I am 32 weeks pregnant- in that final stretch. Apparently this is also the time to start preparing the hospital bag too. (Note to self- must add that to my arm length to do list.)
If Sticky Bean decides to come any time now, he has a very high survival chances. Although the lungs of a foetus are not fully developed, they are almost ready for action. It’s from this point on Sticky Bean is likely to gain more than half his birth-weight during the next seven weeks, about 450g a week. That’s a scary prospect considering he was estimated at just under 5 lb (2.5kg) 2 weeks ago!
The foetus at this point is practising skills for coming into this world, including swallowing and “breathing”. As a result they often have hiccups. Sticky Bean has these several times a day. Baby hiccups are the funniest sensation- like lots of butterflies fluttering inside- and also quite reassuring- he is in there live and active. I can also tell his orientation from the hiccups- it is usually head down. Though he has been head up once this past week.
In England, there are standard midwife visits scheduled at 28 weeks and at 34 weeks. As I have changed midwives within our practice (the lovely lady who has been looking after me is due a baby just weeks after me and I was looking for a bit of continuity) and with some concerns raised at the 4D ultrasound about polyhydamnios, this was brought forward and I had my midwife consultation yesterday with new Lovely Midwife.
And what a midwife visit it was!!!
It started with a phone call at exactly school pickup time from Lovely Midwife to reschedule next week’s appointment, as she would not be taking her clinic due to other duties. (How thoughtful of her to remember that it was to be our first meeting!) She slotted me after her last appointment.
Late afternoon, I got to the GP surgery and desperately needed to pee, so I asked reception for a pee-pot knowing a sample would be needed, went to the loo and… discovered how to wee yourself without actually weeing yourself:
At this point the bump is rather large, making matters happening down under quite hard to see. You crouch and try to catch the mid stream, as you are told. I’d already resolved myself to weeing on my hand as I collected the sample, filled the tube to the brink
… and then as I was bringing it forward, it got caught in my trousers and I dropped it…right into my trousers. Spilling the whole content! I crouched there in a moment of shock, finishing with the flow and because there’s no way to stop it at this point- the my pelvic floor is in a permanent state of shock. All different scenarios rushed through my head- what the hell do I do??? Do I have any spare clothes in the car? No chance of going out without trousers, as I only had a t-shirt on that just about covered my bump. Can I make a skirt from my fleece?
In desperation I tried producing another sample, hoping at least that my efforts wouldn’t have been in vain and postponing having to decide what I was going to do. No luck!
Washed my hands, towelled my pants dry, whipped up the puddle on the floor and pulled up my cold wet pants. Ewww! Scrubbed my hands again.
On the plus point, my trousers soon warmed up and weren’t as bad.
I then proceeded to the reception to warn them that the bathroom needed a clean and asked the midwife to be notified that I will be standing outside her office, not in the waiting room. (No way I could face people like this).
So my first introduction to Lovely Midwife was a short narrative of my clumsiness. We had a good laugh and then carried on discussing pregnancy so far and going around exploring birth options further and in ever more detail. (I swear I will be writing a full decision tree as a birthplan by the end of this!)
She checked bump- all’s fine: heartbeat fine, movements fine (Sticky Bean was a show-off and gave a couple of big kicks) and fundus height measures c36 weeks (normal for me).
She then took blood pressure, looked at my legs for sings of swelling. Neither perfect, but ok.
Then it was time for bloods, as we had missed this at 28 weeks.
Well, it seems the Gods have conspired against me giving up ANY of my fluids. Lovely Midwife missed my veins twice! This was the first time in my life this had happened. (She’s a dab hand with loads of experience, so I can only put it down to the higher powers.) We decided not to continue and that I will go back to the phlebotomist in the next few days (once I recovered from the trauma…Did I tell you I hate needles?!!!)
This blood sample is intended for checking iron levels and antibodies. Not now though… next time!
The appointment was 45 minutes, despite the fluid disasters I came away smiling, just that bit happier that I’d been seen and questions answered…and looking forward to a nice hot shower.
Have you any tips for avoiding such fluid disasters?