~ Patience Is a Virtue!
I'm getting to the point now where I have had enough of being pregnant and am very keen to see and hold my little girl. The catch is that I don't really want her to be born just yet, because I want her to be as healthy as possible - it is still a little bit early! I guess what I would really like would be for the next few weeks to speed by! It feels like I have been pregnant forever, and let's face it, I've been pregnant for 52 weeks (yes, a whole YEAR!) out of the last 75 weeks, with the "break" in between hardly what you would call a picnic. I know that it will all be worth it, many times over in fact, but the pain, discomforts, the food restrictions, lack of sleep and so on are starting to get to me.
The closer I get to the birth, the more I have been worrying about the things that could go wrong. I am trying my best not to dwell on things, and most of the time I succeed very well at doing that, but at the back of my mind there are all these anxieties. With Thomas, I was a bit scared about him dying or being injured during the birth: I had a friend at primary school whose brother was brain damaged during birth and that was something that did play on my mind. However, now that I am even more aware that things can and do go wrong during pregnancy and birth, I think I will be needing lots of reassurance and encouragement. My OB knows and understands this thankfully. I think I will want to get to the hospital earlier rather than later in my labour, so that there can be frequent checks on Katelyn's heartbeat and so on and that if anything were to be worrying, there would be experts there with me to "do their thing".
I have been thinking a lot about breastfeeding! I have been reading some of my breastfeeding books to "brush up" on my knowledge, as it has been almost five years since I have nursed a tiny baby, and actually I have never nursed a baby immediately in that newborn period (I first attempted to nurse Thomas when he was about two days old and he was pronounced well enough to try). Seeing the pictures of the little babies nursing just makes my heart melt! It seems so unbelievable that I will soon be getting that absolute joy - too good to be true. Breastfeeding would have to be the most wonderful part of my mothering experience with Thomas and I am SO looking forward to it with Katelyn.
I have pretty much given up on worrying about my body, as it was just getting too depressing. I'm now in the Scarlett O'Hara mode of putting off worrying about it until tomorrow (well, after the birth). For a few weeks there my weight was increasing by more than a pound, but thankfully it has settled down a bit since then. Even so, I have put on more weight than I did with Thomas when I was hoping to gain less, as I weighed a little more when I fell pregnant this time. I think I am now about two or three pounds over the gain I had at the same stage with Thomas, and given that I might well have a while left in this pregnancy (as opposed to this being the end with Thomas), who knows what the total gain will be. Oh well, I imagine that with running around after a preschooler, breastfeeding a newborn, and using our trusty treadmill frequently I will be okay.
I do feel quite strange about going out in public at the moment though! I have gone beyond the point of being "obviously pregnant" and am now at the point where I am "in your face pregnant". LOL! I feel especially self-conscious given that I can't wear my rings. I have seen older women look at my tummy, look at my ring finger and then look disapprovingly at me! I guess that's their problem anyway!
One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately has been what the newborn period will be like. Most of the thoughts are positive ones, but there are things I am worried about. I imagine I will be particularly protective of Katelyn and that I won't exactly want to play the game "pass the baby". We actually had a fair amount of trouble with Andrew's mother after Thomas was born: she is incredibly needy as far as babies are concerned and has lots of expectations as to how often she will see her grandchildren, how much she will get to hold them and so on. She used to stand over me while I breastfed Thomas, ready to pounce and take him as soon as he came off (even if he hadn't finished and was just coming up for a burp!). The very first time she held him was in the hospital when he had just woken up and was clearly wanting a feed. Even though I let her know this, she held onto him for 40 minutes despite my frequent requests to have him back and his fussing! YIKES! I'm really not quite sure how we are going to deal with her this time - it does have me worried. Currently, we have an arrangement where Andrew takes Thomas over to their house most Sunday mornings for a visit while I get some "Mummy time" - gives her the time with Thomas she craves and means I don't have to spend much time with her (win-win). When Katelyn arrives, she and I will travel as a unit for some time. *I* don't want to have to see my in-laws very often, but I guess I am going to have to make some effort there: I am probably already seen as some big, bad ogre and would hate to make things worse!
