Unbelievably, I just keep getting huger. It is all in the belly. And the boobs. (With perhaps an honorable mention going to my ass.)
I had a 35-week check-up appointment and it was delightfully uneventful. That is, aside from the doctor “reassuring” me that now that I’m at 35 weeks, if I were to go into labor they wouldn’t do anything to stop it—I could just have that baby right now and everything would be peachy. Of course I was thinking, “like HELL you wouldn’t stop it; this baby is NOT allowed out until January 1st and that’s final.” (I’m practicing for when the kid is 16 and wants permission to go to a college party or something.)
[Kind of amazing I can still stand upright.]
The Morning Ritual
Around 8ish, I wake up with the most bothersome and jabby hip aches. I lie for a moment, try the usual stretching, slinging my leg over the side of the bed, folding my knee pillow in half for added height, squeezing my eyes shut tighter in hopes of miraculously falling back to sleep because what, it has GOT to be like 5am—look how dark it is outside still. Of course, nothing helps for more than .5 seconds and so I grumble and roll over, the bed creaking and bulging and complaining about the additional 20 pounds it has been forced to deal with these past few weeks, poke at Joshua to get him into a better knee-rest position, and try it on that side for a while. Miraculously, the hip pain goes away. For around 20 seconds. And then it comes back. So, I grudgingly get up out of bed; I have to pee anyway. Joshua, who manages to sleep through all this (I think) mumbles incoherently and rolls over to take up the spot I just vacated and the bed sighs a big relief.
I put on a robe and trudge into the kitchen for first breakfast—usually plain yogurt with muesli and wheat germ (sounds gross doesn’t it? I like the stuff—especially with just a, ahem, tad of maple syrup on it)—and plant myself on the couch with this and a large glass of water and see what is going on in the world. Around this time, the baby wakes up and starts slithering around, pressing her back against one side of my belly and her feet out the side. Poke poke! Good morning Baby!
Her movements have changed considerably in the last few weeks. She is bigger and can’t do flips like she used to. The pokes are less sharp sudden jabs and more like slow stretches that can be felt (and seen) on both sides of my body as she stems across (she’s going to be a great off-width crack climber). Her head is crammed right up into my bladder, a big bouncy pillow that unhappily bears the full weight of the contents of The Belly. Her back lies either on my right or left side and she floats upside-down with her butt hovering up in the air somewhere just south of my ribcage; she shifts from one side or the other depending upon, something. Gravity maybe? It is really easy to feel exactly where she is these days and lately I’ve been able to chase a foot around with my finger when she kicks it against the outside. She gets the hiccups about the same time every day.
The nearest I can come to explaining what a such movement inside your body feels like is this: you know when you tilt the screen of a laptop and press too hard on the back of the LCD panel so that it makes this eerie shadowy distortion on the front of the screen? The shadowy distortion—THAT’S what it feels like.