I learned something about my body this weekend.
I’m proud of it.
Over the last 20 years I’ve struggled, like many if us do, with my body image. Since puberty hit and Jr. High I’ve struggled with my body. I was a “big boned” girl and was always the tallest in my elementary school classes (nicknamed Conan the Barbarian by some mean boys in 6th grade). I wore big thick glasses. I had moved from Denmark and didn’t have many friends. There were a lot of things I just didn’t get. I didn’t fit in and was constantly on the outside and was teased (a lot). Girls wouldn’t include me.
I’ve always felt fat and not fit. I’ve never been happy with where I was. Even at my skinniest (after living in Jerusalem and weighing 20 pounds less than I do now) I was never comfortable in a swim suit. I’d always wear a t-shirt to cover up.
Getting pregnant the first time was really hard for me to see my transform and gain weight. Especially after finally getting to my “ideal weight” after some decent weight gain after marriage. I’ve never felt too comfortable in my own skin. But as I watched my body transform I gained a new appreciation for my body and it’s ability to be a vessel for life.
With this last pregnancy I once again marveled at my new form and ever expanding belly. I was on bed rest for 8 weeks where I lost all muscle. For me just walking was hard for two months. Getting back basic muscle tone has been work. So getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight is still 10 pounds off and the baby is almost 5 months. Everything is stretched and clothes don’t fit the same.
You’d think my response to seeing two beautiful high school girls parading in Billabong bikini’s by the pool would be a moment of self loathing or embarrassment. My old self would have quickly sized up these pretty girls and made a mental cross-comparison of my flaws to their youth.
But here’s the funny thing. I didn’t.
For the first time a felt confident, in my swim suit (from Wal-mart).
I sat proudly in 2 foot kiddie pool with my handsome husband and two darling children. I looked at my children . They passed through me, through my beautifully imperfect body, and come out perfect.
As I nursed my baby in the shade I felt a great sense of appreciation for my body and it’s ability to transform; to gain weight, bare children, provide milk and still have enough energy to chase after the three year old – all on no sleep.
Who would have thought that it would take 32 years to get to this point?
Who would have thought we’d make it this far? At 29 weeks we never thought that we’d make it full-term.
To be honest it’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It’s kind of like running a marathon and not knowing where the finish line is. We were hoping and praying for so long to get to 34 weeks and then 37 weeks that we never thought we’d make it to 38 weeks or to her due date.
On December 30 we headed to the hospital, thinking it was time.
I’ll spare you all the details, but wanted to share that we are still cooking this baby and things are going well.
Hooray! We’ve made it to thirty-four weeks.
Why is this so important? It means that if my water were to break or if I were to go into labor the risk is much reduced.
According to Baby Center
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.
See what your baby looks like this week.
Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby’s development.
Over the last 5 weeks I’ve made some new friends. These are friends that I probably wouldn’t have connected with if it weren’t for twitter.
Denise Brown aka @dmocha1223. She also writes a blog about her experience having a baby 10 weeks early Sunshine Pod 22
Ava Baby’s is a darling online store that saw my preemie clothes post and responded with her website Ava Baby\’s This darling Grandmother started the store as her way to give back.
TodaysPreemie provides information about preemies and micro preemies http://www.todayspreemie.com/blog also runs a store at http://www.ecobabychicorganics.com/servlet/StoreFront
Other great support has come from @TheMandalyn, TheBabyGuyNYC, , amommyinthecity among others.
When I wanted some reading material for preemies I tweeted what people would recommend and was put in contact with:
Keep ‘Em Kooking great information on their website http://www.KeepEmCookin.com/
and DrJenGunter author of the Preemie Primer.
There are dozens of others that have send out positive vibes and provided emotional support over these last 5 weeks. Thank you everyone for helping us get to 33 weeks!
Thank you for blessing my life with your kind words of encouragement.
Dear family and friends,
Thank you for all your prayers, meals, books and support this past week. The outpouring of love has been a strength that has carried us out of doubt and fear to a place where we feel calm and comforted.
Our son has been giving his sister strong instructions, “Baby girl, stay inside and keep cooking”. Looks like she’s listening.
Good news – Our doctor visit yesterday with the Maternal Fetal Medicine went well. Baby girl is stable and the cervical length is unchanged. Wahoo! She looked very cozy during our ultrasound and we even got to see her in 3-D, her little arm is resting under her chin just like how her mama sleeps (attached). We think she looks like her big brother.
After the ultrasound we were then admitted to the hospital for monitoring: to check for contractions and be given a steriod shot for her lungs. Besides a sudden need to play baseball, both the baby and I are fine. There were no contractions. We had originally thought I’d have to stay there for 48 hours for monitoring while they administered the shots, but we were there for about 2 hours and then I will go back this afternoon.
Moving forward – We will go back in two weeks for another check and continue with doctor visits every one to two weeks. The doctors have been very helpful and informative this time and we feel they are communicating and working with us on a game plan.
It looks like she will very likely come early. So at least Jonah will be happy to not have to share his birthday. We would like to get to 36 weeks but are shooting for 34 weeks, which is 5 weeks away. I will continue on bed rest for the next 5-11 weeks.
Please continue to pray for our family and keep us in your thoughts.
Thank you for your love and support,
Jon, Kathy, J and Baby Girl
Baby Girl Dalon 3-D
Hi Friends, I’m starting two lists of must haves:
1. Bed Rest Must Haves and 2. Preparing for Preemie.
I’d love any feedback on things that helped you survive bed rest and how you prepared for a preemie.
I am alive.
In case you were wondering why on earth I haven’t blogged in almost a month, we’re expecting number two and I’ve been sick as a dog.
Please forgive me.