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Jeanette's Pregnancy Journal

Week 38
~ It's H-O-T!

I am 38 weeks pregnant now and it feels like such a slippery slope. I experience a rainbow of emotions. I wish I had a crystal ball that could tell me that exact date that my baby is coming to alleviate some of the anxiety. I am also wrought with physical discomfort. I am hot all the time. I have never liked air conditioning too much, but now it is my best friend. I usually tolerate heat well including West Africa's 130 F degree temperatures, but now even 80-degree weather is uncomfortable. It is obviously not just climate-related though because I was recently shopping in an air-conditioned department store and felt overcome with heat there as well. To sit anywhere in our house, I have to have three fans blowing on me simultaneously. My husband and daughter get a kick out of this.

If I ever complained about being slow before, these days take the limit. I overhead Syed tell one of his friends that he has to stay close by to his wife because she does not have much strength now. My hemorrhoids have multiplied, increased in size and now make walking excruciating. I believe I had a hand in exacerbating the situation. For two days straight, I ran errands and shopped like it was December 23rd trying to get everything checked off on my list. The constant standing must have put a lot of pressure on the ones that were already there, but realitively quiet.

My Braxton Hicks continue. They are not incidental unnoticeable contractions. They still feel like I am being stung by a freeze gun. I have yet to time them to determine if there is a frequency increase. My baby keeps moving around like he has all the room in the world. While I am glad that he is moving, it does cause discomfort.

My last day of work felt like I was retiring or something. Leaving was bittersweet. I was happy to be on official leave, especially because the last week was challenging. The new account doubled the workload. But, I also secretly wondered how would they operate the place without me. I could have easily worked up until my very due date, but decided to leave with some time to spare. It was a good decision.

We never made our airline reservations, so I suppose the decision has been made to birth here. This is to be a natural hospital birth. Honestly speaking, I am afraid of childbirth pain and my ability to manage it. Here my insurance will cover only $280 of the $1,500 epidural. So, natural it is. Syed says that if his baby has half the heart he does, then it will not make me suffer. Such a sweet thing to say, but naive nonetheless. I also wonder if I will have enough support. I asked a friend, a mother of a one-year-old, to accompany me, in addition to my husband, and she had the nerve to ask me: "What am I supposed to do?" If I have to explain it, I have obviously asked the wrong person. I do feel like I need some additional support. There is a doula, I know, on standby but I just do not want to pay her $400 fee. Ouch!

My due date is June 20th, but the reality is that the baby can come anytime now. I really wish he would not though. I need time up until the due date to finish preparations, but more so to assist three outstanding professional commitments that I have. If he shows up on his due date, Father's Day, or thereafter I will have accomplished them all. I took a serious chance by scheduling things so tight. But my other two children were born after their due dates, so I thought the odds were in my favor enough to gamble. This week's trip to the doctor's office highlights the risks of gambling. Mary, the nurse, nor her sister, the other nurse, were there. I was saddened to hear that she was unwell due to hypertension. Syed and I were there for about 2-3 hours. At one point, tired of waiting, we were just negotiating times that we could return and not lose our number four position on the waiting list with the receptionist when he arrived. The doctor was sporting a new haircut. I had brought a list of concerns like these monstrous hemorrhoids. I told him the suppositories he prescribed do not help. He looked surprised and as if he had run out of treatment options. I told him that I was using Tucks and ice cubes for relief, which does help, but are not practical when I am on the go.

He checked me out to confirm sufficient amniotic fluid and a functional placenta via ultrasound. He evaluated my hemorrhoids and my cervix. To my surprise, it had begun to open. I am dilated 1 centimeter! I should have been excited, but the news evoked mixed emotions. There are some things I still need to do.

My daughter is squared away with her day camp and yoga classes. She really likes both, as I suspected, and is always the first one up, dressed, and ready to go.

I did manage to get through my to-buy list and pack up both hospital bags. However, my meals are not prepped yet. I would like to dedicate some time to that this weekend.

My house could always use some more cleaning and organizing, but I am seriously running out of steam on that one.

We did finally get cable, but to my surprise no extreme control measures were needed. Apparently, since no one is used to watching television all day long anyway we simply police ourselves by turning it off after watching one program or two. In fact, there are days when it is not even turned on. When I watch the true crime shows, it just makes me so angry and sad about the level of gun violence in our country. Moreover, the absolute disregard for human life is sickening. It is such hard work to bring a child into this world. Humans are unlike other animals with short gestation periods. Raising a child until adulthood takes time and lots of careful planning, love, and concern. To kill someone for the ridiculous insignificant reasons that people lose their lives for everyday is heartbreaking. In the end everyone becomes a victim to violent crime; the victim, perpetrator; their respective families; and society's loss of productive citizens.

I noticed that I made my way towards the top of the pregnancy journal list on the website. I suppose that to mean that I am next in line for a birthing story amongst those journaling. Wow! Journaling has been extremely therapeutic throughout my pregnancy. It has helped me work through the myriad of events and emotions. As I reflect upon this pregnancy (the only planned one I have ever had), I can admit that it has been difficult but unbeknownst to me the road was literally sprinkled with blessings. Towards the end, it became abundantly clear that the Creator was sending a loud and clear message that I had never been abandoned. In fact, the same is true for my previous two pregnancies as well. Although things looked and felt bleak, Syed and I were never alone and our decision to bring forth life, another angelic soldier, was the right one.

I cannot thank Maribeth enough for her support and encouragement.

Jeanette

Week 37
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