I turned 36 weeks pregnant today. I change over every Tuesday and, for the past few months, Tuesday has been special for me. A week closer to meeting my baby. Even though I know her due date was never guaranteed. It still counts.
I felt really emotional this morning as we are just one week away from her being full-term, and then, as they say: “She could come at any time.”
I’ve been so reflective recently, particularly as I reached the five week countdown to her due date. And I’m stuck in the delicate limbo of wanting time to speed up and slow down at the same time.
And I started mentally compiling a list of all the things I’ll miss, and all the things I’m looking forward to. So I thought I’d list them, because if we have a third, I might need some reminding after going into labour for a second time!
What I’ll miss
I think it’s the one thing we all look back on and miss the most. But feeling her move, when she still feels like my little secret sometimes, is lovely. I will miss that strange bond we have. And the joy I feel when I feel her nudge me. Or get hiccups.
The ability to look after two babies easily
I know it sounds silly, but I am really am nervous about being able to keep two children happy, once she arrives. I marvel at my ability, and any mother’s ability, to grow a baby and keep them safe, while still being a present mum. I feel like I’m doing a good job for now, but once she’s here, I’m nervous about juggling the two. I read Bill a few books before bed last night and she was kicking away, while I had my arm around my son, and an arm free to turn the pages. Will this happen when she’s here? I hope so.
Is that a weird thing to say? I do feel special when I’m pregnant. I feel like my body is doing something amazing. And I feel so loved and looked-after too. The feeling of going to the midwife every week makes me feel little flutters of excitement. And that does change when you’re a new mum doesn’t it? You forget to make yourself feel special still.
I have absolutely loved sharing my pregnancy this time around. Not only with family and friends, that I see day-to-day, but with all of you too. I love the smiles people give me in the street. The grin you might give a fellow pregnant mama. The way the man at our train station asks how I am when I buy a ticket. It’s been so lovely having people share my excitement and joy. And even my sadness. I feel like I’ve got a great bunch of people around me. And I’ll miss chatting away about my little bump.
The way Mark strokes my bump, and Bill kisses it
I tell you something, this baby girl is so lucky to have two doting men in her life, just waiting for her. They make me feel like I’m so loved, and they are dying to do the same for her. I love it when Mark strokes my belly and says that he likes it because he gets to love me and her at the same time. I love how genuinely excited my son is to meet his baby sister. I spoke to him about Easter last night and he said: “Yes! That means nearly baby sister time.” I’ll miss being a part of their love for her. But I’ll love seeing her get spoilt when she’s here, so that’s okay.
Having time to appreciate having just one baby
In the same way as I’ll miss being able to care for them both much more easily, I am quite sad about my time as a mother-to-one coming to an end. It’s not that I don’t want my daughter. But I’ve loved every single second of being Bill’s Mama. Our bond is so strong and we have our own ways and our ‘things’ that we do together. And I don’t want to lose that. I’ll miss our time that we had. But I hope he knows that his sister will always be the greatest gift I could give him.
The anticipation and excitement
You know how they say that the countdown to Christmas Day is just as good as Christmas Day? It’s quite similar to meeting your baby in a way. I’m not saying that the anticipation beats the reality. But the not-knowing, the daydreams, the imagining – it’s so wonderful? I don’t know what my daughter will look like, though I expect it’s like her dad. I don’t know what she’ll be like as a person. But imagining it is so full of possibility. And let’s face it – my vagina hasn’t ripped in two yet either. So I’m winning on both counts!
What I’m looking forward to
Getting my figure back
This is such a cliché isn’t it? But you do, towards the end, start to want your old body back. I would like my nipples to go back to their normal colour. And I’d like to hope I might still have a waist this time too. I have my Belly Bandit ready, and I’ve not gained too much weight, so we shall see!
Buying myself some new clothes
Following on from the above. Oh. My. Goodness. Spring and Summer fashion has never looked so good. I want to wear nice dresses. I want to shop. I want to buy something that doesn’t just get added to my basket on the premise that it’s stretchy. I am really missing treating myself and feeling somewhat pretty.
No pregnancy anxiety
This has, by far, been my worst symptom. Pregnancy has amped up any anxiety that I already had and made it much worse. I have worried a lot about the safety of my family, baby movements, the way people are towards me. I have moments where I feel like the whole world hates me and that’s just not a normal experience for me. I can’t wait for my hormones to level out over time, and feel more like myself again.
I know that life post-birth is sore to begin with (let’s not even talk about that first poo), but it is definitely better than months of creaky crotch, lightning crotch, back ache, and the constant feeling of: “I feel like everything is going to fall out of my vagina.”
A new kind of tired
I am tired of being tired by default. I know newborn days are hard work. Hell – Bill didn’t sleep through until he was a year old. But I prefer being tired because a little human needs me, rather than being tired because I just am. All. The. Time.
Having a drink and some mouldy cheese
I know this probably makes me sound like I really like a drink (and to be honest I do). But I just miss having a glass of wine after a long day. And I still have the bottle of gin that I bought the night before I took a test, and three bottles of Prosecco (oh sweet lord) in my fridge, that I have accumulated and saved over the past nine months. And I’m breastfeeding, so there will be no wild nights for me, but to have a celebratory glass of something that isn’t lime and soda is exciting. Oh. And Brie. And Pâté. And runny eggs. And rare steak.
Meeting my daughter and watching my family grow
I barely need to expand on this part. But I cannot wait for her to arrive. I want to kiss her button nose. And stroke her downy baby hair. And I want to love her properly. I want to see our family tied together in a new way. Not just by heart. But in blood too.
I wrote this on my Facebook page earlier, but I never expected to have another child. When I became a single mum I made peace with an unknown future. I didn’t expect our family to grow from a two to a three, with Mark. And I certainly didn’t expect to be having a tiny baby girl who will tie us all together.
I’m so ready for that.