We’re approaching that time where everything becomes unknown. It could be two weeks from now, it could be another seven weeks (!)
I have been trying to give vague answers about my ‘due date’, especially now that question is popping up a lot more frequently. I honestly think there is no point in everyone having a specific date in mind (not to mention the pressure this causes once you reach your ‘date’ and nothing has happened) – I think it’s much easier to go by gestational age. For those not all that familiar with gestation weeks (this includes most of my friends), I have just been saying “It could be any time in May”, which is about right unless I go really quite overdue.
I’m still editing and wrapping up client orders, etc, but I finished my last photoshoot at 34 weeks and am technically now on maternity leave. Coincidentally, it was at 34 weeks that I also went on maternity leave with Arlo – a bit early than I might have otherwise planned, but I really needed those extra few weeks to finalise our move and ready the new house for us.
The limb under my ribs has really been causing me discomfort in recent weeks. The baby’s movements are a lot bigger, it’s taking me by surprise to feel a limb move across my whole stomach rather than the little jabs and punches that I used to feel. Things are definitely starting to feel cramped in there.
The baby is now definitely head down, according to my midwife. Although she did say that he or she is posterior. So I’m meant to be spending lots of time on my knees or with my legs lower than my pelvis, but I can’t really say that I’ve been dedicating too much time to that yet. I should do.
I had a moment of feeling ever so slightly unprepared, but now that I’ve located the moses basket, washed the baby clothes, hired a birth pool, and even cracked open the HypnoBirthing book that has been sitting by my desk since January, my panic has subsided.
I’ve bought the first new thing for baby 2 (a newborn hat). And after the penny dropped that I would actually need to buy a different size of nappy to what Arlo is wearing, I have got a few packs of newborn nappies in stock. We’ll probably wait a couple of weeks before cleaning and setting up the baby equipment (pram, chair, car seat). We have home birth preparation to do first – we desperately need to put up a blind on our dining room window (I have visions of the neighbours sitting out in their garden getting a full frontal view of me in the throes of labour!)
NEVER ask a toddler to smile for a photo.
I can’t stop thinking about the birth at the moment. Going through different scenarios in my head, trying to recall the nitty-gritty of Arlo’s labour, imagining what it will be like labouring at home. I wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and go over things in my head until Arlo wakes up for the day. And if I’m not thinking about the birth, I’m thinking about items that could be quite useful to buy before the baby gets here (damn pregnancy insomnia).
Although we don’t plan for Arlo to be here for the birth, I’ve been purposefully choosing to watch home birth programs and birth videos on YouTube when he is around. He is not at all disturbed by any of it, just intrigued, and I thought it would be a good idea to familiarise him with the sight of a birth pool just in case he happens to be here when we put ours up. Arlo and I continue our daily conversations about the baby, and now that newborn prep is fully underway, Arlo is full of questions and I explain everything I’m doing. (“These clothes are for the baby, they used to be yours when you were small”, etc).
It’s odd, but at the same time completely normal, to think that this baby is such a part of our day-to-day lives before we’ve even met. Without really thinking about it, we’ve made this baby a firm part of the family already.