The One Where I’m Classed as Full Term

On Monday, I turned 37 weeks. Although I’m not technically due for another 3 weeks, I am now classed as full term, which means that if I go into labour (soon, please let it be soon!!) the midwives are on call for me and will attend me at my home birth. 

37 week bump

On Thursday, my home birth pack was delivered, and on Friday my birth pool arrived! I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’ve had my pool from Water Baby Birthing Pool Hire. I haven’t used the pool yet, obviously, but if you are considering a home water birth and don’t want to buy a pool, I would thoroughly recommend this company. Emma is lovely to deal with, and for £90 you get your pool delivered at 37 weeks for 5 weeks hire and it includes all of the accessories you need, so you don’t need to buy them. You can reserve your pool at any point during your pregnancy and at 36 weeks, Emma will call and see if you are still having a home birth, and if you are she takes payment and arranges delivery. 

Anyway, the pool I went for is the Birth Pool in a Box Mini. We went for the mini as it doesn’t take as long to fill, or take as much water, and as I’m vertically challenged at 5ft 1in, I didn’t see the need to go for a bigger one. Neil isn’t coming in the pool with me (we are both fully agreed on that!) so it only needs to be big enough for me. 

We  had a test run of sorts on Saturday evening, where we went through the box, made sure all the accessories were there and inflated it, we didn’t fill it, just wanted to see how long it took to inflate, and how big it was so we knew exactly where we were putting it. 

PicMonkey Collage

Whilst we were doing that, I had a bit of a “moment”. Call it pregnancy hormones if you like, but I had a few tears. I couldn’t have a home birth with Jake, with Zack, we had that horrible scare and even the chance of using the Birthing Centre was gone. This time, my pregnancy has been pretty much text book, with no complications, no scares, and a different consultant who is much more relaxed. So this time, we get to do things the way we wanted to since 5 years ago. We’ve come so far since then, been through so much. Four years ago, I was still having chemo and had not long come out of hospital being treated for a bout of Pneumonia with a stint in Intensive Care. Never would I imagine that we would be here today. 

Not long to go now. We’re on the final leg!

*Disclaimer – I haven’t been paid or recompensed in anyway for mentioning Water Baby Birth Pool Hire- I just loved them so much I wanted to share it with you*

 

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35 Weeks

I am now 35+1 weeks pregnant. I’m not really sure where the time has gone, it’s whizzing past, and I could quite possibly have my baby as in little as 2 weeks. This terrifies me more than a little bit!

I had my 34 week midwife appointment last week and all was well. I had bloods taken for thyroxine levels and full blood count (they like to check your iron levels towards the end if you are having a home birth). My midwife is booked in to come and see my on July 10th to deliver my homebirth pack, and I will get a call next week from Water Baby Birthing Pool Hire to confirm delivery of my chosen pool.

I’m taking Raspberry Leaf tablets in earnest and have started taking one Oil of Evening Primrose tablet in the morning, which I will increase at 37 weeks.

So how am I feeling at 35 weeks?

Huge (I think the words hubby used were along the lines of “freaking enormous”). Uncomfortable. Fed up of heartburn. Tired. I keep getting cramp when I’m in bed, and I’ve come down with a horrible cough, that along with loo trips in the middle of the night mean I’m not sleeping much.

Jake is getting excited. He’s telling the teachers what we are having and what name we are toying with. I say toying with. I mean name that Neil and Jake have chosen and that I’m not completely sold on yet.

I have my final growth scan next week, and all being well I should be completely discharged from the consultant which will be fantastic.

So it’s all go at the moment.

I shall leave you with a bump picture taken on Thursday (34+3) on our 8th Wedding Anniversary.

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The Struggle

I’m struggling. I’m feeling down.

Watching your parents get older, and deteriorate is horrible. The people that you’ve always relied on, that have been your back up, suddenly, almost as out of nowhere aren’t the strong ones anymore.

We haven’t got a dementia diagnosis for mum yet, but we are fairly sure we are going to get one. The more reading I do, the more information I find, the more convinced I am.

She’s not though. She thinks it’s just part of old age, and keeps having the same argument with Dad day after day after day about something that happened over 30 years ago, keeps bringing up the face that 45 years ago he forgot something and made a mistake and he didn’t go to the doctors about it.

It’s frustrating. Like, REALLY frustrating, and it’s hard not to lose patience when you’ve been told the same thing 3 times in a fifteen minute period, or asked for the 20th time how long the kids are off school for.

