This post is part of my series, A Real Picture of Pregnancy, where I document my pregnancy every 4 weeks. But rather than a perfectly-styled outfit, airbrushed makeup, chalkboard art and a clean house, I take the photo just as my life is. A beautiful mess. Unedited and not touched up.
Well, my due date is here.
To be honest, I really thought I’d be posting a picture of myself with a newborn at this point. Or at least in a hospital gown.
Nope. Still pregnant.
As of today, I’m exactly 40 weeks.
Which is officially the longest I’ve ever been pregnant.
Buuuuut, the totally awesome part about still being pregnant is that today, my due date, is also our son’s second birthday! So instead of being in labor or nursing a newborn as I half-hold him and blow out the candles, I was totally hands-free as we went to the beach to celebrate and have some family fun this morning.
And believe it or not, there have also been some other great things about not being in labor yet, like:
1. My entire to-do list is done, and my schedule is clear, so I’ve been very relaxed and stress-free. Rather than 30 things on my to-do list each day, it’s been more like 3 to 5. Which means lots more coloring, playing helicopters and couch cuddling with our 2 boys. Oh… and this. A beautiful, 2-hour naptime snuggle in bed when our oldest was sick on Monday.
The truth is, this has been an eye-opening time of reflection on my “normal” priorities. I would have never allowed myself this amazing moment if I had a full schedule that day. I’m realizing all the awesome moments that can happen, when I clear out the clutter and just let my schedule breathe.
2. Not having a baby yet has also given me plenty of time to rearrange and deep-clean my whole living room (yes, again). Including moving our new piano into place on Tuesday. (‘Cause, ya know, at 39 weeks and 4 days, why not?)
3. My mom is in town, and we’ve been able to spend lots of quality time together as we wait on little man. Rather than dreading each day, with a paralyzingly-large tummy and not being able to eat a meal larger than the size of my fist, I’m trying to think of this time as a snapshot that we’ll remember for years to come. (Remember when you were in town, and we were just hanging out, waiting for little boy to come?) We’ve been able to just live in the moment, which my task-oriented personality doesn’t allow me to do very often.
4. Since we’ve literally had nothing to do, we’ve gone on random errands. The more pointless they are, the more fun. Like Trader Joe’s, where I seriously contemplated buying the entire display of cookie butter. Just because.
5. I’ve been sleeping amazingly. And you know I’ve had crazy insomnia the whole pregnancy, so this is awesome. It’s incredible how the body starts prepping itself for the work ahead.
6. My husband and I have been able to focus on having quality time together. On Monday, he cleared his work schedule, and was able to come with me to my OB appointment, since my mom was in town to watch the boys. It was a wonderful, kid-free morning, and we even had time to stop at the new market in town and have coffee together outside. (I wanted him in this picture, but he didn’t want me to ask the glaring security guard to take it. So it’s just Janie, in all her preggo glory. Sorry. Last one, I swear.)
In this week of reflection, I’ve been able to contemplate how my husband is the best birth coach, and life partner, there is. He is always there for me in whatever capacity I need him to be. When I think about him in this way, I realize how lucky I am. And it makes me so thankful for my life. Sometimes, it’s just a shift in perspective that can change our thoughts, from being mad about an open toilet seat to being thankful for the man you married.
7. I’ve been able to reflect on how amazing my tired, swollen body is, and all the incredible things it’s done. The article went viral this week, and the feedback from so many of you has been so empowering and allowed me to stay in a great head space as I wait for labor and try for a third natural birth. Another thank you to this amazing community of #glowgirls!
That being said, don’t get me wrong.
I’m REALLY FREAKING EXCITED to not be pregnant anymore. I know it sounds ridiculous, but at times, it’s felt like I’ll be pregnant forever.
I cannot wait to meet this little boy, and to move on to the next chapter.
Let’s hope we don’t have a 44-week update. I might just have to write a follow-up article, entitled Pregnant and Sick of It.
Who knows, maybe that would go viral too.
What was your longest pregnancy, and have your pregnancies been as different as mine are turning out to be? Please share your natural induction tips in the comments section below!