Spacefem's Weekly Wikipedia Pregnancy Blog: 38 weeks pregnant

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This week's articles

Month Week Day Article
8 38W,0D 266Mary Cronk
8 38W,1D 267Witch hazel (astringent)
8 38W,2D 268Postnatal
8 38W,3D 269Ventouse
8 38W,4D 270Birthing ball
8 38W,5D 271Frontier Nursing Service
8 38W,6D 272Postterm pregnancy

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Husband conversation of the week:

Him: What's the matter?
Me: My tummy just... itches. It's okay, I read it's kind of normal, it's just annoying.
Him: What causes it?
Me: Skin stretching, probably. I'm not really sure.

Him: I hope you're not allergic to the baby.

Witch hazel is on the list to bring me into the topic of postpartum recovery. It's great stuff, and easy to find. Just go buy yourself some Tucks pads now to relieve any soreness and swelling after you get home from the hospital.

I did not want to think about postpartum recovery. Who does? It's like thinking about getting in a fight, or getting in a car accident. I was afraid.

But that's not a great way to think of it. I mean yes, I was in pain for a few weeks, but failure to prepare just made it worse. I was embarrassed to ask my husband to go buy me the stool softeners the hospital recommended, I didn't think I'd really need to fill that prescription for 800mg ibuprofen tablets.

And the WORST THING: I wore the same cheap Always menstrual pads for ten days straight, even though I'm not usually a disposable pads girl, and got a horrible rash from hell all up on my leg pits that lasted weeks. Why didn't I treat myself to cushy new cloth pads? Or buy the swanky organic natural pads? Something, anything! I had to go to war on that rash... on top of caring for a newborn, I had to bathe three times a day with mild soap before treating my irritating skin with diaper rash cream... which we had on hand, thank God, because we had everything for the baby. Just not for me.

I shouldn't have lived in fear of my future, I should have thought of it more like... finals week in college! On one hand I never looked forward to finals week, it's not something I'd willingly put myself through. On the other hand, I felt like it gave me the right to hunker down, prepare, have the good snacks on hand. Wash my comfiest sweats! Make hot cocoa! Pamper myself.

So that's my advice to you. In all the baby prep, do not forget about yourself. Tell your husband in advance that he will be required to clean the bathtub every day so you can soak. Buy some colace. Have a nice hot pad, and maybe even a cold pack in the freezer.

Having a baby is not the most painful thing ever, but recovery does take it out of you, and you can be prepared.

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