That is, if I have calculated it correctly. I have had an extremely hard time keeping track of how far along I am in this pregnancy. I know my due date is on Thanksgiving Day, and that that is coming up very quickly.
This week is my last week of teaching riding lessons. My students this morning were almost tearful as they said goodbye to the horses for the winter. Lesson days are going to feel strangely vacant. But I am looking forward to at least a couple weeks of relaxing and having some time to contemplate the fact that we are about to have another newborn in the house.... !!
Recently I read a blog post from a friend in Oregon in which she talks about their reasons for waiting to find out the gender of their baby. It was fun to find that I concurred with most of her statements. Especially #5 - helping the excitement level going into labor. Anything that helps me get excited about labor is a good thing.
Of course, meeting and holding your baby for the first time is always exciting and special, whether you know the gender already or not. And it's true that you're always surprised about the gender whether it is before or after labor. But there is a vast difference between the pleasant surprise of finding out that you have a boy (or a girl) while lying on a hospital bed staring at a computer screen, as opposed to finding out as your husband shouts ecstatically, "It's a BOY!!" (...or girl...) in the midst of the extreme adrenaline rush of birth. One is an: "Oh, that's fun!" response and the other is an intense, emotional, emblazoned-on-your-memory-forever response. Of course, I have only experienced the latter, and not the former, so I am simply speculating here. And I might be a little biased.
Naturally either option is perfectly acceptable, and it is just one of the countless decisions that you make concerning your pregnancy/labor/baby care that doesn't have a true moral right or wrong. Simple personal preference and family culture.
This week I have been feeling thankful that I don't know the gender yet. It is always a temptation for me when we do the 20 week ultrasound. The nagging thought that "I could find out what I'm having today!". It is especially unhelpful when the nurse announces that SHE knows. But then due date month rolls around and I am glad I waited, because it is probably the number one thing that gets me excited about labor. It seems to be the natural process to have such a big build up of impatience and excitement and then, after a lot of hard work, the amazing reward of finding out in the rush and happiness of the baby's arrival.
I finally dragged out the tub of home birth supplies and ran through the inventory. The moses basket bassinet is waiting patiently in a corner of our bedroom. A new car seat is installed in the van, bringing the grand total up to four (four!) car seats. The other night Amelia ran up with a tiny doll baby from the doll house and tried to force it into my stomach. Apparently the preparatory discussions about there being a baby in there has had some effect. William is confused why the baby hasn't arrived yet, since I told him it would be arriving sometime after his birthday. He also, very helpfully, asked me yesterday: "How far is your tummy?". Very far.
At the moment I am pretty convinced we are going to have another little girl. The kids are convinced it is a boy. Only a few more weeks until we can find out!