At 37 weeks, the timer on the oven says “ding”! Letting us know that baby is now, for the most part, fully-cooked. Should he be born in the following days or weeks and before his anticipated due date, June 22nd, he will no longer be considered premature. I don’t have trouble believing this as I feel like I’m inhabited by a leech the size of a large loaf of bread, or even, a fully formed baby, which indeed, I am. His feet kick my ribs while his head strains against my pelvic floor and bladder, now in the form of flat pancake, (much like my tiny, squished stomach up above,) and I’m anxious to have this squirming tiny human out of me so I can have my body back to myself, at last.
I was told that longing for a full term baby to vacate would essentially replace any fears of child birth, and while I would admittedly be thrilled for him to pick-up and ship-out anytime, I do still struggle with the birth ahead. As his dad was a big baby, (nearly 10 pounds,) and my mother and I are both built small with she having had both of her children via cesarean, I was half expecting to have no other option but to do the same. She had a good experience with this and is a strong proponent of knowing your baby’s birth date ahead of time, going to the hospital calmly and having your baby handed to you from behind a sheet after a painless and quick surgery. All the same, I expected the decision to be made for me by learning by baby was either average or small and I wouldn’t be allowed an elective cesarean, or we’d find that he was ginormous and I had no other option. Somewhat at peace with these outcomes, I’ve sublimated the actual day of his arrival for the past 8 months. Instead, at a 36 week ultrasound to help determine how he should be brought into the world, we were informed that he was likely big, but not really all that big. I was then given what now seems like an impossible, insurmountable choice: You can have this baby however you are most comfortable. We will schedule a caesarean for you, if you like, or you can opt for a vaginal birth.
Thus the torment began. Late night googling of the pros or cons (mostly cons in both cases,) of both methods of birth kept me awake at night, fearful and indecisive. Tearing, bleeding, pooping, baby’s clavicle breaking, stomach muscles not healing properly, recovery times vs. the ease and confidence of knowing just when baby is coming. What if I go in for a natural birth and he is indeed ginormous, and I labor painfully for hours while he gets crushed and fractured in a brith canal before I end of with a c-section anyway? What If I go in for a planned cesarean, my tummy is sliced through, and it never heals properly? If recovery is long and painful? Worse, what if I don’t bond with my baby – An outcome I already fear regardless of how he brought into the world?
Indecisiveness, I was warned, is a regular companion is late pregnancy.
The cut and dry deets:
Total weight gain thus far: Right on the 30-pound mark
The good: Baby has dropped which makes breathing easier, I’m still free of most aches and pains and cycle away on the stationary bike like nobody’s business
The bad: Turning over in bed is an athletic feat greater than anything I encounter in Body Pump class, after a few hours of standing my feet feel like they’ve pounding pavement for days, and this odd, uneasy feeling that my boobs are resting on a shelf of my own skin (the bump,) is bizarre, hot, uncomfortable, and a sensation I’ll be glad to do away with asap
The ugly: Many women experience increased hair growth during pregnancy, leading to lusher fuller heads of hair. A small percentage, conversely, seem to stop growing hair all together. I’m in the later camp. While I’ve enjoyed the new freedom of being able to now go weeks without shaving, my eye brows and eye lashes are thinning! I personally think a hairy woman is a blessed woman, (trouble with arms and legs are worth it for beautiful brows, lashes, and a full head of hair,) so I’m 100% not cool with it.