Here’s my latest pregnancy update at 37 weeks pregnant (full term!)
“How will I know?” boomed a certain 90’s songstress some time in the last century. “How will I knooooow if HE really loves me?” Of course, she was singing about relationships and love, and I’m talking about another big L here – the one that happens at the end of pregnancy – but it’s the same premise.
The song popped into my head last week, when I was woken up by strong Braxton Hicks contractions, the type that uncomfortably turn your womb into oddly pointed sheet metal. Luckily it wasn’t a work or nursery day, so Eliza and I pottered around having breakfast. And then I realised the Braxton Hicks were happening with some regularity, and were getting much stronger. We decamped to the sofa and CBeebies. It wasn’t the best time or circumstances – Alex had gone to a work meeting, Eliza and I were in pyjamas, we still haven’t painted the dining room yet – hardly the best situation for any quick dashes up to hospital. And I just didn’t know. Was it nothing, or was it…something?
It may sound strange coming from someone who already has a child, but last time I was induced, which is a completely different experience. I have no idea what natural labour is like (and it’s worth pointing out that a ward of hospital staff seemed pretty clueless about what labour was first time, too).
I messaged my friend Emily, mum of two, who said very reassuring things about how she’d had exactly the same in the run-up to the big event at around 37 weeks pregnant. And indeed, it did calm down after a while.
So false alarm, but pregnancy, like a Bush-era Donald Rumsfeld speech, is full of the known knowns and known unknowns. I know labour is going to happen – as no-one’s pregnant forever, right? – but I don’t know when. And I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but suspect my theory about just having to cough to make the baby come out is fairly wide of the mark. I’ve read a lot about the speed of second labours, and that mums generally leave it as long as possible before going to hospital – hence lots of unexpected home births (not ideal as I’d have to chose between hard wooden floors or our new pale grey carpets, the horror!) But we’ll just have to wait and see.
And yes, 37 weeks pregnant and full term! I finish work today and everything is now ready. But bizarrely for someone who’s so impatient, I’m in absolutely no hurry at all. I can’t wait to meet the baby, just…not…yet. Ask me again at 40 weeks though, and I’m sure it’ll be a different story.
You can read all of my second pregnancy updates over here.