Bump is most definitely massive now...
It's getting tricky to get up off the sofa & to get out of bed. Rolling over in the night is particularly painful, especially since my hips and lower back click and crack everytime I do due to Pelvic Girdle Syndrome (you produce a hormone called 'relaxin' when you're pregnant to help loosen your hips for labour, but some women produce too much and it can cause a lot of discomfort in the pelvis). I saw the midwife on wednesday and she says that babys head is starting to engage, so the extra pressure of that isn't really making things any more comfortable - the waddling has started too because of babys position. Bump has changed shape as a result of baby dropping - its hard to tell in this picture, which was actually taken a couple of days ago and baby has dropped more since then. Before baby dropped, bump was quite high, right under my chest, and went out and then down so it looked more like a C shape, but now that baby has dropped, theres space between my chest and the top of bump, and it slopes a bit more so the whole thing is more of a teardrop shape. Its also much more forwards and right in the centre than it was. Baby is lying with its back on the left hand side of my bump, head at the bottom, bum in my ribs, so when it wriggles around, I can feel its arms and legs waving about on the right hand side of my belly. The other half was lying with his head on my bump the other day and he said it felt like baby was massaging his head because of the way it was moving around underneath him. Its really touching hearing him giggle as baby kicks him, I do exactly the same thing though. Baby knows when he's there - it'll suddenly wake up and start moving lots, and responds to his voice and touch much more than it does with anyone else (apart from me of course).
We've got pretty much everything we need for babys arrival now. I've spent ages washing all the clothes and neatly sorting them into the drawer....
My dad bought us a pushchair as our christmas present which he brought round a couple of weeks ago. The other half was even more excited about it than me and pretty much the minute dad had left, he was in the box getting the bits out to assemble it. I love it - Ollivander was very keen to try it out! We've been keeping the chassis folded up and the pram part upside down on top of a chest of drawers because otherwise Olli will sleep inside it all the time and we don't want it getting covered in cat hair - so instead he sleeps on top of it, which is quite funny. It's like he's a bit jealous of the baby already, either that or he's trying to get his scent all over the babys things so they can get used to each other. He still loves sitting on my bump and purring so baby kicks him - its nice that they're playing together already!
We also ordered our birthing pool a couple of weeks ago after the midwife had been round to check the house and talk everything through with me. We just have to make sure theres a route out of the house in case of an emergency, that theres a flat surface for them to put baby on in the very unlikely event they need to help it breathe, and we also need a little lamp so they can see properly incase I need stitches. We've started collecting up old towels and sheets to put all over the living room floor under the pool so we won't have any cleaning up to do - they'll all just go straight in the bin, and I've got some brand new really fluffy lovely towels to wrap baby in as soon as its born. We had to blow the pool up the other day so the midwife could come and check its size - its important its not too big so they can reach me/baby while I'm in there. It took about 2 mins to blow up which was great - the only problem is that the connector we've got to fit the filling hose to the tap doesn't fit and my mum has brought me two other universal ones which also don't fit. I'm going to get a square one and see if that works but if not, well be begging buckets, saucepans and kettles of all the neighbours!! We both got in the pool when we'd blown it up to see what its like - its actually really nice being in it. Quite intimate and cosy, and it's big enough for us both so He can get in with me during labour, or straight after baby is born if he wants to. I'm sure the cat will try and get in as well!
Yesterday I sent the latest draft of my upgrade document to my supervisors for them to look over and comment on. We've got supervision on the 21st where they'l give me some feedback to think about, but I don't plan on doing any work on it now until baby is a few months old and my brain starts working again. I don't have to hand it in until August so i've got plenty of time to make changes and edits as and when baby lets me. It's weird that I'm now officially on 'maternity leave' in that I have no more work to do, no more lectures to go to, no deadlines - although I'm not offically on leave according to the uni, because if I go on leave, my funding stops and we don't want that. I've deliberately worked my arse off to get myself 4 months ahead of where I need to be so I can take time out without it being a problem. I've proven to the admin people and the PhD coordinator who makes the final decisions that I don't need a suspension and because theres no maternity policy for students, I've actually been in a really good position to dictate what I want to happen, and they couldn't really say no. I can't quite believe I'm at this stage already though. It seems like only last week I was meeting with my supervisors to tell them I was pregnant and to discuss how to manage the PhD around my pregnancy and now I'm here, at the end of the working bit, waiting for the motherhood bit. Crazy.
Everyones started asking me if I'm nervous, or scared about the birth, and the fact that theres going to be a baby in my life, but in all honesty I'm really not. Him and I were talking about it the other day and I was saying that I'm just excited about what its going to be like, I don't see the point of being scared, and he completely agrees. We know whats going to happen, we're prepared for every eventuality, we know what to do when it happens, what we're going to do for the first few weeks after babys arrival and we're both staying quite calm about the whole thing, because thats a really important part of the birthing process. If i start talking about fear and pain and things like that now, I'm not going to be in the right frame of mind when it does happen. What I do know, is that I don't like waiting. Its the waiting and not knowing when its going to happen thats driving me mad. Every day now I get little twinges and feel uncomfortable and I think 'is this it' and when I realise it isn't, I actually get a bit grumpy and disappointed. He wants it to take a few more weeks, just so he's more comfortable leaving things at work for a few days to be at home with me and the bay, but he knows we don't really have a choice and it'll happen when it happens. He just needs to keep his phone charged and on him at all times so I'm not stressing out trying to get hold of him when I should be relaxing and enjoying labour!
I imagine, I'll blog quite a lot between now and the birth, mainly because I've got nothing else to do and I want to try and keep writing. I'm not sure how much time I'm going to spend away from the house - as much as I still want to be out and about doing things, I think I'd rather be at home when it all starts so I'm not concerning myself with getting back here and worrying about my waters breaking on the bus, or in the middle of a coffee shop. I'm just going to take each day as it comes, make spontaneous plans with people and relax as much as I possibly can - after all, I won't have the chance too once baby arrives.