How far along: 39 weeks, completed 10/2/2012. And by the time this post is published, we are looking at a due date that is only 6 days away!
WHAT DID I JUST SAY?
Yes. 6 days away. Holy cramoley.
Weight gain: My appointment with the midwives was Tuesday morning, and I’m up one more pound from last week, at 152 (for a total gain of 19 lbs).
Clothes: I’ve definitely got my money’s worth out of the 4 or so maternity tank tops that I’ve purchased over the last few months. They are the best and most versatile pregnancy-wear ever! I’ve been mostly sticking to tanks with little cardigans or sweaters over top, and skirts with soft waistbands over leggings.
I’d encourage anyone out there who’s pregnant and starting to show to go hog wild on the tank tops, but to WAIT on the maternity pants until you absolutely need them . . . because if you get them too early on you may run into the problem I’ve had and realize your butt doesn’t stay the same size throughout the 40 weeks of baby-growing. You’d think I’d have realized this . . . but I didn’t.
Purchases: Based on my sister Heidi’s recommendation, I decided to bring a tube-top style dress to the hospital with me. Heidi explained that if your newborn feels any fabric at all against her face, she can get confused about where your breast is, so it’s easiest to wear something that you can pull down completely during that first leg of breastfeeding. I needed no further encouragement to take myself on a little shopping trip to Plato’s Closet, where I found a great, comfortable dress that fits those requirements.
Body: Alice’s hiccups are so strong these days that sometimes she jolts my whole upper body when she’s in the throes of a series. I love it! And I can’t believe that my time feeling her move inside is running out so quickly.
And I had contractions Monday night! My Braxton Hicks contractions had felt a little more intense on Sunday and during the day on Monday, but Monday night was a whole different experience. There I was, hanging out in our bedroom around 8:30pm, and I started getting what felt like painful period cramps extending from my lower back into my uterus. Unlike the Braxton Hicks contractions (during which I can keep walking and moving around, albeit a little more slowly), if I tried to move during these, the result was stabbing pains. I put on my yoga music CD and practiced relaxing, and then my husband read me some Sherlock Holmes stories out loud, until we turned the lights off at 10:30. The contractions continued off and on until I finally dozed off around midnight. My midwife said these may start happening every night, but that I’ll be able to tell when real labor starts because then I’ll really have to work then.
I don’t know, man . . . I feel like I was already having to work through these. Hmmmm.
But all that said, Tuesday morning I woke up looking forward to going through it again and building up some practice, some stamina, and some mental tools for coping. The thing is, they didn’t happen Tuesday night–I only remember having about 3 of them around 2am that I incorporated into a dream and was only semi-conscious of.
What does it all mean? Why contractions one night but not so much the next?
I have no idea. I guess I’ll just let my body do it’s thing and try not to expect anything in particular.
Sleep: Still going great! I’m out like a rock by 10:30 every night (except for Monday).
Best moment of the week: Hands down, it was a “virtual breakfast” with Sarah and Vessie, two of my best friends. Thanks to the marvels of Google +, we were able to have a 3-way video chat over breakfast Saturday morning that was the next best thing to actually having breakfast together (which would have been a little difficult since Texas, Virginia and Illinois aren’t exactly close together). These ladies . . . these ladies. I love ’em. We’ve been friends since our semester abroad in Paris, which was an unbelievable 8 years ago.
My other favorite thing this week was connecting with some of the new moms and pregnant women at my church. Two of them had their first babies in August, I’m about due now, and three more women are due in March/April. Yup, it’s a baby explosion in our congregation! (which is pretty amazing considering the small size of our church) I’m so grateful to be going through this surrounded by other women who are experiencing the same things. Little did I know when I met these women about 3 years ago that baby-time would hit almost simultaneously for all of us. What a blessing! I’m really looking forward to meeting with them over the fall and winter, and supporting each other.
Movement: Big stretches, powerful hiccups, feet poking out of my right side–the same as usual.
Food cravings/aversions: I’m definitely still on a kick with bananas. The greener the better, and when slathered with both peanut butter and Nutella they make a fantabulous dessert.
Symptoms: Contractions! And that sums up the new developments in this area.
Emotions: It’s the same old swing that I’ve been feeling for last week or two between joyful expectancy and the feeling of “oh crap–what have we done??” But more intense than ever before. Both my husband and I are going back and forth. Her due date is staring at us from the calendar–next week!–and there doesn’t seem to be a “DELAY THIS WHOLE THING” button I can press to slow things down.
Sometimes I cry, sometimes I hug myself with joy.
We assembled the Pak N’ Play in our bedroom on Tuesday, which is where Alice will spend the first few weeks of her life. It has a bassinet insert that’s pretty much at the level of our bed, and we think that will facilitate night time nursing since I won’t even have to get up to gather the wee one when she’s hungry. Now, every time I go into our bedroom there’s a little reminder that we’re about to gain a tiny (and permanent) roommate.
Hopes and dreams: I hope she’s snuggly! And ever since the ultrasound tech last week told me that she has hair, I have been fantasizing about touching her fuzzy little head and stroking the oh-so-soft nape of her neck. Baby heads–they’re just screaming to be caressed and sniffed constantly, aren’t they?
What I miss: At the moment, I miss having what felt like plenty of time before me until motherhood was going to hit. The closer it gets, the more emotional I feel, for better and for worse. I’m trying to trust, to relax, to take each day as it comes–but the tears always seem to be right there, ready to start flowing at any moment.
What I’m looking forward to: In a weird way, labor. We’ve put thought into it, heard so many peoples’ stories, and know it’s coming–so I’m looking forward to having the experience. To grappling with the struggles, forging through the lows and riding the highs.
Just don’t fling these words back at me when I’m in the middle of a big contraction. Deal?
Husband update: Like I said earlier, the emotions are getting more intense and are much more up and down than ever before. One moment, we’re both standing at the door to Alice’s room, gazing at the crib and feeling exuberantly happy, with “I can’t wait!” expressions on our faces. The next moment, I’m in tears and we’re asking ourselves, “Can we actually handle this? Is our life just going to become full of uncontrollable chaos? Will our life still be peaceful? Will we still look forward to coming home?”
I just need to keep going back to God and his promises. The fruits of the Spirit–which include joy and peace–don’t disappear when you have kids. They are for everyone, for every time in our lives–even for new parents with colicky newborns who are up at all hours of the night. With God, there’s a way to live even that dreaded experience in fullness of joy and peace. Unbelievable, right?
Have a good weekend everyone! We’ll be over here, trying to stay centered on the truth as the emotions ebb and flow.