I’m sitting here, 31 weeks pregnant, baby clothes are getting their first wash with baby safe detergent in the laundry, and I’m still having a hard time believing that in less than 9 weeks an entirely brand new member of our family (and the human race) will be here. 31 weeks ago, he didn’t exist. Now he does. A tiny human that’s half me and half Brian, that we saw as a cell at 5 days post fertilization under a microscope, that has been kicking/kneeing/elbowing me reassuringly in the ribs for the last few weeks causing me to wince in surprise and ticklish pain, that’s grown at an exceptionally fast rate in the grand scheme of things.
Being pregnant has been such a crazy, awesome, scary, weird, terrifying, emotional, and fulfilling ride. Going into it, I of course knew there would be shitty pregnancy symptoms, but I never knew that I’d have an especially hard time with digesting my food for 2 hours after anything I ate, or that sitting in a car for more than 3 minutes could be considered a mild form of torture, or that I’d get sore joints in my hands when I first wake up in the morning, or that I’d have to drink SO MUCH DAMN WATER. The water! Having headaches? Drink water. Having braxton-hicks? Drink water. Feeling tired? Drink water. Already peeing 50 times a day? Drink water. I also realized just how much my husband knows me and can predict my moods and reactions better than I can. He’s been nothing short of amazing/tolerant/patient with me this entire time. He’s going to be such an awesome dad.
I haven’t had any strangers try to touch my bump, but I’ve had 2 of them nicely ask me if I was pregnant (very brave, they were), and offer me congratulations. I also notice that anywhere I go, especially baby-centered stores, other pregnant women’s line of sight goes something like this: eyes, baby bump, eyes. We just automatically seem to compare bumps or something. It’s funny. And then I get insecure about my bump, like what if my bump isn’t big enough for how many weeks I am? Is something wrong with me or him? But every time I go to my midwife, I’m measuring right on track. I do feel like I look smaller than most 31 weekers, but everyone’s body is different. I’m still waiting for all the weight to pack on in this last trimester, but up until this point, I’ve gained 12 pounds.
I’m about to hire a doula, though I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the lady who teaches our childbirth education class. I know people will laugh and doubt me, but I want to labor as long as I can without any pain meds. Mainly because I don’t want to be tethered to an IV and a bed, but also because I want to see what my body can do. But even above that, it’s because I want to take back the power in birth that was taken away from me in our far from natural IVF conception. Of course I will be ok with anything it takes to get him here safely – medications, csection or otherwise, and I certainly don’t judge ANYONE who chooses these options – but man, if I could actually do this on my own it would mean so much to me.
Since this baby is most likely going to be our one and only based on what we had to go through to get him here, I’m trying to enjoy all the milestones and rights of passage I get to have as a pregnant lady. I actually laughed after the first time I puked from morning sickness, I pulled the pregnancy card on more than one occasion, I take weekly bump shots to remember each week, I’ve splurged on onesies he will probably only wear twice because it said something funny, I want to have those newborn photos taken right away at the hospital and then again at 2 weeks when he’s a little pile of mushy baby and can be posed in those really cute positions (and guess what this year’s Christmas card will be?). I want to remember this baby bump and all the moments of pregnancy, even the crappy and gross ones, because this will be the only time I’ll get to experience it and I’m a super sentimental person.
So with that said, we have all the gear, we are taking all the classes, we heard all the horror stories of birth and parenting…..WE JUST NEED A NAME!
It’s gotten to the point that it’s been plainly “overthunk.” Yup, that’s my own word. The sounds the names make when they come out of my mouth don’t make any sense anymore. I say them out loud at least once a day to see how it sounds to my ears, and all I hear is “AAAAAAAAAAAA” or “blurggggggggghhhblurggggggghhh.” We do have about 3 names we really like, but gees, choosing someone’s identity is really hard work and the last thing we want to do is come home from the hospital with him and be like, ahhhh crap I think we shoulda gone with the other name! So yea, right up there on the list of stressors to come, like the excruciating pain of childbirth, is choosing a name haha.