38 weeks, 4 days

November 26th, 2010

I’ve said it more than once: I don’t do belly shots.

I’m grateful to have had two healthy pregnancies. I have seen too many friends and relatives struggle with infertility and grieve over ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages to ever take my relative ease in getting pregnant and carrying babies to term for granted. I think it’s amazing that my body is equipped, like all mothers’ bodies, to do such miraculous things as grow, birth, and nurse babies. I think a pregnant woman’s body can be beautiful, and I don’t mind other people’s weekly belly shots a bit.

That said, however, I will confess: I don’t take photos of my belly mostly because I don’t like being pregnant at all. It’s a means to an end for me. I don’t like feeling the baby moving around—it’s usually uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful. Maternity clothes annoy me beyond telling. It drives me crazy how absent-minded and butterfingered pregnancy makes me. And can we talk about how much I hate sleeping on my side? I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.

Before Troy and I were parents and people asked how many kids we wanted, I always said, “We’ll have one and see how that goes.” When Annalie was born, I remember thinking just minutes after, Yeah, I could do that again someday. Giving birth wasn’t exactly the most fun thing I’ve ever done, but I did it and when I was done I was proud of myself.

Breastfeeding wasn’t exactly a picnic at first. Annalie being a tiny preemie made it a challenge from the start. Added on top of that, she had a not-quite-right latch that went uncorrected so long that it affected my milk supply and led to weeks of pumping and using a supplemental nursing system which was just as fun as you might imagine. (No fun at all. I should blog all about that someday.) But I was determined to succeed, partly from stubbornness and partly because I am lazy and breastfeeding is so much less work than bottles, whether they’re used for pumped breastmilk or formula.

Eventually, we realized we were going to have to supplement the nursing with a few ounces of formula per day. I gladly said good-bye to the SNS and we reluctantly added one bottle-feeding to our day. It affected how often Annalie nursed each day exactly zero. She still nursed every hour or two, night and day, till she started eating solids a couple of months later. Then she cut out maybe one nursing session per day. She didn’t sleep through the night till she was 13 months old, and she continued nursing till just past her second birthday.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that although I don’t like being pregnant, I do appreciate other parts of having babies. Giving birth was painful but amazing. Breastfeeding was difficult at first but we stuck with it, found our groove, and I daresay we became experts at it. So although I have been grumping my way through this pregnancy and pointedly not taking weekly photos of my growing belly, I am looking forward to meeting our second daughter and enjoying her babyhood in a way I couldn’t with Annalie because this time I have experience under my belt.

Last night, as I passed by the mirror in our bedroom just before going to bed, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and the cozy-looking room beyond me. The one thing I really like about the strange color of our bedroom walls is how warm it looks in lamplight. I remembered this photo of Jen’s and grabbed my camera. Here’s hoping I won’t have many more opportunities to take photos like this one before we meet our baby girl.

38 weeks, 4 days

20 Responses to “38 weeks, 4 days”

  1. SAJ says:

    I love this shot. :)

  2. Melissa says:

    Bethany – this is beautiful! Praying everything goes well for you and that Baby Girl Actually is home soon! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Mrs. Wilson says:

    Oh, I LOVE it!!!!! The one you linked to of me is my favorite of that pregnancy, as I LOVE silhouetted figures. You look AMAZING, even though you probably feel ginormous and uncomfortable and BABY G WILL YOU JUST COME OUT ALREADY?!?!?!

    I’m glad you took a belly shot. I didn’t take any with Kaylie (I didn’t know people did such things) and I wish now that I had a profile pregnant photo of me with her.

    Happy Friday, my friend!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Just beautiful, B. Here’s to seeing that special girl very soon. Every time you or Brenda pop up in my feedreader I wonder if today will be the day!

  5. Mamma3Monkeys says:

    I had a nice comment all prepared and it disappeared. Oh well.

    I hear you on the SNS. All the sterilizing, pumping, scheduling, research, extra hours of lack of sleep and cuddles, wrong latch ons. It sucks! in my efforts to give it the best shot possible, I came across this awesome website that is so informative (like one of my twins had a breathing issue and I hadn’t a clue that her latch on position and fighting me so much was because she was nursing in a position that allowed her to breath and eat as she needed. She never did latch on.) http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/default.aspx

    I have a syndrom called Reynaud’s Phenomenom that I’ve been able to deal with in my hands and feet since it’s relatively mild – but my nipples were the worse! Even if they latched on properly, I would still blanch due to the slightest change in temperature and be in terrible pain. I didn’t even have to have a baby latched on wrong for it to happen. So there were a lot of confusing, on and off again, nights.

