I hope you don’t mind these pregnancy updates, but, if you do, the good news is there won’t be too many more. Today I’m 33 weeks pregnant and looking forward to being full-term in just four weeks and maybe having this baby not too long after that (Jackson was born at 37 weeks and I have a feeling baby #2 will also be early, but who knows). As you can see from the photo above, I’m getting big. I got a pedicure over the weekend and the woman working on my nails asked when the baby was due. When I told her “mid-July,” her eyebrows shot up and she said: “No! Next week, maybe. You are SO big.” I will be really happy when I’m not pregnant anymore and people no longer feel the urge to comment on the size of my body.
Anyway, I was feeling self-conscious about the way I look, wondering if maybe I’ve gotten too big, so I looked at photos of myself when I was pregnant with Jackson, and I found one where I was 32 weeks along and, yeah, definitely not as big then:
In fact, I found a photo of myself days before Jackson was born, and I wasn’t even as big then as I am now, which helps explain the physical discomfort and limited mobility I’ve been experiencing lately. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and take it easy as much as I can (as much as one can when there’s an active and demanding 3-1/2 year-old boy underfoot). But the silver lining here is the idea/hope that this baby will be bigger and healthier (and easier to care for) than Jackson, who was a scrawny five pounds at birth and had to spend a couple days in the NICU and then got sick as soon as we brought him home.
Much of my focus these days has been on Jackson and the transition he’s going through. It’s hard not to think of this when his behavior lately has made it The Big Theme of our household. I try to imagine what’s going on in his head — how alternately exciting and scary this all must feel for him (in addition to preschool “graduation” and thinking about “big boy school” in the fall). His bedroom and closet are now half-full of baby stuff, including a bassinet that sits in the corner of his room, waiting for its newest resident. He sees me getting bigger and bigger (and bigger) and knows now in a way that must feel much more tangible that change gone come. And as he grapples with that in his little developing brain, he swings from terrible-awful outbursts to really sweet endearing moments (I can only imagine the fun we’re going to have when the baby’s actually here, on the outside). Yesterday morning, after spending the second half of the night curled up in our bed (something he’s been making a bit of a habit of lately), he woke up, rubbed his eyes, and said, excitedly, “Mommy! Let’s turn the pages on our calendars now!!” June, you see, is that much closer to July and the day he finally meets his baby sister.
When I’m not focused on Jackson, I’m thinking now about the things I still need to tick off my to-do list (pack a hospital bag, procure a car seat, launder the rest of baby’s clothes), as well as the labor itself. I’m not feeling terribly anxious (yet) about the labor. Maybe spending a few days in the hospital last month was actually helpful in that regard, like a dress rehearsal of sorts. Mostly, any nerves I’m feeling are focused on the actual logistics of getting someone to our place to watch Jackson and getting myself to the hospital quickly, before the baby pops out (my labor with Jackson was three hours, from first contraction to holding him in my arms, so this is a reasonable concern). I know the pain itself will be temporary, and, with luck, I’ll get the epidural this time that I wasn’t able to get before. And then, she’ll be here — this little girl I’ve dreamt of for so long, longer than I’ve known she was coming. She’ll be here, and a whole new adventure will begin. And I can’t wait.