I’m not crazy, I’m preggy! (I hope)

Warning: “Mood swings, anxiety and increased irritability are common during the last three months of pregnancy.”

I think I have been pretty good overall as a pregnant lady. I don’t think David even knows half the time when I have pregnant lady freak outs, and they are pretty rare overall. I feel like as I am getting closer to the end, like contractions, they seem to be getting closer together and more frequent though.  Sometimes I will just be folding her little clothes (which are not the easiest things to fold) and I find I am starting to cry. Usually I am alone and just kind of let it out for a bit, and then go on with my day.  Most of the time, I have no idea why I am upset. Sometimes it starts with something like not feeling prepared or who knows, running out of those little baby hangers, or just seeing a baby swimsuit at a store or a commercial with a baby, seeing a woman giving birth or the time when I went to get an icee and the machine was broken 😦  To add to the irrational nature of it all, sometimes I am really happy before or after an “episode”.  Sometimes, I just feel like I can’t wait anymore too! I just want to hold Leia Juliet so bad, and that makes me feel emotional too.  I hate using hormones as an excuse to be a nutball, but sometimes it really feels outside of my control for a few minutes.

Plus, there is so much momentum right now, in the last two days I had a very beautiful shower 😉 , a doctors appointment (she’s still a girl!) and a visit with our doula to talk about the birth. We have childbirth classes and the hospital maternity ward tour in the next two or three weeks too. I would think about the baby without all these things, but now it seems like outside of work, most of my schedule is taken up by baby stuff! When not doing scheduled things I am reading books or getting her room ready anyway (that is when I am not so tired I just fall asleep instead). So there is a lot of hurry up and wait kind of feelings.

Then of course there is my body. I feel more and more momentum there too. I feel more tired, more uncomfortable. Sometimes it feels like she will just fall out when I am walking (if only if it were that easy!).  My walks with the dog feel more like mountain climbing (so glad I have a dog though, Arnold is a great encourager to keep moving and get that light exercise that is recommended for me at this stage).  I sleep less at night (but I still have to go to work boo!). People keep saying my belly looks small, I don’t know if they are just being nice, but I hope that means she will be a little 6 pounder like I was!

Now that my doula Gracie explained to me what Braxton Hicks contractions are like I am pretty sure I have been feeling those and just thought it was the baby moving (FYI these are small little contractions that don’t hurt and aren’t very noticeable but are slowly getting the uterus ready to do its big job I guess). The doctors always tell you to be on the lookout for preterm labor at this point, but contractions still seem so abstract to me. I am sure if that started happening I would know something was up, but having never experienced childbirth before I just have no idea what a contraction is supposed to feel like.

All of me is totally caught up in this journey now, there definitely is no stopping it! I am praying for and picturing in my mind more how labor might go, trying to be super flexible, but my main hope is that I just really trust the Lord through it and trust my body and go with it. I just want to stay calm and focused. My dream is that most of it happens at home and then at the hospital they are like “OK girl its time to push!” as soon as I get there. I don’t want to lay in the hospital for hours and hours hooked up to wires and IVs so I am really hoping my labor just progresses  naturally and quick. But realizing I have to take my labor as it comes and if it doesn’t play out perfectly that that will be OK too, as long as Leia is there in the end and healthy that is the main thing.

Oh one good thing, my doctor said she only does an episiotomy maybe 1 out of 30 births and that is something they have really moved away from these days. That makes me feel better (if you don’t know what that is look it up, but be careful because my husband accidentally saw one on youtube and he cannot get over it LOL). I know it wouldn’t be that big a deal if it did have to happen, at least not at the time, but mentally it is an awful idea to me and in case my doctor isn’t on duty it is still going on my birth plan that I really don’t want one unless it is an emergency!

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“Another Wedding Day”?

Last night David and I attended a class on hospital birthing procedures. It is the first in our little cycle of birth classes. It was a very fact based class on what commonly happens in a hospital birth, or what could happen. Overall, I thought it was pretty good.  It made me feel pretty well read, because I didn’t feel there was a lot I hadn’t thought of or at least heard of.  It was also pretty balanced I felt. The nurse giving the class kept talking about how nothing is risk free, mentioning the cascade of interventions, etc and seemed to want to try to get people to think about the choices that could be presented to them on the big day. It was kind of boring at times too, and at course a lot of the questions people asked I just felt like saying “Weren’t you listening, she has said that like ten times tonight!” I didn’t feel like it shook me up too bad, I left still feeling pretty much the same about medical interventions and pain relief. (Isn’t it weird though that people freak out if a pregnant woman has a cup of coffee or a Dr. Pepper, but as soon as she goes into labor at a hospital its like, “hey what kind of heavy drugs do you want lady”?)

