Apparently 37 weeks is the one where you almost dislocate your shoulder trying to put your underwear on. Sorry for the mental image this is undoubtedly about to create in your mind, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to step into any article of clothing these days and instead have to make a big production every morning of sitting down to get dressed. I remember Sarah Brown once saying that the best advice her mother ever gave her was to never let a man see you put on tights, and I am beginning to suspect that if you are pregnant, perhaps this holds true for everything. Try putting a bowling ball into a backpack, strapping it around your stomach and then pulling on your fresh-from-the-dryer maternity leggings, is all I'm saying. For extra credit—and by "extra credit," I really mean one of those other circles of hell that Dante didn't even get around to discovering—do this in front of the full-length mirror in your bedroom. During a heatwave.
37 weeks has brought with it a lot of super fun things, like Braxton-Hicks contractions that are actually starting to be vaguely painful—as opposed to just there—and are possibly giving me just the merest sliver of insight into what actual contractions will be like. These are mostly brought about by physical activity, like today when I decided that I was feeling spry enough to tackle the 17-block walk from my bus stop back to my house, only to make it nine and realize that I needed to jump on the nearest MUNI for the remainder because I was starting to limp. For a block or so, I thought this is ridiculous, wasn't there that woman who ran a marathon at nine months pregnant? and some sort of weird competition with this unknown woman almost kept me going, but then a MUNI train pulled up alongside me and so I got on that instead because don't be a hero, you know? So you can't put your pants on from a standing position anymore and you can't walk ten minutes without clutching your spasming midsection in alarm? Well, that's just 37 weeks pregnant for you, I'm afraid. Go home and lie on the couch and watch a Love It Or List It marathon while half-googling nursing bras. There you go. Much better.
While you will be pleased to know that the back pain that has plagued me since 32 weeks is now a lot better thanks to my visits to the chiropractor, which means I'm sleeping much more comfortably and am only waking up two or three times a night as opposed to five or six, 37 weeks seems to have brought with it a few other treasures, including an extreme ratcheting up of my emotions—a few nights ago, I had a dream that I saw my mother on the street and asked her if she wanted to do something and she started walking really fast away from me, which made me burst into tears in the dream, only to wake up in real life and find that I was ACTUALLY CRYING FOR REAL—and a sharp uptick in the number of "pregnancy brain" moments I've continued to have, up to and including:
a) Changing the bed covers and throwing the sheet into the garbage can instead of the laundry hamper.
b) Swearing up and down that the rice cooker was broken, oh my god this stupid rice cooker, ugh I hate this rice cooker, why did we buy this piece of shit rice cooker, only to have Sean gently lean over and press the ON button and then wisely walk away without saying a word.
c) Freaking out that the changing pad cover I'd bought had a hole in it and then calling up Amazon and politely requesting that they send me a new changing pad cover without a hole in it, please. The new changing pad cover came a few days later, at which point I was aghast to discover that it too had a hole in it, WHAT ARE THE ODDS, except..... oh wait, I guess maybe these things are supposed to have holes in them? To put the little strap through? Huh. Yeah.
So now that I've officially reached full-term, the hospital bag is packed, the baby's clothes are all washed and put away—have you ever known such satisfaction as that which comes with ORGANIZING A DIAPER DRAWER? Oh, it's positively glorious, I tell you, especially if you have those little fabric compartments from Ikea—and everyone at work is under a sort of vague and tacit agreement that I may not actually show up for work the next morning, in which case they should start to obsessively monitor their Facebook feeds for news. I have started turning down meetings in early August with a breezy "sorry, I'll be on maternity leave!"—a very strange feeling, I have to say—and yesterday I bought some yogurts that expire on July 30th and I idly thought, while waiting in the checkout line, oh wow, I will probably have a baby before these yogurts expire.
Look, I know it's not exactly the most deep and meaningful realization, but still, what? WHAT? Whoa.
(PS: Just in case he comes late, I also bought some half and half at the grocery store today and that expires August 12th, and I allowed myself to have the same thought, because come on, August 12th, are you kidding me.)