My baby is measuring quite big so I’m starting to feel a little bit of pressure get this baby out.
I’d forgotten about how the final weeks are complete rollercoaster [link to week 38]. All my friends’ May babies have been born now. I am the last one. Anxieties start to creep in. I’ve heard about the positive births, the trickier ones and I’ve worried for my close friend living abroad, whose baby swallowed meconium and had to spend his first day in ICU. He is fine now. Thank goodness.
Pregnant in a heatwave
We’re in a heatwave. Most people feel sorry for me but I’m actually loving the sunshine and the fact that, now I’m officially on maternity leave, I’m not permanently attached to my laptop when the boys aren’t home.
My babies quite like to arrive in heat waves so maybe that’s a good sign. We even managed to go for a wild swim in the river in our village. Well, not me, I think that would have shocked the poor baby. Even just dipping my feet in turned them numb. But my youngest, my husband and some friends braved it.
Bringing labour on
I’ve become the cliche of an expectant mum trying all the usual tricks to bring labour on: walks, eating dates, drinking raspberry leaf tea, sex (very occasionally!), baths with Clary Sage essential oil. In my heart of hearts I know that the baby will come when it’s ready and probably the best thing I can do for it is relax, slow down and get the oxytocin flowing ahead of the adrenalin. Not something I’m very good at though.
I had a total panic the other night. I was in a deep sleep when my youngest appeared by my bed. I woke up with a fright. I suddenly felt really panicked about the baby’s movements. It had been particularly quiet that day (probably because I hadn’t rested much so it was enjoying a nice sleep). I tried prodding it, which usually wakes it up. But there was nothing. The baby felt really heavy in my tummy.
I woke my husband up in a blind panic. I tried drinking something cold and eating something sugary. We started working out a plan for going into the hospital. But that would mean getting the boys up or waking up a local friend to come and stay with them. What if it was a false alarm? I would be so embarrassed. Was this just anxiety setting in because I’m tried and highly strung?
In the end we phoned the hospital. They told me to eat and drink, then lie down for an hour. Sure enough the baby woke up and started wriggling and jiggling. It was a relief.
It made me realised I’m still not quite in the right frame of mind to have this baby. I need to relax. Our three-year-old is still coming into bed with me and it’s starting to wear me down.
It’s half term so no school run. My husband completely took charge of the boys over the weekend and they spent a night at my in-laws. The break has been amazing. Long walks, watching a film on TV, getting last few bits sorted in house. Long baths, listening to my hypnobirthing and meditation tracks.
I love my boys but they are noisy and fill the house with crazy. I needed some calm, peaceful time to relax and get my head around anything. A me time mini break.
You should feel that your needs and wishes are being listened to during labour, particularly around pain relief. Every labour and birth is unique and care should be tailored to you.
This part of labour can sometimes last a long time. This page explains what the latent phase of labour is and how to get through it as comfortably as possible.
In the diary of a third pregnancy our diarist tries to capture the pain and magic of the birth of her son.
Hypnobirthing is a method of pain management that can be used during labour and birth. It involves using a mixture of visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques.
You might like to consider giving birth at home for a more relaxed experience in familiar surroundings. Find out whether this is the right option for you.
Are you thinking about having a water birth? Find out about the advantages and disadvantages of giving birth in the water, what to wear and what the pain relief options are.
Cutting the cord immediately after the birth has been routine practice for 50-60 years but more recently research is showing that it is not good for the baby.
If your waters break naturally, you may feel a slow trickle or a sudden gush of fluid that you can’t stop. Your waters may break before you go to hospital but are more likely to break during labour.
Braxton Hicks contractions are the body’s way of preparing for labour, but if you have them it doesn’t mean your labour has started. Here, we explain more about Braxton Hicks.
If you’re feeling a bit anxious about giving birth, there are things you can do that may help. Here’s some helpful advice from mums who’ve been there.
The ideal position for your baby to be in for labour and birth is head down, their back towards the front of your stomach.
At the end of your pregnancy, you may have some signs that your baby will arrive very soon, even though you may not go into labour for a little while yet.