Baby A, you’ve been warned! You have until 8:00 a.m. on October 23, 2014 to make a move or we will make one for you! In some ways, poor kid, it’s nice and cozy and you’re happy in there, aren’t you? But in other ways, woohoo! We are so excited to meet you tomorrow (or Friday…depending how long labor takes)! Keep your fingers crossed for us. We received our own warning at our doctor’s appointment today that the hospital is particularly busy right now and there’s a chance that we could be called and told to wait longer. But let’s focus on the excitement that tomorrow’s the day and the next time we update we’ll have a baby!
Physically, I’ve felt really great in weeks 40 and 41. I’ve done some cleaning and walking and baking and some standing on my feet, but I’ve spent a whole lot more time resting. My hip isn’t sore anymore and I don’t waddle when I walk anymore. In fact, I skipped from the living room to the kitchen the other night. Sean and I were amazed that a 41 week pregnant lady could pull off skipping. I might have had one contraction this past weekend. It’s hard to say which could be a good indication that it wasn’t a real contraction. I’ve also had less cramps these last two weeks than in the previous weeks. In many ways it’s great that my symptoms have subsided, but Sean and I have our own theory that my body has just gotten used to the baby growing in my belly and that’s no good. So tomorrow’s eviction is very necessary!
I’m still here! Baby A’s still in there! It was a little sad to see our due date, Sunday the 12th, come and go with barely a cramp, contraction, sore hip, or any other possible labor symptoms to speak of, but at least we know he has to come out eventually. At least we know he can’t stay in there forever. At least I’m not uncomfortable. At least we have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon where we’ll likely schedule an induction and then his arrival will really be in sight.
Last week was my last week of work for awhile, which felt odd. I’m taking vacation until Baby A comes. Even though I have a new found love for staycations thanks to the time I took in July, it does feel a little strange to be home from work without a purpose and without a baby. Although after I hit publish I’m settling in with a viewing of “You’ve Got Mail,” my favorite of all time. That seems like a pretty good purpose at least for today, huh?
Do you want to know what I want to know? I’d like to know how it’s even possible for my belly to get any bigger. I’m curious how it is that 1-2 more pounds of baby is going to fit inside of me. That’s quite the belly I’m sporting these days, no? And yet, I’ve barely felt a contraction. I have cramps, which I learned at last week’s appointment is a small version of contractions. So I’m okay with the cramps now that I know this. Before I thought of them as a nuisance. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll miss the real thing, just like I wondered if I’d miss quickening. But I have been assured by both doctors and mothers that you can not miss contractions. You will know it when it happens. Because of my lack of contractions, it is my personal theory that this little baby is not coming early or even on time. This kid is happy and cozy and probably not coming until forced. But Baby A, your dad and I welcome you to prove us wrong. With very, very open arms.
Technically a week 38 update but on Sunday we went to the baptism for my friend Angie’s youngest, Robinson. As we were leaving the priest asked if he could bless my baby. After wiping his brow in relief that I was in fact pregnant, he mouthed some words, signed the cross, and placed a gentle hand on my belly. It made me so happy that Baby A is blessed!
Also a week 38 update (but it’s for the best…I don’t really have anything great to say about week 37) was the phone conversation I had with my mom on Sunday. In these last few days and weeks when it’s hard not to feel constantly uncomfortable and ready for Baby A to arrive, my mom challenged me to savor every moment of my time in the shower alone, of having the time to complete my full morning routine, and of not having to worry about another human being when I want to make a quick trip to the store. I have taken the time to straighten my hair every morning so far this week in an effort to meet this challenge. It’s been easy to put it up lately. I haven’t needed to go to the store but I am going to a Junior League training tonight and it’s nice that I don’t have to either a) figure out a way to bring the baby with me, b) coordinate my schedule with Sean’s so that the baby isn’t at home alone for any period, or c) hire a baby sitter. I wouldn’t have thought about it this way had it not been for my mom. So thanks for this challenge to help me get through to the end, Mom.
