26 weeks pregnant today.
I’ve seen the halfway point come and go, and soon I will greet the third trimester. The final third of this journey. And, in early February (all fingers and toes crossed), this little gal will make her long-awaited debut.
It just doesn’t seem possible.
So many changes. So. Many. Changes.
Belly growing literally by the day. The small flutters have transformed into kicks, jabs, and punches. This little one is about as active as I can imagine, and the only downtime that I notice is when I am sleeping. Any other time, she sends me a strong message via my belly that she’s in here and entertaining herself. She has already hooked her foot or hand up under my ribcage a time or two, which always reminds me of her big brother. Tyler used to do that all the time in late pregnancy. Ironically, she does it on the same side as him: my right side. Sometimes her jabs and punches are downright painful. Yikes. Wonder if she’ll be just as feisty on the outside….
The nursery is slowly being transformed. We have gone from office to nursery in short order. Crib, dresser, stroller, and other assorted baby items have been assembled and staged. As I look around this room, I am reminded that we will soon be joined by another, albeit smaller, version of us. Clothing items are beginning to stuff the drawers, and the bedding will be delivered in a few days’ time. Yep. It’s a baby’s room for sure.
My poor bladder. This complaint is nothing new for any pregnant woman, but the loss of control is frightening. I have to remind James that I can’t laugh too hard at his jokes, or else it could be potentially disastrous.
Priorities have come into alignment. This baby is numero uno. After many weeks of toughing it out, or perhaps more accurately, lying to myself, I have allowed myself to work with modifications. Strict modifications. I no longer work 12-hour shifts, but 8 hours. I no longer can help nurses at the bedside with direct patient care. I can no longer bend, stoop, or twist at work. I can no longer be on my feet longer than 40 minutes of each hour. While these modifications may sound extreme, I was contracting with what I felt was more than safe, so NP and I put our heads together and came up with this solution. So far, so great. The hardest part was telling my staff that I simply cannot help them physically. Only fellow nurses can truly understand our culture, and how we operate, so to them, this won’t be a huge surprise. In any event, staff and fellow managers have been very supportive. I’m feeling confident that I’ll get through the next 60ish days until my maternity leave commences.
The offhand comments by strangers are priceless. A typical exchange goes something like this:
“Oooo, are you due very soon?” asks a stranger in an elevator.
“No, I’m not due until early February.”
“Oh…..are you expecting twins?”
“No. One baby.”
Quite possibly the absolute best part of this pregnancy is simple.
I am viewing it through my husband’s first-time eyes. I get choked up when I type this, but it is true. This man is coming to fatherhood for the first time later in life, and it has and will continue to be the best experience with him by my side. He cherishes and relishes each and every milestone, simple task, new development, and each day. While I may feel as if I resemble a whale, he views me as sexy, womanly, powerful. I catch his full-on stares as I undress for bed. I see the wonder in his eyes, not for the nakedness, but for the sheer knowledge that what lies just beneath the smooth surface of my skin is our daughter. Right there. With us.
It really doesn’t get any better than that.
So, we carry onward to the finish line. Nesting has begun, and I’m sure it will continue until the end.
I sit here typing with Pink Floyd playing in the background. Gotta get baby girl hooked on the classics early. I can only hope that it sounds as good in utero as it does out here. Perhaps when she’s born, she’ll remember, and when she fusses, the strains of Meddle will calm her .
“A cloud of eiderdown
Draws around me
Softening a sound.
Sleepy time, and I lie,
With my love by my side,
And she’s breathing low.” -Waters/Gilmour