What To Expect

  • Extra body hair
  • Restless legs
  • Sleep disturbance

Your Baby This Week

Your baby this week is the size of a DVD box set weighing 750g.

Dear Diary

My 27th week of pregnancy is one that I will never forget. It is the week that I finally passed my driving test and words cannot describe how amazing it feels. To say I was a slow learner would be a huge understatement. It took four years, twenty-eight driving lessons (one on national TV in my wedding dress but that is for another day), six pre-tests, two failed driving test, three test centres and about โ‚ฌ1500 to get me to this place.

I almost didn't go this time. I'm embarrassed to admit it but that is the truth. I couldn't face the idea of another failed test. I just felt my confidence couldn't take another knock and at seven months pregnant I was feeling particularly vulnerable as you can imagine.

The night before the test I couldn't even speak to my husband. I was feeling so weak and the level of anxiety was through the roof. Nothing has ever taken such a hold of me in all my life. In the end, I had a bath, did some meditation and went to sleep.

I will never ever forget the feeling I experienced the moment that the tester told me that I had passed (I was one fault away from failing but who cares now!) and it's had me on such a high ever since. When we moved house a couple of months ago we moved about a thirty-minute drive from Billy's school, the maternity hospital and our families. Being able to use the motorway will make life so much easier.

And this is the part where I reflect on how my driving test experience and how it has made me think deeply about the prospect of giving birth for the second time. I am consumed with fear about birth โ€“ much in the same way I've been fearing my driving test. It feels like a huge stand-alone event in my life โ€“ much like my driving test.

Now that I've come out the other side and reaped the reward by passing the test, I am now applying the same theory to giving birth. I find myself day-dreaming about the reward now. Thinking about the baby rather than giving birth. It alleviates some of the fear. In a weird way, I feel a bit like I can do anything now. That is how huge this ordeal has been for me. I know I can give birth and safely deliver my baby, but I am terrified of the pain, the unknown, the interventions and the lack of control.

So, I'm taking a leaf out of my very own book and when it comes to giving birth, I am going to apply the same level of thought and care that I've given to my driving test. I am going to invest in PREPARING for it. I'm not so sure how I am going to do that, but I have a little spark inside me now. A sense of excitement. I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, this experience can be different.

Watch this space.

A Partnerโ€™s Perspective

So far so good. We have a healthy little baby due in about 12 weeks' time! Real excitement now and it's all starting to become very real.

Have started the names debate. Arguing for a family name but I'm not getting very far!

Our Midwifeโ€™s Advice

Your baby's eyelids, which until now have been fused closed can now open and shut. You might notice little movements that feel like your baby has hiccups and that's because they do! As your baby practices their breathing, their diaphragm (muscle below their lungs) sometimes causes hiccups. It's nothing to be worried about and is thought to be an evolutionary hangover, common to nearly all mammals.

How is your heartburn? One of the most common "discomforts of pregnancy" can be all day or some of the day indigestion. It's caused by a combination of your growing bump and hormones loosening the sphincter or valve at the top of your tummy, allowing acidy contents to creep up into your oesophagus. It's about as pleasant as it sounds!

There are several over the counter liquids that can help (like Gaviscon) but if its' really bad, there are prescription tablets that your GP can prescribe that are safe to take in pregnancy and might offer more effective relief.

Like Tracey, as we come to the end of the second trimester, our anxiety about giving birth might increase. It is totally normal to feel nervous as from our earliest days we are all told from our peers, our friends our mothers, movies and tv that birth is scary and painful. However, as a midwife, antenatal educator and Hypnobirth practitioner (see here) one of my passions is reducing this fear and worry and replacing it with excitement and anticipation.

Firstly, don't allow people to tell you all the negative stories. If someone is telling you their tale of woe, politely stop them and just say you don't want to hear it. While of course things don't always go to plan, now is a really good time to start researching and thinking about writing down your birth plan or as I prefer to call it birth preferences.

Taking your control and informing yourself of the different possibilities will reduce your feelings of anxiety. Practising meditation, relaxation, breathing or visualisations can really help too. If you haven't considered doing a Hypnobirth, Lamaze or GentleBirth class before now, and feel like you might benefit, it's never too late to sign up and start.

Week 27

Our Wellness Tip of the Week

If you're experiencing anxiety about giving birth, look up positive information about pregnancy and birth. Avoid reading about birth horror stories and traumatic experiences. If you read about lots of positive experiences, it may alleviate some of the anxiety around giving birth.

Recommended Reading

HOW CAN I OVERCOME THE FEAR OF GIVING BIRTH?

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT PREGNANCY

HOW TO ENJOY DATE NIGHTS WHILE YOU ARE PREGNANT

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