Little Ellie is popping out more prominently as her arrival outside the womb becomes closer! It hardly seems we should have about 8 weeks left to go, with how big I already feel! ;) But, happily she is healthy, head down, and everything is normal with check-ups for me too. I think I had the quickest doctor's appointment yet last week, very in and out, take tests, samples, heartbeat, and out. With an hour by taxi commute times (as I've been going mid-day while Ryan works from home while Hadassah naps) I am happy when the appointment itself isn't too long.
It is pretty neat how God makes babies in the womb develop, though. The most interesting fact I learned from my weekly pregnancy emails is that, starting around 32 weeks, baby begins packing on the pounds quickly: out of the average one pound/week gain by Mama, baby will put on half of that in weight in week! So while it doesn't seem I have much more room left to stretch - and the stretch marks are already all over the place! - we've got a ways to go!
And while 8 weeks seems a long ways away, when I consider we've already come 32 weeks through this pregnancy, and all that the next 8 weeks hold, it almost doesn't seem long enough! But, I'm getting to the point, with 3rd trimester tiredness hitting full force, that I'm definitely ready to have this baby out. ;) Though I am so so thankful for good health and energy sufficient for the day (though come Hadassah's nap time all I want to do is sit down!), with varicose veins in weird places, some hip pain on and off, early morning leg cramps, and tired feet from the extra pounds, it will be good to not have a baby inside soon. I think God brings women to this point to make them ready to endure the strenuousness of labor. ;) Though I will miss the little kicks and movements, and the feeling of having Eliana so so close with my hands still free.
I'm also at the point that I remember getting to last time, needing to slow down. Not up to cooking and cleaning as much, not wanting to schedule too much company coming over, as I end up wearing myself out getting ready. It's a season. I'm also wanting to be more relaxed there, though, and be open to having people over and just ordering food in, as being hospitable is just good no matter what. I'm at another annoying part too; even maternity shirts are getting too short!
We often talk about when baby Ellie will come out, though, and Hadassah continues to say "mama get bigger, bigger, bigger, and then pop! Baby!" I talk about how Ellie will want to be just like Hadassah, but that she won't be able to do very much when she comes out. We practice gentleness around other children, and with generous church friends loaning us various baby gear, we practice bouncing Hadassah's teddy bear in the bouncy seat, and she loves putting her baby doll in the swing. She's also tried to get in them herself, or bounced it so hard the seat flipped, so we've been able to talk about how to rightly use the equipment before there's a real baby in it! Hopefully the lessons stick, but I've been around enough second borns to know they can survive some perilous moments with a toddler older sibling!
The baby bathtub friends are lending us is in Hadassah's bathroom, where she can see it right next to her potty chair through the glass, so she often talks about "baby 'ana's bath tub." I tell her how she'll help give baby a bath, how she can blow bubbles and help Mommy, and she seems excited. I can't wait to watch her enjoy our baby too. :)
There are also times I wonder how on earth I'm going to fit so much extras in with a newborn - I mean, at least 2 hours a day alone just nursing! - amid already busy days. I am so excited at the thought of two precious ones to love, but also am enjoying the time it's just Hadassah and me, to cherish time with this girl who will grow to be more and more my right hand girl. I know there will be crazy days, but it's my hope to involve her as much as possible with baby, and still find some special times to spend with them individually. Any moms-of-two-or-more tips are appreciated. :)
All-in-all, the countdown is nearer, it's relieving to read that this week if baby were born this week, chances of survival are great, but I'm hoping little Ellie is content to stay all curled up inside for at least 5 more weeks until we're well settled in Alabama!