Sunday, July 21, 2013

Full term, baby! Or "Full term Baby!"

+JMJ+

Yesterday marked the day I hit "37 weeks," which means our baby is now considered full term - hooray! We've got a few more weeks to go before his due date on August 10, but realistically all of his organs should be fully formed and ready for life outside the womb...which means he could arrive any day now! Clearly my subconscious has latched onto this knowledge because I've started to think of and dream of babies on a regular basis; last night I dreamed up a lovely scenario that has no chance of coming true - because in it I delivered our son after only 2 minutes of pushing with virtually no pain (ha! In my dreams...literally).


Supposedly our son should weigh about 6 and a third pounds (so I'd imagine he's probably already 6.5 or something) and I've definitely started to feel it. My mom gained 50 lbs. with all three of her pregnancies and my older sister gained 40-45 lbs. with each of my nieces...so it doesn't come as much of a surprise to my family when I say that I've already gained about 46 lbs. (pretty much on track for 50!). However, when I tell my friends on the phone how much I've gained they tend to gasp and freak out. Um, thanks (clearly they didn't read the post I so obviously wrote for them). Last time I checked, my pregnancy has been healthy and complication-free so if that's what my baby needed to grow and be the little man God intended him to be then so be it. My doctor isn't concerned and I'm not concerned. :)

Thankfully, all the women I've befriended lately and/or female friends I've seen in person have helped to reassure me that my pregnancy weight gain is not a big deal because those women tend to be shocked to learn I've gained as much as I have (thanks, Patty, Cynthia, Sara, etc!). They've generously told me that I certainly don't look it - and they said it in a way that made me actually believe them (so they are either great actresses, blind, or I am somehow managing to look more petite than they think most 37 weeks pregnant women do), which is exactly the kind of compliment that can make any pregnant woman manage to continue feeling beautiful!

Just beyond 36.5 weeks
All in all I think I feel pretty great for being 37 weeks pregnant. Sure, I'm experiencing things all pregnant women experience at some point (swollen hands and feet, lower back pain from carrying all that weight, crazy pregnancy dreams, uncomfortable sleep, frequently having to empty my bladder because my baby puts weight on it, etc.). However, I've come to realize that the list of symptoms I've experienced throughout the past 37 weeks seems minimal compared to the list of things most women deal with.

In fact, I am constantly praising and thanking God for how much He seems to have spared me in this pregnancy. I can hardly believe how many common pregnancy symptoms I have not had to deal with...and I continue to remain ever grateful. Acid reflux? Severe constipation and/or hemorrhoids? Frequent leg cramps? Intense Braxton-Hicks? Stretch marks? Bloody noses and/or miserable congestion? It's as if these things aren't a part of my pregnancy vocabulary (you can go ahead and send me your hate mail...I understand completely). For some reason I have been so so so blessed and I attribute it all to 3 things: good genetics, constant hydration, and the good Lord's mercy (He only gives us what we can handle, right? So maybe I'm just a wimp and He has mercifully allowed me to coast through. Whatever the reason, it wasn't part of His plan to make me suffer much with this pregnancy).

Do I have those days when everything seems to either ache or feel exhausted, making me move at the pace of a turtle? Sure! But the number of days I manage to have energy and can still move around a lot are far more numerous. So now that I've probably sufficiently made several of you shake your heads in disgust (I'd imagine some of you quit reading awhile ago out of annoyance - trust me, I know how obnoxious I must sound to some of you who have dealt with far more difficult pregnancies), I'll simply say that I give all the glory and thanks to God and our Holy Mother Mary's prayers for blessing me with such a healthy, smoothly-sailing pregnancy.

I'll admit, it can be difficult to share with others how few pregnancy discomforts I'm currently dealing with - because no one wants to be that girl that everyone loves to hate - but when the Lord blesses me I cannot bear to do anything other than shout it from the rooftops (and isn't that what we're supposed to do as Christians? To let our light shine for others to see?)! It's with great joy and humility that I share the radiance of His love and light throughout my 37-week journey into pregnancy thus far.

