40 weeks & 2 days holy crap I’m so bored

I mean, I guess I have stuff to do. In fact, every few hours that the baby isn’t here yet, I think of a new item to check off my amorphous to-do list.

Do you know what was at the top of that list yesterday, the day after my due date? “Pack hospital bag.” Seriously, who is this disorganized lady and what has she done with the Lindsay I used to know?

Anyway, small stuff. I still think I might simply be more easy-going about the whole thing than I anticipated, and so I’m all nonchalant about stuff like hospital bags and getting the mattress into the crib. “It’ll happen when it happens.”

40-weeks

But, BUT.

I’m. So. Bored. More like I don’t know what to do with my brain now that the due date has come and gone and I’m looking forward to an unknown stretch of time, just waiting. Waiting for a person.

So of course I’m doing things like walking everywhere I can (we even made a special trip to the mall, to walk around it, like old people do.). I’m sitting on a yoga ball, bouncing (literally, right now, as I type these words). We’re gonna go get some raspberry leaf tea, maybe make a curry lunch. These all feel a little like shaking the polaroid picture. But if I don’t do something, I’m just going to mope (which is basically what I did all last night, once we settled in for dinner and a quiet night). And moping while pregnant is just DUMB. It feels dumb, anyway. There’s this big exciting thing that’s about to happen.

So bouncing, walking, eating, drinking. Things. Preparing our 2014 budget. Laughing at the dogs.

Being ready to be excited at any given moment.

Late-pregnancy life

A little useful information about how these last few weeks are treating me, maybe?

» I feel GREAT. Seriously, I kind of had no idea I could feel so normal as a very pregnant lady. I waddle sometimes (more often these days, but still not all the time). My lower back hurts … sometimes. Otherwise, it’s been no big deal to be pregnant. Now, I know to count myself among the lucky lot who don’t suffer extreme nausea/discomfort/bigness, but I do think it’s interesting that I didn’t even realize this was an option. I think every lady who wants to have babies should know: You could very well feel like YOU most of your pregnancy, just pregnant.

» Of my discomforts, sleeping is the worst. My lower back pain is worst at night, when I’m trying to settle into a single position. What I sadly discovered is that sleeping on the couch is best for me. I think it’s because I can prop myself up on the stiff arm of the couch, and use extra pillows to support my head, back, and legs as needed. And resting my back on the couch-back is often the most comfortable. I’ll look forward to getting back to my bed. In the meantime, it’s meant a nice view of our Christmas tree …

christmas-tree

» I’m eating like a champ. I’ve been moderately more hungry in the past couple of weeks. Not famished, but never fully satisfied by my normal meals. And I’m thinking that because the baby is so low (and has been my entire pregnancy), I’ve felt comfortable eating more to satisfy my hunger. My weight was actually down a pound at my last doctor’s visit, so that must mean my body just needs the extra calories. Yeah?

» Otherwise, life is normal. And for that I choose to feel incredibly grateful.

Now if I could just choose gratefulness for these last, lingering days of pregnancy …

38 weeks: It’s been an incredible month!

I can’t believe it’s been more than a month since I wrote to this space. I’ve had so many things rolling around my head, and so many good experiences. It’s just that I’ve also also crammed my life full of things that required my attention. Plus naps.

three-weeks

What I’ve crammed my life full of is not so much nesting for baby — I’ve been surprised at how little of that I’ve done. Instead, I’ve continued to nest for my own self: picking up design projects by the handful; making time to share coffee with new friends; brainstorming future sewing projects (I’m seriously considering following up on a plan I had last year to start a tiny handmade-goods business).

And in not nesting for baby? I’m not stressed. I’m not anxious that we’ll be without something we need. We have a few bundles of disposable diapers, clothing, toys, a carseat and stroller and now finally a co-sleeper. Almost all of it thanks to other people giving gifts. Really, almost every single bit of what we have for baby is in our home because someone else thought of us. How lucky is that?

I find it pretty strange that I didn’t nest nest nest. It’s what I would have guessed about myself up until just a few months ago. Whatever took its place is a calm and excited person who is just counting down the days until Babybird gets here. I just wanna hold this baby.

Really. That’s it. Get this baby into the world with us safe and sound, and I think that’s all I’ll need.

In the past month …

Pregnancy symptoms have been hard for me to put my finger on as they’re happening — kind of like it’s been hard to notice how big my own belly has gotten. It’s just that I live with them creeping into my life every day, and I get used to them, and they don’t so much seem like symptoms as they do seem like life.

