This week's email says my baby's about to experience a growth spurt. I'm trying to figure out exactly how that's going to work because I already feel like I'm going to burst. I can tell that I'm carrying this baby differently than the first because I don't remember this much pressure on my lower abs before. Plus, there are times when I feel like the baby is just going to fall out--other women told me that was going to happen, but I never believed them--I'm a believer now! My midwife pointed out that since my muscles are stretched out from baby #1, I'd feel a lot more this time around, so that explains a lot of it. But I also think this baby is lower, and I think my belly is more pointed (more important things to note in case this one turns out to be a boy).
I've finally allowed myself to separate my biases and preconceived notions and just let my gut instinct talk to me. So when I quiet all the voices in my head, one thought prevails: this baby is a girl. One of my hubby's co-workers was surprised to hear I hadn't dreamt about the baby and figured out the gender. She said long before she found out the gender (she's only a couple of weeks behind me), she had dreams that it would be a boy. Well, I haven't had dreams, but I'm finally allowing myself to listen to my intuition. Before now, my two major hangups with trying to figure out the gender were #1: I know I want it to be a boy, so I couldn't separate wanting it to be a boy from thinking it is a boy. #2. I have a girl, so I only know girls. I really can't imagine anything but a girl right now. Confusing. I know! So that's why I wouldn't let myself try to guess the gender.
But the other day I was day dreaming about life with two kids, and I pictured myself with two girls. It just popped in my head. And I was really excited. I can foresee us being close, enjoying girly moments, and just "getting" each other. It felt right. My girls and I. Has a nice ring. I'll still be thrilled to have a boy, but I might start calling Baby Ninja a "she" from now on and actually acting on my instinct. We'll see.
On another pregnancy note: braxton hicks contractions have begun. Yeeouch! I didn't have these with my first pregnancy, but the first time I felt one this time around, I immediately flashed back to walking the halls of the hospital trying to weather the pain and get my cervix to dilate with my first baby. I know it's common to feel contractions this early, but anyone besides me have ones that were pretty painful? For those of you who haven't experienced them, the best way I can describe them is a creeping pain (like menstrual cramps) that continues to escalate until all of the muscles around your uterus are rock hard. They're not always that painful, but the muscles around my uterus are certainly getting a workout from tightening so often.
Survey time! How common is it around you to have an epidural and avoid a c-section? I know c-sections in general are on the rise, but a friend of mine pointed out that I was one of two friends she knew of who had an epidural and didn't end up in a c-section. I found that fascinating because here in OK (at least among my friends), it's really common for people to have an epidural and not end up in a c-section; but in MI, it's the opposite. Help me out with a mini-survey here. In the comments, let me know where you're from, if you had an epidural, and if you ended up in a c-section. Feel free to add what your friends have experienced, too, so I can get a better sense of your area. Thanks so much, dear readers. I really appreciate all the feedback and advice you've given me along the way.
And finally, confession time. I'm putting potty training on hold. As I burrow into the ground (should be in China by next week), I have to admit, this isn't going well. She's just not interested. So, I'm going to take the advice I've been resisting for so long--I'm going to take a break. I'm not sure if it will be a week, two weeks, or more; but I'm going to start using diapers again. After a week of absolutely no progress (in fact, now she smiles when she tells me she peed her pants and proudly points out the puddle she left behind), I've decided this is counterproductive. Sigh. I will not have one of those inspiring stories to tell the new moms in the near future. Instead, I will be one of those humans (as opposed to super-moms) who admits all sorts of failures along the long journey to potty training. I realize I'm being extremely dramatic, but giving up is so little a part of my life that this is really hard to admit--especially with it being so public since I'm posting it online. Ah well, life goes on. =)