Pregnancy and birth

32 weeks

Oh my God oh my God oh my God. 42 days to go. Oh my GOD.

Before we delve into the babies’ development this week (and before I share my most recent ailments and neuroses), I wanted to tell you that I’ve just used what I’m sure is a very scientific ‘predict your baby’s height’ tool on the Huggies website – you can find it here. Its calculations reveal that 178 cm (5’10”) me + 183 cm (6′) Tristan =

  • a boy who should achieve a height of between 177 cm and 197 cm: the Huggies people are playing it safe and suggesting that he’ll be 187 cm (so, around 6’1″); and
  • a girl who should achieve a height of between 164 cm and 184 cm: again, the Huggies boffins suggest that 177 cm might be likely.

Of course, I take this with an enormous pinch of salt: after all, my mother is my height and my father is around 6’1″, but Philippa, my older sister, is only 5’2″ and Victoria, my younger sister, is around 5’5″. And Philippa’s second daughter, my 17 year old niece Claire, looks like she’ll end up even shorter than her mother. My paternal grandmother was tiny, as was her mother, so there’s definitely a ‘little person’ gene in my side of the family. Interestingly, this grandmother is also responsible for the red hair in the family, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one or both of our kids have it (I’ve got more than tinge of ginge in my hair). If we have a tiny, redheaded daughter it will be like Nanna has been reincarnated!

Anyway, here’s what Huggies has to say about the babies:

Your baby is around 1.8 kilograms this week and just under 50 centimetres long. It is gaining most of its weight in these last few weeks, around 250 grams/week between now and 35 weeks in fact. Your baby is spending a lot of time kicking, swallowing, moving its little arms around, sucking, grimacing and frowning. It can even move its head from side to side and is opening and closing its eyes.

Yes, I can vouch for the increased baby activity! Our girl is being very chilled out now, what with her head pointing downwards and just her baby legs up near my ribs, giving me the occasional shoeing, but our boy is a right little wriggler at the moment. In the past day or two he also seems to be periodically turning sideways (so he’s facing his sister): this causes me to have a massively misshapen bump, and I can actually feel the curve of his back through my skin. Madness!

Last week I said that we’d have a growth scan this coming Friday, but we’ve pushed it back to next Monday, when we’ll be one day short of the 33 week mark. This will give us a chance to see how much weight they’ve both stacked on as they enter their prime carbo-loading period.

The baby fills all the space in your uterus now, touching the sides and really using the room to its own advantage. Your nerve endings are picking up every movement so you are very much aware of there being someone along for the ride.

I shared my most recent bump shot in yesterday’s post. By way of hilarious contrast, check out the Huggies version of a ‘typical’ pregnant woman at 32 weeks:

pregnant-lady-wk-32

It’s just like looking in a mirror!!

Your baby is still having periods of rest and activity which may follow a similar pattern each day. Some women say that when they climb into bed is a sign for the baby to start their calisthenics. But it could be that there are little other distractions then so pregnant mothers are more aware of their baby’s movements.

Our daughter is still a night owl – she always seems to be active when I wake up during the night (and given that I do that around eight times a night, I have plenty of opportunity to observe her). Our son is busier in the evening, while I’m watching TV.

Your baby’s skin is less translucent and looks more like the perfect skin of a little baby. More fat cells are settling under its skin and plumping out those skin folds.

Excellent! Fatten up, little babies! I’m obviously doing what I can to help this process along – for example, I had a cheese scone, a glass of milk, a chocolate chip cookie and some frozen grapes for lunch.

Your baby’s bones are getting harder and calcifying. This means that your diet is particularly important at this stage of your pregnancy. Ensure you’re having 3-4 serves of calcium rich foods each day; milk, cheese, yoghurt, almonds, fish with edible bones, green leafy vegetables are good sources. If you can’t tolerate cow’s milk go for soy milk products which are fortified with calcium.

So far today I’ve had two big drinks of milk, and butter on my scone. Later I’ll have yoghurt as a mid-afternoon snack, and then I’ll ensure that I have strawberries and ice cream tonight, after my dinner of macaroni cheese – I have a DUTY to build these babies’ bones, people!

So that’s the babies: growing nicely, wriggling around, and generally enjoying themselves. Sadly, life isn’t quite such fun for me these days – I am so uncomfortable that I honestly can’t fathom why anybody who had twins would voluntarily go through pregnancy again. As I mentioned earlier, I wake up so many times each night, trying to get comfortable. And my litany of medical complaints continues: for example, on Sunday night my bedtime routine involved:

  • taking an antibiotic for the ulcers in my throat
  • taking paracetamol for the pain of the ulcers in my throat (I’m very relieved to report that this problem has now cleared up)
  • using my nasal spray to combat pregnancy rhinitis
  • blowing my nose so much that my head nearly caved in
  • applying eye cream (OK, not pregnancy related, but I figure that I’m going to look rough enough as it is as a result of sleep deprivation, so I need to do what I can to fight it)
  • sucking a double strength Gaviscon tablet to fight heartburn
  • strapping on my two Wonder Woman style wrist braces, to try to prevent the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome (and I’m pleased to say that these seem to do the trick: I’m no longer waking up with throbbing hands. However, both wrists are really weak and I can’t use them to support myself properly when getting up off the sofa, for example. Given that I no longer have useful abdominal muscles, this is making movement somewhat challenging…)

And believe me, this is just the list of health complaints that I’m willing to share: there are other grim things going on as well, but I refuse to abandon every shred of dignity and discuss them with anybody other than medical professionals.

