Great Expectations: Julie @ 35 Weeks

baby shower cake.jpgLots of big stuff has been happening since I last wrote in. First off, you are now reading the blog of a 41 year old woman! My birthday was fairly uneventful and was mostly celebrated at work with Greek food and a Carvel ice cream cake. My husband made tacos when I got home and brought me flowers. Mostly, I was too tired to do much of anything, but he did make the extra effort of sitting and talking with me for a full hour on the couch. Because of his long commute, we do most of our talking on the phone, but it’s nice to actually save it all and do it face to face occasionally.

I also had my baby shower! A real live baby shower for my real live baby! My mom and my sister flew down from the northeast and stayed at my house for the weekend. Two friends co-hosted the shower and it was beautiful. We kept it fairly simple. At my request, there were no balloons or superfluous Party Store disposable decorations. We used my vintage lace table clothes, decorated with flowers, and ran a clothesline of my myriad baby clothes across the table. Food was sandwiches, cheese, fruit, salads and a big cake!

My friends and family really were extremely generous. I got many beautiful and thoughtful items, which I truly appreciated. It was also so fun to have a new person walk through the door and constantly say, “Hey, I know her! I love that girl!” because I forgot it was my party. There was a good mix of some hand-me-downs and new stuff, and I can’t wait to write the “thank you” notes. I’m really serious about thank you notes and always have been. As far as thanking my hostesses, I have bought one a nice silver and pearl necklace, and a little item for her children and the other one, I am still hedging on what to get. I wanted to get her an expensive piece of jewelry (she has given me SO much), but that’s so personal in terms of taste and I’m not sure she’s really into jewelry anyway. Now, I am looking into her favorite massage parlor, but that’s not as personal as I’d like.

A dark, little cloud came after my mom and sister told me who should be in the delivery room with me and I kind of freaked out. Ok, I seriously freaked out. I don’t want anyone there—not in the room, not in the waiting room, not waiting at home. Giving birth is pretty much the most personal thing you’ll do in your life and I feel like that’s between me, my husband, the baby, my medical staff, and God. At the birth center, they shoot you out about 4-5 hours after birth anyway, so it’s not like your typical hospital stay. I was so overstimulated by that talk and the shower, that I couldn’t sleep a wink that night. Instead I laid there, with so many thoughts, then got so exhausted I had a panic attack (which I never get) and cried for half an hour. Rough night, and then still had my family there the next day.

My husband had just mentioned that some of his guys at work have pregnant wives at home, and they were extremely hormonal. He told me I had been great, except maybe bossier than usual. But I really showed him! My exhaustion and anxiety (and hormones) really had broken through, not to mention my fear. I have this fear that people will come into my delivery room, and I will be weak, exhausted and vulnerable. And all they will want to do is hold my baby and I will be forced to be rude and grab her back. Some really primal instincts have awoken. For somebody of my age, who has worked this hard for a child, I just need some time with my new family.

Last night was my “dress rehearsal” for the birth center. I was excitedly hoping we would get to act out giving birth and do a mock performance (naked and moaning and all), but no, it was just more information. They are on target with all the more natural or “hippy” desires: straight contact after birth, they let the cord keep pulsing, ointment and shots are done an hour afterwards, and they basically leave you to yourselves for a few hours, then shoot you home. They are the oldest free standing birth center in the country, so while it seems kind of crazy that they are having people leave so early, they maintain that people want to go and that you get better rest at home then anyplace else. Of course, with my crazy medical history, I STILL haven’t been cleared for using the center. Or rather, I was cleared, and then non-cleared, and then am hoping to get re-cleared.

My body update is that I am filling out. Today I got my first swelling—my right ankle is gone, foot is swollen, and so is my right hand. My left side is swollen too but a little better. The baby is up under my ribcage if I am sitting down and she has done some hiccupping. My mom and sister said that my face had “gotten dark” which I guess can happen with the progesterone? I have been taking my blood pressure regularly and it seems to be normal. I may have jinxed myself during my last post, because my skin has gotten kind of bad and I’m not so regular anymore, sadly.

Other than that, I’m onto making the bigger baby purchases like the stroller, car seat and an extra base. I think I have found an in home day care. And soon I will be working on specifics of my maternity leave and working part time. It’s all really happening and I pray for the continued good luck I have had throughout this pregnancy. I continue to be grateful for all the love and support I receive.

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