I’m 40 weeks pregnant! Now seems like a good time to cover the second half of my pregnancy.
This pregnancy has dragged on and flown by at the same time. I’m a little shocked I’m at the end and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact we’re having another baby. I don’t think it will feel real until they put her in my arms. I say to Ben quite often, “I’m pregnant, you know?” just to remind both of us that this is real. He agrees it won’t feel real until she’s born.
Thankfully, I have experienced excellent health throughout most of the pregnancy. I had a little cold around Jax’s birthday in June and I’ve been fighting a little cold the last few weeks. It’s been lingering for a while and I’m hoping it will be totally gone by the time she’s born. Other than that no major illnesses. Unfortunately, my back has been more sore this pregnancy. I think I have a bit of a pinched nerve on the left side of my mid-back. It hurts to sit for longer than 30 – 45 minutes. It’s not terrible since I have relief if I’m standing, walking, or laying down. This was a problem towards the end of McKay’s pregnancy but it started a lot sooner with this baby, probably around month 6, and it’s been more painful. One other problem has been anemia. It, too, was a problem in past pregnancies but they were more concerned about it this time. In order to deliver at my birthing center I cannot be considered high risk. They consider any hemoglobin below 10 to be high risk. Mine was an 8.7 even after taking supplements for months so they sent me to a hematologist for an evaluation around 27 weeks. She started me on IV blood iron infusions. I had to go for 5 treatments and each one left me feeling quite tired for a few days. It was anticlimactic because I was expecting to get an immediate energy boost. Turns out it takes a few months to feel an improvement and you actually have a dip in energy before any noticeable benefits are felt. A few weeks after I completed my final iron treatment they checked my hemoglobin and I was still only at 9.8. Thankfully at my most recent draw I was at 10.2 so I’m fine to deliver at the birthing center.
Back in mid-November it hit me how little we had done to prepare. Most of our baby stuff was broken or expired by the time McKay was done with it. So we needed almost everything and we basically had nothing at that point. The problem thickened because we didn’t have a great place for her in our house. I told Ben early on that I really wanted to convert the garage into a playroom so that we could use our 4th bedroom as a nursery. He was reluctant to do it. He wanted Sadie and the baby to share a room or to do away with a playroom. I felt Sadie’s room was tiny and already pretty tight. Also, Sadie stays up reading in bed and babies have random sleep patterns so I worried about them waking each other up. And I really didn’t want to do without a playroom. I knew I would feel stressed and crowded with the toys scattered throughout the house and kids would be loudly running circles throughout the house. For me loudness is stressful. So we had gone back and forth for months about what the best solution would be. Since we couldn’t agree we had done nothing. By mid-November I was getting a little panicked about our lack of preparation and basically told Ben my happiness would be great enhanced if we converted the garage. He hesitantly agreed. So happy he did. It was a lot of work but I’m so happy we did it! We had to buy a shed, set up the shed (that alone took two days of Thanksgiving break and my dad came to help one of the days), sort and move the stuff from the garage to proper places, scrub the garage, repair the ceiling in the garage where Ben had fallen through from the attic two years ago (that’s another story), paint the garage/ceiling, weather proof the garage, install new lighting in the garage, get flooring for the garage, purchase and set up storage units in the garage, get a crib and furniture for the nursery, build an organizational structure for the nursery closet, get out all our baby stuff from the attic, clean and sort that stuff, organize all the toys/clothes into their new spaces, and assess what we still needed and purchase those things. Much of this work was done during my busiest months so it wasn’t an easy feat. We had more than a couple late nights getting it all done. Bless Ben for all his hard work! There’s still projects to be completed – the window needs framing, we need to buy an AC unit for the garage, we hope to buy/build a sleeper sofa for the long wall, hang things on the wall, etc. It’s at a great functional point, though, and it’s been fantastic to have the extra space. The kids love it! We spend more time in the garage than any other room in our house now. The kids have done a fabulous job of keeping their stuff organized. They each have their own niche and it’s very easy and quick for them to clean up their things. There’s also a lot of empty bins so there’s plenty of room to expand as new toys gets introduced.
In the nursery we left the paint color and curtains the same. The crib and swing were practically new hand-me-downs from Uncle Jim. I bought some prints off Etsy and a few more things at Homegoods. I found the chair on the side of the road and somehow managed to get it in the car by myself at 8 1/2 months pregnant. It’s really heavy! I had McKay with me and asked him to help but he was too embarrassed. “No, Mommy, someone will see me.” Haha. Amazingly, Jax and I got it into the house. He’s surprisingly strong and helpful for only being 6 years old.
