Today B4 is 38 weeks plus 1 day...
I remember being at the same stage of my pregnancy with Mini Man. I had myself convinced he would come early. In preparation I had finished work 4 weeks before my due date. After 2 weeks off work I was happily taking in some 'free' time after having set up the nursery and done most other bits & pieces one tries to achieve before the life altering arrival of your first born. Then I waited... and I waited... and I waited and Mini Man stayed put!! Eventually arriving 11 days after his ETA, having had to be induced.
Now that we're at the 38 weeks mark second time round I just don't know what to expect. Everyone has a theory, apparently 2nd/subsequent babies come earlier. Furthermore according to several people I've spoken to in the last week I'm either still carrying high or I'm now carrying low? It should be noted that these 'experts' are either people I have not seen or met prior to that statement being made or people I've barely spent time with during my pregnancy and are not members of the medical profession specialising in anything to do with pregnancy or babies! I do know this much, labor will start when baby is good and ready, or when B4 is over baked enough that the 'establishment' decide it's time to entice baby out...
I've been experiencing braxton hicks for the past week or so. I am definitely experiencing them with greater intensity the past few days. Each time I feel one, I wonder if the real thing is about to kick in. I know when they aren't the 'real deal' my memory of my first labor is still there... but at the same time you still question, is this it, is it starting?
Up until a few days ago the braxton hicks were TERRIFYING me.... I was quite happy for B4 to stay snug in the womb. I was feeling anxious about coping with the changing dynamic in the BE Hive. I was feeling worried for Mini Man and how he is going to cope with the 'competition' for our attention and how we were going to manage that, making the transition as easy on him as we can. I was feeling fears for how Mr BE and I would navigate our days with sleep deprivation (the memory of newborn days with Mini Man are vivid!) and the demands of not one but TWO little people who will be relying on us for their everything. I was worried for Mr BE and how he'll cope after his paternity leave is up & he has to return to the office somehow manage to productively get through each day in a demanding job. I was worried for myself on how I'll cope when he's not home to help all day! And I was worried for how our relationship will be affected by even less time to give to each other.
Now? Well now, I can't wait to meet this new little person we have made. I know that we already love B4 unconditionally and that our hearts have room for both Mini Man and B4. We are not the first couple to have a second child, it can be done, many have done this before us and survived. But it is the first time we've had a second child, so it's both scary and exciting all at once. I know my fears are natural and I know that we will be OK, we will do the very best we can for B4 and Mini Man. They will both know they are loved and wanted. My fears will drive me to the best I can.
I also know that Mr BE & I will do the very best we can for each other. I know that, because it's what we always do. Mr BE is my rock, as I've said before, without him I wouldn't be on this motherhood journey, I am on this journey because I chose to do it with him, you can read more about that here. I know that each day I watch him with Mini Man and have him by my side and somehow I love him a little more than I did yesterday or maybe it is just that each day I am reminded that I love him and why.
So, come on out B4... we're ready*. The BE Hive needs it's fourth. Your clothes are washed & folded. Your nappies are stocked. Your room is ready. Your bed is made. Your brother is excited to meet you... although to be honest, he may not yet have fully grasped the reality of all this baby talk, but he will & he's going to love you SO MUCH. Mummy & Daddy can't wait to see you, to hold your little hands, to touch your little feet, to stare at your little face and to get to know you.
And of course we can't wait for the answer: Are you Mini Man's little brother or are you his little sister?
*Although, it would be awesome if you could refrain from making your grand entrance in the wee hours of the night... since the BE Hive is so far from family, it's friends we will be relying on to look after your brother, AND it'd be super if we didn't have to A) call & wake them AND B) wake him and drop him to them confused & unsettled in the middle of the night.... ;)