So here I am, 9 weeks to my due date with what is to be my last pregnancy, my last labour, my final child.
Having been here (third trimester) before on two occasions I am not particularly welcoming the next few weeks as the heartburn increases, the weird night time leg cramps and twitches increase and general all round uncomfortableness when standing/sitting/lying down occurs. Walking is already becoming waddling and I have to explain to people on a daily basis that I am not close to my due date despite having a massive bump. Hubby says it is like lying in bed next to a massive hot water bottle which is wedged in surrounded by pillows (one either side for bump and back and one between my knees).
I have found this last couple of weeks really tough as I am anaemic and absolutely knackered from looking after my 5 year old and 2 year old, trying to keep the house from looking like we have been burgled all while my body is screaming at me to take naps. Hubby has been working away from home which has made things harder.
First pregnancy was full of excitement, anticipation and nerves about the unknown – but there was time to relax when needed. I look back in a haze of envy at that time when I could take time to browse round shops looking at baby clothes, go for a relaxing swim when I wanted and attended pregnancy yoga all as and when I wished. I took out every book I could from the library to read up about pregnancy, giving birth and beyond. And sleep….oh how I slept! Those lovely wee uninterrupted naps any time I needed to feel refreshed.
Pregnancy two – there was not as much time to stop and think about being pregnant, no books to pour over and no time to nap as I had to look after the first who had by then dropped his daily nap. A LOT more tiring but nothing compared to third time round.
Pregnancy three – for the last few months, most days I have forgotten I am pregnant at all – I am mainly reminded through the amount of additional visits to the toilet I have to make. I’ve been so busy with the other two kids – and so tired – there is no time for yoga, swimming or naps. No me time. Sleep is something I fantasise about on a daily basis and jump into bed at the first offer of a nap when hubby is around to help with kids.
Sometimes I am counting down the hours to their bedtime as I know it will bring me closer to my duvet time.
No one can explain what tiredness does to you until you have experienced it. Sleep depravation is not a pretty sight. I have a friend who is a former member of the armed forces who told me the sleep depravation training given to them for combat situations was nothing compared to when she had her 2 kids. Force the opposition to spend 24hrs 7 days a week for weeks on end with some babies and toddlers cooped up with no sleep for months on end and I am sure there would have the Taliban and ISIS fighters ready to crack and spill the beans on anything you wanted to know.
Pregnancy hormones and mood have taken a massive swing to the unpredictable so I am blubbing at the most random of things. Although have not quite reached the heady heights of hubby finding me sobbing during first pregnancy because I couldn’t find my favourite Ocean Colour Scene album to play at that precise moment. His response – that I could have Googled the tracks and heard them on You Tube was I so desperate – had not even crossed my mind. Rational goes out the window, welcome in paranoia, tears and emotional meltdowns.
The last few paragraphs paint a not so rosy picture of the last stage of pregnancy but the prize for going through the months of discomfort is so worth it when your baby arrives and you fall completely and utterly in love. Knowing this is my last pregnancy, my last baby, my last child – I am trying to hold on to and store memories of the flutters, kicks and movements inside of me as my little one gets comfy (even though sometimes I feel like it is trying to escape through my skin like the scene from the film Alien).
It really is a special and amazing experience to grow a human being inside of you and I feel incredibly grateful to have managed to have done it three times. The baby clothes have been washed, the crib built and double pram been purchased. Just need to get some rest and prepare for the big day now! Goodbye full nights sleep – see you again hopefully sometime in 2016.