So I’ve officially been pregnant for eight months! Eight whole months. Wow. I feel like it’s both absolutely flown by but also like I’ve been pregnant forever. Weird, huh? Both this pregnancy and the season of ‘life before kids’ is coming to an end very soon and even though I’m feeling quite impatient to start the next chapter, I’ve been trying to remind myself to stay present and really soak in the now. This little baby will truly be here before we know it! This month I have so much to update you on including whether or not I’ll need a c-section, going on our babymoon and writing our birth preferences. I can’t wait to fill you in!
Bumpdate: Weeks 32-35
Do you remember how my 20-week scan revealed that I had placenta previa? This is where the placenta grows too low – either over the cervix or too close to it. I’d been told that in the vast majority of cases, as the uterus grows, it moves up with it (kind of like blowing up a balloon) but that it needed to be checked again later in the pregnancy. Well, at 32 weeks, I was booked in for an ultrasound to check where it was.
It wasn’t something I was worried about. Whether it was high or low, it was completely out of my control and actually had no impact on mine or the baby’s health. It would just mean that if it was still too low, I’d have to have a c-section. While surgery was definitely NOT how I envisioned giving birth, if it was truly medically necessary, I’d totally be okay with it. After all, before the invention of modern medicine, these are the conditions that women used to die from in childbirth.
Anyway, the ultrasound showed that it had indeed moved! Like expected, it had stretched up with my uterus and was far enough away from my cervix to not cause any concerns. Yippee! It did take a while to come to that conclusion though because the baby’s head was blocking the view. That’s right, baby is head down, which is super reassuring. It’s obviously pretty comfy down there because the doctor tried to get it to move a few times and it wouldn’t budge. She eventually got the images she needed though so all was good.
They also did a quick check of how baby looked and took some measurements. Thankfully, all looks perfect. Another thing that we discovered in this ultrasound was that our baby has a lot of hair! When the obstetrician was trying to see around the baby’s head, she said, ‘Wow, can you see all the hair on the baby’s head?’. We could see it floating out from the nape of the neck – crazy. So this baby might be born with a full head of hair. Ben was actually born with a mullet with long hair stretching down to his back (so weird!) so maybe it’s taking after dad! Too funny.
A few days later, on a rainy Sunday morning, Ben and I headed down to South Melbourne for a half-day infant and child first-aid course. The last time we did a first-aid course was almost 10 years ago before we went hiking through New Zealand. I was really keen for us to do a refresher of basic first-aid and to learn about things relevant to babies and children in particular. The course covered everything from CPR to choking, fevers, croup, asthma, water safety, immunisations, poisoning and loads more. It was great to learn about what to do if we’re confronted with these types of things.
The following week we headed back into the hospital for my 33-week midwife appointment. We got to meet another one of the lovely midwives on my team (I love them all) and did all the usual, basic checkups on baby. Like always, she felt for the baby’s position and found that it was posterior. This basically means that the baby is facing the wrong way and that we’re back to back. The midwife said that it’s not a big deal and that babies can turn at any point, even during labour, so to not worry. She did say though, to try and spend more time sitting on the fit ball instead of lounging back on the couch. This encourages my pelvis to come more forward and down, helping the baby’s spine to swivel around.
I also had to get a medical note to say I was fit to fly because the following day we were heading away on our babymoon. After 28 weeks, the airlines require pregnant women to carry a note from their healthcare professional indicating their due date and that it’s safe for them to fly. Luckily, all was fine and it was no issue for us to go away interstate.
So the very next day, Ben and I escaped cold Melbourne and jetted off to Tropical North Queensland for 6 days. We had the most perfect weather and spent our days lounging by the pool, eating all the fresh fish we could get our hands on and getting pampered. We made sure we soaked up every moment together, since this would be the very last holiday where it’s just the two of us! We had a really romantic, special time together. I wrote a little recap of our babymoon here.
