We have had a very good week, I think.
Last Sunday we inflated the birth pool in the kitchen as a trial run to see how long it would take. We were both really surprised at the speed and ease of it! The pool has three rings which are inflated in sections and each ring took about a minute. All told, it was up in about ten minutes! We didn’t fill it with water, but don’t think that would take too much longer than the average bath. The only downside of the pool in the kitchen is that if I have a long labour we’ll be having take-aways on disposable crockery for a few days because only the fridge, kettle and left side of the kitchen sink are accessible! 🙂
I climbed in the dry pool and had the sudden overwhelming awareness of what exactly lies ahead for me. Being on my knees and clutching the handle bars the whole childbirth/motherhood/baby life change momentarily took on a ‘deer caught in the headlights’ feel, but it passed soon enough. Millions have done it before me and I’m not likely to be the last…
With my final week at work looming, I cannot tell you how ready I am for maternity leave. Just the ability to sleep whenever the mood strikes me is a phenomenal thought! I will go off the Fefol tablets, which have been playing havoc with my digestive system, and just sleep when the mood strikes me – which considering what my nights are like, might be all day! But I’ll get to that in a moment.
I have received my epi-no, so I can start preparing my perineum for labour next week at week 37, and I have stocked up on red raspberry leaf tea, so I can start having two cups a day this week to prepare my uterus for contractions. Preparation, I think, is the key to natural childbirth – it’s what God gave us herbs for, after all. Anyone who’s ever been on ‘alternative’ healing programmes will know that you might need a little longer to experience benefits than with normal medicines, so… preparation preparation, preparation.
I have not yet received my TENS machine, which I ordered about a month ago – the tracking system says it’s ‘on route’. Hmmm… from where? Hopefully it will arrive soon – as it provides the pain relief for early labour (by sending electric currents through the body) it’s not really the kind of thing you want to be waiting for the postman on. Especially not if you end up with a 30 hour or so labour!
I’m really looking forward to my baby shower next week. I think that will help me feel a lot more prepared for the actual baby part of this too – the cupboards are still a bit bare, although Geraldine, my mom in law, blessed me this weekend with a bag of goodies that included cotton wool, nappy sacks, baby bath products and creams, some gorgeous little booties and bibs and baby grows and a beautiful blanket. She’s also giving me (on loan) the bonnet and shawl my husband and her other children wore on their Christenings, so that should go really well with my own Christening gown. I’m looking forward to getting back home and popping all these ‘bits’ on the shelves!
Physically the pregnancy is going well. Button moves around a lot, especially when I’m trying to settle for the night, and I wake up a lot during the night and although there’s no way of knowing, I imagine it’s due to movements, kicks and so on. Somehow there still seems to be a fair amount of space in there, because s/he likes moving from side to side. Far as I can tell, the head is down where it should be, and the feet are under my ribs. The baby seems to enjoy moving from left to right and back to left, causing weird alien looking movements and causing me giggles often. It feels weird, and great, and I love it.
That said, I am experiencing additional pressure with the SPD, as the baby moves down, I guess more pressure is applied to the pelvis, so I find I get sore a lot more on things such as stairs, getting in and out the car or putting on underwear or pants (trousers)! Anything that involves being on one leg at a time, really. In an attempt to compensate for the PSD, I think I’ve been putting pressure on my coccyx as that has been very tender lately, but I am surviving that too, fortunately. After two days of doing a lot of walking around Prior Park Landscape Gardens in Bath and being touristy in the city of Wells, I was surprised today to find my ankles swollen to almost twice their usual size! My mother-in-law was kind enough to give me an ankle massage using a blend of aromatherapy oils – Lavender, Grapefruit, Frankincense and so on… all very good for water retention. It is an odd sensation though, peering over a huge belly to see swollen ankles. Pregnancy certainly does remove any sense of ownership over your body!
But all these little ailments aside, I have really been lucky this last part of the pregnancy, making up for the horror of the first part, I think. I have started to feel the ‘walking on clouds’ feeling the midwife said to expect as the body starts pumping the ‘love hormone’ or oxytocin into the system. I feel rushes of extreme love for Martin and our baby, although I think this could be down to him being simply amazing, supportive and incredibly loving himself at the moment, rather than just being a hormonal thing! I have moments of almost panic where I realise this is all happening so fast – the baby could healthily and naturally be born any time in the next two days to six weeks. I am not entirely sure that I’m ready!
I have also started to experience another side effect of the third trimester: weird dreams. I’ve never had the most straightforward dreams anyway, but these have been insane. In addition to just being really high activity and exhausting, they have been emotional and unusual. I have found myself waking up to escape the dream, getting up to take advantage of the awake-ness and get a bathroom break in, and return to bed to continue the same dream! Last night I kept myself awake for half an hour just to not continue a dream where everyone in my life was shouting at each other while I watched! Very bizarre. Latent issues? Perhaps, but I’m too tired to investigate!
Well – it’s all go now.
I guess I might write a bit more over the next few weeks as things step up a gear. In two days my precious gift is considered full term and all the world is changing. It was weird seeing a friend yesterday, my in-laws today and knowing that next time we would have a baby in tow. Wow. All the world is changing.