Wednesday, January 12, 2011

37 Weeks!

37 WEEKS!

I hit the 37 week mark this past Monday!  I am FULL TERM!  I have actually fully cooked a baby for the first time in my life.  I am just so excited and grateful.  I truly believed that I would never get this opportunity and I am still pinching myself - what a dream!  I am enjoying this pregnancy so much and I am feeling a little sad that it's almost over.  OK, very sad.  Like it HIT ME the other day and I couldn't stop crying.  OK, I know that's hormones too, but I really am sad that this is coming to an end.  I have truly enjoyed this pregnancy.  That's not to say that it hasn't been challenging or uncomfortable in any way.  But I guess my perspective is that I can't really complain about any of it too much because this is such a gift!  I am nowhere near "DONE".  And BOY do I know what DONE pregnant feels like - I am nowhere near that feeling.  I want to keep her in for much longer. Thankfully, there a wonderful prize at the end, so I think I'll be ok ;)
As far as symptoms/issues are concerned, I surely have them.  Sleep is pretty awful nowadays.  Reflux/heartburn is a constant.  Painful swelling is round the clock.  My hips feel like there are knives digging in to each side.  I have numbness in my hands due to the swelling - nothing like last time though.  It's hard for me to get in and out of bed/car/low chairs/etc.  My belly button is SO SORE.  My pelvic floor is uncomfortable, to say the least.  My girl bits ache.  I am tired all the time.  Trying to chase three 3-year-olds all day long doesn't help! 
I know, it sounds like I am CRAZY for enjoying this!  But really, I am! 
My skin isn't burning/bleeding this time! 
Food tastes amazing this time! 
I don't want to gag at every single thing this time! 
I haven't thrown up in my mouth this time (ewww)! 
I don't feel like my parts are falling out of my body this time! 
I don't feel like I am DYING this time! 
It's all about PERSPECTIVE, people!!! ;)

I had my 37 week appointment on Monday and everyone is still healthy.  I lost a pound, which I was SHOCKED by, considering the fact that I am eating with reckless abandon.  The ice cream consumption is obscene in this house.  Thank goodness that's not all I want.  I wanted to eat an entire bag of broccoli and cauliflower the other day - and I basically did it.  FOOD HAS NEVER TASTED THIS GOOD.  And yes, I have heard it from LOTS OF PEOPLE - I know I am going to have to lose this weight.  I am not freaking out about it.  I am enjoying my pregnancy and the miracle that is happening inside of me.  For the first and only time in my life,  food tastes good and I am allowing myself to eat what I want.  Food issues pushed completely aside for now.  I am comfortable with the way my body looks, rounded and full.  But I am very aware of other women's body image issues as they project them onto me during this pregnancy - very interesting!  Anyway, back to the appointment details!!!
Based on the ultrasound measurements and the fundal height measurements, Dr. Lantry ruled out the already slim possibility of VBAC - this baby is too big!  Given the condition of my uterus and the size of the baby, she will not allow it.  And although I wanted to keep it as a possibility (who wants to recover from surgery with 3 toddlers, a newborn and NO HELP - Brian goes RIGHT back to work the minute I get home from the hospital!!!), I was totally fine when we made the decision.  As it is, she feels confident that the baby is already over 4000grams (8.8lbs) and for 37 weeks gestation, thats ENORMOUS.  I know that there is a large margin of error for these measurements, but it was close enough to err on the side of caution, just to be safe. 

Sooooooo, we scheduled a date -

Bonus Baby will be born January 18th!

