Today you’ll have to excuse the slightly dizzy tone, I am somewhat floating on air for the first time in many weeks! I’ve spoken before about a list of things that my husband and I have wanted to do before the baby arrives. We’ve been quite successfully making our way through the ‘baby bucket list,’ and now we have been given the news that a c-section will be safer in our situation, we know that we now only have a few weeks left to finish it! Today was an extremely well received item! We went swimming. After ‘uhmming and ahhhing’ for the last month or so, I recently headed to Primark and bought a larger bikini for maternity use. I know it seems a rather banal thing to have spent a month deciding on but maternity costumes are really expensive and as swimming isn’t the cheapest of activities I wondered how many times I would realistically go. However as the strain on my hips and joints increased and the number of people recommending swimming in the latter stages of pregnancy also increased, I headed to Primark, picked up a size 16 bikini instead of my normal size 14 to accommodate my growing parts; and we headed to Cascades in Tewkesbury.
When I emerged from the changing rooms, I was suddenly hugely aware of my naked protruding stomach; not since being just moderately pregnant had I been to the pool and at that point, my swimming costume had had enough stretch to go over my belly. I retreated back into the changing room wondering what the hell I was doing exposing my huge body to the public. And then I realised that I was being a moron. I was a heavily pregnant woman and swimming could ease my joints and therefore relax me and therefore could only be good for baby. For all my babbling on about self belief and teaching my baby about confidence and her Mother was hiding in a changing room!! No no, this was not to be, I walked back out, head up high and smiled at everyone I walked past – which as I was still a bit nervous and people in the UK don’t generally just go round smiling at everyone probably came across more creepy than confident but sod it I was going for it!
After checking it was ok with the lifeguard, we headed to the learner pool so I didn’t get in the way of the actual swimmers in the main pool lanes. After all I was only there to bob about and do a few exercises that had long been impossible out of water. As I stepped into the water…OH…MY…GOD! I went from feeling 100 stone to 1 stone in an instant. The water enveloped me and bump and I lay back with glorious relief. I could feel every part of me relax and as my husband quite happily just pulled me about the place seemingly quite entertained by the image, we both enjoyed the following 20 minutes.
After that, it got even better…an announcement that was extremely exciting aged 9 (probably the last time either myself or my husband had been there) proved equally exciting aged 29, “the fun sections are now activated…” this meant the water slide was open, the water fountain was on, the bubbles were on and the waterfall started! Fun times were definitely activated! Admittedly, being 8 months pregnant meant that the majority of them were out of bounds for me but the gentle bubbles in the learner pool were even nicer on the muscles and careful placement underneath the waterfall was amazing on my shoulders. We stayed long enough that we suddenly realised that we had to get out as we’d only paid for two hours in the car park!
It was sad times to get out of that pool, the pressure of the weight came hurtling straight back to my muscles and my mind, it had been a lovely reprieve but inevitably had had to end! It had however, done me the world of good. And whilst there, we had the chance to just chat and talk about the impending few weeks without being forced to think about work emails or invoices or writing deadlines, the benefit of taking ourselves out somewhere took away that normal pressures of freelance working so it was a relaxing adventure for both of us!
I stood under the warm shower for quite some time and whilst there, a little boy of about 3 or 4 came in with his Mother and I triggered a conversation that had obviously not been wanted quite yet. It did, however make me smile so I thought I’d share it;
Little Boy, “Mummy, what’s wrong with that lady’s tummy?”
Mum, “don’t be rude Flynn, you don’t say that about people do you.”
(At this point I gave her the understanding nod and smile that said ‘I’m not offended by your child’s interpretation of my ‘deformed’ body!’)
LB, “but why does it look like that?”
M, “she has a baby in there.”
LB, “(a look of abject horror mixed with fear crossed his face) WHY?!”
M, “that’s where babies grow before they are born Flynn, all babies start in their Mummy’s tummy.”
(Now to perhaps my favourite bit of this exchange) LB, “but how do they get there?”
(a pause which told everyone in the communal shower room that this was not a moment she really fancied addressing in public made worse by the added attention we all had, ‘yes mummy,’ we were all thinking, ‘how are you going to answer this one?!’) M, “I’ll let your Daddy explain it to you in the car sweetheart.”
Part of me expected applause from the other Mums present in the changing rooms, I half expected to find a crowd by their car to watch the unsuspecting Dad get the question followed by the knowledge that Mummy had informed him that a Daddy would fill him in. Glorious moments of childhood innocence that, as parents, we can all expect to come across and deal with in our own awkward way!
The rest of my changing room experience went by uneventfully and apart from not buying a nice lolly on the way out, it was a perfect afternoon trip. My only regret (apart from not picking up one of those really refreshing lemonade lollies) was that I’d dithered for so long about whether to get a suitable swimming outfit. It was in hindsight one of the best £6 I’d ever spent and if the weather stays as nice as it has been, tomorrow afternoon we’re hoping to treat ourselves to a trip to the Lido (where they also sell ice lollies…!)
The end of the pregnancy is near and we’re thrilled and excited to meet our new arrival but these last few weeks have been so much fun; if you discount the uncomfortable nights of sleep, sporadic nausea, ligament, joint and general pain as well as a host of other third trimester delights…! It’s time I’ll cherish in my memory and will most likely be the moments we look back on when we decide to ride this ridiculous roller coaster again. The bucket list is nearly complete, as is the pregnancy and then the fun will really start to begin; and the sleepless nights…and the screaming baby…and the inability to make any plans…
…and the tenseness returns…back to the pool of tranquility!!