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).

//giphy.com/embed/OiU4E2Y8tSU0

  • 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.

On heat waves and sleep

sleeping baby

Pre-baby, the idea of heat waves sounded, well, pretty ideal if I’m honest. Your boss would decide it was too hot in the office, and would move your meeting to the park, or even better, the pub. Evenings and weekends would be spent in an endless cycle of pub/bbq/ice creams/more beer/more meat/sunshine naps. And those clothes that only really got an outing when I went abroad became my staple wardrobe.

Post-baby, heat waves SUUUCK. Suck. For a start, I AM the boss, and the park is too hot. So is the buggy. And the car. And clothes. And the house. And pretty much everywhere. I spend my days fretting over the weather forecast and checking the temperature in Billy’s room. Despite open windows, black out blinds permanently in place and a massive fan, it his 30’C in there the other day. You know the whoosh of hot air that hits you in the face when you open the oven? It was a lot like that.

If I had a Gina Ford baby that sauntered up to bed by himself at 6pm or whatever she suggests, he might be better equipped to deal with the heat. But, although putting him down for naps awake is a work-in-progress, the evening routine usually involves a bath, then milk/story/cuddle in our arms. If I thought the transition of a sleeping babe from my arms to the cot was difficult before, achieving this with an infant stuck to your skin with sweat is a whole new level.

napping baby

Up until a week ago, Billy slept in a Sleepyhead sleep pod thing that he could nuzzle in to when he woke up at 3am. We had it pretty good. We put him down at 7pm, dream fed him at 11pm, and he sometimes got us up from about 4am for a dummy or a cuddle. He was usually awake by 6:30am, and the first feed was at 7am.

On realising the Sleepyhead was the equivalent of sleeping on a duvet that was ON FIRE (and the fact that we are categorically NOT packing it in our suitcase when we go to Spain in a few weeks), we decided to go cold turkey. Between this, the weather, a summer cold (or hayfever, who knows?) and probably a bit of 4 month sleep regression and teething chucked in for good measure, we’ve had disastrous consequences on all of our sleep quotas. Every night, he gets a bit better, but if we’re up once an hour from 1am-5am, and if he’s not in our bed before 7am, it’s been a bloody good night.

So far, we’ve been spoilt by having a pretty easy to decipher baby who is easy to pacify. If he cries, he’s hungry, thirsty, tired or bored, which is why these recent rocky nights have been so difficult to cope with. He doesn’t want milk, or a cuddle, or a dummy, he’s just awake, and he’s damn well grumpy about it. How can we fix that?

baby sleeping thumbs up

Tonight, it’s much cooler. I can tell because the monitor in his room tells me so, but also because I’ve not spent the evening swearing and lying on the floor trying to fan myself with the cat. So far, we’ve had a 20 minute paddy pre-bedtime and three trips upstairs to shush Billy back to the land of nod. In the back of my mind, I’m a teensy bit terrified. I’ve spent the last few days saying phrases like ‘oh, Billy’s not coping well with the heat at all’, ‘it’s really affecting his sleep’…what happens if we have a bad night tonight and I can’t blame the weather for a change? What happens if this is our life for the next decade? BRB, having a quick panic attack.

I think half the problem for me is, I like logic. I like to see progress, and I like having a plan. However, as I’m learning, parenting and logic don’t always go hand in hand. But logic dictates that things WILL change. In a few weeks (months?) time, I’ll look back on this post and laugh merrily about how far we’ve come when I’m nailing a bottle of wine in front of re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy, safe in the knowledge that Billy won’t wake up until 7am.

Until then, I’ll try to store up the way he tries to get my attention at 3am when he’s wide awake and wants to play, and the smell of his hair when he nuzzles in to my neck to get back to sleep. I’m sure they’ll come in handy when he’s a grumpy teenager and I’m complaining that sleeps through the best part of the day and never gets out of bed.