The last few weeks of pregnancy are some of the longest and hardest. Every part of me aches from the pressure and weight, and since the baby is fully grown in there, all of his movements feel that much more sweeping and forceful. Combine those with pregnancy insomnia and round the clock heartburn and I’m beginning to think that time is crawling along at the slowest pace possible. But ah, I shouldn’t complain because the truth is, my baby is healthy—hell we’re all healthy and safe!—and I’m overwhelmed with the enormity and excitement of getting to meet my precious boy any day now. All this small, ultimately trivial discomfort (and impatience) can make me forget the big picture—that I’m about to fall madly in love.
Nothing could be more special than this—for me, for Daniel, and for James. The love within our little family is about to explode.
A Cyst On My Placenta
For a few months, there was a concern from our doctor and nurses over a cyst on my placenta. We discovered it at my 20-week ultrasound and it appeared to be located right at the location where the umbilical cord enters the placenta—not an ideal spot for a cyst to grow because of the potential for it to begin to block the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the baby. So for the remainder of my pregnancy, I had ultrasounds roughly once a month to monitor the cyst’s growth and the baby’s growth to be sure he was developing healthily. The cyst doubled and then tripled in size, but by my final two ultrasounds, it was clear that the exact location of the cyst was a few centimeters away from the insertion site of the umbilical cord and thankfully, baby boy had continued to grow and develop normally. Daniel and I were, and are, so thankful and so relieved to have made it to the end of this pregnancy with a healthy baby boy without any significant complications.
I’ve gained around 80 pounds during this pregnancy and boy oh boy am I physically feeling it. I’m terribly uncomfortable, waddling around, and being active is just flat out exhausting. Carrying James up the stairs a few times a day is rough. I’ll tell you, though, it’s a good feeling to be able to accept—embrace, even!—this weight gain without all of the shame and regret that has historically accompanied it. I’m at a place where I can fully accept this. Maybe that’s partly due to the global and national devastation of 2020 and all the perspective I have now, or maybe it’s just the mental place I’ve arrived at 35 years old. I’m excited to give birth and start exercising more, eating better, sleeping better LOL, and hopefully experiencing fewer cravings(?), but I won’t wage a war against my body.
The Last Few Days with Just James
We’ve been telling James about his baby brother for months. We use his name, show James his crib and clothes, and read him books about being a big brother. James loves to go into his room and explore all of the baby stuff. Soooometimes he seems to kind of get it, but mostly I get the sense that he thinks mom and dad have an imaginary baby they like to talk about. But the strangest thing is that lately, as in the past two weeks, I think he senses a shift is coming. He’s more affectionate with me than ever (and he’s already a cuddle bug). He tells me he loves me more frequently, calls out for me constantly, and wants to sit on my lap all the time. Am I emitting some sort of hormonal scent that lets him know a change is about to happen or is this just very coincidental, normal development at 2 years old?
Whatever it is, I love it and I’ll take it. He’s my joy. Today we sat in the rocking chair in his room and listened to James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James” four times in a row before his nap. We’ve been singing it to him since he was born and now he loves it just as much as we do. He even sings along to some of the lyrics, which is priceless. Ahhh my heeaaart. What can I say I’m weeping just writing this. Anyway, in these final days I’m soaking up all the time with my first baby and so over the moon for the day I get to meet my second <3