So… I am in my last week of my pregnancy. I am expecting, all going well, that this is us done – a family of five. Being a late bloomer in the starting a family domain, I have spent a fair chunk of the past four years pregnant or breastfeeding (thankfully never both at the same time – not sure my body would have coped so well with it).


Fortunately this time around, I have felt the best I have for all three pregnancies. Not really sure why this is the case? My mother in-law is of the belief that your body becomes better attuned with subsequent pregnancies. It may be this coupled with the fact that this was the first pregnancy I have not moved interstate (1st pregnancy I returned home from Sydney at 36 weeks and 2nd pregnancy I moved to hot and humid Brisbane when I was 32 weeks pregnant). Or simply, life just goes on when you have two young children.


A couple of things dawned on me that I am sure you would never read about in books (not that I read all that much about being pregnant). I have slept on my left side fairly religiously for all three pregnancies, and you know what has always bothered me the most? A really sore left ear most nights. Has anyone ever experienced this – or do I have an odd ear? Perhaps the cartilage softens in my ear when pregnant?


With my first two pregnancies, I deemed pillow support in bed for my burgeoning stomach to be critical. This time around, I have not given an additional pillow a second thought, not once, and instead have mastered the art of sleeping on my stomach – and still can at 38 weeks (I got the green light from my ob. to do this). This is pure bliss for a tummy sleeper, particularly when I believed this to have been impossible with my previous pregnancies.


Of the different homes I have lived in while pregnant, my current temporary residence is the first without a butler sink in the kitchen (for those among us unfamiliar with butler sinks, these are extremely deep – and feel even deeper to a short person like myself!). So needless to say, my back has ached like mad in the past hunched over these things. However, this time around, I do not have a dishwasher – this is the apparent trade-off for a standard-sized sink (on reflection, I could have done with a butler sink this time around, as we do not have a bath and the kids outgrew the kitchen sink as a bath pretty quickly). I calculated that I spend an average of 1.5 hours daily (I am interrupted often, usually to intervene over a tug of war that has gotten way out of hand), standing side-on, washing up to four loads of dishes, and a further hour after each wash-up with a soaking wet top and belly. I am looking forward to standing front-on again – it’s the little things!


I have also mastered the art of attending appointments with two children in tow. On reflection, I am not sure my two children would have coped so well in the public system waiting rooms, having sat for anywhere up to two hours waiting to be seen in the past. We have afforded me the luxury this time of going private, with an obstetrician. On-time appointments – oh the joy! My daughter Clover, can be quite the chatterbox, and has single-handedly cracked my tough-crowd of an obstetrician (albeit very professional – which is my primary pre-requisite), sharing with him some fairly unnecessary information and asking questions of him, such as "why are you following me?", when he walked us to the front desk. However, their presence in appointments has actually made the experience even more enjoyable and memorable.


Friends and family kept asking me early on in the pregnancy when was I getting a new car. For those who know me well, the thought of driving around in an oversized car, for the sake of three car seats, does not appeal. Each to their own, but I love being able to zip into a carpark wherever, whenever and a bigger car would simply serve as a larger space for food, clothes and shoes to accumulate.


When I asked the owner of a local baby store what my chances were of getting three car seats in the back of my old Subaru, she boasted that she could get three car seats in most cars (within reason). So I took her up on the challenge; a challenge that almost defeated her (she was down to her very last configuration). Needless to say, we got there and although this may be a smart move financially, only time will tell if this is the dumbest move I have made as a parent to date.


Fortunately, it has only been the last week that I have really slowed down (a 32 degree day did me in and yesterdays’ 36 degrees was the icing on the cake!). A couple of things have become obvious to me during this time, including how unproductive I have suddenly become. I spend anywhere between 1-2 hours a day now going to the toilet, I spend another 30 minutes throughout the day cursing myself for dropping whatever it was on the floor and another 30 minutes either psyching myself to pick it up or waiting for one of my children to pick it up for me! Finally, I spend another 30 minutes thinking about the hospital bag I still haven’t actually filled with my clothes stacked on my chest of drawers (that I keep stealing undies and bras from). I have promised myself I will do it tonight!


The time is right I think to enter into our next phase of life together as a family, and I hope all goes well, so I can continue to build on this dialogue!


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