It’s sad. It’s like you are grieving for the mum you used to have, because she isn’t the same person anymore, but she’s still here, she’s still my mum. But then there are these moments where she has clarity, and she is MY mum.

My dad. The one who’s always been the strongest, the one who does the looking after and the caring. He has unstable angina. Heart failure. And he is finding it difficult to cope. Struggling emotionally. Tearful. Not being able to keep calm when he’s been having the same row everyday for months on end. But he’s the carer. the one she relies on. The one who makes sure she has her tablets, and has her insulin and checks her blood sugar, and covers for her more than you realise.

But all of that is his fault apparently. Because he’s always done her tablets, and if she’d been left to do them herself it would have been ok. It wouldn’t have been though, because she would have forgotten to take them, or take them twice. It’s so hard to reason with someone who doesn’t realise they have a problem.

And I don’t know if it’s denial, or if she really believes there isn’t a problem. I don’t know.

I’m struggling. Really struggling. And I can’t see it getting any better.

The One With the Growth Scan

Now that I am in the last trimester, the appointments are being stepped up a notch. I had my GTT at 28 weeks, and thankfully, if not unsurprisingly the results were fine. I’ve had to have one in all my pregnancies due to the fact my mum has Type II Diabetes. It’s a simple enough test to do, just very boring as it involves lots of sitting around on uncomfortable chairs.

I have really been struggling the last few weeks. The tiredness has reached a whole new level, and I found myself needing a quick power nap even after a task as simple as doing the school run. Not really ideal as I still have Zack to look after. I wasn’t sure if it was just third tri lethargy or if my thyroxine dose needed increasing. Luckily I had an appointment with my consultant and for a growth scan last week.

With Jake, I didn’t need growth scans as I was “healthy” and had no medical ailments. Then with Zack, because I’d had my thyroid removed, I had growth scans every four weeks from 20 weeks. This time I’m only having two growth scans, one at 30, and one at 36 weeks. I’m not sure if this is because everything was fine with Zack, or if it’s because I’m at a different hospital with a different consultant, either way, less is more as far as I’m concerned because I’m planning on a homebirth this time.

Neil couldn’t come with me to the hospital last week as he’s manic at work, so my mother-in-law came with me as moral support. I’m sure I would have been fine on my own, but I always like someone with me to talk things over with afterwards.

First up was the scan. They had to check the placenta this time around as as the last scan it was low lying. Thankfully this time, the placenta had moved out of the way, which I was really pleased about, as I don’t want anything to stand in the way of the home birth.

We had a 4D scan at 27 weeks and that showed that baby was head down. Now, baby is lying oblique. I’m not too worried about this just yet, I have another scan at 36 weeks, and am fairly certain s/he will have moved again by then, but just in case, I’ve had a look at Spinning Babies to find some exercises that might help.

As regards growth. Well, baby is bang on target, and estimated weight is currently 1627g (approx 3lb 9oz) and is measuring just below the 50th centile. Although, I know growth scans are to be taken with a pinch of salt. According to previous growth scans, Zack was going to be 9lb + whereas in reality, he was 7lb 4oz!

growth chart growth scan

Then it was through to the consultant. Blood pressure etc was all fine. I explained how tired I had been feeling, so they repeated my thyroid function blood test. I assumed that I would need my dose increasing, so agreed to call my GP in a few days for the results. I didn’t get that far as the consultant called me on Friday and said that she’d looked at my results and thought I was taking too much so has in fact reduced my dose. After a quick nose on Dr Google, I found that the symptoms of too much thyroxine are very similar to the symptoms of not enough, so I’m hoping to start feeling better in the next week or so.

I have a midwife appointment this week, then won’t be seen until 34 weeks, at which point I will be on fortnightly checks.

It’s all starting to get a bit real!

Three Years

Yesterday was three whole years since I started chemotherapy. Jake was this big:

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It doesn’t seem like it was three years ago, and a lot has happened since.

I still remember how people used to say “You’re so brave.” I wasn’t. Not in the least bit, I was just doing what I had to do and what anyone else would have done.

I probably wasn’t the most sensible at times, going to soft play with Jake when there was loads of people around, and kids with coughs and colds. And I probably shouldn’t have done Race for Life that year (I ended up in hospital for a week with pneumonia) even though I took it at a slow pace, and our group was one of the last to finish! But, I was just getting through in any way I could.

RaceforLife

Three years on and things are “normal” again, in as much as normal can be. I still have check ups, although I have finally moved onto six monthly appointments now. Hopefully, in two years I can be discharged completely.

