04 January 2011

Bittersweet

These past 40+ weeks have been filled with new experiences, for sure.  I've tried to embrace them -- enjoying the parts that I could and just managing the other stuff (i.e. serious nausea and, apparently, now I snore).  I must admit I had my doubts that I would enjoy being pregnant much at all.  But, my friend Lisa was wise when she advised me to stay open to the possibility that I would like it a lot.  She was right.  I have liked it a lot.

As eager as I am to meet Grover and start the next stage of this motherhood and parenting adventure, I will miss having him inside me.  He's big.  He moves a lot and sometimes that doesn't feel so great.  But on the other hand, having a baby butt in your ribs and feeling his hiccups after breakfast is kind of endearing.  In truth, I'm feeling kind of sad that my exclusive time with him inside me -- all tucked away safe and sound -- is almost over.  I will miss being pregnant.

The baby bump from above -- 33 weeks and 5 days.  I was sitting on the rug in Grover's room visiting with my mom on Thanksgiving while she organized all his clothes.
For me, being pregnant has meant having rosier, smoother skin. It's meant lots more blood flow in my body, which, among other benefits, has basically eliminated my pre-pregnancy plantar fascitis.  And aside from the first 13 weeks when I felt like I had the stomach flu, I've felt good and have had a lot of energy.  Pregnancy meant I got to buy some new clothes (which is always fun), and it gave me a good reason to actually spend some time decorating (rather than demolishing and renovating) at least one of the rooms in our new house.  It has also meant I could eat more, which I completely admit, has been great!

I went to what will likely be my last prenatal yoga class today.  While I've been practicing yoga off and on for a few years now, I have never enjoyed it more than during my pregnancy.  Part of it has been my excellent teacher, Suzette.  She teaches at two studios in town so I can catch her more than once a week if I need to (and sometimes I have).  Under her guidance, I've managed to remain flexible and strong and to develop a better awareness of my body during this pregnancy.  Hopefully all the breath work, relaxation, and hip-opening poses will come in handy during labor.  In any case, I'm already looking forward to attending some of the mom and baby classes that Suzette teaches in the weeks ahead.

I've had a great physician looking after me, and despite our concerns over Grover's increasing size, all the ultrasound scans we've had of Grover have allowed us see how he has grown (and grown and grown some more) with every new one.  I realize this isn't something every parent gets to see in utero, and it has been really fun and interesting.
At my OB appointment -- 39 weeks 3 days
During this pregnancy, I've been surprised by how complete strangers have offered congratulations, struck up a conversation with me, and shared stories about their kids, their births, and even what to do when I go into labor (that especially strange piece of advice was offered by the Sears gas range repair man). 

Our friends have been super supportive and caring by offering encouragement and sharing happy stories of their own children.  I have also appreciated their discretion in withholding overly gruesome details so as not to scare the pregnant chick too much.  The showers, cards, visits, thoughtful calls, and gifts made my pregnancy all the more special and memorable.

My family has shared the excitement of the last 40 weeks with me too.  My mom is already "collecting" baby clothes and shipping them my way.  Grover is going to be a well-dressed little fellow for sure.  She told me this week she's got her cell phone by her bed so she won't miss the "we're headed to the hospital" call nomatter the hour.  I'm glad they are so excited.  And my sister has been a good listener -- acting interested to hear more information about pregnancy and birth than she probably ever wanted to know.  Plus, she has also offered her support in many, many ways over the months -- from going to Ikea with me, to making food, and just generally pitching in with what is needed -- whenever.

Our extended family has also been cheering us on throughout the months as well.  At the family reunion for Byron's mom's family in July we received lots of good wishes and hugs.  Byron's aunt Opal, who was not well enough to travel to the reunion, even made us a beautiful white baby blanket and sent it along upon hearing we were going to have a baby. 

And if you read the prior post, you know that my dearest friend, Jill, her husband, Mark, and their daughter, Sadie, spent the week between Christmas and New Year's with us waiting and hoping for Grover's arrival.  Unfortunately, they left for home without meeting him.  But Jill's plan is to return later this week since we are all convinced he's coming soon.

My profile as photographed by Jill on our very slow walk around Green Lake -- 39 weeks and 5 days.
My pregnant state has also shown me a new side of my wonderful husband.  Although he has always been a loving guy, as one might expect, the bigger I've gotten the more protective  and attentive he's become.  Now, every time he sees me he seems to give me a hug.  Grover has gotten a lot of squeezes and pats from him lately too.  I honestly don't know how he has done everything he has accomplished this year -- and managed to stay sane -- all while getting his head around the idea of becoming a dad.  He's someone I admire and learn from almost daily.  And I have no doubt he will be a terrific father.

Byron and our slightly evil-looking fake baby at the breastfeeding class we took a couple weeks ago.

Although the end of my pregnancy is not something I'm totally eager for, I know it means the beginning of new and exciting adventures for all of us.  I really am looking forward to giving Byron (and everyone else) the opportunity to get as attached to Grover as I have become.
Last week, Byron and me at Lola enjoying one of our "last suppers" out for a while.