As I write this post I am half way through week 35 of my pregnancy and Pea is apparently the size of a honeydew melon.
I anticipate that most of this coming week will be spent watching Wimbledon and as I type, Andy Murray has just started his fourth round match against Nick Kyrgios. I’m not sure what I’m going to do when the tennis is over as lying on my side is increasingly the most comfortable way of giving my ribs space and it’s hard to do much from that position.
Over the third trimester my energy levels have been up and down. Some days are still really productive but it’s taking me longer to get going in the morning. I’ve realised that I have to accept it and aim to be as constructive as possible in the afternoon and evening, but it’s so frustrating.
Preparing for Pea
Baby preparation has stepped up a notch over the last few weeks. The house is returning to some sort of order as we have finished various DIY projects and the nursery has been painted. Building the cot and arranging the furniture has made a huge difference as there are finally places to store all the baby things. We marked the occasion with a glass of fizz and the cat was very keen to be involved.
I’m still searching for material to cover the rocking chair cushions but once that’s done the room will be finished. I promise to share pictures when it’s ready.
The internet has been my saviour for purchasing all the last minute essentials. Friends and family have given us so much but we still needed heavy use and disposable items such as muslins, bath towels and nappies.
I’ve only bought one pack so far but I really hope that Pea gets on with Aldi nappies. At £1.15 for a pack of 24 they are an absolute bargain.
Yesterday, I made the mistake of going to Mothercare during a sale. The intention was to have a look at changing bags and to pick up a few bits to make use of a voucher. My heart sank when I saw the carnage of clothes all over the floor and long queues of people scrambling to find a bargain. We persevered and crossed a few things off our list, only to find that e-gift cards take 24 hours to activate (making them less convenient that a normal gift card). Having to leave everything at the till was enough to push a pregnant lady to the edge and vow never to go back. Shopping from my laptop whilst bouncing on my yoga ball is substantially more efficient – I’ve learned my lesson.
We have officially graduated from NCT. Based on other people’s experiences I was sceptical about whether it would be useful as more than a way of meeting other pregnant women but we have actually picked up lots of useful tips for labour and for caring for baby. I have planned a post to summarise these so keep an eye out for that. Our course leader didn’t put us under pressure to have a certain type of birth or try to enforce any parenting ideals. She answered our questions with balanced advice, whilst trying to instil the belief that we should have confidence in our instincts. She also encouraged us to talk about the impact that baby will have on our relationships and I think it can only be a good thing to address that head on from the start as life is certainly going to be very different.
I don’t think any of us could believe how quickly the eight weeks passed. We were all reluctant to leave at the end of the last session, no doubt all sharing the same thought, that things would somehow become a bit more real once we left the room.
Touring the hospital
Last week, Hubby and I toured the hospital where I will be giving birth. I would highly recommend a tour to expectant parents as it’s a great way to work out all the practical things like where to park, which entrance to use, and where the labour wards are; things you don’t want to have to apply your mind to when the big day comes. We were fortunate that one of the delivery rooms was available, which allowed me to visualise the surroundings in which I hope to be giving birth rather than having to process it all for the first time whilst in labour. It was somewhat surreal to look around and think that next time we’re there Pea will be making his/her way in to the world.
Surprise baby shower
On Saturday my girl friends threw me a surprise baby shower. Under the pretext of going for lunch with one of Hubby’s colleagues, I arrived at Rosylee in Manchester’s Northern Quarter (which by the way offers half price Prosecco when it rains this summer!) only to find my mum, mother and sister in law, and my best girls waiting for me. It soon became apparent that the occasion had involved several months of scheming and I’m impressed that they all managed to keep the secret. I had absolutely no idea, and I’m sure my tears and surprise were evident as I processed what was happening.
The table was decorated with a pea theme, complete with banners, balloons, pea plates and pea party bags, which contained packs of pea seeds and mint shower gel.
My giraffe obsession was picked up in my fabulous cake.
We indulged in afternoon tea and tested our knowledge of nursery rhymes, baby animals and guessing each other’s baby photos.
Of course it wouldn’t be a baby shower without presents and I have to say that Pea was properly spoiled with lots of lovely toys and other beautiful items. Hubby was even remembered with a few bits and pieces, including this ladybird “How it works: The Dad” book, which I just love.
A few thoughts on food
I have been able to monitor how much room Pea is taking up by how far I can get through an afternoon tea. For me, afternoon tea is an occasion to overindulge and I feel like I’ve failed if I’ve not sampled all the cakes and goodies. But, space has definitely become an issue and I’ve come home with a doggy bag on the last two occasions. Still, it’s always nice to have leftover cake!
As for pregnancy eating, a few weeks ago I learned that runny eggs are no longer considered off menu for pregnant women. I’d been a little sceptical about the advice anyway given that my friend, who was living abroad during her pregnancy, was told that British Lion Standard eggs were perfectly fine, but the NHS advice hadn’t been updated so I was tending to err on the side of caution. Whilst the NHS guidance still hasn’t changed, reports were published earlier this year that confirmed that the British Lion scheme has effectively eliminated Salmonella since 1998.
So, with eggs back on the menu my attention has been drawn to a new pregnancy wonder food. A 2011 study showed that eating dates in the last four weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and produced more favourable delivery outcomes. Apparently the presence of serotonin, tannin and calcium in dates “contribute to the contraction of smooth muscles of the uterus” and the laxative effect of dates “stimulate uterine contractions”. The study might be limited in size but as methods of assisting labour go, it’s an easy one to try. The recommendation is to eat six dates per day in the four weeks leading up to your due date. Fortunately I’ve found that I don’t mind them, although other girls in my NCT group are less enamoured!
Not long now
The last few weeks have started to bring home the fact that we are very soon going to have a baby. We’ve still got a few last bits to organise and I need to pack my hospital bag but we’re not far off being *whispers* ready.
Meanwhile, my bump continues to grow and is plodding along the 90th centile pretty consistently. Hubby says I look like this!
Whilst it might still officially be within the bounds of ‘normal,’ it’s obviously large enough to attract comment from everyone. People in the supermarket, delivery men bringing the endless stream of baby items, and even people I pass in the street, all now feel that it’s appropriate to pass comment, generally along the lines of how big I am, “Is it twins?” and one even told me that I look like I’m going to be a good mother. However well intentioned, I’ve kinda had enough. There’s no other point in life when it’s considered acceptable to pass judgement on a person’s size, so why do people think it’s ok now. Particularly when I’m huge, uncomfortable, and could probably squash them if I wanted to.
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