Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little More about 34...

...weeks, that is.
First, the details about the pictures. The top picture was taken by Jeff during our day-before-our-anniversary date last Saturday evening. We went out for dinner at a new-to-us restaurant, the Blue Ridge Buffet at Massanutten Waterpark, that had been recommended to us by one of Jeff's co-workers. The food was good, the view of the waterpark and the memories it brought back of my Mommy/Josiah date last year were fun (and exciting as I think about taking Josiah here again sometime this coming fall for our next annual date--and starting this tradition with David!), but the absolute best part was the time with Jeff to talk. Hands down, that was the highlight of my evening.

It's been a while since I've posted a belly pic. Are you ready for this???
Woah, that's a BIG belly!!! I took this picture this morning, at 34 weeks, 4 days pregnant; and I laugh as I look at it but also truly treasure this shape. Huge as it is, it's a constant reminder of the miracle inside, God's little secret that He's preparing for us. This evening, when Jeff commented on how I look like I won't be pregnant much longer (although I still have a ways to go, we both realize), I asked the typical-for-me question, "Was I really this big with my other pregnancies?" Jeff didn't even hesitate before answering assuredly, "Yes!" :) The thing I like about my belly right now (besides the obvious fact that it houses a baby!) is the fact that it's firm. It may be enormous, but at least it's tight--not like the wiggly, jiggly mess of a tummy that I'll be left with after the birth. As much as I realize it will be more comfortable to not be sporting this extra extension in front of me, I also realize that I'm not really looking forward to the exercise that will be necessary if I ever hope to tighten up my abdominal muscles again. :)

This happens so often that it's almost ludicrous: I'll write something on the blog about how things are going, and then almost as soon as I post it, the opposite happens. I'll write about a rough area with one of the boys, and then it changes. Or I'll mention something that's going particularly smoothly, and suddenly it's a problem spot. It happened again. In my last pregnancy post (Saturday), I remarked about how well I was feeling and how grateful and amazed I was at my continued general well-being, my lack of contractions, my energy and cheerfulness, etc. You can see where this is going, can't you? The very next day, I had LOTS of contractions--basically, from lunchtime on Sunday until I went to bed that night. They weren't particularly painful, but I was just uncomfortable. Having to sit through our church service and then sit in Golden Corral restaurant (where my parents took us for lunch in order to celebrate our anniversary) and then sit in the minivan on the way home was not what my body was wanting. I could hardly wait to stretch out and give my cramped abdomen some room! A Sunday afternoon nap was wonderful; but even after the nap, those old Braxton Hicks contractions kicked in again. On Monday I had some as well, especially later in the day; and I'm realizing that when I do a lot of activity without taking some rest breaks, I'm much more likely to wind up with some contractions. I'm not at all worried about preterm labor, and I realize that these contractions are par for the course at this stage of this pregnancy...but still, it doesn't make these days quite as comfortable as last week was!

Here's another silly thing I've been bothered by: cooking supper. I've been in quite a cooking slump, lacking a good plan, having to scrounge at the last minute to figure out what to make appear on the table before everyone shows up for supper, expecting something to fill their tummies! I blame my lack of enjoyment and zeal in this area (which I usually have plenty of!) on my own strange appetite these days. Heavy stuff doesn't appeal to me; but for some reason, the rest of the family isn't quite satisfied by a meal of...say, frozen blackberries and milk...or watermelon, just watermelon (my latest craving). They really expect some meat, veggies, maybe a starch, something like that, something balanced. Yesterday as I was pondering what in the world to fix, Jeff called from work and as we discussed it, he suggested tacos, even volunteering to make them after he got home so I wouldn't have to worry about it. As it turned out, I was able to pull myself together enough to get them mostly ready before he got home; but as the rest of the family dug into their meal, I declined a taco and turned instead to the blender to make a strawberry smoothie for my supper. It was great! :) I think I'm over this cooking hurdle for now though, since this morning I took some time to look through my recipes and pull some out that looked enticing; then I got groceries today, so I'm ready for the next few days. Guess what's on the menu for tomorrow evening? Watermelon! :)

I think the hardest thing I've been dealing with the past few days, however, is keeping my mental focus where it needs to be. I am so eager to be done with all the extra things of life--committee meetings, music obligations, etc.--and simply be able to focus on nesting and having this baby when he/she is ready. But I know I have 5 and 1/2 more weeks, more or less; and it's far too early to be really shifting my mental state to the birth. Thoughts of this baby and the upcoming delivery do take up quite a bit of my time, however!