Thank you, also, to those of you that have been praying for us! Please pray for a healthy and uncomplicated labor and delivery in His timing. I feel overwhelmingly blessed and simply cannot wait to hold our son for the first time in the very near future. :)

"Father asked us what was God's noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad, but babies never are."
-Louisa May Alcott

8 comments:

  1. You look absolutely beautiful! I've enjoyed seeing your baby bump photos! And for someone who has not yet been blessed with a baby, your account of your pregnancy is giving me hope! It's refreshing to hear this side versus the "I hate being pregnant, it's miserable" side! I'll keep you and your growing family in my prayers for continued blessings and health!

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    1. Thank you! That's a very good point - I think too often the only pregnancy stories that get shared are all of the horrific ones! You would think that as women we would want to encourage, not terrify one another. It's not always that bad and everyone is different, so I'm glad I could give you some hope in that department. :)

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  2. 1. You look gorgeous!
    2. Everyone gains weight differently during pregnancy. I also gained 50lbs with my son (according to my doctor, 25lbs was water weight. I didn't believe her until I left the hospital and discovered I had lost 38lbs!).
    3. I'm so glad you haven't had to deal with massive uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, but I have to admit I started drinking the Hateorade when I read that you haven't gotten any stretch marks. ;) I definitely did NOT hit the genetic lottery in that department!
    4. Don't worry if you're overdue. I was convinced I was going to go into labor early because my mom went into labor a day early with both my brother and I (not to mention she had ridiculously short labors). Nope. My son was evicted from Hotel Uterus at 41w4d, and my daughter decided to come on her own at exactly 41 weeks. As one of my good friends put it, "you get pregnant at the drop of a hat but you can't get those babies out of you for anything!" :) My point is, and I'm sure your doctor has said the same, it's very very common for first time moms to be overdue. I know it's not what you want to hear at this point though! Hang in there!

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    1. 1. Thank you so much!!!
      2. Absolutely. I know a lot of weight gain depends on genetics but also your starting weight...and the women in my family start off petite/"underweight" which means obviously you have to gain more for your baby to gain enough. 38 lbs all in the hospital - WOW, you give me a lot of hope, haha! :) I think I've also gained a lot of water weight considering how long I've had swollen hands and feet...but who knows! I'm not going to worry about it.
      3. Hahaha, I appreciate your honesty. I feel very blessed.
      4. Goodness, I hope I don't go quite that long but you're right! Everyone's different. I'm expecting a variety of possibilities because one of my sisters and I were over 2 weeks early, my little sister was on time, one of my nieces was 5 days early and one was on her exact due date. If I go over 40 weeks though I'll be the first in my family and I think I will get so so anxious!!! I'm so excited to meet him - although I'm hoping he'll wait at least one more week to give me time to get things organized. ;)

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  3. I was just thinking about you tonight at work! I knew you were getting close, my prayers are with you :) And you look so great- a glowing mama!

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    1. Thank you soooo much for the prayers and support! :) I really appreciate it.

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  4. Hi, Stephanie - I found your blog on the love story linkup, and happily noticed this post, too. Congrats on your pregnancy! I'm post dates with our 4th child now, and this is the first pregnancy that I've taken red raspberry leaf tea. I drink three cups a day, and started taking it about two months ago. I'm currently 41 weeks 6 days, and my doctors are getting nervous! I feel fine, but this is the most I've ever gone past my due date, by far. The idea just occurred to me - what if it's the tea? I did find one article on a search that said one study showed that raspberry leaf tea MAY prolong the duration of pregnancy. Eek. I think I'm going to quit taking it now. I could have the baby any day, and any nutritional benefit I've gained from taking it all these weeks will hopefully help with labor and recovery. I may even start taking it again once the baby comes. But I am a little paranoid that that's been the cause of going so far over. Who knows? I'll let you know if I think it has helped me with labor. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much for the info! I still haven't tried the red raspberry leaf tea because one review I read said that after starting it in week 37 the lady went into labor 4 days later (which is probably mere coincidence, but with me moving this week I did NOT want to take any chances!). I'm thinking perhaps I'll still try it once I get settled into our new place. I am sure your persistent use has given you lots of health benefits and I'll pray that your labor and delivery go well! :)

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