Thursday, December 29, 2016

Interview with 9-month pregnant Liz

Note: I wrote this in late-November, but I'm posting it so I can remember some of what I was thinking as a 9-month pregnant lady.
This image captures how I feel pretty well - standing in between seasons. 

1. Seriously, when are you going to have this baby?
That's what I want to know! The elusive "due date" is December 20th so I'm almost there.

2. How are you feeling in your (I'll say it: LARGE) body?
Exactly that. Large. My low back is tight, my pelvis feels tight all the time and toes are becoming like cute, but disturbing little vienna sausages.

3. What else is going on physically that's been curious? 
  • Last month, I noticed that I was growing skin tags on my neck when I've never had them before. Strange. 
  • Also, my armpits have gotten darker. Strange. 
  • I used to shed a lot of hair, but I realized recently that my hair rarely falls out these days. I lose only 1-2 hairs while I shower and maybe one after I brush my hair. (I used to lose them by the dozens!) Strange.
  •  My neck also has two distinct creases from weight gain. Not strange considering I've gained a total of ~30 pounds since pre-pregnancy. 
4. Any labor scares?
Well, since you mention it. On 11/26, I thought my water broke so I called my midwife and went it to get checked. Turns out I just peed. It felt like that traditional "GUSH," what can I say? I went to the hospital to get a non-stress test (NST) just to be sure. Let's just say it's an expensive way to feel reassured. Worth every penny! ;-P

Also, on 11/20, I woke up with crazy itchy cheeks/jaws. I didn't think much of it until it started spreading over the next several days. My hands and feet were insanely itchy. I had a midwife appt on that next Tuesday 11/22 so I told her about it. She had me take a blood test to find out if I have cholestasis because my symptoms were so classic of that liver-issue. Test results came back negative which boggled both of us. Another liver test showed I have normal liver function. And now I'm waiting for a third one to come back. I'm also now being monitored twice a week with two different tests to make sure baby is okay. This is precautionary since cholestasis can lead to spontaneous fetal death starting week 38. I'm in week 38, so I have a bit of anxiety as you might imagine. 

I'm including a picture of my hands after I started taking medication to address the itchiness. If you look closely, you can see the remnants of red dots that formed all over. What you can't see is how I'd wake up in the middle of the night with my hands on fire because I was scratching them uncontrollably in my sleep. 
4. Do you have names picked out yet?
I thought we did, but I suddenly changed my mind about the girl's name, so now we have a list. If we have a girl, I think we'll need to meet her to know. The boy's name came to us by way of Samuel wanting the name to start with a "J." Deep, huh?

4.5. Wait, you didn't tell us the name for if you have a boy. 
I know, that was intentional. Good catch.

5. When you visualize what labor will be like, what do you see?
A baby rocket. I hope it shoots out of me swiftly. 

6. Do you have any family coming to help out?
My mama! We bought her a one-way ticket, arriving on December 16th, 2nd, 9th! I think she might bring another 100+ lbs of food like she did in the spring when she came to take care of me for two weeks when I was so ill and stuck in bed. She'll probably stay with us for 4-6 weeks helping take care of her baby (that would be me) and feeding me a LOT of seaweed soup - a Korean must for post-partum care. And when I say "a LOT," I mean like potentially up to 3xs/day.

7. What do you think you want your first meal to be after you have baby?
Sushi? I just had some (don't tell!), so I don't feel like I need it so desperately anymore. I hear that first meal is SOO good, no matter what it is. 

8. What have you heard about labor that scares you?
First, getting nauseous or throwing up scares me the most. I think I'm still traumatized by how much of that I experienced during pregnancy, so to think I might feel nauseous again scares me. Second, having some major complication that leads to a cesarean birth.

9. Do you think you'll be self-conscious during your birth?
I don't want to be, but yeah. I mean I feel shy if I'm getting a massage and I get the slightest feeling that too much of my butt cheek is exposed to the masseuse. So you can imagine having everything hanging out will bring up some insecurities, not to mention I'll likely poop some while pushing. I mean, I would never judge a woman who poops while pushing out a baby - and I've seen it happen three times. I hope I don't care in the moment or all the moments afterward. It is a pretty natural part of birthing (but just one that people never really talk about). 

10. Are you going to continue these interviews even though you're no longer going to be pregnant?
I don't know. Maybe? I've been enjoying them quite a bit and think it could be fun to do some version when baby is here.

Bonus. Do you think you'll miss being pregnant?
Written on 12/29/16: Yes. As hard as it was, there's nothing quite like it. I will certainly miss being pregnant, building "one unit of baby" (as Samuel would say) and carrying baby so close, under my heart. 
(I was feeling down one day and Samuel suggested I come downtown and meet him for a little walk and talk during work. We walked around the river for half and hour and chatted about whatever we felt like. What simple and precious moments. I will miss these days.)

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