Stick a Fork In Me: The FInal Weeks of Pregnancy

4 years ago

   

 As originally posted on The Hodge Podge Diaries 06/19/13

 I've mentioned before that My Sister In Law is expecting her first baby {and my first niece} and as she  rounds the corner of her pregnancy and enters into the last few weeks, I can't help but sympathise.

 I'm a high strung, anxious and excitable person on a good day. Add a due date, inevitable labour pains and the great unknown; I'm a red hot mess. By the time the baby finally makes an appearance, even the most down to earth, roll with the punches kind of women can find themselves two Braxton Hicks away from a straight jacket. 

 For one thing, regardless of how you felt throughout the rest of your pregnancy, the last three weeks finds you feeling strung out, used up and well HUGE. Your once firm and round belly seems to hang from your body, taking a few seconds to catch up with you when you make the slightest movement. 

Everything hurts; as your hips and pelvis begin to loosen in preparation for your baby, you begin to feel like an 80 year old woman, spending more time thinking about having to get up or roll over, anticipating the ache that will surely follow.

 When you're pregnant with your first, everyone says, "Enjoy your sleep," something you haven't been able to do since week 25. You've built a fortress between you and your partner consisting of the largest pillow you've ever wrapped your legs around and although your side of the bed looks like a cloud-like borough, no matter how hard you try, comfort is a thing of the past.

 Some women feel sexier than ever when their pregnant, enjoying their curves and embracing surging hormones. But even those women would rather do anything but the deed at this point. It's hard to feel hot to trot when someone's trotting on your pelvic floor.

It could be the dead of winter in the Yukon and you'd still feel hotter than hell and if you've got the privilege of being full term during the dog days of summer, parts of you swell that you didn't even know you had.

 Beyond the physical, with all the changes in your body you start to wonder if "any time now" could really be any time now. When you don't know what labour feels like, it's hard to know what to expect. Chances are, as your cervix begins to ripen, you'll feel crampy and achy a change that, if accompanied by Braxton Hicks contractions, can sometimes have you making a trip to the hospital prematurely. False labour leaves you feeling disappointed, anxious and {let's be honest} a little embarrassed. 

 You start to think the "due date" is somebody, somewhere's idea of a sick joke.

For some; it comes and goes. The world keeps spinning while you put everything on hold...waiting. Adding insult to injury, upon examination at your weekly visit with your OB are the words, "No change,". You hear stories of other women having their babies, these legends, folklore. You start to think the timer on your oven must be broken, how could your bun need any more cooking? How could you possibly last another day?

 You go to bed each night, bags having been packed for the hospital for over a month, wondering if tonight is going to be the night, only to wake in the morning to a swift boot in your bladder, letting you know, you are still very much pregnant.

You spend hours looking online for do-it-yourself induction methods, reading other women's accounts, each one so different but taking the most stock in those who have positive and hopeful stories (like how one woman drank one cup of raspberry leaf tea and went into labour in an hour). You're partner starts to distance themselves, becoming the scape goat for every ache every pain, and heaven help the stranger who asks you when you're due. 

 There's just no way around it, even women who go earlier than their due date, if they carry to term, they've felt the crazy. 

 It's the last hurdle to clear before you're holding you're baby in your arms. Feel at ease knowing that every woman experiences what you're going through {even if they won't admit it} and even a seasoned Mommy-to-be can find herself being sent home in false labour {another post, another time}. Do what you have to do, keep busy and have faith. 

 It will be over soon and you'll forget all about it- just in time to do it all over again with baby number two!

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