31 Week Pregnancy Check-in {Baby #6}

On the one hand, it seems strange that I’m already in the 30′s of this pregnancy. On the other, it feels like I’ve been pregnant for at least a year already.  31 weeks

Pretty sure I’ve felt this way for the last 3 pregnancies, although the twins’ was different enough that each new stage was a bit of an adventure.

And, should the Lord bless us with any more kids, I have a feeling I will start feeling “done” with being pregnant earlier and earlier. And that, right there, folks, is how I really feel. Gimme all the babies! Just, could we hurry this pregnancy business along, please?

Of course, the second I think, “Man, oh man, I would have this kid rightthisverysecond if he were actually fully cooked”…

I remember labor.

And then, I’m all: hope you’re comfy in there, little dude, because Mama can’t deal with that yet. In fact, after 4 natural deliveries (which produced 5 kids because of the twins, obviously), I literally can’t think about the details of labor with any level of objectivity at all. It makes me queasy. And panicky.

In fact, I find it absolutely fascinating that God designed us so that, by the time we get to the end, we are so genuinely done, desperate to see our little sweetie, and full of “get-this-kid-out-of-me-NOW-I-don’t-care-what-it-takes” angst that we’re spazzing out, Cuba-Gooding-Jr.-style, hollering, “Show. me. the. PAIN!”

I posted something similar to this sentiment to Instagram/Facebook a while back (somewhere around 24 weeks, which was the first week that I started getting that whole: “Urgh. Can I please be done, already?” feeling).

I got some amens, some “you should not be wishing for a preemie baby” (totally not what I was saying), and perhaps most surprisingly of all, some: “I would give birth again in a heartbeat. It was AWESOME!”

(For some reason, I keep hearing Inigo Montoya saying: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means”).

Now, don’t get me wrong. My labors aren’t bad. They’re long. And frustrating. (Have you read the twins’ birth story?). But the really, truly excruciating part is “only” about 5 hours long, and I’ve yet to have any complications.

Those 5 hours, though. Those are the ones I have to mentally avoid.

Praise Jesus for squishy little babes that make it all worth it in the end, amen?

ANYWAY, so I guess that gives you a bit of an overview about my current mental state, which is a not-so-straightforward: ready (if he were ready)/not ready (even if he were).

As far as the rest…

Cravings: Other than carbonation, I really don’t have any of these.Not consistently. My food definitely develops a traffic jam somewhere in the region of my ribcage when I eat. Which, of course, means that I fill up quickly, only to feel hungry 20 minutes later. Which, of course, means that I’m munching on something small practically all day long.

Weight gain: No clue. I haven’t stepped on the scale since 27 weeks, and I don’t plan to (so grateful for a midwife who doesn’t make me a long as I’m growing). But I do feel like things have leveled out a bit after a big jump back in the early 20′s.

Exercise: I feel SO much better than I did a month ago. My round ligament pain (that searing burn that runs from your obliques down to your inner thighs on both sides) has eased up considerably, and I can pretty much pop right up from my bench when I’m doing chest press for BODYPUMP, even though my belly is bigger. I even tried some jump-moves in BODYCOMBAT last week and discovered that, outside of a sudden inspiration to invent Depends–the Exercise Version, I could actually get some air, and it felt fine (and looked absolutely ridiculously, I’m sure).

Pregnancy Side Effects: Midday exhaustion is my nemesis. Also, I’ve been battling more moodiness and “down-ness” than usual, but over all, the hormones are relatively tame. (Although…this is the first pregnancy that I’ve cried over spilled salad). I know I already said this, but the Collinsonia Root and MK-2 supplement I’m taking for the varicose veins in my right leg really do seem to make a difference. I didn’t take them for 3 straight days because I forgot to take them to Houston with us for my birthday, and by day 3, my leg was aching. Within two days of resuming the supplements, though, I felt great.

Energy: Totally depends on the day. But I wouldn’t mind having more than I do, pretty much all the time. (Not sure this has as much to do with pregnancy as homeschooling and chasing 2 toddlers who think that life is not worth living unless they change into a different outfit–doesn’t matter whose–14 times an hour).

