We’ve hit that point in the pregnancy where it’s becoming obvious that the end is very very near and things are about to dramatically change. Every time we do something we think “this could be the last _____ before the baby comes.” I’ve caught myself doing that about everything…this could be the last pedicure, the last trip to whole foods, the last time I shave my legs, the last meal at Golden Temple..haha. But seriously..it’s a surreal feeling. It’s something we’ve planned and prepared for for so long but the not knowing exactly when it’s coming makes it even more surreal. This big moment, this big thing is coming but we don’t know exactly when. Will my water break at home, at the grocery store, on the treadmill??? I have no idea. Will I go into labor in the morning or late at night? There are so many unknowns. I guess that’s part of the fun of it though.
There are also the glaring physical indicators that I’m very near labor. I bragged through my whole 2nd trimester that I didn’t even feel pregnant – man I’m making up for it now. All those wonderful pregnancy symptoms that everyone complains about have hit me here at the end: sweaty/swelling feet, heartburn, running to the restroom every 10 minutes, no sleep, extreme fatigue, severe back pain, leg cramps, and just overall general discomfort. Getting up and down, bending over, walking, etc have become so so so difficult. There are also the unexpected things that I wasn’t planning to get like the fluid on my joints causing carpal tunnel-like symptoms in my wrists, and the plantar fasciitis that I’ve developed in my left foot. And I don’t know if it’s hormones or what but I’ve started having these EXTREME laughing fits where I’ll laugh uncontrollably about something that usually isn’t even all that funny. I laugh until I cry or can’t breathe or pee on myself…or all 3. Then Eric gets so tickled at watching me that he starts laughing. There’s got to be some hormonal explanation for this. I keep telling him to try to use humor during labor and delivery – maybe I’ll have a laughing fit in there too – and it’ll ease the pain a little bit!
Our house looks like we are stocking up for a camping trip or natural disaster or something. We’ve packed the normal stuff like PJs and clothes and baby stuff… but also powerade and bottled water and those energy chews that marathon runners use…and labor snacks, a handheld fan, battery operated candles, massage oil…and lots of other labor prep items that I won’t go into detail about. Having a natural labor and delivery takes a bit more prep and planning than I realized.
On a serious note though, I feel so continuously amazed and blessed by this experience. I couldn’t be more amazed by God’s work in my life than when I look at my husband. I know everyone says they are blessed in their marriage (okay maybe not everyone, ha) but I am just constantly in awe of his dedication and love for me and this baby. I am also sooooo incredibly thankful that God has blessed me with a healthy pregnancy. Not only that Ritter seems to be healthy and thriving in there…but also that I’ve been able to be relaxed and loved and cared for..that there have been no tragedies or accidents or falls. Every time I get on the road I pray for my safety and that of my baby. I’ve always been worried about car accidents, everyone is I guess, but being pregnant gives you a completely different perspective on EVERYTHING. And having a child will be the same way no doubt. I’m so much more cognizant of every single decision I make – and that’s the way it should be I guess. I said this about meeting Eric too, but being pregnant really drives it home for me… I feel so much more at peace and less focused on things that don’t matter in life. When you feel this kind of contentment and blessing every day it’s alot easier to ignore the rude cashier or the person or cuts you off in traffic. If we could all strive to constantly focus on our own blessings and gratitude, imagine what we could learn to let go of!
Yes, very soon, you will have a labor and delivery story and friends who are mamas will be delighited to hear it. Suddenly, their stories will become a lot more interesting, too.
Since so few women opt for natural child birth, everyone will be interested in your experiences. We hope you will have time to share something about that on your blog before Ritten “wakes up” and demands all your time in one way or the other.
Take naps when you can and know you are not crazy if your emotions are “over the top” for some time.
Much love from us to Ritter’s parents.
While I’m CERTAIN there will be no love like the one I’ll know with Ritter? From the moment I handed you your first set of car keys not one single day goes by that I haven’t called your name and your vehicle to God’s Hand of Protection. I added Eric to that when he came into our lives. And I’ve been praying for Ritter for years. You picked the perfect name and I love lifting it up now! You will always be MY Baby and my Motherly heart strings are singing right now.