As of today, I’m 37 weeks pregnant – FULL TERM, baby!
This is a pretty big deal for me, really: not only because it means that, if the baby was born now, he’d likely be able to breathe etc on his own, but because it absolutely blows my mind to think that this little dot, which was barely even visible on my very first ultrasound, at around 5 weeks and 4 days…
(Er, he’s the tiny little dot at the bottom of the black “tadpole” bit, just in case you’re wondering…)
… is now a full-grown baby, who I can actually SEE making my belly move on a daily basis. (I posted a video of this to my Insta Stories this week – it’s still there as one of the ‘highlights’ on my profile, if you have nothing better to do with your day than watch someone’s belly dance around…) I mean, I know this is really quite a commonplace kind of “miracle”, and that there are probably hundreds of thousands of babies being born every day, but it still seems absolutely amazing to me. As I mentioned last week, I honestly feel like I’ve been pregnant forever at this point, but, at the same time, when I think back to that day in May when I first got those two blue lines on the stick, it still feels like yesterday, so it’s honestly hard to compute the fact that I’ve somehow managed to grow an actual BABY since then. I really didn’t expect to ever reach this stage – like, I really, REALLY didn’t – so, yeah, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time lately pointing at my belly and saying to Terry, “Seriously, though, can you BELIEVE this?!”
Anyway, enough about week 37 – this is, after all, supposed to be my week 36 pregnancy diary, and week 36 has NOT been my favourite, let me tell you.
First of all, we flooded the house. So THAT sucked, basically.
Then, we had to completely deconstruct the house, and start putting it back together. So THAT sucked too – especially given that it happened JUST as I’d finally gotten things organised, and was starting to feel like I was as ready as I’ll ever be for this baby to make his appearance.
Then I caught that cold Terry had last week – I didn’t get as bad a dose as he did, thankfully, but while there’s never a GOOD time to get ill, this was a particularly bad one for me: all I’ve wanted to do all week has been to crawl back into bed and sleep until the baby comes, but, well, my bedroom was a building site, basically, so THAT wasn’t an option either, unfortunately.
I’ve had quite a few comments about how well I seem to be taking this latest development. Honestly, I think it’s just that I’m so preoccupied with worrying about the baby and the birth (I’m literally lying awake at night worrying about this, that’s how bad it’s been…) that it’s kind of put everything else in perspective, really. Well, either that or I just don’t have the room in my head for ONE MORE THING right now.
With that said, I’m staying much calmer than even I would have expected, under the circumstances, but I’m still pretty gutted that this happened, and I’ve spent the entire week worrying that I’d go into labour unexpectedly, and while the house was, quite literally, like a building site. And, I mean, sure, if I DID go into labour early, the health of the baby would be my only priority at that point, but, the fact is, one of my main coping mechanisms, and the most effective way I have of dealing with my anxiety, is by being as prepared as I possibly can be, so I’m not going to lie – the events of this week haven’t really helped with the anxiety, and I DID have a bit of an ugly-cry when we discovered that the new flooring we were expecting to have delivered on Monday wasn’t actually going to turn up until Wednesday – which meant three more days of building-site living for us. I’ve been repeatedly told that, “The baby won’t care what the house looks like!” but, I mean, the baby won’t really care about ANYTHING much other than being fed etc – I DO care, though, and I’d really rather not have to bring him home to a house without proper flooring, which is soon to be filled with DIY noise and building dust!
At this stage of pregnancy, everyone tells you to put your feet up, take it easy, and just try to enjoy the last couple of weeks before the baby arrives. That advice, though, obviously isn’t directed at the kind of idiots who FLOOD THEIR OWN HOUSE three weeks before their due date, though, so it looks like that relaxing run-up to the birth just isn’t going to happen. Here’s what HAS happened instead…
After weeks of having no new symptoms to report, week 36 brought a couple of surprises for me, namely…
BRAXTON HICKS CONTRACTIONS
I actually think I’ve been having these for longer than I think I have, it’s just taken me until now to realise what they were! I’d always imagined Braxton Hicks to be really dramatic and painful, and I’d worried about how I’d know the difference between them and REAL labour, but, as it turned out, they’ve been nothing like I expected: in fact, so far, mine aren’t even painful – all that happens is that my belly goes rock hard for a while, and, to be totally honest, I wouldn’t even know it was happening if it wasn’t for my habit of keeping my hands on my belly whenever possible, so I can obsessively monitor the baby’s movement.
I had another appointment with the midwife this week, too, and it seems that the baby’s head is partially engaged: which doesn’t mean I’m going to go into labour at any second, luckily, but does reassure me a bit that at least my body seems to know what it’s doing this time around. (Which is good, because the brain sure doesn’t…)
This week I also noticed a bit of swelling in my fingers for the first time. I kinda hesitate to mention this, for fear that someone’s going to internet diagnose me with pre-eclampsia or something, but, again, my lovely midwife has assured me that this is totally normal. It’s very slight, too – I can still get my wedding and engagement rings on and off, they’re just tighter than normal, and will leave a bit of a dent in the skin, so I’ve just been leaving them off for now, so they don’t end up cutting off my circulation or something…
LOSS OF APPETITE
Having been absolutely ravenous throughout my 2nd trimester, my appetite went back to normal at the start of the third, and has now started to disappear completely. I think the baby must be pressing against my stomach or something, because I basically feel like I’ve just eaten ALL the time, and when I try to eat something, I feel instantly full. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: I really feel like I over-ate during the second trimester, and Terry (who is the cook in our house) has continued to make me 2nd-trimester sized portions of food ever since. I haven’t weighed myself in months, but I’m a bit worried about how much I’ll have gained by the end of the pregnancy: I know I’m not supposed to admit that, but hey, I have a LOT of clothes, and I’d quite like to be able to wear them again at some point, so…
And, of course, along with all of that, there’s just a general – and constant – lack of comfort, that doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but which … well, it kind of grinds you down to a fine dust, basically. From all of the scans and measurements I’ve had, we know the baby is average-sized for his gestation: to me, though, he feels absolutely HUGE now, so it doesn’t really matter how I try to sit/stand/lie, absolutely NOTHING is comfortable any more. So, just to add to the general fun, I’m back to not sleeping – and so is Terry, thanks to my snoring: which got even WORSE this week, because of the cold. Sorry, Terry!
Er, that was all a bit of a downer, wasn’t it?
The good news, of course, is that I only have two more weeks of the discomfort to go, at most. As much as I can’t wait to actually meet this baby, though, I’m also more scared than I’ve ever been in my life at the thought of how he’ll actually get here. I’m still sure that the elective cesarean is the right choice for me, but I’m absolutely terrified out of my mind at the thought of it, and the fact that my brain likes to wake me up in the middle of the night, just so I can worry some more doesn’t help much, either. Everything seems worse at 3am, doesn’t it?
Still, our new flooring arrived yesterday…