34w, 6d. It’s not like I’ve really been in the dark about this—I mean, I have seen myself in a mirror recently—but something happened recently to make me realize that a baby is the end result of all of this… and she’s coming soon.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve kicked the procrastinator in me to the curb and have gotten organized about the holidays, given that this baby is due about a week after Christmas. I know that she’s coming. And yet… it’s kind of easy to forget about what all of that entails: the hours of painful labor, the resounding newness of having a newborn (I just remember being so astonished that we had a tiny baby again when our second son was born), the breastfeeding learning curve for both of us (yes, I’ve nursed for a combined 36 months now, but every baby has to learn from scratch—and I’ll be learning from her too), the lack of sleep, the postpartum pain as my lady bits start to heal and my uterus goes crazy contracting itself back to its normal size… And while I’ve been thinking about preparing for labor, I hadn’t really given it all that much thought… until I had some actual contractions yesterday. Ouch.
I’ve been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for weeks, months even. I know what those feel like—the tightening of my belly, the occasional discomfort. But I was out walking with a friend (a very generous friend who is lending me her TENS machine for labor—more on that later) and started to have some actual pain—like the kind that makes you perk up for a second and think, “Uh, am I in labor?” Luckily, it was just that single contraction during the walk and then a couple of others later in the afternoon—mostly during our two-hour-long car ride back to NYC, which just might have freaked out my husband just a wee bit. And yesterday, nothing. Which is great. Really—nothing is great right now because it is still too damn early to have this baby, no matter how enormous I might feel. I’ve got to hit about 37 weeks for homebirth to be a safe option (and 39 weeks is better than 37 in terms of fetal development, according to the March of Dimes, regardless of where one births), and despite the momentary panic I felt yesterday, I’m pretty sure we’re both in this thing for the long haul. Like, I’ll still be pregnant at Christmas and everyone will be asking if I’m aiming to have a New Year’s baby and I’ll have to pretend like it’s the first time I’ve heard it…
Speaking of guessing or aiming for dates, my 5-year-old recently asked me when the next full moon would be and reminded me that I’d once said something about the full moon kind of pushing women into labor. I have no idea if that’s actually true—I mean, I’ve read midwives and doulas say things like that before, but it’s only anecdotal evidence. Anyhoo, the next full moon is December 28th. My due date is January 2nd. The last two times, I’ve gone into labor a couple of days before my due date… And so I just might be pinning my hopes on the full moon to get this girl out of me—by which time we’ll have made it through most of the holiday craziness (I could care less about New Year’s, given that I sometimes fall asleep before 9 pm these days) and I’ll be 39 weeks on December 26th. Fingers crossed that the contractions this weekend were a total fluke and I’ll be staring pleadingly at that full moon at the end of next month.
Was there a moment when you kind of woke up and thought, “OMG! We’re having a baby!?” Let me know in the comments below!