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Gayesy's pregnancy after loss journal

Week 34
~ Barefoot and Pregnant!

Oh boy! Now I have a full understanding of the phrase "barefoot and pregnant"! LOL! Even my biggest shoes don't fit anymore, and I literally have to be barefoot most of the time. When I go out, I try to stuff my feet into my sandals that are a size bigger than I usually buy, but even then it HURTS and I can't manage to get my feet in properly. I went looking for more shoes on the weekend but even shoes a size up from that were just too darned tight so I gave up. When I was expecting Thomas, I hardly had any swelling so this is quite new to me. AFTER his birth, my feet swelled enormously for a few days, but that was it. Oh well, thank goodness the weather is warm!

This week I made a few meals that are now sitting in the freezer ready for use in the post-birth month or so. I feel so pleased with myself! There are four spaghetti sauce meals (just need to cook up the pasta at the last minute) and four meals of mini-quiches. It feels great to be doing something practical that will help myself after Katelyn is here. I don't fancy the idea of takeaways too much, don't like most frozen meals you can buy at the supermarkets (too high in fat and too low in taste!), Andrew can't cook, and breakfast cereal for dinner loses its appeal after the fifth time in a week! Now we have at least a few nights each week that there will be something yummy and easy for dinner. I would like to make a couple of more things, such as some chicken and vegetable casserole - the only problem is that I am already running out of freezer space! I will just see how I go.

I think I spoke too soon last week about getting comfy at night! LOL! This week things have been getting progressively worse. I am not quite sure why, except that I guess I am just getting bigger, the rib pain is getting harder to cope with and so on. Even when I do manage to get semi-comfy, I find my lower arm and hand always go to sleep and I get cramps in my lower calf muscle. My rib pain is actually so bad that it makes it very hard to get to sleep and it does wake me up several times each night as well. At this stage with Thomas's pregnancy, I was already taking prescription pain killers but I really want to avoid those this time as they aren't Category A. I will just try to "tough it out". Oh well, at least there isn't much longer to go!

Something quite amazing happened this week. Thomas and I had just woken up and he decided after giving me a few hugs that he wanted to blow raspberries on my tummy. That got Katelyn moving like nobody's business! Then Thomas started talking to her and she stuck her foot out as far as she possibly could in the direction of his voice - it was like she was trying to touch him! It looked REALLY weird: her foot was sticking out at least an inch past the rest of my tummy - I wish I had been able to get a photo of it because it was so amazing! Thomas gave it a little rub and she seemed to like that. I am absolutely astounded by the degree to which an unborn baby can interact with those around her. I LOVE it that Thomas and Katelyn are already "playing together". Thomas already accepts her as a part of the family and is very keen to meet her in person.

Andrew isn't around for such things as often as Thomas is unfortunately, but when he does feel her move, his reaction always moves me to tears. On the weekend we were in the car, stopped at a red light, when she started moving up a storm. Andrew reached across and when he felt her, he was so amazed at the amount she was moving that he laughed out loud and had a big grin from ear to ear!

Even though it is the middle of Summer here, the shops are already having sales of the Summer clothes and starting to get in the warmer ones (pretty stupid, I know!). Anyway, on the weekend while Andrew and Thomas were having their haircuts, I took a bit of a look at KMart and found a couple of lovely little things that will fit Katelyn next Summer, for half price! I bought them and they are hanging in the wardrobe next to the outfit my parents bought at Baby Gap when they were in the States recently. It feels so good to be thinking forward. Some people might think it's nuts to be getting stuff for when Katelyn is eight months old when she hasn't even been born yet, but I find that thinking along these positive lines is really helpful to me. From a practical point of view, it saves a lot of money too!

It is hard to believe how big my tummy is getting! I nearly fell down in shock when I went to pick the "boys" up from their haircut, because the hairdresser told me she could hardly see my tummy until I got very close. She's got to be KIDDING! LOL! I guess I could maybe believe her in some ways: directly from the front or back, you can't see my tummy very well at all (well, from the back, you can't see a thing, except that my rear-end is a lot bigger than usual!). I need to stand on the side to get a full appreciation! I still have the "basketball look" and you can see a very clear circle around the outside of the uterus. It is getting up so high that it's almost at my breastbone. No wonder my ribs are sore!

On Tuesday afternoon, my Dad came over and took Thomas out for a few hours so I could have a rest. That was so nice of him, but somehow I feel guilty whenever people help me. Silly, I know! My ribs were hurting too much for me to actually sleep, but I did have a nice long lie-down and I think it did me a lot of good. That night, my feet weren't even too badly swollen!

On Wednesday, I had another OB appointment. This time it was with the guy who fills in for my own OB when he is on holidays. He was very interested to see Thomas, given that he was the one who actually delivered him almost five years ago. He commented what a handsome boy he is (almost as if he were partly responsible! LOL!) and of course I had to agree. Everything was just fine. Despite the dreadful swelling, my urine was just fine, and my BP was 110/70. I mentioned the period-like crampy pains and he did seem to think that they might mean I could go early, but he wasn't too concerned, given that at that stage I was 33 weeks and 5 days. When I exposed my ample tummy for him to have a feel, it was so funny! Katelyn was in a strange position, with her backbone all to one side, so my tummy was extremely lopsided! I was measuring 34.5cm, which was slightly ahead. Katelyn is still definitely head down and the doctor said she isn't TOO low, so he said he would be surprised if I had her within the next week. (Just as blooming well!) He didn't do an internal or anything to see if I am dilating - whereas this seems to be relatively common in the U.S., here they basically leave you alone unless you are clearly in established labour and even then, they keep such examinations to a minimum. His parting comment was that he hoped he had the chance to deliver another of my babies someday. I would really prefer my own OB to have the "honours", but we will just see when I go into labour - if it is on a weekend then I have a 50% chance of getting this guy. Gee, wonder if he will turn up in his bike pants this time . . .

I actually have a baby-related appointment each week now until she is born. I won't be having weekly OB appointments until two weeks' time, but next week I am having my extra scan. It's a bit of a shame that we don't live closer to the hospital, but I have no regrets in choosing that one because it is just so good. In the meantime, I am getting to know the route SO well, and can almost count the car park attendants amongst my closest friends! LOL! (Only kidding!)

I am guessing that in another two weeks I will start to wake up each day and wonder if this day will be "it" (given that Thomas arrived at around 36 weeks). I kind of missed out on all that anticipatory excitement with him, because even though deep down I was thinking he was going to come rather early, logically I kept telling myself it was going to be a while yet - he arrived before I had got to the point of wondering if each day was the one. I imagine that this kind of anticipation would wear a little bit thin once you get to the 42nd week, but I am actually quite looking forward to it. It's like you know something amazing is about to happen but you just aren't sure exactly when. I think I will be facing each morning with the joy of knowing that I might be holding my baby that day.

Of course, I sincerely hope and pray that she will stay in there a little bit longer than Thomas did, because I really want her to be well and strong at birth and to not need any sort of special care at all. We were so lucky with Thomas that he wasn't too seriously ill, only needing a humidicrib for less than 24 hours and continued special care for a few more days after that. I can only begin to imagine the heartache that parents go through who have their babies in the NICU for extended periods of time and where things are very much "touch and go". Going home without your baby would have to be incredibly upsetting, to say the least. Each extra day that Katelyn stays inside me, each extra week that we get through, is time that she won't need to be separated from me and I am so grateful for that. If we can make it to 37 or 38 weeks I will be feeling pretty happy and confident! I just hope the time passes quickly!

Pregnancy Week By Week Guide, Week 34

week 35  |  Week 33
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