Into the home straight, a couple of weeks to go (give or take, still no nearer to believing in EDD) and feeling great. Some iron pills from the holistic health centre Rapha, not the NHS so no side-effects from iron overdose (potentially: constipation, heartburn, nausea, vomiting) just the desired effect of eliminating fatigue.
Nature has an amazing way of making women want to slow right down just before birth, I have moved from nervousness to excitement, stopped trying to make up ‘to do’ lists – and get them done – and instead just trying to nap, practice my HypnoBirthing relaxation and prepare the wee man.
My one concern – more to do with comfort than anything – was that I was sure bump was transverse breech for a prolonged period. Baby was merrily pushing my sides out but not taking best advantage of all the vertical space I had available. However, a visit from my wonderful midwife and the baby heard her voice and dropped head down there and then, extraordinary. I could have sworn it was breech in the morning and it was ready to go by the time I was checked in the evening. Next time she visits I’m expecting to go into labour there and then!
Preparing older children
I have spent a lot of time trying to help the wee man (aged 2 1/2 though similar principles sometimes apply to understanding husband aged 32 3/4) prepare for the arrival of his sibling. We talk a lot about the baby in mummy’s tummy and feel it moving, he kisses it, talks to it – and then tells me about the baby in his tummy that seems very active. As I have got nearer to the birth I have tried to move the conversation more towards the baby coming out of mummy’s tummy and thinking about babies as opposed to ‘hump’ as ‘bump’ is known. Much of this work has been aided by a wonderful self-published book by Kirsten Millinson called ‘That bath’s got no taps’ all about a home water birth. It has photos as well as drawings from Kirsten’s own children helping me to explain pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
The breastfeeding particularly interests the wee man who seems to think I need help getting the milk in so that there is milk for the baby to take out; a rather messy bedtime discussion involved his milk cup being upturned over my breasts to achieve the desired result. Didn’t quite catch the helpful manoeuvre in time.
I prepared a ‘talking tub’ and floorbook taking the idea from his wonderful nursery, Mindstretchers. I put a range of baby related paraphenalia into a box and then as he took them out and we discussed them recorded his comments on bits of paper which we then stuck into a large art book to record the discussion. The idea is to allow the wee man to explore his thoughts about the baby, express his opinions and raise his own questions. All going fine until he decided playing with his trains was more fun….great plans and all that. Will return to the idea…