Monday, July 14, 2008

Week 41: The Belly Was Touched (by a stranger)

So I thought we were going to successfully complete the entire pregnancy without any strangers reaching out to touch my belly. I had heard this commonly happens...and I never understood why a stranger would touch someone else's belly (especially without asking permission). But today a woman at Bed, Bath & Beyond reached across a small counter/table that was in between us and laid her hand on top of my big belly. It actually didn't bother me. I could tell she was happy for me (as much as a stranger can be) and she was just rambling away at her guesses on how much this little one weighs...she thinks 10 pounds. :) haha... Thanks.

Her friend who came up beside her (but didn't touch my belly) said, "Oh, this must be your first baby!" and I confirmed that yes, it is. "That is why you are going beyond 40 weeks" she said..."I think your baby is about 9 and something" she said.

Well, that's 2 big baby guesses for the day. But 9 pounds is typical for homebirthed babies (actually, for all babies that are healthy and hearty and go till their full un-induced - i.e. no cervical exams, cervical sweeps, drugs or membranes irritated - due date).

Stopping at another store before heading home, there was a young man dressed in camis up at the checkout near me. "You must be like my sister" he said and told me that his sister went to Week 41 & 1/2 and then they attempted to induce her. It didn't work, and her baby chose to stay put for another week before arriving in its own time. "My niece was 9 & 1/2 pounds when she was born" he told me "I bet yours is the same". "We'll find out" I smiled. "Its hard to take big deep breaths at this point, isn't it?" he asked. I smiled again - yup!

Big baby bellies get a lot of attention wherever you go.

Sometimes it is kind of nice -- strangers will do odd things just to help you out. I have had women at the grocery store tear off produce bags and hand them to me so that I don't have to walk over and get them for my apples... I've been pulled out of customer service lines to go up to the front in order to make my return rather than waiting... I've had men pull things down off shelves for me and put them in my cart without me ever saying a word... I've had just about every door opened for me that I have walked thru over the past 3 weeks.

The nicest compliment came last week when I was lugging my huge stash of books to ship at the Post Office. July must be the month that everyone really digs into their summer reading, because book sales skyrocketed this month. This is good because we have a $2,500.00 bill to pay for the little one's birth. I had an especially heavy load of boxes to mail that day, but I am also pretty accustomed to hauling my shipments (and handling/lifting an 80 pound Basset Hound at the same time) so it isn't too different from what I've been doing the whole pregnancy.

On this particular day, I was waiting in line and there was a shorter man standing behind me with his 1 package to mail. I stepped from the line for a moment because I needed to pick up an extra Priority Box from the wall shelf. When I returned to the line this cute little man was smiling at me as big as the SUNSHINE. What on earth could he be
thinking?! I wondered...

"YOU ARE A REALLY TOUGH LADY!" he said to me. Hahahaha. "From behind I never even knew!! And then you turned around to walk back, and here you have a big baby and all these boxes!" It was cute. "Yup, I sure do" I smiled. What a sweetie. He asked about when the baby was expected to arrive...and the usual questions people ask. And he just kept staring at my belly. Haha. I could tell he also wanted to take t
he stack of boxes from me, but it really wasn't a problem, and I set some of them down on the counter while we waited in line. It was a nice compliment -- (1) to be told that I don't look pregnant from the back - that's nice to hear!! and (2) to be reaffirmed in my toughness and strength as a 41 week pregnant woman. It's empowering - especially coming from this cute lil man at the P.O.

So those are the stories for now...

I seriously feel every single day like "this could be the day"... other natural physiological birthin' moms tell me they too felt like they had the flu for about two weeks straight at the end...and then the cramps started up nonstop...and the deep pressure...and that is where I am right now. Pretty yucky feeling all the time.

So I guess we shall see.

Some encouraging songs that I just love right now:
"Never Let Go" by David Crowder Band

"Small Enough" by Nichole Nordeman and Fernando Ortega
"Psalm 23" sung by this woman birthing her 10 pound baby... I don't know whose compilation of this song it is...but my brother Adam put it into a music file format for me so I can listen to it on itunes. Thanks Adam!!!


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