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IMG_1771Songs from my labor playlists (works-in-progress) and Abby’s lullaby medley wrap me in the assurance that I am on the brink of so much more. Swollen ankles glare back from their propped-up position, but even they can’t quell the quiver of joy that shakes my deepest soul.

The child of my dreams is almost here. The daughter of my heart is 21 days from birth.

The prayers of hundreds have held and caressed this Little One since long before she was conceived. Now, we will see how she changes the world. Tiny, but mighty she is. Of this, I am sure. Abigail Nichelle. Delight of our hearts. Victorious. Made in God’s Image. These are her names and her birthright.

I can’t wait to shower her with kisses and wrap her in the countless blankets now tucked away in all the corners of our home. 

The reality of her fast approaching birth (and my strengthening Braxton Hicks) overshadows my not-nearly-completed to-do list. Labor really is one of the last hurtles that MUST be overcome before we cuddle Abby close. Purchasing diapers will happen. Finishing the packing of hospital bags is nearly complete. Organizing the fridge and every closet may not occur, but who cares but me?

I’m preparing my heart and home to nest and rest. To Heal. The promises the Lord whispered to me at the beginning of this year. Right now, I’m still overwhelmed with the preparations (you would be too, if you saw the state of the disaster zone in the basement where we are relocating to. LOL.). But, this too shall pass. And, in its wake will be nursing, rocking, shushing, sleepless nights, and sleepless days. Pure bliss.

After years of tears falling, I’m going to be a mommy. 21 more days.

~~~

Anyway, Abigail now weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces (7th percentile) as of Thursday’s final growth ultrasound before birth on April 4 (Go girl!). According to my phone’s pregnancy app, by this time most of the lanugo (body hair) is gone. Her immune system is no longer relying on the antibodies from the placenta. This self-immunity is important to protect her at birth. The vernix is disappearing; however, a little bit will still be moisturizing her skin at birth. The digestive system is fully working by itself. Moreover, Abby is peeing up to a pint a day into the amniotic fluid. Even though the placenta is capable of supporting Abby till birth (praise God), it will start to age this week.

How far along? 34 weeks

Total weight gain: No completely sure, but about 12-13 pounds (16-17 pounds if you count the weight that I regained after first trimester nausea).

Maternity clothes? Yes, and even they are uncomfortable. I’m pretty sure that I am not in the technical bounds of my school’s dress code, but I don’t have money or energy to shop.

Stretch marks?  I don’t think so, but I have some older ones that are becoming more apparent on my hips. Interestingly, I definitely have the linea nigra or “dark line” that runs vertically up and down a pregnant belly. It is becoming more obvious, as is my VERY out belly button. 

Sleep: It is harder and harder to get and stay comfortable. I swell during the night and my hands fall asleep very easily.

Best moments of the past week(s): (1) Crying with my specialist when she informed me that the next time Abby will be “weighed” is in three weeks on an actual hospital scale, (2) A sweet baby shower with a small group of Colorado friends thrown by my amazing life group (see below lemonade and diaper cake), and (3) Counting down until Abby’s induction day! IMG_1762

Miss Anything? Running. Skin that doesn’t itch. Afternoons spent NOT at doctors’ offices.

Movement: Yes! She pushes her body from side to side and finds ways to make it feel as though her feet are in my ribs. She is also a fan of grinding her head on several painful nerves in my pelvis. 

Food cravings: Not really. Still, I am amazed at how much I can eat of …. anything…and everything …. all of the time… LOL

Anything making you queasy or sick: Heartburn and acid reflux are getting worse. Even a slightly empty stomach makes the symptoms worse. Tight clothing also makes me feel yucky.

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks started at 33 weeks, 1 day and have been becoming a more regular occurrence. I have to modify my activities even more to give my body a chance to adjust to this new phase of pregnancy.

Symptoms: Shortness of breathe. Swelling in my feet and hands. Constant need for a restroom (and I mean CONSTANT…apparently, my midwife explained that one of the reasons that my belly measures small is that Abby is so very content to stay so low in my torso on my bladder). My wedding rings don’t fit anymore. Exhaustion. Braxton Hicks. Hungry, but seemingly no place to “store” food.

Belly Button in or out?  Very out. 🙂

Looking forward to: Moving my own bedroom/living area into the basement and…..meeting Abby. I am so excited to hold her and then see David hold her for the first time.

Next appointment:  When do I NOT have an appointment? Two appointments every week – Monday (midwife) and Thursday (specialist) for normal pregnancy checks and dopplers/NSTs. Induction appointment will be on Friday, April 4.

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