Friday, June 19, 2009

35 Weeks...

Here I am at 35 weeks, 6 days, just hours away from 36 weeks; and I'm finally taking time to get this update posted. Better late than never!

The picture for this week is not my typical pose, but I hadn't asked Jeff to take a picture of me earlier in the week; and tonight when we got home from the VBS program, I asked him to take a picture of me then...which he willingly did...quite a few, in fact. When I downloaded them and looked at them, I didn't like a single one. My reason? I looked so tired in all of them! So I decided to just use a picture from the program tonight, not because it really shows my growth, but because it does show what a lot of time and energy has been going to this week! :)

I'm finally getting to the stage of admitting that this pregnancy is getting a little harder. Up until a week or so ago, when someone asked, "How are you doing?" I would usually say, "Great!"--and mean it. But now I'm not feeling quite so energetic and upbeat, and I'm looking forward with even more anticipation to the birth and the subsequent return to "normal" that will come.

At the same time, I really have nothing significant to complain about; and compared with the real hardships that some women go through during pregnancy, I do feel good and know that I'm blessed to have such an easy time even at 35 weeks. My neighbor Wilma expressed it well: it seems easy when we think how bad it could be; but compared to how we normally feel, it's hard. Very true!!

Speaking of Wilma, she gave birth to her fourth child yesterday: a BOY named Jason Douglas who joins three adoring big sisters. Wilma and Douglas had found out the gender, but had not told anyone--not even their daughters! Jeff and I had a feeling it was a boy though, so we weren't too surprised at the news; but goodness, I'm excited for them!!! It will be fun to watch our babies grow up together. :)

Here are some of the things that are adding to my 35-week discomfort:
~ having contractions: these really picked up during week 34 and have continued...they're not really painful, and they've never made me think I was going into labor, but they don't exactly add to my comfort either!
~ caring for (and carrying) Tobin: even though he's 17 months now, he's still not interested in walking since scooting fits his style just fine....since neither Josiah nor David walked until 18 months, I'm not surprised; but I am at the point of wondering if Tobin will even walk by that age!...the big question is not just "is this baby a boy or girl?" but "what will happen first: the birth of the baby or Tobin's first steps?" :)...Jeff has been a great help in this area, often reaching for Tobin when we're out together and Tobin needs carried; but there are so many times throughout a normal day when I have to lift Tobin and care for his physical needs since he's still quite dependent...this was one of the things that I worried about during the early, emotional weeks of this pregnancy; but now that I'm here in this stage, I realize again that everything's fine if I just take it one day at a time!
~ getting tired and out-of-breath more easily: for example, just carrying a gallon of milk up to our house from my parents' shed is enough to make me huff and puff and feel tired!
~ feeling weak: yesterday morning it dawned on me that virtually every morning, an hour or so after breakfast, I feel weak--not just sleepy tired (although I often feel that, too!), but literally weak...the thought crossed my mind that maybe I'm a little anemic since I have been sporadic with taking my prenatal vitamins recently, and I can't even remember the last time I craved a nice big piece of red meat so I haven't been getting much iron from that source!...I don't know if I really am anemic or not; but whatever the reason, I do have spells of weakness these days...I can't remember if that was typical during the last weeks of my other pregnancies or not
~ being big: I'm definitely wearing my larger maternity clothes and am realizing that it's nice to have a variety of sizes, even within maternity clothes...I always feel big these days, but sometimes I'm even more astonished by my size than usual...for example, one day recently I was sitting on the edge of the guest room bed, watching Tobin happily play in his crib before I got him out after a nap...I happened to glance over to the mirror in that room and couldn't believe how BIG I looked...something must be wrong with that mirror! :)...I don't feel truly self-conscious or guilty about how I look because I know I'm supposed to grow, but it does amaze me how much my body has stretched to accommodate this little one!

Despite how big I look and feel these days, I've still technically gained only 22 pounds, according to my last visit with the midwives. That's on the low side for me; and I don't know if this lower weight gain is the only reason or not, but I'm actually finding it easier to roll over in bed at this stage than I did when I was 8 months along in my other pregnancies. I don't audibly groan each time I attempt it; but the other night, when Jeff saw me beginning the slow process of turning over, he jokingly asked me if I needed a crane to help me get over. I told him what I just wrote--that it seems easier this time to roll over and maybe it's because I haven't gained as much weight--and he said, "Well, you haven't been gobbling down food!" It's true: my meals do tend to be light, and I'd almost rather drink than eat on some days. But I also find that I can't go very long through the day without eating something. Instead of three meals a day, I have about six, but they're not huge. I am not one to carefully keep track of the food I eat during pregnancy (or at most other times either!), but I am grateful that my weight gain has stayed relatively low this time around.

