Great Expectations: Julie @ 36 Weeks

Nick Carter27s 006.jpgHere we are, mid-May and I am nearing 37 weeks of my pregnancy. I am barely keeping up with my life. Or maybe I am expecting myself to keep up with it too much. I have no idea how women with multiple children handle the ups and down of carrying a new life. I guess you just have to do what it takes. I almost didn’t show up to work today. I stood in the middle of my house, deliberating, for at least 5-7 minutes about whether or not to just lay down and put my feet up. Then I got into the shower and stood there for another 15 minutes deliberating about if I should ever get out. In the end, my routine won out and off I went.

My daily life at this point is punctuated with trying to stay alert and come up with the gumption to exist. My feet and one hand have gotten very swollen. A few weeks ago, I was on a mission for slip-on shoes. It wouldn’t have mattered if I found them. I can barely fit into my Sanuks or my Crocs that are a size too big. They are the most swollen at work—again, how do women in this country, like who have retail jobs, stand up all day? I couldn’t do it. My face has gotten frog-like, with my nose having spread, double chin, etc. I just don’t look quite right anymore. It could be my 30 pound weight increase or hormones or both. I’ve posted my picture here. It was not Facebook profile-pic worthy.

I find that no matter how hungry I am, my desire to not move is greater. This is different than early pregnancy, where my exhaustion could be overcome enough to get something to eat. My mom and husband tell me I’m not eating enough, but there isn’t a huge amount of room left. The baby is now kicking under my ribcage. I tried looking into my pregnancy exercises, 35-40 weeks. These are all about preparing for birth. Just the additional pressure of something/anything to do brought tears to my eyes. And the idea of not doing them makes me feel like I will be more “unprepared” than I should be.

I am now officially cleared-cleared for the birth center. I am both excited and scared about giving birth. I have almost made peace with the idea of tearing down there. I’ll be using the nitrous gas liberally if I do tear and need stitches. I have been doing some intermittent perineal massages, but whatever will be will be. I’ve been trying to pack my bag for the center, but I can’t find the two large tee-shirts (which they recommend to have on hand) that I want to use and this is driving me insane. They are so big and soft and leftovers from college, when huge was in style (thanks grunge!). With all this baby stuff, her new huge wardrobe, my maternity wardrobe, my regular wardrobe, and my “big girl” wardrobe that I kept after losing forty pounds (and have been keeping on hand for after having a baby—yes, have kept this stuff for years), everything is a mess and I don’t like that.

So, basically, I am tired and fretting. My sleep remains broken, and often elusive. I find little things to stress about, like these tee shirts and whether I have gotten my baby shower hostesses gifts that are way too expensive. My husband will be going on an over-time job in two weeks where he’ll be gone 6 days a week/10 hours a day, with his 3-4 hour daily commute. That kept me up from 1 am to 5 am the other day and that is not a little thing. I worry about getting postpartum depression and being alone all day with a new baby. It wasn’t something I was concerned about until that day. He said he’ll be there for me, but as a foreman, he doesn’t have a huge amount of flexibility. His feelings are to not worry about things before they happen. I agree (with my rational mind) but your brain doesn’t care about rationale in the middle of the night, if you are of the anxious, problem-sleeper sort.

BUT, as I always end these posts, thankfully, baby girl is doing great. My fundal height measurement was a week behind this last midwife appointment. I’ve bought the car seat and practiced with my doll. My belly is poking out quite a bit but I’ve maintained my version of an hour-glass figure. Nothing out of the ordinary has really taken place and for that I am grateful—it’s still just managing symptoms. I like having her all to myself, but I think I will be happy to not be pregnant anymore. It is a magical, special time, but I want my body back. Soon enough. Still trying to prepare her for a June 3rd birth. We’ll see if it works.

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