I've still got about half a week until PK is officially due, but just in case she happens to come before then, I thought I'd get a jump-start on the update for this week of gestation.
I have to admit that I'm a bit torn. On the one hand, I really want PK to come out. I'm so curious to see what she looks like and who she resembles the most. On the other hand, it has been nice to enjoy these last few days off to myself and with the hubby. It has been good to say goodbye to the old lifestyle without PK, and to start getting used to the thought of having a new lifestyle with PK. Not only that, this extra time to myself has allowed me to read some of my baby books so that I know what to expect post-partum. The two books I'm currently reading are The Mother of all Baby Books and The Happiest Baby on the Block. The first book starts off by talking about the last few weeks of pregnancy, and then talks about the post-partum period, including how to change diapers, breast-feeding, and caring for the baby's umbilical cord stump. The second book is all about the so-called "fourth trimester" and how to keep fussy, colicky babies happy. That fills me with confidence, because at least I know that there are proven techniques out there for dealing with colicky babies, so hopefully I won't have to fret as much if PK ends up being such a baby.
While I do think that I will miss PK's kicking and squirming (it is still my absolute favorite thing about pregnancy), I will most certainly not miss the lack of mobility that I have these days. While I think I've managed to avoid the dreaded pregnancy waddle (either that, or I'm totally delusional), it has been extra-hard for me to do the following things:
- shave my legs
- cut my toenails
- sleep for more than 2 hours at a time without having to get up to pee
- tie my shoes
- put moisturizer and/or sunscreen on my legs
Apart from getting up to pee every 2 hours at night (can't be helped), I'm still managing with all of the other items above - it's just getting difficult, and I have to get pretty creative. For example, when I tie my running shoes, I find that it's easiest to do a nice wide squat (like one of the recommended labor positions).
Sleep, or lack thereof, has probably been the biggest inconvenience of all. For months I was worried about the fact that I kept waking up on my back, even though all of the pregnancy books tell you that you're not supposed to be lying flat on your back after month 4 or 5 (or something along those lines). I mentioned this to my doctor, and he told me not to worry. He said that the body naturally feels so uncomfortable when you're on your back later on in pregnancy, that I will likely stop waking up on my back at some point. Well, it took a while, but he was right. I think that sometime between 7.5 and 8 months, it finally hit me. There was NO WAY I could wake up on my back or even lie on my back propped up by two pillows because it felt REALLY REALLY uncomfortable. Ah, nature at work!
Even lying on my side is proving to be really uncomfortable. Last night, I couldn't fall asleep on my left or right side because I was having trouble breathing. So I propped myself upright with 3 pillows just so I could fall asleep. When I CAN fall asleep on my sides, I have to constantly switch sides, because my hips are in so much pain. I hear that it's best to sleep on your left while pregnant, so I try to do that, but I'm finding it really difficult to do so nowadays because lying on my left side is aggravating an old shoulder injury from climbing.
Since I'm getting such crappy sleep, my body makes up for it by forcing me to nap during the day or in the evening. I say force because I'm not a napper by nature. Yesterday, for example, we were running a few errands before going grocery shopping. On the way over to the supermarket, I told the hubby that I needed to sit down because I was feeling a bit tired. Next thing I know, I'm sitting there in the middle of this mall, with my head leaning against his shoulder, taking a nap. I think I was out for 20 or 30 minutes. Later that same evening, I sat down to read a book, and zonked out after reading 4 or 5 pages. I only woke up because my sister called me to say hello. That same evening, I was sitting in bed reading, and fell asleep after 4 or 5 pages. The thing is, I feel most refreshed after I take these naps, so I try to embrace them, rather than resist them.
One thing I've found rather amusing in the last few weeks is the timing of when people would like PK to make her world début. I wanted at least 1 week off before PK came out. That way I could tie up loose ends and have some time off to myself - not to mention enjoy my kitchen! The hubby wants PK to come out sometime tomorrow. That way we had the long weekend to ourselves, and he'd take 3 weeks off from work starting on Tuesday, and returning sometime after Labor Day (the September holiday, not MY labor day :P). My sister wanted PK to come this weekend, because she was in town and would be able to stick around for the birth. Next weekend is no good for her because she's on-call for her obstetrics rotation. Plus she goes to school out-of-town and it would take her a couple of hours give or take to make it over here. So since apparently I'm taking orders, when would you like PK to come out?
Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment. It was shifted to Tuesday because of the long weekend, so I suspect that he'll be an hour late to see me. I'm thinking of asking him to do another cervical exam to see if I've dilated at all since last time. From what my sis tells me, I shouldn't expect the doctor to check my cervix this week, though a lot of women in my position ask for it, if they want to avoid being induced. I'm also going to ask him about my suspicions of having passed my mucus plug. I'm pretty sure that I did pass it, and that it's not left-over discharge related to last week's cervical exam. That bleeding/discharge had subsided a few days earlier. I think at this point I may refrain from doing the perineal massages, just in case the mucus plug did pass. I know that PK is still protected by amniotic fluid, but just in case I'm leaking fluid and I don't know it, I don't want to take any chances, especially since I'm GBS-positive (bleh).
Rather than subway up like we usually do, we're thinking of driving up to the doctor's office tomorrow, just in case I'm actually dilated enough to the point where he'd recommend that I check myself into the hospital. My bags are now fully-packed (or at least packed enough), so we'd be prepared just in case.
On a more annoying note, the cold that started last week has morphed into a coughing, sneezing, and stuffy nose fest. I was hoping that it would subside by tomorrow, since will make it a week to the day of when my sore throat started, but I think it may be another week until it's completely gone. It seems to be progressing very very slowly, and it certainly doesn't help with my sleep situation.
And finally, PK still continue to move a fair bit in utero. Sometimes I feel like she's not quite as active as she used to be, which makes me worry. That being said, all of the literature out there says that babies seem to move less later into gestation because there's less room in the uterus. I don't find that particularly comforting, since I'm so used to her moving a lot. Sometimes when I don't feel her moving, I like to coax her into moving by either doing some pelvic floor exercises or leaning forward. That usually gets her moving. I don't think that she find that particularly disruptive, since I usually only get a foot jab from her out of that. Good enough for me. I just want to know that she's okay in there.
Whew! That was a mouthful! The race is on! Only 3 more days until I'm due. Will I be one of the 5% of women who actually has their baby on their due date? Will PK come just before? Will PK come just after? Will PK need to be induced? Stay tuned!