I am pausing my birth business (Doula + Birth Photography) and my Brenner Birth Care website is expiring soon. SO I thought I would save this hit-of-a-post and share it with you too!
It is my complete honor to introduce to you Josie Corliss. She is...one of the most hilarious human beings I have ever known. Also, she is wonderful at this thing called getting pregnant. She discovered that even though you have a vasectomy scheduled...you can still actually get pregnant. Free tip for ya. I on the other hand, have never been pregnant and have no way of possibly understanding what it is like to be at week 35 and wish your baby would just walk itself out of your body while asleep...she on the other (now we have two other hands...3 hands) hand has plenty of experience with this. So I asked her to share. You're welcome.
The Last Month of Pregnancy…or as I refer to it…The Last Billion Years Before Your Baby is Born…
There is, in my opinion, a very specific design to the last month of pregnancy. Having now been to the end of pregnancy four times I am convinced of this. That design is to make you miserable. You thought pregnancy wasn’t that great before? It’s about to get even more un-greater (yes I’m aware that’s not a word). This is on purpose. You are about to face one of the most mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging moments of your life (delivering a child through yourself), and the best way to make you ready? Make you so miserable that you will literally beg for it to happen to you.
Here’s a little bit what the last month of pregnancy is like:
Sleep: You can no longer sleep. Any sleeping you may be able to get is achieved through a pile of pillows bigger than a mountain and most likely involving a couch or recliner. You had heard from all your friends about how babies never sleep. Why did no one say anything about the last month of pregnancy? You were counting on this time to stay caught up on sleep to be ready to care for your infant. What gives? Training my friend, training. As mentioned before I am about to have my FOURTH child. What this means is I haven’t slept well since 2006. I was (maybe still am) a person that loves sleep. I am here to tell you, if this is your first child, that this last month is the beginning of a very long period of time when you long for sleep like you long for the weekend on Mondays.
Eating: Remember how eating used to be easy? Now most likely you get either heartburn or acid reflux just looking at tomato sauce. Or any other food that is flavorful in any way shape or form. What little sleep you may have been able to get will quickly disappear with a poorly timed slice of pizza. You are alternately starving or full after what feels like one bite. If it wasn’t for the starving part you are pretty sure you would just give up eating.
Dressing: Putting your underwear and pants on becomes some Cirque du Soleil-esq contortion act. Sometimes requiring more than one try. And shoes? Don’t even try to wear shoes that require a tie or a buckle, it’s not worth it.
Feeling the baby: Those cute little fluttery kicks you felt in the early part of pregnancy, take a sudden turn in the last month. It begins to feel like something out of the movie Alien and you are convinced your baby is in fact going to claw its way out of your belly.
Cleaning: It seems that every.single.blessed. house chore requires you to bend down. With your increased back pain and stretchy front ligament burn, these chores begin to sound like some form of torture. Once again though you are going to get a help from that design because you will suddenly be compelled to clean every nook and cranny of your house that you swear you’ve never even seen before. You will be on your hands and knees scrubbing your kitchen floor which suddenly can’t get clean enough with a mop. You will pay for this, and most likely regret it sometime in the next hour to day when you suddenly feel as if you have done 400 jumping jacks followed by a 10 mile run. Your waddle becomes extremely pronounced to where even the grocery store checkout lady looks at you sympathetically.
Speaking of grocery store checkers…somewhere in your last trimester random strangers will start saying things like “Oh looks like you will have that baby soon!” with increasing frequency and fervor. If you are like me, you start getting these comments about month seven, nowhere close to your actual due date, so by the time you’ve made it to two or three weeks away from your due date you have heard these comments approximately 700 times and have given up on the perfect witty comeback you were hoping would come to you in month seven.
All these things, one at a time, really aren’t that big of a deal. Together though they build and work together to make you feel willing to Google every possible wives tale about how to naturally induce at home hoping to get that baby out SOON. Here’s the deal though: remember that design? These things are here to push you to be absolutely ready to endure labor. Mostly because you are pretty sure labor doesn’t last forever. You may change your mind in labor, but at this point you are sure it seems like a short period of time. Getting though that last month of pregnancy is hard, but it’s supposed to be. You are embarking on one of the hardest journeys in life. Parenting requires so much selflessness, this last month that you spend being uncomfortable in your body almost every moment, will be your last few moments before you spend the next lifetime being uncomfortable in your heart, trying to balance the struggle of parenthood. This process begins the transition you will endure in more mental ways than physical when you do have that baby and while YOUR body is no longer keeping you from sleeping or eating what you want, your baby will. It’s painful in a new and different way. If this is your first time around let me give you some advice. Don’t be in a hurry. Easier said than done I well know, but seriously you are about to find out what hard really is.
Instead of Googling every symptom you are having, that you are sure means you will be or are currently in labor, take a nap. Go to the movie. Take a long, really long, shower. Get a pedicure. Read a book, oh for goodness sake read several books! Go out to a really quiet restaurant and eat your meal slower than you ever have, I mean I know at this point you can only eat about five bites, but take those five bites really.really.slow. Take a walk and appreciate the sounds of nature, pretty soon you’ll be taking those walks to the sound of a baby increasingly getting fussier and making you regret your decision to spend thirty minutes getting ready for a ten minute walk.
It’s okay to not love these moments. It’s okay to wish you weren’t pregnant anymore. However, try to be patient, try to understand that what your body is enduring is by design. Those aches and pains and Braxton Hicks are your body preparing, getting ready to do the most miraculous thing it ever has. You probably won’t enjoy it, but be present with it and let it change you in the ways it was designed to do.