The PB [&] J- Entry #5
I’ve been wanting to write this blog for what has seemed like an eternity. I wish I would have written this earlier in my 3rd trimester when I felt like a rock star, but hey, better late than never. Now there’s probably going to be things I have forgotten to include (yes, “pregnant brain” is legit) because I have not carved out time to sit down and pull my thoughts together until now. But before diving in to my journey head-first, I want to say that my positive energy, health, and love goes out to all moms and moms-to-be. I see many women struggle to start a family and I truly believe in my heart that it will happen for you someday…in some way. Please stay hopeful.
Okay, yay! I have made it to 40+ weeks officially! I’m fully cooked…right?! I don’t know because these last few days have felt like the longest part of my journey. Playing the waiting game right now and still trying to stay productive and physically active.
For some people I see at the gym on a daily basis they constantly remind me that, “Wow, it seems like you’ve been pregnant FOREVER!” Or they will say things like, “You make me so nervous by being here!” Oh, and what I loved the MOST when I was less then 30 weeks, “Jeez, you look like you’re ready to POP!” Seriously?! Are you trying to make me become a recluse?
Hahahaha…I quickly learned early on that pregnancy is NOT about taking things personally – which is super challenging as this is my first go-round at seeing my body as I’ve never seen it before – but it’s about embracing the funny stories and absorbing the positive comments. For every off-the-wall remark I have received, there are twice as many reassuring ones that have followed.
So my typical responses ranged from, “Hey, get used to seeing me. I’m not nervous, so you shouldn’t be either.” And, “Guess what, this is what a pregnant woman looks like – so deal with it!”
Man, people are FUNNY. I am sure if I collaborated with other moms, we could put together a great book that simply lists all the stupid comments we’ve received from spectators. I know these folks mean well, but it CAN be very discouraging at times.
However I will say this, the third trimester has been my favorite part of my journey for many reasons: Finally, I am not sick 24/7 – just tired, cranky and my pubic symphysis is so inflamed that I feel like I pulled my groin – but I can TOTALLY suck it up compared to the nausea I had during “Round 1” and partly round 2… Finally, everyone knows I’m pregnant (not just eating a vat of ice cream every night) it’s OBVIOUS.
Reality has truly set in. Between feeling surreal, alien-like movement in my belly, setting up my son’s nursery, getting lots of household projects done in order to make room for our new and permanent house guest, developing a birth vision, working with doulas (who have given me all the confidence I need to get through labor), the third trimester has mentally prepared me for my new role as a mother and my new life.
My overall attitude has remained pretty steady vs. the extreme roller coaster ride that I thought I would have. There have been many days where I just don’t want to do things – like work on my business, go to the gym, eat healthy, follow-up with friends, be seen in public, etc. HOWEVER, I do it all regardless. Yes, I am honoring my body and modifying things – Lord I still need a nap every damn day – but I refuse to let go of my true identity and I am more determined than ever to reach my WHY.
WHY do I continue to do the things I feel I am born to do despite having zero motivation? Because I have worked on my true identity for years – I do not quit and I do not let a crappy day ruin my entire week. My true identity is a person who is not afraid to work hard. I actually expect it. People have told me CONSTANTLY during this whole experience, “Your life is going to change! You’ll wish he was still back in there!” And, “Kiss your body good bye!” And, “Things will never be the same – you’ll never sleep again!” Ummm THANK YOU for those words of encouragement! I want to say, “No sh*T! Do you think that at 36 years of age I’m so naive to believe this parent thing is going to be cake walk?”
But I keep that response in my head and just smile REALLY BIG and nod in confirmation.
Here’s where my true identity takes over and says, “Hold up! Everything I have achieved throughout my life has come with HARD WORK. I have never been a natural at anything. When I get discouraged, I ride out the doubt and get back into going after what it is that I want.”
I am viewing pregnancy, labor and parenthood the same way. I EXPECT there to be changes – otherwise I’d never grow. I EXPECT there to be tough times, otherwise I would never appreciate the good times. And I EXPECT to get my body body back to the way I want it because I know what it takes to achieve the body I want and I know it’s possible.
And I’m here to tell you, YOU CAN EXPECT THIS TOO.
