Well I am now 35 weeks pregnant and at the stage where, in my last two pregnancies, I finished work and began maternity leave.
But this time round, I still have another three weeks to go - 15 working days to be precise (not that I’m counting!)
I am feeling the usual aches and pains of late pregnancy. My hips and pelvis feel looser and generally less sturdy. If I get up too quickly or stretch too much I get a nasty pain in the side/bottom of my bump. The baby’s wiggles are very strong and she quite often feels as if she is stretching out as if trying to make more space for herself in there – that can feel a little uncomfortable! Also, I have heartburn/indigestion quite a bit and have re-discovered the Gaviscon dependency I had in my first pregnancy (although not in my second). Sometimes I wake up at night and have to get up to take a swig of the stuff… lovely!
In terms of tiredness and energy levels, I can’t complain too much. I have enjoyed a few weeks in which I seemed to get a surge of energy, and I’ve been feeling good. In the last few days however I’ve been feeling a little more tired again, and the 7pm naps on the sofa have returned. Sometimes when I’m walking the baby bump feels like a concrete block, which only gets harder and heavier if I try to walk any faster (so I don’t!).
I went out for coffee yesterday with a friend and her little girl, who is a few months younger than Isla. Her baby was born at 34+4, so I am now more pregnant than she was then. I had a little look at her facebook pics of when her baby was first born – even after three pregnancies it still amazes me that there really is a real life little person in there who, if born tomorrow, would (hopefully) be a perfectly healthy little baby. Of course, after two babies arriving more than a week after their due date I am not expecting that we will be meeting our third any time soon…
Lilly remains really excited about the baby. She knows “the baby is coming soon, isn’t she?” Isla has got a real fascination with my belly and likes patting it. I have started telling her: “there’s a baby in there, your little sister” but at 18 months old I know she can’t really be expected to understand. We have also had a few reads of There’s A House Inside My Mummy, but again, Isla is still too little to really understand. Maybe some of it might go in, you never know. I do feel guilty that I can’t prepare her properly, and I am anxious about how she’ll react. But I also think that because she is so little it probably won’t be long before she can’t remember a time without the baby being here, and hopefully that will mean she can take it in her stride. Fingers crossed.
In terms of preparation, we have started getting our acts together. Our Sola (pram) has been in for repairs as we have bought a car seat to fit onto it. Work have very kindly offered to buy me a moses basket as a leaving present. We still need to buy new bottles and a steriliser, and I need to start washing the baby clothes, blankets and bedding. Oh, and I remembered the other night that I will need a hospital bag – and the girls will need an overnight bag packed for when they go off to stay at Nanna and Grandad’s when I go into labour or get induced. And I have stepped up the raspberry leaf tea intake to two cups a day!
Because our family circumstances have changed – hubby is now a stay at home dad and I am the only wage earner – I will be having a shorter maternity leave with baby number three, returning to work after 18 weeks when the money runs out. That is why I have decided to work for a little longer at the end of this pregnancy to maximise those precious weeks once our third little angel arrives and to make sure I save up plenty of leave to enable me to work part time for the first few months back at work.
This pregnancy seems to have gone so fast and the due date has got closer and closer very quickly, especially with the distraction of Christmas and Lilly’s birthday. Before then I wasn’t counting down the weeks and days to maternity leave like I was the first or second time.
The first time I went on maternity leave, I was looking forward to a few weeks of rest and relaxation, daytime TV, lazy indulgent breakfasts and lie ins. And I was extremely impatient to meet my first baby.
The second time I was hoping for one week of partial rest and relaxation, while Lilly was still in nursery. Then the plan was loads of quality time with her doing baking and playing in the paddling pool before her little sister arrived. I never quite got the week of relaxation, as Lilly came down with chicken pox and couldn’t go to nursery, so we just ended up with one week more quality time. Which was lovely, and in hindsight I wouldn’t change it for the world.
This time, things are going to be different again. I will have hubby at home with me the whole time… yay! And we won’t be stressing out about ‘what if baby comes while he’s hundreds of miles away at work?’ But there definitely won’t be much rest and relaxation going on – not with the two little munchkins we already have! Although if I am very nice to hubby he may allow me the odd daytime nap if I’m feeling really shattered… did I mention how lovely he is?!?
Now, having just had two weeks off over Christmas, I am now really starting to look forward to my maternity leave. It is going to be a really wonderful opportunity for us to spend time together as a family – all five of us. Yes, there will be stressful moments as we adjust to life with a newborn, a one-year-old and a pre-schooler. But how great it will be for us all to be at home together for a little while. Hopefully both Tony and I will get to spend some lovely time with all our girls and be there to help each other out when we’ve had a bad night with the baby or when one or other of the girls is off colour.
I am worried about how I will cope if hubby does go and work while I’m off – we haven’t yet made any decisions about this. And of course I also worry about going back to work when the baby is only four and a half months old. And how hubby will cope once I do – looking after three pre-schoolers on his own will be tough.
But these are exciting times ahead. I can’t wait to meet our new darling girl and I can’t wait to have our family complete.
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