Pregnancy – Week 32

Feeling a bit defeated right now, and I think it shows. I went to yet another prenatal appointment yesterday. All I can say at this point is: I can’t wait for all this to be over. It was one of the shittiest appointments so far. For the first time ever, my tests came back indicating that my sugar level was above normal. I’ve never had this in my entire life. Of course they brushed it off and basically went like “no big deal, we’ll just keep an eye on it.” And then the doctor randomly decided to discuss my weight, which was never brought up before. She subtly implied that I need to stop gaining weight now because I’m kind of on the high end of the weight gain chart. Are you kidding me? I don’t even think that she took note of my height into her equation. I’m pretty tall. And I’ve gained less this time than when I was expecting Sam! I don’t even eat that much. Nor do I stuff myself with sugary treats. I eat pretty healthy and stick to normal portions. I’ve only gained 12 kilos so far. When Sam was born, I instantly lost 10kg from giving birth alone. You’re not just losing the weight of the baby; there’s the placenta, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord and all sorts of lovely things. I stepped on a scale 2 hours after he was born, and I was already 10 kilos lighter. If it’s the same this time, I will only have a few kilos left to lose, which isn’t that hard. So yeah. **major eye roll** 😒

Then I got to meet one of the two doctors who will be following me up from now on, since the professor who took care of me decided to move abroad at the worst possible time. Just my luck, right? Now that I’ve met one of the two, I’m not exactly reassured. He came in and tried to sell me his spiel about how this is a totally different pregnancy, and how the odds of things going wrong twice in a row are very low and that we should basically stop monitoring things so closely because it could cause more anxiety than if we let things run their course. The fact alone that he suggested to cancel next week’s monitoring almost gave me a panic attack! Those appointments are exactly what helps me stay calm! I completely closed up. I let him finish his speech without answering a word, then thanked him and said goodbye. As soon as he walked out the door, I booked my appointment for next week! Silly man.

I also want a full blood test next time. I often feel dizzy since last week, and now with my sugar being higher than normal, I just want to make sure that everything’s okay. I was low on iron during my first pregnancy. So I also want to make sure that this isn’t the case again. And if they don’t want to do it, then I’ll just go to my family doctor. Pffft. They were so cautious during the first and second trimester. Why are they suddenly trying to play things down now like it’s no big deal when we’re right in the final weeks? This is exactly when things went completely wrong the first time! 😡

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 32 thirty two weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 32 thirty two weeks baby evolution fetus

Anyway, Baby’s doing fine. He’s still very active during the day and spends peaceful quiet nights. Here’s hoping this pattern remains after birth lol I can’t wait to meet our little man. We’ve finally made up our minds about his name! We went back and forth a lot, and then eventually just kept going back to this one, which started to feel more and more right as weeks went by. At this point we’re used to calling him that, so there’s no changing it anymore. It was about time! I’m only 6 weeks away from giving birth. I was starting to worry that this baby would be born without a name. I really don’t care what gender we have next. But if we end up having boys only, I do worry about future names … Boy names are difficult! Hah!

38 more days until I get induced. I’m getting so impatient. It’s almost to the point where I’m annoying myself. I get so frustrated when I can’t do certain things, and I can’t be as physically active as I’m used to, and I can’t eat or drink certain things. Ugh. So sick of it. I know this probably sounds shallow when obviously my main priority is having this baby alive and well. But I’ve gone through such horrible, frustrating years so far. It feels like my whole life has been on hold and that I’ve been holding my breath ever since I got pregnant in January 2014. I can’t wait to move forward and breathe again. Six more weeks … sounds like nothing, but it feels like an eternity right now.

Pregnancy – Week 31

I’m so exhausted right now. I don’t know if it shows in my picture, but I definitely feel it. I practically didn’t sleep last night due to painful hips and we had to be at the hospital at 8AM this morning to monitor Baby’s activity for an hour. I had never done this before, so this was a first. They basically put 2 straps around my belly and I had to lay on my left side. The midwife explained the basics of what we could see on the monitor and in which case we’d have to call her right away. There were two other pregnant ladies hooked up to a monitor in that same room. I only briefly saw them as I walked by, because the whole appointment was spent behind closed curtains. Gert was so involved. It was cute. 😄 💕

Baby was kicking those monitor straps like it was really bugging him. He had hiccups, practiced breathing, turned around several times and showed a perfect heart rate. All was looking perfect. Thank God.

