Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The End Of All Pregnancies

Our 32+4 week bump - the biggest milestone day.
We're into July and the month our little Lucas is going to be born; we're mere days away from his planned arrival now. It feels so close, almost within touching distance. But still so so far.  

Today I am 34+6 weeks and by most timelines half way through the third trimester now. But for me and the plan we're nearing the end.

I'm in a strange place of wanting the days to speed by, when anxiety is getting the better of me and I'm convincing myself he has gone. For everything to keep going to plan, smoothly and with no surprises, to just have him out and in our arms, home, breathing and screaming and growing like his brothers. But it still seems so far, knowing he could still be taken from me in a moment. 

And then on the other hand these are the last few days I will ever be pregnant. And then I want the days to slow down, just a little. So I can soak up this lovely bump, feeling him kick from the inside, watching him move. Knowing he is the very last little baby I will grow. 

Third trimester has been kinder to me in some way to previous pregnancies, but much harder in others.  There have been a few incidents of me winding myself up about his movements and on the verge of ringing for a reassurance visit, only for him to have a kick around as I'm reaching for my phone. Already the little monkey. 

June was as emotionally horrendous as I anticipated it might be. I couldn't really pull apart what was 'that' amount of pregnancy related vs. Belle's birthday and grief related but I spent much of the month feeling panicky and unwell in myself. It was a long few weeks but thankfully since her birthday I've calmed down a lot again and have been feeling much more on a even keel. 

But this third trimester I've been lucky so far to escape any overnight hospital stays (touching wood for these final days); there has been no dramas that have needed me to rush to the hospital outside of my regular routine visits and for that I am thankful. Our family, our other little boys need that relative calm. 

Lucas is growing well, although slower now than the other boys and seems to be tracking a similar size to his sister - at least he was estimated only a few ounces heavier than she was at her 32 week birth vs. his 32 week scan. A scan earlier this week is still predicting a smaller baby at birth, compared to Big and Small. I cannot quite believe it after a whopper of a Xander Big (36+2 weeks and 8lb 13oz) and a smaller but still fairly sizable Zachy Small (37+2 weeks and 7lb 9oz) - but all measurements over the last six weeks have suggested he is going to much smaller again.

This week I even went out and bought a few smaller newborn/early baby clothes to pack in the hospital bag for Lucas to wear, figuring the newborn/up to one month we had stock of will be ridiculously enormous on him by current birth weight estimations! 

But saying that I do feel somewhat smaller at this stage compared to how I remember feeling with the other boys. I've certainly carried a little differently this time. I keep being told you cannot tell I am pregnant from the back and Lucas is all out the front, in a round beach-ball shape and carrying lower than I have before. Maybe that is my muscles giving up on me and unable to hold this a 4th time bump up anymore! 

My pelvis has struggled hugely with this pregnancy. The pelvic girdle pain that started the day of my last pregnancy update hasn't gone away.  Although some days have been better and easier than others, and the bump belt from physiotherapy has helped - I have been forced to slow down and accept that my body cannot cope with full on busy days. As a result of pelvic weakness and the increased tear/rupture risks in the third trimester this pregnancy I've been signed off work since. Any busy day means I pay for it in the evening and the next day, and I'm really at the stage now where any length of walk or climbing the stairs leaves me feeling in quite significant discomfort, especially if the walk has involved any sort of upwards incline. Honestly, between this and the constant feeling of exhaustion sometimes I feel like an old woman and have definitely found this pregnancy the most physically challenging and difficult out of the four. 

Heartburn has been getting worse over the last two weeks after barely being an issue up until now. Still mild in comparison to Zachy's pregnancy but now enough to see me reaching for the Rennie's sweets after most meals and disturbing my sleep (along with the usual discomfort disturbing sleep and multiple trips to the toilet!) I still feel fortunate to have got to nearly the end without it being as horrendous as last time though! Even now at 34 weeks I'm still having the odd morning where I'm getting up feeling horrendously nauseous and still vomiting on occasion too. The latest into a pregnancy where morning sickness has continued to feature - although mildly now - and I've basically accepted it is clearly here to stay until the end. I'm dreading my c-section morning and being nil-by-mouth because the only thing that really settles the yuckiness is a little breakfast. 

So we're nearly there, but I'm becoming increasingly nervous of the major operation ahead of me. There is no other way and he has to come out of course, but suddenly the enormity of being sliced open again and the pain and recovery afterwards is feeling a bit overwhelming. I'm anxious about the previous scar tissue, the potential tearing issue and the amount of bleeding that led to the pressure bandages and drain being left in in my last operation and how horrific it was when said drain was removed. Oh how I hope that isn't needed again! 

I'm nervous about his slightly premature birth, even with the steroids to prepare him. I'm hoping that he of course escapes the need for a stay in SCBU, not really sure how I will react if that becomes a reality and I'm separated from him, but knowing that nothing is guaranteed. Mostly we're just waiting with baited breath for those beautiful just born cries. 

And then afterwards. Oh how I feel like I've forgotten everything there is to know about a newborn and wondering how on earth I'll survive the sleep deprivation with two bigger boys plus school runs! I'm glad we have the summer holidays of allowed lazy and slow mornings to adjust to a new baby before a full on back to normal September with Big starting full-time school. 

Days to go and our house is not ready. Some serious nesting needs to start happening this week! Car seats and other newly bought baby equipment still sit in boxes not ready. The only ready thing is our hospital bags and his little wardrobe of clothes - and by his, I mean two drawers in my wardrobe we've emptied and re- oganised for him because a nursery is still a long way off this time. The big boys' bedroom needs revamping first so we can reclaim the nursery furniture for Luc! 

How differently the urgency is to get these things ready from first to final child - when I look back at how organised we were for Belle, and indeed Xander, and somewhat Zac. My standards of preparation are clearly slipping! Poor last baby already even before he is born! 

We're nearly there. I'm allowing myself to feel excited, I cannot wait to meet out littlest boy and see if his 4D scan lives up to how identical to his big brothers, especially Zac as a newborn, we're expecting him to be. 

And then I cannot believe we'll never be doing this again, despite the trauma and fear pregnancy has represented for us. Growing these babies and having these bumps has been so precious.

Our last baby and nearly into a new chapter of our lives over the next few years. Babies to children and beyond. 

Raising boys. 

Our little Luc coming to complete our beautiful set of rainbows. 


EK said...

Hi Caz,hope you are doing ok as the birth nears. There is a radio programme on Radio 4 next Friday (22nd) at 11 am that you may find interesting. It's called 'we need to talk about stillbirth' and it's been presented and produced by a friend of mine who lost her little girl to stillbirth just a few months after you lost Belle. She feels that the more we talk about stillbirth, the closer we will get to preventing and understanding what happens. The Radio Times, Telegraph, Times and Observer have all made it their pick of the day.

Life, Loss and Little Things said...

Hi Caz
Wishing you luck for the big day. I love the name you have chosen. I'm going in this week for our rainbow and I'm guessing you must be too?xx

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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