Saturday, June 6, 2009

33 Weeks...34 Weeks...

~ 33 weeks, at my niece's wedding

Once again, I'm late enough with posting my weekly update to be able to slip two weeks into one post!  :)  Time is flying by!!

I continue to be amazed by how good I generally feel.  To be sure, there are little pregnancy nuisances that pop up every now and then, like little blips on a radar screen.  Each time, I think, "Well, this pain will surely be with me until the end of the pregnancy," but then, astonishingly, it leaves!  For example, last Saturday evening, about 10:00 PM or so, I began to feel very uncomfortable; and later that night (actually, early Sunday morning), I awoke sporadically with abdominal pain, then fell back asleep, until one time, I awoke with a very hard contraction.  It was, however, only on my right side, front and back; but I knew it wasn't a "real" contraction because those tend to span the whole abdomen.  I thought, "Well, it's about time that Braxton Hicks contractions started playing a role in this pregnancy; I'll probably have these every so often until delivery."  But lo and behold, I haven't had another noticeable (i.e. painful) contraction since!  Or with heartburn--sure, it's an occasional bother, but it's not a constant, everyday thing, and it's not getting any worse.  When I feel some, I pop a Tums; and that takes care of it.  Or with back pain--one day last week I was afflicted with troublesome sciatic nerve pain running from the right side of my back into my right leg.  I thought surely that would continue during the next weeks; but by the next morning, it was gone...and although it has flared up once or twice since then (including last evening), it hasn't been a continual thing; and usually, a night's sleep takes care of it.  I do feel heavy and cumbersome, and I know I've hit the waddle-walk stage; but I'm able to roll over in bed and get up out of it without audible groans each time I move so that's an improvement over previous pregnancies.  :)  

One of the emotional challenges of late pregnancy is feeling like I'll ALWAYS feel this way:  this big, this clumsy, this tired, this weepy, this whatever.  We women (or at least, I) tend to forget that it won't be this way forever.  Our bodies will eventually return to "normal" and will belong to us, rather than being host for a quickly growing invader (a beloved invader, undoubtedly!).  We won't have to wear huge clothes for much longer.  We won't get out of breath simply from walking upstairs carrying a full laundry basket.  We'll be able to wrestle around with our kids without worrying about getting poked or jabbed or hurt in some way...or having to say repeatedly, "Be careful of my tummy!"  We'll be able to unpack our regular summer clothes--and fit in them!  :)

I guess because this is my fourth time with this, I'm having a little easier time remembering these things and keeping a positive perspective.  Plus, these "blips on my radar screen" are doing a good job of reminding me that things could be much, much worse...but God has graciously blessed me with continued good health and well-being.  For that, I am truly, truly grateful.

At the same time, I do have to allow myself sometimes to admit that, "Hey, I'm tired!"  I'm 34 weeks pregnant, after all; and if that doesn't give me the privilege of taking a break and not pushing all day long, what will?  :)  Yesterday, for example, I had worked hard in the morning, cleaning and organizing the laundry room as well as doing several loads of laundry; and I knew by the time the afternoon came, that I just couldn't continue to physically expect much out of myself.  It was time to sit down and let my mind do some work, but let my body have a break.

So it's all a balance: mostly feeling good, but not being too prideful and "pioneer-womanish" to admit that sometimes I don't.

One night not too long ago, we had a dinner guest who expressed surprise that I was still as active as I am so I got to give my little speech about how "pregnancy is a natural condition, not a disability.  Think of the women who worked in the fields, paused to have a baby, then had to go right back to work.  Blah, blah, blah..."  I'm not sure he wanted to hear all that when he made his comment, but he got to anyway!  :)  I still remember one time during my pregnancy with Josiah when I was practicing with a group of women for a song we were doing for a special women's outreach event.  I reached to pick up a microphone stand to move it, and several women shrieked, "Oh, no!  Don't do that!  It's too heavy.  I'll do it for you.  You've got to be careful."  What???  Too heavy?  Good grief!  It was a microphone stand, for cryin' out loud!  I appreciated their hearts to want to serve and take care of me, but I didn't (and still don't) like being treated as an invalid just because I'm pregnant!  :)

OK, that rant is over...on to the next topic!

Y'all crack me up!  You voters in my blog poll about whether this is a boy or a girl--you really make me laugh!  So, only 3 of you think it's a boy?  And 19 so far say it's a girl?  Are you for real?  Don't you "girl" voters think the odds are just slightly against you?  :)  I happen to know that Lisa was one of the people who voted for "boy"; I guess she's one of the sensible readers I have.   Oh, I'm just teasing you can certainly vote for whatever you want; and who knows? you might be right.  But it did surprise me to see all the "girl" votes.   I didn't vote; but if I had, I would have said "boy."  :)  A little closer to my due date, I think I'll do a contest to guess the date and time of birth--kind of like Misty is doing now.