At one point, one of the other pregnant women a little further away started crying. I couldn’t see her as we were basically in a little closed cubicle, but she cried nonstop for a solid 40 minutes. I have no idea what was going on. One doctor came in, her husband went to get her some water, and she basically sobbed the entire time. Part of me wanted to ask the midwife about it – since my mind naturally jumps to the conclusion “dead baby”. But then I figured maybe her case wasn’t nearly as tragic as what we’ve been through so far, and it’s already been emotional enough for me, so I didn’t feel the strength to put myself in a vulnerable position. I’m not sure if most of us who go there are dealing with a pregnancy after a loss. In any case, I noticed that none of us acted like the average pregnant woman. There was no enthusiastic talk about baby’s growth and activity, no fun chatter about future plans … only worries. It was definitely a weird vibe.

When all that was done, they decided to do an ultrasound so we could see Baby and check things visually. They said this was mainly to reassure me. It was nice. But I have to be honest: I wasn’t really worried at that particular point. But at least this gave me a chance to ask them to check the umbilical cord. I wanted to know if it was anywhere near his neck. Luckily, it’s not. If it had been, I would have had to pay closer attention to possible distress signs from now on, such as increased hiccuping. I write it all down anyway. But it’s reassuring to know that – right now – the umbilical cord is fine.

My next appointment is next Wednesday, and then most likely we’ll go back in to monitor the baby the week after that.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 31 thirty one weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 31 thirty one weeks baby evolution fetus

While last week was one of my best weeks so far in terms of how I felt physically, I can’t really say the same about this week. I’m getting more and more tired and my hips are hurting so bad at night. I feel dizzy quite often, but the only plausible reason seems to be my lack of sleep. Household chores have become quite difficult. I gave the dog a bath yesterday and then had to lie down on the bed because it had triggered some mild Braxton Hicks contractions. Not pleasant at all! Although perfectly normal at this point in pregnancy.

We thought we had found his name last week, and now we don’t again … lol I swear this is hard! I’m usually not like that at all. I’m generally the kind of person who quickly figures out a few options and then makes up her mind about it fairly quickly. Now I keep going back and forth and I feel so indecisive. It’s annoying. Bless Gert for being so easy going and patient. He’s already found enough names for 10 more boys. Haha!!! I’m just not convinced about any of them. I still have my top 4, which he likes, but, I just can’t decide. Sometimes I feel like it would be easier once I meet him and see what he looks like. The weird thing is that I never felt like that with Sam. It was so easy with him. Everything was easy. It all felt so right. Maybe it would be easy again if Sam hadn’t died. Now it feels like extra pressure and extra insecurities. Part of me keeps thinking: “If this baby dies too, then basically, which name that I love am I going to sacrifice? Because then it would never actively be used.” Just like with Sam. It kills me that the only times I ever speak out his name, it’s because we’re talking about something sad. And it’s never on a daily basis like I imagined I would during that pregnancy. Once we had decided about “Sam”, I could imagine baby Sam, toddler Sam, teenage Sam, groom Sam … the older handsome Sam who’d be holding my hand at the hospital at the end of my life. That whole future was gone in the snap of a finger before it even started. I don’t think anyone can imagine what it does to a person, unless they’ve experienced it too.

Right now, I just know that I’m expecting a baby boy and that’s pretty much it. What will he look like? What will his name be? What will our future basically look like? No idea! It’s all so abstract. I just know that I want him alive and well so we can go on instead of being stuck in limbo … I can’t wait for D-day! Only 45 days left.


