I think I've mastered the appropriate response to, "You look ready to pop" or "getting so close" or "Your belly is getting so big," when I walk down the hallways of my work, the atrium of my church, or the sidewalks of my neighborhood. Each time in my mind I have a very sarcastic thought to say "you are soooooo observant!" Instead of letting my sadistic mind take over, I have come up with what I think works best. I just basically repeat what they say.
Person, "you look so ready to pop!"
Me, "Sooooo ready to pop."
Person, "you're getting so close!"
Me, "So close!"
Person, "Look at that big belly!"
Me, "Sooo big!"
Then I usually get a rub down on my belly, which doesn't bother me at all, and I go about my way. There is no rule in the invisible etiquette book on what you should say to a pregnant lady that is clearly ready to have her baby. Although there are a RIDICULOUS amount of phrases and sayings that people come up with to react to a massively pregnant woman approaching their way, but I have yet to have an encounter when their saying wasn't slightly awkward. I can handle awkward. It is just generally weird to talk about how much you resemble a whale on a regular basis and it be socially acceptable, which it is.
I really should get a rose pinned on my nose every time I am greeted about my belly/baby. My house would smell like the freakin' Rose Parade on New Year's Day.
So what could we establish as acceptable to say to a woman close to her due date?
Let's start with nixing what I do look like. I know I look "ready to pop," "ready to bust," "like a whale," or "like I am having twins," but that doesn't mean I want to hear it 50 times a day. I also know that my boobs have doubled and my bootie has quadrupled. There is no need to comment on that unless you are my African American co-workers who swoon over my "black girl butt." Coming from them it is a compliment, but from everyone else it just reminds me how many inches I will need to lose after I squeeze a baby through these hips.
I actually don't mind when people note that I look lower now-a-days or that the baby has dropped, because that lets me know they have been paying attention and know how I've been carrying the baby throughout my pregnancy. So this can stay on the non-nixed what-I-look-like sayings list.
Here is a good question: "How much longer do you have until your due date?" I don't mind this question, because I know exactly how many days I have left as I CANNOT wait to meet this sweet baby.
"You're glowing." This is a saying I appreciate. Regardless of the fact that I know you are lying through your teeth, because my skin is actually drier than it has been in years, I still like a little positive physical affirmation despite my all-over-swollen body.
Let us not forget the best wishes, prayers, and good lucks on labor/delivery, transition to a bigger family, etc... I am ALWAYS down for these little sayings. With a 45 hour labor with my first, I welcome these with vigor as I pray for this labor to go smoothly and way faster than last time. I constantly worry about my son accepting his new baby brother or sister or how I am going to do staying at home with the two. I worry about how breast feeding is going to go. I worry about my two babies waking each other up in the middle of the night and how we are going to live as a family of 4 in a two bedroom. These are things I most definitely want best wishes, prayers, and "good-lucks" thrown my way.
Lastly, I think it is okay to say, "you are carrying that baby so well" or "you look great pregnant," even if you don't mean it. Again, I am happy to accept and diligently waive this lie as true gift for my soul. So to all you people who aren't sure what to say to severely pregnant women, heed these few tid bits and quit telling me that I look ready to "pop." My skin literally feels like it will burst as baby stretches about in my womb, so the thought of popping sounds terrifying. Don't terrify me, people. Let's just hem and haw about how NOT huge I look and ignore the dry skin on my forehead by exclaiming the glow I exude! Just until I have this baby...sound good? (; Then you can tell me how exhausted I look after I have him or her, which I am certain you will. We'll talk about that later...
How far along? 38 weeks
Baby is as long as a: Leek (19 1/2 inches)
Total weight gain: 34 - 35 pounds
Update from the midwife: At my appointment this week I was 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and the baby was at 0 station. When she checked me, the first thing she said was, "oh, the baby is really low!" Fundal height was 36.5cm.
Waist Measurement: 41 inches. I am staying the same, but I think the baby is still getting bigger just dropping lower.
Maternity clothes? It is crazy to me that even my pregnancy shorts are unbearable. Maybe is is the way my swollen belly hangs over my girth now, but the bolt stays locked so that I can be pant-less as much as possible.
Stretch marks? No new ones. Although I keep checking to see if I have more since my skin sears during the day as the baby stretches and kicks. There is only so much more swelling this belly is going to do.
Best moment this week: I have loved getting to see two of my friends have babies this week! Each of them became a family of 5 and it excites me knowing I will be there one day as Josh and I plan on having another after this one comes along.
Movement: Tons of movement. Baby 2.0 is actually pretty calm, but when he or she does move, it is a LOT of movement.
Food cravings: Still not a big appetite this week. Part of that is because I haven't been able to breathe from my sinus infection. Thank the Lord I got a Z-pak.
Miss Anything? I miss sleeping through the night.
Gender: I keep imagining a girl, but Shep almost perfectly said the baby boy name that we picked out. It kind of melted my heart. The thought of Shep having a baby brother also makes my heart so happy. They would be best buds.
Symptoms: Zero sleep, indigestion, heart burn, swelling feet. This is getting real.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On