Alternative title for this post: “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell.” Or, at least, that’s the official verdict from the psychiatrists I saw at my first perinatal counselling appointment appointment this week, anyway. (Er, she  didn’t actually say the last bit, TBH: that was Matchbox 20 who said that. Same thing, though…)

Because this was my very first appointment, it was more about gathering info/background information than anything else, so there wasn’t really any counselling as such. I’m pleased to report, though, that not only did I not cry at all during the hour-long appointment (I mean, I came close a few times, and my voice did that weird, hoarse thing it does when I’m emotional. I call it my Man Voice. GOD, I hate my Man Voice…), I also managed to cover everything I wanted to in regards to my precarious psychological state right now – and a bit more besides.

The upshot is that I’m going to be having one-to-one counselling, to try to help me get a handle on my anxiety, AND she’ll also be able to write some supporting evidence (along with the stuff my doctor and midwife will be submitting) for the hospital, in order to try to persuade them that it would be best for me if Terry were able to remain with me as much as possible during the birth etc. They’re also doing their best to get me a side-room, as the whole “communal ward” thing has still been weighing on my mind (and Terry will definitely not be able to stay in a room with me plus five complete strangers!): it’s obviously not guaranteed, as emergencies are given first priority, for obvious reasons, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to persuade them – mostly because I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking into private maternity care, only to discover that, not only could I not afford it, I’d also have to travel to London for it. Which wouldn’t exactly be convenient, would it?

Anyway, although I’ll admit that I wasn’t looking forward to this appointment, it was reassuring to be able to talk to someone who actually listened to me and took everything on board, without just offering up the usual platitudes, or making me feel like a freak for being so frightened of everything. She also told me that, actually, my fears are completely normal (especially for someone who’s been through pregnancy loss), and that, well, I’m not crazy, basically. So, we’ll see how the next session goes: in the meantime, here’s what week 25 has looked like…

Week 25 Pregnancy Highlights

More baby kicks! I’ve really noticed a difference in the strength/consistency of the kicks over the last few days: they’ve been much stronger, and much more like actual kicks, as opposed to just the “shifting”, fluttering and “bumping” movements I’ve been having until now. This has meant I’ve had a slightly easier week, anxiety-wise, as there have been days when he’s been moving all the time: those days, are, however, still interspersed with times when he decides to scare the crap out me by having a nice, long snooze – thanks, baby!

On Saturday night, though, he had a particularly long kicking session while we were visiting my parents, and they both got to feel them, which was nice: it’s good to know that my belly can be a source of entertainment for the whole family, now!

Week 25 Pregnancy Symptoms

Restless legs, GOD. This is actually a symptom I’ve been having for weeks now, but keep forgetting to mention – it’s only when I’m lying in bed at night, or stretched out on the couch, but it drives me absolutely crazy – aargh!

Other than that, though, if it wasn’t for the bump and the kicks (Which, OK, are both pretty big things, to be fair…) I could easily forget I was pregnant most of the time right now – words I never thought I’d type!

Week 25 Pregnancy Appointments

Now that I’m heading towards the 3rd trimester, I seem to have appointments of some kind every other week. It’s a bit of a pain, because it means I’m constantly at the hospital or doctor’s office, and my health anxiety does NOT enjoy that, but I do think I’m getting a little more used to being in those two places without something awful happening, which can only be a good thing, right?

This week, as well as the appointment with the psychiatrist at the hospital, I also had my flu and whopping cough shots. Terry and I both get the flu shot every year anyway (As a transplant recipient, he’s at higher risk from flu, and as his wife, I always get the shot too, just so I don’t catch it and then pass it on to him…), but this year I was also given a whooping cough vaccination, which is recommended for pregnant women. I had one shot in each arm, and was a little worried that it’d mean I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all (My experience of the flu jab is that it’s sometimes fine, and sometimes leaves me feeling like a horse kicked me in the arm, which is always fun…) but thankfully both arms were just a little bit achy this time, so no biggie – whew!

Week 25 Pregnancy Purchases and Preparations

In terms of baby preparations, week 25 has been a pretty exciting one, really. First of all, this arrived, c/o the kind people at Shnuggle:

Shnuggle rocking moses basket in greyand also this:

Shnuggle baby bathwhich came with a cute little blanket, baby towel and wash cloths:

baby blanket and wash clothsThese are all part of the Shnuggle Bath and Bed Bundle. The moses basket is one we’ve had our eye on for a few weeks now: it’ll mostly live in our room, but it’s lightweight enough to be picked up and carried down to the living room, say, or wherever we’re going to be in the house. We’d looked at various different bedside cradles, but here’s what swung it for this one:

Shnuggle rocking moses basket - grey and whiteYup, it turns into a rocking cradle, just by turning the base upside down: genius!

