So today marks the beginning of my 34th week of pregnancy. I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday which was all-in-all uneventful, but she did measure my belly and we talked about various important matters. Apparently, Keats is somewhat of a big boy. Not super big, but “a bit big.” My doctor noted that besides my large belly, I didn’t look all that pregnant, something I’ve been hearing quite a lot of lately. Here’s what I say to that: “Wonderful.” Water retention levels are down, belly button is out, and besides the occasional fainting spell, I’m feeling great.
Oh, right, the fainting spells. You don’t know about that, perhaps. Well, I fainted once during the first trimester but we’re pretty sure that was because I hadn’t eaten anything in far too long (I have since started a regimen of eating small meals and snacks every two or three hours). However, in just the last month, I’ve fainted or nearly fainted three times. Once while I was doing some part-time data entry work, once while I was at my in-laws, and once while I was standing around doing nothing in my living room. The most common denominator in all of these moments is heat. At work they had set the thermostat to seventy-four degrees to help warm up someone who had been freezing all week in the snow. At my in-laws, I was standing in the sun talking about the local birds that come into their garden. And in my living room, well, I don’t actually really remember what happened there. One minute I felt fine, the next I felt strangely hot, I felt dizzy, I sat down on the couch, told Birch I felt dizzy, then fainted and was out for about three seconds. Luckily, I’ve felt the dizziness coming on before fainting every single time (some women don’t get any warning at all apparently and just faint out of nowhere – scary!) and so I haven’t had a bad spill like that first time in Whole Foods where I collapsed onto the concrete floor and was sent to the emergency room in an ambulance. Yeah, don’t want to repeat that experience. Both the advice nurse and my doctor suggested that I refrain from going anywhere or doing anything by myself, so I’ve cut myself off from driving, going on walks alone, etc. And yes, if this seems like it would limit my movements quite a bit, you’re right. While Birch is at work (thankfully he usually gets home by 4:30 or so), I’m home. Period. I’ve reorganized my baby binder completely, written and re-written “the birth plan,” made a list of things to do, a list of things to get, I’ve made a budget for February through March, reorganized the clothes closet, made a to-do list for Birch when I go into labor, a list of presents we received at our first baby shower (we’re having another one next week) so that I can organize thank you cards, watched lots and lots of nature videos, sketched some ideas for drawings, paintings, and appliqués, and yes, played quite a bit of Farmville and Zoo World so as not to go completely insane with all this list-making.
So, all this de facto house-arrest nonsense aside, I’ve felt fairly calm and relaxed ever since last Friday when I met Miriam and Ben’s brand-new baby girl, Sofia. Though it was a long and arduous task, Miriam was a champion and has renewed my faith in myself that I, too, can do this. With loving care and support from her man, her mama, and a couple of good nurses, Miriam was able to deliver completely naturally and her and Sofia are doing great. I can’t believe she’s already a week old! Sometime this week I’ll go take some pictures, but until then imagine big cheeks, a full head of dark brown/black hair, scrunched up little hands, inquisitive dark eyes, and a baby who likes to be bundled and snuggled. That’s Sofia. When I first heard Miriam was in labor, I had my first twinge of anxiety towards going into labor myself that I’ve had all through the pregnancy! It was a weird feeling to all of the sudden feel nervous and apprehensive, but as soon as I walked into that room with this beautiful new family inside, Miriam smiling up at me, and Sofia understandably fussing during some routine medical checks, I was immediately at ease again and I remembered a feeling I’ve felt before—it’s the hardest physical thing you’ll ever do, but it’s not as hard as you imagine it to be. Some women may scoff at a remark like that, but I found it to be true for myself and I’m hoping that this time around it’ll be a little easier and a bit faster. I already know it’ll have a much better ending because I’ll be able to take little Keats home with me forever.
Birch and I are going to be (and are) so happy.