pregnancy week 33

I am having a little freak-out, this week, if truth be known. I’m overwhelmed with a sense of what I can only call unreadiness. Perhaps something to do with the fact that – really – baby could come at any time, yet I have no clothes for him/her, no nappies, no crib, no pram. I do have boobs – ticked those off last week’s list – but they don’t look ready at all. They’re just all normal and boob-like, sat there, wondering what all of the fuss is about.

Perhaps it also has something to do with the fact that I am a kind of holiday-let refugee, moving from one place to the next with no fixed abode, wondering which area of the country I’ll be in when the roulette wheel stops turning and the baby makes an appearance. Will it be Hertfordshire? Will it be Cambridgeshire? Who knows! How thrilling! Except it’s not thrilling in the slightest – it’s scary. I feel like a vulnerable chick that doesn’t want to be hatched yet – I can see the light through my thin little egg shell but there’s no way I want to go into the outside world. I want to stay in my eggshell for at least another two months! I have so much work to do while I’m still in my eggshell (where did this crappy analogy come from? Someone put a stop to it) and I just want to roll myself to somewhere safe and solid where I can hunker down and I won’t be asked to move again.

Is this what “nesting” feels like?

A little moan about my current holiday let: there is no working tin-opener, there are only four tall glasses for drinking out of and four knives and forks. ONE TEA TOWEL. I wouldn’t mind, but bloody hell – it’s far from cheap! I swear that if I ever come into a lump sum of money, I’m getting a holiday let. I’d put loads of cutlery in it – LOADS – and it would have a garlic press and a nice stack of pressed tea-towels. And even if it slept four, I would provide more than four plates and more than four cups. Because people tend to – y’know – eat and drink more than once in a day.

Sorry to moan. I think that things have finally weighed me down this week, including the fact that they found a huge Victorian pipe in my house groundworks which is going to cost loads to circumnavigate. I feel as though I’m on one of those nightmare Grand Designs episodes, and I don’t even have the joy of Kevin McCloud’s company! I also have a semi-sick dog (all right one day, off the next) and more work to get through than I have ever had in my life. It’s emotional here, I can tell you. I can only be comforted with a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, and even those are about to run out on me…

Brilliant body-changes of the week: baby movement marathons. I mean, my whole stomach moves from side to side, and if I rest my kindle on top then sometimes it completely bounces off! I didn’t ever think that movements would be that massive; it’s like Alien. Big churnings and tremblings and then egg-shaped protrusions coming out left right and centre… I absolutely love it. How utterly, utterly wonderful – a whole different person, sat inside like a little bus passenger! Ding-ding, next stop please driver! (Or hopefully it will be quite a few stops. We have the equivalent of a Greyhound journey across America to do yet, with six-and-a-half weeks to go! Surely enough time to completely re-build a house, schedule a month’s worth of posts and videos and get to grips with the whole Mindful Birthing thing?)

Not-so-brilliant body change: foot cramps. Oh my God cramps hurt, don’t they? I used to get them in my early twenties and then never since, but they have come back with a vengeance. Funnily enough, they went away when Mr AMR force-fed me about a litre of water in the middle of the night. (Poor man had to get up at 6am to go to a shoot and he was massaging my leg at 2am. He’s definitely a keeper. I didn’t even have to ask.) Also: weight of bump. It feels as though it needs a little scaffold beneath it. I’m wondering how much it might grow in these last six or seven weeks? A lot? How is that possible? I’m going to be shaped like a ball!

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ruth crilly pregnancy photo

When doctors fill you with confidence…

“I’m not sure which way the baby is lying, I’m afraid, I’m not much good at this!”

In the words of Ace Ventura: alrighty then. What are you good at, Doctor? I hope we’re not, by some random hand of fate, stuck together when I give birth. I get the feeling I’d have to be quite self-sufficient and just get on with things. But then I suppose it is understandable that a GP might not be totally au fait with maternity stuff, seeing as though most checkups are done by midwives, these days. Isn’t it? I’m trying to be nice and give him the benefit of the doubt!