But if I look back, life looks something like this:

» Lower back aches. Usually it feels like a pinched something on one side or the other of my lower spine. A wrong step can make it worse, but for the most part, moving around actually makes it all feel better. I’m grateful for a job that’s kept me on my feet and moving around this whole time; and for the mile-long walk home.

» Baby kicks: deep, deep tickles. The baby’s still moving throughout the day — maybe even with more frequency — but all the action feels more subtle. Probably because s/he’s running out of room! When I do feel something distinctive, it feels like a tickle. Like this baby is tickling my organs. I laugh out loud! This is perhaps one of the most joyous and unexpected parts of pregnancy I’ve experienced so far.

» Mostly solid, uncomfortable sleep. I don’t know how I’ve managed it, but I’ve settled into a long stretch of sleep, interrupted only once by: a trip to the bathroom; followed by tossing and turning (very, very slowly and uncomfortably) for about an hour. Sometimes I fall back to sleep for a few minutes. Sometimes I don’t. By the time I need to be at work, though, I’m ready for the day. So what’s to complain about?

» Everything’s shifting downward. In just the past few days I’ve increasingly felt a strange, uncomfortable downward pressure on my insides. I couldn’t tell you exactly where on my insides — bladder? cervix? I just don’t know enough about my own organs to be clear. But I can only assume this is the baby nestling in before labor. Which is, of course, exceedingly exciting (therefore nullifying the discomfort — which sometimes literally stops me in my tracks).

Over the next … two? three? four? weeks

The baby is due in two weeks! Incredible!

My last day of work is Wednesday. Also incredible, in part because I remember wondering through my second trimester how long I’d last on my feet at work. But to be honest, if not for the concern that I’d go into labor early and put my co-workers in a tizzy trying to cover my shifts, I think I feel good enough to work right up to my due date.

With that in mind — and knowing how prone I am to sitting on my butt all day if I stay at home with no clear goals for the day — my plan after Wednesday is to head into the bakery where I work to be a customer. I’ll be out and about seeing familiar, happy faces, and then I’ll walk myself the mile home. I’ve been working on designing some new cross stitch patterns (I’m pretty happy with the one I made for Babybird, below). So maybe I can make it a point to have those designed and ready to stitch up by the end of this week.

cross-stitch

Otherwise, I’ll maybe sweep and mop; make sure my clothes are folded and put away; cook up a big batch of chili to freeze and have ready for when baby gets here and we don’t want to cook. Basically, I’ll take it easy. Take it as it comes. Cross my fingers that I’m a take-it-easy kind of mom …

33 weeks: Gotta get on top of … all this stuff

bump-33-weeks

How far along: 33 weeks

Baby’s Size: BabyCenter says Bird is a little over 4 pounds and 17 inches. I definitely feel more aggressive kicks these days … strong baby!

Weight Gain: My scale ran out of batteries! I’ll let this be a mystery for now.

Sleep: Ugh. I made a discovery: If I sleep on this little two-seater couch we have, I sleep great. I think it’s a combination of the firmness of the couch, the recline of the seat, and the support of the couch-back. So my sleep has been great, if a little lonely. Once I had a few good nights in a row on the couch I tried to get back in bed, and I just could NOT stay comfortable. I think it doesn’t offer enough support, and I ended up tossing and turning for hours.

Clothes: I bought maternity leggings and they are THE BEST THING I EVER BOUGHT. Seriously, I might buy some in a smaller size once this baby is birthed so I can keep feeling all cozy.

Cravings: Nothing, though my attempts to keep sugar and flour low in my diet have made me want to eat sugar and flour. That’s definitely not pregnancy related, though. That’s just my-life related.

Food Aversions: Thankfully, nothing.

Symptoms: I’ve been relieved of nighttime backaches, but I still experience plenty of backache when I stand throughout the day. Also a little occasional heartburn. Small potatoes.

Movement: It’s getting really fun! The baby’s been moving all the dang time for a couple of months now, but lately I feel my organs getting slightly squished around. At this point it’s still like a tickle; I even laugh out loud with some of them. I’m so curious to see what happens over the next month-and-a-half.

Baby’s Sex: Still just excited to meet this little man or lady.

Highlight of the Week: Tickly movements. I was walking around the house yesterday and swore that a foot must be poking through my right side. I didn’t catch it in time, but it was extreme. So cool.

