Thursday, January 23, 2014

This body isn't big enough for the two of us

Just a quick update to say that Lil W has fully dropped and is in ready position for birth.  Which is awesome, except that her little legs still try to kick up in to my rib cage.  I can push back against this a bit and it calms down, but then her arms flail and she hits me in my ovaries.  I'm officially out of space, and something has to give soon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things I'm grateful for (that I wasn't expecting to be grateful for)

This last month of pregnancy is hard.  Everyone told me it would be, but I either didn't listen or took "hard" to mean awkward.  And don't get me wrong.  It's totally awkward too, particularly when any sort of rolling over in bed happens.  One of my arduous attempts to roll from side to side last night work up James, who laughed and referred to it as a 20 point turn.  That's pretty accurate, all things considered. 

The day to day challenges aren't particularly fun, either.  For one, suffering through the days without good sleep is just no fun - it makes me understand why some women quit work before they actually go in to labor.  It's getting harder and harder each morning to wake up with the alarm, and I'm definitely counting down until my last day or Lil W's arrival, whichever comes first.

Also, contractions are no fun.  Mine are still few and far between, probably about three a day that I notice.  The pain of them doesn't bug me too much, though I'm sure that will change.  But they do sort of immobilize me for a few minutes, and that's not enjoyable.

Despite all of these things, there are a few things that I'm very grateful for at this time - family and friend support, weekly reassuring doctors appointments, a healthy immune system that didn't get the flu last week when James had it.  And there are a few things that I'm very grateful for that I wouldn't have expected.  In no particular order:

  • NPR.  There's a line in an old episode of Buffy where she's just defeated a horrible monster, and comments that her brain is operating at a processing level where her most complex thought is "Fire bad.  Tree pretty."  That's kind of what my brain has been like lately.  For that reason, I'm so grateful for the 30-45 minutes of NPR that  I get to listen to on my commute.  It's the only reason I'm evenly remotely up to date on what's going on in the news.  I realize that it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't know about the latest political scandal or supreme court case, but I like knowing these things.  I used to read about these things, but that's too hard for my brain.  Having at least a small source of actual news each day is really wonderful.
  • Past IT Band injuries.  In my younger running days, before I knew about proper form and good footware and appropriate training, I frequently had issues with my IT band.  And even once I knew more about healthy running, I still had to go out of my way to take good care of my IT band to make sure I didn't have any more issues.  As I get deeper in to pregnancy and my ligaments slacken, and especially now as my entire lower body prepares for labor, pain in my outer hips has again reared its ugly head.  If it weren't for the years of experience with IT band stretches, foam rolling, icing, etc. I think this whole thing would be a lot more painful.  As is, it still sucks, but I have ways to make it suck slightly less, and I appreciate that.
  • A husband that knows when to  put up with my whining, and when not to.  At the end of the day yesterday, burnt out from a long day of errands and chores, out of breath from the terribly difficult 5 minutes walk I'd just taken Zoe on, I was whining in general about every little thing, and James gave me a hug and said, "Don't worry - this part will be over soon, and then we'll have all new things to whine about".  It was perfect and comforting and exactly what I needed to hear.  This came from the same man who, a few days before, responded to a text in which I complained about not feeling like myself and only being a vessel for baby creation by saying, "But you're a marvelous vessel!".  It made me laugh and realize I was being overly dramatic.  Sometimes we need people to listen to our whining and sympathize - sometimes we need them to tell us to snap out of it.  James has an uncanny knack for knowing which is needed, and that's wonderful to have around.
The doctors are telling me I'm probably about two weeks out from delivering, give or take.  It's the home stretch, and I'm ready for what comes next.  Or as ready as I'm going to be.  Pregnancy has been an adventure, but it's time to stop being a vessel and work on being a mom.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Things I miss (that I wasn't expecting to miss)

So  I think that we're pretty much ready to go on the baby front.  I need to pick up a few nursing bras sometime soon and start making/freezing some meals for next month, but otherwise we have everything we need.  Which is a good feeling.  James and I are totally in a holding pattern now - we're tentatively making plans and discussing the next few months, but really, until Lil W arrives, there's not much we can do.

I have started to shift to thinking about life after her arrival, though.  I don't really know how she'll change my life yet, though, so I'm mostly thinking about the things I've missed that I can't wait to do again once she arrives.  There were things I knew I'd miss going in to pregnancy - coffee, sushi, sub sandwiches, coffee, running when I could no longer do it, wine, coffee.  But as I enter the homestretch, there are things that I keenly miss that I never expected to.  In no particular order:

  • Wearing jeans.  I was able to wear my regular pre-pregnancy jeans until I was about 6.5 months pregnant.  And at that point, I decided it wasn't worth it to buy maternity jeans for just three months of my life.  Past Kathryn, you should have bought maternity jeans.  
  • Race training.  I am incredibly grateful that I could, and did, run for the majority of my pregnancy.  And while it was good to maintain a 3 mile base, I was surprised to find that I really missed race training.  I love running in general, but running toward a goal, and focused on increasing mileage and speed, is like a really fun game to me.  I don't even really love actual races, but preparing for races is so fun and I can't wait to get back to it.
  • Sleeping without having to think about it.  This one hasn't been bad till the last few weeks.  And I obviously know that my sleep once the baby arrives won't be ideal either.  But every night now is a struggle to find a position that allows me to breath, supports me in all the places that need support, and still be comfortable enough to actually sleep.  I miss the days when I'd lay down in bed, flat on my back, and fall easily to sleep.  This is further aggravated by having to repeat this process 2-3 times a night when I get up to pee.
  • Having space in the apartment.  Unfortunately, I don't think this one will change after baby.  When my friends threw my baby shower back in early December, the gifts ended up in one corner of our bedroom for storage.  Then, we ordered a few more things from Amazon.  Then, we ordered a few large things in large boxes from Amazon.  Once these boxes were unpacked, we decided they were worth keeping for our upcoming move, so now we have both giant boxes and the giant things that came in them hanging around the apartment.  Long story short, it was already awkward enough moving around with my bump, and now there's no more space to do it in.
And finally, just in general, having to think all the time about everything.  It's reached the point where 85% of my waking hours are spent thinking about how to accommodate my pregnancy in my life.  Whether it's gauging whether or not something is too hard at work, worrying about Zoe jumping on my stomach in the middle of the night, figuring out how to do dishes when my bump keeps me arm-length away from the sink...everything involves a calculation.  No wonder that by the end of the day I just want to curl up and watch mindless shows.  Even that requires calculations of how to arrange pillows so I'm comfortable sitting on the couch.

Long story short, I totally see now why pregnancy lasts nine months.  The first 7.5 months or so, James and I fretted about whether or not we're ready.  Now, though, we both feel like anything will be easier than the last few weeks of pregnancy.  Future Kathryn is going to laugh at this, obviously, since I imagine she'll view this time as incredibly easy and carefree compared to taking care of a newborn.  And it is, obviously, but that doesn't necessarily make it fun.