I still can’t really understand why I have to do this rigmarole of attending the GP surgery for every other appointment; the midwives say it’s just how they do it in my area, but unfortunately the area that my GP surgery is in have no clue about this shared care business. They just send their maternity patients to the midwife, unless there’s something wrong with them or they are “high risk”. I’m classified as low risk and have probably had less medical complaints during this pregnancy than when I wasn’t pregnant! I’ve felt fit as a whistle, apart from the rib ache/bra situation. No swelling, no backache, no infections…. The doctor almost seemed disappointed that there was nothing to jot down in my notes. And I feel ridiculous when I turn up there and have to explain that there’s nothing actually wrong with me, it’s just some kind of rule that’s been made up that I have to see the GP every month…

Anyway. You can’t fuss about these things, though I know for a fact, also, that he wasn’t listening to the baby’s heartbeat through his machine, it was an artery! I know this because the last GP – who was very good at all of the maternity stuff – spent ages telling me what to listen out for. My own heartbeat, the sound of blood flowing about and then the baby’s heartbeat. I didn’t want to say anything to this GP because I would have sounded like a right know-it-all!

Not long to go now, at any rate, and then I can listen to the heartbeat any time I want. All the time, probably, like some weird obsessive. I may even buy a stethoscope! That would be a weird first baby purchase, wouldn’t it – never mind the clothes, cot, car seat and pram – I’m off to buy some medical equipment so that I can sit like a madwoman and monitor various things! (Is a stethoscope actually for heartbeats, or is it for breathing? Or both?)

On the subject of baby stuff: I have bought nothing. We tested out some prams in Mothercare the other day, and I did like the Bugaboo ones because they were so light but that’s about as far as we’ve got. I think that the fact we’re on the move (twice) before my due date – and not back in our real house until the end of June – has made us a bit wary of thinking too far ahead. Whereas it would usually be easy to get carried away, buying all sorts of things that we probably wouldn’t need, we are very conscious that it all has to be lugged about and stored somewhere, so my current list of things I need stands at this:

Boobs

Some baby clothes

A crib

A car seat

Everything else can wait until after the birth – it’s not as though you’re ever that far away from a Mothercare or a John Lewis or what have you, is it? I mean, if you lived on a remote island, then you’d need to be stocking up on things, but so long as I have everything I need for the first few days or week then I’m happy. I have nipple cream a-plenty (thanks various beauty brands!) and I’ll make sure I have some frozen peas for the old “area”.

Sorry if this post is a bit of a mish-mash: I’ve been at a wedding today and just got back to my hotel room. I’d like to re-edit it all and make it into some kind of coherent story, but I’m so tired and it’s really hard to type when you’re lying almost fully horizontally! And I don’t want to leave it any later to publish because then I’ll be 33 weeks pregnant and the whole Pregnancy Week 32 thing will be a complete farce… You can see what I wore to the wedding in this week’s photo – the dress is ASOS Maternity, the coat is Burberry. I’ll probably do a proper outfit post over on A Model Recommends, so keep a look out for that.

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31 week baby bump photo

Pregnancy Week 31, AKA, “sh*t gets real”. It hadn’t really hit home until this week that I am actually going to have a baby. Up until now, it has almost been an abstract concept: I’ve been so caught up with pregnancy and the different stages and wondering at all of the changes that my body has gone through, that I haven’t actually had a sit down and thought about what it will be like to hold another human being and watch it grow! I mean obviously I’ve always been aware of the end-game: you get pregnant and then a baby comes out, everyone knows that. I just hadn’t allowed myself to visualise it. Perhaps it was a little defence mechanism after all the disappointment of the whole “trying” process, I don’t know. And also, up until this week, kicks and wriggles from within the Crilly Womb had been comforting, gentle things: now baby seems to have taken it upon him-or-herself to pummel me with karate kicks from the inside! Suddenly it’s very much evident that there’s a proper human being in there, turning around and wriggling and stretching arms and legs and doing God knows what else. (Some kind of dynamic yoga?)

