So I am really legitimately almost to the end now! I feel like I've thought it so many times during this last trimester of my pregnancy... once I hit 30 weeks I thought 'wow, I am so close to the end now!' and at 35 weeks I felt like it could happen any day! But here I am, just a few days away from full term and it really actually could be any day now! And I am (mostly) ready. And I imagine if it does happen right now I will simply choose to be (completely) ready. Hehehe. My hospital labor bag is packed with probably more things than I will really need. My husband's "support" bag is ready to go. The diaper bag is filled up with cute baby clothes and anything random I think I'll need for her. I've got a big fluffy pillow and my Boppy nursing pillow waiting by the door. The car seat is installed and ready to bring a baby home! All the cameras and camcorders and other important electronics are charged and packed! I feel like I've gotten all the essentials checked off my list, and other than a vague sort of 'am-I-forgetting-something?' feeling, and knowing there are some essentials that I use everyday that I'll have to remember to grab, I am mostly calm and ready to go.
Buttt... my husband hasn't been feeling the best, dealing with either some sort of stomach bug or maybe even food poisoning?? So as ready as I am, I think it would be best to let him get this out of his system first. I really don't want to be in labor with a sick husband at the hospital. Or... have him get better and then catch (if it's contagious) whatever it is myself... I really seriously do not want to go into labor and also have to contend with some sort of stomach bug. I will not. I refuse. HAHA! I have been staying away from him more than I normally do when he's sick... All that is really out of my control, though, so I am just praying that it will all work out magnificently and trying not to worry about it. :)
Okay, so here we go with the stats:
How Far Along? 39 weeks, 2 Days.
Baby Size: My midwives think that right now she probably weighs about 7.5 lbs. She's been measuring a little big for her gestational age, but they've kinda stopped really measuring at this point, and have just been feeling up the belly. There's no telling how long she is, but probably somewhere around 20 inches.
Gender: She's still a girl!
Movement? YES! It felt like it took me forever to feel any movement, and now it's like she wont stop. And I love it. I had a ton of pressure and kicking really low last night and this morning I woke up feeling (and I think looking) like maybe she's dropped a bit! So that is really exciting! I'm not sure that she's really the whole way into position, but she's definitely a little lower now and not constantly jabbing me in the ribs. So the pain associated with that has almost completely gone away, and now it's just become fun and kind of hilarious to feel (and to watch) my stomach move all around wildly.
Weight Gain: I'm holding steady now at just over 30 pounds... hoping I can make it the rest of the way without any more gain.
Maternity Clothes?: HA! Some of the maternity clothes I have are actually starting to feel pulled a bit in the stomach. Sooooo yeah, definitely wearing maternity clothes. My pj tops no longer even remotely fit me and my belly hangs pathetically out of the ones I do still wear. My husband's sweatpants and t-shirts are seeing a lot more wear lately. ;)
Stretch Marks? Yep. They have gotten pretty bad actually. I guess I'm not that concerned about them right now. I just be sure to use my belly butter on them every day (even though they are on my sides and my thigh and not at all on my belly) lol. Hopefully after baby comes, I can get some special oil or cream to help take them away.
Cravings: Salty things lately for sure. The Shalom School Dutch Fest was last weekend and I gorged myself on their delicious hand cut fries. With vinegar. yummmm.
Aversions: Still just carrots. And also anything spicy, which I always hate, but the thought of it has been particularly nauseating to me lately.
Symptoms: Heartburn is still hanging on. / My hips hurt when I wake up at night from laying on them. / A LOT of something I've come to learn is referred to as "lightning crotch". / The urge to pee has pretty much become a constant sensation. / Now that Spring is here and the days are warmer, I'm finding that I have a hard time getting cooled off. / Overall, I've had much fewer symptoms here at the end and I've been feeling really really good!
Sleep: Sometimes still not great, with waking up almost every hour, but actually I'm mostly waking up only every 3 hours or so now (which I think is my body preparing for breastfeeding), and the past week I've actually had a few nights where I slept 4-5 or so hours straight! It was amazing! They say this could be a sign of labor getting closer!
