What’s been happening in my belly over the last 29 weeks is a constant source of happiness to me. It has me floating on air the whole day and I sometimes even wonder if there is such a thing as being too happy. There isn’t, right? Surely, one can never be too happy… Although, sometimes I really feel like all the joy is about to burst out of me!
We had our first antenatal class last Sunday, a hypnobirthing one no less! Yasu has been interested in hypnosis for years, he’s studied it in Japan and America, practices hypnotherapy, and it’s currently his PhD research topic. And I like being hypnotized, either at home for relaxation or on a stage for entertainment. So when we heard about hypnobirthing, we were immediately interested. Hypnosis will give me confidence, support, power, peace and relaxation during pregnancy, labor, and motherhood.
Midwife Carole came to our house to teach us about labor, birth, and how my body is perfectly designed to grow and birth our little one. I have always felt good about pregnancy and giving birth, I mean this is the purpose of my body, this is what I am supposed to be doing with it. My body and my baby’s body know what to do, how to grow, how to birth, all I have to do is give in to it and let it happen. After our first full day of hypnobirthing antenatal lessons, I am even more confident in my ability to birth our little one and I am actually excited about labor now. I have been wanting to be a mommy for many years, and soon it will be my turn to bring a child into the world. It will be a powerful and valuable experience, and when it’s all over we get to hold our son! Of course, I am excited.
Our next class was going to be tomorrow, but Buxton is hard to penetrate safely right now due to mountains of snow, so we rescheduled for next weekend. Which is great since it gives me plenty of time to finish reading the book and do my hypnosis homework, especially since I have just started two weeks of vacation from work!
We also had quite a few antenatal care appointments in the past 5 weeks. We went on a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital in Stockport, which made me feel good to see that there is such an established system in place. All I have to do is show up and they’ll take care of me and the baby, when things go right or wrong during labor and birth.
I am currently under the care of a team of midwives here in Buxton. I had two general check-ups with Midwives Jenna and Sue, during which they test my urine, blood, blood pressure and most enjoyable baby’s heartbeat (during which little baby bear likes to kick back at the fetal doppler wand). So far everything has always been fine and his heartbeat is strong. Midwife Sue also vaccinated me against whooping cough, which is great since I love needles… not. It hurt quite a bit and made my arm sore, but it sure is worth it since it will help protect the baby in his first weeks outside the womb. I’ll be making antibodies that he gets to share until he’ll receive his own vaccinations, poor little baby.
Midwife Dorcas subjected me to a three-hour glucose tolerance test, which was fun (except for the excessive blood taking which I never enjoy). To make sure I am not developing gestational diabetes, she needed to find out how effectively my body processes sugar. First you fast, they take your blood to get a baseline, then have you drink a measured amount of glucose (a super sweet drink), after an hour you have your blood taken again (expecting high blood sugar levels) and another later they take your blood again (hoping that your blood sugar levels are back to normal). My results were all fine, and the fun part was the huge sugar rush the glucose gave little baby. He was bouncing and bonking around in my uterus like nobody’s business. Wow! These days he is so much easier to feel from the outside (sometimes he makes my arm bounce when it’s resting on my belly), which is especially exciting for Yasu. He is wild, and we love it!
As you can see from the pictures, we also had our 28 Week Growth Scan this week. It was a bit chaotic with the snow blizzard and people calling from the hospital trying to arrange earlier appointment times. Luckily, Yasu and I were working in Buxton (snow prevented people from commuting to their out-of-town workplaces) and taxi services were still running. Also, my Buxton boss-for-the-day was very friendly and let me off earlier so we ended up seeing our little one on the screen an hour earlier than expected.
These scans will never get boring! It’s just magical to see your little one on a screen, moving around, playing with his umbilical cord and hearing he is doing just fine inside your belly. Especially after a flat-on-belly fall, from a sitting-on-the-floor position, due to sudden and excruciating leg cramps on both the front and back of my leg, earlier this week. Yet he’s still snug and safe, and happily dancing away in there. He has lots of ribs, a cute button nose and we clearly saw one of his testicles, so he is definitely still a boy! The sonographer measured his growth, he is within the average range but near the top of the line, which made his daddy proud!
So far, everything with the pregnancy has been going fabulously. This week I learned one of baby’s milk factories already works (tmi?), so I am happy to know my body is producing baby’s future nourishment. Baby himself has been growing strong and big, and we can’t wait to meet our little bear in 11 weeks!