I am 32 weeks pregnant.
I feel like I am 48 weeks pregnant.
Over all, my doctor is very pleased with how things are progressing in terms of my weight gain, blood sugars, baby’s development, etc.
Over all, in my personal opinion and observations of myself, I feel like a mess.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I am so grateful to God for this precious little life and am more excited to meet this wee, new member of our family face to face each day. The older kids are all super pumped about it as well and love to gather around when s/he is bouncing around in my belly like it’s at a party so they can watch and feel all the punches and kicks.
But my body just plain hurts. My hips collapse into each other, bending over and even squatting is torture, and lifting is almost unachievable. I have excess amniotic fluid again this time, so even though the baby is staying within reasonable weight range, I look as though I am ready to give birth to a 9 pound baby any minute. That technically isn’t a bad thing, but with the relaxin hormone making huge changes to my whole pelvic floor and hips, I hurt.
My diabetes is definitely been the most difficult to keep under wraps this time around, too. It didn’t start out that way, but that six/seven month turn really has done a number on me. I am taking almost twice as much insulin just to stay alive during the day now, and even though I have completely cut out processed carbs, except for those occasional taco Tuesdays(!), my insulin to carb ratio is at the most I have ever seen in all my diabetic years.
But there are so many positives that I am constantly reminding myself of!
1- My body has already bore 47 pounds and 9 ounces of baby alone in my previous pregnancies. That is pretty huge, pun somewhat intended, and a wonderful blessing from God! And, because of that blessing along with the blessing of living to see a new day each day, I am no longer 20 and my insides aren’t “tight” anymore. So, it is only fitting I look and feel this way, even if I work my best at being in the best shape possible before the next possible conception of new life after the birth of the child before. I’m also not broken. I can still push myself to stretch and mild exercise most days. It really helps me feel better, still sore, but not so bad. My body and baby will thank me at birth I am sure of it! :)
2- I have an insulin pump that helps me manage my diabetes in such a way that allows us to continue to be open to new life and to keep those new lives healthy and safe while in utero. God has blessed mankind with powerful medical knowledge that if we didn’t have, I would not have seen my 13th birthday, grown up to meet my amazing husband, shared a life with him that has included bringing 6 amazing children into the world, nor would I be sitting here right now typing this out. What a truly amazing gift of life this has been for me!
3- God has so loved us that He has trusted 6 lives to our care. Yes, I am diabetic and yes we take all the steps necessary to insure I am healthy to care for the kids already given us and to make sure that my body is ready to take on another life if/when God is ready to send another blessing our way. True, that wasn’t easy for me at first. The doctors always put so much fear into me about pregnancies too close together, especially after my first big baby, and my health… but everywhere I have turned on the world wide web has said nothing about the later on outcome to diabetic mothers like me. So, when I conceived one of our kids at a time I thought I wasn’t ready is when I went from “Oh my gosh!” followed by #allthetears, and was quickly overcome with “God is in control. If He is going to send the babies, He is going to protect my health,” followed by more #allthetears. So I have had a peace and confidence that has been renewed and strengthened with each pregnancy following. My health and my body and pregnancy is an ongoing conversation between God and me, Lowell and me, and the doctors and me. And, so far, God still says yes, Lowell still is on board with what the Lord sees fit, and the doctors haven’t come up with any reason or research to show valid reason to not welcome more life.
Yesterday, I had the first of my weekly appointments that consist of Non Stress Tests and ultrasounds I will have until birth. Since it was our first NST, I think the baby was scared of the new phenomenon of straps and loud noises. I quickly decided this baby is most likely going to be our baby that insists on being naked all the time. Confinement does not seem to go over well with this baby. Aside from that, moms know their babies best. And I know the baby was frightened by the noises. It was being the wild and active child it is already, but putting fetal monitors on that activity to catch a heart beat or two only freaked the poor thing out and caused MORE activity. It wasn’t until I told the nurse that I would find the baby and she left us quiet in the room that the little one finally quieted down. I first held my stomach in the way I usually do when it is squirming around inside and then put the heart monitor on my stomach with my right hand. I found the baby almost instantly and kept the heart beat for a good 5 minutes before the nurse came back and said my Doctor was satisfied with the happy, healthy movement s/he was obviously showing off and that we could move on to the ultrasound portion of our appointment.
When we got in for the ultrasound, the baby was perfect. No obnoxious movements, no attempting to run away. Just content and mostly still. When baby came up on the screen, it was happily head down and snuggling it’s umbilical cord. It was practicing it’s breathing abdomen movements, opening and closing it’s mouth, probably attempting to eat the cord it was playing with(!), and was just so precious and beautiful.
The back to back emotions of wanting to help show the baby it was okay and it didn’t need to be scared followed by seeing it calm down and just find comfort in holding the umbilical cord and snuggling into the placenta was so overwhelming to me. I couldn’t help but think of all the poor babies who are aborted and how scared they must be by the intrusion of instruments seeking to harm their little selves; so much scarier than hearing it’s movements and own heart beat on an external monitor! How unfortunate that it ends for them so violently whereas my precious baby was able to calm down safely and quietly in the comforts of the little place it knows as home while listening to my heart beat and my breathing.
In conclusion to this lengthy post: Yes, I hurt. Yes, my hips are collapsing into each other when I sleep and dislocate as I walk around during the day. Yes, I am taking exuberant amounts of insulin. Yes, there is excess amniotic fluid taking over in all the places the baby isn’t. And, YES, there is new life. Beautiful life. Happy life. And, YES, it is a gift. A beautiful gift made in the image of God.
We only have, at most, 8 more weeks until this beautiful, squirmy, little image of God makes it’s debut! I am ready, for all the reasons good and negative as noted above, to meet this little person. Thank You, God, for all your infinite goodness and blessings to me. To us.