So the nursery is mostly finished (no sign of the cot arriving any time soon, but that’s not urgent) I’ve stocked up on nappies, water wipes and have put away more cute little rolls of sleepsuits and babygro’s than I can count. My bag is packed and ready to go. There’s not much left to do apart from…wait. Since hitting the 37th week- now classed as being pretty much full term from here on out- I’ve cleaned and scrubbed the house from top to bottom and back again. I tcaught the nesting bug so bad, that even the cats got the brush treatment (not their favourite) I’m so happy my final weeks (days?) are being spent in this glorious Spring sunshine too! My bump isn’t meant to get any bigger and I have since gained a wicked party trick of being able to rest my mug on top of it without any hands. Also, I’m supposing this is the final Pregnancy Diary. From this point, baby is just happily getting chubbier but development wise- she’s cooked.
Anaemiaaaa! A word that pops up so often on my blood test results that I’d be more surprised if it doesn’t show up. Except it does, again and again. My midwife tells me to make sure I take my iron supplements (which I have been…give or take a day or three here and there when I forget) to bump up my iron reserves. It seems the little iron I do have is sucked up by my little sprog. Symptom wise, I’ve just felt a bit more tired than usual but I just assumed it was a pregnancy thing. If I want to make sure I get to use the birth centre, I need to get my iron levels up to a minimum level of 105- no more forgetting my tablets from here on out!
Speaking of Birth Centre, I start making a note of my birth plan. Or birth preference I should say, as plans never go according to…plan. I start to wonder if I’m the only mum to be with two birth plans- one for the Birth Centre and one for the labour ward. I’m honestly open to whichever option depending how it goes on the day- but here’s the thing- people have really deep opinions on how to give birth! More than breastfeeding, which I was fully prepared to be bombarded with. There seems to be no in between and I haven’t picked a side- I don’t think I want to. I’m Team Do-Whatever-Makes-You-Feel-Comfortable and until labour starts, I don’t think I’ll know for sure.
I also break my golden rule- I let myself watch One Born Every Minute. Only because, this particular episode had a water birth planned and I was curious…but then the labouring mum began screaming the house down and I sat there open mouthed mentally screaming along with her. Robin said “why doesn’t she just have an epidural?” and how I wanted to laugh- you don’t get that option when it comes to a water birth. He looks horrified when I tell him this and with all seriousness I get given the full name treatment “Angela, take the epidural”
SO. ITCHY. As well, as WHAT. IS. SLEEP. Out of nowhere, I’ve discovered two angry little marks on my belly and I’m so annoyed because I thought I had gotten away with not having any stretch marks. I start using Bio Oil, even though it smells like essence of Nana. As my bump gets bigger (and wow is it suddenly getting bigger) my skin starts itching, feels tighter and all round it’s just ten times more uncomfortable altogether. I feel like Baloo Bear in Jungle Book, itching myself here, there and everywhere. My bare necessities are lots of cream and loose pants. I just want to scratch my belly all night.
I go HAM on the cleaning front too. I spend a full day, 9-6pm, just cleaning and scrubbing the house. It started with the bathroom- just a little bit of tidying. Before I know it, I’ve squirted every inch in Cilit Bang. I’m armed with either a mop or a hoover for the rest of the day. I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned so thoroughly in my life. Spend the next two days recovering on the sofa.
An eventful checkup at the midwife’s! I go through some birth plan/preference options and like the A* student I am (not really) I have every intention of printing it out to stick into my yellow maternity book. I get a blood draw- not because my blood is so yummy they always want more samples- but to check up how I’m doing with my iron levels. The walk to the centre has left me huffing and puffing and waddling like a duck snail- all nice and normal apparently. Wendy my midwife listens to the baby’s heartbeat, chugging along nicely, and as I zone out my ears suddenly catch the word ‘induce’ and I snap back to Planet Earth.
I’m told if I hit 42 weeks (HA.HA.NO) they’ll schedule an induction however, at my next checkup in two weeks time, she’ll give me a sweep to help get things moving along (if I want to) Firstly- WHOA and secondly- WHOA. I know from 37 weeks, baby could decide to pop out any time but to have a definitive time to get her here blows my teeny mind. Also, I don’t have the brain space to compute the physical details of a sweep (even though, you know…about 10 people were checking in up close and personal on my reproductive organs every week back at the fertility clinic last year)
That evening, my midwife rings to say that my iron levels have dropped. By loads. She tells me to double my supplements in the meantime. I’m gutted, because I was being really diligent with taking them every day. And even though I’m open to using the Labour ward, it’s the birth pool that I’m especially keen on using and I don’t fancy having that option taken from me for the sake of my piddly iron levels.
Iron. You stupid little vitamin thing. *shakes fist*
Tick tock, tick tock.