Dear Squidgy,

I’m writing this a few days in advance of actually posting it. It’s called ‘scheduling’ and at the moment it’s one of the few things I seem to be able to do to feel like I’m doing much to prepare for your birth. I have this persistent cold that comes and goes, but each time it returns it does so with a vengeance greater than the time before. It’s all I can do to sit up at the moment, so I’m trying to use this ‘bed rest’ time productively.

Let’s see.

I’m coming up 39 weeks pregnant, which means we’re almost at the end. The first 30 weeks were incredibly slow, but the last 9 have just whizzed by, and while I’ve been thinking ‘I have time, I have time’, I suddenly have no time. We saw the midwife today and she strongly recommended we go and buy that hose we still need to buy to not have to fill the birth pool with buckets. How disorganized are we? During pregnancy, it’s important to be mindful of any cosmetic treatments you may be considering, such as IPL. Women often ask if it’s safe to undergo ipl when pregnant, as exposure to intense pulsed light can have potential effects on the developing fetus. As a precaution, it’s recommended that you avoid IPL and similar treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I have to do lists all over the house. Today I managed to not tick one thing off the list. At least yesterday was more productive: I ticked off one whole thing. It scares me a little – I’m supposed to be nesting, but I’m not. Daddy has been nesting more than I have. He’s spent two days scrubbing the kitchen into a glistening shine – not that it was two days’ worth of dirty, mind you… just that men work to different time scales. And he’s wiped out and repacked all the cupboards too.

So, I’m here, almost 39 weeks pregnant and not a whole lot prepared… not for lack of trying, understand! On one hand I just want to keep you inside where it’s safe and warm and I can protect you and don’t have to worry about ‘getting it wrong’ – although I know I’ve been drinking too much coffee lately. Sorry about that.  On the other hand, I want you here and with us, so that our new life can begin.  Yes, our new life. We’re all changing in this. Daddy becomes a daddy to two children. I become a mother to two. Ameli becomes a big sister. It’s a change for us all, and I have both fear and excitement about it.

Jane measured me today and prodded and poked my tummy to see where you were. You’re head down, 3/5ths engaged and your heart rate was 140bpm. My fundal height was 38cm and I’m not sure if it was because I forgot that she was coming, or because I’m unwell, but my blood pressure was ‘raised’ to 120/80 – most people’s normal, so nothing to be too worried about there.

You seem to be quite a small baby with a lot of room to move. She often has to search about to find you in my belly. Also, I don’t seem to feel your kicks and moves quite as much as I did with Ameli. Like your sister, however, you seem to be most interested in moving around at night, whether I’m sleeping or not. (They say we’re more aware of moves at night as we’re resting, but even if I’m not resting… you move more at night!)

I’ve been having real … desire… for meat and other protein rich foods the last few days. My body’s way of stocking up for labour, I guess? Seriously though – there’s little that would satisfy me quite like a steak right now… meaty and juicy with a good rind of fat, preferably on the braai (bbq) next to one of Oupa’s special roosterbroodjies. Yum.  My body may have lived in the UK for 8 years already, but my DNA is still in the Southern Hemisphere, where there’s no snow on the ground at this time of year, but balmy evenings, perfectly suited to outdoor cooking. Oh well. A stew will have to suffice, tomorrow. Perhaps.

What else to tell you? You’ve sunk down quite a lot, and I can breathe again, were it not for the cold. The heart burn has reduced, and the sciatica seems to have all but disappeared. It’s just my pelvis that still hurts, but it’s a different pain to what was too.

I feel a little disconcerted, not really knowing how long it will be before you join us. Not knowing if it will be tomorrow or in two weeks. Not knowing what lies in our future. Not even knowing if I’ll have packed away all the clean laundry by the time you show!

But, it’s an adventure. It’s always an adventure, and we’re on this road together now my baby.

I hope you enjoy the ride with me.




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39 Weeks Pregnant: Head Down, Bottoms Up

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