Saturday, November 26, 2016

28w3d - Doula meeting and Nursery planning

I had my first official meeting with my two Doulas. It was really great. I was surprised that it ended up being a 3 hour meeting. I guess I didn't know what to expect. I'm sure we could have just kept chatting but it was after work, late, and I'd started yawning. We talked about birth choices, my preferences, life post birth, the type of support I think I might need, and the type of support they could offer now including information on things like pre-birth yoga exercises, hypnobirthing, baby care, etc. I didn't expect less, but it was a very positive meeting and made me feel good about all things birth and baby. Currently very much in favor of the Doula experience, and feel that is likely to continue.

As I think I said in the last post, I've been toying with nursery furniture layouts. I was happy to see that someone has made all of the IKEA Stuva pieces I'm considering in sketchup which makes my life much easier when doing layouts (previously I made my own blocks but just found these and was very happy). I mean, if I can't use my skills as an architect sometimes, what's the point?! On the positive side, the new layouts suggest that I think I can fit in a little bit of extra storage. The question is, which way?

Option 1 includes a larger unit- two drawers and three shelves (if you use the top of the unit as a shelf as well which I would). The downside is this means there will be a partially blocked area of the crib which will be about 1'7" square. This option looks like this (although on the unit next to the wardrobe it won't be doors on the top but 2 open shelves):

Option 2 uses a smaller unit instead of the taller unit. The benefits being that the blockage to the crib will be less, but I'll lose 2 shelves (I can still use the top of the unit as a shelf area). Option 2 therefore, looks like this:

I really want some sort of shelf area so I can put a nightlight, the baby monitor, etc. Otherwise, there isn't anyplace I can easily put these things. I also think some extra storage is going to be needed/useful. With either of these options, in the future, the changing table becomes a child's desk and can move along the wall with the storage units and the bed can move to along the wall under the window where the changer is now. The reason I don't want the crib over there now is that it's against the radiator which I'm trying to leave open to function better. Also, it gets hot! When she's older, I'll be more comfortable putting the crib/child bed against it.

You can see that there's sort of floor area where I was really hoping to put some sort of rocking chair but the space is actually incredibly tight with the door openings and access to the changing table. I've tried some chair components and they just don't fit well. I think I'll need to get the furniture in and then see what space is really there (and test some of the chairs in the house I have already before buying a rocker).

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery? I'm hoping to purchase furniture in the next month and get it set up over the holiday break. I don't find either solution completely satisfying, and I'm still mourning the loss of a possible chair. But time is ticking and I need to make some decisions!

Monday, November 21, 2016

27w5d - Parties and publicity

So first, a warm welcome to any Italian visitors who have come to this blog having read the short piece that I was interviewed for. I've used Google translate to check it out and it seems to cover what I discussed with the reporter.  I'm also glad she got in links to the DCN and SMC as these have been great resources for me on this journey. I know that single parenthood is less common in Italy and I hope spreading awareness can help others find fulfillment in their lives, whatever decisions they make.

In other news I had my baby shower on Saturday! It was really lovely to have a small gathering of friends to celebrate future baby girl. It was at a funky place in London and we all did a high tea sort of thing. It's clearly set up for parties and worked well I think. Positively, most people bought gifts off my registry and they have been send straight to my house so I didn't have too much to carry back with me. There's a funny picture of me with balloons coming out of my backpack on the way back to the train to Cambridge. Yes, I'm one of *those* annoying people.

So things in the house are really starting to pile up. I got another bag of hand-me-downs from a work colleague who stopped in on Friday. Her daughter is 4 months old and she says a bunch of clothes she got (as gifts or hand-me-downs) were the wrong season, so she just brought them for me. Seriously, I'm not going to need any additional clothes for baby girl. In fact I seriously doubt her ability to wear all the clothes I've been given so far! This is not a bad thing, but I need to get some furniture so I can do some washing so I can start sorting it all out and determining what I have for what age, etc. One of my projects yesterday was to measure the spare room/future nursery so I could plot out a furniture layout. The room is not large (8'x7'6") and has two doorways with inward operating doors. There's also a window and radiator that basically leave me with an 'L' shaped layout. I've worked out it will be relatively simple to fit the crib, changing table, and wardrobe. However, fitting anything else that I was hoping for (an extra storage cubby or a rocking/glider chair) is pretty much impossible. I'll continue to ponder the layout (I'm thinking there's one option I didn't try), but it's definitely tight outside of the three fundamental pieces.

Baby girl has been particularly active the past couple days, or she's starting to have less room so I feel her more.  I'm either going through a phase where my body is adjusting and I'm slightly uncomfortable, or it's really just the start of the third trimester where you can't really get comfortable. Time will tell.

In other news, I will have my first official meeting with my doulas tonight, so looking forward to that. Still pondering this whole induction issue. But I have time.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

27w1d - squirmy wormy

So baby girl has been much more noticeably active, which is nice. It's still a strange feeling, and not necessarily uncomfortable. Just twitchy jumpy belly feelings where you don't have things that should be twitching and jumping! If I'm in the right position and she's particularly active, I can see my belly twitching which is very amusing.

In less fun news, the constipation is back with a vengeance. Yesterday I chugged a cup of strong decaffeinated coffee just to get things moving. It worked, but I didn't feel completely satisfied after, although I felt a little bit better. It's getting less appealing to be putting food in, when less is coming out. I'm still eating prunes regularly, they just don't seem to be working as well anymore. Bleh.

