Week 29- Research, research, research

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Baby is getting strong. I haven’t seen full on tummy movement but I have witnessed baby moving my clothes. He’s a lively one.

This weekend we visited a birth center and I absolutely loved it (it very well might be the one). They would support the drug-free labor I want. Have great security, rooms and support staff. And they don’t restrict how many people I choose to be in my birth team. At the moment it’s just my husband and maybe my mom. I can’t decide if I want to bite the bullet and add a doula. Not because I don’t want one but because they are so darn pricey here (average around $1500 for 3 visits and labor support).

The Bradley method and Hypnobaby classes run around $350 for 8 week sessions. After some moving expenses and renting a duplex one can see why I am leaning towards taking the class and calling it a day.

But I can’t shake the doula choice. I have yet to read a women regretting going with one. Having read so many wonderful testimonies from women who labored with doulas makes me want to look into the choice more. I figured there’s no harm in meeting with a few and seeing if I connect with one and going from there.

So many things to do. Now is also the time to start looking into bigger baby purchases, like strollers, car seats, cribs, etc. Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by all the choices out there? So much research is involved. Crikey.

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Week 23-Going stripey

Stripey Maternity Skirt 2 I made this skirt this morning. It’s a winner!

How far along| 23 weeks
Baby’s Size| Chexie is 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound.
Weight Gain| Down 1.5 pounds. This fluctuating weight might be due to so much walking I’ve been doing, maybe? I went on a long walk this past Saturday and I felt great but it took me all of Sunday to recover. I was BEAT.
Sleep| I’ve been sleeping well except for recently. The last three or so days I’ve had a pinched nerve in my left shoulder and neck. Sucks donkey balls.
Clothes| I am still wearing my regular clothes with some maternity bits thrown in. And my wedding ring is still on. Huzzah to no swelling!
Cravings| Chocolate, with a side of chocolate and a touch of chocolate sprinkles.
Food Aversions| None.
Symptoms| Growing pains. I know Chexie is going through a growth spurt every time my lower back starts hurting and those darn round ligament pains show up.
Movement| We have quite a kicker. He’s active in the mornings and late at night. I find it very comforting.
Belly Button| So in. I doubt it will ever pop. I have the inniest innie ever.
Baby’s Sex| Un nene lindo.
Highlight of the Week| Testing negative for preeclampsia. I had a scare in that it tested positive. But two follow-up tests came back negative. My blood pressure is fine and I have no signs of swelling. So fingers crossed nothing changes in regards to that.
What I miss| Sleeping on my stomach. I have a bad left shoulder so it only leaves me being able to sleep on my right. Not comfortable so I wake up to adjust twice or so a night.

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I’ve failed at my yoga challenge! I set myself up for failure when I decided to start it two days before going on vacation. What was I thinking? I definitely need to regroup and start again. But at least I haven’t been sat still at home. I am definitely going out and about here and there, which is great. I am finding it a bit uncomfortable to walk for long periods on some days but on others I am a real trooper and can go the distance. Who knows what’s that’s about.

I am set to see a GP next week instead of my midwife. I am not scheduled to see her until after I leave the country. Guess I won’t be attending that appointment (reminder to self: must cancel!). The doctor is supposed to measure the bump and see if baby is doing well. Fingers crossed all goes well. I’m now dreading peeing in a cup ever since that false positive. I’d hate for something to come up right before we’re scheduled to leave in December. I imagine a complication would make the trip harder and more stressful. I chatted with my mother last night and she assures me she didn’t have high blood pressure when pregnant with me or my siblings, so that’s a bit comforting. I’m hoping I take after her in that regard.

What more is to come? I’ll be learning to crochet with my friend Joanne this week. Maybe then I can keep busy making granny squares on our transatlantic flight. That would be awesome because I need distractions for this flight. I am so not looking forward to it. We’re breaking up the flight by visiting my family in NYC before heading on to San Francisco. By the end of it all we would have flown 14 or so hours. Crikey! I haven’t wanted a drink all 23 weeks until now. Ugh. Flying is the pits.

Question

I’m quite curious as to what I should expect in regards to prenatal care when I move back home. For instance, under NHS I am allotted two scans, one at 8-14 weeks and another at 18-20 weeks. That’s it. No more. I find it a bit low. So…How many scans are you allotted in the U.S.? I’m sure it depends on your insurance coverage. I just want to get an idea. Thanks in advance!

 

21 Week Update-Healthy thoughts, please

Dress the Bump: V&A Hollywood Costume Exhibit 20weeks and 5 days

How far along| 21 weeks exactly.
Baby’s Size| 10 1/2 inches, or the length of a (huge!) carrot.
Weight Gain| 0 pounds. I gained 3 pounds from last week to this one. I’m not sure if this is good or not. But I am going to start eating less sweets. I made these yesterday and had my husband take them to work with him.

