Final Countdown Contemplations…

20 Dec

OK, as I mentioned in my last post earlier this week, I’ve had several folks ask me my thoughts on this whole pregnancy thing since my ‘Midway Musings’ posting 16 weeks ago…Whether or not my feelings had changed, how I was dealing with the continued physical and mental changes, etc.  So…as promised, here’s a quick post to build on that original one from WAY back in August, along with some new contemplations and maybe even a picture or two ;).

What better way to start things off than with my current fridge decoration?! Neve's profile from early December...at 33.5 weeks 🙂

First of all, let me just say how CRAZY it is as I go back and look at that original post and see ‘Baby Boy T’ throughout!  My, my how some things have changed! Ha!  Luckily, not all things have changed…At least not all that I’d listed as good!  So let’s start with that…The Good 🙂

1. Our excitement over Neve’s impending arrival is just indescribable and we’re still in such complete awe (and shock!) over the whole idea of having ‘an actual person’ growing and developing inside me that will join us soon.  Seriously, it’s just amazing what the human body can do…and create!  We’re reminded constantly of this ‘miracle’ by her steady- and often visibly strong- movements!  Remember how we’d just felt her move for the first time that week at the halfway mark??  Well, let’s just say we’re so far past flutterings and subtle nudges!  We’re smack dab in the middle of right hooks, jabs and one distorted mama’s belly that gets a kick out of (pun intended) freaking out Daddy!

2. John.  Just as in all previous posts, he’s one of the single best parts of this whole process and that’s only grown daily right along with our Neve.  He’s sweet, he’s supportive, he’s looking for ways to help and be a part of things at every step of the way…And bless his heart, he’s put up with ME!  Not an easy feat by any stretch and he’s just been phenomenal…And I should add that all of the above should also be said for my parents.  They’ve just been so awesome through all of this and are absolutely more thrilled than anybody about being first time grandparents.

3. Thanks to nightly bathing in BioOil, still no stretch marks (KNOCK ON WOOD x infinity!)!!

4. This part of the journey is almost OVER!  That can be on the ‘good list,’ right? 🙂

——-

Now, to continue my style in keeping it real…Bottom line: No, I still don’t like being pregnant.  At all.  But I want to share a quick story with you about a conversation I recently had with an old friend…She really helped me to put a few things in perspective…After telling her all about many of the physical challenges I’ve faced during this pregnancy (weight gain, inactivity, change in diet, lack of travel, lack of cute clothes that fit, etc.), she immediately hit the nail on head.  ‘You’re having an identity crisis,’ she said.  Having three kids of her own and having gone through some major life changes this year herself, she quickly followed it up with, ‘That makes so much sense and I can so relate!’  In a nutshell, she reminded me that all of these things are mere that…THINGS.  They are things I do, things I like, things I am accustomed to…But they aren’t actually WHO I am…They aren’t my identity.  And while no, these changes aren’t pleasant (nor even welcomed!), they are only temporary and, in fact, aren’t changing diddly squat with ‘what’s on the inside.’  And it’s not that the conversation caused some grand epiphany for me, but it definitely offered me a new perspective and I’ve thought of it often ever since, which means that it had to be one great life lesson.  🙂 So with that, I suppose we can move on to the ‘Everything Else That’s Not Particularly Good.’ 🙂

1. The physical changes are just so overwhelming…Moreso than they ever thought about being at my halfway post.  Sure, you hear of pregnant women feeling uncomfortable, but that’s SUCH an understatement.  No one prepares you for half of all this stuff!  Sure, if you think about it, it all makes sense that one would feel ‘crowded’ with the addition of a human within another human body, but for some reason, that just doesn’t register…Or at least it didn’t for me!  Specifically, the bigger Neve gets:

  • The less I can breathe (Can I get an ‘AMEN’ for stopping for a breather at the top of an average stairwell?!)
  • The less I can eat (God’s natural appetite suppressant??  If only He could do it without nausea and miserable fullness as the cue to put the fork down…)
  • The more frequently I have to pee (Who can’t make it 14 miles down the road without having to make a pit stop?!)
  • The more pronounced is my waddle (yes, with my belly button proudly leading the way!)
  • The less I sleep at night (In addition to #3 posing a problem, just getting the energy to roll this belly over takes so much energy you absolutely have to wake up just to muster it!)
  • The more swollen I get (my poor feet…)
  • The itchier my skin gets (Good Lord, this is my nemesis and I’m sure that half of this town must think I have lice!
  • And finally, the worse my anemia gets (This is actually a whole ‘nother post in itself, but in a nutshell, I’ve battled anemia- low blood iron levels- for my whole life and it’s been absolutely horrible throughout my pregnancy.  Let’s just say I’m ready for the day when I can buy groceries and walk my dogs without hitting the floor like a sack of potatoes!)

