I do empathise with people who say the last four weeks of pregnancy are the toughest. I’ve not had too many problems up till now, but for me, this last week has been one of the hardest in many ways. Whereas in the beginning I was just sick and weak all the time, the list of ailments and conditions at the moment make me sound like a hypochondriac!
To start with, there is no such thing as a good night’s sleep anymore. My routine waking up times for toilet trips are around 01:00, 04:00, 06:00 and 08:00. The 03:00 or 04:00 waking time is normally accompanied by the inability to return to sleep for a good while, and I usually have to follow self-hypnosis steps to get myself back to it.
As the baby has begun his/her downward movement, my SPD has become progressively worse; understandable as my pelvis now has the baby pressing down lower and heavier on already weak ligaments. The problem is immeasurably worse at night though and in the lying down position, so every single time I turn around I wake up in agony. Of course I’m able to go back to sleep straight away, but even so, it really hurts!
Martin has informed me that I have also begun snoring! Something I’m chagrined to admit, but pleased to discover is perfectly normal at this stage or even earlier, and elated to know will pass again soon. It is apparently due to the swelling of the mucus membranes, and the constriction of the respiratory system, in case you were wondering. Personally, I believe it is to prepare the daddy-to-be for sleepless nights!
Sleepless nights make for low energy days for the mother to be too. I had high hopes of a million things I was going to do BB (Before Baby), but I’m lucky if I can motivate myself off the couch to make a cup of tea on any given day! Some days I’ll have a mid afternoon nap, which is glorious and although I feel a bit groggy for a while afterwards, it does help. In fact, those occasions where I do get an afternoon nap are more refreshing and invigorating than the whole night’s sleep otherwise!
Mobility has become a serious issue. Standing for anything longer than getting the kettle to boil causes serious strain on the lower back, and driving has become an extreme sport – for other road users more than me, really. Martin says that the signs of my expanding waist line are most evident in the car, as every time he gets in to drive he has to move the seat forward and readjust every mirror.
But, these are physical ailments and afflictions and in the bigger scope of things, they are really not too bad. I know some people have it a whole lot worse, and I’m just grateful that I’ve been able to come as far as I have with as few problems as I have had (although I’ve heard it mentioned at times that I’ve just been really unlucky and had a hard pregnancy. Maybe I’m tougher than most? That bodes well, anyway!)
Mentally, and psychologically, I sway from totally ready to not ready at all. When I’m in pain or trying to sleep or have random lower abdominal cramps I am very ready to meet my baby. When I see the drawers and cupboards full of things waiting to be used, or the Moses basket lying there empty, I am ready. When I wonder if the baby will like the vibrating function on the bouncy chair, I am ready. When it’s a sunny morning and the sun shines in through the blinds and Martin and I lie in bed savouring the rare silence of a Camberwell morning, I am not.
I find somewhat unsettling the sardonic, slightly gleeful glint of the eye that people with experience of children get when they comment on how you’ll never have a minute to yourself again, never sleep in again, or never *insert any topic of conversation here*again – and then proceed to hastily tell you that it’s okay it’s apparently worth it in the end. I worry about this human need to terrify, torment or simply unsettle parents to be. If it’s all so awful, why do people do it over and over again, and why oh why has humanity survived this long? I take hope in the fact that people still cause miles of highway tailbacks just to get a glimpse of an accident – as a species, we feel okay when we know that someone else is worse off. Ask me in again in six months. I’ll tell you if I still think the same.
Anyway – the midwife comes tomorrow, and I’m keen to know if the baby is in position and everything is ready. I’ll be 39 weeks, so it can happen at any time!