Sandtimer with red sand on newspaper

There’s something so exciting about counting down the days to your due date. Then, when it comes, there’s such a sense of anticipation. You know the statistics – that less than 5% of babies come on their due date, and I’m sure I’ve read that over 50% of babies to first time moms go over. But still, you hope. But once you go past the date – May 1 for me – it’s a different story: every day drags and the worry sets in.

I felt mostly fine up to 40 weeks. Now I’m uncomfortable, tired, emotional and fed up. And did I mention paranoid? Unfortunately yesterday I got really freaked out because I wasn’t feeling much movement and convinced myself there was something wrong. After eating dinner, then drinking a glass of orange juice, I didn’t feel anything and ended up going into the hospital to get checked. God, the drive over was awful. I was so scared.

Luckily, they found the heartbeat straightaway and the baby started moving shortly after, so I felt completely reassured. The midwife offered a membrane sweep to try and get things moving, which I didn’t massively want but thought wouldn’t do any harm (I wasn’t offered one at my 40-week midwife appointment because of the coronavirus risk). Yes, it was unpleasant and I had to ask her to stop midway through, but I wouldn’t say it hurt. I had hoped it might set the wheels in motion but nothing to report so far. I’m a bit crampy but nothing to write home about.

I’m also quite restless today, but have no energy to do much about it. For the last four weeks, I’ve had plans. I’ve done SO much – cleaned, tidied and filed, finished my tax return, organised my photos, gardened, ordered all the last minute baby bits and bobs, enjoyed long walks, baked, Zoomed, listened to audiobooks, read, and – occasionally – napped. It’s been a good use of four weeks! A balance of productive and restful. But now we’re into the fifth week (and we’ve been in lockdown for six), I’m at a bit of a loose end.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still enjoying my time off and I know I’ll never, ever have time off like this again. But I’m also just waiting for something to happen…

The horrible thing is, I don’t feel ready to go into labour to have this baby. I want it to happen, but I’m also scared. Scared about the birth (I had to ask the midwife yesterday to stop midway through the sweep… I won’t be able to do that in labour, will I???!) which I’ve been quite cool about up till now, scared whether she’ll be OK and scared about what life will be like post baby. What if I can’t cope? I enjoy my sleep SO much, I’m dreading that I’ll turn into a monster without my shuteye.

I’ve wanted the baby so much for so long, so why do I now want to keep her in my belly? Is it normal to feel apprehensive about meeting your little one? Whenever I watch programmes on TV about babies (there are two brilliant ones on at the moment: Delivering Babies and Life & Birth), the mothers are always so excited. Shouldn’t I be more excited? I suppose there are a whole mix of emotions at play, and excitement is in there, along with fear, anxiety, worry, anticipation… and I guess there’s no right or wrong way to feel. Best just make the most of these last few days of freedom and enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts!

Find out what happens next

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