As I write this, I’m 36 weeks pregnant. I still remember writing my first post like it was yesterday. Time has flown! I can’t believe I’m well and truly into my third trimester.
As I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy journey, I’m feeling a mix of emotions. Happiness and excitement – the thought of meeting our little one is becoming more real every day. Anxiety and nervousness – labour and birth is a little daunting, and then what happens when the baby arrives?! There’s so much to consider!
But overall I have to say so far I’ve enjoyed my third trimester. Maybe that will change in the couple of weeks leading up to my due date, but for now I would say that my first and second trimesters were definitely my hardest. I feel much more relaxed and at peace with everything that is happening, and about to happen! I feel prepared for birth (or as prepared as I can be) and it almost just feels like a waiting game now. To meet our little one.
Anxiety (the lack of)
Although I have some bouts of anxiety when it comes to birth and looking after our little person, overall my anxiety has really subsided. I’ve found in my third trimester that I’m much happier in myself. I’m proud of what my body has been able to achieve so far, and I’m no longer hiding or shying away from it so much. (Mainly because bump is too big to hide now!). And finally, my tube journeys to and from work have become much more manageable. Now that bump is well and truly visible, passengers have been much better at recognising my need for a seat and I’ve had no more awkward or upsetting encounters.
I would 100% recommend antenatal classes to any new parents to be. We booked ours through a company called Bump & Baby, and it’s been a revelation. We’ve learned so much over the past 5 weeks, in a relaxed environment with a midwife that has been so helpful. I cannot begin to express our lack of knowledge before starting this course and how much we’ve learned. We’ve covered everything from labour and pain relief, to feeding and first aid.
Whilst you might have friends and family members who have had children, there’s nothing more reassuring than getting answers to your questions from a qualified midwife. And although you will have appointments with your midwife over the course of your pregnancy, these classes are much more in depth and allow everyone in the room to ask questions, which you might not have thought of.
Ours was a group of 10 couples, and everyone felt comfortable to ask anything on their mind. No matter the question, the midwife was more than happy to answer it. And you can bet that for every question you think might be too silly to ask, there’s at least one other person in the room dying to ask the same one. So ask away! It’s been great to have our partners join us and ask questions for the both of us too, where us Mum’s (with our baby brains) might’ve forgotten things.
Hosted in a local pub, just a short drive from our house, Bump & Baby offer classes all over London and some further afield.
This is the time to start buying bits for your new arrival. Everything from furniture for your nursery, to clothing, to feeding. It’s overwhelming how much there is to consider, but I found many resources online that helped with creating a list. I’d recommend Emma’s Diary, Bounty or the NHS. They have extensive lists of must buys for your new born. Creating such a list was a god send for us as a couple to work our way through.
Slowly but surely we’ve manged to tick most things off. At this point we still need to purchase a baby monitor, bottles and steriliser. But otherwise, I think we’re pretty set. And it’s good to remember that you won’t need everything from day 1. If you find it too stressful, or you’re unable to financially purchase everything at once, I’d recommend just buying the essentials. At the end of the day, most websites offer next day delivery and you’ll have plenty of time to online shop once baby has arrived. And lets face it, I’m sure we all buy far too much that we don’t end up using!
Packing Your Hospital Bag
This is something we did this weekend, for the most part at least. We have a list of some extras that will need to be added at the last minute. Baby is fully cooked from 37 weeks and I’ve had friends go into labour earlier than this. So it’s always best to be safe than sorry.
One great tip I read, is to lay everything out on your bed and get your partner to pack the actual bag. Because once you’re in labour, you will need your partner to retrieve things for you. So it’s essential your partner knows exactly where everything is in the bag.
Another tip – pack a hat for the little one, as apparently hospitals don’t let you leave without a hat on baby’s head. And remember to take a car seat, as hospitals (or at least ours) will not let you leave without having baby safely in a car seat.
A baby shower was something I didn’t think I’d experience. I hadn’t put much thought into it and all of my closest friends are dotted all over the country. So I thought it would be near impossible to get everyone together. However, much to my shock and surpise, my dear dear friend Katy took it upon herself to organise me a surprise baby shower! I had absolutely no idea that anything was planned, and I also had no idea just how much a baby shower would mean to me.
It was incredibly lovely to have all of my closest friends in one room. To be able to have a lovely afternoon catching up with everyone, was just what I needed (and didn’t know I needed!). Katy organised a space, decorated it and ordered lots of great food and drinks. It wasn’t a sit down meal, there were no games, but I LOVED that. It meant that everyone could mingle and get to know each other. And it meant that I had an opportunity to speak properly to everyone invited.
My friend Lucyna brought a polaroid camera and bought a lovely keepsake book for everyone to take photos and fill in. This was such a special gift. We spent the evening reading everyone’s messages afterwards, and I know I’ll keep this book forever! (So if you’re attending or arranging a baby shower, I’d definitely recommend something like this).
If you’re in your third trimester too, good luck with everything. If you’re attempting perineum massage – I feel you! And if you’re attempting to eat 6 dates a day, I salute you. (I’m really not a fan of dates, but I’ve heard it can help with labour, so I’ll give it a go). And if you’re just starting out on your pregnancy journey, please feel free to reach out. It can be an overwhelming and somtimes daunting time.