How is it October already? I remember thinking back to March when this part of the journey began and both me and Gareth thinking that November was forever away… Now it’s right around the corner and even with so much planning and years of making the decision for the right time, it still doesn’t quite prepare you for the fact that within just 7 weeks we will be responsible for another human being. Some days I can’t get my head around it but know that it’s coming and sometimes it doesn’t even register in my mind and I feel like it won’t hit me until our baby is laying on my chest after giving birth.
It truly has been crazy times so far, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without my darling husband by my side and both cheering each other on as we go along and the support… Next month without a doubt will be one of the hardest, as hubby’s job has been relocated and the commute will be torturous, even more so with the lack of sleep with a newborn (whenever baby arrives) and the fact that me and baby won’t get to spend as much time with him in the week as we would like. Even more grateful for the fact my aunt lives around the corner and my parents and my brother with his family lives just down the road so I have them all nearby should I need them, and a fantastic online community that I belong to with a mixture of first time mums with the same questions as me and mum’s who have been there before and are a wealth of information of things that worked for them willing and ready to share with us “noobs”. I feel incredibly grateful to the people I work with as well. In just 3 weeks I go on annual leave which then goes straight into my maternity leave. They provided me such a fantastic opportunity to work with them and I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful, compassionate and understanding people to work with either. When I was at my absolute lowest after grieving and being made redundant after 8 years in my job back in January, they took me in and took a chance on me. When we had a tough start to the pregnancy and not to mention the last month or so with the health issues I have been having and have been in and out of the doctors and hospital more times than I care to remember over all that time, they were so accommodating. I can already foresee me getting rather tearful on my last day! The preparations continue, and as I am full term from Halloween we are frantically going over checklists and doing everything we can to make sure we are all done by the end of the month, just in case. Well old wives tales suggest that you follow your mother when it comes to birth, I was 3 days early and with my brother who was due in September she actually ended up going into labour that summer, but luckily the doctors were able to stablise her and she then went on to give birth to him on his due date! Then there are the health problems I have which can mean I am higher risk (but doesn’t necessarily mean I will!) of having the baby early. So it just makes sense to be prepared by then I suppose! We do have the cot up ready to go: I have been doing lots of baby clothes washing, organising everything so I know where I am (thank you evernote for saving my sanity!) I have labelled boxes of clothes for when baby grows out of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes and the mini drawers next to the cot that used to house my craft supplies are also labelled so that when daddy helps out, he knows where everything is and goes 😉 My checklists are being whittled down to the last few bits, and even though I started it back a couple of months ago now, the one thing that is proving difficult has to be the hospital bag. Lots of items that has been recommended by previous mums, some of which I’ve packed and I feel like I don’t even want to know why they suggested them! It appears to be a general theme amongst the community anyway, possibly because once it’s packed it’ll be a bit more real (you know, forget the cot being up and the pram, baby bath, car seat etc all taking up space in our little flat and having them all ready to go… Once the hospital bag is packed, that’s it! LOL!) My mum took me out at the weekend to pick up my labour nightie, changing mat (an awesome Lion King one! There is a huge Disney theme with this baby I would like to point out!) and black towel (again, something suggested by previous mums and you just try and not think about why they suggest that it be black, and why it’s best to use an old t-shirt or a cheap nightie that you don’t mind if it gets ruined.) It’s slowly coming together. I think I just require some snacks and make sure the cameras are charged up and pack baby clothes, and clothes for me for after. I’m in the mindset that as scared as I am, it needs to be done. Baby has to come out eventually! And while being terrified of the unknown, everyone knows that freaking out and tensing up will just make it all that much worse… Though ask me again while I’m actually IN labour and I might be saying something completely different by then HAHA! As for those health problems, my colitis was still continuing to give me grief, not to mention struggling with the general pregnancy complaints (hello sexy cankles! Haha!) The IBD nurses had to speak with the consultant and explain the meds I had been given as well as the advice but still nothing was working and I was finally switched off the steroids I was put on a few weeks back, much to absolute relief as they weren’t working and I was struggling with them, and switched to a different type with a much higher dosage from 5mg up to 30mg. The leaflet made for some scary reading but I was assured little one would be fine & I now have to carry a card around with me that mentions my new meds in case I’m in an accident or to show anyone who needs to treat me. And I will be on them up until around my due date (ish) as I need to decrease the dosage by 5mg each week as it can be dangerous to just come off them at a high dose. And seriously? 5 days in and I cannot believe the difference already, even that afternoon of my first dose (I have to take them with breakfast) and I am finally feeling hopeful that these will work and help me get back into remission! I’m having a little side effect which in the grand scheme of things is tolerable. It will take a while as my body needs to adjsut to all the changes, and as my hubby came with me to one of my appointments and asked as I had been doing so well up to the third trimester, if it could be baby putting a bit of stress on my body and causing the flare which they agreed was highly likely. So I may find within months of giving birth, if I haven’t already, I could be back into remission as my body will have recovered. Though at the moment, I have a heck of a lot of meds to take! My mum often explained what it was like when she had me, and while I understood what she was explaining to me, it was as if I never truly *got* it. But from the beginning when I thought we were going to lose this little one and the absolute relief and joy when we realised all was OK, and over the months having this bond and being with baby 24/7, feeling movements and hiccups and not being able to sleep so playing “guess the limb” at 4am as I sit and watch a foot, bum or a hand poking out the side of my tummy… I am just so ridiculously in love with this little person and I’ve not even met them yet. Even if the little person in question likes to poke and prod around my left hip and make me wince and yelp, and the movements are becoming much stronger that pain has been inflicted! I had another consultant and scan appointment and baby’s growth is continuing to be average, which I could not be more relieved about! Especially after the continued flare I have been having. And, yeurgh – yup more blood tests done! Baby is so low down though they could not measure the head but femur length and abdomen are all hunky dory! I have never been a baby person, but I always knew I’d love to be a mummy some day and as my mum explained that she was the exact same as me (seriously, I have a photo of me and my cousin’s daughter on her christening. I couldn’t look anymore terrified or awkward if I tried!) but she said as soon as you hold your very own baby in your arms, everything else goes out the window and your mothering instincts kick in. And I cannot wait 🙂 And here’s my 33 week bump picture: We’re on the home stretch, and looking forward to spending some quality time with the hubster this weekend as he will be back to normal for a few weeks before he has to settle into his new permanent routine of commuting to Bristol every day for work, so we are going to make these weeks count!