A few days ago, I hit the 37-week mark. Full term. Really all it means is that this is the final stretch. The baby could come any day or it could be another five weeks. I’m holding on to the statement on my hypnobirthing CD, Katharine Graves’ reassuringly intoning, “Baby will come when baby is ready. Baby knows best.”
At the same time, I’ve gone from feeling not even marginally ready for the birth to fighting back impatience. The clothes, nappies and blankets are all washed, dry and put away. The birth bags are packed. Everything is gathered for the home birth. Birth preferences have been written, printed and laminated.
Though I’m still tired, I’ve suddenly had a lot more energy. It’s timed beautifully with becoming heavy, stiff and sore. Pelvic girdle pain still isn’t nearly as severe as it was with Talitha but it’s becoming the theme of most days just the same. I know osteopathy would help as it did last time but I can’t realistically fit it into the budget. Luckily, it’s annoying rather than debilitating.
Part of me wonders whether my intermittent desperation to have this baby comes from a desire for distraction. While the children certainly occupy my mind, there’s still space to panic about what’s happening in the world outside, whether it’s Brexit, the terrorist attack on Istanbul or distressing situations in my personal life that I can’t mentally escape but also can’t address right now.
I’m reminded of how important it is to make time for peace, to hold to quiet, to simplicity, to give the things I’m worried about over to God and to remember to keep loving, whatever that means.
I’ve been getting lots of practice surges this time around. One evening they were so powerful, I wondered if things were really getting started. Then things trailed off. I’ve heard from lots of mothers that this is common for third pregnancies. This could go on for weeks yet.
A doula friend reminded me that it’s all doing something, even if it doesn’t seem it. She also reminded me that feeling impatient in this last stretch is itself a way of getting ready.
The girls are both so aware of the baby now. Talitha loves seeing her move my tummy. Both speak so sweetly to her. Talitha keeps asking if she will get to see her coming out. I’ve made no promises but we’ve packed the kids’ bags and they’re happy with either option of staying or going to someone’s house. Ideally, it will happen at night and they’ll be asleep but we’re prepared either way. Now, if someone asks Ophelia about the baby, she’ll point to the bump and as we have friends who’ve recently had babies, she seems to be connecting my changing form with the reality.
Speaking of reality, I think I’m still in denial about what it’s going to mean to have a newborn again, while caring for my older two. I wonder if this is the brain’s way of protecting the family.
I can’t worry about it anymore because I can’t really remember what it was like, adding a baby last time. Even though I rationally remember how hard it was, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace that amid the chaos, life will carry on. And it will.
Read more updates from this pregnancy with baby number three:
34 weeks pregnant
31 weeks pregnant
28 weeks pregnant
25 weeks pregnant
22 weeks pregnant
20 weeks pregnant
18 weeks pregnant
16 weeks pregnant
12 weeks pregnant