Sunday, October 25, 2009
So here I sit 39 weeks pregnant. I have had heart burn for nine months straight, I have seen my ankles swell to scarily large proportions, I have puffed up and gained weight in ways that I thought not possible for my body, my lower back aches pretty much no matter what I do, and I have seen my athletic body deteriorate to a level of fitness where an hour walk sounds like a bit much.
I think that pregnancy is the great equalizer of women. I have talked to women that say that they loved being pregnant, I have noticed however that none of them have been pregnant in the last five years. I think that is the time limit when the great revision of history begins for women. I have three other friends who are pregnant right now. As I watch one friend, who prior to conception loved food, slowly laboriously push food around her plate at dinner time. I talk to another friend who seems to be handling pregnancy with smiles admit that she is felled by massive headaches almost daily. And my other friend who gleefully admits that she puked so much that if she didn’t have her own office with a locking door she would have had to go on medical leave.
Yes, the books have all these handy tips on how to deal with this and how to deal with that and some of those tips do provide relief, but the next day it’s back. You may be able to de-swell your feet for one day, but the next hot day that comes around or day that you spend sitting or standing too long, ka-bam! The cankles are back. You go to your doctor and say, ‘this is happening to me,’ and she says, ‘Are you drinking enough water?’ and you say, ‘Two litres a day,’ and she says, ‘oh,’ and changes the subject. There are some things that I can’t change and some things that have plagued me that other women never have a problem with. Or things that my body never once did that other women have had the whole time. I didn’t really swell until the last month, my colleague at work said that her rings were off her fingers in the first trimester, and my other friend says she never swelled once.
I am due on Nov. 4th, I have one or two more weeks to go or four if the child decides not to leave the ‘comforts’ of my body too soon. Ever since my 37th week I have felt like I was running in slow motion towards a cliff. Like in some foggy dream where I want to move faster but can’t make my feet and legs move. Like they are slogging through thick dense mud and I am surrounded by impenetrable mist that has infected my brain with the inability to think of anything but babies and pregnancy. People kept asking me if I was going to stop working before I had the baby and I said, ‘no, why would I?’ I can understand why now, it’s not so much my body, it’s my brain. The effort it takes to pull my brain out of the nursery and put into my classroom is colossal, I feel like a pregnant Sisyphus. Not only do I have to lug my weighty girth up a huge hill for eternity I have to push my brain out of baby muck onto a hill only to have it slide right down again once I achieve one coherent thought. I think I would be perfectly content to spend the next few weeks sitting in the baby’s room and baking until she chose to show up.
Compounded by all this is the fact that I am having prelabor contractions all day long. On Wednesday of last week I had them for twelve hours every five to twenty minutes. I figured they were prelabor but I kept hoping that the switch would flip into labor at any point. Yesterday Scott and I walked for an hour and my Braxton-hicks were so intense I almost couldn’t walk, but the second we stopped walking so did they. I think the hardest part is thinking with each one, ‘is this it?’ and not really knowing for sure until they stop or change, I just keep praying for something to start leaking. And yes, they are physically taxing, and today I find myself feeling like a damp wrung out washcloth, but mostly it’s the emotional energy. The hoping and wondering if we should pack our bags, and go to the hospital but knowing that upon examination I would just be told to go back home. Above all the most draining is truly not knowing when this baby is going to make her entrance, some women have prelabor contractions like this for weeks before they go into labor. I am committed though, I have committed to continuing to work because I want that time off with the baby, and quite frankly there is no way out of pregnancy but out….