Bumpdate: 36 Weeks
Ya, I combined it: BUMPDATE. I've become that person... #noshame #owningit
36 weeks! FRACKING SO CLOSE! SOCLOSESOCLOSESOCLOSE, yet so far! The photo above pretty much sums up where I'm at right now: most everything is half put together and waiting for my full attention so I can put on the finish touches. This week has been a WHOLE bunch and felt like it lasted roughly 923487 years long, so now that everything that needed my full focus is wrapped up, I can focus in this next week and polish everything up. YAYAYAYAYA for no more chaos! Also, yes, that's a framed illustration of a boob with polka dots. I love it SO MUCH and I can't imagine this nursery without it! It's on the back of an instructional pamphlet on breastfeeding and I fell head over heels for it, so framed and hanged it is! Also, my life is about to be all about babies and boobs, so, it's just life at this point. And it makes me EXTREMELY happy! If the thing could be blown up and take up the whole wall for a reasonable price, I'd TOTALLY do it!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, errbody! I hope your celebrations were fantastic! And magical! Also social! We ALLLMOST made it. We even had some bubbly ready... then Patrick fell asleep, which made me tired, so I fell asleep. I woke up like five minutes after midnight, gave Patrick a kiss and the bump a pat and the girls a snuggle and put all of us to bed, like the party animals we are in this house! 😇 It really was a lovely day though! I was craving pasta and chips and cheese and chocolate cake, and Patrick took me to Chilis so I could satisfy all of those cravings at once, which was amazing and SO sweet, and then we talked all through the evening about the baby and how excited we were and what our resolutions are and what we want to accomplish this year. We mostly decided on having a safe labor and keeping the baby alive, but there are other things too, which is always fun to share with someone that can hold you accountable. I've got a few concrete things that I want to accomplish, besides the labor and baby alive thing. I'll get those down this week and share. As I said, I want to be held accountable, and I know you folks, you're amazing, and you'll call me on my bullshit if I don't hold to these resolutions, which is fantastic.
We also had the #BOMBcyclone this week! SO MANY COLDZ! NONE OF THE DEGREEZ! It's been cold, as in Southern Winter cold, which isn't really cold, until Wednesday afternoonish when the temperature dropped like a stone and it snowed. It really was blizzard looking and it's stuck around, which is lovely to look at! Here in Durham, we didn't get quite as much of an accumulation as our friends in CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA. Holy snowballz! Charleston looked like a winter wonderland! Also, all up the coast of the US it was snowy and freezing. Up north looked miserable... but pretty! The snow's still around and pretty and we're still fracking freezing here, but it's nice to feel like it's ACTUAL Winter, as opposed to normal Southern Winter, which is mostly just cold enough to be annoying, but not really cold. It did have some effect on my various topic updates, which I'll get to now...
At 36 weeks, according to my emails, the baby is variously the size of: a two-liter soda, a Papaya or a head of Romaine Lettuce and is around 18 inches long and ~5.5lbs.
Overview of Last Week –
- Body & Baby – #ALLTHEPRESSUREZ. About halfway through the week, I started to feel some serious downward pressure. It seems this is pretty standard as my doc and all the emails advised that 'The Lightening' was coming. This apparently means bey is moving on down and getting situated for birth, in doing so, they're putting a ton of pressure on my pelvis and hips. GOOD GRACIOUS does this feel weird. I thought I had to pee a lot before... NAY! Now I'm roughly tripling those potty breaks and getting annoyed at how little wee it is that requires me to waddle like a madwoman to a loo. I'm also ravenously thirsty. I've been keeping a water bottle on me for most of the pregnancy, now I'm having to refill the bottle quite a bit. Not a bad thing, as my amniotic fluid level is going to be a big deal coming up. Plus, it's winter and my skin is pretty dry on the reg, now that I'm pregnant, it's doubly parched. Lots of rich shea butter and oatmeal baths for me! I'm also feeling way more pain in my back and sleeping isn't so fun anymore. Baby is a little tight in there, so movement is slowing down, which is disconcerting after being pummeled for so long. I'm finding that I'm trying to wake the baby up a bit more to make it move so that I can feel a bit better knowing everything is going well in there. All normal, but just a constant reminder that we're super close to labor... and meeting each other for the first time! SO EXCITING! One of our BFF couples, who got pregnant right around the same time we did had their sweet baby this week and I have SO MANY feelz! And jealousy! But good jealousy! Katie and Ryan, Ava is GORGEOUS! We can't wait to meet her and introduce her to our tiny one! Seeing them with Ava got both Patrick and I REALLY excited for our labor. Katie looked SO relieved to be holding Ava and she and Ryan had both heart eyes SO much, which just makes us all the more ready to meet our kid. Baby, you can come ANYTIME you want! We're ready for you!
