Tuesday, May 31, 2016

38 weeks down.... 10 days to go...

Apparently I have been on an unplanned hiatus from keeping up with this blog!  From 34 weeks-37 weeks, I felt absolutely miserable.  Every part of me hurt or ached, and I couldn't imagine carrying this baby any longer.  I am not sure what made me feel so exhausted and terrible.  Maybe it was the fact that this is pregnancy number 7, or baby number nine, or that I was working full-time as a teacher to demanding and difficult teenagers.  Whatever it was, there came a moment when my frustration and exhaustion hit a peak, and ended.
At 34 weeks, we received a beautiful and gigantic crocheted blanket from my aunt.  She picked the colors using color cards for the baby's room.  And she put so much love into the blanket, that it grew until it was big enough to hold me and the baby both!  These gifts make my heart full- to know that this baby is coming into a world full of people who love her enough to give of their time and their resources and themselves to welcome her.  For Mother's Day, my family gave me a necklace of a delicate pea pod, filled with 4 little peas.  I am about to have four little peas; t is a full pea pod over here, y'all!

At 37 weeks, I woke up with contractions and lots of fluid leaking out.  I, of course, figured it was amniotic fluid.  After taking a shower and having more come out, I decided we needed to go to the hospital to see what was going on.  I was filled with that adrenaline rush of realizing you are in labor, and Katie and Jason got ready (we will leave out the part where Jason went to work to prepare things for a sub while leaving me at home while I was "in labor").  As soon as we got to the hospital, contractions stopped, but we were already there, so we decided to go ahead and get checked.  The hospital was hopping that day, so while they quickly prepared a room, we sat in a supply closet- fun times!
It turned out that it was, in fact, not amniotic fluid, just my body being disgusting.  I was having a few contractions, but they were mild and irregular.  In even more depressing news, the nurse said I wasn't dilated at all, and not even effaced.  Baby is locked up tight.  Sheesh.  After a few hours, we went home.  It was a big letdown to have gotten so worked up and excited about the baby coming and then to go home like every other crazy pregnant woman who thinks she is in labor but really isn't.
Later that day, we went for our regular doctor's appointment, got our GBS test, and my doctor put a date on the "start maternity leave" paperwork.  This was a Thursday, and I only had to work through the next Wednesday!  <insert happy dance here>.
After our hospital episode, or maybe it was getting an end of work date, I felt calm and at peace with baby staying until she is ready.  After all, I didn't really want her born at 37 weeks.  I want her born when she is ready to be born.  Since then, I am feeling much better about these last few weeks of pregnancy.
As we entered week 38, I felt happy and excited at work because I was in my final countdown.  3 days... 2 days... 1 day... and I am done!  At week 38 exactly, all of my brothers and sisters and much extended family arrived through torrential rains and floods to town to celebrate my baby sister's wedding.  Baby has stayed in through the entire wedding weekend, and I am so grateful we did not have a surprise wedding guest!
During the wedding reception, we did have a dance party, and baby dropped that night. I can feel my ribs now!
There I am in the middle, as we embarrass ourselves!
The night after the wedding, as I tried to go to sleep, I started to have contractions- and not the Braxton Hicks I have been having for months.  These were the start-in-the-back-come-around-the-belly contractions of real labor.  They were 5 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 9 minutes apart... and done.  Huh?  I have no idea what happened, as that has never happened before, but I hope that means my body is getting ready for labor and it will go fast!
As I write this today, we are 38.4 weeks along, with only 10 days left until my due date.  We have spent the last two days with my brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins playing and visiting.  We haven't all been together in at least 8 years, so we are storing up these precious memories of each other and our children.   My heart is full (as well as everything else!), and I am content, sitting here feeling this baby girl wiggle and kick and test out the limbs she will soon be wiggling for all to see.
I have never gone past my due date before, and I am hoping I don't start now.  I simply cannot wait to hold my baby girl in my arms, and feel her little warmth against me as she sleeps on my heart.  In the meantime, I cherish each kick, bump, hiccup, and movement I feel of her inside my belly.  I memorize what it looks like to see my belly rise and fall with her movements.  I know I will never have this again, and while I am so glad for it, I will miss the moving of life inside me.
All is prepared.  The nursery is done.  The bags are packed.  Hospital paperwork is complete.  Her name is chosen.  We are ready to meet this baby girl as soon as she is ready for this world.

Cousin picture day- baby Ray didn't quite make it in time.  My brother pointed out that I made bookends for the family.  The first baby and the last!

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