To say things are starting to blur together is something of an understatement. I sat down to write this post and couldn’t remember what week I was in. Am I 33, or 34 weeks? I remember I had told the kids we have roughly four weeks to go. That would make me 34 weeks and some change at this point. Good grief! I am not sure if the fact I can’t remember is a good sign or not.
Four weeks is 28 days. 28 days sounds much sooner than four weeks to me, though. And of course she could always show up later than normal. Or earlier, for that matter. (Oh please, not earlier!) But six out of seven Kranslings have been born in the four days between 37w6d and 38w2d, so that’s what I’m planning for, even if I can’t say for certain.
I had the opportunity this week to really think about pregnancy and its challenges. I wrote the post on contradiction, and though it had been a few weeks since I had read the passage mentioned in that post, it took actually writing it all down to make it solidify in my mind and really take root. This week is, I think, the most at peace I have felt this whole pregnancy. I credit the thoughts and reflections of Simone Weil.
It was the week of the time change, which I have been eagerly looking forward to since it would mean that Aurick would naturally be waking at about 7 instead of at about 6. I took the opportunity of the time change to implement some habits for the kids that I had let lag while I was busy being miserable and feeling sorry for myself. This probably has also contributed to the feeling of peace. A few loose ends around the house have been tied up. But I wanted to be sure some things were put back into place before I was going to be gone at the hospital for a few days.
This time of pregnancy short-circuits my right hip. I am not sure why it is this hip, and this hip only, but it has been a trend ever since the very very beginning, with Ephraim’s pregnancy. I can’t tell if it’s the joint itself or the muscle around it, or both. It’s not sciatic pain, which I understand sends pain down the leg, and my leg does not hurt. But this pregnancy it can get so bad that I actually can’t put weight on the hip. If you could see me hobble around, you might laugh. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry. I cried this week while trying to change bedsheets. That’s only one out of a total of two times I’ve cried over it. I have laughed a lot more than that. But I’ve probably grimaced more than both crying and laughing put together.
maybe not the best idea
I scheduled a last-minute chiropractic visit for the day I was going to to town for my weekly ultrasound. Though I knew it wouldn’t take care of the problem completely, I was hoping the chiropractor could at least make walking a little more bearable. I haven’t seen one since moving here–actually I haven’t seen a chiropractor since after Anselm was born–but I saw one just during my third trimester with Ephraim and Clive (for the same problem) so I wasn’t too concerned about showing up at 33 weeks pregnant again. Consequently when the chiropractor said, “Now this could put you into labor,” I mostly shrugged it off.
The adjustment was ok. It did make the hip feel better for about an hour. That hour, unfortunately, was overshadowed by the cramping and occasional contractions that I had and the fact that I wasn’t sure if the squishing and twisting of joints had made me pee myself slightly or if he had managed to break my water. I had nearly an hour until my doctor’s appointment, so I used a clean diaper from my diaper bag as a pad and just waited. By the time of the appointment nothing else seemed to have leaked out, so I decided not to mention it to my OB, but also not to go back to the chiropractor again.
a good report
Thankfully the ultrasound showed my fluid levels were still good. The doctor said again it was likely the sickness that had caused it. I am so grateful for these ultrasounds.
She’s also still head down, though now she’s got her feel curled up instead of stretching them out. She was also very low–too low even for a good profile shot–which I figure is just how things are going to be from here on out.
nesting begins in earnest
During week 33 I washed baby clothes, painted the island, sewed myself a pair of pajamas, and finally remembered to buy a pack of baby-sized diapers. I bought supplies for freezer meals, and made two.
the home stretch
Now resigned to hobbling like an old lady until I give birth, I sat the kids down and tried to explain to them what these last few weeks are like. I reminded them of how they used to run down to Aunt Pam’s house and back, and how it felt when they were almost home and felt like they couldn’t go on any longer. The exhaustion, the breathlessness, the way you have to coach yourself to persevere. That’s kind of how I’m feeling, I told them. Both figuratively and literally. But we’re so close to the end. I just need lots and lots of help at this point. Especially when I can’t walk. They are so understanding and it is such a blessing to me. The big boys in particular are very helpful.
plans wrecked by a combo of rabid nesting and spiders.
But of course there is too much to do to just sit all the time. This week I meticulously wrote out a list of things remaining to be done, then (just to see) wrote out each task over several days to see how long it would actually take me to accomplish the projects. (I gave generous time for each, since I move so slowly.) I was pleased to see that there wasn’t as much to do as I thought.
