37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks, completed 9/18/2012.

Weight gain: I saw the midwives on Tuesday morning, and I’m up to the magical 150 (3 lb gain in the last 2 weeks), for a total pregnancy gain of 17 lbs. Much better!

Clothes: There are only 3 pairs of pants I can wear at the moment, 2 of which are uncomfortably tight. So make that 1, since I’m never in the mood the choose the uncomfortably tight ones first thing in the morning. So what I’m really trying to say is, if you see me wearing the same things over and over again, just . . . you know, roll with it.

Purchases: Well guys, there was a big one. Saturday we bought a car.

*pausing in disbelief*

*was this a dream or did it really happen?*

Yes, it really happened. We have been carless and LOVING it for our 3 years in Chicago, but with little Alice joining us, we decided it was time to become vehicularly empowered. We don’t plan on driving a lot, but for out of town trips to see our parents and friends, it just didn’t seem possible to coordinate our usual bus/train/bum-a-ride combo with a baby that needs to ride in a car seat for safety. We’re still pretty freaked out by our wheels, and mostly the car has just sat in our parking space looking way too shiny and intimidating. It’s funny, because the sales guys that sold us the car were more excited about us owning a car than we were. We were of the “necessary evil” mentality, which they just couldn’t wrap their minds around, bless their little car-selling hearts. But I know it’s going to be so useful . . . like for getting me to the hospital when it’s The Big Day! Or for getting to Stevens Point for Christmas with my family. Or for getting back to Dominick’s where I hope to find goat milk yogurt. Anyway, we’re thankful for God’s provision of this car, but don’t expect to see us driving all around tomorrow or anything. We’re easing into it.

Body: I still feel pretty much the same as I have. I was expecting to be bigger at this point, but I feel like I’ve been holding steady at roughly the same size for months.

On that note, the midwife said my fundal height (according to wikipedia: measurement from the top of the mother’s uterus to the top of the mother’s pubic bone in centimeters) hasn’t changed since my last visit two weeks ago, and ordered an ultrasound to make sure little Alice is measuring what she should. The midwife didn’t seem too concerned and said my long torso may be the cause, but she just wanted to be safe. So that’s where I’m headed next Tuesday, after reshuffling my regular appointment to Wednesday.

And because I can’t stop now, here’s the belly in all its glory, followed by a still fairly successful disappearing act.

Sleep: Sleep has been marvelous this week, which is a welcome change from last week. I feel really tired in the morning and don’t get out of bed with the vim and vigor that I used to, but I’ve been passing out quite easily on my body pillow when 10:30pm rolls around.

Best moment(s) of the week: Finalizing Alice’s room. Every time I walk past it now, I gaze in at the order, at the beautiful quilt hanging from the crib, at the framed Alice in Wonderland paperdoll, and my heart thrills that our soon-to-be little roommate now has a bedroom ready and waiting. And it’s so much prettier than I thought it would be (I can’t wait to show you guys!).

Movement: Same as last week–she’s head down and will in all likelihood stay that way until delivery, so her movements are now twists from side to side, stretches and squirms. Every now and then I reach down to find a foot or her bottom, and just connect with the fact that she has this little body that is inside my body. WILD! I know I don’t get to have her in here much longer, so I’m treasuring every squirm!

There’s also a lot of pressure on my bladder and the floor of my pelvis. I wondered if that meant she had dropped, but according to the midwife, it ain’t happened yet.

Food cravings/aversions: Now that I’ve been off cow dairy products for a week and a half, it’s getting a little easier. I’m starting to enjoy my coffee black (probably healthier for me anyway), and the project of avoiding cream and cheese made with cow milk and the like doesn’t seem as daunting as it was. The biggest challenge was when we were at a dinner party Saturday night, and I had to say no to some farmer’s market Greek yogurt over top of a fabulous homemade apple tart. The tart was awesome (and, let’s be honest, may have had a little butter in there), but denying myself those piles of heavy white glorious yogurt . . . sad, sad moment.

I’ve also started freezing meals! As of now, I have a bag of Chicken Marsala, two bags of Split Pea Soup, and two bags of Indian-Style Chicken Curry. And it’s just what I envisioned–flat stacked freezer Ziplocs all in a neat pile, marked with the name of the dish and the date I made it, looking orderly and wonderful.

Symptoms: Increased pressure in my pelvis, which feels painful sometimes when Alice moves in certain ways (almost like she’s scraping my bladder with her tiny nails or something–though I’m not sure if that’s even possible).

Emotions: All of them. Peaceful, overwhelmed, excited, peaceful again, tearful, in disbelief, cool as a cucumber, freaked out . . . yes.

