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The Home Stretch

37 weeks and counting.

We are now down to literal DAYS before we greet this special little gal that is currently burrowed warmly inside my uterus. Amazing, really. Everything is ready. Clothes washed and put away, furniture built, bedding complete, glider rocker currently being broken in, cloth diapers at the ready. We wait for nothing, except baby girl.

What a journey it’s been….

While I would love to say it’s flown by, that’s not entirely true. Looking back, I can say that maybe it has at moments, but now that I’m on the verge of having my second child, I think it’s progressed about like I thought it would.

As for me, baby girl has ‘dropped’ into my pelvis, and perhaps the best news of all is that at our last appointment last week, we were treated to a special surprise. After weeks of being breech, baby girl made that big flip, and she’s now head down. To say that we were all shocked would be an understatement. The gasps in the exam room were audible. It was a sweet, sweet surprise. To see that beautiful round head presenting first was beyond awesome.

Locked and loaded

Locked and loaded

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to be able to have another vaginal delivery. I would have been fine with a cesarean section if she stayed breech, but now that she flipped, I am beyond giddy with the possibility of repeating what I did 15 years ago. More importantly, and perhaps selfishly enough, I am so happy that James will be able to experience a more natural birth experience. For a man who has waited many years to become a parent, I think this will be fantastic.

Let’s do this.

I’m ready. Technically, if labor were to start at this point, there would be no stopping. I’m keenly aware of this with contractions ramping up, becoming stronger, more powerful, yet still irregular (for now). The weight on my pelvis is real and heavy. Hips and back ache fiercely when I’m up and walking. My fingers resemble small Vienna sausages.

Of course, there are sensations and feelings I don’t quite recall from my last pregnancy, yet they are here, making their presence known.

I don’t remember anyone saying that your labia would resemble tumescent, gravid earthworms. Oh my.

The gas? Oh mercy. I can clear a room in seconds flat. If you don’t believe me, ask my husband.

The sweating. Jesus. I dimly recall feeling ‘warm’ during my last pregnancy, but this time? I am a fucking blast furnace turned on HIGH. I wake up soaking wet with sweat, thinking, “Am I in menopause?” only to look down and see my protruding, round belly, gravid with life.

The hormones. Last pregnancy, I don’t really recall these being any big deal. I wasn’t overly weepy, I wasn’t overly pissed. I was pretty even-keeled. This pregnancy? I cry at ASPCA commercials (well, maybe that’s a bad example. I think everyone does), or seeing a mother/daughter duo holding hands at the local car wash. And, ahem. Sex? Well, let’s just say there’s no problem there. I think at one point I was scaring my husband. I resembled the little Chihuahua humping the leg of the Great Dane.

The incontinence. Sneezing has become a contortion of legs crossing, hurriedly finding a chair to sit in before letting ‘er rip. If not? The flood gates just might open. Coughing is a close second.

The body image. Last time I was pregnant, I gained MUCH more weight, yet cared MUCH less about my appearance. This time? I have broken down, naked, in front of my husband, pleading with him to help me understand how he can love THIS body, THESE huge tree trunk, cellulite-marked thighs, THESE massive boobs that rest oh-so-sexily on top of my burgeoning belly. His response? He hugs me. Kisses me. He rubs his hands gently on my belly. He tells me that this is a temporary state, and that I am CREATING LIFE INSIDE MY BODY. That can’t happen without a bit of remodeling. And the best part? I believe him. And he believes it, too. How do I know? See entry above re: hormones, Chihuahua vs. Great Dane.

So, for now, we wait. We count down the days. With every hour that passes, we realize that our unit of two, will soon become a family of three. Yet, only baby girl knows the deal. She’s in there just biding her time, growing stronger, and deciding the exact moment to break free.

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