At the start of my pregnancy, I had every intention of documenting it from start to finish. Not just as a part of my blog, but as a sort of diary to look back on in remembrance of what being a mummy-to-be for the first time felt like. However, if you've been following me for the past eight months, you'll know that things didn't quite go to plan all the time, and I became somewhat overprotective of myself and Baby Ginger. Not wanting to overshare, and partly living in fear waiting for the next bump in the road, I just didn't want to open up about positive things only to get struck down with negativity.
However, being so close to the finish line I did want to share how things have been lately. As a first time mum I find it so difficult to source truly honest experiences of how pregnancy can be. And whereas it can all be very exciting, it can also be utterly terrifying!
I distinctly remember at the start of my third trimester, turning to Ryan and declaring how I thought this part of the pregnancy I would enjoy the most. My energy levels were on the up, and things had been pretty much smooth sailing. I had no complaints. Oh how naive I was!
Soon after making this statement. On New Year's Day to be exact, I ate my words. Falling arse over tit I somehow managed to trip on the stairs and tumble all the way down to the bottom with an almighty thump. I didn't fall on my belly, but instead landed on my knee and ankle, giving myself one hell of a fright, a horribly bruised knee, and an ankle that was puffy for a day and a bit! Not concerned for myself, but terrified I had hurt the baby, I was inconsolable. Fortunately I am surrounded by highly rational, sensible people, and after resting, and monitoring baby' movements, I was reassured that everything was okay. Surely after starting the third trimester with such a bang,, it would be easy-peasy from here, wouldn't it?
Well...not quite. The day before I was due to finish work to go on Maternity Leave, I found myself back in the hospital after having an episode of feeling less movement from baby! Again, I was petrified. Everything I had read seemed to indicate that babies should have a kick pattern established by this point, but Baby Ginger very much marched to the sound of his own drum. Unsure if he was napping, playing a joke on me, or trying to tell me something, that hour session hooked up to a fetal monitor was the longest of my life. Thankfully everything was okay and he seemed perfectly happy in there. Okay, so after this we could turn the eventfulness dial down couldn't we?
Yeah, right!....A few weeks later I was struck down with what initially thought was a UTI. After a trip to the Drs, picking up antibiotics and heading home, my symptoms changed and got progressively more and more uncomfortable. In place of a constant urge to pee, my hands became covered in the most angry-looking rash that was incredibly itchy. I wanted to tear my skin off. Nothing eased the pain, and it kept me awake for two nights because I had to keep applying Aloe Vera, E45, Aqueous cream, then soak my hands in water in between taking paracetamol and antihistamine. After several subsequent visits to the Walk-In Centre and the Drs (again) it was deemed that somehow I had got hand foot and mouth disease! Not heard of it? Imagine the worst sunburn you can - that burning, itchy feeling that doesn't go away, and times it by ten! It was just horrible, and something I would not wish on anyone.
After a week of looking like I had the plague, and having to be put in quarantine against the world, everything seemed to ease up a bit. I still had scabs on my face, hands and feet, but I felt a hell of a lot better!
Aside from my apparent enjoyment of touring surgeries and hospitals, overall everything has been alright. My anxiety flares up from time to time, but I think after everything this is to be expected. I am definitely looking very, very pregnant right now, and am embracing everything that goes along with that - tiredness, constipation, back ache, and serious bouts of lightning crotch! Baby's movements are getting increasingly stronger and can be really uncomfortable, but overall I think I'm coping okay, considering I am completely feeling my way in the dark, don't have the highest pain threshold, and am susceptible to extremely unpredictable mood swings!
The next jobs are: finishing off the new nursery, sorting out my birth plan (we are awaiting an appointment with the consultant), packing my hospital bag (my first experience of Braxton Hicks made me want to finish that off sooner rather than later) and keep practising with the cot, car seat and nappy changing (I've already got my one-handed technique set).
Baby Ginger seems perfectly content to be curled up in my belly. At every appointment his heart-rate has been strong, and my midwife has been happy. I was getting a little worried that he would have a giant head, but I'm told I'm on track for an average-sized baby.
Baby loves it when I get in a warm bath, and enjoys getting my up the wall by insisting on having no kick pattern. But he does seem to really like it when he knows Ryan is around, and will nearly always kick when he feels his daddy's hand on my tummy. He gets the hiccups quite a lot, and loves the occasional head -banging session on my bladder, making me need the loo a lot. We are trying to educate him in our musical tastes, and he is often subjected to the likes of Slayer, Opeth, Ed Sheeran, Guns n Roses, and Smooth FM, We are hoping that with such an eclectic mix that anything will sooth him back to sleep rather than terrify him. We'll just have to wait until he's here to see who's musical taste he really prefers!
Even though the third trimester so far hasn't been stress-free, I am increasingly looking forward to becoming a mummy, whilst hand in hand knowing I am really going to miss how it feels being pregnant. There's something really comforting about having your ow little in-house side-kick who never fails to make you smile with a kick, a prod, or even a big stretch that makes you feel like you are slap-bang in the middle of that scene in Alien. Pregnancy is hard work. but I wouldn't change it for the world!