A roller coaster of emotions that you have absolutely no control over.
Never sleeping through the night again & discovering a new level of exhaustion.
Pain. In your hips, your head, your back, your knees, your feet, your heels, your neck, your stomach muscles, your uterus muscles, your boobs, your pelvis – everywhere. At one point or another.
Being fed up of something, pretty much all the time.
Learning to love Gaviscon.
Eating more healthily than you ever have before.
Catching yourself feeling like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa on a regular basis. (Then furiously touching wood the baby won’t actually come early!)
Reaching 9 months & wishing the baby would come early so this will end.
Crying at TV adverts. Crying at arguments. Crying because you’re happy. Crying & not knowing why.
Looking at newborn clothes & feeling a mixture of fear & excitement – I’ll be left in charge of something this small?!
Suddenly becoming public property to friends, family, colleagues & strangers alike. You no longer are entitled to personal space. Your stomach is no longer your own
The comfort of feeling your baby move, letting you know he’s still there & well.
Feeling like Segawni Weaver in Alien on multiple occasions.
Hating being fat. (Then feeling guilty for hating the way your baby makes you look.)
Worrying about something pretty much all the time.
Eating something your not supposed to, realising & not knowing whether to spit it out or just enjoy the moment. (And of course, feeling guilty about it.)
Not allowing your other half to have the heating on even in the dead of winter because you’re so hot – all the time.
Being utterly irrational 90% of the time.
Looking at your bank account after just one month of pregnancy & realising how much you usually spend on alcohol.
Looking at your bank account after three months of pregnancy & realising how much you must usually spend on clothes.
Looking at your bank account after you’ve bought all the baby stuff & realising you’ll probably never be able to afford to buy new clothes again.
Having the same conversation at least twice a day most days:
- how are you?
- when are you due?
- do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?
Having every woman you know insist on sharing their personal birth horror story. (Why?!?!)
Living in a world without caffeine. It’s just wrong.
Reading more books than could possibly be useful on the subject of pregnancy, babies & parenting.
Having an irrational urge to punch your other half almost every time they speak – ‘What do you mean you forgot biscuits!? Have you lost your mind?! Did an alien land their UFO in front of you & ask directions on your way home?! What possible excuse is there for this madness!
Loving your other half & needing them more than ever.
And finally, for me, pregnancy is over.
I’ll post more once we’re home from the hospital & things have settled down. But all is well with Mama, Daddy & Baby. Who was pink, not blue, by the way! Bump never fails to surprise us.
Yesterday I was back at UCLH for my overdue appointment. I didn’t realise but this included yet another scan, making 6 total. Far more than any of my friends at other hospitals (lucky us!). All looks to be as it should be.
However, we also got some rather surprising news…
The girls from the Baby Shower not only took bets on the date of Bump’s arrival (most of which are now out of the running) but his birth weight. I was 10 days late & 6lb 10oz & today I’m only 5ft tall. Bump’s dad was also late & a mere 6lb 3oz; today a real slim-Jim & 5ft 9. So naturally, the bets on Bump’s weight have been rather low.
Well. More fool us because apparently Bump is an estimated 9lb. 9LB!!! We’re gob-smacked. Never did we expect a big baby. Never in our wildest dreams a 9 pounder!
Bump’s dad is horrified. He just keeps saying, “but how will you birth a 9lb baby?!” with a somewhat worried expression.
Because of this, the midwife has recommended we book an induction for next week. If a baby reaches 10lb it can be dangerous for both mother (eg, tearing, bleeding) & baby (eg, getting stuck, broken collar bone as he squeezes past mother’s pelvis). I’m adamant we won’t reach the induction as this means we can’t be in the birthing unit & a natural birth is less likely.
So come on Bump! Get a wiggle on! You have exactly one week before you’re evacuated.
Bump’s dad & I had a relatively quiet weekend. Another long walk. More spicy food. Baked some bread – cue lots of bun & oven jokes. Alas, no sign whatsoever of my other bun. We’re officially one week overdue.
With the extra time, however, I managed to finish Bump’s mobile. We have a store bought one, but unfortunately this doesn’t attach to the Moses basket.
I got this idea from a friend from our antenatal class, though her’s consists of a single large branch & felt animals. As I can hardly sew on a button, origami seemed a safer bet!
I have to say, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Even Bump’s dad got involved & held twigs whilst I measured, cut & tied cotton.
He then presented me with the wool & knitting needles that have been lying dormant for about two weeks & said, “tomorrow’s project. Our baby needs booties!” There’s a reason I hadn’t picked up the needles in two weeks…
Michele Odent is known as a pioneer of birthing for the twentieth century. He introduced home-birthing like surrounding & birth pools to hospitals. He is an advocate of the natural birthing process and getting back to basics.
