I’m 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, which would seem really really pregnant to some people, but I have always had my babies 4-5 days after my due date, so I’m merely really pregnant.
“Hey, I noticed my urine sample is still in the bathroom. Do you need to get that to the lab?”
“Oh, no. I don’t think they’re going to run it.”
I’d been in the L&D unit at the hospital for about 2 hours at that point with monitors strapped to me to check baby’s heart, contractions, and my blood pressure.
I wound up there because earlier in the afternoon the pharmacist at the CVS Minute Clinic kindly took my blood pressure for me, and it read 144/82.
“That’s slightly elevated,” he said to me with concern on his face. “I would call.”
And I did. I talked to the nurse at my midwife’s office for the 2nd time that hour. Earlier, I called to ask if I should be concerned about the nearly non-stop nausea I’ve been feeling for over a week, and the headaches that seem to come and go.
I don’t have any other signs of pre-eclampsia. My feet don’t look an ounce pregnant. They haven’t started swelling at all. The headaches aren’t consistent, but they are there. It’s mostly just the general feeling like crap that gave me a little cause for concern. My appetite is non-existent.
I was particularly feeling miserable as I stood in CVS.
After telling her my BP reading, they requested I head to the hospital to be monitored. I took an overnight bag just in case, and alerted my mom and sister that maybe I might need them on call. Maybe.
I checked in around 6:30 in the evening while Scott stayed home and handled homework and dinner, story time and bedtime.
My first BP reading on the machine was in the 130s, then the 2nd was at 119. No need to run my urine sample because, well, obviously nothing is really wrong with me.
And so, after 2 hours in a quiet, dark room, they sent me home. Just in time to miss all the family chaos for the night. Ummm…
I KNOW HOW THIS LOOKS! I swear, I didn’t go up there just to get away from my 3 other kids and dogs and helping my son study for his spelling test and trying to figure out what to make for dinner.
But, you know, it was nice.
Pregnancy is a miracle and we are grateful for our little blessings that come into this world as a result of it, blah blah blah.
Now that that is out of the way, PREGNANCY IS ALSO AWFUL SOMETIMES. It is. It just is. You can be thankful for the gift of life and also hate waking up, choking on your own stomach acid. Those things are not mutually exclusive.
So while you’re enduring the sometimes miraculous and sometimes torturous process of creating life, here are some things you should indulge in without any guilt.
Sleep-Turn down invitations to parties to sleep. Stop doing your makeup so you can get 15 more minutes of sleep in the morning. Stop shaving for more sleep. Sleep whenever you feel like it, even if that’s at 5:30 in the afternoon, and it requires you setting a trough of cereal out for your other children, putting on Netflix, and threatening them with their life if they leave the room you’re sleeping in. That leads me to…
Plug your children in- If you have outside children, this is not the time to be the screen time enforcer. Give them Netflix, give them apps, give them your iPhone. Give them whatever it takes for them to leave you alone so you can sleep, or just not bother you to go up the stairs and get them actual toys. There is very little in life that should make you go up a flight of stairs right now, and mostly that’s just if the house is on fire and you need to rescue children or maybe pets. Maybe.
Ask your partner to do everything- Need water? Ask them to get you water. Need something upstairs? Obviously, they should get that for you. Change the cat litter box (duh), feed the dogs, take out the trash, do the dishes because you are MAKING A HUMAN INSIDE YOUR BODY.
Park in those parking spaces for pregnant women- This is no time for pride. Those spaces are made for YOU. Seek them out. Use them. Still find yourself hyperventilating over the handle of a shopping cart once you get inside.
Take all the hot baths and showers you want- At random times of the day, even! No, you don’t have to use this opportunity to actually clean yourself. Just stand or sit in the hot water if you feel like it. Okay, I get that this one is limited for some of you in drought-stricken parts of the country. I’m not saying go against the restrictions, but hey, if your kids need to go without a bath for a week so you can fill your soaking tub up a couple times, that’s cool, right?
Ask for and accept help- Do you need help out to your car with those groceries? YES. Do you need help lifting that big bag of dog food into your cart? YES. Do you need help getting your enormous body off the couch? YES. This is a great thing to start practicing before baby comes anyway because you’re going to need to ask for and accept the help of others even more after they get here.
Take yourself out to eat- Table for one, please! Enjoy the silence, treat yourself to exactly what you’re craving, and don’t worry what anyone else wants to eat. I have a date with myself after every midwife appointment at whatever place I want for lunch. And I always get desert, too.