Now, the good people at Huggies have attempted to tackle a couple of common emotional changes this week:

Had enough yet? At 32 weeks pregnant, you probably aren’t quite at the stage of wanting it all to be over, though that time is fast approaching. If you’re looking after other small children the sheer physicality of being pregnancy is becoming more difficult. Bending over to them in the bath, lifting them out of a stroller, picking up endless toys off the floor will all add to your fatigue at the end of the day.

Oh my GOD I have such admiration for the people I know who went through a twin pregnancy while caring for older children. Philippa, Jane, Kate, Melanie, Nic, Liz (I’m sure that there are others that I’m forgetting): you are absolute legends. I don’t know how you did it (although I know that you didn’t have a choice)

For the avoidance of doubt, I am most definitely at the stage of wanting it all to be over. Of course, I want the babies to stay put until the 38 week date, but I cannot wait to no longer be pregnant.

You could feel as if you are doing the lot when it comes to your pregnancy. The truth is, you are and at this stage your partner is a bit of an observer. Tell him how you feel if you are getting resentful. Be clear with him about how he can support you and don’t expect him to read your mind.

In news that will surprise nobody at all, Tristan continues to be unfailingly kind, attentive and brilliant; he puts up with my constant complaints, and he even keeps trying to find ways to make life nicer for me – his latest (excellent) suggestion is that I should be booking massages, pedicures and whatnot to cheer myself up in these final weeks. I won the husband jackpot when I married this chap, there’s no two ways about it. If his skills as a father are even half as good as his skills as a husband we are going to have the world’s luckiest children!

Continuing on the ’emotional’ front, I’ve managed mostly keep myself under control recently, although extreme tiredness while trying to choose nursery curtains on Sunday almost led me to a bit of a mini-meltdown at Freedom Furniture. For the most part I am in a state of high excitement at the prospect of meeting our children in six weeks’ time (and no longer being the size of a house and constantly uncomfortable – hooray!), mixed with some small degree of apprehension about suddenly becoming a mother of two and being responsible for tiny babies. But I have no doubt that we’ll be absolutely fine, and that I’d be a damned freak to not feel slightly daunted at the thought of the massive change we’re about to experience.

And following on from my post yesterday about learning from my endless dog-rearing experiences: I’m pleased to report that further progress was made today. I took Tui into the park for a quick game of fetch and, once again, she was reluctant to follow me back to the house. I gave her a pat, said goodbye, and left her lying under the tree. A couple of minutes later I looked for her from the balcony and couldn’t spot her, so I opened the front door… and who should I find lurking a couple of metres from the doorstep, looking a bit bewildered? One little black dog! I called her in and gave her some pats and a cocktail sausage, and she’s been lying on the sofa with me ever since. Of course, the interesting test will be to see what happens next time: will she come straight in with me? Or will she become brave and choose to stay in the park for even longer?!

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6 thoughts on “32 weeks

  1. “At 32 weeks pregnant, you probably aren’t quite at the stage of wanting it all to be over”….HAHAHA! No I’m at that stage at 31 weeks thankyouverymuch! Beng pregnant in summer is just awful!
    It’s possible your breech boy is trying to turn because of the uterine shape and he’s finding he left it a bit late so all he can do is wriggle a lot. Trust a boy to end up the wrong way round when its too late.

  2. I’m glad to hear that your throat is clearing up a little and so sorry to hear about the other discomforts. Meltdowns are perfectly acceptable and sometimes very therapeutic. I haven’t had one yet whilst preggers that was on the scale of the bridal meltdown suffered in Hobbycraft one month before our wedding (brought on by trying to DIY your own wedding stationery) but I did lose my rag a bit last week during the move when a bookcase went crashing into a wall and coffee got spilt on the brand new carpet! Thank god for vodka, is all I can say. It would be nice to say I was drinking it but sadly no – it does however get any stain you can think off out of carpet!

    I feel for your insomnia. I’m not sleeping well, get a ‘lower tum’ stitch now if I walk too fast (what’s that about?!) and keep overheating on packed public transport where no b*gger offers their seat. Sigh. Still, I take comfort that I am not the Duchess of Cambridge. Poor woman. That’s it now for the next 7 months – every single moment of her pregnancy documented for all to see. The fact they had to announce it early because she’s got morning sickness so badly has at least done wonders to highlight the misery of the first few months. On the plus side, her physique will change so much she won’t look anything like she did for the infamous ‘naked’ photos, so at least she gets to reclaim her own body!

    Third trimester officially starts tomorrow for me. The home stretch… is it too early to be mildly terrified?

    1. No: being mildly terrified is a totally normal reaction! And I hope that you’re politely eyeballing people on public transport and asking for a seat!!

      Yes, poor girl for having to go public with such a high profile pregnancy, so early. I see that there’s a lot of ‘is it twins’ talk already – at least that would give her an heir and a spare straight away. And goodness, doesn’t her situation put pregnancy hassles into perspective! I might feel a bit rotten, but at least I’m not throwing up dozens of times a day, unable to keep down food or water, and forced to be in hospital on a drip…

  3. Loved the stories of meltdowns and especially loved the problem of even very little boys not seeking directions. Made me laugh out loud. Read it to my secretary, Kate, and we both chortled at the picture it brought to mind.

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