I have been suffering from writer’s block the last few weeks. I’ve started two separate posts about some thoughts I have about labour, and the transition from infertile to pregnant infertile to parent, but in both cases they are sitting as unfinished drafts.
I am 40 weeks 6 days today, so instead of waiting for inspiration which may not come before baby arrives, I thought I would check in with a “what’s been up with me” post which is more informational and therefore easier to write than a post that tries to provide insight on an issue. This one’s all about me!
Third Trimester Activities
Since I last wrote, I’ve enjoyed some late pregnancy rites of passage. I was fortunate to have two baby showers – one was an afternoon tea at a chocolate shop planned by my friends, and one was a “surprise” (we ended up knowing in advance) family shower planned by my mom. Both were wonderful experiences, and I will treasure the memories for a long time.
A week after my first shower, I splurged on a maternity photo shoot. When I first raised the subject with my husband, I was not sure how he would react. I was worried he wouldn’t see the point and would say it’s a waste of money and try to talk me out of it. Instead, even though I could tell he didn’t completely understand how much it meant to me, he was very supportive. He said we’d worked hard for this pregnancy, and he knows how much I’ve enjoyed being pregnant so if I wanted this extra documentation, I should go for it.
The shoot was a lot of fun. The photographer (who was also pregnant, just a few weeks ahead of me) was pretty hands off, so everything felt very natural. I remember wedding photographers and other professionals being a lot more involved in planning the shot, making me turn one way or another, tilt my head a certain way, or gaze at a specific point in order to get the (very unnatural feeling, but perfect) shot.
This was different though – she would tell us how to stand or lie, and then she just snapped away. Not being the most photogenic person, I was worried that this would result in a lot of bad pictures, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. The shoot took a few hours, and in addition to feeling pampered and beautiful the whole time, it was also a wonderful way to focus on being pregnant and connecting with my baby.
I worked until May 31st, which was 39 weeks for me. Originally, my contract was supposed to end on April 30th, however as April 30th approached I couldn’t imagine finishing up at that point only to sit at home for 6 weeks plus waiting for baby to arrive.
Working the extra month was definitely the right decision for me. I felt good until the very last week when I was feeling pretty tired and looking forward to being off. I was also happy to make the extra money from working another month. And my department threw a surprise shower for me a week before I left! This one was actually a surprise. I had no idea what was going on until my hand was on the board room doorknob and I started having suspicions about the “meeting” I’d been asked to attend.
The Due Date and Beyond
Over the last month or so, I have been reading and re-reading my pregnancy books and notes from our pre-natal classes for signs that labour is imminent, and to prepare myself for what it is going to feel like. I’ve also had friends checking in regularly to see if anything is happening yet, and sharing their experiences of pre-labour.
Up until my due date, I did not feel like anything at all was happening. I felt the same as I had all month, just more. More tired, more achey, more frequent peeing. I was not feeling any new sensations like pressure in my pelvis, or contractions, so was not surprised at my OB appointment last week at 40 weeks 1 day when my Dr. checked my cervix and said that nothing was happening yet. He also confirmed my suspicions that the baby had started his descent but had not yet dropped. Based on this information, he estimated it would be another week or so and gave baby a new ETA of June 17th.
Last night, I was feeling some activity in my pelvic region, including some painful cramping, so I was wondering if things were going to be kicking off soon. However, today I feel the same as always, and baby is not any lower. I have an OB appointment tomorrow, so I’ll get the scoop on what the plan is if baby does not arrive by Sunday.
Overall, I haven’t felt anxious about still being pregnant, and have enjoyed the extra time to get things done, have some me-time, and fit in a few more social activities.
Moving Beyond Pregnancy
Over the last few weeks, I’ve started preparing myself for life after pregnancy. Aside from becoming a parent and having a baby to take care of (which I could write entire posts about), there are the other peripheral things that are going to be changing very soon.
I have started washing and putting away some of my maternity clothes that I know I will not be wearing in the next two weeks (mostly work clothes and sweaters), and have already contacted some pregnant friends about whether they want to borrow anything from me. Last week, I also went to buy some nursing tops to supplement my post-baby wardrobe. I was disappointed to find that there was limited selection, and what there was didn’t seem particularly attractive. I kept being drawn to the cute maternity outfits, but had to hold off and tell myself I am past that stage now.
While I have not missed alcohol and the forbidden pregnancy foods while pregnant, now that the restrictions will be coming off (or at least relaxed) in the next few weeks, I am looking forward to enjoying what I’ve missed. I am planning a raw sushi/sashimi meal shortly after birth, and have started thinking about what sort of fruity cocktail will be my summer evening treat.
In addition to the pre-natal classes, which focused on labour and breastfeeding, my husband and I took a baby care class. It was only 3 hours, but was crammed full of information, much of it new to us. A coworker had given me her copy of “What to Expect in the First Year”, and last week I went out and bought several books about caring for a baby, which I’ve started reading.
I admit I’ve also been a little nervous about how I’m going to feel about my body once this baby comes out. I have really liked how I look pregnant (I’m sure this is in large part due to having bump envy while dealing with infertility), and I can honestly say I can’t think of a time that I felt more attractive (in the moment – of course you always look back on pictures when younger/thinner and realize how good you look, but at the time you don’t appreciate it). While it’s a small thing overall, I am nervous about how the transition to post-pregnancy pooch and leaky breasts in non-underwire bras is going to feel.
Since this post is twice as long as my target length, and I’m off to see a Blue Jays game, I’ll end it here. Hoping to write more in the next few days!