38 Weeks

This is such a cheater post.  Tuesday (6/30) marks 39 weeks, so I’m technically sliding in juuuuust under the wire of 38 weeks. Phew!

I’m hoping to post a 39 weeks post in a couple of days, because maybe I’ll be busy having a baby sometime this weekend?   It could happen? July 3rd seems like a pretty good birthday to me…

I am pregnant, I am crazy – Every time I sat down to write the 38 weeks post, I got nowhere because ohmygosh NESTING.  The crazy nesting has finally hit me and is driving poor Steven batty.  We got home from church and lunch and errands around 2 on Sunday afternoon and I immediately got to work.  I’m not even sure how it started.  I remember going into Nino’s room to get some laundry, and then I remember yelling at Steven for taking a nap, and then, all of a sudden, it was 11:30 Sunday night.  I reorganized/rearranged Nino’s room, washed all the blankets and stuffed animals, and spent a good 6 hours organizing the filing cabinet in our room.  Meanwhile, I forced a very confused and (rightfully) grumpy Steven to vacuum under our bed, shred about a thousand documents and receipts, go to the grocery store, make lunches for the week, make dinner, and clean the kitchen.  I tried to get him to decide where to hang and rehang and then hang again everything we owned so that everything could move to different walls, but he somehow put his foot down in that conversation.  He remarked this morning that our fights now are much different because it’s similar to fighting with a 2 year old.  As Louis CK notes, if you’re a grown man getting into a fight with a 2 year old, whose fault is it really?  Same goes for super pregnant crazy me.  We’re on this ride together.  No use fighting it and trying to bring logic back into the equation.

Labor Fears – Steven’s new big fear is that I will go into labor at 11 at night after not sleeping at all the night before.  Apparently everyone he talks to keeps going into labor at 11pm.  I swear we’re both watching the clock at night now, holding our breath from 10:59 – 11:01 to see if the first contraction will strike at the magical pregnancy witching hour.  So he keeps trying to get me to nap, or to go to bed earlier, or just to calm down a bit and I am resisting like, well, a 2 year old.  Sleep is so elusive these days, with the body heat, and the itchy rash, and the crazy nesting, and the numbness and the constant need to pee, and, and, and.  I’m tired, of course, and I would love to sleep more, but it’s just not happening.  I’ve taken to sleeping on the couch, which is marginally more comfortable than the bed, but I hate sleeping in a different room than Steven, even if he is literally 10 feet away.  The other night he got so confused that he came wandering out at 1:45, convinced that it was time to wake up and get ready for work.  I tried to convince him that it was dark out, but he wasn’t having it.  It wasn’t until I finally found a clock to prove it that he agreed to go back to bed.  Any Mamas out there have any sleep tricks?  My doctor recommended Unisom, but I’m hesitant to take a pill.  (Remember when I “learned” to trust the doctor? Surely no one fell for that, right?)

My new fear is a super quick and short labor that leaves no time for an epidural.  I feel like I’ve mentally prepared for everything except that, and it always seems to be the one thing you don’t think about that ends up happening. I think the fear comes from reading these crazy birth stories, but also because I haven’t felt any contractions yet.  I feel like if I was in for a long labor, I would’ve had some sort of practice contractions by now, but nope.  Nada.  Just a whole lot of Nino squirming and kicking my bladder every time I try to sit down at home.  Not at work, surprisingly.  She’s very well behaved when I’m at work.  It’s like she’s reminding me to get to work at home or something. Maybe she’s nesting too. You’d think that this fear would make an induction seem less terrifying, but nope again. Still resisting that option too. Hailey’s 24 hour labor by induction + 6 hours of pushing drama is still too fresh in my mind.

PUPPP Update (PUPPPdate?) – It’s still here.  It’s also still itchy.  The steroid cream does provide some relief, and the Grandpa’s Pine Tar Wonder Soap is truly wonderful.  I think it’s doing the most amount of good, at least in terms of making it seem less angry and stopping the rampant spreading.  It super dries out your skin though, so now I don’t know if my skin is itchy because it’s dry or because of the PUPPP.  What I have learned is that the Sarna lotion make me uncontrollably itchy and raises my body temperature by about 1000% so that option is out.  Cold packs remain essential and I have to resist buying 20 so that I can have an endless supply attached to all my extremities while I sleep.  I have no idea how to tell if the V8 juice is doing any good, but I have finally developed a taste for it after a week and will gladly keep drinking it, as I have been trying to figure out an easy way to get a serving of veggies in the morning.  Win win.

The thing that helps the most is the thing that always helps the most, and that’s good ol fashioned gratitude.  So let’s play the gratitude game, shall we?

