Wednesday, 9 July 2014

36 Weeks

We haven't done one of these in a while, and we're definitely glad to be entering the final month of our pregnancy! The last month was rather eventful--as well as finishing up our antenatal classes and gathering up most of our newborn/home birth supplies, I also took a nasty tumble and scraped my knees in a rather dramatic way, and then came down with a cold that jump-started my morning sickness. If you thought morning sickness at 8, 14 or 20 weeks was bad, it's even worse at 34 weeks. I'm very grateful for Cyclizine Hydrochloride and Peptac Liquid for allowing me to get through the day without puking, and actually get some sleep at night. 

Everyone keeps commenting on how I don't look particularly big, and as of my last midwife appointment, my bump was still measuring two weeks less than it should have, but trust me--I feel pretty big. This is the biggest I've ever been, after all! There are some days where I have tons of energy and get all of the housework done with little extra effort, and others where just standing at the sink washing dishes hurts my back and I don't really want to move. I feel like I'm constantly flipping back and forth between the extremes. 

We technically have just under four weeks left until our due date, but since only 5% of babies are born on their due dates, we're trying not to think of a specific day on which to expect the baby. Since we're having a home birth, we've been given a four week window in which the NHS will provide midwives to attend us at home (otherwise we'll have to go to the birthing centre or hospital), so we're just imagining that the baby will arrive within that period of time. Depending on how huge and uncomfortable I'm feeling, I may start guzzling raspberry leaf tea at 38 weeks, or I may feel brave enough to wait until we go overdue. 

We've had some lovely weather lately, and I've been trying to enjoy it, but Monday and Tuesday of last week were just a bit too much for me. Apparently it was only 21C on Tuesday, but it felt a lot worse than that--I was wearing a cotton sundress and dripping with sweat after just hanging out the washing. Normally I'd be outside all day long when the weather is this nice, but the heat tends to set off my Braxton Hicks, and as huge and uncomfortable as I sometimes feel, I'd rather not go into labour just yet. 

Also, our baby officially dropped as soon as we hit 36 weeks! I had a different midwife for my appointment on Monday, and she didn't believe that it could have dropped already as I was only measuring 34 weeks (my normal midwife has pretty much accepted that I'm always going to measure a bit less than average) but there is definitely more space to breathe, and the baby's head is officially making its way down. Pretty exciting! Even if it does mean that I need to pee even more than usual ;)

How far along? 36 weeks & 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: 21lbs. Apparently 25-30lbs is average for my pre-pregnancy BMI, so I'm happy with this. A few people have cheerfully told me that I'll balloon in the last few weeks, so we'll see if that happens. 
Maternity clothes? I'm down to a pretty limited wardrobe--lots of loose skirts and dresses, plus a few long tops and my two pairs of maternity jeans. This is more to do with the heat than my size, to be honest. I can still fit into a dress that has an age 13-14 label on it, so I'm kind of giving up on paying attention to clothing sizes right now.
Stretch marks? Still none! I'm not sure if this is genetic (my mum never got stretch marks with her first pregnancy) or because I've always kept my skin really hydrated with lots of body butter. 
Sleep: I've had one night last week where I slept for seven hours straight, which was downright miraculous. Because I'm getting occasional nausea (even with my antisickness pills) I sometimes wake up during the night feeling sick (generally because the baby is lying in a really awkward position). And I can't sleep past 8am because I always need to pee. Honestly, I can't predict how well I'm going to sleep right now. It's all over the place.
Best moment this week: Getting seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, and spending most of the day shopping with one of my friends. Just the fact that I managed to spend over half the day in town without getting too tired or uncomfortable was exciting for me! 
Movement: They're mostly still on a usual schedule (first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and sometimes around lunchtime) but it's hard to predict how strong the movements are going to be. Sometimes I barely notice them because I've got used to them, and then other times the baby gives some really sharp kicks. At the moment, most of the movements feel more like the baby is elbowing me than kicking me.
Cravings/Aversions: I've been craving sweet stuff a lot lately, and for the most part (except when I'm feeling nauseas or have heartburn) I'm eating more than usual. 
Gender guesses: We're still finding that everyone is pretty split in their guesses, and I think we've still managed to avoid letting the truth slip. Impressive!
Labor Signs: I think I must be getting used to Braxton Hicks now as I'm not noticing them as much. I can pretty much guarantee that I'll have them if I walk anywhere when it's relatively hot. And the baby dropping is a sign that we're definitely on our way, but that can happen up to four weeks before the baby's born, so it might still be a while.
Belly Button in or out? Still in. I don't think it's ever going to pop. 
What I miss: A lot of things! Uninterrupted sleep, being able to carry or reach for things without toppling over, being able to put on my shoes without major effort, and alcohol!
What I am looking forward to: This might sound kind of lame, but I'm looking forward to going shopping with my mum this weekend and finally getting fitted for nursing bras. I've changed bras three times so far in my pregnancy, and the cheapy, ugly, non-wired ones I picked up at Tesco (2 for £9) six weeks ago are starting to feel really uncomfortable. Mothercare has some really pretty stuff, so I'm going to treat myself to something attractive but practical. We also have a couple of final things to pick up for the baby, and then we'll be sorted :)
Weekly Wisdom: It's okay to feel ginormous even when everyone keeps telling you how small you are. They aren't carrying around an extra 1.5st on their front.
Milestones: We're into the final month! The third trimester has gone by really, really fast (in spite of dramatic bruises and morning sickness). I'm not sure if we feel ready, but we're nearly there :)

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