I was back in the office today after a lovely long break over the festive period. GOD it was hard to get out of bed at 6:20(ish) whilst it was still dark this morning. I finished on 18th December and have had two weeks of lie ins, relaxing, watching films and seeing friends and family. Oh, and a great “Babymoon” in the Lake District.
We had Christmas at my Mum and Stepdad’s (our last as a couple rather than a family like this year – how strange!) with my sisters and two nephews and it was pretty relaxed with lots of food, presents and some games and I didn’t even miss having an alcoholic drink despite the lack of our usual champagne/wine/eggnog/Bailey’s filling me with sadness in the weeks leading up to Christmas!
I cannot believe I am 30 weeks pregnant now – only 10 weeks to go until my due date and only 5 left at work. Not that I am counting down the days….roll on Monday 8th Feb when I will be free and hopefully have a couple of weeks to relax before the baby arrives! I think my bump has grown noticeably since my last bumpie – you can definitely see the evidence in the photo below, probably because I haven’t got it under a layer of clothing! It’s a bit shiny as I have been lathering it in moisturiser/bump cream as my skin has felt a little itchy over the last week thanks to the stretching it’s doing.
One of our community midwives came to the house yesterday for the home birth appointment. I didn’t really know what to expect from it but it was pretty straight forward – she had a sheet of questions/information she had to go through with us about access to the house, where I’d like to give birth, what they do in emergency situations, etc. I found a guide to writing a birth plan on an email I got from Mumsnet and had written down some notes during the Christmas break in preparation for our appointment so I felt pretty well organised even though I had maybe gone into more detail than she had expected at this stage. I am rather anal when it comes to plans and lists so this over preparation was to be expected from me! The only slightly unexpected question from the midwife was what we were planning on doing with the placenta…I may have been naive about this as I simply assumed they would take it away and dispose of it! But apparently some people like to bury it in their garden after and then there is the option to send it to someone to make into capsules for you to take after the birth – not something we will be doing, especially at around £200 for the slightly strange service!
I had done some reading online about water births and love the thought of how calming being in the water can be during labour and birth can be so we have decided to go down that route after the midwife went through how it would work and the benefits in more detail. As I want to have a natural birth without any pain relief (other than gas and air which all community midwives bring to home births) it seemed like a great option to go hand-in-hand with those plans. The only thing that was putting us off was the inconvenience of pumping and filling up the pool but you can get a cover that goes over the top to keep the water at the required temperature – around 37/28 celsius for delivery. I have already looked into where I can rent a pool from (I found a provider on a great Facebook page for advice about home births in my area including recommended equipment providers: Hull and East Yorkshire Home Birth Group) so we just need to book it soon. One of their packages comes with the added extras of a birthing ball and stool for use outside the pool and a long handled mirror to make it easier for the midwife to see what’s going on in the pool. Sam has made it quite clear he will under no circumstances be looking “down there” during! All in all I think the pool hire will be around £70-£90 and you get when you are 37 weeks pregnant for five weeks/until the baby is born so it is better value than I had originally thought.
Sam looked a little anxious at some points during the appointment when the midwife was explaining the reasons why they might transfer me or the baby to hospital during or after the birth. I actually didn’t find the information disconcerting at all, it actually made me feel even more positive about my choice of having a home birth as it sounds like there is a pretty low chance of either of us being transferred as I am a low risk pregnancy. Also it turns out the community midwives are trained to a slightly higher level than hospital midwives in terms of neonatal first aid and resuscitation just in case anything does happen to the baby.
We also started to talk about pain relief as if I wanted anything other than gas and air in terms of drugs I would have to get them prescribed by my GP beforehand as the midwives cannot prescribe them at the time. Sam, surprisingly, agreed wholeheartedly with the midwife when she said she would recommend not getting any additional pain relief (pethidine etc.) as having it in the house may mean I end up using it when I don’t really need to. A couple of my friends have said to me that it might be a good idea to get some in the house just incase it becomes too much, as if I feel I can’t cope anymore my only option would be to ask to be transferred to hospital, but I think I will make do without any to ensure I keep everything as natural as possible.
I haven’t read up on the medical pain relief options too much to be honest as I always thought I would avoid any of them but we have an antenatal class this Wednesday and next Wednesday so we will be told about our options in a bit more detail then. Hopefully there will be some nice couples and mums-to-be in our antenatal group as it’d be nice to meet some mummy friends who live nearby before the baby arrives.
Oh, and I did buy something else for the baby’s room last week too after seeing Harry Potter themed nurseries on an article on Buzzfeed! I am a geek I know but I LOVE Harry Potter. We were thinking about painting stars on the wall behind where the cot and, eventually, their bed with go but I saw the below and thought it was perfect and easier to apply than painting stars! I can’t wait for it to arrive.