Oh dear. Did you guys know that I’m pregnant?

Because I am.

I’m officially at that point, not as if this blog didn’t reflect it, of course, where the state of my state is the overwhelming focus of my life. Which, you know, duh, but still. I am boring and big, and did I mention boring? My coworker, Caleb, walked out of an office the other day and as he walked by me he laughed. Why? Because he saw me standing there talking to two other coworkers and he knew exactly what I was talking about without hesitation. Part of this is that he’s a parent himself but still.

I am now that person in the office.

People keep asking me when my last day is and they looked at me shocked when I tell them that I’m working until the bitter end. Admittedly this seemed like a fine idea before I was two weeks away from my due date, in pain and tired and sore. Now I think I should have my head examined. Of course, I think a lot of people are induced, so they have a cut off date, whereas I could go as long as 42 weeks before our girl thinks about leaving. I didn’t think it wise for me to take the chance of sitting around for two weeks with nothing to do, but maybe now I’m wondering if perhaps I could not be more wrong about something.

I just like being at work. We’ll see what happens after Friday. Why?

This morning I had some blood work done. I’ve noticed that my palms and the soles of my feet have become extraordinarily itchy in the past couple of weeks, later in the evening. I assumed it had something to do with being swollen and, you know, pregnant, but it turns out that all of that late-night itching can be a sign of choleostasis. We’ll find out Friday if that’s the case. From everything I’ve read, at this stage in the game (38 weeks, going into 39) it means I could go in to be induced, but that depends on the bile salt levels in my system.

Oooo. Bile salt levels. This pregnancy gets sexier and sexier!

I’m hoping it’s not. I’m hoping I can ride this out another week or so, especially since I was just gifted by a very sweet and generous reader with a prenatal massage scheduled for Saturday. (Who has the best readers ever? I DO.) I’m hoping I still get to have the birth we were hoping for, which doesn’t include induction. To be safe, I’ve covered off most, if not all, of my work stuff. The house has been scrubbed from top to bottom. I’ve got plenty of food frozen and ready to go…speaking of which, you should have seen me last night.

As soon as one of the midwifes in the practice called me back to say, well, um, you actually need to go and get tested for choleostasis, my brain went into overdrive on all of the last-minute things to take care of at home and at work, in order of do-or-die priority. Within 48 hours, I’m happy to say that we’re in good shape, although you wouldn’t have known it if you’d seen me in the kitchen last night, making three massive pans of shepherd’s pie.

Scott brought me home a pretty spectacular surprise and what was my response? “Are you going to rehang the picture over the stove?” His face, it just fell. And then of course as he pointed this out, I responded with, “Well, you said you were going to do it.” And then I shooed him out of my kitchen, irritated, where I propped myself up on a bar stool with my assembly line of cutting, chopping, cooking and mixing. We didn’t speak for an hour, but I did feel better knowing that I finished making a week’s worth of dinner and leftovers.

Anyway, if I have it, I have it, and I can’t emphasize enough how even if our plans take a different turn, every single moment spent in planning and preparation as been worth it. I could not be a bigger proponent of women and their partners investing the time and, oftentimes, money, in preparing for the birth of their babies. No one will ever be able to convince me that this wasn’t important because for us it was important on a level that’s almost difficult to express.

  • We’ve gotten even closer as a couple.
  • I have such a greater appreciation of my body and what I’m capable of than ever before.
  • I learned how important it is to let go and get out of my own way.
  • I am my own best advocate.
  • My husband is my biggest fan, my best support system and I trust him so implicitly that I’ve even stopped nagging him in the car less as to how he should be driving because he is the world’s worst driver.
  • Giving birth does not scare me.

I think I hear that from women quite a bit – the fear factor. Understandably, how we’ve presented pregnancy and labor as a society doesn’t make room for anything other than a terror-filled approach. My own personal experience with anxiety and panic attacks when I was younger taught me that oftentimes the physical pain we feel can be managed without drugs and artificial intervention. I worked hard at not having to rely on medications, and I knew I could apply the same approach here. Does this mean it won’t be painful? No. My panic attacks didn’t exactly go away, either, and I know they’re not the same thing, and I don’t really mean to compare the two.

Mostly it just means I don’t plan on exacerbating the situation by letting my body go into fight and flight, to act in ways that are contrary to what it wants to do naturally, whether I’m induced or not. It means not letting my brain go to uncertain, scary places that will only manifest themselves in unproductive ways. Plus? I just really love all of the ritual to hypnobirthing. It’s come in handy so many times already. I can’t say enough good about it. It’s helped me to deal with any of the fears I had about labor and pain and childbirth, and made me realize that I don’t have to just accept something because it’s “always been done that way” or that I don’t have options and choices.

It’s all been pretty empowering stuff.

For now I’m resigned to just keeping my feet up and seriously doing nothing at all. I’m not sure it’s possible for me to prep more than I already have, and I’m done trying to find things to fret over. My glider is here, and it’s awesome, and I’m going to spend some time in it tonight, watching TV and wondering what this time next week will look like.