- Emotions – This last week was ALL about stress, SO much stress! I manage a quarterly sales event that really shouldn't be a gigantic deal, but somehow always ends up being one. There are quite a lot of materials that are needed that I design or manage and then the event itself that requires on-site tech management. There are a lot of processes that I've instituted that were developed to make this whole event easier to manage. They are well thought-out and well-hewn based on experiences and challenges confronted in past events, yet, it never fails that each time these events come up, something goes off script and becomes WAY more difficult than it needs to be. That's exactly what happened this go-round. First, the event moved from pre-Christmas to post-New Year, to accommodate a short selling month that we needed to make our monthly number. Second, the event was this last Thursday and Friday TWO DAYS after we had had an entire week and Monday off for our winter break and New Year's Day. Which meant things that should have been taken care of pre-holidays, were left until this last Tuesday. I was in meetings most of the day for things that needed to be edited in just a few hours after decisions were made. This made for two VERY stressful long nights. Then we had this gigantic winter storm hit on Wednesday evening when our event was on Thursday morning. We ended up having to cancel day one and re-arrange day two, which just made the pressure for things to run on-time and flawlessly significantly more important. All this together just made the my stress level break the bank. My Apple Watch kept warning me that my heart rate was jumping while I was in these meetings and every time I started to feel overcome, the baby flipped out too. This made for some VERY red cheeks and bouncing tummy moments. Luckily, I work with several really great people and they were great helping me reign in things when it seemed like they were getting out of hand. Still though, this wasn't a great week for sleeping or resting or taking care of myself and baby. Once the event was over on Friday afternoon, Patrick took me out for a glass of wine, great piece of fish and ice cream, which helped in bringing me off that stress cliff. I'm still trying to calm myself down, but overall, am feeling better. I plan on a good warm bath and some dedicated reading time this weekend, which will help a lot. Now that this event is done, I just have to clean up a few things related to it and I'll officially close out all required projects at work. By the end of this coming week I should be able to put a bow on my work and be good to go for my leave. I'll be able to work on a few neglected, but non-urgent projects and just wait for baby. Knowing this helps IMMENSELY in getting me in a good mental place for labor. Next week's #bumpdate should find me in a MUCH more relaxed head space! I'll also have had my hair cut and color refresh and my mani/pedi done. Self care FTW!
- Home – Nesting mode is still in full effect, but had to be suppressed this week because of my work event, thus the above photo. I couldn't finish packing our hospital bag, which is bothering me more than it should, and I couldn't un-box several gifts and baby gear to put away, which means boxes everywhere and all of it on the guest bed. I have to walk by this everyday and EVERY TIME it makes me extremely anxious. I'm going to cool it this weekend, but start digging out of this mess a little bit. I've got several fun decor projects to jump into that will help keep my mind off labor and I'm going to put together a list of tasks to take care of to get the house cleaned up and ready for our laying in after the baby is born. This will be a great load off my mind and will put the house in order for everything to come. After next Friday (37 weeks) we'll be considered full-term for all intents and purposes and I want this place to be ready to go on a moments notice. It's not a ton to do, but it needs to get done.
