First and foremost, Baby is now roughly the size of a crenshaw melon. "What the crap is a crenshaw melon?" you might ask. I asked the same thing.
That is a crenshaw melon. Crenshaw melons apparently weigh about 6 pounds and are about 18 inches in length, which is, about the size of Baby. Rusty and I have pretty much stopped referring to the baby as "The Baby" and mostly just say "Baby" now. I think we may go ahead and just name Baby, "Baby" to prevent any confusion after birth.
According to Babycenter.com I am likely experiencing lightening and Braxton Hicks contractions. I say, heck to the yes I am.
We began our childbirth classes two weeks ago, and the teacherlady let us know that lightening was one of the symptoms we would likely encounter in late pregnancy. Being an avid reader and researcher of most things pregnancy related, I already knew that (annoying knowitall!) but despite knowing that and all the other symptoms of late pregnancy and imminent labor (or imminent doom, take your pick) I still didn't quite recognize it when it happened.
She said people would tell us that we looked different, they would probably squeal, "You've dropped! Gush gushy gush gush!" but in reality, the drop is only a few centimeters and is probably not that visible. I don't know what I think about that. All I know is, on Friday I felt different. Walking was even harder than it has been. I had to pee every five minutes instead of every twelve. I felt alot of pressure on my pelvis, and yet, I didn't even think of lightening. Rusty did though, he said I looked different. Then when Dr did a pelvic exam he confirmed it. Baby's head has definitely dropped.
When I got home from the appointment, I looked in the mirror and wouldn't you know it, I DO look different! Or maybe I am crazy and am making things up. Either way, I have experienced lightening, and while it's nice to breathe again I'm getting tired of all the peeing.
In another spectacular example of being dumb, for the past few weeks I thought that when my stomach got really hard, like as hard as a basketball, it was because the baby was moving in such a way that my muscles stretched out and got hard. Not until we started classes did I realize that I was actually having contractions. Totally normal and expected Braxton Hicks contractions, but contractions nonetheless. Crazy!
I think hearing Dr tell me that indeed my body is preparing for labor worked as a signal to my brain, a signal to go ahead and make me more uncomfortable. Before Friday I was mildly and sporadically uncomfortable. Now I am always mildly uncomfortable and sporadically in actual pain. My legs hurt, my butt hurts, my feet are swollen (no seriously. They are fat.), my groin and pelvis ache, my back aches and if I walk around too long my back yells and me for the next 4 hours. I waddle like a stinking duck. However, my belly button still does not stick out. It's flat and stretched, but it does not stick out.
Emotionally, I oscillate like a fan. One minute I'm dancing with impatience at how much longer I still have to wait, and the next I realize, "Holy moley, this baby could literally be here in a matter of weeks, or even (GASP!) days! I'm not ready! I don't have any diaper wipes! I don't have any preemie clothes! I don't have any baby wash or baby lotion! I only have 102 baby blankets and that is not the perfect number, the perfect number being 105! And what about the Dreft!!!!" So I freak out and think about packing the hospital bags, and then remember that I still need to go to Babies R Us and get another diaper bag, and until then there is no point in packing, so I am stuck in limbo.
But (and perhaps the most surprising part of all) when people ask me if I'm scared, I say no. And I mean it. Sure I tend to panic about the supply department in our house, but give me some chocolate and I'll forget about it faster than you can say 44 pounds. I know that we will survive without mattress pads or 105 baby blankets.
I have a love/hate relationship with the idea of labor. I'm not looking forward to it in a creepy "I love pain" kind of way, but I am looking forward to it. The classes have helped calm some fears and have certainly made me feel more prepared. I'm not crazy about the idea of spending hours and hours with a baby ripping up my insides and my delicate parts, but it's pretty incredible, the way my body works.
And parenthood? Mostly just excites the heck out of me. I get afraid sometimes and wonder what I'm getting myself into, what with the poop and the barf and the crying and the tantrums and all that. I worry that I will mess my kid up too. But alongside that worry, is the knowledge that we'll be fine. I'm looking forward to being a parent, and can you imagine the stories that you will get to read once this little devil is out in the real world and not cooped up somewhere between my bladder and my ribcage?
So, in short, I am puffy and I waddle. I freak out about blankets. I tend to flip between SUPERDUPER excited and sort of nervous. But mostly, I am just tired of waiting. And as an extra bonus, the camera has decided to work today, so I shall toss my dignity out the window and Reveal The Belly.
The Belly, Discreet and Covered
The Belly Uncensored!
The Faces of Horror as I See the Belly
The Face of Sadness as I See The Ever Expanding HipsButtThighs