end of a very long day and I was struggling.

Wow I have to get better at these ‘bumpie’ photos. This is terrible. I had lighting issues and AJ had already left for work so I was trying to do it myself. Plus you can’t really see what part of the photo is my body and what is carpet/chair. I’ll try and do better next week!

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20 Week Scan

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Last Monday we had our 20 week scan (I was 20 weeks + 4 days). This is the last big scan we will have as long as everything continues to go well with bubs. Over the last few weeks I have had a gnawing little concern that something could be wrong because of my lack of bump. I was 95% sure that everything was OK, but there is always that little doubt in your mind that likes to worry you at 4.00 am. So I was really pleased to have a scan and be reassured that bubs had all the right parts and is developing well.

Unfortunately though, bubs was not cooperating and the sonographer couldn’t get all the angles he needed to get to finish the scan. So I went away and met with my obstetrician and came back an hour later in the hope that bubs had changed position. Lucky for me, bubs was cooperating a little better and we got everything we needed.

Even when bubs was facing the right way, the sonographer had some trouble seeing everything and had to do an internal scan (which has been the case at all 3 of my scans so far). My first thought was that it was my weight, but he then he asked me if I had any stomach surgery, because I had a lot of scar tissue, so that was the issue. I’ve had two laparoscopies, gall bladder removal, lap band and body lift, so I guess it makes sense that I have a bit of scar tissue. I don’t know if this will have any impact on giving birth?

As we don’t want to find out the gender, we were advised to look away during certain parts of the scan. The sonographer was very good and didn’t let anything slip. AJ had to go back to work for the second part (it took 3 and a half hours!) and I was worried I would accidentally see something while he wasn’t there and trying to work out if I should keep it on the down low or share the news. Lucky for me, that didn’t happen.

It was a bit of fun and very reassuring to see that bubs was doing ok, but as with the last one, I can’t say I felt overly emotional during it. I just don’t feel a massive connection to the baby yet because it doesn’t feel real and, to be honest, it looks kind of like an alien. Obviously I am still waiting for those maternal vibes to kick in! At one stage I almost fell asleep during the scan and AJ had to give me a nudge. I feel like a better mother would be much more alert during these important moments ha ha!

Week 20: 3 March

How far along: 20 weeks. Now we are really getting somewhere. It feels good to be out of the teens and into the twenties.

How big is baby: Apparently bubs is about 16.5 cm and the size of a banana. Yum, that’s making me hungry. Everything makes me hungry.

Sleep: Nothing to complain about too much this week. Whoa that doesn’t sound like me! I must be in a good mood this week.

Symptoms: Well I had been getting bad chest pain after eating. It felt like heart attack sort of pain and not heart burn, so I mentioned it to my obstetrician and she said it’s reflux. I’m like, no but it feels like a heart attack and she said that is what reflux is. Whoops. I don’t think I actually knew what reflux was, so that was embarrassing! I thought reflux and heart burn were the same thing, but reflux seems to be more of a chest pain thing. I have no idea. It’s not comfortable though!

Best moment of this week: Our 20 week scan! We got to see that bubs was all ok, which was nice to put my mind at ease. More on that in another post.

Miss anything: I missed my mum after my 20 week scan, I really wanted to show her the photo of bubs.

Movement: Yes lots of flips and turns and flutters. They are quite quick and only last a few seconds, so not long enough for AJ to feel, but hopefully soon.

Food cravings: Not really a craving, but I do just feel like hot chips this week. Let’s face it though, I always feel like hot chippies, it’s not unusual. I think I see a maccas drive thru in my future!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really. I have replaced my beloved Pepsi Max with Diet Coke, for some reason it doesn’t make me feel sick (I only drink it very occasionally). All the foods/drinks that were making me sick for the first 12 weeks, don’t make me want to throw up anymore, but they still turn my stomach a little.

Gender: I am still feeling (or projecting) girl vibes.

How’s your mood: I’ve been in a good mood this week because I had my 20 week scan and my mini break to look forward to. Just knowing that I had a few days off work to look forward to made all the difference this week.

Looking forward to: Seeing my baby niece, Penelope, this week. I haven’t seen her since Christmas and she has grown so much. We are meeting my family in Jervis Bay for a few days at the end of the week. Only my sister in law knows we are coming, it’ll be a surprise for my brother, dad and step mum. They planned the trip away and we couldn’t get the time off work, but since AJ is starting a new job next week, he was able to get a few days off work between jobs and the timing was perfect.

The Bump: I think you can see the bump a little bit in this photo! I mean, I still just look fat, but it’s taking shape. These photos are taken at 5.30 in the morning, so that explains my crazed look.

