Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Week 39 - Full moon baby?

My body:
More than 38 weeks and am still pregnant. Looks like I am going to distance to 40 weeks (or more). Apart from getting uncomfortably bigger I haven't got any concerning complaints.

My baby:
is now about 51cm in length and weighs around 3.2kg. The vernix that has covered him and has protected his skin for the last nine months will assist him to pass through the birth canal and provides a layer of insulation after he is born. It is routine for the remaining vernix to be washed away after delivery.

I must look ready to pop out - the guy at the service station where I was getting petrol pointed at my tummy and being cheeky, took out his measure tape from his drawer. Haha, very funny.

We celebrated our 4th anniversary this week (first of March) - Scott wanted baby to be born on that day but I am happy that we dont' have to share our anniversary with his birthday.

(I was going to get Scott tickets to Little Britain live but given that the show was on the 28th February and was a bit risky, he had to settle with the Little Britain live dvd. Even though we could have gone to the show, it is still definitely cheaper and he can watch it over and over again with the dvd!)

Birgit rang and said that it would be a fullmoon night this Saturday. We're not sure if this is another old wives tale, but it has been believed that there are more women in labour during full moon than normal nights and that if there is a full moon close to their due date, they should prepare to give labour during that full moon, regardless whether it is before or after the due date.

This is from the net:
Contractions known as "Braxton Hicks" -- sometimes noticeable to the mother and sometimes not -- become more pronounced and many travel to the maternity unit in the belief that "it's time" (during fullmoon). Disappointed -- or perhaps relieved -- they return home, the pains having subsided and with no dilation of the cervix.

While these expectant mothers visiting the clinic with their mistaken signs of labor are part of the reason why extra staff are needed, the major difference is found in the number of women whose amniotic sac -- the water -- breaks.

Just as some women experience false labor pains, in cases where the water breaking marks the start of childbirth, full moon is the time when it's most likely to happen.

The theory is that the moon's gravitational pull effects the amniotic fluid in much the same way as it effects the water in the sea, rivers and even the water that's otherwise found in our bodies.

As a woman's body prepares for natural childbirth, the amniotic sac becomes distended so the point where it will easily burst if put under pressure. Under normal circumstances, the pressure of labor contractions bursts the sac. During a full moon, the pressure caused by the moon's effect on the water inside the sac can cause the same things to happen, but without the accompanying contractions.

When this happens, natural childbirth doesn't always move forward and with no other signs of labor present, the obstetrician may decide to induce the birth. During my own study of this phenomenon I found that of 8 women whose births started with the water breaking at full moon, 5 of them had no accompanying contractions.

Anyhow, this caused us a little anxiety on Saturday. But nothing happened. And I wasn't sure if we were ready anyway, merely because we still have some last minute things to do (get my car organised - not happening though, sadly, get the baby capsule fitted, etc etc).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Week 38 - Watermelon

2 weeks until Friday 9th March 2007

My body:

*Sleeping is a bit of problem with finding a comfortable position to lay down. Even though the best position is to lay on your side (Laying on your tummy is obviously impossible, as you'd feel as if you are laying on a big watermelon and laying on your back is not good either as baby is pushing all of your organs and suppresses the oxygen flow), it still isn't comfortable with the weight that falls down from your side.

My baby:
weighs about 3kg (3000grams) and measures around 50cm in length. He is not likely to grow in length too much more but will still continue to put on some weight (which in turn resulting in my watermelon tummy).
The fine hair that has covered his body, lanugo, has now almost disappeared although some remaining on his shoulders and ears after his birth.

Not sure if baby is engaged yet, but Doctor said he's head is in position, 3 fingers up the pelvic. He can go lower into the pelvic or stay there until the labour, but we would not be able to tell. So that's pretty much saying that the baby is ready anyway.

We went to Anglesea, one of the towns along the Great Ocean Road, 2 hours from Melbourne. Sharon & Warren had been staying at Warren's parents holiday unit (they were there for 4 nights) and we drove there after Scott finished work on Friday and stayed for one night. It is a self contained unit with gum trees and kangaroos hopping around in the back yard (lots of roos poos as well). We just decided to go the night before - last chances before baby's born and all... The boys spent a lot of time fishing (apparently Warren's bible at this time is "Fishing for Dummies") - Sharon caught a fish and Warren caught a crab, while Scott specialised on seaweeds.