I know a lot of women who are due soon or who have given birth recently.  In my church, there were four of us who were due fairly close together (within a few months, I should say).  All of the other three have given birth, and all of them had girls.  It's been extra exciting to see them with their little ones because it's reminded me of what I have to look forward to!  Same thing with visiting Growing Up Gracefully:  their new little Asher is adorable and makes me ache to hold my baby in my arms.  Soon and very soon...  :)

I scared myself a little the other day.  I made the "mistake" of reading back through my blog posts from Tobin's birth and the days soon after.  On the one hand, I LOVED reading about that oh-so-special time; but on the other hand, even though I can hardly imagine a much better birth experience than his, the memory of that half hour of intense pain was enough to make me want to sign up now for an epidural!  :)  Actually, my epidural birth (Josiah's) was the longest and hardest and didn't give real long-lasting relief so that's one of the reasons I've never gone that route again (there are other reasons, but that's one of them).  We'll see how this one goes.  I'm not ruling out anything!  :)

The night before last, I had another dream about giving birth, although this time it wasn't in Margie's house.  :)  I don't remember many details; but amazingly, in the dream, I was calm and relaxed about it all, and the birth went very smoothly.  I thought that after reading Tobin's birth story and feeling some anxiety in my heart because of it, I might reflect that in my dreams.  But no, it was very easy to give birth, so I'm comforted by that dream and will hang on to the peace I felt during it.  :)  And, by the way, in this latest dream, I didn't know the gender of the baby that was so easily born!

The other thing that swept over me as I was reading those blog posts from January and February of 2008 was the fog that I felt so much of during those days.  Mentally, I just felt like my head was not clear and was floating around in the clouds somewhere--partially, from euphoria from this incredible little boy that I was falling in love with so deeply, but also from lack of sleep and the inevitable shift in a household when a baby is added.  I know I still have stacks of paperwork that entered the house during that time, and I have never sorted through them and dealt with it all--shame on me.  Whenever I even try to think about anything related to paper stuff during that time, my head immediately feels foggy.  Within the last two months, I was sorting through one small stack of stuff from that time--mostly baby cards, but also some other papers--and I found some cash that someone had given us in honor of Tobin (which was a very nice surprise to discover), but also a check that someone had given me for my birthday in 2008.  Needless to say, it was much too late to cash it, so there went that money down the drain.  It's frustrating even now to remember my mental state during those days, and I do not look forward to repeating that.  Whatever I do, if someone sends me a check, I'll most certainly hand it over to Jeff immediately so that it doesn't get lost in a pile somewhere!  :)   But maybe this time will be different, and I won't feel so foggy in my head.  Live ever in hope!

Let's see: what else about this stage of pregnancy?  Oh, yes, I had an appointment on Wednesday at SWHC and got to see Barbara again which is always a pleasure.  My weight was 171, the same as the previous appointment (21 pound gain so far in this pregnancy); my blood pressure was something I can't remember but it was fine; my uterus measurement was 32 ("should have been" 33 and 1/2); the baby's heartbeat was in the 136 to 141 range (depending on the baby's movement) which has been pretty consistent recently; the baby was head down and in a good position for delivery.  In the waiting room, I got to chat with my friend Ceci who was also waiting to be seen.  Less than 24 hours later, she had her baby--a sweet girl named Charlotte--born exactly on her due date.  :)  This particular appointment took a little longer than past ones because one of the midwives was sick, so Barbara and another one were covering her patients, too.  I actually had time, while I was waiting in the examining room, to finish the book I had taken along with me.  All in all, it was a very good, smooth appointment--the way all of them have been recently.  I'm so blessed to not have pregnancy complications!

Well, that's all I can think of for now.  I'm sure later I'll remember something that I was planning to include!  :)  If any of you blog readers have any questions about something I should have mentioned, just let me know and I'll answer them, OK?  :)


Misty said...

Glad to hear you are doing so well! I am starting to really get uncomfortable and impatient. The winner of the guess-the-birthday- contest is narrowed down to Julie and Chris' dad now and I'm really hoping that Julie is right and this baby will come tomorrow (if not today!!
I was another vote for boy on your poll by the way :)

Valerie said...

When I worked in daycare I had a parent with 7 kids. 6 girls and 1 boy (the boy was the baby of the family) her Dr told her that up until baby number 6 or so you still have a 50/50 chance of boy vs girl. If you have had the same sex for all 6 then your chance of number 7 being the same sex increases to something like 60%. So just because you have 3 boys doesn't mean we should be expecting you to have another boy, this one might very well be a girl! :) Time will tell! :)

I love a good baby guessin' game. I must have missed where to vote, but I would say girl. The times when you posted a link to your pregnancy with Tobin I would link back and forth to compare belly pictures. You look like you carry different w/ this baby.
Then again if Josiah is taking a lot of the pictures maybe he just grew and it changes the angle of the camera. :)
(Not that it matters, it's not like a girl will complete your family and a boy will not.)

Enjoy the last few weeks of your pregnancy. It's good to hear that all is going well.

Morning said...

You look lovely! What a perfect dress for a wedding. My SIL is pregnant with her third, and had a wedding to go to, but nothing to wear. An old schoolfriend of hers sent her the most beautiful formal pregnancy dress -- this girl has had 5 attempts at IVF, and has finally decided to stop trying. How poignant that she was willing to give away something she had obviously chosen in great delight and anticipation, and how kind of her to gift it to my SIL. Bittersweet.

Leah said...

I don't think the odds necessarily favor a boy just because you've had 3 boys...mathematically, if you had 100 kids (or a generally large number), there would be about 50 boys and 50 girls. Of course having a larger number gives a lopsided ratio more of a chance to even out. But even more than the baby's gender, I'm interested in the name choices! :-)

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

You look adorable in that dress.
During my pregnancies, back in the days when we wore tents to hide our 'bump', no one looked good!

And you think I'm funny?!, you're the one posting about how much you weigh!

I have a friend with 7 boys and she is treated like a queen in her home, so even though I voted for a girl for you - I've always felt a slight awe towards moms of only boys (of course, I just realized I also have 7 sons - hah!- but with the four girls mixed in, it seems about even for some reason.)

thanks for your continued comments on my blog. Not sure if I've ever told you, but I always feel ultra-encouraged after you've visited.