35 Week Update

Welcome, Baby, to Week 35.
Notice anything different?
Before I fill everyone in on the events of this week (growth scan, that consultant appointment, writing up my birth plan with our doula) I just want to mention maternity clothing quickly. I can't imagine that I'm alone in this plight - but I appear to have out-maternity'd a large amount of my maternity wardrobe. Now, I appreciate that I'm quite rotund these days, but my bump does measure exactly where it should for 35 weeks pregnant, and a majority of pregnant women do make it to 35 weeks - so why are so many of my maternity clothes unable to accommodate my heavily pregnant girth? Case in point: my favourite maternity dress. It's a light denim smock, which came in a maternity bundle that I bought on a local Facebook selling page. I have absolutely worn the thing to death because it's so comfy, and the fit is perfect on my shoulders and in the sleeves (something I struggle with) - it has also, up until recently, been the perfect length, and looked great with opaque tights and boots on a colder day, and with Birkenstocks and bare legs when things heated up. Now, however, it has been retired (hopefully to make a reappearance as a postnatal outfit!) because it can no longer stretch over my bump! I have the same problem with all of my over-the-bump maternity jeans (I have around 10 pairs, as so many people have gifted them to me!) Unfortunately I only have a couple of pairs of under-the-bump jeans, which still fit. As I write this today, I'm actually in a 100% non maternity outfit, as Summer styling has been quite forgiving on us pregnant types, in particular, my local TK Maxx have loads of stretchy trousers in by QED LONDON, which fit perfectly with a big pregnancy bump (I recommend you invest). I'm really hesitant to buy any new maternity pieces to see me through these last few weeks though, in case the fit is poor, which is annoying. If anyone has a particular retailer that they've found fit really nicely around the largest of bumps, or just some pregnancy styling tips, I'm all ears, please leave a comment below!
So, this week. I'd actually been dreading this week since Week 28, because we finally got around to seeing the consultant at the hospital regarding our "large baby". If you haven't read previous updates, let me fill you in; at our 20 week scan, Baby's abdominal circumference was measuring on the 95th centile, so we were booked in for an extra growth scan at 28 weeks. At the 28 week scan the sonographer took the abdominal circumference measurement three times, and recorded the largest of the three measurements that she took - which pushed Baby's recorded abdominal circumference off of the scale. At this point I was referred to the diabetic clinic to test for gestational diabetes (came back clear) and referred to an obstetrician to discuss birthing options for large babies (typically home births like the one I am planning are discouraged).
On Thursday, Boyfriend and I made our way to the hospital for our second growth scan, now 34 weeks pregnant, I'd been reassured by my midwife last week that everything is exactly how it should be, and she could see no evidence of an abnormally large baby (ultrasound scans can be notoriously inaccurate). The scan itself went really well, Baby is thriving, and the measurements showed that he/she now measures well up towards the top of the scale, but within the realms of "normal".
We then met with the consultant - and what a ray of sunshine he was! I jest; he was a miserable great oaf of a man. I've no idea of his name as he just muttered this at us absent mindedly as he fumbled through my pregnancy notes. Bizarrely, he had no awareness of why we there, and I had to explain about the suspected large baby. He asked whether I had any family history of diabetes (this information is on one of the first pages in my notes) and when I informed him that I had, in fact, been tested myself for gestational diabetes, his response was "oh, have you?". He then proceeded to listen to Baby's heartbeat, despite the fact that I'd come immediately from an ultrasound that had confirmed perfect heart function, and used a tape measure to measure my bump, despite this having been recorded as ideal by my midwife just days previously. He then declared that as my pregnancy was otherwise normal, there were no concerns (thank goodness), but arbitrarily booked me in for another appointment at 40 weeks and 3 days. As well as for another growth scan at 38 weeks.