1. My office is ALWAYS 55 degrees.  Without fail.  My coworkers have to run space heaters all year long, and I even get so cold that I have to wear slippers.  I had a meeting on campus last week and even though it was only an hour long, I left there sweating and itching and completely uncomfortable.  If I worked anywhere else on campus, I would not be able to hide the rash and still be comfortable.  Or what If I had to work outside? Or go to more meetings, or move around, or travel, or, or or? Blessings, blessings, up above.

2. It’s very easily hidden.  It’s not on my neck or my face, my pants that still fit cover my feet and are my most comfortable pants AND they go with everything, and I don’t have to be super dressy at work, so it’s very easy to just sit still, drink a ton of water to stay hydrated and cool, and ignore the itch as much as possible.

3. This is literally the only bad pregnancy symptom I’ve had this entire time.  The worst of it lasted for 2-3 days, and didn’t keep me from doing anything I would normally do except maybe swimming and taking walks.  And who knows?  I might’ve been too tired and sore to do those things anyway.  I escaped morning sickness and the flu and heartburn and swollen feet and insomnia and numb hands and joint pain and sciatica and all the other very common ailments that afflict the large majority of pregnant women.  So really, I was due for something, and to me, this is way more manageable than throwing up all the time.

4. We live in a basement apartment that stays extremely cold all day with minimal air conditioning.  If we lived in a real house, it would be costing us a fortune to stay this cold.

5. There are very few things in life as satisfying as scratching an itch.

6. A year ago in June, we lost our first baby and I knew something was up because I had zero pregnancy symptoms.  During the early days of that pregnancy I would pray to feel something – anything – that might mean that my body had recognized the pregnancy and would hang on to it.  But there was nothing and we said goodbye and I vowed then to never complain about any pregnancy symptom if I was lucky enough to get pregnant again. I’ve broken that vow more than once, but when it gets really bad, I just remember last June and it puts everything in perspective.  Nino is a gift, and every day with this baby, even the itchy ones, is a blessing.

Blanket Update – The blanket and I got in a serious battle this weekend.  I managed to tangle it AGAIN, except this time there was no Betsy coming to town to save the day.  I ignored it for as long as possible and then finally had to face the knots of doom.  I tried for two episodes of Chuck, then Steven tried for two episodes of Chuck, and then I tried again for three episodes of Gilmore Girls before realizing it was 3:30 in the morning.  Whoops. In the end I had to give up and just cut out the knot.  Suffice it to say, the blanket remains unfinished.  But maybe this week?  I’m running out of things on the to-do list, so it’s got to be done soon.  Perhaps that’s what Nino’s waiting on?  Hmm…

Go Make a Difference – As of July 1st, all three Catholic churches in Manhattan will have brand new priests.  Last weekend we said goodbye to Fr. Jarett at St. Isidore’s and this weekend we had Fr. Don’s last mass at St. Thomas More.  Both Fr. Jarett and Fr. Don played a big role in our reversion and conversion stories these past three years, so it’s been an emotional month of mass.  There was no fanfare to Fr. Jarett’s final mass. He announced it at the beginning of his homily, and it made me catch my breath – I had assumed we had one more weekend with him.  Fr. Jarett had an immediate and significant effect on me, so I was thankful for the quiet subtlety of his send-off.  It was hard enough, and I cried in my pew as he signed off with a simple, “Until we meet again.”  I am devastated, but trying to leave my heart open to the future.

Liturgical Dancing!

I expected more of the same from Fr. Don’s last mass, but it was a celebration from beginning to end.  There was a full choir, liturgical dancers, beautiful music, a blessing from the deacon and a whole lot of tears from all involved.  It was joyous and emotional in a completely different way, and as we closed out the mass with a spirited version of Go Make a Difference, you could feel how deeply and profoundly his service had been felt in the Manhattan community.  Both priests made reference to their desire to come back to Manhattan at some point in their career and I was reminded again about how blessed we are to live here and experience this church community.

Blessings to you both, until we meet again.

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2 thoughts on “38 Weeks”

  1. Susan,
    Congrats on the upcoming birth of your baby! This week is great for having a birthday (especially the 2nd)! I’ve read your blogs and also saw you are coming back to Garden- it’s so nice to be close to family- I hope the move goes well for you.
    I never had PUPPP when I was pregnant, however, I do have eczema. If you haven’t tried it before, I would recommend Cetaphil lotion which is kind of expensive but Walmart has an Equate version that is also good for like half the price (it’s in the make-up remover aisle). My dermatologist told me to put my steroid cream into the Cetaphil and shake well so that it is slightly diluted and it also covers more area easily. You could also try using something like Aveeno and what helps the most for me is to stay away from anything with fragrance like detergents. I know PUPPP and eczema are totally different, but I also know when skin hurts/itches it just sucks! Good luck with everything!

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