I quite fancied having a Halloween baby. I imagined her as a new-born pink little thing lying inside a pumpkin for pictures. And oh, the skeleton onesies, the baby zombie costumes! The fabulous birthday parties we could throw her later on, both Jo and I also dressing up, the fake blood and spiders and weird treats. We could invite her whole class and make the flat into a haunted house!

So I tried my hardest to relax on the day and even used my special birth-inducing Lush bath bomb, but Halloween came and went.

Fine, I thought, November 1st is a holiday in Belgium, that would be fun too, she’d always be off school for her birthday. Or the 3rd, she’d be a due date baby. Or hey, the 5th is Guy Fawkes Night in the UK, bonfires and candied apples and fireworks plus rebellion, I bet she’d love that! I went to a special yoga class the night before, ate a whole pineapple, and bounced on my yoga ball trying to get things going. But… nothing happened. No baby.

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With only two days to go until my due date, I figure it’s time to start looking back at these last months and write down my goodbye to pregnancy.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we had our frozen embryo transfer in London and baby Sunshine decided to stick around to become ours. The first trimester stretched out for endless weeks of sickness and it was by far the worst bit of my pregnancy, I was so relieved to make it to twelve weeks and stumble into the second one! I felt so much better then and I thought that would be the best time before it all became too difficult again, but honestly, these last months have been great too. Other than some stressing about getting everything ready for baby I have loved my third trimester.

With passing milestones like viability and thirty-two weeks it has been so good knowing that baby is strong and healthy and okay in there. I really enjoy feeling her move too. It’s probably one of the reasons why I haven’t gone into labour just yet despite having some signs for almost two weeks now, because part of me is holding on to this. It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing the end is coming, that soon she will be her own whole person. I wish I could both have her be born and keep her inside too!

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I am ten days away from my due date and I am in Ghent, standing upright in the turning bit of the tram. I’m holding on to the rails for dear life as the floor shifts beneath me.

There is a middle-aged couple sitting down on the seats next to me, happily chatting. A group of students are behind me in seats, laughing together. There are other commuters, busy on their phones. I am carrying heavy shopping bags that are digging into my shoulders, my back aches, and balancing is a serious challenge with the belly.

The tram stops, and a single seat opens. I move towards it, but I’m not fast enough and it’s taken by someone else. The tram goes on, and so does my white-knuckled grip on the rail. I have been having practice contractions for days, and one rolls over me, making me breathe shallowly. Sweat prickles on the back of my neck. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.

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A pregnancy is considered full term between 37 and 42 weeks, and that’s me now, baby Sunshine would be absolutely fine if she was born right this second. It’s like the brownies in the oven have started smelling like delicious chocolate, and we have to expect the ‘ding!’ from the oven timer any time now.

Only, and I hate to admit this, we are not even remotely ready! I’m pretty sure at this point I should be sitting on the sofa with my feet up doing nothing but watching Netflix, eating ice-cream, and moaning about how I can’t stand another minute of being pregnant. I feel a little cheated out of it actually because I was quite looking forward to doing just that *laughs*

But we have a ‘to do’ list that’s about as long as my arm, and both Jo and I are stressed about getting through it before there is a little one making life a million times more challenging. I thought we would be fine at this point, we started preparing so early! But there is so much more involved in baby baking than I realised.

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We risked taking the Eurostar to London for a long weekend at 36 weeks pregnant, one last trip as ‘just the two of us’. London is where we started this pregnancy, it seemed fitting to go one more time with my belly full of baby kicks and turns and hiccups, and to say a small thank you to the city that has brought us so much.

As my due date is looming ever closer we did consider the chance that I might go into labour while we were there, but we got the okay from our midwives  to travel, and I really don’t feel as if it’s going to happen any time soon. It certainly would have been an admin nightmare to give birth there but we took the chance, and no babies were had *g*

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