First of all, I am writing this in hindsight. Poppy is twelve days old today! (14th August 2014) I am going to try my best to write up what I was doing and feeling back at week 37, but I have the added bonus of knowing exactly what is going to happen.
So second of all, Hello 37-Weeks-Pregnant-Me! Now, please pay attention:
1. Stop wasting your life drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea. You have given Holland & Barrett quite enough money. Don’t go back and buy those Raspberry Leaf Capsules, they smell like pets and are more trouble to swallow than they are worth.
2. Stop worrying about the size of your baby. She is actually on the large side. Your tummy is normal sized and the different midwifes must have different measure tapes, it has not shrunk!
3. Don’t kill yourself eating pineapples. They don’t encourage your baby to arrive; they will only give you heartburn and make a stain on the settee.
4. Your baby will not be early, she will be late. Prepare yourself for the long haul. Eat dinner on Friday 1st August; don’t settle for those snacks you think will suffice at the time. Put some energy drinks in the hospital bag.
5. For Goodness Sake, cancel the Tesco delivery that is due at 10pm Friday 1st August.
6. Stop applying the St Tropez. Get on the sunbed. All the blood later on will make your skin take on a tye-dye effect. You wont be able to get it off until 11th August.
7. Bottle-feed from the get-go.
8. Ask for the epidural on the way in the door. Don’t brave it out. You have been too confident up to now. It’s going to be hard, sweaty and long. Get your notes and fill in that ‘birth plan’ page. Don’t leave them blank and breeze about with the “as long as she gets out safely” attitude. Yes you have done every exercise recommended, plus more, you have eaten like a saint and practised all kinds of relaxation. It probably did (a bit) help, but…just ask for the epidural (straight away).
At 37 weeks I was feeling fantastic. Full of energy, convinced that baby would be arriving at any second. After all, I had had a bit of tummy ache. I’m sure that these funny feelings was what they’ve been calling ‘lightening’, and she felt like she might just fall out at any second. I cancelled plans, got my haircut and did a hundred ‘last-minute’ tasks.
I followed every textbook. I spent hours bouncing on my ball; I’d barely sat on a normal seat for about five weeks. I unpacked and re-packed my hospital bag every few days, decorated the living room, noted down every feeling/twinge/ache I had that may have indicated the start of something. I would stand at the sink cleaning my teeth, and add in 50 squats (this will get definitely get her started). I learnt the next stage of the ballet for my teaching exams (surely those Grande Plies will fetch her out?). I looked after myself as if training for the Olympics. In all honesty I expected my baby to arrive on the Tour De France day. I printed off maps and planned routes to the hospital should she make a move on this particular Sunday. She didn’t.
So, 37-Weeks-Pregnant-Me, go to sleep, watch TV and eat normally. Stop setting alarms for when you nap, stop walking for miles and miles, and for heavens sake, stop forcing down ten of your 5 a day. It feels like she is stuck inside forever. Chillax, she will come.
(But you never could take advice very well, could you…?)