I’m 37 weeks pregnant today. If I go into labor, the doctor won’t try to stop it.
LET’S JUST TAKE A MOMENT AND LET THAT SINK IN.
As much as I’m so ready to meet this baby and to also be done being pregnant forever and ever AMEN, I’m in that weird spot at the end of pregnancy where you WANT to be done but also aren’t QUITE ready to have a newborn yet. It’s such a mental leap to go from being pregnant to Hi! Baby in my arms! One day last week I had my first loooong day of many contractions- none of them closer than 10 minutes apart, but they were steady and constant pretty much from 4am until bedtime (this happened with Audrey several times during the few weeks before she was born, so it’s just par for the course for me, I think!) It was the same day as my 36 week appointment, so I knew there was no dilation happening, but it still kind of caught me off guard and made my brain snap to and got me motivated to start packing a bag for the hospital. But I also said to Dan: I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR A BABY THIS WEEK, OKAY? He said I sounded like a crazy pregnant lady.
So! Right on schedule then!
I get a lot of the same question these days: “How are you feeling??” And of course I don’t want to be RUDE and tell people the honest truth (OMG THIS SUCKS I HATE NOT BEING ABLE TO BEND OVER WITHOUT FEELING LIKE MY HIPS ARE GOING TO SPLIT OPEN AND I CAN’T BREATHE AND I WALK FUNNY AND MY FINGERS ARE PUFFY AND WHAAAAAAA!) so I try to be nice and just say “Hanging in there! Almost done! Feeling pregnant!” Because, well, that’s true too. I’m hanging in there. Everything I’m experiencing is all stuff I went through with the girls. It’s all normal end-of-pregnancy misery, and it will be over soon. I wanted to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I could since we’re planning on this being our last baby (and having a miscarriage back in June certainly changed my perspective on things) but with two kids and a busy life? It’s hard to enjoy things 100% and I know most of the time, I’ve felt like I’ve just been ENDURING this pregnancy more than savoring it. But you know what? I think I’m okay with that. It’s a means to an end for me- the healthy baby at the end is what is most important, and if I’m a little bit grumpy for a few weeks beforehand, well that’s just how it is.
My pregnancies have all been mostly uneventful. I’ve gained around the same amount of weight in all three (though I had three totally different starting points and right now I weigh more than I ever have EVER EVER AND OMG TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH WORK THIS WILL BE TO LOSE.) But my pregnancies themselves don’t seem to be what makes them hard- it’s the living life while BEING pregnant that can be tough! Especially this time. I thought about all the things that have happened in the last 8 months and MAN, there was never a dull moment.
THINGS I SURVIVED WHILE BEING PREGNANT WITH BABY DUDE
I watched my first baby climb onto the giant yellow school bus with her too-big-for-her backpack and head off to kindergarten. I was about 8 weeks pregnant so SUPER sick and hormonal but I only cried a little bit! So proud of myself! And so proud of HER.
I hosted a cowgirl-themed birthday party for Audrey, all while feeling super-barfy and still deep in the trenches of first trimester misery. I’m clearly insane for even attempting it, but it was a great party and I’m glad I did it.
I fell at work around 16 weeks pregnant. Like, flat on my face, in the hallway. Thanks, stupid heels and wide-legged, deep-cuffed maternity pants! Scraped up my finger, bruised my knees, was sore for three days. My belly was fine, but my ego was bruised and it scared the crap out of me and I cried the whole way to pick Maggie up from school. Dan brought me a burrito for dinner and it helped ease the pain.
We all had the stomach flu the week before Christmas and DUDE there is not much worse than puking for 12 hours when you’re 6 months pregnant, then spending the next 5 days caring for/cleaning up after the rest of the family as they do the same. It was terrible.
THREE COLDS. Colds are annoying enough, but when you’re pregnant and trying to avoid extra medications and all you have at your disposal is saline spray and cough drops? LAME. (I’m still getting over this last one, it’s ALMOST GONE. Good gracious.)
Audrey broke her foot and at 7.5 months pregnant, I had to carry a previously super-independent, near-30lb two year old around for three days while she got used to walking in her boot. I pulled a stomach muscle in the process. Thankfully the rest of the 4 weeks went just fine and she was running around on the boot like it was nothing, but her timing was EXCELLENT.
Having a husband who rarely travels for work is great (I have a lot of friends NOT in this boat and I don’t envy them!) but of course in my 8th month of pregnancy, he had four trips in four weeks! Everything went fine and the girls are mostly easy to deal with but when he finally got home from that last one? I WAS VERY HAPPY. (Also glad we didn’t have any surprise early arrival from the baby while he was away!)
There were some pretty awesome things about this pregnancy too- I won’t ignore that. The girls, especially Maggie, are SO EXCITED about the baby. It’s been really fun experiencing this with a more grown-up Maggie. She was only 3 when I was pregnant with Audrey and really had no reference for what it all meant. This time, she understands and has thanked me more than once for giving her a baby brother. Audrey mostly doesn’t get it, but she does kiss my belly and talk about her “baby brudder” and sing him songs. Talk about heart-melty! The middle part of pregnancy is always pretty good for me- not too uncomfortable yet, and I was even able to make the trip to New Orleans for The Blathering which was awesome. And watching Dan’s face light up when we heard the word ‘boy’ at the ultrasound? That was pretty fun.
Mostly though? I look back and… just… wow it goes fast. I feel like I was just peeing on the stick (glamour!) and looking at the two lines in disbelief (and a little bit of fear) that we were blessed with another pregnancy so quickly after my miscarriage. And now I feel him in there, kicking the crap out of my innards, and I really can’t wait to meet him. HIM. A boy. This is so nuts after almost six years of girl-ness in our house.
I think I’m ready.