Bumpdate: 38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks.

How big is baby? About 6.5 – 7 lbs, and around 29″ long.

Maternity clothes? Yes, and I’m soooo over my wardrobe. I’m ready to move back into my non-maternity clothes, thankyouverymuch.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep? Oh, surely you jest. My Fitbit says I’m averaging about five hours a night, with 14 wakings. Sounds about right.

Best moment this week? Natalie learned the word “hug” and now repeats it endlessly while draping her body over mine, patting my back, and giggling. No, that wasn’t my water breaking, that was just my heart melting into a puddle on the floor.

Miss anything? My old clothes. My old body. Not having to pee three times within ten minutes before I leave the house.

Movement? Yeah, although it’s definitely slowed down now that she’s about out of room. Mostly she just flips her butt from side to side.

Food cravings? Healthier stuff, surprisingly. Except for the occasional doughnut. And fish, which is completely bizarre.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really.

Belly Button in or out? Flat.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time? Mostly happy, except for those pesky hormones rearing their ugly heads from time to time. Like yesterday when I was at Walmart and REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted a doughnut, but the pastry case WASN’T THERE. I nearly cried right there in the bakery section.

Looking forward to? Actually going into without-a-doubt labor so I can stop overanalyzing every twinge.

This week I’ve been reading lots and lots of birth stories and getting really excited about the birth. I highly, HIGHLY recommend reading birth stories if you’re pregnant, with one caveat: do not, I repeat, DO NOT read traumatic stories or let anyone tell you about how horrible their own labor and birth experience was. It’s not worth it, especially if you’re a first-time mom. Do yourself a favor and google “positive birth stories.” (Here are some good ones to get you started, ranging from unassisted home births to hospital births).

Things to avoid at all costs: TLC’s “A Baby Story,” YouTube videos of women giving birth (unless you’re specifically searching for positive births), sitcoms with pregnant women in them, and that one woman you know who was in labor for 174 hours with a 14-pound baby and ended up having an emergency C-section after her epidural failed three times. Don’t even talk to her.

Here’s the thing: stuff can happen during birth. Things almost never go according to the plan you have in your head. But totally winding yourself up and living in fear of the day you go into labor is really, really unhelpful. Giving birth is a totally normal, natural event that, most of the time, does not require medical intervention or the kind of drama that you see on TV. Reading about other women who have had really positive experiences can be extremely helpful, and I think that applies whether you’re planning a home birth or if you’re totally on-board with the idea of getting an epidural.

Check out those birth stories. Get excited. Is it hard? Yes. Does it hurt? Yes. But it’s a totally transformative event that ends with you having a baby. That’s pretty awesome.

I can’t wait.

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