Pregnant. Finally.

31 weeks

by Veronica on July 5, 2012

in Pregnant. Finally.

31+4 weeks 2

Here we are, counting down the days until this babe decides she can make her home outside of my uterus, rather than spending all of her time headbutting my bladder and kicking my ribs.

I had a midwifery appointment on Tuesday, that confirms that at this point in my pregnancy, I am larger than I have been before, measuring 31 weeks. Shocking really, with both other children I was measuring 26 weeks at this point and everyone was getting a little twitchy about growth. This further shows that dates are probably inaccurate, as I’ve never measured on time or ahead for dates, ever. Not even in the early weeks of my pregnancies. I grow small babies, not large ones.

Of course, no body listens to me and they continue to make plans for ‘when you birth in 9 weeks’ rather than Nathan and I (who know how this story goes) who realise that we really need to have everything in place in the next six weeks or so.

Either way, she will arrive when she arrives and then I won’t need to argue my case with the doctors.

I have a growth scan booked for early Monday morning in any case, this was booked at 12 weeks when I was still showing signs of my early sub-chorionic bleed (that, incidentally, caused no problems or bleeding) and we’ll see how big she’s grown then. If the kicks are any indication, she is healthy and strong.

Occasional bursts of “HOLY FUCK I NEED TO ORGANISE THINGS” are starting – I’m medicating these with trashy books, chocolate and hot tea. Sadly, as much as I’d like to nest, I know that if I give into the urge I’ll get exhausted and that’s bad all around. Instead I’m imperiously demanding that Nathan do things for me. You can offer him your sympathies if you like, he’d probably appreciate them.

Really, that’s it. My pelvis hurts, my back hurts, my hips hurt and we’ve been stricken with a god awful cold so my throat feels like it’s full of razors, but we’re all good here.

How are you?



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There is a lot of whining in my house this morning. That is to be expected on a Saturday morning – my two spectrum-y children like the routine of school mornings and don’t cope as well when their only job is to watch cartoons and eat breakfast. I’ve already had an argument with Amy about why she needs to put clothes on, rather than spending the day curled in front of the fire wearing underpants, and Isaac, well, I’ve not managed to corral and dress him yet. Luckily the house is mostly warm. Ish.

My husband turns thirty tomorrow, which seems to me to be a rather large milestone in a mans life, but it still took him until yesterday to decide what he wanted to do. Would we go out for lunch? Would we invite his family up here? The vaccilitating between decisions seemed endless.

Being 31 weeks pregnant, I was pushing for everyone to visit here – as nice as it is to have someone cook lunch for me, the sheer exhaustion caused by having to leave the house and be upright wasn’t on my list of fun things to do. Last time I did that I required a few days in bed before I could walk again. My pelvis is not playing nicely and the rest of my joints have joined in the mutiny. August can not come fast enough.

The downside of everyone visiting here of course is that I am the one doing the cooking. Please don’t think that I am complaining, because I’m not. I’m merely mentioning that it’s not yet 10am and I have roast beef slow cooking in the oven (for sandwich and rice paper roll filling – also for our lunch today) and I’ve managed to marinate 2kg of chicken, despite the smallest child clinging to my leg the whole time.

If this keeps up, I’ll be ready for a nap just as everything is cooked.

I didn’t plan things terribly well and it wasn’t until after the beef was in the oven that I realised that I hadn’t had breakfast and now my oven was full of beef, not croissants.

Never mind, I didn’t feel like sharing the croissants with the children anyway.


Slightly unrelated to anything: I’m quoted in The Punch today on Mummybloggers and the criticisms we receive. You want to read it, don’t you? Yes. Yes you do. CLICK HERE.


How have you been Internet? Is there anything planned for you this weekend?


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I haven’t felt like writing the last few days, which is unusual for me.

Amy has been back at school after the holidays and Isaac has responded to the routine change by becoming increasingly rigid with his wants and needs, whining lots, screaming lots and being generally very high maintenance. Not to mention the middle of the night wakings, where he insists that it’s morning and he needs to watch cartoons on the couch.

Last night he was screaming at 3am because I wouldn’t do what he wanted. That was fun.

I’ve been faffing around on twitter, and throwing in a little bit of facebook here and there, but aside from having my ire raised by Mamamia, all I’ve felt like doing is curling up in bed with a book, or crappy TV.

A lingering virus I thought. Exhaustion maybe. Pregnancy, probably.

And then I realised that the last time I was this pregnant, my grandmother was dying. I was spending a lot of time in and out of hospital appointments with her, radiology and oncology and waiting rooms. Coffee and cake while we learned to read CT scan reports and afternoons spent at her house while we discussed the probability of her death.

On Sunday, she will have been dead for three years. I will be 30 weeks pregnant with a baby she will never meet. My daughter barely remembers her and my son does not remember her at all. I am left with my memories and the remembered feel of her very soft, very dead hands.

Parenthood and grief are remarkably similar when it comes to time passing. The days are long; the years are short and at this stage, I am left looking back over the last three years and wondering where the time went.

We lost the first year in a haze of shock and pain, grief and angry abusive family. We sold her house, portioned up her possessions and struggled through. Some bridges will never be mended, some words never forgotten. That is what I remember of the first year.

Where does the time go?

I thought I was doing okay, but apparently I am not and it’s okay to say that.

Grief is grief is grief and missing someone does not go away, which is both fortunate and unfortunate.

It’s hard to miss someone this much, Internet. So very hard.



