crunch n punch

Well we’re here at 35 weeks 4 days today… And we never thought we’d see this kind of gestational age.

I’m feeling a little better this week, with good sleep at least half the nights and although gumby is sometimes hurting when it feels like he’s burrowing in ( into my hip right now as I type, into the back of my navel, into my pelvis) and now regularly gets the hiccups (just started) for long periods of time, we’re getting on ok. His sleep wake cycles are so regular you could set your watch by it… Every 40 minutes. Nothing like the two to three daily periods of activity he had about 8 weeks ago. It’s amazing how things change. All activity just about can be seen from outside: my abdomen moves in crazy waves, has jolts, you can see the hiccups from across the room, things stick out that might be a knee, bottom, or elbow. My belly warps in funny directions, flat in one spot and a huge bulge on one side.

If gumby was born now, they wouldn’t need to give me steroids for lung maturity. If he was born now he’d probably crack 3 kg, as he was an estimated 2.76kg (6lb 1) 10 days ago. These things are comforting. He’s head down, at last check not engaged, though a bump drop yesterday (and new difficulty bending and having an easier time getting out of a chair) tells me otherwise. I’m putting on weight now… 2.5kg this pregnancy. One good outcome in a sea of hard yards!

In myself, I feel a little better, with not as many flat days and flat spots not lasting as long.

My blood glucose is still good despite ridiculous new developments in chocolate cravings that occasionally beat me down into submission. The weeks of roasted chickpeas and walnut snacks and control control control are making me crack! My HB1AC (average glucose reading of sorts) is still only 5.3 though. Still eating loads of veg. Still on a red meat bender, with much improved iron levels. We’re doing good.

I’ve had my first encounter with criticism in real life of what I blog about, which surprised me. I figured just don’t read it if you don’t like it…?? It stopped me blogging for a while. I’ve seen this happen to other bloggers, and I always thought how odd it was. If a reader doesn’t like a book they don’t tend to send aggressive emails to the writer. They just put it down. Or write a bad review. And don’t buy the next book. It’s like ignoring a dumb status update on facebook. We all see them. It’s not hard. There is so much more I could say here, but really, it isn’t worth my emotional effort. Let’s just say that apart from slamming Dr north Korea (who deserved it), no one cops it on here that I haven’t personally spoken to about a given issue in real life.

The one thing i will defend is criticism of hub in boots on here. Infertility and pregnancy puts a big strain on relationships, as those out there in blogland know all too well. It is important to reflect on this, and if reflecting on my OWN overreactions & irrationalities in relation to him in a public place helps others in a similar situation, that’s excellent. If blog readers comments and feedback on similar issues helps complete that picture, even better. Hub in boots and i have talked, resolved, and continue to love each other very dearly, and a bit of online “oh my god, men!!!” will not affect my very funny thick skinned optimistic man one bit. If it did, i’d whip it off in a flash. If i didnt know him as well as i do, I’d never mention him on here. He reads my blog, he reads it regularly, he proudly promotes it, and we usually chat about posts before, during and after. He comes up with funny titles. He suggests topics.

And i think the slow honesty of a piece of writing in this long hard haul has, mostly, opened up many many conversations and much emotional closeness between hub-in-boots and i. Sometimes the blog has comforted him: months ago when he walked in and i was teary after an all day hemorrhage, but had posted that day about knitting and the twenty bonuses of bed rest, well at least he knew there was a little bit of humour and life still in his wifey somewhere, and could even draw on that to lighten the mood.

Sometimes there were things that took a long time to write about & think about, and frankly the burden of those conversations on our evenings would be too much, too onerous, if hub-in-boots had to be the luggage handler of every bit of my infertility / pregnancy baggage that came up. Instead, this way, I dump and deal, and together, with my reflections laid bare, we pick over the important bits and we talk about a few small high/ lowlights, or his perspective on parts of the picture i’d missed. Importantly, we talk after we’ve both had time to reflect. Sometimes he emails me after reading a post. It gives our face to face interactions more quality, more insightfulness, and I think it’s really helped us to weather this storm. Together, in the middle of the crap, he’d crack a joke as a 10inch needle was about to be jabbed into my abdomen, and we’d joke about how we could write about this in the blog. In the worst moments, thinking of a funny tagline took us out of the shitty experience and made us laugh. It was a reframing technique. It still is. It’s a collaborative effort. We have never been stronger or more united.