And now we get to the part where I discuss pregnancy math: I’ve run into a whole rash of folks lately who do not understand the correlation between months and weeks in pregnancy. (Which, admittedly, can be a bit confusing). For example, I have an acquaintance who is due only a few days before I am. And yet, at 22 weeks, she called herself 6-months-pregnant. And then a few weeks ago, she mentioned being “almost 8 months.” Which was a real head-scratcher for me since we’re due at the same time, and I knew I had a few weeks to go until I even made it to 7 months.

Basically, the common misconception is that a month = 4 weeks. But that’s actually only true for the month of February (which is 28 days), which means that the other 11 months give you 2-3 “extra” days per month. Sounds like a throw-away, right? But when you multiply 2 X 9 (months of pregnancy), you get 18. Throw in January, March, May, August, July, October, and December, and you’ve potentially got another 7 “extra” days.  That’s 3 1/2 weeks of “extra” time you’re not even counting.

So, if you consider yourself 8 months pregnant when you’re 32 weeks along (because 32 weeks divided by 4 = 8), then you’re in for a bit of a surprise when 4 weeks later, you’ve still got 4 weeks to go!

No, you’re not pregnant for 10 months. Months just don’t generally happen to be exactly 28 weeks long, and those “extra” days add up in a sneaky way.

If you’ve made it this far into our math lesson today and are just burning to know (hi, all two of you that are still here!), since pregnancy is 9 full months, that makes each trimester right at 13 weeks and 3 days long. So…

13 weeks + 3 days = 3 months pregnant

26 weeks + 6 days = 6 months pregnant

31 weeks + 3 days = 7 months pregnant

35 weeks + 4 days = 8 months pregnant

40 weeks = 9 months

I could go into how, for 2 of those 40 weeks, you’re not even technically pregnant, but I think I’ve geeked out on you guys for long enough, so I’ll quit.

ANYhoo, the long and the short of it is that this little guy (and CHRISTMAS!) will be here before I even have time to process either, I’m sure, so I’m just trying to take this pregnancy/life one day at a time with Jesus by my side.

Which, yes, should be my plan all the time, pregnant or not.

Do you guys dread labor too? Do you go the epidural route? Home birth? Hospital all the way? C-section? While I go the home birth route and love it, I’m all for any choice that is the safest/best for each woman that is birthing her own baby. I have friends who want the epidural waiting in the parking lot of the hospital, some who do natural births in the hospital, some who do home-births, some who have planned C-sections. I even know a few folks who get a little bit of back pain and barely realize what’s going on before–hello!–the baby is crowning!(These folks and I cannot truly be friends; my jealousy is way too strong :) ).

Do you count by weeks or months? Or just not worry about it all? In a completely myopic episode of everyone-must-think-like-I-do, I was genuinely shocked one day when I discovered that some people don’t have much of a clue how far along they are and don’t bother about it. (Seems smart, in a lot of ways, but I can’t seem to turn my mental weeks-pregnant calculator off).

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24 thoughts on “31 Week Pregnancy Check-in {Baby #6}

  1. I have three rugrats and had them three different ways. The reason I don’t have a fourth – and don’t plan to – is that they haven’t INVENTED a fourth option for delivery yet. I’m waiting for the beam em Scottie version, but so far, no luck. Anyway, with #1 I had planned a home birth. This was fifteen years ago (good grief, I got old when I wasn’t looking) but she was stubbornly breach, and I ended up with a planned C. With #2 I was determined to have a VBAC but since my doc was quite a bit less determined than I was, I ended up with an emergency C. With #3, I assumed there was no way on God’s green earth I could ever avoid another surgery, but with the help and education of a loving midwife, I somehow managed my first and only vaginal birth. I can’t say any of my experiences were the wonderful, beautiful stories blogs are made of, but they are all here, safe and sound. :)

  2. 31 weeks looks great on you!

    I don’t really dread labor, though by the end I start getting a little anxious remembering the PAIN. I just try to remind myself that it’s temporary and I have no choice ;-) My last two births were water births, and the water really did help with the pain up until the end. When there is no help, just pushing.

