Charlotte’s pregnancy diary: preparing for labour and childbirth

As she nears the end of her pregnancy and arrival of her baby, here's the latest update from Charlotte, as her thoughts turn to labour and birth

I am so close to my due date, and depending on when this post goes up, I could even be mid-push when you read this. Actually, try not to think about that. That’s not going to do either of us many favours is it?

I’m 39 weeks. And I feel it! I’m so sore now and my last midwife appointment revealed that she is engaged and 3/5 palpable, which means the midwife can feel three fifths of her head, and the rest is in my pelvis. I know she’s stayed that way, because I’m walking like John Wayne and I need to wee all the time. I also feel like a bowling ball is about to fall out from between my legs, if I’m honest, and it’s not my favourite feeling so far.

Make sure you catch-up on Charlotte's videos on deciding to try for a baby, TTC, pregnancy announcement and breastfeeding.

I’m feeling almost ready now. The car seat is in our hallway. Everything smells of the white fabric softener that we all use when we’re expecting a baby. And I must have sat in her nursery about a dozen times in this past week alone, just daydreaming. And my hospital bags are packed, you can see what I’ve packed in my hospital bag for labour and birth, and baby’s hospital bag over on my blog, if you’re curious. I’ve made sure I’ve got Pregnacare Breastfeeding in there, as I’m really hoping I manage to do this again, a second time around. I absolutely loved breastfeeding last time. I was really proud of myself - as it wasn’t plain sailing initially.

One of the biggest things on my mind now, understandably, is the birth. With my son, Bill, who is almost four, I was overdue, and ended up having him 13 days late, after being induced. As inductions go, mine was actually amazing. I had the prostaglandin gel, and it resulted in quite a fast labour and I was really happy with my experience.

This time around, I feel like it’s all brand-new again. The thing is with induction, while waiting can be annoying, is that you get a date. You get a fixed date and you plan towards it. So there was no unexpected waters going for me. And there was a new countdown again. And I could prepare myself. I remember going into hospital with freshly shaved legs, painted nails, and a dog safely at his grandparents. But this time around I’m told I could go into labour on my own and that’s quite nerve-wracking for me. I want to make sure Bill is okay. And that he feels loved and secure. And I feel an urge to try and plan for something I can’t control. Which is quite hard to get your head around in a way!

With this labour, I’d really like the chance to use a birthing pool if possible. My BMI was too high last time around and the midwifery team wanted to keep me strapped to machines, but I’ve done a lot in the way of improving my health (and losing three stone) in the last few years and I’m really excited to give this ago. I’ve also been reading up on hypnobirthing techniques, and I’m hoping they will aid me well too.

But, ultimately, while I have my own fears and worries, and I’m extremely nervous, I just want her to arrive safely and to get home again so I can be with both of my children and Mark, my other half. This is mine and Mark’s first child together, as Mark has been my son’s step-dad since he was around 18 months-old. And it’s a really special time for our family. We have an amazing bond and I think it shows that blood isn’t necessarily thicker than water, but I can’t wait to meet the little girl who is part of us all. Part of her brother, part of her father, and part of me. I’m getting emotional just writing this!

I suppose all I need to do now is wait. I just have to trust in my body and my instincts and remember that I have done this before and it will be okay.

If you’ve used either a birthing pool, or a hypnobirthing, I’d love to hear your experiences below. It would be nice to know how other mums found them, while I wait for this little girl to arrive.

Wish me luck!

If you have any questions for Charlotte, leave a comment and let us know. Read our posts on pain relief during labour and what to wear when you give birth, and Katie's latest video on breastfeeding.

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