Day 297|365

Day 297.jpg
Settings – ISO 4000, 50mm, f2.8, 1/100sec

Today was Induction Day! Or so we thought. At 9pm, instead of sitting down to watch the next episode of The Apprentice, we were arriving at Ward 9A to begin the process of bringing our little girl (which we didn’t know at the time, but I’m writing this a week later) in to the world.

I was hooked up to the CTG, to check how Baby Mac was doing, and then I was examined to see if I was dilated enough to have my waters broken or if I’d need a prostin tablet inserted to dilate me further. We were delighted to hear I was at the stage where I could have my waters broken, but sadly the Labour Ward was too busy and we needed to wait until morning to go up. So, Matthew headed home at midnight, to get some sleep but have his phone on high alert on the off chance my waters broke naturally, and I nestled in for the night, waiting to hear the Labour Ward was ready to take me…

Come back tomorrow to find out what happened next!

Day 293|365

Day 293
Settings – ISO 400, 63mm, f2.8, 1/200sec

I had a slight hormonal meltdown this morning, resulting in lots of tears…I felt incredibly silly at the time, but afterwards I felt wonderful!

It’s okay to cry, because sometimes you bottle things up for too long and you just need to let it out, and the weight off your mind afterwards is great. It’s been quite a crazy few months for us, moving cities very quickly, Matthew starting a new job, trying to sell our flat, moving in with Matthew’s parents, coming to the end of my pregnancy and being so sure Baby Mac was coming early but now being very overdue! There is a lot going on in my mind, but at the same time, I’m just sitting, waiting for Baby Mac to arrive and turn our world upside down even more. Haha.

However, these are all wonderful things to experience! There have been times I’ve felt like crying over the weeks, but I really didn’t want to come across as ungrateful, as we are incredibly fortunate to be living the life we are living. We are surrounded by great support, and God willing we will be snuggling our first baby by the end of the week. But, again, it’s okay to cry! Because hormones, and emotions, can’t always be controlled, and sometimes you just need to let it out! Just try to rationalise those emotions, because a lot of the time things really aren’t as bad as you think they are, it’s all just piled up and overwhelming your mind. Does that make sense?

Post meltdown Matthew and I headed out for a beautiful Autumnal drive to Cromarty, took a stroll around the adorable village that we fall in love with every time we visit, enjoyed coffee and tasty treats in Coupers Creek, and breathed in the delicious sea air. I put a phone snap almost identical to this on Instagram last year, but I just love this view, and it’s different every season, so I couldn’t resist taking a photo for the blog. We’ll need to go back with Baby Mac when the snow comes…that’ll be a fun drive!

Day 277|365

Day 277
Settings – ISO 400, 35mm, f3.5, 1/100sec

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last bought a pineapple, and I figured if there was ever a stage in my pregnancy to eat pineapple, now is the time! Because, you know, all the research shows it helps to bring on labour…I don’t think there is actually any clear results saying it does have an effect on labour, but it has an ingredient which helps to…soften you up…you just need to eat at least eight to get enough of that ingredient to have any effect! I do love a bit of pineapple. But perhaps eight is a bit too many for one sitting.

Day 274|365

Day 274.jpg
Settings – ISO 4000, 24mm, f2.8, 1/80sec

October is here! This is officially the month we will meet Baby Mac! Whether they come out early or two weeks late, they will definitely be here by the end of the month. Which is so surreal!

The midwife told me last week to get out for walks, bounce forward, right, back and left on my birthing ball, and squat sideways going down the stairs to help baby move further down…the thought of squatting sideways down the stairs terrifies me, so I’ll just go with walking and bouncing!

Now that we’re in October and within the two week window I want to sit on my birthing ball all day to try get this little one out! It certainly entertains Matthew and his Dad when they walk in and see me bouncing and swivelling my hips. They’re just jealous really.

Day 269|365

Day 269
Setings – ISO 800, 50mm, f2.0, 1/30sec

I headed in to the hospital for my growth scan this morning. Another nightmare time trying to find a parking space, in the end I just had to abandon it in a non space, behind someone else, at the end of a row. There was still plenty space for others to get by, but it still felt a bit cheeky! It’s ridiculous how bad the parking is at Raigmore.

The growth scan went well. Hooray! Baby Mac is measuring just above the 50th percentile, and appears to have a pleasant amount of chub on them. It was wonderful seeing their little pouty lips suckling and practicing breathing. Still hard to believe we’re going to meet them in a matter of weeks/days, and our lives will officially change forever!

