Monday, October 15, 2012

33 weeks

At 33 weeks, the mind starts shifting inward.

This abstract soul that I've carried all along becomes more real to me as the weeks pass: knobs of knees and elbows sliding along under my skin, the push of a bum up high with the answering pressure of a head that has settled low into my pelvis, the delicate tap dance that moves from under my right ribcage, evolving into a tiny hand's push against my navel, the amazingly hard weight when Braxton-Hicks contractions come to call.

I imagine her marvelling at her siblings' voices raised in song, laughter, and battle. I feel her turning towards the warmth and purr of a cat using her as a pillow. My bellybutton protrudes, my sciatic nerve whispers through the day then yells by evening, and I celebrate a full night's sleep if I manage to get through without getting up to pee.

The days swirl past like leaves from the trees, and I wonder how it is that I've come so far. Four more weeks till my leave begins, with three weeks to rest and prepare my mind for that journey into Labour and Postpartum Land. The time for washing tiny clothes and packing my homebirth labouring kit is nigh. The midwives will visit soon, and we'll start thinking about that December day in earnest.

And always, through all the busyness and planning, wondering and preparing, I feel that tiny little girl's weight shifting and twirling in her watery world, this world within me, and can hardly imagine not feeling her there. I wrap a towel around my tall son after his bath, hold my big girls in my arms while they straddle this saddle of a belly, and marvel that their limbs, organs, minds and spirits once rested within the world of my body.

I know the day is coming soon when this girl will fill my arms and heart as her siblings do, and that miraculously, I'll once again forget this feeling of harbouring another's life in my body as I have before. I am reminded to rejoice in her random shifts and dances even as I grow to an uncomfortable girth.

I am 33 weeks pregnant today, with my fourth child.

25 comments:

  1. What a beatiful post! I am close to tears.

    I am 11 weeks pregnant with my third child. And although I feel awful, overcome with nausea and often vomiting (nothing like my previous pregnancies!)my heart is so happy and I want to cherish every moment. As we mamas know this very precious time in our life goes so fast!

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  2. Oh, the nausea...I didn't have it (much) with the previous three but almost caved and got meds this time around...then one day, it just wasn't there anymore. Wishing you the same blessed relief! Now it's just the heartburn...:)

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  3. I'm overdue now, but remember 33 weeks well :) Although I can't say I'm rejoicing in this time of pregnancy (more like complaining a lot), I know how quickly this will pass and I will be feeling the phantom kicks and thumps in my empty womb.

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    1. Been there too, Misty...the week or two overdue are longer than the weeks that precede it! Hang in there...look forward to hearing your news!

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  4. So beautifully written, thank you for sharing; your picture captures an inimitable expression. May the best follow ...

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  5. 4 days overdue.... and eager for our first little boy to join us in the outside world. Fielding daily questions on "when is he going to GET here" from his older sisters. Waiting to cradle a new bundle, longing to see my toes, and wondering at the changes this will bring to our family. Wandering through the house, looking at things I should do but not starting anything big "in case". Cherishing moments alone when I know, soon enough, the house will be filled with many voices.

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    1. The shift from two to three, for us, was the moment of final surrender to the wildness of parenting...looking forward to getting the word that all has gone well and baby boy is with you! Best of all labour and post partum can offer!

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  6. You really have a way with words, my dear! You had me close to tears, too! ox

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  7. Hi Stephanie. We are about the same schedule - I am now a little over 34 weeks. You so beautifully wrote what I was just thinking to myself tonight, as I giggled over a case of fetal hiccups! This pregnancy has been a whole new experience, from my first which ended with a preemie at only 25 weeks. This is my first third trimeter - first feeling of this huge weight, the sciatica and pubic pain, braxton-hicks tightness, sleepless nights, actual anticipation... Wishing you an amazing delivery and new addition to your lovely family.

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  8. <3 Isn't that just a total miracle, that feeling inside, and knowing that it will grow into one of those amazing kids... Enjoy your last few weeks of intimate togetherness!

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  10. I remember videotaping the marvel of my shifting belly as Middling did her in utero twirls. And I remember Eldest sticking one little finger or thumb out, straining against by flesh. And Eldest Son squirming in excitement whenever he heard his big sister's voice. So much incomprehensible magic.

    Thank you for so beautifully bringing those memories back to me.

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  11. a girl! perhaps you had revealed that prior and I had missed it. Congratulations! I also have three girls and one boy. A wonderful combination I think

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  12. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing! Not long now!

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  13. Thanks for capturing that feeling Steph...Beautiful! I'm 2 weeks away and feeling all those things (except the siblings and kitties).Just had your sister cast my shape so I'll remember. I'll miss that feeling inside as well but know that a whole new world is about to show itself!
    Love Krista

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    1. I heard the day was fun! I only have one cast so may have to do another of this babe...shape is very different this time around! I'm thinking of you every day as your time draws near. Can't wait to welcome the new twig on the family tree!

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  14. Wonderfully written. I can remember like it was yesterday, instead of 21 months ago, the fear and uncertainty of bed rest and how I had most certainly failed in my endeavor as an incubator. Oh, the backaches, the heartburn, the head butts she gave me were most definitely worth it. Can't wait, 7 weeks will fly by...won't they?

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  15. You have a beautifully lyrical way of writing. I haven't been pregnant for 36 years but your words took me back to those days of anticipation and wonder.
    Thank you!

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  16. Very beautiful Stephanie. Makes me broody! xxx

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  17. What a beautiful post! Lookin' good mama! Enjoy these final weeks!

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  18. You are beautiful in every way. Thanks for sharing those precious thoughts with us!
    -Jaime

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