I am 37 weeks pregnant right now. And I am freaking out, man!
40 weeks sounds like such a long time but it goes by in a flash. Everyone told me the last few weeks will feel like they go on forever and that I’ll be dying to get the baby out, but right now I can’t picture myself feeling that way at all. Even under normal societal circumstances I know there’s a lot to process mentally and so much preparation that goes into this momentous life change. But I think expecting my first baby in the midst of a global pandemic has affected my perspective in ways that simply aren’t comparable to everyone else’s non-pandemic pregnancies. At this point I’d prefer if I could just hit a giant pause button and keep the baby in as long as I want until I decide the world is safe again.
I never expected the world would be so difficult to navigate, ravaged by a pandemic, right as we prepare to welcome our baby into it. It’s fucking nuts. Somedays I can accept it, other days I can’t even believe this is really happening. The first two trimesters my pregnancy was lovely, just the usual thoughts and worries about how a baby will change our lives that everyone has. The last stretch though has been marred by this weird new COVID world we’re all living in.
There are so many things I want to remember about these last 37 weeks, this first full-term pregnancy of ours. I’m writing them down so I can reflect back on this journey later.
Things I Like About Being Pregnant
- My hair has never looked better. For real, I’m having the best hair days of my life! I can go days without washing my hair and it looks incredible
- I can wear whatever I want and just let my gut be free
- Crazy weird dreams
- All of my weight gain has gone directly to my belly and I haven’t had any swelling of my hands, feet, or face. Very thankful for that!
- Weird hormonal laughing fits. This has happened to me at least six times, something is just so funny that I laugh until I cry and am completely breathless and can’t stop. D has found this part very entertaining
- Super cute maternity clothes!
- Feeling the baby move around inside me and sharing that with D
- Taking pictures of my bump as the weeks go by and comparing how far along we’re getting
Things I Dislike About Being Pregnant
- Frigging heartburn ALL THE TIME. Doesn’t even matter what I eat, the burn is constant
- SO tired in the first trimester! All of a sudden all of my energy was drained. I felt like Brian Wilson lying in bed with zero will to live during the first 3 months
- Having to sleep on my side; I can’t wait to be a starfish tummy sleeper again
- Lower back aches, you can fuck right off any time
- Leaky boobs – like why? There’s no baby yet!
- Food restrictions – I am DYING for a huge salami sandwich. I need cured meats back in my life. And rare steak.
- People trying to make you focus on the negatives and saying stupid clichéd shit like “get used to never sleeping again haha”. You’re not funny. Or helpful. Why don’t people say positive things instead?
- Clipping my toenails and shaving my legs are now deeply uncomfortable and practically impossible activities
Pros to Pandemic Pregnancy
- I’m eating better than ever before because we make all of our meals at home with fresh groceries
- Social distancing and staying home means I don’t have a bunch of randos out in public trying to touch my belly or giving me unsolicited advice (apparently that is something that happens during non-pandemic pregnancies that people said would happen)
- D has been working from home for my entire third trimester and isn’t stressed about being downtown in the middle of work or client meetings if I suddenly go into labour
- We won’t be swarmed by visitors in our first week home when we’re beyond exhausted and can actually settle into our new life with baby
- We’ll hopefully be discharged from the hospital sooner, provided everything is okay
Cons to Pandemic Pregnancy
- I want Wendy’s!!! I would love some chicken nuggets, a burger, and a frosty right now. RIGHT NOW. Sadly, it’s just not worth the risk
- Worrying about hospital policies and protocols that could have D missing out on time with our new baby
- Not being able to have a proper baby shower with actual guests in person
- Not being able to show my belly off to family, friends, and coworkers in person
- Nowhere to wear all my super cute maternity clothes
- The doula we hired probably won’t be able to come to the hospital with us
- Having no idea if or when it’ll be safe for family to even meet the new baby, and not being able to trust if people who do want to meet the baby have been properly quarantining
- Not being able to run out and easily get last minute supplies if needed
- Every trip to the OB’s office or for an ultrasound feels like a death-defying feat
- People telling me “everything will be fine” when they have no fucking clue how it feels to be pregnant in a pandemic and they got to have totally normal pregnancy experiences – just don’t. If you want to be comforting or make me feel better then send me some donuts and tell me my hair is amazing because that will work, every time.
