Week 33 – Day 6

The stresses of a car seat… I had no idea! After yesterday’s prenatal class it became clear that we NEED a car seat for the baby to take her home from hospital. I thought a good backup would be to put her in the pram and walk home, but apparently I can’t expect to be able to walk more than 100 m after the birth.

We had been talking about getting one anyway, as we do rent a car once or twice a month, and we like road-trips and stuff. So we decided to start looking yesterday… daym what a jungle! I figured the EU would have this sorted with one safety regulation that ALL car seat manufacturers had to abide by… But no, that would make life far too easy! Turns out that there are two regulations that run in parallel, a some car seats are compatible both ways and others are not. And some cars take both types and some don’t. And one of them is newer so fewer options in terms of cars, but the older one will be discontinued soon, so won’t be legal in a couple of years. And do you need a base with it or not? And does it fit on the pram or not? And will it fit in cars we rent or not? And the list of questions goes on.

Just like with the pram I really wish there was a website called thisisthecarsetaforyou.com ! Life would be good then. For now, there seems to be a million more things I need to read about and learn and make decisions about, and I just don’t want to!


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 32 – Day 6

Day 6…not 5? My app changed the counting when I downloaded it on my new phone. Either way due date is still the same, but I guess the weeks switch on Thursdays? I’m well confused.

Another evening of prenatal course yesterday with trying out different pushing positions. My favourites are squatting on the floor, like oldskool toilet style, or on all fours either on the bed or on the floor as well. Definitely not a fan of lying down… Also quite pleased that we’re getting to know all the other parents to be a bit better. It’s a funny mix of people with all sorts of different backgrounds, which is quite nice.

I’m starting to suspect that I’m hitting the point in pregnancy when things are becoming a tad more difficult. Yes, I’ve been tired and stuff already, but it’s been pretty standard and manageable to still continue at a reasonable pace. This week though… cycling has slowed right down, back aches have ramped right up and the tiredness has hit cause I’ve started sleeping worse and worse. Sort of a restless sleep where I wake myself up every time I have to move or turn around.

On the plus side, I’ve started working two days from home as of this week which I’ll do until I go on leave. That’s made the mornings and the commuting a lot easier. And besides I only have three weeks left in work now, so I should be able to power through that.


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.

Week 30 – Day 6

Lots of posting this week, cause of lots of thoughts! We started the pre-natal course on Tuesday, and it really hit home that we’re going to have a baby soon. Like a real person. There was a lot of information and it was a tad overwhelming, but also very enlightening, as she covered things about the Dutch healthcare system that I had no clue on.

In terms of people the crowd seems nice, probably some couple in there that I would get along with on a personal level. Need to feel them out a bit more.

I’m also noticing how now when there’s only 2 months left, I’m mentally starting to really get fed up with this. I want it to be over and done with soon. I want my old body back, and my old clothes, and the freedom of movement. So very surely counting down now. 63 days to go before due date.

Week 30 – Day 4

My string of less than perfect pregnancy continued the night to yesterday and yesterday. Haven gotten back from Ireland, I spent the hours between 1 am and 9 am running to and from the toilet. Most probably not pregnancy related, but still very not nice. I’m a bit better today and back in work, but could really have done without that whole ordeal as it’s left my body in a bit of a pain-y state.

On a more exciting note, me and Dave are going to our first lesson of the pre-natal class we’re taking. Five weeks in a row on Tuesday we’ll be learning (hopefully) everything we need to know about giving birth, breathing, breastfeeding and keeping a baby alive! Very excited to see what it’ll be like, and also excited to meet other people who are pregnant who will hopefully be nice and easy to get along with!