Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Thirty-Five - My Easiest (& Hardest) Pregnancy

Weeks along: 35
Baby size: Honeydew melon
Labor signs: So many contractions but none very painful. My doctor wants me to go in if they come consistently because due to my fast, fast labors, I don't really know what "early" labor feels like.
Other symptoms: Heartburn and my hands and feet are so swollen it hurts to walk sometimes. This is so strange to me because I haven't ever experienced swelling (I'm drinking 100 oz. of water every day and my blood pressure is great.)
Weight gain: 35 lbs. (!!!) This is how much I gained at the END with Isaiah and Maci. What-the-what??
Baby's Heartrate: 164 bpm - she's always very active at doctor's appointments.
Other news: My hospital bag is packed and loaded in the car. And this time I remembered protein bars and pepperoni sticks in case I deliver in the middle of the night like I did with Maci. I was starving after and all they had were crackers. I had no idea. When I gave birth to Isaiah around dinner time they came in with 2 turkey sandwiches, chips, and juice. So I made sure to add some snacks to my bag - I also have a friend that said she'd order us a pizza if we need it. Love her.

Every time I load up the van for an outing I see my hospital bag, I  think, dang, we're having a baby soon. In fact, at my doctor appointment last week she said, "you'll see Shannon in 2 weeks and I'll see you in 3, as long as you don't have the baby before then." I laughed because I thought she was joking (which she was sort of) and then I realized it's actually very possible.

I don't think I've been in denial this pregnancy but I think about it less because I'm distracted by more kids this time around. Plus, I still feel pretty good. I sleep amazingly. I have little to no back pain. My sciatic nerve pain really only hit me mid-way through the pregnancy and has since not really bothered me much. This has actually been my easiest pregnancy out of the three.

Here's why I think it's been the easiest:

1. I was in way better shape when I got pregnant. I had great endurance with my other two but this time around I had done more crossfit/insanity/kickboxing exercises that made me feel so much stronger. I also think better muscle tone has helped with my back pain that I got so badly with the other two. I also spaced this third pregnancy farther away than my second and having a 3 and 5 year old has definitely helped. No diapers or potty training or reckless toddler behavior (okay, less of that last one).

2. I have a better attitude. I guess by the third pregnancy I've realized having [more] babies changes a lot of things, but it doesn't completely change everything. Darren and I are still us. We've learned to love more deeply and show more grace but we still laugh at the same things and enjoy doing the same things. We're still husband and wife first with a few extra family members. Isaiah is still him. Maci is still her. And Emmie will be her.

3. I'm feel more prepared for the unknown. Maybe not prepared, but content with expecting the unknown. So much of labor and delivery (and pregnancy in general) is beyond our control. I'm in a much better place spiritually this pregnancy that has allowed me to free up so much of my worry and planning and trust God's will in the entire process.

4. I'm busy. The good kind of busy. My days are full of parks, school, reading, swimming, and conversations with little people that I don't have much time to fester in worry, doubt or discomfort.

5. I had a miscarriage. Losing that baby not only made me realized how badly I wanted another baby but also helped me appreciate the honor of carrying someone's life inside my own. I appreciate that I'm able to do this again and so very grateful that Emmie will complete our family.

And here's why it's been the hardest...

I'm older. I know I'm not that old but having a baby closer to 20 is way easier than being closer to 30. It just is. I'm attributing he swelling and weight gain this time around to age because my health is probably better. I'm also anemic this time around. I totally get why people say, "have kids in your 20's." I completely get that this doesn't work for so many people and that's okay, I'm not saying you have to have kids in your twenties but the reality is pregnancy is harder on your body the older you get. And also the more kids you have. ;)

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