Adrian was born at home, just like Ingrid. It was absolutely the right decision for us; everything went very smoothly and I will definitely aim for the same next time (if and when that happens).

I know many people think of choosing home birth as a brave thing to do. And I can sort of understand their point of view… but only in my head, not in my heart. For me, home birth is the easy choice, the alternative that does not require any bravery.

Perhaps it comes down to what you have more confidence in: your body, or the health care system. I know I have a healthy body that can do just about anything a body is supposed to do. It is rarely unwell, has no chronic problems, does not break easily.

Or maybe it’s about being in control. I have an aversion to other people making decisions for me, to not being in control of my own life. I dislike strangers, noise, hassle. A hospital birth would make me nervous and anxious. Machines that go ping, shift changes, strange smells, other mothers giving birth next door – I don’t even want to think about it. A home birth on the other hand is a calm, undisturbed experience.

People mention pain, too. That’s what everybody thinks about first when thinking about giving birth. This birth was definitely an easy one, but of course I made my decision not knowing that, based on how Ingrid’s birth went. And there was pain, of course, but it was never unmanageable. I really don’t know if it was less painful than the average birth, or if I am more tolerant of pain than the average mother, or if it is simply about expectations and perceptions. I accepted that it would hurt and decided to live with it, and not worry more about it.

The baby – a boy – was born on Friday evening, at home as planned. Everybody is doing well. Details to follow later.

On Wednesday I had another midwife’s appointment, hopefully my last one. Everything was looking good, as usual. She also confirmed that my application for a home birth has been approved, so we’re hopefully having a home birth this time again. (In Sweden women do have the right for a home birth, but you’ve got to pay for it out of your own pocket. Stockholm is the only region that compensates your costs, as long as you fulfil certain criteria – most notably they won’t cover a home birth for your first pregnancy.)

The practicalities are generally sorted. Work tasks have been finished or parked, I have emptied my drawers, and we had my farewell lunch today. We have a birth pool in the basement (unassembled). My mum has agreed to take care of Ingrid. The phone numbers to both midwives are on the fridge. Teensy nappies lie waiting in the bathroom.

  • I am tired of being pregnant. It is boring and inconvenient. I can barely bend enough at the waist to get my socks and shoes on. I have to go to the loo once an hour, at a guess. I spill food on my clothes because I cannot get close enough to the table. I cannot run with Ingrid. (On the other hand, I float much better than usual, which is nice when we go swimming.)
  • I am noticing a turning-inwards. I am less interested than usual in spending time friends and family, or going out to do things. I would rather just do stuff at home, preferably on my own. I am also feeling a drive to get things done, which is why my GTD list is getting leaner while the blog is getting less attention.

My back feels better during this pregnancy, perhaps because I move around more? I haven’t needed the Big V yet, even though it’s there in the bedroom, waiting for me.

Again I have a very active baby, kicking so you can see my whole abdomen wobble. There is no sign of him/her quieting down yet, even though there shouldn’t be much space in there. Now the little legs are so distinct that sometimes I can’t help poking them around when the baby kicks, pushing them one way and the other.

I have an audience this time. Ingrid likes feeling the kicks, especially when she is sitting on my lap or next to me and feels an unexpected kick against some part of her own body.

This time I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions – I can’t recall feeling any last time. It is really uncomfortable when the baby chooses to kick around during a contraction.

Being pregnant feels far less exciting and special this time. I am tired of the whole thing and wish the baby could come out now. Counting days (should be about 6 weeks to go as of yesterday).

Being pregnant is much less exciting the second time around. It is a bit of a hindrance in my daily activities, and that’s it. I don’t feel any need to take photos, or to even say much about the pregnancy.

Back starting to ache? Check.
Fast walking starting to become difficult? Check.
Baby kicking around like a nutter? Check.
Body starting to look a bit less bony? Check.

Been there done that.

Until just a few days ago, I didn’t feel particularly pregnant – apart from not fitting into my normal clothes. I didn’t look particularly pregnant, either: as long as I was wearing a jacket or sweater, you look right at me and not notice anything. And even when I was wearing a normal dress, you’d have to pay attention to notice the bump.

Now suddenly the bump has started growing and become more visible. And at the same time it’s making itself noticed in daily life. It’s beginning to get in my way when I clip my toenails. And it’s taking up internal space, so there’s less room for food in my stomach. After a normal-sized meal it feels like I’ve overeaten and I’ve got food up to my throat.

Today I had my second appointment with the midwife. I chose her for one reason only: she does planned home births, and that’s a rare thing in this country. Luckily she’s turned out to be a good fit otherwise, too. She’s relaxed and down to earth. “Any idea how much you might weigh now? No? OK, not to worry, it’s not that important. How are you feeling? Any complaints or discomforts? No? Well, in that case, since your blood pressure is looking good, we won’t bother with a urine sample, unless you want to. See you again in a month.”

In terms of body shape & size I am stuck in no man’s land. Too thick around the waist to fit into my normal skirts and trousers; not round enough to fill out most maternity clothes. Some dresses sort of work, except then I need tights, and the normal ones don’t fit well and the maternity ones are of lousy quality and last about two days of use before I have to throw them out. I want a proper bump!

While I do have a stash of maternity wear from last time, it turns out to not really fill my needs. First, as expected, there’s the climate issue. April in London is a great deal warmer than April in Sweden. Second, my lifestyle has changed. There is hardly anything in my stash for gardening, playgrounds, and other such physical and semi-messy activities.

I need to shop. I dislike shopping at the best of times, and now I need to do it under time pressure. And the shops seem to sell jeans, and clothes in black and white. Depressing.

On the positive side, I am no longer tired, and not unusually hungry either. And I have been feeling movements for the past week or two. First it felt like a little fish fluttering around; now it’s a bit more focused and distinct, like a bubble popping, so I can actually imagine tiny legs kicking around in there.

It’s official: we’re expecting another baby! ETA around September 28th.

I’m also releasing some previously-written but hitherto-embargoed posts in the Pregnancy category.

During this pregnancy (thus far at least) I haven’t experienced anything like the absurd all-consuming hunger I felt last time around. I eat a little bit more, and need an extra snack now and again to keep my blood sugar level.

But just like last time, I want cool, light, juicy food above all. Yoghurt and fruit are especially good. Some days I notice a lovely cake or cookie somewhere, and really wish that I wanted to eat it – but when given a choice I’d much rather have some grapes. The best meal is unsweetened yoghurt mixed with some berries from the freezer, and Havre Fras (puffy oat cereal). I’d been wondering what we would use all those berries for (cause we have lots). Now I know: to build a baby!

My body never quite regained its original shape after my previous pregnancy (even though I quickly tumbled back to my original weight). And now my waist is getting rounder again. Most of my “smart casual” skirts are already unusable; the dresses still fit, and some trousers too. Time to unpack the pregnancy clothes again. How lucky that we’ve managed to time this pregnancy to match the seasonality of the previous one almost exactly!