Zack will be one soon, the baby I wasn’t sure I’d be able to have. And I do feel guilty about the fact that I get to spend more time with him, and that the time I do spend with him isn’t tainted with hospital stays and general post chemo yuckiness, whereas I never got to do that with Jake. And when Jake is old enough to understand, I will explain to him as best I can.

Zack

Jake will be starting school this year, and I am proud of the little boy he has become. He has his moments, like all three year olds, but he is mostly a well behaved, lovely little boy. Me? I’m just glad I get to be there to see him off on his first day of big school 🙂

Jake

You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset. – Dave Pelzer

Fallen at the First Hurdle

I was so determined to get off to a good start on the whole weight loss thing. I’d started c25k week 2. And then I got ill. And then the snow came.

I’ve had a horrible chest infection/cough/cold and still have it. I started antibiotics the other day so hopefully they will start to kick in soon. That and the snow has meant that I haven’t been able to continue with my c25k. So I am wishing away the snow, and I am wishing away the illness. The boys have both been poorly too, although they seem to be on the mend now – touch wood!

So this week has brought a maintain in weight, whereas last week was a 2lb loss. Hoping to feel better soon, and hoping that my motivation comes back.

Mum Reinvented has a competition over on her blog called Get Fit, Feel Epic from moneysupermarket.com so I am entering to see if I can get my hands on a Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, worth £49.99 and Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scales, worth £99.99. Why don’t you go and have a look?

Academy 4 Wellbeing

I have recently heard about the Academy 4 Wellbeing. Having recently given birth and wanting to lose the baby weight, I would absolutely love to do something like this.

The Academy 4 Wellbeing is a brand new weight-loss retreat designed to transform your life. In just a one week stay the Academy 4 Wellbeing will give guests the skills and knowledge to improve their entire wellbeing; from health and fitness, to nutrition and weight loss.  The Academy brings together leading experts from across the globe to create tailored programs for each individual. The Academy 4 Wellbeing will open for the first time in September 2012 at the picturesque Trentham Estate in rural Staffordshire. Prices start at £995 for a seven day stay.There is also the option to do a non-residential 7 day course.

Designed to be the antithesis of intimidating boot camps or strict weight-loss regimes, The Academy focuses on the individual; through education and empowerment. Each guest receives a unique and tailored programme which nurtures and supports them and is based on key principles of ‘the three pillars of wellbeing’; Emotional Health, Physical Health & Nutritional Health.

The Academy 4 Wellbeing gives access to the UK’s leading experts, offering advice and support.  With Directors for Physical, Emotional and Nutritional Wellbeing, as well as a Weight Specialist Consultant who was recently honored with the Queen’s Nurse Institute Award for services to nursing for her work on weight management, this experience will revolutionise attendees’ attitude towards food and exercise.

The Academy 4 Wellbeing will change attendees’ lives because…

  • It is not a quick fix solution. It gives attendees sustainability as well as the emotional, physical and nutritional tools to live a happier and healthier life.
  • It gives access to the leading UK and international wellbeing experts.
  • A supportive and empathetic approach is at the heart of the Academy.
  • The one week residential course ensures attendees get hour by hour education and support.
  • Healthy, calorie controlled gourmet cuisine is served throughout.
  • Puts attendees in a ‘real life setting’ with support from the Academy’s experts to equip them with the skills they will need when they return to their day-to-day lifestyle.
  • Courses are personalised to meet individual needs and requirements.

What makes the Academy 4 Wellbeing different?
It’s Founder and Chairman understands, more than most, what attendees are going through. Bob Bowers, a successful businessman, spent years working hard to build his business but at the expense of his health. The turning point was when he was diagnosed with diabetes due to his weight.  After searching for a weight loss retreat in the UK to no avail, Bob had to go to America for his treatment and support.  Bob is now a healthy weight, having turned his life and his health around.  Motivated to help others, Bob set up the Academy 4 Wellbeing with his son Daniel. 

Bob states: “The aim of the Academy is to help those wanting to improve their health and wellbeing. We are passionate about supporting each and every person who comes through our doors.  Our aim is to educate and empower them to lose weight and keep it off.”

I think this sounds wonderful, I just wish I had the money to spare to go there for a week. I really like the three pillars of wellbeing in that although exercise is an important aspect, that not all it’s about. A typical day at the Academy looks like this. Looks like it would be hard work, but I bet you would feel a real sense of achievement after doing it.

Fore more information, go to http://www.academy4wellbeing.com/

Now to figure out how I can get myself there…