37+ weeks

Last Thursday I reached 37 weeks. If I get past 3:15pm this next Thursday (June 16), which I fully expect to, I’ll be the most pregnant I’ll have ever been! Except with one baby and not two.

I took a bathroom selfie so I’d have something to look back on. I’ll try to make sure I get each week between now and delivery. I like looking back on the twins’ pregnancy photos.

37 weeks 4 days this time:

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And 37 weeks some days with the twins:

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Notice how with the twins, my shirt can’t cover my belly – I mean, I still struggle some with that now, but it was a real problem with the twins!

I’m very interested in what happens next in this process. I was induced with the twins, so I went to the hospital at 8am on the day they were scheduled (38 weeks on the day, as it happened), got registered, got hooked up to a million monitoring things and an IV, and at 3:02 and 3:15 that afternoon, they were born. It was one school day, basically.

This time around, it’s all a mystery. I don’t know the start time or day, I don’t know how labor will start (I was doing some reading, and just found out that only 1 in 10 women actually have their bag of waters break prior to labor beginning), or what it will feel like when it does. The baby hasn’t dropped yet, but apparently that doesn’t happen very often in second pregnancies until labor begins (as opposed to first pregancies, when the baby will engage up to several weeks before birth). There’s not a lot to go on, really. It’s exciting!

Everyone is being wonderful and asking how I’m feeling, and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m tired all the time, both because sleep is difficult and because my body is working super hard. A number of my co-workers came to Durham to work with me (we had a meetup, is what I’m trying to say, but they came to me, graciously), so I was shamed into charging up my fitbit again. I had stopped wearing it when the pregnancy rash was so bad, but now that it’s controlled by the prednisone (well… mostly), it’s time to start tracking stuff again. Here’s my sleep from the past few nights:

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It’s actually way better than I thought! I’m pleased with this level of sleep at this point.

I didn’t go to my centering class this past Thursday, so I don’t know what I weigh, but I’m hoping I’ve gained a pound or so since last time. I’m in the normal range for overall weight for the pregnancy, but since I hadn’t gained any for so long, I want to make some progress so that I’m sure the baby isn’t draining all my nutrients, because I’m worried about breastfeeding. It didn’t go well last time, although I think I know the reason for that (several months of taking benedryl around the clock to try to combat the rash last time).

I’m getting ready to be done with work for 5 months, whenever this baby shows up, and I’m enjoying setting myself things to finish up, but I do wonder how this flurry of activity that feels very rewarding and productive is going to mesh with the post-birth experience, which if I remember from last time, was mostly a blurry mess and not productive in a checklist sort of way (productive in other ways, obviously). That shift from actively contributing to something tangible (that is, work) to working on something that is much longer-term and definitely not something you ever get to a rest phase on. I love a challenge, so I’m really looking forward to this time with two nearly-five year olds and a newborn, but I wonder what I’ll find to measure myself on. Obviously I’ll be able to equate my self-worth directly with how much milk I’m able to produce, but that is probably not healthy.

Overall, I’m not worried about this new baby. I am in the ways you just always are worried about your children, but there is part of me that keeps thinking “it’s just one baby” – now, all babies are different, and this one could be harder than the twins were together. I get that; I do, really. But I’m extremely, potentially moronically, optimistic. Yes, things may be SO hard and I end up crying every single day or something unforeseen comes up with the baby’s health. Those things might happen. But they also probably won’t. The early part goes by so fast anyway. The days are long, but the years are short. Before we know it, all the kids will be in school – 2021 isn’t so far away. In the year 2021, my youngest will start kindergatren, The Lion King will be 27 years old, Finding Nemo will be 18, the first inauguration of President Obama would be 12 years in the past, as will the death of Michael Jackson (my first cassette tape was Bad), Legend of Zelda will be 35… I could go on, and I forget why I got started in the first place. Time passes, I think was my point. In 2021, I’ll turn 40! That alone seems like a worthwhile fact.

Ahhhh babies. You know?

2 thoughts on “37+ weeks

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