16 days left.
I keep asking where the time has gone, but it’s gone where all time goes. I feel like yesterday I was posting my first ultrasound scan and tomorrow I’ll be expecting contractions to start. Could be any day now. Could be another four weeks. Man, I hope not.
I feel big, hot, and pregnant, sort of like what I thought “being pregnant” would feel like. But I’ve only really felt uncomfortably taut and bloated since about Week 32 and really big since Week 36. And truth be told (my midwife confirms it), I’ve got a pretty small bump. Sure, I waddle now, but it’s inevitable since this baby’s head is firmly in my pelvis (2/5 engaged where 0/5 means the head is crowning, if I Googled correctly). And my wry jabs at fanny daggers a few weeks ago is coming back to bite me in retribution as I’m having short, shooting pains in my groin area. Must be this kid’s head bouncing on my cervix and pelvic girdle.
I’m at the stage where I run out of breath walking up the stairs, strangers ask how far along I am, I sleep with a toddler’s incontinence pad under my side of the bed (for my water breaking, not for nighttime accidents), and a car journey of more than an hour seems grossly unappealing to both my bladder and my state of mind (how far away is the hospital?!). I can’t wait to be able to take a nice, long pee again. It’s the simple things.
I’m also incredibly annoyed at whatever smarty-pants came up with the whole fruit and vegetable comparison for pregnancy weeks. It was cute at lentil and blueberry and kidney bean. I understood banana and rutabaga (swede) and honeydew melon. I look forward to these tangible comparisons each Tuesday. But the last two weeks were weaksauce. I had, “Your baby’s the length of a head of Romain lettuce” followed by the same statement except using Swiss Chard. Those are terrible images. I bet most people don’t even have a clue how long an average Swiss Chard leaf is, much less think babies when eating salad. Needless to say, I’m done being disappointed. If tomorrow’s edible image isn’t appealing, I’m making it up. Small pumpkin, large watermelon, or two dozen apples spring to mind.
This child keeps poking and prodding me with all available appendages. There’s no question about gas or baby anymore. There’s no ambiguity about hiccups in utero. There’s not even much mystery in how this little one is lying inside me (head down, spine to the right like always). But, man! The donkey kicks and dance moves and general flailing about has increased in scope and intensity. The weirdest feeling is having little fingers grab at your intestines and inside your hips. I mean, that’s what it feels like and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening. That Alien moment? Yeah, we’re pretty much there. This six-pound baby is just about fully cooked.
Life has already changed. My nesting instincts manifest themselves in wanting to be organized, whether it’s cleaning out closets, washing newborn onesies, or even watering my container plants on a daily basis. I’m napping nearly every day now, usually for at least an hour and a half. My sleep schedule has come and gone in fits (last night was a wash). My acid reflux still attacks occasionally, but it’s manageable. My husband continues to take on more and more household chores. He’s at pretty much 90% of the workload and I can’t thank him enough. It’s frustrating knowing I am physically capable of doing lots of these chores (especially ones involving animal excrement), but also understanding that it’s not my place to do so right now. I guess I’ll earn my keep once this kid makes an appearance and I turn into a milk machine.
One last thing: I keep thinking of events in my life as “the last time I’ll…” Let me explain. I cut my toenails the other day (nearly impossible to do with a bowling ball stomach, by the way). I then thought, “This is probably the last time I’ll cut my toenails before the baby is born.” Same thing with writing thank you cards, framing some pictures, and washing the outside of a few windows. I’m already dividing my life into the “before” and “after” stages of what I know is a new chapter in my life. Our lives. It’s BB (Before Baby) and AB (After Baby) and life will never again be the same. No more sleeping in. No more last-minute weekend plans. No more binge-watching crappy internet shows or Amazon originals. No more me time for a while. No more life as we know it. To be fair, we were already halfway there. Two cats and a dog meant someone had to wake up to feed everyone and let the dog out. A trip longer than a day meant finding a dog sitter or taking him with us. We figured out baby wipes clean up poo and vomit on carpets quite well. We regularly bathe our 32-kilo lab. I figure if I’ve kept my animals alive for all this time (Big Cat turns 11 in September), I think we’ll be fine.
What I’m saying is, kid, it’s nearly time to say hello. Just please stop beating me up.