Pregnancy – Week 30

I went to one of my many prenatal appointments yesterday, and had what was supposed to be my last ultrasound of this pregnancy. The perspective of this being the last time I would ever see this baby on screen was scaring me. And the fact that this was the exact same time that we last saw Sam alive on an ultrasound screen was enough to trigger anxiety. I started feeling my heart racing while we were sitting in the waiting room, and it was slowly becoming painful. Then the doctor called my name and we walked in … She asked if we already knew our baby’s gender and I said “yes, a little boy”. She said “Great, this is your second, right?” I said yeah and she went: “Oh, how fun that’s going to be: two little boys at home!”

I crashed into a puddle of tears right there and only managed to mumble “not really, our first son died right before birth”. She apologized profusely and obviously felt bad. She kept saying how she should have read my file more thoroughly and how sorry she was. The harm was done though. I spent the entire ultrasound sobbing and feeling sorry for myself. I couldn’t stop staring at my baby moving on the screen and thinking that this could be the very last time I see him alive, just like with Sam. Gert managed to keep a cooler head – Thank God. He took charge of the situation and became much more vocal about what he’d like to happen in the next few weeks so we could keep the anxiety down. He demanded at least one extra ultrasound as well as more frequent monitoring. I must have looked like an emotional mess, because they suddenly agreed to absolutely everything; which hadn’t been the case before. Now all of a sudden, I have an extra ultrasound planned in 4 weeks. They will check everything in detail again, including the quality of the blood flow through the placenta as well as the baby. And I’ll be going to the hospital once a week from now on instead of every two weeks. We will alternate between two types of visits: one week they will put a band around my belly for an hour and monitor baby’s activity, the next week we’ll be seeing a doctor for a full prenatal checkup, and so forth until we finally get to my induction date.

Suddenly, they also seemed a lot more open minded about inducing as early as 37 weeks. That was a huge relief. Honestly, I’m not sure I will do this; it will depend on many factors and I’ll have to see how things evolve and how I am feeling by then. But it eased my mind to know that the option is definitely open.

One bad news we got is that the professor who’s been taking care of me from the start is apparently moving abroad or something, so he handed over my file to two of his colleagues … and now I have no idea who will deliver this baby. It sucks. I’m generally not someone who gets all hung up about having one specific doctor, but this situation is quite exceptional and I was so used to seeing him. He was there through it all, he delivered Sam, he knew my entire case by heart. So, yeah, it sucks.

I really can’t wait for all of this to be over so I can focus on motherhood, taking care of my baby, taking care of myself, and forget about all the pregnancy stuff for a while! Gert was already talking about having more children, but I feel like I’m seriously going to need a break for a while after this one. Of course I’d like to have more than one living child; and maybe I will change my mind about the timing of it all once I’ve delivered this baby, but right now I’m like “I need a break and a piƱa colada!”

I was reading through Sam’s 30 week pregnancy update, and I was stunned to read how similar this 30th week is:
– I’ve been having much more peaceful nights, and Baby seems to have gotten the hang of a somewhat coherent sleep pattern when I go to bed.
– As Baby’s grown a lot in a short time, the way I feel movements has now changed. It’s gone from actual kicks to feeling more like things rolling around.
– This week marks the very first time I have been able to identify for sure when he’s hiccuping. I’m not supposed to count hiccups as movements, so I have to leave this out of my daily kick count. I do write them down though, but specifically mark them as hiccups now.

The things that bothered me with Sam but I don’t have this time: no leg cramps, no stomach acid, no swollen feet.

Anyway, on to the fun stuff. Here are this week’s sonogram pictures:

All they managed to snap was his profile. He’s obviously too big now to get a full body shot, so it’s his face only. And they had a hard time even getting this because he had his arm and hand in front of his face the whole time lol Stubborn little guy. I don’t know why I felt from the beginning of this pregnancy that he’d end up looking more like me. But based on these pictures alone, I’m a bit puzzled to see that his profile actually matches Gert’s more. I can’t wait to meet him!

He also didn’t appreciate it when the midwife measured my belly; he kicked that measuring band so hard. Haha!

One funny detail that I noticed since about a week or two: he reacts to the doorbell, the phone ringing, the kitchen timer and the alarm clock in the bedroom lol So obviously, his ears are working well!