Then the next day I completely wrecked this practice “schedule” by making an arachnoid discovery in our bookcases that meant I would need to take everything down and clean them. And if I was going to take everything down to clean them, I may as well paint the insides, which was on the project list but had been designated an After Flannery task, since it wasn’t necessary and really wasn’t bothering me. So all the days I had allotted to a different project were now dedicated to this new task.
I really have more time than I do nesting projects (if I can continue to walk around, that is) so this last-minute addition doesn’t throw things off too badly. I am really glad I did the painting, though. I hadn’t realized how much I didn’t really like that corner of the room.
So this week I painted the most of the trim in the living room (it had never been painted since we renovated the Colloquium) and cleaned, repainted, and rearranged the bookshelves. Oh, and I also rearranged the sitting area furniture so I that I could actually see the trim I painted. And made one more freezer meal.
I am pleased with the room and can’t think of anything else to do at the moment besides cleaning it. I suppose that’s a good sign.
Flannery is still head down, but had her feet stretched out in front of her face again. She just really likes doing that, apparently. The tech got me a picture of her grabbing her toes with her hand. My fluid was even higher this week than last week. Everything looks good, and next week we start the fun of monitoring dilation (which is always an early occurrence for me, though I’m not sure how much it actually effects. )
Getting a handle on the pain
I’m not sure what’s up with my hip. It’s existed every pregnancy but it’s never quite been this bad (though it certainly gets worse every time.) I remember being pregnant with numbers Three, Four, Five, Six and doing so much walking at the very end of pregnancy. We would go to the local nature trail and walk; I would walk for hours at the mall while Jeremy and my in-laws watched the kids play in the indoor playground. Not anymore! With Aurick I tried to walk the mall the day before he was born, and I couldn’t–it was so painful. This time I don’t think I could even try–it’s not just painful, but sometimes I can’t even put weight on that hip at all.
One night this week I was experiencing the inability to put weight on the hip when I remembered I had bought some epsom salts a few weeks before. I tried taking a bath with them, and the difference in my hip getting into to the bath vs. getting out of the bath was incredible! After the bath the pain was almost entirely gone. Since then I’ve made a bath in the evening a semi-regular thing (trying to save it for when I’m really, really hurting).
more thoughts on nesting
I have asked myself why I am taking on so much so close to birth. I do not usually (that I remember) do so many project-y things so close to the end. Usually by this point it’s just clean and wait. Frankly, I have found when I am still and quiet, I think about labor. And I get somewhat panicky and anxious. You would think that having done it so many times would make it easier, but it doesn’t. It gets harder.
Elvie, my fourth, was the first birth I remember feeling panicked about–internally, not externally–and that didn’t happen until the moment they broke my water. (She was born about 45 minutes later.) Since then, that feeling of anxiety has begun earlier and earlier. I remember labor, and I dread it. When Aurick was born, I actually cried when we arrived at the hospital. The nurse thought I was having a contraction, but no, I just didn’t want to be there! There was a small part of me that was actually relieved at the idea of having a c-section this time, since it would involve being numbed. Because of my blood condition, I can’t have an epidural, and I’ve never had one.
But I am trying to walk the line between not refusing to think about it, but also not trying to dwell on it; when I can’t help but think about it, I try to focus instead on the moment the baby’s born rather than the time leading up to it. Labor is never as bad as I’m worried it will be, and always goes faster than I think it will.
Suzie Smuck says
Thinking of you, Erin. Much love and prayers.
Thank you, Suzie!
I love the painted insides of the shelves! It’s the perfect touch for that space.
I can relate to the end-of-pregnancy woes, and I do hope you can get some reprieve from the hip issue with the epsom salt baths.
I had a similar issue (I am 99% sure it’s an SI joint issue for me). I was once told how to relieve it myself. Not sure if I can explain it properly, but I’ll give it a go: Lay flat on your back on the floor. Lift one knee up to make a 90-degree angle and hold your thigh still while pushing against it (as if you’re trying to put your leg down) with your leg hard. Do this to a count of 10. Then stretch the leg back out to the floor. Repeat for the other side. If it works I feel a slight “pop” in my hip as I lower my leg. It might be worth a try, as it really made a big difference for me and allowed me to walk. I also know several ladies around my area with 8+ kids and many of them use a pregnancy support belt for the last trimester to help with the hip issue.
I looked up SI joint pain and it does sound exactly like what I’m experiencing. I’ll try the exercise you described–thanks!!