Jan 23, 2017

39 Weeks - a Final Pregnancy Update

I was originally planning this post for my due date, but it's looking more likely than not that we won't make it that long, thanks to some elevated blood pressure and OB paranoia about preeclampsia.  I'm mildly frustrated by this as I've got no symptoms other than high blood pressure and, frankly, my blood pressure is never that good unless I'm mid-training regimen or something.  So I'm not excited about being induced, since it basically means my body isn't actually ready for labor, we have to do a whole bunch of extra BS to open my cervix, and I'll be in the hospital much longer, since I have to be there the whole time instead of just after active labor starts.

BUT I won't mind the end of the various discomforts that come along with an almost-9-months-pregnant body.  And Ryan and I have kind of made a game of it, daydreaming about all the things I'll be able to do so very soon, which I will now share with you...

Things I'm Looking Forward to About Not Being Pregnant Anymore!!!

1. Sushi

I bet a lot of people would have put alcohol for their #1, but I've been 13 months without drinking and I have no intention of going back.  Sushi, on the other hand, was the request I made of Ryan for my first meal after the baby is born.  We have big plans.  Sushi mountain plans.

2. Stomach Sleeping

I am so sick of sleeping on my sides and needing a pillow to keep my hips from aching!  Not to mention switching sides every couple of hours because something has started to hurt, and the pain in my tendons (I guess?) that crops up randomly when I try to roll over.

3. The End of Acid Reflux

For the last 2 months, the heartburn has been intense.  Even after starting a Zantac regimen (one in the morning, one at night), I still sometimes wake up coughing on stomach acid.  Cannot wait for the pressure to ease up on my stomach and let the acid stay down where it belongs!

4. Being Able to Do Stairs Again

Obviously I can still "do" stairs.  But I get winded going up just one flight!  This was never a problem before and I'm sincerely hoping this is a side effect of pressure on my lungs and/or the extra weight, not a new level of out-of-shape-ness.

5. Normal Pants

As amazingly comfortable as my maternity leggings are, the pants I acquired for use in the real world leave something to be desired.  Things like pockets, and staying up on their own.  I realize I won't necessarily be able to wear them immediately after giving birth, but it's something I intend to start working towards as soon as my body is healthy enough to exercise.

6. My Previous Metabolism

This is more of a hope than a sure bet, but I went from the ability to eat whatever I want and gain maybe 1 pound per week to eating that same amount and gaining 5 in a week.  I know you should expect extra weight gain during pregnancy (duh) but I was definitely taken aback at the dramatic increase.  Fingers crossed that's not a permanent change!

7. Flexibility

Being able to reach things on the ground by bending over instead of squatting!  Putting shoes on without sitting down!  Regular yoga and pilates videos!  Spinal twists!  So much bending.  You don't even know.

8. No More Food Monitoring

It'll be nice to not have to worry (as much) about what I'm allowed to eat during pregnancy.  I've messed up a couple times too, intentionally and unintentionally, and not having that guilt or worry will be awesome.  Plus other people questioning my choices.  It was infrequent, but I had a few, "Are you allowed to have ___?" and "The Internet says ___."  Of course, I also had, "Mudslides don't really have alcohol in them..." so maybe that's just people being people.

9. The End of Biweekly Doctor Visits

I realize these will probably be replaced by pediatric visits BUT I will enjoy having the baby weighed much more than having my own weight and blood pressure analyzed every two weeks.  If I never hear, "You know... you don't need to gain more weight." again, it'll be too soon.

10. Getting Comfortable at My Desk

The belly keeps me further away from the monitor, and I tend to hunch just out of habit to get my face into the proximity to the screen to which it is accustomed.  Then either my back hurts or baby starts squirming because it's getting squished and I try to slump or sit up straight and then my ribs hurt.  (Apparently all your ligaments loosen up, not just the ones that, you know, are involved with birthing.)  Once my sides start hurting, they won't stop until I can go lay down for an hour or two, which isn't always possible.  Basically discomfort/mild pain has become a way of life.

And now I suppose, to be fair, I'll also add a list of things I liked about being pregnant.  Not that I'll miss them necessarily, but it certainly wasn't all bad.

Things I Enjoyed About Pregnancy

1. The Naps

In my last trimester, I napped better than I ever have before.  I've never been able to sleep with background noises (like my coworkers playing ping pong) but I somehow acquired that skill and spent many restful lunch hours on the couch in our office.

2. My Weekly Animal Updates

It was so cool to watch Reptar's progress from a tiny little "dot snail" all the way to recognizable mammals!  And, just generally, learning all about how pregnancy works, how the fetus is developing, what to expect and so on.  Thought I suppose we'll have plenty more of that with learning how to raise a child!

3. Baby Movements

Particularly when Ryan was around.  Sometimes we'd both have a hand on my belly and we'd laugh because the kicking felt so unnecessarily violent.  My mental picture was always of the baby having the most pointless temper tantrum in its little uterine cage.

