At the moment I’m in child’s pose with a stack of oreos and a glass of chocolate milk. 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Currently having achy, period-like cramps that don’t feel like Braxton Hicks and wondering if this will progress into labor or fizzle out. I lost my mucus plug about a week ago.
The end of pregnancy is so full of unknowns, with the same symptom potentially meaning either that labor is starting or that sensation actually means not much at all (other than body warming up for birth in some way but birth is still days or weeks off). And for any RDs (you may get a kick out of this) I just realized my RD license expires soon so while here in child’s pose having cramps I’m simultaneously taking my Jurisprudence Exam while Jojo naps so I can update it before this baby comes out lol.
Here are 3 things I’ve been thinking about at the end of this pregnancy:
Don’t forget to have fun.
There’s so much fear and jokes around birth and the pain of it. I was listening to a birth story recently and the women said something she wrote down to remember for her birth was, “don’t forget to have fun.” Which may seem silly to some, but I found it encouraging. Giving birth is such a cool thing the body does and I know it’s gonna start and be over in the blink of an eye. One thing I liked about Jo’s birth was it was like a train heading somewhere, as in, once it started, you couldn’t get off until you got there, but in a nice, this-will-be-over-soon-just-hang-on way! A lot of women seem to experience birth sensations differently (miserably painful to debilitating, yet tolerable to whatever your experience was), and while I agree it’s intense, I think it’s also something worth being excited about and looking forward to and I think a part of me started getting more nervous than excited so I’m glad I heard the little phrase of “don’t forget to have fun”.
Birth continues to hold the number one spot of the most mind-blowingly surreal experience of my life. And the anticipation of waiting to meet baby…I don’t know if anything is better.
The only sensation I remember really hating in Jo’s labor was the feeling of “I’m about to pass out.” With my first birth the only option was to birth on my back (it was a requirement at the practice I birthed with), but with my new birth providers (midwives in a hospital setting), I can be in whatever position I’d like to be in. I bring this up because anytime I’m in a laying back position these days (even if elevated to a 45º angle and I’m NOT in labor) I quickly get lightheaded and feel like I’m going to pass out, but maybe I’m-about-to-pass-out is just a normal labor sensation and is unavoidable…or maybe it was caused by having to be in a certain position. I’m about to find out! I’ll report back from Labor Land.
Birth Plan vs. Postpartum Plan
We didn’t make a birth plan, other than 1) knowing who Jojo will stay with and 2) what I’ve been saying to my providers which is, “if I’m feeling up for it, it’d be cool if I got to pull her out”, but we did make a postpartum plan spurred on by a very emotional marriage argument recently and some things I now realize really would’ve helped me during Jo’s postpartum if I could’ve calmed down enough to let myself take a break and leave baby. The postpartum plan includes:
- bimonthly date nights
- me already joining a bible study at night so one night a week I can get out
- occasional cleaning service
- Jo will continue going to preschool a couple days a week so that schedule will give me some routine (which I really missed w Jo’s postpartum when we were home day after day after day and everyday seemed the exact same)
- medication as needed
- having an encouraging book and a fiction book ready to read (likely in short spurts) in the wee hours of the morning or times I’m nursing when I’m alone with baby.
Knowing my weight this pregnancy.
For those in ED recovery I recommend not knowing your weight and focusing on listening to hunger cues and fullness cues + honoring cravings…be it for food, movement, or rest. It’s an important reminder that all bodies gain weight differently in pregnancy. When my pregnancy app around weeks 35-37 weeks started saying, “most women see weight gain come to a slow or stop at this point”, I had to laugh because that’s when I found my weight increased the most it had throughout the entire pregnancy. All bodies gain differently. It was interesting seeing how my body gains weight in pregnancy, but knowing my weight is not something that I use to determine how I take care of myself or something that helps me take care of myself, so I won’t be continuing weighing myself past the end of pregnancy.
Who knows, maybe I’ll have our new baby in my arms by tomorrow morning. Oh the end of pregnancy…who knows when anything will actually go down (literally). Such a waiting game.