2. The emotional changes are just about as equally overwhelming.  Yes, all the ones I/we had at the halfway point are still there, except now they’re even more pronounced…More ‘real,’ if that makes sense…Again, you watch movies where expectant couples ponder ‘Will we be good parents?,’ but seriously, that’s just the snowflake falling on the other snowflake sitting on the top of the tip of the iceberg!  Ha!  The closer we get to Neve’s arrival, the more I wonder:

  • Will be any good at this at all? (Y’all remember, I’ve never been a ‘kid person!’)
  • What happens if I’m not good at it?  (Or even worse, if I just plain don’t like it?!)
  • How can they send us home without some sort of instruction manual?  (Or better yet, maybe a coach?!)
  • Are we sure about this?? (I know, a little late in the game for that one, but just keeping it real!)
  • Which book/article/blog/magazine/guru is right?! (Breastfeeding vs. formula, crying it out vs. not, schedule vs. no schedule…everyone has an opinion and everyone spouts said opinion as gold!  For the record, we’re going to wing and just go with what works for us for most things :)!)
  • Please let her be healthy.
  • How will my body ever return to its pre-preggo form? (Even Stretch Armstrong circa 1988 had limits!)
  • The whole delivery process… (Is teleportation an acceptable means of arrival??)
  • Are we sure about this?? (Did I already say that?  😉 )

Jeez!  All the things running through a new parent’s mind!  Another quick side story…Just last week, I met a dear old girlfriend for lunch and found out she’s pregnant…with twins!  (How crazy that my childhood best friend and my adulthood best friend will both have twins?!)  Anyhoo, she’s always been alot like me- not so much a kid person, not one that fawns all over babies, never in a rush to have children, etc.  So as we talked about some of the above list and she said something that really made alot of sense for me- a way of putting into words my own feelings that I’d never quite realized…She said: ‘You know, nothing’s really changed for me.  I’m still not a BABY person and I still think that first year or two may be extra tough because of it.  But, I’m a FAMILY person and that’s what we’re so excited to create- that family unit.  Sure, we may find ourselves overwhelmed by the baby phase initially, but to create and grow a FAMILY is just indescribable…’  I thought to myself, ‘AHA!  That’s just how John and I have felt about it from before we even got pregnant!  It doesn’t have to be ‘we want a baby,’ but rather ‘we can’t wait to have our FAMILY!’  Comforting, huh?

And just in case you’re wondering, no, John doesn’t spend near as much time pondering the ‘what ifs.’  Sure, he’s anxious and a bit nervous- he IS human!- but his approach to impending parenthood so far has been much the same as it is to just about everything else: ‘Prepare as much as possible (or rather, let Erin prepare on some of the big stuff and then prepare me as much as I need to be! 😉 ), then just take it as it comes.  All will work out in the end.’  Like most men, his thoughts on the subject are very simple: ‘Why fret about something until you know whether it’s even worth fretting over?’  Ah, to have his level of calm…and blissful naivete.  In fact, if John were to do a list of his top concerns for Neve at the moment (other than the obvious wanting a healthy baby and a smooth, safe delivery, of course), it would probably look something like:

  • I hope she plays sports.
  • I hope she cheers for the Cowboys, although she won’t really have a choice.
  • I hope she’s cute and doesn’t look like a boy (he’s concerned that his ‘manly’ features will dominate- Ha!)

John, deep in thought...Clearly...

——-

Now, I guess this is as good a time as any to delve a bit more into the nitty gritty since we seem to get plenty of questions as to when to expect our Neve’s debut.  Well, her due date is January 15, which makes me just over 36 weeks right now.  WOW.  She’s been head-down and facing my back for nearly 2 months now (lowering weekly for the last month) and they estimate that she weighs 5.5 – 6 lbs (is it weird that part of me wants to holler, ‘Just stop growing already!” ? 😉 ).  And her heart rate, as of yesterday’s doc visit, is still firmly in the low 140s, which is right on track.

