we went to the midwives again last week (and in fact have another appointment tomorrow), and we were told by two different midwives that spruitje has dropped! we had no idea!
(what that means apparently is that his head is now engaged in the birth canal, and he's in the position he will almost certainly be in when it's time for the labor to begin. "dropping" is quite literally that: the baby drops down a little ways and prepares himself for delivery. this happens often a few days or a few weeks before labor begins for a first-time mother like myself, but i've heard that for subsequent pregnancies it might not happen until just before labor starts...)
often women will talk about how all of a sudden they can breathe again, or how their stomachs can hold a bit more food after the baby drops. i can't say i've noticed either thing happening to me, but i did notice that all of a sudden i had the sensation of needing to use the toilet a lot more often than i did before, but i just thought it was because spruitje was so big! i guess that's what happens when he drops -- the bladder gets a LOT smaller. lucky me.
we wonder when it happened: there were a few days about a week and a half ago that all kinda rolled in together, and our guess is that the dropping occurred sometime around then... one day i woke up and spruitje was on the other side of my belly. normally he/she is on the right side, but one day i woke up and he was on the left. weird. and sometime around then i must have had a crazy hormone surge because i was hot hot hot all the time (and it's winter in the netherlands!) and super moody and irritable, which normally doesn't happen to me. but i think the occasion that led him to drop all the way was this monster contraction i had sometime around all of this happening... it was seriously like two contractions stacked on top of each other that must have lasted a good 3 minutes, and when i was done i looked over at adam and his eyes were the size of saucers. i think for a while there, we both kinda thought, "it's time!"
well, whenever it happened, it's happened, and we're excited. this means that spruitje is one step closer to being here with us! hooray!
oh, and a funny story: last week at the midwifery practice (our "verloskundigenpraktijk"), there was a new midwife in training who was there with an older, more-experienced midwife. we saw them both at the same time, but the one in training took the lead during the appointment. the new midwife came over to palpate my belly to find out the size and location of the baby, and when she was doing that, spruitje turned over and nudged himself closer to her touch. well, she just thought that was the coolest thing ever! she got all excited, and shouted over to the older midwife something that sounded like "hey, check this out! come here and see this!" i'm sure the older one has seen that a million times before, but they both got into it, playing with the baby through my belly. hooray for engaged and excited health care providers!