What I Miss:
Fitting in my car properly... I've slowly been backing my seat up farther and farther away from the wheel. It's getting a bit uncomfortable now. / The really good kind of hug. And also I feel kind of quarantined off right now with a recovering hubby, so that makes me extra hug-deprived.
Favorite Moments So Far: Maybe it's because everyone told me how miserable I would be during this last month and I had really low expectations for it, but I've been feeling really pretty great. Sure it's hard to bend over and to get super comfortable at night, but I have just finally been able to not hate being pregnant. This last month has been less painful on my ribs and if anything I've had a bit more energy. All I can say is, I thought I'd be counting down the days with eagerness and misery, but it's really not been like that at all. I'm not feeling antsy anymore to just be done. Although, I do want her to come so I can meet her face to face. / At our 38 week appointment, the midwife had me go to the hospital to get a non-stress test done. It took FOREVER because of some random stuff they had going on that day, but it ended up being really neat to actually see the baby's heartbeat on the monitor and hear it for almost 45 minutes. She has a really strong heart apparently. And also to see my contractions as they were happening. I had quite a few Braxton Hicks while I was there, and it was so odd to see them register on the screen. I actually wasn't 100 percent sure that that's even what they were until the screen told me it was. It was funny to say to Chad that I thought I was having one, and he could look on the screen and say, "yep... it's pretty high this time!" And now that I know how it feels (which doesn't in my opinion feel anything like how they describe a Braxton Hicks feeling) I can tell you I've easily been having them since 20 weeks or even earlier! It's crazy to know that's what it was this whole time!
Least Favorite Moments So Far: So at my 39 week doctors appointment the other day, they laid me back like they always do to feel the baby and do measurements and take the heartbeat... well, I've been having a pretty hard time with leaning back very far lately and definitely lying completely flat on my back is super bad-feeling. I always mention to them that it's very uncomfortable. This time I told the dr. right away because it hurt quite a bit more than usual. She said what they always do, that my uterus is compressing the vena cava and nerves which can decrease blood flow and cause discomfort. Well not even a minute later, everything started to lose color and I realized that I was about to faint. So I told her and she immediately helped me flip onto my side. After a minute I started to feel better... But, then I think I freaked out about it. You know me - I HATE passing out - and when I'm worried I will, it often brings on a panic attack. I haven't had a full out panic attack in quite some time, which I'm really proud of. But I'm pretty sure that's what happened. I started to feel a lot worse again and I got so so so hot. Like, my skin is on fire, I need a fan, I must have burn marks by now, hot. And I started to feel super nauseous. And started to feel really faint again. I just did my deep breathing, though, and I think I managed to stay quite calm as far as appearances go. And I told the doctor what was going on with how I was feeling. She was honestly the sweetest ever. She rubbed my arms, and took my pulse, and got a cool cloth to use on my burning skin, and spoke very softly, and helped me do my deep breathing, and I'm so thankful for kind, sweet professionals like her. (To all doctors, nurses, and health care providers: please be like this! It's so much easier to cope with that horrible sensation when people are being sweet and kind to you.) The whole thing probably lasted less than 5 minutes. And it felt awful. But my dr. made it seem like a non-event, and told me when I apologized profusely afterward, that many pregnant women have the same trouble with fainting when laying on their backs at this stage and that I had nothing to apologize for. So that made me feel better. And you can be sure as heck that I took myself to McDonald's afterward and got myself a very comforting Bacon Egg and Cheese Mcbagel. Because I deserved it. And that made me feel better, too.
Looking Forward To: Not the labor itself, because that scares the crap out of me, but the moment when I finally get to meet this baby girl that I've been carrying around for almost 9 months. And for that "whew" moment where I can wipe away the sweat and tears and breathe easier again and know that I did it... that I made it through, and it's over, and I can move onto the process of getting to know our baby and learning how to be a good parent with my amazing husband.