Aren't people nice? Took my car in for its MOT and service this week - and the lovely lady at Volkswagen had obviously clocked my bump, and when I went to pick my car up - she handed over a bottle of (not cheap) champagne to wish me luck! How lovely - was really surprised. NB - car is now also fully equipped with car seat and base, generously donated by my best friend. Baby stuff gradually infiltrating all our space!
Had to pop back into work too, to tie up a few loose ends and have an appraisal. After the unusual circumstances of leaving after a mammoth shift on Royal Wedding day last week, I was given a Good Luck card and gift voucher from everyone, which was also lovely. Didn't feel remotely strange to walking out of the building for who knows how long - I think I'm definitely ready to put my feet up for a few weeks now.
Been busy though - done all sorts of bits and bobs like sorting my car, eye test, ante-natal checkups (all good), last ante-natal class, breastfeeding class etc, so it's not exactly felt like a week off.
DP and I also did a tour of the Birth Centre and Labour ward at the hospital where we'll be having the Little Monkey. I thought I'd pretty much made up my mind about all that - I thought I was all set for the Birth Centre. But when it came to it, I felt much more comfortable in the Labour ward. The rooms reminded me of a Travelodge - albeit with plenty of amenities and all the pain relief/operating theatre closer to hand. The Labour ward has one birthing pool available (so long as there are enough midwives to monitor it), so I could hopefully still use that. The Birth Centre just seemed a bit older, more 'hippy', and nothing like a 'home from home' they bill it as. So I think for the first one, I'll be much happier in more of a hospital environment - not that it felt too 'hospitally'.
Annoyingly, the midwife showing us round was giving us conflicting information to things we'd been told by the midwife at our ante-natal classes (all from the same hospital) - about things like which ward I'd be on after the birth. I got quite frustrated and angry at what seems to be emerging as a pattern of no one really knowing what's going on, and constant conflicting information from within the same NHS trust.
I'm also getting a bit wound up by the constant negative messages from people like my GP. Things like "oh, you'll feel like a whale soon" and "no one's birth ever goes to plan". Not true. I've had plenty of friends whose births have - and, while it may change in my last month, I'm constantly surprised by how NOT big I feel at the moment. I know I have to keep realistic about everything that might or might not happen at the end of my pregnancy and during labour/birth - and I am - but a few positive messages wouldn't go amiss...