Tuesday, October 4, 2011

37 weeks

0-4 weeks until the big day! That's quite a range.

Weight Gain:
About 32 pounds, according to the scale at home. I would like to keep it under 35, but we appear to be gaining 2 pounds a week at the end here. Not sure how I feel about that.

Symptoms: I know I still have it easy, but I'm experiencing an increase in aches and pains. My hips are achey, my lower back is occasionally giving me what-for (not in a crampy way, more in a "dang, girl, you're carrying 30 extra pounds around all the time" way), and holy hell, have I gotten some painful gas lately. Especially when the kiddo decides to try to stretch out, I have moments where I just feel like there's too much matter in my midsection and not enough space. I'd like to keep the little guy baking for at least another couple of weeks, but I can completely understand why some women are just done with the blessed pregnancy process at this point.

I am also getting occasional crampy feelings, and I'm feeling my Braxton-Hicks contractions more, so I think the body is moving in to "getting ready" mode.

Cravings/Aversions: I really just want to eat all the time again - hence the 2 pound a week weight gain, I'm sure - but carbs are always delicious.

I am loving: The nice weather and the way DH and I have been kind of soaking in our last few days/weeks together as just the two of us. We did a lot of work on our apartment this weekend and now I feel like we're really moved in, just in the nick of time. The place feels like home, and the kid's room is really cozy, and we're enjoying our last days of quiet while simultaneously looking forward to meeting the new guy.

Oh, and I have a new sleep strategy to ward off hip pain: I am now sleeping with my Snoogle, plus a regular pillow, PLUS a folded-up comforter between my knees. This looks completely insane, as I'm basically sticking one leg all up in the air, but it means I sleep.

I miss: Just about everything about my body 30 pounds ago. But most of that will come back soon, so I'm cool with it.

I'm looking forward to: Hopefully at least one more beautiful fall weekend at home with just DH before the Big Day.

I'm concerned about: My blood pressure... sort of. I'm really concerned about the midwives' attitude shift. Three weeks ago, my BP was a little higher than it had been for most of the pregnancy, but no one seemed too concerned. Then last week, when the nurse pulled out the blood pressure cuff, I briefly panicked - I felt my heart pound and I got that quick fight-or-flight head rush one can get. I should have asked the nurse to wait a second, but she was jabbering away about something, so she takes my blood pressure and it's scary high. Then she interrogates me: "Were you rushing to get here? How do you feel? Have you had headaches?" She makes me lie down and tells the midwife to take another reading later.

Here's the thing: 10 minutes later, the midwife takes my BP and it's almost exactly what it was two weeks before. I am certain I have a case of "white coat syndrome", especially in light of my sister's experience with birth. Despite the new normal reading, though, the midwife orders a blood test and a 24-hour urine collection - something they had made my sister do before they tortured her. When I heard about the urine thing, I yelled, "no!" - in my mind, this was the beginning of the end of hands-off midwife care, and they're about to hand me over to the OB wolves with their IVs and their scalpels.

So in between working on our apartment all day Saturday, I was also collecting my pee in a charming orange jug. Sunday morning we dropped the jug o' pee off at the hospital, and by Sunday evening we had confirmation that no problems were found in any of the blood test labs or in my urine - I'm cool. Despite that, the midwife who talked with DH on Sunday afternoon when I was away rattled off all the symptoms of pre-eclampsia that he should watch out for, and made sure to mention seizures as a possibility. He was rightfully annoyed that they're still acting like something is wrong even though all the tests are showing that I'm fine thus far. I understand that pre-e can crop up quickly, but it almost feels like they're hoping for something to be wrong so they can induce me.

Anyway, with all that, we bought another week. And we're kind of ready for a fight on Thursday at my next appointment. I do feel a little reassured that I have now managed to progress further in my pregnancy than they let my sister get. I feel like every additional day the kid can stay in the womb means better things for him when he's born, and hopefully a better birth experience for both of us... especially if they try to induce me. The closer we are to the due date, the more ready he'll be to get born. But I'm cranky that I even need to worry about induction.

Milestones: Full term! If he is born, say, tomorrow, they wouldn't even think about sending him to NICU unless there's some extra complication with the birth. Yes, I would like my slimy baby placed directly on my chest as soon as he's born, thank you. We have a lot of getting-to-know-you to do.

Movement: Ugh. It's still reassuring, but does it have to be so... painful? He likes to s t r e t c h out, and lo, there is no room in there for the stretching.

Exercise: OK. I've been more sedentary at work than I probably should be, but we are at least getting nice walks in during the evenings. This fall weather is fantastic. I'm sad that it's supposed to heat up again later this week.

Diet: OK-ish. I need to keep focusing on protein, especially with all the midwife panic.

Something nice:
On Sunday, a group of my friends had a "mothers' blessing" for me and my friend who's due 4 days after me. It was a really nice event, and a good opportunity to think about this transition. I'm supposed to text the organizer when I go in to labor so she can tell all the women who were there that they should say a prayer for me, which is cool.

Also, I got to Skype with my best friend who lives far away in Canada yesterday, and she was asking me all kinds of things about my experience with pregnancy and what I'd learned about birth. It's great to talk with her, anyway, but I also like feeling like I'm becoming one of those moms that other women can ask about this stuff. There's a lot of stuff that nobody tells you!

Also, DH's mom picked up a lot of really cute sleepers for the kiddo, and his aunt called on Saturday and said she found a bunch of adorable baby clothes at a consignment sale for super-cheap. There was a time when I was worried we didn't have any clothes for the little guy... that time is gone.

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