7 min read
The last time I wrote about my pregnancy was in the beginning of April. Then, I was just 24 weeks into this wild and wonderful journey of growing a living human inside my tummy. I am at 40 weeks now! And pregnancy still boggles my mind. Ha!
Our little chickpea could basically arrive any day now, which is crazy. I am very ready for her or him to make their appearance! So far, the pineapple juice and the spicy Indian food have been without any effect but I am gonna keep trying!
The last 16 weeks of pregnancy
I thought it might be nice to take some time to document a bit of what the last 16 weeks have been like. Once baby is here my mind will probably be otherwise occupied…
In my last pregnancy update I told you that pregnancy had been pretty easy so far. Sadly it didn’t continue quite like that. At around 26 weeks I started having quite severe pelvic pain and was diagnosed with symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). SPD is very common and not serious – just extremely uncomfortable and at times rather painful.
If you have experienced any sort of chronic pain you might know how draining it can be. Due to the pain, sleeping has been rather difficult. This resulted in lots of exhaustion and a lack of energy. Dealing with pain is something I can do – however, dealing with such reduced capacity has been hard.
A new home
Ticking items off my to-do list is basically one of my favourite things. So you can imagine that I have found it quite difficult to be signed off from work for so many weeks. Plus, being unable to even do small things like hoovering or carrying my shopping feels very limiting.
Over May and June Edd and I moved from Berlin to the South of Germany. We now live very close to my family which has been a real joy and blessing – especially in this time. Being able to still hang out with people despite not having much energy has been very good for my soul. And I can’t emphasise enough what a huge help my parents have been in getting a lot of practical things sorted for Baby’s arrival.
Also, I have really enjoyed nesting! Making our new space homely and arranging everything for this next chapter in our life has been very fun.
The positive side of SPD is that it forced me to stop and rest. This has helped me to prepare mentally for this coming season a little bit more. I mean, I don’t think you can truly prepare. It is impossible to imagine what life with this little human we haven’t met yet will be like! But I have found it helpful to have time and space to reflect, pray and get excited.
Health and exercise
Other than the SPD symptoms I have been spared many other pregnancy ailments, for which I am very grateful! The last weeks my back has been complaining but luckily I have not had any water retention in my legs or feet or anything like that.
Sadly, one of the things you’re not really supposed to do with SPD is walking. During the first half of the pregnancy I went on many walks and loved it. I also had to stop doing HIIT pregnancy workouts, as many of the exercises aggravated my symptoms.
However, Jess from Postpartum TV has a few dedicated workout videos especially for SPD which have been great. Also, a few weeks ago Covid numbers fell low enough for the local pool to open again and since then I have been going for swims a couple of times every week, which I have absolutely loved.
Being able to exercise properly again is definitely one of the things I am excited about the most post-pregnancy. (Other than having the Baby obviously!) Nothing is a better treatment for a bad mood than a brisk walk outside or a short run. I really miss the endorphins from getting my heart rate up and sweating a little!
As you can imagine, my belly has gotten A LOT bigger over the last 16 weeks! As mentioned in my previous post, I have actually found it rather fascinating and even fun to see my body change. That being said, it has become increasingly exhausting to carry all this extra weight. Also, finding comfortable positions for sleep is getting more and more tricky.
Still, it has been the most fun (and bizarre!) to see and feel our little one move and kick and grow inside my tummy. I think I will miss sharing my body with our baby in this intimate and magical way.
Preparing for labour
Due to Covid, we weren’t able to attend any in person birthing classes which is a shame. However, we are extremely lucky to have a close friend who is a doula and she did a few skype sessions with us where she walked us through the process of what happens at birth, things to think about and decide, and how to prepare. This has been so helpful.
For quite a long time the baby was in breech position, meaning with their head up. This worried my quite a lot, as it increases the likelihood of a c-section, which I would like to avoid. I did a lot of different exercises to encourage the baby to flip and we prayed a lot. Most babies do eventually turn and so did ours. I cannot tell you how relieved I was when the gynaecologist told me that the baby was finally in perfect birthing position.
For the most part I haven’t felt worried or anxious about giving birth. From the beginning, I spent a lot of time praying for our baby and their arrival and I have felt increasingly at peace about it all. I am actually really excited to give birth and experience a new person coming into this world.
My hope is that I can give birth with minimal intervention. I do believe that my body is well equipped to bring this baby into the world. However, I am holding this very lightly. There are many eventualities, and giving birth is not a competition. I do not have to prove what a tough and hardy person I am and the goal is not to brag about not needing any painkillers but rather to welcome our baby into this world in the way that is most appropriate, helpful and healthy for us as a family.
Even though I would like to avoid a C-section or an induction, I know that God will be present either way. His presence will be with us no matter if it is the easiest labour in history or a more complicated affair. We have the privilege of witnessing the miracle of a new life being born! What a blessing.
Other highlights in this pregnancy
As mentioned, my energy levels have been rather low the last weeks and months. We had to cancel our holiday which was sad and I wasn’t able to see friends as much as I would have liked to.
However, a few weeks ago I got a bunch of my close friends together for a zoom call to pray for the birth, the life of our child and for Edd and I as we enter this new chapter of becoming parents. It was a really special time and wonderful to have friends there from the UK, Berlin and from down here.
Last week Edd, my mum and some of my girlfriends organised a baby shower for me. It was actually the best. I didn’t expect it at all! It was such a wonderful surprise. We ate cake in my parents garden, played a few games and just hang out. I really enjoyed having all my friends around and not having to organise a thing.
So, even though I am slowly getting impatient, my overwhelming emotions are gratitude and peace. What a gift to experience and live through this season.