Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hubby-imposed house arrest

Yesterday I decided I want to buy one or two maternity short sleeved shirts or tank tops because almost all my other maternity wear is long sleeved and that's getting a bit too warm. Not wanting to spend too much money on it either (for the four weeks pregnancy that are left), I had thought of a quick trip to either G.ap or H.&M in the mall.

Hubby was going to the train station this morning, which is next to the mall, so I thought I'd catch a ride with him and take the bus back. He didn't allow it (mainly because of the bus ride)! Suggested he would buy the t-shirts for me (no way!), but when I refused, he said we would go together later this week...

So I stayed home and did our tax return instead...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

36 weeks - miscellaneous stuff

36 weeks pregnant today! Anxiety over possible early delivery that I had just after my OB appointment almost two weeks ago has subsided a bit - which also means I'm probably doing more stuff than I should, but hubby keeps reminding me to take it easy. No relaxing in the hammock today as it was raining, but it promises to be better weather by the end of the week again, so good relaxing times are ahead!

Not much news. I'm doing some more yoga and exercises I learned during the birthing classes at home now, to be well prepared for the big event and also in an attempt to sooth this stupid back pain - it's the same pain between my left ribs that I had early March after my bout with the flu - then it was caused by all the coughing, and luckily it disappeared after a few weeks. But now it's back for no apparent reason (other than a heavy belly pulling on it), since about two weeks, and there has been no improvement at all.

I've gone for treatment to an osteopath (the to-go-to- therapy here in France. In Holland I would have gone to a physical therapist, in the US to a chiropractor. Every country its specialist/style, I guess...), to whom I'd already been three times before for some pregnancy-related lower back pain. He was able to do something about that lower back pain, but this pain between my ribs seems to be untreatable. It really hurts when I try to lie on my left side, when I want to turn around in bed (which isn't easy anyway with a big belly), when I sneeze, cough, blow my nose, or go to the bathroom - so I'll probably have some additional pain when pushing during labor too... ugh.

Other than that, I'm feeling fine. Quite some contractions lately, mostly painless, except for when I feel them in my lower back, but that's luckily only rarely the case. Besides that, the baby seems to really like to stick his foot in my right side, in a sort of slow-motion movement, while moving his butt/back to the left - it's funny to see my belly go in all different shapes, but the feeling can be a bit less pleasant, especially when I'm trying to sleep!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

35 weeks - anesthesia consult

Today I'm exactly 35 weeks pregnant, yay! It's weird, since Friday's OB appointment I feel like every day I'm not going into labor yet is a blessing... want to keep the little guy in there for at least another two weeks, after that I don't care so much anymore if he decides to come early.

Have really been taking it easier, although hubby still thinks I'm doing too much. Luckily it's gorgeous weather, so I'm spending many hours in the hammock. Today I had to venture out to the hospital though, to get the pre-admission file in order and for a consult with the anesthesiologist. Before I used to walk all the way to the hospital (about 20-30 minutes), but today I took the bus. It was crammed with ederly people doing their shopping at the fresh + clothing market though, and the bus driver didn't bother to put the A/C on, so it was not a very pleasant experience.

Making the pre-admission file went fine. Not too long of a wait and a nice lady at the desk (this is not always the case - last Friday I had to wait half an hour to get my medical file before my OB appointment). Then on to the anesthesia consult. They were 15 minutes late, which is pretty normal by doctor's appointment schedules I think, but it seemed like the anesthesiologist was trying to recuperate every lost minute by rattling down the questionnaire (which I already had filled out - why ask all the questions again?) in an amazingly monotone voice. She was suprised that I'm still taking the baby aspirin (my OB told me Friday to continue it for another two weeks) as this is a contraindication for an epidural (you need to be at least five days without aspirin before you can get an epidural).

Then she had me sit on the exam table to do a 'try-out' of the position you have to be in when they give you the epidural, took my blood pressure, and that was it. No questions on how I viewed the whole epidural thing, not even the standard question if I had any questions - it seems that they think everyone, especially with a first pregnancy, is going to take the epidural anyway, and all the other information was already given at the info session a few weeks ago.

