Week 26

Hello my baby,
Well, we have had a busy week, haven’t we!

Last week Thursday Daddy and I went to a ‘Finding out about homebirth’ session at the hospital. It was really good and very encouraging to hear other people talk about their homebirths, the good and bad and so on.  I am really excited about having you at home, where I can be relaxed and comfortable.  And just think – your first night can be in your very own bed!

I haven’t decided yet whether we’re going to do it in a pool or just on the bed/floor/ wherever else is comfortable, but  I have a few weeks yet to make that decision. Actually, it’s not so much a decision as I think I’m going to be ready for either option on the day! So I’m getting a birthpool some time in the next few weeks, and I already have a yoga ball for if I used the bed. I just need to get plastic sheets still. One thing I will say for birthing a baby – it is a very messy business. I’m not sure why it’s not just like kangaroos where you come out really small and then sit in a pouch for a few weeks to grow! But oh well, no changing the system now!

On Monday I stayed at home because the midwife was scheduled to drop by to see the house and so on. Her name was Hariet and she was a lovely lady from Ghana, who has been a midwife for about 17 years. She didn’t actually look round the house or say anything at all about it, now I think about it, but she listened to your heart, prodded you with her fingers a bit and after a quick urine test, said everything looks fine.  We had still not had the results from the blood test (because at the midwife visit about two months ago someone had spelt my name wrong on the  vial of blood, so the wouldn’t release the result in case I wasn’t the same person. Cause adding an ‘e’ to my name really makes it sound that much more like all the other ‘Luschke’ s out there!) Anyway, after she left, she got hold of my blood test results and gave me a call.  Apparently I am Rhesus O Negative.  Now, that has something to do with monkey blood and rat or rabbit tests or something like that, which I don’t really remember, but what it means is that if your Daddy has a Positive blood group, then it’s likely that you’ll have a positive bloodgroup and if our blood should get in contact while you’re still inside me (like if there’s a tear in my placenta) or during labour or birth, my blood will attack your blood and make you very sick.  I think that’s a simply dreadful thing anyway, but it’s apparently my body’s way of protecting itself.  Well, my Baby, as your great granny said the other day “If something CAN happen to you (me), it WILL”.  So not only do I have quite a low lying placenta, but I’m RH O- too!  But it’s okay – all these things just work together to make sure that when you come out, you’ll be a really strong baby, I think!

So we’re now 14 weeks away from your birth – I just hit 6 months pregnant this week.  It’s quite daunting to think about sometimes, you know?  I am so excited about having you, and so happy to finally have you to share our lives and I’ve been waiting for you for so long.  But in a way, I’m going to miss my bump. I’m going to miss your kicks and wriggles. I think about all the things that happen in life, and Baby, it’s not always pretty and it’s not always good and I wonder how I’m going to protect you, if I am going to be able. I don’t want to protect you from everything, because without pain there is no pleasure and with out suffering there is no joy, and to be honest, I’d rather have you go through some of life’s losses and pains early on so that you can be prepared for the real world. I don’t want to raise you in too much of a bubble, but there are so many what if’s. I’m human myself and I make mistakes, and what if I make, or worse, repeat, mistakes with you?  I look around me and I see so many ways a parent can mess up a child’s life and it terrifies me. At least where you are now, I can sort of keep you safe, but I think we both agree, you can’t stay there for ever! I think about you as a teenager or a young man/woman and I wonder what our relationship will be.  I have broken every family curse I can think of, but life still happens. I always have a plan, Baby, since I was a child with a bombshelter on my varandah.  I always have a way out, a quickest route to safety. I know that if I have to get out my room quickly, I’ll wrap my duvet around myself and throw myself out the window.  Or if I have to walk on my own at night, I’ll have my keys ready in one hand and the hand with the longest nails ready in a clawing position.  I always hold on to a wall or railing when I walk down stairs, and if I have to sit with my back to an open room, I’ll generally try do so where there’s a reflection so I can see if someone comes up behind me.  I planned how I would react if someone tried to hijack me, and when someone did, I reacted in just the way I had planned – calmly and with deliberate intention. I always have a plan, but for this there is no plan – it’s just a big, wide, huge question mark. I have no idea what it’s going to be like, raising you. And in part, I’m okay with that because it means, I think, that I will be able to let who YOU are inform the way we raise you, rather than just raising you on who I am, and trying to make you be the same.  But as these 14 weeks wane into 13 and down in to single figures, the mix of fear and excitement is astonishing. I’m not afraid of YOU, Baby, you’re very much the exciting part. It’s just a whole massive life change, which I am ready for, but you’ll see as you get older – even for someone like me who has faced many many changes in life, sometimes, just sometimes, those changes can still be scary.

