22 August 2011

How to Feel Good 40 Weeks Pregnant

Okay, if you're anything like me << female; of child-bearing age; in a relationship where procreation is a viable option; attentive to your internal clock; um, awesome... just kidding, this isn't the proper forum to toot my own horn... >>, then you might have some ideas of what you think being pregnant will be like.

Just the other day I was looking at my round << read: GIANT >> watermelon of a belly thinking back to when I was a little girl and would push my tummy out as far as I could, imagining what it would be like to grow a baby.  What I *thought* years ago and what it's *really like* today are worlds apart from each other.

Even the movement of baby has transformed from one sensation to another entirely different one.  At first it was like a little fish swimming and squirming around inside me.  Then baby grew bigger and his movements did too. In the course of a week, he became a yogi and a pro-soccer player.  And now, at 40 weeks, the little guy is more, shall we say, limited in terms of his movement. His favorite move in his confined space involves releasing little earthquakes up one side and down the other side of my abdomen, often moving 3 out of 4 limbs simultaneously  << fortunately he *still* hasn't found my ribs... he's good at kicking the wind right out of my lungs, but he hasn't introduced himself to my ribs yet >>.

When I pass a storefront window or glimpse a reflection of myself, I still occasionally think to myself, "Holy moly! I'm HUGE!"  I think, simply put, I haven't spent enough time in front of the mirror to have an accurate self-image.  I just don't feel as big as I *occasionally* realize I look.

So being as big as a house and ready to pop out a baby any day now, how is it possible that when asked, I can still honestly say,"I'm feeling pretty good!"?  What's worked for me? I can think of 5 reasons.
  1. Walking
  2. Sleeping (with 5 pillows, minimum)
  3. Intellectually informed about labor and delivery
  4. Emotionally supported by my partner, friends, and family
  5. Sheer, Dumb Luck
First, I've stayed active.  There were days when getting up and moving around was THE LAST thing on the planet that I felt like doing. It helps tremendously to have a dog that needs regular walks and a husband who knows I'm happiest after I've exercised. My non-pregnant-self has to remind my pregnant-self all the time to not underestimate the resulting joy of endorphins.  At this point in my current size, walking, swimming, and yoga are the only things I'm still comfortable (and skilled) doing.

Second, I've worked long and hard to perfect the art of sleeping while preggs. I've always been a back sleeper, and earlier  I blogged about how sleeping was getting tricky... that is until I was told to quit losing sleep over the whole, "Don't sleep on your back" thing.  I have, however, gotten to a point where there's no longer a "baby bump" but  actually there's an over-grown watermelon hanging out behind my belly button squishing every organ I possess.  Strategic pillow placement makes all the difference.  Pillow #1 (a body pillow) is wedged behind my back so that I can achieve a hybrid back/side sleep pose as needed; Pillow #2 (another body pillow) goes between my knees and ankles to ensure hip alignment; Pillow #3 is much smaller, and, let's be honest folks, it hangs out between "the girls" (I blogged about this little jewel of a pillow early on); Pillow #4 is one of those Brookstone pillows that's shaped like a pill, and it's hangs out underneath the belly to keep it from stretching/sagging all the way down to the mattress; and Pillow #5 is my traditional head/neck pillow.  There is usually another pillow floating around the bed, but those 5 are the staples that I'm not sure how I'd actually fall asleep and stay asleep without.

Third, I've become my own advocate and learned a TON about labor and delivery. Let's face it, as soon as a chick finds out she's pregnant, if she's American and seen any TV or Hollywood movies depicting a woman in labor, she's already flipping out over "the pain of childbirth."  I've done my reading, I've watched a number of fascinating documentaries, and I've come to my own conclusions about what I expect and hope for in the birth process.  And I'm not scared of it << I'm starting to feel anxious to get the show on the road, sure; but fear about the birthing process? not so much >>.

Fourth, I've felt loved and cared for from the moment I peed on a stick and saw a plus.  Our friends and family have literally celebrated with us for 9 months. They've taken the time to listen to my concerns, rants, tirades, etc., which allowed me to let go of those to make room for the good stuff.  Personally, I find relief when I talk- out loud- about whatever it is that's bothering me. Having a few folks in my life to listen has made all the difference for me.

Fifth, maybe it's sheer, dumb luck that I've had such an easy pregnancy.  I don't know that there's anything I did or didn't do to set myself up for such a great 9 months.  I just continue to count my blessings for it.

We're so excited for our little
half-and-half to emerge!


  1. I felt the SAME way--both times so far. It's such a blessing to fully ENJOY every moment. :)

  2. With all those pillows, is there room in the bed for your husband?

  3. Jill, we're in a king sized bed, so yes, there's room for him. :-)