How far along? Thirty-seven weeks. On the one hand, I am obviously excited that we made it to full term without incident. On the other hand, full term means THIS BABY COULD COME AT ANY TIME. I am still hoping s/he cooks for a couple more weeks, just like E. did.
Vital stats? I got on the scale on Friday, and I was up 26 lb. So despite all of my angst over my rather rapid first trimester weight gain, it seems to have all evened out in the end. I doubt I’m going to gain much more at this point, even though the baby is growing rapidly. I just don’t have enough room to eat very much, and I know it’s normal for women to maintain or even lose a pound or two in the final weeks.
How am I feeling physically? I am managing. It has been STUPIDLY hot here this week (like middle of July hot) and I’ve really noticed a difference in my energy levels. I am so so so grateful for my friend’s bag of maternity clothes which she gave to me when we had lunch a few weeks ago- she had a couple of short-sleeved T-shirts and a couple of knee-length skirts and I’m basically living in them now. May was cold the year E. was born and I never needed anything other than jeans and three-quarter length T-shirts.
The heat has affected my ankles despite my best efforts, although they are still nowhere near as bad as they were while travelling. And I’ve taken my wedding ring back off again, just to be safe. Yesterday we had E’s birthday party (which I delayed until the end of May because I was worried around his actual birthday it might still be too cold to hold it outside, ha ha), which meant I was running around on my feet for much of the day. Q. was downright horrified by the state of my lower legs and ankles by that evening.
The cramping and Braxton Hicks continue, and I’ve started to have a bit of digestive upset as well. KEEP COOKING, BABY. I’ve switched into nesting mode and spent much of today pulling apart the basement storage closet until I could access the bins with the baby things and I’m not sure my body thought that was the greatest idea, but things have calmed down since I spent part of the afternoon with my feet up (watching a Winnie-the-Pooh movie with E.).
There is so much baby in there now. I’m still getting quite a few comments about how I don’t look like I’m at all close to my due date (one Mum at the party thought I was due in the fall), but people who see me all the time have commented that I’ve ‘popped’ in the last week or so. Given how much time I spend ricocheting off of things with my belly, I certainly feel like I’ve increased in size. I think I’ve now officially run out of room to expand upwards, so I now have to expand outwards.
If E. and I end up at the top of the stairs at the same time, and he then tries to sneak past me, he hits his head on my belly. He’s done this three times this week and it makes me laugh every time.
When I pick E. up from school, he often wants to play at the playground before we go home (where he runs around at the back of the playground by himself, telling a story and ignoring all the other children). I usually sit at the edge of the playground and chat with the other mums. It is becoming quite a challenge to winch myself back up onto my feet.
How am I feeling emotionally? All right. I’m in the middle of a nasty situation with my online course (surprise, surprise- a course on women and gender brings out misogynistic comments from privileged white males), which has taken up most of my emotional energy this weekend. I am finding myself generally low on patience with E. and needing a lot more quiet time. I think I recognize I’m about to lose all of my alone time for the foreseeable future. I really do not have time to read at the moment with all the course prep, but I have managed to make enough time to almost get through Moon over Soho, which is the second of the Ben Aaronovitch novels (which I started on a recommendation from Mel and am really enjoying them).
I am still worried about the birth and about what we will do with E. and about how I am going to cope with having a newborn, but I feel like I’m moving out of denial and into resignation, which has to be an improvement.
I’ve also finally hit a stage where I NEED to get things ready for my own peace of mind, hence the mad unpacking of the storage closet (Q. was out staining the trim on the sheds at the time while E. “made a flood in the whole garden!”, ended up absolutely drenched, and had a wonderful time). We’ve organized the things we’re going to donate when the truck comes past on Tuesday, which will clear out a reasonable amount of space in the nursery/study, and I’m hoping that will inspire us to maybe next weekend move the rest of the furniture around. And now that I’ve found all the baby things, I can wash them. I found the onesie E. wore when he came home from the hospital, and we’re planning to put this baby in it too. I got E. to hold it up against his chest- I need to take a picture. I think Q. and I were both shocked. E. was able to get the onesie over his head, but then it basically looked like a kerchief around his neck. And then I put away a bunch of E’s winter clothes and reordered the bin which holds the clothes he’ll grow into, and there was a snow jacket in there that will probably fit him next year, and the size discrepancy hit me all over again.
Movement? This baby does not have a lot of room left, although you wouldn’t know it the way s/he sometimes carries on. I’m still getting quite big movements as s/he switches from side to side. E. was much more settled and hung out mainly on one side. This week has been the first week where movements have often coincided with some truly miserable pains in my cervix, which makes me wonder if s/he’s engaged a bit more and dropped. But I can still fit my belly over the kitchen counter, so not much change there.
The baby is clearly asleep when I am up in the wee hours of the night. Long may this continue. S/he still likes to party at around 10 p.m. and (worryingly) around 5:00 a.m.
How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? At thirty-seven weeks, I said this:
The vast vast majority of the baby stuff is now organized to a point that I can live with it, even if it isn’t how I want things to be. Once Q. puts up the shelving in the closet that will help, and then I need one trip to I.KEA to get more of the storage boxes we’re using, and I’ll be sorted. I’m still happy being pregnant, but I am getting very curious to meet our baby.
