Weeks 36 – 38

Workin’

Around week 36, my  nasty fainting habit came back, and resulted in me getting my ass stranded in ultra-glam Radcliffe on Trent as I wasn’t entirely convinced I was able to stay conscious behind the wheel of the car. The next day at work, I made it to 10am before I was lying on the floor around the corner in the meeting room trying not to vom and asking Neil if he could take me home.

At that point, he pretty much told me I wasn’t welcome back in the office and I should be working from home. I pretty much hate admitting defeat or showing weakness in any form so I wasn’t too up for this, but then the heatwave hit, and I realised that working from home meant I could work sat on the sofa in my knickers and take a nap on my lunchbreak and suddenly the whole arrangement looked a lot more appealing.

ESPECIALLY on the day it was 34’C and I bought the last 3 desk fans in any Argos store in the Nottingham area, made my little brother assemble them and turned them all on full blast, close range, all day. That was Excellent.

34.5 degree heat in a car with no aircon makes Kate a mardy arse

34.5 degree heat in a car with no aircon makes Kate a mardy arse

Finishing work

A day shy of 38 weeks, I cleared my inbox for the last time, set my out of office and officially finished work for maternity leave. Earlier this pregnancy, I had thought I would work a bit later than I did last time, to save potentially being off work for a month with not a lot to think about other than WHY THE HELL HAD THIS BABY NOT COME OUT YET? whilst frantically googling early labour symptoms. BUT, we work up 8 lots of stairs in an old factory building with no aircon and no lift. And, as much as I freaking LOVE my job, it does involve you being on top of your game most of the time, something which got increasingly hard as time went on. Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion my maternity cover is going to end up being better at my job than I am, which is a bit of a pisser.

So instead, I’m going to potter around the house, take naps, read books, and make the most of these next couple of weeks, as I’m not going to get the chance again until I hit retirement.

Also, massive props to team Fat Free for an excellent leaving fuddle and pressies.

La Leche League

This month I also trotted off to my first LLL meeting. To be honest, I had a few pre-conceived ideas about LLL and 10 year olds who were still breastfed, but the people I met were resoundingly normal. I got some advice shed on some of the problems I had last time around (two and a half years late, but whatevs, totally my fault) and, having been there before, I’d be far more confident turning up for support with any problems I have this time around.

36 weeks

36 weeks

The thing about being no work and all play is that it doesn’t make for very interesting reading. So, I have very little in the way of interesting anecdotes for you. Soz about that. Here’s some bulletpoints that range from vaguely interesting to downright dull:

  • Despite the fact that I’ve been walking between 3-5k every day and eating healthily *most* of the time, I’m putting on weight at a rate of about 1lb a day at the minute. Not feeling quite so smug about my 4 months with no weight gain, now that I’m heading towards weighing EXACTLY the same as I did at the end of my pregnancy with Billy. Ah well, it only took me *whispery voice* 18 months to lose it last time, sigh.
  • Had this idea that I would work through the stack of novels on the bookshelf and set myself a challenge to see how many I could get through before baby arrived. However, now I’m actually on maternity leave and free to do what I bloody well want, I feel a bit guilty for reading anything that isn’t birth prep/hypnobirth/breastfeeding related. It’s like being at uni and never getting to the point that you feel you’ve read enough all over again. So, the fiction pile remains untouched, but what I don’t know about a theoretical good latch at this point isn’t worth knowing (can’t wait to give birth and have my memory erased and have not a clue what to do with this baby, which is what will inevitably happen).
  • Me and my best friend have developed a tradition where we spend a day with one another before the baby arrives and do something lovely like go to a spa or have a pedicure or something. Now we both have 1 child under our belts, our concept of “lovely” has changed slightly, to the point that the thought of a meal out without having to chase after a toddler / eat with one hand sounded rather decadent, so we ate approximately 4,000 calories at Reds True BBQ and Pudding Pantry. This is the exception to the “mostly healthy eating” comment in bulletpoint 1.
  • Insomnia is a complete bitch, especially when coupled with people giving you a little chuckle and telling you it’s good practice for when the baby gets here/that I should wait til the baby gets here because it will be so much worse/etc. Look people, I know newborns are up all the goddamn time, I have done this before. I just don’t reckon a month of agitated sleepless nights is the best preparation for the upcoming months of sleep deprivation. Also, STFU.
  • That said, about once a week, I will have a decent night’s sleep where I don’t get woken up by Bill talking bollocks in his sleep (“No that’s MY broccoli”), hunger or random insomnia, and I only have to get up for 3ish wees in the night. When I wake up after one of these rare “good” nights, I feel properly invincible for at least 4 hours (so, basically until naptime).

