Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thirty-Eight Weeks Pregnant... Officially Full Term!

(Because I don't hold with the older definitions that say that thirty-seven weeks is full term.)

(Check out the puffy feet!)

I feel pretty good.

Yesterday I was kind of sleepy and out of it, so I didn't work out, even though yesterday was the last day I needed to achieve my goal of working out five days in seven (actually, I think I can still achieve it today). I felt icky and weird when I went out, but I figured that that was due to the heat -- it was 104 degrees in Central Park on Friday, and due to be as hot on Saturday. (And OF COURSE it's hotter on city streets than it is in the park... why wouldn't they measure it where we are actually out and walking around?)

This morning, I was woken up by my upstairs neighbor, rolling something (a TV cart?) around, and sighed and rolled over to look at the clock.

Oh. I had slept ten and a half hours.

I think this may be a pregnancy record? And I wonder when is the next time I will sleep this long? Will it ever happen again?

I was dreaming that I adopted a precocious seven month old baby, and was saddened to realize that I wouldn't get to use a lot of the baby paraphanelia intended for young infants (bouncy seat, swing, etc.) when I realized... with a thrill... that I was still pregnant!

Of course, the night before, I dreamed that my college boyfriend and I got back together, and so I decided to terminate the pregnancy.... and then the relationship didn't work out, and I was devastated to realize that it couldn't have worked out, given my sadness in ending the pregnancy. My relief when I woke up and realized I was still pregnant, and moreover, that it is far too late for me to terminate, even if I had wanted to, was immense.

In other news, my feet are looking pretty darn puffy. I have creases where my ankles used to be.

About a week ago, I realized that I could no longer feel the baby's spine against my stomach, where she had been resting comfortably for quite a while. I'm pretty sure this means she is in a posterior position, ensuring an uncomfortable back labor if she doesn't move back again.

My doula suggested I do cat-cow yoga poses, and another she calls "dog peeing on a hydrant," also performed on one's hands and knees. Well, the latter led to hip pain during the nights, so I had to stop doing it. And the cat-cow poses led to rug burn on my knees. Ahh, I remember when rug burn meant I had done something fun! Alas. So now I'm doing cat-cow poses on the bed. Without success, so far.

I feel guilty because I know that I haven't been sitting correctly. But who, in their last weeks of pregnancy, sits backwards on chairs and avoids slumping heavily on couches? Will I really be punished for this?

A few days ago I was coming out of my skin with nervousness, just not tolerating the ambiguity of not knowing when this baby will come. Thankfully acupuncture settled my nerves. I didn't see the midwife this past week, but go again on Wednesday.

I'm wishing that this girl of mine might show up a few days early, say, anytime starting next weekend, when I achieve thirty-nine weeks, but I'm not terribly optimistic at this point. I have tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions, and indeed, am having one right now... but they aren't painful. And I don't think that the baby's head is any lower down than it was a week or two ago. Alas.

The acupuncturist said she is willing to start needling me to activate labor once I hit thirty-nine weeks, as long as I get my midwife's blessing, because of my sister having to leave when I am at 40 weeks, 6 days. But I'm not sure that anything will help if the baby's head isn't engaged and my cervix hasn't started to ripen. The doula said that evening primrose oil, taken orally as well as vaginally, can help the cervix ripen... but my midwife said (at 36 weeks) that vaginally-administered evening primrose oil can cause premature rupture of membranes, so she said I could only take it orally at that point (500 mg three times a day). At my next appointment I will ask when I can start taking it vaginally. But even that... if the baby's head isn't pressing on my cervix, could it (or anything else) really help? I'm pessimistic.

In the meantime... I found out that I may only have a couple more days (until the 25th, today is the 24th, though I found this out on the 22nd) with access to my online coursework to become a lactation consultant. The company is located in Australia, so by the time I emailed them on Friday to ask, they were already closed for the weekend. So I've been frantically rushing through the courses and taking my online tests. Unfortunately, I'm only done with five courses, and have five left. Including the hardest one or two, on the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast -- it's very detail oriented. I completed part of it months ago, but didn't take the test, so I will be back at the beginning again, trying to remember all the different cells and pathways involved in breastfeeding.

The rest of my to do list is looking pretty good. Plenty left on it, the urgency of items is steadily diminishing: will/health care proxy/living will -- check, new rug ordered/received/placed on floor -- check, diaper pail: ordered and received -- check (I got a small covered trash can and plan to empty it daily, since the trash chute is just down the hall from my apartment, and large trash bags don't fit in it, anyway). Even my Ipod is finally updated with all the music from my old hard drive that somehow didn't make the transition... ahh, the hours I spent fiddling with that before I finally called Apple and amazingly, got phone help, for free.

Once my sister arrives, I'll have her help me put the non-skid pad under the bedroom rug, assemble the crib (she already assembled the bassinet when she was here for my shower, so it's not urgent), assemble the jogging stroller and install the infant seat attachment onto it, and put the Etsy-ordered decal up on the wall above the crib. Once that's done, I'll post the before and after pictures!

So here's to another day, thankfully cooler, spent indoors and at the computer. Wish me luck and endurance with this coursework!

(In case you're interested in the minute differences in my belly size... I just went back and added in the 37 week belly shot. The professional maternity photos were taken at 36 weeks.)

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