Doughnuts filled

I love to bake. So I plan on still baking but giving away what I make or baking healthier treats. Sounds good to me, right?

Sleep| I probably sleep well every other day. I am considering doing an exercise challenge for myself to exert some energy on days I stay in.
Clothes| I’m still loving all my clothes and the way they fit. I am not having issues with fit…yet. I bought the skirt above so I can use it as a pattern and make a couple of more. It is so comfy.
Cravings| Food. Finally I am being a lot less picky when it comes to foods. Maybe that’s where I got those 3 pounds from? Hmmm…
Food Aversions| None really.
Symptoms| I forget to mention this one weekly but not today. I have been so damn gassy since week 9. I swear I can fill up a hot air balloon. Charming, I know.
Movement| I keep feeling these thumps below and along my belly button. Is it Chexie? Is it the said gas above? Who knows! But I do know Chexie’s schedule has changed and he is no longer moving about between 5-8AM. What’s up with that? He should be keeping me company while I’m awake.
Belly Button| So so so in.
Sex| Un nene lindo.
Highlight of the Week| Finishing Chexie’s quilt. It’s so much prettier in person. The colors are so vibrant.
What I miss| SUDAFED. I really, really need to find out if I can take them. I can’t breathe over here! What the hell is in the air lately? Luckily I have an appointment with the nurse tomorrow so I’ll be asking her about it.

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The three pound weight gain had me thinking a lot last night when I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t get the image of (Downton Abbey SPOILER ALERT) Lady Sybil dying from preeclampsia out of my head. I really hate that my thoughts can be so dark during sleepless nights. I’m a rational person, and I know medicine has come a long way since the 1920s but the fact remains women still die in child birth or have serious complications from labor.

All I can do is work at being the healthiest I can be come labor day. With that said I really was inspired by this blogger’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. On rainy days I have totally abandoned my yoga DVD in favor for the sewing machine. Big no-no. With the yoga session only taking 30 minutes why am I skipping them? Laziness, that’s why. And well, I’d rather be sewing. Well no more. Starting today I am going to attempt my own 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I’m wearing my maternity yoga pants on now. Woot!

Now that my appetite is coming back with a vengeance I want to keep better track of what’s going in my body. I found this useful chart that will help me keep track of not only foods but of daily nutritional needs. I came across an article that said plus size women require more folic acid than average sized women. Huh? No one told me this. Just another question to ask the nurse tomorrow.

So yoga and food tracking will be my tools to combat excessive weight gain, which in turn will help lower my chance of suffering from preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes (ack!). Sounds like a plan.

All right then. Yoga time!

Dressing the Bump

Being (f)unemployed can lead you to a life of much PJ-wearing and unkempt hair. If I don’t get dressed as soon as I get up, chances are I am not going far from the flat, that is, if I leave at all. And with the dreary cold weather here to stay, my walks have lessened and staying cozy indoors trumps any attempts at going out. So I do look forward to ‘Dressing the Bump’, that way I get dressed early, have my photo taken by my husband before he’s out the door, and I’m left ready to hit the streets.

Today I didn’t go far, just around the neighborhood. With the threat of rain looming, I wanted to get home ASAP. You’d think I am made out of sugar! But today I wore one of my favorite tops that I’ve made. It still fits so I figured I should take advantage. I do wonder if I can wear it into my third trimester just because the waistline sits higher than it’s meant to be. A mistake I made in my favor (thanks, Past Self).

Dressing the Bump

Last winter (or was it early spring?) I went through a small stretch where I made plans to meet people so I was forced to leave the house. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see these people, I just would have preferred under nicer circumstances. But that’s the problem, if you’re waiting for a bright shiny day, chances are, you won’t ever do anything! As the days get shorter I stay home and that’s not a healthy choice. I need to move, and enjoy my last few months in London. Gray day or not.

Do you find it hard to leave the comforts of your home on dreary days?

Dressing the Bump

Dressing the Bump posts will center around trying to stay fashionable and comfortable while being a curvy/chubby/fat/whatever mama-to-be. Pretty maternity clothes are not easy to come by, especially if you are over a size US18/UK20. Affordable and trendy clothes seem to peak around a size US 14/UK 16. That would have been fine had I gotten pregnant right when I got married. But a baby, and staying a size 14, just wasn’t in the cards for me at that time.

Rather than gamble by buying plus-size wear online before trying it on, I’ve decided that it’s worth to continue my growth as a sewist and sew through my pregnancy. I am also keeping my eyes open for low-costing clothes that can easily be refashioned later. Today for example, I wore a Gap skirt that I purchased for £12. I figured once I grew out of it I could convert it into a maternity skirt, attaching a knit band to accommodate the bump.

