Hello, third trimester!
And hello searing back pain, the inability to pick things up from the floor, raging hunger followed shortly by overwhelming fullness, unpredictable hot flashes, and face-numbing tiredness.
It's all happening!
I am so happy to be on the final stretch though. The baby is now moving around all day long; kicking, punching, and hiccuping away. It is crazy to think that there is a real little baby in there, now perfectly formed and just getting stronger and stronger every day.
If I think too much about the actual physicality, and I suppose spirituality, of meeting our baby out in the world soon - his little body taking up space outside of me, his movements in front of me, being able to hear his sounds and feel his weight - I truly start to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.
But I am so grateful.
And even though I am telling him every day to stay in there, that he needs to cook a bit longer, to keep getting stronger, and that we will meet when the timing is perfect and not before - I am so excited.
Over the next month or so we will be turning my dressing room/the laundry room into a nursery, and I can't wait. I am so keen to make it perfect and to spend some time in there before he comes; anticipating his arrival, getting impatient, and trying not to think about labour too much.
I will also be writing a birth plan.
We went to look around the maternity ward where I plan to give birth last month, and it really made everything seem real. I don't think I am much of a fan of hospitals, and the sight of all of the medical equipment in the birthing room was definitely more terrifying than comforting.
I get the impression that giving birth in Qatar is probably quite different to the UK - there are no water-birth options, no home-birth options (that one is literally illegal), no midwives - and after asking a couple of questions re: painkillers and birthing positions, I think it is going to be a much more rough and to-the-point affair, possibly even a bit pushy in terms of medical staff.
So the birth plan is going to be just for me and my husband, so that we both know what we want in most eventualities; and of course to make sure that if I am not able to say it myself, he can be my advocate.
Its pretty scary stuff, and as my belly gets bigger I am trying really hard not to think too much about the logistics of getting the baby out. But I know that it is natural, and I feel confident that my body will know what to do when the time comes.
I just need to relax and go with it...and finally start those hypnobirthing tapes.