39 Weeks: Thought Dump

-One unexpected con of having a big bump: I can’t get close enough to the countertops in the kitchen to reach the second shelf in our cabinets!! Sucking in doesn’t really help much.

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-Matt recently brought up the fact that we are about to have new names: mom and dad! The discussion turned into: did we want to call each other mommy and daddy, mama and pops, mommy swammy (Karen’s nickname for herself when Matt was little!)? Matt said he used to call his parents mommy and daddy until late elementary school when he realized it was uncool and switched to mom and dad. My mom says I’ve called them mom and dad forever! I have a feeling we’ll be mom and dad folks, but we’ll have to see how it turns out.

-Amazon Prime, I love you SO MUCH.

-I doubt anything major will shift out of alignment in my pelvis if I sit on the couch moderately, but I’ve been warned against slouching into it for long periods of time on a daily, regular basis – makes it harder for baby to get into a good position. Hard surfaces, good posture and exercise balls are recommended instead. I’m excited to spend those hours on the couch after he is here!

-Also, I can’t WAIT to lie on my back again! It’s painful now to my sacrum and causes me to feel woozy after a few minutes.

-I am SO TIRED of my four pairs of maternity shorts. I’d buy more but…what’s the point!? I’m too close to the end. I have a feeling whenever I’m back to a somewhat normal size I’m going to want to go on a big shopping spree. Someone remind me not to spend my life savings on new clothes if you see any warning signs!

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-Doing baby laundry is fun. Now at least!

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-Pregnancy is kind of like planning a wedding. In the beginning, you are SO EXCITED about all the possibilities, planning and research to do. You are consumed with it. And then when the event is over, you are so relieved. After my wedding I had “I’m so glad that’s over!” thoughts, and as I sit here at 39 weeks I’m thinking the same. Hearing someone is in their teen weeks pregnant exhausts me. I definitely want to go through pregnancy again, but I think I need a few years to recharge first!

-My mom was born 10 days early. I was 3 days early. My sister was 4 days early. I have spent more time than I care to share googling “is gestation length hereditary?”

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-Similarly, no amount of googling is going to give me the answer to the above question. [Full moon = my due date!]

-At this stage of the game, every time you go to the bathroom you look down to see if there is “any news.” It’s kind of like waiting for your period to come. #TMI

-FINALLY – at 39 weeks – I can see the bottom of my endless innie belly button!! It doesn’t know what to think about the sunshine!

Previous 39 week posts

Snapshots: Nursery Through 9 Months

Grown Up Nesting

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5 weeks

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38 weeks

23 Weeks: Surprises

Things that have surprised me about being pregnant:

1) That you spend over half of your pregnancy without a bump.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it was really so unexpected. I never really given much thought to the process of pregnancy. I knew ~9+ months and 40 weeks, but if you had said “I’m 16 weeks” to me, it wouldn’t have meant much back then. I thought bumps showed up early in the second trimester and most of pregnancy was spent waddling around huge. I’m now 2.5 months into the second trimester and juuuuuuust now looking pregnant. I know every woman shows differently, but I’m also surprised that someone with such short stature would take so long to look pregnant. Or that I would even care! But surprisingly, I do. And I’m glad the little guy is taking up more space.

2) That morning sickness was even worse than I was prepared for.

Most people know that morning sickness = nausea and sometimes vomiting. But the thought of those two things just isn’t that bad. It’s like you don’t remember how bad nausea is until you HAVE IT! I figured I might wake up feeling a little off and have some toast and feel great. But I was surprised at how hard it hit me all.day.long. Again, this doesn’t happen to all women, but I think over 75% experience some form of morning sickness, and even a little nausea is pretty awful to live with. This makes me wonder if labor is also going to be much worse than I think it is….oh dear.

3) That the baby moving really does feel weird!

As much as I love connecting with him through movements, sometimes, in certain positions, it kind of freaks me out that there’s something alliiiiiivvveee in me. People always say “I think it would feel like an alien!” but I never really thought it would. Until I really did feel the movements. And they do feel like an alien!! But at the same time, so cute!! The more I feel them, the more baby-like they get and the more fun they are to experience.

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4) That I really don’t miss alcohol, runny eggs, cold smoked salmon and the like.

