Today marks 34 weeks in my pregnancy. We're officially in the home stretch- just three more weeks until I'm considered full term. As Tyler, Tye, and I relax around our home today, decorating and cooking and organizing, I'm reminded of a very, very similar day a little over two years ago.
Also a Sunday, we woke in Bloomington. I was 33 weeks and 6 days, and I began having contractions every 10 minutes that didn't stop with my normal protocol of laying on the couch and drinking 2 liters of water. So we drove to Chicago to go the hospital up there, praying the whole way the contractions wouldn't become closer together. Tyler was pulled over for speeding and ticketed. Then we spent several hours in the obstetrics ER at Rush Memorial Hospital. Eventually the contractions stopped on their own and we went home, but I was put on bed rest. There ended my teaching position and began my final preparations for birth.
Really, the only things similar about that day and today are that they are Sundays and that I'm 34 weeks along. We're not having any crazy contractions, thankfully (just my normal Braxton Hicks contractions), and Tyler had better not get any tickets. I do remember feeling quite huge at that point, and feeling a hint of relief that I was put on bed rest. As hard as it was to leave work and my students early, my body had been having quite a hard time keeping up with my physical requirements at work.
This past week, I've been feeling a similar sentiment. I've had to slow my pace walking to and from the playground or else the 3/4 mile round trip with the stroller is exhausting. I'm taking more breaks throughout the day to sit with my feet up, and one day, I napped as long as Tye did (and it was fabulous). Yesterday, while Tyler and Tye hung out at home, I went for a much-needed prenatal massage and relished in having my tired body relaxed and rejuvenated. And this morning, when Tyler offered to let me sleep in for the second time this weekend, I accepted.
I read in one of my pregnancy books that the whole point of the third trimester is to make a woman so miserable that she's willing to do anything necessary, even pushing a bowling ball through her tiny cervix, to get the baby out. I remember that sometimes as I'm walking the final uphill stretch home from the playground and suddenly realize I still have to lug my tired legs up our front stairs. But then there are moments I know I'll cherish forever- sitting on the couch videotaping the baby's hiccups jarring my belly; Tyler touching my stomach, feeling an elbow or knee just below the surface, and exclaiming, "Whoa! I can feel her in the there!"; taking time out to appreciate being pregnant and the miracle growing inside of me. Just as I was at 34 weeks with Tye, I'm grateful to still be pregnant and for every day that Baby Girl 2 has a safe place within me to continue growing and developing... and hiccuping.