39 weeks… in some ways, it has gone by in a flash! in others, it feels like i’ve been pregnant for.ev.er. Last night, at our July Babies prenatal group class, Ken and I were one of two couples who are still in waiting mode. Granted, our due date is still 7 days away, but still. Our group seems to be jam-packed with stories of “oh, he was 6 days early, and labour lasted about 20 minutes… it was perfect.” Biggest challenges in the group so far seem to be a bit of jaundice, some projectile pooping, and little ones who refuse to sleep unless they are being held.
“How are you feeling?” Our nurse asked us… “Honestly? A little jealous“. Not just that the dads are already at the point where they are smugly-sporting their Baby Bjorns and staring lovingly into their little 7-10 pounder’s bright red, grimacing faces; not just that the moms are already showing off a discernible waistline; but more like envious that they have met their little ones, and have a good idea who, and what they are dealing with. No more guessing about any extra challenges, or special needs that may come along. For Ken and I, it’s still such an unknown. Not only unknown when we wake up every morning, “Will it be today? or will it be another 2 weeks yet?” but an unknown of who will actually be there, what she will bring us, and what we will possibly be able to offer her.
Last week was crazy-busy, again, encompassing the final pre-maternity-leave shifts at both my workplaces. And now I am (as my father called me yesterday) a “Lady of Leisure”, sitting at our kitchen window, staring out at the mountains and the bay as I type this, mid-morning on a Tuesday. Yesterday, my first official mat-leave day was full of stuff to do: laundry, dishes, tidying, rearranging, sorting, organizing – i’m pretty sure my mind still hasn’t wrapped itself around the understanding that there will be another 364 days off before I report back. If I keep up at this rate, i’ll have a thing or two to teach Martha Stewart by August 2013.
We are finding that this last stage of pregnancy seems to be defined by a lot of Accumulation of Stuff. We have the crib, the bassinet, the stroller, the stroller bassinet, the baby bath, the baby book, the diapers, the wipes, the clothes, the toys… our local recycling crew must think we’ve gone consumer-mental, because all of a sudden we are disposing of boxes and boxes of, well, boxes. and packaging. Our family, friends and coworkers have been over-the-top generous; Ken and I have spent more than a few evenings just staring at the abundance that this little girl will be welcomed by. Babies – even just the promise of yet-to-be-born babies inspire so much love and celebration. Now we just want her to arrive safely (and soonly).
Overall, I still feel like i’m getting off fairly lightly with the whole experience of pregnancy. When people ask how it’s been, I inevitably answer that (as far as I know) in some ways (like the sickness and nausea from 6-20 weeks, and then again for the final 2 months or so) it’s been worse than some people’s, but in most ways it’s been fine. I haven’t had any swelling, my shoes and rings still fit fine, my back isn’t sore to the point of pain, and I can still see most of the definition of my face and jaw. It hasn’t been so terrible.
Of course, when I chat with my mum, that is likely why she says that I “still sound too happy” for it to be happening any time soon. Ken and I were chatting this morning about the different tricks and hints that people say bring on early labour. I wasn’t able to have the mucous sweeping done last night. Why? Well, you already know so much about me, so why not share a little more… My cervix (yikes) is very far back. I already knew this, as last time I had a Very Thorough Yearly Examination, my doctor couldn’t find it (honestly). She found it (eventually). But it’s just not in a good place for the sweeping, and, as the whole cervix being forward and soft thing is apparently a whole chunk of the impending-labour-signifyer chain, the doctor said it’s quite likely this baby is simply just well on track for being a 40 week baby.
Thus endeth the talk about my cervix (for now, anyway).
Okay, one more thing. But this isn’t about my cervix, it’s about someone else’s. And I have permission to tell the story – sort of. Okay, just to be safe, the cervix will remain nameless. Anyway, when I mentioned that I was going to try for a sweep, this Other Person mentioned that her sister had the same thing done, which had prompted her into an uncomfortable 4 day early labour where she had contractions but no real progress. When I asked our doctor about that, she acknowledged that the sweep can definitely get things started with little to no warning, but that there isn’t really any correlation between non-progressing early labour and the sweeps; more like some people’s body just take four days to get into it – and while the sweep may have promoted the process to start, it’s more than likely that she would have had 4 days of early labour, regardless of what day it had started on.
And I realized, that’s probably the same with all these tips… the orange castor oil (thanks, Chris ;), the pineapple, the pedicures, the ankle massages, the walking. I’m starting to think they are all actually just to help pass the time, and it’ll all happen when it’s pre-set to happen. (I wonder what you can put castor oil in that will make it taste less like castor oil?)
In many ways, I feel like i’m just starting to Get Good at being pregnant. I have sleeping with my snoogle down to an art form, including how to unwind myself from it and make my way to the bathroom 4-5 times a night without waking my husband (most times). I have found comfortable shoes that still look cute, and I have come to terms with little leaks – the deal with that, by the way, is that its not like being pregnant suddenly makes you have violent uncontrol of your bladder; more like it shifts things around so that the time between “sort of have to go” to “really have to go” speeds up. And again, it’s not the floodgates opening, but it’s, “Ooh- I sort of have to go“, and then you sneeze, or someone makes you laugh. and it’s good to be wearing something with a little extra oomph down around them parts.
Trust me. I’m an expert. For about 1 more week apparently, then it’s back to ground zero!
baby size: watermelon!! Average size: 18.9-20.9 inches, 6.2-9.2 lb. holy.
mummy size: Still 5 foot 11.5. 180 pounds. Total gain is 32 pounds over the last 39 weeks. Considering how fast it seemed to come on at the beginning, it’s amazing that we have finished in “normal” spectrum. (assuming I don’t put on 10 pounds in the next week). It feels good.
what’s up: just filling up the week with “stuff to do” so that each day doesn’t feel like an eternity. Today we are going to a baseball game and trying to catch the end of an outdoor movie in Stanley Park, Friday, we’ll be back at the doctor’s to see if there’s any progress. In between there will be lots of tidying, reading, walking, and wondering whether today is the day.