Thursday, 27 August 2009

My current obsession

I have a whole bunch of posts half-written, half-thought, half-planned. I have reviews to type up, posts about back to school (or nursery school and playgroup), posts about the cuteness that is Rosemary, posts about the disobedient stubborn wilfulness that is Rosemary, posts about my daughter coming home and calling me ‘Maman’, not through any of my efforts to help her be a linguist like her mum, but because she watched some Muzzy episodes at my mum’s, posts about how I wish the summer holidays had been less about foisting Rosemary on my (very willing) mum and more about doing fun things together… and probably a meme or two.

But… none of this will come out, because my every waking moment these days is filled with my conviction that Eleanor is going to arrive early. Very early. For the first time, pretty much since her conception, she is overtaking other things and people in my head. About time, I suppose. But I can’t help wondering if this worry isn’t a little unhealthy. Could I actually bring on an early birth through worry?

So… here is the evidence:

  • Rosemary was early (36+5), which means there is a slightly higher chance that Eleanor will be too. Very slight.
  • I had some early contractions (very mild, but regular) at the start of July (also had early contractions with Rosemary).
  • I had a show last night. Which really doesn’t mean much at all. Rosemary arrived within a week of my show. Some women don’t have (or notice) a show, some have it shortly before labour and some have it weeks and weeks before labour. Sometimes the plug can even reform and break up multiple times.
  • I’m fairly certain she has engaged now. Yes, I know, I said that a few weeks ago and was wrong. But this time, the bump shape has changed and my muffin top is back. The first time my muffin top made an appearance was when Rosemary engaged. My midwife told me it would go away after the birth – huh! The last month or two is the first time it’s gone away, because the bump has been big enough and round enough to disguise it, I suppose. So… maybe I’m right this time. Even if I am, that also doesn’t mean anything. While it is more common for babies to engage shortly before labour in second and subsequent babies, there are plenty that do so well before the birth.
  • I had a sudden nesting urge today. Couldn’t get motivated to work (deadline not close enough!) and instead had the need to go and clear out drawers in Rosemary’s wardrobe for Eleanor’s clothes to go and dig out Rosemary’s old blankets. I almost put the baby clothes Chris got down from the loft the other day in the washing machine, but Rosemary came home then. Oh and I wrote a hospital bag list. OK. Maybe that doesn’t count as nesting.
  • My scalp is itchy. Oxytocin gives me an itchy scalp. I spent more than two years breastfeeding Rosemary and scratching my scalp to shreds (not quite – but not far off) every time I did. Oxytocin levels increase before labour. Don’t they? Or maybe it’s just during labour.
  • I knew Rosemary was going to be early. I knew she was going to arrive during the week when all my emergency drivers were on holiday, as was my sister (second birth partner) and my midwife. I had my show and knew she was engaged and knew she was going to arrive within that week. To the point where I gave Eva an envelope with the train fare to get her back here, because I thought she would need to rush back. And I was right. Of course, that’s probably hindsight. I was probably convinced 50 other times during the pregnancy. I just remembered that particular time, because I was right. I am convinced Eleanor is going to arrive in August. I have been for a while, though I’ve been hoping that’s not the case, because that would be too early. She would probably be fine, but she would definitely need to spend time in SCBU. I feel like I am as convinced as I was with Rosemary. I’m seeing signs in every little thing (look up at all that). I am more convinced since the show and, if I were a betting woman (well, other than the lottery), I’d be putting my money on Sunday 30 August. Oh and my midwife is on holiday.

So… there you go. This is what is going on in my head at the moment. This is what I’m binging (doesn’t sound quite the same as googling, does it?). This is a lot of what I’m tweeting about (that and how little sleep I’m getting most nights). This is what I’m talking about in Facebook status updates. This is what is taking me to the October Antenatal club on Babyworld more than I’ve frequented it through the whole pregnancy. And now this is what I’m blogging about.

I think you may be lucky to see anything different here before this little girl arrives, whether it’s on Sunday, at 37 weeks, at 40 weeks or at (please, no) 42 weeks. Sorry!


  1. I couldn't concentrate on anything else either, when my babies were nearly due. One was early and the other was late. I think the show is probably an important sign of imminence though. Best wishes to you both!

  2. Both mine were born at 39 weeks but I knew they'd both be early too.

    Sometimes you just know your body too well.

    I had both mine within 24 hours of having a show.

    Take care x

  3. Oh, so exciting. Are you ready?

    Mine were early -- the youngest born at 33 weeks!

  4. Thanks, Rachel. Of course, if I do go over, it will be an awful long time of not being able to think of anything else!

    Insomniac Mummy: I think so too, but then I do also know people who were very overdue, despite thinking they were going to be early, so it might just have been a coincidence last time. Time will tell, I guess.

    Susanna: Not really ready, no. Though there's not much left to do in terms of the baby - some clothes to wash and nappies to buy, and a bouncy chair. Haven't got anything together for hospital bag, though. But am going to do those today/tomorrow, if I can persuade my sister to come and help me. 33 weeks? My sister was born at 32 weeks. So I know that it would probably be all OK. Would rather avoid SCBU this time, of course, but will take whatever comes.