The bath, meanwhile, is a type that’s been recommended to us by a few people, now, and, having watched a few (dozen) You Tube videos, we really liked the way it supports the baby in an upright position during bathtime, so we decided to go for that, too. It’s absolutely crazy to me to look at these and think that, in a few months, there’ll be an ACTUAL BABY in them, OMG! I have to admit, it made me feel quite emotional (in a good way), when this stuff started arriving: I’m also just a little worried that it’s too early to be buying things like this (I should add here that we just set up the moses basket in the bedroom to take a photo of it: we won’t be leaving it there until he arrives, and nor will we be bathing him on the bed! ), but then again, it’s going to be October in just a few days time, and if I DO end up having a scheduled c-section, the baby could be here by the end of December, which makes me want to get everything organised rightthisverysecond.

Speaking of which: we picked out our nursery furniture!

Kidsmill Scandinavian style nursery furniture

(Er, needless to say, this is NOT our nursery, but I WISH…)

We’re going for this set from Kidsmill, which we picked because we both loved the slightly retro, Scandinavian-inspired feel of it. We’re getting the cot, dresser (which will double as a changing table) and toybox, and I already have my eye on the matching bed from this set for when the baby eventually outgrows his crib. Then again, it absolutely terrifies me to think of my baby one day being THAT BIG, so let’s just forget I mentioned that, OK?

(I also really want that pile of logs in the above photo, for my living room, but that has nothing to do with baby preparations, so, moving along…)

(I DO really wish we were also getting the wardrobe, though, now that I look at it again, because I’d use that myself, it’s so nice…)

Delivery of all of this isn’t until November, which technically gives us plenty of time to get on with clearing and decorating the room. The reality is that we haven’t actually done anything towards accomplishing that particular task this week, and, instead, we’ve just started buying more things to fill it with: whoops! Luckily, as well as making the furniture, Kidsmill also assemble it for you, so at least that’s one less thing to worry about – if only our Shed Man was so helpful! <FORESHADOWING>

Things My Parents Purchased: 

Emboldened by her success with the muslin squares (Which have now doubled in quantity), this weekend my mum produced a small toy dog, (A cuddly toy, I mean, not, like, a poodle or something, although that would’ve been AWESOME…) whose name, she informs me, is Toby. She whisked Toby away again before I could get a photo of him, but he was very cute, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy cuddling him when the time comes. I mean the BABY will enjoy cuddling him. The BABY. Ahem.

SHED MAN Update

I’m not even remotely surprised to tell you that there IS no Shed Man update this week  – or, at least, there is still no shed, DAMMIT. This, our intrepid, shed-building friend (Note: not an actual friend…) informs us, is because his van has broken down, leaving him powerless to fulfil his promise to build us a shed. He even sent us a photo of the broken down van, surrounded by engine parts, and everything. It was quite artistic, in its own way, I guess: like, it would probably do quite well on Instagram-for-van-enthusiasts, if that’s a thing? It’s not helping me get my shed, though, which means we still haven’t cleared out the cupboard under the stairs, and I’m very close to saying, “Screw this, let’s just buy a new house that already HAS a shed!” Honestly, I’m starting to think that would be easier…

Week 25 Pregnancy Fears

Finally, as I suspect will be the case from now until the end of this pregnancy, most of my fears this week have continued to revolve around two themes:

01. Is the baby moving enough?

and

02. How the hell will I get him out?

On my post on the ‘how will I get him out’ subject (and thanks for all of your comments on that, by the way: I was really encouraged by the fact that that post got over 100 comments, and only one of them was even remotely judgemental: you guys are the best, seriously…), most people said that I should do whatever’s best for me, but the problem is, I honestly don’t have a clue which option that is.

I’m still leaning towards the c-section, if only because it will allow me to feel more in control of the whole process, but, at the same time, it will likely mean more time in hospital, and I can’t even begin to describe how much that thought horrifies me. Unfortunately, Terry’s mum was re-admitted again this week (I’ve tried a few times now to write an update on this situation, but I just can’t seem to find the words, so suffice it to say – for now, at least – that things have been very, very bad, but that when we visited today, she seemed much better than she has in a while, so we’re really hoping she’s turned another corner, and will be back out soon…): she’s currently in a communal ward, and it just seems incredibly grim and isolating to me (We can only see her for a total of two hours per day, and there’s a limit of two visitors per person), which, combined with the complete lack of privacy, at a time when she’s at her lowest and most vulnerable, seems almost cruel, really.

Basically, the whole set-up, with the insistence on isolating people from their families, and taking away their privacy, seems horribly old-fashioned to me, and while I know it’s something most people don’t see as a big deal, I’m absolutely dreading it, so although the c-section seems like a calmer, more controlled option, the longer stay in hospital is a huge negative for me, as is the recovery time, obviously. One of the things I discussed with the psychiatrist was how, as a little girl, I used to get confused between the ideas of “hospital” and “prison”. They both seemed more or less the same to me, except I knew people died in hospitals – and seemed more likely to get their own room in prison –  so I knew which one I’d prefer, is all I’m saying. They still seem pretty similar to me now, tbh, and the experiences Terry’s mum has been having with our local hospital have only served to confirm my worst fears, unfortunately, so here’s hoping the counselling will help with that.

Also, last weekend I randomly remembered  the doctor telling me that there’s a risk of them having to do a hysterectomy if things go wrong with a c-section and although the risk is a small one (and I think probably also applies to vaginal births) my brain has chosen to fixate on it this week, so… yeah, that’s been a fun thought to fall asleep to!

