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What happens at 23?

I am 23 and one-half weeks pregnant today. That means 16 and one-half weeks to go... unless, for some reason, Cletus the Fetus is intent on remaining in my womb until s/he feels willing to exit, or until I convince the Scheduling Gods to bless me with an injection of the synthetic form of oxytocin, used to induce and augment labor (commonly referred to as pitocin, for those of you wondering).

So far, Cletus has shared with me the wonderful world of Extreme Heartburn. I'm sure there's a maximum consumption limit of Tums, but I simply cannot get enough to allow me to sleep through the night without holding on to the fire extinguisher - I'm convinced the burning will reach levels conducive to spontaneous combustion.

The little fetus (who I'm told is about 11½ inches long and weighs 1 pound, or about the length and weight of a Harry Potter book) delights itself on hanging out on my nerves, sending shooting pain through my stomach, down my leg, out my feet, where it apparently finds its way back in. This cyclical pain process is enough to tempt me to pray for a premature birth - but I'm not that selfish, and, yes, would put up with the pain for the sake of my child's health. This makes me feel good about myself for approximately three seconds until the piercing pain shoots through me again.

The active alien has taken over my abdomen full force. Rearranging organs and creating a workout room large enough for dancecapades that leave my belly moving in mysterious waves. (I'm waiting for someone at work to glance over during a meeting and scream, "Oh my gawd! There's something trying to ESCAPE!" as if a live gremlin really would emerge.)

Of course, Big V is ecstatic over the entire situation and has already signed his male heir up for football. Gently reminding him the baby could possibly emerge with a fully intact vagina, he simply shrugged and announced, "then she'll be a tom-boy!" I asked him if he'd be comfortable with a boy that wanted to pursue something considered less macho and more feminine, like dance ballet, to which he proudly declared, "then he just better be the best damn ballet dancer he can be!" (This is yet another reason why I love V. Because he means it.... it doesn't matter your choices, as long as you try your absolute hardest.)

I have also been wonderfully blessed with the Art of Massage that V graciously bestows upon me. After a particularly grueling weekend was closing with the most magnificent massage a woman could ask for I actually uttered the words, "... if I could get massages like this every night I was pregnant - I'd have twelve kids!" I'm wondering how many nights of massages I let pass before I tell him I wasn't really serious....

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