According to most books and things, I'm officially now in the third trimester. This makes sense as I'm due in just under 3 months. There's still over 10 weeks to go, assuming all goes well. It's a little bit unnerving to think she's just going to keep growing and growing in all that time and I'm just going to get bigger and bigger. I definitely look pregnant now, but I know it gets much bigger. Both intriguing and a little bit scary.

Gifts have started arriving from my amazon wish list from friends and family which is pretty cool. This of course means the pile in the spare room is just growing exponentially. In December I think I'll order all the furniture and get the room sorted. I'll have time over the holidays as I otherwise don't celebrate and will have time at home to deal with things.

I'm starting to get a little bit nervous about being responsible for a tiny human. In January I'll take the NCT antenatal class I signed up for which should be helpful. In the meantime, I just feel particularly inept. I'm sure I'll learn- everyone does. Just another thing to start getting on top of!

My baby shower is this Saturday which should be good fun. I'm looking forward to seeing people, especially London people I don't see that often already, and will see less of most likely when baby girl arrives.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

26w1d - results

I managed to get my glucose tolerance test results right before I came to my workshop - all fine and normal. So that was good news! I think I was a little bit worried, but am glad that it came back fine.

Did I say in the last post that the midwife talked to me about paying attention to baby's movement? This is still causing me some stress as I'll find myself suddenly paying attention to my bump and wondering when the last time I felt anything at all was. It is normally pretty easy for me to ignore the tiny twinges that I feel. They don't bother me most of the time and are incredibly quick, so I tend to not notice them. Then, when I think about it, I start to get worried there hasn't been enough movement.

I'm definitely getting bigger though. Can't hide the pregnant. I will say that maternity clothes make you look even more pregnant which can be frustrating. If I wear maternity jeans and a maternity top, I look pregnant but I don't look unreasonable. If I put on a maternity dress, or a maternity shirt that 'hangs off the bump', I just look massive. It's pretty crazy how the different clothes can make you look a million times bigger.

During this workshop with students, I've also been identified as 'pregnant' where people now feel confident and comfortable to directly ask me when I'm due and about the pregnancy. You know how you aren't supposed to ask someone who looks 'a little bit pregnant' in case they aren't? Well I'm clearly past that point now. It's a little bit weird.

Finally, results on a global scale, yesterday was very depressing with the American election results coming in. For me, I felt it was Brexit all over again. I think that means my shock has been shorter than it was the first time around. I still just wonder what sort of world I'm bringing my little girl into. It's frightening.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

25w1d - glucose test

This morning I had my glucose tolerance test. I won't get the results for a week or so. It should come by post. It's interesting because on the forum I spend a lot of time on (that has lots of Americans) it seems as though there are two glucose tests- the one hour and the three hour. In the UK they do a single two hour test. Basically, I had to have no food or drink past 10pm last night, then show up at the hospital this morning. They took blood and then gave me a fixed amount of Lucozade to drink. You then sit around for an hour and they take your blood. Then you sit around for another hour and they take your blood again (two hours, get it?). I asked about the one hour and three hour and they said that there is a 3 hour test which is basically just wait another hour, and that they don't do the 1 hour test at all. Basically, in the UK, the 2 hour test is the diagnostic test for pregnant women.

At any rate, I've done it so now I wait. It made me feel a bit off this morning. Drinking a lot of carbonated sugar first thing in the morning on an empty stomach isn't that nice. It's afternoon now and as I've had a ham and cheese toasty and a baked potato with beans and cheese I'm starting to feel a bit more normal.

On the plus side, although I had to get blood taken 3 times, they managed to get it on the first time each time! Although by the third she had to poke around a bit before she got it in just the right place. Still, better than before, huh?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

24w6d - Alone

I'm back in the UK now, busy as ever. November is going to be a mental month. Then it's December already! Holy shit!

While I was away, I had time to do some musing. This often happens when I spend lots of time with my family. I also met up with my friend's parents- the friend who isn't talking to me. This also caused a lot of musing. Interesting, and opposite.

First, I will dwell on the continued hurt caused by my absent friend. I see her parents when I'm in the States, or have for the past 5-6 years, so I thought I would still see them even though she isn't talking to me. Because I hope this time will pass. And it was lovely to see them, as usual. However, it also was made very clear through the answers to my questions about my friend, how much I have missed the past 4 months by her cutting me out of her life. Because a lot has happened in hers, that she clearly has no interest in sharing with me. On top of her absence in my life, which I already find painful, this was equally painful. It's really just a crappy situation and I do wonder in dark moments if our friendship will ever recover this slight. Or if she even cares to be my friend at all in the future.

I've also felt the slight absence of other friends, although not as obvious or I think as intentional. Just people I was hearing from are suddenly being heard from less. Perhaps I'm sensitive because of the first situation. I don't know. At any rate, it made me feel more alone, which in some ways made me feel sorry for myself.

But then the alternative to these thoughts is that I was pondering the idea that I'm really never going to be alone again. At least for a great number of years and period of time, I am the sole person responsible for another human being who will need my attention and time and care. I won't be able to just 'up and go' as I like and please, which has been my life for a very long time. It was a rather sobering thought to be honest. While I greatly look forward to being a parent, it will certainly be tough as a single parent to not have that other person that you can catch a break from. I will be completely responsible all of the time. And that's huge. I'm sure there will be times when I hate it. But I also know/hope that it will be beyond worth it. I just can't really imagine exactly how different my life is going to be. Theoretically I understand it, but the reality will be its own thing, for sure.

So there you have it. Two completely separate musings on the concept of being alone, or not alone as it were.