Pregnancy Update: Weeks 28-31
8(ish) weeks to go until baby number two arrives! Here's what's been happening with my pregnancy over the past four weeks:
Another hectic week at work, mainly as I was in Sydney for a conference for two days. The conference was good (all about improving STEM education) but it did make me feel very behind when I got back to work on Friday. I am seriously hanging out for the school holidays in two weeks!
Nothing exciting is happening with the pregnancy, which I guess is a good thing. I am still managing a 15 minute yoga session every morning, which has really helped release tension in my back. I’ve also started stretching before going to bed, although less regularly. I am trying to find stretches that will help prevent leg cramps. When I was pregnant with Ella, I woke up to some very painful cramping in my calves, and I can sometimes feel them coming on when I wake up in the night now. I automatically flex my feet to prevent them from kicking in, but I’m very anxious that they will come back, as it was super painful for me last time.
We are having trouble getting Ella to sleep at the moment, she just doesn’t seem tired at night and it can take us an hour or longer to get her to sleep. It doesn’t seem to matter if she naps or doesn’t nap during the day, she still won’t go to sleep any earlier, though I’m worried she is overtired without the nap. It basically means we have zero time to ourselves in the evening, as by the time the whole debacle is over I’m ready to go to bed myself. Sigh. I just have to keep saying “everything is a phase” to myself! I really hope this phase is over before number two comes along though!
I started re-reading the book Hypnobirthing. I read it when I was pregnant with Ella, and I really felt it helped me to not fear childbirth so much. I’d love to do the full course, but at $500 I just can’t justify the cost, especially seeing as I had a great natural childbirth without it last time. Also, having time for luxuries such as hypnobirthing classes is not the same with your second child as it is with your first! So, reading the book will have to do.
I must have really “popped out” this week as my colleagues at work keep commenting on how big I look. A few have asked if I am finishing up at the end of term next week. Um no, I’m working until the middle of May! I’m trying not to let this get to me, as I know that no one really knows how big a pregnant woman “should” look at each stage in her pregnancy. Also, most of the time it’s just small talk and my being pregnant is the easiest topic to talk about for colleagues I’m not particularly close to.
I got another book out of the library called Mindful Hypnobirthing. So I’m well on the hypnobirthing train now. In both of the books the authors describe women who have “pain-free” labours. I am trying to get over my skepticism of this. They don’t dispute that labour is “intense” but there is a lot of information about how your brain process fear and pain, and if you think you are in pain, you will be. I have started to listen to the accompanying relaxation track and pregnancy affirmations each morning and night. The relaxation track is about half an hour long, so I put it on before going to bed and it sends me off to sleep. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the whole track.
I keep meaning to take "bump" pictures but this is the only one I've managed to remember, taken at 29 weeks:
I’ve had another check-up this week. I’m in the MIST program at the Women’s, which means I will always see one of a team of 8 midwives. One of the them will also (hopefully) be working when I deliver the baby. Considering how big the hospital is, it is nice to be seen by just a small team of midwives. Everything went well except that apparently I am measuring a bit small. No big deal for now, but they have asked me to come back in two weeks instead of three just to monitor it. It is hard to believe my tummy is smaller than expected for this point in the pregnancy, as I feel huuuuuge! Also, my colleagues who keep commenting on how big I look can shove it! Haha… I haven’t let that get to me at all, clearly.
I’m starting to feel pretty tired, although it is also the last week of term so I think all teachers are tired at this point. I’m finding it harder to get comfortable at night. This baby moves A LOT all night, and I often have to wake up and go to the bathroom. I love it when Ella wants to pretend to put me to sleep on the sofa. She covers me with a blanket and pats me, it’s the best game ever. Except for when she screams “WAKE UP!” in my ear after about five seconds of lying down. I’m not sure why she thinks that is how you wake someone up, I can’t remember ever doing that to her...
We have been on school holidays for the past week and it is lovely. Waking up at 7am (or even 6:30) instead of 6am is such a massive difference. I don't mind early mornings but 6 just seems to be a little too early for me!
I started a six week pregnancy yoga course this week on Wednesday nights. I’ve been wanting to do one all pregnancy, and this one popped up at a studio around the corner from my house. There are only five of us in the course, so it’s a nice small class and the teacher can personalise it a bit.
I also had my first acupuncture appointment. It was awesome. The acupuncturist, Kylie, worked on my back a lot. Both my upper back/shoulders and my lower back (pretty much my bum) have been sore from about 20 weeks. I thought the lower back was sciatic pain but Kylie thinks it is the sacroiliac joint which is also common in pregnancy. Whatever it is, she managed to release a lot of the pain through a combination of acupuncture and massage and my back felt great afterwards. I’ll be trying to go back every 1-2 weeks now until this baby comes along. Kylie also recommended taking magnesium as it relaxes muscles and can also help with sleep issues, so I've picked up a powder supplement to try. Let's see if it makes any difference.
Even though we are on school holidays I have been very tired lately. An afternoon nap is not uncommon. I am getting better at letting myself do this, as normally I feel like I need to be doing something productive during the day. So it’s nice to just chill out and relax for a change. I definitely think I am much more tired during this pregnancy than I was with Ella, most likely due to the combination of having a toddler and age. I am definitely NOT looking forward to five more weeks of work!