Friday, May 16, 2014

36 Weeks and Other Milestones

Wohoo! Today marks a big milestone: if baby was born today, he wouldn't have an automatic ticket to the NICU. However, since he is unfortunately a white male (dare I use the NICU term "wimpy white boy") I'd be thrilled if he stays put for another 4 weeks! And all jokes about my brother's wedding aside, there don't seem to be any signs of impending labor, thank goodness. I plan to be there large and in charge in my bridesmaid's dress two weeks from now!

This week actually marked several other milestones as well: my "first" Mother's Day was on Sunday, and while I feel silly claiming the title until I've gone through the Ultimate Test (aka labor), Ross was still sweet and bought me a few simple gifts: he snuck out to buy me a vegetable juice in the morning before church (because vegetables are seriously lacking when you're living out of a suitcase... and because he hopes our kids get my tastebuds); then he gave me a few tomato cages for the seedlings my mom graciously bought for us (I've been working every Saturday and haven't been able to get to the farmer's market); he also reserved the latest Bill Bryson book at the library, stating he hopes our kids get my love of reading. It was sweet.

We also got to go to brunch with my parents and my brother Tommy, which was extra nice because I'm not sure of the last time I actually got to see my mom on Mother's Day.

Then Tuesday marked ONE MONTH UNTIL HIS DUE DATE. Which is simply not possible. Tuesday we also "moved into" our "house."

Let's be honest, it's still only half done but Ross set up the bedroom and hooked up the washer and dryer, so its livable. We were ready to sleep in our own bed and have all our belongings in one place after a month of couch-surfing! But to be honest my stress levels haven't really gone down yet. There's a LOT left to do.

Until this week, I'd been cruising along with these house renovations. Okay, maybe not cruising, but staying pretty busy. Wearing myself out. But this week, my belly is just too big. My hips are just too sore. It felt good to go to my Midwife appointment today (I've been going weekly since 34 weeks) and hear her say, "stop making yourself miserable!"

So while our to-do list is still a mile long, I'm going to try my best to limit the manual labor since I'm already on my feet all day at work. I'm also going to try to take one day of complete rest each week (no errands or stress-inducing activities). Sure, I'd LOVE to be nesting and getting the nursery ready and washing baby clothes, but we're not there yet. And I feel like even me busting my butt on my days off won't really get us there much sooner. All I can do is one thing at a time on my to-do list, and keep plugging away at a pace that doesn't make me lose my sanity. (At least I finally met with the pediatrician and got our info into their system.)

The good news is that even though half of our house is still a construction zone, it's livable! We sleep there now, after 25 long nights of living out of a suitcase (yes, totally a first world problem).

The list of "things that still need to get done" probably won't ever end, but at least the pre-baby checklist is getting shorter. What still really needs to happen:
-cabinets needs to be finished, painted, and cleaned
-kitchen countertops need to be ordered and installed
-kitchen and laundry room floors need to be installed
-kitchen and laundry room walls need to be painted (but praise God the drywall plastering, sanding, and priming is DONE in those two rooms! And we did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself.)

What would be nice, but might not be realistic:
-setting up the baby's room
-finishing the drywall in the "ugly bedroom" (the room with plumbing damage and the compromised walls with exposed lead paint that we ended up replacing-- thank you Dad for helping Ross get those walls up so quickly!)
-fixing the bathroom (it works fine, but it's fascinatingly ugly; a different coat of paint and a new shower curtain would do wonders)
-decorating the living room
-replacing the gross linen closet or whatever it's supposed to be in the hallway

Things left to do to prepare for baby? I seriously don't want to think about it. The house needs to be at least semi-finished before I can make a trip to the store for last-minute baby essentials.


Wait, this was supposed to be a pregnancy update and not a house update? Am I too fixated on this house? Can you blame me? A pregnant lady can't help but want a safe, comfortable place to bring a baby home to! But.  

Craving this week?
-WATER. I seriously drink 5+ liters of water some days because I'm so thirsty.
-Also finally satisfied my PF Chang's craving from... oh... two trimesters ago. Those lettuce wraps were delicious, and for the record the "gluten-free chocolate dome" is a more than reasonable substitute for my once-beloved Great Wall of Chocolate!

-Pretty regular Braxton-Hicks contractions. But don't get excited! The Midwife confirmed that they're definitely just practice contractions and not the real thing! She said that me overworking myself will make me miserable, but it won't bring on labor, thankfully. (I'm sure most post-date pregnant ladies wish that inducing labor was as easy as scrubbing floors and painting walls and working 12 hour shifts).
-The numb/painful spot on my stomach is still there above my belly button.
-Is waddling a symptom?
-Frequent bathroom breaks (baby "dropping" + 5 liters of water a day will do that).
-Totally messed up sense of balance. I was clumsy before, but it's frightening now. Sometimes I'll get extremely lightheaded out of the blue and feel like passing out. Other times, I'll lose my balance and trip over nothing. The other day I fell completely to the ground simply while walking around in bare feet. And I'm starting to roll my ankles in my sensible work shoes. Ouch.  A constantly shifting center of gravity + extremely loose joints isn't the best combination.

How's baby?
Still head down, thankfully! And he moves so much, which I love. I totally wish I could see what the heck he's doing in there sometimes. I think my favorite is when I feel his arms moving at night when I lay down, and I can imagine him sucking his thumb and soothing himself.

How's mom? 
-So very ready for things to calm down so maybe I can focus on pregnancy and baby things while I'm still pregnant. So not ready to be done with pregnancy yet, although I can tell things are going to start getting more uncomfortable. I still love it!
-Swimming has become my favorite exercise. It feels so good to be weightless.
-You know what's starting to stress me out in my extremely tired and vulnerable state? People telling me the baby is going to come early. It used to be funny, but as the due date draws closer, it's no longer entertaining to think about him coming early. It stresses me out when people ask if I think he's going to come even one day before his due date. We will know when he gets here, right? When people ask, it makes me feel like a ticking time bomb-- let's all remember that I actually have a max of 6 weeks left. That's a long time, people! I'm probably going to freak out if people keep asking me if the nursery is done or if I'm having signs of labor, even though I know they're just making conversation.
-Hmmm. I may also be hormonal and emotionally labile at this point...

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