Yeah, no. But we did make at least some progress today. E. was absolutely fascinated with the stroller and wanted to sit in it for ages. This was useful because when he wanted me to strap him in I realized the shoulder straps were no longer attached to the harness. I had a vague memory of putting them on the shelf at the top of our coat closet and (procrastination for the win!) they were still there. I have pretty much given up on getting to I.KEA before the baby comes (I wanted to get whatever they’ve replaced the Expedit with as E. has one of the eight squares Expedits in his room and I love it), but Q. seems willing to do a smash and grab one evening, so that might still happen. Not much point if we don’t get the furniture out of the room first.
I hope the baby likes the bassinet we borrowed from friends because currently we have no plans to a) assemble the crib or b) buy a new mattress (I gave our mattress away with our crib and I didn’t like the mattress that came with the crib a friend of a friend gave us).
I had a dentist appointment this week and ended up having to have the hygienist work while I was on my side, as during the initial exam I realized very quickly that if I stayed on my back with my head lower than my heart I was going to either pass out or vomit, or possibly both. I tried to help Q. clear some things out of the basement (the renos continue) the other day, and got exhausted after four or five trips up the stairs. I keep hitting things (frying pan handles, doors, etc.) with the belly, as I clearly have no sense of spatial awareness and how much room I’m now taking up. So little things like that remind me that I need to watch my activity. But in general, I still feel fantastic.
Lying on my back right now is just not an option. Even reading propped on pillows can be problematic. I think I have more endurance this time around. Or maybe I’m just busier and therefore not listening to my body and not taking very many breaks. I definitely overdid it this morning, but I moved a lot of things around before I really got tired. And then in the afternoon I did all of the laundry and packed away all of my winter maternity clothes and swapped around my winter and summer clothes in my closet and convinced Q. to go through his closet to add clothes to our donate pile. See? Nesting.
On my mind? Getting organized. While I know we pretty much have everything set up that we really need in the first instance, I can tell that I’m going to feel better about things once everything’s washed and the diapers are stripped and the nursery resembles a nursery. I also need to wash and put away our winter gear because I haven’t had time to do that yet. This wasn’t bothering me until it got really hot this week and now every time I open our shoe cupboard and see E’s winter boots it drives me crazy. Plus I want to dust and organize E’s set of shelves in our living room because they’re once again chaotic rather than orderly. And I want Q. to pull out the stove so I can clean behind it. (See? Nesting.)
It has occurred to me I should probably pack a hospital bag at some point. Just because we were only at the hospital for six hours last time and we barely used anything we packed doesn’t mean it will be the same result this time around.
This week I have the home visit from the midwives, an appointment with my endocrinologist, and an appointment with my therapist. It’s going to make for an interesting balancing act with all the online course prep I need to do. I don’t see much reading for fun happening.
Best moment? E’s birthday party. We kept it really really simple- we told E. he could invite five friends and he opted to only invite four (three of whom brought siblings with them, so it was probably best we didn’t have any more). We went to the biggest park in the city and did a nature scavenger hunt and rode on the train and played in the playground and had cupcakes and fruit and fishy crackers and even though it was RIDICULOUSLY hot and poor Q. spent practically the whole time shuttling the car around to try to minimize the distance which the cooler had to be carried, it was still a great afternoon. E. had a grand time; his friends had a grand time; and I think the adults had fun too. Both sisters and my BIL came along, and it was really nice to see all of them, although I didn’t get enough time to chat with them, especially not my youngest sister who headed off overseas that same night and probably won’t be back until this baby is born (unless s/he goes very close to the due date or over). Plus I can’t remember the last time all three of us were together, with my BIL, without it being in a hospital.
And then we came home, with E. sitting in the backseat occasionally saying in a dreamy sort of voice, “That was the best party ever!”, and we unpacked the book boxes that labmonkey and Pea had saved for us, and they had put a bunch of things (new special things!) for P. in one of the boxes. A hooded towel and two swaddle blankets and wash cloths and a baby book and nursing pads (which I still haven’t managed to pick up, so that saves me one trip) and personalized onesies (I am going to take a picture of them and post on here because they are too good not to share). It was just so lovely and thoughtful and I am glad this baby will have something new (says the mother who is happily planning to put the baby in the SAME OUTFIT that E. wore home because it’s likely to fit, so why not).
Even though when I woke up that morning I had done absolutely NOTHING to get ready for the party and we then had to grocery shop (Q.), buy a few things for the party bags (E. and I), print out nature scavenger hunt cards and add a bonus animal (E. and I), assemble party bags (mostly E. with help from me), bake cupcakes (me), ice cupcakes (me), decorate cupcakes (E.), organize fruit and pack the cooler and backpack (mostly me with help from Q.) and I found myself, completely exasperated, putting cupcakes in the fridge to cool them down so I could ice them before we had to leave, and said to Q., “And this is a SIMPLE party!”, it all worked out in the end, and it was a wonderful day. And, most importantly, I didn’t go into labour before or during the party!