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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
39½ weeks
My bump is now so big that I look at it and just think "How does that even stay up?" and despite my best efforts with the "bio-oil", moisturisers etc. I am getting big stretch-marks. Ho hum. :-/

The what-I-believe-to-be-Braxton-Hicks-contractions (bump goes rigidly tense all over for a while & then relaxes) seem to be getting more frequent and lasting for longer, but they don't hurt or anything (though it's a bit uncomfortable when they happen while I'm cycling). I'm also getting quite a lot of feelings of not-exactly-pain-but-more-like-someone-squeezing-me around the pelvis area. To be honest the only things that really hurt at the moment are the various aches and trapped-nerve-like pains I'm getting in my left shoulder from lying in the same position all night. I will be so glad when I can lie on my back again! Or even just lie on my side without propping up a bump, and then turn over onto the other side.

I had my last Intergrowth scan today (wasn't sure I'd even make it to this one!) and the research midwife who's running the study was very impressed that I'd cycled to the hospital. (To be honest if I'd realised it was going to rain all the way there and back I might have given in and got the bus this time, even though it's massively more inconvenient... but by the time it started raining I'd left it too late to get the bus. I note that putting waterproof trousers on is far more difficult than cycling!) I am so glad I've been able to keep cycling, I'd've gone crackers if I'd had to faff about with buses every time I wanted to go anywhere (walking is difficult, I get a stitch really quickly; we did manage to walk to Verde on Cowley Road on Monday night, which is about a mile away, but it took me ages).

Anyway, the scan was OK, but they couldn't measure the baby's head this time (or get any sensible pictures of her) because her head is now too far down -- which is a shame for their data-gathering (though they still got lots of the other measurements they needed -- legs, stomach, etc) but a good sign from my impatient point of view! I sort of assumed I'd've noticed it feeling significantly different if the head was starting to engage, but I wouldn't've known if they hadn't told me; the books say things like "it'll feel like you've got a bowling ball between your legs" (now I have to admit I've never actually had a bowling ball between my legs, but really, it doesn't feel anything like that) and loads of people said the bump would 'drop' (as far as I can tell it hasn't -- still looks really high, I'm still getting loads of heartburn, and baby is still kicking me in the ribs).

Unfortunately being unable to measure the head also meant that they couldn't estimate baby's size, so we'll just have to see how big she is when she comes out. (I'm guessing around 7.5lb -- feel free to place your bets now! No prize except the smugness that comes from being right. ;-)

So now I guess it's just a question of waiting (hopefully not too long). We'll let you all know when anything happens! (But no, I am not going to live-blog or live-tweet through labour/birth -- you wouldn't believe how many people have asked me...)

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tla From: tla Date: March 30th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my last couple of weeks, Sophie would kind of bounce up and down between being 'dropped' or not. The heartburn would ease, I would be able to take deep breaths, but I'd have this cannonball in my pelvis (and yeah it really did feel like that.) Then next day I wouldn't sense the cannonball, and sure enough, I had to take shorter breaths. It was fairly random.
julietk From: julietk Date: March 31st, 2011 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Did they say how much engaged her head is? IIRC Ani didn't notice it so much at 1/5 (or 4/5, can't remember which direction they measure it from), but did a bit more at one step further down. She kept getting the heartburn til after birth, though, bah, and Luca's foot was still firmly lodged under her ribs til she went into labour. Taller people might perhaps notice more of a difference as there's presumably more room in there to start with. I cannot for the life of me work out how Luca fitted into Ani, enormo-bump or no :)

Still sending good luck wishes & all that :)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 31st, 2011 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Nah, they didn't say how much (they're not looking for that really, it was just "nope, her head is too far down for us to measure"), but if I still haven't had the baby next week then I'll have another midwife appointment -- if so I assume she'll do the standard bump-prodding & tell me then. Hoping for something to happen before that though to be honest...

Thank you for the good luck wishes! :)
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: March 31st, 2011 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)

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If I was head down in an ever-tighter flexible sack facing someone's spine I'd kick a bit too. I wonder if she has a crick in her neck and a funny shoulder because you're lying in the only comfy position you can manage so much of the time?

You see how I did that? A NEW source of maternal guilt for you!

I listened to part of the CD this morning whilst running money for the Beavers (less nefarious than one might think) and thence to my soi-disant "job", and so far it has been a hugely good part of my day. Thank you.

No, not guinea pig or badger or nedgenog for dinner tonight. I am going to try to do something with fifthrate smoked salmon and a tin of the same fish and eggs: I might manage a roulade or something. The tandoori salmon only works with actual chunks of fush rather than tins, alas.

If Child complains I'll tell him the other choice was guinea pig or roadkill badger, which would be a change from Camel Spit, my usual alternative. (He alleges he believed this until he was at least five.)

(Reply to this)
j4 From: j4 Date: April 2nd, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I was head down in an ever-tighter flexible sack facing someone's spine I'd kick a bit too.

Yes, fair point...

I wonder if she has a crick in her neck and a funny shoulder because you're lying in the only comfy position you can manage so much of the time?

If she does, then she can damn well get a move on and help both of us to get into a more comfortable position sooner! :-)
tigerfort From: tigerfort Date: March 31st, 2011 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll guess at seven pounds, fourteen shillings and three pence.

Good luck, in both old money and new!
brightybot From: brightybot Date: March 31st, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not sure i remember a bowling ball between my legs - so maybe it doesn't feel like that for everyone. Or maybe I've just forgotten. Don't pin too many hopes on the baby coming on / before the due date - I did, and was sooo fed up of waiting when he was inevitably late. According to my yoga teacher first babies are an average of 5 days late. I don't know why they don't give a later estimated date for 1st births - or just give you a range of dates when the baby can be expectred. For this one I'm telling ppl "mid-August" rather than letting them know my exact due date, to try and prevent the pressure of "has it come yet". Having said all of that, if you're getting lots of cramps and things thhat could well be a sign that things are slowly starting to happen. Do hope it all goes well.
From: scat0324 Date: April 1st, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd've gone crackers if I'd had to faff about with buses every time I wanted to go anywhere

What's the plan for when she's out? Walking mostly? We've got a Weber Babyschale (German website) for the trailer, which is really good - sadly M will still be using it for a good 6 months I think, so this is only a recommendation, not something we can offer you :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: April 1st, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Walking, buses when necessary, eventually cycling -- we're hoping to get a Dutch bike (a Bakfiets or similar) but probably won't be able to do that until she's a bit bigger (and sourcing the bike requires tuits because there's nowhere in Oxford that actually stocks them though the Electric Bike Shop says they can do some kind of deal with their sister shop in Cambridge).

Mind you, buses will annoy me less when walking isn't such a strain -- at the moment part of the problem is that there's always at least a 10-minute walk at at least one end of the bus journey, & that tires me out, so getting the bus feels like I'm paying money for something that takes more effort than cycling!
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: April 7th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't really do Twitter, but Meg has shown me the good news.

CONGRATULATIONS! The best of health and happiness to you all, and I love the name. :-D
From: molijynx Date: April 8th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
This blog is bookmarked! I really love the stuff you have put here.

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