A catch-up from Rae

I’m Rae, 36 years old and married to Peter. I am a mum to two sons, Henry aged 4 and Zachary aged 18 months, and step-mum to two girls aged 15 and 12. I’m also pregnant with my third child.

16th September 2012 – 31 weeks

 It’s been a busy few weeks… I’ve had my 28 week midwife appointment which was fine. It was also hard work as I had to take both boys (I feel I should take this opportunity to apologise to my midwife: sorry Julie!) who were interested in everything, particularly the taking of blood. All is well with me and baby, so all being well, next appointment is at 34 weeks.

Henry started school at the beginning of this month; a huge milestone in any family. Thankfully, so far, it all seems to be going remarkably smoothly. He’s settled in well and is enjoying it. Long may it last…. It’s funny now that the holidays are over and people are back at school and work. I’m struggling a bit with the whole ‘stay at home mum’ thing – it was never what I planned to do. I need to find a routine that involves getting out and seeing/talking to people. Which would be easier if I wasn’t so tired all the time. With all the stress at work this year, my confidence has taken a bit of a battering, so I’m not quite sure what the future holds – which is more than a little scary. I’m not enjoying the playground chat/making friends at the school gate thing either: I’m not good at small talk at the best of times, and I’m so tired mostly that I don’t have the energy. So I’m sure I come across as stuck up and over-opinionated (I’d like to think I’m not either, but who knows??)

I’ve started thinking about the birth a little bit and have dug out my previous birth plan so I can update it. I don’t think much will change to be honest, but I’ll feel better knowing it’s done. I’m thinking about packing a hospital bag too – again, just so I know it’s done. Obviously I hope that it won’t be needed, but I can do it and then forget about it. I’ve started seeing my wonderful chiropractor to make sure everything is properly aligned for a smooth and straightforward birth.

She’ll also come out whilst I’m in labour if it’s needed but I’m hoping that, like last time, there just won’t be time for that. It’s also time to dig out my birth ball – I’ve spent far too long lounging on a sofa which can’t be good. Mind you, I also seem to spend half my life on my hands and knees picking up Lego – that’s got to be helping surely?

I’m going to a Birth Preparation day this Saturday which I’m *really* looking forward to – both in terms of spending time thinking about a new baby and in meeting other expectant parents.

5th October 2012 – 34 weeks

 Yikes! I can’t believe I’m 34 weeks already! Really? How did that happen?

 I’m feeling pretty good all in all – though I suspect I’m coming down with a cold, which is no good as I can’t dose up on drugs. Otherwise though, it’s just little niggles like needing the loo lots which is leading to frequent night time bathroom trips. My chiropractor reckons the baby has dropped a bit now, which may be the case as I’m finding I’m getting less breathless (and might explain the more frequent loo trips too). I’ve got a MW appointment on Wednesday, so I’ll see what she says….

I attended a birth preparation day last month which was extremely useful. It was great to meet other parents-to-be, but also to remind myself about birth, what happened, how it happens and what my options are. I think good antenatal education is vastly under-rated by lots of people unfortunately. I can’t imagine going into birth without having thought about how I’d like things to be, what my preferred options are etc. Of course, you can’t stage manage birth, and sometimes Mother Nature has ideas that differ to your own – but I’d rather be a bit prepared and have thought ‘what if’. So whilst I’m planning a home birth, I’ve also thought about what will happen if I need to transfer in to hospital for any reason.

I’m also starting Relax & Breath next week. I did this with Zachary and it was really helpful to give myself an hour a week to concentrate on the forthcoming birth – and the reality of another child in the family! I also found the breathing really useful when in labour (though I’ll be honest – the gas and air helped lots too!)

Now Henry is at school, I’m spending lots of time with Zachary, which is lovely. I’m starting to worry a little about how he will take to the new arrival. I know this is a really common worry – but I still get a little anxious. I just hope the three of them grow up to be great friends.

Tuesday 9th October

Just a quick update… well, after going on about having a hugely straightforward pregnancy, I’ve spent what feels like most of the weekend on the CTG at the hospital! I’d not been feeling the baby move much, so, rather than sit and worry, thought I’d better get it checked out. Spent lots of time on a monitor and drinking iced water (which is meant to wake baby up and get them moving) and then more of the same on Monday. Consensus is that baby is OP (back-to-back) which is why I’m not feeling movements so much. That’ll learn me to slouch on the sofa. I really *must* get my birthing ball inflated…

I then almost fainted at soft play this morning – that was nice and embarrassing! The staff at The Tree House did look after me though. SO I am now officially fed up and ready for the next six weeks to pass smoothly (and where can I claim a free house-keeper from please??)

Monday 15th October – 35 weeks

I’m really fed up now. This is a new feeling for me – I’ve not felt this way before; but I’m fed up of being pregnant, I’m feeling like a beached whale and I’m struggling to cope with being very pregnant and caring for two small (ish) children. I’m also well aware, it’ll probably be harder still once the baby actually arrives! (And obviously, I don’t want the baby to arrive until they are ready). I’m also concerned about how a new baby will affect the family dynamics: I’m holding dear to everything people say about adapting. I’m sure there will be rocky moments, but being a family of five (plus two!) will work for us.

 The birth pool will be arriving in the next couple of weeks – so everything is starting to feel very real – car seat is out of the loft, emergency transfer bags packed and birth plan nearly finished! So really, almost all organised…. I need to contact people and work out who might be able to look after Henry & Zachary when I’m in labour. It was easy before, as Henry just went to the childminder as usual, but with no childcare, not much family (and working full time) it’s tricky to sort out.

The midwife is coming to the house this week to drop off the homebirth kit (everything the midwives might need whilst I’m in labour) and to go through protocols and so on. Then after that, my entonox will be delivered too. My 28 week bloods showed that my platelet count was slightly low (normal is over 150, mine are at 120). A repeat test shows they haven’t dropped any further. I’ve been offered an appointment with an obstetrician to discuss/double check thing, which I’ve decided to accept. From what I can tell, whilst 120 is lower than ‘average’, it’s not low enough to cause concern, so it should just be a case of monitoring and hoping it doesn’t drop further. I really don’t want anything to scupper this homebirth!

I went to have a professional bump shot done today and they’ll do another one once baby is here. I can’t wait to see the photos. And I’ve just realised that it’s my baby shower this weekend…

About Janine 592 Articles
I am an antenatal teacher, doula, baby massage instructor, postnatal educator, life coach, writer, mum, wife, friend and, sometimes, just me. As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and early parenting - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed. I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, a different perspective and links to the best products and services for families. I set up the Birth, Baby & Family Centre in 2014 to provide a welcoming, friendly and supportive space for parents across Tyneside.

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