Whatever... the more I deal with these people, the more I get convinced of really trying to do without epidural. But hey... talk to me again after the delivery and see if I was really that strong.

The only really good thing she told me was that I should not take my iron supplement at breakfast together with a cup of tea, because the tea will prevent the iron from being absorbed. My OB hadn't told me that, nor had the pharmacist, so this is good to know!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Message for A - yoga in Paris

Hey A, I hope you're still reading my blog (and that you had great beta doubling numbers!). My yoga teacher gave me two people to contact in Paris for yoga classes. She told me she's not sure they're doing specific prenatal yoga classes, but if not, they should be able to direct you to someone who does.

1: Sylviane Gianina
75001 Paris
sylvianegianina [at] gmail [dot] com

2: Marina Margherita
75001 Paris
marina [dot] margherita [at] orange [dot] fr

Hope this helps!

Friday, May 15, 2009

34w check-up

Today, at 34w3d I finally had my 8-month check-up. It's been six weeks since the last one (not counting the u/s at 32 weeks), the check-ups are supposed to get closer together, not further apart when you're in the last stages of your pregnancy! But you know, this is France, and it's May, which means: Holidays. This was the first consult I had with my OB at the hospital (mandatory for the 8 and 9 month check-ups), and not at her regular practice, she's only there on Fridays, and the previous two Fridays were public holidays, so there you go.

Everything started out fine: weight +10 kg since pre-pregnancy (2.5 kg since last checkup), BP 120/60, fundal height perfect, baby's heart rate OK, but... cervix: a lot shorter than last time! Must have happened in the last two weeks because at the 32w u/s it was still fine at 4.15 cm - I don't know the measurement, but what she indicated seemed like something between 2.5 and 3 cm... I think it was still closed though, but I actually forgot to ask and she didn't say.

So I was ordered to take it a lot easier, absolutely no more carrying of heavy stuff (I must admit I still do sometimes - and afterwards always get scolded by hubby, if he finds out), lie down more, start taking naps again and stop working. So there you have it, I've officially started my maternity leave, exactly six weeks before my due date, the earliest you can start it here in France (and then I'll have 10 weeks after). I had planned to work for another two weeks, because everything was going great and that way I could get two weeks extra with the baby at the end, but that plan is now out the window. Will go by the office on Monday to properly say goodbye (and clean out my drawers). Feels very weird. I almost cried on the way back home from the hospital. I will really listen to the doc's advice and take it a lot easier, am a bit scared now I must admit, don't want the baby to come too early (one or two weeks early would be OK, but not six please!), so I'm already stretched out on the couch and will let hubby make dinner tonight.

Next check-up in three weeks...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Family visits...

Last week my parents were here for a little over four days. It was a mixed visit. It's always great seeing them and they helped a lot, especially with setting up the baby room. But already before they came, hubby was getting agitated. It seems to get worse the longer he knows them. He can't stand their constant organizing/cleaning up (I have the same habit, so when he has three people doing that around him, it can drive him up the wall) and sees in everything they say a criticism (which is of course ridiculous, but hey, try to reason with him, especially when they're here).

Usually he just grumbles a bit, distances himself by working, reading books stuff on his i.Phone or chatting with friends online. The atmosphere was clearly a bit tense though. I hoped we would be able to keep the peace (I hate confrontations) while my dad asked every now and then if everything was OK, they weren't staying too long, etc...

But after two days hubby exploded. First, my dad had mentioned he wanted to drill a hole in the wall and put a screw in instead of the nail that was holding up a painting above the crib, to make sure it wouldn't fall on the baby's head. Hubby interpreted this as an accusation of him being a bad dad, because he didn't think it was necessary to change the nail for a screw. (sigh). Then my dad hit his head on an open kitchen cupboard door, and because hubby has a tendency to leave them open ('to air them out') I mentioned it to him (also because it annoys me to see those doors always open after hubby has been in the kitchen). And finally my dad commented on the way hubby cooked the steak... So during dinner hubby exploded, jelled that it was his house, that he was getting crazy that we (mainly my mom) were putting things away that he had not even finished using, that he had paid for the kitchen cabinets, so if he wanted to leave the doors open, he had every right to it... The next morning he started again, this time just to me, saying they would surely critize our parenting etc., so I spent a good time crying in the bathroom...

