pregnancy @ 37 weeks

Dear Baby King,
As I write this from the comfort of the sofa (where I have no doubt we will spend many hours together), you are having a jolly good wriggle inside me. My laptop rises and falls in waves as you swoosh your back from side to side in the wonderful way that has become so familiar to me during this pregnancy. People often say they miss the feeling of being pregnant, and I can imagine it is for this very reason. There is no other time in life when you get to experience a tiny person wriggling about inside of you, and it is really quite something, Thank you for the regular, daily reminders of the miracle of life, and that you are content in your current home. Yesterday, a waitress in a restaurant put her hand to my belly, and felt you move. Tears brimmed in her eyes at the wonder of feeling the movement of a little person that we cannot yet see, but is so very evident in the roundness of my belly.

While you are spending your last few days and weeks growing bigger and stronger inside me, I have been getting busy preparing for your arrival. Your clothes are all washed, folded, sorted into sizes and put away in your drawers. There is a pile of blankets and quilts stacked and ready to keep you warm, and there is currently an enormous batch of soup simmering away on the hob, which will go into the freezer alongside other meals I have prepared for when you are here. That way, we can free up a little bit of time, knowing our food is ready and we can give you the energy and attention you need. I couldn't help but smile as I folded up your freshly laundered hooded baby towel, thinking of all of the bath time memories we will make when you are here. I am appreciating the simple things, like the sun shining today which allowed me to dry all of the bed linen in preparation for our family and friends when they come to stay when you are born.

You and I have a little night time routine going at the moment where you wake me up at 1am, 2am, 3.30am and 5am. Last night was particularly interesting when I awoke at 3.30am to searing pain in my left leg where cramp had set in. This has only happened once before when we were on holiday in Barbados, and the pain made me fall out of bed - your Dad thought I had broken my ankle when he woke to find me screaming with one leg in the air! Well, last night, as the cramp kept me awake, I discovered that your movements at night time are quite different to the wriggles and kicks you perform during the daytime. I smiled at the thought that I was discovering something new about you, simply because I was awake when I would normally have been asleep.

Every day you get the hiccups at least once, sometimes as many as four times in one day. I used to wonder how people knew when their babies had the hiccups in utero, but there is no mistaking the rhythmic twitching of your lungs hiccuping away - your mama is an expert in this department - and they have definitely become stronger these last few weeks. You are now full-term, which means you could choose to make your entrance into the world any time from now, and your body would survive just fine. It is so incredible to me to think that any day now you could arrive, and yet you might just stay inside of me for another month. And so, we try and be as prepared and patient as possible for your arrival, knowing that you will come when the time is right.

I am praying for you, little one, and the hours of labour we will go through together to bring you into the world. So much thinking and talking around birth is focused on the experiences for the Mum's, and I think we can easily forget what a huge experience it is for you. Everything you have known in your little life so far suddenly and dramatically changes as you experience what it is like to breathe in air, feel different temperatures and experience the comfort of our skin rather than the comfort of swimming around in amniotic fluid. We will have to take a lot of time to learn about each other, and to understand how you communicate your needs to us, but right now, I cannot think of anything else I would rather be doing. Here's to the adventures that lie ahead of us and celebrating the prospect of doing life together with you.

With all my love,

Your Mama


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