My mind has been a little consumed with baby prep here, and I’ve been terribly neglectful of the blog. And now that I am getting around to writing a post, you will just have to put up with another baby post since that is what is on my mind.
Overall the pregnancy has been going quite well with very little issues. But, it does occur to me sometimes that being pregnant is not easy. My energy level is low, I need a nap almost every day, and there is always something that hurts. But I really have very little to complain about and I love watching my belly grow and feeling the baby move, and I’m thankful that it has gone so smoothly. In fact, I’ve even almost completely avoided some issues that plagued me in other pregnancies, like lower back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. I occasionally wake with my lower back feeling iffy, but so far walking has worked to loosen everything back up again. And I am just now beginning to feel just a twinge of warning of carpal tunnel, but I’m hoping that the baby will come before that gets bad enough to be an all day thing.
Emotionally I am also doing very well. At the beginning of this pregnancy I became aware of the fact that I may be dealing with what is termed antepartum depression (or more specifically in my case, antepartum anxiety). This is similar to postpartum depression and anxiety, only it occurs during the pregnancy. I really didn’t know that was a specific thing until I had a panic attack during the first few weeks of pregnancy and started doing some research to figure out what was going on. As most of you know, I have always dealt with some level of postpartum depression/anxiety after each birth. Looking back I think I even dealt with a bit of anxiety during Will’s pregnancy as well, so this isn’t completely new to me. But it was a surprise and an eye opener for us when it happened.
After pregnancy I have relied on anti-depressants to help me get through the postpartum period. But after doing some research and seeking advice, we felt uncomfortable with using anti-depressants now, during the pregnancy, because of the potential side effects for the baby. So, knowing I needed a plan in place to make it through nine months without them, I began seeing a counselor once a week. Amazingly, just before we arrived in Germany the position of woman counselor was filled for TeachBeyond. I know she isn’t here just for me, but it has been a tremendous blessing to be able to have free weekly appointments with this godly woman who I can now also count as my friend.
I want to thank all of you have been praying specifically for this issue for me. It turned out that I had very little anxiety all through the second trimester, which is when we moved. I was surprised that the initial transition here was so easy, since I had anticipated it being quite hard. The third trimester brought back some of the initial struggles, but they have been for the most part quite manageable. And for some reason the last couple of weeks I’ve felt great. I do intend to start taking anti-depressants starting next week with the hope that I can get enough in my system to help me tread the waters of postpartum depression without feeling like I’m drowning those first few days. Over a short period of time, there is very little risk for the baby, but please pray extra protection for the baby during that time.
Monday marks 38 weeks in the pregnancy, which means according to the doctors I am definitely full-term. Anytime in the next 4 weeks is considered normal timing for the baby to arrive. I have tended to carry my pregnancies past the due date (except for Will who came 1 week before the due date), so we still probably have a few weeks, but we are trying to be ready. We bought a used crib from someone who is leaving Germany, and we have collected quite a few free things from people generous enough to pass on the baby things they are no longer using. We still have some organizing and packing for the hospital to do, but I am feeling that we are a bit closer to being prepared for this little one to arrive.
We are all (except Will, who claims he is dreading the baby’s arrival, though I’m not sure if I believe him or not) very excited. I am having a hard time picturing life with an infant as it has been a long time since we’ve lived that life, but I’m sure it will come back to me. I am also feeling excited to experience the birthing process here in Germany as I agree quite heartily with their philosophy of childbirth. I am missing my doctor and midwife at home though, as here there is not the same level of relationship built with your ob or in my case with the midwife as I have one to see me before and after but I’ll have just whoever happens to be on call deliver me in the hospital. But, as we tell our kids, different is not bad, it is just different. So I am taking one difference at a time and trying to learn what I can to be prepared for this huge life change coming our way.