|Christmas morning! 37 weeks, 1 day|
I can't believe how close we are to meeting this little one! I'm in a little bit of denial about just how close we are, but I think diving into some baby prep will help me to get a little more prepared, both practically (getting things all set up for baby) and mentally because I'm so not ready yet in either regard!
I keep saying I'm not ready yet and I'm really not. I think there are a few reasons for that.
First, the timing. Because my estimated due date falls so soon after Christmas I feel like we haven't had as much time or energy focused on baby coming as we have about getting through the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Jack was also a winter baby, but we had about 2 months between the holidays and his expected arrival so we were able to take a breather and refocus before he was due to come along! This time, being right on the tail of one of the busiest times of the year for us definitely changes things!
Second, this pregnancy has just flown by. Time moves so fast right now! I honestly feel like I was *just* at this point with Jack. Meanwhile, that was 3 years ago... yikes!
Third, I feel so much better at this point than I did during my pregnancy with Jack. SO much better. Now, that's not to say I'm not uncomfortable and I'm not in pain at times, I am, but last time it was so much worse. I think that contributes to my denial about just how far along I am.
And fourth, I feel like this whole pregnancy has just been different emotionally. I've talked about it before. I just haven't had the time to focus on myself or the baby I'm growing the way I did last time considering there is already an outside baby here that's plenty demanding of time and attention. Also, my eyes are open far wider this time around about the realities of the amount of work it takes to care for a baby. Last time it was just excitement for the unknown. It's still very exciting, but something about knowing there's a nearly 3-year-old in the mix along with the soon to be arriving newborn makes for mixed feelings about how we'll handle it all!
Overall I feel like at this point last time I just wanted the baby OUT! I was so done being pregnant, I wanted to meet Jack right away, and I wanted to finally experience being a mom. There's something very special (and blissfully ignorant :) ) about being a first time mom. Not that subsequent pregnancies are any less special, they are very special and exciting, it's just a different experience is all.
So let's talk about what's actually going on with this pregnancy. I had a midwife appointment yesterday and everything looks great. I've gained about 15 lbs (of course I feel like I've gained at least 50 lbs right in my belly, but you know, the scale doesn't lie!), blood pressure looks good, and my group B strep test came back negative (it was also negative last time. SO glad I don't have to worry about this!). Fundal height is still measuring right on track and baby's heartbeat was in the 150s. Baby is still head down and seems like she will be in good positioning for birth. She goes from laying completely facing my spine to sometimes laying a little bit to the side.
I've been experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. I've had them throughout most of this pregnancy, but they're definitely gearing up and becoming much more frequent. Pretty much any time I'm on my feet they tend to start up. Nothing that's painful at all, just uncomfortable and inconvenient when I'm trying to get stuff done! I don't remember having Braxton Hicks with Jack at all. Either they were too mild for me to notice, or I did feel them, but just didn't have enough to really know what they were. I know they're more common/frequent with subsequent pregnancies and that's definitely held true for me.
As I said, I'm feeling pretty good. At this point I feel so huge and my abdomen is so heavy, but I'm also carrying a ~6 lb baby in there at this point so that's understandable. I have mild aches and pains all the time, but mostly it's just discomfort. Sometimes I get real pain, but thankfully it comes and goes. I mentioned that the pelvic pain set in again a few weeks back and I was so sure that it had set in for good and I was going to have the same experience as last time, but it went away again! The pain is always there, but it's still really mild. Some days (or at some points during some days) the pain gets more extreme, but it has definitely not been the same experience as last time and for that I'm truly thankful.
The only other thing of note is my body decided to celebrate 37 weeks gestation in a unique way. On Christmas Eve I experienced an episode of what I would call "heavy spotting". Spotting can be totally normal during pregnancy, but it's not something I've experienced before so it was a little disconcerting. It was enough blood that I put in a call to my midwife just to be sure that it was nothing to worry about and I'm not one to call about random things. This was the first time I've ever had to call with a question. It was all a little scary.
Anyway, everything was and is fine. It was a totally isolated incident. I was more worried that the spotting was going to keep up at that rate, but it didn't. After seeing the initial blood I haven't seen anymore. At the same time it felt like maybe baby was sitting a little lower so I wonder if what happened was baby dropped a little bit further into my pelvis putting pressure on my cervix and caused a little bit of dilation, which caused a blood vessel to burst. Definitely a possibility and at this point cervical change or any kind of irritation can certainly cause a little bit of bleeding to occur. Oh, so fun! If nothing else it was a BIG wake up call that my body is preparing for labor and this baby is going to be making their arrival soon!
Other than that, my tummy just feels so full of baby. Most of the time I'm still fairly comfortable, other times I feel like I just can't find a comfortable position for all of the body parts that are pushing from the inside. Being quite short and having a short abdomen there just isn't much room for baby in there at this point. But I keep saying, I'm not quite to the point where I'm so uncomfortable that I'm just done. I think I'm headed that direction, but not there yet. Hopefully baby will stay in until at least 39 or 40 weeks. We'll see if she cooperates with my timeline :) That will give us plenty of time to prepare and I think by that point I'll also be mentally ready for baby to arrive.
I did finally register for our hospital stay yesterday so at least that's checked off the list. And I think we've decided on Molly for a name. No middle name yet.
Oh, and the only other thing I've done is finish the baby's hat:
So, now we have a plan for the birth, a hospital to stay in, a hat for the baby's head, and a partial name. One thing at a time :)
Now to accomplish all the other tasks we have ahead of us!