Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

With only 6 weeks to go I made a list of 10 things that I will really miss about being pregnant. For me it is a truly magical experience. Yes, there were / are some unpleasantness, which I will probably make a list of as well in order not to fool myself that all was wonderful, but the overall experience for me is great.

1. Smiles from total strangers

2. Indulging in "cravings" and luxuries

3. Being the center of attention and having everybody concerned about my well-being

4. Feeling the baby's movements, hiccups and kicks

5. Having an excuse to stay in bed (especially on the cold and rainy days)

6. No sucking in the tummy

7. Finding the perfect name

8. No PMS

9. Watching my body transform as the baby grows

10. The love of my life being totally awesome, caring and spoiling me rotten

The Bump - Week 34

Monday, July 21, 2014

Only 7 Weeks Left!

Yip, we reached 33 weeks - only 7 more weeks to go! We visited the doctor this morning for what will be our last sonar should all go well. Our little girl is beautiful and healthy, weighing a good 2.5kg and progressing above average.

She has been extremely busy the whole weekend and last night she made what felt like a somersault (which were quite painful). I told hubby that I though she turned around as with the last scan she was lying head up and according to some friends they felt when their babies turned around. So, whether it was last night, she is now laying head down and ready to descend into the world when the time comes. Everything looks to be in place for a normal birth so now just to get through the last couple of weeks.

Friends of ours had their little son on Thursday and they cannot stop talking about the little man. We will meet him once they are settled and up to receiving visitors. So we are now really looking forward to also have our little girl in our arms.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Showered with Love

We are not very keen on doing things the "traditional" way only to please people and not have them look at us funny. So when deciding to have a baby shower, I/we decided that we will definitely not go with tradition where a couple of ladies come together, drink tea and make me dump my head in flour, dress funny or eat disgusting things. 

The most important thing was for hubby and the other men to attend as well. The modern man nowadays have just as much input and takes care of the children almost as much as the woman. Hubby has also been right beside me every step of this pregnancy and he loves to be included in everything, as is his right.

So last Saturday we hosted an "Ooievaarsbraai" (Barbecue). We used the local hotel as a venue as it has enough space to accommodate a fair amount of people and in case of the weather turning nasty it has indoor braai facilities. The weather was typical Western Cape for this time of year - 6 seasons in one day, but we managed to braai outdoors and it tuned out to be a truly lovely day. We had about 40 people attending and received some awesome gifts for our little spoiled madam. 

Then on Thursday the Old Age Home gave us a "surprise" baby shower. It is very difficult for a secret to be kept that way in a small town so we were aware of it. We expected a small gathering with a couple of gifts, so were actually surprised to have a lot of the ladies (and gentleman) attending. We received a bunch of pressies and some very welcome cash. The food was delicious with some awesome finger foods to choose from and a cup of tea / coffee.

All this made us realise how very lucky we are to have "stumbled" across this little town and be able to settle, make a living and raise our child here. We are loved and our little one will be too and that is a huge blessing. As the saying goes "It takes a village to raise a kid". We are grateful to have this village behind us. 

Antenatal Class 3

On the 5th we had our 3rd class which was all about bathing and caring for your newborn. Hubby got some very tragic news just before he had to come and pick me up that 2 of his residents at the Home, together with their sister were in an accident. None of them survived. As he was too busy with the arrangements and breaking the news and giving counseling to the other residents I went on my own. I was also in a bit if a shock as one of the aunties was my absolute favourite, so I'm sure that I've missed some of the things that were discussed in class.

We had a mom there with her 2 week old boy. He was born at 36 weeks, so were still tiny. But the sweetest little thing and he did not make a peep while they bathed him. I realise that it might not always go as smoothly as that, especially in the beginning while getting the hang of caring for such a small little human being.

We also touched on problems like colic and over-stimulation and made a list of all the necessities for baby's medicine cabinet.

All and all it was very informative and helped a great deal to see an actual baby being cared for instead of just reading about it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Antenatal Class 2

This past Saturday we had our second class. It was a terribly cold and rainy day as far as the weather was concerned. The snow on the mountains made for lovely scenery but the wind was chilly. Luckily the class was nice and cozy and we had some premium coffee and yummy scones to warm us up.

The topic of the lesson was The Birth. They explained the stages of labour and also the different birth options. We are lucky that we know exactly what we want and also that our plans seems to be in order. I do realise that sometimes things do not go as expected, but at least we are prepared for any surprises as well. The couple in class with us on the other hand are very confused. They are much younger than us and seeing them struggling with this actually makes me glad that we are more mature and in a better position to make informative decisions. They live on a farm and have quite a drive to the hospital. They do not like or trust their gynecologist, but he is the nearest one to them and they also don't want to change doctors in fear of offending him.. He insists on her having a c-section as it will be very inconvenient for them to have to rush from the farm to the hospital when she goes in to labour - I think very inconvenient for him to be waken up in the middle of the night maybe? 

It is a sad fact that South Africa has one of the highest c-section rates in the world at 76% of all deliveries performed via c-section. I believe that this has its place as an emergency procedure or where natural birth is not possible. Unfortunately we are bombarded with media and doctors trying to convince us that this is the "safer" option. 

So I was extremely disappointed by the videos shown to us portraying the different kinds of births. The videos came as a package and was sponsored by a well known diaper company. The natural birth shown a black lady, all alone giving birth in a state hospital. By the looks of the room not one of the "better" ones (also a sad fact that our state hospitals are in a terrible state).. The delivery itself was ok to look at but one could not help but notice the shabby bedding, stained walls and run-down look of the room and obviously the fact that she had no support but for the nurse attending to the delivery. 
The c-section on the other hand was filmed at a private up-market hospital in Sandton. It was a white couple having their second baby and they were all happy and smiley, the husband being very supportive and being at his wife's side during the whole procedure, the team of doctors very professional and the theater spotless with all the high quality machinery. 

Why they could not show a woman having a natural birth in a private hospital, being supported by her husband goes beyond me. No wonder our South African woman are afraid to go for this option, if this is the kind of educational material distributed by trusted companies. 

Although the 2 nurses running our baby clinic are encouraging natural birth, I am almost convinced that the other couple will now definitely opt for the c-section. Sad, I believe that woman should be proud of their bodies and should be comfortable in making a decision to opt for a natural birth, without having fear drive them to make other choices. 


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Bump - Week 31

Cruising Along

The other morning my cleaning lady commented on how nice it is to work for me as I never complain about being pregnant. Apparently she had worked at places before where the pregnant ladies thought it was their right to complain and be nasty and horrible, blaming it on being pregnant. I told her thank you, and that I do not see the use of being nasty and horribly just because I have something to blame it on. And after waiting and dreaming for 5 years to be pregnant I will feel rather horrible to complain about anything.

And sure, it hasn't all been easy. There has been aches and pains and funny things happening to my body. The latest is a pain in my bum muscle which prevents me from walking like a normal human being and makes it very uncomfortable to sleep.

But all in all I am healthy, the baby is healthy and everything progressing nicely. The bump is getting quite big now and I can only wonder how much it will still expand in this last 8 and a half weeks. Yip, time waits for no-one. I am so very curious to meet this girl of ours and cannot wait to hold her in my arms. But I am also adamant to enjoy and appreciate this last couple of weeks. We have been blessed to be able to go through this experience.