Ahh the holiday season! Tis the season for so many fun times spent with those that we love. Now that everyone knew that I was pregnant and it was quite visible for all, it felt more real. People started doing nice things for the pregnant lady. And people started telling me that I shouldn’t be standing, lifting, or exerting any energy. Being a healthy, young, and active person, I didn’t really like being reminded of my limits.
We had planned to go to the ACC Championship game on December 6th. But, it was unusually cold and the idea of standing that long did not appeal to my pregnant body. Not to mention that I wasn’t exactly equipped for the cold weather. I bought a bigger pea-coat, but my nice layered ski jacket was a bit too small.
Being on-call was also starting to get a bit old. My nightly routine had long included at least one late night visit to the rest room, but now my bladder was getting even more squished. And so, I added a second nightly bathroom break during much of the third trimester. And if I was uncomfortable sleeping before, it only got worse as time went on. By now my nightly sleeping woes turned into rage when I looked over and found Doug fast asleep so easily. The nights of being on-call added additional nightly wake-ups followed by discomfort and frustration as I struggled to fall back to sleep.
Holiday parties and closing meant that the semester was coming to an end. I took my staff bowling and let me tell you that I am not a fan of bowling and I am generally not very good either. But there must be some sort of magic about being pregnant because I broke 100, a score which beat most of my staff. I also woke up with a sore left knee, so I guess it might have overdone it a bit! Walking up and down all of the stairs to close my buildings wasn’t too bad, but sitting in the car for 10 hours, now that was torture! It was so nice to be home with my family. Each week they got to see the weekly bump picture and watch as the bump grew bigger and bigger, but now they could finally see me in person. They could feel kicks and celebrate the excitement to come.
Christmas also held new meaning as I thought about the true meaning of the season. Full of hope for the future and many new memories to make as my child grows up. There would be so many holiday traditions to share and love to share with this little one.
The baby shower was held just after Christmas and my sisters did such an amazing job. I am not one for all of the attention during such events, but this one was different. It was part about me but more about this little person who no one had met yet. It is amazing how much everyone had to say about him/her already. I loved how my sisters asked everyone to fill out these forms that asked if LBD would be a boy or a girl and how he or she would take after me and Doug. The love and support for our friends and family was so overwhelmingly wonderful. The ladies enjoyed the shower and the guys had a “pool” party. In typical Schwartz fashion, once the guys returned, the party continued on and on!
New Years came and went, and I did have a small sip of champagne. We headed back to Davidson filled with anticipation and the reality that LBD would be here pretty soon. I was adamant about doing my fair share with my colleagues so I selected all of the early weeks for duty. It was a lot to do five weeks of duty but I found solace in knowing that they were my last weeks of duty EVER!
My Seminoles won the National Championship!!
The winter continued to carry on and graced us with two snow storms. The first left us with only a dusting. The other threatened ice and raised concerns about loss of power and limited transportation. And since we were in North Carolina, no one was prepared for the snow, mentally or physically. And by the way, I was on duty for this snowpocalypse! It wasn’t as bad as we thought. And I got to enjoy my first and final snow day! Doug, Stella, and I braved the cold and went out to enjoy the beauty of the freshly fallen snow. Campus was beautiful since no one had touched the snow as we ventured out. I did squeeze in to my ski jacket for the outing.
We took one more trip before LBD’s arrival. We went up to Richmond, Virginia to visit the Prevarski’s. We enjoyed delicious food and great company. We went to a museum and I quickly learned that I could no longer be on my feet as long as I thought. I was finally experiencing Braxton Hicks and when I did more that I should, they really flared up. Also, the drive was so long. I literally could not sit in one position for too long.
We did not prepare a nursery for LBD since we knew that we would be moving in July. You have no idea how many times people asked what color we were painting the nursery. We could have explained that we lived in a Residence Hall and that we were not painting or setting anything up or we could just smile and say green. It really just depended on how much I wanted to explain to a total stranger. We did wash everything in Dreft, which seriously smells like heaven. Just a side note, our bottle of Dreft said, “it’s a boy!”….. And we assembled and organized as much as we could in our small space. I guess you could call this nesting, but I think it was more like organizing.
