Last week, on, “Amber Worries About Everything, OMG, When Will This Woman Calm Down?!” I had the cold, and was convinced it would kill my baby, even although every single person I spoke to about it – including my midwife – was all, “LOL, nope!”
This week, I do NOT have the cold! And no one died! And, actually, it wasn’t even THAT bad a cold, now that I’m able to look back on it, with the clarity of a whole new week behind me. (And quite an important one, too: at 24 weeks, my baby is now technically viable, which means that if he was born now, he’d have a chance of surving: wow!) As if that wasn’t enough good news, however, the baby’s movements have also been much stronger and more regular this week, which means I’ve had slightly fewer freak-outs than usual. I say “slightly” – I do still have my moments, of course, and, unfortunately for me, most of those moments seem to come right before my various medical appointments, which I’m pretty sure is the baby’s way of trying to mess with me, somehow. Thanks, little guy!
This is how I came to find myself arriving at the hospital for my appointment last week, totally convinced that there was no point in even going ahead with it, because I hadn’t felt the baby move in hours at that point, so some variety of Very Bad Thing had obviously happened: WOE. Luckily, there was a midwife present at the appointment ( A real one, I mean: not a surly teenage one, like I sometimes get…) who was happy to doppler me then and there (I was well and truly doppled, my friends…), and, naturally, the second she put her hand on my bump, the baby kicked her hard, as if to prove that his mother is a lunatic – just in case that wasn’t already obvious. She went ahead and listened in anyway (Everything was totally fine), and she also measured my bump. This was the first time I’d had this done, and because I wasn’t expecting it, I hadn’t thought to worry about (I know, it’s not like me to miss out on an opportunity to worry: I’ll be ON IT next time, though…), but as it turned out, there was no need to worry anyway: the bump was 24cm, which the midwife told me is exactly what they’d expect at 24 weeks. I felt oddly smug about this… right up until Saturday morning, when an appointment for a fetal growth scan dropped through my door, and then all hell broke lose.
So, as I think I’ve mentioned before, in the UK, the 20 week scan is generally the last one you’re offered on the NHS, with growth scans in later pregnancy (This one has been booked for me when I’ll be 28 weeks) normally only being done if the midwife feels there’s a possible problem: normally that the baby isn’t growing properly. Even although I’d literally just been measured a few days before, and had been told that everything was on track, and looking totally normal, I naturally convinced myself that the doctor/midwife must have changed their minds once I left, and booked me in for this extra scan: OMG!
Frustratingly, because it was a Saturday, I wasn’t able to get in touch with someone (Other than Dr Google, who just laughed evilly, and confirmed that, yes, there was almost definitely something wrong: baaaaad Dr Google!) to find out what the hell was going on, but I had another appointment with my midwife this week, and she was able to confirm that, actually, it’s just my advanced age that’s triggered this one: apparently it’s totally normal, and I’ll get another one four weeks after that, so it looks like my days of sitting shaking with nerves in the hospital waiting room are not over quite yet.
On the one hand, I’m quite pleased about this, because it obviously means we get to see the baby again, and make sure everything is OK. On the other hand, though, I find scans pretty terrifying, and was secretly relived to think I wouldn’t have to have another one, unless we do decide to get a private one, for our families to see. Overall, though, I’m fine with it if it’s what the experts deem necessary, so on to this week’s report…
Week 24 Pregnancy Symptoms
I actually don’t think there’s anything new to report here, other than the increased strength of the kicks. Terry actually found this pretty freaky earlier this week when I grabbed his hand and placed it on my belly during a particularly vigorous kicking session: I, on the other hand, have come to quite enjoy it, purely because of the reassurance it gives me. I actually think I might miss it once he’s out of there…
Week 24 Pregnancy Purchases/Preparations
I’m pleased to report that this week we FINALLY started to make some progress with my To Do list! We sold our old bed and some of the other contents of the Room O’ Doom (a.k.a the nursery) on Gumtree, and the treadmill is going to my friend – who, luckily, lives right across the street, so I’m sure she’ll let me visit it if I really want to. The old mattress, meanwhile (Which was actually still quite a new mattress…) went to Terry’s mum, and basically everyone who comes into our house is urged to leave with a random item from Doom Room. Having a bit of trouble getting people to take us up on that one, but hey, I’m sure we will prevail!
(There is still no sign of Shed Man, though. He has 11 days to make good on his promise to build the damn shed by the end of the month. Anyone want to place a bet on whether or not he’ll do it?)
