What To Expect

  • Breathlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue

Your Baby This Week

Your baby is the size of balloon, weighs 2400g and is 29cm long (from head to bum).

Dear Diary

I am absolutely buzzing this week. To cut a long story short I was put in touch with a midwife in the Coombe who asked me to pop into her after my next standard appointment.

I had emailed her to express my fears surrounding the birth and she sent me a lovely reassuring email which filled me with excitement. She has given me another reason to feel like this birth can and WILL be different.

So last Friday I had my 36-week appointment in The Coombe and I popped into her office afterwards. I left feeling like a weight had been lifted and I just feel so positive about the whole thing now. The first positive is that I'll now be midwife-led for the rest of my prenatal appointments.

I am so happy about this because I've only been seeing doctors and consultants so far due to my ovarian cyst. The midwife (Paula Barry is her name) said there is no reason why I can't see her for my next appointment, and we'll take it from there. We are basically parking the whole cyst thing until after the baby comes and that means I can finally FINALLY focus on the birth rather than the cyst.

During my meeting with Paula, we discussed birth preferences and it is something I really want to think about. She gave me a form to fill out and I basically need to put it all down in writing so that when I'm in labour the midwives can clearly see my preferences.

It's all starting to feel very real now!

Straight off the bat, I would really like to avoid an episiotomy and forceps. If they are totally necessary for the safety of myself and the baby, I will agree to them, but I would love to avoid them if possible.

Another thing we spoke about was the birthing pool in the hospital. I would love to use it but deep down I have this innate fear that I won't be able to give birth without the epidural. Again, I've given myself permission to take whatever pain relief I feel I need when the time comes but I would love to avoid the epidural if I could.

I want to be able to be as mobile as possible and I want to shower/use the toilet/walk after I've given birth rather than being confined to the bed for several hours. Even thinking about birth preferences and asking questions has helped me to feel empowered.

I am also continuing with my gentle birth affirmations and meditations at night. I really look forward to them because they help me focus on the baby rather than the fear. I keep reminding myself that we are the perfect birth team, this baby and I. At my last appointment baby was measuring bang on thirty-six weeks and the head is right down. It's all starting to feel very real now!

A Partner’s Perspective

The baby is a mystery. While driving in the car I see my partner once again staring at the bump, her hands rested gently on either side. She is endlessly examining it. 'It's doing a butternut squash again,' she says, which we think means it's sideways, head and butt pushing out.

She keeps reading that the head should soon come down and that the flips should have slowed long ago. But sometimes it seems like it somersaults twenty times a day!

Our Midwife’s Advice

Your baby really looks like a fully-grown baby now. It has plumped up and the growth slows down a little as it gets ready to join you on the outside. Again keep an eye on those movements, although you won't feel dramatic summersaults, the pattern and amount of times your baby moves during the day will be about the same as before. Any concerns, call the maternity unit.

As your baby grows, all of your internal organs get moved or compressed to make room. One of the most common ways you will have noticed this is that you can suffer from shortness of breath, particularly when you go upstairs or exert yourself.

This is because your lungs have less room so, therefore, your capacity for air and the amount of air getting in your lungs is less than for someone who isn't pregnant. This should pass once you sit down and relax, so again nothing to worry about.

Anytime between now and when your baby is ready to be born you might experience something called 'lightening'. This means you might one day notice you're not so short of breath you'll be able to take deeper breaths and your bump might noticeably have dropped. This is because your baby's head has gone deeper into your pelvis, relieving some of the pressure on your lungs and giving them more space to breathe. Your body really is just amazing!

Like Tracey, continuing with positive relaxation and affirmations can really help remove your fear around birth. If you are feeling very nervous, chat with your care provider. You'll be seeing them or your GP every week until your baby is born now, so there will be a chance to discuss and ask questions about anything you feel worried about.

Week 36

Our Wellness Tip of the Week

Make sure that you're using sun cream! Pregnant women's skin is much more sensitive to the sun's rays, so it's important to keep your skin safe and protected.

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