When I popped down to my regular hang out spot these days, Ward 9A, I was asked how movements had been in the last couple days. I mentioned Baby Mac hadn’t been dancing as often as usual yesterday, so they hooked me up to the CTG again to have a look. The Doctor came to look over my scan and ask a few questions. Everything looked good, and after a couple of biscuits baby was wiggling away, loving life, and the CTG picked up some Braxton Hicks, so they were happy with how things were looking. However, she said if I noticed that movements were still reduced throughout the day to let them know. They’d then get me back in to have another look, and discuss the option of being induced. That was an exciting prospect; getting to meet Baby Mac and being able to physically see them breathing and moving, and therefore know they’re ok, instead of being hypersensitive about their movements each hour. I have since discovered that being induced does not make for a very pleasant labour, as pleasant as labour can be…your contractions go from 0-100 rather than building up slowly, you’re more likely to be hooked up for monitoring or request an epidural, restricting your ability to move around the room in to more comfortable positions, or get in the birthing pool. Sob. But, if it’s the best thing for the baby, then of course we’ll do whatever it takes! So, we’ll see how lively Baby Mac is over the next few days.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot to mention the absolutely wonderful bath I had this evening! I am loving being in a house with a bath again. This is the first bath I’ve had at night in a long time, so I took full advantage and grabbed as many candles as I could to create a nice relaxed atmosphere, and put on some hypnobirthing music. I admit I had to change the album quite a few times before I found something that was relaxing for me, not just airy fairy, space music! Sounds of flowing water are best for me, not surprisingly. So when the time comes, we’ll just put on the sound of lapping waves, and pretend I’m giving birth on a beach. I haven’t tried to find hypnobirthing music with someone speaking over it, instructing me how to breathe, etc. I feel that might be a bit too out there for me…but perhaps I should give it a try before I knock it. I might be thankful I did!

Day 267|365

Day 267
Settings – ISO 100, 50mm (24-70mm lens), f3.5, 1/250sec

Another eventful day, with a trip to Ward 9A. They’re a lovely, caring bunch here at Raigmore! When we were in on Friday night they mentioned calling me today to arrange another ultrasound, to make sure Baby Mac’s living quarters were comfortable. Sure enough, while my midwife was in for a visit to finalise my notes after my transition from Aberdeen to Inverness, I got a call from the hospital and an appointment was arranged for this afternoon.

I told Matts to stay at work, as I was happy that Baby Mac was fine, and this was just a routine check after the movements reducing on Friday night, and headed to the hospital myself. The Sonographer was checking the fluid levels around baby and making sure the umbilical cord had a good flow. All was well! I was then sent down to Ward 9A for the scan to be checked over…which resulted in another hour of waiting, not sure what exactly I was waiting for. Eventually a Doctor appeared and later came out to chat to me, and informed me I’d need to come back in a couple of days for another scan, as the Sonographer didn’t take growth measurements, which I’m told is another routine check when there’s been concerns a baby’s movements have reduced.

Baby Mac’s movements have well and truly been back to normal since Friday night, so I’m no longer concerned, and I certainly feel like they’re growing just fine! But it is wonderful to know the staff at Raigmore are looking out for me and the baby and doing all they can to make sure they come out fit and healthy!

After my afternoon trip to the hospital I sat down with a coffee and my homemade Millionaire’s Shortbread and filled out my birth plan. That was a hoot! Who knows if it will go to plan or not…I think the good thing is I’m pretty chilled about it, and just want to do whatever is best for Baby Mac!

 

Day 264|365

Day 264
Settings – ISO 5000, 24mm, f2.8, 1/160sec

Today was eventful! I woke at 2:30am and started getting pains and tightenings at 3:30, so played Bubble Witch for an hour…good times, then I must have dosed on and off with more of what felt like contractions to me! When Matthew’s alarm went off at 6:50am I couldn’t believe it, and wasn’t sure whether to tell him what had been happening. I did, and of course he then got ready for work very disheartedly and wanted regular updates as to how I was feeling.

I had a shower then went back to bed to watch Downton Abbey, and hide away from the Airbnb guests while they had their breakfast. The pains continued to come and go throughout the day, easing off early afternoon, but returning late afternoon. I had TWO naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I had no clue what was going on! My waters hadn’t broken, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t in labour!

We were meant to be heading to my sister’s for a Catan Double Date night, so off we went, and both her and Matthew were incredibly excited at the prospect of me being in the early stages of labour. We weren’t really able to focus on our game of Catan…much like the last time we played, when I announced I was pregnant!

Best friend “Midwife Martin” was on hand throughout the day to tell me to just chill out and see how things progressed, and when I mentioned baby’s movements had reduced in the evening she recommended calling the hospital and going down for a check up. I didn’t realise it was 10:30pm at this point, but off we went to the hospital (via Matthew’s folks house cause I hadn’t remembered to take my maternity notes with us when we went out) where they quickly hooked us up to the CTG again, and low and behold baby started to dance inside me. All was well!

