35 DAYS TO GO.
Yes, I realize that means 35 days until my due date - which may very well pass on by with no on-time baby. The 35 days is just a rough estimate, and really it could be a bit later than that (or a bit earlier!!!), but still. 35 DAYS. At my last appointment, my doctor told me that from now on, if I go into labor, they won't do anything to stop it. I don't expect to go early, but basically, we're on Baby Girl's schedule now - it's all up to her!
I feel like things are really flying by now. I had expected February to be a very slow month, with me being very impatient to get to March. I honestly expected this month to creep by at a snail's pace. Not the case, my friends. February is FLYING. Seriously, five weeks left? How did we get here already? And I don't think we're going to slow down anytime soon - my life is full of to-do lists, projects to finish, phone calls to make, arrangements to get in order, things to organize. This week we have our hospital tour tonight (after touring three others early in pregnancy we're finally going to see the one where we'll actually deliver!), a doctor's appointment tomorrow (I'm going weekly now!), and I have a prenatal massage on Friday (no complaining there). Next weekend will be our last "free" weekend before we start a series of prenatal meetings with our doula on Sundays. We have our next/final ultrasound scheduled (March 8!) and I have all my weekly doctor visits scheduled through the end. Seriously, FIVE WEEKS LEFT?
So let's do a more thorough update, shall we?
- First of all, this is me at 35 weeks pregnant, oh-so-proudly smuggling my basketball:
I'm just very round.
- Houston, we have an outie. My innie belly button and I had a good run, but those days are officially behind us now. RIP, innie.
- I'm starting to get lots of comments, particularly at work. "Oh, you must be just about ready!" "Another month?! Are you sure it's not twins?" etc. Honestly, the attention makes me a little uncomfortable.
- I'm also starting to get pretty physically uncomfortable. I feel big and waddle-y and unwieldy. As a general rule, I'm tired, swollen and sore. I don't sleep well most nights, thanks to acid reflux (I sleep with 3-5 pillows behind my head every night, no joke), very regular bathroom visits and sore hips/back. My feet are swollen by the end of the day, and my wedding rings have been replaced by a larger cheap band from Target thanks to my swelling fingers. I just feel BIG. Honestly, I'm afraid that by five weeks from now, I'll be falling over forwards if this belly keeps getting bigger. Where is this child going to go?!
- My larger size makes it pretty difficult to bend down and pick things up off the floor. As that has been getting more challenging, I seem to also be getting clumsier and dropping more things. Oh, sweet irony! That means that I spend a lot of time watching things fall to the floor and cursing under my breath.
- Riding public transportation and seeing who will or will not offer an 8-months-pregnant woman a seat on the train continues to be a rather interesting social experiment.
- This child has now perfected the art of both being all up in my ribs and on my bladder at the same time. For a while, it was just one or the other at a time, but now she's really going to town in there. And yes, she's still in my ribs, which means I still can't breathe very well. Honestly, I feel like I haven't taken a good, solid, deep breath in about three months.
- She really is an active little thing. I love to sit and watch my belly roll from side to side as she moves, and feel her little extremities sticking out all over the place. Sometimes she's downright violent and it can hurt a little bit, but it's also the coolest feeling ever in the whole wide world, so I certainly can't complain about that! My most favorite time to feel her move is in the mornings, when I am just waking up but not out of bed yet. She seems to wake up along with me and I always just say, "good morning, baby!" and it's a great way to start the day - it (almost) makes me forget all about the lack of sleep from the night before.
- Eric and I have been trying to interact with her more. Eric has started reading to her in the evenings so she can learn his voice, and she LOVES IT. The very first time he read to her, she moved right over to my right side, where he was sitting. You could see the huge lump in my belly as she scooted over closer to her dad. And every time since then, she may be still and sleeping when he starts reading, but as soon as he gets going she starts wiggling all over the place. She really only responds like that to Eric reading, or to Darren Criss singing. The girl has good taste in men, I'll say that.
- I have started singing to her a little bit myself. I'm not sure how she feels about that, but I know the dog doesn't care much for it.
- Speaking of the dog, he HAS been kicked by his sister now. He wasn't sure what to think!
- I have four weeks left of work (unless Baby has other plans). I think one of my more recent pregnancy symptoms is irritability (particularly at work), so I'm pretty ready to call it quits!
- We've been doing lots of work on the "nursery" to get her space ready for her, but I'll have to share all the details of that later when it's complete enough to share pictures.
- We've also been doing a lot of other stuff to get ready for her - reading, talking, planning, practicing relaxation techniques for labor/birth, etc. This past weekend we also took a Newborn Care and a Breastfeeding class, so now I feel at least slightly more prepared. At the very least, I can rest assured that our baby will be well-swaddled because Eric is an excellent swaddler.
Practicing bottle feeding!
- I think we officially have a name!!! Her first name has been decided for some time now, but her middle name was giving us trouble. I think we have settled on something now, which is such a relief. I'm still keeping it quiet until she's born, though, so this bullet point is just one big tease!
- I'm just really, really excited. As crazy as it sounds, I am actually even excited about labor and giving birth - I'm trying to just approach it as a physical challenge, and I'm really eager for the end result. I can't wait to meet this little girl, and hold her, and feed her, and cuddle her and kiss her. I can't wait to call her by name and tell her I love her. I can't wait to see her interact with Eric, who is going to be such an incredible father. I can't wait to show her the world and introduce her to the rest of her family. I'm just EXCITED.
So that's where we are now. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to share pictures of the "nursery," and you know I'll be sharing ultrasound pictures after our appointment on March 8th. And then, we wait!
In other baby news: A big congratulations to my cousin Erin and her husband Brian on the birth of their second child, a beautiful baby girl, born in the wee hours of the morning (in a snowstorm and power outage, no less!) on February 20! Erin is amazing and we're so excited to welcome the new little one into the family! Congratulations to them!