Monthly Archives: July 2013

Carpal Tunnel

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So onto the next fun pregnancy symptom!

I’ve been waking up with pins and needles in my fingers every morning for the past few weeks. Over the last week or so, I’ve been finding my knuckle joints really stiff and painful when I first get up in the morning. It takes ages for me to be able to use my hands in the morning.

Apparently in Pregnancy, carpal tunnel in quite normal due to the increased blood flow and swelling in the hands. Of all the things I expected, this was not one of them!

My hands are so swollen in the heat, especially when I exercise. I can’t easily keep my hands raised when I walk or cycle so they tend to throb and swell. My rings already came off, my replacement (larger) ring also came off (which I’m gutted about as I hate not being able to wear my wedding rings) and my feet are following suit (but luckily I don’t wear any rings on my toes!)

hands
During exercise

feet
Fatty feet

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Active week

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After a couple of very hot and very lazy feeling weeks (bear in mind that even putting socks on feels like a bit of a workout at the moment), I’ve finally had a good active week!

With my usual to-ing and fro-ing to the train station and back for work, I have had a low baseline of activity of 3-9 hours a week of exercise recently- mostly a little walking and cycling.

This week has ended up being very varied- with a trip to the swimming pool on wednesday night (which was lovely and quiet) where I managed 30 lengths.

Friday was a work social afternoon of off-road cycling around the lovely Swinley forest near where I live. I could have chickened out of taking part, but really wanted to join in, and my local knowledge was needed. So I cycled to the station to pick up the group and take them up to the forest. We then split in two, with one group going over to the new mountain biking trails and then I took a second group out for a slower, more relaxing ride around the less technical (but hillier!) firetracks which crisscross the forest for miles. All in all, our group did 16 plus miles including to and from the train station, and I was only defeated by one hill, which was a short sharp rise that came out of nowhere, with a very loose sandy soil.

Then Saturday was the last hen party of the year. I was organising it, with ideas from the hen- and the morning was to be outdoor watersport activities. I had been in contact with the lovely friendly Engage Watersports in Taplow for a few weeks to organise a bespoke morning and they couldn’t have set the tone and activity level better! With a mixed group including one pregnant lady and one over-65, they did a great job of keeping us entertained, looking after us on the water and providing a great structure for the day. Obviously it was key that I didn’t get injured etc so I had the pleasure of sharing a nice Stable Canadian Canoe with one of the instructors, and I was able to do some photography for the first part of the session and then do some paddling too later. The rest of the group took out kyaks and stand-up paddleboards on the lake to have a play. A few large splashes and fully wet people by the end of that session- but we were lucky with gorgeous hot sunny weather.

The next part of the day involved kyaking in tandem kyaks down the Jubilee River to a lovely pub for lunch and back. There were a few sore arms by the end of that! I was able to take part in the paddling for this bit, although I had to walk around the first part of the river as there was no easy place to get me into the canoe! After we’d carried the canoes and kyaks across the weir and road, I could get in and help out with some of the paddling. We did the samee in reverse on the way back.

I am unsurprisingly tired today, but was so grateful to have been able to take part in activities this week. It reminded me how much I love being outside, especially in good weather. I love trying new things, I love being active and being given the opportunity to do things this week has been great! So “only” a 36 mile week this week- with 24 on the bike, 7 walking, 3 in a canoe and a half mile swim!

Photos to follow……

Rollercoastering

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I think I’m finally reaching the point that (to be honest) I thought I’d spend all my pregnancy at. Things are feeling like a real rollercoaster right now- not withstanding my emotions!

After the car accident last week, the insurance company have taken it away for fixing. The chap who hit me turns out not to be insured so that’s fun too. Hopefully insurance plus police will sort that out for us.

