Saturday marked 34 weeks of growing a new human and, I’m not gonna lie, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for years. I can barely remember a time when I was a purely autonomous being, piloting just one heart; one brain; one pair of lungs, rather than double all the above and more. It feels a bit like being a boarding house or hotel. I’m my kid’s first bedroom. -I’m certainly big enough to feel more house than human.
Still, as far as pregnancies go, I’m aware I’ve been blessed with relatively smooth sailing. As has been the case for almost all of the second and third trimester, I’ve been pain free and blissfully without many of the ills and discomforts I’ve read to expect in my weekly subscriptions to developmental updates. I’ve evaded stretch marks, headaches, sleeplessness, back pains, joint pains, mood swings, swelling, and many of the woes I was certain I was very susceptible to and a sure candidate for… -and I think, though I hesitate to give so much credit and power to something I am NOT A FAN OF: I owe it all to exercise. Determined to stay in shape, I begrudgingly devoted myself to daily gym classes, cycling, and physical activity as soon as the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester subsided. Encouraged by my successful evasion of the common discomforts I was expecting, I now devoutly don my work out clothes and log my calories, nutrition, and activity every day. I believe its kept my mood elevated and helped me to strengthen my body in time with the increasing weight and bodily changes, keeping me strong enough to handle the physical toll. Were it not for the 25 pounds of kid strapped around my middle, I’m suspicious I may be in excellent shape.
Things did get real last week though as we had some scary contractions and bleeding on several different nights, leading us to think the little guy might be contemplating an early escape. Luckily, both occasions were false alarms and he seems to have changed his mind about moving out, for the time being. He’s resumed his usual routine of kicking, stretching, and wiggling to such an extant that my torso distorts and stretches so dramatically the famous scene from Alien feels utterly mild. A woman at the cash register at my local market caught sight of it even through my baggy shirt, as his feet jutted out against my right side and butt against my left, suddenly contorting me horizontally in such an exaggerated way it caused us both to cry out. I have, in fact, googled if babies can punch through their mom’s skin. Preliminary research shows me alone in this concern so I’m hoping the answer is no.
At any rate, his threats of popping out early have kicked us into gear, forcing us to face the inevitable: we need to prepare for this new human. Long standing projects we need to get out of the way include painting our jungle-green house blue, which we tackled today (and got about 1/80th of the way,) in beautiful spring weather.
This afternoon I also set up the bassinet and started check listing baby gear we’ve gathered and have yet to get our hands on. The take away: we have no idea what we’re doing and are shamefully underprepared. Pretty standard way to go into parenthood, though, so I hear.