Most of the time, I feel a very real sense of peace about the birth. I am so completely excited for this nine-month mystery to be revealed and to meet this little person face to face!! As far as labor goes, it's impossible to predict how it will be; but at this point, the apprehension I've felt at times has mostly faded away, leaving calmness, joy, and even a bring-it-on attitude. I feel comforted by the fact that I'll have such good help during labor; with a triumvirate of Jeff, my mother, and one of the midwives, I know I'm in good hands. But for sure, the suspense of not knowing the gender adds a huge amount of anticipation as I look towards the birth. :)

Speaking of the gender, the lady at Black's Paint said yesterday, when we were in the store to pick the paint for the baby's room, that she thinks it's a girl and that she's usually right about these things! Today, the lady at the drycleaners said matter-of-factly that it's a boy! Jeff told me yesterday that he voted "girl" in the blog poll. :) I expect a boy and would be quite surprised by a girl, but one thing (and really only one thing) makes me think it might be a girl: my size and weight have been on the lower end than in the past. At the 20-week ultrasound, the baby's measurements were right at the average, whereas with Tobin, he measured bigger at that point. My weight gain has only been 21 pounds so far (and it's usually more than that), and my uterus measurement has been a little less than the normal for several weeks. So because of the smaller size, I'm thinking that maybe--maybe--it's a girl. Even though the mystery of it all is driving me a little bit crazy, overall I'm thrilled that we didn't find out; and I so much look forward to going into labor and finding out who this is!!!

Today my anticipation increased quite a bit because I got to see two newborns: first, my friend Misty's little girl Anastasia, and then my friend Ceci's little girl Charlotte. Seeing these two itty-bitties reminded me of how tiny newborns are! I thought I had reminded myself of that before I saw them; but really, you just forget and can't even imagine how small and light they are until you see or hold them when they are so new and fresh. What a miracle--every single time!


Bonnie said...

I have to side with the paint lady by saying I am usually right too- of the last 5 people I knew who were expecting, I guessed the right gender 4 times!
That said, I haven't had a feeling one way or the other with your baby. I'll vote when I do!
B. told me that statistically speaking, the more babies you have of one gender in a row, the higher your odds are for having the opposite. How ever, I just saw a family of 8 boys and no girls last week, and my SIL Has one brother plunked in the middle of 7 sisters, so I guess it's not always true.

I still have trouble with smoothies, from being pregnant with Honey. I was craving them, bought lots of fruit to make them, and well, I got to enjoy the very first one twice. No more.
I suppose I should go now, I have a menu and grocery list to finish- tootles!

Jeff Fisher said...

I had to look up Triumvirate so that I would know what my responsibility was in the delivery room. I am left a little more confused now that I did:
The term triumvirate (from Latin, "of three men") is commonly used to describe a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals. The arrangement can be formal or informal, and though the three are usually equal on paper, in reality this is rarely the case. The term can also be used to describe a state with three different military leaders who all claim to be the sole leader.

Davene said...

OK, Mr. Smart Guy, so I wasn't using "triumvirate" in a literal sense! I just meant it to be a three-pronged help for me, but I'd say you, my mom, and the midwife are all "powerful individuals." :)

In college, me and two other piano majors were the "triumvirate"--at least, we called ourselves that :)--the most dedicated, advanced piano majors of our particular teacher.

So, to me, it just means a group of three that is set apart in some way.

Happy now? :)

Chris said...

Maybe a better term would have been "Trinity-of-helpers"--Jeff's favorite word is!:)

Valerie said...

My head is still spinning after finding out we are having a girl. I was so sure this was another boy, I just can't get over it. (I'm excited, don't get me wrong. Just completely shocked!)
My Dad has 8 kids, 3 girls, 1 boy, then the rest girls. His girls all went on to have boys. Out of his 17 Grandkids there are only 4 girls. Crazy.

I can't wait to find out what you have tucked safely in that belly of yours. :) Only a few more weeks!!!

Chaos Cottage said...

We stayed at that resort during spring break. Dd, age 10 and her daddy went to the water park many times while we were there. It sure is beautiful in Virginia. On our last day we visited Montpelier.


Sally said...

You are so blessed, to be having this wonderful new baby. I have to try not to be jealous. I think little babies are so special, and yes they are a lot of work too! I'm happy things are still well and normal for you. I can hardly wait to hear if it's a boy or girl, and to come see you and hold the little one.

Margie said...

I enjoyed knowing your thoughts, how you are handling these last few weeks. There's so much to pregnancy, the eating or not, the tiredness or not, the 9 months that feel like forever when you're in them. But after the baby comes, the difficulties fade so quickly, forgotten in all the love and adoration of new life. I know you know all this already, but you've helped me re-walk those paths myself. In many ways, they're uniquely unforgettable.

Jolanthe said...

I can't wait to see! :) Only a few more weeks and we'll all know for sure!