It’s pretty miraculous to me how much pregnancy helps you prepare for motherhood. While most days I think “why the hell does it take almost a year to grow a baby?”, I’ve been shocked by how much the changings in my body have already prepared me. To be sure, I will still be in for a rude awakening (literally, lots of awakenings) once our little boy comes. But, the blow will be softened by some of these adjustments I’ve already had to make.
1. Sleep. My biggest fear in having a baby was in not being able to get my much needed sleep. I used to need a minimum of 9 hours every night in order to be fully functional. If I got any less than 8 hours, don’t talk to me or you will get your head bitten off. Just ask my husband—the whole day, I would be thinking about those extra hours of lost sleep and basically the day was a waste.
Now, I’m sleeping like crap. I have to get up to pee at least once every night. I can’t fall asleep when I want to. And I’m getting really uncomfortable. I still sleep on my back when it’s not too uncomfortable, because a friend told me that you’ll adjust your position out of comfort before it gets dangerous. So, I’m sticking to that! Our baby is a SPAZ when I lay flat on my back, so I’m pretty sure he’s getting enough blood supply.
And now I know that I can go work a full day with only a few hours of sleep and actually survive. I actually can’t sleep in past 9 AM anymore, which if you know me, is a miracle. (I know the moms reading this are like “9 AM is sleeping in!”, but it takes baby steps to get to full zombie Mom mode, okay?) And the fact that he loves to kick me the hardest when I’m trying to relax or sleep brings me to my next point…
2. The conflicting of wills. This baby is so uncooperative. I have been trying to film my belly movements for the past 2 weeks, because you can literally see my belly shake when he kicks. As soon as I get my phone out to record it, he stops. He’s really good at responding to Billy’s touches, but he never responds to mine. He basically never does anything I want him to. At our 20-week ultrasound, I was really excited to get some cute profiles of his face and pictures of his tiny hands and feet. But, he would not hold still long enough to be photographed. We watched him do a full-on somersault on the screen—not even exaggerating. So, we are mentally preparing ourselves for how stubborn and headstrong he will be. I’m telling you, this child is going to be a psycho.
3. The snacks. I have had to learn to eat every couple hours to keep my energy up, to prevent headaches, and to prevent nausea. I used to eat 2 big meals a day and I’d be fine. Now, my body will start attacking me if I don’t keep it fed. In my purse right now, I have an apple, a sandwich, a protein bar, a protein drink, and a bag of carrots. And I always have my 40 oz Hydroflask on me. My body has trained me to be always prepared with snacks on hand like any good momma should be.
4. The constant worry. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t had to worry too much this pregnancy. Even after losing a baby and being prone to anxiety, I have been so comforted and laid back in almost every situation.
But just last week, we found out that I have a marginal cord insertion. This means that the umbilical cord attaches to the placenta on the edge instead of the middle. What it means for the baby is that there is a risk he isn’t getting enough nutrients through the cord. At our last ultrasound, the doctor said he was in the 83rd percentile (!?!), so at least he’s been growing at a good rate up to this point. There’s nothing much they can do except give me ultrasounds every 3 weeks to monitor his growth—which I am more than happy to get!
It also means that if I deliver vaginally there is a high risk of the cord ripping out of the placenta which could cause hemorrhaging. So there is a higher chance that I will need a C-section. Don’t judge me, but I really wanted a C-section anyway, so no heartbreak over that news. It seems less risky to me and labor has always terrified me. Plus, scars are cool. But now I’m in constant fear that my body is starving my baby of the nutrients that he needs and there’s nothing I can really do about it. And if that doesn't happen, then I'm just as terrified of delivering a 10 pound baby. Which is hopefully preparing me to be a mother and to worry incessantly over things I can’t control for the rest of my life.
We had another little scare on Thursday where I was leaking unknown fluid all day long. Since it was more of a constant trickle like how I've been warned amniotic fluid leaks, we decided to go to the ER at Billy's hospital. We weren't really that worried, but we decided to go because we are in the middle of switching doctors and so it's been 4 weeks since my last ultrasound--after I was told to have an ultrasound every 3-4 weeks. We were super glad we went, not because anything was wrong, but because we got to meet our new OB. He was awesome and made me feel way less stressed about the marginal cord insertion. He also told me it was good to come in and if I leak like that again and I'm not sure if it's pee then I need to come in again.
The staff there was amazing. I don't know if it's cause we went during the night shift and everyone was just excited for something to do or whether they just really love their jobs. But our ultrasound tech tried for 20 extra minutes to get a profile picture for our stubborn little boy--and we didn't even ask her too. She also walked us through everything, describing and reenacting all the different movements and poses he was making. We got to watch a little yawn and watch him swallow some fluid. He even peed--just like his momma. She kept telling us how beautiful his organs photograph--he was quite the showoff in that aspect. But she could also tell he REALLY doesn't like to be touched--also just like his momma. Which makes me worried that I'll pass on all my awful traits to him. So, pregnancy has taught me to worry when things are good and worry when things are bad. Or maybe that's just who I am, regardless of pregnancy.
5. All the STUFF. I try to be a minimalist. If I haven’t used something within the last 6 months, I donate it or throw it away (of my husband will let me). Clutter shoots my anxiety through the roof. I don’t even believe in decorating for holidays, because you store the crap for 11 months out of the year and then pull it out and use it for a month. I LOATHE storing things. I’m all about efficiency. I don’t even want a crib, because I feel like it takes up so much space and it’s another thing we will have to move. I’m thinking of putting the baby in a pack and play so it’s at least portable and has more than one function.
Has anyone been to a baby store before? There is so much CRAP in there. We got a car seat and stroller a couple weeks ago, and the store made me want to cry. I was legitimately considering getting those Finn Bin boxes for our baby to sleep in. If you haven’t seen them, they are just a cardboard box with a mattress in them.
According to all the bloggers, I need a bassinet, a crib, a heavy duty stroller, a lightweight stroller, a car seat, a glider, a bouncer, a rocker, a play mat, a tummy time mat, a pack and play, a hand breast pump, an electric breast pump, a lightweight baby carrier, a heavy duty baby carrier, 1,000,000 diapers, etc., etc., etc. I’m sweating just typing these all out. Right now, we only have a car seat and stroller that hook up to each other and they are taking up two corners of our apartment and it’s already stressing me out. While I’m definitely not going to get even half of that crap, and I still haven’t learned to be okay with this clutter, I can see how it will be a big adjustment when my child takes over my life and leaves his toys everywhere. Oh, and don’t even mention the fact that once he grows out of certain things, I’ll have to STORE IT for my next child.