Pregnancy after child loss – 34 weeks

The realisation that we are getting closer and closer to Peanut’s arrival has well and truly hit now. I still feel a very long way off being ready for Peanut’s arrival. I have at least started to prepare a little more for it now. The Moses basket has come down from the loft and we have a new mattress for it. We’re gradually sorting through the clutter in the spare room and I’ve washed the nappies and some of the newborn clothes. They look so teeny tiny – it’s amazing how quickly you forget how small new babies are!

 

Me at 34 weeks' pregnant - "Pregnancy after child loss - 34 weeks"

How I’m feeling – emotionally

My emotions continue to be all over the place. When I think about Peanut’s imminent arrival, I mostly feel trepidation rather than excitement. I can’t separate my feelings about Peanut’s arrival from my feelings over Jessica’s loss. I find it hard when people assume that I must be excited and looking forward to this baby’s arrival when my feelings about it are so very mixed.

 

There are times when I feel very alone in trying to navigate this journey through grief whilst also being pregnant. Most people have been very understanding and supportive but I have been on the receiving end of the odd judgmental comment when I’ve not shown the “expected” level of excitement over this baby. I did find it helpful recently to blog about what it is like to lose an older child while pregnant with another and to be able to express my feelings honestly though.

 

 

How I’m feeling – physically

The heat has really been a struggle over the last couple of weeks. My feet and ankles have been so puffy at times which can be quite uncomfortable, especially when I can’t then flex my ankles properly to go up and down stairs. I had to buy a pair of sandals with velcro straps as none of my other shoes fit anymore.

 

I don’t sleep well anymore – something I know isn’t going to improve for a long while yet! The combination of being too hot, constantly needing the toilet and all the thoughts that start running through my head in the middle of the night is not conducive to being able to sleep properly. On the plus side, Sophie generally sleeps well and doesn’t usually wake too early so at least I don’t tend to get disturbed when I can finally fall asleep.

 

Otherwise, I’m not too uncomfortable. My back occasionally aches if I stand or walk for too long, or when I first get up after sitting down for a while. I feel like I do everything these days at a snail’s pace though!

 

 

Bump

I’m definitely not as big as I was at this stage with Sophie. My bump continues to be a similar size to when I was pregnant with Jessica.

 

Bump comparison photo - me at 34 weeks' pregnant with Jessica, Sophie and Peanut

 

 

Scans and appointments

I had an appointment with the independent midwife who will be the second midwife if I have a home birth. Sophie was very interested in everything that the midwife had in her bag! She loved being able to “help” and listen to Peanut’s heartbeat through the fetoscope and with the sonicaid too. She also wanted to lie down and have us listen to her heartbeat as well.

 

Sophie listening to Peanut's heartbeat with a fetoscope

 

Peanut still seems to be breech. I know that there is still time for him or her to turn but I’m beginning to think that he or she is determined to stay breech. I’m hoping that the hospital will offer an ECV to try and turn Peanut if he or she is still breech at my next scan. In the meantime though, I’m starting to consider my birthing options.

 

These days, breech babies are nearly always delivered by caesarean. For me, this feels like the safest option if Peanut is born in hospital. Vaginal breech birth has become so rare that most midwives and doctors are no longer skilled at facilitating it.

 

However, my independent midwives do have experience of facilitating breech births at home. If all else seems to be well with Peanut, then this is also an option for me. For now, it’s a case of seeing how things progress and weighing up the risks and benefits of each option.

 

 

Movements

Peanut continues to be a little wrigglebottom. Sophie likes to put her hand on my bump now and feel her little sibling move.  I’ve been trying different positions to help encourage Peanut to turn. However, I’m still feeling most of the movements low down which makes me think that Peanut hasn’t changed position. There are times when he or she does seem to move into a transverse position though so maybe there’s still a chance that Peanut will turn head-down without any intervention.

 

 

Support

The perinatal mental health midwife has been in touch and I have some contact numbers for places where I can self-refer for talking therapies. I’ve also had another chat with my health visitor which was helpful. She is happy to do extra visits as needed after Peanut arrives to help provide additional support.

 

 

Overall, there’s a lot to consider at the moment and a lot of preparations still to be made. I’m not sure that I will ever reach a point when I feel ready for Peanut’s arrival, to be honest, but I’m starting to feel more prepared for it. At least we now have clothes ready and somewhere for Peanut to sleep. We still need a car seat but hubby’s on the case with that one. We’ll get there.

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8 Comments

  1. July 10, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Louise,

    This has been quite a heatwave, but today should offer you some relief.
    It sounds as though you have very good support from your midwives and health visitor, plus hubby and Sophie.
    I hope Sophie is recovering well from her accident.

    • Louise
      Author
      July 10, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Today has been much more pleasant temperature-wise! Sophie is doing well, thank you.

  2. July 10, 2018 / 11:47 am

    I love the honesty of your writing. I am surprised that people assume you would be nothing but excited about little ones arrival. I imagine that it would be in fact very tough although having had Sophie at least you won’t be comparing everything to Jessica’s first year alone which I imagine will still happen and be very emotional for you. I had counselling in my pregnancy and I found it very helpful.
    It is great that the midwives are being supportive. Never be afraid to ask for more if you need it. Sending big hugs and thoughts xx

    • Louise
      Author
      July 10, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      Thank you Laura. It has certainly been quite a rollercoaster ride. It’s good to now have some more support in place though should I need it x

  3. Victoria
    July 11, 2018 / 7:28 am

    Hi Louise, have you heard of moxibustion to help baby move? They do it down in Weymouth, I seem to think you are somewhere in the south as you went to the Paultons park trip organised by ocean ward (our HLHS baba is due to be born there in september), but I am sure there are others who offer this facility.. I think of you all often. Xx

    • Louise
      Author
      July 16, 2018 / 1:18 pm

      Thanks Victoria. I have an appointment booked for moxibustion and for ECV so hopefully this baby will turn! We’re based near Slough so Weymouth is a bit of a trek but I’ve found somewhere more local! Good luck with your HLHS baby’s arrival and I hope that all will go well with your little one x

  4. July 29, 2018 / 6:31 am

    Hi Louise,
    I love the honesty of your writing. I am surprised that people assume you would be nothing but excited about little ones arrival.It sounds as though you have very good support from your midwives and health visitor, plus hubby and Sophie.Thanks for the sharing your story. Have a happy pregnancy.

    • Louise
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 9:52 am

      Thank you Bessie

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