like a shark in deep waters: preterm labor

last night i was swimming in a body of water with a baby girl that looked a lot like phoebe. we were having so much fun and as we kicked and kicked  we drifted out farther away from the shore.  everything was so fun and lovely. the sun was shining, the baby was laughing, and out of nowhere something grabbed my legs. my first thought was another person trying to be funny, and then i thought it was just a small fish nibbling on me. but when i looked down i saw the jaws of a large shark coming straight at me. and as he pierced my legs and crushed them between his large jaws i looked at the baby, at her terrified face as her legs were caught too. and for that last split second i knew that we were in a kind of trouble there was no getting out of- and it was all my fault.

that's when i woke up.

most weird, vivid dreams like this just roll off of me. i don't think twice about them. but for some reason i knew this dream was for a specific reason. what did it mean? and not in a 'check out a freud book and interpret it'- but what was bothering me?

and it hit me. the shark- as stealthy and quiet as can be- with no relenting was pre-term labor. it's not a danger until it's right there consuming you. you didn't see, hear, or know it could even get you- and yet there it is, out of nowhere, pulling your baby into danger.

this might sound a bit dramatic- but it's how it has felt for me. everyone keeps asking me "how are you feeling?"  and "how much longer are you going to teach aerobics?" (i'm still teaching 3x a week). and i always have the same reply:

"i feel fine!" "as long as i feel fine i'll keep going!"

but the past few days something has been nagging on me. and that's our abigail- i felt 100% fine and perfect and out of nowhere everything wasn't fine anymore.  and i'm starting to think, am i doing the same thing over again? in reality- my doctor and i am keeping close track of everything, especially when i get closer to 30 weeks.

but in all honesty- i'm finally crawling out of denial and realizing 2 things:

1. i actually really am pregnant and

2. i'm still high risk for pre-term labor. if this baby makes it to term i will be pretty clear of it altogether. so far my stats are 39wks, 35 wks, 38 wks (on meds and bed rest).  Not too shabby.

i am grateful for how well everything is going- but i'm also going to pull my head out of the sand and start facing the facts. because you never know if you are lurking in too deep of waters- and living with the guilt of knowing you could have done more to protect your baby kills you. 

and who am i really kidding? with phoebe's pregnancy i would have been happy to take them on a walk and do a loady of laundry start to finish this far along. so where i am, cooking and cleaning and playing with my kids is such a tremendous blessing that i am not going to take for granted. and let's face it, taking it easy pregnant with 3 other children is not an easy task. so i'm pretty sure things like aerobics and planting trees are easy to cut out of the picture for now.

*i wrote this post last week. this weekend i'll be 26 weeks.
24 weeks along- photo courtesy of lucy. and yes...that IS a double chin.

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