4. Having an Excuse for Things

Why am I so tired?  Why I am I upset right now?  Why do I want olives so badly???  It was very easy to shrug everything off as a pregnancy symptom.  And, especially with emotions, that was very nice.  I tend to get in the trap of feeling guilt or concern for my emotions when they're illogical and doing the whole dramatic, "Why do I feel this way???"  Being pregnant made it so much easier to just shrug them off and not worry about it, which in turn made it easier to get past them.

5. Planning and Daydreaming About the Future

I know that future is basically here, but we all know that sometimes our daydreams are more fun than real life.  Real life is smelly and sticky and exhausting and it's easy to get caught up in that instead of what matters.

6. Other People's Enthusiasm

People were so nice.  Whether it was just acknowledging the fact, "Hey, you're pregnant!" or wanting to talk and compare experiences or just general vicarious excitement for our impending life change, I greatly appreciated the time other people took to be considerate or show interest in our lives.

7. "You Only Gained Weight in Your Belly"

Thank you, thank you, thank you, every single one of you who said this.  You have no idea how much better that made me feel after the biweekly reminder from the doctors that my weight gain was higher than it needed to be.  I mean, I know they have my best interests in mind, but I'm not stupid and I didn't just forget that fact every other week.

Is there anything left I haven't complained about?  Let's see: stretch marks, pelvic pain, and overbearing advice and comments.  Done.

And I was lucky!  I never had (or noticed) a stranger side-eyeing me for buying coffee or whatever other random thing they might disapprove of.  No one touched my belly except people who I don't mind having physical contact with.  No braxton-hicks (edit: super mild towards the end), minimal spotting/alarming symptoms, and for the most part the baby kicking was just entertaining rather than actually painful.

Obviously it's all worth it for the end result, but I'm not one to wallow in sentiment so I'll sum it up for you pragmatically.  Pregnancy is weird, mostly uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and occasionally cool.

The phrase "miracle of life" makes me laugh because the image that phrase evokes to me is pretty much the complete opposite of what it's been like so far.  Yes, it is sometimes mind-blowing to think about how our bodies work and what we can create, but the word "miracle" just doesn't conjure up images of aching ribs and sleepless, heartburn-filled nights.  And I don't imagine labor is going to feel any more miraculous or sacred.  For me, at least.

What do you think?  Have you been pregnant and did you like it?  Or if not, are you planning on ever being pregnant and what do think it'll be like?

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  1. YAY so close to the end!! Sorry to hear about being induced and the high blood pressure. I hope everything goes well in the end!! I can totally relate to all of those things I didn't miss about being pregnant - touching your toes again feels SO nice. haha. Thinking of you and excited to hear your news girl!!!

  2. I had a similar overall view- it was cool, but super uncomfortable a lot of time. Worth it, but not always amazing.

    Sorry you are unhappy with the induction- I was induced but it was due to being over a week late and had 0 issues (I say this because people only wanted to tell me awful labor stories...and mine was truly completely fine, within 10 minutes I was like "Hmm yeah I could do that again").

    And taking a shower was my version of your stairs comment- I took a shower without panting and it was AMAZING.

  3. So close, friend!! I hope labor is quick and painless for you since you'll be stuck in a hospital room most of the time =/ I'm sure it'll go well!!
    When we have kids I won't look forward to the lack of alcohol or large amount of caffeine or no lunch meat. Sigh. Haha!

  4. I loved this look back on your pregnancy and all of the things you're looking forward to. Having never been pregnant one of the things I worry about is knowing what foods you're not supposed to have, and I can only imagine the overwhelming amount of information and opinions on everything. So excited for you!

  5. I was just thinking about you and wondering if little Reptar's arrival was imminent! I have never been pregnant so I cannot relate on a personal level but can imagine both the thrill of having a child grow inside of you and the pain of it too! Honestly, beyond the obvious (alcohol, smoking), I don't know what pregnant women are allowed to eat or not to eat, so I wouldn't side-eye anyone. Is sushi off the list because it's raw or is all fish off the list?

    1. Yep yep! It's really not like what I imagined before I got pregnant, but then again, friends have told me that even between pregnancies there are so many differences that you still don't necessarily know what to expect for a 2nd one. :P

      Technically it's not all sushi, just raw fish (or raw anything). They want everything cooked all the way through to make sure there's no lingering bacteria.

  6. well, i know i'm crazy late, but i hope you are enjoying all the things you'd missed, and i hope labor went well!

  7. I hated being pregnant. Every minute of it, except maybe like 5 minutes in the second trimester. I know it was worth it but good Lord. Horrible.

    I had sushi the day I came home from the hospital. And I think a container of feta cheese. #noshame

  8. I missed this post somehow! I couldn't wait to eat sushi again, and walk up the stairs without huffing and puffing and being able to reach my feet and having the constant major pain in my back and hips to go away. And the swelling. Dear goodness the swelling was so bad my last month!!! That stinks you had to be induced because of blood pressure :( I do miss feeling the baby kicks and just the incredible feeling of growing a human.


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