Tail end of pregnancy

I'm in my 39th week of pregnancy -- the very tail end. This baby is breech and my doctor wants to cut it out on Thursday. Figured it was about time to write down some thoughts before my world turns upside down.

Somehow I've lucked out into having the easiest pregnancy. Like scary easy. 

I found out I was pregnant with the faintest of faint lines on a pregnancy test very early on (04/19). So faint that I threw the test away thinking it was negative and then dug it out of the trash to see a faint line hours later. Next morning, in an Airbnb in Scottsdale, AZ , I woke up super early to confirm it with an expensive Clearblue test. I couldn't quite believe it, so I kept this test in my pocket for days turning it over in my hand to feel the proof every few minutes.

I didn't have any pregnancy symptoms, so I was sure it was a chemical pregnancy. On my morning of my 7 week confirmation appointment, I took another test and the test line was just as faint as on that first morning. At the appointment, I turned away from the ultrasound monitor expecting the worst. But the midwife turned on the sound and I heard the heart thumping at 167 bpm. My post-appointment notes read: "negative for depression, and mood swings POSITIVE for anxiety".

I continued to not have any signs or symptoms of this pregnancy, and every appointment I was 90% sure they'd confirm it was over. We spent my 14th week in Alaska backpacking Gates of the Arctic NP and 15th week skiing for 4th of July at Alpine Meadows.

My clothes started to not fit quite right around my birthday (19th week). I still felt normal, but I didn't recognize myself on my photos from my birthday camping trip. This is also around when I started feeling movement and I started to accept that this might be real.

Between 19th and 36th week was kind of a blur as I got busy with a work project. My biggest feelings around pregnancy was resistance to buying any maternity clothes. The idea of a whole industry shilling clothes that would only fit people a few months would fill me with disproportionate rage. The most I wanted to throw up during this pregnancy was when I tried on "jeans" with a maternity belly band. Ick. I mostly wore my bigger shorts low on my hips and invested in a couple of stretchy waistband pants that I could wear for years (these and these).

Alex and I went on a late babymoon to Hawaii during my 36th week. I was finally pregnant enough for strangers to comment and to give us unsolicited advice, which was a secret joy.

Despite my stomach and the near constant kicks, I still felt normal. On the way home from Hawaii, I was on BART reading a book about birth like it's some kind of hypothetical process and caught myself thinking, "Wait, am I actually pregnant?" I literally grabbed my stomach to confirm.

This is the last picture I have of myself, taken right after my last appointment for my pregnancy. Alex and I were at a Sports Basement picking out a duffel bag to pack for the hospital. (We picked this one!) I think we were supposed to pack one weeks ago, but we like to live on the edge.

I can't believe this part of my life is almost over. Feels like it just started a few weeks ago in Hawaii! It's not that I enjoyed being pregnant -- the time just kind of passed mostly undetected by me or anyone else. Pregnancy didn't really restrict me from any activities I was doing before (except for mountain biking) and mostly I didn't really feel it. 

I imagined I'd feel beautiful, glowing, and... special for growing a whole human. But I just felt like my normal, not glowing, self. I'm carrying around a full grown (6 lb 4 oz as of 1.5 weeks ago) baby in my stomach and it's like barely registering. Makes me think, what other processes in my body am I oblivious to?

Everyone (and all the pregnancy books) told me I'd be excited to get this out during 3rd trimester. Emily Oster's mother speculated in her Expecting Better book that the body is so uncomfortable during the last few weeks so that you're not afraid to give birth. At almost 39 weeks, I'm still waiting for that feeling to hit. Instead, I'm feeling perfectly comfortable with the fetus growing inside me, and scared about the imminent prospect of taking it out.