We're at thirty-five weeks now. How did we make it this far? Suddenly, everything feels like it's moving in fast-motion. If you follow in the footsteps of your sister, I've only got about four weeks left; your brother- about three. Perhaps you'll come earlier, still. Or maybe, despite the constant protests of my uterus, you'll break the mold completely and come on or after your due date, giving me five weeks or more to prepare.
Thus far, I'm not actually dilating, which puts me a little behind schedule as compared to my pregnancy with your brother. I believe that 35 weeks was the point at which I progressed to about one cm with him. Somehow, my cervix is holding stronger this time, and though it's getting beaten down by your head (which, as I understand it, is why the outside is so open currently), it has not yet begun to open on the inside, where it counts.
In fact, your head is sitting so low that my doctor had trouble checking me at all, intent as she was to be as non-invasive as possible. It's a troublesome thing, trying to monitor signs of pre-term labor via internal exams without causing irritation and worsening the condition. Many midwives, and some doctors, will not check for that reason, but I must admit that my own urgent need to know exactly where I stand leaves me eager for the next week's appointment, just to find out the new status quo.
I guess this means that you've "dropped," then? It was my understanding that if it happens, it only happens with first babies, and neither of your siblings (especially not your sister, who spent the entire pregnancy carrying as high as can be) ever bothered to do so. Ahead of time, anyway. I'm assuming that it had to have happened at some point during labor, but perhaps it's not termed "dropping" by then. After all, you've got to go down to get out eventually, if you're planning to exit the "old-fashioned way."
Certainly, that would explain the tremendous pressure I've been feeling lately, and the difficulty walking without appearing as though I'm mimicking a penguin or have just spent too much time on horseback.
It's all good, though. On my better days, at least, I'm starting to find peace with everything again, and really trying to cherish these last days and weeks with you. Through the good and the bad, pregnancy is such an amazing, unique experience, and I'm not certain when, or if, I'll get a chance to do it all over again.