I can’t easily cross my legs or lace up my winter boots. I have an amazing winter coat that zips, on loan from my MIL (because Michiganders have all the right winter gear, which is the opposite of me, always). But my wardrobe is now limited to a few staples that I rotate every few days, which is reason number 82 I’m thankful to not work in an office setting. I’ve entered the swollen stage, but not enough swelling to cause any medical concerns (just personal ones). It’s VERY difficult to get compression socks on and off; yesterday, I started sweating during the process. I’m barely sleeping, because I have an increasingly annoying case of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, which means I get about 45 minutes of slumber in before one or both of my hands go numb. (I’ve tried most of the suggested “remedies,” all of which worked for a hot second.) I’m mostly packed for the hospital, thanks to tips from friends and the internet.
This is 38 weeks.
Most of my pregnancy has been “easy” by most standards. I was only nauseous for a few early weeks, I’ve had no strong food aversions or cravings (aside from that one time in June), and no complications whatsoever. A few appointments ago, the nurse practitioner commented on my “perfect pregnant belly!” which made me laugh, because what constitutes pregnant belly perfection? I went into the nail salon a few days ago to “pamper myself” (a la the recommendations of one of my weekly emails), and the nail salon owner reached right over the counter to rub said belly and ask about my due date. (I easily get the most comments about my pregnant body at nail and hair salons. What is this about?)
During the extensive 36-week appointment—in which you get a FULL exam, a few routine STD tests, blood drawn, and a test to see where baby is positioned (we’re head down! Whoop!)—the doctor asked about the birth-weights of my husband and me. I knew mine but not his. He said, “Hm, you should find out! Feels like you have a sizeable kid in there.” Sizeable. Add it to the list.
I haven’t been walking much because it is about ten degrees outside and I barely have enough layers that fit to dress myself for the indoors. (But see also: The jacket! It has seriously been a life-saver.) I haven’t been to yoga in almost three weeks because we had weekend visitors and holidays and such. I assure you I’ve had no desire to do anything else, but I HAVE watched the first season of Broadchurch on Netflix, and started re-watching SUITS (because Meghan, duh). We also completed this insane Harry Potter puzzle, supposedly appropriate for “Ages 12+” but which stumped a few 30-something adults.
A few nights ago, while I was not sleeping at three in the morning, I had a little chat with this tiny human. Anytime would be fine! I said. We’re ready, I promised. We have a cozy glider, the carseat inspection approval, all baby clothes washed and hung on tiny hangers with care, and lots of donated baby gear from lovely friends. I can’t keep not sleeping because of numb hands, I said. I’m okay with not sleeping because of taking care of you, though. THAT sounds way more tolerable—wonderful, even. I’ve started having something spicy at least once a day, and if you have any other old wives-type remedies that allegedly induce labor, I’M ALL EARS.
And professionally, I’m starting to wrap things up.
That process has probably been the strangest of them all. Getting a nursery ready is fun and cute; folding baby clothes is kind of hilarious and also exciting; doctors appointments are routine. But prepping to take one of my longest breaks from work, ever? To press pause with my running and nutrition clients, hold on taking anyone new (for now), and schedule what I can while knowing I’ll be totally off the grid, is strange. Sure, I’ve traveled and taken time off. I’ve had time between jobs. But I’ve never prepared for a break like this, knowing that I’ll still be home and in some sense could work but will have no desire (or energy) to.
For the fellow entrepreneurs here who are wondering how a maternity leave is possible…I’ll let you know! Thankfully I have a partnership with Mary, and she’s stepping in to help with run things. I’ve referred some of my nutrition clients to RDs that I trust and align with. I’ve put a pause on writing projects for now. Kelly is mostly taking the charge on this month’s Fit Fueling course; I’ll return the favor in March. And I have a full 10-episode Intuitive Eating series in action on the podcast! Newsletters are scheduled. We have a Lane 9 Project meeting on Sunday to plan out the year.
I’m lucky that my husband will have six paid weeks off, and we have a lineup of family visitors that will help me ease back in when the time comes. We also literally have a daycare nextdoor. So, if that works out, I’ll be able to continue working from home in some capacity.
This is 38 weeks.
Planning and prepping as much as you can for a new life to enter center stage and throw your world for a loop. Anxious for the now-sizeable (tiny) human to be out of the womb and in our arms. Not sleeping much; not fitting comfortably into anything; not sure what the future holds but VERY excited to find out soon(ish); not convinced spicy foods induce labor, but will keep eating them anyway; not sure how to run a small business and keep a little babe happy and thriving, but willing to experiment (with the business, not the baby) and find out. Ready.