Pregnancy: Week 38

38 weeks pregnant

A few weeks back I got to that point in pregnancy when people started asking if I felt uncomfortable. Frankly, I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. While my hormones had begun upping the anti emotionally, physically I still felt very mobile and to be honest, I often forgot my bump was there as it didn’t really get in the way of anything. Then, week 36 rolled around and as the baby’s head, which I now imagine to be the size of a large melon, lodged itself firmly in my pelvis I suddenly started sporting a pregnancy swagger (read: waddle), swollen legs and a belly full of air that have done away with any pretence of femininity. As someone put it, the baby is now locked and loaded; I’m just waiting for the trigger to be pulled.

Chocolate has become irresistible, which if old wives tales are to be believed suggests there’s a girl with a very sweet tooth in there. Clothing has become unwearable, shoes untieable and my skin has taken on the palour of someone who has spent their entire lives in a vitamin D deprived state in the Outer Hebrides.

All in all I think pregnancy has evolved to include that last, long month (which is in fact the tenth month, not the ninth month, if you do the maths) to make you fed up with being pregnant so that you’re not afraid of entering the next phase. It certainly feels, after endless hours of antenatal classes – both NCT and NHS, plenty of book-reading, Mumsnet-scouring and One Born Every Minute-watching that we couldn’t possibly be more prepared for the birth. Yet, with every day that passes with no sign of baby, that reassurance wanes and I fear that all my cramming will pour out of my head, much like the daily flood of hormonal tears.

I’d like to say I’m using these precious last few days of peace and quiet wisely but alas I am not. I have created a list of things I want to do before the baby arrives which I will be posting shortly but there is still plenty on it that has yet to be achieved. It’s more of a ‘hopes and dreams’ list which is, coincidentally, the terminology that midwives have started to attach to birth plans so as not to get the hopes up of water-pool, hypnobirthing types like myself who might have to be rushed into surgery should anything go awry.

I’ve had a sudden urge to spend and have been doing lots of online window shopping, creating ambitious Net-a-Porter wishlists, scouring the remnants of the sales for clothes that I can pass off to Mr E as ‘essential nursing attire’ and creating Pinterest boards of summer clothes that I’m fantasising about fitting into. While I have no doubt that I will miss my bump when it’s gone, I think the prospect of being slightly less huge around the middle is suddenly very appealing from a wardrobe perspective and I think I need to start retraining my brain into considering clothes that don’t fit into the ‘oversized’ or ‘trapeeze’ trends.

I know, I know, it’s going to take a while to get my figure back, if indeed it ever fully returns at all and I’m in no rush to get back to the gym so in the meantime, I’m ashamed to say, I will be wearing the onesie that I picked up today, whilst ostensibly shopping for nursing bras in John Lewis, for the dirt-cheap price of £10 (down from £49). All illusions of me being a Parisian style mum, back in her skinny jeans within a few weeks of giving birth have now firmly gone out of the window, but do I care? Nope. Am I looking forward to being able to zip up that onesie and snuggle with my baby on the sofa? Absolutely.

MODEL MOTHER

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