Well, second ultrasound accomplished (too many contractions), and all looks well with the little one. And it is boy #4. I'm going to admit something here that Mommys are not supposed to admit. I was really hoping for another boy.
It isn't that I don't like girls. I do. I desperately envy my friends who are the parents of daughters for many things, not least the fact that they get to buy much cuter baby clothes. But I so enjoy watching the dynamic of brotherhood among my other three boys, that I was reluctant to change it with someone who would be different. I love the fact that the three of them spend so much time rolling around like a pile of puppies. When my sisters and I did that, we were trying to kill each other. But my boys just seem to enjoy the benign and affectionate violence they do to one another, almost wholly by accident. I'm mystified, but loving it. And thus, the moderate preference for another male. Eric, sadly, longs for a daughter, and shall never get her from my loins (I am DONE!!!).
I can't actually believe I'm even doing this a fourth time. If there is a woman who hates pregnancy more than myself (besides Lois McMaster Bujold - read her novels and see a loathing of childbirth even more profound), I've yet to meet her. And by this point, it doesn't even have the virtue of novelty - at the end of the fourth pregnancy, any new experience is bound to be awful. There's just no, "oh wow, I've never had hemerhoids/a cessation of fetal movement/searing sciatica before...how neat." All the good parts of pregnancy have already happened (first heartbeat, first sight of the new baby, first flutters, birth), and its all downhill from here.
One of the most annoying sensations to me is the fact that my brain turns into a Don Delillo novel. For the last few months of pregnancy and the first few afterwards, I find myself hearing fragments of advertising, song lyrics, and fixated by fun topics of thought like, "Did I expose the baby to unacceptable levels of dioxin by chewing on the caps of my pens all those years." Mix that in with the lyrics from Simon's Winnie the Pooh video, some footage of a natural disaster and the soundtrack to a Subway commercial and you have my mind at night. I start out trying to relax to thoughts of garden planning and end up in a beer commercial with South Park overlaid. It is very like having an exceedingly annoying tenant who won't turn the radio down.
Unfortunately, I still have 6 more weeks until I achieve full termness - and trust me, I'll be doing all I can to arrange tenant eviction after that. I adore babies. I love how soft and sweet they are. I don't even mind all the attention and energy they require. But I sure as heck resent it when they make send out their negotiators from inside me, and hold my liver hostage.