At 35 weeks, we took a tour of the hospital where I'll be giving birth, and then we took my photo out front while various nurses on their break smiled at us curiously. It was weirdly hot for San Francisco—particularly San Francisco at 7:45pm at night—and you could tell everyone on the tour was thinking "please don't let it be this hot when I have my baby" as we stood fourteen-deep in the delivery room, mopping the sweat off our brows and gazing uneasily at the stirrups.
The woman who gave the tour, Shirley, had started working at the hospital in 1960, which must have made it weird for her to say things like "and all our postpartum rooms have wifi," but she did an admirable job of making it seem a far less scary place than it had hitherto been in my mind, even if she did have the group in tears when she told a story of a preemie she'd helped look after coming back to the hospital 31 years later with his pregnant wife. Seriously, when she got to the part about reuniting with the guy's mother—her old patient, about to become a first-time grandmother—I don't think there was a dry eye in the house, which is what happens, I guess, when you tell a highly emotional story to a highly hormonal group of women. I would've busted out the old "oh, I'm fine, it's just awfully dusty in here," but being that it was a hospital—where any rogue speck of dust is presumably immediately swept up by a sanitized, white-gloved hand—I doubt anyone would have believed me. Besides, whatever, everyone else was sniffling anyway.
I saw my doctor this morning—who is, herself, pregnant, which gives me a bizarre sense of satisfaction, like, ah okay! This must be worth doing then!—and she told me that the baby's head is super low, which would explain a lot of the weird pressure I've been feeling lately. I've been getting headbutted in the old hoo-ha, basically—not to put too fine a point on it—which is about as unpleasant as it sounds. She also asked me if I'd been having any Braxton-Hicks contractions, and I was about to say "no, I haven't noticed any" when she cut me off with "Oh! There! You just had one!", which was sort of startling but also, I guess, kind of proved my point.
Come to think of it, though, I may actually have had a few in Ikea last week—are they brought on by stress? THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE—because I had a very strange and sudden 15-minute period there where I could hardly walk, and had to wheel myself around the showroom floor in a MALKOLM (or was it a VOLMAR, I forget) while Sean and I argued over filing cabinets. Then the feeling went away as soon as it had started and I felt like a normal person again, albeit a normal person who needed a little bit of help getting out of her MALKOLM/VOLMAR, because yes, I have reached the highly dignified point in my pregnancy where I sometimes need to be helped out of chairs. My back and hips just ache such a lot at the end of the day, you see—particularly when getting up out of a seated position—and while the Snoogle I raved about last week has been helping me sleep a little better, it was only a miracle cure for about three days before the novelty wore off and I started waking up with back pain again. (Thank you to everyone who suggested a chiropractor! I think this is going to be my next step. Insert joke here about STEPS, and how they are harder for me to take these days without groaning, etcetera etcetera etcetera.)
In other news, the nursery is finally starting to come together in a most satisfactory way—rug is down! Crib is put together! Dresser is assembled and has been customized with adorable brass lion ringpulls (you know, the really important stuff)—and I have now turned my attention to DIAPERS, which are proving to be a particularly thrilling thing to research. I have been hearing good things about the Pampers Swaddlers brand, and also about the slightly crunchier—although, let us hope, not literally—Nature Babycare, but if you consider yourself to be a diaper aficionado (and if you do, I hope you have added this to your resume), I would be very interested to hear your opinion on your favorites. (We are going with disposables—for now, at least—because cloth diapering, while wonderful, is something I may have to think about another time, when my head is maybe just a little less explode-y. Don't be mad.)
(Also, I am very confused about how many to buy and in what sizes. I asked this on Twitter, and everyone was super-duper kind and helpful, but the answers ranged from "DO NOT BUY ANY NEWBORN SIZES" to "BUY THREE MONTHS WORTH OF NEWBORN SIZES" and.....well, there is a lot of dissent when it comes to this topic, I guess, which is why my head, as stated above, is in several pieces around the room.)
Anyway! Let's get rid of that disgusting mental imagery by celebrating the fact that today—well, today when I'm writing this—is June 27th, and my due date is July 27th, which means there are only four weeks to go, and also, the next time we get to a date with a 27th in it, I may actually have a baby. Talk about head explode-y, huh? Oh god, I'm sorry, I was trying to get that visual out of your brain.