As 37 weeks looms over me, I’m continuing to feel both joyous and scared out of my mind.
Most everything that can possibly be done is done. As of this coming Sunday, baby Mango will be considered full-term, and not a moment too soon.
I confess – I’m officially over being pregnant. Don’t get me wrong – I still love watching my belly bulge out like a circus tent from a little elbow or foot, and being able to get a little kick in response if I sing to him, but other than that, I’m done.
My bathroom breaks are pretty much on the hour, every hour. That’s not so bad, because I’ve just become accustomed to that. But within the past week, my hips are starting to widen. It’s a low, dull pain that I can’t describe to Oscar, because how would he ever know? It’s not terrible until around 5:00 or 6:00pm, and that’s when it really hits. I can roll around on my yoga ball and try to do pelvic tilts and stretch every way from Sunday, but it’s not helping much. I know that realistically, this is a good sign, as my body is slowly preparing for labor by widening my hips. It’s just unpleasant, and it’s my pregnancy and I’ll cry if I want to.
I’m pretty sure I’m getting Braxton Hicks now. Every now and then my entire stomach seizes up and feels extremely hard. It doesn’t hurt thankfully, but for a minute or two it’s kind of hard to catch my breath.
Knowing that my hips are starting to widen in preparation of baby Mango’s birth absolutely terrifies me, because if I’m cranky about a little bit of pelvic pain, how on earth am I going to deal with contractions? It’s in my plan to get an epidural for sure, but you can’t just get one as soon as the first contraction hits. You’ve got to wait for this magical epidural window, and I’m worried I’ll either start too soon and the epi will wear off, or I’ll wait too long and won’t be able to get one. You know, perfectly normal things that make a natural worrier go insane.
I know every woman handles them differently, and I hope that I can stay focused on the fact that at that very same moment, there are probably thousands of other women who are having babies, too. Reminding myself of that fact, and the fact that many, many women before me have done it without an epidural, I’m hoping I can manage the pain until I can get one.
The only kind of pain I really remember is when I got my tattoo a few years ago. Apparently, my tattoo artist is “heavy-handed,” or so says a good friend of mine who’s gotten many, most from the same guy. And I managed to get through about 2 and a half hours of THAT without crying like a baby or taking anything for it, right? Of course, having something to focus on will help. That particular day I listened to my current boyfriend blabber on about God knows what, and I focused on the fact that I kind of wished he’d keep talking, if only so that I could focus on whatever story he was telling for the 30th time. Getting my tattoo, to me, was pain with a purpose (despite what my Mom might think). I imagine contractions being one hundred times bigger than that. Perhaps more painful, but with a much, much bigger and more important purpose.
Tomorrow I have another appointment, and I kind of hope the doctor checks me to see if I’m dilated or effaced at all. If not, then I guess I’ll just have to be content knowing that in about 3 weeks, he’s coming out whether I want him to or not.
I seriously feel your pain. Like, seriously. It freakin’ sucks. I have a really awful pain on one side of my hip. Last night I was walking (yes walking) out of our bedroom and I like, PULLED that muscle. Now I can’t lift my leg into bed without excruciating pain. And when you have to get out of bed every hour to go to the bathroom, it sucks extra hard.
Yeah, I’m pretty much done with this too.
With regards to the contraction pain…yeah, they hurt a lot. I got a little preview of that last month. It SUCKED. But the thing that sucked the most was knowing that I wasn’t actually in labor, so there was no purpose to the pain. I think you’re right to focus on the purpose behind the pain. I have a few things I’m going to focus on:
1) Every single contraction has an end. Just get through this one.
2) Every single contraction gets Charlie closer to being born.
3) Every single contraction gets me one step closer to being done with this.
I’m also going to try to visualize her turning and getting ready to come out during each one. I think it helps to know that this is a totally natural process and both your body and the baby are working toward a common, totally natural goal.
Thanks so much for the advice, Sara! I love that you were able to welcome Charlie into the world just a day after you wrote this! 🙂 Congrats again!