32 weeks in…

August 2, 2008 at 8:04 am (Baby) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Foetus at 32 weeks

And so, another week has already passed – time is surely flying faster than I’ve ever known! Another busy week – some good (such as our 5th wedding anniversary), some not so good (I’ve had a throat infection over the past week, which hasn’t greatly enhanced my mood, but other than that everythingโ€™s been fine).

Some interesting facts about being 32 weeks pregnant:

  • Tadpole will be gaining between 1/3 and 1/2 of his/her body weight during the next seven weeks of gestation (that’s a LOT of growing!)
  • Tad now weighs around 3.75lbs and measures about 17 inches from head to foot (that’s an inch of growth in a week!)
  • Tad is currently inhaling amniotic fluid to exercise his/her lungs and practice breathing (which explains why The Kid keeps getting hiccups!)
  • If Tadpole were to be born today, s/he would have a 95% chance of survival (this wonโ€™t change again until we hit 34 weeks)
  • There are now just 56 days till our Estimated Due Date!

We had our second antenatal class this week. Unfortunately, Dale was unable to come with me (the first antenatal appointment he’s had to miss so far!) as, due to being a Postie, he works in the morning and this class was at 9.30am. I really wish he’d been able to come along to this one in particular, as we were discussing various methods of relaxation, which included various massage techniques to use in labour. Since I was the only Lone Ranger in the class, I found myself being the one upon whom the demonstration was conducted, which was very relaxing. I’ll have to demonstrate the techniques to Dale this weekend.

As usual, I was full of questions. I’d done a little internet research and discovered that our local maternity hospital has higher-than-the-national-average rates for interventions such as C-sections and inductions, as well as for forceps- and ventouse-assisted births. This worried me a whole lot, as I’d like to go as natural as possible with as little interference or intervention as possible. Fortunately, my fears were allayed – the reason for these higher-than-average figures is two-fold – firstly, it’s a teaching hospital and secondly, it has a very wide catchment area, and any unusual/difficult cases from places as far-flung as Orkney and The Shetland Islands get sent here, hence the numbers are higher for interventions and medical procedures than they might normally be.

I was also heartened to hear that there are a few midwives who are familiar with hypnobirthing, so I’m very likely to give birth surrounded by understanding people who are willing to let me get on with things without being bugged, prodded and poked at too much, which is a major relief!

I’ve made some tiny additions to my Birth Plan as they’ve occurred to me – little things like requesting not to have the staff announce the gender of Tadpole to us – we’d prefer to find out for ourselves; and not cutting the cord immediately – and letting Dale have the choice of doing so (if he wants to). I’ve also decided I want to labour at home for as long as I possibly can. I have this luxury as we literally live a 5-minute pre-pregnancy-walk from the midwife unit, so we can get there very quickly in a car, meaning I can legitimately leave it rather late before making the move from my comfortable home-surroundings. I’d actually consider a home-birth if we had the room for a birthing pool! (There is one girl in our antenatal class who is seriously considering a home-birth with as few drugs as possible – we seem to be on a similar wavelength and I rather like her and her partner).

When I was telling Leni (my sister and second birth-partner) I wanted Tadpole to be birthed in as natural a way as possible she was initially rather horrified – apparently, if it were her, she’d want to be pumped full of drugs. I have no problem with other people wanting that, but my personal feeling towards getting all those chemicals pumped into me is one of abhorrence – I’ve found that I no longer have any fear of the birthing process (which is very strange, as it used to be rather a phobia of mine!) and am pretty much of the opinion that my body knows what it’s doing – after all, it’s what the female body was supposedly created to do in the first place! And I was thinking just he other day – have you ever seen a cat giving birth? She purrs! That’s a happy sound – she quietly purrs as she gives birth! Humans are the only creatures on the planet that make a big deal out of the birthing process and I wonder how much of that is down to fear? If we fear that we’re going to be in pain, are we more likely to experience it, simply because we expect it? So, I’ve been conditioning myself to expect a straight-forward birth with none of the nonsense and kafuffle normally associated with modern childbirth!

On the non-birth side of things, I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks contractions over the last week or so. They don’t hurt at all, but they kind of knock the breath out of me occasionally! It just feels like my belly gets rock-hard – tighter than ever – for a minute or two. I just use my breathing techniques (strangely, the technique that was demonstrated in our antenatal class this week is the one I use when I’m in pain or feeling sick anyway – so I’ve had plenty of practice!) until it passes and carry on with whatever I was doing before it came on.