Wear your food stains with pride– About 6 months in, you’ll find that you can’t stop yourself from dropping food and beverages onto your boobs and bump. Your shirts will all get trails of grease down the front, and it will be too late to invest in new clothes. Wear them anyway, and embrace the knowing smiles and nods from the moms who’ve been there, spilled that.
Whine and groan- At the end of the day (or really anytime), sometimes it helps to just pull your shirt up, let your belly hang out, lay back and loudly groan, whine, and generally complain about how uncomfortable you are. I sometimes find that a small temper tantrum just before bed helps me get better sleep.
And remember, you don’t have to cherish every moment of pregnancy to appreciate the miracle of life. Let yourself hate it once in a while. No guilt.
There were a few weeks when I felt like, “Okay, this is the 2nd tri bliss. This is the time to get shit done. You got this. You can handle this.”
And I guess I was thinking it would stick around a bit longer, because I didn’t take advantage of it nearly enough. Many regrets. Much messy house.
Gradually, my body started to revolt. First, it was like, “Oh, it is… um… wow… not so easy to roll over in bed. ::grunt::”
Then it was like, “Okay, so sitting up is a real problem.”
Which gave way to, “Staying sitting up is even worse because now I can’t breathe if I don’t recline. So that’s cool and awkward when I’m trying to drive.”
This turned into, “I have to walk how far? Like, seriously? No. Not even from the car to the store. I hope there’s an empty cart right when I walk in that I can lean on.”
That always leads to me standing at the counter of a restaurant or coffee place, holding one hand up and the other hand under my belly, panting “One… second… please…” when they ask what I’d like to order after I walk in.
And every night, it’s Sarah McLachlan in my head, singing “I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep.”
None of this is new. These are normal things that happen to pregnant women. JUST NOT THIS SOON, not to this pregnant woman ever before. Is it because he’s my 4th? Is it because he’s Spiderman and keeps climbing higher and higher into my ribs? (Double checked, he’s definitely not breech. Big sigh of relief.)
I’m 28 weeks tomorrow. That’s only the beginning of the 3rd trimester. I have a full 3 months of this to look forward to, and I don’t recall any of this actually getting better as weeks go on.
I am feeling very late 3rd tri already, and am trying to not let this mess with me mentally. It’s one thing to white knuckle it through the last 3 weeks, but the last 3 months? I’m going to have to tell myself some real good lies.
One thing I’m not letting mess with me is weight gain. Someone (close to me – because that matters, and OMG you guys that video I did about asking if I’m sure it’s not twins is going bananas) asked yesterday if I knew how much I’d gained. I honestly don’t, and I don’t want to know. With all 3 other pregnancies, I gained basically the EXACT same- 40 to 43ish lbs. I started at different weights before each one of them, and still my body did what it had to do to grow a baby.
So I’m guessing that’s what will happen with this one, too, and there’s no real need to know. I look away when they weigh me at appointments.
I wish I could ignore all the other signs of massive growth, but they make themselves way more apparent… and make it super hard for me to breathe. So here’s to the next 12 weeks! Plus probably another 5 days, based on my history of having every baby “late.” My only hope is that I’ll be reflux free by Christmas day, and all momma wants is an open buffet of every food that makes me ill right now. Which is, basically, all the food. And coffee. AND WINE.
According to the measurements at my 8 week appointment, this baby is due today. It’s the EDD I’ve gone with because it’s the latest one, giving me some extra room before talks of induction will start. According to the date of my last period, I’m 40 weeks and 4 days.
It’s not that I thought I’d have the baby by today. I have always been pretty certain this kid, just like his/her brother and sister, would make a late appearance.
But, you know, I wouldn’t be upset if he or she decided to come now or tonight or tomorrow. Dear God, PLEASE LET IT HAPPEN BEFORE AUGUST.
I don’t really show any signs of going into labor in the immediate future, though I know that could change. I’m only 2 cm dilated, though I know that really doesn’t mean much. Every pregnancy is different, baby will come when it’s ready, the due date is not an expiration date.
BLAH BLAH BLAH.
But still, stick a fork in me. I’m done. Time to GTFO, baby.
I awoke to several texts and Facebook messages and pings today, asking if I was in labor. After I rolled my eyes and hoisted myself out of bed with a grunt, I let everyone know I was nowhere close.
