Maybe January feels like the longest month because everything slows down after the holidays. After vacation mode, family visits, running around and gift giving and receiving all through November and December - January settles in and settles down. Everything settles down and time slooowwwwws dowwwwwn.
Or maybe everything has slowed down for me because I am now deep into the third trimester. My sleep is compromised (laying on my side kills my hips, she is pushing on my bladder leading to 4-6 bathroom trips a night, and insomnia tends to find me around 3am); lower back pain creeps in every time I stand up after sitting for more than 20 minutes; and the most scary pregnancy symptom these days is difficulty breathing.
It's not really that breathing is hard, per say, but it feels like I can't breathe as big or deep as I normally do- it feels like I'm not getting as much air as I want. Apparently this symptom is normal in the third trimester of pregnancy- but it is quite strange to experience, especially as a person who practices yoga, meditation and deep breathing. My big baby and big uterus is apparently pushing up on my diaphragm and lungs, which is not allowing me to take in as much air into my lungs. According to everything I've read, however, it is not a reason to worry- this body of mine is doing amazing things for the little baby body inside
"At the same time that your lung capacity decreases due to the physical constraint of a growing uterus, the respiratory center in the brain is stimulated by progesterone (a hormone released during pregnancy) to get you to take slower breaths. Although each breath may bring in less air, the air stays in the lungs longer so you extract the oxygen you and your baby need. Your body also expands your blood volume during the pregnancy to make sure your baby is also getting enough oxygen." - http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/third-trimester-shortness-breath-edema#1
Because I know this feeling of shallow breaths seems to hit me several times a day now, I plan to take those moments of noticing to focus and be mindful. Each time I notice my breath feels shallow I will set my intention on purpose and breath deep sending breath and love to little baby - breathe and love (like the tattoo I got 5 years ago) it all comes full circle.
Although this month has been long and slow, so many wonderful things happened and as January comes to a close, I am grateful for the pace and the push to slow down myself and to remember that each day is precious.
We're getting closer to the end of our pregnancy and nearer to meeting our little baby girl - the last 6-7 weeks before our lives change forever. Everyone says nothing will prepare you for how your world will change- and I know that to be true. Until then, Kevin and I will be headed to our babymoon (next weekend!), enjoying "us time" and date nights, taking birth preparation class, "nesting" and some other less fun things (like dealing with termite fumigation).
All we can do to prepare and then even after she arrives is to be mindful, patient and breathe and love over and over every single day.