A few weeks ago I told my doctor that my brain was a little fuzzy and it was hard for me to think through simple activities, even ones I’d done before. Was this pregnancy brain? She said yes, but unfortunately it never really goes away. Say it ain’t so! I can’t believe this can be true. Is this really true? Pregnancy brain is frustrating. I know I have an outcome I expect but I just can not figure out how to get there or the first step to take to meeting that expectation. And for such small things! Like, how do we organize the glasses in this cabinet? How do I answer this person’s email when I know I’ve answered emails like this before many times? Where did I want to go with this sentence?
Anyway, aside from struggling with pregnancy brain we had our last ultrasound last week. Baby A is so big! His image doesn’t fit all on one screen anymore. The tech got a shot of his face and it’s so great! He’s got such chubby cheeks! We opted not to get a 3-D (or 4-D?) ultrasound for a few reasons, but after getting a picture of his face with the regular ultrasound I kind of understand now why people want one. I still think we’ll get to see plenty of his face once he arrives. Part of me feels bad telling you about this. I don’t feel comfortable sharing ultrasound pictures with the internet, so I won’t be providing a visual. But, there will be plenty of Baby A’s face to see in less than a month!
Baby A gets the hiccups all the time! It averages about once a day. Sometimes it’s as many as three times and sometimes there’s no hiccups at all, but, again, about once a day. The internet is so scary. I should stop reading the internet or be very careful about the internet. I read something that suggested frequent hiccups could mean something was wrong with the umbilical cord. So I asked one of my doctors (they rotate so I’m comfortable with whomever is on call when I deliver…and this particular doctor I really love), and she smiled and said that meant the lungs were developing and doing what they need to do.
Despite having applied cream to my belly everyday since probably week 5 or 6 and even though I know cream is not a real preventative (nothing is), I discovered stretch marks this week. And here’s when the internet is not so scary. There’s so many people saying wonderful and great things about the pride you should take in your body after baby. Those stretch marks are beautiful and significant. While that’s very empowering and wonderful and one day I hope to share those feelings, it’s hard not to be disappointed that I’ve discovered stretch marks on my own belly. They are never going away. I will never be the same. But how could I expect to be?
I’m so excited to finally share pictures of Baby A’s room! Baby A’s room has been finished for awhile now, but that mobile has been holding me up from sharing pictures sooner. At first I didn’t know what I wanted and then our first method of attaching it to the ceiling didn’t work and it fell down. I think we figured out a good method now and, aside from things I won’t know I’ll need until the baby comes, the room is complete!
We went gender neutral and mostly without a theme.
Early on I read a recommendation that I should take time out of my day to think about what kind of parent I wanted to be. This seemed odd to me and I never figured out how someone was supposed to accomplish this. But I did consider this as I thought about Baby A’s room. I love quotes, and thought finding and framing quotes that made me think of what I wanted for Baby A was a good idea for the room. I really love that top left quote. It’s Conan’s from his final monologue on NBC. I like the quote starting from “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen.” Only that last sentence makes it into almost all prints I could find. One day Baby A will hear the whole thing. My print came from Etsy. Also from Etsy is the Oh, The Places You’ll Go print. And that last one is almost more for me than for Baby A. Because I’m not going to get everything right, I’m usually hard on myself, motherhood being no exception, and I just want to remember to do my best and be satisfied with that. It’s a good quote for Baby A, too. This print is no longer available from one of my favorite bloggers. Here’s her shop where she makes other great things.
Sean built shelves into Baby A’s closet for holding baskets of clothes. I got jealous that Sean was making something for Baby A with his hands. He seemed so satisfied about it. I wanted to make something with my hands, so….
I crossed stitched this! The pattern is another Etsy find. And with this the small theme of moon and stars was born.
This little guy was Sean’s when he was a little child and worked into our theme so here is on the book shelf.
This bootie was given to Sean’s grandmother when Sean’s dad was born. She gave it to us the last time we were visiting and I’m so happy to have it for Baby A!
And the mobile, which drove me a little crazy in the beginning but now really love. I guess Etsy is my favorite source for baby items. This mobile came from there, too.
And now all we need is a baby!
