The Final Weeks & Birth Story
~ February 19 - March 10 and beyond . . .
Week 37 . . .
Woowee, has this been a long, looong week at work! It has literally just flown by. I suppose I should be thankful, because everyone keeps telling me that these last few weeks of pregnancy will be the longest weeks of my life, but now it's another week gone, and I'm just exhausted! I'm seriously starting to rethink this whole work right up until the end plan of mine - not that I have much of a choice. Small companies simply cannot allow their employees to take tons of leave time, and I don't want to jeopardize my time with Charlie later by trying to get out of working now. It was hard to imagine that I'd ever get tired just sitting behind a computer, but I suppose I never took into account how much walking back and forth through the building I do, how much getting up and down from my chair to take phone calls or help customers, or to grab printed pieces from the printer. I'm walking very slowly now, like a huge, fat old lady, and I'm sure I look just ridiculous - hobbling along in my too tight maternity clothes that I've outgrown (eek!), trying not to topple over or walk into something low on the floor since I can't see my feet. I have some serious aching throughout my whole pelvic area, which is new, and is making this whole toughing-it-out period at work all that much more agonizing. However, I just need to suck it up, and keep Charlie in mind. Just a few more weeks, a few more weeks to go . . .
We had our weekly appointment with Dr. Abbott on Monday, which turned out to be a little bit of a bummer. Of course I was hoping that he would check me, and say that I was magically fully dilated, effaced, and was actually about to give birth any second now in the most painless manner possible. Alas, this was not the case. The baby is still down low in the pelvis, though not especially so low as to make him think that I'll be having the baby any time this week. However, the pain I've been feeling in my pelvis is actually pressure from the baby's head, so I guess I can look at that as a plus - he's so close! He checked my cervix, and while I'm 40% effaced, I was not dilated at all, which is a huge bummer. Further raining on my parade, Dr. Abbott sat us down and talked to us about the results from my Group Strep tests. Turns out, I am one of the lucky 15% of women who has it naturally in their systems. He made a big point out of explaining to us that this does not mean I am sick in any way, that this is not something I contracted from anyone, that it was not something I could pass on to Aaron, etc. It's a naturally occurring bacteria that I had most likely inherited from my mother. Nothing to worry about at all, it just means that, when I'm in labour, they'll hook me up to some antibiotics through my IV to help combat the possibility of passing it along to Charlie. Apparently, it can be dangerous to babies if it's not caught in time, but as we know about it now and are on top of it, there's really no problem. So that was a big downer, and of course I felt totally defective and disappointed that, not only will I not be having a baby any time this week, but I'm diseased on top of it all!
"Oh well," I had to tell myself, and buck up. I needed just one more week to get everything finalized at home anyway, and we still had our shower to look forward to.
So I went ahead with the rest of my insanely hectic week, and finally it was Saturday, the day of our baby shower barbecue with all of our friends. Maybe it was a little self-indulgent to let my family throw us a second shower, but the way I figured it, the first shower was a very traditional, ladies-only affair, but this is Aaron's baby too, and he wants to celebrate! Not to mention my poor dad, who throughout everything has been so insanely excited, and was completely downtrodden when he realized he wasn't invited to the other shower! So we planned our fun, casual afternoon party for all our friends, guys and girls, to just come, eat, and hang out. There was to be no pastel baby decorations, no lame games, just your average weekend barbecue with burgers, beers and presents! My mom had the house looking so cute, in bright rainbow colours - paper plates, cups, forks, and balloons attached to plastic beach buckets filled with bright baby toys. We had tons of food, delicious and fattening with all the chips and dip, and my dad lording over the grill with burgers and dogs. A goodly few people turned up, which really surprised me in light of a last-minute date change, not to mention Aaron and I's slacker attempts at getting the invites out (A.K.A. I got all my invites out and wrote up all the invites for his friends, along with directions, which I later found still in his coat pocket on laundry day the following week, aargh!) It was an interesting experiment to see all of our friends mingling in the same space, as Aaron and I still have very separate groups of friends, but everyone seemed to get along just fine, and more importantly, my parents really liked all of Aaron's friends, whom they had not met before. So, in the end, we had tons of fun, and got tons of really incredible gifts from everyone yet again. This time around, we were really lucky to have a lot of our friends give us some very practical gifts, including tons of diapers, baby grooming kits, towels, etc. It was really touching to see some of the people you would least expect it to be super excited baby people after all. Obviously, I would expect my girlfriends to go all out at the idea of a new baby, but surprisingly enough, I've learned that even the boys get a little teary-eyed! One case in particular is Dillon, an old roommate of Aaron's who was formerly solidly emblazoned in my mind as a huge drunk that once jumped out of my car when I was giving him a ride from the bar, and then crawled the whole rest of the way home until he collapsed in the doorway and I had to drag him inside to his bed. Charming! Fast forward a couple of years, and now that image has been replaced by a remarkably cleaned-up and enthusiastic Dillon carrying in four huge gift-wrapped packages which turned out to be an assortment of baby diapers, and a Diaper Genie. Very thoughtful and much appreciated!
The best present overall was an awesome new digital camera from my family, which I am super, super excited about. This means that we'll be able to get near instantaneous pictures of the baby out to everyone, without all the hassle of my pain-in-the-butt old camera with actual film, developing, and scanning into the computer before I could email. It's shameful that a graphic designer is so far behind the times, but woohoo, we can finally now welcome Jennifer into the new digital age!
So the shower was a success, and because of everyone's total generosity, we've been able to get almost all the final touches done on the nursery. We're short just one picture on the wall, and a cd player for all of Charlie's various baby music cds, but I'm pretty sure that even I these things don't get accomplished before the birth, Charlie won't much mind! Yay, we're so close now!