I have always known (even before pregnancy) that I wanted a natural birth and have carried that mindset throughout my pregnancy too. I work in the NHS environment and as a job it's wonderful but as a patient I am most definitely not. The thought of childbirth in a clinical environment never made sense to me unless there were medical reasons to do so. I know this is a very personal experience and I can understand why some families choose to give birth in that environment and I also recognise why sometimes it is necessary. But this is just not for us, this is not a natural way for us to bring our little lady into the world.
I have mentally prepared myself that if I needed to be transferred to hospital to give birth to my child it will be for medical reasons and therefore will be the safer option for myself and my baby. I have mentally accepted that. However my positive mindset and outlook can only work if I visualise that magical moment for Sebastian and I in the surroundings of our own comforts. Twinkly Christmas tree lights, soothing scented candles flickering on the mantel, soft music playing and my controlled breathing and practised yoga moves. Can it be any more wonderful!?!
At 38 weeks we finally had our NCT classes. It was a full weekend workshop and somewhat information overload. However we had so much fun and loved meeting other pregnant couples just as confused about the little things as we were.
I was pleasantly surprised (after having a few major meltdowns feeling a little scared of the unknown a few weeks before) how much I already knew, how much Sebastian and I had already learnt. I was more 'ready' than I had given myself credit for! Having said that we were the only couple that were due in less than two weeks, everyone's due dates were late December, mid January and early February!!!
Oh and I did not realise what Braxton Hicks felt like until I learnt about them in class--- Yeh I have been experiencing them for a long time already!! And even more so since.
The aches gradually got a little worse, nighttime sleep got a little harder (but daytime naps are bliss!), the heartburn, the cramp, the restless legs all got a little more unappealing and the general fatigue grew stronger. Little lady wriggles have grown more forceful and the hiccups are even cuter. I can no longer finish a normal sized meal (baby is taking up way too much room!) but am always hungry. The hormones have caused my emotions to explode... literally the smallest things have made me cry a river of tears! -In my defense they haven't all been totally dramatic reasons.
After weeks of stressing, miscommunication, 20 emails and a couple of calls we finally had our nursery furniture delivered. The delays wouldn't have been an issue if we had a contingency plan but we didn't. We ordered a cotbed and matching dresser. After lots of 'Umming & Ahhings' we had decided against a crib or moses basket due to lack of space, cost and other reasons. It just seemed right for us to start with a cot and swaddle the baby with a variety of pretty pastel polka dot blankets. Anyway, the dramas of that are finally over and we now have furniture!
I have started the washing and ironing and have begun to organise the drawers which have made things so much more exciting! Nothing pleases me more than to walk into our bathroom seeing the clothes airer lined with teeny tiny pastel babygrows, floral muslin squares and miniature socks.
We still don't have the nursery painted (paint has been purchased but I need the manpower!) but that 'stressful' moment or two has long gone as the little lady will be sleeping in our room for the first few months anyway. I suppose my organised self wanted everything to be in it's place at the click of a finger but we all know life doesn't work like that- especially as you have to rely on people to help get the job done.
The joy (or not so much) of social media didn't help my little 'panicked' moments either by constantly filling my feed with other pregnant mothers who's pregnancies are over 10 weeks behind me with everything purchased, painted and the like. I guess that's the problem with social media these days... everything is in your face twice the size, double the amount and I have started to realise it's just a way of saying 'look at me'! ...but that's another blog post. It did however make me realise that I have more important things to do and focus my mind on than waste time scrolling through Facebook and double tapping Instagram all day, comparing! As a parent I do not want to be glued to my phone and neither do I want my child to do so, therefore this time has been great for me to quit/cut down (and remove notifications!) on the things that aren't quite so important anymore. A little meltdown or two is perhaps a blessing in disguise.
With nearly only 1 week away from due date I feel ready- mentally, physically and emotionally. We both do. Yes there are things we still need but we live right next door to the town, there are enough family members to run in and get the things we need if we're desperate. But whatever we don't have we'll manage because "Hello, women have been giving birth since the day dot!". This generation overthink way too much!! We are both beyond excited to meet our little girl and bring her into this world and what better time of year to do so! It is the most wonderful time after all.
I cannot wait to share my experience with you lovely ones. I cannot wait to show you what type of 'blend' we have been brewing these past nine months. I cannot wait to show her off and share her name (which I've had forever by the way!), hair colour and such. Oh the thought just fills my heart with joy!
Our hospital bags are packed (just incase, also it's good to have everything in one place so it's easy to grab), our cameras are charged and memory cards erased, birthing ball pumped up, the cupboards are stocked up with tea, coffee, biscuits and other essentials and the freezer is full with dinners.
Our hearts and minds are ready for you little one. Now don't be too late... we have a Christmas jumper with your name on it.