Back to my GP this week, for my 32 week checkup. Dr B found the heartbeat immediately and said everything was looking great. She was still pretty certain he was head down and in a good position. She also said she wouldn’t be surprised if I went early and had a baby the next time I saw her, which isn’t what I want to hear until I have things like car seats fitted and Moses baskets sorted out.
I mentioned that I am itchy at times, and she explained that thrush is very common in pregnancy because your flora is messed up by all the crazy hormones. (I’ve been drinking a lot of fruit juice to compensate for not being able to drink tea and coffee, and had wondered if I was taking in too much sugar, which can’t be helping either.) Live yoghurt is the way to go to help restore the balance. I also told her my ankles/feet have been swollen occasionally later in the day. She had a look and advised me to keep an eye on it. High blood pressure can be a problem at this stage but mine was actually low, which made me feel guilty: after a night of very little sleep I had dragged myself out of bed for the appointment with five minutes to spare and without having breakfast first – I felt like a naughty schoolgirl when she asked me if I had eaten.
Dr B gave me my whooping cough vaccination as well. I was nervous about this in case it set off my full-on immune system. My arm was absolutely throbbing and sore to lift for two days afterwards, so there was definitely a war of some kind being waged there, but hopefully far away from the baby.
Due to my ‘advanced maternal age’, I also had a 32 week scan at the public hospital this week. I hadn’t seen the baby on-screen since 21 weeks, so I was really looking forward to it.
My Dad was never at a scan when my mother was pregnant, as they didn’t go in much for scans in the 70s and 80s. I think my mother only ever had one, with me, because I was breech. I toyed with the idea of inviting him along to share the experience, but logistically it was a bit complicated. As it happened, I was really glad he wasn’t there because the scan, booked for 2pm, was delayed massively. My fourth antenatal class, the labour, breathing and positions workshop run by the physio, was at 3.15pm, so I figured I’d have time to do the scan and grab a sandwich before the class. I conveniently overlooked the warning that there can be long delays if emergency cases come in.
A half-hour, then another, then another trickled by until it was nearly 4pm. I was starving at this stage and talked to reception, who told me there were still three ladies ahead of me in the queue, so I was able to dash down to collect a quick sandwich and juice in the hospital cafeteria.
I was eventually called in after 4pm and saw my boy on-screen again. He was moving around lots. His brain was nicely developed and his legs long, apparently, and all was as it should be. He weighs 4lbs something and was swallowing away, which the scanner was pleased about. She confirmed that he was head down with his spine to the left as the GP thought.
I’m always surprised at how the scanners ooh and aah at the babies and seem genuinely taken by them and asked her were they not all the same to her at this stage. She said not at all and that they were all different. The screen was turned away from me, so I didn’t see much except when she turned it around to show me his man bits (as usual, I could have been looking at anything there, no idea) and his little face, which is the only reason I can make head or tail of the pic below. I find these scans like magic eye pictures at the best of times but this one was particularly hard to make out. My family couldn’t get their heads around it all, so I ended up marking it up for my sister, who thought she was looking at two babies.
Of course, karma has bitten me in the ass because the upshot of all of this was that I missed my antenatal class. I asked if there was another class 4 happening any time soon and there is one on Monday – but, you guessed it, it’s a couples one. So the very thing I have been trying to avoid, sitting doing breathing exercises surrounded by a bunch of couples, is to come to pass after all. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and all that.
My ankles were swollen like an old lady’s one night this week and my feet are looking a bit bigger than normal today, so I’ll keep tabs on this. But all in all, things are still looking great.