[Update 2016: I found this post in my drafts folder, never published. It’s now over four years old, like the baby. I was 42 weeks pregnant with baby #6 when I wrote this, and had never felt more (physically) miserable in my life.
It’s funny how much of this I had forgotten. With my next pregnancy, I was praying (and lying very still) in order to stay pregnant for another day, each morning was a small celebration. Funny how life teaches us these lessons, no? I was too embarrassed to publish this post because it felt wrong to complain about the blessing of a healthy, normal pregnancy and baby. I felt those same feelings while describing the grief I felt after my preemie was born. What does she have to complain about, with a baby who lived?
Maybe there’s a lesson in that, too.
Still, I wanted to publish this now because … well, I’m not sure why. Because it feels so far removed from my life now. Because I want to remember. Because this little girl was so worth all and any discomfort I could ever have felt. I hope you laugh at my selfish whining. Unless you’re 42 weeks pregnant, in which case, I would happily spend my tax dollars for you to escape to the pregnancy hut!]
42 Weeks Pregnant
I am sitting here eating a small bag of Cheez-Its. And drinking Dr. Pepper.
I don’t even like Cheez-Its. And I never drink soda, much less Dr. Pepper. (If I were to have soda it would rightfully be Coke. I am an Atlanta native, it’s only proper!)
When I am so totally miserable like I am at the moment – 11 days overdue – I lack the willpower to say no to this weird craving.
Oh how miserable I am. Let me count the ways.
+ My knees ache when I stand up. I realize this is because right now I am carrying an extra 40 pounds or so.
+ My feet are swollen. They ache. My calves hurt. Sitting hurts because my legs and feet immediately start swelling if they’re dangling underneath my body.
+ When I get up from lying down or sitting, I have to stand there and wait a moment before I move, or I will be doubled over in pain. The pain comes from my pelvis or low back or some area I can’t quite pinpoint, but it’s bad. Once I start walking I jerk violently from side to side like someone whose legs are two different lengths.
+ I feel as if there is a bowling ball sitting on my bladder. I pee so often that I am chafing from toilet paper rash. Even when I’ve just gone, I still have the sensation that I need to go. (Am I now a man with prostate troubles?)
+ Two words. Constipation. Hemorrhoids. To quote Forrest Gump… that’s all I have to say about that.
+ I have passed a bucketload of brownish pinkish mucusy goo and still no baby. It started 3 weeks ago, kept up for a week, then stopped for a week, then started back up again a few days ago. Still nothing.
+ Uncomfortably strong Braxton Hicks contractions are making it difficult to breathe. They pull down on my lungs and make me feel as if I’m suffocating. They’re disturbing my sleep at night. Still nothing.
+ Pelvic pain. Upper thigh pain. Yoni pain. Yes to all of the above.
+ The bottom of my belly feels like it’s going to rip open. Just split in two like a watermelon that is dropped on the pavement.
+ Constant nausea. Nothing tastes right. Drinking water makes me sick. So I’m thirsty. Eating ice and frozen fruit to try to stay hydrated.
Nothing has worked. Walking, business time, herbs, you name it, I’ve tried it. I am convinced that this baby doesn’t exist and the whole thing has been a figment of my imagination!
(Note: my daughter was born two days after I wrote this post. You can read her birth story here.)