So here we are, at the end of 2010. If someone had told me at the end of 2009 that this time next year I'd be doing my PhD and be 9 weeks away from motherhood I wouldn't have believed either statement, but here we are. The end of 2010, I'm well into my PhD and I'm 9 weeks away from being a mum. MENTAL.
I hope everyone had a nice christmas. We spent ours at His mums which was lovely. It was nice being with his family and because we've been together such a while now, I felt completely relaxed there, unlike christmas 2 years ago when I just felt awkward and couldn't let go properly. Normally at christmas i just eat, and eat and eat but because I hardly have any room in my belly anymore, and I didn't want to be suffering with too much heartburn, I went with the little and often approach, and actually hardly ate that much at all. Even when we sat down to the amazing dinner Him and his mum had cooked, I exercised quite a lot of self restraint! He did a beautiful starter of prawns in a saffron sauce that was just stunning. I didn't really need anything after that to be honest - and I didn't have any pudding til hours after that, which is very unlike me. Usually I'll eat 2 helpings of pudding and A LOT of cheese, but this year I avoided it completely :)
My favourite presents I got this year were a baby sling from one of my girlfriends which I'm so looking forward to using, a Vivienne Westwood necklace from Him and a beautiful journal from his sister. My dad has decided to buy the pushchair for the baby, once we've chosen the one we'd like, so our present from him was a homemade voucher to let us know that our actual gift is the pushchair :) Now we just need to find the right one! We got a whole load of kitchen things from various people, including a full dinner service from His dad, as we have no matching plates, or wine glasses, a coffee grinder from his mum to match the coffee machine he got for his birthday, and lots of knives which are great for him at work and fab for me at home as the knives we normally have are appauling. We even spent a bit of time sorting cupboards to make space for the new things which is very unlike him. Normally he leaves me to do it then moans that I've put things in stupid places, or moved something of his so it was nice that we did it together.
Bump has most definitely taken on a life of its own now, as you can tell from this picture of me with my mum and sister on christmas eve (I was 30 weeks on xmas day based on March 5th due date). When I look at it, it doesn't seem that big, but I guess its a combination of seeing it everyday and mainly seeing it from above which makes it seem much smaller. I can't see my feet anymore though so it must be getting quite big. My midwife says I'm measuring slightly small for dates, but its nothing to worry about and means the baby might actually take a little bit longer to decide it wants to be born, which is fine with me as I've still got lots to do between now and B-day.
I'm happy with the way my work is progressing, and think I've actually done quite a lot in a relatively short space of time. My supervisors seem really pleased with what I'm producing and they're confident we can get to a suitable point to stop before the baby comes. I'm still feeling motivated to do my work at the moment which is good, although the tiredness that I had in the early stages is starting to creep back in so I'm fitting naps in around my work. It seems to work quite well actually coz I do a bit and then while I'm drifting off I can process what I've done before tackling the next bit after my nap. At the moment I'm working on a review of policy surrounding the discharge and re-admittance of elderly patients while trying to identify key gaps where I can input my knowledge brokering literature. At the same time I'm earmarking bits that will be useful for the paper we want to write on the management of 'dirty work' in the discharge process AND I've written a 2000 word essay for one of my modules, in a record time of 3 1/2 hours which I was very proud of. I emailed it to my supervisor who basically said it was excellent and recommended some slight changes we could make to the research questions I proposed in order to use them for the actual PhD project. So onwards I plod, but I'm actually starting to see the direction it's going now and can visualise what I will need to put in my end of year upgrade document, which I'd like to have at least a first draft written before I go on my 'maternity leave' if you can even call it that. I still need to get that all sorted with the admin people. Grrrr.
He's off to Nice for 5 days on Jan 3rd. I'm a bit worried about him going incase something happens with baby - I'm dreaming regularly about premature labour now so I'm expecting a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy but I'm sure all will be fine. I'm kinda looking forward to a few days on my own really. I've got emergency flight home money put to one side just incase we need it. While he's away I'm going to write my final birth plan and get a hospital bag ready just incase we need it. I'm also going to wash all the clothes and blankets we've got for the baby so they're ready, and he won't get freaked out by it all hanging on the radiators. It'll also give me the opportunity to be a bit of sorting and clearing round the house, taking some stuff to store at mums, and generally making the place a bit more baby friendly. I don't want to leave it much longer as I'm starting to struggle to do certain things, especially standing up for too long, or leaning over things. My hips are getting really uncomfortable, particularly at night, and I imagine once the baby drops and the head engages things are going to get a whole lot worse.
Although its only 9 weeks away, I'm not worried, or scared about what's going to happen. The idea that I'm going to be a mum still seems a bit odd, but more in a 'new aspect of my identity' way than a 'oh god I'm not ready what do I do' kind of way. Going into labour doesn't worry me, nor does the thought of giving birth. I'm not scared or concerned about what it will be like or if it will hurt or something going wrong because I'm completely prepared for every eventuality and I don't see the point of getting worked up over 'what ifs;. It will happen when it happens and it'll go the way it goes, theres nothing I or anyone else can do about it. He has this attitude of 'it is what it is' which sometime irritates me a little bit, but in this case I completely agree with him. Worrying and getting scared won't change anything, all it will do is make me more nervous about going into labour and the actual birth and that'll undo all the careful preparation I've been doing with my relaxation techniques and positive enforcement techniques. I'm actually really looking forward to the experience of labour and the feeling of knowing every surge that passes is bringing me closer to meeting my baby, and what could possibly be scary about that?!