38 Weeks – The Waiting Game

“Full term” in pregnancy is widely accepted to be between 37 and 42 weeks.  So here I am – I know my baby is developed enough to survive on the outside world, and now it’s just a matter of waiting to see when she feels like joining us.

Imagine something HUGE is about to happen to you.  Firstly, something completely uncontrollable is about to happen to your body that you have never experienced before and you have no idea what it will feel like or what will happen or how it will go.  Secondly, once that is over, your life will be forever changed.  You, bookworm and tea drinker and lounger in the sun, will suddenly become slave to the multitude of needs of another dependant human being for god knows how long – years and years and lets face it, a mother is never going to completely stop worrying for the rest of her life.

Now imagine that this thing could start happening in the next hour… or it may not happen for the next five weeks.  And you have absolutely no control over it.  And what if something goes wrong or what if it just never happens and you’re pregnant FOREVER… ARGH!!

Welcome to the last few weeks of pregnancy, yet another of those fun-filled emotional rollercoasters pregnancy likes to present you with.  It’s frustrating, draining, tiring and above all… uncertain.

It’s the uncertainty that gets to me.  I am an incredibly impatient person and I don’t like things being out of my control – so I’m sure this is all just a good early lesson in motherhood.  But I feel that if I knew I was going to go into labour on X date in three weeks, I would be perfectly fine with that and would be able to just relax and enjoy my last few weeks.  It’s the not knowing, not knowing when, how, if… it’s the uncertainty, the feeling of living in limbo that drives you nuts.

Having said all that, I am not one of those pregnant women who is like “just get it out now!”  I know that my body and baby know best and that I will go into labour when my baby is ready to come and not before.  I know logically that I won’t be pregnant forever, and I won’t be choosing medical induction unless my baby were in distress.  Pregnancies can safely go to 43 or 44 weeks – as long as the baby is being monitored and both mum and baby are well, I don’t see reason to evict the baby before the baby is ready to come (obviously there are medically necessary exceptions to this!).  Beware the assumption that being one day over 40 weeks means someone is “overdue” – even medically, a “post-dates” baby is only classed as such beyond 42 weeks (not 40).

While we’re on the topic, please also beware of hounding a pregnant woman with IS THE BABY HERE YET? messages the moment she hits 40 weeks.  Trust me, if anyone wants the baby to be here yet, it’s her!  The waiting period is frustrating and uncertain and being reminded fifty times a day that the baby isn’t here yet is NOT helpful.  It is surprisingly common for women to turn off their phones and disable their Facebook profiles for a few weeks between reaching “full term” and having the baby, just to avoid the “are you still around?” bombardment.  In my case, you can be pretty sure the whole world will know the moment my baby is here!

The past couple of days I have been feeling increasingly impatient, a weird mixture of fatigued and restless, a huge sense of frustration at the fact that I didn’t know when it was all going to happen.  I think a lot of the frustration for me lies in the fact that I really want a homebirth and I really don’t want medical induction, so I was terrified of going too far beyond my “due date” (which we all know is really an estimate at best).  However, this morning I stumbled across a page about going overdue on this website which really gave me a better perspective on it all.  If I’m not in labour yet, it may be that the baby isn’t quite in the right position or isn’t quite ready.  Even natural induction methods may force a baby out that isn’t ready to come, lead to a more difficult labour, a false labour, or all kinds of other issues.  It seems there is a sizeable proportion of women who spontaneously go into labour at 43 weeks.  As much as I don’t really want to wait that long, I feel I have come to a new acceptance today that my baby will come when she is ready and I just need to sit back and be patient.


A lot of sources talk about nesting in the late stages of pregnancy…. well, I have collected a lot of things for my birth and baby, but I don’t think I’m going to be one of those women up all night cleaning out the cupboards.  I think the domestic gene pretty much missed me altogether and being pregnant isn’t about to change it.  I made some attempts at nesting, but really it was more because things needed to be done than any great drive to spend my day washing and cleaning.

Necessary Nesting – about the only time you’ll see me fold clothes.

I have to admit though, washing and folding all those tiny little clothes did make me clucky as hell!

I still feel great physically, no aches or pains or really any complaints all all.  I think that maybe sometimes I get Braxton Hicks but I don’t perceive them – I only notice if I put my hand on my belly and realise that it’s harder than normal.  Some days I feel like I could sleep all day.  But in general, I feel really healthy, normal and good!

Now I just have to set up the birth pool and we’ll be good to go!!  Birth is so unpredictable… I just hope I can acheive some semblance of the birth I want… but at the end of the day, I just can’t wait to have my little girl healthy and safe in my arms 🙂

37 weeks
38 weeks

35 Weeks – Home Streeeeeetch

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front in the last few weeks, the main reason being – I just haven’t had much to report!  My wonderful pregnancy has continued to be a wonderful pregnancy 🙂  Little belly is slowly but surely becoming a not-so-little belly, I still need to pee a million times a day, I have the odd aches here and there, but on the whole, all is fabulous 🙂

35 weeks – round!!

