25 weeks pregnant

Baby size: Prairie dog

These baby sizes are just getting silly now. I have no idea how big a prairie dog is. What I do know, however, is that our kiddo is approximately 15 inches head to toes, weighs about 1.7lbs, and their favourite interests include house music and kicking / punching me in the diaphragm and bladder – sometimes at the same time, and always when I’m swimming (a very weird sensation).

I’m now 3 weeks away from the third trimester and pregnancy has gotten slightly boring again. I mean, apart from all the regular aches and pains of being pregnant, combined with the exacerbating influence of having hypermobility syndrome. Pelvic floor / girdle pain is now my constant companion. Round ligament pain has me walking like both my hips are broken. I had to tell a very old lady to get out of my way in M&S the other day, because she was blocking my progress down an aisle and clearly thought I should be the one to move, but the thought of taking any more steps than was strictly necessary was almost enough to make me start crying. And I am eating almost a pack of chalky pills a day due to unrelenting, severe acid indigestion. But I’m not complaining – not really. Swimming is helping with the pain and sciatica, and generally the second trimester has been a bit of a cake walk when compared to the first. I’m still having to take my sickness medication (I came off it for a day and instantly threw up) but as long as I’m on it, I’m fine. The constipation has eased (thank god, thank god). My rhinitis has completely gone and the nosebleeds have all but stopped. And my platelets have doubled so I no longer have to worry about bleeding to death every time I sneeze. Plus the easing of lockdown restrictions and spending a bit more time out and about has been really lovely, especially with the gorgeous weather York has been having, and the baby kicking is actually really enjoyable, for the most part! It’s especially funny when they’re just rolling around and my belly ripples and waves like the duvet does when Errol is under there scuttling about. Apparently there’s no real correlation between pre-birth activity levels and post-birth, so I’m hoping that all this thrashing isn’t a sign that we’re going to have a mad baby who’s awake at all hours of the day and night.

R and I took full advantage of being allowed out by doing some epic mega planning and making a couple of visits to the John Lewis, and Mamas and Papas stores over in Leeds, and I can now say that we are pretty much stocked up on and furnished with everything we will need for the day our little squidge makes an appearance. This doesn’t help with the 25 week boredom, mind, as now I basically have nothing to do except for get fat and give birth, but it is really nice to be able to say that we’re on top of the physical preparation side of things. The nursery is kitted out with furniture, we have a really good travel system, we’ve got a top of the line monitor and the kiddo has already got more toys than they’ll know what to do with, courtesy of a raid on my mum’s garage and the finding / washing of all of my old stuffed toys. The only thing I don’t have is a breastfeeding system, but I haven’t decided which one will be best yet and there’s also a part of me that thinks it might be a good idea to wait and see how the baby takes to it. And me too, of course. And I need to put together a hospital bag for myself (the baby’s bag is already packed) so there are a few things I need to get for that as well, but that’s fine and I have some of it already, like nipple cream. My sister A turned me on to a couple of good examples of hospital bag lists that I’m using as a template, so hopefully it won’t be a chore to source the remaining stuff.

In terms of the other side of preparation – birthing prep, learning about feeding and changing etc, I feel much less prepared. I’ve been to one online NCT taster session and that’s it. Lockdown has really buggered the amount and type of classes available in our area, especially as there isn’t a dedicated midwifery centre anywhere near us, which also would have been my preferred option for giving birth. I just don’t really want to learn about this stuff online – I want to do it in person. So I’m holding off a bit to see if any classes become available offline in the next 2.5 months, rather than booking an online class now. I don’t know if maybe I’m being a bit too casual about this, but part of me also feels like if we don’t find anything it’s not the end of the world. I know myself and I learn much better by doing, so I’m kinda ok with waiting until the baby arrives. Obviously there are some things we’ll learn about in advance! But things like changing a nappy – surely that’s easier to learn once you’ve got a kid in front of you, right? The only part that worries me is not being able to go to a birthing class. My mother-in-law’s description of R as a ‘monster baby’ is still ringing in my ears, and I am slightly concerned that my birth experience is going to be slightly horrendous as a result …