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You should really pity Nathan, as I bounce between happy and angry, perfectly rational and a giant mess of sobbing and tears. The pregnancy hormones have gotten to me badly in the last fortnight and everyone is suffering.

Well, I’m suffering more than everyone else, but Nathan probably wouldn’t agree.

Let’s see, what is new this week. The baby flipped from being breech to turning head down (aside from a few forays into the land of “I’m going to lay sideways and make you wish that you could poke me back”) which was nice. I wasn’t a fan of breech – being kicked in the cervix isn’t my idea of fun. Luckily she hadn’t gotten terribly comfortable, having only been breech for a few days. It did however nearly kill me to lie upside down while I encouraged her to move.

Everything else is pretty much moving along as it should. I did the gestational diabetes test and didn’t throw up (I had taken anti-emetics before I went in however) which was great. Nausea continues to hang around, coming and going and impacting on my food choices. I’m still eating mostly fruit, yogurt and bread. And chocolate, of course.

I can no longer lie on my back, or sit up straight either, due to the amount of poky little joints that end up lodged into my lungs. I’m spending a lot of time trying to remind myself that yes, I can actually breathe, but no, I probably shouldn’t do anything strenuous unless I want to spend the rest of the day trying not to pass out.

No nesting yet (Nathan is waiting impatiently for the nesting – me, not so much) and I’m not feeling the overwhelming urge to Get Things Ready, unless I think too hard about what having a third child is actually going to mean. Then you can find me hyperventilating in the corners.

So really, all is well.

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I know, I know. I shouldn’t read Mamamia. I’m pretty sure it is the online equivalent to Today Tonight and A Current Affair, both of which will make your brain cells commit seppaku in protest. But of course, Mamamia is the best troll* website of the lot of them, and I’ve been sucked in like everyone else.

[*Proper definition of a Troll: Someone online who seeks to incite argument, to shock, to cause uproar. See here.]

The debate this week is all about Birthzillas. You know, those crunchy hippy women who bury their placenta under a tree and care about birthing without drugs. Those women that Mia labels “smug and superior”, forgetting that in the same article she was acting just as smug and holier than thou for wanting a legion of doctors at her command.

And here’s where I clarify that I am not judging anyone’s birth choices. I would love all women to have the birth that feels best for them, with the outcome being a happy one. C-section, epidural, home birth, water birth, midwives – I don’t CARE how you birth.

I do however, reserve the right to care about how I birth.

When my first child was born, I went into that delivery suite with no expectations. In fact, that was my entire birth plan. I hadn’t prepared myself for anything, because anything could happen. Surely that’s a good thing right? An open mind about the whole process?

Unfortunately, I was 17 and despite having a loving and supportive partner by my side the whole time, the midwife and doctor who helped me birth seemed bent on making it a “lesson” on why teenagers should not get pregnant. There was no calming influence, no discussion and when it came to getting my daughter out, I was given an episiotomy and a ventouse extraction, while the doctor screamed at me and the the midwife tut-tutted. My entire labour was a bit over 7 hours long and full of more trauma that I ever thought possible.

They left the student OB-GYN to stitch me up afterwards, while I lay in the delivery bed, legs in stirrups, listening to her curse as she re-did my stitches three times. It was her first perineal repair.

It took me twelve months to heal from the episiotomy. That’s twelve months to heal enough to have intercourse without pain, or to urinate without discomfort.

When I fell pregnant with my second child, I was determined to have a better birth. Still scarred from my first experience, I set out to educate myself as much as possible about everything that could go wrong, so that in my own mind, I was more prepared than the first time. I read midwifery blogs, L&D nurse blogs and as much about the natural processes of birth as possible.

I decided I didn’t want to birth with drugs if I could help it and that my birth needed to be as low intervention as possible, not just for my and the baby’s health, but for my own sanity. I saw a supportive midwifery team and despite a pregnancy that seemed likely to have a poor outcome, I birthed my son in hospital, in a calm environment, with two midwives attending and Nathan holding my hands.

No stitches, no stirrups, no screaming, no loss of control and bodily autonomy. The midwife told me afterwards that she was honoured to have witnessed my birth and help deliver my son.

Now I’m pregnant with our third child and determined to have the birth I want again. It may not go to plan – I have fast labours and we have a backup plan if I physically cannot make it to the hospital. This time however, I have a medical reason for needing a low intervention birth.

Turns out I have a rare connective tissue disorder, that affects my collagen. Among other things, I don’t heal easily or well, my joints dislocate and my blood pressure has an alarming habit of dropping dramatically, making me dizzy enough to vomit and pass out.

These things are not conducive to high-intervention births. If, for instance, I was to have a caesarean, it’s likely I would end up in a wheelchair for a good while after birth. An epidural would have the potential to drop my blood pressure low enough to cause serious damage and an episiotomy, as I’ve already discovered, takes a long long time to heal.

As I creep closer to the point where I will birth this third child of mine, I am well aware of my condition and how it will affect my birth. My midwives and doctors have also been appraised of this – but it’s not their job to manage my Ehlers Danlos. Their job is helping me deliver a healthy baby, while not landing me in a wheelchair. My job is to provide them with the information for them to be able to do this, while keeping the baby and I safe.

This is why I have a birth plan and a more-than-passing need for a natural birth. Not because I am a birthzilla, but because I am educated about my choices and the consequences of them.

So before Mia makes a sweeping judgement about all women who want to give birth naturally, based on a trite dinner party anecdote, maybe she ought to educate herself about WHY women make the decisions they do.

It’s not all black and white Mia.


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