I finished up at work at 33 weeks so have been enjoying my time at home for a couple of weeks now.  While there has certainly been plenty of book reading and daytime TV watching, I have also been spending the time getting the last few things together for the birth and life beyond!  Nesting is certainly a real phenomenon – I feel this strong NEED to have absolutely everything in order by 37 weeks.  As you may know, labour can begin anywhere from 37 weeks onward (40 weeks is the length of the average pregnancy – most pregnancies go shorter or longer).  I know that being my first baby, chances are I will probably reach at least 40 weeks… but I can’t shake this sense of urgency to have everything sorted and ready for whatever moment little bub decides she’s ready to join us.  I guess I just don’t want anything holding me back in that moment – I want to be able to reach 37 weeks and go “well, just as soon as you feel you’re developed enough, I’m waiting here with open arms – I’m ready.”

I have really felt very comfortable throughout my pregnancy, so to be honest, it is coming as a bit of a surprise to me that as I reach the 35/36 week mark, a bit of discomfort is beginning to set in.  I can’t really walk far without feeling a lot of pressure down low, which makes me feel like I constantly need to pee (can’t I just have a catheter?).  My tummy is hard, round, inflexible and full of baby, and things like putting on socks starts becoming difficult if not painful.

This lady makes it look so easy.  It’s really not.

If I overdo it on the walking front (by overdo it, I mean walk further than to the fridge or toilet), I can get some aches in the pelvis and start getting a bit of a waddle on.  Sometimes I get a bit achy in my belly, almost a crampy kind of feeling – I’ve wondered whether that may be Braxton Hicks, but it could also just be growing/stretching pains.  I’ve still yet to actually perceive a Braxton Hicks contraction, but I have read that sometimes (especially in first pregnancies) women can have them without realising or noticing it.

I also have a head cold at the moment – stuffy cold + pregnant = unsexiest thing ever! 😛  It also makes sleeping even harder than usual – although I haven’t had a full uninterupted night’s sleep since sometime before 20 weeks, what with all the peeing and just a general inability to get to sleep, which seems to be a fairly common pregnancy complaint.

It’s SO TRUE!!

 As slightly annoying as all of these things are, though, none of them is a particularly big deal and overall I am still feeling great 🙂  Bub is definitely stronger these days, she likes to lie on the right side and stick a limb out on the left so that I could almost grab it sometimes, I think it is a foot or knee.  I was half afraid she was going to actually break through the skin the first time, but now I’m a bit more used to it and love it – I still find it surreal to think there is actually a human baby in there!

So now, as with all of pregnancy really, we just wait and grow!  If I went into labour next weekend, I would be “full term” enough to give birth at home… but on the otherhand, she could still conceivably be up to 6-7 weeks from joining us!  So in the meantime, I will just keep nesting and getting everything ready and enjoying my last few quiet weeks for a while!

Have I mentioned the constant need to pee??

30 Weeks – The Rollercoaster of Pregnancy

So here I am, 30 weeks, three quarters of the way there.  And what a rollercoaster ride it has been!

I remember crouching in the toilets at my new work and the disbelief of that second faint pink line (yeah, I took some poetic license with the name of my blog, the first one was actually pink!).

I remember the disbelief of six more faint lines and digital confirmations and the doctor quoting me an HCG level.

I remember the scary angry face that greeted my words “I need to talk to you about something…” and the frozen shocked face that followed.

I remember not being able to believe that it was real, I remember dreams about miscarriage and checking for blood every single time I went to the toilet.

I remember thinking that after the first scan, I would stop worring and really trust that I was having a baby and that she was going to be alright.  Then I thought the second scan would do that.  Then I went for a third because I just had to see again that she was alright.

She was.

Little bub face at 29 weeks

 Now that I have reached the third trimester and know that even if she were born now, she would have a huge chance of surviving with the right care, I finally pretty much believe that I am having a baby.  But it doesn’t stop me worrying about her.

I get the feeling that, maybe, this is a worry I’m going to have to learn to live with for the rest of my life.

Pregnancy really is a rollercoaster.  There are good days and teary days and fat days and tired days.  It occured to me that pregnancy is kind of like having a UTI, gastrointestinal disease, mild bipolar disorder, sinusitis, chronic fatigue syndrome and some kind of aggressively growing abdominal tumour all at once!

And yet, it’s not like any of those things.  Because even when you’re feeling at your lowest, totally shattered and wondering who invented this whole “pregnancy glow” bullshit, it’s often just at that moment that you’ll feel a little wriggle in your tummy or a foot tickling your ribs.

And in that moment, you just know – you would do anything for her.

29 weeks

30 weeks – one quarter left to go!

Although she is still a fairly quiet little girl, Daddy C has managed to feel a couple of little wriggles now.  I really love being able to share a bit of her with him.  I am slowly accumulating baby things and thinking about when to finish up at work – probably in another two weeks and I can’t wait!  I definitely feel like my body is slowing down – suddenly an afternoon at the footy is the most exhausting thing I could do, sending me to bed at 8:30 pm like a nana and still leaving me struggling to get up for work 9 hours later!

I’m looking forward to having a few weeks to chill, read my baby books, listen to my hippy hypnobirthing CDs and just generally… prepare.  I have this inexplainable sense that I just need… time – time to rest, time to think, time to ready myself in some way for what is ahead of me.

I’m looking forward to enjoying my last few weeks of being pregnant, and more than anything – I can’t wait to meet our little girl and give her all the cuddles I’ve been saving up for her.