Monday, 16 January 2017

A small sleep deprived update...

She's here!

We have had our share of troubles in the last 10 days, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. She is the most perfect thing I have ever seen and we are enjoying every minute getting to know her xx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

38 weeks

So the tracker I have been using for this blog conveniently stops at 37 weeks - thankfully the amazing was there to help me out! I wish I had known about this site earlier, a lovely mix of the factual and the slightly odd :)

The day I thought would never come has arrived. In the next 24 hours our little girl will be in my arms - unbelievable. I've been completely overwhelmed and it is no exaggeration to say that my anxiety has been worse in the last two weeks than at almost any point in the pregnancy.

Christmas Eve saw us watching the carols and baby was wiggling around like crazy. I suddenly had a complete meltdown, imagining this was the last time I felt her move, and I could see the entire thing playing out in my head from the ambulance to the heart-rending wailing... it was just so vivid. It took me a while to calm down and hubby was amazingly supportive. Part of what upset me so much in the end was that I could imagine losing our little one so easily, and so vividly, but I can't keep a clear picture in my mind of her being here with us.  He then decided that maybe there were too many babies on the carols and a dose of Die Hard was what we needed to get through Christmas Eve.

We ended up awake well into Christmas Day and hubby took some lovely pictures of me and the bump in front of the tree, her first Christmas as he said and he wanted to have photos to remember it.

A few more appointments helped the time pass and hearing her tiny heart pounding away during the CTG was enough to keep me going.

Then New Year's Eve. In talking about this last night I'm not surprised that the two big dates set me off. After all, we are missing our babies that could have been with us, and trying to focus on the one who IS with us - it's all a bit overwhelming really. Hubby said some lovely things about having our little girl with us to celebrate the New Year and gave both of us a kiss which set of tears of a completely different kind.

The bags are packed, the house is ready and now we wait. We have a quiet night planned tonight, before our world completely changes tomorrow.  Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me on this journey through this blog, it has meant a lot to me.

I'll be back soon to post about the next chapter in our journey xx

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Antenatal expression of colostrum

AKA "Colostrum Harvesting" - fun!

Since 36 weeks I have been attempting to hand express colostrum twice a day for our little girl, to help stabilise her blood sugar should it be low when she's born due to gestational diabetes.

This is not something I had ever heard of and I was thankful that the midwives at the hospital arranged for me to meet with a lactation consultant for a one-on-one session prior to the regular breastfeeding class that the hospital offers. I was given a number of tiny syringes, told how to safely store anything I did express, and shown how to hand express. I was also reminded that because the amount would be so tiny, if anything, that a pump was out of the question.

I was optimistic that I'd at least be able to express something as I have noticed discharge since early in the pregnancy. The first time I tried I thought I had success, a few tiny drops from each side, but not enough to register in the syringe (disclaimer: the pic above is from the web - not mine!). The next few days - nothing.

I was getting distressed and disheartened, after all, this was to help our little one and hopefully keep her out of the SCN. I felt like I was letting her down. I watched as many videos as I could find of actual hand expression, not the fake pillow breasts that are usually used for demonstration, and I read all the info I could find. It reinforced to me what I had been told - ANYTHING I could collect was a bonus and many women, especially first time mothers, have no luck at all.

I kept trying and just after 37 weeks, it started up again. I always have more luck at night after a nice warm shower. It doesn't seem to matter how much I warm or massage in the morning, there's always less success.

I still have very little stored, about 0.2 ml in all, but it feels like something to me and that I haven't given up trying.

I found it hard to find information in one place, so I'll link below the pages I found useful, just in case anyone else is in the same situation!