At the end of week 32 I started maternity leave! Well, strictly speaking I took a block of annual leave until my official maternity leave started at the beginning of May. This was quite a few weeks earlier than the first time around when I worked up until the end of the 36th week but given I’ll be on maternity leave for the rest of 2014 it seemed sensible to use up my annual leave. Plus I was tired and struggling towards the end, particularly due to the commute. In the weeks that followed I got quite a few comments about how less tired and more “glowing” I looked so I definitely think it was the right decision!
It also meant that I got to spend extra time with Seren and she seemed to appreciate me being more relaxed as her behaviour improved too. I did have a pre-baby To Do list, perhaps a slightly too ambitious one but I think we’ve got the important things ticked off which are: 1) new baby shopping (just the few bits we needed again this time around and mostly done online after an exhausting trip to Westfield Stratford), 2) shopping and crafting the finishing touches for Seren’s new bedroom and the nursery (very nearly finished!) and 3) getting myself ready for birth and being mum to a newborn again.
At 35 weeks we took a tour of the maternity unit at the hospital where we plan to have the baby. The hospital where Seren was born closed its maternity unit at the end of last year and the two other nearest hospitals have both opened shiny new maternity units with increased capacity. I hadn’t at that point set foot in the hospital I was booked in at and was pleased to get my head round the practicalities of knowing how to get there and how much change to keep in the car for parking! I was impressed with the unit itself, the consultant-led rooms were modern, bright and comfortable. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a delivery room in the midlife-led unit as they were all being used! From what I can see on their website they also look bright and comfortable, with some of them having pools and double beds too.
I was slightly worried when the midwife said that the unit was full “again” which prompted us to work out exactly how to get to the new maternity unit at the other nearest hospital too! The transfer to hospital is probably the bit about labour I am least looking forward to and I’m hoping that we can do it in the middle of the night again.
The next weekend MrS and I attended a Birthing Workshop run by Jackie whose yoga classes I have been going to and Jean who runs Enfield Holistic Massage. The 3 hour workshop was a lovely mix of partner yoga, massage for relaxation (to get that oxytocin flowing!) as well as for helping to manage contractions and breathing techniques for labour too. Even though we’ve been through it before, it was helpful to spend the time together focusing on the imminent birth.
MrS’s new found massage techniques certainly came in useful in helping to ease some of the back and pelvic pain I’d been having. The pain had sent me to see an osteopath earlier that week, one who I’d seen the year before when suffering with shoulder and back pain from carrying Seren. I had an inkling that pain had started when I was pregnant with her and I wanted to get in early this time to try to sort out any potential issues. The osteopath’s verdict was that my pelvic ligaments where moving apart (as they should do during pregnancy, the relaxin hormone causes this) but the pelvic muscles were resisting this and trying to pull my pelvis together really tightly. He did some manipulation to release the muscles which was helpful and the frequent massage since means that the pain became much more manageable.
Some “nicer” appointments I had at the beginning of April were with the hairdresser and at the beauty salon for a lovely facial and pedicure – who knows when I will have the chance to do these things again!
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 29-32
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 25-28
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 21-24
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 17-20
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 13-16
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 9-12
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 5-8
Pregnancy Diaries: Weeks 1-4
Little Star Number Two!