Tuesday, March 20, 2012

35 weeks

"Is it over yet? Was that the baby that just fell out of me? No, it's not lady-like, but I can't close my legs. I think it would be genius to install an Ameriglide on our staircase." Yes, I've entered the long, uncomfortable phase of pregnancy: the end. The end is everything other women warn you it is—exhausting, achy, swollen, full of impatience, hormonal. But, at the same time, it's pretty exciting. And that excitement is contagious. Suddenly everyone that walks past you seems to be staring and smiling at your enormous belly, strangers ask you how much longer you have to wait, the people around you seem to bubble with joy at the thought of meeting your child. Everyone wants to talk baby. It's a magical time (if you can get past the bowling ball pushing on your vagina). 

I had my first false alarm last week. It was after a long, stressful day (at a funeral) and I had been worried the whole time that the intensity of the day would kickstart labor. Everyone kept mentioning the possibility too, which didn't help my anxiety. Then there was the moment when one of my zany relatives threw a glass of water on the floor in between my legs and shouted "Oh my god, did your water just break?" Hilarious. But, by the time my 14-hour day was coming to an end, and I was literally discussing labor with some female relatives, it happened: my first moment of "Oh sh*t! Is this happening?" I've been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for the entire second half of my pregnancy. That whole "first time mothers might not feel them" thing did not apply to me. I have them constantly, all day, non-stop. I'm told this is a good thing, my uterus is mighty prepared and toned now. But, on this night it was a painful contraction. My legs went weak, my body temperature soared so high I was pulling off layers, I was panicked. 

It turned out to be a great time to experience my first false alarm, though. I had wonderful women around me, women who had read and followed the advice of the amazing Ina May book I'm always recommending. They coached me through it, made me breathe. False alarms are a good thing. They prepare you. That's what I realized. I'd hate to have that moment of panic be the real thing. Now, I feel better prepared to ease into it when the time comes.

Aside from my obsession with labor, the fascinating part of pregnancy right now is that the jabs and movements in my belly are more recognizable as body parts. I've got a tactile little creature inside me whose tiny fingers are always poking, petting, and grabbing at the world around them. Alex loves that he can "hold her hand" and spends at least an hour a day poking her hand and feeling her poke his back. It's amazing how responsive baby girl is to voices and touch. You can honestly play with her already. And as is the case with most babies/children, she's easily riled up by her daddy and more playful when she hears his voice.

On the nursery front, I've finally begun making some art for baby girl's room, so I'll be sure to share that later this week. It feels good to be painting again! It's a great way to make the time pass a little faster.

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