Welcome to another pregnancy update! This one will hopefully be a little shorter than the last…
Today, I am 32 weeks pregnant. Grateful doesn’t even begin to cover it…
My CNM appointment last week was, as expected, pretty basic. My blood pressure was still good at 120/70, baby boy’s heartbeat was good and strong. My bump was measuring on schedule. She casually mentioned the car seat and hospital bag again, and I reassured her that those two things were on the to-do list. The thing is, we put our strollers on the registry in the off-chance that someone may want to buy one for us—which, if my registry isn’t glitching, someone has, so there we go! Since there are things on the registry that I would want to put in my hospital bag, I am still holding out until that is over to see what I still need to buy.
Still…there are things I could pack/get ready that have nothing to do with purchasing anything. Getting a playlist together. Packing appropriate clothes for me, and for my husband. We have to pick out a few outfits in different sizes for baby boy, and decide which one will be the much-anticipated “take-home” outfit. I think I need to go buy some of those “granny panties” that everyone talks about, and diaper-sized pads, and other fun things! Sorry to every man reading this…isn’t pregnancy a beautiful thing?! Mwa ha ha ha.
Also…I won’t get into detail on this, because I doubt anyone but my pregnant pals and community pals want to read about it, but I am going to win an award for Most Incapable Woman because I can’t pee in a sample cup properly (oh yes, family and friends, there is a “proper” way). Why do they expect so much from someone who can’t even see her feet without completely bending over her belly…
And Visions of Preterm Labor Danced in Her Head…
I want to take this opportunity to talk about a common symptom of pregnancy called round ligament pain (RLP, if you want to be hip to the lingo, but don’t come down with a bit of temporary dyslexia as I occasionally do, because RPL is also a pregnancy-related acronym, only it stands for recurrent pregnancy loss…yeah they really need to come up with a new term for one of the two). Obviously, as baby grows, so does your belly, and all of the muscles and ligaments and nerves and so on that are in your stomach stretch out. It’s common to feel sharp pains throughout the pregnancy as your ligaments stretch to accommodate your growing uterus.
And I’ve had a lot of RLP throughout this pregnancy. I’m a short person. The baby only had so much vertical room before he had to start expanding upward and outward. I once even had such sharp pain that I almost considered calling the after-hours line, but half an hour of sitting a certain way on the couch made it go away and I realized later what it had been.
Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling sharp pain in my right side. Every time I bent over while changing or getting ready for work or twisted the wrong way, there it was. Sharp enough to make me cry out in some instances. I brushed it off as RLP and went to work. No matter what way I sat, it hurt. It hurt a lot. It would intensify, then taper off, then intensify, over and over. I would stand up and walk around and feel better. And then I wouldn’t. I would sit a certain way and feel better. And then I wouldn’t. Being the kind of person who could be bleeding profusely from the skull and saying “It’s but a flesh wound, I’m fine, no hospital for me,” I was tempted to just shrug it off. But with my unborn son hanging out in there…eh, why not call my OB?
“Bleeding?” Nope. “Leaking fluid?” Nope. “Fever?” Nope. “Appetite?” Not really. “Still have appendix?” Yes. “Hmmm. Take some Tylenol and call us if it gets worse.”
So at 1:30PM, I took Tylenol. And it took the edge off. I could focus better at work, I finished the project I was working on, and was heading home when the pain came back. Walking to the car, it hurt. Driving home, it hurt. Pumping gas, it hurt. I called the off-hours line and they told me I would get a callback soon. By the time I got home, the pain was gone. For a few moments, I felt foolish. Really foolish.
But then, as I’m sitting on the couch thankful that the off-hours line probably forgot about me, the pain came back—as I was doing absolutely nothing. Cue freak out. I called the off-hours line again and was connected with a doctor who asked me all the same questions as before and then told me the Tylenol had worn off (well, duh). I was advised to take some more, as it had been five or six hours since the last dose, and to call in an hour if the pain continued to be just as bad or worsened.
I took the Tylenol, tried to lay on my right side on the couch so I could watch TV (nope), ended up laying on my left side with my eyes closed for an hour just hoping the pain would subside. It did, and I was able to get up and cook myself dinner and do a few things. But by the time I tried to go to bed when my husband came home after midnight, the pain was back. By 1:30AM I was popping more Tylenol and vowing that I would demand to be seen by my OB in the morning.
Of course, I woke up yesterday morning with no sharp pains. I was sore, and I still feel sore, but the intensity was gone. I took it easy that day: had my husband help me with my pants and socks, took the elevators and no stairs at work, didn’t shift position in my chair too aggressively.
Chalk it up to really bad RLP or a seriously angry muscle.
But what has stuck with me was the panic I felt after that evening phone call as I tore apart my house looking for the big bottle of Tylenol as I had left the travel one from my purse on my desk at work. As I went from room to room, searching through still-packed boxes of random crap that neither my husband or I have had time to unpack since we moved in November, I became aggravated. Aggravation turned to panic. Panic turned to fear. By the time I had the bottle in my hand (it was in our walk-in closet), I was hysterically sobbing.
The thing is that I had never really thought, I mean really thought, about preterm labor until that night. I couldn’t stop thinking of how unprepared I was, we were. I wasn’t prepared mentally or emotionally. Practically, we are unprepared—we have nothing for him here! Nothing! (That’ll change tomorrow and this weekend but more on that later.) Except for a massive amount of clothes and one box of diapers and one box of wipes that my husband and I bought on a whim, giddy with cautious excitement at 20 weeks or so, we have nothing. No crib, no swing, no breastfeeding supplies—nada.
So I guess I am still adjusting. I am so excited for our son to be here…I am so excited for us to finally have this opportunity to be the parents we’ve dreamed of becoming. But I’m still scared. I think I still spent most of this pregnancy just walking on eggshells waiting for something bad to go wrong that I haven’t had the time to really prepare myself for the fact that he will be here very soon. Maybe sooner than my due date, who knows. Prepare for the unexpected.
More Baby (Pun Intended) Steps Being Made
So that leads me to this: I made our first “real,” “big” baby purchase last night: a Graco Little Lounger that rocks and vibrates. We wanted something small that we could lay him in at night in our bedroom for his first few weeks (or months, whatever it ends up being) home with us, and this seemed to have good reviews for that very purpose. The angle can be changed to be more of a seat or more of a bed, so I think that’s good. I don’t know. I hope he likes it! It’ll be here tomorrow; I think when I come home and see it I’ll be excited and scared all at once.
I also submitted our baby’s preliminary birth certificate information. According to the packet I got from the hospital, I should’ve submitted it…oh, months ago. Heh. But hey, it’s done now. Hopefully it’ll be ready to go by the time he’s born? Hopefully? Ah, well. I also was going to call and set up a tour of the labor and maternity wards, but…well, tomorrow, then. I promise. I pinky swear!
Also big news: my husband, my father, and my brother’s girlfriend are going to strip the terrible, old wallpaper from the nursery this weekend, and get it ready for painting. The hubby and I need to go to Lowe’s to pick out and buy the color(s) we will be painting the walls. Hopefully we can get started on that soon…
So…call about a tour, start working on the hospital bag, and pick out a color for the room. My to-do’s for the next week. Let’s see how I do!