I had most of this post written before our dear baby arrived but I sit here now finishing it and he’s already 2 weeks old. Yes, it’s been an emotional roller coaster. There have been tears and arguments, I’ve felt overwhelmed and so tired BUT it’s also been the best 2 weeks of my life. I have always wanted to be a mumma and I’m beyond content to have our baby in my arms. Our baby is here and he’s a boy, Charlie Leonardo. Born 9 days late after a 25 hour labour. I’ll share his birth story soon along with some thoughts on waiting for babies, because that ladies and gentlemen is damn hard.
Here is our little ray of sunshine! Those dimples…
Whilst waking up the other morning, Alex had his arm around my belly, I said to him ‘I’m sure I am going to miss being pregnant’. It really has been the greatest joy, privilege and blessing to grow this beautiful baby of ours. I hope I get to experience it again and again.
I feel like week 36 began and the weight of the pregnancy hit me all at once. All of a sudden I felt so heavy…. getting up, standing up, rolling over in bed all became such an effort. Baby moved further into my pelvis and sitting is now rather uncomfortable. I perch on the very edge of a chair, sit on a fit ball or sprawl on the floor. Alex has become rather doting and is always there to help me up or tie up my shoes before our evening walks.
Exercise is still super important to me so I have maintained my yoga/walking/swimming routine. I get so many Braxton Hicks these days, especially when walking up the hill or if we’ve had a busy renovating day. Now as I’m approaching 41 weeks pregnant I’m learning to take it a little easier. 1.5-2 hours of activity is perhaps a little much at this stage so my walks are much shorter and so are my swims.
Getting ready for baby
We finally finished painting the window frames and installed the blinds in our bedroom. Our room is almost done. Baby’s bassinet is now in the corner next to my bed and I’m on the hunt for a little night light.
I finished bambino’s quilt. I’m rather proud of it. I’m an excellent starter of projects, not so great at finishing them. I didn’t get many points in my triangles and couldn’t quilt on the diagonal because the triangles didn’t line up. Nonetheless, I’d never made a quilt before and was happy to finish in a few short weeks. I’d like to make another one but will wait till we know baby’s gender to make it a little easier to pick fabrics. The nursery is feeling a little bare at present but I’m waiting to find out what our precious baby is and get to know them before continuing to decorate their space. Here is the nursery at present, I’ve had fun making mobiles, 3 is perhaps too many (there’s one in our room and another in the works) but they’re fun and easy to make and help brighten the room (and keep my mind and hands busy!).
I’ve been re-reading sections of my favourite birth books and also moving on to reading about the newborn days and breastfeeding. We’re into gentle parenting. I don’t intend to force our baby to fit into a schedule, rather we are going to learn to a new routine together. Much like Alex and I did when we started living together. I also picked up this beautiful book which talks about the importance as a mother of taking time to recover from birth and just be with your baby. There’s no need to rush back into life or entertain all the visitors in the world, rather it’s best to embrace this newborn period. Something I intend wholeheartedly to do.
Over lunch one day it dawned on me that I could go into labour at any moment and be cuddling my baby by the end of the day. How crazy is that!!!! I for sure hope I don’t take after my mother with a 27 hour labour for my first baby. (I laughed when reading that sentence now with my baby in my arms, oh girl, if only you knew what you were in for!)
We had a little scare of an early induction. At 35 weeks we had a scan at the local hospital to check on bub’s growth. It was so lovely to peek in at baby and see their chubby little cheeks, it was almost too much to handle. They were looking just like a real baby! Whilst everything was fine, the scan showed the cord flows were starting to increase and my doctor said I wouldn’t make it to 40 weeks, I’d have to be induced early. So of course that sent me into a little spin over the weekend and we hustled over a few house projects and got a few other necessary things in order. We had a follow up scan at the specialised lab in Sydney on the Monday, which showed everything was absolutely fine. Lesson learned, always go to the specialised lab, even if it means a 3 hour drive!
After our little worry about an early arrival we finally wrote our birth intentions. Then at week 38 I finally finished packing the hospital bags. Something about it, I just couldn’t do it. As obviously real as this pregnancy is, there’s still a part of me that doesn’t quite believe this is actually happening. I faced that head on, finished packing my bag, actually printed our birth intentions, pain management plan and loaded a playlist on to my phone. Even though I spent flight time to and from America planning my freezer supplies for the newborn days and hatching a plan to convince Alex a separate freezer was a very necessary purchase, it’s taken me till this week to actually do some cooking. I picked freezer suitable meals for every evening this week and have made a double or triple batch of dinner each night, packing the leftovers away. It’s been working really well. I also baked a load of snacks. This banana bread, nut loaf, brownies, a variation on this snack bar and some date balls.
