We’ve officially reached the point where it could be “any day now.” One minute I think that I could go into labor in the next couple days and I want to and the next minute, I think it won’t be for another month and I’m relieved. I know I’m not alone in having these conflicted thoughts of wanting the baby to stay inside and keep growing and developing until 40 weeks and also wanting him or her to be here right now!
I feel about as prepared as I think I’m going to, at least at home. I’ve filled out my ballot, I’ve done all the baby laundry, we have hospital bags packed, the car seat is in the car, the bassinet is up in our room. At work, I still have important meetings scheduled through the beginning of November, though I’m trying to get the people around me prepared sooner than that. It’s challenging preparing to be gone from work for a long time but not knowing when I have to have everything ready by. I’m trying to be proactive, which is keeping me busy. As much as I’d like to have some time off before the baby comes and as I get more uncomfortable, I think I’d drive myself crazy sitting at home wondering if any little thing was a sign of labor starting so I intend to keep working until I can’t anymore.
Dan and I attended an infant care and breastfeeding class at our hospital, Rose Medical Center, this past weekend and it was a great learning experience for both of us. Not only did we take away new knowledge, but also confidence, and we’re feeling more excited than ever. I highly recommend doing this with your partner if you get the opportunity; I felt like it really bonded us in the experience. So far, I’ve been super impressed with Rose and all of the resources they offer to parents-to-be. In addition to these classes and the hospital tour, I also had a pre-baby appointment over the phone with an L&D nurse. She took all of my medical history information, she asked about our birth plans and wishes, and answered any questions that I have. Because we went through all of that and I already pre-registered at the hospital, once it’s go-time, we won’t have to deal with the logistics of admissions and paperwork and questions. A nurse will meet us at the door of the L&D floor and walk us to our room and it will be time to party. Also through Rose, we’ve decided to utilize their unique doula program. They have a group of hand-selected doulas that know the doctors and nurses that work on the floor and are available at a reduced flat fee rate for about 10 hours of labor. We’ve chatted with our doula and feel like having her with us for support is an amazing privilege.
As I sit here writing this, I’m getting distracted by my belly rolling and waving with the baby moving around. The movements have become less charming as time goes on as they often are accompanied by pelvic pressure. The baby is definitely head down and I can often feel when they do a nice biiiiig stretch that pushes their (measuring big) head right against my bladder. We did a growth ultrasound at Week 34 and the baby was measuring slightly ahead and looking healthy – in the 72nd percentile for size at the time. I still feel pretty good and am getting around well, but knowing that I have probably over 7 pounds of baby inside me at this point makes me anxious to get the sack of potatoes (a new nickname, meant only with love) out! I feel extremely lucky because I’ve still been sleeping pretty well. I wake up a few times a night to go to the bathroom, but still manage around 8 hours most nights (I generally have one night a week I don’t sleep well). The heartburn is still persisting but I seem to be managing it better now – I resisted taking meds for awhile but Zantac is now saving my life. I’ve been eating pretty much the same as I do not pregnant, though food continues to be less exciting. At this point, I’ve gained around 33 pounds and feel confident that that is what my body needed to grow a healthy babe.
I expected to feel really emotional all throughout pregnancy. There have been a few times that I cried over insignificant things or have gotten irrationally irritated, but for the most part, I feel pretty even-keeled. But the closer we get to baby time, the more I find myself tearing up over sweet things that Dan does and says. He has been the most supportive partner I could ask for throughout this process, often telling me how proud he is of me. When he exclaims “you’re doing a great job!” I feel really fulfilled. There is a crying emoji that has become my most used because I don’t have the words to describe the gratitude I have when people share support, nice words, and thoughtful gifts. It’s all so much! I feel so lucky that we have family and friends that already care about this little nugget. Baby, we’re all ready to meet you!