I wish I could say I was thriving in these final days of pregnancy. Probably unsurprisingly, I’m anything but! I’m not sleeping well, my shoulders ache with tension, and I seem to be grinding my teeth at night and waking up with jaw and neck pain. Google’s primary medical advice for these things is… reduce stress and anxiety. Ha, thanks Google. It’s also been hot in the UK this week, or maybe it’s been nice weather for normal people, but not when heavily pregnant. Meaning on top of anxious and uncomfortable, I’m also sweaty most of the time! Thankfully, it’s due to get cooler in the next few days.

Issy's 36-week bump: Feeling the Heat

Feeing huge – Author’s Personal Collection/Issy Jorden

Just over a week to go until delivery, and the tension is still increasing.

I have managed to wash some baby clothes – just enough outfits for the hospital bag at this point. The hospital bag itself is coming together as I gradually gather things to pile up next to it. I’m unlikely to go into labour before the scheduled cesarean, so I’m taking my time and will slowly work through any last bits of preparation (that I can face) this week. Some bits of preparation feel a little easier now, but there are still things that feel too difficult. At some point before next week, we need to dig the car seat out of a cupboard, as well as the next-to-me cot, and wash some bedding ready for bringing baby home. But these are the things that ended up unused last year, and I can’t bear the thought of bringing them out just to have to store them away again.

Baby's nursery - Issy's bump day blog, week 36: Feeling the Heat

A last-minute nursery project – Author’s Personal Collection/Issy Jorden

I had my final growth scan this week and baby is still growing well, sticking steadily to the 50th percentile line. I’m glad that these appointments are over. It’s exhausting sitting in waiting rooms surrounded by other pregnant women – although I don’t know everyone else’s stories, it’s hard not to feel like the odd one out, the one who can’t get excited.

I also went into triage once this week for reduced movements, which felt quite overwhelming at the time. It was the first time throughout this pregnancy that I was genuinely scared for baby’s wellbeing. After a big cry and making our way into the hospital, the baby’s heartbeat was found, and the CTG looked great. Movements were back to normal the next day, and my heart rate eventually calmed down a little!

Continuing the week of hospital visits, we also went for a tour of the delivery suite where the c-section will take place.

Our bereavement midwife met us and walked us through, literally and figuratively, the corridors we’ll be taken through on the day – but simultaneously through some of the history of our first delivery last year. We walked past the scan room where it was confirmed that Dottie’s heart had stopped beating, and then past the suite where she was born. The hardest part, strangely, was the postnatal ward, a ward we had never been to before: seeing mums with their babies tucked in next to them, parents and babies being discharged, walking out with car seat in hand. This has not been our experience yet. But it could be, soon.

I’m trying to focus on how much time has passed already since finding out I was pregnant again. I’ve come a long way, and now there are only days left – I’m sure I can make it a little bit longer. Every time I feel him move, I think, today, my baby is alive. We’re one day closer to meeting him. The days feel long, but in the blink of an eye, we’ll have our baby boy home with us, and this time will be a distant memory.

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