The Last Days

It's such a strange feeling to know you're standing on the precipice of a truly life-changing event. It happens so rarely; even marriage wasn't that way for me. Marriage has been surprising in many ways, and I'm sure it will continue to surprise me, but it never felt life-changing; it was like coming home. I think the only time I can really compare this to is leaving for college. That feeling of leaving behind the only life you have ever known for something entirely unknown, knowing that you're about to meet people who will change your whole future and be central to who you are for the rest of your days. This is kind of like that, but exponentially bigger. 

I am kind of terrified of what's coming. What if something happens to you? What if something happens to me? What if we both make it through just fine, but daddy gets hit by a bus or something? What if I'm a terrible boy mom? What if I'm not a good enough mom for what you need? (Oh, my sweet boy, I pray every day that you do not inherit my crazy. I have enough "what ifs" to cover us both until the end of time. Maybe be a little less robotic than your dad, but oh please God, may you be spared my crazy.)

Selfishly, though, I am running head first (metaphorically, of course; I only waddle these days) toward the scary parts because I'm just so excited to meet you. I want to see who you look like and if your personality is as feisty and funny on the outside as it was on the inside. I want to snuggle you and snorfle your little neck. (I hope you're a snuggler, kiddo, because HOO BOY, there will be snuggles. Mama comes from a very large family of baby hogs, and they haven't had their mitts on a baby in years. You are EAGERLY anticipated to say the least.) Not going to lie, I'm pretty nervous about baths; we may let Nana roll with the first one -- she's a pro. Oh, also the nursing thing. I have concerns that the boobs won't work, but don't worry, we'll sort that out. I promise you won't go hungry. In short, other than sleep deprivation and unfathomable amounts of poop and laundry, I have no idea what to expect, and I really hope we don't eff things up. (I could probably start by working on the swearing thing.)

Mostly, I just want you to know how very loved you have been for your entire existence, even when you were just a robust little clump of cells:
And look how far we've come since then! You're measuring a whole 7 lbs (give or take a pound or so) now!

You know, I remember one night pretty early on, back when I was thoroughly convinced you were a girl, when I had some scary bleeding and ended up weeping with terror in the office bathroom. Rationally I knew it was very early and that taking you home was far from a guarantee, and I knew that we had frozen embryos and could try again, but it didn't matter. I wanted YOU. I didn't know you then like I do now or like we will once you're out and growing up before our eyes, but you have always been the one we were waiting for. I love you, sweet bear, and we can't WAIT to meet you. 

P.S. Can you do Mama a solid and take it easy on your way out? It would be much appreciated, bubs.

Full Term

Hello! It has somehow been more than two months since I checked in over here. Well, it should really only have been 6 or so weeks, but Blogger ate my vacation update (in short: GLORIOUS and TROPICAL), and then I got busy, um, being mired in third trimester misery. You're welcome for my not sharing. 

However, it recently occurred to me that I need to record the state of things these last couple of weeks. You know, so I can properly guilt my beloved child later. I mean, remember every precious moment. So here it is, in highlight form:

🔹The baby stayed relatively internal for a good long while, but he did a whoooole lot of growing in the last month or so. So much growing so quickly that he managed to rip some stuff in my upper rib region. I now have a big patch of numb skin, but the tissue underneath it is itchy and painful. The cherry on top is that, because the top skin is numb, it doesn't register scratching. It's pretty awesome. 

🔹He finally flipped head down last week (OW), and the poor little guy is totally out of room. This has not stopped the wiggling, however. He remains very active, but now we can see all of his wiggles from the outside, Alien-style. He likes to wiggle his butt back and forth, though it generally resides high up on my right side. The new development is a rogue elbow that he likes to shove way out on my left side. He's very sensitive about the elbow, though. Touch it and he'll yank it back in. It's a fun game. 

🔹My back has just about given up on me. Sitting upright is a killer (omg, the desk chair is nauseating by the end of the day, it hurts so much), standing for any significant length of time is a Bad Idea, and even driving gets pretty painful. Basically the one comfy place for me is in the big, ugly man chairs we have in the basement. Its degree of comfort is equal to its hideousness, so I spend a lot of time here, reclining. 

🔹I have reached the beached whale phase. Rolling over in bed requires effort and grunting, getting out of bed on my own requires generation of momentum via frog leg kicking, and my husband often wanders the house looking for me and finds me stuck under my own girth. It's not a huge belly, but it popped up so rapidly that I don't think I had time to adjust properly. Unwieldy is the name of this game.

🔹I went to bed last night able to walk just fine, albeit with a pronounced waddle. However, upon waking this morning, something had very definitely changed. There was a distinct increase in pressure and heaviness in the pelvic region, and MAN, does that hurt. Huuuuurt. At my appointment this afternoon, the doctor declared that the baby had definitely dropped and that his head is quite low, which explains the vast improvement in heartburn recently, as well as my new inability to waddle with any modicum of grace or lack of pain. 

🔹I am still taking Phenergan daily at 37+ weeks, and without it, the gags come back to haunt me. It's awesome. Food-wise, I haven't had a ton of cravings or aversions. In the beginning, the nausea was all-consuming, but nothing in particular really turned my stomach. I ate a Starbucks breakfast sandwich every morning for a while there, so those kind of gross me out now. Also, I think because we hadn't been in our house for very long before the nausea hit, I came to associate a lot of the inherent new house smells with feeling like death was nigh, so it has been fun walking into certain areas and feeling the ugh wash over me anew. Cravings have rarely been of the "I MUST have this one specific thing RIGHT NOW" variety. There was the one night I truly needed Coldstone, but otherwise? It has mainly been an intense sweet tooth situation. Danish (specifically and uniquely Wegmans Kuchen, either apple, raspberry, or cheese) has been very special to me. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are always my holiday candy of choice, but I kind of hoarded them this year. I have eaten a metric ton of brownies, but those were for the baby. Brownies, preferably frosted ones, make him lose his fool mind, and the dancing that ensues is too hilarious to resist. Oh! And fruit! Ice cold apple slices were my life in the first trimester. Once clementine season rolled around, I was putting back about a crate a week. Now that berries are looking less winter anemic, giant blackberries are my thing, though raspberries and blueberries are also welcome. Beverages have been tough. I hate water (haaaate), so I've struggled with getting enough fluids in. There has been a lot of watered down Gatorade, some Coke Zero (sorry, baby), and so much squirty water flavoring crap (my #1 is Nestea's Arnold Palmer). Now that the heartburn has abated somewhat, I am favoring the madras (hold the vodka, replace it with water). 

🔹The heartburn was pretty gruesome for a bit there. It was so bad it actually caused referred pain in three spots -- my right ear, the back of my neck, and a spot on my right arm. So weird, and so awful. My voice was hoarse one week, and there was a dark night when I ended up sobbing in frustration. I am beyond grateful that that phase seems to have passed. I did learn one thing, though: vanilla ice cream is a pretty excellent, if temporary, heartburn remedy. But in those 30 excruciating minutes while you're waiting for the Zantac to kick in? Ain't nothing better than a vanilla frosty. (You're welcome.)

So there you have it -- so many moments to "treasure." It's such an odd position to be in, to be so grateful for something that you wanted so desperately and feared would never work out, but that is so physically crappy. I do love love love the wiggling, especially when I see his little butt pull my whole belly up into a lopsided point or when he plays keep away with that wee elbow, but the rest of it all? Thbbbbbttt. Swistle's luckiness/suckiness statement? Truer words have never been written. 

PS -- Baby's room is almost done, so I'll try to post some photos soon. It's looking pretty cute!