I still can’t believe that I am saying I am going to be a Mom. Tomorrow, I will be 39 Weeks pregnant and the fact that this baby who is constantly moving in my belly, will soon be wriggling around in my arms, is unreal. What have we been up to since my 35th week update?
I will be honest, I have been watching too many Labor and Delivery Vlogs on Youtube and I cry my eyes out during every single one. I spent an entire day being a complete waterfall on my couch. Some people say I just shouldn’t watch these videos if they make me cry that much but the videos don’t scare me or make me anxious about birth; it is the complete opposite. I like seeing different scenarios and since you can never know how it will all happen for you, it is a good way for me to prepare myself that things may, and most likely will, go against how I envision them. As long as Liam is healthy, everything else comes secondary.
At my 36 Week Doctor’s appointment (which went extremely well- I am negative for Group B Strep yay!), my Doctor asked me if I was “over being pregnant”. I said no and tears sprang to my eyes. While I get more and more excited to meet our little guy every single day, the thought of not having him kicking and practicing his sports moves in my tummy makes me incredibly emotional. I think it is one of the most bittersweet realizations I have ever had or ever needed to feel. I am completely aware that Liam will still be glued to me every day after he is born and he will finally be able to spend special bonding time with his Daddy, which I look forward to seeing but it will be a huge adjustment.
I am also so appreciative and surprised by the feelings I have toward my body and appearance. It amazes me at how much respect I have for a woman’s body and I now realize how important it is to respect yourself. In much earlier posts (Project Semicolon), I discussed some of the “not so great” moments and emotions I have lived through. When I look back, I can instantly remember what it felt like to feel awful, to want to be happy and have it feel like there was nothing you could do to make it so. Overall, I spent years not treating my body right because of how I was feeling emotionally. I had episodes of working out and trying to make myself feel better about my self-image and while it all felt amazing, it never fully did the trick. I still did not feel good about myself. My thighs were too chubby, my chest was too small, I was getting a bit of a gut… the list went on and on.
I now look at my body and see something completely different. When I had those thoughts of chubby thighs, my weight was around 115 lbs- I now weigh around 140 lbs. My chest was too small- I now have a chest that will be providing nourishment for my child, regardless of its size. My stomach, which I had been worried about the tiny gut forming is now FULL of baby and has provided a safe haven home for my little boy. I have stretch marks on my hips and surrounding my belly; where I used to have my belly button piercing, I now have tiger stripes… and I could not be happier.
“She had never considered herself exactly perfect- until right now. She glowed so pleasantly with strength and happiness.” This was written on a card my parents gave me when I received the beautiful gift below, and my Mom also said “This feeling will stay with you for the rest of your life. You will always feel this beautiful from now on.” This could not be more true.
I would be lying if I said having stretch marks wasn’t a bit of a shock to see appear at around 34 weeks, and I was a bit apprehensive about my feelings toward them at first. If I can’t accept my body for how it is now, because I brought a LIFE into this world, how could I ever get upset when I hear males (or even other women) judge women who have stretch marks? We have scars, imperfections; marks that show where we have been in our lives and that is beautiful.
After I give birth, I hope to get in shape, eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle but it’s more for being a good role model to my son, and not for superficial reasons. I want to be healthy and be around for my son for many years to come. Therefore, looking back at how I used to be: uncomfortable in my own skin, drinking a bit too much- it’s hard to accept that I had been treating my body that way. This body has worked so hard and has protected my son for so long now- how could I ever disrespect it again? As I was experiencing these new feelings toward my body, my friend at GrownUpGlamour who is a new Mommy wrote her own post about the “Mom-Bod” which you can read here– the timing of it was perfect.
Other than this newfound respect for my body, we have just been getting ready for the hospital and bringing Liam home. Our hospital bags are packed, I have shopped for my nursing bras at Thyme (amazing deals!) and I have spent more time with Pippit, just cuddling and enjoying her using the Liam bump as a shelf/body pillow. Free samples of formula and more from Similac and Nestle Baby have been organized, coupons for baby related products are all put together and I have prepared a plan for when it is time to get to the hospital. I will be calling my SO so he knows to make his way home, calling my Sister (she will also, thankfully, be in the room with me) and calling my parents. I have taxi money ready if needed and Liam’s car seat has been brought up from storage. We are eager to order our changing table and crib which was generously purchased for us by my Mother-in-law but since Liam will be in a bassinet in our room for the first few months, there is no rush for us to have it set up just yet. I am feeling quite prepared but I can’t help wanting to clean the apartment almost every day so it will be super clean for when we come home. All of his clothes are washed and ready to be worn or in storage waiting for him to be ready for the bigger sizes. Nesting, nesting, nesting- it is definitely a real thing!
At my last Doctor’s appointment, I was 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant. The resident that has been with me for the past month, did all the usual questions, checked my blood pressure, listened to Liam’s heartbeat etc and it was all perfect. When my Dr came in just to double check that Liam’s head was still down, she couldn’t feel his position because SURPRISE! I was having a contraction and my tummy was too hard for her to feel anything properly. I had been telling them that I had not been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks but apparently, I have been! I just didn’t realize that they felt like THAT. To ensure that Liam did not flip and change his position, they brought me upstairs to have an ultrasound. I was so excited since the last time I had one was when we found out the gender before 20 weeks... my Dr warned me I wouldn’t be able to see much however and that was true. All I saw was the circle which is his head, and the line that separates the two brain hemispheres. His head is still down and tucked behind the bone, so I am very happy he hasn’t changed his positioning. The Dr said he has a very healthy looking brain and that “There is a lot of baby in there!” You’re telling me!
Now that we are so close to the finish line, every twinge or different pain I feel, I stop and start wondering if this is “it”. I keep waiting for me to lose the mucous plug or feel a difference and know he has dropped but he is still kicking away at my ribs. I will be staying on my birthing ball and walking more while staying hydrated. I really hope that I will not need to be induced, but whatever happens is meant to happen so we shall see! For now, I will continue experiencing the Braxton Hicks contractions (more and more painful) and get as much rest as I can. I seem to only stay awake for a few hours at a time before getting exhausted and needing to lay down. Sleep has been a struggle since I can’t stay in any position for too long now. I am tossing from side to side more frequently and it is very hard to stay asleep for long. Ah well, soon enough he will be here and I will be awake for different reasons- I can’t wait.
This may be the last update I post before he arrives since we are so close now unless it comes way past his due date or something happens during my next appointment. I will definitely be posting a birth story whenever I get the chance. Thank you so much for following our story for this long and for always being so kind with your comments. I will be posting on Instagram and Facebook before having a chance to update this website, so if you’re waiting for a picture of Liam, follow me there in the meantime!
Joanna & Liam