Friday, May 6, 2016

35 weeks: Then and Now

I just hit 35 weeks in this pregnancy and it feels sort of momentous, even though I really haven't had all that much to do with it (aside from consenting to weekly progesterone shots to ensure this one doesn't plan a sneak-attack early arrival like her sister). So here we are.

I am approximately 23% bigger (no idea if that's accurate, just going on feeling here) (<--- that should actually be the title of this blog, amiright?!) this time around but equally uncomfortable and possibly (probably) whinier. People who know Zoe's birth story have asked how I'm feeling about hitting 35 weeks and honestly, I feel calm...and also nervous. (another good blog title. Killing it today.) Mostly, I feel like any new pain or twitch or sensation is impending labor, so I'm lots of fun to be around right now.

At 35 weeks with Zoe, I was feeling like I couldn't possibly be pregnant for even one more day, let alone 5 more weeks, but I was in it for the long haul. I knew a lot of first pregnancies go past the arbitrary due date and I was prepared for that possibility (and not at all expecting a baby any earlier than 40 weeks). I was completely laid back in the sense that I felt no real urgency to "nest" or prepare because I had PLENTY of time. My maternity leave had just gone into effect the week before (shout out to Germany for the most incredible maternity policies) so I wasn't working and I felt like I had all the time in the world to finish the birthing books and do things like get the nursery into even mildly functioning condition.

And then my water broke and my midwife said "you're having a baby this weekend" and the panic set in. I wasn't ready. We weren't ready. The baby surely wasn't ready. THE NURSERY WASN'T READY. Also, I hadn't finished the baby books (which was truly alarming to me at the time. I'm rational.) Oh, and our parents weren't set to arrive for another month or so. This realization...knowing we would bring our newborn home and my mom would be thousands of miles away...it still makes my heart sink to just think about it. But then Zoe arrived, scowling and pink and chubby and fine. And we survived. And Zoe is truly the greatest.

So this time, as I hit 35 weeks, I feel at peace. Sure, I'd love this little girl to stay put a smidge longer (and she probably will)...but I'm excited and nervous, just like the first time. Except this time, the nursery is ready (I did feel the sense of urgency this time around). The baby books are still not totally read, but we did ok the first time around so I'm not as twitchy and panicky about that small detail. Our parents are a mere phone call and few hours-drive away (this makes all the difference). Also, we know what's on the other side this time, in terms of what it's like to meet your new baby and the immense joy that erases all of the pain and angst the precedes their arrival. This is immensely helpful...

We don't know how the labor and delivery will go. We don't know if this little sweetie will be ok from her first breath or if she will need NICU time. We don't know a lot, but we do know these things: We know we can do this! We know at the end of it all, our sweet girl will be in our arms. We know that the nurses and doctors will speak English (hallelujah, amen). We know I will not be pregnant forever! (We do know this, right? I'm not always so sure.)

So we carry on...and look forward to our newest arrival! Come on, baby girl. We already love you so much; there's a spot in our family that only you can fill. 

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