Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 31

Welcome to the week 31 post, yes, a few days late, but really just under a week after the last post went up, so I hope you'll excuse it...

Let's start with last week's midwife appointment, shall we?

The appointment went pretty well. My midwife and I talked about music for a good 20 minutes and then got down to the business of checking on Speck.

Speck's heart rate was 130 which, as you'll know if you have an excellent memory for numbers mentioned in previous posts, is just about the same as it always is, so that's good.

My fundal height was at 30cm which is exactly right for being between week 30 and week 31 (my appointment was last Wednesday). So yay! My uterus is the appropriate size. Huzzah! (Really this isn't that big a deal, but it's a good guideline that things are continuing as they should.)

Speck was moving lots and totally batting at the doppler wand and the midwife's hands. Speck is moving lots in general, and that's good news too. Basically, all is well with Speck.

My blood pressure was 90/60 which is still in the normal range, but is the low end of the normal range bordering on not normal. At least we don't have to worry about me having hypertension. Keep in mind my blood pressure is generally pretty low (the beginning of this pregnancy marked some of the highest BP I've ever registered) but I can't remember ever getting anything as low as 90/60 before. My midwife was not at all concerned, but I wonder if low bp is part of why I've been feeling so sluggish lately.

My midwife drew blood just to check out all my levels (which hand't been checked since the first trimester) and I already have results back and everything checks out in the normal range. However, my iron is on the low end of normal, so she suggested adjusting my diet to incorporate more iron and to be wary of eating foods that will inhibit iron absorption in the same meal as the iron heavy foods. So, you know, no big deal, but something to monitor.

And now, I would like to take a moment to appreciate the woman who draws blood at the lab that I usually go to. She is a master of blood drawing. Having your blood drawn by her is a complete non-event. You sit down, she preps you, you look away for a second and when you turn back she has filled five vials with blood and slapped a bandaid on you and you wonder when she managed to do all that. Not so my midwife. Of course, it is understandable that she wouldn't be as accomplished at it, her job, after all, is to do many things related to prenatal health and only one of those is taking blood. She probably only takes blood a handful of times a week, if that. Meanwhile, the lady at the lab probably takes blood close to 50 times a day, maybe more. She's really fast. I bet she could fit in even more than that. I don't really know, but... Anyway, I understand why there's a difference... but I didn't really appreciate that difference until my midwife spent a minute and a half prodding around in my arm trying to find my vein after stabbing it for the second time and claiming it rolled away. It was only weird and uncomfortable until she pulled the needle out and then it was suddenly (but briefly) painful, and then it bruised for a few days. It wasn't a big deal, but it made miss my lab tech.

So thank you, wherever you are, lovely lab tech who generally takes my blood, you are wonderful and deserve serious accolades for being good at your job. You probably do other things too, but I appreciate your mastery at blood removal. It is awesome and I now miss it.

Ok. Right. Probably no one cares about that but me, but it was a downside I didn't expect. (Though weighed against the convenience of the midwife doing stuff in house and still getting results back super fast it might be a wash.)

Meanwhile, the day after my midwife appointment I met a pregnant friend and we went to get Oh Doughnuts again. This was my second time to this wonderful land of magic, kittens, unicorns, sugar, and the short road to diabetes. However, you will be happy to know that I branched out and didn't simply get a repeat of the two wonderful flavors I tried last time. (Though to be fair I totally would have gotten the lemon merengue again, but it wasn't in the flavor rotation for the day.) So, I ventured into two new flavors and the results were mixed. I tried the French Toast doughnut and the Raspberry Curd doughnut and had mixed experiences with both. The french toast had an absolutely fabulous frosting, but the filling was a "vegan cinnamon cream" which had a perfectly acceptable flavor, but the texture was that of custard that had congealed. My guess is that the vegan custard served hot is still a good texture but once it has had a chance to cool all bets are off. Still, the overall texture of the doughnut (which was soft, chewy, and delightful) combined with the texture and flavor of the icing, made the overall experience quite pleasant despite the dubious texture of the filling. Meanwhile, the raspberry curd itself was fantastic, a smooth tangy curd that was the exact right texture for my palate but, sadly, it was wrapped in a perfectly plain doughnut covered in granulated sugar that was... fine but nothing special. So, in Virginia's ideal world, these two doughnuts would actually be combined, into something called raspberry french toast. That would totally rock my socks off.

Hmm... that somehow turned into a detailed doughnut review. Weird. The good news is, if you live in Winnipeg you can go check out the fabulous selection at Oh Doughnuts yourself and then you don't have to listen to me ramble on and on about it.


Next topic! So, I mentioned that Speck is moving a lot these days, and yet for a while every time I would want to show Corey the crazy spectacle that is my abdomen looking like a scene from Alien just before things get gory, Speck would stop moving as soon as I called Corey's attention to it. Well, the other night (maybe Thursday night? I can't quite recall) Corey finally got to see the shark circling my belly button. I have yet to successfully capture video of it, but Corey and I got to lay on the couch and be mesmerized by Speck looking as though s/he was trying to break on through to the other side. Which was a. cool, because it's always neat to watch, b. vindicating, because it felt like Speck had been gas-lighting me and Corey thought I was nutzo, and c. fun family time!

In completely unrelated news, I kind of got to use my budding hypnobirthing skills the other day because... *warning TMI coming up* I had a sudden need to poop and when I sat down to get to business it was suddenly really painful, but then I thought, "Fuck you, pain! Relax and breathe, body!" and lo and behold, my body relaxed, the pain went away completely and everything was just fine.

I found this incredibly reassuring, because it was a solid example of mind over matter which is all that hypnobirthing is. And, I know that birth is going to be quite a different level from "painful bowel movement" but, I've actually heard a number of women describe it as "the biggest, most painful shit of your life." So, I am taking this episode as a good sign that hypnobirthing will help me get through labor in a calm and positive fashion. Yay confidence boost!

And finally, on Saturday, Corey and I swung by a local used children's stuff store and then promptly ran away vowing never to return if at all possible. I, for some reason, thought that a consignment kids place might be less overwhelming than a "baby store" but I was completely wrong. The place was jam packed with stuff, there was barely space to turn around, and after we quickly ascertained that they didn't have any cloth diapering supplies, we shuffled awkwardly to the nearest place where turning around was possible, then tucked tail, and ran.

Apparently being 31 weeks pregnant has done absolutely nothing to change my hatred of baby clothes. Oh well. Luckily, it seems that my sister in law is sending some stuff our way, so hopefully I'll be able to put off buying any myself for a while longer.

And I think that covers it for this week. I'll try to post next week's blog by Monday at the latest, but I might even post it on Friday or Saturday if I have time. We shall see.

Here's this week's bump pic (Corey is failing at his job as bump photographer so it's another selfie for you). And, as a bonus, below the bump pic is an awesome wild flower I saw on my dog walk yesterday.


  1. Go you! Looking awesome and using mind over matter!
    I have heard other people describe birth that way but it was not my experience. It was incredibly painful, but not shit-like. That said, I had had the most painful shit of my life the week previous to giving birth (Japanese hospital food doesn't like to move) so I had a frame of reference.
    Birthing is incredibly painful, but worth it. Someone told me it was like going to the crappiest party imaginable, but you know you're going to walk away with one awesome door prize. I feel like that rings true.
    Also, I envy your access to amazing donuts.

    1. My access to amazing doughnuts is one of the highlights of my life right now. ;-) But if it's any consolation I envy your access to delicious but affordable sushi, okonomiyaki, ramen, soba, and a bajillion other dishes that are hard to come by in north america. :-)