I realised yesterday that this post would be my 100th, and what better way to celebrate it than a picture post that shows how far I’ve come since I started this blog? Back then I was terrified and impatient. Now I’m excited and impatient! (And to be honest, still a little terrified at times.)
I had a friend come over 10 days ago to take some belly photos, and these are the results. (As usual the photos revealing our unmasked faces will be removed in a day or two, to protect our super-hero identities.)
I also realised that not only had I not posted a 34 week belly picture, I hadn’t posted the 32 week one either! Gee, I seem to be less productive now that I’m off work. Figure that one out. However, the belly pics page is now up-to-date!
What a massive misnomer.
The perineal part is right, I suppose, but there’s no way that what it entails can be considered massage. In my experience a massage involves pleasant feelings and relaxation. Sure there might be moments that are uncomfortable – working out a very tense knot of muscle, for example – but it’s a good sort of uncomfortable.
There is nothing relaxing or pleasant about perineal massage.
But. I’m persevering with it because I know that every moment of discomfort now might equate to less discomfort later – and hopefully less chance of tearing. Plus it gives me a chance to practise my breathing and relaxation techniques.
Practise makes perfect, right?
I’ve developed some pelvic instability – or Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction, as it is technically called.
I’m particularly sore on the right side, and it makes walking pretty uncomfortable. I am well and truly waddling like a goose these days! Sleeping can be difficult during a flare up too because every time I move in bed (or even if H moves) the pain wakes me up. Last night I only got a few hours of sleep and today I’m taking my second day off work in a row – largely because of a flare up of the PSD pain, and also because I feel generally unwell with a headache and a very uncomfortable belly. I think Bert must be going through one of his growth spurts because it all feels very tight in there and I’m getting short of breath very easily.
The silver lining of experiencing this pelvic pain is that one of the physiotherapists at work referred me to a specialist in women’s physiotherapy who has a particular interest in pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. I have seen her twice and am so thoroughly impressed. Not only has she addressed the pelvic instability, but she has given me a really good understanding of how to use my pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and has even – don’t laugh – taught me how to poo properly. Trust me, most of us have been doing it wrong! I really wish that I’d gone to see her earlier, just for basic pregnancy advice and exercise. She also runs a birth class which I have signed up for, which sounds like it will be much more practical that the classes run by our birthing centre. While those classes focussed more on simply explaining the options for pain relief, these classes actually go through the mechanics of how to effectively push, which muscles to recruit during which stages of labour and very useful info like that. And at the end of the class you go home with a TENS machine so you have it available to use as soon as the contractions start. The classes aren’t until I’m 36 to almost 38 weeks’ pregnant, so Bert better not decide to come before 38 weeks!
I think all pregnant women should go and see a specialist like this – they are a font of knowledge and have much more time to spend with you than the average obstetrician. I truly cannot recommend this particular practitioner highly enough.
In other news, everything else remains well. I am astounded every day at just how strong Bert is! His movements can almost throw me off balance and if I dare rest a book against the top of my tummy he will promptly kick it right off! We are now just about fully stocked up on baby products – we just need to get organised and shift bedrooms sometime in the next month as planned, and then I can have fun setting the nursery up properly!
No… not that kind of showering!
I’m talking about the kind of showering that happens when some wonderful girlfriends get together to shower love on an expectant mother – and in this case, that is me!
I have to say that I did have a few qualms celebrating Bert’s imminent arrival before I actually have him safely in my arms, but three of my close friends were thoughtful enough to take the whole decision out of my hands. They simply told me where to be, at what time, and they did the rest.
It was wonderful. We had a very elegant afternoon tea, with masses of delicious food, a huge range of teas, and the cutest baby cupcakes made by one of my friends.
I got some wonderful and useful gifts and now my drawers are very well stocked. We gossiped, tasted baby food (and I’m now determined to make my own fresh baby food as much as possible – the jar stuff is horrible!), and finished off the afternoon making gingerbread houses which was barrels of fun.
And the added bonus is that we got to take our creations home and enjoy demolishing them over the next few days!