Week 34 – Day 5

Allow me to brag for one post (with the hopes that I’n not jinxing the rest of my pregnancy or the actual delivery). My midwife today described me as the “textbook pregnancy”. Steady growth, solid hear beat, no fluctuation of my blood pressure, minimal side effects. She showed me to box where they normally keep comments of additional tests that might be required, or stuff that’s going on with the mother. In my box it only says “English speaker”.

There, I’ve had my little moment in the sun where I’m immensely proud of how my body is doing! Now I hope that it will keep doing good for the next month and see me through a birth that’s perfectly painless and results in no damage! One can dream right :p

No, in all honesty, I know exactly how much it’s down to luck, and I am incredibly happy that this has gone so well, and I really don’t take it for granted at all. As time runs out I hope more and more, that I’m mentally prepared enough to face whatever comes at the end of this. And I hope that I can take the unpredictability as it comes, and go with the flow as it happens.

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Week 33 – Day 1

Started the day with an hour of pregnancy massage, best thing ever. As the achy back has been getting more noticeable this massage is really nice at just loosening everything up again. Cycled to work afterwards feeling like a brand new person. Got the next one booked for when I start my maternity leave to make sure it kicks off nicely. 

So here’s the belly now! More and more it’s feeling tight in the evenings. Like there’s far too much in there and it shouldn’t actually fit. And more and more I’m realising that it’s gonna have to come out, one way or another. 

We were supposed to start discussing the birth plan with the midwife yesterday but decided to do it after we’ve finished the prenatal course so that we have all the info. Now the midwife appointments are every two weeks and I think after the next one it’ll be every week almost to monitor everything. So far everything still looks good. My blood pressure is super steady and the baby is growing like she should. So no concerns! 

Week 31 – Day 6

It’s been a busy week! Dutch classes on Monday and Thursday evenings, pre-natal course on Tuesdays, and the weekend was fully of doing things and getting the baby room sorted. Feels nice to be a bit more effective, but tiring too.

Yesterday we did an inventory of a the clothes we have, and put stuff into drawers, we’re quite covered for the beginning, but a couple of things are still missing, so will need to get those over the next month. And of course we need to actually continue with and finish off the baby room!

This week’s pre-natal course talked a lot about pain, and it was actually really interesting, and got me thinking quite a lot. The woman explained about the components of pain; the physical pain itself which is made up of the intensity and the duration, the brain’s interpretation of that pain, and then the psychological component which contributes to how we perceive the pain. For example, if you’ve had previous traumas involving pain, then your mind is already expecting it to be unbearable… So I was thinking about what kind of pain I’ve experience and how I’ve felt about it… Overall I can’t say that I’ve been through many physically painful experiences in my life, which I’m very happy about. But even the ones that I have been through, are probably not comparable to birth.

For example…. tattoos? So the most painful one I had was the one on my thigh. Not because of any one component, but the duration (5 hours), in combination with the type of needle used (colouring – so very scratchy, rather than lining), and the location of my upper thigh which is quite sensitive. I remember thinking at the end, that if it lasted for more than another 5-10 minutes, I’d have to give up and ask him to stop. But then I was having this thought for well more than the last hour. I guess this means, that if i break the pain down into more manageable chunks (whether they are realistic or not), it helps me cope for that pre-defined time period. Now with contractions, the peak of pain is only a couple of seconds at the time, so maybe it’ll be helpful to keep that in mind, when it’s at its worse.

The other painful(ish) experience I came to think about was marathon training and running, and even all those times I’ve ran a half-marathon while being a tad unprepared. For the marathon it’s the sheer exhaustion and aching of the legs, and as for being unprepared, it’s usually my knee that starts hurting first. Whenever it’s been too painful to run it’s always been possible to push through for a little longer, or walk for a bit and finish the race anyway, and the feeling in the end makes you forget very quickly what you’ve been through. For the long term tiredness of a marathon, and keeping going for hours when you want to stop, I guess the preparation is the main thing, and again, the totally ecstatic feeling at the end. So the parallel to childbirth here I guess is that I’m preparing (by learning about it), and that the feeling in the end will make it worthwhile.

All in all some very interesting thoughts have been prompted, and although I still feel like I have no idea what to expect, and I’m in no way going to underestimate the pain, I do think that it’s going to be doable.