I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

37w0d

37 weeks officially. Actually, it was yesterday, but I’m still going by the Sunday date change because I’m too lazy to change my tickers and it’s close enough. 37 weeks means I can go into labour at any time now, and it’s all okay. I am still hoping for another two weeks at least though, to give me time to finish work as planned (much as I’d love to not have to go anymore, especially with feeling sore and tired and useless, when I think of not being able to officially say goodbye to my clients, it makes me very sad) and then have a week off to get some stuff finished.

I installed the car seat into my car last week, which I think was pretty straightforward. I was very concerned about doing it without help from someone who knows what they’re doing because I keep hearing that most people don’t have it installed properly, but it seems pretty easy to me. It doesn’t move, the little leveler on the car seat itself is where it’s supposed to be, so I’m not sure what else would need to be done to make sure it’s right (except making sure the baby is strapped in properly, but that’s a bit hard right now :P). I’m not really sure why other people can’t seem to figure it out and most are installed improperly. Maybe people don’t pull the straps tight enough and it moves a bit too much for regulations? That’s the only thing I can really think of since that seems to be the hardest part.

I went to a breastfeeding class at the hospital last week as well, which wasn’t a lot of new information, but was useful in that they showed us a video that showed real women with real babies and real boobs latching on and how to get a good latch, etc. It was a lot easier to know what to do when you can see it happen, rather than drawings or just talking about it. I also got the numbers of places you can call for help and stuff like that, which is good. It’s too bad it’s not something you can practice ahead of time, and could be affected by other factors. I just hope I get good, realistic support if I need it rather than boob nazis who are totally against formula even when it’s needed. I’d like to give it my all and I’m willing to do a lot… but if it’s not working out, I don’t want someone stressing me out even more.

Went to my parents’ after the class and visited and on Sunday morning my mom and I went out and I bought some nursing bras (some for day time and some for night time), so I’m all set in that regard (at least to start), or will be as soon as I wash them up. It was actually less awful than most bra shopping since they’re designed to be soft and comfortable, plus there are only limited numbers of them so you’re not completely overwhelmed with choice. Once you find your size, you’re good to go, assuming that at least one of them fits well. And then I guess you have to hope that your boobs don’t get so gigantic that they don’t fit anymore, I guess. Or your ribs don’t shrink dramatically (mine have gone up two band sizes over the pregnancy) and you stop fitting them really quickly. At least they’re  not super expensive, so buying new ones in a different size isn’t as gigantic a financial investment as some other bras are.

My ankles have been swollen the last week or so, partly because of the humidity I think. What makes it worse is that I’m on my feet in running shoes most of the day when I’m at work, so I don’t have a lot of time to elevate them. I’ve been making a point to do so (made easier by the fact that I’m really trying to sit back and let my replacement do everything) but I feel really strange sitting with my legs up on another chair while everyone else runs around. We’re lucky to have a lot of volunteers and stuff right now, so there’s not a whole lot I’d be doing anyway, but it feels very strange. I’m definitely not a sit around and let everyone else do everything kind of person, I much prefer to be in there and doing stuff. In any case, I have understanding co-workers and my clients are thrilled that I’m taking it more easy. One of the things I am looking forward to with not being pregnant anymore is being able to do all those things again without being yelled at 😛

Some of the things I still need/want to do before baby gets here:

– finish packing hospital bag

– set up basinette in bedroom and put pack n play together on main floor

– make/buy/somehow acquire food that is easy to heat up for the days and weeks after baby is born. Is there a company that does stuff like this? I think you could make a killing if you could provide healthy, tasty meals for exactly this purpose.

– Pick up final things from registry that we need, like breast pads, a sound machine (I’m thinking I want to get this and set it up now so I can get used to it, I think it might actually help with some of my sleep issues as well as any the baby might have), etc.

– Organize nursery so it’s less of a storage area, put larger sized clothes away in bin(s) to be pulled out later, etc. This is the item I’m least looking forward to for some reason.

I think perhaps he has started to drop, since I can now eat larger portions of food than I could before, although I don’t feel the constant pressure down below that a lot of people describe (it’s still very transient) and I still have issues breathing sometimes (it was never a constant thing anyway), plus my belly hasn’t changed shape and he is still definitely all up in my ribs, though maybe he still would be because of the lack of room. Last night once again I definitely felt a foot, and he’s taken to running his feet along my rib cage, which is an interesting feeling. I am definitely crampier down low through my cervix and lower belly, but that’s been mostly when he’s moving and I assume trying to stretch out a bit. I’m not sure if that’s part of it or not.

TMI alert! Some of the signs that labour are approaching are listed as baby dropping, CM becoming more mucousy and heavier, more intense BH, and loose bowels. Not sure about the baby dropping yet (though as I said, I suspect at the very least that it’s underway, if it hasn’t happened fully yet), but my discharge is looking different the last few days, I definitely have the stronger BH (yay), and my bowels have been looser than usual more consistently the past little bit.

The weird part is seeing these changes doesn’t make me all nervous or panicky like it used to. I’m not sure if it’s a psychological thing because I’m now far enough along that it’s supposed to happen, or if it’s a hormonal thing where you are just more prepared because you have to be, or what. In any case, I’m glad because I was so afraid I’d still feel as terrified of it all as I did before, but I’m actually excited. My body is supposed to be doing this and it is! How amazing!

There is still some nervousness, obviously, since it’s an unknown and all, but overall I’m feeling excited and looking forward to finally feeling what it’s like and to finally meeting our little guy. I’m still sad to be leaving the pregnancy part behind… but I’m feeling more ready for that too, both physically but also emotionally ready to have experienced the whole thing and to move on. I’m still enjoying it and I know there will be things that I will miss, but having completed the whole thing (hopefully successfully with a healthy baby at the end!) I feel so happy and grateful to have been able to do that, even if I only ever get to do it this once.

I wish everyone, especially those who are experiencing IF, would get to experience this. Sometimes I wonder if I should be reading the online forum anymore because there are so many sad stories and I start to feel guilty that I’ve been so lucky (although how sad is it that I’m considered one of the really lucky ones?) and I feel like I shouldn’t be there anymore because of that. But at the same time, reading their stories reminds me of where I came from (not that it takes much) and when someone is successful, I’m so much happier for them because I know exactly how they’re feeling and how amazing it all is. And to be able to support those who are finding that actually achieving pregnancy isn’t the end of it all like we might have thought, that it’s actually just the beginning and then the game changes and becomes different. And it’s still full of people who truly understand the miracle of it all a lot more than anywhere else I’ve found.

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