Dear baby,

As I’m writing this your Dad is off doing the grocery shopping, something we usually do together, but I am absolutely exhausted. Getting off the couch is proving an effort, let alone walking to the shops. I’m at the point in the pregnancy now where one big day needs to be followed by a day of complete rest. I even find I have more Braxton Hicks following a big day, so this morning was a little nerve-wracking for a while there. I’m sure I’ll know for certain once I’m in labour, but until then the false starts are a little scary!

So, why am I so tired? I caved and had a baby shower yesterday. Baby showers are not my idea of a good time at all. I find them contrived, full of stupid games and pretty boring overall. But, I knew your Gran wanted to throw me one, and it was a nice excuse to get all my girlfriends in one room together, so I had one. Fortunately, it was tasteful, there were no games – though your Gran and Aunty Sophie challenged my “no games rule” a bit by organising what they termed “an activity”, there was champagne (which nobody drank!) and a light lunch, all very civilised.

How it all began: Peeing on a stick

As a result, you are now a very spoilt girl. The thing I don’t like about baby showers is they’re blatant present-grabs, so I did try to dissuade people from buying me presents. Of course, that was ignored. You should see all the stuff you got! You’re going to look so cute in all your little outfits. I can’t believe how many outfits you have, and how much room you’re taking already! Playmats, baths, bouncers … all great things that take up a lot of room in our little apartment. I’m beginning to realise that my tastefully decorated apartment is going to start filling up with discarded bottles, baby wipes, powder and washing in no time. But you’re worth it!

I’m glad the shower went well, and without too many clichés (everyone watched me open presents, which I couldn’t avoid). I needed a good end to my week as it started off very bad. You probably felt me crying to the point of hyperventilating on Tuesday night. Your Dad was yelling at me to stop as he was scared it was going to bring on labour.

Tuesday afternoon was doctor appointment time. Now, overall I have found the public system quite good. Sure, there’s no consistency of care but the doctors I have had have been great, and very understanding. I guess towards the end it gets a bit more real and there’s a bit more going on, but I don’t think that’s any excuse for the doctor I first saw on Tuesday night – that’s right, I was blessed with two awful doctor’s appointments in one evening!

When I was called to go in the first appointment I was shocked at how young the doctor was, she looked like she was barely out of school! It was all cleared up for me when I entered the room to see a very elderly doctor sitting in a chair, who promptly introduced me to the medical student who had brought me in. I was determined not to be ageist. Just because this doctor was old, didn’t mean he wasn’t going to be good. He asked me the usual questions, though he wasn’t overly forthcoming on information, or overly explorative with questions. Your Dad just sat off to the side looking bewildered – it was his first appointment of this kind so he didn’t know that this doctor wasn’t as forthcoming as others.

The doctor then asked me to get on the table, and felt around to see if you were still breech. It was probably the most painful stomach exam I’ve had. He kept pinching my pelvis, where your little legs are at the moment. Once he figured out you were still upside down (which took far longer than necessary given I could point out the position of your head to him straight away), he promptly told me that he’d like to book me in for a caesarean for week 38. Suddenly, everything fell in on me. While I’ve said all along I’m happy to have a c-section if it comes to that, the idea of having a planned, locked in date does not appeal to me at all. I want to give you a chance to do things on your terms, to enter the world when you’re ready. In addition, as of the previous Saturday you were a mere 2.1kg and I didn’t see the point in taking you out early if we didn’t need to. I tried to convey all this to the doctor, but he was not very understanding. He also didn’t explain any options to me, didn’t explain any risks, didn’t explain anything really. When I enquired as to whether or not we could get you turned (knowing full well we could) he sighed, walked out the room and came back in complaining about filling out more paperwork. Honestly! Then, he made me sign a consent form for a caesarean. I asked questions, such as “does this mean I’m locking myself in for a c-section because I don’t want to do that”, to which he responded, “Just sign it”. It was awful. I felt so out of control of the situation, and so overwhelmed. I wasn’t prepared for it at all. Your poor Dad had no idea that this kind of appointment was out of the ordinary. I found out later that signing the form just meant a caesarean if I went into labour while you’re still breech – why he couldn’t sit down and explain this to me, I don’t know!

Next up I saw the diabetes doctor. Of course, at this point I was feeling a little shaken. I was a bit upset, but managing to control it. I had seen the same doctor for diabetes for a while now, but this time I got a different doctor. She asked the usual questions, some I had answered previously, before putting me on the scales. The scales indicated that I had put on a total of 2kg while pregnant. The subject of my weight came up in at a lot of appointments, but the general consensus has been that as long as you’re growing as you should then there’s no cause for concern. And, honestly, a low-GI diet is designed for weight loss. Add to that the required daily exercise and lack of chocolate, and of course I’ve lost weight! This doctor, however, did not subscribe to the same theories as other doctors and started making numerous enquiries about my diet. I answered truthfully. She asked whether or not I was eating a lot, and your Dad made a bit of a face. I laughed and rolled my eyes, but the doctor jumped on it, practically accusing me of not eating at all, of starving my baby. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back I’m afraid. I started crying, while desperately trying to get her to understand that I am eating more than enough. In fact, I eat more now than I did before being pregnant. I mean, honestly, your Dad didn’t mean anything by it, but he expects me to be eating twice as much as I do – but then again he always has. Man-sized portions differ! This woman wouldn’t let it go though, it was quite awful. Maybe if I hadn’t of had the horrible appointment preceding I would have handled it better, I would have been able to compose myself, but this woman made me feel like I was a bad mother before I’d even started. And I just kept thinking, I have done everything, absolutely everything, possible to make sure my daughter has the best start in life. I have stuck to this stupid diet despite only being 0.1 over on the diabetes test, I have pricked my finger four times a day, I have vomited for 26 weeks, I have foregone chocolate, ham, alcohol and many other things I love, I have forced myself to exercise for 30 minutes a day even when I feel like crap. This woman had no right to make me feel this way, but I let her. Thus, the car ride home pretty much entailed me sobbing the whole way home, which I continued to do until about 9.30 the next morning.

Of course, once I caught my breath and got a bit of perspective I realised how silly I was being. The hard thing about being a thin, fit, healthy person who has diabetes is you tend to still get painted with the same brush as the fried food fatties, and that’s just not fair. They tend to make a lot of assumptions about what your habits are, and it makes things difficult. It took me a while to realise that when they said “exercise” they meant movement, rather than dedicated exercise. Here I have been exercising on top of my usual incidental exercise during the day – turns out my incidental exercise was likely enough – certainly seems to be for the more “typical” gestational diabetes candidates.

Anyway Miss, it has been a tough week. If you could do Mama a favour and turn it would make everything so much simpler. If not, on Friday I go in for a procedure to have you manually turned. I’m not much looking forward to it though. At the end of the day I just want to give you the best chance of coming out the old-fashioned way before they cut me open. I know it really doesn’t matter, and I’m not one of those women who clings to the notion of natural childbirth being the only option, but I want to give it a try, and I want to give you the chance to come out on your own terms. Not long now my little girl, so get moving!

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