This month we did our parenting classes. Infant CPR, parenting and childbirth were the classed that we chose. In all of our classes, we were always the only ones who were not finding out the sex. We also decided that we were the coolest parents in these classes. This might have been a biased assumption, but really, we are pretty cool. We learned lots of information in all of the classes. And I did feel a little bit more prepared after the childbirth class. The best exercise was when we made a birth plan. There were 25 double sided cards that we had to place in order of importance. Then we had to cut that list down to our top ten. Then top five. Then two of the cards had to be turned over to the opposite side than what we preferred. This exercise really helped Doug and I communicate what was most important and, in the event that I couldn’t verbalize these preferences, I knew that Doug would be able to do so.
I have always loved the Olympics, but there was something wonderful about being pregnant and watching the incredible athletes accomplish so much while I was just lucky to make it to the couch by the end of the day. When Doug and I weren’t watching the Olympics we were watching Friday Night Lights or House of Cards. I so loved our nights of watching episodes with a hot cup of tea.
My office threw me a beautiful shower. It was so kind and generous for them to think of us and to come together to celebrate LBD. As the people who saw me everyday, they were the ones who would update me on all of the observations that I would miss. According to them, from behind, I did not look pregnant and I never waddled!
Doug’s family hosted a digital baby shower from Grandma DeGroot’s home. It was fun to share all of the excitement via skype. They could see the bump and watch us open gifts since they all had them sent to us in North Carolina.
I started a project of recovering a glider, which ended up being a much more complicated project that I anticipated. Damn you bloggers! They made it seem so easy! After lots of planning and a few snafus, the glider was complete and it was so comfy!
By the end of the month, we started seeing Dr. Crosland each week. Everything was looking good. It was strange to think that LBD could arrive at any point in time. Our bags were packed and the to do lists were on the doors. This month seemed like the last one before reality set in. LBD was due in March and this was the last month that we could feel like all of the excitement and anticipation wasn’t just about to become real. In some ways, I was almost sad that things were coming to an end. I reflected back on our journey and the feeling that March would never get here back in July. And now it was almost here!
I would like to say that I was a joy and extremely pleasant during my entire pregnancy. But that was just was not the case at the end. I was so uncomfortable all the time. Either it was my bladder, my legs, my stomach, my breathing, the lack of sleep, or just the sheer lack of patients that I had in regards to talking about my pregnancy. At first the little flutter of kicks and movement were such a joyous experience. However, by the end, I was certain that LBD was either a soccer player or a boxer. I was being kicked and punched all the time. It was pretty crazy to see the movement from the outside, too. By the end, I was just completely over it. Just a word to the wise, if you should ever encounter a woman in the last month of her pregnancy: Just leave her alone and ask her what you can do for her. Do no ask her when she thinks that she will have this baby and by all means, do NOT ask her why she is still here. Oh yes, people asked me why I was still “here” every day. I often replied with a question about my physical location or whether they were asking in the existential sense. Either way, my sarcasm was all that I could muster in an effort to not punch them in the face. I will be here until I am not, thank you. I mean really, what was I going to do? Sit at home, doing nothing but waiting for LBD to make moves? I don’t think so! That would have driven me nuts! So I tolerated the ignorance and dragged myself to work each day.
March is also Doug’s birthday month. We celebrated by taking a long hike at a local state park. Some might find this a bit much for a women who was nine months pregnant, but really it wasn’t too bad. Doug and I had a great four mile loop that we did frequently around Davidson and through the Greenway trails. These walks are one of the things that I miss the most since we moved.
By the end I was willing to try every old wives tale in the book. Spicy food, raspberry tea, pineapple, bouncing on a ball, going for long walks, ect. Nothing worked! I tried and I waited. A full moon even came and went, yet no LBD. People began to say, “maybe you will have the baby today.” No such luck. I think I really scared Brian because he was not prepared for me to go into labor while I was in the office across from his. Anytime I made a complaint or a grimace, he quickly asked if he could do anything such as call 911.
LBD was rather stubborn about departing from his comfy home. My doctor let me go past my due date before she scheduled me to be induced. Oh and I soon realized that my due date or March 23rd was actually wrong…it was really the 21st. We did get to have a third ultrasound to make sure that LBD and my fluids looked ok. Everything was fine. It was during this ultrasound that Doug and I both agreed that the images looked like a boy.
So on March 26th, I worked my last day before my leave and we went to the hospital to have a baby.
From Me to You