According to every pregnancy website and your-baby-this-week email, at 36 weeks my baby may, at some point soon, “drop.”
This means that the little stinker will move down within my abdomen and it will apparently feel pretty wonderful. So many promises: I’ll be able to breathe again! And eat a normal sized meal! No french fry left behind. Au revoir, reflux and heartburn. Sign me up.
But then there’s the caveat: the baby may not drop at all until I’m in labor, and even if she does, I’ll trade respiratory and digestive complaints for increased bladder pressure and the constant feeling that a boulder is about to fall out of my vagina.
Well okay then. It seems like this last stretch is going to be uncomfortable regardless.
36.5 weeks and extra blurry. I think I need to clean my phone’s camera lens.
Here’s what else is happening these days:
On exercise: Since quitting running, I’ve been trying this whole “go for a walk” thing. I have to admit, it’s a little strange. Of course I enjoy going for a walk with my husband or friends if it’s a social outing, and we do a lot of walking to and from places in our neighborhood, but walking for the sake of fitness just feels…I don’t know, inefficient? Like, I’ve gone through the effort of putting on a sports bra and lacing up my running shoes (both of which take some effort these days) and at the end of it all I’ve burned an hour-plus of my day, I’ve only covered a couple of miles and I’m not even sweaty.
I don’t know. I realize that walking for exercise is a great thing according to, like, every doctor ever, but I think I prefer the elliptical at the gym, even if it means being stuck indoors.
Still swimming a couple of times a week too, with my comically ill-fitting lap suit getting more absurd by the week. In retrospect, I probably should’ve just bought a maternity suit. Oh well!
On sleep: Or rather, lack thereof. I’ve developed this weird bifurcated sleep schedule wherein I sleep solidly until 2-3 AM, am awake for a while, then drift back to sleep around 5-6 AM and snooze for a couple more hours.
I’m not sure what causes this nightly wake-up. Sometimes it’s heartburn or a full bladder, but more often than not, I just awaken and stay that way for no apparent reason.
Interestingly, there seems to be some evidence that this two-stage sleeping schedule was actually how humans operated throughout most of mankind’s history, up until the widespread use of electricity. So I am really just a few generations behind the times here, I guess.
Unlike my historical counterparts, I do not use this wakeful period to smoke tobacco, visit neighbors, or “chat with bedfellows.” (Sometimes I do try the latter; the cats are more receptive than the human.) Instead, I generally stand in the kitchen eating yogurt in the dark while reading the entire internet on my phone, then crash on the couch and watch reruns of Seinfeld until I fall back asleep. Not particularly productive, but at least I’ve moved past tossing and turning (and disturbing the aforementioned bedfellows).
So it’s gonna be totally awesome when I’m not pregnant anymore and can finally get a good night’s sleep! RIGHT?!
On those digestive issues: I’m throwing this out there in the hopes that it might help someone. I have found a foolproof (for me anyway) way to get rid of reflux and heartburn: a shot of unfiltered apple cider vinegar chased by a small glass of milk. It is every bit as disgusting as it sounds, but has never failed to immediately banish the pain/discomfort in its entirety. I am seriously in awe of how well this works. Yay home remedies.
On baby: She seems to be doing well, in spite of her refusal to perform this so-called “drop” maneuver.
I’ve been having weekly NSTs (non-stress tests – where they put a pair of monitors on your belly to measure contractions and the baby’s heart rate while you record the baby’s movements) for a while now and had another one today. Baby was stubborn at first and refused to move at all until the nurse had me chug a glass of ice-cold water, which sent her “on a frenzy in there” (the nurse’s words) of kicking and squirming around. She passed with a 10/10.
(Surprisingly, today’s NST also showed that I’m having regular contractions! I don’t feel most of them though. I have been having Braxton-Hicks for a couple of months now and I still get those a few times a day, but I haven’t noticed the smaller, more regular ones. Apparently this is perfectly normal at this stage and doesn’t mean I’m OMG-GOING-INTO-LABOR! But still. Weird!)
Size-wise, baby is still a little on the smaller side, around the 30th percentile according to the MFM’s ultrasound estimates – this is much better than the upper teens she was measuring at once point! He guesses she’ll be 7 pounds and change at delivery, although I know estimates like that are often wildly inaccurate.
She also apparently has hair on her head. For some reason, hearing this, it really started to sink in for me that there is a small human in there. A human with hair. Which is just as bizarre as it is thrilling. We can’t wait to meet her.
On general parental preparedness: We are getting there.
- Found a pediatrician.
- Wrote up “birth preferences” (using this term loosely as it’s just a single page mostly containing information that the hospital intake nurse would ask anyway on admittance).
- Narrowed our list of names down to three! We’ll make a final call after delivery.
Still to do:
- Pack bag for hospital.
- Baby laundry. I need to stop buying stuff to add to the laundry pile!
- Put together entire nursery. (Still can’t do this, still waiting on contractors to finish their work, still really don’t want to talk about it. Ugh.)
- A million other things I’m not aware of, I’m sure.
Crossing our fingers that baby stays put for at least a couple more weeks! But if she wants to drop down out of my ribcage and ease up on my stomach and lungs, that would be most welcome. Sorry, bladder.
3.5 to go!