When I was pregnant with Charlie, there came a time (around the 41 week mark) when I started to believe I was going to be on the Today Show for being the first person whose baby stayed in utero forever. Sound crazy? I was totally serious. I knew that baby was never coming out of me. And then, miraculously, a few days later that baby really was born and I realized that I may have become a little irrational there toward the end of pregnancy.
This time around? The irrational brain has already set in. I'm nearing 37 weeks and cannot wait to be finished with being pregnant. All along, I've told people that I feel well and I'm doing fine, which for the most part, has been true. But that being said, this pregnancy has been much more difficult than my pregnancy with Charlie. As I mentioned before, the emotional toll has been so much different, but physically, this has been a tough pregnancy.
I was so fortunate to never suffer from morning (or afternoon or evening) sickness, although I did feel nausious every time I sat in the backseat of a car. And I thought I was going to die when Mason innocently took the scenic route through Dubuque on Mother's Day weekend-- as I clutched the door handle and kept my eyes focused outward and tried not to think about the curvy, windy, hilly roads we were traversing.
My body changed very early into pregnancy--walking was difficult almost immediately. Last time, I dealt with sciatic pain but this time, I've experienced severe (like, severe) ligament pain in my groin. (It's a delicate place to have pain but oh my gosh, we use those muscles a LOT-- and you'll never notice this more than when they hurt. Like, continuously for months and months. Whew.) I've also been short of breath for the past several months. Catching my breath seems impossible-- which makes me only want to exercise more-- but that involves walking which is definitely out of the picture.
Around Easter, I came down with that terrible flu that can only be described as violent. It depleted almost every ounce of energy I had and it seemed to take me three times longer than normal to recover completely from it.
Early this summer, I realized that bending over was officially uncomfortable and something I'd try to avoid at all costs. Mase teased me about it-- saying that I still had four months to go! We both knew this was something that didn't bother me until the very end last time.
Now, at 8 months pregnant, sleep eludes me and is one of the more uncomfortable ways I can think of spending time. Although I have every pregnant sleep aid imaginable, nothing seems to help and I'm lucky if I sleep in two hour increments. (And don't even begin to say this is nature's way of getting me ready for a baby in the middle of the night. I call bull-spit on that one.) I've taken to sleeping on the basement couch, which helps a bit-- but by no means is a cure for my exhaustion.
And as of last Wednesday, I've come down with a terrible cold. It's just a cold--but it happens to be that upper respiratory viral junk. It started with some mild coughing and then led to a fever-- that eventually crept up to over 102 on Thursday night. Once I had my fever under control with Tylenol, the cough seemed to escalate. It went from being a polite little throat clearing to something that makes you think you're next cough is going to end with your head over the toilet. Think full-body-contortion coughing. (The kind where you shiver a little at the end.) Today, my stomach muscles are so sore from days of coughing-- to the point of it being almost unbearable. Except, I have to bear it-- there's really no other option. I stood in the bathroom last night, in the midst of a coughing fit, while my belly seized up and shook with every cough. Tears streamed down my face as I thought, "I'm never going to feel well again". My throat is raw and sore but I'd take that a thousand times over the belly pain I experience when I go into a fit of coughing. I'm dreading the next few days but know that toughing them out is just part of dealing with anything viral.
I'm feeling irritable (well, naturally--I think the cold is a huge part of that) and I'm starting to be overly-annoyed with my inability to do things. I even wish I could pick up Charlie's toys without losing my breath or being so sore from bending over. Everything is an effort-- washing dishes, making the bed, doing laundry, tidying up the house-- nothing seems effortless anymore. I have a wish list of things I want to complete in the next few weeks (some sewing projects, some cooking projects, some getting-a-nursery-together projects) but all of these things require me to move, which is something that I'd rather avoid right now. I'm realizing I might need to do that thing I hate to do: Ask for help before Baby is here...but it's hard to do and something's holding me back. I'm also planning on working right up until Baby is born, but even that sounds pretty daunting right now. (Not to mention the tiny fact that there is still no plan for my sub when I'm gone which is slightly stressful.)
So all in all, this post has been one giant vent-session to the world. (Or, to the five of you who have read it-- for which, I apologize) I know things will get better. I know I'll get over this cold eventually (and hopefully before I'm in labor with zero stomach muscles left). I know I'll be able to sleep again in a few years. I know when I meet this baby, the pain of the past few months will somehow fade and everything will seem worth it. Three (or four) more weeks. Three (or four) more weeks. Three (or four) more weeks. I can do this. I can do this. I will do this.