So here we are, at that pregnancy milestone I knew nothing about until very recently – The Third Trimester. The last part of the road to becoming a mum and meeting the little boy that’s (kicking my guts out everyday and) growing in me.
When my friends have been pregnant, I’ve always imagined pregnancy a bit like a marathon. I’m sure my friends would have laughed and some may have even been offended by my analogy. But having (almost) gone through both experiences, I don’t think I was too far off.
I have had similar anxieties, albeit on totally different levels, during the two experiences. Should I do it? Can I do it? Will my body support me through it? Will me heart be OK? What should I be eating? How much should I be exercising? Am I resting enough? What else do I need to learn to make this the best possible experience? All of these questions have come up when I’ve run a marathon and throughout pregnancy.
In both cases, I obviously made the decision to go ahead, I took the first step and at that point you never really know what you’re getting into. This week’s been a hard one for me as I’ve had a huge realisation that I really have no idea what’s coming. I’ve been surprisingly relaxed through the pregnancy to date and I’ve let go of my controlling nature and honestly thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of the unknown. But this week challenged this new ‘laid back Lucy’.
On Tuesday I had my check in appointment at Chelsea & Westminster with the team of Cardiac Obstetricians (they’re the people that help you to give birth, but also cardiac specialists) and quite frankly, shit got real. All of the worries and risks and things I’d dealt with and parked in the early stage of pregnancy came up again as we talked through the realities of the next 8-10 weeks to the point of giving birth. The final 6 miles as I’m calling it. I knew this point would come but it came as quite a shock.
The reality is that this is the crunch point and the point when the risks rise significantly. Thankfully the risks are really on me and bambino looks like he’s doing really well and has a clear run out of my belly no matter what happens! I’ve got appointments almost every week to check bambino’s growth and my heart. I came away feeling scared and overwhelmed by the vast unknown and the myriad of ways this could all go.
My coping mechanisms that day; an Honest Burger (yes!), a good cry, letting myself feel sorry for myself, going to bed for a while and talking to friends.
And then I got out my journal. I went back to how I felt right at the start, as I knew they were similar worries. Reading this over, alongside the facts about these risks that I’d written down at the time helped massively. I wrote out my concerns and the other anxieties this has triggered and I started to be able to see through to the positives.
Beyond the absolute miracle that I have Ben’s baby growing inside me, and that bambino is very healthy and active, I still have my health. My body has supported me this far and it’s doing a bloody amazing job considering. It’s got me through 2 marathons, why can’t it get me through this?
I’ve got a team of amazing doctors who won’t leave me alone for checking up on me. If anything does happen, it will get spotted and me and bambino will have the best possible care the NHS can give.
So, here’s to those final miles, I may have hit the wall but it’s all in the head from here on in. Bring on the final 200 metres (giving birth)!