34 weeks of carrying this little one around in my belly. He’s getting bigger and stronger and I’m getting bigger and weaker. I’m easily exhausted and taking naps throughout the day, yet I’m having a hard time sleeping through the night. I’m a belly sleeper and obviously I can’t do that anymore. My other preferred sleeping position is on my back and that’s a no-no now as well. So I’m stuck trying to sleep on my side, which is not very comfortable and I keep waking up with numb arms. Frequent midnight visits to the toilet are necessary as well and it’s not very easy climbing out of bed anymore.
Another pregnancy symptom that has been plaguing me (or rather Yasu) is that I have started to snore. I have always been a silent sleeper, so Yasu has never had to deal with this before and it’s making it hard for him to sleep through the night as well. I really hope that goes back to normal after the baby is born. Breathing is getting harder too because apparently baby is in the way of my lungs fully expanding, but that should get better in 4 weeks when baby is supposed to drop down in preparation for delivery.
All these discomforts yet there’s no way I’m fed up with being pregnant yet! I love him moving around in my belly and even when he gets in the way of me bending a certain way, it’s comforting to know he is there. He seems to have a new trick though: hiding from his daddy. Yasu hardly gets to feel him move these days. Every time Yasu starts talking to him and starts feeling for him, baby sits still and (I imagine) listens intently to what Yasu is telling him. Even if he was moving and bonking about just before Yasu gets there, and of course after Yasu gives up, baby starts moving about again.
I’m eager to meet our little boy, but I’m also glad we have a little more time to prepare. I have spent my first week on maternity leave researching baby products online and went on quite the online shopping spree. The color scheme for the nursery will be mainly turquoise and aqua. Which works great for a boy, but also a girl, at least this girl since that’s what I have going on in my studio as well. Baby products are being delivered to our place bit by bit. We are still waiting for some delayed nursery furniture from Mokee, but we did receive everything we ordered from IKEA yesterday, now we still have to put it together and get rid of this mess:
I went to the hospital this week to talk to an anesthesiast about pain management during labor. I’m from the Netherlands and what I know about giving birth is that it’s usually done at home with a midwife and no painkillers whatsoever. Here on the other hand they have an astonishing menu of painkillers. They have Entonox gas that you can inhale as much as you want, it can make you light-headed, giddy and apparently hallucinate some interesting and funny things. There are Pethidine injections that can make you woozy, sick and forgetful, and possibly interfere with the baby’s breathing and first feed, but no worries they have another drug to reverse that effect. If that’s not enough, you can also self-administer Remifentanil with a button connected to a drip in your hand, which can also make you nauseous and drowsy. And last but not least, there is the Epidural that is injected into your spine (aaaaah no!) and numbs your nerves completely and takes all labor pains away. I had heard of that one before since it is so popular in the States and apparently here as well. To my great surprise, every mother I’ve asked here in the UK has used one, some or all of these drugs during labor.
Just in case, the anesthesiast scanned my spine scanned with an ultrasound machine. Apparently, my spine looks good and he does not expect any problem administering an epidural or spinal anesthesia in case of a C-section. Great, but no thanks. I do not like needles, especially not in my back. C-sections seem scarily common here, but to me that really is a very last resort. Also, I am not interested in painkillers, if all the women in my family can do it without drugs then why can’t I? My body is designed to grow a baby and to give birth, and I would like to experience that powerful experience, fully aware and not drugged up.
During my hypnobirthing classes, I was taught all about the female body, its design and the process of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I was already confident in tremendously. All this drug talk is having the opposite effect and is not helping me to prepare for labor and delivery. I suppose for English women it is a relief to know that there are so many drugs that can help them handle contraction pains, but to me it sounds like no one has confidence in a woman’s ability to handle it without chemical intervention. On Monday, we’ll have our second regular antenatal group class, and we’ll be talking about C-sections and pain management again. I understand it is good to know these things just in case, but I’ll be happy when we’re done with this fear-inducing topic. It’s making me feel anxiety about giving birth for the very first time. I’ll be happy when this chapter of pain management in my prenatal care is over, so I can go back to focusing on normal and natural birth preparation.