Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

She’s Here!

With the expected due date still almost three weeks away, our lovely little E decided to show up already on the 1st October and has been giving  us so much happiness and joy during her first week here with us that I cannot even begin to explain how fortunate we feel. But I must say, I was not really prepared for this yet.

Well, now I am kind of lying. I had actually just managed to wrap up most things at work (admin stuff), we had sorted out the car with the mechanic (ordered what I hope will be the final parts for the car to fix the problems we have had), booked the dogs in for a haircut and I had started planning my maternity leave (swimming, prenatal pilates classes, pregnancy massages, general nesting etc) so that by Friday 30th September I was pretty optimistic about October and my maternity leave starting. Little did I realise that only 4hrs into October, when according to our calculations she was only 37 weeks, little E would decide it was time to make her entrance to this world.

And that she did. My water broke at 4am on the 1st and after having spoken to my doctor we headed off to the hospital to have me and the baby checked. Once there we were told that yes indeed I was heading into labour and 2 cm dilated already. We were sent home to get our stuff, have breakfast and in general wait a bit longer so that my contractions would be a bit more regular and close together and told to head back to the hospital around 9am or so. Well, that we did. We headed home, J put together the last few things we still had to assemble of all her stuff as well as installed the car seat in the car while I packed my bag and prepared some breakfast for us. Looking back now, I am not sure what I was packing for really as I did just pack loads!

Food in case I get hungry (like we were off on a 2 day hike..), two sets of clothes to change into (not sure what I was thinking here either as you dont really care what you wear at this point as long as its comfy..), books (in case I would have time to read.. ehm.. ok..), a movie (in case we would have time to watch that.. EHM again…)… Thankfully I did also pack two sets of clothes for Little E, nappies, wet wipes, her Weleda baby care products and the camera.

We signed back into the hospital at about 9.30am and it was all very exciting and new and surreal at this point. I was NOT really computing that I was about to have a little baby, most likely that day. Having managed half the sign in process my contractions were starting to get stronger and I was sent up to the maternity ward ahead of J who finished off with the admissions guy downstairs.

Having gotten into my gown and settled into the room, by 11am things started speeding up. My the contractions were now getting slightly painful, especially when lying down. And of course they wanted me lying down so they could do their monitoring. I knew Little E  was ok and I could feel her moving, so I was not very understanding about their need to do any monitoring at all. But of course they won and I had to lie down and suffer through it, knowing as well that I was frustratingly enough still only 2cm dilated. I mean WTF! All that pain for nothing?

As of 11am – 12pm my contractions started getting worse as I was dilating approximately 1cm per 20-30 mins. At this point I started having time distortion and all I could really think of was the regular rhythm of contraction – rest – contraction – rest. But at least things were starting to happen! And they were really happening so fast now that suddenly the nurses started stressing that my cool and chilled out doctor wouldn’t have time to get the birthing pool set up!

But thankfully he did.. However, I did not have much time in there at all since as soon as I jumped in my contractions changed and I could tell this was much more of a downward pressure than previous, encouraging me to start pushing. So, just as a side note here before we continue. I must say, the birth up till now had been a bit painful. Basically I had not expected the contractions to grow to such intensity, and I was not really able to enjoy the relaxation and serenity that hypnobirthing was supposed to give you… But at no point was I even considering an epidural or any pain killers. Its funny but it didnt really cross my mind as an option, even if the nurses kept asking and asking and asking me if I wanted it. (J would then again never have allowed that either.. And it was just easier to go through it than to pick a fight while in the midst of labour…)

What I found was the most difficult thing, and what hypnobirthing definitely helped me with, was overcoming the mental blocks and fears that so easily build up. I had entered into the whole pregnancy thing with an open mind and developed a strong philosophy with regards to how I wanted my baby to be born (as naturally as possible in water) and what I definitely didnt want for her (drugs, induction, intervention), what the course and all my meditations on the matter helped me with was getting rid of the fear I had previously harboured towards giving birth.

But as I was sitting there in the water, feeling another contraction coming on with its encouragement to start pushing, I realised that what I was most afraid of wasnt the pain at this point. Pain you know what is and you can handle. What I was afraid of was what will this final stage of childbirth really be like. And THAT was what made me almost not want to push but rather just hold her in in order to stop this whole thing. During the first contraction in water I sensed the change in the rhythm and type of contraction. During the second I felt a proper urge to push and I did tried it a bit, but just a little bit to see what it was like, still holding it in for dear life.. The third contraction I decided I might as well go for it. Or actually, I realised I will have to go for it if I want this to end. And during the fourth she was pretty much out.

Gazing into my daughters eyes for the first time was just incredible but also so surreal. I could not comprehend that she was finally here. Not to mention the tricky question of how do you hold a newborn baby? There was so much going through my mind and at the same time nothing, just silence as we stared. I think we were both as bewildered at meeting each other at quarter to four on a Saturday afternoon.

