Wednesday, June 26, 2013

33 Weeks and Counting!

+JMJ+

Thirty three weeks doesn't initially sound like a long time...but then I remember to divide that by 4 and quickly come up with the number 8. Eight months?! That sounds much longer than 33 weeks.... Although then I also remember to compare the number "33" to the *full-term "40" and suddenly begin to freak out that 33 is so incredibly close to 40! It is a "far along" number after all! Then I have to remember that 7 remaining weeks translates into over a month and a half...and then I calm down again. We are getting close but not that close quite yet. All of it's more than a little mind-blowing, baffling, and exciting.

The odd thing about pregnancy (based on my sole ongoing experience thus far) is that it somehow manages to feel like a never-ending story and as if it happens in the blink of an eye. When I think back to that early December day when Michael and I first knew for certain that I was pregnant it feels like such a distant memory...and yet the first minute I told Michael and showed him the positive test - where we were standing, what he did next, how he smiled at me - are all locked in my memory as if it happened yesterday. The amount of time that has elapsed since then seems like somewhat of a blur - as if me being in my eighth month of pregnancy just happened overnight and is the most natural thing in the world (it is one of the most natural things in the world, but that's beside the point I'm trying to make).

When I stop to think - to really think - about the past 8(ish) months of my life I realize just how much has happened and how much life Michael and I have lived together in a short amount of time. We briefly lamented no longer being able to plan a 1-year anniversary trip to Europe and quickly replaced those sentiments with the joyful anticipation of a baby and memories made on our wonderful weekend trips to D.C., Chicago, Niagara Falls and Toronto, Cambridge/Boston, and Mackinac Island.

33 weeks = a 4(+) lb. baby! And yes, that's a fake ring
(2 sizes bigger than normal) on my finger.
Physically I can still recall what my body was like in early December...although it's sometimes hard to imagine when I look in the mirror and see the product of the gradual (and drastic) progress my body has made while growing our baby. Most days I forget that I wasn't always like this and am content to just embrace everything about my pregnant body as my new norm...but some days I take absolute comfort in knowing that I wasn't always like this and won't be forever. Getting winded or short of breath easily (no matter how many cardiovascular workouts I do on the elliptical) as the baby grows and everything pushes on my lungs is not a permanent state of being. Having to walk s-l-o-w-l-y up the stairs to our 2nd floor apartment is not a permanent thing either. Nor is sleeping on my side (what? I can't remember what life was like before this...) or constantly requiring the use of a pillow when I'm laying down or sitting anywhere. I really can't envision what it looks or feels like to go anywhere without having to use the restroom but I imagine that it's something I could happily get readjusted to. Being able to fit back into my old shoes and my wedding rings? Not having psycho (sometimes terrifying) dreams and waking up sweating when I don't even have a blanket on? Now I'm getting way ahead of myself....

In the past 33 weeks I've also transitioned from not being able to envision or feel our baby whatsoever to knowing all-too-well whether or not he is awake, asleep, stretching, kicking, rolling around, hiccuping, or responding to food, my voice, his daddy's voice, or music. This part really makes me smile, though, because although it may sometimes hurt, catch me off guard, or even cause me to instantly feel as if I need to pee, it makes all the other things (including the recently cracking/popping hips - thank you, week 32) completely bearable.

Wall of our consolidated baby gifts - which I plan to
reorganize as I begin washing clothing & bedding!
I could go on and on recounting all the pregnancy symptoms I experience on the daily but when people ask me how I'm feeling I never fail to give a genuinely positive response with a smile. Because the reality is that I do feel great and I am managing well. The symptoms I've experienced (whether they are inconvenient, frustrating, painful, or surprisingly entertaining) all come with the territory and I thank God that I haven't had any symptoms or complications out of the norm. I would even dare to say that I've experienced some of these normal symptoms (nausea, acid reflux, and leg cramps to name a few) to a significantly lesser degree than most women. Please don't hate me for saying this, but for being 33 weeks pregnant, I really do feel great! Plus, I can hardly remember what life is like without all of these pregnancy symptoms, so that probably adds to how good I'm feeling about everything (like I said - I just accept all of this as my current norm and go with it).

The bottom line is this: my body has gradually changed (a lot!), our baby has grown a lot (he should be over 4 lbs. now!), and while I've experienced an array of pregnancy symptoms and already gained about 35 lbs. the baby and I are both healthy, happy (I know he is based on what my ob/gyn says about an active baby being a healthy baby - because believe me, he is active!), and surely looking forward to meeting one another outside the womb for the first time (if he knew such a thing existed, that is). :)

Thank you for all of your prayers! We've only got 7 weeks to go (maybe sooner!) and it's definitely starting to feel within reach. Oh, and KelleyAnnie, if you're reading this: I haven't forgotten about that guest piece I'm writing for you! The dreaded "pregnancy brain" has finally started to catch up with me and cause me to draw occasional blanks - making it difficult to sit down and write coherent pieces. But I will get that to you soon. :)

*Just a note that while doctors use 40 weeks for the baby's due date, 37 weeks is actually considered full-term. Everything beyond that is simply extra time for the baby to keep growing.

"Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch."
-E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

8 comments:

  1. Haha! You totally freaked me out with that! Yes, I was reading! No worries--I know you've got other stuff going on. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things with my blogging since the move. Not sure when that'll happen...

    I'm glad you're feeling so great!

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    1. Haha, sorry to catch you off guard! Good luck with settling into your new place! I know how much work that can be.

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  2. You look lovely!! Your baby belly is beautiful. :)

    I had to laugh when I read your description of constantly needing to pee, huffing and puffing on the elliptical machine, sleeping on your side, etc. It's hard to believe I was experiencing all of those symptoms just a little over two months ago.

    As far as the cracking/popping hips, have you considered seeing a chiropractor? Pregnancy always throws my hips completely out of whack, and I started seeing a chiropractor at 37 weeks. He was able to put my lower body back into optimal "baby delivering" position, and he promised me a fast labor as well. I had a 27-hour labor with my son and I was skeptical, but my daughter's labor only ended up being 6 hours! I'm not sure if it's because she was the second baby or if the chiropractor really did work some magic, but either way it was great! :)

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    1. Thank you! It's hard for me to remember/imagine days without all the pregnancy symptoms! I've talked to my doctor about my hips and I think what I've experienced is pretty normal as my ligaments and joints start to prepare for labor...so I'm not too concerned. I was (am? not currently!) a dancer since the age of 10 so my hips tend to pop easier than most people's already. And 27 hours of labor - WOW! You're a tough woman. Let's hope mine is more like your 6 hour one!

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  3. Just remember that full term is 37 weeks, not 40! You're ALMOST THERE! Anything after that is just bonus time to add baby pudge that will make him super-dee-duper cute. :)

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    1. You're right! I spaced it on that important fact. Wow, we are really close then!

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  4. I loved reading this! So glad you're feeling pretty well, and I can totally relate to not really remembering how I looked or felt in the first days of my pregnancy. So much to look forward to still!

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    1. It really is amazing to think back on! Pregnancy truly is an everyday miracle and it's hard to wrap my head around it sometimes. I hope you and your baby are doing well! :)

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