All the Cravings I Had:
- Wendy’s doublestack! That was the first official thing I craved hard, that was about 1 month in
- In the early days I needed all kinds of fried chicken (nuggets, tenders, strips, wings, burgers, etc.)
- Sandwich: turkey on rye with harvati and tons of yellow mustard that I ate for lunch every day for two weeks straight
- Unquenchable need for orange juice. I was drinking it by the gallon!
- Shitty frozen pizzas – I would make one for lunch every day for almost 3 weeks straight. And before that I hadn’t bought a frozen pizza since my university days ended. You guys know how much I love delicious pizza, so it was weird to crave crappy frozen ones so ferociously.
- Sausage McMuffin if I was up before 7:00am – mostly so I could get more orange juice when the house was all out
- Cake! I pestered D about needing professional grade cake for a few weeks and then one day he showed up with a slice from the Cake Boss vending machine that opened downtown in the fall
- Barq’s Root beer, it’s got bite! Also, Barq’s Cream Soda – thank you Jesus for inventing that!
- Clementines, especially eating them at night in bed
Special Moments I Want to Remember
- Hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time at the doctor’s office and happy crying because I was finally able to let go of the worry that I might miscarry again
- Using TheBump app to track my pregnancy and getting excited for the new fruit/veggie that the baby would be “as big as” each week
- I passed my G2 road test while I was 10 weeks pregnant and was fully ready to cry and blame it on hormones if I failed
- Finally getting to share the news with everyone, what a relief!
- Singing in the car to all my favourite songs while I drove to work on Mondays and feeling baby bop along with me. Baby already loves Billy Joel and Van Morrison
- D eagerly waiting for the moment he’d finally be able to feel the baby move, and him hoping it would happen on our anniversary at the end of January
- Our “babymoon”/anniversary road trip to Montreal. We stayed in a fancy ass hotel with a huge ass bathtub. I had two baths a day every day and it was glorious. I also found a Ben & Jerry’s store a few blocks from the hotel – game changer!
- D actually getting to feel the baby move for the first time. It was the very end of Valentine’s Day, around 11:50pm. D was asleep and I was watching TV in bed when I felt movements bigger than any before. I shook him awake and when he touched my belly he finally felt it too
- Celebrating my birthday Sixteen Candles style by baking my own ’80’s frosted cake and sitting on the dining room table with it and baby, in a bridesmaids dress no less!
- Nesting and building a beautiful nursery for the baby that makes me so happy every time I go into it
- Having a drive-by style baby shower due to social distancing and it still being a special day because we have so many lovely people in our life who support us and care about the baby
My Hopes for Baby
- You will be perfectly healthy and you’ll get here safely, when you’re ready and not a moment sooner
- You will be loved – even if you can’t meet your immediate family right away because we have to keep you safe, you will not be forgotten and you will still be loved from afar
- Harvey will accept you and be loving instead of jealous (please!)
- You’re going to be a good sleeper and eater
- You will be a wonderful new addition to this family and you’ll fit right in with us – you’ll have a huge appetite for life and give zero fucks about what anyone thinks (like me) but you’ll also be grounded and reliable (like your dad). And you’ll have all sorts of your own unique charms that delight us every day
- Someday you’ll feel thankful that we’re your parents and lucky that you were born into our family
It’s been an interesting journey. We still have no idea what we’re having. I think the whole idea of a gender reveal is so tacky (to each their own, but it’s not for me). I always thought I’d want to find out the gender before the birth, but now I prefer the excitement created by not knowing. As we get closer though I can’t help but wonder about who I’ve got rolling around inside me. What kind of person did we make? What will the baby look like? I feel like I have some intuition about what kind of person this baby will be just based on how they behaved at various ultrasounds, how they’ve moved around inside me, and some dreams I’ve had about them. But there’s really no way of knowing until whoever it is decides to come out and meet us.
I don’t think I’m freaking out any more now, man. I think I’m back to just feeling excited again. I’m 37 weeks pregnant and I’m going to meet my baby soon.