We’re getting so close!
This week started out with Veterans Day. I stayed home and got lots of work done, which was great, since everything is taking longer than expected, as it always does (pregnant or not), and I am still really motivated to finish as many projects as possible before that other really big project that’s coming up. On that note, I think that we (that is me, my advisor and the excellent HR person responsible for coordinating leave in our department) have figured out my parental leave, and it seems that I can start it around Thanksgiving, which was just around the corner at this point. Hooray for more days of working from home.
Post-partum cooking has begun. As I’m writing this, I’ve already cooked a bunch of meals for two – pastas and pies. Now, of course I haven’t tested out how these will reheat, but I’m thinking that our soon-to-be sleep-deprived selves might not even notice if the pasta is a bit overcooked, or the pie has gotten soggy in places. There’s still at lot of cooking to do, and I’m excited about it. But that’s all for another post.
We met with a second doula this week. She, too, was really nice and knowledgeable, but in the end, we decided that we felt the most comfortable with the first doula we had met. So we hired her! We’ll have our first official meeting as clients in a few weeks.
I’m glad that we have dealt with the majority of the birth prep and immediate postpartum practicalities at this point, because I’m spending more and more energy on really mundane things like sleeping (it currently takes anywhere from 10-12 hours to get 8 hours of sleep), moving between rooms (position feet, stabilize weight, use arms to push off of chair or bed, walk awkwardly for a few steps before the body recalls what it’s supposed to do, then reverse afore procedure in order to lower self onto surface in other room…), and putting on clothes. I’m also having to change positions more often when I’m sitting or lying down. Generally, it’s because my tailbone or sacrum will be complaining. But increasingly I’m having to move to try to get the baby off my bladder or other sensitive spots, or to reposition its surprisingly sharp elbows, knees, and fists. Either way it’s not particularly conducive to working productively. I’m blessing Paulus’ decision a few years back to invest in standing desk, because being able to adjust working positions is probably the primary reason I’m still getting stuff done.
What a busy week this was! I had a lot of work to do with trying to gather as much experimental data as I can before the baby, but it looks like I finally made some headway on this, largely thanks to my excellent research assistant. I spent much of my work week and most of the weekend dragging experimental equipment across campus, and to and from cars. And that’s when you’re reminded that you’re also carrying a tiny human around, which makes everything take longer and be just a bit more complicated than you anticipated. I can only say that I’m grateful for having a very independent research assistant as well as a husband who’s willing to help out with my work when the equipment becomes too heavy for me and such things.
But that’s enough about work, I’m sure you’re here to hear about the baby-prep. And it’s going well with that. As well it should, because this week we passed the ‘one month left’ mark. Among the preparatory things we did was attending a breastfeeding class. It was moderately informative. I already knew a lot of what was discussed, thanks to one of my friends having lent me an excellent book on the topic, back when she learned that I was pregnant. But it’s always nice with a refresher course.
We have now entered the time period when we have weekly midwife appointments. As has been his custom, Paulus took a picture of me sitting on the table waiting for the midwife. As has been my custom, I looked really weird in the photo – but I’ll share it anyway. The visit was relatively uneventful – the midwife confirmed with touch and an ultrasound that the baby was still head down, and she informed us that at this stage is it very unlikely that that will change. Which is good news, as it is one less obstacle to being allowed to birth the baby in the birth center. The next thing will be to get to week 37 without going into labor. I think we can handle that. In any case, the baby’s heart rate was still good, as were my measurements, and the amniotic sac still contained plenty of fluid according to the ultrasound. Business as usual over here.
Having worked all weekend, I was more than happy to have Thanksgiving to look forward to at the end of the week (for all you non-Americans, Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, and then you have Friday off as well, so it’s basically a 4 day weekend). I started off the long weekend with a prenatal massage (those have so been worth it!)on Wednesday afternoon, and in the evening Paulus had arranged a pizza dinner with a few of our friends. With Paulus and me being European, we don’t really have any emotional ties to Thanksgiving, so for us it’s just a nice, long weekend that we always forget about until it’s about to happen. But I always get some good writing done when it does happen, and hopefully this year will be no exception. I’ll let you know in the next update, by which time I should be 37 weeks, and thus technically at term with the pregnancy. Exciting stuff in the future!