Revelation #1: My actual due date is 5/10/12, not 5/11/12. This baby doesn’t care and it doesn’t change how I feel about due dates (they’re not usually necessary or helpful), but it helps me to finally realize why no one could ever agree on my due date – it was Leap Day! That’s why it’s 5/10, not 5/11. Duh.
Revelation #2: My intuition in regards to a baby’s arrival is not always super accurate. Or, at least, I’ve had enough variables in pregnancy/birth to not have any idea what to expect. I have been thinking for weeks that this baby would arrive earlier than May 10/11 and that my labor would be closer to Asher’s in length (just over an hour) than Cal’s (18 hours). I guess we still have time for me to be right, but this baby is just hanging out for now…
First things first: Let’s play the baby guessing game! When’s he coming? How much will he weigh? And, of course, there’s your freebie: the baby is a boy. Don’t forget that. Click below to make a guess:
Some history for you scientific guessers:
- Baby #1 (girl): born at 35 weeks, 5 lbs. 10 oz., 18″ long
- Baby #2 (girl): born at 39 weeks, 4 days, 7 lbs. 10 oz., 21″ long
- Baby #3 (boy): born at 38 weeks, 5 days, 8 lbs. 2 oz., 23″ long
- Baby #4 (boy): born at 40 weeks, 2 days, 8 lbs. 3 oz., 22″ long
The winner of the game wins a great big virtual high five.
How am I doing? Eh. Hanging in there. The end of pregnancy has never been my forte; I am always ready for the baby to come out at around 30 weeks. I know this about myself, so it’s no surprise to me that I’m anxious for Five to come out. (No, he doesn’t have a name yet, and even if he did, I wouldn’t tell.) I am huge; my belly is bigger than it’s ever been, I’m nearly certain. He just feels big for his gestational age – not that he’s going to be a world record setter, but that he feels ready to be born earlier. My very relaxed midwife, for the first time in all of the pregnancies that she has seen me for (three now), actually agrees with me. Usually, I say I feel huge, and she says no, you are normal, and the baby feels normal. And she’s always been right. But this time? She observed last Monday, “Have I mentioned that this baby feels bigger for his age? He’s ready.” Yes, I think he is.
Or at least I thought he was. Last Monday, I was 3-4 cm dilated and 75% effaced, but the baby’s head could still float when she pushed it. She said, “You’re body’s definitely doing something. If you go to 40 weeks I will be on pins and needles.” I have been feeling closer to birth than normal for the past couple of weeks; lots of practice labor, twinges, cervical things, you know. The stuff that gets you ready. I felt a lot like this for Asher’s labor, and you can’t get much more perfect than his (just over an hour long, water broke at 9 cm., then I pushed him out). I am praying and hoping for a birth more like his than Cal’s, who had a birth so difficult for me than I still haven’t written it down. I may never. I remember thinking, “I can never do this again. He will be my last” for months afterwards. It was 18 hours long, and he was born in his bag of waters (a very special thing that rarely happens today, and probably never in a hospital setting). He is a special child and his birth was definitely his own; needless to say, I don’t necessarily want to replicate it.
Physically, my body is ready to not be pregnant. My back hurts a lot, and I blame that mostly on having a weak core prior to pregnancy. (Work that core, ladies! Five full-term babies has not affected my body in any other significant way. I need to strengthen my abs after this baby.) I have a large diastasis recti that will take some significant work to heal. I have struggled with back pain more than anything else difficult this pregnancy.
Prodromal labor: I have regular contractions, even timeable, every night. Sometimes they feel crampier than others, but they are rarely what I would call “painful.” There is stuff going on.
The kids ask every day when the baby is going to come. “Do you think the baby will be born today, Mommy?” And they don’t like it when I say that I don’t know. I keep telling them that only God and the baby know, but I’m pretty sure they think I’m holding out on them. Cal observes my belly size nearly every day (“You have a big belly, Mommy”) and loves to hug/pat/kiss it. I don’t think he gets it, not really, but he’s having fun with the belly part. The actual baby might be quite an adjustment for him. He’s very much the baby right now.
We have moved into the bedrooms that we’re going to have for the next couple of months: four kids in the big room, Jason & I in the other (soon to be joined by the baby, we hope!). The two downstairs bedrooms and bathroom are still unfinished. We cleaned out the smaller downstairs bedroom and made a comfortable (if not glamorous) guest room for my mother-in-law, who has come to take care of my family and household after every baby I’ve had. (Yes, she’s wonderful, and no, you can’t have her.) We even re-installed the toilet in the gutted-to-the-studs bathroom, because we are classy. A toilet for every level, see. No turn-down service or chocolate roses, but you can go potty in the wee hours of the morning without climbing stairs.
The baby clothes and diapers are washed; the homebirth supplies are purchased and in a bin in the bedroom; the baby slings are in an identifiable location. We are as ready as we’re going to be. The kitchen is not done, but it’s moved into and functional. The old kitchen/new play room is taped off with plastic and makes our house look like the construction zone that it is, but it’s safe and out of the way.
I had a lovely baby shower last Sunday at church, thrown by my sister and the ladies at church. It was so special to be honored and blessed for this fifth baby; I haven’t had a shower since my first baby, almost ten years ago! Stuff wears out, and I had given away all of my baby clothes, so it was very nice to have new clothes and assorted other necessaries given to me. I am very, very grateful.
Come on out, Baby! Besides your name, we are ready for you. If you are waiting for a name to be born, you will be waiting a long time. I think I need to see your sweet face before I can really decide.