As we approach the end of week 39 of my pregnancy, our baby’s due date is just around the corner and even though we should put it out of our minds, it’s hard not to think of it.
The waterproof mattress protector is on the bed, in case my waters break in the middle of the night; I find Braxton Hicks contractions are increasing, and I’m googling ‘labour signs’ with every little bit of discomfort I feel.
I read that you are in active labour and should consider making your way to your birth location (wherever that is), when contractions that are about four minutes apart, lasting one minute, and go on for an hour. It’s known as the ‘4-1-1’ rule,’ something to keep in mind perhaps, when the time comes.
All went well at this week’s check up in The Coombe; baby is happy out, but there’s no sign of anything happening yet.
For now, I’m continuing with my acupuncture sessions, pregnancy yoga, and aquanatal classes; all of which I love, although everything is becoming that bit harder now with the extra weight I’m carrying and the excessive swelling. These days my legs are like memory foam, if any type of pressure is applied to them, they leave marks behind that hold their shape for some time! Mental stuff.
I still get the odd bout of heartburn; I’m eating dates which help get the body ready for labour apparently and my energy levels continue to fluctuate from wired to exhausted.
I’ve also stocked up on a whole host of stuff to help bring about labour naturally as I really don’t want to be induced and I’m aware that it could happen as a number of my friends were on their first babies.
I picked up 100 percent loose raspberry Leaf tea (the one I’m currently drinking only has 30 percent RL in it); clary sage oil to be applied on the skin, along with a carrier oil and evening primrose oil to be taken orally. All of which will supposedly help ripen and soften the cervix, bring about labour, and supposedly shorten the entire process. All sounds good to me!
I’ll wait another day or two until I am officially 40 weeks to start these but I will be going for it all if I reach my due date and there’s still no sign of anything happening.
I’ll also start looking at applying acupressure points which my acupuncturist shared with me and she can also start the process of induction by way of the needles too so fingers crossed I won’t need to be induced. Time will tell!
For now, I am still happy and enjoying being pregnant, despite being pretty uncomfortable (especially at night). The severe swelling and the carpal tunnel syndrome. Ideally I wouldn’t like to go the full two weeks over but I accept that baby is the boss here, not me! I can try and help things along as best I can and then simply let go of how labour comes about.
1) Let the post baby prep begin…
If like me, you have never done your grocery shopping from the comfort of your own couch, perhaps now is the time to start getting to grips with online food shopping. Although I haven’t done it yet, I have downloaded the apps as it is meant to be massively helpful after your lil bundle arrives. Also freezing dinners at this stage is highly recommended too to make life that bit easier afterwards.
2) Treat your feet while you can
My feet have taken a battering in this pregnancy. From severe dry skin, horrendous swelling, and even losing an entire nail due to stubbing my toe, it feels like I’m lifting around blocks of concrete; so let’s just say my feet have seen better days.
When it comes to your little piggies, if you are suffering from swelling like me, I would strongly recommend you go to a professional to get them looked after. Believe me, cutting toenails that grow at supersonic speed when you’re preggers and painting them is hard work (especially the baby toes!). So instead of pulling a muscle or squashing your precious bump in the process, invest in some ‘you’ time and treat yourself to a pedicure or get a good pal (who doesn’t mind feet) around to yours to pamper ya.
3) The power of letting go
I have Post-Its dotted around the house with my favourite affirmations written on them and the ones that resonate with me the most are ones involving letting go of control, going with the flow, and simply accepting whatever it is that lies ahead.
Phrases like… ‘I surrender;’ ‘I accept whatever path my baby takes;’ ‘I trust in my own personal labour process’. So I try to not overthink my upcoming labour and simply get into a happy zone. To others I say, listen to music, dance around your bedroom, watch a comedy, sleep, eat, whatever it is that makes you feel good.