Finding Magic in Motherhood Part 13: The Final Weeks - recounting the last weeks of my first pregnancy

Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 13: The Final Weeks

Once my secret was out, I was able to, er, enjoy pregnancy in all its glory. Which is just the nice way of saying the constant hunger, hot flashes, back pain, and Braxton-Hicks were fun. Of course, I didn’t complain much. For one, this little boy was a gift following my miscarriage and was sorely wanted. For another, I was too busy studying for my comprehensive exams to pay much attention to being pregnant.

Oh, yes, I had to take a series of 2 hour tests over 3 days while 7 months pregnant and battling forgetfulness in order to earn my Master’s Degree. My friends were my saving graces. If I hadn’t studied with them, hadn’t worked together with them to try to fathom what our professors were going to throw at us, hadn’t actively put material together, I would have failed.

Yes, I was pregnant, and due to give birth in a little over 2 months, but my baby was not the first thing on my mind. Passing those darn exams were.

During our breaks from studying, my friends would ask how I was doing and what I had done to prepare for the baby’s arrival. I honestly paid so little attention to my pregnancy at that point that I actually felt quite well, if a little tired and sometimes grasping at straws. I also had only a lamp for the baby. In my defense, I was quite preoccupied.

I’m not sure how I managed to get through those exams. All I remember was walking to my exam location one morning and seeing a little girl dressed for school wandering around the campus. I knew there was a small experimental school on campus and was concerned when she was so far away from it. Some of my classmates saw me turn away from the building from a window and asked why. I guess my mom instincts kicked in. I couldn’t let that little girl wander around by herself, especially since summer break had started (the elementary school was still in session), so I walked her over to her school.

After our last exam, my friends threw me a surprise shower. I don’t know how they found the time to do it, but my gratitude to them for it remains bottomless. Without their kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity, I would have still had only the lamp when my son was born.

I don’t know how I managed to pass, but I did. I got the call about a week before I went into labor. The weeks between the end of exams and the call should have been spent getting ready for the baby. Instead, I was getting ready to move across the country. My husband was due to start a new job just a couple of weeks after my due date, so we were packing and I was fretting. We’d done the hospital tour and I wasn’t looking forward to maybe having to deliver somewhere else.

Then again, I didn’t actually do too much of the packing. Nope, I was resting, letting my mind drift, letting my feet rest, letting my cat enjoy what was left of my lap. She and my baby got in some good quality time. Meaning it was the one and only time she didn’t mind being kicked by a tiny human. They now keep a healthy distance from each other as he used to scream in her face when he was a toddler and he’s afraid of her claws.

For the first time during that pregnancy my body was at ease. School was over, my exams were in the past. I’d already arranged to take a year off because I thought we’d be moving back since my husband had only taken a year-long position. I literally had nothing but packing to do. You’d think I would have at least gotten him a bed.

Well, no I didn’t. I assumed I had time. See, it was early July and my son wasn’t due until mid-August. I had plenty of time. It was only because my mother-in-law visited and asked if we’d gotten a crib that I thought maybe I should.

That was just a few days before I unexpectedly went into labor. But that’s another story.

19 Comments

  • Lisa R. Howeler

    I wish I had relaxed more during my pregnancies. I was pretty wound up, worried a lot about what could happen to the baby. My second pregnancy was worse because I’d had the miscarriage in between (even if it was an early one). I felt amazing during my second pregnancy, though. The best I had felt in years. No panic attacks, energy..bam. It was a sign to me that I had been progesterone deficient for years. I didn’t have a lot purchased for my first and I think family bought quite a bit of what we needed. We did get the crib, but he never slept a day in it. That’s a long story. Maybe I will blog about it one day, but .. who knows. 🙂

    • kat

      I wish I had, too, but so much can go wrong in such a short amount of time. It’s so nerve-wracking to be pregnant and I can’t help but envy the women who just seem to float through it. I wish I could say my pregnancies made me feel great, but my second apparently triggered dormant asthma (as if kicking my insides like a soccer star wasn’t enough), so I’m quite jealous you had a wonderful time of it. But it’s fantastic that you were able to feel so great and figure out why. I find it so funny that parents buy everything under the sun for their kids and then the kids never ever use it. I’d love to know your story. One day, if you decide to write about it.

      • Lisa R. Howeler

        I had a wonderful time during pregnancy with her, but after ward. Holy crap. That’s when it all hit the fan. Three months of severe vertigo, internal trembling that lasted four months (doctors have still not figured that out), massive panic attacks and could barely leave the house. Then my daughter decided she wouldn’t sit in a car seat and screamed bloody murder for any trip we took..including the 40 minute drive to my parents. My “best friend” decided she wouldn’t help me when I cried out for help because, as she told me months later, “I just figured you could handle it…you’re the one who had another kid.” So… I had a great pregnancy but the rest sucked…oh wait..I forgot to mention the chest pains and the ER trip and the high calcium and … lol…BUT I love my daughter and she was worth all of it. Oh and after I had my son, I had gained 60 pounds and that’s when they finally diagnosed my thyroid issue. Lol. see? I’m a train wreck AND I over share. 😉

      • kat

        Oh, wow! It’s hard enough being a typical mom who just has to deal with figuring out how to feed a screaming newborn and find time to get in a minute of sleep, but to have to deal with everything you went through and not have the support of someone who was supposed to be a friend… You’re an incredible woman for being able to pull through it, and, hey, a diagnosis is always a good thing! And, yeah, our kids are always worth everything we go through to have them and rear them. I think there’s a saying about how having kids is like having your heart outside of your body. Parents really can and will do just about anything for their babies, no matter how dangerous it can be, especially when it comes to those children who are just such a blessing, a beautiful surprise just like your daughter was. Haha, I’m too curious for my own good, so I don’t mind over sharing! I love hearing about other people’s experiences.

      • Lisa R. Howeler

        Yes, I have thought about this, but we will also be busy moving. I hope they don’t quarintine us before closing. Our real estate agent is on a cruise….and landing in Florida. My neighbor is in Florida and so is my husband’s bosses. They are bringing it up with them probably.

      • kat

        Most likely. People need to learn to stay off planes and boats. It’s like being in the middle of a petri dish! I hope you and your family are able to move before it gets too bad. And that people learn to make good decisions.

      • Lisa R. Howeler

        No one around me is even sick. No one. In PA we have sniffles and coughs because the temps keep waffling up and down but I don’t even know anyone who has a fever. Yet our shelves are empty and our schools are closing and people are melting down.

      • kat

        Same here. LA is such a sprawling city, but one case, even if it’s on the other side of the city (at least a half hour drive without traffic), everyone freaks out. My husband and I were joking that, since no one’s on the roads, all the traffic LA is famous for moved to the markets. Still can’t figure out what people are going to do with all that toilet paper. TP houses because they’ve been cooped up too long?

  • Angelilie

    I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. Fascinating and beautiful. I come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon 🙂

    • kat

      Aw, thank you so much! Time has an interesting way of making the past seem a bit funny though it was anything but at the time. I hope you and your daughter are doing well!

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