Apparently it’s the law that as soon as you reach full term (37 weeks+) when you’re pregnant, you become grumpy, twitchy and are desperate to “get the baby out”. Well, if that’s the law, then I just broke it.
It’s official. I can now no longer sit in a ladylike manner as my huge bump and partially engaged baby make it impossible to close my legs. Attractive. Still, despite what many people seem to think, I’m in no rush to down huge quantities of raspberry leaf tea or eat bucket-loads of curry.
I’m 39 weeks pregnant and my due date is fast approaching, but I know from experience that putting a big ring around a day on the calendar and expecting your baby to know their “deadline” doesn’t work. Fewer than 5% of babies are actually born on their due date after all. Frog arrived 12 days past hers.
This is what I currently look like:
This is what my four year old daughter thinks I look like:
(“It’s a hippo Mummy! She’s got a big belly like you! HA HA HA HA.”)
To be fair, she has a point.
Still, I’m not in a rush to have this baby. Then again, I’m not in a rush NOT to have this baby. I’m just… not in a rush full stop.
By the time I reached this stage of my pregnancy with Frog four years ago I was fed up. The weather was meltingly hot, my maternity clothes no longer suited the season and my bump was too big for anything but one or two outfits anyway. I was bored, having been on leave for two weeks already. Everything was done: the house had been cleaned from top to bottom, twice; the baby clothes were washed; the hospital bag was packed. I even finished knitting a new baby blanket (that got bigger and bigger as the days crept past). I was well and truly ready to give birth.
This time though, things are different. Yes I’m huge, but the weather is cooler so I’m not massively uncomfortable. And yes, the house has been cleaned from top to bottom, the hospital bag has been packed and the baby clothes have been washed. But I’m relishing this time. It feels like the calm before the baby storm.
Frog is now at school full time (this is her first week doing full days) so I have space and quiet during the day to potter around, see friends, do a bit of yoga and nap. It’s delicious. Some days I’m zapped of all energy and some days I’m bursting with the stuff. On Sunday I woke up raring to go and, at 39 weeks pregnant, hiked up Dartmoor’s Haytor, near to where we live…
This period just before baby feels special. We’re all so excited to meet the new arrival, but also enjoying our current family dynamic before it shifts and changes.
Very soon we grow from three to four. And then we have the rest of our lives to enjoy being together and living as a family. So I want to enjoy the short time that it’s just the three of us, rather than mope about and feel fed up that I’ve not gone into labour yet.
I don’t know if it’s the meditation CDs I’ve been listening to, the yoga, the past experience of having a “late” baby or the rare peace and quiet time at home, but I feel relaxed and – for once in my life – content to be patient.
Usually I’m THE most impatient person. It drives the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine crazy. But right now, I have this calm feeling that the baby will come when the baby is ready. I remember winding myself up a treat as I approached my due date with Frog, wondering if every twinge was an early sign of labour. Inevitably I’d end up disappointed, doggedly bouncing on my birthing ball and eating pineapple in a bid to “bring the baby on”.
Looking back I feel like I spoiled that last bit of my pregnancy. It was different I suppose, because I had no other child to keep me distracted. And I was getting constantly asked by family, friends and strangers alike if I’d had the baby yet which, at the time, made me feel under pressure to “perform”. As the days ticked on I felt like a failure for not having produced a baby on time. And so I got more frustrated and the cycle of grumpiness continued.
This baby could arrive tonight for all I know. And that would be amazing. But if he or she decides to stay tucked up inside for a bit longer then that’s OK too. I will continue to enjoy this special last bit with my huge bump and relish the anticipation of meeting our new little boy or girl very soon.
Everything is ready either way – I even wrote the baby a letter today (just as I did when I was 39 weeks pregnant with Frog). There really is nothing left to do but wait, do some yoga, eat chocolate and nap.
See you soon baby.
How did you feel at the end of your pregnancy? Am I strange for not being impatient and climbing the walls?