I drafted this post on Sunday afternoon, April 2, the end of week 40, just when I thought I was going into labour but had no idea how much longer it might take.
This past Monday (27 March) I hit my official due date (which I actually already wrote about already last week). The due date is just an estimate, plus mine moved, so I know it doesn’t really mean anything but it is a milestone. Also, it’s funny how throughout pregnancy, the midwives and doctors aren’t too concerned about the due date since it is just an estimate – but then once you hit the due date, it becomes a ticking timebomb for how long you have until being induced. In my case, I was told I could go to 41 weeks and 5 days, or April 8.
It was absolutely bizarre to be on maternity leave this week. I felt weird and guilty about not going to work. I kept myself quite busy, probably too busy, that first day and woke up Tuesday morning with bad cramps and knew I wouldn’t have been able to go into work that morning anyway. I know for both my physical well-being as well as my mental well-being that having this time off was the right thing to do.
I went for walks every single day, and did some light yoga and stretching at home most days. Throughout the week I became progressively more tired and heavy, and several times after I went for a long walk I could barely move for a little while and felt super sore. Walking is great for getting the baby in position and progressing labour along, but I tried to force myself to take it easy too.
The baby’s dresser was delivered one day so I could put all the baby stuff away and finally finish getting the room set up.
I cooked, did laundry and house cleaning, sewed a curtain, did some writing, read a lot and took care of a number of other odds and ends. I went to the dentist (dental visits are free on the NHS for preggers in the UK!), got my hair cut and also treated myself to a mani/pedi, something I hadn’t done since my wedding nearly eight years ago.
By the end of the week I was definitely getting bored and also a little jealous that all five of the other couples in our NCT class had had their babies. I kept reminding myself that ours will come eventually! As Andy said, these few extra days are nothing compared to a lifetime!
By Saturday I was getting a little stir-crazy. I had thought earlier in the week that maybe one day I would go to a museum or something, but as I began to feel more tired and sore and began to have occasional cramping and more frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions, I decided I didn’t want to be far from home alone, so I spent the whole week within just a mile or two of home. Overnight on Friday night I started to feel contractions and lower back pain, but by the morning it had stopped, so Andy and I decided to go to a museum, walk around and get our minds off it.
It was a sunny (yet windy) day and we went down to check out the Tate Modern, and see the new wing which was installed last year. We had a great time spending a few hours exploring the space and checking out the art, and views of the skyline from the viewing tower.
After the museum, we walked along the river and through Borough Market and had a late pub lunch at The George Inn, then went up to the Strand to visit a camera store and stop off in a pub to rest and read in the sunshine. I began to have more false labour contractions off and on around then, not painful but definitely happening, so we hopped on a bus to head home and spend the evening on the sofa with Indian delivery and Netflix.
The contractions continued off and on through the night and Sunday morning, but also stopped for long periods of time so I knew they weren’t the real deal. I spent Sunday morning reading and napping, and we ventured out for a short walk to buy some groceries. Here I am now on Sunday afternoon, sitting on the sofa, with fairly regular but infrequent contractions. We’ll see what happens next!
Week 40 Summary
- A small pumpkin
- Very thirsty and craving cold grapes all the time
- Often hungry and wake up hungry every morning
- Wake up early morning (4-5am) every day and can’t get back to sleep
- Tired and heavy
- Lots of Braxton-Hicks then pre-labour contractions later in the week
- Tons of walking: every day I did at least one 40-minute walk, and some days did two
- A cardio/strength video, a pilates video and a yoga video
- Lost a few pounds during the week but by the end of the week was back to 18 pounds up total