The belly that grows and grows. Sometimes it feels enormous and other times I look down and think my belly isn’t that big at all. People comment all the time that my belly is rather small and by the end of my pregnancy, that I couldn’t possibly be so overdue with such a small tummy. Let me assure you, this belly certainly felt big. I couldn’t imagine being much bigger actually. I’m rather pleased I didn’t get many stretch marks on my belly, just a few right at the very end which seemed a little unfair. My boobs on the other hand are a different story. Thank goodness for Bio-Oil, it’s working wonders to fade those marks. My bikini top burst open whilst swimming laps at 40+1 weeks. I was mortified and after some blurry vision that night decided they were signs I should stop swimming for now. When it warmed up the next week I did go for one more swim in the outdoor pool, it was divine and I wore a sports crop and a rash shirt to avoid any further incidents from this ever expanding bust.
There’s been a distinct lack of discussion about food in these pregnancy posts but I just don’t feel that I have much to share in that department. Which really isn’t true, I have much to say on nutrition during pregnancy and just how important it is. It’s just that I’m not that inspired right now so I’ll revisit this later and share with you then. Most days my appetite has all but disappeared, I now eat for the baby. I am feeling so full of baby and am rapidly running out of room. Half eaten bowls of porridge and salad end up in the fridge and I finish them later on. Smoothies and juices continue to be a favourite way to squeeze in extra veg, fruit and calories.
A typical day of eating goes something along the lines of this:
Breakfast – now that it’s warmer I’ve started making muesli again, which is essentially a bag of oats, handfuls of what ever nuts and seeds are in the pantry, a little dried fruit and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon all mixed together. This is served with some milk, yoghurt, prunes and perhaps a few slices of banana, and often a cup of tea + mayyybe a little juice.
Morning tea – a cup of raspberry leaf tea and a piece of fruit or a piece of something baked.
Lunch – surprisingly I’ve eaten quite a few sandwiches lately, they’re really not my thing but they’re easy to make, eggs and avocado on toast are also on heavy rotation as are salads made from leftover roast vegetables with a tin of tuna.
Afternoon tea – I usually have two of these. Perhaps a juice and a cracker or two with hummous early in the afternoon and another cup of raspberry leaf tea. Then when Alex gets home from work I’ve often baked us something to have for afternoon tea together. He’s always starving when he gets home from work so he needs fuel before we go on our evening stroll together.
Dinner – essentially a protein, some carbohydrates and a lot of vegetables. This might plate up as grilled salmon + roasted potatoes + steamed greens, mexican beans + tortilla chips + salad, tuna + pasta + tomato and spinach sauce. Quick and easy is key, and meals that feed us for more than one night are even better.
Supper – a smoothie, usually made from dates + cacao +chia seeds + cinnamon + maybe some nut butter or banana and milk.
And really, reflecting on that list, it’s essentially what I eat when I’m not pregnant. Though I wouldn’t usually have 2 afternoon teas or a juice and a smoothie. And we usually eat a lot more vegetarian meals. Whilst being pregnant I’ve made particular attention to meet my calcium, folate and iron needs and have been strict about having 3 serves of oily fish per week (it’s good for baby’s brain development).
Lately we’ve been perfecting the art of slow. The uncertainty of baby’s arrival means we’re not making too many plans in advance and are enjoying some really lovely time at home together. Perhaps tackling a few little project around the house, over the weekend we finally showed the garden some love and even planted a new rose bush, lots of cuddling. Often we’ve sat down at the end of a day and remarked on what a perfect day we’ve had together. It’s a really sweet phase we’re in and I’m cherishing it.
At 37 weeks we went out for dinner for an early anniversary celebration. This year we’ll have been married for 5 years!!! That leaves me speechless really. And sometime in mid-late October, neither of us remember the date, is our dating anniversary. This year marks 7 years. So really we celebrated two anniversaries. I predict our actual wedding anniversary will involve lots of soft cheese, a cheeky sip of wine and snuggles with our dear baby. Perfect.
I was so convinced throughout my pregnancy that baby would be here by their due date. I can’t believe that I am still pregnant! I’ve done just about every natural method to induce labour without any success. Tomorrow I’m even trying acupuncture as I’m super keen to avoid the induction we have booked. Waiting for babies is really hard. Every morning Alex asks me if today is the day, like I’d know. He’s super keen to meet baby and enjoy some time off work.
So I’m trying to relax and just enjoy as best I can the remainder of my pregnancy. I really have enjoyed being pregnant so much and want to finish that way. Some days it definitely takes a lot of mind over matter. I keep reminding myself to trust that baby knows what to do and will come when they’re ready. I’ll just keep looking after us with delicious food, lots of rest, relaxations, gentle yoga, walking and warm baths. It truly is a privilege to grow our baby!