Thursday, February 7, 2013

37 Weeks: FULL TERM & impending changes

I'm officially full term today! It's pretty exciting, thinking this baby could come any day now. But of course, I'd like her to stick around in my belly for a few more weeks until our due date. I want her taking full advantage of the womb while she can.

I'm exhausted as I write. This past week has been full of classes and activities - perhaps why I had a rough time with eating and nausea. I am looking forward to not having gagging and vomiting as part of my regular existence. 

Another thing I've struggled with is my super sensitivity to smell. In the beginning, anything would set me off - the air that changes because of a swinging door for example. When I was completely bedridden, my husband always knocked before coming in, so I have time to prepare myself and hold my breath. 

Though those days have passed - thank goodness, I still have a hard time with personal products, like shampoo and lotion. I have a variety of pregnancy friendly products in my bathroom, accumulated throughout the past 9 months. But I still have to take it day by day and assess my condition before I choose which one to use. Good thing it was summer and humid when things were worse because I couldn't put anything on myself without getting sick. Now that it's winter and dry, I'm struggling with dry skin. 

My lips and hands have been chapped for the past 9 months, and this hasn't happened since I was in high school. Partly, it's because I have to prick my finger 4 times a day - for my hands anyway, but it's mostly because I get headaches and/or nauseated from the smell of lotions or scent/taste of lip balms - even if they're "mild," "natural," and/or "unscented." Some of my friends have suggested using pure oils. I've always been interested in going more natural with my products, but I've never been proactive about trying things out because I had a solid regimen that worked well for me - as in, I have sensitive skin, and I get these weird dry rashes if I try the wrong thing (which I'm kind of suffering with right now, and I'm not sure from what), so I've been using the same products for years.

Now that I'm having a baby, it's a great opportunity to switch over. All the products I've been using for years rank rather high in toxicity on, which didn't bother me too much before. But now, I can't help but to think about all the possible future repercussions. I started reading about coconut oil, shea butter, and almond oil, as some friends have suggested, and I tried them for the first time today. So far, so good. 

This baby's not even here yet, and I already feel different in the way I think. My focus is on this child and what I need to know and do to keep her healthy and happy. Sometimes, all the information out there is conflicting and overwhelming. I need to find that line of balance, where I can keep cool but also be mindful and decisive. 

My husband and I attended another childbirth class this week, along with a breastfeeding class. These classes are oh so informative. And everything seems to be falling into place. The thought of having to feed a helpless baby every 2-3 hours is tiring in itself, but then I remind myself how sleepless and difficult this pregnancy has been in general. I won't know until I'm there, but I feel educated enough to tackle it with confidence. Otherwise, I have a great support system set up to get me through it. 

The more I learn and take in this process of becoming a mother, I can't help but to think about my own mother. She had three children by the time she was my age, and she has always talked about this transition as the most wonderful thing she's ever experienced. What mothers go through is amazing to me, and I'm grateful to have a mom who was able to embrace motherhood as the best gift of her life. 

PHOTO at 37 Weeks: Snug in my belly, my little girl stretches a lot. I feel her feet by my right ribs. I push back with my hand, mostly because it hurts. But sometimes, I think I'll miss this interaction, so unique to this period in both of our lives. I will cherish it while it lasts, but I'm also ecstatic at the idea of meeting her. 

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