I have to be honest, I'm not so solid on my gut-instinct that it's a girl anymore. I know I told you I don't put any weight in all the "signs" people follow that show it's a boy/girl (e.g., heart rate, how you carry the baby, etc.); BUT I'm having a hard time ignoring the fact that this pregnancy is so different from my first. I know, I know. That doesn't mean anything either--I, too, have friends who had completely different pregnancies and same gender babies. It's all a mental battle, but I'm starting to think it's a boy now. Either way, I'm using "she" more often to refer to my baby; it just sounds more humane and personal than "it." And it gets me excited for a girl every time I use it, so that's definitely a major plus. Plus, I realized that the only item I bought way in advance for this baby was a girl's onesie. Perhaps it's a sign?
Another reason I think it might be a boy is my appetite has been through the roof again. I thought with a growing baby, my stomach would be shrinking; therefore, I wouldn't be able to consume as much in one sitting. I figured I would just have to eat more often. But that's not the case. I can eat . . . a lot . . . in one sitting, and thirty minutes later, I'm hungry for another meal. It's ridiculous. I know my baby's gaining more weight now, but still . . . it doesn't account for the junk I've been allowing myself to indulge in "in the name of pregnancy." I really want to gain a minimal amount of weight, and I want to have healthy eating practices established before the baby's born so it will be easier to shed this weight once the baby is here. So it's taking everything within me to resist the urge to binge on sweets and creamy deliciousness every day.
Oh, and I had my ultrasound at 34 weeks--it's not nearly as exciting as the 20 week ultrasound because the baby's so big you can't see much at once. Here's what I learned at the ultrasound:
1. Baby's already head down facing the back--GOOD!
2. Baby's already got a head of hair (see pic below). That extra think kinda wavy line around the rim of the head, yeah, that's hair.
3. Baby's measuring 5 pounds 8 ounces. Um, that's at 34 weeks! If the measurement is accurate and the baby gains the average half pound per week, we're looking at a nine pound baby again. YIKES!
Going on gut again, I know this baby is coming early. First of all, my work load freed up tremendously, so I'm taking that as a sign that I needed to wrap things up earlier so I could be ready for this baby. I'm contracting all the time--which did not happen with baby number one. I can tell my body's preparing for labor. And then there's just that gut instinct that says I'm going to go early. Ideally, I'll deliver September 11. I know, weird date to pick, but my favorite nurse is working that day =) Plus, wouldn't it be good to have new life to celebrate on that day instead of just thinking about the hurt our nation went through? I think so.
I know last week I said I'd take the measurements with a grain of salt, and many have reminded me since that the measurements are often wrong--so I'll let my body do what it needs to. September 14th is another great day because my nurse is working that day too =) Regardless, I'm not going to fear having a big baby. My body grows big babies, so it can handle birthing them too.
I can't believe I'm a month away. I've gotten a lot done (laundered clothes, cleaned car seat, organized papers, NESTED--you should see my closets!); but I've got a lot to do (finalize birth plan, finalize name options, install car seat, pack hospital bag, buy/assemble furniture, finish nursery, make "big sister" crown for my firstborn, finalize and pack big sister's stuff, etc.) . Plus, I need to finish up my work (I've still got five books in progress that I'm editing). More than enough to keep me occupied the next few weeks.
I must admit, I keep seeing myself showing up for a regular check-up and hearing my midwife say, "Are you ready to have this baby today? Because we're going to the hospital now." Hopefully that's just my imagination. I want to labor as much as possible at home . . . and I'm just not quite ready for this baby to appear. Soon, very soon though!