Monday, November 25, 2013

dispatches from the end of the road (almost), 36 weeks, 3 days

Well. Here we are. More than 36 weeks behind us. Visiting the doctor on the weekly. Contemplating the oft-discussed “hospital bag” and no longer sleeping, at all, ever. It’s a magical time, really.

Here then are a few thoughts from this, the 36 week mark.

1. Your Weight
Ah, weight gain. The most beloved of pregnancy topics! As if everyone isn’t already aboard the here-let-me-give-you-my-opinion-about-whether-you-are-too-large-or-too-small train, now you have the pleasure of being weighed in weekly by a medical professional <fist pump>.

Which is why at 36 weeks, you may, hypothetically, pull off the incredible, death-defying feat that is gaining two pounds in four days. Not that it, uh, happened to me. BUT IT TOTALLY COULD. <Curse you enormous loaf of toffee laden banana bread, washed down with a side of MORE CARBOHYDRATES. ALWAYS MORE CARBOYHYDRATES>. 

For the math-letes playing at home, that’s an extra 3500 calories, per pound. <Takes bow>.

2. Your Partner
Your partner may, very suddenly, become completely overwhelmed with irrational worry – you know, the very same kind that you’ve endured quietly and steadfastly loudly and with great angst, for months on end. He may toss and turn at 4 am – (don’t worry, you’ll be wide awake because, you know, hip pain/calf cramp/heartburn/CHILDCARE) – and, jolting upright he will turn to you and ask, slightly confused but also DEAD SERIOUS:

When do we start brushing the baby’s teeth?
Do we brush his gums?

Because you are a loving partner, whose baby has literally had the hiccups for the last 17 everloving hours, you will adoringly tell him that you Googled it once and while you can’t quite remember the answer, you have seen a baby toothbrush shaped like a vibrator banana. This will soothe him and he will peacefully fall back asleep. You, on the other hand, will never sleep again. Not for at least 18 years. Low end.

3. Your Cervix
Another absolutely riveting topic of conversation. Your cervix: it’s now being measured! At 36 weeks, you may find out that you are exactly ONE entire centimeter dilated. Like, the size of a Cheerio! <cheers from the crowd>.

Following this earth shattering revelation you will swing erratically from UNPARALELLED JOY to UTTER TERROR as you convince yourself that labor is IMMINENT. That it’s only a matter of minutes before you’re cradling that bundle of screaming lungs and a diaper.

Until 5 minutes later when, after 30 dedicated seconds with Dr. Google, you realize, much to your surprise and disappointment, that being 1 centimeter dilated means absolutely nothing. Ahem. <Pulls self together, stops addressing birth announcements>. Back to picking out nursing bras.

4. Your Brain
I told myself I would not play into this stereotype. You know the one. Pregnancy brain. Not to be confused with post-partum-mommy-brain. Basically, the one that renders mamas and mamas to be as shells of their former selves; so painfully hormonal that they cannot be trusted with basic tasks of human functioning. Need man, help me, trips over blunt object, etc.

So fine. I’m not going there. Because despite being 36 weeks pregnant, I am still a lawyer, writing briefs and representing clients and supervising law students and teaching a class. And so far, by all objective measures, I kinda still have my shit together.[1]

But. BUT. I have become the patron saint of indecision. C lovingly refers to it as my very own brand of pregnancy psychosis. Becuase that’s not at all offensive. Here are two examples[2]:

(1) We have now bought and returned three different rugs for the baby’s room. I still don’t like the one we have. C says I am not allowed to talk about it. For it makes him panic.

(2) C spent two days painting the baby’s room with colors we painstakingly picked out. Then I decided I didn’t like it. <C places palm to forehead, exits room>.

So dear interwebs, what do I have to look forward to in the magical mystery tour that is the last three and a half (or so) weeks of this pregnancy thrill ride?[3]

[1] Just. Barely. Eek.
[2] I’m pretty sure there are more. But I can’t remember now. Because, duh, pregnancy brain. See supra.
[3] Mixing ALL KINDS of metaphors. You’re welcome.


  1. You know, I was counting on you to give us the real deal - so why oh why have you been keeping from me the joys of perineal massage?!? Thanks by the way for the disturbing visual of 1 cm being a cheerio. Ugh.

  2. My indecision has set in early. I am paralyzed by menus, clothing, grocery stores, and shipping packages. I used to be a real go-getter, ya know?
    My sister is 36 weeks as well and looks like a kindergartener might fall out of her cervix if she sneezes. I fear the discomfort. But over so soon! (cue terror). I have loved reading your pregnancy updates and absolutely must get the mama-baby updates too!

  3. Oh wow. Wish I had advice...but really, the waiting game and "not knowing" is hard. I guess I'll just say the stereotyped "enjoy this time while you can" because it really is true. Enjoy being free to sit on the couch and just be relaxed (ha!) and not have to worry if your baby is hungry/happy/breathing. Good luck and keep us posted!

  4. LOL. Love this post. Definitely experienced some of what you've described. I definitely worried or thought about when/if my water would break. Thankfully I was at home. (Although, from what I understand, many women's waters don't break on their own...)