Bump Update: 35 Weeks
Ok! This is something I’ve been doing in my personal journal each week that I’ll also transcribe here, minus a few personal details and medically relevant but probably boring body things that I get to have fun conversations with my doctor about. My new gestational week falls on Friday, so this will be a fun way to round out what’s been going on and provide a convenient weekly update schedule...
35 Weeks! Here we are! I had to bend in a super fun way to be able to see my toes and HOLY GOD is my belly huge, so, you know, that's where I'm at 😓.
According to my various emails and apps, the baby is variously the size of: An American Girl doll, a pineapple or a honeydew melon.
A Quick Overview of Last Week –
- Body – I’m a fracking HOUSE. I really do look like I’m carrying a watermelon under my shirt and my understanding is that I’m pretty much done growing in size, as baby is dropping down to engage my pelvis in prep for labor. THANK GOD. Let me just say: up until now, not being able to reach (or see) my toes or bend over in certain ways hasn’t been a giant thing. NOW I need help getting out of chairs and Patrick has to give me a shove to get out of bed. I’ll write more about it in a separate post, but this WHOLE pregnancy has been an exercise in learning to ask for help. I’m a naturally proud woman who takes a lot of pride and personal gratification in not needing others to take care of things for me, but now, adding in the weight I’ve had to gain and the myriad ways pregnancy effects me, I’ve been forced to rely on others in ways I’ve had to make peace with. I’ve also gained a DEEP respect for ladies who do this on their own! Patrick is a TOTAL champ and is making it clear he’s happy to assist me, as he feels I’m doing “all the work”, so I’m mostly settling into feeling thankful that so many people are happy to assist me in things great and small, but that doesn’t make asking for help any easier. Otherwise, I’m noticing that I’m bending my back in weird ways because my belly is so big, which ends up hurting a lot. I’m also realizing that I can’t be on my feet for longer than a few hours. This last week was Christmas and my family was in town, which meant lots of mall visits and walking and EVERY time I ended the night huffing and puffing and in genuine pain at not having given myself proper sitting breaks. I’m SO GLAD to have spent that time with my family, but GOOD LORD, I’ve got to keep my limits in mind, especially as we’re getting to a point where I could go into labor anytime and I probably don’t need to rush things. I’ve got a big work event coming up next week, so I REALLY need to remember to cool it a bit and let others assist, as they’ll need to learn how to manage these events when I’m on leave. I don't want to end up pushing myself into labor at a company event, so sitting it will be.
- Baby – KICKSKICKSKICKSKICKS. I’m getting PUMMELED by my kid! My brother was in town and was asking how being pregnant was different from having a really bad stomach ache, let me let you sit with that and laugh the way I did... and then realized this he’s kind of right, it IS kind of like a stomach ache! A weird stomach ache mixed with bad gas that you can see on the outside. What’s different is that you can see my kid playing soccer with my insides now. I’m noticing people not being able to pay attention to me in meetings if they can see my belly because my kid can now kick my lanyard badge off my belly and see movement through my shirt. While it’s SO COOL still and I’m relieved to know baby is doing ok in there, it’s also making sleeping and getting comfy hard to do. Otherwise, the doc says baby is head down and moving down a bit, which keeps me on track for my birth plan, at least for now. I’m losing weight again, which isn’t great, but apparently isn’t a big deal. In talking with the doc, it sounds like I’ll end up weighing less, after my birth, than I did when I got pregnant! WOAH! Because of the HG in the beginning stages and the light catch up gain with the weight that’s just the baby, I’ll come out of this having lost weight overall. SO WEIRD. I'm also feeling a ratcheting up of Braxton-Hicks contractions. Mostly they don't hurt, but feel REALLY uncomfortable. I'm also feeling LOTS of pressure. I'm assuming that's bey dropping down a bit, but it's bringing on full waddle walking and I SUPER feel it when I shift positions (standing up, flipping over in bed, etc).