It’s been hot, and I’ve been suffering. My nausea has felt much worse on hot days and I’ve struggled a bit to stay with it- especially as it’s hard to sleep. We’ve borrowed an airconditioning unit from a neighbour which means we can at least start the night with a cool ish bedroom (from 28 plus degrees down to 21-22), but it’s noisy to run so we shut it off after that. With an increasingly warm room over the course of the night, hayfever, a neighbours baby crying, thunderstorms and all kinds of other things to wake us up, we’re not getting many good night’s sleep. And so comes the contradictions from parents:

“Get used to it! You won’t get a full night’s sleep for the next 5 years!”

Alternated with:

“Get as much sleep as you can now…..”

The weekend was marginally cooler, so we got about to sorting the rest of the jobs in our new kitchen- painting a second coat on the kitchen, two coats of paint on the dining room (after prepping the flakey walls), putting up new light fittings and a blind and getting everything in place. We worked really hard at it, and by Sunday night it was all looking great.

Monday when I got home from a long hot day at work, I found our fridge-freezer wasn’t working. We spent most the evening consulting google and found our only real hope was leaving it off for a while, then trying again. Which we did. Looks like we might have put it back too close to the wall, meaning that it overheated a little. In the process it blew the bulb in the fridge part, which is very confusing! Thankfully friends came to the rescue, with delivering our old fridge back to us and another friend lending freezer space in their huge chest freezer. Much appreciated. Seems (tentatively) to be working now…. At the time I was not very impressed though, and feeling very emotionally drained.

Baby is still super-active! It’s half brilliant and half wearing and uncomfortable.

Everyone seems to think I look huge for 32 weeks, which is slightly worrying… but never mind.

There are two ladies from my Mumsnet thread (now FB group) who are already in early labour- at 32 and 34 ish weeks…. so I’ve been thinking a lot about them and what they’re going through right now! Must be a bit scary to be pre-term, but I know that the babies have great chances of survival if they do come now, and that drs can do a lot to try to keep the babies in for a bit longer! Good luck to you girls!

Tried to take a nice picture of the two (three?) of us last week, but it was getting a bit dark, I think the camera was at a dodgy angle and of course, the cat photobombed us. Standard really. This was the best!

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I’ve been trying to find time to update the hospital bag list, the “things wot we need” list and start to tidy up the baby room (which has been full of diningroom until we finished the decorating on Sunday). I think we’ve got all we need, once our chest of drawers (with changing top) arrives next week.

Royal baby vs NHS baby

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I know, I know, I know…. sorry.

Firstly, this article about the chances of Kate Middleton having a natural birth made me feel very sad for her.

Secondly, many people have been saying how sorry they feel for her in this heat. Well- lets be honest, I doubt she’s going anywhere that isn’t air conditioned. And it’s not like she’s at work (like me). Or going to appointments in 28 degrees in cars with no air-con, or trains with no air-con.

I have a lot of sympathy for the poor girl who is under such scrutiny in her new life as a Royal. However, as she’s not working 40 hour weeks in non-air conditioned offices up to 37 weeks pregnant like most ladies I know, in the hottest summer for a few years…. I’m not sure we need to be caring too much about that!

(brought to you from a 30 degree office on the third floor with just a desk fan to keep me sane…..)

We had our NHS Antenatal class at the weekend which was really good. There were definitely some gaps- the course was relatively organic in as much as it was shaped by the objectives of the attendees. So we didn’t actually speak much about certain things including pain relief.

What I did enjoy was talking through the “perfect” labour, and then looking at the flipside- quite literally. We were given lots of laminated cards with different options on each side- i.e “casearian” and “no casearian”/ “hospital birth” and “home birth”. We had to choose our ideals from each option and lay the cards out.

We were then made to turn over the cards to look at the reality of what might happen, and talked through it to make it all sound and feel less scary. For me this was an interesting exercise as I feel like I am well prepared for things not going to my “plan”. I appreciate that getting the baby out safely is the primary concern, and although the route we take might not be my “ideal” route, it’s ok.

What I hadn’t considered was “birth partner not present”. Even seeing those words feels quite chilling even now. I hadn’t for one tiny moment considered that Mr Bumpy would not be present at the birth for any reason.

