I can’t believe I’m this far along already, although to look at my bulbous belly, it IS quite obvious.  In many ways, it seems like only yesterday those two little lines appeared on the stick.  In other ways, though, it seems like a lifetime ago.  I’ve settled into my pregnant self.  I’m used to the way I look in the mirror and the ever-increasing waddle.  Having another person moving inside me feels like second nature.

Speaking of womb-baby movements, my little gymnast or soccer player or dancer is doing his/her tricks at right this moment.  This is the first child whose vivacity has resulted in what I swear is some internal bruising. 😉  All in all, I find each kick, each roll to be reassuring, even at this late stage.  From the beginning, I’ve relished them.  First the flutters and then, later, the “real” movements that can be seen from across the room.  When I lay down at night, this little one loves to roll from side to side, sometimes so strongly that my whole body moves. 

I feel lucky that I have a wonderful Midwife whom I also count as a friend and teacher.  Last week, we had a prenatal during a Capitol visit…now that was fun!  I’ve joked for years that someone should have a prenatal there, and I find it fascinating that I was the one. (Of course, my idea was to do it for the legislators, so they could have an idea of just how much a Midwife does.)  I love my prenatal visits.  Each time, I learn something new and my questions are answered.  Many times, it’s more like visiting an old friend instead of just my care provider.  What is most fun, to me, is that when she asks how I am, I know she really cares.  I’m not just another patient to her, as none of us are.  We’re her ladies.  I love that.  There really is no other care like midwifery care, in my opinion.

Practice contractions.  Whew.  I don’t recall having any with the first two children, and I remember some with Colin, but this go around there have been a ton!  A few have taken my breath away, but generally they just feel tight.  Sometimes the baby moves while I’m having one and that is definitely NOT comfortable.  I don’t think he or she cares for the tightening either!

I’ve been enjoying gathering the various birth supplies and putting them into a tub in my room.  It feels good to have them all in one place…almost like I’m organized.  My friend passed on her nice La Bassine pool, which I’m looking forward to trying out in the coming weeks.  I also benefitted greatly from her leftovers, a perk of having friends that also give birth at home a few months before you.  Baby clothes are a little more sparse than I remember, but I’m hoping for some of those leftovers from friends in the coming weeks as well (hint, hint). 

I’m cramming as much reading in as I possibly can with an active toddler (so, not much).  I’ve managed to re-read Birthing From Within and fill out more in my companion journal.  Currently, I’m reading Secrets of Confident Childbirth, Childbirth with Insight, Birth as a Healing Experience, Gentle Birth Companions and working through parts of the Hypnobabies home study course.  I also keep my copy of Holistic Midwifery by Anne Frye close at hand when I have questions and don’t want to bother my Midwife (although I know that it wouldn’t really be a bother). 

Also on my list of things that I’m trying to accomplish is enjoying this last bit of time with my toddler being my “baby”.  We are careful not to refer to him as the baby anymore, but I know that in many ways I still see him that way and that this feeling will change once the new one gets here.  He’s so smart that I have a tendency to forget he’s only two and doesn’t really understand what’s happening/will happen.  We talk about the baby in my belly a lot and he’s watched a few birth videos (much to my husband’s dismay).  He thinks he also has a baby in his belly and it’s interesting trying to explain to him that boys don’t have babies.  Inevitably, that particular conversation always leads to talking about penises and vaginas and who has what.  I try to remind myself that things will change drastically for him soon and he really needs me right now, even though there are times I desperately want him to just stop nursing or get off my lap.  I compromise on the things I think are his needs and try to be a little more firm on the wants. 

I’m getting more excited with each day about meeting this new little being.  I wonder if we have a he or a she, what he/she will look like, and how the birth will go.  I listen at night to the baby’s heartbeat with my fetoscope and revel in the sound.  It’s going by so fast and I know that this last pregnancy of mine will be over before I know it, so I hope I’m savoring it as much as I can.  I feel like I am.