We made it to 39 WEEKS! Depending on which app I open, she is either the size of a Watermelon or a Pumpkin….either one is much too big to be hanging out in my belly (rib cage) for too much longer! The aches and pains are getting to the point where I’m just DONE….DONE being pregnant and ready for her to do all of this wiggling, jabbing, kicking and rolling and midnight hiccuping outside of my body. But, we are so close! Everything is much more difficult these days….from tying my shoes to shaving my legs or just trying to get in and out of the truck or roll over at night to find a more comfortable position (which is impossible at this stage, let me tell you)….but in all that bitching and whining, I can’t help but smile. My body is creating a LIFE, a tiny miracle that will become the center of our whole world. Although it is definitely difficult on some days, she is 100% worth every second, every ache and pain, every sleepless night….and I can’t wait to meet her!
Ever since my stitch removal 2 weeks ago, I am able to do things that I have been restricted from for over 6 months. I’ve been walking a lot more, and usually get in about 4 miles a day for the past week or so. It feels so good to be active again. Even though it’s just walking, it is a big deal for me right now! Just walking a few miles a day absolutely exhausts me, but makes me feel so good.
The closer I get day by day to labor and delivery, the more anxious I get. I think it’s only natural. I mean, I’ve never done this before, I’m not sure exactly what to expect, and I know it will hurt. I’ve read all the books and apps and listened to all the stories from my lady friends….but I can’t help but still feel a little anxious and scared about it. I have a very loose birth plan, and have made it clear to my doctor that my only real “Plan” is to get the baby out safely and as easily as possible. Outside of that, I’m pretty flexible. I have girlfriends who have come into the delivery room with high expectations and firm birth plans only to be disappointed and realize that birth is messy and not something that goes according to our plans all the time.
The other point of extreme anxiety in my life today is my journey through the post-partum period. As someone who is in long-term recovery from a severe eating disorder and exercise addiction, I can’t help but plan ahead to make sure that I have a healthy idea of what to expect from my body, my mind, and from the experience. If I’ve learned anything in recovery it is that any experience is what you make it. It can be good or bad all dependent on my perspective. I do worry about losing the baby weight, I do worry about what “bouncing back” will look like and feel like, and I do worry about having unrealistic expectations of myself and relying on old behavior to solve my fear and anxiety, I do worry that I will push myself to do too much too fast, or that I’ll become depressed over my weight and appearance…BUT, I also realize that by being open and honest about my fears, it gives them less power. I know that I will have to practice grace with myself, and do what is best not only for me….but for this little miracle. I want to breastfeed for as long as possible. In order to do that, I will have to take excellent care of myself to provide her with the best. I also know that as she continues to grow up, I will become an example to her of how she should think about her body….and I can’t hate my body and teach her to love hers. Doesn’t work that way!
It’s still incredible to me that I have created a life inside of my body. That she will become a beautiful, brave, and wild creature of her own…I can’t wait to meet you Lilly Kate.