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 30 thirty weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 30 thirty weeks baby evolution fetus

On a side note: I think we have finally found his name! We haven’t officially called it a final decision yet; but it’s slowly imposing itself as the obvious choice. So, we’re giving it a bit more time now just to get used to it, and then I suppose we’ll both be like “okay, let’s stop going back and forth because this is the one.” Now I just have to figure out his two middle names. I was sooooo sure about his middle names, but now they don’t flow well at all with the first name we’ll most likely end up settling for. So … I now have to think real hard of two middle names that will sound better with the first name. Traditionally, the rule here is to use the first name of the godfather and the godmother. If it’s a boy, you obviously try to use a male variation of the godmother’s name, and if it’s a girl, you stick to a female variation of the godfather’s name (or something that sounds close enough). Personally, I’m not a fan of that rule. I look at those 2 middle names more as a way to make my baby unique. Especially with Gert’s last name being ridiculously common! I don’t want this child to get mixed up with someone else. That’s why his two middle names are so important to me. They will be part of his unique identity.

Whether our families will like it or not is the least of my worries at this point. They’ll get used to it!

My countdown shows 52 days left … Although at this point it could even be sooner than that. It’s all up in the air at the moment, but at least the end is in sight!

Pregnancy – Week 29

I think it shows that I’m feeling emotionally better at the moment. I try not to worry too much and I try my best to convince myself that everything will be just fine and that we will get to take this baby home in 2 months. Physically though … the misery has begun. My back started hurting pretty badly yesterday, and my hips have been bothering me more and more as well. It’s to the point now where I have to get up much earlier than usual, because lying in bed for too long only makes it worse. As a result: I’m pretty damn tired all day. If it’s already that painful right now, I can’t really imagine how bad it will be towards the end. My hips just get so loose in the third trimester. It’s crazy. I guess some women are more prone to this than others. At least it’s a good consolation to know that it all goes back to normal after birth. But for now, it’s far from pleasant.

I called off a family event on Gert’s side of the family, which I was supposed to attend this Saturday. It’s in the evening; the most miserable time of the day for me. And even though I’m a little bummed to be stuck at home until this baby arrives, I just know it’s for the best. I would physically feel so miserable if I went there. There’s no point. Especially since there will be a 3 course meal, and I’ve been avoiding large dinners in the evening for a couple of months now. I stop eating around 6:30PM / 7PM latest, because otherwise I can’t sleep due to horrible stomach acid. So yeah … Oh well. Gert will be attending for both of us lol

On a positive note: my hair seems to finally be getting better. Pregnancy hormones made it look like crap for the longest time. I started having to take extra good care of it so it would look halfway decent. It got so flat and dull and lifeless, and even a lot darker than usual (wtf?). I do lighten my hair every once in a while, but this was getting extreme. And because of how bad it was looking, I didn’t dare to make the situation worse by adding hair dye to the mix. Plus, I know they say it’s safe during pregnancy, but after everything we’ve been through, I figured I might as well play it safe and stay away from it for a while. Now that it seems to be back to having some shine and body, and that this pregnancy is slowly nearing its end, I think I’ll dye it in a few weeks. Maybe around week 32. That’s when Baby’s brain will be fully developed and that the remaining weeks will basically be spent gaining weight and growing those little lungs. I’ll feel better about it then.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 29 twenty nine weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 29 twenty nine weeks baby evolution fetus

Gert keeps suggesting baby names that I loathe. He’s the ideal man in every imaginable way, but it turns out he does have one negative side: his horrible taste in baby names! “Philibert” and “Engelbertus” are two of the many gems that have come out of his mouth so far … 😖 Um, NO!!! There are only a few that we both feel somewhat okay about. Pffft. At least he gave me a free pass when it comes to both middle names. Whew! This whole headache is exactly why – this time around – I don’t even want to hear any of our family’s opinions about names. It’s already hard enough as is. I know for sure some people will not like our choice, no matter what it ends up being, so screw it. Can’t please everybody! I know some people didn’t like the name “Sam” either. But it’s what felt right for him. And when he was born, he definitely looked like a Sam. So, I’ll just stick to the same approach again. And no matter how he ends up being named, I know for sure this child will thank me in the future for not having listened to his dad! 😂 Haha!!

