(This entry is all over the place. Much like my brain these days. Sorry!)
36 Weeks – 9 Months!
My coworkers took me out to lunch this week on my final day in the office. When the shuttle didn’t show up, I said, “Let’s just walk. I’m sure I’ll be fine.” So we walked almost 2 miles to and from the restaurant in swamp-ass heat. I did OK, other than being sweaty as hell. But my feet got very angry with me. Hello Fred Flintstone feet and cankles. Enough for our back-up doctor to comment, “What’s with the feet?” and then chastise me when I told him about the walk. Apparently “2 miles is too far for someone 9 months pregnant.” Which just made me feel proud of myself. As someone who has hardly exercised throughout this pregnancy, while hearing about pregnant friends go hiking and do yoga and walk 10Ks, I felt pretty badass. Idiotic maybe, but also badass. It’s a feeling I haven’t had for some time.
Made the mistake of going into the baby section of Ross. I bought all the stuff. Ok, I bought onesies. I don’t really know how many of these things we’ll need, so I bought more. About 16 more. I got a little carried away, but seriously, when something this cute is $1.99, how could I resist?
I also bought two new soft and fuzzy blankets because I couldn’t stop molesting them. I think I’ll just take them to bed with me. Why don’t they make adult-size blankets like these? We’ve seriously been missing out. Silky on one side, fuzzy on the other … I think if I had one of these 7 years ago, I wouldn’t have been so anxious to find someone to love. I’d be all¸ “Who cares? I don’t need a man, I’ve got my blankie …” OK, I guess I know why these don’t exist for adults.
Nine months preggers. I’ve reached the stage where I see the midwife every week. One of the things I like is I’m not subjected to unnecessary tests and internal exams. I have to pee in a cup, dip a test strip in and then compare the strip to a key to see if the protein levels are normal, then report to the midwife if there’s anything unusual. Then I weigh myself and give that number (193 this week! Ouch.) I had to do the Group B Strep test this week, which involved dipping a giant Q-tip up my hoo-ha. I’ll find out in a week if I have this bacteria, which 25% of women do. If I do, then I get antibiotics to keep from passing it to the baby during birth. But I won’t have it. My point is, they just listen to the heartbeat, measure my belly and ask questions. No internal exams, no ultrasounds, and a lot of the stuff you do yourself in the bathroom. It inspires confidence somehow. And when they manually figure out how the baby is positioned — wow, that is weird! They dig their fingers into my belly and then go, “Here’s her head, here’s her butt …” It doesn’t hurt, it’s just a little disconcerting that they can do that. I’m still amazed when I can tap a bulging part of my belly and get her to move. (Honestly, it’s the coolest part of being pregnant — feeling her move. How those clueless women have babies without knowing they have one in their belly is beyond me.)
She’s been head down for weeks, but they don’t think she’s “engageed” yet; ie, in my pelvis. I’ve been looking forward to the “baby dropping,” as she’ll quit crowding my guts and lungs and I will be able to breathe better and stop feeling that crunchy sensation in my upper diaphragm. Regardless, I’m just happy she’s head down. No waiting for her to turn — go baby go! Mama’s proud of you already.
We finally found our back-up doctor. Plan B is: If the birth isn’t progressing or if I’m ready to give up, we will transfer to the hospital he is affiliated with, and he will be on call for us. Although I’m not jazzed about a male doctor, he seemed cool with home births, had good things to say about my midwives, and promised me that a C section isn’t automatic just because I’m in the hospital. Plan C is if there’s an emergency. Then we transfer to the nearest hospital, which is a few minutes drive from us and will be an unknown ER situation. But we won’t need to do that.
Let’s talk about moods. DH is lucky in that I’m a very stable girl, mood-wise. Some would even say I’m a robot. Or that I’m dead inside. Other pregnant women talk about the mood swings, the crying jags, the irrational rages … I’m glad I don’t have those.
The thing is, I grew up in a family that wasn’t very expressive. Crying wasn’t something you did. And if you had to, you did it privately. I don’t know how I learned that little factoid, but as a kid, I just knew that it wasn’t cool to cry. It’s the reason I haven’t cried — really cried — in years. I’m a master at holding it in. I was worried that I’d be a sobbing mess on my wedding day. All those years of suppressing it doesn’t mean I don’t feel it wanting out. But I was able to blink them away and save my wedding day makeup. (See? I rule at this.) A few weeks ago, on Mother’s Day, an old friend and roommate of mine passed away after a battle with cancer. I had one brief cry in my car while driving home from work, but it was just a few tears before I shut that shit down. DH has yet to see me lose it, although pregnancy has definitely softened my edges. Damn diaper commercials make my blinky, while DH smiles and gives me the side-eye, trying not to notice but totally loving it. Don’t get me wrong. I know this isn’t healthy. I know that expressing grief and fear and anger is better for you than suppressing it. But I also suspect that my ability to hold that stuff in will be gone after I give birth.
I’m expecting that DH’s first experience of me losing it will be during the birth. I mean, not just tears, which I’m sure I’ll have, but he’s going to see me in pain. He might see me in a terrifying range of emotions and turmoil. I hope not, as that sounds tense and against what we practiced with hypnobirthing, but it could happen. I worry for what he’s going to witness. I already apologized in advance for what he’s going to see — and smell (let’s be honest, parts of this are gross and undignified) — but there may be a whole nother side of me he’ll see. I’m sure he can handle it, but the vain part of me worries it’ll have a negative impact on how he sees me. We’ve all heard the horror stories of husbands who, after seeing their wives give birth, can’t look at them the same way. Not just the physical part. (We’ve already agreed that he has to stay up by my head and is not allowed to look into the great abyss. “Beautiful act of nature” or not, he doesn’t need to see that. Also, no cutting the cord, unless he’s suddenly inspired. Neither of us can figure out why that’s become the norm for husbands.) But seeing me vulnerable or weak or ragey or like the Exorcist kid with my head turning around and projectile vomiting green stuff … (I don’t know — it could happen!) I worry about what that’ll do to him to have to witness.
I’m clearly just anxiety-ridden and am inventing things to worry about, so I’ll stop now. I just hope that when I do write about how it went down, that it’ll go along my vision of what I want:
Our birth will be calm, peaceful, quiet and loving. There will be candlelight and soft music. I will be relaxed, focused and positive, as DH will lead me through visualizations that take me deep into relaxation. I will be drinking ice water after every surge and going to the bathroom often. I’ll be able to eat a snack if I choose. I will move around if I choose, change positions and try different techniques, such as the birthing ball, the shower, the bathtub/pool and walking around the backyard. There will be dignity in this birth. I will wear my delivery dress if I choose and nap when I choose. In between surges, DH and I will have loving moments together, with cuddling and kisses. My midwife will help me feel confident and comfortable and let me labor as I see fit. I will focus and breathe through each surge, concentrating on staying relaxed and not thinking about what has passed and what may be yet to come.My cervix will open easily, and I will progress at a natural and normal pace. I will breathe the baby down, and when my body tells me, I will gently push our daughter out, with no complications. I will feel pressure but no pain. We will be enveloped in joy and love as we meet our healthy baby girl. I will expel the placenta with no problems, bond with my child, breastfeed immediately, and then rest with her.
Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? Stay tuned. I’ll try to remember it and write about how it actually went down. And we can all laugh together when compared to my vision above …
Current complaints: skin tags, stretch marks, heartburn, snoring, inability to paint my toenails or shave my legs.
Current obsessions: watermelon and ice. Can’t get enough of either, which Google tells me is a sign of iron deficiency. Midwife confirmed I’m on the verge — gotta eat more leafy greens.