Tuesday, 19 April 2016

She's Almost Here!



It is hard to believe that in less than 3 weeks our due date will come up on the calendar. At more than 37 weeks pregnant, I am being faced with the great unknown and anticipation of when she will actually come. I have realized that the due date is really up in the air and I truly hope I am one of those lucky ones who go just a bit early (fingers crossed!).

With school being done, my counselling practicum wrapped up and my hospital bags packed I am almost ready for this little one to enter the world... almost.

Early on in my pregnancy I wrote a post talking about the top ten things I had been learning about pregnancy in my first trimester. Now that I am at the end, I thought I would do the same with the third trimester. It seems the second got blown over because of my surge of energy and full schedule... I was too busy enjoying the blissful middle section to reflect on what was so great about it (now a distant memory!).

So here are the top ten things I have learned in my last few weeks of pregnancy:

1// It is okay to ask for help

I think I am still learning this one as just the other day I was so determined to paint my own toe nails that I found myself out of breath on the couch for ten minutes afterwards (although I was pretty proud of myself for actually doing it!). People are gladly willing to help as they watch you struggle to pick up that piece of paper you just dropped or to pull on your shoes. I think it may actually be painful for them to watch me struggle to get down there!

2// Moving is hard

This one has become truer than ever, as our little one seems to be dropping lower and lower. Pelvic pain is a real thing as ligaments move and change in preparation for birth. Getting out of bed has never been such an extreme sport and sometimes the idea of standing up is exhausting in and of itself. I continually try to stay as active as possible (once around the block at a snails pace is the extent of my exercise routine) but sometimes the discomfort is just too much.

3// Swelling, heartburn and exhaustion – oh my!

Okay, this one is not to scare anyone off of having children. I’ve certainly had a very smooth pregnancy and I have tried to keep any complaining to a minimum. It has only been in the last week or so that by the end of the night I’ve got a pair of cankles (hey, I can’t see them when I’m standing up anyway so it’s not that bad), a touch of heartburn and a constant desire to lie on the couch. I know that this will probably only get worse before it gets better but such is life!

4// Your body will change, dramatically

I knew this before getting pregnant (obviously) but I didn’t quite know how much of a mental game this would be. I have gained just over 40lbs with this pregnancy (much of it due to baby, some of it due to McDonalds - shocker!) and truly notice it everywhere. This is a hard shift for someone who had basically been the same size since high school (give or take 5lbs). Of course I know that this is a huge component of pregnancy, but it does not mean it is easy. I love everything about my baby bump, but the other changes in my thighs, face and arms can sometimes be hard to accept. I am on a new learning curve of self-acceptance, love for my body and healthy living after pregnancy. This will probably be a shift that I continue to write about long after baby arrives.

5// Pregnancy brain is real

I often find myself forgetting days of the week, times of appointments and even the purpose of why I actually made the effort to get up and do something. Just a few weeks ago I walked to the student lounge, got a cup for water, came back to the classroom and realized after sitting down that I never actually filled the cup up. It is probably a good thing that I have submitted all my papers and have wrapped up therapy with my clients – my brain can no longer be trusted!

6// Her movement never gets old

Feeling this little one rolling and poking around is something I really love... even when she jabs me under the ribs. It is amazing to look down at my stomach and see bulges and rolls, knowing that she is adjusting just below my skin. It is an amazing thing for Brandon to participate in as well. I know there have been many nights where I am sleeping and he gets to have a few minutes alone with her as she kicks at his hand. This is something I know I will miss about being pregnant.

7// Your body starts to prepare you for motherhood

The third trimester has brought with it a very squished bladder. I am consistently up a few times a night to use the washroom. At first, I loathed this – frustratingly rolling over until I just couldn’t hold it any more. Now, I embrace the nightly wake up call as I see it preparing me for our little one’s nightly feedings. Of course, nursing a baby is much different than a 2 minute trip to the washroom but I’m still amazed at how this whole process works and gets us ready for all of the changes to come.

8// I don’t have control, and that’s okay

I am beginning to embrace the lack of control I have, which is probably a good thing considering I will likely never have actual control. When May 8 was first given to me as a due date I looked ahead with great anticipation, marking the calendar and planning my life around this date. I now realize that she could actually come at any time whether I like it or not! All I can do is make choices, like putting a towel in the car in case my water breaks in public and packing my hospital bag so that I am somewhat prepared.

9// People are awesome

I have been absolutely overwhelmed with how loving and supportive people have been. I have had a couple of showers and with one more coming up, I am in constant wonder at how much people love this little babe (and us!) before she has even arrived. Every time we are at church there are so many people sharing their excitement, feeling for a kick and sharing words of encouragement. Just last night our church blessed us with a stroller, car seat, flowers, and a monetary gift to get us started with our baby girl. It is amazing to be a recipient of this kind of love and a huge blessing to know that this little girl is going to be born into a world where so many people love her already!

10// I will never be fully prepared

No matter how many freezer meals I make, little sleepers I fold or videos I watch on YouTube, one thing I know for sure is that we can never be fully prepared for this little girl’s arrival. She will completely change our lives and teach us new things every day. She will expand our hearts even more than she already has. She will trust us (us!) to care for her despite our shortcomings. She will change us, challenge us, grow us and make us parents. There is no way that I am prepared for all this, and yet I am thrilled to dive in.


Phew! Okay, now that I've reflected on what I've learned, she can come out! :) 

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