It seems some people, pages, websites reported (?) that I checked into the hospital this morning. I have no idea what would have given anyone that idea, but I wish with all my might it were true. Pregnant woman is still ragey.
The bright side is I had time to get a few 39 week pictures taken at my favorite hill last night, with the help of my friend Mandy behind the camera. And tonight I had the chance to edit them.
So here, proof. Baby is still baking and won’t share a birthday with the royal prince.
A note about my friend Mandy- She’s going through some big and scary stuff right now. Her brother’s pretty sick with cancer. She’s blogged all about it. Just scroll through. I think you’ll see how amazing she is, how honest she is through this struggle. She inspires me, and I am so saddened she and her family are dealing with all of this. If you’re the praying type, or the positive vibes type, or just the type who wants to say hi and give her a virtual hug, head over to her blog.
My recent shocking revelation that this pregnancy is very suddenly about to come to an end seemed to coincide with my body revolting against me. I believe it’s nature’s way of making me quickly come to terms with having an outside baby and fully embracing the idea because GET IT OUT.
I hesitate to blog this (and then publish it) because, you guys, I will KILL the first person to tell me to “relax and enjoy this time.” KILL YOU WITH MY INTERNET DAGARS. STAB, STAB, STAB. Pregnant rage- do not fuck with it.
Do I want the baby to come right now? NO. Because no childcare for Kendall and Leyna until Sunday. But then? OH WHAT THE HELL, JUST GET OUT, WE’LL FIGURE IT OUT.
Let’s see… where to start? Let’s start with the not sleeping thing. Because I just LOVE how people tell pregnant women at the end to enjoy the sleep they can get now before baby comes out and keeps you from sleeping. HEY GUESS WHAT, ASSHOLES? Not sleeping. Not at all. Unless I employ the help of drugs (Tylenol PM), and then I can’t wake up for 4 days.
I’m guessing part of the reason I can’t sleep is good ol’ fashioned pregnancy insomnia. But then there’s also the other fun stuff thrown in, like the contractions in the middle of the night that leave me wondering if I should go ahead and grab that bag and ask the dogs to keep an eye on the sleeping kids so I can make it to the hospital on time.
And the itching. The itching that doesn’t stop. Nope, not PUPPPs (how many freaking Ps is there in that? I’m just taking a stab at 4). Nope, not ICP. Nope, not anything that makes a damn bit of sense (though I am VERY thankful I don’t actually have PUPPPs or ICP). JUST ANNOYING ITCHING IN RANDOM PLACES AT RANDOM TIMES. Mostly at times when I really want to sleep.
Oh, and the Restless Legs Syndrome, which is actually restless entire body syndrome. I used to laugh at commercials for RLS meds. Restless Legs… ha! What a silly sounding problem. I TAKE IT ALL BACK. THIS SHIT IS AWFUL. And it should properly be renamed Mother Fucking Asshole Body Keeps Twitching RIGHT BEFORE I FALL ASLEEP Syndrome. Doesn’t that sound like something NOT TO LAUGH AT?
Still low on iron, and not eating enough protein. Not all that shocking considering I still want to eat sand more than anything else on this earth. I’m doing my best with the iron supplements, I swear, but the eating is hard. It’s like first trimester all over again. Aversions and heartburn like whoa. I truly look forward to being like, what do I want to eat? EVERYTHING! And not having to wonder what this and that will do to my digestive system and how it will affect my heartburn.
Hmmm… what else… Oh! I guess now would be as good a time as any to tell you all I have some sort of cyst growing on my labia. ARE YOU DYING RIGHT NOW? Because I am. But wait, there’s more.
It’s nearly the size of a golf ball.
So, essentially, I have a testicle at this point.
And what’s going to happen to it? Well, a couple options were explained to me by a couple midwives. It could either just rupture while I’m pushing. An option that, I think, sounds worse for the person catching my baby and in the line of fire of all that horrific mess than me. I mean, everything burns and numbs down there in intervals anyway when all that is happening. Hopefully I won’t notice? Other than the geyser of bodily fluids that will no doubt shoot out of me when it happens.
The other possibility is it will just get really freaking huge. My last midwife said she saw one grow to the size of a orange while a mom was pushing. A LARGE CITRUS FRUIT. ON MY LABIA.
The plan is to do nothing right now. In fact, my current midwife doesn’t want to do anything with it until my 6 week postpartum check up because it’s possible it will go away on it’s own (even without rupturing) when the pregnancy is over.