At the ripe age of 82, he is still actively working and researching in his field. Last year, he published a controversial book, Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapians, which calls for women to get off the drugs “no one fully understands”. He claims that doctors around the world are all guilty of scaring pregnant women with their medical speak. Odent’s main conclusion is:
millennia of evolution has caused women to lose the ability to birth as nature intended and therefore our global priority should be “to rediscover the primary needs of laboring women.”
He’s stressed this is a medical book. Not a book for pregnant women. And my knowledge of his theories comes from articles and interviews rather than reading his literature first hand. However, from what I can tell, he raises some good points.
The socialisation birthing has changed the way humans birth. A mother’s protective instincts kick in the minute she gives birth (if not before). We wouldn’t tear a newborn gorilla away from it’s mother, so why do we from a human? (It’s worth noting here that Odent himself gives credit to the fact that medical professionals have accepted the importance of skin-to-skin contact directly after birth in most cultures. But there is still a lot of ‘naturalness’ lacking from the process.)
Since the 70s, the birthing process has become masculine. Fathers are present at the birth & until the 80s or 90s, doctors were often male. Similarly, technology (stereotypically considered masculine) has become married with the birthing process. In recent years, midwives (stereotypically female) have started to take back the birthing process with the likes of midwife led birth units in the UK (as I myself will be attending at UCLH in London on our big day… if it ever comes). Odent was key to introducing these centres where there is an emphasis on natural birth. There’s somewhere for the birth partner to stay, should you wish, and promotes a secure, calming environment.
Odent’s theories appeal to me. The more I read about the drugs, the effects they appear to have on newborns and the unknowns about them, makes me even more adamant I’ll have a natural birth. I’ve also been studying Hypnobirthing in preparation for D-day (or B-day as it were), which sympathises with Odent’s theories in many ways.
One thing I am definitely a fan of from Odent’s work is his appreciation for champagne. He suggests having a small glass of bubbly when you go into labour to release the mother’s inhibitions & allow her to relax for the labour ahead. (Could he be more French!?)
We’ve had a bottle chilling in the fridge since week 38 & today Dad & H brought us a much posher, mini bottle of bubby (& some chocolate macaroons for good measure) to enjoy… if Bump ever decides to arrive. Bring on the bubbles!
Sadly, I wasn’t up for over an hour last night with contractions. Still pregnant.
Instead, I had an allergic reaction to a new moisturiser. Specially formulated for during pregnancy, extra sensitive, no added chemicals or perfumes or unnatural ingredients… yet by 3:30am my feet and ankles were swollen, angry red, pimply and on fire. I ended up having to wake up Bump’s dad as no amount of ice or cold water was helping. His face was a picture – high alert mode.
This morning, the swelling & redness has gone down but the itchiness & pimples remain.
I have sensitive skin at the best of times. But never occurred to me that these extra sensitive pregnancy creams would affect me. So, word to the wise, stick to the simple stuff. Because L’Occitane clearly isn’t as sensitive as it makes out.
On that note, I used Champneys Blissful Bump for the past few months without any problems. So would 100% recommend their moisturiser, body wash & stretch mark oil.
40 weeks pregnant. It’s our due date. And Bump is showing no signs of appearing.
I had a slight meltdown yesterday at the thought of being pregnant for another 2 weeks. My stomach is now swollen, stretched & solid beyond belief. I’m so uncomfortable. & I’m beyond fed up of being pregnant. I can’t lie on my back. I can’t lie on my front. I want a cream cheese bagel. I want a glass of red wine. I want my body back – even if it won’t quite be the same.
New plan. Go about life as normal in attempt to tempt Sod’s law for me to go into labour at the least opportune time…
Well, I’ve now got more. And thought I would share some of the cream of the crop with you. I also wanted to point you towards the new page on the blog. A joyful space devoted to books, complete with my brief reviews & recommendations. Hope you find it helpful. (Unless you’re not pregnant or have kids. In which case, probably not that relevant for you. Soz.)
What Every Parent Needs to Knowby Margot Sunderland; RRP £15
This is less about theories & more about using evidence from scientific and psychological studies to advise on best practise for rearing babies & children. Sunderland draws from thousands of studies & walks you through the basics of human brain development (e.g., the ‘human brain’ in charge of cognitive thought doesn’t begin to develop until the child is x years old vs the ‘reptilian brain’ in charge of survival, which is ‘online’ from birth) & the effects the likes of stress hormones, through to why you should or shouldn’t leave your child to cry & the effects on attending nursery at a young age. I have studied psychology in the past, so this particularly appeals to me. Just remember to read it (as with all these books) with a critical eye. Sunderland doesn’t know yourbaby. She only knows the outcomes of these studies & one size doesn’t fit all.