I wasn't worried about the possibility of having baby in the weekend, but I guess others were a bit freaked out.
Sharon: "Linda and I were talking about what if she is having labour this weekend. She's like a ticking time bomb."
Me: "Well, getting contractions wouldn't worry me we just need to drive back to Melbourne (about 2 hours drive) but I didn't think about what would happen if my water broke."
Warren: "I did!"

On Sunday we picked up changing table from Ade's place - another loan. It's perfect, except that now the nursery is so full and there isn't really enough room for everything. Despite a little cold feet I am feeling, I am actually feeling pretty excited to welcome a new Bradley into the world!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Week 37 - A little piglet

3 weeks until Friday 9 March 2007

My body:
* To say that my tummy is big is an understatement, that's all I can say about it (Scott said: "and you thought you were pregnant three months ago, didn't you?")
* Braxton hicks are getting stronger, though very irregularly. I assume this is what it's going to feel (but stronger) when the real contractions kick in..
* My brain must have shrunk as a size of my bladder as well. Having trouble remembering things, not very good in holding conversation anymore and I feel so Dumb with capital D most of the time. Scott said there must be a good reason for it, maybe to reduce the tension or stress level but it is making me stressed thinking about how stupid I have become!

My baby:
* At 37 weeks gestation, the baby is now considered to be “full term” and if born now it is unlikely that he would would have any major complications. This week, he is busy shedding his downy coating of fine hair (called lanugo) and his coat of vernix caseosa, the cheesy substance that protects his developing skin. He swallows both of these secretions, which stay in the bowels until birth (eeks..).Then he will excrete a blackish waste called meconium that becomes his first bowel movement (eeks...).
* Lots and lots of hiccups, and when he does have hiccups it can go forever (or feels like it) and my tummy would move along the rhythm of his hiccups.

Scott started his Indonesian class this week. It's my birthday present for him so he can understand when the boy speak bahasa with me and his grandparents & family from my side.
Anyhow, Scott got home from his first lesson and started practicing all night, asking my name, where I came from, what time it was, etc etc. He's been practicing numbers by saying them out loud when he saw numbers on the street (plate numbers, speed signs, house numbers and I've been saying difficult numbers for him to translate either to bahasa or to english). We have also started sticking up post it notes on things in the house with the Indonesian words for them - soon our house will be all yellow from the notes!

We went to Mornington Peninsula on the 13th - wish I could say it's to celebrate our last Valentine's day as a couple but in reality I spent the whole time on my own. He was invited for a golf day and I just tagged along. He played golf all day and had dinner with work in the evening - and I pretty much had Valentine's day by myself. Better than staying home alone though, I got to see the peninsula with little bayside town and the beaches.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year fell on the 18th February this year (not that we are celebrating, although we are making this an excuse to go to a good Chinese restaurant with Sharon, Warren and the twins in Chinatown, which was packed with people, markets and the dragon show/barongsai). I just found out that this year is going to be a year of a pig and I went "oh no, my poor boy is a pig" until Rianti pointed out that Chinese women are racing to get pregnant this year - lucky pig brings fortune to the family. My father say it's a year of super fire pig - turn out he meant a golden pig year. The year of the pig is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity. But this time it is a golden pig year, which happens once in six decades. Yay!! My boy is going to be a rich man and I don't mind having a piglet anymore.

Doctor's visit is every week from now on. This Friday he said the baby is not engaged yet (settling into the pelvic - usually baby is engaged two or three weeks before the labour) so he say chances that he'll be seeing me in labour next week is probably around 10 percent only (and increasing 10% every week). Although he also said there is nothing you can do to stimulate the labour when it's not time yet - all things about raspberry leaf tea and including taking long walks etc are just old wives tales. Makes me feel better because I really honestly can't be bothered to go and about anymore nowadays.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Week 36 - Counting down

My body:
* My tummy is as tight as a drum. I just can't believe that my skin can stretch that far. I can't even wash myself properly anymore since my tummy is too sensitive to scrub and my legs are too far to reach (hehe.. gross..)
* You know that sometimes you don't notice changes in you because they happen so gradually? My tummy grows so fast this week that even I notice how rapid it is expanding. By the end of next week, I will come to full term, which means then it can happen anytime...

