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36 Weeks

        

I am so happy to be writing this post, so grateful that we have gotten here- Internets, we are NINE days away! Single digits!

Wow! Wow. Not going to lie, I’m freaking out just a tiny bit over here. I thought I had all of this time left and somehow it has just dissolved and left me here with this small handful of days, this giant list of things to do, and a heart that keeps thudding like it’s going to rip out of my chest and run far, far away. 

In the face of this, Adam has become even more laid back and optimistic. It’s like we are morphing into extreme versions of ourselves. I am ratcheting up the OCD and the anxiety to never before seen levels, while Adam is becoming less and less worried the closer we get – it’s as though he literally does not have a care in the world, he keeps talking about how excited he is to have a baby, to become a dad.

It’s adorable, and endearing, and heartwarming – or would be if I wasn’t too busy suffocating under the weight of my own neuroses to notice.

“I don’t think we’re ready for this” I whispered last night as we lay in bed, listening to music and feeling the baby squirm around inside my belly. Adam turned to me and grinned, “Of course we are!” he exclaimed, “It’s going to be great! Aren’t you excited?”

And I mean yes- yes! Of course I’m excited. But excitement is just one of about fifty-seven other complex emotions that I’m feeling- emotions that also include fear, stress, incomprehension, hope, terror, gas, etc.

I’m glad I have him here, without his naive optimism I think I would be reduced to a shivering puddle, compulsively folding and re-folding baby blankets with only the rodents for company (oh yeah, p.s. the rodents are back. I don’t want to talk about it)

     

Physically, I think that 36 weeks was the week I became ginormous. Upon seeing me yesterday, my midwife exclaimed, “Woah Madeleine! Your belly has arrived!”. Walking past a man in the parking lot the other day, he did a triple take and the look on his face can only be summed up as abject terror.

For my baby shower I searched for three days to find a dress, finally at the last minute stumbling upon a simple sheath with a pattern that looked like water. It was down to the wire, it fit and the decision was made. In retrospect however, I think it was one of those things where it looked great when I found it (possibly because my only other option was to wear the same long tank top/leggings combination I’ve been rocking daily these past few weeks), on the day of, however, I just wasn’t feeling it.

My hair wasn’t cooperating, my makeup was wonky, and when I looked in the mirror, suddenly the water pattern seemed to woefully echo the way I felt – like a large ocean mammal. A whale perhaps – or more in keeping with my skin tone, a manatee.

I know it’s not just me that is noticing the, ahem, largesse. At the shower we played a game where everyone cut a piece of string estimating the circumference of my belly, and my god, MY GOD, barring two or three kind souls, every. single. guess. came out about two feet too long.

     

                                               Me: Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

It makes sense though, the tech at my ultrasound on Friday said that she’d estimate the baby’s weight at 8lbs. Eight pounds at 36 weeks! (According to my friend google, the norm is about 6.5lbs. Yeah.)

I’m starting to think that perhaps this c-section is a good thing for my delicate ladybits.

Of course Adam was as proud as punch when he heard that our “little” demon was measuring in the 90th percentile for weight and height, but the tech was obviously not as impressed with my ability to gestate humongous human beings. She kept shaking her head and muttering in a thick Hungarian accent, “Oh dear, ohhhhh dear. Iss gonna be a beeeeeeg baby.”

Well big baby or no, we’ll find out in nine days!

I currently weigh 139lbs, and everything is going swimmingly for being 9 months pregnant. I’m sleeping well (and lots), eating well, generally feeling great (aside from the over-thinking and the generalized anxiety)

And, now a special gift to commemorate reaching the nine month mark. In case you think (as some have alleged recently) that this whole pregnancy has been a hoax – a desperate attempt to get more page views, or attention, or goat cheese, and I am not in fact pregnant but instead, smuggling a mixing bowl or a basketball or even a pumpkin- BEHOLD!

        

Yes. This shit is fo REAL. That is my belly. In all of its strangely flushed glory.

I have been fortunate enough to avoid stretch marks for now, but I’m still sort of confused about where exactly all of this extra skin came from? And, perhaps more pressingly, where it will go after all is said and done.

It’s bewildering, but I’ll keep you posted.

In closing Internets, just to drive home how we are NINE DAYS away, this is my second-last weekly update, my second last belly picture. I only have to don this long-suffering dress one more time, tape up those numbers once more. And then we’re done.

And what’s inside of the that ginormous mound of belly, will be outside. And I think despite my anxiety, I have to agree with Adam after all- it IS exciting, it WILL be great!

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