Cozied up with a mug of hot chocolate and listening to the rain, I thought I’d take this time to reflect on the last week of pregnancy and the entire experience…settle in… 🙂
40 weeks, 2 days, and counting… I have reached the 40-week mark and passed my due date. It’s bittersweet. I had just assumed he’d come early and make me feel unprepared, which had driven me to prepare very early…and I’m still glad I did, although it is a little nerve-wracking to have everything done and sit around, wondering what I should be doing right now. As I’ve said before, I’m very thankful that I did get everything done early, because in the last month you just don’t want to do it. At least I didn’t. It’s bittersweet because, while I should be thrilled that he waited until I was ready, it’s also been difficult couple of weeks, this last one in particular, causing me to start to actually lament the state I’m in…something I promised myself never to do.
This should (unless things change drastically) be my last weekly pregnancy post. That is also bittersweet! As excited as I am to meet him, I already feel nostalgic at the thought that today could be the last day I feel him move inside me. I am rather anxious to be done with the physical discomforts, and yet I know I’ll have a certain feeling of loss for the baby bump. It is a unique time in life when people know something about you, just by looking at you, that is personal and exciting, and treat you correspondingly. I can’t say I’ve been treated THAT well, but I live in what I consider to be a pretty selfish and uncaring locale. I have not had anyone rush to open a door for me…weeks ago I was offered a place in a grocery store line in front of a young man, which was very kind, but after that not much else exciting has happened. I have had strangers smile at me, and have been asked when I’m due, but that is the minority. I certainly won’t be missing the sort of special status I had always envisioned a pregnant woman to have.
The regular baby info: At 40 weeks, baby O has been full term for two weeks, and one week past the mark that March of Dimes recommends a baby to reach before birth for the idea amount of brain development. The average baby’s birth weight is 7.5 pounds, which is the size of a small pumpkin. The average length is 20 inches. Remember that when you find out how much he weighs and how long he is at birth. One of my worries about waiting on “his time” is that he’ll get really big – and not fit in any newborn clothes! That would just be disappointing, since I have a lot of newborn clothes and Christmasy ones just waiting for him! [Not that I care more about his size than I about having a healthy baby.]
On the aforementioned physical discomforts: I think that the adage about the last month being difficult just might be one of the accurate ones. It’s just not very comfortable. I have not been uncomfortable for most of this time, and suddenly I’m so pained. It really happened at the last minute, so I really can’t complain. In the last few days, my hip and tailbone pain has more than tripled, and I’m limping and fidgeting from sharp, sudden pangs of it. I have yet to find a truly comfortable position – sitting down hurts my tailbone, laying on my side will eventually hurt the hip I lay on, and standing or walking are pretty much the worst. I try to ice my tailbone a couple of times a day, and I can take Tylenol (which does almost nothing), but otherwise I have no relief.
I have developed the nasal congestion the books all promised months ago, and I just can’t manage to breathe out of my nose. That, combined with how difficult it’s been for me to breathe already, means that I sound like Darth Vader when laying down. I get sudden onsets of intense fatigue and sometimes even fall into a vegetative, half-sleep state. (It’s really incredible, actually.) It’s hard to explain fatigue that is so much more than just “feeling tired.” I actually feel like, all of a sudden, living is an enormous task. 🙂 The baby’s moments are quite uncomfortable…he seems to be kicking my internal organs now, and not just trying to stick a foot through my abdomen. I’m still thankful for them! He gets hiccups quite often…up to 3 times a day!
Timeline: I have my last weekly doctor’s appointment today at 10 a.m. When I asked last week, he told me that he would only let me go about 3 days past my due date before inducing labor. I am anxious to see what he says today! I had hoped that he would be born today, 12/12 (just because I think it’s a cool birthday) but nothing seems to be happening…of course that could change!
Emotional concerns: I still can’t really believe that a baby is going to be living in my house soon! It’s really incredible. I mean, obviously I have not missed the stomach, 9 months of doctor’s appointments, nursery decorating… but it’s still very surreal. I can’t wait to see his face, and know what he looks like. I can’t wait to watch his personality develop and start to show…to get to know the person that he already is, who has chosen us to raise him and guide him through life. What a task! What a responsibility, and an honor!
Weekly recommended activities: BabyCenter suggests the following this week: “Kick back and relax. Rent some movies, read a novel, curl up with a stack of magazines or a new CD, sleep in or grab catnaps when you can.You’re in the final stretch and you deserve some downtime! If you’re go-go-go right up until delivery you’ll be depleted by the time your baby arrives, says clinical psychologist Diane Sanford.” I have been trying to do just this, but let me tell you, it’s not easy! Of course I have to do a certain amount of things no matter what…because I just need to…but the hardest part is that everyone around me feels like they are the exception to my policy of doing little to nothing and relaxing. It’s kind of funny, but everyone I talk to says things like “I know you just want to relax, but…” hehehe. The truth is that the more I do the worse I feel, and I wish I were better at saying “no!” I think I have learned my lesson, and if this were to happen again, I’d be much more strict with my time.
Now, no matter what happens, I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for Jacob’s arrival. I’m ready to see his little face and smell his sweet newborn smell, and I just can’t believe that could happen any minute now. Each thing Josh and I did this weekend I think it was in both of our minds…this is the last time we’ll be watching football without a child! This is the last Saturday night that we aren’t taking care of a baby! Last night, we were talking before we went to sleep, and I said, “this is the last time we can do this, you know.” He laughed and said “he’s not going to be a baby sleeping in our room forever!” I’m not worried about losing sleep or not having time to do my hair…my worries are that I’ll crash my computer once and for all by overloading my hard drive with pictures! I am ready to hold him, and ready to guide him through life as best I can. I do feel, in a number of ways, that my life experiences have existed, in part, to enlighten me and prepare me to guide an impressionable life. My education (school and otherwise) has served to enrich my life and also that I might guide Jacob toward a life of respect for others, open-mindedness, and fairness. I hope, more than anything, that he will be happy, but I take full responsibility for teaching him the merits of being good. I want my son to be a good person.
Oh I have a list of hopes for him, and I won’t bore you with them here, but I discuss it just to show where I am at mentally at the start of this momentous journey. Wish me luck!