Coming To Terms
28.5 weeks in May vs. 36.5 weeks in July
My pregnancy is 3 days away from being considered “early term”, or in the range of 37 to 38 weeks. Full term is 39 to 40 weeks, so I’m hoping baby stays inside until then.
As the title of this post suggests, I’m coming to terms (har har) with the impending birth of my son. I’ve been having more anxiety during the day and more anxiety dreams at night (when I’m able to sleep). The way I seem to cope is by cleaning and organizing things around the house. People talk about pregnant women going into nesting mode, where just before they give birth they have a burst of energy to start cleaning things. Well I feel like I’ve been in nesting mode for weeks. There’s just this sense that I’m forgetting something and I don’t know what it is. When I try to think more rationally, I realize I have everything I need. I have my husband, and members of my immediate family are a short drive away. We have supportive neighbors and friends. We have the baby room set up, with crib, bassinet, nursing chair, diapers, wipes, creams, lotions, first aid kit, blankets, clothing, toys and books. I have postpartum supplies to deal with my nether-regions post-pushing-out-a-human. I work for a great company that is giving me plenty of paid maternity leave. We live in a great state that gives my husband some paid time off too.
The anxiety comes from not knowing what it will truly be like. There’s just no way to prepare for the unknown. What will labor be like? Will it be stressful trying to get to the hospital in time? Will my water break while I’m in a public place? Will my baby come early or late? Will my baby be healthy? How will I cope with breastfeeding? How will my husband cope with new fatherhood and supporting me? How will we deal with drastically different sleep patterns? What type of parents will we be? Who will I be after I become a mother?
There are a few remaining things that are a real source of stress, legitimate or no.
- One is, we’ve been thinking about getting life insurance as added protection for our spawn in case one of us dies. Morbid, yes, but also responsible. It’s been a long process of learning our options and now we just need to seal the deal and accept that this is another thing we’ll be paying for, for the rest of our lives.
- Second is we’ve been looking for a used car to buy that my husband can drive so we can actually get to the hospital on our own. We have back-up plans, such as borrowing my parents or neighbor’s car when the time comes, but it would be added peace of mind if we had our own. There are other things about this that stress us out too, including the cost and the fact that my husband hates driving/hasn’t driven in a city in 10 years.
- Third, we haven’t picked out a name. We each have names we really like, but we can’t agree. This makes me a little sad. Names are tough, and it’ll be with him forever. It’s a lot of pressure and seems like it isn’t something to be taken lightly. I hear we have until we leave the hospital to name him so I’m hoping we get inspired before then.
- Fourth, and this is really minor and something I can take care of right now if I wasn’t writing this post, is that I haven’t packed a bag to go to the hospital with. Every blog online preparing first time moms says to pack your hospital bag and have it ready by the door or in the car. I’ve been in a little bit of denial because every time I get the bag out and think about what I’ll need, I just put it off for the next day.
In the grand scheme of things, these 4 things are nothing to worry about. I know that but I keep focusing on them. These last few weeks before the baby’s birthday I should be pampering myself or at least trying to relax, read some books, see friends, and do the things I won’t be able to do afterwards. But it’s hard when I’m so tired, and life is going to change so much and I’m just waiting for it.
Anyway, changing the subject.
In addition to taking a photo every week I’ve been tracking my weight gain. Not only for my health but also because I’m interested in “the quantified self” and all that jazz. I’ve been tracking many things about myself for years. So, weight gain in pregnancy is supposed to happen like this: in the first trimester you can gain 0-5 pounds, in the second/third trimesters you generally gain 1 pound a week, but towards the end you may actually start leveling off or losing weight.
For me that was pretty spot on. So far from the beginning of pregnancy I’ve gained about 28-30 pounds, but for the past month I have stayed at the same weight. I just haven’t been feeling as hungry lately, partly because there’s very little room, and also I suspect changing hormones have something to do with it.
Here’s a screenshot from MyFitnessPal (the app I’ve been using) showing the last 6 months. Kinda interesting, huh?