On Saturday I hit the 35/35 milestone of pregnancy- 35 weeks pregnant, 35 days until my due date.
Thirty five days. In the words of pregnancy aficionado Rosie Pope, holy moly.
As with many things in life (college, law school, the bar exam) it feels like I found out I was pregnant both a million years ago and just yesterday. Regardless of my imperfect concept of time, we are fast approaching “the end” and like many first time parents both B and I are grappling with feelings of excitement, nerves, fear and happiness. Last week I mentioned on Twitter that in my “oh I’ll wait for the New Year & my freshly filled health savings account before I sign up for childbirth classes” I didn’t realize that the class we wanted to take- and the subsequent four weeks of classes- were totally full. So early last week I called and begged for mercy and managed to convince a kind soul in the education department to let us into the all day birth class this past Saturday. Twitter was full of thoughts on birth classes- most of my friends found the class they took fairly useless- but as someone who at least wanted to the slightly vamped up tour that was promised with the class (instead of just the regular old tour you can get any Saturday afternoon) we paid our money and showed up.
Pleasant surprise: the class was totally worth our money and time. Sure, you can’t really teach anyone how to give birth but we got a great overview of how the hospital we are delivering at generally runs. Our instructor did a great job of balancing the idea of how to achieve an unmedicated birth with lots of (non-scary) knowledge about all the pain relief options available. I was happy to get the scoop on the hospital’s general policies and procedures regarding catheters after epidurals (yes), eating during labor (typically limited to ice chips/fluids), episiotimies (not considered “routine” and avoided when at all possible) and skin to skin contact after the birth (totally all for it, all newborn “stuff” is done right there in the room and they only take the baby away or to the nursery when medically necessary or if the parents request it). Still on our list of classes to take: infant/child CPR.
I think hitting that 35/35 mark lit a little bit of a fire under both of our feet and we spent a good portion of this weekend putting Christmas decorations in storage (whew), cleaning (meh) and setting up baby things. The spot formerly occupied by the Christmas tree now holds a baby swing, the tags have been trimmed off all of the newborn clothing (of which there isn’t a lot thanks to a vastly “blah” selection of gender neutral options for the most part), and we installed the car seat base in the car (easier than I thought it was going to be). I also began working on my hospital bag which currently holds:
- Toiletry kit (I splurged on travel sizes of my favorite shampoo/conditioner/face cream/etc) stocked with chapstick, plenty of pony tail holders & a headband, Lanolin & hand cream
- Old slippers
- Nursing tank tops & nursing undergarments
- My oldest, stretchiest yoga pants that have little life left in them
- One nightgown & light weight cardigan style robe from my appendix-recovery
- Cozy socks & a pair of shower flip flops (not to be worn together, obviously)
The things that remain unpacked but will be making the trip with us include:
- Laptop (and charger), iPads (and chargers) and my DSLR (and charger)
- Boppy pillow (I’m skeptical but I’m told over and over it comes in very handy, so I’m going with it despite giving it the side eye, my other nursing pillow, the terribly named My Brest Friend is staying home)
- A bag of snacks, mostly consisting of our favorite granola/snack bars & my favorite tea bags
- Baby items: going home outfit & hat, one convertible gown for the hospital in case we want him/her to wear something from home, a few white onesies and a pair of socks, nail clippers/file, a pretty swaddling blanket for photos, a heavy blanket for the car seat, pacifiers (apparently sometimes you have to ask for them, so I’m bringing 2 just in case).
B remains in charge of packing his own changes of clothes & toiletries. I can only be in charge of so many things and remembering his favorite granola bars is about all I’m capable of at this moment in time.
B thinks my belly has started dropping but I think he’s just a victim of wishful thinking (or trying to make me feel good about the whole process) and I’m feeling pretty much the same physically. I stop a lot to put my feet up and drink a glass of water (and then another glass of water, there is not enough water in the world) and the baby loves to try and stretch out all day long despite the lack of room, so I’ve started audibly gasping from time to time when I’m startled by a swift kick in my ribs. Food cravings haven’t really been a huge part of my pregnancy but right now apples, yogurt, string cheese, green vegetables and general “comfort food” sound delicious. Last night I made pot roast and mashed potatoes with carrots and steamed peas for dinner and could not eat enough of it. (Well, ok fine, I could thanks to my squished stomach, but every bite was delicious).
This upcoming weekend my close friends in Chicago are throwing me a baby shower and my best friend from my high school years is coming into town to attend- I can’t wait to see my friends and catch up and eat quiche, as ladies do. (I love quiche.) In honor of this occasion, I finally, after four months of hemming & hawing and being indecisive, have a hair appointment to get this mop in order. Ordering our stroller (kindly given to us by my Mom and many of her friends and my family) is on our “to do” list this week and next weekend I plan on washing all of the newborn clothing and blankets that I have. After all, I’m having a baby…next month.