Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Nursery

One of my achievements during my maternity leave has been successfully getting some curtains for the nursery. Don't be fooled by all the blue - we still don't know yet if Bean is a blue or a pink baby.

Amby Baby Hammock

Our friends Christy and Pete have very generously loaned us their Amby Baby Hammock, now that their daughter Jovie has grown out of it. We intend on using it for the first 6 months or so, and then move the baby into the cot in the nursery.

38 Week Belly

Gareth calls this my torpedo belly!

Friday, March 23, 2007

On the Washing Line

I have finally gotten around to putting some of Bean's outfits through the laundry for the first time ....


37 weeks, 1 day pregnant

Over the last week, I have been diagnosed with a condition called PUPPP - Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, which basically means a really, really, really itchy rash that you develop when you're pregnant. It usually starts late in the third trimester, and the cure is giving birth! It is harmless to the baby, but may drive mum insane from the itching. It could have been worse however ... the other main cause for itching during pregnancy is Obstetric Cholestasis, which is a nasty condition where your liver stops functioning correctly - it often means having to be induced early because of the risks to baby. So PUPPP is definitely the better option, and I was pleased that my blood tests/liver function tests came back normal.

For me, it started when my stretch marks started to become red, raised, and inflamed, and from there, I developed little, red, itchy lumps all over my hands, elbows, forearms, behind my knees, upper and outer thighs and the top of my feet. It has gotten worse every day over the last week. I can't even begin to describe how bad the itching is, only to say that it has had me screaming and distraught on a few occasions, although it does fluctuate in intensity (nights are worst). I honestly don't know how I am going to cope with this for another 3 weeks, possibly up to 5 if Bean decides to make a late arrival. It seems like a cruel joke that the day after I started maternity leave, PUPPP has come along and ruined any chance of me enjoying my last few weeks resting and getting things ready for Bean.

To help with the intense itching, Bob, my obstetrician, has prescribed me with Phenergen (an anti-histamine), aqueous cream with menthol (to soothe the skin), and Betnovate (a topical corticosteroid cream). I've also been bathing in pinetarsol, in freezing cold water, which seems to be the most effective thing. I just leave the bath full all day and night, and jump in whenever I can't cope with the itching any longer.

I saw Bob yesterday morning, and he said that it was my decision - that he could induce me next Friday (when I will be 38 wks pregnant), but that there were distinct disadvantages to that. He said that my body wasn't quite ready to go into labour yet, and inducing would probably lead to and epidural and/or forceps or vacuum extraction delivery. I have always wanted to have a natural birth, as far as possible, so I am going to see if I can tolerate the itching for as long as possible.

I see Bob again next Thurday, and then he is on holidays for 2 weeks, so I'll see how I'm travelling then.

Here are some pictures of my PUPPP:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm on Maternity Leave!

36 weeks, 1 day pregnant:

Yesterday was my last day at work, and as much as I enjoy my job, my tiredness was increasing, and I was definitely ready to finish. I've got maternity leave for 10 months, and am due back at work on 4/2/08. It seems so long away, but I'm sure the time will go quickly. Now that I am on maternity leave, I am looking forwards to having some time to finish everything up in preparation for little Bean's arrival - the nursery isn't ready, the carseat isn't in the car, my labour bag isn't packed, I haven't washed any of Bean's little outfits or nappies yet, and the house definitely proves that I haven't done much nesting yet! All going well, I should have at least 4 weeks to get things organised, maybe more, as people tell me that first babies usually go overdue.

Gareth and I went out to the Lawnton Tavern to celebrate last night ... I was having really regular Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions, about every 5-15 minutes, but they didn't get any stronger or closer together, so I think Bean is just practicing for the Big Day!

Today I went to Breastfeeding Class at the hospital where I'll be giving birth. I was a little bit disappointed, because when I booked in I was told that the class was for the mummies only, but when I arrived today, the Lactation Consultant running the class was surprised that none of the daddies came (except one ... he must have felt a bit silly all on his own). It would have been good for Gareth to listen to all the information too.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ultrasound photos - 32 weeks 4 days

Here are some photos from our most recent ultrasound, which we had on 20th Feb 07. It's not routine to have an ultrasound at this stage, but we needed to check if my placenta had moved up and out of the way, as it was looking a bit low at the last scan, and may have meant an automatic caesarian section at 38weeks.

As it turns out, my placenta has moved up, so I'm all set to attempt a natural birth.

Bean, it turns out, is a beautiful big healthy bubba ... the measurements for head circumference, abdominal circumference and femur length are all above the 98th percentile, and the estimated weight is off the charts. At this stage, at 32 weeks old, Bean is estimated to weight 3.0kgs!!!

Below: our beautiful chubby-cheeked baby!

Below: side profile of Bean's face

Below: Shy Bean - trying to hide behind a hand

Below: the umbilical cord is draped across Bean's face.
Below: Bean's side profile

Below: Bean's Measurements -

the crosses are the measurements from the 19wk scan compared with 32wk scan

New website for Baby Bean

It finally happened .. I ran out of space on my Totsites website and wasn't able to upload any more photos of Baby Bean. So here they are ... continued!