Pregnancy Diary: Week 36

Great Expectations
That show I was talking about...
Well, looks like week 36 of this pregnancy diary is going to be quite full, a bit like my belly. Before I get going though, baby is probably about 47cm long and weighs about 2.6kg now. Also, I can tell people I'm now 9 months pregnant - which usually leads to reasonably surprised looks and an explanation on how human gestation is actually 10 months long.

I thought I was taking my toddler to jump on the trampoline...

Well, to start at the beginning of the week, which in the case of my pregnancy diary is a Saturday, my friends here in Pietermaritzburg threw me a baby shower, with the help of the hubby of course. I thought I was taking my toddler to jump on the trampoline at a friend's place. What a lovely surprise! I was very spoilt and I am much more ready for a winter baby now!

My first was born just before the hottest month of summer, so she used to sleep in a nappy, a vest and maybe a hat. This whole layering thing is a bit alien to me, and so I didn't have any particularly warm newborn and 0-3 month sized stuff. My bestie, who doesn't do the baking thing, also made me some gluten-free cupcakes for the occasion - they were great! Even 2 days after I was still enjoying them while on my trip up to Johannesburg for my TV appearance! I'm so blessed to have such an amazing group of friends!

They were doing a show on Back-to-Basics parenting...

So I'm sure you want to hear about the TV appearance. Well, I was on a moms and babies show called Great Expectations which airs on eTV here in Southern Africa from 11:30-12:30, Monday to Wednesday. They were doing a show on Back-to-Basics parenting - including things like babywearing, co-sleeping and just generally slowing down and getting to know your child and trust your instincts rather than always trying to do everything the 'right' way. So I was on for an 8 minute segment as one of the two mommy guests.

So we (my mom, the toddler and I) drove the 6-hour trip to Johannesburg on Sunday, stayed over at my Aunt's place, to be at the studio at 9:30am the next morning. My mom looked after the toddler while the various staff members went over the structure with us, and touched up makeup and hair. I must say, finding something to wear over this belly that was reasonably smart, not busy, stripey, white or pastel coloured, or too stiff or too cold or too anything was quite a challenge.

...it was the only top that matched one of the two smartish maternity pants I have.

I have two smartish maternity tops - one is white and the other is a brick reddy maroon colour. So I had to go with the reddish one - I just hoped no one else was wearing a colour too similar as they would have asked one of us to change - and I had no other option! The other thing was that it was the only top that matched one of the two smartish maternity pants I have. Dresses were not recommended because they make attaching a microphone rather a challenge. So enough about my fashion dilemmas - you want to hear about the actual show.

Well, it was fun to be on TV, and it wasn't the first time for me. I've been on two game shows and a music video and on a Christian show doing a dance I choreographed with a friend, and I've been on stage since I was little, so that didn't really stress me out too much. I think it's the first show where I've been asked to share my experiences and opinions, so that was a little scary.

...the presenter did throw one or two (or three or four) that I wasn't expecting...

They do warn you about what types of questions they're going to ask, but the presenter did throw one or two (or three or four) that I wasn't expecting so that was a bit disconcerting, especially considering that I am a bit of an obsessive perfectionist, especially when it comes to how I express myself, and even more especially when it comes to things I am so passionate about. So I have spent the last week obsessing about the things I should have said and didn't, the things I did say and possibly shouldn't have, and how I could have said so things differently and hopefully more clearly. But it was live, so there's nothing I can do about it now! Hopefully I said at least one thing that encouraged someone.

...you wouldn't think I was an obsessive perfectionist if you saw my house...

On that point, you wouldn't think I was an obsessive perfectionist if you saw my house, unless you looked inside the cupboards and drawers which are generally quite meticulously organized. I think I'm the only person I know whose storage spaces are neat and organized while the 'communal' spaces are quite chaotic. Anybody want to psychoanalyze me on that?

Anyway, we went out for lunch after the show, and I had a relaxing evening in the bath while my mom sorted the toddler out and got her to sleep. We left Joburg at 4am and had a great drive back, although we did stop quite often, I think more often than my mom has ever stopped on that road! Travelling with a toddler and a preggie lady will do that to you!

I did take a hospital bag with me just in case...

Apologies for TMI, but I did get a runny tummy on the way back and I was wondering if it might be a sign of impending labour, as it can often be, but this time I think it was just that Joburg water. Bleargh. I did take a hospital bag with me just in case, so I wasn't too stressed.

On another note, it's been great getting bits together for the home birth. I am really starting to feel like my 'birth space' is ready. We're only collecting the pool in about a week's time, but otherwise it looks like we're pretty good to go!

I seem to be carrying quite low this time, but I remember with my first, she sat quite low, head engaged, for a long time before the birth. It was quite uncomfortable sometimes, but I preferred it to having a baby that hadn't dropped! Also, if the baby is quite low you are less likely to get a big gush of fluid if your waters break because the baby's head acts as a plug - so that was a bit of consolation when I was doing my grocery shopping!

I also did my last batch of cooking and processing to freeze before the birth - and I only call it my last batch because there is no more space in my little freezer! So I feel quite good about that too.

...we are having a maternity / belly shoot with Karen Edwards on Saturday.

For my last two things there's a spot of good news and a bit of bad news. The good news is that we are having a maternity / belly shoot with Karen Edwards on Saturday. We're driving up to her place in the Kamberg and making a day of it while the grandparents have a day with the toddler. We were hoping to stay over somewhere without the toddler, for the first time in her life, but with the news you'll see below plans have had to change slightly. But back to Karen, we had a family shoot with the in-laws with her last year sometime and we all had such a great day, and she got a stack of beautiful pics. She really is great at helping you look your best and making you feel relaxed and that really shows in her photos. Super yay!

...we are doing everything we do as best we can...

The bad news that I mentioned is that hubby was unfairly dismissed from work this week. He arrived on the first and was told to pack up and not come back, with no notice given or paid, and a large deduction from his salary. I'm not at liberty to say anymore, but we are in the process of taking things further. The crazy thing is that we are so not stressed. We know we are doing everything we do as best we can, and the decisions we make we make prayerfully, so we just keep on keeping on.

I'm not too stressed about things with the baby either - we use cloth nappies, and I breastfed exclusively for almost 6 months with our first, and we have been very blessed with both new, used and borrowed baby gear - so barring any unexpected medical bills this baby won't be putting too much strain on us financially.

The fact that my income is based on how many hours I work with both my ballet teaching and my lecturing, and that I'll probably only be able to work again in October, is somewhat concerning, but there's not much we can do about it now! Having said that, if you know of anyone, especially anyone in South Africa, who wants to buy Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces (wholesale or retail) I import them myself, and if anyone is interested in the best bamboo cloth nappies ever in terms of price, convenience and environmental friendliness, and made is South Africa, I sell them too, so pass on them contacts!

There are a couple more thoughts I could share, but I think I'll keep them for next week's pregnancy diary, when I may also be able to upload some of our pics for you! So you won't have to look at my belly mugshots again, although I'm thinking of doing a comparison with some belly shots from last time...

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