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My due date is
May 24, 2001

Today I am
39 weeks, 1 day

I've gained an awful lot of weight. Please don't make me share the shocking total amount with you, as the very thought makes me cringe.


We are having a
girl, and her name is
Isolde June.

May 18, 2001

So. My baby's almost here, and stupid me I've chronicled almost none of my third trimester. I'm really going to regret that in the future, I know.

Anyway, I'm on maternity leave now and enjoying my time at home, specifically my time alone. This is going to be the last bit of solitude I get for a very, very long time. I'm going to miss it, I know.

Physically I'm doing pretty well, considering how very pregnant I am. That nasty water retention finally hit me about 2 months ago and my feet and hands are pitiful. I can't wear my rings or my watch or any shoes but my (now rather ratty) white sneakers. My hands are so swollen I can't even close them all the way to make a fist. Yeah, it's disgusting. I feel like I've been infected with some mysterious tropical disease. I mean, isn't this what encephalitis does? But since this edema is by far the worse of my complaints, I count myself lucky. Pudgy and bloated, sure, but lucky.

Isolde is doing wonderfully despite being carried in this elephantine body of mine. My OB has been sending me to the hospital for twice-weekly non stress tests since I was 36 weeks because of my long history of infertility. (A non stress test just shows if the baby is active and if her heart rate is accelarating during movement the way it should). She gets an A++++ on her test every time she has one; the nurses and residents gather around the monitor and exclaim over what a very, very healthy baby she is. (Actually, she's just a show-off -- the moment I'm hooked up to the monitor she goes nuts with the kicking and squirming. She knows she has an audience.) It's great to know she's thriving and (I assume) happy. I thought I'd hate having to go to the hospital so often, but I'm actually enjoying it. I'm getting to know the L&D nurses pretty well, and it's fascinating seeing what goes on in the maternity ward. My state has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, and you can really see it at my big city hospital. I'm usually the oldest patient (at the ripe age of 29) in the triage area; most of the other patients look like they should be in class at the local junior high, not lying in labor on a hospital bed.

The main thing on my mind right now is when I'm going to go into labor. Not that I'm sick of being pregnant or anything, it's just that I'd like to know! It could happen tonight or I could go another week or two; it's impossible to say. My body is definitely getting ready for labor (I'm 50% effaced and the baby has dropped), but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I am absolutely completely ready to give birth. My bags have been packed since April 24 and the nursery is all set. The camera is loaded with film and the camcorder's battery is completely charged. I've set the VCR to tape our shows for this weekend just in case we aren't at home to watch them (that would be The Sopranos and Bands on the Run, for those of you who care about our entertainment tastes. We truly can't miss either show because we're addicts, ya know.) My mother is calling every day now 'just to check' although I have assured her that I'll call at the very first sign of labor. She's afraid she'll miss everything if I don't call immediately because all of her labors and my grandmother's were very fast -- she's sure I'm going to be the same way and go from first contraction to baby in my arms in a matter of 3 or 4 hours. I'm certainly hoping I got that 'fast and easy labor' gene, but I'm not counting on it.

She'll be here soon, though, I know. 2 weeks from today at the very latest -- but a fortnight can seem like an eternity. Come on, baby girl, come on out. We'd all like to meet you.


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