Well I do miss the act of swirling a glass of red around during cocktail hour with friends, but it’s hard to believe I haven’t had a buzz (or hangover!) in 6 months. If you asked me “Do you want a glass of wine” I’d say that yes, I do want one and am sad I can’t partake in the in the social aspect or the fun to tasting different flavors and varieties. But I don’t really miss any of the effects of alcohol.  Makes me really wish there were more alcohol-free drinks that tasted as delicious and complex as the real deal out there!  It’s more the culinary aspect of it that I miss. Perhaps all the creative mocktails I’ve had in restaurants and things have helped fill the need for a social drink. And I hope that once I am able to partake in tasting again, I can do more sipping and tasting and  guzzling. I have the same sentiments toward runny eggs – as much as I like them, I really don’t miss them. Fully cooked eggs taste just as good to me. If anything, it’s just the fun of seeing where the yolk will run that I miss! And finally, as much as vegetables made me gag from weeks 6 to 15, I really DID miss vegetables in the first trimester. I’m glad they are back. They don’t taste as delicious as they used to, but they taste good again.

5) That I’d make so many good mom friends before becoming one myself.

I am so thankful for all of my mom friends! They are a wealth of advice and experience! I’d encourage any pregnant woman to seek out a mother’s group that welcomes you or have your friends with kids introduce you to other women and schedule a lunch date. Even though I have had lots of babysitting experience in my life, being around these new babies has just been a nice way to ease into having my own.

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6) That I would be so excited and not nervous at all.

Before I was married, when I imagined my wedding day and walking down the aisle, I would get so nervous. Even during the rehearsal, I was a ball of nerves about that walk. But on my actual wedding day, I was so EXCITED to walk down the aisle that all nervousness was overpowered with joy. I’m guessing something similar is going on now. The excitement overpowers the nervousness. That’s not to say I’m not a little unsure about what’s to come but just that I’m really looking forward to the whole experience and that eases my fears.

7) That I’m having a boy.

For some reason I had always pictured myself the mom of daughters. Probably because I am a daughter and a sister. But this guy is no gal!! And the more I think about him as a he, the more I can just tell it was meant to be (and I don’t really believe in things being meant to be). I’m so excited to be this boy’s mom, and I can’t wait to meet him! Maybe the fact that we have three boy bears was foreshadowing : )

Itsaboy

What parts of pregnancy took you by surprise?

PREVIOUS 23 WEEK POSTS

Snapshots

Pumping (And I Don’t Mean My Breasts)

Baby You’re A Firework

Pregnant In America

The Magic Inside

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

18 weeks

19 weeks

20 weeks

21 weeks

22 weeks

20 Weeks: Mentally Prepare

I was sitting low and deep in a squat in yoga on Tuesday, nearing the brink of my squat threshold. Our instructor, Jen, was guiding us through breaths and encouraging us not to let up.

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And that’s when I gave up, my muscles tight and quivering, and stood up for a second to rest my legs.

And it hit me: this is labor training. Not just physically, but mentally as well. If I can’t even hold a squat for 10 breaths, what does this say about my preparation for regular contractions that could last for hours on end and that have no quick adjustment for relief?

A little later in class we did a similar stretch for our feet. I have really tight feet (from my foot surgery) and could not endure the 2-minute hold without a few breaks to relieve the pressure. (But you see – I am making excuses for my weakness!)

I generally think my pain threshold is pretty high. I tolerate headaches, menstrual cramps, stubbed toes, painful surgery foot stiffness and sore muscles well, although I do turn to medication when I need to be in my best shape such as during a special event. For years whenever I have stubbed my toe or knocked a body part into bruise territory, I have breathed through the pain like I’m in labor… “for practice.” I do pretty well in these situations. When it comes to emergency pain – glass in the hand, fingers stuck in a door, needles jabbed into the flesh –  I don’t do well at all, but those are not “natural” pains. They break things. The pain that comes with contractions doesn’t mean that something is wrong, unlike a lot of other types of pain.

Every labor is different, and there’s no way to know what to expect or how I will react. If I’m nauseous during labor [highly likely] or have a complication that causes another degree of pain somehow, I think I will be much less likely to make it through naturally. I have always said that the thought of an epidural needle going in my back scares me more than my own body contracting to push a baby out. Midwives and natural childbirth enthusiasts will tell you that labor is natural. You do [usually] get breaks in between so it’s not a constant pain. It’s pain with a purpose.

But so were those squats! And the pain from them was probably nothing compared to what labor is like. I’m going to try to get through all 10 breaths without a break next week and work on my mental as well as my physical preparation for what’s to come.

And to make the practice even more appropriate – we just hired my yoga teacher as our doula! So excited about that because she totally rocks, comes highly recommended from some of my mama friends, and her physical approach is just what I was looking for.