Yesterday was my 36th birthday. Hard to believe I am 36, I don't feel that old. But there it is. Normally, turning 36 would make me really sad. I got really sad when I turned 26 (which, God, Meg, so stupid. Being 26 is young and awesome). I was like that quote from High Fidelity (the movie, not the book) - "Only people of a certain disposition are sure they're going to be alone for the rest of their lives at age 26, and we were of that disposition." But really, what had bummed me out about turning 26 was the idea that I was closer to 30 than 20, and that seemed sad to me. So I sort of assumed I would feel the same about 36 (closer to 40 than 30). I think, maybe, if I weren't pregnant, I would have been sad. And look, there are still a lot of things that I wish I had accomplished by this age that I have not accomplished. But I'm feeling pretty chill about all of it. Sort of like, "eh, I'll get there, who cares if it takes a little more time to own my own home or have a career as a librarian?"
For my birthday last year, we had just wrapped up a failed 2nd IUI cycle, and I was taking Clomid for my 3rd cycle. I hoped against hope that it would be my last birthday without our baby. It wasn't, this one is. As my cousin, who after years of recurrent pregnancy loss, infertility, and IVF, is full term with her rainbow twins and could pop any day now, said, "I love all the 'lasts.'" Last birthday before Manuji is born. It feels pretty great. I still have fear that something is going to go terribly wrong and we'll lose him, but I've gotten pretty good and pushing that aside and just appreciating these final weeks.
So, my birthday fell on Easter and we went to visit Dad out in Jersey. He's doing much better than he was a month ago, and that made me very happy, although I don't think he's ever going to be as physically able as he was a year ago. He wound up getting rid of the home health aide. What can I say, I tried my best. He's an adult and he gets to make his own decisions. But at least for now he seems to be tolerating his treatment well and he's doing his physical therapy and eating. Jeeves and I had a really nice day with him, and on our way back to the City, we stopped at Dairy Queen and I got to have a blizzard. Happy.
Next weekend is my Indian baby shower. That's what I'm calling it, but it's not actually a baby shower. There's some sort of ceremony, the details of which I am hazy on (Ammie, my MIL, is not the best at describing these things ahead of time). There will be food, and a bunch of people, and stuff like that. When Ammie started talking about doing this, I told Jeeves that I absolutely refuse to wear Indian clothes for it. When Jeeves and I got engaged years ago, Ammie was heading to India for a visit and she wanted to know if I would maybe be interesting in having her pick up some Indian clothing for me for some pre-wedding events, and to wear at other Indian occasions. That sounded awesome - Indian clothes are so pretty! My sister-in-law, who never ever lets my MIL buy her clothing, pulled me aside and told me that I should be careful because I needed to set boundaries. I was like, "What are you talking about?" Oh, I learned. The thing is, Ammie does not have any daughters or granddaughters. She has only one niece in the United States, and that niece hates Indian clothing. Over the years, I have basically turned into a life-size dress up doll for my MIL. It's kind of sweet. But it can also be annoying because you know what? Indian clothing can be really uncomfortable! Also, I'm an adult and being a dress up doll can become tiresome. I now have more Indian outfits than occasions to wear them. Also, absolutely none of them could possibly fit me at this point. So I told Jeeves, "I am absolutely not wearing Indian clothes for this thing." Then I was talking to Ammie on Friday and she said, "So you'll get dressed up for this party in Indian clothes." [Notice it's a statement, not a question.] I explained that I didn't think they would fit, but I have lots of comfortable and cute maternity dresses. "Oh, at least a couple of them will fit. It'll be fine. You'll wear one of the Indian outfits." Sigh. There are things that I really dig my heels in on with her (the whole setting boundaries thing) but usually I let her have her way with the clothing stuff because it seems like such a small thing and it makes her so happy. But I just can't this time. I want to wear my own, comfortable clothes. Wish me luck.
Pregnancy stuff ahead, so feel free to skip it if you're not up for this sort of stuff.
Tomorrow I am 32 weeks. Time is flying. OB appointment this week, and we're meeting our prospective pediatrician. I decided to do that thing today where you list stuff about your pregnancy.
How far along: 31 weeks, 6 days
EDD: June 17th
How big is baby?: According to The Bump, he's a squash. I have a hard time with this because what kind of squash? Butternut? Pumpkin? Spaghetti? Kabocha? The picture of the squash looks like a weird gourd. Anyway, they say he's 15.2 to 16.7 inches, and weighs around 2.5 to 3.8 lbs.
Total weight gain: Around 23 pounds. I gained nothing my first trimester thanks to all my issues. I've made up for it since then.
Maternity clothes: Obvi. That's pretty much all I wear. My PJs are still normal PJs, but that's only because they were already elastic waist.
Belly button: On the verge of becoming an outie. Like, it could be any day now.
Rings: I can still wear them, but when the weather is warmer, my hands definitely are swelling. So we'll see how much longer I can keep the rings on.
Sleep: Continues to suck. I haven't slept on my stomach since January, and I have to have a pillow fort to keep my hips from killing me when I wake up. I get up to pee 2 to 3 times per night, and I'm usually up every couple of hours to flip over onto my other side because I start aching if I don't. It's good practice for when Manuji is here, I know, and I've gotten pretty used to the routine, so it's not so bad.
Symptoms: Acid reflux (it's not so bad right now) and heart palpitations (also not so bad). Can't get up off the floor without assistance. I have to change positions, whether sitting, lying down, whatever, every few minutes because I quickly become uncomfortable. Frequently tired. I pee a lot, of course. Sciatica pain if I bend over too frequently. And the biggy - shortness of breath.
Cravings/Aversions: Aversions ended with the first trimester. Cravings.... ice cream, all the time. Macaroni and cheese. Citrus fruit and citrusy flavored things. Watermelon. Chocolate/peanut butter as a combo. Peanut butter, period. Kale salads (that's pretty much the only really healthy thing that I get excited about now). Cheese. I'm also starting to really, really miss certain things, like sushi, smoked salmon, prosciutto, etc. And giant iced coffees. Oh yeah, sure, I miss wine too. But not as much as I miss smoked salmon. On a bagel with cream cheese and onions.
Movement: Oh, all the time. I've been feeling Manuji since about week 17. I learned later that he has a posterior placenta, so it makes sense that I could feel him so early and that his movements have been pretty strong from early on. I'm not sure yet if he's head down, but he likes to poke around in my ribs and other organs which feels weird. And he makes my whole belly move. He's not crazy active when I'm sleeping, but the moment I'm up in the morning, he thinks it's party time. Honestly, it's an enormous relief, to always have that reassurance that he's okay. He gets the hiccups a lot too.
Coming Attractions: I'm on biweekly OB visits now, doing the rounds and meeting all of the OBs in the practice since you never know who will be on call the day you go into labor. At my week 36 appointment I will have my first ultrasound in a long time to make sure that Manuji is head down and check his growth. I'm nervous about it, but it's still a ways off.