Yep! The babe. That's her, two weeks ago. For those of you who have trouble interpreting ultrasound pictures, that's her head and chest - facial profile looking upwards. (Try explaining that to my father-in-law, because I did. And failed.)
I'm 30 weeks and change now, which seems unreal. I can tell I'm starting to get closer to the end, though, because I have a million little reminders every single day.
1. My co-preggos are starting to pop. A cluster of my friends, my co-workers, and - yes - celebrities have been pregnant at the same time as me, and one by one, they're squeezing out babies. On the one hand, this is really comforting: Here are women I've spoken with personally (well, not so much Princesses Kim and Kate, but, you know) about the triumphs, trials, and tribulations of pregnancy, and they've made it to the other side. That's encouraging! On the other hand, I distinctly remember thinking during my first trimester that I would know I was getting close when this person or that person gave birth...and it's staaartinggg. Yikes.
2. Certain decisions have (finally) been made - like registries, birth classes, and child care arrangements. Naturally, since there's still a good chunk of time left, other decisions are lingering, such as whether or not we can actually afford the child care arrangements we've made, and the small matter of a name for this new human being. If only celeb babies (ahem, NORTH and GEORGE) would stop stealing my top name contenders... (Kidding; I have no name contenders right now.)
3. I started counting down the weeks instead of counting them up. That just started a few days ago, when I realized I have roughly 10 weeks to go.
4. I've officially hit the stage where something is always slightly uncomfortable. Really, I've loved being pregnant so far, and I know - and am constantly grateful - that I've had a pretty easy time of it. The last two weeks or so, though, random discomforts have emerged, and I can't say I'm super fond of them. My left shoulder blade hurts every time I eat (gas? Heartburn? Stomach being shoved into my shoulder blade? I dunno). If I slouch at all, my whole upper back seizes up. If I'm out in the raging summer heat and sunshine for more than about an hour, I start feeling sick (not so good, considering I spend every afternoon - and some mornings - outside for work). I keep losing most of my hearing in my right ear, which got severe enough (including dizziness, nausea, and disorientation) that I actually saw a doctor about it; his oh-so-helpful prescription was to wait a few months and then give birth, which will relieve the swelling and fluid retention that are causing the hearing loss. THX DR. I've also been having mild contractions, which don't hurt; they're just annoying, and they make me feel like my insides might...fall out or something, you know, NBD. I'm definitely in the pee-all-the-time stage, which doesn't help with sleeping, which was already disrupted by the can't-roll-over-without-waking-up-and-consciously-planning-how-to stage. My sciatic nerve likes to remind me of its presence for about an hour a day. And there are other awesome pregnancy presents that not everyone will mention, but pretty much everyone gets them, so what the hell? Hemorrhoids, milk leakage, and...other fun leakage. Just once, but HOORAY.
5. I'm starting to think less about pregnancy and think more about birth. I procrastinated signing up for a birthing class, so I may end up missing some of the four-week class that I finally registered for, considering it overlaps with my due date. Whatever - the baby's coming (and likely after my due date, anyway), whether I know how to visualize and breeeeathe or not. But I did realize that once the pregnancy is over, we will, with any luck, have a baby to raise. Yeah. Minor detail. Forgot about that side effect of pregnancy for a while there.
6. And the biggest daily reminder that things are progressing? The mirror. Or in this case, the camera.
Thankfully, everything seems to be progressing well. My blood pressure and weight gain are good, and I'm getting used to the shock (emotional and physical) of being almost 20 pounds heavier than I'm used to. Everything went well with the extra ultrasound - the umbilical cord implanted in a good spot, Baby is in the 60th percentile for growth, and there aren't any placental ventricles covering the cervix (which could have caused hemorrhaging when my water broke). The ultrasound doctor guy even mentioned that all other mammals, besides humans, have the kind of placenta that I have - that is, bilobed. Only humans have a boring pancake placenta. Then he cleared his throat and said, "Please don't call my office in a rage, complaining that I called you 'less than human,' okay? It's just a fun anthropological fact." Love it! He cracked me up, which I appreciate in a doctor who surely has to deliver crappy/nebulous news to anxious parents all the time. Obviously, the best part of the extra ultrasound was getting to watch the baby move around again, which is always awesome and reassuring. (Ultrasound tech: "So, looks like she's sitting on your bladder..." MM-HMM THANKS YEP.) Of course, these days, I can sit and watch the exterior show of my belly bulging out with a head or a bottom here and there - surreal, crazy, amazing. The other night, I was reading in bed and put my book down for a minute on my belly while I reached for something, and J.J. was able to see the book move in waves as the baby rolled around inside! Just. Plain. Incredible.
Three-quarters - not a bad place to be, in my opinion. I'm still enjoying being pregnant, and I don't mind waiting a few more months to meet this little girl of mine. Although...it's pretty frightening to think about what my belly will look like three months from now. After all, here's a side-by-side comparison of the difference three months can make:
That's 18 weeks and 30 weeks. How is it possible that the baby still has most of her growing to do?! Picture me gazing vacantly past my computer in a terrified fog of OMG MY BELLY MIGHT EXPLODE BEFORE OCTOBER. Please, belly...don't explode. Because ugh, mess, etc.