The following hour is a bit of a daze. Little E went off with J and the paediatrician to be checked while I remember being amazed at how all the pain had disappeared and how tiny my tummy suddenly had gone.

A bit more than 24hrs after my water broke we were allowed to head home from the hospital, another thing I would like to praise a natural birth for. Little E has also been extremely attentive, curious and in general so alert that I cannot help but think that she also got a birth that was as easy as possible for her. After all, she did a massive job as well when she worked her way into this world.

***

Little E is now almost a week old. She is absolutely amazing, even if I say so myself. I do realise it is a bit of a subjective opinion, but then again, its my blog. 😉

She sleeps calmly through the night, I have to wake her up every 3 hrs to feed her as otherwise she would happily snooze her way through. She is just like her daddy. She eats well and loves sitting up in mine or J’s lap, just watching the world around her. But mostly I think she likes sleeping and eating. What I like the most is looking at her when she does my favourite face, actually I love just looking at her in general. And of course knowing that this exciting adventure has just begun for all of us.

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BIG MAMA!

Big Mama!

That’s what one of my colleagues calls me nowadays… He usually shouts it out across the cafeteria at work as he makes his way over to say hello. Now that sure is something that does make you feel noticed, and not always in the best of ways, especially now that I really am gaining quite a big of volume.

At our last doctor’s appointment I was still under 70kg even if I had my bets on the over on that one. But I guess its only a matter of time before I do cross over to the other side of 70 especially considering I still have at least 5 weeks to go. I just wish the weight gain could be a bit easier!

I guess the explanation that my Pilates teacher always gives me when she is trying to explain how I should curl myself around a ball makes much more sense now. “Imagine you are curving your stomach and spine over the beach ball in your lap”.. Yup, got that one now, with a built in beach ball!

Exercises for Pregnant Ladies

I have been trying to keep up my exercising as much as possible while pregnant, but my god everything seems to be somewhat against me in accomplishing what I wanted to do! I’ve been into Pilates for years and was very much looking forward to the prenatal Pilates experience while pregnant. Unfortunately that just hasnt seemed to happen at all.

Well, now Im kind of lying. During the first trimester I did a little bit but in the end I was just too nauseous to really enjoy it. Second trimester of course our car had to be out of action for most of it, meaning I didnt manage to get to my classes at midday. And here we are in third trimester now, with no Pilates under my belt yet thanks to too much work and again car troubles!

I will make another effort next week (my last week working before the start of my maternity leave) and hunt down my teacher and beg her for at least a few classes before D-Day.

I also had great plans to do a bit of swimming during my pregnancy as I hear that is supposed to be great for pregnant ladies as well. Unfortunately I have only gotten so far as to identify where the closest pool is, but have not yet actually ventured over to see it with my own eyes…

Well, according to today’s doctor’s appointment I still have about 1.5 weeks to go before my maternity leave kicks off, but once that begins I am definitely going to do a bit more. At the moment work is eating up too much of my time and in the evenings I am basically just too tired to do much.

Meanwhile, little E is putting me to shame with all the exercises that she is doing on the inside. My gosh, I can barely keep up! The hiccuping episodes have diminished but she has basically just replaced the hiccuping with kicking instead. It feels like she might kick her way out of the bump soon via my right hand side! However, I guess its not just pregnant ladies who benefit from exercise.  Little ladies are also in need of some action in preparation both for D-Day as well as for all the new adventures that await on this side.

Nesting..

This weekend went completely to the important task of nesting.. It wasn’t really the plan as we started off celebrating our weekend, but somehow it just snuck up on us while we were out to do our weekly shop and I ended up getting pulled in, deeper and deeper into the world of nesting. Personally, I blame the hormones.

Anyhow, let me tell you what happened. So, we have not gone completely over the top with buying baby stuff up till now, but have still felt that the situation has been under control. There was basically still time and honestly, she cant need THAT much for the first month, surely not? But hey, who am I to say, its not like I am the expert here.

The Crib

But this Saturday, as we were wandering around the shopping centre not too far away from home, we happened to stumble upon a lovely crib. I guess most of the stuff we have bought up till now is smaller stuff, and we were just going to have her sleep in a basket the first month or so, but suddenly we realised that I guess we will be needing bigger stuff as well. Most importantly we would be needing a crib, a car seat, a play pen and possibly a stroller.

So at least we had found a crib I thought as we went into the shop to hear a bit more about it and check prices. We were very fortunate indeed as that weekend they were offering it at 20% discount, so we decided we might as well pick it up then and there. As a consequence to all this, I am now the proud owner of a beautiful crib!

J impressed me with his DIY skills and put it together that morning and now it is just sitting there, ready to be used, in our bedroom with the gorgeous quilt that my colleagues mum made for us. It actually turned out pretty nicely, since now we have a great place thats a bit out of the way to store all the baby stuff as well. Ill just have to rethink that once the little one is here.

