Small Life, Slow Life: 6 Days, 5 Nights.

Sounds like a vacation package, right?

Nope. It’s the time left until our baby is born. (EEK!)

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I asked C to take a photo of my belly a few days ago when I was feeling especially anxious. I constantly have to remind myself to take it one day at a time and to enjoy this time before the baby is here.

A lot has happened since I blogged about being in the third trimester. We found out some potentially alarming news about six weeks ago that our baby wasn’t growing as she should, and that she may have something called Asymmetric Intrauterine Growth Restriction. In simple terms, the baby doesn’t get adequate nutrition from the placenta or from other complications, and the growth is prioritized in the head and brain while the abdomen/body falls behind. Her abdomen was measuring six weeks behind.

Luckily, we have an incredible doctor who made me go on maternity leave almost immediately and put my butt on the couch. This, along with working with our regular MD to make some changes, resulted in baby V beginning to grow appropriately almost immediately. Her abdomen in still behind but has jumped in development a ton, and now she’s gaining an ounce a day just like she’s supposed to.

She’s also, well, completely breech.

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See that kind of dent in my upper belly? It’s because SOMEBODY *cough cough* wants to be breech, so her head is up by my ribs. Which feels, you know, awesome. (Not.)

Breech is fine, because with IUGR, babies are usually taken by c-section anyway since they’re not always strong enough to last through a long labor. Breech is just super uncomfortable…resulting in the craziest heartburn/rib pain/out of breath all the time feelings. Some 8-lb babies are breech, though…ours is just under 5-lbs, so it could always be worse!

One thing that’s been hard is the random comments from strangers, especially when I was still working. “Wow, you’re so small.” “I never looked like that pregnant.” “Are you sure you’re ___ weeks? I would check with your doctor.” I don’t know what it is about pregnancy that makes people feel comfortable being super invasive and free to comment on your body. I’ve just started answering with, “Yeah, she’s actually measuring too small and I have to see the doctor every other day to check on her…that’s why I’m small too.” This usually is met with a, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” from the stranger speaking to me. I have learned through this to just tell pregnant women that they look great, or not to say anything at all.

But anyway, to be on the extra safe side, we have a c-section scheduled for this coming Friday(!!!) at noon, when I’ll be 39 weeks.

And I am so super scared and overwhelmed.

I don’t know if other first-time moms share these feelings. I’m sure they do. But I literally lay awake at night with the longest list of worries I’ve had in years and years. As her birth gets closer, the more freaked out I get! I wonder if I’ll be a good mom, or take to motherhood. I wonder if the baby will be okay or if she’ll be underweight and have to go to the NICU. I wonder if it’ll affect our marriage. I wonder if I’ll miss work. I worry about postpartum depression. I wonder if my milk will come in. I wonder how my c-section will heal, and how I’ll live in a three-story townhouse when I can’t use the stairs for at least a week. I feel like there’s so much to be afraid of and C is so much more relaxed about things than I am! (Except the night when I had Braxton-Hicks contractions five minutes apart the whole night. Then he was totally freaked out that the baby was coming and was so anxious that he didn’t eat the whole night. So cute!)

Luckily, I know from three+ decades on the planet that I ALWAYS respond to big changes this way…I felt like this before our wedding, and when I took a huge promotion at work, and of course when I moved to Japan.

I am so unbelievably lucky to have had C throughout this process. He’s very logical and he keeps me calm. Because I’ve been banished to the couch, he’s done EVERYTHING around the house for weeks now. When I’m too stir crazy, he throws me in the car and takes me on an outing. And, when I expressed that there’s a possibility that the baby will need to spend some time NICU and possibly to be supplemented with formula, he quickly researched formulas and was horrified by the scary ingredients in all of them. Even the organic ones are scary!

So he made formula for our baby…just in case she needs it.

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Can you make your own baby formula with complete nutrition? YES! Just be prepared to spend over $200 and to have to figure out how to make liquid whey!

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Mission accomplished!

He is going to be such an incredible dad and it really blows my mind how prepared and calm he is, where I’m totally a wreck over here!

One thing that’s been super fun has been completing the nursery. I’m normally not into interior decorating (like, at all) but it’s been really fun to choose all the little details. My mom came over and painted a brighter version of the mountain mural I was crushing on here, C finished it up and then together we assembled the crib and added the furniture and finishing touches. We kept it as small life, slow life as possible: both the teepee and the side table were from work — the teepee was a meditation oasis we had for our guests in December, and that end table by the rocking chair was originally gray and had been in the guests’  bathroom for years! My boss hated it and begged me to take it home and I was happy to comply. 🙂 My brother sanded it down and C painted it, and now I totally love it. The crib transitions into a toddler bed and eventually a twin bed, so we picked furniture that will grow with her so we waste less. And the priciest item was definitely her dresser/changing table, which will end up being her dresser probably until she’s a teenager.

The end result is that I’m super in love with it and I’ll often just go in there and look around. It’s definitely the happiest room in the house!

So that’s what’s new over here! In less than a week, we’ll be parents! (Yikes!) And obviously I will be around to tell you guys how it is!

So many of you have sent me messages and left comments being so supportive…THANK YOU! I read every single one and it has meant SO much to me, especially during the anxious times. I feel like I have a second family in you and I never stop being grateful for that. ❤

See you on the other side of motherhood!

xoxo
Jen

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