As I’m writing this, today officially marks 38 weeks of carrying our baby girl. I can honestly say that this pregnancy as gone by both extremely slllooowwww and surprisingly fast at the same time. I cannot believe that I’m already in my 9 month of pregnancy and only have approximately 2 weeks left before our lives change forever. But at the same time, I can still vividly remember the first 3 months I spent curled up on the couch, feeling like I was slowly dying- and that memory still seems wayyyy too fresh to have been 6 months ago.
Pregnancy has been such a crazy, enlightening experience for me. It’s been amazing to watch my body grow and stretch as our baby grows. I honestly didn’t think my body was capable of expanding the way it has! At 18 weeks, we started taking polaroid photos every week of my baby bump and it’s so crazy to flip through the polaroids and watch how my body changed week by week (I’ll share the photos soon).
One of the hardest parts for me, throughout my pregnancy- and also one of the most eye-opening- was the way this little tiny baby (and fetus, before it even became an actual baby) starts calling the shots immediately and as women, we just become prisoners to it’s every want (I mean that in the nicest way possible). I had a hard time constantly feeling like shit those first 3 months because I’m so used to being so active and quite honestly, used to being a big control freak. For 3 months, I couldn’t will myself to get off the couch, like at all. Losing control of my mental and physical well being was really hard for me to come to terms with. And for awhile, I felt really guilty about it and like I was losing a game (which doesn’t feel good when you also happen to be extremely competitive). I quickly had to realize that my body was doing something it’s never done before and was giving everything it had to grow this beautiful little being inside of me- if that left me feeling like shit, so be it.
That’s the kind of tough love baby girl has already taught me. I learned quickly that the ability to just go with the flow was something I was going to have to be okay with and in the coming months, will probably be a licensed professional at. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never been the “go with the flow” type of person- but pregnancy has certainly changed things. Nowadays if I want a cupcake for breakfast, I’m having the damn cupcake. And if I feel like my legs might fall off if I walk too much, I’m most definitely going to sit my butt on the couch watching documentaries all day and not feel bad about it at all.
See what I mean? I’ve just learned to surrender and listen to my body rather than push it through whatever I wanted it to do- say like work a 12 hour day on my feet even though I can feel my uterus cramping with every step I take. Sidenote- I stopped working at 36 weeks because my doctor thought it was a good idea and knew that if she hadn’t put me on “bed rest” that I would likely push myself to exhaustion and have the baby probably in the middle of my own clinic. I’ve just been trained to push and push and push my body to whatever extreme I deemed necessary to be “successful” (this likely due to a life spent in competitive soccer leagues which was only heightened by playing Division I soccer in college, I once played with a bandaged up broken toe and probably a pretty close to overdosed amount of ibuprofen, because like, that’s totally fine?)
One of the biggest life lessons coming out of this pregnancy for me, is definitely the ability to actually understand my body a bit more and listen to it’s wants/needs. I’ll be forever grateful for that. Now, back to the what the hell is happening part of pregnancy that I will be SO overjoyed to leave behind. The past 2 weeks has brought on a new set of fun symptoms, so lets discuss.
+ Braxton Hicks Contractions : okay, so in every book, app, Google search I’ve read, they tell you these are not supposed to be painful. UM incorrect. Feeling your entire midsection tighten as if a boa constrictor has coiled around you is not an enjoyable feeling- and is one I would most certainly call painful. I will say when they first started, they weren’t that painful, but as baby has gotten bigger, they’ve definitely become more and more painful.
+ Lightening/Dropping : I think they should change the name to Heavy-ening? I’m not sure how they’d spell it, I’ll have to check with my linguistics master BFF (Cynthia, please advise) and get back to you once we’ve copyrighted the term. They say when baby “drops” further down into your pelvis that this creates a lightening sensation, allowing mamas to be to breathe better because baby isn’t all up in your lungs as much. Yea, the breathing easier is great and all but what I’d really like to be warned about is the amount of pelvic pressure and PAIN I’d now be feeling. And guess what, I’d take the shortness of breath over these sensations 1000000%! The pelvic pain is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It feels like someone is just scraping along my insides with a knife (sorry for the imagery). My pelvis feels SO heavy and accompanied by the pressure of baby girl pressing on all my nerves, it doesn’t make for a very comfortable mama.
+ Heartburn/ Acid Reflex : The heartburn and acid reflex has come back and if I lay down within like an hour of eating something, I almost always feel the urge to throw it up (but don’t, thank goodness). Feeling like your throat is on fire isn’t the best feeling either.
+ Carpel tunnel : SO, every morning when I wake up my hands are EXTREMELY swollen, like it’s impossible for me to make a fist. It takes about an hour in the mornings for this to go away, and it eventually does- but when this first started happening it scared the hell out of me. My doctor told me it’s due to carpel tunnel syndrome and will go away once I have the baby. She also said I could get wrist wraps to sleep with that would help overnight. I haven’t, but if you find yourself dealing with this fun symptom, you can try it out!
+ Back pain : They all said it would get bad and then get worse, but I didn’t necessarily believe them. Now I do.
+ Stretch marks : Just when I thought I was going to make it out without a single one, BAM, I woke up to a few. But hey, going 38 weeks without one was pretty great (I’m going to relish in that).
In addition to these fun updates, it’s also been increasingly harder for me to stay on my feet for long periods of time. I know this is normal since my body is preparing for labor and fighting a whole new level of exhaustion. So my days have been filled with lots of reading and watching movies lately, which I honestly can’t complain about.
Nonetheless, we cannot wait for Avery’s arrival and are now officially on baby watch!
Thank you all for sticking around for the journey!