Baby at 26 weeks - getting a bit tight in there

Baby at 26 weeks - getting a bit tight in there

Week 24 – Movement and Progress

Baby,

I have been dying to write to you about this, but I’ve been waiting until Daddy could share in the experience too – and last night it happened!

I first felt you move on Thursday, 21 May at 21 weeks and 2 days. People always talk about how it feels like a butterfly, or little bubbles in your stomach.  It wasn’t any of that for me. It just felt like a strong, solid kick. So much so that at first I wasn’t sure I’d felt it at all, until a few seconds later when I felt it again.  It was so wonderful, I just sat waiting for more, but they didn’t come again until later that night.  For the first few days, all I could feel was what felt like you were doing summersaults in there, generally in the evenings, but eventually I started to feel it more during the day too.  I now know when you’re awake, and if Daddy and I are together, I’ll tell him you’re up and he just comes to my tummy and says hello to you and kisses my tummy. It’s very sweet. You never kicked hard enough for him to feel though.

You’ve been so active recently, I’m not sure if I’m just feeling you more because you’re getting bigger, or if you’re awake more, but I feel you moving almost all the time now.
Last night I was lying in bed and Daddy was sitting with me and I told him to put his hand on my tummy cause you were moving so vehemently, I was sure he’d be able to feel it.  He kept his hand on for a few moments, but you had settled down again. He was just about to remove his hand when I felt you kick, and his eyes suddenly went wide and he excitedly said “was that the baby!”.  I just started laughing, I was so happy!  He kept his hand on my tummy all the way through our prayers, and every time you kicked his voice went all funny and his eyes shot open.  It made me smile, and I was so grateful that he finally got to feel you too.

We are making slow but steady progress on your room, and slowly but surely starting to gather everything we need.  A neighbour lady gave us a big bag full of nappies, so at least you’ll have a clean bum for the first few weeks, and I managed to get some extendable rails for a makeshift cupboard. We still haven’t been able to find the kind of cupboard we’d like for your room, and until we do, we’ll just use the hanging rails. We have some clothes from Ouma (my Daddy’s Mommy) that she knitted, and I thought there was a lot because it took up a whole drawer of mine, but seeing it hanging on the rail, I realise we’re going to need a whole lot more for you!  But I’m not worried, we still have time.

Interim Wardrobe

Well, I am going to stop writing now, and try to find a paintbrush for some pictures I’m going to paint for your room.  I hope you’ll like them.

Love you so much Button – keep moving, it makes me smile every time.

Mommy

P.S. If you’re a girl, you’ll have some blue things to wear, but I’ll put a ribbon in your hair! If you’re a boy, don’t worry, you don’t have to wear the pink things!

Abnormality Scan

Hello Baby,

We went recently for your abnormality scan. It’s the scan that happens around 20 or 22 weeks where the doctor looks at you for ages, then tells us if there’s anything wrong with you that we need to know about.  Although we weren’t really concerned, there is a little voice in the back of your head that still asks the nagging question, “what if?”.  As I said to Daddy the night before the scan, if tomorrow they tell us something is wrong with the baby, these are the last hours we have of a normal life!  It was quite a daunting thought.

Fortunately, the scan went really well!  We don’t want to know till you arrive whether you’re a boy or a girl, so the doctor gave us a picture of your face.  You have a tiny little nose and chin, and I think you’re going to be very cute!!

Baby at 22 weeks

During the scan the doctor measures all your limbs, and the size of your kidneys and lungs, and makes sure you have the right amount of everything.  She showed us your eye sockets, your nose, even your kidneys and lungs, and your ears. She showed us your tiny little fingers and we were able to count and see that you had all ten, and then she showed us tiny little bones that were all ten your toes.  It was so lovely seeing you move your hands and clench and unclench your fists.  You weren’t moving, because you were asleep, and no matter how much she prodded, you weren’t budging! You’re definitely your father’s child! Getting him up in the morning is quite a challenge too 🙂
When the doctor had finished measuring you, she put all the data in to her computer, and came back with the results that you were absolutely perfectly strong and healthy and growing well. You are also a bit taller than the ‘average’ size babies, your legs being at almost the top of the scale! So you’re definitely going to fit in to this family! Your Daddy is really tall, and your uncle Ziech is even taller than him!

It was really wonderful seeing you again, and Daddy and I loved it. When the doctor gave us this photo of you, Daddy couldn’t stop staring at it. I think he’s going to be quite easy to wrap around your very tiny little fingers! He adores you already.

So that was your completely normal abnormality scan, and now we have a very long wait till we can see you again!

Love you baby,

Mommy

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