Weeks 37 and 38: Date Nights and Nursery Prep

I’m combining these two (the weeks of the 6th of March and 13th of March) since we’re running out of time here!

Since so many of my (non-)bump photos that I took in the early days were of me in workout clothes in the mirror in the spare room (what would become the nursery), I thought it would be funny to compare a photo from the early days with one from 38 weeks.

That is Week 8 on the left, and Week 38 on the right. None of my clothes fit anymore and I’m really looking forward to being able to wear more variety soon! (Also looking forward to summer and wearing shorts again.)

Both weeks have been pretty busy with work, and the weekends have been a good combination of baby and nursery prep and trying to enjoy this time of peace and freedom before the baby arrives, as everyone has told us we must do.

With that in mind, we went out last Friday night after work for some mocktails and dinner. My office is right on the Thames and Andy stopped in to see the view from my office, and then we went across the river for the acclaimed mocktails at Dandelyan, and then a drink with a view from the bar at the Oxo Tower.

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Then we moved on to Lamb’s Conduit Street, where Andy had made a reservation for dinner at Noble Rot, a restaurant and wine bar we have really been wanting to try. No wine for me but the dinner was incredible – we both said it was one of the best meals we’ve had in London.

On Saturday we made progress in the house, giving away a large dresser (with some sadness) to make room for baby furniture, before taking advantage of the nice weather and heading over to Hampstead Heath for a ramble on the trails and some time laying in the grass on Parliament Hill. I really, really miss going for country walks right now and badly needed some outdoor time.

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We had an excellent pub lunch at The Bull and Last, where we sampled the sticky toffee pudding. We’ve been on a kick of trying out the sticky toffee pudding at various places and this was one of the best.

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We wrapped up the night playing cards and talking about baby names at a cozy pub in Hampstead called the Duke of Hamilton, a place we went to way back in 2005 on our first visit to London together. Never would have guessed that 12 years later we’d be living here and starting a family.

On Sunday we had the requisite Ikea trip to buy a new, more compact dresser for me and other odds and ends, and then spent the day setting up and getting organized.

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Andy hard at work; don’t mind all the miscellaneous stuff around him. Work in progress.

We also received a lovely shipment of baby clothes and gifts from friends and family via our baby registry and spent time unpacking and doing baby laundry; all those little onesies are too adorable.

It’s been slightly frustrating that our flat is so small that we can’t quite get it set up as perfectly as we’d like, but it’s a work in progress and we’re doing our best, and it will be perfectly fine for our little coconut. The baby’s room also houses my dresser and the closets are full of our stuff that has nowhere else to go. It also serves as our laundry drying room.

We are still waiting for the baby’s dresser/changing table to be delivered this week, and the side-sleeper cot is in our bedroom, next to our bed. Here is a preview of what we’ve been able to do!

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The books and art and other things on the floor against the wall will go on the walls and atop/inside the other dresser. Laundry drying racks just have nowhere else to go. I love the baby rocker and world map rug.

We have a basket of toys, loveys and books for the baby, and a little chair with my own favorite stuffed animals and Andy’s cubby bear.

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We put family photos on top of my dresser as a nice reminder of the extended family members that already love the coconut.

Week 38 was more of the same with work stuff – trying to get everything done and leaving things in a good place before I leave – and wrapped up with a doctor appointment at the end of the week. For whatever reason, the Week 38 appointment is with my regular GP, not the midwife, and everything went well. I was very happy to hear the baby is still head down. But he said the baby is not yet “engaged” so I think we still have some time.

I also mentioned to the doc that I had had some cramping and lower back pain the day before my appointment, and I had wondered at the time if it could be a sign of early labour, but since it went away clearly it wasn’t. I’ve also noticed in the past few weeks that I’ve had shortness of breath and a tightening sensation in my chest. He listened to my lungs and all was fine, so it’s just a factor of the baby/uterus pushing up into my lungs since there is no more room in there.

On Saturday we went to the cinema to see Beauty and the Beast (loved it!), followed by a walk around Islington and a quiet pub dinner and a few rounds of cards.

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Other progress on the baby front includes testing out the TENS machine I hired from Boots to help with labour pain, creating a playlist to listen to while in labour and half-packing the hospital bag. We are getting all the little things ticked off the list so we can relax in the final days.

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Maybe it’s because the end is in sight, but I think third trimester has been my favourite. I like feeling the baby move all the time and knowing that we are almost there, and I’ve been lucky to be generally pretty comfortable. I also like that we are so close now and I am less worried about something bad happening to the baby, knowing that now being full-term the baby can survive outside of me. In first and second trimester, I worried a lot, and also was self-conscious that I didn’t really look pregnant. It took me awhile to completely get used to the idea of being pregnant and all the changes, but now I feel like I’ve really found my groove. I really think I will be sad when I’m no longer pregnant.

Also, I don’t at all feel like the stereotype of women in movies who are huge and hateful about being pregnant at the end. I’m perfectly content and not in a rush for the baby to come out. This may be partially because I have another week of work and a big event this week that I want to see through, and then other little things in the house that I want to finish before the baby comes. In the UK, since people get such long maternity leaves, many women stop work several weeks before the baby’s due date and many people have commented that they are surprised I’m still working and they can’t believe my due date is so near and I make it look easy. I am really lucky that I haven’t had complications and I acknowledge that for some women, pregnancy can unfortunately be really difficult. But I also think that pregnancy is not an illness. I’m perfectly capable of continuing to work and use my brain and be productive, so why not?

Weeks 37 and 38 Summary

Baby Size

As long as a leek or a head of romaine lettuce.

Symptoms

  • Super thirsty all the time; I cannot get enough water in
  • A sensation of tightness in my chest and shortness of breath
  • Slight cramping one day and some lower back pain

Workouts

  • A few cardio/strength videos in the mornings before work, which have left me weirdly sore (probably due to the relaxin in my body).
  • 4 or 5  long walks each week. I love that it is getting daylight by 6am these days so I can go for walks before work in the sunrise. I have also had dreams about running!
  • Just one pregnancy yoga class.
  • I’ve also been doing yoga/stretching on my own most my mornings and evenings. I’m hoping the yoga  will keep me in shape for labour and help the baby stay head down and engage in the optimal position for birth.

Weight Gain

Holding steady at 18 pounds total.

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