So yeah, this week sh*t got real. It seems as though the weeks are whizzing by and I’m totally unprepared – I haven’t bought a single baby vest or a crib or anything! I’m also feeling huge and having to do that whole “pregnancy waddle”, leaning backwards and walking as though I’ve had a particularly energetic sex session. Which I haven’t. Because that would require energy. My ribs continue to hurt unless I assume one of two positions: 1) lying down or 2) sitting up absolutely ramrod straight. I’ve been testing out dozens of bras recently, in an attempt to find one that doesn’t aggravate the whole rib/back problem, and so far the one that I keep coming back to is a little soft crop-top number by Wacoal. I doubt it offers much in the way of support, but I seriously can’t deal with the pain after wearing most of the others for more than a few hours, so if I’m at home or if I know that I’m going to be out all day, I go back to the Wacoal. (The one I wear is here online.)

Another little body development, this week: you’ve heard of restless leg syndrome, but have you heard of anyone having a restless arse? You have now! It’s the only way I can describe what happens in my buttocks when I have to sit in the same position for more than ten minutes. It’s like an achey, irritable feeling that makes me want to do squats or lunges and burn off some energy. (If I had enough balance to do some lunges then I would, but I can barely find the co-ordination to put my shoes on let alone perform athletic moves!) Anyone else experienced Restless Arse Syndrome (RAS)? Let me know. And thank you for all of your comments so far, I’m just about to do another marathon reading session now – they make me laugh, cry and everything in between.

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30 week baby bump photo

The memory part of my brain is now completely non-existent! I had this whole diary entry planned out in my head (there was a long-ish train journey to do) and it was – quite frankly – hilarious and interesting and worthy of some kind of journalistic award. But all that’s left of the post, in the darkest corners of my mind, is something about Cadbury’s Creme Eggs having changed recipe and a vague notion that I was going to talk about pubic hair. All of it – all of the hilarity and award-winning wit – gone. The pubic hair is still very much in evidence (think Day of the Triffids, I really must do a post about it) but I can’t even imagine what I wanted to say about it. Perhaps that’s a blessing in disguise.

The bump is now quite magnificent; I have to manually hoist it over with both hands when I need to turn in bed. Obviously accompanied by huge groans and grunts – because if you can’t groan and grunt in pregnancy, when can you? Old age, I suppose, but it’s quite satisfying getting some good sound effects in early. I have a particular grunt that I use for when I have to get out of bed for a wee, but you can rarely hear it because Mr AMR likes to quip “HEAVE HO!” every time I need to roll myself upright. I also have a special groan for when I’m putting my shoes and socks on or for if I drop something on the floor and need to pick it up! What fun.

I can’t believe that tomorrow I’ll only have nine weeks left. I have been reading my Hypnobirthing books because – even though I have a totally open mind about the whole birthing thing, and will simply decide what I want and need when I’m there – all of the people I know who practised their breathing and stayed calm had very positive and uncomplicated birth experiences. It can’t be a bad thing to at least try, can it? And so much of the hypnobirthing philosophy makes perfect sense – that if you’re as relaxed as you can be (surely quite difficult when you’re trying to evacuate something the size of a melon from your nethers) then your body is more able to do its thing. If I get there screaming “GIVE ME ALL THE DRUGS!”, then so be it – I’m not the kind of person to set myself pointless physical goals in terms of pain thresholds and so on – but if I can just quietly get on with it, a la hypnobirthing stylee, then great. My sister managed it, and she is the world’s biggest panicker and hypochondriac. I’m holding her up, mentally, as my little birthing mascot!

Tell me: any readers who practised the whole breathing and visualisation thing? Was it successful for you? And even if it didn’t wholly work, or you had unexpected complications, were there at least elements of it that were useful? Share, discuss, leave your comments below!

(The dress in the photograph above is from the brilliant maternity brand Isabella Oliver. You can find it online here.It’s currently £57 instead of £95!)

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