Pregnancy: Week 34

A real conversation I had with my Mom (who used to be a midwife yesterday).

Mom: Are you 31 weeks next week for the baby shower?

Me: What??? I’m 34 weeks today!

Mom: …oh my god. This baby could come at any time!!!

I’m a member of an online February 2019 babies group and when I logged in after this conversation, three people had had babies the night before. So this baby really could come any time. It’s interesting because I feel like in my office, there is mostly a sense of denial even though I’ll be off for six months and have been working there for 8 years or so…I haven’t even gotten approval to tell any of my clients I’m on leave.

Physically, this week definitely had some high days and low days. Sometimes, I feel physically great and sometimes I feel wrecked. Comfortable sleep is increasingly hard and I’m trying to really take it day by day. I’m also at the midwives now every other week, and in three weeks, it’ll be every week. The trip out there and back is very tiring and we still haven’t figured out a plan for getting to the hospital (an hour away) in labor…but I’m also holding some mental space for figuring everything will work out one way or another.

I’m increasingly torn between wanting the baby to come out so I can meet it, see what it looks like, snuggle it, etc., and wanting to stay pregnant because there is something very sweet about having a baby living in your belly for so long, and obviously once out, it’ll never go back in. R has been singing it two little lullabies each night which is also very sweet.

Early nostalgia of motherhood I guess.

Pregnancy: Week 33

Life was good this week. It is the week between Christmas and New Year’s – which included a visit (workout & brunch) with our besties who moved out to Oregon, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home with the family, my birthday at a Korean spa (which included an insanely invasive but delicious scrub), and then back in the office for one day.

Oh, and also my 30th birthday!

Normally, I have a fairly angsty birthday which I think is mostly due to where it falls in the calendar and seasonal year. But this year, it was totally overshadowed by being super pregnant, which I enjoyed. It felt like a thing I could let go of a bit more than usual, because it wasn’t the most pressing part of my mental list.

I also set an intention to not have any arguments with my family while I was home with Christmas and enjoyed the bliss of blamelessness instead 🙂

Pregnancy: Week 32

I slept for 10 hours last night, so woke up in a fantastic mood. It’s a very rainy Friday right before the holidays, and I’m on track to get everything I wanted done at work pretty easily. I’m so excited to spend some time with R who I haven’t seen in a while and have been really missing. And I did a lot of fun stuff this week — had dinner with my bestie, saw the Nutcracker, had an amazing foot and chair massage, had lunch with my other bestie, etc. It was nice to socialize with some people I hadn’t seen in a while.

I’m realizing on nights when I sleep a lot (at least 8 hours), I feel pretty good the next day. But if I ever sleep less, I feel awful. It’s sort of manageable as someone who is pregnant but with no kids, but I wonder how that flies if you already have a child…

Only eight weeks left to go, and that’s if I land exactly on the due date. So it could be as early as five weeks or as late as ten weeks. We’ll see!

 

Pregnancy Books Retrospective

I have not read a full book in months and months; hence, the lack of book reviews on my blog. But I did want to share books that I read, even if in pieces and not in whole, that I thought were helpful for pregnancy.

1) Mindful Birthing. I LOVED this book. It covers an adaptation of the 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) to pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting. It was full of helpful exercises related to pain practice, meditative techniques, etc. It was the first book that made me feel relatively okay about giving birth.

2) The Birth Partner. Technically a book for “dads and doulas”, I found this helpful to read myself. It provides a really great overview of various stages of labor and what techniques may be helpful to get through each. A little more anti-epidural that I’m into, but you can get a lot of good information.

3) Headed Home with your Newborn. A very, very practical guide to early weeks with a baby. I especially liked that the recommendations were not just grounded in science, but what’s actually feasible. For example, they take the line that you don’t have to bathe your baby that much before they start crawling because they aren’t getting that dirty.

4) Expecting better. A data-driven book, it has very concrete statistics re miscarriage rates, whether sushi and drinking are actually bad for you during pregnancy, and pros/cons of various birth interventions.

I tried to read many, many other books and I found them to be almost universally fear-mongering, not grounded in science, or just totally insane. So thought I would share the few that stood out as helpful resources 🙂

Pregnancy: Week 31

Pregnancy blew this week. Everything blows. I am an enormous, cranky, unhappy, angry person. Why is this the case? I actually have no idea. It has been coupled with an extreme first-trimester level of physical exhaustion. I don’t know if it low iron, a side-effect from my TDAP vaccine, a fluke, just the stage of pregnancy I’m at, or what. But I’m feeling very drained and very unhappy.

