Thirty-eight weeks today. It doesn’t seem real, while at the same time it definitely feels like the pregnancy should be over and done with. This last month has been the most challenging and the most incredible period of time for so many different (and completely […]
So, today I learned another thing about pregnancy: doing the Bay Walk in thirty degree heat will, in fact, lead to pretty severe heat stroke.
Let me back up a bit – after swimming at Balmoral Beach the other day, although using those muscles I haven’t used in months meant I was aching the whole day after, I felt absolutely incredible. After the swim it really dawned on me how strong, fit, healthy and physically ready I want to be for the birth of my son.
This morning, Pete got out of bed early to do some work in the garage before it got too hot and my thinking was that while he worked, I would take myself on my favourite walk. It was still pretty early in the day and the Bay Walk is along the water and I wanted to feel good and move my body and be outdoors.
There was no breeze today, none.
The morning seemed to bring with it about three extra degrees every time I took a step.
Little man has dropped further into position, readying himself for birth, which means that he is extremely heavy.
And my fingers swelled to the point where there was no space in between them and I could barely hold my phone in my fat grip.
I got about halfway around the seven kilometre walk and thought to myself, “I can’t do this.” My breathing was laboured and the amount of energy that it took to carry me each step I doubted could last for another three and a bit kilometres. I focused on my breathing and pictured the feeling or the air conditioning hitting my face once I made it (hopefully) back to my car. I took slower steps and kept at that pace while my feet started to swell in my shoes. The sun was relentless as I realised how little shade there is along the Bay Walk.
Whenever people ask me how I am handling summer and the heat so far the best way that I have managed to describe it is that it feels as though I am hot from the inside out. That sentence could not have been more true today as I trudged slowly along the walk while trying to remain positive and breathe and remind myself that I am doing something good and active and healthy for me and my child.
Strangely though, I wasn’t sweating. My organs felt as though they had melted and evaporated, but I wasn’t perspiring.
Eventually I made it back to my car – swollen, disorientated and thirsty – and it was only once I sat down and started driving that the sweat started pouring from every single part of my body. On the walk, my face got re-burnt and was luminescent and glowing fro the heat. I looked an absolute treat. When I got to the cafe, Mum took one look at me and said, “Let me get you some iced water,” which I downed, and then another and another. I sat down and tried to breathe slowly to try and regulate my temperature, but as I began to cool down (marginally), I realised how faint and nauseas and ill I felt (and still feel as I type this).
It was too hot for me to be out there today.
Yesterday morning I did the grocery shopping and meandered around the shopping centre for a little bit. When I got home, I made Pete and I breakfast and conceded that it was too hot for me to do anything outdoors. Today is the same. I knew that it was already too late in the day and too hot for me to do a walk, let alone a seven kilometre one, but I can’t help but feel a little out of sorts. It’s summer and normally I would be relaxing with my friends and family over cocktails and cheeseboards and spending my time in the sun, but that just isn’t possible. And more than that, it’s dangerous. I feel so fatigued from the walk and so nauseas that once again, I have been usurped of all of my energy – and what little energy I have I am using to stay awake and type this.
I’m still not used to the fact that I can’t do even the simple things that I am used to doing. And to be honest, even though I have zero energy and being out in the sun just is not an option, I feel guilty and lazy to just be sitting and trying to stay cool. And I know that that is ridiculous, I need to keep myself safe and hydrated and rested for Bub, but I can’t help but feel that I should be doing something – cleaning, baking, writing, anything!