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  • I heard a rumour that second babies weren’t meant to engage until you went in to labour. I was looking forward to this as I’d walked around with Billy’s head lodged in my pelvis for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy last time, and can confirm that the pregnancy waddle is SO not a good look. Anyhoo, this baby didn’t get the message about not engaging until it was time to go, and was 3/5ths engaged at my 36 week appointment, and “as engaged as it’s possible to be without being in labour” by my 38 week appointment.  Cheers, kiddo.
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36 weeks: An update from the world’s worst Matron of Honour

About a year ago, back before I got married, and before we’d even thought about getting a bridesmaid dress for my Maid of Honour to wear, we ended up buying the dress I would wear at HER wedding, some 15 months later. It’s a beautiful blue dress in a Grecian style, in heavy flowing fabric. At the time, I was humming and hah-ing over whether to get the 12 or the 14 as both fit me well, and a year was plenty of time to get a bit thinner and a lot buffer, but in the end, decided on the 14, “just in case” there was a little baby bump to conceal at the time.

Never in a million years did it occur to me that instead of a baby BUMP, I might have an ACTUAL BABY to contend with on the day, as well as a body that would have only given birth some 4-6 weeks previously (makes mental note to google how many layers of Spanx can be worn on top of one another). I blogged about this first time round right after I peed on a stick, put my dates in to an online calculator and worked out I was due the same weekend as her Butlin’s 90’s Weekender hen do.

But, Mother Nature works in mysterious ways, and Laura has thankfully been an incredibly gracious bride-to-be – even moving her hen do to January, so I could still be part of it, even if I was the size of a house.

So, this weekend, with 25 inches of snow forecast, 18 people travelling from as far as Kent, Dorset, Glasgow and err, Leeds tootled off up the motorway to spend the weekend in York.Here’s a quick roundup of the weekend:

Friday night involved pizza, wine, kareoke, distasteful hats, moar wine and masks of the bride and groom.

Laura and I (cunningly disguised as her husband-to-be)

Laura and I (cunningly disguised as her husband-to-be)

The future Mrs Curtis

Team Singstar

Team Singstar

Saturday involved a lot of bacon, the realisation that we’d had half a foot of snow overnight, and some seriously competative go karting:

Team Go Kart

Team Go Kart

…before donning our party dresses and hitting the (rather slushy) city centre.

Team Laura Says I Do

Team Laura Says I Do

Sunday morning involved more bacon, gallons of tea, giving Laura’s car a jumpstart in our PJs after realising her battery was flat (I’m going to go ahead and put pushing a car uphill on the list of things I didn’t think I would be doing at 36 weeks pregnant), and waving goodbye to a very lovely York.

Team Jump Start

Much earlier on in the pregnancy, I was more than a little apprehensive about the prospect of co-ordinating 18 hens, in January, whilst heavily pregnant. However, the pregnancy gods have been kind, and I failed to take in to consideration what a well-oiled organisation MACHINE Laura is, as she did lots of the co-ordinating herself. I can only hope she has as much fun as I did.

For the rest of the week, I’ve fairly much fluctuated between feeling ON TOP OF THE FREAKING WORLD OH MY GOD I THINK I’M GOING TO GO FOR A FIVE MILE WALK OR MAYBE I’LL EMPTY ALL THE CUPBOARDS TO GIVE THEM A SPRING CLEAN and generally being so tired/grumpy/hungry/hormonal that the only thing I can do is curl up in a ball and have a quick nap. Sod’s law dictates that it’s seconds AFTER embarking on a nesting mission that I will develop sudden narcolepsy. Like when a friend gave me a load of absolutely beautiful baby clothes. I took them out, organised them in to age/size, folded them in to piles and promptly fell asleep on the floor using the piles as a pillow. And I wonder why every item of clothing I own is creased.

I’ve also developed what the internet informs me is rib flare. Basically, the space formerly occupied by your organs is now full of baby, so those important bits like your liver and stomach make their way northwards in to your ribcage. Don’t believe me? Check this out:

pregnancy organs gif

 

In situations like, you know, sitting down, lying down, trying to sleep etc (all that non-important stuff), your ribs start complaining and a burning feeling spreads across your intercostal muscles. The two solutions I’ve found to this (arching your back and taking off your bra) are, I’ve found, best done in the privacy of your own home.

So, a quick run down of the scores on the doors:

  • As of the end of this week (which, as I’m a day late in posting this, is actually today), I’m 37 weeks, which means the baby can come any time it likes, and the powers that be will class it as being fully cooked. I’m still under no illusion Baby R is going to make an appearance any time soon (my money’s on March 2nd, FYI), and Neil has put in a request for Bubs to be at least a teensy bit late so he can get all his current projects finished and signed off. Will see what I can do.
  • I have 4 days left in work before the out of office is set and I officially forget everything I’ve learnt in the past 18 months.
  • Baby is measuring right on track (filing this under: sentences I never thought I would say) and is 3/5ths engaged. This means it’s head is about half in/half out of my pelvis. The midwife confused me with words like ‘palpate’ and whether the measurements were how much was IN the pelvis or how much was OUT of the pelvis, so I’m just going to say half/half and be done with it.
  • I now officially weigh eleventy-billion pounds. I cannot confirm this with actual measurements, as I’ve stayed the hell away from the scales for months. I’m saving that joy for the day I go in to labour in the hope that the shock from the number on the scales will hurry things along a bit.