Wednesday, April 30, 2014

About Aboo: 35 Week Reflection

Dear Emelina,

I know I haven't kept a detailed daily journal of every thought/feeling/symptom/measurement throughout the last 8 months, but I have tried to jot down the big milestones along the way through these posts.  Sure it's fun to look back at the journal I kept with Annalyn, but mostly because the second half of this pregnancy has been so similar.  Not just in measurements/weight, but also in how I'm feeling.  Luckily I've had a lot less swelling so far, but the irritability/frustration/pain is all the same.  In fact, I was reading through my old journal and almost to the day, had the same "epiphany" that I was so over working retail.  By the end of a 6 day stretch of working, on a 13 hour day, with no help and a line of 5 patients behind the one screaming at me for doing my job, I'd just about had it.  I hate feeling like a glorified cashier - maybe by the time you're old enough to read this, I'll be doing something super profound with my degree or community pharmacy will change enough that people respect us for what we are - drug experts.  But apparently, at 8 months pregnant, in a state of extreme discomfort and exhaustion, I am doomed to feel like I'm wasting my education.   Luckily, I have a lot of amazing patients who trust and value my opinion to no end.  They remind me what I love about community pharmacy - building professional and personal relationships and being extremely accessible to them any time they need it. 

It's stressful, it's tiring, and very frustrating at times.  If you're a working mother someday, you'll absolutely get it, Emma.  By then, I'll probably look back and say, oh, it wasn't so bad (I'll totally have all the answers by then, too, and your children will be perfect angels in my eyes).  But you'll have this to remind me that in that moment of my life, it was absolutely overwhelming.  Hopefully my older self will still be able to relate to you and remember how it felt, but if not, my 28 year old self will be here to tell you - yes, it wears on you.  Being a mother isn't ever easy, and a pregnant mother, which I'm experiencing for the first time with you, is even tougher.  I'm sure your dad will agree that it's no piece of cake for him either.  That's just a little snapshot of my week that I'd have written in a journal if I had been super diligent about doing so.

Let's see, what else can I tell you about my pregnancy with you....

- You were conceived on Friday the 13th and due on D-day.  Read what you will from that.  I do find it interesting that you, me, and Annalyn all had due dates on the 6th (mine 10/6, Anna's 3/6, yours 6/6).   

- I found out I was pregnant just days after your Uncle Trav and Aunt Mal's wedding.  I was really hoping to know before then, but it was just too soon.  Needless to say, I avoided all but a sip of champagne for a toast.  Daddy on the otherhand, not so much.  Probably because I'd been on Clomid which, I'll admit, made me kind of crazy.

- I had some heavy spotting on Grandma Cindy's birthday so I decided not to tell them I was pregnant that weekend because I was convinced that I was having a miscarriage.  At my first appointment the next week, we could see you, but not your heartbeat.  So I had to panic/pray for another week until we finally got to see that first little flicker.  Daddy and Annalyn were with me this time, too.

- I started throwing up about a week later, just a day or two after my birthday.  For my bday, I'd asked that we go to the apple orchard, then make homemade apple butter and raspberry jam (from our garden).  I haven't been able to eat either of them because the smell/thought still makes me nauseated. 

- Due to being so sick, then finally feeling better, then always starving, I've had quite a series of cravings/obsessions food-wise.  Some that I remember best:
--baked potatoes (first plain, then with yogurt butter and pepper, then with just a tiny bit of cheese),
--root beer and black cherry soda (somewhat short-lived but I was obsessed there for a couple weeks),
--bagels (first with cream cheese until I got sick on it, now with yogurt butter - still, almost every morning!),
--Cinnamon Toast Crunch (later craving, love eating it dry as a snack),
--tomatoes/cumumbers with cottage cheese/spinach,
--yogurt (greek yogurt mixed with ranch as veggie dip, then fruit yogurts with granola or fruit),
--red meat (mostly because poultry turned my stomach so badly),
--Amy's frozen bean and cheddar burritos,
--ice cream cones (in a cone, usually butter pecan or mint choc chip).

- This was the first year in a long time that I haven't made a turkey for Thanksgiving (couldn't even think about it), but I was able to eat a little bit of it... though it didn't stay down for long.  I also didn't make sugar cookies or cinnamon rolls for Christmas.  Instead, Annalyn and I made chocolate chip cookies with red/green M&M's and Daddy made beef stew.  I think Santa was ok with it.

