Belly of the beast

Know what the hardest part of this pregnancy is? Surprisingly, it’s not the weeks-long morning sickness, the Zofran-induced constipation, the searing acid reflux or the perpetually vibrating hands and fingers from third trimester carpal tunnel. (Although don’t get me wrong, all those common pregnancy ailments SUCK like whoa.) Nope. I’d say the toughest thing at this stage, as my belly swells beyond physical comprehension and with my due date rapidly approaching, is the unknown. It’s not being able to circle a square on the calendar as “the day the baby will be born.” Because if I could just do THAT, life would be so much simpler. Plans could be made. Nerves would be soothed. And maybe, just maybe, I could just chill the eff out.

Instead, I’ve been wringing my tingly hands raw while trying to figure out the best case scenario as we enter the final four (or less, I hope) weeks of my pregnancy. My biggest concern is not how the baby will be get here — I’ve got a pretty good idea of how that will happen — but rather who will be take care of baby’s big brother when I do go into labor. It’s difficult not having grandparents close by for these kinds of situations. It would be amazing to just have them on call, but instead we’re having to play a guessing game as to when the moment will arrive. Will this wee little Sapling decide to come early like Rowan? Or will we be twiddling our thumbs well into the 41st and 42nd weeks?

We’ve decided to take a leap of faith that the baby will be a bit early in order to take advantage of Roth’s mom’s latest chemo schedule, which will allow her to come up to Seattle between my 38th and 39th weeks. This feels like the “sweet spot” for something to happen, if it doesn’t happen earlier. We’ve also got a backup plan in place with local friends, too, in case of an early evacuation. If Sapling decides to copy Rowan, that would be in another week and a half!

Because of this remote possibility, we’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting everything ready for the baby by my 36th week, which is where I am now. We spent one Saturday washing and wiping down every thing, and now we’ve got the car seat, cradle and newborn clothes at the ready. We brought the glider up from the basement. The bouncer and recently inherited swing are ready to go. Yesterday, we finished up our 2012 taxes, a task that’d been looming over our heads. And last night, we packed our hospital bags.

I’m sure being THIS prepared will ensure the baby will NOT come early, but without a job to occupy my time, it’s been something to keep me busy. There are still a handful of household organizational projects I want to tackle, but if I went into labor tomorrow, we’d be ready. We’d be OK.

If I had my druthers, though, I’d prefer the baby held tight just a bit longer since I’ve got plans this weekend. Kerri (and Matt, too) is coming from Wenatchee, and we’re getting together with a couple other gals for pedicures and lunch out. I didn’t want a baby shower, as it felt wholly unnecessary this time around, but I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to prettify my toes and hang out with some lovely ladies before my life is turned upside down in a couple of weeks.

***

I’m woefully behind on documenting this pregnancy’s progress here. I’ve been pretty good about having Roth take regular belly shots and posting selfies on Instagram, but I’ve definitely neglected this space. I decided to put together the last four shots, from 20 weeks to 35 weeks, into a collage, the results of which are more interesting than seeing a weekly shot, I think.

There’s not a lot of change from 20 (top left) to 25 weeks (top right), but holy belly growth from 30 (bottom left) to 35 weeks (bottom right)! Oh, and also, while my belly has grown several inches, I decided to lose several inches of hair last week, too.

I’m definitely feeling every inch and pound of this pregnancy. Restful sleep is getting harder to come by, with the frequent getting up to pee and more recently, my hands going completely numb from the aforementioned carpal tunnel syndrome. I do almost anything to avoid going up the stairs, for it renders me completely breathless. I’ve been going to a weekly prenatal yoga class on Sundays, and I find myself spending most of the time in child’s pose, just grateful for extended moments of stillness.

We’re at the homestretch, I think. A matter of just a couple weeks, and the baby will be here. I’m starting to get really excited about (finally!) finding out the sex. Most friends and family say I’m carrying high and all in front, which indicates girl. Just for fun, I’m curious what everyone thinks based on my 35-week pic. Is our little Sapling a he or a she?

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11 Comments

  1. Yay!! You’re looking fabulous! Way to go getting everything ready and prepared. Even if baby doesn’t show up early, what a relief to not have to worry about that stuff.
    Hope you can find some rest here soon.
    And I will guess girl just for fun!

  2. Jasmine

    I’m just so excited for you and Roth, and Rowan that I don’t care if it’s a boy or girl. Buuuuuuuuuuut I’ll guess girl! No! Boy! Girl! Damnit. Okay, okay…. Girl. I’m locking that in.

    Also, have a great time doing girly things with the ladies. Wish I could join all you lovely gals for some pampering. Another time, hopefully a few months down the road when the men watch the babies and us moms can get out for some mai tais. ;)

  3. Have you compared this 35 week picture with the one from your pregnancy with Rowan? I did that with my two and it was absolutely crazy how different they look. That might help you guess at the sex! Good luck with the last few weeks. I was just in Seattle a wee bit and sent out some good thoughts for you, wondering how you were doing.

  4. Laurel-MIL

    We (Manny & I) think a girl this time just because everything’s so different. Mostly, just can’t wait for either!

  5. Mom

    You know my guess. I just hope everything times out well for you and everyone. And of course, you and the baby are healthy and well.

  6. I guessed girl way back because you were have a similarly rough go in the beginning, like me. And with such different pregnancies between first and second child, I assume that could only mean the opposite sex. Turned out true over here, so I’ll still guess girl now for you, too. What’s the heart rate been? That would make me lock in my guess more so, too. :)

    Also, 2013 seems to be the year of the girl with nearly everyone I know having girls.

    Glad you’re prepared! The limbo is the hardest part, for sure. I’m sitting here 4 days away from my due date having no clue when she’ll come or what every single twinge MEANS. Will it be similar to our first (two days early)? Probably not. Many Twitter babies seemed to be late recently, too, so that could be a trend? Who knows! AH!

  7. I’ve long-guessed Sapling was a girl, but there’s still yet this teensy tiny part of me that thinks Sapling might really be a boy. THE ANTICIPATION, IT BURNS.

    Seriously so psyched to meet wee Sapling, no matter which rad name he’s/she’s getting, and to shower you with some girly love.

  8. I remember that feeling. I didn’t mind so much if the baby wanted to come late, if only it would tell me WHEN it was going to come. Every day, every minute, I wondered if this could be it. The anticipation, man!

    Can’t wait to read here that your little one has made his or her arrival. I’m so excited!

  9. Angelq

    I used to go up the stairs on hands and feet. Somehow, not standing upright seemed to fight gravity less and worked better. Our bedroom is upstairs, so there was no avoiding it.

    You look great, by the way!

  10. You look awesome (still, always) and I can’t wait to meet sapling and hear what Rowan thinks and what flavor of baby you get and what his/her name is and, and, and! So close!

  11. I’m hoping for a GIRL! :)

    We had arrangements with close friends for a middle of the night drop off of Claire to stay the night, but it didn’t happen that way. When I dropped off my urine sample Sunday morning, the hospital never let me go, so Huz called and dropped her off at lunchtime instead. It works out not having family around, but it’d be nice if they were. Trust me, I know!!

    How are you doing?? What week are you at now?

    Thank you for your support and concern over our latest saga. It meant a lot to me, Jen!

    xo,
    VW

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