On the dealing with pregnancy front, I have likened where we are now to a break between sets in a boxing class, maybe a set of “crunch n punch”. The worst thing about crunch n punch (sit ups with hitting the training pads) is not doing it, or even trying to avoid farting (yes, hub-in-boots, here’s looking at you, kid) it’s the break between sets. It’s when you stop that it hurts.

When you’re going, you can lose yourself in action. When you’re going, the movement takes your mind off the effort. It’s when you stop that it’s hard. It’s hard because you have to mentally process the effort it takes. It’s hard because after that, you have a very short time to get ready to go again, at a time when muscle fatigue makes the next set harder, and hurt more.

35 weeks 4 days for us is a break between sets. The dramas are behind us. There is another set of pregnancy weeks ahead of us, then we will move on, to a new (and apparently pretty challenging) exercise: parenthood! This place in between is not always as easy as it seems it should be. I feel like I should be relieved and grateful and elated. But I don’t always feel that way. I actually feel a bit out of breath, and tired, and spent and put through the ringer. A bit resentful of all the time spent waiting, which is mad, because it got us here. And bloody hell I’m grateful that we are here. Grateful that this boy is kicking the bejesus out of me day and night. And annoyed at myself, that after weeks of being relatively zen on bedrest, now that I can move, I’m impatient.

The effort it has taken to get here is largely invisible, the adrenalin and momentum of that hypervigilant state of hanging on kept us moving forward, the effort lost in the movement of the weeks.  Now, at times, I am feeling it catch up with me. It is hard to turn a hypervigilance off when it is switched on for such a long time. It becomes like a stuck light switch. I have anxieties about the birth, about Gumby arriving safely, anxieties founded in the real life recent losses of others. Some days, the “what ifs” begin their whispering game, and what a waste of time and energy they are.

I think now that I’ve sat down and thought, “ok, everything is going fine now but you’re feeling worse, and that’s ok”,  my stuck switch is ceasing to be a problem. I’m back to sleeping ok and I’ve got better energy.  I’ve still gone with the precaution of a visit to a professional next week to ensure I’m in a good headspace for what’s coming, and to ensure there’s someone who knows what they are doing to catch me if I’m not. After all, there’s another set to do! We pause, regroup, and get ready to go again.

Oh, and if you’re giving me the “Oh my GOD but you have NO IDEA how hard it is to be a PARENT” line, or even “birth horror stories 101”, this is me sticking my fingers in my ears and giving you the big “La la LAAAAAAA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.” I’m not interested in your war stories. We just fought our own war, and we have (she says, crossing everything) just about won. So bugger off. Please, nicely.

Or, as hub-in-boots says, “I’m getting myself a big glass of shut-the-fuck-up. Would you like one?”. His other helpful suggestion is “Ladies and gentleman, apologies, but the Captain has illuminated the sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up light.”

If this 35 weeks IS a break between crunch & punch sets, I’m quite looking forward to the bacon sandwich and strong coffee we get after class….

In other news, Gumby attended his THIRD fancy dress occasion, this one at 35 weeks. Look at these photos!!!

That has to be a pregnancy record. The boxing crew had a fancy dress bowling night. I’m crap at bowling on an ordinary night, on an 8 month pregnant night dressed as a pirate, I suck balls. (Note: The best thing about a strike is not having to get up & play a second frame!!!)

Oh and bump update. Yay 35 weeks. Over and out.

34 weeks: pregnant pit crew racing for the finish line

As happy as fozzy bear to be 35 weeks