They offered me an examination, to see if things were getting started and I quickly accepted that offer, only to be hugely disappointed to hear that there was no progress down there! Sob. So off we went, home to bed, hoping that my waters would break through the night because we got so excited thinking baby Mac was in it’s way!

Sadly not quite yet.

Day 256|365

Day 256
Settings – ISO 640, 50mm, f2.8, 1/320sec

Well, today didn’t go quite to plan! I was supposed to have my first midwife appointment first thing, then two coffee dates with some girlies at lunch time and later in the afternoon…I made it to my midwife appointment (slightly flustered because Jasper escaped as I was leaving and wouldn’t go back inside, and then I wasn’t quite sure where to go for my my midwife appointment…of course the midwife office is in the dentist!), but all plans after that were cancelled.

Firstly the midwife had the joy of discovering I’m 36 weeks pregnant and we’ve just moved from Aberdeen, where maternity notes are done digitally, so we have to fill in my maternity book for the system up here! Once she gave all that to me we moved on to checking the size of my bump, the position of baby and listening to their heart rate…the moment she put the doppler on my bump Baby Mac starting wriggling like crazy, and their heart rate spiked to 190, and stayed between 180 and 190 for a few minutes and wouldn’t settle *face palm*, so she called the hospital and had me booked in for a CTG, sharing with them the great news that I’ve just moved from Aberdeen and I’m not on the system yet!

So after being reassured that everything was probably fine, it was just because they were really active (and I had been a bit flustered before arriving), and by the time I got to the hospital it would probably have settled, I headed back home and laid down for a bit before going to pick up Matthew from work and heading to the hospital. Thankfully Matthew works right next door and was able to duck out during his lunch break!

We had an absolute nightmare getting parked and in the end I just had to jump out the car and leave Matthew to find a space, then I couldn’t rememeber exactly where the midwife had said to go and walked back and forth between a couple departments before being sent to the right one. Then, of course, they had to deal with the fact that I’m not on the system yet, so we had to wait a wee while until they got that sorted, then they hooked me up to the CTG and I lay back for half an hour, listening to the dulcet tones of our baby’s heart beat, pushing the button whenever I felt movement.

What do you know, their heart rate was totally normal, with only the occasional spike when they moved, but not as high as 190. So they took me off, said everything looked fine but to go back to the waiting area in the corridor while they waited for the Doctor to look over the chart…50 minutes later the midwife appeared saying they were sending us for scan…Huh?? So then minor panic set in, but when we got to the Ultrasound department we discovered it was just so they could check the location of the placenta, as that wasn’t in any of my notes from Aberdeen! Panic changed to excitement at getting to see Baby Mac, yay! We mentioned we didn’t know the gender, so the Sonographer knew to steer clear and not give the game away. Everything looked great! Placenta is not in the way at all, and Baby Mac has an adorable chubby face, which it still loves to smoosh up against whatever it can find!

So, six hours after leaving my midwife appointment, 3 and a half hours after picking Matthew up, we left the hospital feeling slightly frazzled but incredibly relieved that all is well! I took Matthew back to work in time to collect his bag and head home…thankfully his work are very understanding and say Baby Mac comes first!

Day 250|365

Day 250.jpg
Settings – ISO 320, 50mm, f1.2, 1/125sec

Ain’t that the truth, oh wise fortune cookie!

I had a wee chuckle when I cracked this open after our delicious meal at Blacksmith’s Cantonese Restaurant in Culloden tonight. Matthew and his parents got complete nonsense, that we couldn’t even fully understand, but this one is accurate!

Change has already happened in our lives in the past couple weeks and we are having to go with the flow, but it’s going to enter a whole new level in just a matter of weeks and we will definitely need to learn to go with the flow then! I can write all these plans for the birth and for feeding, etc. but this little babe is gonna do what they want and I can’t guarantee we’ll be on the same wavelength…bring it on!

Day 245|365

Day 245
Settings – ISO 1600, 24mm, f2.8, 1/200sec

This is what bedtime might look like if you’re pregnant and have a snuggly pooch…

Today was a lovely day, we went out for lunch after church in the morning, and I didn’t have my camera with me…then we hung out with friends after church in the evening, and I didn’t have my camera with me! So instead you’re getting a snapshot of what my nights look like these days.

Matthew bought me a Dreamgenii pillow for my birthday back in June and it’s been my faithful companion ever since. Jasper is quite fond of it also…I regularly find him snuggling in to it!

The aim of the pillow is to support your bump, and legs, but also to stop you from rolling on to your back through the night, as this can disrupt the blood flow to baby, and once baby is here it can be used for breastfeeding. A very thoughtful and practical birthday present!