In both cases, stomachs are on display.

You’re all probably sick of me talking about pregnancy stuff. Too bad. It’s clearly on the forefront of everything I do now, punctuated by my ever-growing belly. Which means I’ve had to procure clothes that actually fit, from linen trousers from my neighbor to maternity tops from my sister-in-law to a new sports bra in a size I never thought I’d inhabit. Gee, with a changing body, raging hormones, and aching muscles and bones, it’s like I’m going through puberty again. Then again, I just got a kick-ass pregnancy pillow that’s more like a throne and I’m sorry for my husband who has about twelve inches of mattress left on his side of the bed. These are the stages of pregnancy I never knew existed.

Because our risk of a Down Syndrome baby was considered high back in Week 12, we’ve been put on the “have more ultrasound scans” list, which I’m okay with. Even though we took the optional blood test and everything came back normal, we still had our 28-week scan (a week early) and will have a 32-week scan. We might even have a 36-week scan, but we’ll have to see. The hubs was able to come along to this one, so it was nice to share another milestone moment with him. I forgot how much growth happens in even eight weeks, but our little peanut was so big the scan didn’t capture everything on the screen. I was hoping to see some wriggles, and maybe a high-five. Kid was fast asleep, head down, and came in at 2.3 pounds. Gee, I hope I’m not pushing out a big baby in three months…

I had a follow-up midwife appointment a few hours later down in the village. I walked there, while it’s still comfortable, and provided the usual suspects to her: blood, urine, my belly. She whipped out the fetal heart monitoring device and Baby B didn’t disappoint – 140 beats per minute. She allowed me to record the sound, so I did, and when I played it for my husband this morning he said it sounded like a submarine. This was followed by a string of The Hunt For Red October quotes, which I only halfway followed. (“It’s gotta be man-made…” “Better than whales humping…” “Or a seismic anomaly…”) To be fair, the room was very echo-y and full of metal bits. So now I guess we’re growing a tiny submarine.

It’s not so much an official milestone as it was just a moment of reflection, but I washed my first load of baby clothes, bibs, swaddle blankets, and burp cloths today. I’m clearly not denying my pregnancy, or even waking up thinking it’s all been a dream, but it just seems much more of a reality now. All kid clothing and accoutrements are ridiculously cute, but the teeny-tiny socks really got me. What a sap. Maybe I’m just reeling from the fact that the majority of my life has been spent actively avoiding getting pregnant, but now that’s exactly the thing I’ve embarked upon. I’m still really hoping my experience in not killing my cats and our dog pays off. (Let’s not talk about chickens, fish, and hamsters).

If anyone’s interested, my symptoms have moved on, which is great. I had a few weeks of off-again, on-again heartburn/indigestion/acid reflux (not fun), I was pretty hard down recently with some cold bug (not fun), and my sleep patterns were getting a bit out of whack (also not fun). Fortunately, all these things have been resolved. I feel guilty that I don’t have a full-time job, but also lucky that I’m able to have such a flexible schedule. Every time I talk to my neighbor, or my sisters, about feeling badly about napping, they laugh and tell me to get as much sleep as I can. Having a newborn is hard and the rest I will get will only be in fits and spurts. I’ve gone through many experiences involving lack of sleep – OCS, TBS, flight school, SERE school – but my Marine friends with kids tell me it’s a whole other ballgame. That’s both terrifying and exciting. I know I’ve got the training, temperament, and instinct to do this, but the unknown still lurks. I just feel incredibly lucky to be at a place in my life where I’m the most ready I’ll ever be, my husband is uber-supportive and makes enough money for the both of us right now, and my family network is there for me. However hard this gets, I know I’m set.

Ah, these are the joys of growing a human.

And May the Fourth be with you. (And also with you.)

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