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There is good midwife news to tell this week, so excuse me while I heft myself to the nearest rooftop, loud hailer in hand (never let it be said I don’t try to be balanced in these things).

On Sunday we had our homebirth “chat” which roughly equated to one of the community midwives (who I hadn't met before) coming over and us going through a checklist of discussion points while she made sure I wasn't completely barking tonto. I really enjoyed having her over, she listened intently to my views on what to do should Alfie be breech, where, when and how I want things to work and she didn't even require a cuppa for her troubles. She left me with a nicely wrapped birthing pack too, which made it all seem very real and very close – in a totally positive way though!

Keith had chosen that half hour to be out, and when he returned and I broke the news to him, he got himself all concerned that the birth pool might not fit in the lounge and that therefore, we should put it up there and then. This is despite the fact that half the bathroom was still lying around at this point.

I’ll spare you a blow by blow account of what happened next. Suffice to say the following lessons were learned

1. Keith is not as fit as he would like to believe.
2. Operating a foot pump when 35 weeks pregnant involves standing on one leg, which is never a good idea when your centre of gravity is up there with a full laden skip lorry.
3. Birth pools aren't round, they are oval – who knew?!

I had to try it out for size once it was inflated of course, and I must admit, I am now looking forward to diving into it for real in a few weeks - sorry La Bassine lawyers, if you are reading this, I don’t actually mean dive. I know you felt the need to stamp a big message about diving on the bottom of your pool but don’t worry, I shall be avoiding the 3m springboard as a means of entry when I'm 5cm dilated.

In fact, add that as a point 4 to the list above, birth pool manufacturers stamp stupid ass messages on the bottom of birth pools. Like “Children under 7 to be supervised”. I jest not.

Anyway, Monday was the far more serious midwife appointment where I get prodded and poked and Discussions are had. Once again though, I was really pleasantly surprised.

We had a chat about what position I thought Alfie was in, and I went through all the things I've been throwing at the situation to get him to turn and also a bit more about how I'm feeling generally. Then she had a good palpate – and I do mean a GOOD palpate and proclaimed that she was about 90% certain that Alfie is now HEAD DOWN!!!!

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop my Optimal Foetal Positioning exercises, but it is a big relief to know that it is having some impact. According to mum, if he takes after me he’ll be flipping back and forward until the last minute, so it pays to keep trucking I reckon.

Like we needed more baby stuff to do, we had our NCT class on Monday evening. As a quick aside, I have now decided that it isn't that women get obsessed with impending birth, it’s that they are never allowed to stop thinking about it because there is so blooming much to sort out.

One of the things we discussed as prep for next week was a checklist of what our perfect painkiller would look like, not the perfect birth painkiller, just the perfect painkiller. We came up with a pretty interesting list, but what surprised me the most was that thinking about my perfect painkiller Vs my perfect birth painkiller I realised how different the two were.

About 7 years ago, I managed to come off a motorbike doing 0.01mph and destroy my left shoulder. When I was sitting in A&E shaking convulsively, I was offered, and of course jumped at, some serious pain relief in the form of liquid morphine. I remember quite vividly the effect it had on me and frankly, it ticked every one of my boxes as far as perfect pain relief is concerned:

I was still aware of the injury, and yet didn't care. I felt mellow, happy. It was given without injection. I was still mobile (if a little malcoordinated) and I got to take some home for a later date.

So why then is my perfect painkiller so far away from what I want for the birth? Well all the reasons stated above basically. As we discussed in the class, the pain of birth is a different sort of pain to the sort a person normally experiences in that it isn't telling you something is wrong (like it was when I rearranged my shoulder) but that an intense physical process is taking place. I don’t want to ‘not care’ about that. I don’t want to be malcoordinated, or so mellow I can’t think about what I need to do next. I'm not saying I want pain either, but coping with pain is something I find easier than coping with being totally vegged.

And finally, I've tried not to post endless bump photos on the blog, but I took this one and on the basis that it made me laugh, I thought I would post it. Do you think my bump might have dropped????

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