HELLO, NORAH.

THOUGH SHE BE BUT LITTLE, SHE IS FIERCE.

#15 // Getting Closer

Our StoryJoanna ZuidemaComment

Another great week of appointments down. Thank you, God.

Norah is doing great, still as spunky as ever. She continues to make sonographers work for it every time we have a biophysical and never gives them 100% of what they're looking for, but she is incredibly strong — kicking and punching me all day long. She's been sitting pretty comfortably head down for the past few weeks, so I'm starting to be able to connect what I'm feeling with what she may be doing with a little more accuracy.

I'm half a step from being officially diagnosed with whitecoat syndrome – a phenomenon where my blood pressure is high only in a clinical setting. Every nurse I've had understands when I explain my appointment anxiety caused by Norah's deceleration at one of the earlier testing appointments. This doesn't make it any easier for them though, as they're watching me very closely for signs of preeclampsia. I don't have any other symptoms associated with preeclampsia or high blood pressure, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm fine. I might just have check my blood pressure at Walgreens or CVS once in a while to verify. 

Apparently, I was also having contractions during the non-stress test yesterday, but none that I could feel. This is evidently normal for how far along I am.

Can the whole thing be like this please? Oh, I'm in labor? Thanks for letting me know.

Pregnancy blows my mind a little bit; my uterus is prepping itself for birth – getting stronger with each of these practice contractions — all without my knowledge or active participation.

I'm slowly becoming better able to give these appointments to God. It's incredibly difficult, and clearly my subconscious still has its reservations, but baby steps are still progress.

One of the items on our to-do list – Norah's prayer quilt. (Each grey square will have notes and prayers to her from loved ones)

One of the items on our to-do list – Norah's prayer quilt. (Each grey square will have notes and prayers to her from loved ones)

Tomorrow I'll be 36 weeks pregnant. 

One week away from being out of the 'preemie' zone.

One week, guys.

We're finding these weeks to be a unique combination of both passing quickly and crawling by.

Mornings can't come fast enough; each day brings us closer to that full-term mark. Norah grows a little bigger, a little stronger, and little more prepared for her transition earthside every single day. Each sunrise brings with it the hope of avoiding adding 'prematurity' to her medical laundry list.

But each time we hit those weekly markers, there's a mix of excitement and fear. They are huge milestones to be celebrated for sure, but they are also reminders that the time we have with Norah residing safely in my belly is not, in fact, infinite. As much as I would like to imagine our sweet girl hanging out with me for the rest of my days, pregnancy doesn't last forever. The reality of birth and meeting our daughter sinks in more and more with each passing week.

The reality of our to-do list on the other hand... #Denial. 

We're wrapping up our childbirth education class, finalizing birth plans with the doula, packing hospital bags, and having baby showers now. Dishes and laundry have been relegated to an 'only when absolutely necessary' position, and quick yet nutrient-dense, healthy meals have become the name of the game. (Thank you Ninja blender, Amazon Prime, and grocery delivery). Vacuuming? Cleaning the bathroom? We don't have time for such luxuries.

So, if any of you come to visit — be prepared — LIFE is happening in this house.