The home stretch.

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"Mornings aren't PRETTY!"

… truer words have never been spoken.

This pregnancy is soon coming to a close. Our baby's birthday has been chosen: Tuesday, October 12, high noon. All we can do is wait. And all I can do is stretch as he grows.

People constantly ask me how I'm feeling. My answer across the board never changes: I. Am. Tired. So TIRED. Right now I'm having some ear infection problems too so that makes my life Extra Fun. I've been sleeping with my head on a heating pad and taking some over-the-counter earache drops along with one teensy weensy regular-strength Tylenol here and there and that's been helping a bit. Needless to say: at this point I am pretty much over being pregnant. I'm ready to rip off the band-aid and get this baby born. My hands are swollen and stiff; I have to work them out like an old arthritic woman in the mornings. I'm moving so slow these days in a full-on waddle and it's hard to get anything done … even things like get up out of bed in the middle of the night to pee or wash my feet in the shower. I'm over it. I'll take the giant milk-swollen boobies and the abdominal surgery right now. I'll take the endless baby laundry, the cabin fever, the raging and unforgiving hunger of a nursing mother. I'm ready.

In the last week Rocky's been much less active. My doctor explained to me yesterday that at this point babies in utero start sleeping for much longer stretches … up to 12 hours! They're also running out of room so there's less space to wind up and give mama a good kick in the hipbone/bladder/ribcage. I never thought I'd miss my son's knees and elbows doing the cha-cha on my internal organs, but I do! I got a little freaked out on Monday when he was unusually quiet. I drank some o.j. and ate a cookie and soon enough he was readjusting in my womb and using my gut as a punching bag. Atta boy.

I've been experiencing some anxiety as this pregnancy winds down to just a few weeks left. I get mad at myself when I worry about things (such as … "is my baby strangling on the umblilical cord RIGHTNOW?!") that seem like things a first-time mother would freak about. I brought these things up to my doctor yesterday and he told me straight out: "In 30 years of practice I have never lost a baby to cord entanglement." And then he added that next week he'd set us up in the room with the ultrasound machine to take a quick look. This is why I love my doctor. He does things like this just to make me feel better. Not because he has to, but because he wants to make me feel better. His parting words to us yesterday at our weekly appointment were these: "This pregnancy is perfectly normal." Can I just tell you something? That's a miracle.

A friend asked me yesterday why I was having a repeat c-section. I explained these reasons earlier this year in this post. We still stand behind this decision, and mostly? It's because we trust our doctor. My mom has commented to me several times that I just seem so much more relaxed during this pregnancy. My answer for why does have a lot to do with our doctor. In many ways this pregnancy has been way more stressful than when I was pregnant with Sydney. For months I had to take progesterone suppositories and they made me feel terrible. I cried almost every day for the first trimester, worried that we could lose our baby at any moment. And twice? We almost did. And as a result a huge part of me just feels so blessed that he's coming, that we made it this far. He's going to be a part of our family. And that balances me.

This is not to say: I am still freaked out about the challenges. The whole "I will have a c-section incision and won't be able to pick up my toddler" thing is intimidating. And my friends who have been through it don't sugar-coat it for me: It's going to be hard. My poor Syd! Not only will she have a new baby to deal with, but her mama won't be able to pick her up for six weeks after his birth! But as my husband said: "It's going to happen. We will take it a day at a time." Grandmas and friends and (who knows?) maybe the occasional hired hand will get us through it. We will learn how to be a family of four. Syd will make an amazing big sister. If this boy is born tonight, we are ninety percent settled on a name for him (finally!).

Soon it will be time. Three more doctor appointments. Three more Tuesdays. And then? We will finally, at long last, meet our son. I cannot wait to see what he looks like (I am hoping he looks just like Daddy), to count his fingers and toes and smell his baby head and introduce him to his big sister. I cannot wait to find out just how big he is, to wonder at how small he is in comparison to my Sydney, to annouce his name to the world and to get to that place when I can't imagine our family without him.

It's gonna be awesome. 10-12-10 here we come!

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8 thoughts on “The home stretch.

  1. Diane says:

    Yay! I remember that feeling of just being DONE, too. You want to enjoy the fleeting kicks and closeness of pregnancy, but man alive is it ever uncomfortable! Can’t wait to meet your little guy and learn his name.

  2. morgan s. says:

    Manda – I am confused…. 10/12/10 is 26 days away – more than two Tuesdays?

    I am so happy you are having a perfectly normal pregnancy (even if it means you are uncomfortable all the time)!

    Looking forward to hearing his name. 🙂

  3. ANNIE says:

    I met a mom at the park the other day who also only has three weeks left. She made me think of you. How exciting to be so close – I know it’s intimidating in many ways as you get ready to bring another person into your home, but you’re going to do great. And when he comes it will, all of a sudden, be as though he’s always been here. I’m just so excited for you. Don’t you worry one bit about that c-section incision. It will all work out. Is your mom coming out? Having family around to keep Syd occupied will really help with that because you’ll see how little lifting you really will have to do. THAT SAID – when Jake was born and Tim dislocated his shoulder (while I was in the hospital) there was only one of us who could lift Chris into his crib – me. So he’d climb up on his ottoman and I’d do the final hoist…and you know what? It worked just fine. And then (don’t tell my doctor) when Nate was born and I came home from the hospital, Jake was so excited to see me that he wouldn’t come up the stairs without me. And perhaps so overwhelmed by everything, that he wouldn’t walk. So up we went, the day I came home from the hospital, up those 15 stairs. Not that I’d advise it. Not that it was a good idea. But my point is – you’ll learn to adapt for that short amount of time that you need to be careful. And you’ll see that your mommy instinct will allow you to do things that you never thought would be possible.

    We’re praying for you during these last few weeks. You’re doing great – keep it up! You’re almost there!

  4. Carrie says:

    Hurray for the home stretch!

    I had a scheduled c-section with my daughter after an unplanned (and very high stress) one with my son. And yes, it was a pain to recover and deal with a new baby and a 22 month old, but we figured things out. Other than not being able to lift my son, I really think the second c-section was much easier because I knew what recovery would be like and I knew to keep up with my pain meds!

    Good luck to you! I’m excited for you!

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