I feel awful that I put myself in the position that I did today. I wanted to prove to myself and to Pete that I was doing all of the right things – I was exercising and keeping fit and doing everything I can to look and feel like myself again. Instead, I feel awful. I feel sick and I put myself in danger. It may seem as though I am being morose or dramatic, but I cannot stress to you fellow pregnant mamas how important it is to completely surrender at this stage. I need to take that advice as well. Nothing will fit you properly, your swimmers will look foreign on your beautiful, plump body, you will be desperate to feel like yourself again, you will want to do all of the things that you normally do, you will be well and truly over feeling heavy and hot, and you will feel unattractive and as if you are a stranger to yourself. Or maybe you won’t feel any of those things. But I do, and I promise you that the only thing to do is to make peace with the fact that you are in the final stages of growing an ENTIRE human – do you know how fucking boss that is? So what if my legs have lost some of their muscles, I know that I will get it back when Bub is born. So what if I can’t go and go and go all day, soon enough I will be back at work and wishing that I had some downtime. And yeah, so what if I spend a few minutes lusting over my clothes aching to be able to wear them once more.. in just over a month, I will be able to.
So I implore you – look beyond what your ego is demanding of you. Be healthy and stay fit in whatever way your body allows you to. For me, I think that means swimming in our family friend’s pool and retreating to the shade (and then repeating nine or ten times).
Sixty-three days?! That’s nothing. I have all the feelings.
I am thirty-one weeks today and oh boy, do I feel it.
Generally speaking I am doing well! I feel healthy, I have enough energy each day to get me through until about 1.30pm and although I don’t sleep through the night, when I am asleep it is a deep sleep (before my bladder or my son wakes me up).
We had our baby shower last weekend and it was such a beautiful day. We were surrounded by friends and family and there was enough food to feed our entire suburb for three weeks and alcohol was drank and our little man, Pete and I received some beautiful gifts. Since moving into our house, a lot of what we have been doing around the place was not only in preparation for the arrival of bub, but it was also in preparation for hosting our baby BUB-beque. It was the first time Pete’s and my family were meeting, and the first time that we were introducing ourselves to everyone as a little family of three in our home that we created together. We couldn’t have wished for the day to go any better; all of our family and friends introduced themselves to one another if they hadn’t met before, every room of our house was filled with conversation and laughter and the backyard smelt of delicious meat cooking on a coal barbeque.
At thirty-one weeks I only have two more hospital appointments before my due date. I only have two weeks of work left. It really does feel that the next two months are going to absolutely fly by and before we know it, we will be holding our son in our arms and weeping over how perfect he is.
I am getting bigger with each and every day that passes – and this is confirmed over and over again by my family and work colleagues – and so is Bub. He is so big now that by just resting our hands on my belly, Pete and I are able to feel his head, his feet and his legs; we are able to feel our son’s body and it is positively surreal. Not only is he big, but my god is he strong. I was sitting at my desk yesterday and he was kicking the hell out of me and it hurt – it really, really hurt. I had to press my hand quite firmly into the right side of my stomach to keep him away from what I sure are some of my vital organs. I tried getting up and walking around in hopes that he would shift his position or go to sleep, but no. Up until last week, I could only really feel him kicking or moving when I was sitting or lying down, but now it doesn’t matter where I am or whether I am standing or sitting, I can feel him constantly. He is my active little companion and he makes sure that I know it.
Pete and I were sitting on the lounge last night watching Vikings – and, holy shit, if you haven’t watched it, WATCH IT. I didn’t think I would like it, but I am obsessed. And Travis Fimmel is a bloody dreamboat – literally bloody. I never thought that I would find someone whose face is spattered with blood so damn attractive but I DO. Now I sit on the lounge and demand more battles scenes just so I can see this:
So we were sitting on the lounge and once again I got an overwhelming surge of love and adoration for our son. He has so much personality already and I love that he and I know each other already – because we do. I can’t describe the connection that I feel with him because it is so intimate. I love that he and I have to work together to get through the day. I love that everything I do is with him in mind – what I eat, how I sit, all the visits to the bathroom (which, by the way have increased once again). He is the biggest part of my days and my nights, my little companion and I truly cannot wait to meet him.