In reality it is pretty unlikely. Our hospital is not far from home or work, and there’s only two days I plan to be much further away from home without my husband, and he will be a 1hour train journey or 90 minute drive away. So unless baby comes in a serious hurry, there’s little chance he won’t be there.

Either way, I’m really glad that the possibility was brought to my attention now.

Frimley Park (where I hope to have my baby) is also a teaching hospital, so there’s lots of opportunity to have someone with you- often a student- on top of your midwife care. Having said that, it’s also a consultant-led ward (which I didn’t really know anything about) and so there’s more chance of intervention by a consultant rather than the more passive midwife care you’d get at a midwife led unit.

This means that one definitely stays at home until the “right time” to come into hospital.

I was also pretty astounded that the average rate for casearian sections is 25% of all births (and Frimley Park is pretty average). Looking around the 5 women at the class on Saturday that meant that statistically it could be any one of us (or more).

I really appreciated the breast feeding part of the session. I know some people find the NHS stance too anti-bottle feeding, but it fits in relatively well with my own personal feelings. I found the session to be very balanced- in as much as we were told that we would find out WHY breast feeding is so important, and then if we decided for any reason that we did not want to that was fine and we were to be vocal and firm about it.

I also learnt a lot, especially about a 1-14 days old baby’s tummy size and how amazing colostrum is and how little of it they actually need per feed. In addition we talked a lot about positioning and how to get baby to latch on well. It was quite reassuring and made me feel more confident about breastfeeding.

No pictures to entertain you with, but here’s a mental picture….. they demonstrated for us with a knitted breast and an elmo puppet! 🙂

Catching up again

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I’ll say it again, being pregnant in this weather is not a barrel of laughs!
I normally love the hot weather, but added to the pregnancy, I’m a big warm incubator. A sweaty one. It’s very hard to find outfits to wear. So I absolutely didn’t spend any money in the Monsoon sale to find things that I could bear to wear.

What else is going on?
I read that 31/32 weeks is peak movement time, and they’re not wrong. Baby is very active at the moment which is good fun and a bit tiring.

We have both started to….not quite panic… but worry a little about being prepared. I’m still trying to find a chest of drawers with a changing top for cheap second hand (have been looking since about April!), but ebay might come up with the goods this weekend.

We wrote out two long lists- one being “what we need”- so what things on the big list of baby stuff we don’t currently have. And the other list is “hospital bag”. Husband was amused that the only things on his list were “change of clothes” and “swimming trunks”, whereas my list, the baby list and the general list were very long!

Today I walked past mothercare and happened to pick up a few things in the sale. Everything I bought was on sale, and all on the list so I didn’t feel too naughty! Even if some of them were cute and giraffe themed!

Crash bang and a late night

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This has not been my week.

Wednesday there were train troubles so I was almost very late to a meeting (luckily I always leave lots of time, so even though my journey took me 3.5 hours when it should have taken 2 hours, I was only a little late).

Wednesday evening I had an appointment to go to, but the person I was meeting never showed up due to running out of petrol and not having their phone on/running out of battery.

Thursday evening my aqua-natal teacher didn’t turn up until our class would have finished as she got stuck in awful traffic (though I did have a nice natter and a little swim with the other ladies which was pleasant).

Then Thursday night on the way home from my rescheduled appointment from Wednesday, a nice young chap forgot to stop at the traffic lights and rear-ended my in the car. Brilliant.

The good news is that both I and baby are fine, but due to a number of factors we ended up spending most of the night in hospital on Thursday and going to bed a full 24 hours after I’d got up.

The accident happened at some temporary roadworks. I was about the 4th car back from the lights and as they started to go green, I put the car into gear and just before I started to move I heard the car hit me from behind. Weirdly I seemed to hear it before realising what was happening. I was sure straight away that I was probably ok, but pulled the car over to the side (but had forgotten how to drive, not sure it was in gear) and got out to inspect the damage. Damage, not so bad- rear bumper, lights and wheel arches damaged. Boot door also damaged but we haven’t tried to open it yet in case it won’t open.

