Friday, July 31, 2015

What I'll Miss About Being Pregnant

I sit here at 37 weeks pregnant and I'm considered full-term by my medical team. I know other doctors now consider 39 weeks full term, but I don't know if I have another 2 weeks left in me so it's only fitting to that I'm going to believe I'm full-term right now.

This pregnancy has been the hardest thing I've done in my life. I apologize to all the women out there who want to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy so badly. This post isn't meant to be an insult to you in any way, shape, or form. But even through the ups and downs of this pregnancy looking back these were a truly amazing 37 weeks. I joked with the hubs that I might be the only pregnant woman in the history of the world who was trying to stay as pregnant as possible during August's summer heat and humidity because I'm not quite mentally ready to stop being pregnant just yet.

Without further ado and in no ranked order here are some of the things I'll miss about being pregnant:

- The ease of getting dressed. Sure there were a few days where I'd go to put something on and realized it didn't fit and there was still that one time somewhere around 27 weeks where I mistakenly put a pair of non-maternity jeans in my maternity clothes pile. I nearly passed out when I tried to pull my pants up. However, the longer I got into this pregnancy the easier it became to get dressed because I rotated between 6 dresses, a few shirts, and four pairs of pants. All I can say is thank goodness for cardigans, blazers, and statement necklaces to mix things up a bit.

- The complete and total lack of stranger judgement when eating ice cream in public. Camden Yards, the park, you name it, I probably had ice cream there. I remember standing in a line of kids at Camden Yards to get ice cream on a HOT July day and one kid even let me go in front of him in line.

- Also got to cut the line a few times at public restrooms. I swear I didn't waddle in on purpose, but more than once kind women ushered me to the front of the line.  There's a shared connection it seems between women who understand the need to pee and the need to pee instantly.

- My fuller face meant less wrinkles! I have a thinner face and not a ton of wrinkles unless I'm smiling, but with a few extra pounds of pregnancy weight that settled into my face I looked so much younger. I thought my skin was going to be absolutely terrible during this pregnancy, but it held up surprisingly well. I have a few more blemishes at this very second than I would prefer, but I think those are all stress related. Knowing I could go into labor at any moment has caused a tiny bit of stress.

- I've never felt more feminine in my life. I was always a tomboy growing up and I don't consider myself a "girly girl" by any stretch of the imagination. But while pregnant I finally felt feminine and it was as if my body was doing what it was designed to do. I didn't feel that way during the first trimester when my body felt like it was at war with itself, but during the second and third trimesters I feel like I finally came into my womanhood.

- The absolute joy brought around by strangers and non-strangers when talking about babies. I can't explain it, but it's as if babies hold the key to world peace. They're so full of hope, promise, and a clean slate that just talking about them makes people kinder.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

(Makeup free photos! Because I'm officially over mascara at this moment in time.) 

Just over a couple weeks ago at a routine pre-natal visit Chalupa Batman measured small. As in smaller than he did at his previous pre-natal visit. It was enough of a concern that I was sent over to the maternal fetal medicine specialists and a 3rd trimester growth ultrasound was conducted. The hubs and I were told that Chalupa Batman was in the 3rd percentile for weight according to his due date. There are a whole host of reasons that could explain his tiny size and my arms showed some impressive bruises as I underwent a whole host of blood tests to try to get some answers.

Every single test came back negative. I haven't been ordered to go on bed rest, yet, but I was told to limit my physical activity. We're still not 100% sure what is going on, but I'm at the doctor's office every 72 hours for Chalupa Batman to undergo a nonstress test. It's where they hook me up to a machine for 20+ minutes and track his heartbeat and my contractions. He has to show strong heartbeats and some variations in order to prove he's an active baby. I also have an ultrasound once a week to check the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding him. 

If any of these terms make zero sense to you, welcome to the club! The first day we found out felt like a tidal wave of information and it took me a few days just to feel like I had my head above water. I'm still not sure I feel in control most days. Our primary goal is to get him to 37 weeks, reassess his size, and then make a determination on when to induce early. We've been told there's almost no situation in which I go to a full 40 weeks. My goal of giving birth without even getting an IV has gone straight out the window. 

Baby's Size: Up for discussion! Supposedly about the size of a honeydew melon. 

I'm Feeling: I'm supposed to keep my stress levels down. Ha! Basically I'm trying to keep myself as mellow as possible so I don't disrupt Chalupa Batman. I consider it a monumental victory in terms of self-control that I haven't been on WebMD in over two weeks. 

I'm incredibly fortunate to have amazing friends, family, co-workers, and a partner through this journey. As soon as I told my leadership team at work their first question was, "what do you need?" My office has gone above and beyond what they're legally required to do and I know that's an odd way to put it, but it's amazing. I'm able to work from home most days and just the lack of a 2 hour daily commute has made my life much less stressful. 

I can't even go into how supportive everyone else is in my life because there isn't enough space on the internet. 

Physically: I'm a slow moving person these days and I sit down as much as possible. Even when the hubs and I are folding cute baby clothes in the nursery I'm sitting down or taking breaks every few minutes to rock in the glider.  The few times I've gone into work I even take the elevator up and down rather than the stairs. That's never happened.  I haven't gone for a walk since we heard the news about Chalupa Batman and I miss those moments with the dogs.  The weather has turned to full on summer mode and I basically try to avoid the outside temperatures now that it's 90+ degrees and humid. 

My Wardrobe:  Working from home has its perks! One of them is I'm able to wear quite a few of the hubs technical shirts to keep cool and comfortable and I've borrowed a few pairs of his shorts as well. Anytime I venture outside I'm either in a dress or a gifted pair of maternity cropped khakis. I'm officially done buying maternity clothes!  High heels also seem to be a thing of the past at the moment, but on most days I still have ankles and that's a win. 

I'm Sleeping: Some nights I sleep amazing and other nights I barely sleep. I can control my emotions and stress levels while I'm awake, but at night it's a different story. I woke up last night at 3:38am and couldn't fall back asleep because I was going through every possible induction outcome scenario.

Food Aversions & Cravings: Negative. Look when a team of doctor's tells you you're baby is small I think it's a normal reaction to go into full on buffet mode. I've been a strong snacker throughout this pregnancy, but now that I'm home my mid-morning snack consists of scrambled eggs rather than cut up fruit. No one believes me when I tell them I've already put on 25lbs during this pregnancy, but I think they're just being kind. Zero specific cravings, but I just want all the healthy foods all the time.  I'm eating walnuts by the handful if that says anything. 

What I'm Excited For this Next Month: Getting Chalupa Batman chubby! Whether that be while he's still baking, at NICU, or at home with us. Also getting everything ready to possibly have a baby next weekend. Really hoping we can keep him past 37 weeks, but I'm just trying to mentally prep to have him early. So many people have swore to me that first time moms go past their due date that I was just mentally ready to give birth right before September. Now the goal is to make it to August! 

The Hubs: This is another spot where I can't write too much without getting overly emotional. He's been absolutely amazing throughout this entire pregnancy and I didn't think it was humanly possible for him to get even more amazing, but somehow he has over these past few weeks. There were a couple of individuals in our lives who lashed out at me and told me that it was my own physical activity levels and my selfish ways of working out while pregnant that were preventing Chalupa Batman from growing properly. I can't even describe how horrible that felt to hear. Those people didn't know that I stopped running a month before Chalupa Batman measured small and that my running routine the last few weeks that I still ran was almost non-existent. The hubs took those people aside and shut them down. 

He's kept me from falling absolutely apart these past few weeks and I couldn't have done it without him.