Pregnancy Diary: Weeks 34 & 35 – The Week of The Cold and other stories

So I hate to say this in case of jinxing it in the last few weeks, but I’ve had a pretty textbook pregnancy. Yes, I had a lot of nausea in the first trimester and I’ve struggled with pelvic pain over the past couple of months, but those are things to be expected in pregnancy and in reality, it’s not been too bad. I’ve been lucky to have had nothing more serious. That’s up until now. And in fact, now is nothing to do with pregnancy really. It was the flu.

This week totally broke me, which is why I’m merging weeks 34 and 35 together as I literally went into work only 1 day over the course of 2 weeks thanks to flu. At first I thought it was just a bad cold, but 2 weeks later, still only just starting to recover, with colleagues that I’ve never known to take a day off sick being off for 3 or 4 days, and my parents also stuck at home with the same thing…we’re pretty sure it was the flu. I could convince myself it was a bad cold plus pregnancy at first – the achy muscles have been achy for a while now, so I thought maybe third trimester had just broken them a bit more; the waking up absolutely boiling in the night…well, I’m usually a “cold person” but pregnancy has changed that, so I thought it was part and parcel. Yeh, no.

Honestly, 34 weeks was such a mess that I’m not entirely sure what happened and on what day, so the selfies throughout this post are from sometime around weeks 34-35, some before being poorly, some after, some during. There was a bit of respite over the weekend – I think because I got to rest on Saturday while Ben was working, so we went out for a meal with my parents to a local pub…but then they got ill the next week, soooo that probably wasn’t a good idea!

Woodland and adventure inspired girl's nursery bookshelves

On Sunday, I thought I was starting to feel better so I patched up the paint in the nursery (it turned out to be entirely the wrong shade – please ignore this!) and Ben put up some shelves for books, then I died and basically slept all afternoon. We’re planning for lots more books to join the ones above in a couple of weeks time as I’ve asked for them for my baby shower – more on that after it happens!

In the evening, we had Ben’s sister and her boyfriend over to discuss some options for summer plans with their family – we’re planning to book a short break away for their mum’s birthday – so we had a Chinese takeaway which was awesome because I didn’t have to make any effort to cook!

34 weeks pregnant

Week 35

So after the disaster that was 34 weeks, 35 wasn’t a huge amount better, but I was at least able to work at home and get on with a few more things, finally returning to work towards the end.

Regular readers and friends might know that I have a total anxiety of speaking to people on the phone – particularly people I don’t know – but I’m finding I have to be really brave lately in lots of ways. I had a letter from the health visiting team asking me to call them, so it had to be done. I bribed myself with a the promise of crisps if I did it, so I got on and booked myself my first appointment with the health visitor for next week. I didn’t know we’d get one of these before birth so I’m interested and slightly nervous about what it entails as they’ll be coming to our house. I imagine it means I’ll be scrubbing the house the night before in frantic fear that they’ll tell me there’s something wrong when in reality, it’s fine, but you know.

Friday was when I finally started to feel a bit human and the flu diminished to more of a normal cold level, meaning I got on with a bit more work at home then managed to cook a nice tea: chicken tagine followed by rice pudding…yes, this was a random craving that used up almost a whole bottle of milk. Side note: don’t follow the instructions on the back of the ASDA rice pudding packet – it uses WAY too much milk!

35 weeks pregnant

I was also able to wear “real” clothes again for the first time in ages – I’d been stuck in pyjamas and a variety of leggings and old T shirts for a week. It meant I could wear a new grey jumper maternity dress from H&M and later in the week, a new Lidl maternity jumper. Okay, yes, these were over leggings – and I bought a new pair because I’m now basically just wearing leggings all the time rather than my maternity jeans now – it’s just so much more comfortable!

This weekend was a bit sad because we were supposed to be taking a trip to Windsor with Ben’s family for a relative’s party. It had always been a “potential” trip for us, knowing that at 35 weeks I might be struggling. Had I not had the flu, I think we would have gone – pregnancy hadn’t broken me that much, although I think it would have been an achy car journey. But we decided to cancel since I didn’t want to pass it on to anyone, and I wasn’t sure I was up to it still – 2 weeks after first getting poorly!
Instead Ben’s family popped in on their way down in the morning to pick up our gift for them and have a cup of tea, then we popped down to my work to pick up a George at ASDA delivery of baby clothes! I hadn’t intended to buy any more as we’ve got a fairly good stock now and I anticipate wanting to buy more when she’s born, but they announced their baby event with a good discount code, and I couldn’t help it. I did get some good basics though including some more vests (it turns out we didn’t have any long-sleeved ones, so I got 2 multipacks in different sizes), plus a pack of leggings (I was concerned she had no bottoms, even though I anticipate lots of sleepsuits at first!), a baby swimsuit (I want to take her swimming!) and a maternity swimsuit for me. I’m hoping to go swimming in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy while I’m on maternity leave and it just occurred to me that I literally had nothing to fit.