- ETC – As stated above, the hospital bag wasn't finished this week. This meant that I was thinking about it all week and am still giving it an outsized amount of attention. Everything I've ordered for it has arrived and just needs to be organized and put into the damn bag, so INTO THE DAMN BAG IT WILL GO! By the end of this weekend! FRACK! There's a WHOLE post to write on this stupid bag and I'm going to fracking write it and fracking put it where I can clearly see it and FRACKING COOL IT about this fracking bag! JAAASUS. Pregnant and Mama friends, did this happen to you? Was it something else that took up a stupid amount of your head space towards the end of your pregnancy? Am I just being OCD and weird? UGH. Anyway. I finalized my birth strategy – no longer titled my 'Birth Plan' – to re-enforce that this is a set of preferences, not a rigid plan. It's ready to be printed and added to the hospital bag along with the cord-blood banking permission sheet and insurance info. I also finished writing up our 'Guide for Go-Time' and sent it to our families. This is a doc that contains addresses and phone numbers as well as instructions for getting around Durham and our apartment as well as the skinny on how things will go down at the Birth Center when we go into labor. This was also weighing on my mind and I'm glad it's done and out. I'll print out a few and add them to the hospital bag to hand out if needed (or, I should say, for Patrick to hand out, as I'll be otherwise indisposed). We also set up a game plan for getting Patrick's Mom to us as quickly as possible, so she can help us navigate hospital fun. She works in healthcare and she was an incredible resource to have with us during Patrick's spinal surgery to navigate how the hospital works and what needed to be done. It'll also be SO GOOD to see her! She's incredibly good at keeping things calm and taking control of things. Plus, my family is already in the area, I want to be sure Patrick has his family close for support as well. Beyond that, I've learned that I'm not super fond of wearing dresses without any bump support. I wore my new dress to our event and didn't have on any sort of support garments underneath and it felt really weird to not have anything between bump and air, as the dress was of a looser design and draped off the bump. I'll make sure to stick to leggings and tanks topped off with warm sweaters for here on out, and if I want to wear a dress, I'll make sure to wear my leggings with the bump band. I'm sure it sounds strange, but I really felt like I had to be extra protective of my belly when I didn't have something hugging it. I'll chalk it up to being stressed out and weird hormonal and just make a point to enjoy wearing warm things until baby makes her/his appearance. Plus, I've got my great Manitobah fur-lined mukluks with a flexible soul that feel AMAZING. I think I'll just put my other shoes away and wear those for the rest of the pregnancy. They're cute, SUPER comfortable, warm and have little fur balls on the side that make me happy!
Things I Found and Loved This Week –
- The latest NOVA episode was thoroughly delightful! It dealt with bird intelligence, which I assumed would be pretty boring, but turned out to be absolutely fantastic! It turns out several species of birds are highly intelligent problem solvers, something we humans didn't think was a thing until recent studies proved it. I'm fairly ambivalent about birds in general, but have a random love for Ravens (a Poe thing, perhaps?). I found my Mama hormones came out in full force as I started crying happy tears every time one of the birds solved their problem and got their treat. I'll say it again (for the 997,234,987,234th time) pregnancy is SO strange!
- This great documentary on the discovery of a sunken roman ship totally captivated Patrick and I. It follows the discovery and salvage teams during the recovery of the wreck and dives (hahaha) into the history of the ship itself. It also shines a light on the discovery, expedition funding and artifact processing logistics of wreck recovery. For quite some time I wanted to join a team that dealt with marine wreck recovery as a photographer and writer, so this feeds into that interest nicely and is really beautifully shot. Plus, I'm quite a fan of Damien Hirst, and this is one of his funding works. DEFINITELY worth your time.
- Paid maternity leave is obviously something near and dear to me right now. I'm lucky enough to have a mostly adequate leave through my company, but it's not anything particularly progressive. Watching this TED Talk on the absolutely importance of having a progressive parental (for BOTH partners) leave policy is truly insightful and feels incredibly necessary. I know I'll have a great leave, but we did have to plan ahead and save so that I could take a full 12 weeks of leave without putting a major strain in our fiances. I'm hoping if we decide to have another kid, this will have been resolved. Until then, I'll be thankful for what I'm getting and make bonding with my baby my main priority.
- New Year, old tech habits to clean up. This great list from Popular Science is an excellent list to follow to clean up any bad habits that may have been left to fester. Taking some time to go through them is a solid way to get off on the right foot for a new year!
This week should be a greatly needed calming down and cleaning up week. I'm looking forward to wrapping up the last few bits of necessary work, taking some dedicated time to care for myself, and allowing myself to let go of work so that I can start focusing in on preparing my mind and body for labor and the baby's arrival. My goal is to make this week the last week that my to-do list is still full, and to wrap up everything that is absolutely needed for the baby and for labor. Doing this will put me in the best space to be able to cool my nerves and allow for more calm and creativity. I feel both ready and not ready. I want to be able to be ready and enjoy these last mysterious weeks of my pregnancy. I want to feel that wonder that I felt in my early pregnancy and I want the space to be able to feel that without having my to-do list looming over me. I think I can accomplish this pretty easily.
That said, I hope everyone has the LOVELIEST week! I'll be looking forward to my spa appointments and feeling fresh and ready to go, this week. Enjoy your weekend! Have lots of rest and wine and love!