Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thirty-Eight Weeks

This is my thirty-eighth and last week of pregnancy. I will be induced on Monday morning at 5 a.m. at 39w2d. I cannot believe that the end is almost near. I decided to start my maternity leave this week and it's been a real blessing. I've been able to rest and relax, take care of little last minute to-do items like scheduling our baby's first doctor's appointment, her first photo shoot, get her books and toys organized, bottles sanitized, etc. We've installed the baby monitor in her crib (we went with the AngelCare Movement and Sound Monitor) and the Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper (original size) next to our bed. She'll nap in the crib and sleep nights in our room in the co-sleeper. I also managed to hit up some local consignment stores and scored a brand-new, in the package, activity playmat for $13 as well as some cute cotton sleepers, and adorable Amy Coe knit cap and booties for very little money. Score!
My husband has been off this week too (since we initially thought yesterday would be our induction date) and we've been enjoying sleeping in, taking daily walks together and just enjoying our remaining days of couple time without a baby.

Unfortunately, this week has also brought some added stress from family issues. They say that life changing events like weddings, funerals and births tend to bring out the worst in some family members. And I can attest, it's true. This week has stirred up drama with our mothers. And it's hit me extra hard, I think, because I am about to become a mother myself.

Without getting into the big, gory details, it boils down to this: both my DH and I are adult children of alcoholics/addicts. And even though our mother's are sober (technically, that is...they don't drink alcohol anymore), they both continue to exhibit dysfunctional behavior that affects their mental, physical and emotional health. And their actions (or sometimes lack of action) continues to negatively impact us.

I don't know why I am surprised that just as we are preparing to become parents, a huge life step, they have both come up with ways to pull the attention towards them and yet again, put us in the position of having to parent our parents. My husband and I are doing our best to cope, draw clear boundaries and not get too sucked into their dramas. It's tough though and it's really making me take stock of my own wishes for parenting our children.

In the back of my mind I have always known that becoming a mother would stir this stuff up. I guess I just didn't anticipate that it would be at the same time I am bringing my baby into this world. So my husband and I are talking, talking, talking and if need be, I plan to meet with a counselor. The last thing I want is to have these feelings, along with everything that comes along with being a new mother, to overwhelm me and lead to depression or emotional shut down. Thankfully, I am off work for several weeks and will have the time to do whatever to takes to manage all of this stuff.

That said, in addition to all of this emotional turmoil, I am waffling between feeling excited to meet our little girl and anxious that we're not ready. I am pretty sure this is normal. With all of this time off, I have re-read La Leche League's "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and re-worked our birth plan to include the issues that induction brings. I have spent time visualizing how I hope our birth goes and am also mentally prepared for what may happen...like a c-section. At the end of the day, I know none of it is really in my control and that as long as Libby and I are healthy and safe that is all that really matters.

According to BabyCenter, here's what's happening this week:

Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

2 comments:

  1. OMG, Diva! I know that this pregnancy, and this labor, aren't going the way you hoped or planned, but how amazing - you are going to meet your daughter on Monday!!! I am so, so insanely excited for you...I remember back when we were both TTC and obsessing over charts, and now little Miss Libby is ALMOST HERE!

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  2. Hug for you as you go through difficult family issues. Good for you for getting the support you need.

    How exciting that you get to meet Libby on Monday! Yay!

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