Betsy Bailey Bigger and bigger The consensus from most of the world is that I "sure don't look 36 weeks pregnant." And...
Betsy Bailey

Bigger and bigger
The consensus from most of the world is that I "sure don't look 36 weeks pregnant." And maybe I don't look all that huge, but I can assure you that I FEEL huge. The funniest thing is how easily I miscalculate space and my ability to fit into it. I'm bumping into lots of things these days, including the tummy-height heads of my first- and second-born children. They always look so astonished that mommy is so uncoordinated she can't keep her belly from bounding off their heads!

Aside from reduced coordination, I'm still feeling pretty good. I definitely am feeling the need to slow down. Like in the first trimester, my bedtime is getting earlier all the time. One big difference though is that wee-hour insomnia. Lately, I've been waking up anytime between 3 and 5 am to make a potty run, and haven't been able to go back to sleep. Ugh. Also, finding a comfy position on the couch and bed is getting harder all the time. I'm pretty uncomfortable with the baby high and in my ribcage, but not unbearably so... yet. I wonder how much longer before I'm whining constantly about my misery? In the ninth month now and I remember how hellish that was with the other babies. Anyway, as long as I feel good, I love being pregnant, so I'm still not overly impatient for the little one to get here. I'm getting excited about it though!

Weekly checkup
I had my home visit with the midwives this week, which kicks off the round of prenatal appointments every week. For the most part, it was a boring prenatal, but I did have a moment when I freaked myself out. The apprentice midwife was trying to assess baby's position, which has previously always been LOA. This time s/he was ROA, however, and in a tricky spot, I guess. Finally, she pulled out the fetoscope to see if she could confirm the position with the heartbeat. But she couldn't find the heartbeat!

Betsy at 36 weeks If I had felt the baby moving recently, I wouldn't have been at all concerned. But I had had a very busy day running around with work, errands and kids, and I could not recall -- as I lie there -- when exactly I had felt the baby last. Panic! Just for a split second, a split-second too long, I considered the possibility that my baby wasn't alive and it was *horrible* to even think about. Before I got too carried away, Kelley, one of the senior midwives, took the fetoscope and found the heartbeat in an instant :-). She was also able to confirm the baby's position and noted that the baby's head is kind of tilted and over on one side of my pelvis (asynclitic). No concern at this point, however, since there is still plenty of time for that to resolve.

Other than that momentary scare with the heartrate, everything else was normal and on target. I had a slight bit of edema in my ankles, but nothing unexpected for this late stage of pregnancy. While they were here, we sorted through the birth kit supplies and discussed whether they should show Tony how to check me for cervical dilation. I opted not to do that, though I might change my mind as we get closer to my due date. For now, no plans to have my cervix checked for dilation at all until perhaps the pushing stage. I never found it to be a productive activity with my other two pregnancies. Just something else to stress me out!

Homestretch preparations
Making the mask After the prenatal part of the visit was over, the midwives helped me make a belly mask. It was a lot of fun, but not for the very modest! It was also an unbelievably messy project, but completely worth it. Click for more details about my experience with the belly mask project and also find directions for making your own.

So, after this coming weekend, I will be completely ready! We plan to bake the towels and receiving blankets and stuff to sanitize them, which we're going to do over the weekend... a perfect way to help warm a house when the outside temperatures are subzero! Now just to


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