I am now in my 36th week of pregnancy with a healthy little girl who will be our fourth daughter. And it's getting pretty hard to be pregnant. Even though I have stayed in pretty good shape through running, then jogging, then walking combined with aerobics and pilates - and I actually feel better than I ever have during a pregnancy, I'm tired. Emotionally, physically, and every other way imaginable this pregnancy is taking a toll on me. By the end of the day I am one giant fluid filled ball with an aching feet and back. My stomach, which has not fit into my short midsection for some time now, is completely filled to the brim with this little girl. I expect a large one but would be happily surprised with a peanut as well. Our first daughter was 8 1/2 lb at 39 weeks, the second 7lb on the dot and the third was a whopping 8lb 14oz at 39 weeks and with that little girl I weighed 25lb less than I had with either of her sisters, so who knows what'll pop out this time.
With every desperate thought of birthing this baby now rather than later the comparisons and guilt creep in. I know there are others out there who think "suck it up, at least your baby is healthy" and I know this because I've been there, I've had those thoughts. I also compare myself to people I know who have had much more difficult and painful pregnancies than I have and whose babies were also healthy. I sit in a much much better place than so many other women but those realities do not squelch the comparisons or guilt. I feel like my body can take no more, yet I know it can and probably has before. More importantly, I know all too well how worth it this will be in the end. I will appreciate this little girl's birth more than I would have were it not for our son Eli's birth and death last year. The birth of three beautifully healthy little girls had lulled me into a false sense of security and dulled the overwhelming fears that surround a subsequent pregnancy.
Yet even though I "get it", the sheer exhaustion is getting to me. Jokingly I have told this little one that I'm sure I will fall head over heels in love with her once she's born but right now I don't like her very much. I had hoped to pass this last trial of pregnancy with a little more grace than that.