I’m now in the final final stages and it is, quite literally, a waiting game. People comment daily that ‘it can’t be long for you now’ and I smile and say no… I try not to look irritated when it’s followed up with ‘gosh, it must be hard in this heat’. Erm… yes it is. But the end of pregnancy isn’t the easiest thing.
I don’t cope well with the heat anyway but it’s fair to say that being so heavily pregnant does make it that little bit worse. To be fair, it hasn’t bothered me quite as much as I thought it would, although there was one evening earlier in the week that was so humid I felt ill and my feet had swollen so much they were painful. I had an awful lot of swelling when pregnant with Mr D and I had forgotten just how painful it can be. Thankfully a huge thunder storm broke that evening and we have had rain on and off since which seems to have cooled things down somewhat.
I am now, at the request of my midwife, having weekly checks of my blood pressure given my pre-eclampsia with Mr D. All has been normal so far and there is no reason to suspect it might go up. I am hopeful it will stay normal. At my appointment this week I am told the baby is engaged so now it is just a case of waiting for the next stage.
We have the pool and various other bits and pieces for the home birth, I just hope that I get to use it! There is nothing quite like the prospect of strangers in your home to ensure that you keep on top of the tidying and cleaning. Whilst we do generally keep on top of the cleaning I think, like most families with young children, we have day to day clean and ‘visitor’ clean. I don’t think the home has ever been so consistently spotless as it has been this past week. Today we have taken the opportunity to pull out all the furniture and hoover and mop underneath as well as just generally sort things out; toys back into the right homes and books that have made their way downstairs back into the children’s bedrooms. It is fair to say that Damian has done more than his fair share of this – I have been beginning to wonder who it is that is nesting! But, the house is looking neater and tidier and much more organised.
We have drinks and snacks ready in the fridge and an emergency loaf of bread in the freezer, ready for toast for the midwives etc. I’m also trying to make sure we have plenty of milk in for teas and coffees instead of letting it run low like usual. I’ve got the towels washed and today, much to Damian’s dismay, bought two more towels – I had a panic that we didn’t have enough towels so these two can be saved for the baby to be wrapped up in and for me to use after a shower. I’d rather have too many towels than not enough and they were in the sale for £3 each so thought it would be worth the investment.
At the back of my mind I do have that niggle that all this preparation might be in vain and I might end up going overdue and being induced. I suppose time will tell. If you believe the various old wives tales then there are some signs of imminent action. I have had an easing of heartburn as the baby has dropped and there is a definite feeling of heaviness today and general discomfort in a way that I haven’t had previously. I also felt more emotional and tearful this morning for some reason.
This past week I have had a real spurt of energy – I have felt energetic enough to get out really early with the children – most days we have been out before 8:30am and I’ve not needed to nap other than on Thursday when I felt really tired, which I think was due to the heat, and today after a couple of hours of cleaning and tidying. I have also been able to stay up much later than usual – times that would be considered late for me even if I wasn’t pregnant. I’ve also found that this week the waking up 2/3 times a night to go to the loo or in discomfort hasn’t caused the usual tiredness that it would do.
I am achey and every slight twinge I’m wondering if this is the start of things. In reality, the twinges are few and far between. I was trying to recall earlier how things started with Miss E. I remember getting the odd cramp and just having a feeling she’d be born by the Monday (she arrived early on the Sunday morning). I remember we had ordered our usual curry which I had gone to collect and we sat down to watch TV but I felt restless and couldn’t get into the series we were watching. I can’t remember when the first twinges started, other than I know I didn’t go to bed that evening and instead stayed up and ended up getting a bath before feeling a sudden rush as the contractions kicked in.
I wonder if this labour will start in the same way. The dream, of course, is for things to happen overnight so that we don’t have to disturb the children. In the dream scenario the baby is born early hours and we are settled back to bed in time for the children waking around 6:30 / 7:00am. Of course this is unlikely, but I can dream!
We are preparing the children and tell them that they might wake up and find tiny baby is here, or that they might wake up and Grandma and Grandad will be here to have breakfast with them. I have prepared some small gifts for them both from the baby; come colouring and sticker books and a jigsaw each. I hope this activity books will come in useful for when Damian is back at work and we are having those inevitable lazy days at home.
Miss E think the baby is a girl, and that we will call her Dilys (after the character in Fireman Sam). Mr D thinks a boy and that we will call him Norman (again, after the character in Fireman Sam!). Damian and I both think a boy, although I have been so sure it is a boy since the beginning that I now think it might be a girl! Either way we have yet to fully decide on a name. I am keen to sort the name quickly this time though as I want Mr D and Miss E to feel as involved as possible and having the name to tell people will be a nice way to do that, I think.
So… for now I will wait, as patiently as possible, and hope that this baby decides that he or she would like to experience the outside world. Hopefully sooner rather than later.