Get low

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.

36w3dv3

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.

Accomplished recently:

  • 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!

14 Responses to Get low

  1. Pack the bag now. Just saying.
    I had a planned home birth with the first, and I still was planning to pack a ‘just in case’ bag. Figured since first babies are usually late I had loads of time.
    No.
    She showed up at 38w+1 and it turns out I did need that bag for a stupid placenta issue (delivery was just fine, though). I spent the grossest, most exhausted 24 hours in that hospital with nary a toothbrush nor pair of shoes nor cute baby outfit… notta. Just do it. You’ll feel better.
    Nurseries are over rated until the kid is a few months old, so basically you’re doing awesome!

  2. I can sympathize that getting all dressed & ready to go walking would feel not fulfilling when you’re used to running. Sorry about the sleep thing too, as I worry it may be a looong time before you get a full, normal night of sleep. On the bright side, you look so cute & you’ll get to meet baby girl soon!

  3. Try eating apples. My fiance swears they help his heartburn.

    • Any kind of apples? I have heard this about red delicious apples but brushed it off because…well, red delicious apples. :) But I could get down with some fuji or granny smith for a bedtime snack!

      PS this is a particularly appropriate recommendation coming from a PNWer. :)

  4. people are building shit in your house? fancy! just make them pack your bag and do laundry too and you are down to just one list item. #lifehackswithar

    • They are doing more tearing shit down than building shit right now. We are remediating mold and repairing water damage. I really could not think of a less fun way to spend money if I tried. The whole thing is a huge clusterfuck and is weeks behind schedule at this point.

      I miss renting.

  5. Only a few more weeks to go! It is so exciting and terrifying at the same time. I’m also in the “pack the bag” camp. Just leave it somewhere and make sure Drew knows where it is – you will feel like you are more ready for the actual day. I made it to 38+2 with Avery but I was the idiot who didn’t know I was in labor until the contractions started in hard core. This is total TMI, but if it happens to you at least you will know – the day I went into labor (thankfully I had finished a big report the night before and was working from home in the afternoon) I wound up getting terrible diarrhea all afternoon. I had no idea that for some people, that is your body’s way of preparing itself for labor. I was still working at home, did a conference call with Bob, planning on going to the gym later and thinking it was something I ate until I started having regular contractions and was in the hospital at 5 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced 3 hours later. Duh. I had the bag packed from about 36 weeks on and I’m glad I did because taking a shower and putting on clean clothes after Avery was born and we got into our maternity floor room was the best experience in the world. I can’t wait to see pictures of your little girl!!

  6. I had acid reflux while I was at the hospital, in labor… so while I hope it goes away for you when/if she drops.. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

    Chris packed our bags at 36 weeks after we had a NST that showed I was having contractions pretty regularly. That freaked him out enough that he packed our bags, and installed the car seat in my car.. She didn’t show up for another 2.5 weeks so he had pleeeenty of time. But it was nice to just grab our crap and go when the time came.

  7. Congratulations on your upcoming delivery. I hope you are as comfortable as possible. You look great btw!

  8. It is way easier to pack the hospital bag early. You can’t pack everything though (like toiletries, maybe clothes depending on your wardrobe), so I’d suggest packing what you can and putting a list in the bag of what you need to pack when its actually time to go. Because if its not written down, it will be forgotten in the chaos. Good luck!

  9. You packed that bag yet??

  10. So Very Happy For You!!

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