    Plus, there’s only so much you can do as the one directing the nursing – when the one with the latch on issue is the little pumpkin. It’s crazy that for some of us no matter what we do to make breastfeeding successful, things can still trip us up. At least we get an A for effort. :) I sincerely hope this time around everything goes smoothly!

    BTW, you are hilarious. I never knew someone to not like being pregnant. ever. Even with all the puking and even the twins elbows and knees everywhere, I still liked it. It’s just really interesting to know there are some out there that feel the way you do. :)

  6. Dana says:

    We couldn’t be more different when it comes to being pregnant. I loved it, the moving, kicking and all that and I showed off my belly to anyone who was interested. It’s after the baby comes that freaks me out, like “will I know what to do with this thing when it comes out?”

    Since I’ve been the lone person who has wanted that baby to stay in as long as possible to ensure that she’s all big and healthy, I will now back down and give the green light for her to come out. Not that she’s listening to her Aunt Dana but you never know.

  7. Katrina says:

    I think that is a really great shot!!! Fingers crossed that she comes out safely to meet us all sooner rather than later!!

  8. Carrie says:

    Beautiful picture! I’m right there with you. I hate being pregnant. Glad I don’t feel the need to do that again.

    I can’t wait for your little one to join us on the outside!

  9. Stephanie M says:

    Awesome alternative to the typical belly shot, and it definitely fits your personality. You don’t seem to want to be the one in the spotlight, but you don’t have to be seen in the spotlight to make a change in the picture.

    I hope you’ll be as comfortable as possible until Baby Girl is ready.

  10. Madge says:

    Love that shot! I didn’t take any belly shots with any of my pregnancies.

    The knowledge of the first really does help with the pleasure of the second. I can’t wait for this little one to get here so we can finally meet her.

  11. a chris says:

    I agree, this is an excellent pregnancy pic. I do not have any good side-on shots myself.

    I hear you on not being an enjoyer of pregnancy. It was all to get that girl baked and delivered safely! What I liked about feeling her move was that it showed me she was there and OK! But she dug into my ribs with one foot and did something to a nerve near the exit that made me double over in pain.

    I still sometimes remember explicitly that I don’t have to sleep on my left side, although it hasn’t mattered to anyone for two years.

  12. Christine says:

    That is a great picture. It’s good to have some sort of reminder, because it’s so hard to imagine yourself nine months pregnant later on.
    Sending you good vibes for her to come out soon. Come on, baby!

  13. Yara says:

    Love the shot. I vaguely recall being so done with being pregnant a time or two ; )
    Although I love how I look pregnant; it’s about the only time now clothes looks great on me. Yeah, diet & exercise would probably help when I’m not pregnant… but, that takes so much effort with 3 little kids around every single minute ; )

    Hope baby gets here soon & all goes smoothly this time <3

  14. Ashley says:

    Beautiful photo! Also, you are like my pregnancy twin! (Ok so probably not at all, but it’s what popped into my head) but I loathed being pregnant, for me it brought all sorts of health issues. I got frustrated with the movement, because I’d rather watch a baby squirm on a blanket or snuggle in my arms than stop on my bladder and tenderize my kidney’s with her heals. Breast feeding wasn’t much easier and I used an SNS for 6 months and then was so exhausted from feeding so often we went to bottles.

    I’m so glad this road is almost over for you and that she’ll be here in no time!

  15. Ali says:

    That shot is incredible!

    I didn’t take any pics because I felt like a big fat slob of a pregnant woman, and now I could kick myself. So at least you have one really great pic before your little one comes into the world. Congrats Bethany and I’m sure everything will go well, like you said, you are armed with knowledge/experience this time around.

  16. Mim says:

    I LOVE this! I’m one of those strange women who loves being pregnant and even enjoys giving birth. It was indeed the most empowering thing I’ve ever done- twice!

    Continued prayers for a healthy, easy delivery. Can’t wait to see pictures of the new girly and Annalie being a wonderful big sister.

  17. turkeylurker says:

    Great picture! I can’t wait to hear the news that you’re no longer pregnant. One thing I really like about the picture is the background, very reflective of a pregnant woman with the body pillow on the floor. Good luck on the next little bit, hopefully it’ll be short.

  18. leslie says:

    i’m so with you on the sleeping thing….i’m not a happy preggy either….
    the shot is amazing! i really love it and i think you’ll too (esp. in a few years when you’re done with kids:)

    have a great weekend and yeah for babies on the 27th

  19. JennyC.No3 says:

    I think you look amazing :) Great shot and God bless you all with the delivery!