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.

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