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PREGNANCY & ME // THE DUE WINDOW

As I sit  bounce on my birth ball and write this post, I am currently 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

The “Any news?” and the “How are you feeling today…. ?” and the “Any twinges?” and the “Any sign of movement?” and the “Do you think it’ll be today?” and even the “ARE YOU IN LABOUR?!” messages are coming in thick and fast. In fact, they’ve been coming in thick and fast since around 35 weeks. Granted, the influx of messages this past week isn’t helped by my stint on BBC Radio 1 with Scott Mills & Chris Stark; that was my bad. But also, imagine this, 5 weeks of daily messages that aren’t really helping with my precious Oxytocin* levels.

*Oxytocin is the ‘love hormone’. The hormone we release when we feel good. This exact same hormone is responsible for every single surge we experience during labour. The hormone that drives your labour is Oxytocin – so we want to ensure our body is filled with Oxytocin!

I know the messages are well meaning and I know they’re from a good place, mostly of excitement for us all, which is lovely! Even when its from the random ‘friend’ with whom you’re “friends” with on Facebook, but haven’t spoken to since you left school or the SECURITY GUARD in sodding Waitrose! I’ve been polite and responded with my favourite affirmation, “My baby will come when my baby is ready”. – Which I know has caused some annoyance, but it is a true statement and it’s my go-to affirmation! Let’s be honest though, we really aren’t going to forget to message or indeed announce the arrival of our little babe. Honestly, we won’t…. Unless the messages and calls and comments keep coming, in which case, maybe we won’t tell you anything  😉 (To say that, The First Fourty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing a New Mother is looking very favourable right now, would not be an understatement 😉 haha)

So, with this all in mind, my phone is either on silent or on Do Not Disturb…or perhaps I’m resting/nesting/napping/busy hanging with Eli. And if I do happen to open a message regarding the imminent arrival of our little one, even if its sent under the clever guise of “How are you doing today? Not as hot, which must be great for you!“, then I’m truthfully sorry, but I just cannot reply to these messages or comments any longer. James will update you instead. I’ve already taken myself away from social media (if you hadn’t noticed). The pressure of going into the later stages of my ‘due window’ and receiving daily communications like the above is driving me to distraction. I was tempted to switch my phone off completely… but I would assume that reaching the answer phone would only stir up additional excitement. So Do Not Disturb and having James monitor my messages it is. This might sound drastic or even dramatic, but in the most polite of terms, I have to put myself first now. I struggle with anxiety, and I’m dealing with all-sorts in me head as it is, so from my own personal perspective, this is just something that I need to do.

Being ‘overdue’ is exactly why we should be given a DUE WINDOW – or a ‘due month’. Every NHS provider here in the UK will allow a woman to reach 42 weeks before any medical assistance. And even then, we can decline intervention of any kind, unless there is a medical necessity of course. Therefore your ‘due window’ ranges from 37 weeks to 42 weeks. As my sister pointed out the other day, women have been giving birth for millions of years without assistance – they’ve also been giving birth without a specific time slot for the baby’s arrival too.

The obsession on due dates is mind-blowing. The pressure on women to give birth by an exact date is ridiculous. Dates can be wrong, really wrong. My cycle following my miscarriage went from being a standard 28 days to anything up to 35 days. I don’t know the exact moment I ovulated and I don’t know the exact moment I conceived this little babe. My body is not a robot, and neither is my baby. So how on earth is the baby meant to know when to arrive?! She doesn’t get an alarm clock in there that goes off at 40 weeks.  In actual fact, here in the UK, only 3-5% of babies are born on their ‘due date’. Thats potentially 97% of women going into the later stages of their own due window. This is quite commonplace. And even though I’ve been doing alllllllll of the old wives tales (Curry, Pineapple – of which has now severely blistered my tongue, x3 cups of Raspberry Leaf Tea a day, 6 dates a day etc), NOTHING will kickstart labour unless the mother is relaxed, calm and at ease. Any slight stress or apprehension, (darling family and friends, I am really sorry, but the messages are included here) WILL stop labour from starting. This most certainly happened with Eli so I have been doing EVERYTHING I can to avoid the trauma of Eli’s labour and birth happening a second time around – with Hypnobirthing playing the integral part here <<<< That will be my next post.

So, until I’m stress-free and relaxed, my baby will not release the hormone, Fibronectin. Yes, this is getting very Science, but as I said, this is not down to me, this is all precise science. Fibronectin is the protein produced by the baby which is released into the amniotic sac. This protein is then picked up by the cervix and given the go ahead to start labour. My baby quite literally knows when and how to be born.

Here is a list of things keeping me busy in the meantime:

  • “My baby will come when my baby is ready” – by literal means, as mentioned above. I trust that my baby and my body will work together when the time is right. My baby is cosy and healthy and safe in there right now. She’s still kicking the crap out of my ribs and undercarriage. So thats the main thing!
  • Napping.
  • Cleaning and tidying, again.
  • Probably re-packing my hospital bags for the 100th time.
  • Waking every hour during the night to empty what appears to be a full bladder that comes from god only knows where.
  • Ordering a take away because its too hot and I’m too tired to cook.
  • Enjoying the final days/weeks of my pregnancy – I feel so lucky to have had these last 9 months with my bump (despite the sickness, the additional appointments, the SPD and despite the hot, hot heat!). If this is the last time I’m pregnant, I really want to treasure it in the final stages.
  • Practicing my Hypnobirthing affirmations and Up/Down breathing.
  • Over-using my birth ball.
Bathing in Clary Sage, eating all the chocolate and drinking all the faux-prosecco!

