Woohoo … I’m officially full-term meaning this baby could come at anytime and should be fully ready for life outside the womb. In reality however I could still be pregnant for another 5 weeks!
Over the past month I’ve been so eager to get this baby out that every little thing that’s happened to my body has resulted in me being over zealous and assuming it’s coming. In truth I just have to accept it will come when it’s ready and there’s nothing I can do to expedite the process (yes I know I can have pineapples, raspberry leaf tea, sex… but trust me, babies only come when their ready!) I’m shifting my expectations now and training my brain to be prepared to be pregnant until November, A came at exactly 41 weeks and I’ve got to accept this baby may decide to do the same.
This week hasn’t been too awful. I’m still exhausted but my iron levels are up according to my midwife and I haven’t been unwell. If I can maintain this level of energy for the next couple of weeks I’ll be happy. I am an emotional wreck! I just had an epic meltdown at my husband but that’s undoubtedly a consequence of my lack of sleep. I’m bat sh*t crazy if I don’t sleep, and these past few nights have been very erratic. A’s sleeping patterns during the day are also up and down at the moment, some days she goes in for two long naps (2 hours plus) during the day and sometimes she doesn’t sleep at all. Thankfully she does sleep the whole night through, usually from 9.30pm to 8.30am, however I can’t get to sleep that early so I read or listen to the radio until about midnight and then over the course of the night make on average 6 trips to the loo, of which 4 are usually prior to 1am. I read somewhere that we sleep in cycles of 4 hours and as long as we get a minimum of those 4 hours of good sleep we can continue to function. At the moment the best I’m getting is 2/2.5 hours of solid sleep before something: loo break, bump or baby A wake me! The frightening thing is, I know post baby, my sleep will be even more disrupted! If I was a “glass half-full” kinda gal I’d see this as training/ evolution in action for the first 3 months of having a baby, but I’m a “I love sleep” gal and feel all kinds of awful being so deprived of it!
The babies movements are still very strong and sometimes I’m startled by them. I can see elbows and knees and my stomach makes massive waves, I’m assuming that means he’s turning around or something. A’s movements were always so gentle and subtle and I was often worried about them so would follow the advice of drinking a glass of cold water and laying down and counting the number of kicks per hour, but I’d have to really concentrate to feel them. I can’t tell you the number of stressful tearful nights I had, begging her silently to move so I could know she was ok! No such thing with this little man. He lets me know, often aggressively, that all is well! I love feeling him move, we often have a little chat and A also gets to see her little brother in action. I wonder how she’ll deal with an actual baby. At the moment we refer to the bump as “baby” and she’s very careful and loving towards it. I’ve started to tell her that we’ll meet baby soon, but I doubt she has any understanding of that.
As is expected, most of the growing happens in the third trimester and as a consequence most women put on the majority of weight in the last 12 weeks. With this comes a whole load of side effects, heartburn, reflux, discomfort moving about and sleeping but also super itchy skin! This weeks biggest drama has been around how itchy my feet have been, I’ve literally woken my husband in the middle of the night and asked him to scratch my feet as I was being to aggressive and drawing blood! It’s not just my feet, my arms, legs and belly are also affected, for me it seems to be worse around my joints. Itching is normal in pregnancy, it’s due to your ever expanding size and thus skin stretching. There are a number of conditions associated with itching however and if your worried than you should get it checked out. I was, and had some blood tests this week which all came back normal thankfully. I’d strongly advise to invest in a good pregnancy friendly moisturiser or oil and use it religiously every day and night. I did this with my first pregnancy and although I developed pupps (unrelated to the moisturising!) I didn’t get a single stretch mark that lasted 6 months post baby. This time around I’ve been quite complacent and I’ve noticed marks on my tummy and thighs I never had the first time! I did have a little cry this week at my husband about the state of my body, how unrecognisable and out of my control it felt. He comforted me with all the right words and reminded me that I was making a life, our son, and that nothing was more beautiful than that. Although I’m sure those size zero lingerie models with their perfectly perky breasts and smooth strechmark free skin are more beautiful, I love him for saying it and making me feel perfect.
The only other big development of the week is that we finally packed our maternity bag. Considering how sure I’ve been that this baby has been coming for weeks I’ve taken no steps to prepare for its actual arrival! That is until this week. Newborn nappies, clothes and towels for the two of us and sanitary towels for me are all packed. I’ve also packed a box of dates to snack on during labour. The only things remaining now are a car seat and Moses-basket (we gave the last one away!!) which hopefully the hubby will pick up this week.