Shrimp Tale: The Third Trimester

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Week 30

Baby is the size of a cabbage

Bump in the nurseryBump in the nursery Bump in the nurseryBump in the nursery Bump in the nurseryBump in the nursery

Friday, 18 August 2017

The third trimester is starting well, with a trip to the nurse today for confirmation of what I suspected was a thrush infection. On the positive side, here's the latest picture of my bump, which is getting pretty big now.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Irene and Martin arrived today. They are staying with us for a week so that Martin can help Alan finish the DIY in the hallway. We are repainting the walls and installing new IKEA wardrobes for our coats and shoes. Irene is keeping busy by doing some tidying up in the garden for us. Unfortunately I have to keep working as I am saving all of my remaining holiday for the weeks before Shrimpy is due.

Week 32

Baby is the size of a Chinese cabbage

Bump in the loungeBump in the lounge Bump in the loungeBump in the lounge Bump in the loungeBump in the lounge

Thursday, 31 August 2017

I had another scan today at Frimley, this time to check for growth. Shrimpy is measuring way ahead of the curve on his growth chart. The scan revealed he's really not as big as they are making out, although he does have a large abdominal circumference. Poor little chap! At the end of the day today, when Alan came home from work, he looked at me and said, "Your bump has dropped!" When I looked in the mirror I realised he was right, it certainly looks a lot lower than it did this morning. I hope this is not the sign of an impending early labour!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

We have had the nursery furniture delivered and installed today! Alan and I spent the evening putting the stickers on the wall and fitting the light shade. It now looks like a real nursery, and just as I imagined it. I am slightly disappointed that we have managed to choose wall stickers that are exactly the same shade of grey as the wall, so some of the design can't really be seen all that well, but I think we will have to live with it.

NurseryNurseryThe finished room.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

We went to the A3 Baby Barn today to pick up our pram and car seat. We have chosen the Uppababy Vista pram in blue and the Recaro Zero 1 Elite car seat in red (to match the interior of our car, naturally). Suddenly everything is feeling scarily real and close!

Week 33

Baby is the size of a pineapple

Bump in the doorwayBump in the doorway Bump in the doorwayBump in the doorway Bump in the doorwayBump in the doorway

Monday, 11 September 2017

I'm supposed to be having a week in the office this week. This will be my last trip to the office before Shrimpy arrives. On Monday to Wednesday I am involved in a pilot session for the new version of our CTMS database. On Thursday I am meeting up with the rest of the UK-based SISD team because our Exec VP, Michael Kirchengast, is in the office and we are going to meet him. However, I now have a new problem. After a full day sitting in an uncomfortable office chair, I have erupted with a nasty bout of haemorrhoids. It was so painful I could barely walk back to the station to get the train home. When Alan picked me up I was so miserable that we cancelled all cooking plan and had takeaway for tea. I seem to be getting a lot thrown at me in the third trimester. I guess this is in exchange for having no morning sickness in the first!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

I had a sick day on Wednesday and went to the GP about my new health problem. He diagnosed a perianal hematoma, which basically means there is a lot of blood and pain, but I have some medication to help and I was able to return to the office on Thursday. We had a nice meeting with Michael and then I took the SISD crowd (Kate, Hema and Alex) out to Cafe Zest for a lunch. Unexpectedly, they presented me with a little baby leaving gift. It's a gorgeous set of dungarees and cardigan for a newborn, and a fluffy rabbit.

Week 34

Baby is the size of a cantaloupe melon

Bump in the parkBump in the park Bump in the parkBump in the park Bump in the parkBump in the park

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Trip to Bath today for a spa day! I booked Alan and I into the Thermal Spa for a Watsu massage for two. It was a water-based massage, taking place in the hydrotherapy pool, and it was 55 minutes of bliss. The therapists stretched and floated us around the pool and brought us together at the end. I felt absolutely weightless and I loved it. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon using the rest of the facilities at the spa, including the amazing rooftop pool, and finished up with 'lunch' at 4pm in the spa's restaurant. It was a wonderful experience for late pregnancy!

Week 36

Baby is the size of a Romaine lettuce

Bump in the parkBump in the park Bump in the parkBump in the park Bump in the parkBump in the park

Monday, 2 October 2017

My first day off work today. My maternity leave has actually started! It does feel a bit strange to be off work without Alan, but I have some big plans for this first week off, including getting a hair cut, visiting a nursery and coffee with Lynsey and George. I can’t wait to meet you but I hope you don’t arrive this week.

Week 37

Baby is the size of a small watermelon

Bump in FarnhamBump in Farnham Bump in FarnhamBump in Farnham Bump in FarnhamBump in Farnham

Monday, 9 October 2017

I have been filling Shrimpy's wardrobe today with some of the clothes that people have bought for us or donated so far. I couldn't resist a few pictures of tiny socks hanging out to dry and tiny cardigans in the wardrobe.

2017-10-09 - PRG - 0262017-10-09 - PRG - 026 Baby LaundryBaby LaundryThis made me smile - seeing the rows of tiny socks on the clothes airer.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

I had a trip to Frimley Park Hospital today, to go to the maternity day assessment unit. I have developed an intensely itchy rash which started on my bump and has now spread to my arms and legs. I hardly slept a wink last night. I called the midwives this morning for advice on how to treat and they said I should come along to the hospital to have my bloods checked and also to check the baby's movements. Alan came out of work early to drive me over. 

