37 Weeks Pregnant
Posted on January 10, 2014
Despite being an avid journal-keeper since I was in the sixth grade, I don’t really journal my pregnancies.
In May, after I got up at 5 in the morning in my single room at the Hotel Circular in Kolkata, India and took a pregnancy test that I had packed in my toiletries bag, I wrote down my excitement. Four weeks pregnant and already in the know, just like the last two pregnancies. Four weeks is too early to feel sick, too early to feel anything at all, but early enough for a pregnancy test to work.
I was thrilled. Excited. A little nervous. Pretty sure that this pregnancy was going to be just fine, unlike the last one that ended at eight weeks.
I knew that if I began to feel sick like I was when I was pregnant with Ruthie, then things were going to go fine. Within two weeks, just after I had managed to work through my jet lag and while the bug bites covering my legs were still healing, I began to feel it. Morning sickness.
Morning, afternoon, evening, and middle-of-the-night sickness.
No appetite, everything is disgusting, all food is horrible sickness.
Can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t stop peeing, can’t stand the pressure of my bra against my skin, can’t believe my hair is falling out again, can’t handle the fact that I have months and months to go of this.
Oh, yes, this pregnancy wasn’t going anywhere. And why would I want to document all of that?
Pregnancy is not something I enjoy. In fact, I am completely certain that this will be the last time I ever go through this. I imagine what my diary would be like if I did keep track of my pregnancy:
Today was terrible and I feel sick and I just want to go to sleep.
Today I let Ruthie watch two movies and five episodes of The Power Rangers because the only thing I could do was lie on the couch and try not to puke.
Today I threw up four times and peed my pants every time.
Today is the same as every other day.
This pregnancy, unlike the last, I actually stopped throwing up at a certain point–around 20 weeks, I think. Lucky me, I immediately transitioned into the part of pregnancy where I was constantly exhausted. How many times did I close my office door, lean back in my awesome cushioned chair, prop my feet on my desk, and take a 20 minute nap in the middle of the afternoon? (Answer: lots of times.) How many times did I decide that a chair-nap wasn’t good enough, so I laid down on the floor and used my coat as a pillow and slept through chapel? (Answer: at least twice.)
Again, why would I want to document all that?
I imagine my children as adults after I die, reading my diaries. (It’s inevitable that they will.) “Holy crap,” one will say to the other, “Mom really hated being pregnant.”
I am 37 weeks along now. Some nights my back hurts so badly that I can’t roll over, and I have to ask Chalupa to pick me up and turn me on my other side so I can get back to sleep.
I’d rather just not record all of this. I want to embrace those hormones that make you forget how terrible pregnancy and labor and delivery are. I want to erase all record of my pregnancy-related misery and just remember the handful of good things about pregnancy.
The good things. Surely there are a few.
One: In less than a month, I will have another baby. A boy this time, which is both exciting and frightening. (I have always imagined myself as a mother of girls, not of a boy. Mothering a boy seems intimidating.) Ruthie will be a big sister. I will get to smell the sweet smell of a newborn’s head. I will get to nurse my baby and watch him grow. I will get to re-experience those strange, timeless first few weeks where everything is overwhelming and beautiful and frozen.
Two: For now, I get to feel the baby moving. Sure, it sometimes hurts when he lodges a foot underneath my ribs or presses his head against my bladder, but there is something cool about watching my belly move and feeling him under my hands.
Three: Ruthie’s excitement is enough to make your heart melt. Tonight she grabbed me, pulled my shirt up, put her mouth to my belly and shouted, “HOPSCOTCH! HOPSCOTCH, I LOOOOOOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU!” and then kissed my tummy over and over. When he is born, I expect her to still call him Hopscotch, the nickname she picked for him months ago.
37 weeks. I have less than a month to continue dealing with being pregnant, and then I get to embark on the fun part. The part I’m excited about. The part I signed up for.
Baby, this pregnancy thing is the worst, but I’m happy to do it if it means at the end I get you.