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.

40 weeks

I think I can summarise this week by saying: being overdue suuuuuucks. You know what else sucks? Due dates. 

Maternity leave (or more specifically, maternity leave without anything to be all maternal over) has got real old, real fast. I wrote a big long post here about all the stuff I’ve been doing and thinking this week, but it was so dull, even I got bored reading it.

Donna Tartt - the Secret History In summary: I set myself the challenge of finishing the next WI Book Club book, “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt before the baby makes an appearance. Despite having a comically bad front cover, I’m actually really enjoying it. Alphamom suggests that to induce labour, start a project or a book that you have no way of finishing before the baby comes. Alright, so I’ve still got 50 pages to go, but I sure showed her!

I also heard that regular exercise helps move the baby in to an optimal position for birth. I started off with a daily 2-3 mile stomp around the park, and have worked up to a waddling 4 mile route. This has been effective in getting lots of sympathetic looks off people who are glad they’re not me, and not a lot else.

When I’ve not been reading or walking, I’ve been making the most of what mother nature gave me by resting my cuppa and my biscuits on my belly. There’s got to be some perks, right?

Pregnant belly shelf

If we ignore a couple of hysterical episodes (wailing over (at the time) non-existent stretch marks and crying because I didn’t want to go to Centre Parcs spring to mind) I’ve been a lot more emotionally grounded these past 10 months than I ever thought I would be. That all changed last night, when I had what can only be described as the biggest wobbler known to man or beast. The rational part of my mind is fully aware that regardless of HOW it gets here, Baby R will be here by this time next week. It also understands that the average pregnancy is just over 41 weeks for first time mums in the UK (in the states, they seem to induce you as soon as you hit about 37 weeks). My rational brain also understands that there is a discrepancy over my due dates depending on whether you go with my LMP calculation, or the measurements at my 12 week scan. The irrational part of my brain is fed up with feeling the size of a tanker, of having a body and a set of hormones which seem completely out of my control, of my skin being so tight I can actually feel new stretch marks appearing and WHERE THE HELL IS MY BABY DAMMIT CAN WE NOT JUST GET ON WITH THIS ALREADY? Of course, I didn’t have the ability to put any of this in to words, so I pretty much sat and sobbed and muttered ‘the baby needs to come now’ over and over until I calmed down.

Neil has done a sterling job in giving me foot rubs and donuts and generally making my life easier. He also baked a cake which was so chocolatey, I almost died. If you’re on a diet, scroll past the picture below, it contains three different types of ganache, so you’re likely to put on weight just by looking directly at it. It was also his first time baking a cake, and judging by the number of times I was asked to give a detailed Masterchef-style breakdown of the cake’s finer points, he was pretty chuffed with himself too.

Death by chocolate cake

So, what does week 41 hold for me? Probably more of the same. I’m booked in to the hospital for monitoring on Wednesday, which is 40+12. If the trace comes back positive, I hope to have the option whether to be induced there and then, or whether I have a few more days to go in to labour naturally. I’m reserving judgement on which option to go with until I get there. On the one hand, my body has done such a bloody good job of growing this baby so far that I would like to put my trust in it to finish the job. On the other hand, I was told a few days ago that the baby was likely to weigh well over 9lbs already, and the longer it stays in there, the bigger it’s going to be. Neil was nearly 11lbs when he was born. Sod that for a packet of biscuits.

For the record, I fully intend for the photo below to be my very last bump shot of this pregnancy. If I’ve still got a bump to take a photo of by this time next week, you can be sure as hell I’ll be too grumpy to want to have a lasting record.

40 weeks pregnant