Rebecca Adlington keeps a diary for M&B throughout her pregnancy. Read Week 32: The double Olympic gold medallist swimmer makes the final plans for her water birth
Harry and I went on a tour of the maternity hospital last week. The building’s really old, but it’s lovely inside. It’s largely decorated in purple – my favourite colour – so that’s a good start. And it’s more like a spa than a hospital with dim lights and aromatherapy oils burning. We feel so much more prepared now we’ve seen where we’re going to have our baby.
We’ve always wanted a water birth, and she told Harry he’d be able to get in the pool with me
The midwife who showed us round talked us through the labour process. We’ve always wanted a water birth, and she told Harry he’d be able to get in the pool with me. My reply was: “No chance babe – you’re not going for a swim, it’s all mine!” But there was a coffee machine and biscuits so that cheered him up. Harry also gets to stay over at the birth centre, which is such a relief. I was worrying what would happen if he had to go home.
We’ve got a rough birth plan but we’re still in the process of finding stuff out. Do we really need to spend all this time researching all the possibilities? I think we’ve just got to trust the midwives and doctors and go with the flow.
I’d like to think I’m pretty tough
I’m not intending to have an epidural or pain relief other than gas and air, mainly because you can’t have that and a water birth. I keep saying to myself that surely being an athlete, and pushing my body to the absolute limit every single day for so long, will help me in some small way. I’d like to think I’m pretty tough. And I’m already in awe of what the human body can do – I’ve worked mine so hard and it’s incredible what it can tolerate. And I’m amazed how it’s coped with being pregnant.
Because we found out I was pregnant early at five weeks, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for ever
Of course there may be complications, but I’m going in with the mindset that, though it’s not going to be a walk in the park, we can push through it and get to the other end. And I can squeeze Harry’s hand really hard and make him suffer too.
I’m so pleased we’re nearly there. I’m so impatient to meet her. Because we found out I was pregnant early at five weeks, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for ever. We’ve been counting down the weeks and finally we’re into single figures. It could happen any day! Not that we’ve packed the hospital bag yet… although I’m signed up to all those websites and apps that send you alerts, so I am being nagged to get on with it.
If I do backstroke my bump sticks out of the water, and if I do front crawl I feel like a hippopotamus
I’m struggling to bend over to put my shoes on now. I went for a swim the other night, got to the end of the pool and thought, ‘Oh my God, I can’t tumble turn!’. I’ve been swimming twice a week all through my pregnancy, although now if I do backstroke my bump sticks out of the water, and if I do front crawl I feel like a hippopotamus. The last time I did manage a tumble turn she went absolutely mad. I think she was doing tumble turns of her own!
When we went to our first antenatal class on Tuesday, the midwife kept saying to carry on doing gentle exercise. Though I sat there wondering if her gentle exercise was quite the same level as mine!
Watch Becky’s video blog at rebeccaadlington.co.uk