  5. I say listen to your body, if you think she will be here early get everything ready and then at least you won't have to worry about be unprepaired.

    I had a feeling with my 1st two and i was right. I had a feeling that my 3rd would be born on the day i felt like death one morning and i was right.

    Good luck and i hope she stays in xxxxxx

  6. No one will blame you for only being able to think, talk and write about pregnancy, labour and Eleanor until she is born (and for a good while after), it is a life-changing event and it consumes you for awhile.

    Keeping everything crossed that she stays in a little longer. Take care of yourself. xx

  7. you could well be right about her coming early but betty came early and i was also convinced dolly was coming early - felt the signs etc but then came at 40 plus 2. but you never know! v exciting tho! x

  8. When I was expecting Victor, I also thought he was going to be early and I think it is mainly because I just wanted him OUT! My reason was because I couldn't be huge anymore, I wanted my body back!
    I also think that we transfer our first experience to the next and we tend to visualise what we already know, rather than imagining it being different. I would have never believed it if someone had told me that I would have Victor in 12 min after getting to hospital without pain relief, when I gave birth to Elliott in 48 hours with everything that exists in pain relief :)
    I am sure that baby Eleanor will be making a safe arrival, just when she decides it is the time. In the meantime, look after yourself.
    That's such an exciting time, I can't help thinking that I would love it to happen just one more time... :)

  9. PS just wanted to tell you that your blogroll still shows the old feed that has now moved. You will need to amend it if you still want to read my updates :)

  10. Amy: Yes, that's what I'm going to do. Sorting out hospital bag today and getting all the clothes washed. Then I'll just relax as much as is possible with a 3-year-old and a business!

    NS: Thanks. Am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Elsie: Ah. Good to know it's possible to get it wrong! I think as Peggy says, we probably do have a tendency to expect (even subconsciously) things to go the same way as they did first time.

    Peggy: I think you're probably right that we expect it to happen the same way, even subconsciously. I think the thing to do is make sure everything's ready and then try to relax until she decides it's time. If everything is ready, I think I'll probably worry less.

    Will look at the blogroll - am getting them all in Google Reader, though I think I do get them twice there, for some reason!

  11. Good luck with the birth, whenever it comes!

  12. Oh God this post brings back memories. I was super neurotic with baby #3 as son 1 was born at 22 weeks and son 2 was born at nearly 31 weeks. I went to my first antenatal class ever at 34 weeks and 5 days - and that night went into labour and 7 hours later son #3 was born. Only one day special care tho - which was a huge relief. I hope Eleanor hangs on in there...but will be waiting with baited breath for more news xx

  13. Oooh honey - I've been away a whole week and this is what I come back to!! Very exciting, but a bit stressful for you. I have to say I was convinced my first was coming early - firstly because my mother had given birth to me a month early and secondly because I was just so huge that I couldn't imagine getting any bigger. I even packed my hospital bag with 6 weeks to go. And guess what? She was 9 days late. With my second I just had no idea, but prepared myself for going over and thankfully I had because she was 12 days late! But you know your body better than anyone - and when babies decide to come there's not that much you can do about it. I hope Eleanor holds on a bit longer (just so she won't be the youngest in her year)!! Thinking of you lots and sending you a huge (well it would have to be wouldn't it?) hug xxx

  14. When a baby is growing, your mind is EVERYWHERE! It is hard to concentrate on any kind of work....much less coding! :) I agree with a couple of the ladies. Listen to your body, be kind to yourself and know that everything takes twice the time to do it!

    Good Luck Dear!

    Sofia Hogan

  15. Sounds like a strong mix of logical reading of the signs, and maternal intuition.

    I knew that mine were all going to be late. And they were. Around 42 weeks, all 3 of them.

  16. Oh wow, how exciting. I remember it all too well. Keep on blogging about it! And good luck with it all.
    PS: I thought a show was a definite sign?

  17. How are you today? Hope all is well and good luck with the birth. xx

  18. Mwa: Thank you.

    Nicola: After that, I'm not surprised you were super neurotic with #3. It's good to hear that you managed only one night in SCBU, though. I'm less and less concerned about having the 'perfect birth' now and more wanting to get to a point where we can bypass SCBU, if at all possible. The goalposts keep moving!

    Emily: Thanks, hun. Interesting that you were late both times. I also wonder how I could get much bigger, especially if I were to go late. Am just trying to take it as it comes now, realy.

    Sofia: Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kind words. Am trying to take it very easy.

    Iota: Thank you. I do think there are a lot of ways in which we 'just know'. There were certainly plenty of times when I was expecting Rosemary that I 'just knew' something and couldn't really persuade anyone that I was right. But, there is also the conflicting problem this time, that I'm probably expecting things to go the same way as they did with Rosemary. Am trying to just take it as it comes now. Everything is pretty much ready, so she can come whenever she wants now.

    MM: Thank you. Apparently a show can come a few weeks before and, in fact, the plug can sometimes break apart and reform a number of times before actual labour. But I think progressing to labour within a week of a show is more common than not.

    Platespinner: Not too bad, thanks. Hanging in there for the moment, anyway.