The bump chronicles #22: pelvis models, interesting massage techniques and weird tea

Weeks pregnant: 33
Baby size in fruit: 🍍

For the last week and a bit Mr O and I have been attending NCT antenatal classes where they teach you important things like how to know you’re in labour and how not to kill your baby within the first few weeks of its life. We could have gone for some free classes at the hospital but so far it has definitely been worth paying for the privilege of a smaller more intimate group and more one on one time with our incredibly calming teacher. Although I think we all had a little wobble when we passed around the pelvis model and realised just how tiny it is…

pineapple

Sweet, spiky little baby

For me personally having a better idea of what to expect throughout labour and the first couple of weeks of Little O’s life has significantly improved my confidence and helped with my anxiety. For Mr O, I think knowing what his role will be especially during labour has been quite empowering and it’s been great to attend and learn together .

There was one class that was only for the ladies. I think this was because our teacher talked about some of the things that you can do to prepare your body for birth and to help with a speedy recovery. I won’t go into detail but I get the feeling that while perineal massage Β might be something you are okay contemplating in front of your own husband but maybe not somebody else’s.

The other enjoyable side of the classes is getting to spend time with some other couples who are in the exact same space as you mentally and physically and can really identify with what you’re going through. I am already feeling reassured by chatting to the other mums-to-be in the class on our newly formed WhatsApp group. (What did we all do before WhatsApp?) One of them even has gestational diabetes so I feel less depressed about not being able to eat the biscuits that keep appearing in the class.

Speaking of gestational diabetes, I am still doing well controlling my post-meal readings but fasting continues to be a challenge. I am now injecting insulin at night time and it is definitely helping. Fortunately the injection is just a little pen with an incredibly fine needle so it’s not painful at all and having Mr O there with me when I learned how to do it made me feel very calm. I saw the diabetes team at the hospital on Monday and Little O is still measuring normal size with a strong heartbeat and lots of movement so we’re on track and I will be back for my next check in two weeks.

I met with a counsellor yesterday to talk about using CBT therapy to help manage my anxiety and I am feeling like this is going to be a positive step forward for me. I will see her every Tuesday for the rest of my pregnancy and after for a few weeks too before we move. I found it reassuring that she said 1 in 20 women suffer from depression and or anxiety in pregnancy and that is only the ones that seek help while many others suffer in silence fearing judgement or feeling like they should be able cope. This is the main reason that I have wanted to keep talking about my struggles here. As women we need to speak up when we need help and stop treating our mental health as second to our physical health. They’re equally important!

And finally I have started drinking raspberry leaf tea because it apparently strengthens your uterine walls and makes the second stage of labour go quicker. It is probably complete nonsense… but it does taste quite nice…

20 Comments

  1. Great report and call for women to be strong. You’re great, Abbi, for sharing your experiences. I would classify myself in the suffer in silence category.
    With my three children, never had I the support from husband or family or medical professional. I’m happy for you!

    1. Thank you. I had to fight very hard against my own instinct to avoid talking about things and pretending I’m fine because even though intellectually I know this isn’t a weakness it sometimes feels like it is. I can’t imagine how it would be without my husband’s support though.

      1. You have a keeper. πŸ˜‰

  2. Raspberry tea sounds good. I am so happy to hear you are doing well, and that counselling and classes and all are helping you πŸ™‚

    1. I really like the tea although lots of other pregnant ladies said it was disgusting. I can imagine it would be an adjustment if you’re not used to herbal tea.

  3. The countdown is getting closer and closer!

    1. It’s getting ridiculously real…

  4. “stop treating our mental health as second to our physical health. They’re equally important!”

    So, so true. It is really interesting reading these posts – I’m someone who’ll never be having kids so it is interesting to read how you are dealing with it. CBT can also be very effective, as long as you have a decent psychologist!

    1. I’m glad that you’re taking something from it. So far I really like my counsellor so I’m very hopeful.

      1. It is always great when you find a good counsellor/shrink, for whatever reason. There are a lot of terrible ‘counsellors’ out there

  5. Glad to hear that you’re taking care of yourself and that your gestational diabetes is well-controlled.

  6. It does sound like it would taste nice.

    1. It’s not bad at all but if you weren’t used to herbal tea it might not be a favourite.

  7. NCT is a lifeline..I’m convinced the social side is more important that what they tell you! We have our 10 year anniversary coming up in the autumn. CBT: Fab! Cheering from the sidelines! xxx

    1. I’ve been enjoying the WhatsApp group we set up already. The dads have one too but I don’t think anyone is actually saying much… because they’re a bit useless. Lol! This week I am keeping a mood diary for CBT and learning that I am a very angry person. Lol. X

  8. Look at that spikey little mate! It’s so great that you’re feeling a bit better and more reassured. CBT really is magic stuff for working through anxiety. You’re right, it’s so important to have an open dialogue about the issue of depression and anxiety during pregnancy, and mental health in general, since so many people are still reluctant to access support. And that tea doesn’t sound half bad!

    1. I’m hoping he’s not really that spiky. Might add another challenge to the labour. It’s hard to admit I’m struggling but I feel like if I don’t talk about it I’m contributing to the problem.

  9. I think it’s great that you have identified that you need someone to talk to, so many people feel like they can’t admit that they are struggling, but taking this step now is such a positive one πŸ™‚ Having just finished a course of counselling myself, I can say that I don’t know how I would have coped without it.

    1. I’ve been in therapy before and it was hard but it was very healing. The more we learn about ourselves the better we manage at life in my opinion.

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