The last 6 weeks...! Here we go!
The end of week 35 was horrible! I began work again on the Thursday for my last 5 days before maternity leave, but by the end of period 1 at school, I was sweating, felt nauseous and sick and didn't know how I was going to get through the rest of the day. I thought it was just being heavily pregnant. I went home from school and at midday began vomiting. I again assumed it must have been a pregnancy thing, but it turns out I had gastro again! I was still vomiting 9 hours later and rang the hospital for the 2nd time but they weren't worried, even though I couldn't even keep a sip of water down. I went to bed and thankfully I didn't vomit overnight. I stayed home from school the next day as I was so weak and spent the day in bed. I was pretty weak over the weekend too, and all up was unwell for a good 4 days.
I am so thankful that Brendan and Miss M didn't get the gastro bug, and I was able to return to school for my last 3 days in week 36. Actually, my last 3 days were great - I had lots of energy, the kids were excellent and I just felt really good. My faculty shouted me afternoon tea at a café on the Monday afternoon in place of a meeting after school, so that was lovely. When Wednesday afternoon at 3:20pm arrived, I was actually a tiny bit sad to leave! I'm sure I'll be back at some stage to do casual, but maternity leave had begun!
Unfortunately Brendan had to work on the Wednesday afternoon, but on the Tuesday (the day before), we went down to a park with some milkshakes and let Miss M have a play, and then got Thai takeaway for dinner as a bit of a celebration that I had finished work.
On my first day of maternity leave, I split my long list of things to do into about 21 days, as I have just over 3 weeks until my due date (assuming this little one comes on time - Miss M was 6 days over!) Each day I completed one big task, and a few smaller ones (as I really only have the time that Miss M naps during the day [about 2 hours, between 12 and 2pm] to complete them without distraction).
My list included:
- packing my hospital bag
- packing the baby's bag
- vacuuming the car and putting the new car seat in
- working out the double pram
- catching up on phone calls and school things
- completing my August photobook
- organising my school reunion (which is the end of Sept/start of Oct!)
- sorting out my photos on my computer
- organising my Mum's old hardcopy photos into albums (I have been meaning to do this for 2 years!)
- baking lactation cookies
- cooking freezer meals
- watching a series I taped two years ago called 'Anzac Girls'
- taking a trip with my sister-in-law to a town nearby to visit Kmart
- getting my nails done as a bit of a treat
- completing 'The Organised Housewife's 20 days to organise your home' (I printed this off 4 years ago when Kat offered it for free)
- stocking up on grocery essentials, e.g. loo paper for when the baby arrives
- having a date night with Brendan, and getting my Mum to have Miss M for the night so I can get a full night sleep before the baby comes!
- completely cleaning every room in the house, including detail cleaning in each room (most rooms are now decluttered, but obviously this has to be maintained and is an ongoing process!)
- wash the baby's clothes, blankets and inserts for the bassinet and rocker
- putting the bassinet up in the guest room
- decluttering a few spaces around the house: bedside tables, bathroom cupboards, office desk (plus information folder), laundry cupboards, pantry, stationery trolley in the guest room & craft basket in the linen cupboard
- giving the kitchen a really good deep clean
I got through my list by the end of 39 weeks which was a great feeling! The house had never felt so clean and decluttered. I actually love making a long list and just working through it slowly over a few weeks - it feels like the list will never get done, but eventually it does!
I think harder than getting through my list was maintaining my now clean house - each night from about 39 weeks I would think: 'Ok, it could be tonight that I go into labour; what do I want to have done?' It meant that rather than leaving a few washing up items until morning, I'd preserve and get them washed up, which isn't unusual for me, but being heavily pregnant and much more tired than normal, I would normally cut myself some slack and just go to bed (plus being on maternity leave means I can go a bit slower in the mornings and have time to finish up jobs from the night before). What I have also discovered, which I hope to continue with once baby #2 arrives is going back to Leanne from 'Organising the Four of Us' list of 3, where you make a list of 3 things that you want to achieve each day, has been invaluable for making sure my days are productive. It is so easy for each day to blend into the next when you don't work, but having 3 things done by the end of the day (and getting out of the house each day) is a great feeling! I've been taking Miss M to daycare on Tuesdays, library on Wednesdays, playgroup on Thursdays and church on Sundays, plus we visit my mum at least twice a week, and I try and organise a playdate once a week too. Even just an hour or two out of the house has been great for both of us.
At 37 weeks, I began weekly doctors appointments. The baby was measuring 35cm's, my blood pressure was normal, the baby was 2/5 engaged and was in the right position for only 3 weeks to go. At 38 & 39 weeks, my stats were almost exactly the same! At my 40 week appointment, I was still only 2/5 engaged, but the baby was in a really good position for labour. At 40 weeks with Miss M I was actually 1cm dilated (but still took 6 days to have any contractions), so I had no idea when anything would happen this time, and I expected to go at least a week over again.
A due date I have discovered is always exciting, even though apparently only 5% of babies are born on their 'due date!' The weird feeling I can't shake is that at about 38 weeks I started thinking 'It could be tonight, but it could be in 4 weeks time that I have this baby!' If everything is going well my doctor will let you go 12 days over, which is a good thing, but it certainly was frustrating waiting for Miss M to come (who was 6 days 'over'). This time however, I actually want baby #2 to come late as I have my 10-year school reunion (that I've been organising this year!) on the weekend following my 'due date' and it would be handy if it stayed in just so I wouldn't have to worry about breastfeeding a newborn, or even still being in hospital post-labour. I was in hospital for a week with Miss M as my milk wouldn't come in, so I'm hoping for less time in hospital this time (though I shamelessly LOVE hospital food - I reckon it tastes pretty good, there's no clean-up and it's brought to you on a tray - what's not to love!!) as I find it hard to sleep with all the noises and lights etc. We are very blessed in my town to have a private room in our maternity ward (in a public hospital) where you only have to share a bathroom with one other person if the 6 rooms are full.
I was able to attend my 10-year school reunion which was the weekend following my due date (which was a Monday). I was very happy to still be pregnant and not have to juggle feeding a newborn! As I organised the weekend (3 separate events!) I was SO exhausted by the time it was all done on the Sunday afternoon, but it was an excellent weekend and it was so good to catch up with everyone!
By the Monday (1 week over), I was absolutely done. On the night of Tuesday, 4th October, I began having some contractions. I called out to Brendan, 'I think this is it!' and proceeded to finish packing my hospital bag and called my mum to be on standby, assuming they'd get closer together. They were very irregular, about 20-30 mins apart. I ended up going to bed and falling asleep, but the next day, it was go time! See my next post to see what we had!
I'll leave you with some pics!
Just to compare:
[Hospital bags all packed and ready to go!]
Just to compare:
On the left is when I was 40 weeks with Miss M, and on the right is 40 weeks this time. Excuse the bad filter on the left pic! It's interesting to see the differences/similarities!
[Off to my school reunion!]
[Hospital bags all packed and ready to go!]