The other car didn’t look quite so good- with the bonnet crumpled about half way up, the numberplate pushed inside and as it turns out, the passenger door wouldn’t even open.

To cut a long story shorter (ish), I called the police as I didn’t know what else to do, and took some of the other drivers details (and gave him mine). The police took about 15 minutes to arrive, all the while we were blocking the lane before the traffic lights which made things a bit awkward for other drivers, hence the need to call the police (especially as the other car was certainly not driveable).

The police lady seemed quite keen to get rid of me so she helped me turn around back towards the hospital and I drove to the next safe stopping place to call the husband as he was on his way with my sister (thank you both!).

Got to A&E around 11pm, and it was packed. Got through to triage nurse in about 40 minutes or so and explained what had happened and that a)I’d like to get both me and baby checked out and b)that as I’m a Rhesus negative blood type, I probably needed an antibody injection. She (like the receptionist and police lady) didn’t really seem to know what I meant. I’m not sure where exactly I read or learnt about it, but if you have a negative blood type and encounter a potentially “sensitising event” (which can include abdominal trauma), you may need a top up of the “Anti-D” injection that “…neutralises the D antigen in foetal blood so maternal blood does not detect it and produce antibodies to fight it…”.

Afer a bit of time in A&E, a trip to Major Injuries to wait, be thoroughly checked over and have some blood taken (canula left in *faints*), then a trip up to the ante-natal ward for baby to be monitored and the anti-D to be ordered….. then for the anti-D to accidentally not be ordered properly and an extra wait (still with gross canula in) for the drugs to arrive…….

We were finally discharged from the hospital about 5:15am, and home in bed by 5:45am.

So this isn’t all dull text, have another photo. Not of my canula or me lying flat on my back with a baby monitor on, but of the sunrise we got to watch together. Silver linings guys…..

Edited to add:
Mr Bumpy is wonderful. He remembered to bring my maternity notes (which I needed and forgot to ask him to bring) and a thermos of tea and some cereal bars. What a hero.

Not much fun at all, but luckily all was well with us both and I’m not even suffering any whiplash or other ill effects. We were very lucky. Now for the fun and games or getting the car fixed.

Milestones and concessions

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I made it to 30 weeks! For some reason this feels like a huge milestone to me.
I think I need to start thinking about hospital bags and birth plans sometime very soon….

With the heat my hands and feet have started to swell up so sadly the wedding and engagement ring have had to come off (but I have a great placeholder thanks to lovely husband). I’d imagine shoes would be quite impossible to put on, but as it’s really sunny and hot, I’m only wearing sandals and flipflops. Not that they flip or flop any more- they are a bit wedged onto my feet!

I also made a big concession today. I got the bus from the train station to work rather than walking. Oxford, where I work, is glorious. In the sun it’s even more beautiful and I really enjoy my 1.7 mile walk each way a couple of times a week to and from the station. However it is getting more and more difficult as I get slower, plus the heat and the swollen feet mean that I have had to give it up at least during the hotter weather. I’m tempted to walk back to the station despite having a bus ticket, but really I think I should get the bus! I hate giving up my freedom and exercise!

In other news, have a photo of me and the cat!

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In the heat of the night…

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Oh yes it’s been hot!

I spent the weekend “oop north” at a hen do, staying with an old friend which was great. We actually managed to avoid the heat on the whole as her lovely 1920s ish house which stayed wonderfully cool. The hotel we stayed in, however, wasn’t *quite* so cool. And my shower wouldn’t run anything except excruciatingly hot water. My fix? I spent much of the weekend with my feet in a bin filled with cold water! Bliss!

Hayfever+heat+pregnancy however do not make great conditions for sleeping. Luckily I’ve been too exhausted to care many evenings, but this morning our bedroom was very warm. I also had a fat ginger cat curled up next to me…..