ONE MONTH. This is going to be a very long post. Stay with me!
Around 33 weeks, on our 8th anniversary (February 29th)
I feel like a blog post could never sum up the last 30 days. It’s not so much that a lot has happened (although there have been some big changes this month), but that I’ve been feeling ALL the feelings. Becoming a parent is getting increasingly real with every passing day.
I’m still getting the “how are you feeling?” question everywhere I turn. Thankfully I can still reply with an enthusiastic “great!”, and I’m not lying – I’m sure if every woman felt this wonderful throughout their pregnancy, there would be a LOT more babies born. I definitely haven’t reached the “get the baby out” stage yet, that so many women have experienced. I’m also getting a lot of strangers staring at me, which is interesting… half of me wonders if they’ve never seen a pregnant woman before, and other half just finds it amusing.
First and foremost, I want to talk about something I’ve only mentioned in passing so far in my pregnancy posts – My Other Half!
It seems to me like husbands/partners often get overlooked in pregnancies. Absolutely, women carry (literally) the bulk of the experience, but Dads are becoming parents too! I’ve tried to keep that in mind, and pay attention to how he’s adjusting, keeping him involved and informed and making sure he feels needed.
And boy, is he ever needed. I have leaned on him more than ever these last eight months, and he has been AMAZING. Physically, he’s been a massive help, as I am increasingly limited in what I can do. But emotionally, he has been my rock – supportive, patient, positive and the BEST listener. Seriously, not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks for having such a A-list husband.
It hasn’t been easy – I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns, particularly from 20-30 weeks. My Other Half is so impressive in a crisis, calm and level-headed, always focused on de-escalating things and finding a solution. My Dad says it’s one of his best qualities, and I’d have to agree. Anyway, I’m so lucky to have him. On to other pregnancy-related happenings!
A lot of people have asked about my due date, and when they do, we normally just say “mid-April” for a few reasons. Due dates are not an exact science, and to be completely honest, we’ve been given THREE different due dates over the course of my pregnancy (the most recent change coming just last week)! People seem to get very fixated on due dates, which doesn’t make much sense to us. First-time moms are, on average, a week overdue, and most of my friends have been 10 days late with their first child. I really have hesitated to zone in on a due date for that reason, and also because I’ve witnessed the pressure due dates can cause. So, in an effort to avoid putting pressure on ourselves (and others putting pressure on us), we just say mid-April. If it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for everyone else!
I’m also bracing myself for the baby to arrive, and to then be immediately flooded with questions about when we plan to have baby #2. All my girlfriends have had that happen! Honestly, if anyone asks me that before BH is a year old, they will probably get a dirty look. We do plan on having at least two (which doesn’t mean we’ll have more than two, it just means we don’t plan to have less than two), but we’ll be focusing on the first one and enjoying that experience before we’re willing to discuss subsequent children between the two of us, let alone with other people. I think we’ll just see how the first one goes!
Anyway… let’s talk about how things have gone week-by-week, shall we?
Week 32 – This week I put a big focus on spending time with girlfriends and doing things with My Other Half that we won’t be able to do as easily when the baby arrives. If I ever momentarily panic about becoming a mom, it’s about sacrificing being able to pop out to a new restaurant for date night or spontaneously throwing a dinner party. We’ll adapt, I know, but it’s hard for me to imagine right now.
We had our fourth ultrasound this week (standard procedure for our doctor’s patients, apparently) and found out the baby is really big – in the 90% percentile, with an estimated weight of almost 5 lbs already! That’s two weeks ahead of average, although we were told it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll go early, just that we may have a big baby. The weight can even out by the time I’m full term though, which is what we’re hoping for.
Week 33 – This was a big week because we decided two things – to get a doula (labour support person), which we had been considering for some time, and to transfer care to a midwife from our OB-GYN. It’s a very personal decision, and a big one to make so late in a pregnancy, but if I’m being completely honest, I never felt comfortable with our doctor. I brushed off the feelings, knowing the likelihood she’d be on duty to deliver BH was extremely low (there are 15 OB-GYNs at our hospital), but I couldn’t kick the feeling that something wasn’t right. I’m a pretty academic person by nature, and have been doing a lot of research, and our doctor’s answers/reactions to some of our questions just didn’t sit well with me.
In Ontario, healthcare covers either an OB-GYN or a midwife for pregnancies. In Ottawa, they’re both easily accessible and interchangeable – you can have one or the other. Because my pregnancy has been healthy, low-risk and completely uneventful, a midwife is an awesome choice for us. I was extremely fortunate to get the same midwife as a friend, and so far, we love her. We both instantly felt like it was a better fit. The great part is our midwife has a student shadowing her right now, so we’ll have a midwife, midwifery student and a doula present for the birth. Quite the team and we’re both feeling much more at ease about it all.
This week, we also celebrated our eighth dating anniversary. Nuts!
Week 34 – This late in pregnancy, most books will tell you the baby should be moving less because it’s getting cramped in there. BH is doing the exact opposite! I can’t believe how strong and aggressive some of the movements are, and how fast! It’s so much fun. Our favourite thing to do is lay around and feel the baby moving. I’m telling you, this kid is going to be a character.
This week, my colleagues threw me a baby shower at work, which was so sweet. My favourite part was the game where you taste a bunch of baby food and have to guess what it is. I know it’s common at baby showers, but I’d never played it before and I loved it! It was surprisingly difficult to determine some of the flavours.
Also, my parents came to visit this week! They had just spent a month and a half in Brazil and came straight to Ottawa from there. They got to witness first-hand how big my belly has become, how hard walking is, and how I’m constantly out of breath. We did a lot of catching up and relaxing. Every time the baby kicked, they’d rush over to feel it. So cute! I love having them with us!
Week 35 – This week started off with my Ottawa baby shower, thrown by my cousin. I’ll get into details in a shower-specific post, but it was sooo lovely! I couldn’t have dreamed up a better shower myself. I have the best friends and family, and it was extra special my mom could be there.
With the baby showers done, I washed all BH’s tiny clothes and packed a hospital bag (for the baby) this week. It was such a crazy feeling! I even have a lot of baby clothes my mom saved from when I was little. I also got some cloth diapers ready. Time is ticking!
I am waddling everywhere and feel like I’ve doubled in size. It’s hilarious, but I can’t help it!
How far along: 35 weeks, 5 days
Baby is the size of a: Honeydew melon!
Weight gain: 18.5 lbs
Maternity clothes: Even some of my maternity clothes are feeling snug these days!
Symptoms: Normal things – a bit of lower back and groin discomfort. I still get heartburn now and then and use the washroom what feels like 50 times a day.
Movement: All. the. time.
Sleep: Sleeping SO WELL! Seriously, this is amazing to me, because I was fully prepared for nine months of insomnia. I’m very grateful. It’s been the biggest and best surprise so far in the pregnancy!
What I miss: Margaritas. I can’t wait to have a really good one!
Cravings: Not really, but I have been loving fresh pineapple, baked goods (so unlike me!) and peanutty-things. I wouldn’t call them “cravings”, though.
Moment of the month: My baby showers! And having my parents visit. And the relief of securing a midwife. All those things were fantastic.
Most excited about: This is a tie between finishing work in two weeks (which will be bittersweet, really) and seeing My Other Half with BH for the first time. He’s so excited and it makes me melt!
See all other pregnancy posts by clicking here.