Hopes and dreams: We finally put our hopes for the birth down into an official birth plan Monday night, which I went over with my midwife and she approved and filed away. We wrote a nice big disclaimer at the top: “Barring any unforeseen problems or emergencies, we would prefer . . .”

I know the unforeseen will probably happen, at least in some small ways if not big ways. So I’m trying to plan and dream while still holding loosely . . . but while still having a clear idea in my mind of what I want and how we can accomplish that.

We also made a big logistics master plan for my husband, which has a list of everything he needs to remember on that big day, all in order: the phone number for the Midwife Group to call when I’m 3-1-1 (contractions 3 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for at least 1 hour). Request a volunteer doula to be there when we arrive. Call our mothers. Call my insurance after I’m admitted. All that kind of stuff, which I’m sure we will both appreciate having in writing when our minds and emotions are running all over the place.

Next on our list: figuring out what all we want in the hospital bag and packing that bad boy up!

What I miss: Nothing comes to mind at the moment . . .

What I’m looking forward to: Seeing that sweet girl’s little face. It’s unbelievable to me that soon I will get to see what she looks like!

Husband update: Tuesday night he decided to work on a playlist with songs for Alice’s bedtime. I love that he’s already thinking about how to share the gift of music with her, and putting time into thinking what tunes might make a tiny girl sleepy.

All in all, I feel like we’re both going back and forth between different emotions–feeling peaceful and prepared, feeling sad about the end of our days as “just us,” feeling excited about going from couple to family, feeling like we can’t wrap our minds around what’s about to happen, and sometimes even feeling totally up for it.

After writing out the birth plan, when I asked how he was feeling he said, “let’s do this thing!”

In fact, at this exact moment I’m feeling ready to “do this thing”. . . but my answer may be totally different in about 30 minutes.

14 thoughts on “37 Weeks

  1. Kimby

    The last photo of you cradling your pregnant belly made me think that this is how you’ll be looking at Alice in your arms very shortly. So tender and sweet… xo.

  2. Amy W

    What do you miss most about not eating dairy? I tried to give up dairy a few months ago because I thought it was doing horrible things to my skin, and it’s been really hard as I LOVE dairy products! It’s amazing how many things have milk or butter or cream in them! I have to pretty much avoid the chilled aisles in the supermarket now. : (

    Your disappearing baby trick is pretty impressive this far along!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Oh man–what do I miss most? Well considering that all my favorite recipes seem to have heavy whipping cream in them, I really miss cooking whatever I feel like! I miss pastries, coffee creamer, bagels with cream cheese, blue cheese (that’s a big one), . . . the list could go on and on, but I don’t want to dwell on them because I’m now making myself hungry, heh heh. Thankfully I’m only doing this until Alice is about 3 weeks old, and it’s only cow dairy (which means I can have goat cheese at least =).

  3. Suzie

    Sounds like you are pretty much ready to go! Looking forward to seeing Alice’s room. I can’t believe you can still do the disappearing act! Crazy! Congrats on your new ride too 🙂

  4. Terry

    You are, without a doubt, the cutest pregnant woman I have seen! I love your weekly updates. As for feeling sad about the loss of your coupledom, it comes roaring back way too soon. I still mourn the loss of children in our home, but am enjoying the time with my husband once again. Funny, isn’t it? If you do it right, you may feel sadness over losing one point in time, but you will be ready when the new experience arrives. As much as you love being a couple now, the joy involved in being a wife and mother is just indescribable. And after the children leave home, you get to enjoy being alone with your best friend again . . . and you really wouldn’t change the situation, despite missing those hectic, frantic, wonderful years. So, love what you have now while you have it and embrace the future when it gets here . . . whether it be next month or in twenty or so years.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks Terry. I love your advice “love what you have now while you have it and embrace the future when it gets here”–I need to repeat that to myself every morning!

  5. Veronica

    It’s so different here with cars–the exception to the rule are the people who use public transportation-it’s just not done much and the thought of using it terrifies me for some reason. I hope to die without never having to use it-lol. Congrats on your car, I think you’ll really appreciate it more and more with time. Looking forward to seeing Alice’s room! And the rest of the house. Come on woman! lol

    1. Jenna Post author

      Haha! That’s funny–public transit seems so less scary than driving to us! =) I guess it’s whatever you’re used to. I think we’ll appreciate the car more with time, too. Maybe after a couple months we’ll even be . . . loving it? (dare I hope?)

  6. Kelsey

    Ah, we will be buying a car this spring. It does seem scary and like a hassle!! Thanks for sharing your story, i love reading your weekly updates.

  7. Megan

    congrats on the new car purchase! I think I agree with you though. Public transport is so much nicer, especially with a baby. We took the train into downtown Chicago when we were there a couple weeks ago and all I could think was, “oh if we only had better public transport in Delaware.” I’m so looking forward to living in a city again soon.


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