Bump Watch: Week 37 – writing my birth plan

Today I’m officially full-term and although he isn’t technically ‘due’ for another three weeks, I honestly wouldn’t mind if he made an appearance before then. I was initially excited to have a few weeks to myself before he arrives but if this pregnancy carries on as it is now, I reckon I’m gonna Hulk out eventually!

37 weeks pregnant

The day before yesterday was the worst day of my pregnancy to date. Forget the morning sickness, that’s to be expected. You can even forget the pelvic dysfunction, as that can be eased by resting up. The rash I mentioned in my ‘birthing unit vs hospital‘ post was beyond ridiculous. It spread from behind my knees across to the front of my leg during the course of the day and became so uncontrollably itchy that I just couldn’t sit still. When I saw the doctor she said the rash will likely hang around for the rest of my pregnancy and the cream she prescribed can only be taken for a week, so that sounds fun!

When I was having dinner with Luke that night he looked at me with such pity and concern that it almost made me cry! By the time I had gotten home the pelvic pain had flared up, even though I hadn’t even been walking that much, and the itch was driving me crazy. Because the steroid cream can only be used twice a day, I wanted to hang on until I went to bed to put it on to see me through the night. In the end I finished up my dinner, took some paracetamol, put the cream on and took the laptop into bed to rest up. Almost instantly I was infuriated with my inability to sit comfortably with my laptop away from the desk. Although the bump is handy for resting a bowl of cereal, it’s not great with a laptop. So I bailed on the Bloglovin catch up idea and resorted to Netflix. Within an hour I had to call Luke in to help me out of bed so I could get some ice to put on the rashes, which helped enormously! I couldn’t stand to have anything else on it though, so had to ditch the PJ bottoms and duvet for most of the night but it’s impossible to sleep comfortably without the pillow between my knees, so I had to compromise a bit.

After the second application of the special cream yesterday morning it felt a helluva lot better but looked worse. The rash on the front of my leg seemed to bring some added swelling, so that’s nice!

pregnancy leg rash

I put the cream on at about 10am and didn’t need to use the additional Epiderm cream until I woke up from my nap at 4pm. Pretty good going. And, yes, the nap was incredible. I got back from the midwife, had lunch and fell asleep on the soda for an hour and a half. Then managed another hour on top of that. Winner!

The midwife was lovely again. It was my second time seeing her and she really is so much better than my last one. Everything was fine with me and The Boy (except the previously mentioned rash, etc) and we went through my birth plan. I asked people for comments on the hospital vs birthing unit debate and I thought I’d include them here for anyone interested/debating where to give birth:

Kate: I had [my son] at trelisk the staff were amazing & I was induced coz he was late. The aftercare was rubbish though – and I really struggled on the ward. He was born at 8pm and [my partner] was sent home at 10pm ( ouch) 72 hours I was in labour. I considered penrise but heard the transfer can be incredibly difficult, my friends husband wasn’t allowed in the ambulance for some reason! I do t know f you have considered a home water birth but that’s prob what I would do next time. Ps are you allowed to take water pools to trelisk?!! Also I’m sure whatever you chose it’ll be fine

Catherine: Two perspectives here! On [my first daughter] I wanted to give birth at Helston birthing centre, I’d planned too from the second scan. My waters went in bed 36+5 and I went into Labour straight away, I had to go to treliske because you have to be 37 weeks for the birthing centre. Ultimately I was grateful I did because after 8 or 9 hours I could think of nothing more amazing than the feeling of being numbed from the waist down. Another 8 hours later she was born unassisted but with the cord round her neck and they whisked her off because she wasn’t really coming round, they brought her back after a few minutes. I spent 2 days in there for breastfeeding support because no one quite prepares you for how difficult and painful it can be (even if you’re lucky enough to have a good latcher!). Hospital was the right place for me to give birth. With [my second daughter] I wanted a home birth, but when push came to shove I chickened out because I was worried I couldn’t cope. I got to hospital about half 6, walked round til 8, hit the gas and air til 9, I was still only 4cm at 9am. They moved me up to delivery at 9:30 (granted at this point I was demanding an epidural) but it turned out I was fully dilated (that’d be why) and 8 minutes later she was out and healthy and we were discharged 3 hours later. All I did was regret not having a homebirth! My midwife was on call that night, I only used a bit of gas and air, and everything went as perfectly as giving birth can. Anyway my point no two births are the same on one hand plans can get thrown out the window but turn out for the best, on the other hand sometimes you need to trust yourself and your body and go with what you want because you might regret it. First labours are normally very long so you’ll probably have plenty of time to get to hospital if the birth centre isn’t working for you. I think they did a study recently that showed that if you have a homebirth you’re less likely to need intervention

Sam: Just keep an open mind and don’t write a strict birth plan, more birth ideas

Adi: I agree with Kate, Treliske were great with the birth but the aftercare was a bit rubbish. I had a bit of a meltdown in there and a shout at them and they soon stepped up. Visiting hours for Dads is 10am till 10pm and others 2pm till 8pm. Keep an open mind with your plan, utilise the gas and air it’s brilliant stuff! And don’t be afraid to put your foot down afterwards and use your call button it’s what it and the midwives are there for! What will happen will happen. It is daunting, but it’s because it’s the unknown for you – Like being scared of the dark as you don’t know what’s in it. So a birth plan gives you a bit of structure and security, but when the time comes you just get on with it, you’d be amazed what your body can do.

Kyla: Hong Kong has no birthing centres, hospital or nothing. The midwives say that in early Labour the best thing you can do to relax is stay home as long as you are comfortable/ water isn’t broken. You can sit in your own bath, prance about, watch tv And eat. if you are thinkinhg of a water birth only for early labour just use your bath if you have one. I had 2 baths, but both time had to get out cos I was too hot. The 2nd bath didn’t help that much as the confections got stronger, but worked well with the earlier ones, a shower worked great too on my back. I had my birth plan all written out and when I passed it over they crossed out half of it and said no haha. Use it more of a way to inform them of things that are important. Food allergies, you would like to breastfeed, skin to skin straight away etc. how the actual birth happens will be decided by baby on the day !

When it came down to writing everything up with the midwife I decided to just go ahead with the hospital plan. I’m an anal planner and I’d like to have a reasonable idea of the way things will progress, so if I plan to go to the hospital at least that’s something I’ll be ready for. I’m also planning to avoid the epidural if I can handle it but if I don’t cope well with the contractions at home I’ll phone up and go in earlier for a shot of Pethidine. It seems crazy that I can end up spending a day or two at home in early labour and that even if the contractions are three to four minutes apart and over a minute long I could still only be a couple of centimetres dilated and get sent home. I’d love it if I don’t have to go into hospital until I’m in active labour because the idea of being induced and Luke being sent home because nothing’s happening yet doesn’t sound very fun.

So I have some plans and ideas in place but I’ve also accepted the fact that you can’t realistically plan these things. It would just be super-nice if The Boy doesn’t leave me hanging and arrive late!

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