Since I’ve now been up since 4:30am due to pregnancy insomnia, I thought now would be as good a time as any to write a little 34½ week update.
Full-term is quickly approaching, and with it has come some less than pleasant symptoms.
Sleep has become increasingly scarce. I wake up in the wee hours of the morning with my belly rolling about as if it possessed a small ocean, and my thoughts at this time always take me to things we should do before the baby comes, or worse, things in life I should accomplish before becoming a mom, so that I find myself compiling mental to-do lists until dawn rolls around and I’m free to get up. And I suppose while I’m citing some unwanted pregnancy attributes I’ll add that my legs cramp up often now, and I frequently feel as winded as if I’ve just run a marathon after doing nothing more taxing than bending over to put on my shoe.
Despite these (whiny) complaints, I am still absolutely thrilled and mesmerized by this whole process, and love being pregnant.
I love the fierceness of the little one inside me, and how strongly he or she moves about. The movements are seldom kicks now, but rather swells and stretches. I love when the baby gets hiccups. I even love when the baby pokes me in the ribs. I am starting to feel more and more like I know this baby. I have an increasingly strong feeling about what gender I think the baby is (although I’m fully prepared to be wrong!), and I’m starting to feel the nearness of his or her coming. I am beyond excited. Pregnancy feels like the greatest gift, and Jonathan should watch out or we’ll end up with a dozen children (just kidding, sort of).
We’ve started Bradley Birth classes which we’re really enjoying, and which will leave us prepared to give natural childbirth our best effort (86% of moms who take a certified class ultimately give birth naturally). The Bradley Method is focused on preparing the husband (or partner) for their role as a birth coach, as well as educating the couple as extensively as possible in 8 weeks on the details of labor and delivery. It’s intense, but it has already proven so helpful in making us both feel more ready, and it has been wonderful to watch Jonathan dive in.
Most of all, at 34+ weeks, I am getting so excited to show this baby the world. I am excited for him or her to get to wake up with us in the little basket by our bed, and cuddle and nurse in the mornings. I am excited that this baby is coming in the cold, so he/she can stay bundled up against me throughout the day. I am excited about all the adorable clothes this baby owns already, and can’t wait to dress them. I am excited to sing him/her lullabies, and can’t wait for them to hear their father’s voice when he’s not being muffled by my belly. And I look forward to when the baby is old enough to realize how blessed they are to have a family as great as the one they’re being born into, or a house as old and quaint and loved as this one is, or chickens who lay the cutest little eggs, or the world’s most charmingly maniacal cat. And a father who can make great crepes and hot chocolate and caramel from scratch. And a mother who writes fairy tales. It’s the life that Jonathan and I have made together, and we are so excited to be able to share it with another who we’re bound to love so much.