During the class David wrote on a pad of paper “It’s like another Wedding Day, the Happiest Day of my life” It certainly is a game changer like a wedding day too, and a lot of prep and nerves are involved too, and a family is being shaped or expanded.  Of course, I was a little more focused on seeing these videos of women in labor and getting C-sections. On your wedding day you are basically the prettiest you will ever be, at least that is my theory, that day in my dress I remember thinking, wow I have never looked like this and won’t ever again! The ladies in the videos weren’t exactly looking like Barbie.  While, my whole birthing philosophy or what have you wasn’t effected last night, I was at points a little overwhelmed just being presented with the very real fact that I will give birth to a child one way or another. It’s awesome and I was made to do it and all that, but its a lot to take in too. Giving birth was something my Mom did, not me! Now I am the Mom!! You always think you will have kids someday, and may even be really really excited about it, but somehow the whole labor part is really not in your mind growing up, at least not mine.  I guess that is good, I mean it probably isn’t worth really stressing over. How many women have done this after all?  And of course, the baby that comes from it overshadows the process and immediately takes up your attention and focus. Still, I do have to walk through this crazy part of the journey pretty soon and it sure seems intense! I can’t help wondering what changes it will bring about in me on the other side? I know seeing that baby certainly will change both David and I forever and irrevocably, but as a woman something about going through this process of pregnancy and delivery seems really formative. I am 30 years old and have felt pretty grown up for a while, but this definitely is a new growing experience for me.

eye on the prize

I really really want to lay on my back. My whole life I slept on my back, I don’t remember falling asleep any other way, but it feels like forever since I have just been able to lay on my back.  The thing is you are not supposed to once you get so many weeks pregnant, and I will lay on my back for just a second and feel both guilty and sometimes out of breath or uncomfortable. Apparently, there is this big vein that the growing uterus pushes on and can cut off blood flow to you and the baby or something like that. So even though it doesn’t work too well anyway, I find my body missing the freedom to lay on my back! I don’t know what I would do without my big body pillow!

Pregnancy is such a marathon. I know in the grand scheme of things it isn’t that long, but here at 31, almost 32 weeks, I am really feeling it.  My feet, my back, my girth, oy vay! God definitely gets us ready to get on with labor and delivery!Then there is the anticipation. Aaaah, I want to meet my daughter! What will she be like? What will she look like? How will it feel to hold her in my arms? David and are both so ready to have a bigger family than the two of us.

It seems like it was so long ago that I found out I was pregnant, even the misery of the first trimester seems shadowy now. I know I am so close to the finish line, and I should enjoy carrying Leia inside of me for the little time that it lasts, I mean pregnancy, all discomfort aside, is pretty amazing, but boy sometimes I just want to get this show on the road! Especially when I look at her little tiny baby clothes, wow, amazing someone can be sooo small.  It is so exciting accumulating her things, not that I am all about things, but it makes it all so real. She now has a little sleeper someone generously gave us,  so no matter how early she comes or how late we get a crib assembled she has a little bed to sleep in when she first gets here! It is very portable and light too, I can carry it all over the house as needed, and it looks very comforting for a baby, kind of like a little rocking hammock, as opposed to a flat surface. I don’t know how long we will keep her in our room, or how that will all play out, but I just know that I really wanted the option of having her in a tiny portable bed when she first gets home, something about putting her in the crib right away in her own room is just too much for me.  Of course, after three weeks some Mom’s have said they just  rested so much better with a baby in another room and the baby slept fine, that could happen with us too? I know I am not putting her IN our bed, I just don’t feel comfortable with that personally for several reasons, but I wanted the option of having her close at the beginning. I look forward to getting everything organized and ready for her arrival, and for my upcoming showers! Showers are so magical 🙂

 

Fat Feet

Is this going to be me in a few weeks?

I am at 31 weeks, that is almost 8 months pregnant! (Yes, I am a math whiz) Do I realize how soon my baby will be coming, I don’t know?? I am so excited. Also, I am so pregnant! I have noticed my feet beginning to swell I think, last night I got home and took off my socks and my feet looked all puffy.  I have seen girls who near the end just puff up everywhere, that looks SO uncomfortable, so far I have only really noticed it in my feet a little bit, but it doesn’t make walking or standing any more comfortable. I really hope it doesn’t get out of control (see above picture).