Then there was the discussion about when my parents would actually come again for the birth. My mom prefers to come well in advance, so she'll be there the minute the baby is born. I don't mind them being here after the baby is born, but don't really like the idea of them hanging around when the little guy decides to stick around inside me a bit after my due date. Hubby prefers them to come at the earliest a week after the birth or so... Since we won't have a guest room any more (now the baby room), my parents had to book something, for otherwise all the nice but affordable lodging options might be gone. In the end they booked a nice small apartment close-by for 10 days, starting from two days before my due date (= one day after a normal 40 wk due date, this French city does 40w3d for some reason...).

But I hate it that hubby seems not to want to take his 11 days of paternity leave (in addition to three days around the birth) and that he rather gives up precious time with his newborn son so he doesn't have to 'endure' my parents' comments and way of dealing with things (and the baby). On top of all this, my cousin just emailed me that she booked her week vacation (with husband and nearly 4-year old daughter) near us exactly in the week of my due date (she is very disorganized and even after giving her my due date twice, she still didn't realize...)! So I really hope the little man will come on time or even a little early, and there won't be an entire family gathering just staring at my belly and asking me if contractions have already started... Pff, sometimes I wish we just still lived in Holland and didn't have to deal with these kind of issues.

I don't like being in between hubby and my parents. I don't want to have to choose a side, I just want everyone to get along. I know I should talk to hubby about this, but it's not easy, also because he gets in defensive mode pretty quickly when I approach the subject (me too probably, from the other side). And sometimes I have this really bad thought that I can never put the ball back in his court and say something about his parents. They both passed away many years ago. I never even knew his dad. So of course I can't say anything bad about them and in his memory they were the greatest parents ever (just like I think about mine!).

And then I wonder why my old whiplash neck and back pain (from a car accident 11 years ago, which flares up again when I'm really tired or stressed) suddenly came back last weekend...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Preparing the baby room

My parents were here for four days last week and helped us transform the guest room into a baby room. I'm very happy with the result!

The crib comes from hubby's family (no heirloom, but our four nieces all slept in it). When setting it up we discovered that the pins that hold the bottom in the top position were missing, so we have to buy something to fix that. Of course the stuffed animal and blanket/sheet are for show now... I did the responsible thing and bought some sleep sacks (and got some swaddle blankets from my sister). The changing table is a very fancy Swedish design wall-mounted one (closed on the photo obviously) that was a gift from my parents (and my father insisted on mounting himself), underneath a 3-drawer chest from another Swedish, much more well-known (and cheaper) store. My mom made the bed canopy, which goes perfectly with the bumper pad (again from the Swedish superstore). She also made the lamp shade from what was left over after trimming down the curtains.

My parents also brought the stroller, car seat and diaper genie, all from my cousin, so that's great because it saves us a lot of money.

Of course now that the chest was finally put together (we bought it a long time ago but never unpacked it), I could also do the first laundry batch of baby clothes. No dryer in our apartment (no space), so I took advantage of the lovely weather and hung it all outside to dry.

Friday, May 1, 2009

32 week ultrasound

Yesterday we had our presumably last ultrasound, at 32w2d. Everything's fine! The baby is in the right position: head down, his back on the left (so that's the hard spot left of my belly button), legs bent to the right. My cervix is still long and closed at 4.15 cm, the placenta moved up to 2.81 cm from the cervix, so that's great too!

Not a lot of great images to show - he didn't seem to appreciate the poking with the u/s stick and didn't show his face much, and when he did, he made some funny faces! But I still like this image.
We brought a USB stick and now have all our u/s images digitally, yay!