Ben did a great job building out the closet shelving. A friend, Caroline, helped me sort and organize the boxes and boxes of baby stuff from the attic….
Also, during this time we finally finished up the downstairs bathroom shower. We still needed a door, hardware installed and the drywall patched.
Moving on from house stuff…..
We still haven’t committed to a name. Actually we have but then we change our minds a few days later. I still love Andi/Andie. Ben loves Avery or Morgan. I like Mary for personal and religious significance but something about it doesn’t feel like the right fit for this baby. So we feel conflicted. Jax and Sadie refer to her as Andi/Andie. McKay wants to name her Avery but he accidentally calls her Andi/Andie and then has to correct himself. I’m a little tired of thinking about the decision and going back and forth with everyone about it. We never officially decide until the baby is born (except I think we did with Sadie) so we’ll see what we feel once she’s born.
I measure small. I always do but she’s really small like Sadie was. At each appointment they measure my fundal height (belly) and it’s supposed to be the same number of centimeters as I am weeks pregnant. This last week’s appointment I was at 39 1/2 weeks but only measuring 35 cm. They sent me for an ultrasound to confirm she was healthy and my amniotic fluid was okay. Both things checked out fine. They estimated her weight to be 5 lbs. 4 ounces. Again, I remember them telling me this with Sadie, that she was going to be a tiny nugget – around 5 1/2 lbs. She was more than a pound heavier than they had estimated though. I’m not worried about it.
Funny comment I get a lot throughout this pregnancy – “Is this your first?” I say, “No it’s my fourth.” People are always shocked and it’s funny to see their reactions and hear their follow up comments. It’s the “Oh you have your hands full” comment of the year which was said to me at least 1,000 times in 2011.
I don’t have a set labor plan. I have a lot more options since I will not be hooked up to an IV and monitor like at the hospital. People have asked if I plan to do a water birth. I haven’t ruled it out but it doesn’t sound especially appealing to me. Maybe I’ll feel differently once things are underway. Frankly, I’m a little worried I won’t have much time to labor at the birthing center at all. McKay was born about 40 minutes after I arrived at the hospital. They were still asking me what my highest level of education was and starting my IV when I was ready to push. That was annoying! Sadie’s labor was 4 hours from start to finish, Jax’s was 3 hours, and McKay’s was 2 hours. Does that mean this one will be one hour? We’re about a 45 minute drive to the birthing center so I’m just hoping we make it! I don’t hate labor and delivery. For me it’s so exciting to know the end has arrived and I finally get to see the baby. The contractions don’t bother me much but I do hate transition and beyond. During transition I get panicky and get that feeling that always reminds me of the Children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – “We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!” That point of no return….no fun. But, for me, that only lasts two or three contractions and then pushing usually lasts for two contractions and it’s over. So 10 or 15 unpleasant minutes in all. Not so bad if you think about it really.
I feel conflicted about the pregnancy ending. Part of me is so anxious for this baby to be born. I’m eager to hold her in my arms, inspect all her little features, and be rid of this 20 lbs of growth in the middle of my abdomen which is causing me great discomfort. Another part of me wouldn’t mind if I’m a week or two overdue so I can get a little more caught up on my neglected tasks. My feelings on the topic do an about-face all throughout the day. “Get this baby out of me….oh wait….I really need to get this done before she’s born….stay in there a little longer little lady.” Back and forth I go. If I’m still pregnant in another week my preference will be entirely for pregnancy completion, I’m sure.
So we wait and wonder and dream about how it’s all going to happen. I’m feeling like a bomb that’s about to go off. A simple mistake of spilling a cup of water gets the kids excited, “Mommy, I thought your bubble had popped!” (true story) When I’m out and about people ask, “Wow, when are you due?” And when I call people on the phone they answer with the question, “Are you in labor?” Not yet but soon enough.
Me pregnant around 32ish weeks??
Pregnant with Sadie on my due date:
Here’s a post with a picture when I was 4 days overdue with Jax: http://aliciaben.com/?p=198
Here’s a post with a picture when I was 41 weeks pregnant with McKay: http://aliciaben.com/?p=100