Being pregnant is such a weird experience.
On one hand, it’s this absolutely miraculous thing–I mean, I am growing a new human you guys. A human! It’s this rare gift that only women have, and even then it’s not something to be taken for granted, as so many women struggle with infertility.
Then, on the other hand, pregnancy can be so… bizarre. You basically lose control of your body for almost a year and some straaange things start happening. It’s almost like you have this little (sometimes evil) mastermind inside your body, pushing buttons and controlling levers to make your body do things that are completely beyond your control.
Your bladder is no longer your own (forget about sneezing without crossing your legs), your feet, hands and, well everything swell and you become possessed by strange cravings at any time of the day for things that half the time you can’t even eat because it will cause a raging heartburn monster to erupt within you. Yesterday vanilla ice cream was your dream food. Today? Barf. Heartburn city.
Your hair often becomes shiny, thick and luminous… and with that comes new hair growth in places where it just shouldn’t be. Pregnancy beard hairs? That’s a thing.
Your clothes don’t fit, walking becomes waddling and if it feels like you are peeing every 10 minutes… it’s probably because you are. (I had to get up 6 times last night. I kid you not.)
You will feel like you are absolutely starving, then will full completely full six bites later because the baby shifts and hunkers down on top of your stomach restricting how much you can fit in there. Then, inevitably as soon as you’ve put all the food away, you are starving again.
It’s a vicious, vicious cycle.
But perhaps the most bizarre / miraculous part of being pregnant is seeing your body move when you are not the one controlling it. In the early stages, feeling your baby move is so soft and sweet… the best way I can describe it is like having tiny bubbles popping against the inside of your stomach.
As the baby grows so does the sensation, until you get to where I am now–housing a tiny Chuck Norris who roundhouse kicks you and loves to “Starfish”. This little prince is now so big that I can see his little bum, hands and feet as they push out and roll under my skin. It looks a little like that scene from Alien before it bursts out of that guy’s chest.
He loves to press his feet out against my hands, and when I gently press them he kicks back. It’s absolutely wild to me that at any moment he could decide that he’s done with life on the inside and will be ready to make his jail break.
For me, that is the hardest part. As much as I want this little man to stay put until his due date next week, I have to relinquish control and accept that we get very little say in the matter. The not knowing part is hard. Every day I know I’m inching closer to his grand arrival, but when that will be is still a great mystery. Every time I feel pressure or a contraction, I never know if it will be the moment that kicks off the whole shebang. I tend to feel the most at night–I start to feel a little off around dinner time, then pretty well every evening now I feel tons of pressure whenever I stand and he moves around and I have a few Braxton Hicks contractions that feel a little stronger every day.
I found myself feeling a little anxious thinking about everything this morning. I’m actually not horrifically nervous about the whole labor bit–been there, done that. It really is about the worst pain and discomfort that you can imagine, but it’s temporary and survivable and the end result is always so worth it. :)
(Also, I just keep telling myself that if it was really THAT bad that no woman would ever have more than one child, and many women have several. It helps somehow.)
Part of my stress is making the right call on when to get things in motion. It’s not as simple as it was with my first–with your first baby labor tends to be longer and a little more drawn out, and you really just have to worry about yourself.
This time, we have two perfect little toads to consider and get looked after before I can get myself to the hospital. Usually you time your contractions and wait a while for things to intensify before things really get moving. Because Hank’s labor was SO fast, I am to page my midwife after I’ve had three good contractions, regardless of how far apart they are. Three. Last time we barely made it to the hospital before I was ready to have the baby. I dialated from 6cm to 10cm in less than 15 minutes and ended up having the baby au natural without an epidural because there simply wasn’t time. From the moment the idea that something was happening and I could be having the baby at some point that day to the moment he arrived was approximately 4 hours… I would say I really only experienced active labor for less than 2 hours.
I know there is no guarantee that baby #3 will arrive in the same manner, but the chances for a similar experience are high. So, that doesn’t really leave us with a lot of time to get the kids looked after and me to the hospital. We are trying to have back up plans for our back up plans, and thankfully we have a wonderful support network around us who have offered to help if they can. My mom and dad are planning to come down to stay with the kids while we’re in the hospital with the baby, but at minimum it will take them at least an hour to get here. So, we are trying to be organized with people who live closeby that are available to watch the kids at different times of day until my mom and dad arrive, because I will likely need to get to the hospital before they arrive.
I know it will all work out (it always does), but it would be so nice to just… know when he was coming. I’m such a planner–spontaneity is often a little challenging for me.
In any case, this will all be behind us shortly and then the real fun begins! Wish me luck :)