The educated guess that is the “due date” has now been and gone, and now we wait…and bat off on average a text every two hours throughout the day from various loved ones just checking if I’m in labour or have I had the baby? Apologies if you’ve been one of these people (I love you, really I do) but it’s possibly my least favourite thing about being heavily pregnant, a constant reminder that I continue to be heavily pregnant and tints the last few days with a niggling feeling that I should have already given birth – which isn’t really accurate when only 5% of people actually do give birth on their due date and my first child was 11 days late so I do have form for a tardy arrival – it should come as no shock to anyone that it’s defo still in there.
Anyway, rant aside this is a perfect time to go over the experience of waiting for a child to arrive.
Today my husband expressed his mortification at my random urge to clean out my car on a Sunday morning (He had a point because I did take the upright cordless hoover out into the street to do the mats, so it looked a bit like I was hoovering the pavement if you weren’t stood right next to me – the handheld car hoover wasn’t powerful enough for my plans). Having nested like a fiend throughout the house, it seems the final frontier of nesting is the car. Perhaps I’ll move onto sweeping the garden next, we’ll see…
My search history is all about how to bring on labour, which is ridiculous because this is not my first rodeo and I know they’re all old wives tales or unproven silliness but the waiting game will do strange things to you. So far I have had a lovely few curries that did precisely nothing, given myself heartburn from over-consumption of pineapple and got very bored indeed of various movements on the birthing ball (apparently vigorous circular motions will bring your baby’s head down onto the cervix – in reality they just make you look like you’ve lost your mind/enjoy doing undignified pelvic dance moves that will put your partner off you for life). I have been drinking raspberry leaf tea since week 37 every day, and although I don’t for a second think it can bring on labour, I am a convert for it’s ability to speed things up once labour arrives – I’ll talk more about that another time.
Packing, unpacking, repacking
I remember getting an email from one of the many baby themed sites I’m signed up to at 31 weeks telling me that I should already have my hospital bag packed and texting my husband about it, stating that I wanted to reply saying “fuck off, I’m still at work!” but get it packed I did. Over the past week I have added a bag, unpacked both and re-packed to create a “bag for when we get to hospital and shit gets real” and a bag for “clothing and caring for new human/cleaning up the car crash I will be post-labour”. The former is full of sweets and lucozade to keep Jack going if it’s another night time labour, an outfit I can give birth in comfortably and a charging pack for our phones so I can be played relaxing music like Einaudi and Yann Tiersen safe in the knowledge that we will still be able to take a few pics of our new addition when they eventually arrive. The latter is mainly nappies, small clothes, and toiletries. All very boring but you would be amazed at how occupied this has kept me over the past few days, I’ve been consumed.
Making the most of time with baby #1
Being off work has given me more time to spend with my little boy than I would normally get (an extra two days each week to be exact), and as much as I would be lying through my teeth if I presented this as a time that didn’t sometimes knacker me and drive me slightly mental, the vast majority of the time I’ve got to spend with him so far has been a real joy. I love that we’ve had lots of one-on-one time together, to chat about dinosaurs and trains and all the other things he likes best. I love that I’ve been able to take him to the park, to the zoo, to decorate gingerbread with him and wean him off his noo-noo (read dummy) and onto the toilet like a big boy*. I might also have whispered to him on more than a few occasions that “even when I’m not allowed to say it anymore, you will always be mummy’s favourite”. Seriously though, all this quality time has been good for the soul and I feel really proud of how happy and secure he is as a little person, I think we’ve done an alright job his Daddy and I.
*The dummy removal and the potty training have of course been a joint effort between both parents, there is no ‘I’ in team.
In just one night alone my anxiety dreams covered the full gamut of things that could (or obviously couldn’t but they were still in there) go awry when I go into labour. In the same way you might have a dream where you can’t run from a would-be assailant no matter how hard you try or can’t scream etc. I had a dream that it was impossible to dial the number for the hospital, the same dream saw me alone and unable to contact my husband for help, it saw me go through literally every nightmare scenario possible. So this morning I saved the hospital’s number into my phone and sent it to Jack to do the same, you know – just in case…
Now then, my hope is that by some miracle of sod’s law this post about ‘waiting’ will see me go into spontaneous labour, but I won’t hold my breath. This child is probably going to arrive some time in October and if I can resist the urge to scream every time I get another message asking if I’ve given birth yet before then, I reckon I can be pretty cool with that.