I'm currently eight weeks postpartum and trying to remember what the end of my pregnancy was like while my son, AY, is on my lap crying. My head is spinning trying to remember all the details, so bare with me while I try my best to recount the end of my pregnancy for you all.
Weeks 27-40 were rough. I was getting bigger and bigger and my anxiety for labor and delivery was growing day by day too. It was really hard being pregnant during a pandemic and many aspects of my third trimester were pretty traumatic for me. I never really had time to properly digest what I experienced so writing about this might be very cathartic or traumatic all over again! We'll go into more detail soon but my Husband is an essential worker who needs to travel for business... during a pandemic... can I get an A-N-X-I-E-T-Y!!!! I also ended up getting sick with Covid and needed to be in the Hospital ALONE for three days. Let's hear it again! A-N-X-I-E-T-Y!!!! Then there is that very real fear of labor and delivery that was constantly growing as we got closer to my due date. All the 'what if' statements and worst case scenarios were swirling through my head daily. I also did a really dumb thing and read bad birthing stories to "prepare myself" for what can happen. Don't do that. Seriously, NEVER do that.
The third trimester was the hardest on me physically. I think it really is the hardest on anyone. You can't see your feet anymore, you're constantly looking for the bathroom because baby is squishing your bladder and you can't get off the couch or out of bed without feeling completely winded. I couldn't sleep enough because of acid reflux or my baby kicking into my ribs all through the night. And all I kept on hearing from my doctor was "keep on moving! Stay active! It's good for you and your baby." I moved as often as my body let me... but it was so hard!!
Emotionally I was all over the place. My Husband, Mo, was travelling for work for 8 weeks straight. He was gone for 3/7 days it was very hard. Being pregnant during a pandemic where everyone is told to stay put - I had a lot of anxiety about any of us getting sick. My Hospital told me that if Mo tested positive when we arrived, he would need to leave and I'd have to give birth alone. That thought haunted me the entire duration of my pandemic pregnancy. I'd stay awake at night panicking that I'd experience that alone and I wondered how I would possibly survive that. We compromised that Mo would stop travelling when I was 8 months along so we can 1. spend as much time together 1:1 before the baby arrived 2. Limit exposure to covid long enough before my due date so Mo would god willing be in the clear 3. Just in case I gave birth early, because it can happen and you never know! Then at 9 months at 1:30am after Mo finished travelling for work I suddenly had the worst chills of my life. Two days before that I felt very fatigued and thought nothing of it. I'm 9 months pregnant, thinking of moving makes me feel fatigued. In the morning I started having an intense cough and was very nauseous. I visited my OB to check on my baby and everything was fine! When I got home, and hour later, I felt those chills again and like I had no energy left in my body. I went to take my temperature and it was 100.2 degrees F. My OB told me to meet him at the ER immediately so we can monitor the baby and in triage my temperature already went up to 101.5. They sent me to an isolated bed in the ER because I was pregnant and they ran a bunch of tests, chest X-ray, flu test, ran my urine & blood. Everything came back all clear. The only thing wrong was that my heart rate and temperature were high and my OB wanted my baby monitored until they regulated. So they decided to admit me, and to figure out where I'd be placed during a pandemic they gave me a covid test. After waiting for the results for 3.5 hours, I got woken up at 3:36am to the news that my test came back positive. When I went into the ER they told Mo he had to leave and I finally got to see him again three days later. I can talk about my full experience with covid while pregnant in a different post, it would be too long for now.
It's very important to take calcium supplements during pregnancy because your baby pretty muchs sucks up your whole supply. That can result in weak bones and teeth. For me, I had weakened teeth. On shabbos I took a bite into a piece of Pesach cake I was craving - it was september - and my tooth that had a crown on it broke off at the gum. Yes, both the tooth and the crown on top of it. The remainder of the tooth was so sensitive. I couldn't eat anything hot or cold for three days until the rest of the tooth was extracted. When I a dentist who would see me on such short notice I booked my appointment immediately. I probably should have read up on some google reviews first because the office had no air conditioning when it was 80 degrees F out. They had 2 windows open, a packed waiting room - during a pandemic - and conveniently each person waiting, 10 of us, all had appointments for 2:00pm with the same dentist. I was furious and mostly because I was 9 months pregnant, overheating in a packed waiting room and the receptionist wouldn't let me sit in the back where the air was blasting. I got a little snappy with her and said she'd be to blame if soon paramedics are peeling me off the waiting room floor. Then she finally decided there was room for me in the back! Ha! That's rich. The procedure went terribly too - I mean my tooth is out, so the game plan was executed well, but Redheads don't respond well to anesthetics - I'm not making this up! They had to give me three local numbing shots and I still felt the entire procedure. I would have had them put me under for it, but being 9 months pregnant left me without that option. The funny thing is, after experiencing all the insane things I did in my third trimester, I might be crazy enough to say it was better than the first. Being nauseous is the worst feeling ever.
Another anxiety provoking thing was when my Husband was travelling for work - every worst case scenario circled through my mind daily. "What if I slipped in the shower and was knocked unconscious and nobody found me until three days later?" or the moments when it is so windy out that heavy things on your balcony are taking flight and your Husband is mid-flight on his way home? I don't think I breathed for a solid 90 minutes. And that time I was home alone and there was such a hurricane and our windows were shaking. The psychopath that I am packed up a weeks worth of clothing, my pregnancy pillow, two blankets, my album of sonogram pictures, a doppler to hear my baby's heartbeat, my laptop, a few books, and the scrapbook I was making for our baby and headed to my childhood home because I was terrified the wind would blow our windows in. Mind you, on my way I stopped at the gas station to buy a lot of crispy m&m's, twizzlers, and ice cream - just incase i craved anything and couldn't leave to get it.
The end of my third trimester was a nice balance of excitement and panic. Organization and complete chaos. I packed my bags for the hospital mid 8th month and kept unpacking and repacking it a thousand more times until it was actually time to go to the hospital. I did A LOT of walking, bouncing on my birthing ball, squatting, curb walking, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, eating pineapple and spicy foods. Not a single trick in the book helped get our Baby out by his due date. He finally made his debut at 40 weeks and 3 days!
Well, AY just got up from his nap - I'll come back on here soon to share how labor & delivery went! Based on how my pregnancy went, you can assume that it was eventful too!