I was in the kitchen at work last Thursday and chatting with the delightful lady that sets up the food in our conference rooms. She’s always in a good mood, but is especially in a good mood when she chats with me about my baby. “So much joy.” Last week she was remembering with me the delivery of her daughter about 32 years ago. During the DC blizzard of 1982 and I guess I plane fell out of the sky that year? (Maybe this is it? While it made me pause for a minute, this was not the focus of our conversation so I forgot to ask questions about what she meant exactly.) Anyway, this blizzard really caught my attention. You gave birth during the blizzard? Did you make it to the hospital? All of this plays into the fear I shared with you last week that my water will break during rush hour traffic. I was so caught up on the negative aspects of her delivery, but it all worked out. Sure there was a blizzard and sure her husband was so nervous that he almost started to drive to the hospital without her, but it worked out. They didn’t make it to their specific hospital but they made it to a hospital and her daughter was born, survived, and 32 years later has a son of her own. While I freaked out about the negative she only remembered the positive. Multiple times throughout our discussion she commented how babies bring so much joy. Since our discussion, I’m trying very hard to focus to be like my colleague and focus on the positive. Because when I share my delivery story with a mom-to-be 32 years from now, I want to be able to reassure her that there’s lots of joy and it will all work out. Even in situations like a blizzard with planes falling out of the sky.
This technically happened during week 33, but on Sunday we took a Labor and Delivery class. We got there at 9:00 a.m. and left (early!) at 4:15 p.m. It was a lot of information. Some of which I think we could have gotten from the internet. Some was really helpful. Like the maternity ward tour. Some kind of freaked me out. Like placental abruption, which happens to only a very, very small percentage of women but happened to be the last topic our instructor covered before saying some closing remarks like “I hope I was able to calm all your fears today.” It’s hard to say yes when the class ends with placental abruption.
We were asked to share our biggest labor and delivery fear. Mine is being stuck in rush hour traffic when my water breaks. Did you know that chances are slim that your water breaks outside of the hospital? Movies and TV shows would never have you believe that. Only about 14% of women are surprised by their water breaking. It’s much more likely that you’ll have hours and hours of labor pain with your water breaking in the hospital. I find this very comforting. I never thought I would find the idea of hours of pain comforting, but I like the idea that I’ll have (hopefully) plenty of warning that Baby A is on his way.
While I was in Target this past week I was approached by a young man. He had on sunglasses and quietly said, “excuse me” with a shy smile with almost the hint that he was about to ask me something as a joke. I was worried where this might go. I considered doing a 360 to see if I could spot a hidden camera. He just had a look. “Do you know where the hangover juice is?” he asked. Does he mean Powerade, I wondered? “Do you need electrolytes?” I asked, in an attempt to confirm my theory. His English was just okay, so I’m not sure he understood my question. “I think you want Powerade or Gatorade.” Thinking that was enough to send him off on his own search, but then “where is it?” I don’t usually buy food at Target. While I was in that section at that moment I don’t know it very well. I was wandering around aimlessly myself trying to find a few snacks for our hospital bag. “Oh. I think we need the water section,” I said. “Let’s try this way.” The water section wasn’t as easy to find as I thought. I went up and down a few aisles with this young man trailing me. Finally we found it. He did not take my suggestion to go with the calorie free Powerade Zero and instead went for the full calorie yellow colored Gatorade. I guess that’s what makes horse racing, but I think he made the wrong decision. He thanked me and as he walked away I told him that he’ll feel much better in the morning if he remembers to take a magnesium pill before bed the next time he drinks. He had no idea what I was talking about and not really interested. Which is his loss really. Between less calories and lower chances of needing the hangover juice in the first place, I was providing him with some great advice.
There were lots of people in the food section of Target. While no one knew but me (and maybe this kid…or maybe my cart hid the obvious? maybe?), it made me smile to myself that of all the people he could ask he asked the pregnant lady who had accidentally turned into the wine aisle looking for hospital bag snacks about hangover juice.
And isn’t it funny that I still feel relieved that I haven’t received unsolicited advice from strangers about my pregnancy yet that’s exactly what I did to this kid about his hangover? Hmmmm…. I should probably remember this and try to have some patience if this finally happens to me. Because best of intentions and all of that.