It is the final countdown (cue Europe song). This marks week 36 and next Tuesday I will be considered full term. That means baby Magee could come at any time although I’m having daily pep talks with the honey dew (that’s it’s size now) and telling it not to come before my family can arrive. 40 weeks would be about perfect. I am on maternity leave from my flight attendant job because they won’t let you fly after 36 weeks and my last trip was out of Aspen. I gazed up at the same hill that inspired me to write about acceptance of the lemon in the fall and thought about how far I’d come since then. Everyone asks how I’m doing these days, and I must say I’m excited, scared, and happy all at once. My heartburn has subsided which I believe means the baby has dropped down lower. I’ve been taking naps because I sleep so horribly at night but I have no low back pain (thanks yoga!) and no more leg cramps or sciatica pain. I have been nauseated lately like the first trimester so I’m eating less but that’s just as well because my stomach is pretty much smashed up in my throat. Otherwise I can’t complain. No swollen ankles or face and I can still see my toes. I consider that winning.
|This past Sunday was our baby shower. The whole weekend was about getting ready for the baby and having one last hurrah with friends. My mom flew into town Thursday and helped us out so much. She took us shopping and we put together about 10 freezer meals for us to eat when family is gone, and we just can’t drag ourselves out of the house to get food. Friday was my friend Michelle’s 30th birthday party, and mom was a good enough sport to come with us and celebrate and enjoy some Hurricanes at the Mardi Gras themed bash.
My mom also took us to buy the things we most needed off our registry – a swing and a car seat and stroller. They won’t let you take a baby home from the hospital without a car seat so this was a pretty important purchase. Of course what I had registered for was the Chicco key fit but we ended up going with a Graco because of price and practicality. We could get the car seat and stroller combo for what the Chicco cost because the Graco was on sale. I tell you it felt weird picking out a stroller and envisioning what I’d be wheeling around the park but we are now prepared nonetheless.
The shower was what I had been most looking forward all weekend. My four friends did a wonderful job putting the day together for us. I had wanted a couples’ shower because I am on the less traditional side and didn’t really want to do the whole diaper cake, guess how big I am using a ribbon, guess the “poop” in the diaper type of thing. Basically I wanted my friends to come together and have a final celebration before the Magee’s become a party of three and that’s what it was.
One of my favorite things the girls did however was to ask guests in lieu of cards if they would give us children’s books and write their names and a message in there. It was so amazing to see all the books my friends had picked out and knowing the message inside will forever remind me of Sunday. Guests were asked not to wrap gifts because I didn’t want to open them in front of everyone but instead saved that moment for when I was at home and could really sit in the fullness of the day. And when we got home that’s exactly what Chad, my mom and I did. We opened the gifts at our dining room table, we read the cards and the notes and the poems and we spent time looking at each gift and acknowledging how blessed and full our lives really are.
When I moved out to Denver about 8 years ago I knew no one. I have truly built the life I now have from the ground up. In eight years I have met some wonderful people, and I finally feel I have my place in Denver. While my immediate family may not be here they are only a short plane ride away and for that I am grateful.
Some people ask me if I’m scared to give birth. I’m not scared. I am ready. I surrendered to this journey a long time ago, and it’s made the process easier. I can’t predict what the future will bring, but I feel as ready for it as one can be. Everything is done that can be done. All we do now is wait…
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About the Author: Natalie Magee writes a regular column for Happiness Series about what motherhood and beyond - from prenatal to postpartum. Her intention with her column, "Baby & Beyond - What No One Else Will Tell You" is to give practical advice and tips to the busy mom and mom-to-be. She also shares her experiences good, bad and ugly as a woman, wife, mom, flight attendant and fitness instructor. Natalie is also a regular fitness contributor on Happiness Series. She will continue to create great, effective workouts for anyone - including the busy moms out there - who wants to get fit and stay in shape.