Every goal we set forth to accomplish will have an end result. It’s your mind that will see you through. Feeding your MIND and your body with the best fuel you can is crucial. I have become mentally stronger these last 40 weeks…some days it’s pretty, other days not-so-much. I have chosen to be an active participant in my health and NOT solely rely on my doctor. Yes, that’s right. Come on…I’m preparing for one of the BIGGEST days of my life…my husband’s life…and my son’s life. So it has been my choice to not rely on a person who see’s dozens upon dozens of preggers like me weekly. I’m a dime a dozen! I have researched as much as I could because knowledge is power. I am not an “ignorance is bliss” kinda gal. At least not with this. I choose to look to those women who have done this before – the way I want to do it! I have been working with two doulas, consulted with my good friends who have birthed naturally or even in their homes and that is the way I want to do it.
I have tried to avoid telling too many people my birth vision, but I am just not that good at keeping my mouth shut. Some people tell me, “Aubrey, don’t be hero.” Or, “Why are you so paranoid and reading so much?” or “Jeez, you’re crazy to not take the epidural.”
Thank you, thank you…but maybe I think you’re crazy for not studying for the biggest exam of your life. And for the record, I am not “trying to be a hero.” What I am trying to do is to have the healthiest, most outstanding labor and birthing experience possible. I want to go through what nature intended as best as I can. I want to be in the present moment when I deliver my son and have what I’m calling the, “Simba Moment.” Cue the Lion King music here…
To those who have told me over and over to “not be a hero,” please understand I anticipate the whole process hurting like a mo-fo, but you know what, it’s my choice, please respect my choices like I respect yours.
Ok, so now onto my crazy dreams… I believe dreams can have several meanings…some are purely psychological and a reflection of what you have not dealt with during your present, conscious life. I believe dreams can be signs for us that can even predict the future. I believe dreams are past lives resurrected. And I also believe dreams can be another life we live when we go to sleep.
In my case, I feel my pregnancy dreams are purely psychological. The last few weeks I have had some intense dreams. First they started off with a reoccurring animal – my sister’s dead cat! In both dreams I wanted to get RID of the cat! It was trying to attack my pregnant belly! When I did a little research online to see what the connection was between my pregnancy and this cat, I came to the conclusion that the cat was from my past and represented my feminine, sexual side. Which by the way, I feel I have TOTALLY lost this last trimester. Cheers to all the horny preggers out there, unfortunately I’m not one of them…and it really does bother me!
Other random and super-sexy things that I have acquired during my third trimester include:
- Waking myself up at night because I am snoring AND snorting loudly, only to find myself in my bed alone because my poor husband had to find a new resting spot. Well, I should mention I’m not really alone…I have at least a dozen different pillows set up as barricades to help guarantee I lay on my LEFT side and to not further disrupt my extremely inflamed pubic symphisis.
- Thanks to a wonderful little hormone called, Relaxin, my grace and spacial awareness are GONE – hopefully to return again someday.
- I have literally fallen on my ass JUST standing still. There was no earthquake, no big gust of wind, and no human being that ran past me to knock me down. Just my loose joints that decided gravity is #winning.
- Random acts of stains on my clothes because I seem to struggle with getting food to go directly into my mouth. At least 1-3 times per day I miss my mouth and manage to achieve a disheveled, slob-look before 10 a.m. on a routine basis.
- On again, off again leaky-boob-syndrome. Yes, I’ve coined this term, lol. Seems to only happen when I have wear very light-colored shirts and am at the gym. I feel like a 13-year-old girl again who just got her period and is paranoid everyone knows…but yes, now everyone knows my boob is leaking because nipples are not notorious for sweating when the rest of your body is NOT.
. As many weird things that have happened to my body along the way, there are as many amazing things as well:
- Feeling a tiny human being in my belly is the most amazing experience I’ve ever had! I can palpate literally every inch of my little baby – head, bum, elbows, knees – it’s SO cool!
- And along with feeling him under my skin, comes along all the cool pokes, rolls, hiccups and stretches. I just wish I had a two way mirror to watch him, but I know it would spoil the surprise seeing him live for the first time on his birthday.
- The ability to see life from an entirely new perspective. I have always been amazed on how women do it – and more than once – being pregnant! Now, I have even more respect for mothers, my mother, my grandmothers…than ever before. Now when I’m out and about I see women with their kids I immediately think, “Man, that chick is SheRa. A real-life superhero in my book!”
Realizing that I’m pretty strong. Physically, mentally, & spiritually. This journey has heightened my senses and I feel it has made me a more compassionate, patient, and loving person. All areas that I certainly want to continue to improve upon.
Photo credits: Candice Kaminski, owner of CLiK Studios.