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!

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