Pete also picked up the last piece of furniture for Bub’s room which was a Boori chest of drawers to match the cot and the change table that we got a few weeks ago. Pete is away this weekend and I am going to get our son’s room all set up for when he gets back. I am going to wash and fold and put away all of his clothes, and buy nappies to stack on the shelves beneath the change table and get out all of the picture books and set them up. Bub already feels like a part of the family and, once again, I am finding it difficult to describe what it feels like getting all of this ready for him. Pete is so proud of the room that we have created for our son and he said last night, “Our little man is going to love his room, and he deserves it all”. And he does.
I realised the other day that I have almost forgotten what it is like to NOT be pregnant. It’s weird. A colleague and friend of mine said to me, “I have never not known you pregnant” – and she hasn’t because I found out I was pregnant the day before I started this job. She then went on to say that she actually doesn’t know much of my back story either which got me thinking. I went through some old photos and almost didn’t recognise myself. Women are pregnant for ten months all up, almost a whole year, so I guess that it’s pretty normal to forget how you used to look, how you used to feel and even what you used to wear before growing a human. But even more than that, I realised that I will never be that person again. Ever. My body will forever bear the marks of having been pregnant and having a child, and I am in no way saying that as a bad thing, not at all. I just found myself really stopping and thinking about how I used to look and who I used to be, and wondering who I am about to become.
I have to say, I am excited to find out.
I am also excited, I will admit, to wear my normal clothes once again and not be restricted to a handful of comfortable items of clothing that I wear in steady circulation. I didn’t realise how trendy I was before everything stopped fitting me. Though I may not feel comfortable wearing the crop tops and short skirts that I used to wear (I am a mother now, after all), I am looking forward to having options, having the energy to accessorise and pretty myself up and to just feeling like myself again but in a new way. I am looking forward to feeling sexy again!
Overall, I can’t remember being happier than I am now. I can’t remember ever being more in love in my relationship, more settled and grateful for my home, more inspired to create or more ready to face whatever the future holds. My son and Pete are the catalysts for those feelings and every morning I wake up grateful for Pete’s arm around me and my son’s kicks against my belly.
I’ll leave you with this:
I have never found gift-giving particularly difficult. Those that I buy for, I generally know pretty well whether it be a family member, a partner or a friend. I actually love the lead up to Christmas and writing a list of ideas for presents for […]
This week has felt extremely long. The weather hasn’t been too hot and yet it is affecting me a lot now (even still, please refrain from uttering, “Ooooh pregnant through summer” to me. I don’t appreciate it and am fully aware that I am pregnant and it is about to be summer). On the plus side though, the warmer weather means that I can wear dresses and actually be comfortable. I much rather being that little bit too warm and in a dress than it being cooler outside but having to wear jeans all day. No thank you.
It seems that every day I grow that little bit more outwards. I cannot see my toes anymore and I was told by my midwife that from now on, if I am lying down, I need to roll to get up and not try and sit up as I risk pulling my abdominal muscles. I feel like a whale. I am also about to grow out of everything I own and to be honest, I am tempted to just be naked whenever possible, it’s the only time I am really comfortable. A good night’s sleep is a thing of the past and I am actually okay with that. Like I have mentioned before, when I wake up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom (for the sixth time) and bub wakes up too, I don’t mind that he has a bit of a play and a stretch. Though it impedes me from getting back to sleep, it’s like he and I are spending uninterrupted time together and there is something really amazing about that. I am sleeping deeply when I am asleep (thank god), but my trips to the bathroom seem to have tripled this week. I am constantly getting up from my desk, or getting up from the lounge, or getting up from bed because once again, I need to pee. I have tried to drink more of my water during the day so that during the night, I don’t need to go as much but I feel like even if I drank absolutely nothing at all (I would never), I would still have to get up fifteen times to empty my bladder. #science
Another thing that I have noticed is that whenever I am sitting down I am completely restless. I still can’t stop jiggling my legs, I need to stand up often to stretch my back and I readjust my sitting position every few minutes. And even though I am that restless, I am also utterly depleted of all energy. It’s a weird little situation. What I have come to realise throughout this pregnancy is that although there are definite ‘checkpoints’ – first trimester, second trimester, third trimester – there are also far more subtle ones that will be different and individual to each woman. This week I found myself thinking, “Ohhhh, okay. So I am going to be this tired, this is happening with bub and will only be capable of doing this after work,” and so then I adjust my daily routine, remind myself of what I can and can’t do physically and familiarise myself with whatever is happening with my body. For example, due to how big bub is now, I am eating a lot less and, on top of that, I am craving salad more than anything which doesn’t do much for my energy levels and so it has been getting to about 7.30pm and I am wasted. My body is feeling tired in a different way than it was last week – last week I was aching a lot and my muscles felt really tight whereas this week it is more of a general exhaustion. I got home yesterday and showered, lay down on the lounge to read and almost immediately fell asleep. It was 5.30pm.