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Week 16: 3 February

This week I finally told people at work that I am pregnant. I didn’t really plan on telling my boss just yet, but an opportunity came us where we were having a big talk (i.e. she was telling me off) and it was the right time to tell her. She then proceeded to tell my team a few days later because she said if I wasn’t going to do it, she was going to tell them. So that seemed a bit weird. No one believed her at first, which has been a common reaction. I am not sure why this has shocked everyone so much?!

So now just about everyone I am close with knows I’m pregnant. It has been such a weird and awkward experience telling people I am pregnant because it feels like such a personal thing to share. I really hate talking about myself normally and now I am getting so many questions (which is lovely of people to care) but I feel quite uncomfortable. Has anyone else felt like that?

How far along:  16 weeks, yay! Ive been excited to get to this point. It seems like I am really getting there. Next milestone is 20 weeks. 🙂

How big is baby: The size of an avocado, which is weird when I have eaten avocado for lunch every day this week.

Sleep: The insomnia hasn’t been too bad this week, but sleep has been a bit lacking due to the very early mornings for my long commute to work.

Symptoms: Just so bloody tired. I have found myself pretty much done for the day at 3.00 pm and barely able to function after that. It might have more to do with the heat and the commute to work than the baby. Also, I feel like my hair looks like shit lately, is this a pregnancy thing or just having a bad hair month?

Best moment of this week: AJ got a new job, which has nothing to do with the baby, but I am excited for him. Unfortunately this means he won’t get much paternity leave, but hopefully he’ll be able to take 2 weeks off when I have bubs. I have a feeling I will have my hands full!

Miss anything: I’m still missing my mum. Ive been trying not to think about it, but I had a horrible dream on Saturday morning that my gran passed away and my mum was hysterical because it meant that I didn’t have her or my gran to be there for me and the baby and she was worried about me. I woke up sobbing and just haven’t felt good all week. My gran is actually alive in real life, but she hasn’t known who I am for 5 years and can’t really communicate with me at all. So even though she’s still alive, I miss her so much too. It’s just really bought home for me that I don’t have my mum or gran with me. It doesn’t help when so many people keep saying things to me about my mum. People just assume my mum is still around and will help me with the baby and I have to correct them. The HR girl at work was awful because she was pushing me to give her a date for my return to work and I said it would depend on childcare and she flippantly said “can’t your mum just babysit?”, which was just annoying on a number of levels.

Movement: I’m not feeling anything. Maybe in the next few weeks.

Food cravings: Nothing too much, just dry/carby foods and fruit. Nothing weird. I am trying to eat better this week after eating sooooo much take away while we were moving.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No issues this week, but I still can’t stand the sight of chili, onion, capsicum, tomato, mints, coffee and pepsi max. That’s been consistent for my entire pregnancy.

Gender: I still don’t know, I always think of it as a little girl, but that’s just because I want a girl!

How’s your mood: Don’t ask! Oh dear, its been a bit tough again this week. I have felt teary and emotional all week and just not like myself. I am blaming the hormones.

Looking forward to: Just fast forwarding through the next 4 months and being in my new house and having a big fat baby bump.

The Bump: I can really feel it now when I am laying in bed, but no one else can really see it yet. Now that people at work know I am pregnant everyone keeps saying that they can’t believe I am 16 weeks pregnant because you can’t tell. I think it’s quite normal not to have a bump until about 20 weeks for your first pregnancy. Obviously I have a bit of padding for the bump to poke through yet.

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12 Week Scan

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On Saturday 14th January I had my “12 week scan” except I was 13 weeks and 1 day, which is completely fine. This scan was to track bubs growth and has all the right parts (heart, brain, kidney etc.). It is also to check for Downs Syndrome and I am pleased to say that our little bub is all OK and measuring slightly ahead of schedule.

AJ came with me to the scan and it was lovely to see bub wiggling around and hear the heartbeat again, but we didn’t really feel emotional. I am not sure if I am a horrible mother already, but it all feels so far removed. My biggest concern was that our parking meter was about to run out and I didn’t want to get a fine. I’m not sure if it is all sinking in yet!

Our ultrasound technician had to do the the scan internally as she couldn’t see what she needed through my tummy. She didn’t say it was because I was too fat… but of course that is what I thought. Plus our photo of bub is a bit blurry and I read a forum for plus size pregnancy that a lot of the women said their ultrasound pictures were blurry because it’s hard to get a good photo through that extra layer of fat. I mentioned something to AJ when we got out and he just rolled his eyes and said he knew I was going to say that.

Now that we have the all-clear at the scan I guess we can start telling people our big news, but I feel really weird telling people. It seems so personal and I am a quite private person (despite this blog!). Maybe I’ll put it off another couple of weeks… I have almost let it slip several times at work now. I think about it so much and it affects so much of my life right now that I completely forget that everyone around me doesn’t know.