Baby-proofing Your Marriage by Stacie Cockrell, Cathy O’Neill & Julia Stone; RRP £12
These three ladies have had me laughing in spite of the potentially depressing subject matter: your relationship will take the backseat over the next few years, it’s gunna be tough & unless you take responsibility for it, it’s gunna go down the drain. Welcome to parenthood. Yey. The authors have interviewed numerous couples, both men & women, to get a fair view of life with kids from both sides of the gender line, the common issues and the common misunderstandings. And if you leave it here, I think it’s great. I certainly have more of an understanding where Bump’s dad is coming from on certain issues (though one chapter talking about the woman wanting housework done & the man ‘not getting it’ definitely doesn’t apply to us!)
However, I think they could have benefitted from a male co-author. Bump’s dad has read some bits that I’ve flagged for him, but he’s said he finds that sometimes it’s a bit patronising towards men, harking on about men’s stereotypical failings.
Two days til our due date. Midwife thinks I’m in it for the long haul but I’m determined to not be pregnant for another two weeks. And where there’s a will there’s a way.
We’ve eaten spicy food every night this week. Though, due to the heartburn, I haven’t eaten anything remotely spicy in over 6 months. So last weekend, diving in as my usual spice-loving self wasn’t so wise – I thought my tongue was bleeding as I sat hugging the carton of milk.
Bouncing on my birth ball for about two hours a day. We’ve been for nearly a two hour walk round our local park today. Estimated about 3 miles.
Apparently pineapple helps too. But you have to eat at least 6 fresh pineapples. Which is rather a lot. And I don’t like pineapple.
Also on the list is half a teaspoon of caster oil if you’re overdue, blowing up balloons (?!), nipple stimulation (ooh err!) & good old fashioned sex. (Midwife says girl on top is best; your man acts like a membrane sweep…)
They also say to wear your best knickers. Because Sod’s law means your waters will break.
My hands & feet are swollen & blotchy today, which is highly attractive. Hopefully this is a good sign that I’ve started retaining more water & birth is imminent…
Bump’s dad & I decided against a Moses basket for two main reasons.
they’re minimum £50 a pop & only last 3-4 months. When you have thousands of pounds of other bumph to buy, one of which is a cot or sleeping device of some kind that lasts longer than 3-4 months, it doesn’t seem such a necessity.
most of the baskets we saw were frilly, frothy & awful looking. Not us at all.
In fact, although we ultimately want a cot-bed, in an attempt to be sensible & frugal, we opted for a second hand travel cot whilst we’re figuring out where we’ll live more long term, whether we’ll buy somewhere in the next year. We figure we can buy the cot-bed once we know the space we’ll be in more long term.
And then there was the kindness of strangers…
I’m part of an online community called Baby Centre. You join groups, share experiences with other moms-to-be & after the big day, other moms. It pretty much does what it says on the tin. Earlier this week, a lady posted in the London group that she was looking for a loving home for her Moses basket – for free.
Bump’s dad & I felt that the lack of frill & froth was more than acceptable & this deal seemed too good to pass up. As although our travel cot plan would work swimmingly, a Moses basket – for free – would fit much easier by the side of the bed & mean we don’t need to rearrange the entire bedroom to fit the baby in for the first few months.
She refused any form of payment. & even filled the basket with newborn baby clothes she no longer needs. So I got well over £200′s worth of baby goodies for a £10 bouquet of lilies!
Thank you kind lady from Holloway. We are very, very grateful!
I’ve been working on a little something for Bump’s dad these past few weeks. A Daddy-to-Be kit. Complete with box of tricks, photography book about capturing your child’s first year & personalised baby grow specially for Bump’s dad (inside joke alert).
He seemed a bit taken aback to get a present & promptly sat engrossed in his book. So think I did good.
Keep Calm, You’re Going To Be A Daddy
Earplugs for when you’re not on the night shift A Coke to keep you awake when you are Candles so you don’t wake me up with the bright lights when it’s your turn Puzzle to remind you that you won’t always have the answers & that we’ll figure it out together Tissues to wipe away the tears (Bump’s or mine… or yours) An Eraser don’t worry, we all make mistakes A Crayon to help colour their future An Extra Eye to help you keep a look out A Peg for those nasty diaper changes A Marble, just in case you lose one Band-Aids to make it better A Penny, because every little helps Another Penny – can’t stress this point enough A Safety Pin to keep Bump safe A Tea Bag - take time to relax & enjoy being a Daddy Jelly Babies because Bump will be cute enough to eat… please eat these babies instead Superman boxers because you will be Bump’s hero Seeds for the wisdom and knowledge you will sow Ibuprofen – when all else fails take 2 A Heart for all the love Bump will bring & we will share together A Toffee Crisp to remind you that even when times are tough, we’ll make it through Extra Safe Condoms because let’s face it, the last pack we bought were crap. A Kiss to remind you how it all began