And our travel system arrived this week – Dale spent a wee while putting it all together and working out how all the bits connect together (it’s a buggy, a carry cot and a car seat all together in one package, and now delights in racing round our small flat with it. I think he’s really going to enjoy pushing Tadpole about in it!

So, things are getting rather exciting – the time is getting closer and closer to when we finally get to met the tiny person who is (right at this very second while I type) kicking like crazy inside me!

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7 Comments

  1. Sandy said,

    I had a ton of people tell me when I was pregnant with Babyhead that I was crazy for wanting a natural birth. I was down right laughed at and ridiculed for it and was told that I *would* change my mind. I have to say I did very well in the beginning with him even though I was on Pitocin to start my labor. It wasn’t until much later that I needed drugs (after 2 days of labor that did NOT progress) and then we found out that I was unable to deliver naturally due to my pelvis being shaped weird. I had to have a c-section because BH couldn’t come down the birth canal…hence I had a 2nd c-section with Podling.

    However, I have to say you are correct in that many women need pain meds or say they would never give birth without them to just be scared of the whole process. It has only been relatively recent that drugs were used, and MEN took over and made childbirth a medical issue. For a long time women were actually put to sleep when they labored and delivered and simply woke up to a baby…all because men felt us women couldn’t deal with the pain of it (which never made sense to me since women have been having all the babies in the world for centuries).

    If you go in confident and without fear, trusting your body will do what it needs, you will be good. It is only really the most painful at the end (if at all, some women have no pain at any point), and by that time you are pushing and almost done! Keep an open mind to all possibilities because you never know what will happen, but don’t let anyone bully you into anything you don’t want if it is totally un-necessary!

    Make sure Dale is your advocate!!! It is easy to bully a tired & laboring woman into something they don’t want (that happened to me with Babyhead…long story)…he needs to be there to stand up for you, but at the same time know when you are sincere in wanting interventions such as medication. Make sure you sit down and have a talk with him so he will be prepared to take up for you but know when you have had enough as well.

    You are in the home stretch kiddo! Good luck and I am waiting to hear boy or girl before I send you a gift! I have an idea of what I want to get you…but I am waiting to hear what color I need to buy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. kell1976 said,

    I’m surprised at just how few women in our antenatal class will even consider a natural birth – they’ve all decided ahead of time that they want to be drugged up to the eyeballs – and only one or two of them are even considering giving breastfeeding a try! Like I say, Iโ€™ve nothing against folks who need a little extra help or can’t breastfeed for one reason or another (my own Mam had problems breastfeeding me – it’s been mentioned I was a lazy feeder!), but I can’t quite get my head around the idea of people not even being willing to give it a shot first – maybe it’s just me – LOL!

    Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to have a good sit-down with Dale and Leni and go over the Birth Plan in detail, as well as all the techniques and stuff I’m learning in the antenatal classes, just to make sure we’re all “on the same page” on the big day. Fortunately, they both know me well enough to know when I’m serious about something, so if I DO start screaming for drugs, they’ll know when I really, REALLY want them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And I’m now DYING to find out what Tadpole will turn out to be when s/he arrives too!

  3. Sandy said,

    I tried breastfeeding too…didn’t work out for me either. LOL Just didn’t make enough milk, buy my mom was the same way…she said that we were starving to death and the drs finally put us on formula. I didn’t even try this time, it was very stressful with BH and I just didn’t want that this time around too. Formula isn’t as bad as it was when I was a baby, it is actually closer to breast milk than ever, so I wasn’t worried not trying with Podling…However, I am with you on the at least trying thing! I had comments about the breastfeeding thing with BH too…same thing, people laughed at me and such…I tried anyway. Didn’t work out, but I can say I tried.

    But, I am also very big on not letting others dictate how I am going to live my life or raise my kids either. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. katharine68 said,

    In the UK, I find that midwives who have attended a hypnobirthing birth are very , very enthusiastic, and midwives who have not, have heard of it, and are very, very interested. Either way, they are extremely supportive of hypnobirthing.

    Katharine

    Katharine Graves is a hypnobirthing teacher in London

  5. kell1976 said,

    That’s very good news to hear, Katherine – thank you for your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Nici said,

    Kell I am just getting so excited for you! Not long now!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. kell1976 said,

    Thanks Nici – we’re getting very excited too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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