What I miss: These days, this is exactly where I want to be.

Get on the ball, Lindsay!

I have been stuck in a lazy loop. I’ve had a little internal dialogue that basically says, “you only have a few weeks left of being Just Lindsay, so go ahead: eat! nap! take your time with everything!”

Part of me actually thinks this is an entirely good attitude. I really do only have a few weeks before my time belongs to someone else. I really do only have a few weeks before solid sleep becomes a memory. I really do only have a few weeks before my life changes forever in ways I can imagine and in ways that I can’t.

But there is another part of me that’s completely unsatisfied by choosing to honor this dwindling time by doing as little as possible. And indulging as much as I think I can afford.

Case in point: All my good blood glucose numbers from last week got me thinking “oh, I’ll just throw in some sweets here and there; eat more bread and pasta, because really I’m doing great and that’s what I want to eat and damnit I will!”

But as I’ve been tracking my blood sugar over the past week, I saw a few numbers that weren’t great. After at least three meals my glucose was higher than the suggested maximum. Not so much to send me into a panic, but enough to remind me that healthy food choices (and exercise) are really a must.

Yesterday was my most recent poor showing (after a lunch that included bread and an apple … and a morning full of sitting down). And that was the last straw. I felt sorry for myself for about a half-day and then checked in with Patrick. “That sucks. But luckily you have the tools to manage it.”

He was right, and that’s exactly why I wanted to talk to him about it. It’s so logical, and so simple. I mean, I don’t have to take insulin. That’s wonderful. All I have to do is eat healthfully and get in a walk a day. And if the indulgent part of me wants to whine about it, so be it.

Small. Potatoes.

There are other good things to be done: house cleaning, sewing projects, finishing up the nursery, a hometown to walk around. This is the way to enjoy my last few weeks of being Just Lindsay.

Next up: checking in with The List.

32 weeks: Maybe I DON’T have gestational diabetes

bump-32-weeks

How far along: 32 weeks

Baby’s Size: BabyCenter says Bird is almost 4 lbs. and 17 inches long. So big!

Weight Gain: Up 25 lbs. since before I was pregnant and 20 lbs. of baby-gain (according to the nurse practitioner who suggested I not include my 5-lb. gain from our vacation to San Francisco). That means I haven’t gained weight in a month! Of course that worried me — at, like, three in the morning — but when I looked it up it seems as though many women gain weight at an irregular pace. Considering I spent several weeks packing on pounds, I’m up for a little plateau.

Sleep: I wake up several times a night, usually with slight back pain or general discomfort. I’ve tried to stop looking at the clock to see what time it is, as that seems to get me anxious and wide awake. If I just let the wakefulness come, it seems to go on its own without too much effort.

Clothes: Do you know that I still haven’t bought proper maternity clothes? At this point, I’m thinking I can do as little as invest in a few pairs of maternity leggings and stretch my current wardrobe to meet my needs.

Cravings: Nothing! I think I might miss out on this whole craving thing.

Food Aversions: Ditto.

Symptoms: Lower back pain! If I’m moving around or laying down, my back is bound to hurt. Also, during meals I feel full a little more quickly — though that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to eat all the time. But that’s just typical Lindsay.

Movement: ALL DAY EVERY DAY! This is by far my favorite part of being pregnant. And while I haven’t gained weight in the past month, the baby has definitely gotten bigger — all the pushing around in there is getting slightly uncomfortable, but like, tickle-y.

Baby’s Sex: I’m not even tempted to find out.

Highlight of the Week: All the baby moves, always.

What I miss: Nothing! The back pain, I could do without. But it’s not so great that I wish it away … I’d rather be pregnant!

I had gestational diabetes?

I mean, it’s not really something you have and then don’t have. But when I took my test a couple of weeks ago, my blood sugar numbers came back super high. And when I retested a week later, super high again.

So my doctor referred me to the diabetes self-management department of the hospital system. I signed up for a four-hour course with one of their nutritionists, and the visit earned me a free starter kit for checking my blood sugar.

And you know what? That day of the class my blood sugar was good … even great. And the next two days of self-monitoring, my numbers stayed good — even when I threw a big ol’ chocolate chip cookie into my low-sugar, low-carb diet.

So why? If I’m allowed to self-diagnose, I think my initial high numbers might have been skewed because the first high test was taken on the day I was getting a cold; and the second high number was taken just as I was getting over that cold. I’ve read that illness can affect your body’s insulin production, spiking your blood sugar.