Anyway, he may not have a name yet, but at least he already has plenty of clothes waiting for him! My mom hand knitted this adorable little outfit:

Baby boy white pale blue outfit handmade knitted diy craft teddy bear cardigan overall cute adorable with love home made knitting stitching sewing embroidery embellishment

It’s so soft and pretty! Let’s just hope the season this was made for will match his size by the time the weather’s right for it to be worn. I’m afraid we’re only capable of making giant babies, so the sizing worries me a little bit. But oh well, we’ll see. Less than 60 days now before I get induced. Oh, I can’t wait!

pregnancy induction countdown

Pregnancy – Week 28

I don’t know what it is about week 28 that makes me feel so much more relaxed and more confident all of a sudden. It doesn’t make much sense because I haven’t even passed the so called “point of loss”. My point of loss; which is the exact time in pregnancy when Sam died, will never be reached again. I will never deliver a baby in my 39th week, ever again. There’s something about it that really blows my mind. Sam will forever be the baby that I carried the longest. I’ve talked to many loss moms this past year and a half, and many of them mentioned how there’s something crucial in terms of anxiety that changes once you go past your point of loss. I will never have that. And I wouldn’t want to. The sooner they get this baby out, the better. I just don’t trust my body anymore to go the full length. It’s sad.

I have now started the series of appointments that will be at a rate of once every two weeks up until I get induced in 10 weeks. So, 5 more appointments to go. I can’t wait for this all to be over. Yesterday’s appointment felt completely useless. The doctor listened to the baby’s heart with a doppler, asked me how I was feeling, and that was pretty much it. Like, seriously? Did we really just drive this whole way for that? Is this the kind of appointment that is supposed to reassure me until this baby’s born? 😒 Pffft. She couldn’t even figure out the baby’s position. I was mildly annoyed but couldn’t even be bothered at that point. She kept hitting his foot and was like “I’m not sure what that is.” Um, lady, that’s his foot! It’s pretty clear that he’s in the correct position with his head down, but she couldn’t figure it out at all. *sigh* Whatever. I feel like I’ve got things somewhat under control for now. I know what position he’s in, what I feel, and I’m still marking blue crosses in my agenda all day long, every single time I feel a movement or a kick. His (hyper)activity remains well within his usual range, so I’ve got all the reassurance I need for now. The next appointment in 2 weeks will include one last detailed ultrasound. Thank God for that. I want to know everything and they better check it all. How they expect to blindly get through the remaining 2 months after that blows my mind, but no choice, I guess.

lilypie pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 28 twenty eight weeks baby evolution fetus

thebump.com pregnancy ticker fetal growth development size 3rd third last trimester week 28 twenty eight weeks baby evolution fetus

I’m so happy to see what looks like a full term baby now on the brown ticker. I know he’ll need to triple in weight within the next 10 weeks, but I feel like we’re so close to the finish line now. I can’t wait!

Meanwhile, Gert has managed to get sick. 😠 Just what I didn’t need right now. I feel really bad for him because it’s obviously painful. His throat is horribly sore, he had a fever earlier today, he’s coughing nonstop, and he’s basically been bedridden since yesterday evening. The doctor came by a few hours ago and confirmed it’s bad enough to require antibiotics. *Great* Meanwhile, I’m scared to death to catch it. So, I think I’m going to take some drastic measures and sleep upstairs tonight. Not only will it lower the risk of catching the same, but it will also allow me to get some much needed sleep, because all the coughing kept me awake most of last night. I’m exhausted.

We’re still going in circles with baby names … At this point I’m just ready to settle for one that’s been in our top 3 ever since we expected Sam 2 years ago. I’m dead set on his middle name, but his first and third remain a mystery. We better hurry and figure it all out, because we only have 66 more days to go … Eeek!