As I've been saying over and over again, these last few weeks of this pregnancy have been a far cry from my last one. The physical challenges have been so difficult, today being nearly as bad as they've been so far. Lots of pressure, bad sciatica, and not much sleep...and yet per my doctor's appointment today, I'm really no further along. She estimated I'm still 3-1/2 to 4 cm, but she did remark that I must be very uncomfortable sitting (umm, yeah) because of where my sternum is, and that the baby's head is way down and I have a good, full amniotic sac. Okay then. But this discomfort is really interfering with my functionality. It's hard to sleep, hard to get up, hard to get through the morning routine, hard to sit at my desk, hard to run errands, hard to make dinner, and even hard to lay on the couch at night. Pretty much everything is uncomfortable at this point, in some way. While I'm sure I had moments like that last time around, I know for a fact they were not sustained like they are right now. I know I would have blogged about it, but I didn't. Other than the early summer heat, I pretty much just sailed along and enjoyed my blissful last days of pregnancy, without even realizing they were my last days.
This time around, at least for the past month, I've been swearing that every day is among my last. I can barely believe I've made it to 37 weeks. Last time it was a shock to go as early as I did but the big difference is that this time, I'm prepared. Last time I was looking forward to savoring our last couple weeks of life before parenthood, and enjoying those last few kicks. This time I can't really enjoy much of anything because I'm too busy being uncomfortable and just getting through the day. I'm trying to make sure Jacob is taken care of and any last baby plans are as finished up as they can be. I'm trying to maximize my time at work, but I won't lie--it's hard to focus with serious sciatica-induced back pain forcing me to get up every few minutes. It definitely hasn't been the blissful experience I was hoping for.
As nervous as I was about going into labor last time, I really didn't have a lot of time where I realistically thought about it happening. This time I've had a lot of time to consider it. And now that I've been through it once and know what it's like, it's actually scarier than the unknown of last time. I know how hard and painful it can be, and I know how disorienting the whole experience is, from the time it starts right through the first few weeks and months with a baby. Knowingly jumping into that is pretty scary.
Overall, feeling so close to the end for so much longer than last time has given me more time to think about the scary stuff, and less time to enjoy the good parts of this amazing process that I'll probably never experience again. That's a bit of a bummer, but there's not much I can do. I never thought this pregnancy would be so much different than the last. Now that we're so close to the end and I'm feeling so many different signs and symptoms, it's hard not knowing when this show is going to get on the road. The emotions involved with not knowing and merely being left to wonder what's real and what's not is so draining. Even tonight I had another little something new happen, but I have no idea if there's any significance so I'm left wondering. It's exhausting. It could make for a long night. Even last night when I was just feeling a lot of pressure, I spent half the night dreaming that I was crampy, and I'm still not sure if I really was or if it was all just a dream. What kind of tricks will my mind and body play on me tonight?
Regardless, I have a feeling something will be happening soon, so stay tuned!