18/11/2009 15:38 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Up The Duff Without A Paddle - The Final Instalment (For Now!)

Well folks, it's the final instalment of Up The Duff pre-baby. The next one, possibly cobbled together by a frazzle-brained new dad, will be the news of our baby's safe, glorious and totally pain-free arrival.

I can't quite believe it's all come this far - 38 weeks this week. I went for a final scan today, just to put my mind at rest after the baby was breech at 35 weeks. Yep, the head is definitely down. In fact so far down that the midwife gave an ouch. "Having trouble walking?" she asked, knowingly. Erm, yes, trouble walking, talking, sitting, sleeping, eating, waiting...

Apparently I'm carrying a "very tightly packed" baby, which excited the midwife so much she said it several times. "Oo, it's a very tightly packed baby!," she kept saying, in a tone of voice that implied it was a very clever baby for being so yoga-baby-like. She also suggested this might be why it's all been quite uncomfortable for some time - all the weight quite solidly compacted.

I asked if there was any correlation between how low the baby is (three-fifths engaged) and how soon labour might start. The answer was a very kind no, followed up with a "you're way too comfortable to be close", which frankly filled me with dread for how much more uncomfortable this can get before labour. In fairness, I think she meant that as contractions (or surges in hypnobirthing speak) haven't started, this baby is not coming soon.

The hypnobirthing exercises have been helpful, by the way, for coping with discomfort and helping me get to sleep. For that alone I'd recommend going on a course, if you can afford it.

In other news, a very lovely friend of mine threw a baby shower for us last weekend. It's very Sex And The City, I know, and not everyone's cup of tea, but we really enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity to see friends we might not see for a while now, and to play a few cute games - such as guess the size of the bump, name, delivery date and time. My partner's brothers think I am twice as fat as I am. Nice! That's their Christmas presents halved.

Friends also put together a time capsule for the baby to open on his / her 18th birthday. It was funny, and quite a compliment, to see that they clearly think we're destined to have an arty musician type. If someone had popped in a "Bluffer's Guide to Accountancy" or "Wean Yourself Off Crack - You Can Do It!" I'd have been worried.

So, I sign off, and go on maternity leave, a whole two weeks before the due date (how did it happen so late?!). After a manic weekend of building cots (we chose the gorgeous Brio Sleepbed from and the like last weekend, we're determined that this weekend will be one of total indulgence, just the two of us. We only had 60 weeks of the two of us before getting pregnant, and while we both love this baby with all our hearts already, we're planning a crazy weekend for two.

So, ta ta for now, readers. Thanks for dropping by these last 34 weeks or so. I'm off to read trashy magazines and watch my favourite heart-warming Christmas movies.

Big love,


Read more of Sarah Powell's popular weekly column: Up the Duff Without a Paddle exclusively on ParentDish.