The futon has been removed from Leia’s room! I know this does not mean anything to anyone else, but to me it means a lot. Space is made, we are ready for a crib to fall fully assembled from the sky! Well, that probably won’t happen, but we are ready to get some furniture in there now. I will still have to use some of the room for storage, but I don’t think she will mind 🙂 We are planning on moving pretty soon, nothing major and probably nothing bigger, but in our quest to be financially wise we have realized, that while we cannot afford a house just yet in southern California, we probably can buy a condo, and in doing that will end up saving quite a bit as opposed to flushing money down the drain every month renting. So as anxious as I am to get her room ready, I know it may be a temporary pit stop for Leia.

I am really ready to stop being a pregnant teacher. I appreciate the close proximity of my job, the support of my boss and fellow teachers, but man by the end of a work day I just feel so tired. I really don’t understand the pregnant ladies who run marathons and things, that is awesome for them, but dropping car keys on the ground and having to pick them up seems like a big task these days for me. I did complete my last open house of my foreseeable future, that felt good, never a huge fan of open houses, and it was the last thing on the school calendar that I really felt was a hurdle. So I will just try and keep getting through until April 8th, taking naps as soon as I get home 🙂

Birthing classes coming up, one this week. I have been reading up more on the whole labor thing too. How am I feeling about it all? Well, I think overall I am feeling OK, getting more of an idea about how I would like it to go and trying to stay flexible though because I know you just never know what will happen. Really thankful I will be having a doula, and that was all God not me. I hadn’t really thought of it, until a friend from church offered her services, and now both David and I are glad we will have someone with us. Especially me as a woman, having someone experienced I can trust to guide me. A lot of the fear just comes from it being so unknown, so to have someone that can encourage and let me know what is normal and when I should go to the hospital is really comforting to me right now. I hope I continue to feel pretty at peace with it, even through the classes and things. Friday we are taking a class just on common hospital procedures like C sections and pain medication. I am hoping for the least amount of intervention possible of course, but want to know what might happen or need to happen anyway in certain situations.

So, things are progressing! I have my moments of fear and anxiety, sometimes about really silly things I will admit. So I am trying to learn and grow in grace from those crazy pregnant lady moments too, but overall I think things are going well and I am just so excited to meet my baby!

I love Baby socks!

I now have some actual baby gear. A car seat stroller combo generously given to me by  colleagues at my work shower. Now I can check that off the mental list of “oh my goodness what will I do without that?” items. Woohoo!

I had my shower yesterday. God is so amazing, I was afraid I might not have a shower before I got pregnant. My best friend lives in another state, as does both of our families (I know they aren’t supposed to throw you a shower though) and we haven’t been at our church too awfully long. Instead of having none though I had a work shower, and am having one thrown by my small group leader at church and finally my BFF Christy really wanted to do something so she researched “virtual showers” something totally new to me, but a way I can include  family and friends who live nowhere near California! I love to see how God provides and makes my worries seem silly time and time again. And it is so great to feel supported by so many people and feel that other people are excited about your new baby too.

It was strange at my shower yesterday there was  a little video of students telling me thank you and that they will miss me, and lots of hugs and gifts from my fellow teachers and administrative staff it felt final, and yet I will be back on Monday plugging away until April. Now that we are getting things for her it really feels that much more tangible. I mean we will drive to the hospital with that car seat empty and come back with a baby in it! (Though it is a little crazy to me that hospitals only require a car seat for you to take them away, I mean does a car seat really mean you can take care of a whole person?) It was a great afternoon though, of course there was cute little clothes, and one of my new favorite things- baby socks! Baby shoes are cute, but kind of ridiculous when you think about them, not that that makes me love them less.  I am  in love though with the style of socks they have now that look like little Mary Jane shoes or ballet slippers, and I got a few pairs yesterday – joy!

Outside from being blessed by so many others I am at 30 weeks now, theoretically ten more to go, we will see if it will be less or more?? Pregnancy fun for now seems to be less sleep due to heartburn, bathroom trips and baby kicks. Headaches that don’t seem to go away with tylenol, the one thing I am allowed to take (though I will be trying rubbing peppermint oil on my temples so I will let you know if that helps), being super tired and leg cramps. At night I feel like a piece of meat in a skillet that has to be turned over frequently, I will be comfortable on one side for a minute and then need to flip. Good times 😉