My baby:
He may have moved down into my pelvis, or the “engaged” position, around now. They said that this may give you the feeling of “lightening” as your uterus drops away from your lungs and other internal organs that have been pushed upwards by your growing baby, but I can't tell.
His nails and hair have grown quite long while developing in the tummy.
He is still very very active in my tummy, despite every information I read says that he should be settling down by now as he doesn't have so much room to move around in his sac anymore.

My bag is (almost) packed. Just like when need to pack for holiday (I will be staying at the hospital for 4 nights), I can't really decide what to take. It's also not easy to pack things (ie. maternity wears) away when you still need to wear them everyday.
Some of baby stuff have been washed and packed as well, but I am still waiting from some stuff Mum is going to send from Indonesia.

We bought the mattress for the cot in the weekend (which is one size too small - how predictable, nothing can be done well in just one go lately.) and received the baby bjorn carrier from ebay this week. We shopped around for strollers but it is still too hard. So many things to think about - the weight, the size, whether or not we're planning to have second child (the saleslady kept asking this question as some strollers can have additional toddler seats and others can't - I feel like telling her off, leave me alone and let me deliver my first baby first before asking about the second one!).
Scott and I went to the baby & kid market in the weekend. It was madness! Mayhem! Mums and Dads everywhere carrying their babies in their baby carriers, people got stuck behind strollers and prams (and watching parents when they get out of the car is not just getting out and close the car doors anymore but also involves taking out the stroller, unfold it, put the baby in, etc etc). This is exactly what we're going to be doing for the next 3-4 years but my darling hubby couldn't handle it he had to step outside and wait for me on the steps of the townhall where it was held....

(On Wednesday we went to the mall because Scott had to pick up some movie tickets for a gift hamper, and when we got to the cinema there were mothers and babies everywhere, lining up for tickets, having coffee at the cafes surrounding the cinema. Must be Mothers club that day... I thought about what they are really talking about when they are together like that, would they all talk about their own kids at the same times and tell the others that theirs are better than anyone else's? Well this is what I say now, but who can guarantee I won't be like that when baby is born? Scott was making fun of me saying that I will be in that Mothers club in a few week but he will probably also be joining those parents in the competition on whose kid is the best. )

TENS - Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

TENS is a drug free, non-invasive pain management tool - introduced at our birthing class as the most popular form of electro-anaesthesia pain relief. Low-voltage electrical pulses (that come from the TENS unit) stimulate the nervous system. This is achieved via soft conductive pads that are attached to the skin.

Taken from their website:
"Pain is the body’s warning system that registers in the brain as an unpleasant sensation. Pain messages are triggered by receptors in our skin, muscles, ligaments, discs, etc. These messages are transported via nerve fibres to the spinal cord and then to the brain where the sensation is registered.
In the course of these pathways, the nerve centres receive numerous sensory impulses other than pain. According to existing theories of pain, if these shared nerve centres are overwhelmed with electrical impulses (as delivered by the TENS unit) stimulation impulses can partially block the pain signals and reduce the level of pain sensation that is felt by the user.
This 'partially shuts the gate on the pain messages' and prevents them from reaching the brain.
Likewise TENS stimulation generates an endorphin release from the brain. Endorphins (popularly referred to as the feel good factor) are our bodies own natural pain relieving compound. As an additional feature, our patented waveform creates a 'distraction' to the pain."

We picked this machine up for hire in the weekend since a few couples have actually recommended it to us, including Scott's buyer from Bunnings and Ben & Ant Roberts who used it for their second baby (and since I am still freaking out about the pain)
This little machine has electrodes to be attached to the spines and will deliver little electrical impulses (like pins and needles when I tried it on) that can partially block the contraction pains and release more endorphins, and fully controlled by the person in labour. Our hope is that this will reduce the contraction pains and so minimise the need to use epidural or other drugs (but as I always say, I am not ruling it out!). I will let you know how it goes!

Monday, February 05, 2007