Gallery wall with wedding photos
Chinese fakeaway

On Sunday, we popped to the shops for a few bits of DIY stuff including paint (yes, still trying to get a good colour match!) and coat hooks – still nesting! It was another pretty relaxing day as I attempted to recover still, so Ben hung a couple of wedding photos to make a start on a new gallery wall in our dining room and we made Chinese “fakeaway” for tea which was really good by the way!

We had Monday off work as we’d booked it as holiday when we were going to be taking the trip to Windsor, so basically we didn’t really do anything except while out at the shops again (more paint!) we had to drive past the hospital so we decided to check out where the maternity unit parking was, just in case. I kind of wish I hadn’t seen it now! It was 11.30am on a Monday morning and completely packed. There were cars stacked up in spaces, cars on double yellow lines, cars in random areas that weren’t spaces…I really really hope it isn’t that busy when I go into labour! Even worse, it should be quieter right now as the hospital is currently closed to visitors due to illness that’s hit the area (hmmm, I wonder what that could be!). On top of that, it turns out it’s right round the back of the hospital, with a number of speed bumps to approach it (that will be fun during labour) and an even greater number of really quite vicious speed bumps to leave it – even more fun immediately post-birth and with a newborn experiencing the first time in a car! We’re now making plans for Ben to walk me and baby to the front of the hospital and pick us up there as it was so bad!

Tuesday was my first day back at work in what felt like forever – I had a bit of a taste of maternity leave thanks to being off so long! It wasn’t even a proper day though as we had a positivity workshop. We do these every so often (here’s a post all about one from 2016) and they’re usually a fun and engaging day. There were parts that were a little tricky for me – such as sitting in a not so comfortable seat! – but in fact, a lot of it related back to things I’m going through right now so it was really good. We actually covered a lot of things I’m very interested in in general, such as personality types (I’ve read a few books on this lately) as well as how different chemicals affect your body, which ties back to hypnobirthing, so I found it very useful.

35 weeks pregnant

Wednesday meant back to the office properly, finally, but with less than a week to go until I start maternity leave, it feels very weird! I’d debated over going longer, but I’ll be 36, just touching on 37 weeks, when I leave (depending on the due date I’m going with still!) and I ideally want to have a bit of time to rest before I give birth so I’m going safe with finishing up as I reach full term.

In general, sleep has been pretty elusive lately. I seem to fall asleep just about alright, but, of course, there’s the weeing 5-7 times per night (I’ve started to notice patterns of the times I wake up, fun!) and also the waking up at 3-4am and that being it for the night…until 6.45am-ish, right before our 7am alarm goes off – nice.

Turning over in the night is also an interesting experience – Ben asked me the other night if I could turn over “less violently” as apparently I move the whole bed, whoops! It turns out that having all this extra weight concentrated around my mid-section (after my initial worries about losing weight during the first trimester, I’m right on track with my third, so I’m not concerned any more!) makes it really really hard to move my body. On top of that, there’s the whole “you should only sleep on your left side” thing…people have said it’s really not true, others say it is, but in reality, I’m just doing whatever’s comfortable and allowing me to get some sleep while I can. To be fair, I haven’t felt as tired as I was anticipating when I reached this stage (it’s nothing compared to the first trimester exhaustion!), so I’m taking that as a win!

Next week is 9 months and, eek, that’s scary and exciting! My biggest fear isn’t of labour or the birth itself – I’m actually quite excited for aspects of that, including the relief I’ll apparently feel afterwards – but rather the whole life-changing aspect of having a baby. It’s impossible to even imagine what life will be like for us with a baby and I’m worrying about how much it will change things including our relationship – when you’ve been together nearly 11 years then bring a baby into the equation, it’s got to change things really! I’ve heard a lot of the “just you wait…” and “you can’t even imagine…” and “you’ll never be able to sleep/eat/drink/move/do anything ever again” stories, but I’m really trying to stay positive and make plans so that having a baby doesn’t entirely change everything in my life, but obviously, there will be big changes and it’s becoming more real every day now!

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