- Home – I’m officially in nesting mode! I’m told this means baby is not far from arrival. I’ve read about how this feeling kind of overwhelms women, but I didn’t really believe it. WOW was I wrong! I’m noticing ALL KINDS of weird things and feeling this unrelenting urge to clean and purge stuff and get things ready. I’ve picked up several storage containers for under the bed, washed EVERY SPECK of linens in the house (in prep of having people use the apartment as a crash pad while we’re in the hospital), heavily purged our closets and have started to wrap things up in the nursery. Since the nursery has the extra bed in it, family was using it for Christmas visits. Now that we’re past that need, I’ve been able to finish up a few more projects in there. My lovely parents so graciously purchased our crib for us and it’s on the way. I’ve researched and located the mattress for it and have ordered that and a few pieces of linen for that as well, so beds and bedding are taken care of. I’ve washed all the clothes we’ve acquired for baby as well as any blankets and such and everything is folded and put away, I've also taken note of quantities we have and what we still need and I'm locating those last few things to pick up. This one is a little tough in that I want to leave room to find some fun things once baby is born and we find out the gender. I've been saving lots of fun things for both genders in anticipation and look forward to adding a few non-neutral things to the mix. The last few things we need to do are hang some shelves to display some fun books and toys and then pick up a few more diapering and bath bits and we’ll be nearly set. The last few things can wait until after arrival, but DAMN if it doesn’t feel good to know that I could go into labor five minutes from now and my kid has everything they need for the first little bit.
- Emotions – I'm feeling LOTS of stress around labor. I'm so curious about how things will go, while also trying to just relax and understand that things are going to go how they're going to go. I've taken all the classes, read more than enough books and have been really focusing on my meditation practice to prep myself, so I know I'm ready – I just wish I could stop freaking out about every new weird sensation. I've never been in labor before, but I don't imagine it's something I'll miss, so I'd like to just calm the f*ck down about it. I've prepped everything for work leave, which makes me feel better, and I have one last big event to manage next week. Once that's over, it's just hanging in there and wrapping up a few non-essential projects that I'll pick up when I go back. My Mom-in-law SO sweetly sent me funds for a spa day as my Christmas present and I've gleefully booked a hair/mani/pedi sesh! I was going to do this anyway, but kept putting it off, being able to do some fun personal maintenance and have some serious self-care time a few weeks before my due date is going to be SO GREAT! I look forward to it immensely! Thanks, Chris!
- ETC – I’ve officially outgrown my maternity jeans and so it’s all leggings and dresses from here on out. To celebrate, I bought one extra dress that I’ll be able to wear now and after pregnancy to feel pretty. I’ve also picked up the last bits and bobs that I’ll need for my hospital bag. Let me just say: I’ve been absurdly obsessed with packing this damn bag. I’ve gathered and created lists only to read more articles and then edit those lists again. I’ll do a whole post on what’s in my bad, but BLERG I feel so much better to have the last few things on the way from Amazon so I can get the fracking bag packed. Pregnancy is weird in how it makes small things WAY bigger than they need to be! This stupid bag has been something I've been preoccupied with enough to miss whole nights of sleep and being able to walk past the nursery and see it packed will make me feel SO. MUCH. BETTER.
Things I Found and Loved This Week –
- The Wired Guide to Digital Security is thoroughly fantastic! Now that I’m more involved in writing and activism on the political stage, I’ve needed to take the time to lock things down more that I had before. This is a great guide that offers fantastic advice for civilians, activists and public personalities and deserves your consideration, for sure!
- This story regarding a guaranteed basic income is so enlightening! The idea of a universal basic income is a fascinating economic concept and something that I genuinely believe would be an incredible progressive policy for the US to lead the charge on in an effort to eliminate poverty. This very human perspective makes me even more sure of it's effectiveness.
- Pregnancy Confidential, a pre-recorded set of weekly podcast corresponding with each gestational week of pregnancy has been a blast to catch up on. I hate that I found it so late, but I'm loving listening to each week on Fridays!
This coming week holds a few last minute stressful projects that, if I can get through, will put me past the finish line at work. Once I close things out, I'll feel IMMENSELY better and be good-to-go for leave and baby can make her/his appearance A-N-Y-T-I-M-E she/he is ready. I'll also be receiving the last few things I've ordered for my hospital bag and the nursery, which will be great. I just need to ring up the pet boarding place and set a floating reservation for the girls for while I'm in labor and write up the guide to #allthethings Durham for family and friends coming in once we're in labor (I'll write a post on what's in that doc and then update after labor to include/edit anything that was or wasn't helpful).
I hope everyone has a fun and SAFE New Year! We're going to go for a nice dinner and then cozy in at home with movies and a small glass of champagne like the party people we are 😎. I look forward to having some fun dinner conversations about how excited we are for the year to come! I've also got a few resolutions I'll share after my work event is over and I can sit down to write them up. I wish every one of you happy and safe celebrations and all the very best vibes for an incredible new year filled with joy and affirming challenges and SO MUCH love! 🍾🎉💖