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31 Weeks Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant


So you know when I wrote about my life at 28 weeks pregnant and everything was going swimmingly? I totally cursed myself with that one. Pregnancy has become a bit of an uphill struggle, something I’m not really enjoying anymore thanks to the aches, pains, tiredness and cravings.

My urge to eat ice is back. I had this with Elfie and went through about three bags a week, plus whatever I could beg in a pint glass from the pub next door to my office. I can’t explain the compulsion to chew on ice but it also extends to really really chilled water, wet fabric (especially clean-smelling wet fabric, the smell of clean laundry fresh from the washing machine sends me wild) and includes flannels. That’s right, I want to chew on flannels. I might have chewed on flannels in the bath. It’s so strange to want to put something so unnatural in your mouth (insert dirty joke here) but I just can’t get over the obsession.

I’m also enjoying the smell of bleach even more than usual and could quite happily spend all day cleaning, the scent actually makes my mouth water and has meant I’m now completely over the phobia I used to have of cleaning toilets (which I did last week, getting at the fiddly bits with a bloody toothbrush).

The tiredness has become pretty bad as well. Juggling a toddler, a house, a husband and pregnancy is exhausting beyond belief and most of the time I feel like I’m just about keeping my head above water. Work is at a bit of a standstill, as  is any kind of social life unless it is planned out far in advance with naps and recovery time accounted for. Will has been very helpful and is getting up with Elfie first thing in the morning (Well, 7am), by the time her morning milk is ready I am awake enough to cuddle in bed with them both for a little chat. Then I’m back to bed at the same time as her (11am) for a snooze before we run errands or clean (i.e. sniff bleach… lovely lovely bleach). The above photo was taken yesterday, on Mother’s day, and pretty much summarises how tired I have been feeling. 5 minutes later I took a monster 2 hour nap, only waking up because I’d dribbled on myself.

Speaking of sleeping, I keep waking up on my back in the middle of the night which according to plenty of pregnancy websites is a Very Bad Thing. My back is always very sore by the end of the day and although I find it most comfy to sleep on my left side apparently my body disagrees. Which is weird because it takes a big painful heft and a heave to get back on my side again. Apparently Will is sleeping with a dribbling elephant.

We took a trip to the hospital last week to see my consultant and everything is looking good. Baby is head-down still and though the Doctor said that he can be moving every which way at the moment I’m pretty confident his position has remained consistent for at least the last six weeks.  As I’ve said before, Elfie was breech from very early on and she  was quite obviously upside down for the whole pregnancy (very uncomfortably). From this experience I feel very aware of the different parts of baby and I am 99% confident he has not once been breech. Great news for my planned VBAC.

I do wish the consultant wouldn’t query me further on my decision though… I don’t feel pushed into another C section but I am very aware that they are happy to do one without any sort of reason which makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I want them to be more behind the decision I’ve made to try for a natural active birth and wish they would make a C section a little less obtainable. I am trying to remain strong in my convictions though, am re-reading my natural and Hypno birth books as well as things I’ve written before about why this C-Section debate is so important to me, but honestly after such a lovely and easy Caesarian last time I am a little scared. Having never even gone into labour before I feel I am stepping into the unknown, strange when I feel at the same time (almost) an old hat at this parenting stuff.

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View Comments (27)
  • Ah, couple of things to reassure you. My friend chewed wet flannels right through her pregnancy, I always love the smell of bleach (and petrol, whilst were talking about it) and another friend swears by hypnotic birthing and totally zoned out. I didn’t put enough prep in and just couldn’t relax into it but def gonna try harder next time xx

    • Glad to hear that it’s not just me with the flannel fixation – my husband thinks it’s SO weird! I’m trying hard to spend these last weeks focussing and preparing so I can relax into it when there’s so much going on x

  • Aw, sorry to hear you’re suffering so much now. 31 weeks though – that’s definitely the home straight so not much longer to go.
    Ice isn’t the worst thing you could be craving at least it’s not exactly high in calories. I can’t get enough of biscuits but it’s not exactly a craving as such I just think they taste nice.
    I’m not suffering too much with tiredness but, ouch, everything hurts at the moment so I definitely feel your pain there. And I stopped walking ages ago. I think the slow waddle I do now definitely doesn’t count as walking!!
    Sending you hugs xxx

  • Ahh – the drooling. I remember that. Thank goodness it stops as soon as you give birth. That and the snoring. God., it’s no wonder Mr K moved into the spare room the last few weeks! The tiredness must be killer with an active little toddler. Have you tried a body pillow to keep in position at night? I found it fantastic. Really helpful.

    Ahhh – the old VBAC debate. There was a study released here in Australia last week which was very interesting about the risks of VBACs vs C-sections. I think if we went around again I’d probably go for another C-section. I did labour (hypnobirthing didn’t really help but Yoga breathing did), she never engaged and my OB said that if we were to have another one it would likely follow the same pattern. Something about the positioning and tilt of my pelvis…

    K xx

    • Hahah, pregnancy is one long attractiveness-fest isn’t it??! I had the snoring with the last pregnancy too, I used to wear those nose strips at night time (again, attractive!).

      I haven’t tried a body pillow yet though as I tried a normal pillow and it just annoyed me too much and got in the way – I might have to resort to one though.

