Full disclosure: I just spent 10 minutes staring blankly at my calendar, trying to remember how many weeks pregnant I am, at this exact moment. My apps say I'm 33 weeks (which sounds right?) but my calendar says "34 weeks" on Friday, September 4. My iPhone calendar also says 34.
My mental gymnastics came to a halt when I realized that, months ago, when I was putting these dates everywhere, I skipped "29 weeks" on all of my calendars. Thank goodness for baby apps. I'm a mess.
I started to feel nervous at 32 weeks because 32 weeks means... it's real. It's coming. The baby has to come out. I think in most cases, this is pretty nerve-wracking. The most anxiety-inducing piece, at least for me, is not knowing when it's going to happen. What if I'm at work? What if I'm in my new car? What if I'm in a store?
At 33 weeks, I started to feel a minor, unending panic set in. It was the kind of panic that didn't really go away, that just kind of hovered around the edge of all my thoughts. I got really anxious about how clean the house is, shampooing my carpet, showing Danny how to do really basic tasks. This is nesting, that flighty thing you hear about and think you're going through... until it actually, really hits and you realize it's not just "oh I want to buy baby clothes" but a weird form of anxiety-induced cleanliness and obsession. It's like when I used to binge clean my house after watching Hoarders and just as unpleasant feeling.
The weirdest part is being in single digits of weeks left. For the longest time, October has been beyond the horizon. In February, October seems lightyears away. Even in July or August, October still feels like a sprint: you still have so much time when you have 20 or 15 or 12 weeks. 7 weeks feels very short. 7 weeks used to be the time from the start of one break to another when I was in college. I have 7 weeks of being unable to put on my own socks, shave my own legs, or paint my own toenails. 7 more weeks of insomnia, of sleeping with a Breathe Right strip on just to see if it helps, of wearing a carpal tunnel brace to help my wrist stop hurting. 7 more weeks of being unable to reach into the washing machine, of a small human being kicking my bladder from the inside, of heartburn so intense it wakes me up despite having taken a Unisom. 7 more weeks and I will have a baby.
But then I remember that, in comparison to other people, those 7 weeks probably won't be too difficult, if my life at 33 weeks is any indication. Already, 10 women in my Facebook due date group have: 1) had emergency inductions to have their babies due to health trauma or 2) been put on bed rest due to extreme pregnancy symptoms (such as sciatica pain so bad they can't stand). At 33 weeks, I am occasionally uncomfortable, but rarely so much that I can't stand it (except when my hands swell at work or I forget my carpal tunnel brace somewhere). I'm sleeping decently, if not as much as I would like, and I don't need to prop myself up anymore. My back pain has gotten better. The only problem I have, really, is the mental fatigue: the exhaustion of making it through the day, of staying motivated to complete tasks after completing 1 or 2 (isn't that good enough?), of staying alert without a nap or a break at work. I'm hungry all the time or I go all day without feeling hunger (thanks to a baby crushing my stomach). My feet swell up to twice their size some days, but other days, they stay slim and cold all day.
These problems are not really "problems", per say, and on the scale of awfulness, they are decidedly mild... but it can be mentally exhausting to have to decide to wear flats (what if my feet swell? What if they don't?) or slippers/boots just in case my feet do decide to puff up, to pack all the snacks I might eat during the day (or stare at in repulsion when the time to eat comes), to drag myself to work only to feel exhausted after an hour. It's tiring, mentally if not physically, to be tired all the time.
And despite all the anxiety, despite the sudden panic sometime at night that I have to have a baby, that unknown thing that has always seemed a little bit terrifying, I'm really ready. I'm just ready to be done, to have the baby, to see the baby, to hold the baby. I've been pregnant now and I'm pretty over it, so I just want the baby now, ok?
Only 7 weeks left. Thank goodness.