39 Weeks Down, One to Go (I hope?)

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Editor’s Note: Although Nicole may not have taken the advice of her many relatives (see below) she did end up having the baby just a few days after she submitted her last post. Read on for a few laughs and let’s welcome Sadie Rose to the world.

Well, I’m nearing the end: 39 weeks down, one (or less!) to go.

It’s hard to believe I’m at this point. When I found out I was pregnant, I looked at one of those websites that tells you exactly how many days you have until your due date, and the number seemed staggering. Considering that sometimes a single day in my life feels never ending, I couldn’t imagine making it through 266 of them.

But I have…almost. I’m happy to report I’m still feeling pretty good, minus my sleep troubles (for details, see my last post). I’m still moving around relatively easily and without pain, and even hauling around a 26-pound Maya isn’t hard, unless there are stairs involved.

Actually, my biggest struggle the past couple weeks has been controlling my racing thoughts about how and when the big event will go down. Will it be a middle-of-the-night dash to the hospital, like it was with Maya? Or a day of laboring at home with neatly timed contractions? Will I be early? Late? Will my water break? (Sidebar question: What if it happens while I’m in the shower and I don’t realize it?) And, most importantly, how much is this going to hurt?

The anticipation is starting to get to me. And, as I found out this past weekend, I’m not the only person eager to get this (bloody) show on the road.

At two separate family gatherings this weekend, I was openly urged by older relatives to have sex with my husband. (Sample advice, delivered with a smile by Joel’s aunt at Christmas Eve dinner: “Having sex might put you into labor.”) While both of our families are outspoken and don’t shy away from topics that would make some people blush, being instructed to go home and get it on was definitely a first.

Not surprisingly, my family was a little more explicit. “You know, there are other ways to have an orgasm besides sex,” my mom, latke platter in hand, informed me at our Hanukkah party after I told her that neither Joel nor I had been in an amorous mood lately. Um, did my mom just tell me to masturbate? Why yes, I believe she did. Never mind that orgasms are not a proven means to kickstart contractions and even if they were, half the “magic” lies in the sperm, which carries hormones called prostaglandins that, in synthetic form, are used to induce labor.

I told her that, but she rolled her eyes. “Just have sex,” she said.

My aunt, who was arranging menorah-decorated cookies on a plate, chimed in. “Your uncle and I had the most fantastic sex when I was pregnant with your cousin,” she said. “I always say that’s why she has dimples.” First of all, TMI. Second, who has hot sex at 39 weeks pregnant? I barely want to be hugged at this point, let alone you know what. Even my grandma opined on the matter, though she was a bit more subtle, thankfully.

When Joel left the party, my aunt issued a parting shot: “Go have sex with your wife!” (“Ew, mom,” said my cousin with the dimples.)

Spoiler alert: We did not go home and have sex. It’s partly because neither of us is interested, but also because Joel is apparently the only person not obsessed with coaxing this baby out sooner rather than later. The more I talk about wanting it to happen already, the more he reminds me that it’s not even my due date yet, and that we shouldn’t consider any interventions until I’ve at least hit that point (which will be on January 3rd). I get irritated every time he says it. It’s not like I’m rushing to my OB begging for an induction — I’m simply saying that I’m ready to give birth. And even if I did want to be induced, isn’t that my prerogative? I know this baby belongs to both of us, but it’s easy to be patient when you’re not the one who’s gigantic and sleepless.

Thankfully for Joel, I’m not big on playing God and I’m not actually uncomfortable, so there’s really no reason to move things along quicker than is natural. I just keep reminding myself that the baby will come when he/she is ready…and hoping it’s before my due date. (I reserve the right to change my stance on this if January 3rd comes and goes with no action.)

In the meantime, I’m savoring my last moments as a mom of one. That means Maya is getting more kisses (roughly 100 per day versus, like, 99), extra patience when she does something annoying (her latest: hiding when it’s time to take a bath/get dressed/leave the house) and longer songs before I put her to bed at night (I’ve been opting for Beatles tunes versus quickie lullabies). I want to make sure she feels as secure and loved as possible before this huge transition.

I’m also taking time for myself. This means anything from hiring a babysitter so I can get a massage to letting Maya watch an extra episode (or three) of “Sesame Street” while I catch up with friends on the phone. I’d like to feel as centered as possible before my life becomes a storm of raging hormones and breast-pump accessories. After all, there’s no time for mom guilt when the clock is ticking down.

With that in mind, this will most likely be my last post for a while. I’ve really enjoyed sharing my pregnancy journey with all of you, and I hope to check in once I come up for air after Baby #2 is born. In the meantime, please send vibes for this baby to be born healthy and safely…and sometime in the next week.