And finally, to answer just a few of the random questions I’ve gotten in the last month…

  • No, I have absolutely no clue how much weight I’ve gained (I still back onto the scale at each appointment and reiterate for the nurse not to so much as raise an eyebrow!), nor do I want to…at least until I can focus on taking it back off!  (Note to self: Just a few more weeks!  BAZINGA!)
  • No, Mrs. Random Person in the Checkout Line at Piggly Wiggly, you can not touch my belly.
  • Yes, I do like to think that my huge tatas (see any post from earlier in pregnancy) have shrunk along the way.  And yes, I realize this is likely only because the entire region directly beneath them has grown exponentially, causing them only to appear smaller.  Don’t judge.
  • Yes, my high fiber cereal ritual every single morning of my life is still working.  Knock on wood.
  • Yes, I do realize it’s December and that I’m in a maxi dress and flip flops.  Fortunately, it’s Charleston- where we all know this is acceptable attire year round!- and it’s been unseasonably warm.  Thank God.
  • No, I’m not ‘about to pop,’ although I assure you that a) I sure feel like I am, b) the doctor says I’m not likely to, and c) you thinking that you’re the first person to utter those words only makes me want to kick you in the shin even harder.
  • Yes, the verb ‘waddle’ should be eliminated from the English language.
  • No, the thing I’m most looking forward to once I’m not pregnant is not having a drink!  My Top 3: Sleeping on my stomach, going for a run and taking our first family trip overseas 🙂

Last weekend, at 35 Weeks...

Well folks, we’re definitely be doing our best to enjoy all the season has to offer (yep, we’re even hosting Christmas again this year!), then come New Years, we’ll be in full-on countdown mode.  YIKES!   No worries, unless Neve has other plans, I hope to get in at least one more post before her arrival, but if not, rest assured we’ll definitely keep everybody up to speed right here after the fact.  Afterall, baby pics will be so much better than belly pics, right?!  CAN.  NOT.  WAIT.  Here’s hoping everybody has a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year!  Cheers!

3 Responses to “Final Countdown Contemplations…”

  1. Julie Smith December 24, 2011 at 11:37 PM #

    Erin, I have not weighed in a doctor’s office since 1995. It feels A) invasive and B) unnecessary; the dr. can eyeball me and figure how how many milligrams of Valium to prescribe 🙂 My chart says “Will NOT weigh,” and damn skippy I won’t!
    Also, my mother had 4 kids and is not a baby person. She’s brisk and matter-of-fact with the wee ones (I mean, we WERE fed and hugged), but when you’re old enough to have opinions and ideas, why, welcome to the tribe! I think the results have been okay so far: Four world travelers, 4 college degrees, 4 churched believers, 4 savvy adults who are resourceful, kind, adventurous and… not baby people, either! Gotta love the circle of life 😉
    You’ll be a great mom. Don’t sweat it.

  2. Debbie Barbaree December 21, 2011 at 10:34 PM #

    I LOVE it! I thought I was the only person who actually has “chronic scale-o-phobia”…and I am not even pregnant (though I have “naturally” birthed four (4) children – #3 and #4 arriving within 10 minutes of each other)! My doctor chart even says (in big red letters)”DO NOT ask patient to step on scale”!!! hahahah! We MUST get together sometime (before/after) the actual birth of Neve as I am a “walking wealth” of information:-)
    And no matter how miserable you may be…enjoy it! Because in the near future “some little one’s” needs will ALWAYS come first! Merry Christmas!!!

    • Erin T. December 24, 2011 at 11:23 PM #

      Thanks, Debbie! I didn’t realize that you, too, share my fear of the scale! I suppose I should clarify, though…Under normal circumstances (ie. NOT PREGGO!) I weigh myself in the privacy of my bathroom every single morning of my life. Yes, I know my weight within one tenth of a pound on any given day. HOWEVER, my doc chart also says ‘refuses to weigh’ because I absolutely see no need to get on someone else’s scale that is likely slightly ‘off’ from mine, nor do I need anyone else knowing these things! Ha! And once I got pregnant, I just know myself so well- that I get fixated on a number- and that for these 9 months, there wouldn’t be a darn thing I could do about it, so…I have not weighed myself, nor heard one peep from the doc office, per my request! And I would LOVE to get together with you. Perhaps Eleanor, you and me could grab lunch one day…Merry Christmas!

      Erin K. Thomas, President Lowcountry Pet Sitters 843.327.7487 http://www.LCPetsitters.com

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