Tonight I have my youngest brother’s end of year performance. He goes to a performing arts school and is on a scholarship for drumming – the kid is legit. I have never missed one of his concerts and never will, but for the first time, the idea of having something on after work was really daunting. I called mum and asked what time it started and what the plan was and when she heard the slight anxiety in my voice, she reassured me that it was completely normal to feel that at this stage of the pregnancy. The idea of having plans at night is just not something I am keen on, and I imagine that that will only become more and more of a thing the bigger and further along in the pregnancy I get. She said that from now on, I need to make sure that I rest as much as I can, whenever I can and it was actually so nice to hear that that is something I have to do. I have been feeling guilty about how tired I have been and how incapable I am of getting as much stuff done around the house as I used to – even though Pete always just stares at me when I express that to him and he says, “Leah, you’re pregnant..”. I don’t know why I feel like I need that permission to just rest. I think that part of it is just who I am, but also, even after almost seven months of being pregnant, I am still not used to the fact that I simply can’t do things that I normally would.
Our little man is anything bu tired. He just does not stop wriggling around and I could have sworn he had friends over the other night at about 4.30 in the morning. He doesn’t kick as much any more but he is always moving, and he is so strong now that if he does kick, it often takes me by surprise and can sometimes hurt (depending on where his kick lands). Pete and I were sitting on the lounge a couple of days ago and bub was going absolutely ballistic, Pete was on his phone but the movements are moving my stomach so much that Pete saw them out of the corner of his eye. He couldn’t believe how much our son was able to change the shape of my belly. It’s like a scene out of Alien.
Oh – I also definitely waddle now as well, and I am okay with it.
I have just over three weeks left at work and the idea of that is really insane. I worked it out and told Pete and we both just looked at each other with not a whole lot to say. Everything is coming around so quickly and I know that bub is going to come along faster than either of us expect. Funnily enough though, neither of us are worried or fretting at all. It all feels surreal and foreign, but not scary and I cannot express how grateful I am to be bringing our son into this world and into so much love. I know I am getting a bit soppy but, you know, hormones. ANYWAY – one thing that I do need to sort out is my maternity leave pay, as well as whatever it is I need to tell Centrelink. I have no idea. I am oblivious. I had a chat with our CFO at work yesterday about the process and realised that it is something I need to get onto before Christmas because after that, bub could be born anytime. I will be sure to run through what I need to do in detail because I know that I would have appreciated a step-by-step, how-to, dummies guide to getting maternity payments set up and so that will be my gift to you all out there who are just as oblivious as me.
Cravings this week have been:
– fresh orange juice (which is lucky because I have been fighting off the flu that my brother and Pete both have)
– Vietnamese banh mi rolls (the lady at the shop knows me and my order now so all I have to do is walk in..)
– salad (of any kind)
– grape tomatoes (cannot buy enough punnets of them at the moment, my god)
Lists are my favourite. I have mentioned that several times. Lists give me direction. Lists allow me to plan. Lists let me know when I have achieved things. I have several notebooks that I use specifically for list-making. Planning a baby shower, it turns out, […]