Today I am 36 weeks and 6 days pregnant with baby number 4. We are just days away from meeting our tiny little poppyseed!
It’s all very surreal. Baby’s going home outfit is ready.
It’s been a hugely busy week with 40th birthday bashes, no sleep and 10th birthday parties to organise too. I’ve had a lot of pelvic pains, strong Braxton Hicks and painful movements from baby. So much so that I managed to convince myself that perhaps baby was preparing to come and meet us before the planned section… and wouldn’t that be wonderful?
I just cannot rid myself of a sense of disappointment about the impending section that is looming up before us. I have accepted that this is the safest mode of delivery for this baby. I have made peace with the fact that a VBAC is not for me. I will never experience a vaginal birth and I will never know what it feels like to deliver my own baby. That hurts. A lot. But I have accepted that. I am ok with it. But I am still so disappointed.
There is no mystery with a planned section. My baby’s birthday is already written in stone and there is very little I can do about it. My body is very unlikely to go into labour by itself, and yet I still cannot help but hope. Each and every twinge could be ‘it’ even though it is still so early! I am not yet 37 weeks and have only ever laboured beyond 41 weeks. Pregnancy, for me, is not 9 months. Certainly not 8 months. And I know that. So why does my mind keep convincing me it could happen?
And if it did? Oh yes, I would trot off to hospital for a non urgent emergency section. I would not put my baby or myself at risk. But at least I would have given myself a chance. One last chance to feel a contraction. That excitement. Being at the mercy of my body, rather than a surgeon’s schedule. It seems so silly, even as I write it.
And so, I am here. A day away from 37 weeks and a few more until baby’s birth day. And no signs. No niggles. Not really. Baby doesn’t want to meet us yet, but like us baby has no choice.
This week, baby is the size of a head of Romain lettuce, weighing in at around 6lb (although if the last scan’s estimates are to be believed, our poppyseed should weigh around 4 and a half pounds now). Growth is now set to slow down a little in preparation for birth, and energy is being stored for delivery. Most of baby’s systems are now more or less developed and almost ready for life on the outside; blood circulation has been perfected and the immune system is ready to go.
We now look forward to two sets of steroid injections to make sure that those lungs are ready. And then baby will be here. We’re on the countdown to birth day!
This week I was given the incredible honour of becoming a Star Ambassador for the Mama Academy, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the charity for all the information and support they’ve provided for me since this pregnancy began. Their campaign, Made to Measure, aims to encourage all NHS trusts to sign up to the Growth Assessment Protocol Programme. Over the next few days before our baby is born, I intend to tell you a lot more about the important work that Mama Academy does and to let you know exactly why it means so much to be to be involved.