Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Homestretch

April 21, 2015...34 years old and 35 weeks pregnant!
On Tuesday, I will be 37 weeks pregnant.  A week ago, I would have told you I could keep this baby in forever.  Now, I feel every bit of those 37 weeks.  At my doctor's appointment this week, she told me the baby is measuring bigger than my other babies (maybe it's a boy?) and that he or she is head down but other than that, showing no signs of coming anytime soon.  That's exactly what I expected her to say! My stomach feels huge, and as Jack and Hannah both showed me, my babies like to hang out as long as they can before making their arrivals into the world.  I'm sleeping well and I start every day feeling great--I've still been going to the gym (although my "cardio" these days consists of the elliptical and walking on the treadmill), and I've been doing my half hour of weight circuits 3-4 times a week.  They're nothing crazy (although you should see the stares I get at the gym) and I don't use heavy weights, but they're enough to keep my muscles moving and make me feel like I'm in some sort of shape, no matter how large my stomach may be!  By the end of each day, I'm exhausted.  My body is just tired.  It's tired from putting little ones in and out of the car, pushing them on swings, going up and down stairs...all with an extra 18 pounds on my stomach.

When my doctor told me to rest as much as possible in the weeks ahead, I just nodded my head and smiled.  She looked over at Hannah who had asked a million questions about the baby and the heartbeat and for more snacks along with "When is the baby coming out?" and "Why is the baby in mommy's tummy?"...and then laughed and said, "you probably don't get that much rest anyway, do you?"  But the past couple of days, I've tried to be smart.  I've been lying down while Hannah naps and Jack has his quiet time.  Jim has been a huge help, encouraging me to take a step back and rest more.  Last night, Jim took all three little ones to Lilly's soccer practice so that I could lie down.  It's hard to do, because there are still a lot of things I would like to do before this baby is born.  None of them are essential and many may be easier afterwards when I don't feel so big with so much pressure, but they're things that would be nice to have out of the way.  This weekend, Jim is taking the little ones to Villanova and I'm having the weekend to myself.  I might make some new little newborn hats and wash some little onesies but besides that, I have no's going to be heaven.

The baby's movements are slowing down, which always happens towards the end.  There are no more flips in my stomach, probably because the baby is now living in tight quarters, but now I get lots of jabs and pokes and feet going from one side to the other.  The baby has the hiccups all the time.  The other day while I was lying down, I felt something that I have never felt with the other three.  While my hand was on my stomach, I could feel this little one breathing.  My stomach was going in and out (just slightly) at the rapid pace of a baby's breath.  It was amazing, and lasted until the baby changed positions.  As I get closer and closer to my due date, I get more excited to find out who this little person is.  I can't wait for this baby to meet his or her older siblings.  I can't wait to see Jim become a Dad again and to see how Lilly, Jack and Hannah all react to having a newborn in our house.  Those are the thoughts that get me through those last couple of weeks.  I know what is coming, and I know how amazing it will be.  I can't wait.

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