What’s also interesting is I find all social interaction draining, so it’s like I start Monday with a slight reserve of energy and then as I go to work, see my friends, do social things, have commitments, it drains slightly and slightly and slightly and then I just hate everyone and feel very angry. I don’t feel unlike how I felt as a 13-year-old. Some of this is also the result of all other people wanting to talk about being the pregnancy and baby. Like endlessly. I was at a party Sunday night and it was literally all anyone could think to talk to me about – so you end up having the same conversation all night and no one seems to care at all about how you are doing besides being pregnant.

My intention for this month was nourishing activities. So this includes:

  • nice showers
  • foot massages
  • watching the Deuce with R and my feet elevated
  • going to bed early
  • being by myself

Maybe every day I’ll try to incorporate one of these activities into my schedule. I did make a firm decision that I am not going to schedule anything whatsoever for 2019.

On a more fun note, I am 77.7% done with pregnancy (if I deliver exactly on my due date).

Monthly Review: November

Here is my monthly review for November. If you want to read October’s, check it out here.

 

1. What went well this month?

  • Cementing a morning routine. I’ve been on a very solid 5:30 AM wake up with a very regimented but joyful morning routine. It includes meditation, stretching, using my lightbox, etc — and still getting to the train early before all the delays usually start. Then I leave work right around 5.
  • Moving forward on baby stuff. For months and months, we have put off buying or thinking about anything practical related to the baby. But this month, we took a birth class and bought all the big picture items without turning into insane consumerists and buying a lot of stuff we don’t think we’ll need.
  • Creating intimate time. Because we don’t spend anytime at all together in the morning, R and I have settled into a really nice and relaxing evening routine. The highlight always involves an in-bed cuddle and trying to feel the baby kick. It makes me pre-nostaligic for when the baby will be out.

2. What didn’t go so well this month?

  • Obligations. Despite our best intentions, it seemed like a month full of one obligation after another. I don’t know how to make this not happen, and December is shaping up to be much of the same. I’m seriously considering just refusing to make any plans at all for 2019.

3. What did I work on last month and how did it go?

  • Whatever I want.  I feel like obligations have overruled this intention. Something to definitely keep focusing on.
  • An iron-focused diet. This hasn’t been going that well…I have been taking iron supplements but don’t feel like it’s really working. I do feel like I am increasingly sluggish, so it’s probably something I should keep emphasizing.

4. What am I working toward?

  • Nourishment. With only two months of pregnancy left (!!!), I just want to spend time being true to myself and thinking only about what’s good for me, R, and the baby to come.

Pregnancy: Week 30

The week of my last business trip, thank god. Something about hitting week 30 has made me really change my mindset from la-la-la plenty of time to OMG, the baby is almost here and we don’t have anything prepared. So yesterday, we pretty much started and finished the purchasing of the essential items (e.g. car seat, bassinet, etc.). I’m feeling very relieved that’s over, and the rest of the stuff can be easily bought as needed.

I’m trying my first pre-natal yoga class today. It’s 90 minutes but a solid 20 minute walk away, so I hope it’s awesome. My body has really been missing yoga. I still stretch every morning, but it’s not the same intensity or flow, but I also just couldn’t keep up in regular yoga class anymore. I also shifted my weights a bit to be more focused on reps rather than frequency.

Oh, and R and I took our birth class last week at the hospital! The woman who taught it was amazing. I wish she could teach every couple new to birth. She was so accessible and down-to-earth and fact-based. I had been thinking, or almost assuming, that I would get an epidural but she talked a lot about the benefits of moving during labor, and how when you stop moving, often labor slows and then then hospital will want to quicken it by using pitocin. It made me feel that between my mindfulness practice,  my lifting practice, and using midwives, I am fairly well-positioned to roll with the punches of labor pains.

My mindset towards baby is increasingly wondering what she’ll look like, what her personality will be like, etc. Also interestingly, I’m sort of positive now it’s a girl, though we still haven’t confirmed the gender. For a while, I was thinking I might find out on my birthday but now I think I might wait until the very end.