Honestly, right now both options absolutely terrify me, and I think it’s going to take a bit more time to make a decision on this. Or a LOT more time, basically. For now, though, let’s just see what week 26 has to offer…

[My Pregnancy Diary]

13 Comments
  1. Delighted that your first session went so well and that you were able to say what you needed, and that you felt reassured. That’s the best news. You are looking great in all your recent photos, and just as stylish as ever. You really know what suits you.

    Love the nursery things you’ve bought, it’s like a different design age from when my babies were born, especially the bath – it was always tricky trying to hold a neonate up in a flat bath, and the rocking crib will be a godsend. It gets more real when you start to buy things for your boy. Can’t wait to see baby’s wardrobe.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing 😍

  2. That cradle is gorgeous. And I love that it swings… About the baby kicking: I loved it so much I did miss it afterwards… It felt so reassuring to feel all that moving around, even when the kicks got strong enough to be uncomfortable!

  3. Getting all this baby stuff will spur you on to get the room ready for him, I am sure! When I had my babies 17 years ago, people constantly commented on all the “cool things there are nowadays…” Well, now I am here to comment on all the cool things there are nowadays! Seriously! That little moses basket is so freaking cute! And smart, to boot! I am kind of jealous! But then I read point #2 under Pregnancy Fears, and realized that is what had me the most freaked out also. I was absolutely terrified of the birth part as well. To the point where I think I actually held the baby in there!!! But she came out eventually and everything was fine! You will be holding a beautiful baby boy in your arms before you know it!

  4. I have one advice I give all parents:
    The pluschie, and I mean THE PLUSCHIE your child can not be without, you should get two of them. (It will be more or less the one you put in his crib).
    This way you can wash it or forget it for a night at the grandparent without having a mayor meltdown or need to drive just before bedtime to get the toy.
    Nobody I recommended this to had regret the double toy.

    Also I’m just a random internet person, but I think you are doing amazing and are an inspiration.

  5. So glad the first session went well!

    As for restless legs, you’re probably already taking good pregnancy vitamins, but I did find mine got A LOT better when I switched from the free NHS vitamins to the fancy brand name ones with magnesium in them. I’ve no idea if there’s any science behind this – I read it on a forum somewhere and it worked. Perhaps it’s psychological? Regardless: I can sleep again!

  6. Oh, gosh, the restless leg. Do you have a supplement called Natural Calm in the UK? It’s basically a magnesium powder that you mix with water or herbal tea or whatever, and it helped me a ton with restless leg and falling asleep. My obstetrician recommended it when my legs were driving me nuts at night. You might ask your doctor or midwife if magnesium would be worth trying.

    And wow — you might have a Christmas baby!

  7. Hey Amber

    You will probably be told that C-section recovery is universally harder and will take longer but this is only true if compared with a very straightforward ‘normal’ birth, which is impossible to predict.

    People also tend to include emergency caesarians in these ‘warnings’, which are a different thing altogether and the longer recovery is due to it being a more complex procedure. Everyone I know who’s had an elective had a very quick and easy recovery, and above all the bits that may have taken a day or so longer were predictable and followed a pattern they could plan for.

    Being able to plan and knowing more or less exactly what will happen is good. I say this as a lifelong anxiety sufferer!

    1. This is a really good point, that I think a lot of people miss – I still really wish that the consultant had been *totally* honest and given me the pros and cons of BOTH options, rather than just listing the negatives of c-section. I know why they do it, but it did really scare me!

      1. Yes. It’s actually very interesting that you raise that particular point, because this exact issue is something I’m currently discussing with a group of maternity professionals and laypeople with an interest in improving maternity care and eliminating bias towards any particular mode of birth (which is currently very heavily weighted towards natural in the UK but we are against any promotion of mode of delivery over outcome). If you are interested in finding out more, please drop me a DM!

        There are actually proposals kicking around that would oblige hospital trusts to present the risks of ‘natural’ birth in equal measure to that of caesarian. I won’t list those risks here because I’m sure you know them and don’t want reminding! But the point is that there are definitely significant risks to natural that are not discussed (I’ve seen statistical data on this too). Women have a right to know about these. I’m pretty annoyed that (while sympathetic), your consultant followed the pattern of completely neglecting to talk you through those risks – all of which are hugely increased with age, and less predictable with a first baby at ANY age.

        So essentially, we need to get to a point where all women are given full information on BOTH the risks of intervention, and the risks of non-intervention. Some worry that this will push up the elective C-section rate. Make of that what you will.

  8. I completely understand your anxiety over the whole hospital thing. When I had my son I spent many sleepless night worrying about the birth and the stay in hospital after. We came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t have a Home birth (we live an hour from the nearest hospital) I’d be in and out in a jiffy! Which is ultimately what happened. I decided on a water birth (I would 100% recommend that option, 2 paracetamol was the only form of pain relief I had for a 9lb3oz baby) we arrived in the hospital at 10:30pm, I had my son at 00:04 and I left at 10am after the Dr had seen us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.