Here we are now, finally in the third trimester, and on the cusp of a brand new year. Whether in honor of our arrival back home, your graduation into the third trimester and/or seventh month (which makes me officially six months pregnant as of the 29th), or in celebration of 2013, I can't say, but you've certainly learned some new moves in there, and have been showcasing them over the last couple of days.
More times than I can count today, I've watched t-shirts, blankets, books, tablets, or whatever else I had laying across my belly bounced around like popcorn on a hot skillet. I can now not only feel your dance moves on the inside, I can see the evidence of your be-bopping on the outside. It brings such a smile to my face each time, especially since you manage to do it so gently. No pain or discomfort here for me- just amusement- maybe you're just naturally graceful. Maybe my uterus is actually behaving itself this time and not getting irritated by every little thing. Either way- so far, so good. Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions going on, but not in any kind of pattern that would cause me to worry.
I'm hoping it stays that way, but if it doesn't, I'm trying to mentally prepare. Things didn't start to get crazy with your brother until I hit 32 weeks, so it's still early yet, in comparison. But I take it as a good sign that we got through the past week, with all of the traveling and uncharacteristic amounts of walking, and we're still doing okay (intermittent back and hip pain aside).
As for my belly, it is now round enough to protrude just a bit even when I lie flat on my back, and my belly button has long since turned itself inside-out. I was amazed to see how quickly it happened with both you and your brother, since it took until the last two weeks of pregnancy with your sister before the center of my belly button finally gave up and stretched itself out along with the rest of me. Under normal circumstances, I am decidedly an "innie," and I think that is the only reason I've never seen it poke out so far that it reaches beyond the profile of my belly itself. It's only the center that gets pushed out, just to the outer line of my belly, while the outline remains stubbornly depressed, like a teeny-tiny moat around a teeny-tiny castle. If I press on the skin around it, I can get everything to lay perfectly flat, but that's the furthest that my little belly button is willing to concede.
Still no linea nigra, though. I don't remember when that is supposed to appear, nor do I remember when it happened with your sister. It never has completely faded since I gave birth to her- there wasn't really time before I got pregnant again and whatever fading had occurred re-darkened by the end. It is currently in a faded state, and has not yet darkened again.
Linea nigra or no, we continue to push forward, you and I, straight into the new year. Even as I type, we've crossed over from 2012 to 2013, never to return. I praise God for all of the blessings I've received in the past twelve months, and am overjoyed that in the next few, I can look forward to at least one more.
Happy New Year! In just a few short months, you'll get to see 2013 with your very own beautiful eyes.