Well surprise, Surprise, we have come upon another month, month seven.  I’m about 31.5 weeks and we are down to the final countdown.  10, 9, 8…single digits from here on out.  It just struck me yesterday that I will only write two more of these.  And that’s IF I make it all the way to my due date (which seems more than likely given my history, but a pregnant girl can hope–for just a few days early, right??)

Baby Surprise is the size of an asparagus stalk (really??) and growing bigger/fatter each day. This is an important season of brain growth and lung development for her, as well as packing on the pounds to be as ready as possible for birth.  She is still not a very active baby, but when she is, it is very noticeable.  Her movements are a lot more forceful now that she’s bigger, and I can also feel the more subtle ones as well.  Standing up has become a new dread, because as soon as I do, all of the pressure from her little body and extra fluid goes right to my bladder.  Not a good time of year to also have a cold, let me just say that.

I do believe she is head down now, based on where I can feel her most forcefully.  Occasionally she goes somewhat diagonal, head pointing to my left hand side, a favorite position for all my babies.

In a moment of candidness the other night, I was attempting to tell MG how I always get a little sad following the close of Christmas and the beginning of a new year. But then I realized that I have one VERY exciting thing to look forward to and it is just around the corner.  Sadness squashed.

This is a great time of year to be large and pregnant because winter has finally arrived and in many ways, I have found it refreshing.  I rarely find myself cold these days (well, indoors), an improbability if you look at my past history.  Skin, as a whole, is covered up and pools are closed so it is easy to hide beneath a large sweater and jeans that feel like pajamas.  There are treats in abundance right now, and seeing as how I passed my second GD test, I am able to enjoy them without counting the cost of every single one. There have been many retellings of the Christmas story, each one a boon to pregnant women and the stirring up of the emotional mirth as it relates to being a mom, having a baby, giving birth.

The only downfall, as I see it, is the sickness going around.  And this year it has been especially bad.  The flu, strep, stomach bugs, and all kinds of mysterious upper respiratory junk is going around and this month alone, we’ve had fevers, coughs, and a terrible amount of mucous.  MG brought it home first and true to form, about a week later, I found myself feeling like I was going to die (or at least wishing someone would come and put me out of my misery).  Ten o-clock at night, after a day of prepping for Christmas activity and talking all day, my throat feeling like cut glass every time I spoke or cough, my voice baritone with congestion, I found myself violently shaking from chills, unable to even sleep for about two hours as this precipitated into a fever.  The fever thankfully, for myself and the baby, only lasted for about 24 hours and never got above 101, but it cost me my extended family Christmas that I was looking forward to and bought me a recovery day on the couch in an empty house.

These mysterious illnesses are always miserable, but imagine having this while you are pregnant, so there are literally no medicines you can take without severe warnings (and potentially harsh consequences), you must continue to monitor your baby throughout, making sure she is kicking around normally, and there are no comfortable positions as you may not recline on your back or stomach so that baby has enough blood flow and room to move.  Misery.

Anyway, the hope is that we will have an iron immune system for the rest of the pregnancy and first precarious months of the baby’s life, and I think we’ve earned it, too, with the amount of stomach bugs, colds, and coughs we faced in 2017.

On the horizon of this month, I see another chiropractor appointment (and because I FELL in a slippery parking lot this month {while holding Sib}, I’m hoping she can correct whatever damage I did in that), bi-weekly doctor appointments, a babymoon for just N and I, a LOT of sewing/prepping (or at least I am hopeful), and gathering the last of the baby items.  Oh, and we still haven’t transitioned Sib up to her new room but we’ve started the process of transforming the room and it feels so good.  January is the longest month of this pregnancy we have left, as February is just a short four weeks and then it’s baby month!

January is also always a purging month and I love to hop aboard that train after filling our house with sweets, Christmas decor, and lots of new toys. We’ve been selling a lot of unused items via Craigslist and marketplace and that is certainly something that scratches the nesting itch for me.  As soon as the Christmas decor came down, I felt an OVERWHELMING need to clean, organize, discard, and prepare. I spent the first few days of the year doing just that and it felt just as good as I imagined it.  I now feel like I can breathe, create, and continue to make way for this baby.  I’ve got my lists and I’m checking them off, twice!

There has been little sleep this month, but lots of rest, with a nearly three week Christmas break and lots of time at home with little sick ones.  Insomnia has plagued me hard, though not in the traditional sense.  If I get woken up in the night (other than to use the bathroom, of course, which still happens with great regularity), a fairly common probability with all the people that live here, it takes me no less than two hours to fall back asleep, sometimes more.

I’ve tried all the tricks in the book, thinking about nothing, thinking about every problem and solving them 100x over, breathing techniques, not looking at any screens or turning on any lights, relaxing, etc.  Frankly, I just lay there, eyes closed, often surprised when I have to visit the restroom throughout the duration, that another hour has passed.  It’s a costly problem to have when you have children hard-wired to wake up at a pre-determined early time every single day, but the only thing I can do to help it is to go to bed early and hope for the best.  So that is the continual plan for now.

Soon those awake hours will not result in a restful, prone position, but rocking and shushing for undetermined amounts of time. So I’ll count my blessings for now and pray that the next two months bring us a lot less sickness and more time enjoying our final moments as a family of five!

-smk

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