I’m now in my 35th week of pregnancy and man this time has flown by! In just over a months time my world is going to change dramatically. What seemed like a lifetime away when Zombie and I first decided we were ready to start a family is now literally just around the corner yet for some reason still doesn’t quite feel real yet. Our house is filling up with baby related items such as clothes, a breast pump, a hi-tech baby monitor with video to keep my anxious mind at ease, toys and all sorts of necessary things we might need and there is still so much to do before baby makes his or her arrival, yet I’m feeling the most relaxed about it that I have throughout my pregnancy. I do however feel like the baby has already got and is going to need more stuff than both of us put together which is saying something considering that Zombie is a bit of a hoarder!
My belly has become a giant bump and it’s now become a regular occurrence for strangers to approach me to ask me about my pregnancy. It also comes up in most of my conversations and I’m quite pleased that I’m usually not the person who brings it up (anxiety makes me worry about being self absorbed). It also won’t stop moving for anything. Zombie has finally been able to experience the constant movements himself and one of my favourite pastimes is to sit and watch my stomach as it jumps about all over the place. Some of the movements are so strong that it physically jolts my entire body!
The iron tablets are becoming less effective and my nap frequency is increasing again. I knew to expect this the more pregnant I got and also think it might have a lot to do with the fact that it really hurts to sleep now. Probably one of the stranger things I’ve experienced in my pregnancy, it’s now at the point where nothing can take away the ache I get in my thighs when I lie down for an extended period (I usually wake up every 40 minutes to an hour needing to turn over to relieve the pain) but luckily this pain goes away not long after I get up. I don’t get to sleep in anymore because it’s just too painful, but then having children means sacrificing sleep ins so it was only a matter of time, plus I don’t feel guilty about napping during the day so I really have nothing to complain about, especially since I haven’t had a single complication at any stage of my pregnancy.
We’ve been attending antenatal classes for the last few weeks which has been really informative, but also incredibly gross. All the questions I had regarding what would happen during labour have been answered and some of them too much so. The other week they showed us a video of a birth. Watching was optional, but no one in the group backed out so of course I couldn’t either. Luckily, the physical birth part happened behind a closed door and we just saw the build up and what happens after the baby is born but it sure got my heart raising when I thought I was going to see a baby physically coming out of a woman! We’ve seen pictures of placentas, pictures of c-section surgery, everything and I still maintain that I didn’t need to see these things.
On the other hand, I have learned so much about labour (and breast feeding and everything that comes after birth) that I now have a birth plan and am very confident about all my choices. Obviously it’s a loose plan as I have no idea how the actual event will pan out, but the antenatal classes have confirmed that I absolutely do not want an epidural (the thought of a massive needle in my back and being unable to feel my lower body while pushing a baby out scares me more than the thought of giving birth and I’m not afraid of needles) and also made me more confident about not using drugs during the labour. I don’t know how I’ll feel on the day, but I know so much more about how these drugs affect the babies now and my main priority is my babies health. Sure, it’s going to hurt, but I will be surrounded by midwives who have assisted women through childbirth countless times, plus I’ll have Zombie, my mother and my main midwife, all who are amazing there with me. I’m going to be in very good hands.
I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about birth in the last few months. A lot of women want to share their stories and one thing I’ve noticed is that a high percentage of them want to focus on the negative parts which I think for a first time mother is something that they should have the choice whether or not to hear. I’ve been incredibly grateful to the women who agree with me that labour, while painful and difficult, is only a small part of having a baby because I feel that my focus shouldn’t be solely on the labour, and it’s not. The baby has to come out, it’s far too late to back out now, even if I wanted to, which I don’t, so there’s no point dwelling on it. It’s after the birth that I’m more concerned about. No, not concerned, but I feel that that is going to be the hard part; actual parenting that doesn’t come with a manual and constant supervision, compared to a couple of days out of my life that are going to hurt. I’m still going to need help once the baby is born of course, after all it takes a village to raise a child, but for the first time in my life I am going to have someone who relies on me 24/7 to keep them alive and that’s definitely a little mind blowing.
I’m really looking forward to meeting our baby and I get more excited about it every single day. I’ve got four weeks left at work and have started training the person who is going to cover my leave, which while being stressful, has helped me a little with the reality side of what is about to happen to my life. Loose ends are slowly being tied up and I’m taking more time to look after myself, such as resting when I need to and asking for help with all the tasks I’m used to being able to do unaided. I’m feeling really good about everything (aside from stress at work of training someone how to do my job to my standards) and can happily say that I am really enjoying these final stages of pregnancy.
Smiles and Sunshine