I had a weird weekend.
I couldn't sleep Saturday night - like, at all - and woke up that morning in tears I was so tired. Pregnancy insomnia blows, man.
As soon as the hubs opened his eyes, I blurted out, "I hate being pregnant. I don't want to do this anymore!"
So, we packed up and drove 45 minutes away to the beach.
It was a beautiful day, what with the unseasonably warm weather Georgia is experiencing right now. We strolled and played with leftover sea foam and talked to Ella about "birds fying!" And after a few miles of sandy meandering, I was feeling better, even as the little lady inside me pushed and shoved and kicked and walloped.
And then I felt it. The tightening in my palm.
"Oh, crud!" I yelled. "Crud crud crud!"
I immediately pulled and tugged and wiggled to get my wedding rings off, in case it got worse.
My left hand was swelling.
It happened to me with Ella, too, a week later than with this pregnancy. I was out, in the heat, walking and swinging my arms at my side, just like I'd done at the beach. And my hand swelled.
Both times, I picked it up immediately and held it up and still. The swelling took about 15 minutes to go down.
Just like with Ella, it was fine. Nothing else was swollen or out of sorts, yet.
Then we headed out for a Mexican lunch and to stroll about a little shopping plaza. Ella was an angel, but her sister kept kicking the bejeebers out of me. My leg would go numb when the baby moved, and then it would tingle and wake back up, when she moved back off the nerve again. She played that game for hours; I grew even more tired, if that was possible.
So, later that night, as I cooked dinner and cleaned up, bending over to give Ella "nose kisses," a.k.a, Eskimo kisses, I'd find my contractions were squeezing my abdomen so tight that it took my breath away. I literally had to stop talking and pause. They didn't hurt, but they were intense.
Even the hubs gave me a few quizzical looks, and I swear I saw him reach for his phone, as if he was going to call up a midwife and tell them, well, what I'm not sure.
And then, Monday morning, after a bevy of dusting and laundry folding, I felt the weirdest sensation - something I don't even remember with Ella.
The baby, quite literally, moved down down down, grinding her way into my pelvis, so low I'd never felt her all the way down there up until that point. And, when it was over, my stomach also looked different. Lower, if you will. The area under my ribs wasn't filled with belly anymore. And my stomach was no longer round, but was instead pointed downward.
I guess that's dropping. I don't know. It was bizarre and left me speechless for a good 30 minutes after it happened.
Honestly, it was all too much, so that by the time Ella went to bed and I sat down to watch the episode of Downton Abbey I'd missed the night before, I was so bewildered and befuddled and out of it that I couldn't make heads or tales of what was going on.
Last week, I'd been starving. This week, food seems a bother to me.
Last week, when sitting, I constantly had to pee. This week, when I stand, I have to rush to the bathroom.
Last week, I was in no rush to finish the baby odds and ends. This week, I can't stop myself from push-push-pushing to get it all done already.
The midwife told me almost two weeks ago that she thought this baby would come a bit early, just like her sister.
But I've also been haunted by friends of mine who had their second child sometimes two weeks later than their first, wondering if all this speculation on the part of those that know me will somehow curse me into being 42+ weeks pregnant and still without labor in sight.
But then again, this last weekend also has me thoroughly freaked out, too - just for opposite reasons.
I've never been this uncomfortable; I didn't feel every ounce of pressure and push and tightening with Ella like I do with this one. And I've never felt weirder in my entire life.
I likened it yesterday to having an "aura," like what people with seizures or migraines get right before the onset of their condition.
I have this overhanging pressure, this out-of-it feeling, this sense of impending...something.
I am weeks away, no matter how you slice it. I'm also terribly close, if you consider it.
And I want her out. I want to meet her. I'm ready for my little one.
But I'm also thoroughly freaked. Because, if this weekend is any evidence, we're really close. I'm about to be in it, that crazy maze of labor and then post-partum bonding that is unlike anything else in life.
It's almost time. Maybe. Sort of. Who knows?