I've now started weekly appointments with the doctor. We are at 36 weeks today, and my doctor performed my first cervical check today (or whatever they call it....I'd call it torture). Apparently, I'm already 2 cm dilated and about 60% effaced. The doctor kept telling me that it doesn't really mean anything, just that my body is getting ready for the inevitable. It doesn't predict how quickly or when baby will come, but still. I freaked out a little! Words like dilated and effaced are meant to be used at the hospital when you're getting ready to have the baby, not 4 weeks before your due date! I know plenty of stories about people who go for weeks and aren't more dilated than they were before, but I think it was just another reality check for me. This baby is coming - and it will come when it's good and ready...be it 4 more weeks or 4 more days. My doctor reassured me that if I go into labor now, she wouldn't try to stop me (which I knew, but only reminds me of how much I should get done). I know that all will be fine. We have the necessities - a place for the baby to sleep, clothes for him or her to wear, diapers for his/her bottom.....we will be fine. Mentally, I don't know that it's fully hit me yet. I feel prepared to be a parent. I am pretty sure I know how to take care of a baby. I know that we will learn a lot of things by trial and error. And I also know that as soon as we have that sweet baby in our arms, we will know what to do.
We had a wonderful baby shower on January 29, hosted by my mom and sisters. It was so fun. All of our closest friends came, and it was great that Danny was there as well. We are blessed to have such amazing friends and to know that this baby is already so loved by so many. Today, the girls I work with threw a shower for me. It was really nice - we had a lunch time shower with yummy food and a delicious cake (most of which is sitting in the kitchen, tempting Danny). Again, I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people who gave generously and helped to celebrate the baby!
As I'm nearing closer to my due date, I've been working on trying to make sure things are caught up at work (which is easier said than done). It's funny that my schedule seems to have been pretty open for so long and now it's jam packed with meetings, trainings and more until my due date. I'm working on ways to wrap up some things with the girls I work with and try to assure them that after my leave, I will be back (some will be happy to hear this, others may be disappointed).
All of this to say - it's getting closer! Let the countdown begin!!