    And as far as weeks or months, I go by weeks because, yeah, the whole figuring out which month I actually am is too difficult for my already-too-exhausted-mommy-brain.

  3. YES, YES, YEEEEEESSSSS! The whole months-vs.-weeks thing, the whole NOOOOO DO NOT THINK ABOUT LABOR thing, the dreading the whole birth thing (I DO NOT read birth stories while expecting), the misery of labor and yet choosing to home birth and feel every twinge… did I write this??? This is me all the way!

  4. I have had my three babies naturally in a hospital, but it is a super natural labor/breastfeeding friendly hospital.
    My third was born 18 days ago and I dreaded labor from about 25 weeks, but hadn’t given it much thought until the end with my first two babies.

  5. I’m in the “barely feel a pain and then the baby’s crowning” camp. My labors have gotten shorter and shorter. My first labor was 5 hrs long, my last was 20 minutes. And they were twins. The midwife didn’t even make it. It was crazy. I’m actually nervous about being pregnant and laboring again because of how fast the last one was! (the twins are #’s 4 and 5 and are 6 months old.) I truly feel bad for other women who have it so rough and am embarrassed to even share my birth stories, so I usually keep quiet.

  6. I have done it all! I had two homebirths,one natural at the hospital and one c-section. I have to have all c-sections now. I will say with my last i was so relieved to not have to go through labor. I totally understand you feeling “done” with being pregnant. I think I must have a weaker mind than most woman when it comes to the end of pregnancies. I remember waking up in the morning and sitting on my bed and bawling because i was still pg and i wasnt even close to my scheduled date of c-section, which was earlier than my due date! Prayers for you and baby for a smooth and quick labor!

  7. I’ve always been a “count-the-weeks” kinda girl. At 37, I have no desire to count the weeks anymore… But I sure am happy to snuggle with someone else’s little bundle of goodness at any chance given. I miss those first 18 months of sweetness. Labour was different for me with each baby. #1 was induced – and I hated it. #2 was a-la-natural in hospital, and with only 2 hours and 15 mins from the first contraction to total delivery, I told my obstetrician that I’d do it again in a heart beat. #3 took about 6 hours of full on labour, but I’d started getting twinges a few hours (which was in the middle of the night) before that. The comparison was well noted. I hope you get a surprise this time around and have a short labour – because long labours suck.
    Enough of the epistle… I’m off to read what everyone else had to say!
    Sheree x0x

  8. I am 33 weeks with my second boy. I just came home from L&D at my hospital due to a nasty case of bronchitis. I hadn’t even thought about labor and birth this time around (besides daily praying that I’ll have my successful VBAC!) until I heard the screams coming from the next room. Total panic mode thinking “I’m SO NOT READY FOR THIS!” So, I totally get your ready/not ready.

    Also, I count in weeks. But a lot of people have surprisingly said” well, how many weeks is pregnancy?” So, at this point, I just tell people how many weeks I have left. It’s easier that way, I think.

  9. First 2 were hospital births; very first was 52 hours with an epidural, second was 51 hours no medication. Third baby was an AMAZING home birth that God totally provided for in the nick of time, and was only 26 hours long. We’re feeling done having babies, God willing, because I sure don’t want to be pregnant again any time soon and I’m still super sleep deprived!

  10. as a nurse, we were taught in OB that actually a pregnancy is 10 lunar months. a lunar month is 4 weeks exactly. it makes the figuring easier but who wants to think of being 10 months pregnant? i guess it all depends on how you want to figure the math:) i don’t like complicated math so i do all kinds of compligated games in my head to make it simpler.

    1. Martha, you’re totally right about the lunar months! But I’ve yet to meet an expectant mama who is thinking in lunar months when she says she’s 6 months along. She means that she only has 3 calendar months left. Which just isn’t true if she’s using lunar month math. : /

  11. I had a c-section with my first (not planned), a hospital vbac for my second, and a homebirth for my 3rd. Now I’m old and my body is broken so I think we are done but if God should surprise us I’d do homebirth all the way! Also as all my babies were at least 8 days ‘late’ I totally understand the ‘over it’ feeling. And lets not get started on the hip pain…. yay for squishy babies!

