I’ve missed out a few weeks, with my last pregnancy update being at 31 weeks. Perhaps I’ll try and re-cap at some point, or maybe not.
37 weeks. Full term. Erm, what?
You may have seen in my last post that I’ve been on maternity leave for two weeks now already. These last two weeks have been amazing and I am so lucky that I am able to take so much time off and have a husband who understood and supported my reasons to finish work when I did. Actually, I think if I had only just stopped working this post would have been a very different one about exhaustion and how grumpy pregnancy can make you…
There are a few reasons why maternity leave has been so great so far and I thought I’d pass on my ‘tips’ (term used loosely as I didn’t really plan any of these) to anyone who’s interested (that means you, Sarah Lewis):
- My social life is better than it’s been since university as I’ve finally got a few local friends, all met through various pregnancy channels. Wait, that sounds weird… What I mean is, they’re all pregnant women/new mums and their partners and it’s been wonderful to get to know them all better over a leisurely (decaf) coffee and (large) piece of cake, rather than a quick chat after a class. I have a lot of wonderful close friends, but they live all over the country (and the world) so this step to building a local network has just been brilliant. So, pregnant ladies: go to a pregnancy group (mine was pregnancy yoga) and talk to someone interesting looking asap!
- I have only watched about 20 minutes of daytime TV since I finished work. Whilst thinking about when to go on maternity leave, one of my main worries was that I would get sucked into watching crap on TV all day as this is one of the things I hate about being off work ill. Instead, the very kind and generous Crysta has lent me a load of DVD box sets to watch, and I would really recommend setting yourself up with something you actually look forward to watching as a treat, rather than just watching something because it’s on. I think the West Wing has kept me sane.
- Give yourself a list of things to do, but don’t go mad. I kept telling myself that I would write this major list of everything that needed to be done before the baby came, but it hasn’t happened. Instead, I have written my hospital bag list (and bought and packed everything), what I need to stock-up on at Boots and will be doing a big online food shop. Those things were all accomplished over the course of a few days and seemed a lot more manageable individually than seeing them all grouped together under the title ‘DO THESE THINGS RIGHT NOW THE BABY IS COMING SOON!!!’
- Make a bit of an effort with your clothes/hair/make-up/accessories most days, but also have some time in your pajamas. Knowing that I won’t be too embarrassed to answer the door at 2.30 because I have actually brushed my hair and am wearing a bra makes me feel more like this is a good way to spend my time rather than feeling like I’m off work sick. However, I didn’t put on proper clothes until 8.30 pm on Monday when Tom dragged me out for a walk and I don’t feel bad about that at all.
- Eat fruit.
- Also make yourself a nice lunch as often as possible. Now is not the time to deny yourself a little of what you fancy.
What else? As an officially ‘heavily pregnant’ woman (when does that happen? 8 months, perhaps?), I feel it. Sleeping at night is difficult – if it’s not indigestion (one of the worst parts of pregnancy for me, no question), it’s sore legs, or insomnia, or the baby’s kicking, or… You get the picture. After walking for about 20 minutes, my lower back and pelvis start to ache due to the extra weight I’m carrying all in one place. I’m sorry, body, this will be over soon! My legs are swollen, I’ve finally got some stretch marks and Braxton Hicks/practice contractions are getting stronger and more frequent. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and so all of this doesn’t seem so bad, actually.
The baby’s head is engaged, having been head down for a few weeks already, and my bump has definitely dropped a bit. I’m trying not to focus on the lack of control I have over when the baby’s going to arrive and instead on positive feelings about the birth in general. I genuinely do feel that although we’re not 100% for his arrival (please don’t ask about the nursery), if I went into labour today then it would be fine. I mean, you can never be completely ready for something like this, right?
This was me at 34 + 5, my last day at work:
And on Wednesday, at 36 + 5:
(Keeping it real with the no make-up, pjs on the unmade bed and dirty mirror, there, Esme.)
So that’s where we are: waiting for baby to come, whilst also not thinking about it too much, trying to keep busy and rested. What’s going on with you guys?