Tuesday, September 23, 2014

End of Pregnancy Musings

I'm full-term, which basically means I can now hope that this baby will come any day, but in reality, she'll probably come after my due date.

The Hard Part

Most of this pregnancy I have been saying, "Wow, this is easier than it was with Daisy! I could totally have a third, no problem!" That upbeat, positive attitude started to disintegrate about three weeks ago. The end of pregnancy is NOT the right time to decide if you want to have another. Last month was the hardest (weeks 33-37).

At week 33, I started to feel all the big-ness of the third trimester, including difficulty sleeping, lying down, bending over, sitting, standing, etc.

At 34 weeks, I started getting concerned about pre-term labor, because I was so close to full term (37 weeks), but not quite there yet, and I was having frequent Braxton Hicks (painless contractions) that freaked me out. One night I had patterned Braxton Hicks that lasted for 40 minutes.

The anxiety caused irritability and insomnia, which added to my irritability. I started taking a magnesium supplement, which helped a lot. Magnesium oil on my feet helped even more.

My anxiety also affected my relationship with Daisy. I was exhausted, and she was well-rested. Things like making her food would irritate me. Taking her to swim lessons became a chore. Cleaning out her kiddie potty would make me sigh, when I should have been thinking, "Wow, isn't so nice I don't have to change her diapers?" I was living with a seriously bad attitude.

This game is called "Put all the stuffed animals on mommy while she lies on the couch." 

One day I was changing her clothes and said, "I'm sorry, sweetie, for being stressed. I want to be a good mommy." She looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, Mommy." Kids are so forgiving. It's humbling.

Now that I'm out of the pre-term labor woods, I'm more relaxed. I have peace knowing that whenever she does come, she'll be fully developed. The last few days have been much calmer.

The Fun Part

Daisy makes this pregnancy much more fun. Our birth center midwives are very pro-family involvement. During my last visit, the midwife had Daisy stand on a chair, put the gel on my belly, and hold the doppler stick to hear Amy's heartbeat. Daisy loved it!

There's SO much that Zane and I have learned this pregnancy that we didn't know with Daisy because we're doing the whole thing natural, prenatal visits and all. I can't say enough great things about going the natural route if you're low-risk. They take the fear out of childbirth and empower mothers and fathers to feel like we can do this: pregnancy, birth, and newborn care.

We even went through "just in case" scenarios if the baby comes super fast, and we end up delivering at home. It's not my ideal plan, but if it happens that way, Zane and I both feel like we could do it.

Playing with headbands. This is my life now. It's awesome. 

People have asked me if Daisy understands what's going to happen, and I actually think she does. She's seen videos of babies being born, so she knows that the belly means a baby. Her room has been transformed for Amy's arrival, and she sees Amy's tiny diapers and clothes. She knows what babies are, and she knows that Amy is a baby. She says things like, "When Amy is born." I don't know if she understands everything to the same extent that Zane and I do, but she has a pretty good concept of who Amy is.

We all will soon learn how the family dynamic will change with Amy's arrival. No one can fully prepare Daisy or Zane and me for that.

The Waiting Part

I have a few things planned as I wait the next few weeks for Amy's arrival: sewing projects, crafty projects, lists of things to clean, and an appointment to get my belly painted with henna. 

I'm also trying to enjoy my last few weeks with just Daisy and soak up the end of an era. 

I also want to enjoy the special time that is pregnancy. There's nothing like it in the world. A person has developed inside of me. A person is going to come out of a person! It's stranger than fiction. My body has gone through a dramatic transformation and in the next year will slowly go back to a version of what it was before. It's crazy.

All around, I haven't had as much time to ponder this pregnancy and God's provision. I'm very thankful that we were able to get pregnant again, and no matter what complaints I have about being pregnant, I'm ultimately SO glad to be in this special stage of life.

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