  12. I only have one kiddo (so far) but I had a natural birth at the hospital. I just met with my midwife yesterday and discussed which birthing centers she can attend a birth at because I’m over the whole natural birth at the hospital concept. Paying that much $$ for them to not really understand the natural birthing process… gross. ;) Although, I’m probably one of those women you’re groaning at. I am fully of the opinion (remember only one kid so far, we’ll see about the future) that I’d take labor & birth over 9 long months of pregnancy any day!

    1. Yeah, my first was natural in the hospital, and, while my nurse was great, I didn’t care for hospital beds. Or being poked. Or woken up. And I think I get more and more over labor AND pregnancy the more times I experience it. Like I said: just gimme the babies! :)

  13. My middle daughter is having a c-section on the 21st of this month! Another boy!!! She had major complications with her last baby and we almost lost both of them during labor…one of her problems is she has preeclampsia. You look like you have this baby stuff down my dear…you look amazing and I pray you have an easy, peasy birth with this little guy. <3

  14. I. LOVE. this. post. Your feelings on labor are EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking. Ugh. I’m 17 weeks with #5, and I have to strictly ban labor from my thoughts. I’ve had 4 home births (and a home miscarriage which was… like a birth). There have been some really long, tough ones, and a not-so-tough one (which was really great, but I hesitate to call it “easy”). And what is with the people who think giving birth is fun and great? I’d skip that part, I think, if i could.

    So glad to hear you’re getting a little relief from the varicose veins. Keep taking that stuff after the baby is born and you might actually be able to heal them up and not have so much trouble in the future. I know that MK-7 can actually heal veins.

    1. Yeah, the twins’ labor was my easiest by far, but I’m not expecting that again. Mostly, I’m just trying not to expect anything. That keeps me the least freaked out. :) And I do plan to continue the supplements. I would love heal these ugly suckers up!

  15. I’m at 34.5 weeks with my third and am having the exact same feelings as you! I’d like to be done being pregnant, but remembering natural childbirth more and more has me feeling not very excited for labour. And on top of it, my babies do. not. sleep. I’m talking being up every 20-30 minutes from 3 months to 18 months. I’m really not looking forward to that. BUT- I do get a wonderful little child out of the deal, so I guess it’s all worth it (once I’m not too sleep deprived to remember that).

    1. Oh goodness, Angela. The not-sleeping part sounds much worse than the labor part. Praying that this one gives you some rest, girl!

  16. Both mine came at 41.6 weeks so yeah I say I was pregnant 10 months :-) While my first labor was long and tiring, my pain tolerance seems to be fairly high as evidenced by the nap I took which freaked my midwife out thinking that labor had stalled! I was so confused when I woke up and they told me I needed to leave the birth center to go walk around and get labor started because they thought I wasn’t having contractions…then they checked me and found that yes I was which I could have told them!
    But my second had to be induced and after waiting and waiting for him to come with lots of contractions but no labor…I fully embraced each and every pitocin induced contraction and he was quickly pushed out after only 4 hours of labor. If I wasn’t so against induction I would almost prefer it because even though it was intense pain I wasn’t as exhausted as I was with my first 24 hour labor.

    1. My middle two both went to 42 weeks. (And the twins, at 39 weeks and 4 days, FELT like about 45 :) ). I feel your pain, girl.

  17. I am 33 weeks with my 3rd and in the exact same mental space as you! Physically I’m thinking, I’m done, I’m ready, let’s do this. But then I’m like, “Woah woah woah….that means labor. And then that means a baby.” I’m so excited to meet this little guy, but I also know that babies are as low-maintenance as they’ll ever be while in-utero, and i’m nervous about adding another to our brood! With both my kids, I was praying for labor to start, but then when it finally did, I felt complete and utter panic at what was ahead of me pain-wise. And I would have gladly remained pregnant for another few weeks. :)

    (As for counting time, I just do it by weeks because my brain is so mushy that I couldn’t begin to process the math you laid out up there!)

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