My due date of Labor Day (September 7) is quickly approaching, which means I’m 38 weeks now. It’s been nice having these last couple of weeks to be on maternity leave, mostly because I no longer sleep through the night. As I mentioned before, I keep waking up early in the morning, often for no good reason. I don’t necessarily need to pee, I’m not any more uncomfortable than I was earlier in the night, but for some reason I find myself more awake. From that point, turning in bed takes more effort so that may wake me up more, or if the little guy happens to be moving a lot, then that can also wake me up further. Pretty soon I’m getting hungry, and then I can’t go back to sleep until I’ve gotten up and had a snack. If I sleep through to 6 am, it’s a triumph.
Since his head is down, I haven’t quite figured out if he’s “raising the roof” with his hands, twisting his head or what, but occasionally I’ll feel him moving around my cervix, and it’s really uncomfortable. So far, I’ve been pretty lucky with the pregnancy symptoms. If I put on my maternity belt, I can go for a 2-mile walk around my neighborhood, complete with hills. Without the belt, I feel like I need to pee right away. But for normal daily activity, I don’t need the maternity belt. It’s great to have more time to exercise consistently. I went swimming for the first time in forever, and I’ve also had a chance to do my prenatal yoga DVD that I only used once before this week.
I have unfortunately been getting swollen feet daily, and thanks to the hot summer weather, wearing my compression leggings is usually not practical. I’m a fan of dresses for summer maternity wear, because you don’t have the extra layer from maternity pants. I was previously able to get away with wearing some non-maternity stretchy dresses, but now most of them are too short thanks to the bigger bump. Elevating my feet at night means waking up with less swelling, but it is a bit awkward to elevate your feet when you’re already sleeping on your side.
Just a couple days ago, my left hip would occasionally give and hurt briefly while putting weight on that side. Yesterday, I noticed my pubic bone area hurts if I cough, sneeze, or move in certain ways. I guess my pelvis is loosening up in preparation for him to come through. So far I’ve been enjoying my chill time, but perhaps soon I’ll be like many of my patients- very uncomfortable and tired of being pregnant.
I can’t say I’ve felt the urge to do the nesting thing. The way I see it, decorating would be more for us than for the baby. As long as we have all the necessities for when he arrives, I don’t feel the need to do more. There are a lot of other things I’d rather spend time doing. Right now, the crib is full of baby stuff and is being used as a storage space. I figure that’s fine since we have a bassinet that he can sleep in initially.
I even wondered about the necessity of washing his things before he uses/wears them. When I buy clothes from the store, I will wear them once or twice before washing them. I did a quick search online, and I don’t know if this is true, but various people reported that they use chemicals to make the baby clothes look nice in the stores, so that stuff can irritate baby’s skin. I also noticed that a lot of the labels said to wash before wearing. So I went ahead and washed the newborn to 3-month sized clothes, as well as the blankets and such. It’s funny seeing all the little clothes and knowing we’ll have a little guy to fit into them soon.
At this point, we have all the essentials ready (I think), and his movements are unmistakeable. Things definitely feel more real than they did earlier in the pregnancy when his arrival seemed so far away. We are curious to see what he looks like, and excited to meet him. With that said, there’s still an element of not quite being able to imagine that in a few short weeks, life will be very different. Even though I know logically that it’s going to happen, it’s still hard to completely envision it. My friend who had her first baby 2 months ago said she still can’t quite believe she’s a mom. I can’t imagine the shock for people who have their babies unexpectedly prematurely. Ready or not, he’ll be here soon!