11 January 2012

The Belly Report :: 40 Weeks Pregnant

I toyed with the idea of renaming this particular installment in the belly series. The "Why the Heck Am I Still Pregnant?" Report. The "So Help Me, This Better Be the Last Post in This Series" Report.

Beware, a highly sensitive and hormonal pregnant lady is writing this post! There. You have been warned.

40 weeks pregnant
40 weeks pregnant. This is as much of a smile as I could muster!

I have to admit that as much as I've loved being pregnant and being able to provide my child with a protective and nurturing place to live and grow these past nine months, I have learned deep empathy with those pregnant ladies who I often heard lament that they were "so ready to be done" -- something that, for a variety of reasons that I'm sure are obvious, I hated hearing when I was pregnant with Ewan. I've been in tears more than once this week, hoping every minute of every day that all this season of anticipation would draw to a close and give way to the reality I've been dreaming of since we saw that first positive pregnancy test back in early May -- you know, the one where I'm holding a perfectly healthy baby and no one is coming to take her away.

On top of feeling this way, I feel guilty for feeling this way. I know plenty of moms who would have loved to carry children to full term, only to find themselves delivering their babies early due to circumstances entirely outside their control. Objectively, I recognize that I'm still pregnant precisely because it's in the best interests of the child developing inside. While Ewan did make his entrance at the earlier end of full term (37 weeks + 4 days), I believe it's because my body recognized it was going to be safer for him on the outside than the inside: I had been dealing with an extremely elevated level of stress for weeks on end. As hard as it is to think about, it got to the point where it was clearly going to be better for him to be born than to spend additional days and weeks inside me. So if anything, this teaches me to trust the hidden wisdom in all of this -- that I can trust the process, that I can do what I can to make things move along, but that this baby will be born when it's the best time.

40 weeks pregnant

My one comfort is that even when it feels like I'm going to be writing the Belly Report at 58 weeks pregnant, no one is meant to be pregnant forever. Pregnancy is a season that is meant to come to a close. It's just incredibly unfortunate that the emotional and physical readiness for the end of that season doesn't coincide more closely!

I feel huge, am incredibly hormonal, and in some hormone-induced twisted logic that only the brain of a woman this pregnant could muster, I feel like I'm disappointing and failing the other people waiting for her, too. I have enough logic left in my head to know that this most certainly isn't the case and that if I did have any real control over the matter, this baby would be out by now -- but when you're 40 weeks pregnant, incredibly sleep deprived (I kind of want to hurt people when they tell me to get "plenty of rest" -- dear Lord! I would if I could!), subject to hormones, and wanting finally to hold that little love in your arms, it all kind of makes sense.

Sigh. The good news is that things are still progressing normally and our little Austen girl is still at it doing her kung fu kicks. I kid you not, she's EVERY bit as active as she has been. And yes, there are yet MORE signs from my last appointment (this past Monday) that labor is around the corner (a slightly elevated BP, 2 pounds of weight loss, the belly has definitely dropped, and some others that I have the decency not publish on the internet). Yeay!! I've gotten probably one really good night of sleep in the past two weeks -- it's been so difficult to get much in the way of restful sleep at all (even naps) because of my size, Austen's activity level, and all that.

Not to be all Pollyanna about it, but this is what I've tried reminding myself: Every day that I'm still pregnant is one day closer to the day that she's finally born and in my arms.

Bah. I wish that made it easier!

I'm ready to write the Baby Report now. Whenever you're ready, Austen. Today would be a great day for me!! :o)