“At this point, most babies born will be free from the usual complications associated with early delivery, although a few more weeks in utero for lung development and fat growth is ideal…”
Or something like that, is what all of the books tell us. So, yay! Kid is allegedly fully formed, even though I haven’t had an ultrasound since 24 weeks so who even knows what he’s up to in there. External signs point to healthy kid, and the weeks are FLYING.
I’ve spent a lot of time remembering grad school these last few weeks, specifically one of the first things we worked on – the definition and possible reactions to a crisis. The first thing we learned was that a crisis does not always occur from a bad thing. A crisis is merely a big upheaval of some sort, without a positive or negative attached to it. Of course, we attach emotions to crises and USUALLY we discuss bad things as crisis situations – someone becoming very ill and requiring lots of care, that sort of thing. Definitions vary, of course, but they do don’t all involve bad things – the common threads are decisions, crossroads, and change.
I remind myself of this all the time, because the next big point to remembering the definition of a crisis is remembering that people can respond nearly identically to crises of good and bad natures, or very differently. Unfortunately for everyone who knows me, I usually respond more poorly to GOOD major upheavals than bad ones. I’m decent-to-fantastic (again, depending on who you ask) in bad crises. Grotesque leg breaks? Fixable and vaguely cool if it’s not my leg. Job loss? Let’s make a plan. Kid sleep regression that holds the entire household hostage? PUT ME IN COACH, I’M READY.
The good, stuff, though, throws me for a loop sometimes. Awesome new house addition that is finally done: now we have to pay for it, decorate it, and keep it clean (we don’t. people have commented.). Awesome new job that validates husband’s very existence? Let me fixate on the ways that it’ll affect me negatively. New puppy that we love? Wild guilt that we don’t walk him ten times a day, because yes, he has that much energy.
So then we add pregnancy hormones and insomnia and a sick family member and Beck starts school and suddenly the last several months have felt like one big crisis, because they have been, in good and bad ways. Sometimes this makes me sad: sad that I feel like I’m missing this pregnancy, sad that oh, now I get it, kids get shafted by life events at all ages, sad that I feel like I can’t deal with anything ever at all. I know that’s not true necessarily, and likely our kids will be fine and we’ll get through all of these changes and figure out some new kind of normal. It’s lonely, though, feeling like the only person in my version of life who’s affected by all of these things in these ways. I try not to talk about it ALL the time, because that seems to bore and irritate people, but I also know that holding everything inside all the time isn’t particularly healthy, either.
So that’s why invisible internet friends are so important. Ha.
Some days I keep my head down and try to accomplish things and not wallow, some days I’m tired of trying, and some days I make extra time to do fun baby prep things, which feels good and light and necessary. The clothes are so teeny! We’d all but forgotten since Beck is practically a teenager.
The mundane pregnancy stuff is still weird and gross and normal all at the same time. I have contractions on days where I do a lot of walking/lifting/physical activities, and three different days they’ve lasted long enough that I almost got concerned, but they always go away when I rest. I can also feel my chest getting ready for launch, which is SO weird, speaking of feelings that I’d forgotten about. The girls know what to do this time! Nipple tingles! So. Strange. and yet familiar all at the same time. I am so excited to sit around and snuggle with my kids (!) and nurse and just be a mom. I’ll probably take that sentence back three days after the baby is born, but it’s how I feel right now.
We worked on the baby’s room last weekend and I had such a good time organizing and washing things, hanging new curtains, and reminiscing about when Beck was a little bug. She loves hearing stories about when she was little, and is fascinated by the fact that babies can’t talk, since she has been talking as long as memory serves her. Beck also loves baby stuff which is sometimes challenging because I want everything folded and washed and tidy and, let’s be honest, life doesn’t work like that anymore. We did get our car seat and I guess we’ll put that in the car at some point (so weird), and our friends are throwing us a sprinkle/shower next weekend, which is so nice and will be fun because there will be lots of babies there. Things are very different than our last shower, which involved…maybe one child? This time I think there are at least 7 kids coming and a few that can’t make it, and I love all the chaos and how celebrations mainly focus on the kids even when they are not the ones being focused on.
My appetite has been a little different with this pregnancy; not bad necessarily but I’ve had less of an appetite and less overall weight gain, not intentionally AT ALL. I of course vainly hope it means I’ll get to some unattainable low weight after pregnancy that I haven’t seen since high school, but I’m envisioning it more means that I’ll lose weight more slowly or not at all without serious effort, and I’m OK with that too. Pregnancy, for me, is a nice break from constant body insecurities, and I’m not looking forward to that part being over. The bounce-back pressure is real and strong and painful.
Time keeps playing games with us – it feels like I’ve been pregnant for five seconds and five years and also HOME STRETCH, PEOPLE. Two weeks until full term, at which point the jumping jacks and voodoo GET BABY OUT will commence. My sister told her coworkers about my preferred fake due date that will never come true, and they’re going to think, I don’t know, stretchy thoughts? on that day, so if you could do the same that would be greeeeeat. I very much enjoy the idea of a bunch of strangers caring when I give birth, and I’m not joking about that. Excited and tired probably sums up the last few weeks. I’m ok with it.