      My mother-in-law told me about that study and I must look into it. I’m really helping the labour goes smoothly and I don’t need an emergency C section! xx

  • Totally with you on the sucking flannels and bleach thing. I have 3 flannels ( all that smell of fresh washing….ahhh) and I go into the bathroom throughout the day to smell them. Is so hard not to suck on them! Weirdest thing ever.

    • I am so glad others are coming out and saying they’re going through the flannel thing too! My husband think it’s so weird, but I really look forward to washing my face at the end of the day… mm flannel face rubbage!

  • I always used to have a glass of ice when I would drink wine (before bumpage) and just crunch my way throughout the glass of ice. Am finding am just loving water, ice cold as the drink of choice. I have also found I am a cleaning freak – have managed to refrain from sniffing the bleach but do use it rather liberally all the time.

    Hope the consultant becomes more supportive for your VBAC. Not to sound horrendously patronising but I think that’s really admirable to go for that when possibly most would go for the c-section.xx

  • I just found your blog on a blog hop from somewhere – hello! Sorry to hear this pregnancy is tough. Second time round is never easy, particularly when you hit this point. Those last few weeks always seem to go on for so long. Good for you on insisting on a VBAC – there was a VBAC woman in labour at the same time as me (so my midwife told me!) and she birthed totally naturally in a short space of time. So you can definitely do it!

    • Hi Anna!
      It’s really great to hear about other women having successful VBACs, I don’t know why my consultant has been so surprised that I’m insisting on one, I thought it was the safest way to go? More than anything I really don’t fancy the recovery time of a Caesarian section and would much prefer the control of a VBAC! We shall see.
      Thank you for your positive words x

  • I honestly meant what I said the other day, labour is painful but it’s not horrendous and it is manageable – even when it’s completely natural. This is coming from the girl who wanted an epidural before I was even in labour ‘just incase it started to hurt a bit’. x

    • Heheh, you really put my mind at ease by saying that! I’m really hoping that by going in with a positive attitude I will be able to manage, I reeeeally don’t want to be stuck in hospital for days after birth x

  • Your cravings are a sign that you need more iron. (you can google pica or ice cravings) After 21 weeks, it’s very common. My midwife had me take 2 alfalfa capsules 3 times a day with meals. Not constipating like regular iron pills. This will also help you raise your Hgb levels which is helpful during and after birth.
    I found your site by accident after googling something totally unrelated. ha ha! Good luck to you and your beautiful family. :o)

    • Thanks for your comment! I am borderline anaemic (not enough to be prescribed iron tablets though) and have been taking a supplement every couple of days – I don’t want to take too many in case I give myself constipation and make the pregnancy piles worse (what a lovely time pregnancy is). Have never heard of alfalfa capsules though, will have a look into these for sure, thank you very much for the tip!

  • Oh no, poor you!! Cups of tea and lots of love and hugs to you. I have just left morning sickness behind me and am really looking forward to the next three months to come, fingers crossed! I remember from my last pregnancy that I have been mainly fighting against my bloody sciatica and raging hormones (crying at about everything and nothing), so I am not looking forward too much to the last trimester.
    Sleep as much as you can, my lovely dribbling elephant friend.

    PS: Flannels and bleach???

    • OH the crying! I had a good weep at The Voice last weekend. Luckily I was alone and free to snot and blub all over myself ;)
      So glad to hear your morning sickness is better, it’s just horrendous xx

  • FLANNELS! Holy shit, woman, I thought I was the only one.

    When I was up t’duff with Elliot, I would get a wild urge to go into shops that sold flannels, locate said small wash cloths and RUB THEM OVER MY FACE. I didn’t want to chew on them, but just the idea of a nice soft flannel on my skin sent me a bit mental.

    Ahh flannels. I still have a soft spot for them now.

    • This is brilliant! I read your comment out loud to Will and he shook his head sadly (as he does to me EVERY night when I get excited about the fact I get to wash my face). I just LOVE a hot flannel on my face, I can’t describe how good it feels.

      I want to chew one now. I’m actually salivating.

  • Stumbled across your blog and so happy I did!! I am 31 weeks today in fact and will also be attempting VBAC delivery. It is my third, first one was natural (painkiller free) but my Gynae convinced me it was far safer for C-Section so my second was delivered via elective C-Section. Bloody awful experience compared to my first. I am suffering a lot of hip, leg and lower back pain with this one and whilst I don’t have the flannel problem I have an obsessive need to keep cleaning!!! Even toilets…… I was wondering if you are experiencing particularly strong Braxon Hicks contractions? Mine have been quite intense since about week 23. Not painful mind you, but enough to take my breath away and slow or stop me in my tracks!! Baby is head down and has been so for much of my pregnancy and also find his movements to be very pronounced, sometimes enough to wake me out of a dead sleep!!! I am also a stay-at-home Mom and my now 5 and 2 year olds keep me very busy. Also find the need to pass out at about 10/11am only to be dragging by 16:00 again….. I’m 30 – do you think it’s an age thing??? LOL Goodluck and God Bless for the remaining weeks!!!!

    • I could have written this! Lots of pain, CLEANING – I love cleaning the toilet (!!??!), strong BHs and very pronounced movements. It’s hard work isn’t it?!

      Best of luck to you too for the rest of the pregnancy! x

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