Oh, poor neglected Amazertron! When I was pregnant with Betsy, from the moment the test showed that big blue cross, email updates were signed up for, books were bought, NCT classes were booked (I was weirdly industrious back then). And then I got morning sickness and didn’t look at anything. Ha! But I was much more organised when pregnant last time, but this pregnancy I’m much more, um, casual about the whole thing. This is partly due to having a miscarriage last June (I might write about that one day) and not wanting to get too excited about anything until I could see a moving, normal foetus during the ultrasounds and also because there isn’t much to get in preparation this time round. The side-car cot is still attached to the bed, the slings are in a corner of a room and all the clothes are up in the loft (although I really must get round to buying a Buggy Board). We have names too (actually, I think the names came before the pregnancy, although we’re still a bit undecided about what to use as a middle name if Amazertron is a girl. Despite me having the perfect one, Dave’s not so sure). Also, I am a very good/bad procrastinator which means things get a little delayed from time to time, especially when pregnancy symptoms are a million* times worse than before – my ligaments are killing me, everything feels heavier, heartburn has very much kicked in and I’m tired. So very, very tired. Even when a little bit of panic set in halfway through the second trimester about how unorganised I’ve been this time round, I still didn’t really do a lot.
But then something happened. I sorted out my maternity leave at work recently and suddenly I want to get on with concentrating with the birth that is roughly six weeks away. Betsy is understanding more with what’s about to happen too – she likes to rub my belly and say hello to the baby (she also says that she has a baby in her tummy too) and announced this morning that she would like it to be a boy. I’ve started reading or re-reading a few books and am using an excellent app and I thought I’d share them in case they prove useful for some other preggos (that includes you mystery person who I saw last Thursday and announced they were pregnant! So exciting.).
I really enjoy using this app made by Health and Parenting, it’s simple to use, looks lovely and is packed full of information. There’s a daily blog to read (the subjects of which vary widely), lots (a seriously huge amount) of pictures of a foetus at all stages, a daily tip and an awful lot of information about how the baby is developing including a fun chart showing you the relative size of your baby relative to the sizes of various fruits (Amazertron is currently the size of a winter squash). There’s also a place to record your weight (I don’t join in on this one, I really don’t need to see how much bigger I’m getting and then obsess over it) and room to put in your antenatal appointments too. It’s well worth the £1.99 it costs, but there is also a free version too with less information.
Get it here on iTunes, and I’ve just noticed that it’s available on Android too (albeit a seemingly less pretty version).
Hypnobirthing by Marie F. Mongan
I really wanted to sign up for some Hypnobirthing classes, but alas, lack of funds got in the way so the book and accompanying CD will have to do. It’s not a complete antenatal book, but it does teach you birthing positions, breathing techniques and visualization techniques all while underlining the fact that it is possible to give birth without fear and it’s fear that can sometimes hold us back. There are also useful chapters on nutrition, when things do need medical intervention, perineal massage (!), and detailed chapters on the labour stages. The CD contains two guided meditations which I must admit, I have yet to listen to as I rediscovered some old Cure and Utah Saints albums and have been listening to them instead.
As long as it can help me prevent swearing the house down and not disturbing the neighbours too much, I’ll be happy.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
My mum once told me to not read any birth stories as every birth is different and you can easily stress yourself out over them, particularly if the births don’t quite go the way they were planned. They’re wise words, but this book is different. For those who don’t know her, Ina May is the founding midwife at The Farm Midwifery Centre, a birthing place located in one of the largest communes in the US. It sounds like heaven. The book is mostly filled with birth stories from The Farm, but positive ones and again, like Hypnobirthing, has the underlying theme of giving birth naturally, without fear. I found it incredibly empowering whilst pregnant with Boo.
The Food of Love by Kate Evans
I’ve mentioned it before, but breastfeeding can be hard. We had terrible trouble at the beginning, and I really regret not preparing and reading up on the subject beforehand. This book is the perfect one to do just that and I’ll be taking it back off my sister at the nearest opportunity. Kate Evans has also just written a pregnancy book called Bump: How to Make, Grow and Birth A Baby, to be published 17th April which is a bit late for me to get, but I know it’s going to be TOTALLY AWESOME.
*not literally a million times worse, obv. I also realise that compared to some other people’s pregnancies, mine is a walk in the park. But still! Whine, whine, whine.
Disclaimer: I was sent a code to get the fully paid version of the Pregnancy+ app for free to review. All opinions are my own though.