 

  • Likely to be nagging delegating jobs to James.
  • Most importantly of all, I’m cherishing being able to hang out with our nearly 7 year old boy who’s life is also about to be turned upside down when his little sister finally decides to arrive. The Summer holidays have fallen at just the right time for us – so I’m treating these final days, just us two, as a real luxury.

I know and understand its difficult to be patient when you’re excited for us – we’re desperately trying to be patient too! And also please know, that this post isn’t meant to cause offence, its more just a way to update you all with were we’re at. I apologise profusely if this does offend; this is sincerely not my intention and I really hope you can all understand. We honestly appreciate all of the kind words and messages; I will look back over everything when the babe is here 🙂 James will also be in touch when anything of significance happens. And we promise we won’t forget to let you know when she does to decide to arrive Earthside.

Which you never know, could always be sooner than we think 🙂

C
✖️✖️✖️

 

 

 

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Is my body playing tricks on me? [Update #2]

Apologies for the lack of posts really. Life took over. The pregnancy symptoms dwindled…. until this week.

My new cycle was due to start on Wednesday 16th. Nothing happened. No cramping. Not a single spot of dark brown, NOTHING. Fast forward and today is Saturday 19th November. I’m 4 days late. I’m NEVER late. We did a pregnancy test on Sunday 13th and got yet another BFN. I haven’t felt particularly pregnant since then… Aside from not sleeping very well, waking up drenched in sweat, being absolutely BOILING throughout the day, I wouldn’t really say I’ve had any specific pregnancy symptoms! I’ve been REALLY hungry and felt lightheaded at times; my heart was racing yesterday. I also noted that on Wednesday 16th my boobs felt HUGE (still do) and I had really sharp, stabbing pains going from my right armpit through my breast. But that’s literally about it! So with this all in mind, we’re going to do a pregnancy test tomorrow – I’ll be 5 days late at that point.

Desperately trying not to get excited, but it’s SO DIFFICULT! I literally cannot contain my massive, beaming smile!  So will obviously report back tomorrow post test. FINGERS CROSSED! Let’s hope it’s not my body playing tricks on me, yet again!

MM.

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Is my body playing tricks on me? [Update #1]

Since my previous ‘Is my body playing tricks on me?’ post, I have more bodily confusion! I had the strange period… this lasted 6 days. I had dark, dark brown discharge. It was a very, very light flow. This was also accompanied by what I would say was ‘prune juice’, and spits and spots of pinkish blood. I had absolutely zero pain – I can’t emphasise this enough, as I’m usually in AGONY!

On Monday I awoke with a sour taste in my mouth – so I brushed my teeth straight away. I could still taste this awful bitter taste… I used mouth wash and chewed gum on the commute to work. Could not get rid of it. Then it dawned on me… this *must* but that ‘metallic taste’ that women complain of! Hurrah, I *must* be pregnant. MUST be. I ate chewing gum all day. Still had this taste. It just did not go. I woke up yesterday morning and JUST LIKE THAT, the taste had gone. It was as though I imagined it. The discharge was also gone, nothing overnight.

I did another pregnancy test this morning. Yet again, another BFN. I just don’t understand. How can I feel THIS pregnant and not actually be pregnant? My boobs are at least a cup size bigger, I also have a really dark blue vein cutting across my entire left breast, finishing at the nipple. My tummy is rounded and hard. Could it be possible that the hormones just aren’t strong enough for a cheapie HPT? Or IS MY BODY PLAYING TRICKS ON ME?!

Anyone else experienced this? It’s driving me crazy!!

MM.

 

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Is my body playing tricks on me?

So time for a quick update on how the TTC is going…

Since I was about 16, I’ve had extremely regular periods – 28 day cycle with A LOT of pain. To the point where on occasion, I have thrown up due to the tremendous amount of pain I’ve experienced. I normally battle my period pains with Feminax Ultra. My periods are generally on the heavier side, lasting 5 days. LIKE CLOCKWORK.

At the beginning of this cycle, at the start of this month, I experienced nausea, exhaustion, dizziness, (massive) clumsiness, headaches, joint aches… and oddly, stomach cramps; like period style cramps. On the 11th of the month, I had really bad wrist pain – it came out of nowhere, followed by (and I apologise for TMI) one big thick streak of mucus lined with dark brown blood. This has never ever happened before. So we did a pregnancy test on the morning of the 12th – it was a BFN. All the wild ‘pregnancy’ style symptoms subsided about a week or so ago… Period was due on 20th of the month.

On the morning of period due date I had some brown discharge when I wiped… kind of like the end of a period. Then NOTHING again until the next morning. I’m now on day 4 of my period; STILL I have the brown discharge. It’s infrequent and only really when I wipe. This is the even stranger thing though, I have absolutely ZERO pain. Nothing. No discomfort. The discharge is extremely light in flow, but very dark brown in colour.

After doing a little bit of forum research I’ve since found out that dark brown blood usually means ‘old blood’ and would circumstantially insinuate ‘implantation bleeding‘.

So I’m just going to have to see what happens! I just can’t believe I have no cramping or anything. I feel so weird – just hoping that my body isn’t playing tricks on me!!

Update to follow> Fingers crossed!

MM.