I have not done a pregnancy update in weeks–which is, perhaps, more telling about how the 3rd trimester is going than any actual update could be. While my daughter flourishes in her comfortable little cove, I have been struggling to make it through each and every day, and productivity on every front is suffering as a result. At this point, Ginger Snaps and I are both counting down until the day she is due (36 days!) and praying with every fiber of our being that she doesn’t drag this game into overtime. And since I’ve barely managed to churn this post out, it may go a little longer than my other pregnancy updates with the understanding that, unless something crazy and new happens, it will likely be the last “pregnancy update” I post–the other posts I’m planning are a little more narrowly tailored.
Babyface in the 3rd Trimester
Our daughter is doing great. Growing in leaps and bounds, she is now in the 61st growth percentile where only a few short months ago she was barely making the charts. Score 1 for Gestational Diabetes, though now GS and I are really having to hone in on that diet so that she doesn’t keep going and end up looking like that terrifying monster from Feed the 9 Mouthed Baby (am I the only one still haunted by that old Flash game??).
The past two ultrasound techs have pointed out that she has my nose, and when I showed my mum the latest pic she said Babyface has GS’s nose, so we know one thing with absolute certainty: She has a nose. She is head down and is almost–not quite–facing my spine, which means we may be done with cute headshots until she gets here, but she’ll be in prime-position for delivery (if the doctors even let me try–more on that later). And according to my OB she is past the “scary stuff” so theoretically if we delivered her today she’d be mostly fine, at least long-term. According to her last growth, she is 5 lb 2 oz. I’ve read online that those are notoriously off-target, though, so I’m not putting too much stake in it.
Momma in the 3rd Trimester
Momma has lost her mind. Three weeks of prodromal labor has evaporated any semblance of good spirit I had left, and my husband looked at me with imploring eyes the other day and said, “I want the Ladyface back.” Me too, Dude. Me too.
I’m fairly certain that my body has given up on functioning at this point. Both of my shoulders are now so opposed to my required side-sleeping position that I can no longer reach backward or above my head. Every step I take aches as if I’d spent the past four days horseback riding–and that’s on a good day. Last night, Babyface decided to take up residency with one foot against a nerve on the edge of my bladder, and I alternated between intense, tears-in-the-eyes pain (have you ever had an ice pick stabbed through your nether-regions? I haven’t, but I now know what it would feel like!) and the certainty that I was going to wet myself. I spent forty-five minutes on the toilet–not doing anything, just sitting there–because despite the fact that I couldn’t go, every time I stood up I was sure I was going to lose complete control of my bladder.
Which, by the way, has happened. One false run to Labor & Delivery later, GS and I have learned that if she kicks me in the bladder, I may let go without even feeling the urge. Therefore, soaking through clothes does not necessarily mean my water has broken. At this point, with actual painful contractions 5 minutes apart for hours at a time and that lovely symptom, I’m not actually sure how I’ll tell when it’s the real deal.
On the other hand, my OB says my pelvic canal may be too narrow for natural delivery anyway, and the words “elective C-section” have been bandied about in the office. Here’s a question for our resident philosophers: If I don’t want a C-section and my OB tells me I have to have one, is it still considered elective?
At this point, nothing has been decided with regards to that. I’ve done just enough research on vaginal delivery vs C-section to be certain that vaginal delivery–even unmedicated–sounds way better for me and Babyface both. On the other hand, OB’s doctorate degree probably trumps my hour jamming the Google search bar. So my goal is to listen to him with an open mind, ask questions, and make an informed decision. Preferably without blubbering at him, but no promises.
Daddy in the 3rd Trimester
Ginger Snaps is almost as sick of this pregnancy as I am. He can be quoted as saying, “We’ve been at 7 weeks left for the past 10 weeks!” And when I pointed out that I was born almost three weeks late, he looked like he was ready to cry.
Despite all that, he still chats with Babyface on the regular and is insanely fond of her. I think he is, at this point, less fond of me. No hurt feelings–I’m less fond of me these days as well, and he doesn’t openly complain about how much of a buzzkill I am, so honestly, he’s doing better than should be expected.
In actual news, he got a new job. He starts a week from today working at the university, just upstairs from me, which means a lovely daily carpool and less wasted gas (plus the usual reasons for switching jobs–a pay raise and better benefits). In his usual GS way, he hasn’t really mentioned how he feels about the job switch itself, but I think he’s starting to relax about the financial reality of bringing a baby into the world, which is a relief in and of itself.
Nesting in the 3rd Trimester
At this point, GS is nesting way more than I am. Every weekend he collects piles of junk from somewhere, throws them in the middle of the living room floor, and tells me to go through them and pick stuff for Goodwill while he cleans the house. This past weekend, we actually got to a point where the house felt clean, which… might be the first time that’s happened since we moved in. (Okay, not quite, but some days it feels that way).
For a few weeks at the beginning of the third trimester–right around the time the prodromal labor started–I refused to help with any of the actual. I think my actual sentiment was, “I’m having contractions every 5 minutes; I don’t give a fig about the dishes in the sink. It’s not like Babyface will know the difference!” That was back when I was in a state of denial and thought she’d actually make an appearance “any minute now.” Now I’m living in a new reality–the reality that this child will never actually be born and I will be fat and uncomfortable for the rest of my days–and I’m therefore trying to be a productive member of our household in spite of the pain, discomfiture, and general malaise. Mostly, that attempt looks like me sitting in a barstool in front of the sink so I can wash the dishes without feeling the urge to pass out, or wheeling around in a computer chair cleaning everything at chest-level. I’m not sure that it’s actually helpful, particularly, but there were a few more laughs this weekend than there had been recently, so maybe.
These days our moms are nesting nearly as much as we are. Mine made curtains and a laundry basket liner for our nursery, his came over this weekend to help us install the pack and play and car seats, and my stepmom messaged me this morning that Babyface isn’t allowed to make her appearance until J has finished making her a hat. It’s a blessing, truly, that there’s so much love and joy coming from the extended family… especially since I have all I can do to make it to work each morning without having a full-on strop first that I can’t enjoy Dunkin Donuts’ fall offerings (I would seriously kill for a pumpkin spiced latte or a hot apple cider. Damn diabetes).
I would love to have a more positive 3rd-trimester update to share. I would love to be in a place to see every moment as a blessing, or to be able to say–with sincerity–every moment she’s in there is a moment healthier she’ll be in the long term. Instead, last night, after crying on the floor for 20 minutes from excruciating pain, I looked at my husband and said, “I can understand how women do crazy things. Half of me wants to say, ‘Grab a knife; I’ll do the damn C-section myself.’” But despite the pain and irritation and general desire to be done, there are some blessing I can still see, and when things get really hard, they’re what I try to bring myself back to…
- I am blessed enough to have a daughter
- I am blessed enough to have a husband who is wholly supportive and totally has my back
- I am blessed enough to have financial security and to not have to worry about how we’ll support ourselves when Babyface gets here
- I am blessed enough to have a network of supportive extended family surrounding us as we work through this
And with those four blessings in mind, I’m sure that, however much I may complain, I will make it through the next 36 day–if not with grace, at least without completely losing my ability to function. Though as I said before, woe betides us all if this goes into overtime.