In other purchase-related news, although I’ve personally been very good, I think (that new dressing gown I bought totally doesn’t count…), this week packages started arriving addressed to Terry (This was a big shock to the DHL delivery drivers, who are much more used to bringing me ASOS packages…). It turns out that while I’m most looking forward to buying cute baby clothes, Terry’s mostly been using this pregnancy as an excuse to accumulate gadgets. (Baby-related ones, I mean. Well, mostly…) We’ve managed to acquire quite a few of these in the past week: so many, in fact, that I think I’m going to do a separate post on them, as I know everyone will enjoy telling me that there is NO WAY a baby needs all that stuff, and that, in THEIR day they just stuffed the baby in a drawer, and that was that.
Our baby, however, will have gadgets, and we’re not sorry about it. (His mother, meanwhile, will have a new iPhone for her trouble. That has absolutely nothing to do with anything, by the way: I just want one.)
Oh, and I also re-packed my hospital bag, which, as you might recall, is not a, “going in to have a baby” kind of hospital bag, but more of an, “I’m sure I will randomly have to be hospitalised at some point during this pregnancy, and I really want to make sure I have my earplugs packed,” kind of hospital bag. Yes. There was a request last week for my readers to have “eyes on” the bag, as it were, so here it is:
I have a feeling that was probably quite underwhelming, really, but what you can do? This bag is actually designed to be an airline carry-on bag, so I’m hoping it’ll one day get to carry my stuff to somewhere a lot more pleasant than the hospital. I can but dream.
Oh, and when we were visiting my parents, who have been struggling under the weight of a baby-shopping ban (Things my dad has had to be talked out of buying so far: a ride-on car, a train set, a tiny Ralph Lauren jacket, and a small aircraft. And no, that isn’t gender stereotyping, by the way: with the exception of the jacket and, well, the airplane, I had all of that stuff myself as a child, so he’d have wanted to buy exactly the same for a girl…), this weekend, I mentioned that Stuff had started to arrive, and my mum immediately left the room and returned a few minutes later clutching a packet of muslin cloths. It seems that at some point in the last week or so, the strain of not shopping had broken her, and she’d gone rogue in the baby department somewhere. She had managed to restrict herself to just one set of muslins (Which she’s now washed and ironed: awww!), but while I was writing this post, she’s just messaged me from Sainsbury’s to say she’s bought some more, so we are sorted for muslins, people: I repeat, WE ARE SORTED FOR MUSLINS.
(We will definitely be needing more muslins, though.)
Honestly, I’m not totally convinced that there isn’t a small, pedal-powered airplane lurking somewhere in my parents’ house right now, but now that they know we’ve bought a few things ourselves, I guess it’ll be a bit like that time the Chamber of Secrets was opened in Harry Potter, and who knows what will come out of it? Other than muslin clothes, obviously?
Week 24 Pregnancy Fears
In addition to the whole, “how on earth am I going to get this baby out of me?” debate, I’ve also started pre-emptively worrying about post-partum hair loss. Yeah, I know it generally doesn’t start until a few months after the baby is born, but hey, its never too early to get in a good ol’ worry session, is it? On second thoughts, don’t answer that…
I’m particularly worried about this because, although I know it’s totally normal to lose more hair than usual after having a baby, I also know that my eyelashes just haven’t been the same since those methotrexate injections I had back in December, and I’m worried that this means my hair will never grow back either when it does start coming out in chunks, which seems to be inevitable, from what I’ve read. And no, I should stress here that it hasn’t actually started falling out – YET – but it doesn’t seem to be any thicker than usual, either (WHERE IS THE THICK, LUSTROUS HAIR I WAS PROMISED?!) and although people say you only lose hair post-partum because you DON’T lose it during pregnancy itself, my rate of hair loss seems to be exactly the same as it’s always been so far. So if my hair isn’t any thicker than usual, and then I suddenly start losing tons of it, on top of the hair that I ALREADY lose naturally every day, well, I’m going to be straight-up BALD, aren’t I? And what if it never grows back? WHAT IF, PEOPLE?
Hey, you know what else makes your hair fall out? Stressing over whether or not your hair will fall out. Pregnancy is just SO UNFAIR, really, isn’t it? I mean, here was I thinking I was really looking forward to 2018, because I’ll have my body back, and won’t have to worry about medical stuff quite so much, but now I’m facing going into next summer bald, overweight (Because you NEVER lose the baby weight, apparently. Never.), and with my feet wrapped in a couple of old sacks, because none of my shoes will fit me any more, and I really can’t afford to replace them all.
But it will ALL BE BE WORTH IT. Obviously.
(Talk to me about post-partum hair loss, though, people: tell me it’ll all be OK, and it will grow back, I beg you!)