When we got home, it started to all feel very real. I knew I had only a couple more weeks until this baby would be fully cooked and then he/she could be here at any time. I felt this frenzied nesting urge kick in (okay, I know I’ve been nesting since around 17 weeks, but this took it to the next level).
One of the first things on my list was to wash the baby’s clothes and bedding. Oh my goodness, it’s quite the job! Every little piece seemed to have different washing instructions so I was doing load after load after load. But the sight of those little onesies hanging around the house to dry just completely melted my heart.
Around week 34 I also started to think about packing my hospital bag. The hospital provided a packing checklist which was super handy but I also reached out on Instagram stories to ask all the mamas out there what essentials they’d recommend. So many great tips were sent through – thank you! Since there are quite unique things I need to take for the labour, the baby and my own hospital stay, I’ve decided to pack three separate small bags instead of one big one. I just think it will make things easier at the time. I’ll be sharing a list of everything I’ve packed on the blog soon.
Since I was at the point where I was starting to think about labour, it was now the time to start doing some things that would help my body prepare. Since our baby is posterior, I wanted to do all I could over the next few weeks to encourage turning. If I need to sit down at my desk, I’ve been trying to sit back-to-front on the chair and at night, instead of lounging back on the couch, I’ll sit upright on the fit ball. It’s definitely not as comfortable as just relaxing and reclining back but I know I’d regret it if I wasn’t proactive about it.
My yoga studio is also a health clinic specialising in women’s health and I was reading about the benefits of bowen therapy for fetal positioning so I booked in for a session. Bowen therapy is a gentle, rolling of the connective tissues around the joints, which helps with alignment. For fetal positioning, it can help with aligning and opening the pelvis, ensuring that it’s tilted in the right way to help the baby move. Whether or not it helps for positioning remains to be seen but either way, it was relaxing!
I also booked in for my first acupuncture session. I keep reading and hearing everywhere how beneficial acupuncture can be in preparing the body for labour and opening up energy channels so I was keen to start going. Apparently it can also help with the position of babies so I was interested to see if it would have an impact. My first session targeted points relating to the pregnancy and also my hip and back pain.
It was so interesting. When the acupuncturist removed the needles relating to the pregnancy, the baby did the biggest, most powerful movement I have ever felt. Like, so big that it caught my breath. And then, for the rest of the day, it was the most active it had ever been – thrashing around in there non-stop. At my next session, the week after, I mentioned it to the acupuncturist. She just smiled and said, ‘That’s what we want!’. Hopefully, the funneling of energy to the baby will encourage a little swivel around. I’ll continue doing weekly acupuncture sessions from now on, all the way up to the end.
Come week 35, it was time to write our birth preferences. At our last appointment, the midwife had asked whether we’d given it any consideration yet, which we had, but just hadn’t written it down yet. So I wanted to make sure we had it for our next appointment. I love this about the Royal Women’s Hospital. The midwives genuinely care about women feeling empowered in birth. They want you to know that you do have choices and agency, which is definitely not always the case in other hospitals or with other doctors. I basically divided it up into three sections: labour, birth and post-birth. Let me know if you’d be interested in me sharing what kinds of things we included – I’d be happy to write a blog post about it!
Later that week, my mum came over to spend a day with me in the kitchen, cooking and preparing some meals for our newborn freezer stash. I’ve completely run out of room in our freezer though, so mum is helping me store food in hers too. It was such a fun and special day and it made me so grateful to have family nearby as we enter this new phase. It must be so hard not having family close by when you have a baby.
And, finally, what have I been reading this month? I’ve read so much about labour and birth that I felt like I wanted to start reading about the next phase – when the baby is actually here! I picked up a copy of The First Six Weeks by Midwife Cath, which basically goes through what to expect each week after your baby is born. I feel like so much time is spent preparing for birth but that’s really just the beginning of the adventure ahead! As with any book, there were some things that sat well with me and others that didn’t so much. I just aim to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible and then will let my intuition completely take over.
If you’re keen to read more about my pregnancy so far, browse the pregnancy archives or find the most recent bumpdates here:
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