Thursday 16 December 2004

in my thirties

Good lord, I've just passed the 30 week mark. Woohoo! Although the first months seemed to last forever, the last remaining weeks are flying by - which is a good thing. While cuddling a workmate's wee baby earlier this week (he's now almost four months old) I really wanted to be able to hold our baby in my arms. On the other hand, I'll really miss my bump. I've truly enjoyed being pregnant and I love feeling Pip bounce around inside me. It's a remarkable, special experience.

I'm not even that freaked out about giving birth anymore. Despite the horror stories that people have conveyed in great detail to me over the months, I have come up with a few ideas that I find comforting. First, I think that the more you work yourself up about the pain, the worse it'll be. On a very small scale, think of it like when you got shots as a kid and you'd scream "OW!!" before the needle was within 6 inches of your skin - and it really did seem to hurt at that point. If I know something is going to hurt (or while something hurts), I try to divert my attention and focus on something else because the more I think about how awful it is, the worse I feel. Second, I keep reading how water births can be more relaxing and a bit less painful than giving birth lying down, especially if you've been induced (apparently that makes the contractions much stronger and more painful). Although I'm not kidding myself and thinking that I will definitely have a water birth (I only know of one friend who's been able to do so), I take comfort in the idea that our child might be born in the water. That seems like a much calmer, nicer way to come into the world. Third, it's all going to be worth it in the end. That's what's most important.

Don't get me wrong, I am scared about it all. Not just labour and birth, but being a parent. Nothing prepares you for either, and there's no way to know how it'll all go. Luckily, I married a sane man who is excited about being a father and who is much calmer and rational than me. Knowing that he will be there through everything is enormously comforting.

Of course ask me about all of this in another 6-8 weeks, and I'll probably be back to freaking out again.

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