It's a feeling of mixed emotions over here at any given point. The overriding one of of relief that we have made it this far, followed by mild panics about how unprepared we are, accompanied with a feeling of sadness that it's nearly all over, backed up with occasional tears when I contemplate Laura going back to work after her paternity leave. So not at all dramatic. Or emotional.
It may be linked to the fact that these last 4 weeks have been super busy at work and I haven't been sleeping great. Whatever the factors my wonderful wife has been ever present, ever supportive and accommodating. I have always counted myself lucky to have found her but pregnancy has really shown me just how lost I'd be without her.
Week 25 included a trip to London for work, a trip to the midwife for a check up (all was good) and a trip to Mallorca for our babymoon. The trip to London was straightforward and I am loving the fact that the 'baby on board' badge works a treat when getting a seat. Having said that I'm getting to the point where the bump is enough without the badge.
I am also getting comments about how big my bump is, I know that it is 'just a thing people say' but seriously, I am not a fan. I'm also not a fan of being told that it'll be a big baby at this rate - erm thanks! I really want to start thinking about bringing a large baby into this world.....said no-one ever!
Mallorca came at exactly the right time. With work ramping up and house stuff still going on (see Weeks 20 - 24 for details) we needed some time just for us where we weren't working through a to-do list. We left early on Friday morning from Birmingham and got back Tuesday afternoon - meaning only 1 days annual leave was used as Friday and Monday were Easter bank holidays.
The weather was glorious, the hotel we stayed at overlooked the beach, but had a great pool area where we spent most of time, there were restaurants in walking distance and best of all, there wasn't much to do except relax. Honestly it was perfect. I felt like I had seen more of Laura than I had in ages and we came back feeling rejuvenated.
Sadly, as with all good things, once it came to an end and we were back to reality life seemed to take over and we didn't really catch up again until our drive to Sheffield the next weekend. As Laura can now drive legally it is a massive benefit as I could put my feet up and enjoy the drive. We arrived at our friends house having talked non-stop for 2 hours.
The weekend was full of the stuff that makes great weekend - delicious food at the cabin, an afternoon of games - board games in fact at the Tree House Board Game Cafe, where they have a wall of games that you can pick and play over a 4 hour period. We went for Ticket to Ride and Camel Up. Two games we had never heard off buy highly recommend! And a Sunday walk exploring some local reservoirs to exhaust the pups.
At the start of the next week I made it my mission to focus on finding my replacement at work, when we initially discussed them starting mid-May it seemed ages away, it is now less than a month and that is terrifying.
My appetite has continued to increase too so poor Laura is concocting all kinds of healthy things for me to snack on, unfortunately my sweet tooth is a demanding master though and I am easily tempted by biscuits, doughnuts, sweets and recently white chocolate buttons. I can't get enough of them!
Week 28 was a mix of activity, this time two work trips to London and a lot of moving stuff around the house to make way for the carpet fitters. Our hallway became an assault course and our bathroom a storage zone but it worked. We cleared the rooms enough to get the carpet laid and finish off our plans for the guest room and baby room.
We also managed to fit in getting our fence replaced - all the storms over winter had caused a fair amount of damage and we wanted it sorted before our girl arrives.
As the Apps I have and any video I watch regarding 28 weeks is telling me - not long to go now!
If sorting the house wasn't enough we had a weekend in London planned to finish the week. Thankfully one of working days in London happened to be the Friday so I headed in at 7am and did a full day. Laura followed after she finished at 2pm and we met at Victoria Station at 6pm.
The reason for our visit was down to us booking Hamilton some 14 month earlier. We remember it vividly. We were in Australia, it was 1am and we were staying with the wonderful Kate. We had 5 devices all logged on ready to get tickets and after 25 minutes of trying we managed to get 2 tickets in the stalls. A dream come true. We just had to wait a while.
On meeting in Victoria we were so excited. The area the theatre is in is a stones throw from where we used to work together in London and so walking around we were filled with memories of happy times. Lunches together, summers on the overcrowded patches of grass and after work drinks in the local pubs. The area has changed a lot and yet in some ways not at all.
As we took our seats we were struck by how many Americans there were, you never have to search for an American as they are usually introducing themselves to you, and in this instance telling you how many times they have seen the show and in how many different locations. Who knew it was a thing to travel around seeing the show?!
We loved the show. We LOVED the show. We absolutely LOVED the show. It was completely worth the wait and the only sad thing is that we can't go again soon. Instead I am playing the Hamilton soundtrack constantly - out loud and in my head. The first half was laugh out loud enjoyable and the second part tear jerkily sad. There were parts we had to concentrate to understand and parts we missed as we were too buy cheering or jeering or turning to each other to say wow. We left feeling exhilarated and completely understanding why everyone raves about it.
Baby girl thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening too - she was dancing away almost constantly. It got to the point where I almost had to stand up towards the end as the dancing on my bladder was almost too much.
Thankfully I had booked a hotel in nearby Kensington - had we tried to make it home I think we would have been exhausted. We checked in and headed to our room. The massive bed was just the welcome we needed and we slept until 9.30am - both of us enjoying the lack of alarm.
Once up we started the day, first stop was Leicester Square where we popped into the Lego Store, an addition since we lived there, and headed to Covent Garden to meet @SohoPRgirl, a lovely lady called Fiona who we had exchanged tweets with for a few years. She treated us to Udderlicious ice-cream - perfect as the sun was shining. We chatted for 2 and a half hours before realising we had to leave in order to make it to Vauxhall in time for dinner with my sister and her boyfriend. Thankfully Fiona allowed me to use the toilet at her nearby Yoga studio before we left - it is not something I had ever needed to consider before but now the location of toilets is paramount in my mind.
We made it in perfect timing and spent the late afternoon stuffing our faces with Nando's and catching up. After sitting up all day I was glad to get to my sisters flat and lay out on her couch - she on the other hand was enjoying the opportunity to feel her niece having a dance. If music is on this girl will dance :)
After a few hours relaxing Laura and I made our way back to the centre to stock up on food for the journey - including a trip to Doughnut Time, the concept is to create delicious doughnuts that go beyond your regular jam/cream filled variety. The result is too much choice and a selection that leaves you drooling. We had planned to get one to share and ended up with two to share.
This week has been calmer. I'm grateful. We have finally found an ordered a car set - another wonderful gift from Laura's parents. We also ordered some wall art for the baby room and have finished the baby shower gift registry (an uphill struggle we weren't expecting). We have also had the opportunity to sort though baby clothes we were gifted from a couple we know -their generosity means our girl will be well dressed and it's a relief for me as I was panicking that we hadn't really got anything.
This weekend we have our Antenatal class all day Saturday and we have organised a private scan so my Mum and Sister can see our baby girl...they couldn't wait another two months and we are secretly really pleased as it seems ages since we saw her and we can't wait to see how much she's grown.
I also have a breastfeeding class booked in so it's official life is now well and truly baby focused for the foreseeable future. Exciting....nerve wracking and every other emotion in between but bring it on!