I haven't posted too much here about this pregnancy, but as my due dates looms ever closer, I figured more regular updates might be in order.
I am currently 33 weeks along. All things considered, I'm doing pretty well. My sciatic nerve has been giving me all kinds of problems ever since way back in October, but oddly enough, the further I progress, the less it seems to bother me. This is the opposite of how things went with the girls, where the nerve got worse and worse right up until delivery. Apparently this little guy has decided to rearrange himself to be in a more mommy-friendly position. Let's hope he keeps that up for the next 7 weeks!
My big struggle currently is vulvar varicosis, which is about the most painful thing ever. Without getting too far into the gory details, I have had to start wearing this thing called a V2 supporter, which is basically a jock strap for women. It does ease some of the pressure and pain, but it is about the most uncomfortable thing ever created. An added problem is that it seems to create some kind of odd friction with my jeans, which prevents them from staying up. So I've been experimenting with various ensembles featuring stretch pants and leggings in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, this week I discovered that some of the varicose veins have spread to the top of my legs, and as far as I know, there's no supporter that can help with that position. For the time being, I've just got my fingers crossed that 1) the varicose veins don't spread any further and 2) they go away when this baby arrives (although my OB does tell me that they will come back early in any subsequent pregnancies, which makes me a little nervous).
If the reactions of strangers are any indication, I must look huge these days. When I'm out running errands, people constantly ask me when I'm due, and they don't seem to believe me when I tell them that it will be 7 more weeks. What can I say? I'm all of 5'2", and a large part of the reason that I'm so short is that my torso is very short, so where else is this baby supposed to go besides out? I've gained less than 25 pounds during the whole pregnancy (which is far better than I did with Bryn and Shay), and I actually lost 2 pounds this past month.
A more true measure of how I'm progressing, though, is the stomach measurement that my OB takes at each appointment. By this stage of the pregnancy, my bulging belly should be about 1 centimeter for each week along that I am. Up until this past week, I was measuring right on. Two appointments ago, for example, I was at 31 centimeters and 31 weeks (a fact which gave me great comfort when random strangers commented on my large size). At my appointment yesterday, though, I was 35 centimeters at 33 weeks, which means that I somehow grew 4 centimeters in 2 weeks without gaining any weight..... I'm hoping there's a miscalculation in there somewhere!
All in all, though, the baby is healthy, which is obviously the most important thing. His heartbeat is strong, and the doctor is estimating that he's about 4 1/2 pounds right now. His head is facing down right now, although there's obviously still plenty of time for him to wiggle around and rearrange several times before he arrives.
As with my pregnancies with Bryn and Shay, the general public keeps telling me that I'm so big that of course I'll deliver early. My OB, however, says no such thing. In my book, that makes her far smarter than the doctors in my previous practice, who swore up and down that both of my girls would come early. In actuality, both of them had to be induced AFTER their due dates. I'm hoping to avoid a third induction, but if experience is any indicator, it seems that my body may just not know how to go into labor on its own. For example, with Shay, I walked around 5 centimeters dialated and 70% effaced for nearly 2 weeks, and she STILL had to be induced. She was quite ready to come, though, as evidenced by the fact that she arrived less than 2 hours after I checked into the hospital for my induction. Hopefully this one doesn't come any faster than that, or I may not have time to make it to the hospital!! I guess the one perk of induction is that it allows you to plan your timing. We'll see though--I'm still crossing my fingers for this little guy to arrive in his own sweet time.