As of yesterday, I'm 30 weeks along. It's such a relief to be into a week that starts with a 3, even if I still have several more goalposts I want very much to pass. 32 weeks, not that far away now, and we'll be past the "very preterm stage". 34, and we're into late prematurity. 36, and I'll feel reasonably confident about avoiding NICU time. One more week after that, we'll be into the fabled land of the full-term baby.
I can't really imagine what it's like to actually have a full-term baby. The girls were born at 35w6d, late enough to avoid any serious morbidity, but early enough that they were still clearly "not done". They were a good size at birth, 5 lb 7 oz and 6 lb 4 oz, but both lost over a pound in the first few days, and Claire didn't reach 5 lbs again until she'd been home nearly a week. I remember thinking their chests looked deformed, because they didn't have enough fat to cover their ribs the way a baby's should be. They were sleepy, and we only just scraped by without phototherapy for the jaundice. They wore preemie clothes and preemie diapers for weeks, and were three months old before I finally put away their newborn-sized stuff.
Of course, 30 weeks, or 32 weeks, is a whole lot scarier than almost-36 weeks. Still, it seems a much shorter distance now than 30 weeks did from the vantage point of 28.
It's strange to think that I'm in my third trimester of pregnancy. In some ways, I feel so much less pregnant than I am -- I've gained less than 20 lbs, and measure several weeks behind. I actually even think my belly's shrunk in the last few days, as the baby seems to have finally gone head-down for good, and his head has settled into my pelvis, rather than poking out in front. I worry that this is the prelude to cervix change, though. I haven't had many contractions the last few days, but I'm more aware of the baby's weight in my lady business even when I'm not contracting. I've got an ultrasound scheduled for the morning, and I won't be surprised if there's shortening/funneling going on.
I don't miss the bladder fandango of a breech baby, but the crippling heartburn and nausea is beginning to make its appearance. I have heard other women with hyperemesis talk about the dreaded third-trimester relapse, and I was miserable at this point in my first pregnancy too (despite almost never being sick in the first trimester that time). It's more a mechanical issue, rather than the all-over constant seasickness of first-tri HG, but the result is the same. I lost 10 lbs in two weeks because of this in the last pregnancy, and somehow I don't think I'll be putting on much weight from here on out either. Thankfully, I am not suffering the joint pain I did last time, which is good because the joint pain came with permanent soft-tissue damage. I guess there are some upsides to having had most of the poorly-behaved joint removed and/or reworked. I do notice some extra joint laxity, especially in my fingers (no joke when you're double-jointed to begin with), but at least it's painless. No carpal tunnel, though, thank goodness, and no ridiculous swelling either.
Aside from the contractions, I really feel pretty good, especially in comparison to a twin pregnancy. I'm so glad I'll never have to go through a third-trimester twin pregnancy again, though in all honesty, I'm not sorry about the idea of being done with pregnancy, period. Assuming all goes well with the Lagniappe, G and I both feel like our family will be the right size, and God knows neither of us want to go through another pregnancy like this one. The infertility chapter of my life is very nearly over and done with, and I'm not sorry to be bidding it farewell.