A nine month bump in a mountain lake

I’ve reached that stage in pregnancy when sleeping means one of two positions: left or right side. Getting from one bony side to the other always involves waking up and conducting a manoeuvre that is similar to a long, heavy vehicle doing a U-turn. Accompanied by moans and groans, the five pillows strategically placed (one under feet to avoid cramp, another between the knees, a further one under the bump etc) also have to be re-positioned. These night-time interruptions are further increased by numerous ‘peeing’ trips. Your kidneys are allegedly working harder in later pregnancy, especially at night. Tell me about it! I was just getting back into proper sleeping now that my son has turned three. But with a new baby merely a month away it must be time to increase that insomnia stamina.

A very exciting thing happened this week. My 38 year-old sister had her first baby, making me an aunty for the second time (my 25 year-old sister had a baby in March, making her a ‘younger’ mother). Both my sisters prepared well for birth – as is recommended; raspberry leaf tea, perineum massage and Hypnobirthing courses. In fact the sister who just gave birth listened to her Hypnobirthing meditations at least half an hour every day in the six weeks leading up to her due date. She has given me her I-pod so I can practise. However, she’s also promised to pass on the rubber ring she’s using for her derriere because it’s such a ‘building site’ down there she can’t comfortably sit on a chair. Our other sister used it first and it’s making me a tad anxious about birth. Keep doing those positive affirmations! “My baby is just the right size for my body and we will birth easily and harmoniously….”

So before I buy the massage oil, the raspberry leaf tea and hypnotise myself with positive thoughts, I’m living very much in the moment – which could otherwise be seen as the ‘ostrich strategy’.

The moment I enjoyed most this week (apart from holding my gorgeous newborn niece) was swimming in a mountain lake on my son’s third birthday. Being buoyant really is the best position when you’re this pregnant. It was cold (between 15 and 18 degrees I guess) but I just had to do it – such clear water, so tranquil and such an incredible view of the mountains. I was tempted to swim all the way to a floating platform (on the left in the photo) but decided against it when I saw my partner’s anxious expression. No one else was swimming. If this heavily pregnant woman suddenly got cramp who would be mad enough to jump in and save her? Probably not the concerned-looking, warm-blooded Spaniard.