Just needed a breath!
It's been a busy week and I am so grateful! My sweet Pensacola Girls came in starting last Wednesday (missed you, Tina!) and as I suspected they would, the days just FLEW by! It was nothing to find it was 2 am and we were STILL jibber-jabbering, even with our eyes half closed! We made the last airport shuttle run last night, and the house is quiet in kind of a sad way...more for the dogs because they LOVED having some sweet little girls visit with them and treat them like they were the best things since sliced bread!
Now I am looking at the bottom of my computer screen and see a 22 on the calendar pad.
Where has this year gone? How is it only 3 days before Christmas? I've been listening to Christmas music in the car on our drives, and with each song I sing to, I am so aware of this time last year. How "I'll Be Home For Christmas," nearly killed me...literally. I couldn't breathe listening to it...thinking about how DESPERATE I was to be Home...with Matthew. How he was there and I was here. Or the words from "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,".... "From now on, our troubles will be out of sight..."
Yeah, a year ago, there was no way that I could be sure I'd be able to get out of the bed the next morning, much less shower, get dressed and eat. Remember to breathe. Go for more than a half an hour without crying....my 'troubles' being out of sight was laughable at best.
Insult to injury at that time of year was more believable.
But here I've been....for a week of driving all over...and singing those very same songs. With a different perspective, of course, but determined to let Luke's 'first' Christmas be one where he hears his mommy sing words that she has always, always loved. Some songs still make me tear up, and I've not been brave enough to go back to my words from these days a year ago. There is obviously no doubt that we've known unimaginable sorrow this year but we've also known unimaginable blessings. "J" wrote something that SO warmed my heart...there's no way that Luke could ever fill the hole in my heart left by Matthew, but he has opened up parts I never knew could exist...and surely didn't think would exist after losing Matthew.
I don't know of a word that could more aptly define that statement than simply, "True." We are just nearly ecstatic some moments when Luke does something funny to us--like go nuts over food and especially candy and sugary stuff (which Dr. Polko told me to watch these days, darnit!). When he yawns or swallows on the ultrasounds...when he kicks around so much they can't get the fetal monitor to stay and get his heartbeat appropriately. When he smiles...
We are so blessed with and grateful for this sweet little boy.
He is doing fabulously. I'm measuring big still, which just makes me laugh. He is now in the 75th%tile and I have told everyone (and a few doctors agree!) that I don't know that I'd have made it to 40 weeks on my own anyway--he is definitely lower, my hips are DEFINITELY aware of it, he's bigger...there's just no place on my tummy that you can feel where there is NOT Luke pushing as hard as he can to fill that space! He's weighing in at 6 lbs., 9 oz., which is more than Matthew was at birth. Even if this is an overmeasurement, with the standard measure of error, he's probably at least about 6 lbs. He has chubby, chubby cheeks!!!! He has obviously enjoyed the cuisine of Hotel Mommy! Dr. Polko and I discussed the options for if he should decide to come a bit earlier than even the 38 weeks we planned, and came to the consensus that we had several, but should not necessarily plan on being too far from St. Mary's at the least and Annapolis at best. I think we'll make it to 38, but maybe just barely.
I'm gaining more steadily, about 25-26 pounds now and some light/moderate swelling is beginning. I think a lot of it has been me being so busy lately, not to mention it's just that time of a pregnancy when it should start if it will. It's not too bad at all and I plan to spend the next 11 days and 14 hours until his birthday just sort of taking it easy.
Still scheduled for 1:00 on January 4. Did I mention that's just a little over 11 days?
Don't know if I will get a chance to write before Christmas...we are looking at a possible Nor'easter this weekend and that could put a crimp in our travel plans because John doesn't want to be too far from home for too long either, and that includes taking the chance of being snowed in. We'll see.
In any event, for any who read, and for all who comment and take the time to give me a sweet word of encouragement or email or amazing little gift in the mail for me or for Luke or for Matthew....I just can't say thank you enough. I mean that literally. I am so behind in thank-you notes and acknowledgements and it's mostly due to the fact that we are just SO ABUNDANTLY blessed with the generosity of such precious hearts.
How appropriate to remember the generosity of a precious heart at this time of year...specifically the heart that so loved the world that He gave His only Son...so one day I'll see my first-born again.
Me at 36 weeks..starting to fill out a bit more....
Dixie can't understand why a camera is pulled out and she is not asked to pose....
Pensacola Girls (minus Tina!)
Here's what's going on with Luke this week:
Week Thirty Six: Baby may drop into the birth canal
|You are 36 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 34 weeks)|
You may feel contractions of the womb, called Braxton Hicks contractions, which can be used to perform and practice breathing exercises. You may be visiting your caregiver weekly up until the birth. Regular internal exams may begin, to see if your cervix has softened, thinned, dilated or if your baby's head is dropping into the pelvis. Any of these could be signs of impending labor but there are no guarantees and you could be waiting for weeks yet. Your baby is almost ready, a pair of kidneys and the liver has begun processing some waste products, the only organ still to mature is the lungs.
This week your baby may drop into the birth canal, this is called 'lightening' or 'dropping'. If this is not your first baby, this 'lightening' may not occur until right before labor. Your care provider may refer to it by saying that your baby is now 'engaged'. The majority of babies are now in the birth position, either head down (vertex) or butt down (breech), most will maintain this position until birth. Any movements that they make are more likely to be rolls from side to side.You may notice when this happens because it will suddenly become much easier for you to breathe. While breathing becomes easier, walking may be the exact opposite. If your baby has dropped you may find yourself visiting the bathroom much more often as baby is resting right on top of your bladder again.
Keep talking - by now he or she can recognize you voice, and may respond to any loud noises with a swift kick out.
The average twin birth occurs between 36 and 37 weeks and the babies weigh an average of 5 pounds apiece. A baby's average size is now 18.5 inches (47 cm) and 6 pounds (2700 g).