- We found out just before my family's Christmas that you were a girl (via the Progenity DNA test).  I let Annalyn tell everyone through a video I'd taken of her earlier that week.  Grandma Cindy didn't catch on right away, mostly because we didn't tell anyone we were getting the test done, so they weren't expecting the reveal until our u/s later in January.  I told Daddy the same way since Annalyn was sleeping when he got home and he couldn't wait until she woke up to tell him herself.

-  We got to see you on ultrasound exactly 9 years from our first date (also 7.5 years after our wedding).  That was really special for us, and although we didn't get great pics of you, you were so sweet to watch.  You kept putting your little hands up by your face and snuggling.  It was adorable.  I couldn't see you super clearly to tell who you look like - with Annalyn, I swore she was going to come out looking like Daddy - it's all in the forehead.  I can't wait to see what you'll look like.  I know you'll change over and over as you get older, but I'm dying to hold you and look down at your little face.  And test the old wive's tale that heartburn = hair.

-  I get insanely angry/defensive when people say things like "well, hopefully this one will be a boy" or "I guess you'll have to have at least one more to get that boy."  As if my girls are some kind of consolation prize.  I tell ya, people can be so rude!

-  Before birth, you and Annalyn already have 5 different matching outfits.  Not because I'm hoping you'll be exactly alike - I know you'll be your own little person, but there's something so sweet/fun about little girls in matching outfits.  Aunt Lindsey and I went through it without too much emotional damage.  Granted we didn't think it was so much fun at the time, but she was the first one to buy you girls matching dresses. 

-  You are a very active baby and I feel you throughout the day everyday.  Up until this week, I swear you've been doing baby yoga in there and I have to constantly "encourage" you not to stretch your little legs up into my ribs.  Sometime around 34 weeks, I feel like you've started to drop though.  I'm finally getting some relief from the heartburn, and I can take a deep(ish) breath again, but there's a lot more pressure on my hips/pelvis.  Even your little hiccups (which are almost always in the middle of the night) feel a lot lower to me.  At my last appointment, they said you seemed to be head down, so maybe you're just a planner like Mama and getting ready.  As long as you stay in and cook for a few more weeks, fine by me.

-  Your heartbeat has consistently been in the 150's.  It's always very strong and easy to find, but you do like to show off and kick and move around when the doctor's using the Doppler machine.  At least you don't seem to attack it like big sis used to.  Maybe you'll be a milder mannered little lady... but then again, you are half Daddy, half me.

-  I'm even more impatient this time, mostly because of all the people having babies this past month.  In addition to Facebook friends, there are 4 little girls on my mom's side all due within 5 months, and all but you are here now!  Three of us also have girls within 6 months of Annalyn, but last time, I was the first one due.  Plus I know what's coming this time - with Annalyn there was a lot of scary nervousness, too, like "wow, we're going to be parents!"  That being said, I also feel more prepared - we already have everything we need, including some frozen meals and a meal train that Shawna set up to have people bring us meals during your first month.  We're even going to get our double stroller this weekend, and my hospital bag is nearly packed.  I've even located all my pump parts and bottles in case we have the same breastfeeding struggles.

-  Everyone thinks I'm bigger this time and that you're going to be a lot bigger, but the truth is, we're almost identical in size to what Annalyn and I were.  You very well could be bigger at birth, but more likely due to the fact that Annalyn was nearly 3 weeks early.  My prediction is that you'll be a Memorial Day-ish baby (week to 10 days early).  Our Indy friends keep trying to plan to take Daddy to the Indy 500, because they think it'd be hilarious if I went into labor while he was there.  I have a little bit different sense of humor at the moment and beg to differ...

-  At 35 weeks, we still haven't completely decided on your middle name, but I keep coming back to Mae.  I just think it's pretty, simple, and classic.  Which goes perfectly with your first name. 

-  For the past two weeks, I wake up almost every night, go to the bathroom, and get a drink because I've had Braxton Hicks contractions.  I've had them off and on for several weeks now, but more regularly lately.  Once again, Mama's a planner - just getting ready.   Between that, your late night hiccups, my increasing body temperature, and your sister's aversion to bedtime lately, I've been one tired mama!  Once again, I guess that's just getting me ready for life with a newborn.

And that's my pregnancy up to 35 weeks in a nutshell!  Sure, not as detailed as a daily journal, but days by this point are just me complaining about my latest ache/pain/annoyance anyway.  Hoping these last 5 weeks go super quickly, as well as labor/delivery (I figure it doesn't hurt to hope, right?).  Almost there, baby girl!  Love you like crazy.



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