However, if it becomes infected between now and then (because that happens frequently with these), or, I’m assuming, if it does grow to the size of a fruit and prevents me from, like, walking, we will come up with a plan sooner than that. A plan that will involve cutting and draining and such down there. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO AFTER RIPPING MY VAGINA IN HALF TO GIVE LIFE.
My midwife sweetly gave me a rice pack yesterday at my 39 week appointment. You know the kind, you heat it up or freeze it and use it to treat such ailments as sore shoulders, achey backs, and crotch pain. Yeah, I spent last night with a hot pack of rice on my crotch, unable to tell if the pain I’m feeling is from the baby cracking my pelvis in half or the pressure of the ever-growing testicle/cyst.
I’m just going to end this now because the pregnant rage is blinding me so much that I’m fully divulging details of my labia to the world, and I should probably stop before I further embarrass myself. Not that that’s even possible.
You want to tell me to relax and enjoy these last couple of weeks/days/whatever? COME AT ME. I WILL KILL YOU.
Edited to add: It is totally, 100% okay to laugh at this. Please know I am laughing- HARDYHARHAR- right with you. Because WHAT is my alternative? Killing people. And that’s…. just… not going to be fun for my kids to watch.
Wait… not like THE END THE LAST DAY HAVING THE BABY RIGHT NOW. Not trying to alarm anyone. The baby is still tucked away up in my uterus. I show no signs of labor at the moment. But I’m nearly 39 weeks pregnant, which seems WAY more pregnant than nearly 38 weeks did a week ago.
I still haven’t grasped the idea that I’m having another baby very, very soon. It’s like I was never able to shake off this fog of disbelief for the entirety of this surprise pregnancy. I’m semi prepared, I guess, in that I have been there before- twice- so what more do I need to know? But also very, very unprepared.
I thought I was going into real labor a couple nights ago when a 5 hour stretch of painful contractions kept me from sleeping. I sat in my tub at 4:30 in the morning and begged them to stop. I pleaded with them to give me more time. I promised I’d get my shit together the very next day if they went away, but then I needed to sleep that entire day. And then I needed to take a 4 hour nap today. Sometimes I think the only way I’m preparing for this baby is by sleeping at inconvenient times.
On the bright side, my toe is healing. It still hurts a little when I walk. And it hurts A LOT when my toddler stomps on it mid-tantrum. But, at least I can walk on it now.
As “over it” as I am right now, I don’t want this baby to come any sooner than next Monday. It’s a long story, but the short of it is our childcare situation for Kendall and Leyna won’t be solid until then. I think that’s what’s causing me the most anxiety right now.
I just really don’t want to go into labor and have to stress about which friend is home and awake and can watch the kids for however long it takes for me to have this baby, and then Scott having to leave me at the hospital to go home to them. Of course, it’s not a huge problem in the grand scheme of things, and we’ll be fine. I’d just much rather have my sister here to abandon the children with from the start.
This is my “over it” face, sporting a bump that itches every time I pull a shirt down over it, and surrounded by a messy house because I’m too tired to care.
So that’s where I’m at. An update. I realize I’ve been super crappy about doing those here. On the blog. I’ve been complaining and updating plenty on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But if you don’t check in over there, you may have been wondering …. or not.
I thought long and hard about the recliner I was craving. It’s possible I obsessed.
We shopped around, looking at various options, most of them hideous. Most of them way more than I intended to spend on any one item during this pregnancy. I knew if I spent a great deal on any recliner, Scott would consider it an “investment” and want to keep it around for 20 years. The only recliner I found that I would be okay with keeping in my living room for 20 years cost nearly $1,000.
Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.
Then a friend let me know she had a gently used LaZBoy she’d sell me for super cheap. They are the kind of friends who always have a clean house and bathe their children every. single. night. (Seriously so impressive, that last part.) Obviously, the recliner would be in great shape. It was cheap enough, too, that I wouldn’t feel committed to it. We could sell it and recover most of our money in a few months if we want to.
The first night we had it, I looked forward to peacefully dozing all night, and NOT waking up to stomach acid bubbling up in my throat. I made it about half the night before I climbed back into bed.
The thing is, we have a REALLY great bed. And the LaZBoy? Well, it’s still a chair. And it moves a lot. And it does this thing where every time you change positions it tries to sit you back up. And I didn’t take into account that even though I’d be reclined in it, I’d also be on my back, which means I wouldn’t be able to breathe. So I had to try to lay on my side in it. And that meant I had to stuff pillows around me. And that meant that every time I switched sides, I had to push the chair back into a recline and restuff the pillows.
