33 Weeks – The Homestretch

I will never get sick of people asking me how I’m feeling (bless you all), but I’m sort of over coming up with an answer to the question. How am I feeling? Compared to not being pregnant and living my normal life, I feel slow, achy, and tired. I have heartburn, pelvic pain, and what Dr. Google tells me is tarsal tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel, but in my feet). Compared to what I thought being pregnant would feel like at 33 weeks and what I’ve read other women on the pregnancy forums share, I feel great! I’m able to get around alright, work like normal, and I’m sleeping pretty well most of the time. I want to share what’s truthful, but also don’t want to bore people with details or complain, so most of the time I just say: “pretty good!”

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How I spend most of my time at home.

In my last post, I shared all about doing things to feel like an athlete so I could feel like myself. And then we moved into a new house that is 4 times the size of where we were living before and required unpacking and organizing and cleaning and chores. And all of that completely replaced formal exercise. I found that I was getting enough movement just from doing stuff around the house and that I was too tired to even do much more. In the past two months, I’ve swam twice and done a yoga video here or there, but otherwise have just been walking and trying to stay generally active. I take the stairs everywhere (breathing heavily along the way) and try to park far from the door and sometimes go up and down the steps in our house just for fun. And surprisingly, I don’t really mind not feeling like an athlete anymore. Now I feel like a homeowner, which is fulfilling and exciting in its own way. I’ve been trying to make an effort to walk with people at least once a week, either on PR day at November Project or at PlayGldn or just with someone. Robyn’s off-season is conveniently lining up with my too-pregnant season and she’s been joining me, which is the best.

Because I want to set myself up to be physically prepared for labor and ready for recovery afterwards, I’ve started seeing a pelvic floor PT, Dr. Hollie Neujahr at N2 Physical Therapy. I’ve only been a few times so far, but it’s been incredibly eye-opening. I have been surprised by the similarities between what she’s been able to assess and tell me and what I heard from Dr. Courtney Conley when discussing running-specific issues and ailments when I was training hard and putting in a lot of miles. It seems that the stress of pregnancy on my body has manifested similarly to the stress of running, except in my pelvic floor rather than my lower back. In my second visit, we could already tell a major difference in how my body was responding and she’s been giving me a lot of confidence about labor and my eventual recovery.

When I entered the third trimester, some people told me, “you’re in the homestretch!” But that’s like telling someone that they’re “almost there” in a marathon when they’re at mile 18. There’s a lot of running left at that point! But now, at 33 weeks, I feel like I’m at mile 22 of the race and it’s hard but I’ve come so far and I’m very focused on the finish line. The other day, Dan and I took a tour of the hospital where we’ll deliver and during it, I got really nervous, seeing all the medical equipment and the NICU and the wing to the OR rooms. But then by the end, I was like ‘bring it on!’ and am almost excited for labor and delivery (I also realize I’m incredibly naive). As I’ve told a few people, I’m terrified of breastfeeding and a lot (most) of the stuff that happens after the baby is born. I’m less scared of labor, because I think that I can approach it like a race where I focus on managing and getting through the pain to make it to the finish line.

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Next time we go in those doors, we’ll be leaving with a baby!

I often hear people say that time moves so fast when pregnant, but I feel like I could rival an elephant for longest gestation period. I am so, so excited for him or her to be here, can’t wait, but at the same time… I feel like I’m not quite ready/prepared/qualified to be a mom. Of course I know that I’ll figure it out and Dan and I will be doing it all together, but still when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m like ‘really, me – a mom?’ And as much as I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore, I am scared about how much harder it’s going to be to take care of the baby when they’re not all nestled up inside of me. I’m sure these next 7ish weeks will feel painfully slow at times, but I’m going to try to enjoy every movement inside my belly and every time I get to see Dan’s face when the baby gives him a big kick.

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I laugh now looking at earlier pictures when I thought I had a bump.

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