On the weekend we bought a couple of more things for Katelyn. Gee, if I keep buying something every week until she arrives, she'd better come quite soon or we will be in financial trouble! LOL! Seriously though, Thomas and I discovered that the baby monitor we used to use occasionally for him no longer worked. Even though Katelyn will be sleeping right next to me at night, and will nap either in the sling or in a bassinet in the same room as me most of the time, I did think it would be useful to have a working monitor for those few times when she is napping peacefully and I need to hang out the washing, or for when she is a bit older and might nap in another room. I also got her two CUTE little Winter outfits! It is ludicrous really (given how hot it is here now, and the fact that it doesn't even get COOL until late May), but the shops are already getting in the Autumn/Winter clothes, and to get what you want in the size you want, you really do need to move quickly! I bought a little pink tracksuit and also a lovely little outfit that has leggings and a swing top. It's mostly lemon, with pink flowers on it. Of course I bought the clothes in a size that should last Katelyn over the cooler months.
My OB appointment went well as always. Nothing really to report - in fact, I don't even know what my BP or her heart rate were, only that they were both just fine. We talked a little bit about all the contractions I have been having, and my doctor tried to assure me that when I really am in labour, I will be able to tell the difference. He did say that if I do have any worries at all, to ring labour ward, and that the worst thing that could happen would be that I was sent home again. He has a great laid-back and friendly air about him that really puts me at ease. I found out that the next two weekends, his colleague (the one who delivered Thomas) will be on call, but that after that, he will be on for three weekends in a row. That means that if I can cross my legs until February 4th or so, I will have my own OB there, unless I go more than a week overdue (PLEASE may that not be the case!). He said that if I can last until about the 38 week mark, he will be very happy, and I agreed that I would be happy with that as well. He jokingly suggested we put in an order for that time frame! (He knows I do not want to be induced unless it is medically necessary of course.)
We also discussed my worry about making it to the hospital in time. He said that even most very quick labours give you two hours or so. He suggested that it will only take me about twenty minutes to work out I am in labour, and that I then don't waste too much time in getting myself across town. The dilemma is that Andrew actually works right near the hospital, so if I waited for him to get home and then drive me there, that could well take two hours! My parents also live near the hospital so they wouldn't make the best chauffeurs either! There is no way I would drive myself to the hospital while in labour of course, so that leaves the option of a taxi. I can just imagine myself sitting there trying to keep Thomas entertained whilst hoping like heck my waters don't break and trying not to make too many strange noises during contractions! Holy moly - the mind boggles! LOL! Maybe I will put in an order to go into labour during Andrew's non-work hours??
My parents have been very helpful lately. Dad has decided that when he is available, he will come all the way across town, pick Thomas and me up, and drive us to the hospital for my appointments (then drive us home as well). That must be a huge inconvenience for him, but he insists! My parents have also given us some money to pay for house cleaning for a few months! WOW! I organised someone this week to come fortnightly for a while and do the heavy cleaning. What a HUGE help that will be for whatever remains during this pregnancy and for the newborn period! THANKS Mum and Dad!
Even though I was already technically "ready" before this week, I have still been pottering around, doing little bits and pieces. It's so exciting to do "baby stuff"! Thomas and I stacked the nappies and I taught him a few folds. I washed out the few remaining baby clothes. I also addressed some envelopes for the birth announcements we will be sending, even putting stamps on them!
For the past few days, I have been spotting a very small amount and losing some "stuff". I won't go into details though! LOL! Suffice to say I think I might be starting to lose my mucous plug! That both excites me and terrifies me - is this really going to happen?? Even though I feel absolutely lousy physically, I still feel pretty good within myself. I AM scared, but my main feelings are ones of excitement. It still seems like it is all a dream though . . .