Its so strange to have a date - kinda cool!  Last time, my water broke unexpectedly - so although I knew I was close, I was still surprised and overwhelmed.  This time we can plan everything to the minute, which has allowed me to secure childcare for the triplets AND to make sure I have my FAVORITE nurse that day!  Yes, I have a favorite Labor and Delivery nurse - weird, I know, but that's what happens when you live in a hospital on bedrest...you get to know the staff!  It turned out to be quite a blessing and I am so happy she is going to be a part of this birth! :)
 In the meantime, I am trying to get the bare minimum done and still take it easy to minimize the contractions I have been having.  They are definitely real (not just braxton hicks), but very irregular in timing, so nothing to worry about.  They certainly take my breath away now, so I am definitely slower nowadays.  I can't do as much as before, so for a 'go-go-go' person like me, its a huge adjustment.  Brian is really carrying me at home and he is exhausted but we are making it.  I am so grateful for the help I do have, when I have it.  Our dear family friend Megan comes for a few hours once a week so I can go to the doctor - and I can't thank her enough - she is AMAZING.  Another dear friend comes one night a week so Brian and I can sit and eat a meal together and talk like grownups, and I am SO grateful for her generosity. She is the only one who can do our night-night routine! Times like these I really wish for more financial flexibility, just so I could hire someone.  After a day of caring for three toddlers by myself, I am so beyond wiped out and I DREAM of a nanny!  I'd even take one as obnoxious as that one from TV...Fran Drescher?  Who knows.  ;) Anyway, I am managing the best I can and have let pretty much everything go - no problem.  If you've been to my house lately, you can vouch for this! 
I have filled the gaps with friends as far as the week of my c-section.  I have it all scheduled out.  A couple of dear friends are going to provide coverage for the triplets as I will be in the hospital and Brian will be busy juggling being at the hospital with me and taking his shift with the triplets.  The thing I am most freaked about is the time AFTER I come home.  Brian, my mom, my sister - everyone works full time and no one has sick/vacation time or the flexibility to afford to miss any work.  Which means no paternity leave for Brian.  I am on my own, for the most part, during the day.  The thought of caring for 4 kids after abdominal surgery scares me.  We are running TIGHT as it is and if Brian doesn't work, we don't get paid.  I am grateful for his job, nonetheless, especially in light of how rough his company has it right now too - don't forget, in an effort to avoid layoffs, everyone's pay was cut by 10% a few months ago.  Times are tough.  I am grateful he has a job!  I will be collecting some disability but it is less than half of what my pay was, which was basically enough to pay for health insurance.  YES, we have tons of willing helpers for after 5pm, but I don't really want a house full of people at night (I learned that from last time) - its not as helpful as you might think. 
I just actually found out that my dad will be able to take a few days off - he actually HAS some paid time off!  Although he has never really cared for the triplets by himself, he will learn quickly and will be a huge help!
I KNOW that we will figure it out.  I KNOW that it will work out. I KNOW we will find a way to fill in the blanks.  I KNOW.  We brought home triplets with a strangely similar financial situation (what is it about me being pregnant and rough finanacial times anyway?!?) and we worked it out.  I will need to be as scheduled and structured as I was last time to maximize my time and energy.  I am up for the job.  I KNOW that it will be hard.  I know that there will be days that Brian and I will want to kill each other, simply because of the stress level , but we will work it out as we always do.  We have done survival mode before. We can do it again.
I do have to say that if I hear one more woman with just one kid out shopping WITH her nanny complain to me about how tired she is, I will actually punch her in the face.

BIG SMILEY FACE :)

I didn't take a specific 37 week photo but here are some shots from the shower my sister gave me this past Sunday!  I have mentioned before, it was kind of a last minute thing so we had to keep it small - please do not feel bad if you didn't receive an invitation!  We will have a get together later in the year when the weather is warm and we can fill the backyard! :)


Here are some of my fellow Trader Joe's ladies - Trader Joe's employees are the best!

My Mom, Me and my sister Pamela


Some friend and family!





Brian's sister who is also expecting!), Brian's Grandma and me


Some of my dear friends



Niki, Me and Auntie Jenny


Me (apparently sinking into the chair!) and Blue - I can't even express how much I love this girl!

Miss Mary with her BEAUTIFUL daughter Eva

There are more photos but You get the idea!  I feel awful that I didn't make more of an effort to make sure to get a picture with everyone.  Its one of those things that slips your mind when so much is going on!

I am so grateful for this shower for the generosity of loved ones.  As I mentioned before, we thought we were done so we got rid of almost EVERYTHING!  We got lots of much needed stuff for Bonus baby and we are SO very grateful!!
All stress aside, I am grateful.  We are surrounded by love and support and prayer.  We have beautiful healthy children.  One day at a time, I just have to continue to remind myself!
Stay tuned - and PRAY THAT MY WATER DOESN'T BREAK before the 18th! ;)  I don't need any more surprises!