Other tidbits from my last midwife appointment:
~ I saw Donna, which was nice since I hadn't seen her for a while
~ my blood pressure was good
~ my uterus measurement was 34
~ baby's heart rate was 126, and Donna predicts a boy :)
~ I did the lovely (or not) Group B Strep test...although I've never had that infection, I know it could have serious consequences for a baby so it seemed worthwhile to do it
~ I go back in two weeks, and then will go every week after that
~ the night before this appointment, the baby was uncharacteristically quiet, to the point that I, for the first time during this pregnancy, grew concerned about the baby's health and safety...I was quite relieved to hear a good, strong heartbeat and to talk with Donna about my concerns...most of all, I've been relieved that since then, the baby has been quite active again

It's interesting to me that at this point, there are 10 votes in my blog poll for boy, and 29 for girl. :) I still expect a boy, and would be surprised by a girl. When Josiah and David are asked what they want, their standard answer is, "I want it to be a boy, but I think it's a girl." When David said that yet again recently, I said, "Why do you want it to be a boy?" And he replied, "So we can have a big lightsaber fight!" Apparently, he thinks girls don't like to fight. :)

One thing is for sure: both Jeff and I feel a tremendous amount of anticipation regarding this birth because of not knowing the gender. There is ALWAYS a lot of anticipation before a birth; but wow, this is really exciting!!!

Before I end, I do want to mention for memory's sake that I've had several dreams about water recently. These scary water dreams were SO COMMON in David's pregnancy, but weren't a huge factor in Tobin's or in this one so far so I was a little surprised to have a couple of them now. I only remember the details from one of these recent dreams, but for fun I'll record it here.

In the dream, there was a high, very steep hill that Jeff, Josiah, and I were climbing. When we got to the top, we could look out over a low wall and see a river in front of us (the hill was actually an embankment next to the river); and a little to our right, there were large rocks in the river that were close enough that someone could conceivably cross on them. The river was rough, however--not at all a smooth, gentle, peaceful body of water--there was definitely a sense of danger that I felt just from looking at it. I guess when we got to the top, Jeff told me that he (and some other guys) had crossed the river on those rocks, just to get to the other side to explore; and I was not too happy about that because I just wanted him to be safe! (Maybe the book I've been reading, Wild at Heart, played a role in this dream, too!) :) Anyway, after we looked at this river, it was time to go back down the hill, and this was the really difficult part. The hill was so steep that it almost seemed impossible to get down safely. Somehow Jeff went down just fine, and I think Josiah did, too; but I was still stuck at the top, holding onto the wall, completely afraid to start the descent. I was thinking about how to do it: should I just sit down and slide down that way or could I carefully choose my steps and actually make it down without tumbling? It was just so steep, and I couldn't find secure places to step. I knew, however, that I just had to let go. I couldn't do anything until I did that; but I clung to the wall, feeling completely stuck (and wondering why Jeff didn't come back up the hill to help me!), yet NOT WANTING TO LET GO.

Hmmm, you think that's related to my thoughts about labor??? :)


Valerie said...

I wanted to be surprised with this one... but I just couldn't do it. It was too easy to find out. I'm glad I did though because the shock is still wearing off. :) (We're happy!! Just surprised)

I can't believe your pregnancy is almost over already. It seems like such a short time ago that I was constantly checking your blog for Tobin updates. :)

I have been craving meat like crazy lately. I am normally not a meat eater. It would be so easy for me to be a vegetarian, but man, these days I could go for a nice piece of steak. There is a problem though... I don't know how to cook it! Could that craving mean I am low in iron?

The excitement is building now... I'll be visiting your blog often in these next few weeks. :) Thanks for your pregnancy updates (even if most of it is for your memories sake) I love reading them.

Misty said...

SO exciting Davene!! You are almost there. Amazing how time flies isn't it? Glad you are still feeling well!

Sally said...

The water dreams, are you thirsty? Just a thought.

I've enjoyed all your blog posts. I look forward to each one. I really hope you have a girl, but we will see. She might join in light saber fights, especially if that's what her brothers do.

Rebecca said...

Alright. I came from Bonnie's blog when I heard tell of a pregnant Mama. I always enjoy snooping around pregnant Mama's....

I enjoyed my visit very much and wish you all God's blessings in the future. You have a beautiful family! I'll check back to see the beautiful one within... ;-)

Margie said...

I was interested in the other comments to see what they thought of the dream. It's so interesting, and it MUST be about labor. Congratulations on the low weight gain, and being able to roll over. That alone must feel like a minor accomplishment after all these months.

By the way, I voted girl, but I will be excited either way. I have really enjoyed following your pregnancy updates.