Shrimpy didn't like being attached to the heart monitor much. It made him jump about inside me, as if he were trying to push the monitor off. It was very reassuring to see him moving about though. His heart rate was fine and I had my bloods done. The midwives asked me to hang around to speak to the obstetrician. When she eventually arrived she told me that they were checking my bloods for something called obstetric cholestasis, which is a problem with the level of bile salts in the liver. It causes intense itching, but not usually with a rash, so they are not too concerned but want to rule it out as it could be dangerous for the baby. She prescribed me with some antihistamines and aqueous menthol cream and by 7pm we were finally on our way home, via the takeaway!

Week 37Week 37Still growing!

Week 39

Baby is the size of a watermelon

Bump in the nurseryBump in the nursery Bump in the nurseryBump in the nursery Bump in the nurseryBump in the nursery

Sunday, 22 October 2017

RowanRowanA few hours old

You arrived today at 7.40am! Alan and I are in awe of you, Rowan Guy Gibson! No longer our ‘Shrimpy’. We are so proud and excited to have you with us.

Everything kicked off at around 11pm on Saturday night. Alan and I had spent the day in Guildford, doing a bit of shopping and visiting some car garages to get an idea of which car I might like to get when Alan goes back to work after his parental leave. We had bought some pineapple at Guildford market and I had eaten a big bowl of that, along with my raspberry leaf tablet, in the evening, in the hope that it might induce labour. It seems to have worked!

At 11pm we headed to bed. I hadn’t really been in bed long when I started to feel some contractions. They were a bit like the Braxton Hicks I’ve been experiencing for a while, but these ones were feeling painful, and coming fairly regularly. After about three of them I got up out of bed to go to the toilet. As soon as I stood up I felt a small gush of something, which turned out to be my waters breaking. I went to the bathroom and was still having the contractions, so decided I had better wake Alan up. Groggily, he asked me what we were supposed to do. I said I thought we should start timing them. They were coming every 3 minutes and lasting for about a minute each time. I knew from our NCT classes that this was the point to call the hospital. I couldn’t quite believe I was really in labour, especially as I had been willing it on, but the midwife told us to come in. So at 1.30am we jumped in the car and sped off to Frimley Park Hospital.

In the triage area, a midwife did an assessment of me and told me I was 4-5cm dilated, so I was staying! She needed to get a trace of the baby’s heart rate and asked me to wear the heart monitor for 20 minutes. During this time they picked up some more ectopic beats, and so needed to lengthen the time on the monitor to get a better trace. They told me it was probably nothing to worry about. It was so uncomfortable being restricted to the bed and trying to keep still while going through the contractions. I just wanted to get up and walk about, but I was stuck on the monitor for an hour in the end.

In my birth plan, I had said that I wanted to use the Mulberry suite (the midwife led birthing centre) but because of the ectopics this unfortunately wasn’t possible. However, I was still allowed to used the birthing pool in the labour ward, which was my main desire. So after the heart monitoring we moved into an antenatal room for about an hour until the pool was heated and ready. In the antenatal room, I tried out my TENS machine to help relieve the contractions. Unfortunately it was useless for me. So I concentrated on keeping moving and breathing slowly instead. Alan forced a few bites of flapjack down me, and I think he made me go to the toilet!

We made to the birthing pool at about 3.45am. I had packed a bikini top in my hospital bag but in the end the thought of putting it on was too much, so I stripped off completely and got in. The warm water was initially really therapeutic, and calmed my pain considerably. It wasn’t long though before I started asking for gas and air. My midwife, Claire, was amazing and calm. She told me just to keep breathing through the contractions until I felt the urge to push. My body would tell me what to do. When the pushing urge came was when things got a lot more hairy! My problem was that my contractions weren’t getting any longer or any more frequent. In fact, they were getting further apart, going from every 3 minutes to every 5 minutes, and only lasting for a minute or less each time. This meant I only had time for about 2 pushes in each wave, and baby was retracting back a little in between. That was quite disheartening. Claire kept telling me I was making progress but I didn’t believe her. It was only when Alan assured me he could see the head that I accepted that we were getting somewhere! The worst part came when the head was out at the widest part, and my contraction stopped. I had to wait for 5 minutes for the next wave in agony before I could push again.

Eventually I felt that the head was fully out. It was a little relief. Then Shrimpy started twisting himself around so that he could get his shoulder out. It was such a strange feeling. I didn’t feel like I was in control of this any more, Shrimpy was! And then, out he popped! And in a wave of relief and tears he was placed on my chest and we sat in the pool together, amazed at what just happened! Here was Rowan Guy Gibson, in the flesh.

Rowan gave a little cry pretty quickly, but the midwife quickly rubbed him to get the big cry we needed. Alan chose to cut the cord, and then we got out of the pool and lay on the couch. Rowan was placed on my chest and he started feeding straight away. It was true what I had been told, he just knew what to do!

We spent the rest of Sunday and most of Monday in hospital. I needed a few stitches for 2 small tears, and a physio assessed me and told me that my abdominal muscles had separated by 14cm, which is quite an achievement apparently, and will take some work to correct. Rowan’s heart was checked by a paediatrician and the ectopics were diagnosed as benign. They should disappear over time. On Monday evening, at tea time, we were discharged and now we begin our life at home together!

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