I have decided to decline the additional consultant's appointment, and shall now only attend routine appointments with my midwife. I can't see why on Earth I should take a consultant appointment from someone who may actually need it, when my pregnancy has been confirmed as unequivocally low risk. I don't want to be in a hospital environment at all, let alone unnecessarily, and quite frankly, I'm aware that as soon as I get past that 40 week mark, a consultant is going to start talking about induction of labour, especially with a large-ish baby, which is something I won't entertain. So it seems better to me that I say "thank you, but no, thank you" to the offer of on going consultant lead care.
Boyfriend and I have however agreed to attend a further growth scan, for last minute reassurance that Baby's growth continues to be constant, and that my placenta function is still strong. That should be our last visit to the hospital though until Baby's paediatric check up, post-birth, if all goes well with our homebirth intentions.
Another great result from that growth scan - Baby is no longer breech (see picture above)! I spent the whole week trying out lots of yoga poses using my birth ball, as well as inventing a few of my own that felt comfortable. Boyfriend and I had a lovely Sunday together last week and went to a local fruit farm to pick strawberries. I spent the entire time on my hands and knees, crawling up and down the rows of strawberries, picking and eating (one for me, one for the punnet, one for me...) and we were delighted when the sonographer confirmed that Baby is now head-down again where he/she should be. I so recommend ditching the sofa entirely to anyone trying to spin a breech or transverse baby (actually, I recommend ditching the sofa to any pregnant woman, regardless of Baby's position), and spending as much time being active, and on all fours, as possible, plenty of yoga work on the birthing ball is a definite winner!
On Thursday evening, after our visit to the hospital, our doula, and back-up doula, Marika and Bryoni of Divine Doulas in Canterbury, came for their second antenatal visit. This time we focussed on preparing my birth plan, first by discussing my birthing experience with Seb (text book hospital delivery) and then going through my preferences for this birth. I'd already spent the week preparing something in a lovely new notebook I bought whilst in TK Maxx (this isn't a sponsored post by the way!) and I'd made lots of lovely colour coded spider diagrams to be enjoyed by everyone!
I'm going to do a separate post on my birth plan, why I think it's vital to write one and how I went about doing so, for anyone who's interested, that will be published later this week.
Marika and Bryoni had bought a giant flip chart and marker pens for us to play with though, as well as an enormous bag of old magazines to cut up, to create an ideal birthing room mood board! I love those ladies! If only more people had the support of a doula, there's Pritstick and everything!
They even bought Seb a new pack of colouring pens and a sticker book, he adores them already which is so important, as supporting him through the arrival of his new sibling was one of the main reasons we looked in to working with a doula in the first place. 
I've since used the flipchart and pens to create my Ideal Homebirth Timeline too, which shows the order of things to happen - colour coded dependent on whose job it is to tick the action off. It sounds anally organised but, for my nitpicky, gotta-love-a-plan kind of brain, it was very therapeutic!
On a final note, I'd like to say a huge congratulations to a few new parents this week, two of my friends have welcomed new lives in to the world this week, one is to remain anonymous at this time but she is a blooming inspiration, and the other, Toni-Lee who I met online during the course of this pregnancy, welcomed a little baby girl, Amelia-Grace Esme, Earthside earlier in the week; after a quick, drug free hospital labour. The other big news of course is that Ruth (of A Model Recommends), who has blogged her own pregnancy over on The Uphill (if you love a pregnancy blog, get over there), also had a baby girl this week, weighing in at a gorgeous 9lbs 11ozs! And last of all, Leona from Oh!Leona became an Auntie again this week, after her brother became a Daddy to baby Riley. Thumbs up all around to the new babies!
I have a lot of pregnant friends all due in the next few months so please expect the congratulatory messages to come thick and fast from now on!

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about maternity clothes - it's driving me crazy too. I am 37 weeks, measuring on track but barely any of my size 10 maternity clothes will cover my bump. I am wearing my neighbour's size 16 maternity clothes just to fit! It's all very well sizing them for 7 months pregnant, which is what I have heard but most women will need them for a bit longer than that.