I AM NOT A DOCTOR. But I really can’t think of any other reason my numbers would eventually end up being so good.

Silver linings

I spent a few days being really bummed out at the prospect of having gestational diabetes. I knew that I’d do what I needed to be healthy. (A risk for leaving the high blood sugar untreated could be a baby who gains too much weight, possibly complicating labor.) I just didn’t want to, you know, be sick.

The class was really great, though. I spent four hours with two other moms-to-be and a nutritionist talking about a solid diet and habits to help control blood glucose levels. One point the nutritionist made was that a good diet for a diabetic is a good diet for anyone, and it centers around observing your carbohydrate intake:

» Keep your carbohydrates limited at each meal. Apparently pregnant women should have at least 175 grams of carbohydrates on a daily basis. The upper limits should be something like: 30-35 grams for breakfast; 60-65 for lunch and dinner (each); and 20-25 for each snack. Carbs include fiber and sugars (simple sugars, like cane; fruit sugars; even the sugar naturally present in dairy, lactose).

» Be consistent about carb intake. According to the nutritionist (and broad guidelines), consistency helps your body regulate blood sugar.

» Exercise lowers blood sugar. In fact, going on a ten- to twenty-minute walk after a meal can be a good strategy for maintaining good numbers.

» Higher-fiber foods are a better carbohydrate option. Fiber helps slow your body’s absorption of sugar, so it’s a great partner.

So now I have all this great information (some of it just confirmation of things I already knew), and how can I not want to use it to keep myself healthy?

I’ll have the tools to monitor my blood sugar for, I’m guessing, the next few weeks at least. I’m really interested to see how my numbers fall. I’m not gonna lie: they’ll probably be a spreadsheet.

I made my new favorite tote bag

I don’t know about where you are, but Winston-Salem, NC, is having a beautiful day. Blue sky, cool air, warm sun. I’ve opened the windows in my sewing room and plan to spend the day gazing out into our backyard between sewing projects.

Last week I spent an entire day in the sewing room, constructing what is officially my favorite make: a linen and cotton-twill tote bag with blue ticking liner. Linen interior pockets. Simple woven straps.

tote-exterior

I made this twice, and I still love it (no angst over the hours I spent ripping out almost every stitch and carefully picking away loose threads).

The first time around, my interfacing (fused to the linen exterior fabric) was too delicate. And I realized that my mini-pockets — which I’d sewn to the outside of a larger interior pocket — were going to cause a big floppy mess once they actually had things in them. Those little pockets would have been much more stable and easy to reach into if I’d sewn them onto an interior wall of the bag.

tote-bottom

There were so many things I loved about this bag — the colors, the textures; the bag bottom was cut from an old pair of Patrick’s shorts! — it wasn’t going to be good enough to let it stay undermade. Seam ripping was the only proper answer.

bag-before

See the way the mini pockets are sewn in the bag’s original construction? That big interior pocket became incredibly floppy once I put anything in the mini pockets. It’s been so much easier to use now that I’ve moved those pockets to the interior wall of the bag:

tote-pockets

tote-handle

Oh, and I also gave the bag handles a little reinforcement on the second sew. This is my first time doing that boxy stitch, so every single one looks different and has at least one stitch creeping outside the box. Seriously, every project I’ve worked on has taught me lessons. I think that means I’m headed in the right direction.

tote-interior

I think interiors should always be interesting. And what is it about ticking? I find it really … soothing. I made a little table runner out of it, and a couple of napkins. I’m certain I’ll keep it in my fabric stash for the foreseeable future, because I’m nearly certain it’ll always seem like a good option for projects.

My second-favorite thing about this bag: having undone it to redo it

Seam ripping with a thread snipper is actually kind of fun ...

Seam ripping with a thread snipper is actually kind of fun …

Of course I’ve had failed sewing projects before. And what have I done with them? Tossed them in the trash, mostly. I’m not so good with obstacles; I prefer easy paths.

I love that I saw the mistakes of this bag as opportunities to improve and learn, as opposed to failures. I love that I spent two hours picking out stitches, cleaning off the fabric, and going back to do construction I had already done before … and that I still felt like I was moving forward.

I even spent the time taking apart that cute skirt I made a few weeks ago but that was too big. Another project to be undone only to be redone, and I’m really looking forward to what I might learn in the process.