37 weeks. Full term. The start of the ‘any time now’ stage.
Except I don’t think it will be anytime soon judging from how comfortable I’m still feeling in this pregnancy. I reckon I’ve got a good few weeks to go yet, and I’m fine with that – a little more time to mentally prepare myself is totally OK with me.
My energy levels have been really good again this last week. It’s crazy, I expected to be absolutely knackered by now, but I’m finding I can have a full, busy day, without feeling at all ‘pregnant’ by the end of it. There have been a few evenings where I felt I could fall asleep there and then, but that was after too many consecutive late nights. I’ve noticed that the pregnancy insomnia has eased, I’m no longer having trouble getting back to sleep at 4am, which certainly helps with the energy levels.
Our labour preparation is 80% sorted. We’re just waiting on a hose for the birth pool, and for my order of labour snacks and energy drinks to arrive. The moses basket has a brand new mattress, and all the sheets and clothes are washed, which were the only steps we planned to take to prepare for the arrival of the actual baby. There are a few miscellaneous baby items up in the loft like the chair and the car seat, but I can’t face getting them down at the moment and having them take up extra space before it’s necessary – so Sam will probably find himself doing that during the first few days of his paternity leave.
I have my 38 week appointment coming up. It’s with the second midwife who will be present during my labour (if the homebirth plan remains as it is). It’s really nice to know that I will have met both midwives before the big event. Because I’m seeing the second midwife for this appointment, the next time I see my main midwife could be when I’m in labour! (unless I go overdue, then I’ll see her at my 40 week appointment).
I heard of HynpoBirthing when I was pregnant with Arlo, and I laughed it off. I thought it was about actually trying to hypnotise yourself, magician-style, so you wouldn’t feel any pain during labour, which in my practical ‘labour is really going to hurt’ head, sounded like a very silly and unrealistic idea to me. But I’ve come to realise that HynoBirthing does not necessarily have to be about hynposis, but more about teaching yourself relaxation techniques. After experiencing labour with Arlo, I can see that learning to relax a bit more would have probably been beneficial – not only to increase the effectiveness of the contractions, but to ease the complete physical exhaustion of labour. With Arlo, I was definitely tensing up against the contractions for a long time. So, I’ve been reading my HypnoBirthing book and hoping that some part of it stays with me during labour. The problem is that I have no time to put the techniques to practise – relaxation methods are not exactly easy to do with a toddler running about. At this stage, I feel like I’ve run out of time to try and practise, so I’m just hoping that being at home during labour will be enough to leave me a little more relaxed than last time. If not, well, I got through it with Arlo so I know I can do it again, relaxed or not relaxed.
I’ve been feeling quite torn between wanting to/feeling like I should be savouring the last weeks of Arlo as my only child, and just really craving my own space and a bit of quiet to get in the right head space for labour and preparing to add another child into my life. Sometimes I feel like I don’t really think about the fact that a new child is going to be with us very soon, and I worry that it might only hit me once he or she is here. That’s not enough mental preparation for me.
Arlo has been clingy recently (he’s clearly picking up on the changes). Every time I sit down, he’s there, sitting on top of me. He has started doing this thing where he wants to rub his nose against mine, so he is literally IN MY FACE all the time. We’ve moved the living room around, so he’s also adjusting to the fact that he can no longer snuggle on the sofa with me when I’m at my desk (I finally have a chair!), He wants to climb into my lap when I’m in the chair, which is really quite uncomfortable a position when 37 weeks pregnant! It’s been quite hard not having any personal space of my own. And to be patient with him. I’m really conscious of not wanting to push him away at this stage.
But when I think about having personal space or time away from Arlo, I feel like it’s not really what I want. Because I want to savour the last days/weeks of just the two of us. I’m just not sure I’m making the most of savouring it, and that makes me feel quite sad. There’s just too much to do and too much to think about. All tasks these days are focussed around getting the house ready or getting things for the baby, we haven’t been doing many Arlo-centric activities as a family. But despite all of this, Arlo and I are still enjoying our days, and because we are together all day every day, it’s all quality time for him (even if I’m sometimes wishing that he would just get off me and let me rest on the sofa for five minutes).
I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the Photo category in the Britmum’s blogging awards. To vote for me, click here. You just need to enter an email address and click ‘Chloe Witters’ in category 10.