On Monday we officially hit the 36 week mark. I look back on this pregnancy and kind of feel like I've been pregnant forever. Some parts of it were very difficult - the first 17 weeks of nausea, and the rest has really been wonderful! The weeks throughout the holidays went very quickly, while chunks of time have gone so slowly. Regardless, we are four days away from being considered full term, and little baby boy could make his appearance anywhere between now and May 16th (2 weeks after my due date). That's right - due dates are not an end point but rather a median between 38 and 42 weeks when it's considered a "normal" time to give birth. A lot of people don't realize that and start questioning women about why their babies haven't arrived yet as their due date gets closer and closer. The 40 week mark is just a median - not the time that the baby will arrive. :)
Anyway, off my soapbox now - I am feeling really great still! I can tell that I'm slowing down a bit sooner in the evenings than in previous weeks. I sleep all night long with the exception of getting up once to use the restroom. I count my blessings everyday for this great sleep! I have Braxton Hicks contractions ALL THE TIME, and when I looked back at my posts when I was 36 weeks with Noah, the same was true even then. They don't hurt at all but are sometimes annoying more than anything. I have been sitting on my birth ball a lot lately because it's just so much more comfortable and because I can feel the baby moving more into place. We have our Rock of Ages show next Thursday nights with some friends, and after that, he is welcome to make his appearance anytime!
I am pages away from finishing Your Best Birth and am thankful to have read about all the reminders of why we strive for a natural birth. (Side note - I really encourage all women to read books about birth both before and during pregnancy! It is so important to educate yourselves about birth, as well as the benefits and risks of medical intervention in birth rather than just taking your practitioner's word on everything. It is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself during pregnancy, and let's be honest, you deserve royal treatment for bringing new life into this world). It's really helped me mentally prepare for this upcoming adventure, and although it might sound crazy, I am actually excited about going into labor and delivering this baby! It is probably the most empowering experience I've ever had, one that made me feel connected to women all over the world in a way I had never felt before. I showed Noah the birth story with pictures that our doula, Julie, made for us after he was born. He was pretty fascinated with seeing pictures of himself after he was born. I'm so interested to see how my labor progresses this second time around. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect experience the first time - yes, even with the intensity and pain that comes with transitional labor - and can't wait to share another birth story with all of you again. Until next time, enjoy these newest pictures of me at 36 weeks!