Monday, December 3, 2007

There's Something About Belly

When I was pregnant with E, I had a very difficult time during the last few weeks. I was having REAL contractions...not the bounce-a-coin-off-your-belly pressure kind. The real deal, with deep breathing and pain and a stopwatch. In my old journal, I taped in the little piece of paper where I kept track of each contraction for several hours. I was convinced that the birth was imminent, and sent M off to work thinking I'd be calling him to come home before lunch (he was on dayshift back then). By the afternoon, the contractions had gone from 8 minutes apart to about 30 minutes apart, and by that evening I was having only about 1 per hour. During that time, there were a few that were really whoppers...I couldn't talk, I could barely take a breath, and my only relief was to curl up on the floor and moan. That was 3 full weeks before E was born.

I didn't know then that some women have these contractions that don't lead anywhere....well, supposedly they're doing something, but it doesn't lead you to the delivery room! It's now called "prodromal labor", which is much better than the old term of "false labor." I would have been offended if anybody called what I was going through "false," as if I was making it up or something. At least giving it a medical term makes you feel like your pain has some validity.

It was hard to accept that I just had to keep waiting for the "false" to end, and the "real" to begin, so M asked me what I would miss about being pregnant. At that point, he was more hopeful than I was that there would actually be an end to the pregnancy. I was reluctant to answer the question, but compromised and made a list of both what I would and wouldn't miss. Now that I am 17 days (or less) from the birth of baby number two, I'm ready to do that exercise again, though this time I have much less anxiety about giving birth. I'm feeling pretty good most days, and the prodromal labor hasn't returned...if it does, I know that it can only last a maximum of 17 days from this moment! :)

First, what I won't miss about being pregnant:

  • The tightness in my belly...feeling like it might actually pop open at any moment.
  • "Hormonal mood swings"...that's what I choose to call my unpredictable nature these days.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions every time I move from a sitting to a standing position.
  • The strange appetite changes, hungry one minute and nauseated the next.
  • The "two kids are a thousand times harder than one" speech. Please, people, this is not what I need to hear right now.
  • Giant swollen feet that you can press your fingerprint into.
  • Wearing M's winter coat because mine doesn't fit. I look like the yellow Teletubbie, whatever his name is.
  • The unspeakable symptoms that we, well, don't speak about.
Now, what I will miss:

  • People holding doors for me, with a happy "Awwwww" look on their faces.
  • Watching my belly morph into unnatural shapes as the baby changes position.
  • The anticipation and wonder about the baby's sex...pair this with people trying to guess the sex by the way I'm carrying. I LOVE that!
  • Eating donuts on a whim, without guilt.
  • Strangers' comments on the elevator..."When are you due?" "How much longer?" "You look so cute!"
  • Time alone with E.
  • The magic of pregnancy.

The Christmas tree is up, the nursery is almost ready, the list of potential names is short. We can't wait to meet you, Baby! Seventeen days and counting...


Margi said...

You will be a fabulous mom, regardless of whether you have one child or many, many children! For you, I don't think it'll be difficult. It'll just be a matter of learning a new way of doing things - and you are not the kind of person who avoids opportunities to learn new things.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr