Aaaand I'm still pregnant. It's not that big a deal, most babies are born after their due date anyway (makes you wonder why we bother with them!). I'm a little dismayed simply because two of my other children were born in the days leading up to the due date and I've had so many false starts in the last couple of weeks, we've been on edge and ready for Baby Alert for ages.
I did promise in my last post that I would keep an honest and open diary about my experience of having a new baby, so this seems like a good place to start. How I feel about going overdue... I would love to say that I'm on board with the barefoot hippy mentality that knows my baby will be born when he's good and ready, and not before. I actually know women who are not only perfectly happy to go beyond the 40 week mark, but actually object on principal to any medical intervention that would bring on labour artificially. Man, I would LOVE to have that sort of outlook and faith in my body. It's not that going overdue frightens me... I have every confidence that my body will look after my baby until he's ready to deal with the outside world. I'm just really bloody uncomfortable and running out of patience now!
I have armed myself with the plastic smile and stock answer of "yes I'm fine, just very excited" ready for when people ask me how I'm feeling. I'm not fine and excited is not the number 1 emotion I'm feeling at the moment, but I have learned that when people ask a heavily pregnant women how she's feeling, they don't actually want to be told that you're sick of swollen ankles, piles, sleep deprivation, heartburn, constant loo visits, not being able to see your own foof to keep up personal grooming and so on. If anything, it seems to invite responses like "ahh but you're lucky really because so many women can't get pregnant at all", or even "you'll get no sympathy from me, this is all self-inflicted!" (this was genuinely said to me a few days ago). So, the next time someone asks me how I'm feeling at 9 months pregnant whilst running round after 3 small children, I will tell them that I'm fine and very excited about meeting our latest family member.
I will confess now to obsessively watching my moods and changes in my body for anything that indicates impending labour. Apparently a strong desire to clean the house coupled with an inexplicable irritability at everyone and everything is a dead giveaway that I'm about to give birth. Well... I clean all the time because I have 3 children and a very messy husband. If I didn't clean all the time, my house would be revolting! I'm grouchy because I'm heavily pregnant and have to spend all my free time cleaning my house! So I don't think I can trust those two 'signs'... Every little cramp and twinge I get is carefully analysed so I can decide whether that was a strong Braxton Hicks (sort of like a contraction but just a practice one) or a very mild proper contraction, and then timed to monitor regularity and increases in frequency. I'm not going to talk about going to the loo.. I know, I know I promised honesty, but the women who've done pregnancy and childbirth before will know where this is going, and those who haven't really don't want to know. I will leave you with one word that says enough: mucous. There, be glad that I'm not going into more detail!
So you can tell that I'm definitely NOT in line with the super-relaxed barefoot hippy momma philosophy just now. I want this baby out, sooner rather than later. I want my body back! I want to be able to put my jeans on without enlisting my husband's help. I would very much like to be able to reach my ankles when I shave my legs. I'd really, really like to be able to get off the sofa without having to rock back and forth to gain momentum, like a tortoise stuck on its back (a source of great amusement for friends and family last weekend!).
But... I Am Fine And Very Excited. Honestly.
Next: my birth story (whenever it flipping well happens!). Will I get my intervention-free, drug-free water birth? Or will I end up flat on my back at the midwife's insistence and begging for an epidural?