It was kinda… a lot of work.
But it DID help with the reflux. And it DID help with the restless legs. Just didn’t really help with the sleeping part.
So I’ve taken to just lounging in it at night. My body refuses to be in an upright position after 6:30pm, so it’s been helpful those last few hours of the evening before bed.
The thing about recliners for me, though, is I’m not used to their sensitive movements. Logically, I know it’s not going to fall backwards or catapult me across the room when I move and it reacts, but there is a part of my brain that is screaming, “THIS THING CAN NOT BE TRUSTED!”
Last Wednesday night, I settled in to try to get some work done on my iPad (artfully decorated with toddler smudges) after a couple hours at my desk lead to a panic attack because I simply couldn’t breathe sitting upright anymore. As I switched sides to get more comfortable, the chair went one way, and my brain forced me to jump the other, causing me to kick a nearby dresser. Hard.
I broke my toe. At 37 weeks pregnant.
2 days later, I started the day at the doctor’s office, confirming the toe was broken, and nothing more. There is literally nothing more they can do for broken toes on pregnant women (or anyone, really). Later that night, I was in the ER, getting scanned for blood clots in my leg. See, I went back to sitting upright at my desk for a few hours, in an effort to really try to knock out some long-past-due work. When I stood up, my entire right leg was numb and a little swollen. I also noticed a bump on the front of my shin.
Thinking it was maybe something to be concerned about, I checked in with my midwife. She wanted me to head to the ER for an ultrasound on my leg just in case, especially since my right foot took such a beating just a couple nights before.
All is well. There were no clots detected. The toe is slowly healing. I’m at least able to hobble around with a limp now, and don’t require Scott waking in the middle of the night- multiple times- to help me hop to the bathroom. I’m hopeful it will be mostly healed by the time I go into labor because I need it to be. I can’t walk through early labor or stand in a shower if it’s not.
The recliner hasn’t seen much love since all this went down. Mainly, I’m scared of it now. And also, I refuse to sit in it unless Scott moves it to the middle of our already cramped bedroom and away from the dressers.
Things have been quiet around here. There are dust bunnies hiding between my sidebar ads. I think a tumbleweed just blew across my header and over my extremely out of date headshot.
People, I. AM. TIRED. And overwhelmed, and I’m running up against a deadline that is coming faster than that asteroid that Aerosmith had to shoot rockets at to save the earth while Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler made out… or something like that. The 90s were a long time ago.
I’m 1 day shy of 37 weeks pregnant with what I intend to be my LAST pregnancy. The next 3 weeks will feel like they crawl by and cease to exist all at the same time. I’ll blink, and a 3rd baby will be in my arms while my midwife stitches up whatever tears down there (which, btw, could be a giant vaginal cyst that could possibly rupture while I’m pushing… WHEEEE SO MUCH TMI AND HORRIFIC IMAGES FOR YOU!).
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve had to switch to a new midwife and a new hospital because my midwife was forced to resign. It’s not really my place to give more details than that. Just know that the decision left me angry and uncomfortable with the situation I was left with. So I got out of there. I was proactive, and at 36 weeks, I found a new practice.
In the meantime, Scott traveled nearly non-stop over the last month in an effort to pack everything in before baby comes. And the kids weren’t in summer school for a good portion of that.
My inbox is sitting at 482, and about 250 of those actually deserve/are expecting actual responses from me. Not just crappy spam pitches that I can delete.
I sit at my desk for 45 minutes, and I’m ready to go curl up in my recliner (yes, I got one!) and take a nap because the sitting upright is hard.
I intended to “enjoy” this pregnancy, to really soak it in. If this is my last, I know that I’ll, strangely, miss this when the misery is behind me. I’ll miss the sweet moments that I still manage to enjoy now. I’ll miss the freedom of walking around with my belly falling out of my pants. I’ll miss the little baby kicks. I’ll miss the great skin and hair.
I just can’t figure out HOW, at this point, to savor this. HOW am I supposed to “enjoy” this? I feel terribly pressured to document it in some way, to really do something that I’ll be glad I did 3 years from now when I am a little sad that I won’t experience it anymore.
BUT WHAT IS THAT? And how do I manage to do that in the next 3 weeks while still managing to catch up with work and take care of the 2 kids I already have? Serious question.