In addition to the crib, we also picked up a gorgeous glider chair! I had never tried one of these before, and I agree that it doesn’t look too cool, but my gosh how nice it is! I tried it in the shop and could happily have stayed there, gliding away. Unfortunately we had other things to do as well so I had to leave the gliding till later. I didn’t have to wait for too long for the next session as the chair was also on 20% discount and we decided to pick that up as well.

To finish off my wonderful nesting weekend I decided to put on my domestic goddess hat and whip up some cinnamon rolls for my team and for us at home. I havent dared try make them with dried yeast since the traumatising experience I had with dried yeast in Scotland in 2000, but I must say, this time it actually worked out! They came out pretty nice, the first ones were a bit burned underneath thanks to the kind of oven we have, but the rest were delicious so I will definitely be doing this again.

Kanelbullar - Cinnamon Buns

Making Cinnamon Buns

For those of you who want to try, I used the recipe from this lovely food related blog

Living with a Bump

Pregnant BellyI cant believe I am already six months down the line, with D-Day moving closer all the time at quite a rapid pace. Or well, interestingly enough it feels like I have been pregnant for EVER, while at the same time I cant believe how time flies and that it is already July, while October is just around the corner really.

I have tried to read up on what exactly is happening during this time, and I must say I keep finding incredible facts about how amazingly well nature has arranged for it all. I keep sharing my “fun facts” with my poor colleague who has to listen to me 😉 But I think one day she will be grateful that I taught her things like:

  • During pregnancy the amount of blood you have in your body increases by about 50% compared to pre pregnancy
  • Your stomach muscles separate and slide to the sides during pregnancy to accommodate for the bump
  • Your body changes the amniotic fluid three times a day!

I am pretty impressed constantly about all the things my body manages. I do feel like I am very much just an observer at times (mind wise), watching how my baby and my body seem to know exactly what to do and I am just in it for the ride.

But I do try to keep up and learn some stuff myself so its not just my baby and body working. 😉 For example, I just received my Hypnobirthing book that I wanted to read as a complementary piece to the course we did earlier this summer. Thanks to the course and to the book I think I have learned quite a lot about what to do and what to expect with this whole adventure, and especially how I can just relax and let my baby and body get on with it. I think that must be the most difficult part for most women. Relying on your body to know what to do and to just relax.

So even if I am pretty relaxed about most things, I am realising I should definitely be taking many more pics of the bump! I have a few but I do want more.. You never know if this is a once in a lifetime experience, or just the first one and you will get another chance. I also think it might help me get to terms with the miracle that is happening just under my nose.. 😉

But for now, I will just head back to bed I think. I had to get up to have sth to eat earlier on, but I think I am ready for another little snooze now next to the gorgeous J.

Cravings…

I always thought the whole thing about cravings while pregnant was a topic that had just been blown out of proportion and that surely you cannot have such massive urges to eat random things simply because of your growing bump. Well lo and behold, here I am now at 4 months with a fairly interesting palate and a need for the most random foods.

Over the last few years I have had some big changes in my diet, the biggest one according to me being the move away from being an avid coffee drinker to loving tea (green tea and oolong now being my favourites). But nothing prepared me for these changes.

OrangesI kicked off my pregnancy with purely wanting soda crackers, toast and potatoes as everything else made my stomach turn and shivers of disgust go through my body. Looking at the nutritional values of the things I was eating would make a starving child look well nourished, and needless to say I lost over a kilo between the 6th and 10th week. During this time I did though soon moved over to loving oranges to lessen my nausea. Oranges in the morning, during the day and in the afternoon, orange juice whenever possible and lemon in every water glass. Later on I heard that apparently the acidity from citrus fruits helps you feel less nauseous, but also that vitamin C plays a big role in this. without just listening to my body I would never have realised this so big respect to the body and it knowing what it wants.

Around this time I also completely stopped drinking tea. It was like I hit a wall and I just didnt have ANY interest in this lovely hot beverage anymore.. Quite surprising as I had up till then been having a happy 5 cups a day most likely. Reading about it I soon found out though that you should not have too much caffeine in your diet while pregnant and I guess this was again my body’s way to align itself with its new situation.

Pistachio NutsMy next big craving was pistachio nuts and beet root.. Not together, but still.. Hmm.. Considering my previous cravings of such low nutritional value it was with relief that I found out that both items are great sources of nutrients! Pistachios are high in oleic acids, carotenes and vitamin E while at the same time being packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.They also contain important minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.. Once again, pretty impressive craving by my body..

BeetrootsBeetroots then again are apparently loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C with the greens showing a higher content of iron compared to spinach.  They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars. And actually, its iron content, is of the highest and finest quality that makes excellent food that is blood building! (and apparently you increase the amount of blood in your body by approximately 40% during pregnancy!)

Interestingly enough my latest craving is salami.. Yesterday I had wonderful salami empanadas as my second breakfast and that same evening I was spoiled with a few slices of pepperoni pizza… Mmm.. It definitely hit the spot but I am still to find a good nutritional excuse for this craving..