Dressing the Bump

So that’s what I wore today. Today happened to be my midwife appointment. I have had two scans but have yet to hear the baby’s heartbeat so I was way excited for this appointment. But my chubby belly failed me. The midwife had a hard time finding the baby’s heartbeat with the fetal monitor. I didn’t panic. I had read that medical professionals can sometimes have a hard time finding a baby’s heartbeat when a women is over a certain BMI. *Sigh* But I have to admit, a little part of me died inside when she instructed me to pull my belly back as she continued to search for the heartbeat. But no luck. She instructed me to get dressed and asked if it would be okay if she referred me to the hospital. Of course I thought it was fine. I went straight there from her office. Still I didn’t panic.

I emailed my husband to keep him up to speed. He replied,”Oh no!  That’s worrying.  Keep me updated, please!” And that’s when I started to panic. If my “Cool as a Cumber” husband was worried that meant I should be worried too, right? And then began the longest bus ride to the hospital ever. Twelve minutes felt more like ages. Upon arriving to the hospital I went into the toilets and had myself a nice good cry. I’m not sure if I was giving into dark suspicions, or just letting the worry take over me. But I felt a bit better. Although, in the lift I started to look at a women’s big pregnant belly longingly, wondering if mine would get to grow that size.

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. I was seen soon after arriving at the Maternity Day Unit. They were going to use a fetal monitor but after hearing how it had failed this morning the technician went with a scan. And that’s when I saw it, Chexie’s heart beating. I’m not going to lie. I cried. I was too happy and relieved to see that moving little baby not to.

I left the hospital with a less heavy heart, wondering how long would it be before the fetal monitor could pick up the baby’s heartbeat? I don’t think I can go through another scare like that! My friend has offered to lend me her fetal monitor and I am taking her up on it. I think it’ll be exciting to finally hear it, whenever that may be.

Worry worm

 

Soon after the joy of finding out we were pregnant passed, worry set in. And it hasn’t left. I believe it’s here to stay. At least until the wee one grows up and has a family of its own. You see, I started worrying at the little things. When I sneezed I imagined the baby popping out. Not kidding. When I walked down the circular stairs that lead from my flat, I was terrified that at any moment I would trip. Cramps were confusing, was it a growing pain or was it worse?

Luckily when the second trimester arrived a lot of the weight on my shoulders lifted. But it soon returned when I realized that between this week and that I should be feeling my baby move. Your thoughts always seem the scariest, craziest and absurd when you can’t sleep. I’ve been suffering from insomnia off and on since getting pregnant. I wake up anywhere between 3AM and 5AM and stay awake until 6:30AM. But there has been a bit of a distraction. When I’m lying still I can feel some movement and instantly I become serene and feel as light as a feather. But then a day goes by and I’m back to worrying, wondering if there’s something wrong with the baby. Why isn’t it moving more? And then it happens again. I feel some movement and everything becomes good again.

I don’t think I will ever stop worrying about this babe. Not ever. But we will always have those moments when all is well and life will just seem lovely and dream-like.

 

My baby blog intentions

Health
Being a plus size mama-to-be is a nerve-wrecking experience. There are no positives reflected in the medical community when it comes to plus-size pregnancies. You are constantly told to beware of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, a forceps-assisted labor, and etc. So of course soon after finding out I was pregnant that feeling of elation was replaced with nervousness and anxiety. I had no intentions to be overweight (the doctor’s term for me would be obese) when pregnant. I was training for a half marathon when we fell pregnant. Unfortunately I hadn’t reached a fitness level that allowed me to continue. I was still out of shape and the struggle to continue was far too much for me. So I’ve settle for walks and yoga.

As far as food, I must admit that I am not eating all my necessary nutritional requirements. With little appetite during the first, and current, trimesters I gravitate towards foods that sound remotely nice: grapes, apples, Nutella, potatoes and beef. I am planning to post a chart on my fridge and tick off every time I fulfill a nutritional requirement. Seeing what I need to eat will be a lot easier than guessing.

I am hoping that keeping a blog will keep me honest about my healthy routines. There are many women who have wonderful, safe and smooth plus-size pregnancies. I am refusing to be scared and instead be aware of what I need to do to have a great pregnancy.

Fashion
I love dressing up and being pregnant isn’t going to change that. I’m actually really looking forward to making my maternity clothes. You see, I love to sew. I’m planning on embracing the layered look for fall. I have already made a sweet dress that will look great with cardigans, tights, sweaters, so on.

Final version of Simplicity 8670 (maternity pattern) in Liberty cotton and Japanese lace

I am really looking forward to sharing my plus-size maternity outfits. I am currently unemployed and need a reason to get dressed and going in the day! Why not make a photo shoot out of it?

Body Acceptance
I will never have that gorgeous sleek body with small cute bump. I will not fit into skinny jeans 2 weeks postpartum. It’s just not going to happen. Instead of mourning those facts I am going to celebrate the body that has allowed me to complete a number of road races, gets me from point A to B, and is giving us the baby we are so thankful for.