36 weeks

Dear Baby,

I think we finally have a name for you, but we’re still keeping it secret just in case it changes when we meet you. It’s nice to have one that Daddy and I both like. I think it’ll fit you well, too, based on the admittedly small amount I know of your personality (mostly relaxed and laid back, silly kicky fan of chocolate milk).

Daddy started painting a mural on your bedroom wall today. It’s a big rocketship and some stars. I think it’ll look lovely and I’m so excited about it. You have no idea yet how much you are loved, my silly little boy. We also got you your very first Halloween costume! It’s a sweet little footie onesie with glow-in-the-dark skeleton bones. You’re too little for trick-or-treating, but I think we’ll have fun anyway.

Now, you’re just 36 weeks along in there, so it’s too soon for you to come out, but if you wanted to be a little early, Mommy certainly wouldn’t be upset. Say a week or two early. That would be perfect.

Love you,
Mommy

This week has been better than most of the recent previous weeks. We’ve moved up to once-a-week doctor visits, and the last visit, I got to go over my “birth preferences” with the midwife. She said that the only one that might be a problem was my desire to have food available during labor, but she said that as long as the doctor doesn’t watch me eat it, it’s probably fine to bring something to keep my energy up. I wish she was still catching babies… I’d love to have midwife care, since this pregnancy has been so smooth and I don’t see a reason for doctors to be involved unless something goes wrong.

She said baby is head-down and very low, which I can confirm by my constant need to pee and the fact that I can eat more without feeling so full I might explode. I have room for breathing and eating again! Woo! Now I just need to get this baby out sometime in the next month, so I can lay down on my stomach and bend at the waist and stop peeing constantly. I’m hoping for an October 10th birthday. Easy to remember, about a week early and it’ll give us some time to get used to being a family of three before my mom arrives.

Well, crap. I had the whole thing written and it deleted.
I’m posting this half-done, then. Screw you wordpress.

Size of babe: He’s almost 6lbs and I can definitely feel baby parts when I press on any area of my tummy. So big!

Nursery: We’ve got the over-crib mobile hung and hubby painted a sweet mural on the wall. We have some art hung, but not much. And it’s still a HUGE mess! But I’ll get to organizing soon. Honestly, he won’t be sleeping in it for several more months anyway, so we have time… but I can’t wait to see it all complete!

Sleep: Been sleeping on the couch. It’s lower, so it’s easier to get up in the middle of the night, and I can use the back of the couch to hoist myself up instead of just rocking back and forth like a turtle stuck on its back. Sleeping much better lately. :)

What I miss: Honestly? I miss having my body to myself in a philosophical sense. I don’t mind baby in there right now, but I’m so f’ing tired of having to talk to people about my body. If you ask “What are you having?” my first thought will be “For lunch?” And I’m so, so, so indescribably tired of having to talk to my mother in law, or having her comment on my body. Yes, I’m the vessel for her grandbaby, but this “vessel” is a person who happens not to want to discuss bowel movements or what I’m using my breasts for with my mother in law.

Best moment this week: I don’t remember what I wrote here earlier. I think this week has been better in general because baby has “dropped” and I can finally eat without wanting to barf and without all the rib pain. And my SPD pain is so much less (not gone) that I feel like dancing. Except, you know, it’ll still hurt so I’ll put off dancing til after babe comes.

Worst moment this week: A difficult talk with my husband and the anticipation of his mother’s visit. The visit wasn’t so bad, but the anticipation was awful. I didn’t sleep well for a week leading up to it. We’ll have to have a confrontation of sorts soon, where I put my foot down about appropriate personal boundaries and respecting us as a family of two (and soon to be three) without her interference. Hopefully after we talk about it, she’ll respect us and I won’t dread her visits anymore! Yeah, right.

Looking forward to: Gosh, so looking forward to maternity leave. I decided I’m going to be taking my time as soon as 40 weeks hits. No one wants a gigantic 40+week pregnant lady at work, and work has been so stressful recently that I don’t know if I can continue to do it after 40 weeks anyway. So just under a month to go at the outside!

Cravings: Any food I hear about, I immediately want. Speak about a food, and as soon as the words leave your lips, I will crave it like nothing else in the world. It’s crazy. Nothing specific, just everything.

Symptoms: Baby has dropped and I’m feeling some cramping. Braxton Hicks contractions all night, but not painful (or productive), just the tightening. And baby’s symptoms include being the hiccupiest baby ever! Hiccups for several minutes at a time, several times a day. Love my little hiccupy monster.

34 weeks

How did it get so late so soon? It’s already September. Next month, there will be a baby in my house. And the house is still a complete mess! I have so many things I want to do and no energy to do them. I’m finally finished with the mobile, and understanding now why the ones on etsy cost $90+! Now I kind of want to do a name banner thing but I’ve always thought they were kind of lame. That is, until I started decorating my own nursery. Now I want one. Even though I still think it’s kind of stupid. I mean, we’re not going to forget the baby’s name. It’s not like we need to label the room because we have so many kids running around that we’re not sure who belongs in which bed. He won’t even be able to read it! But I want one anyway. We’ll see if I get around to making one. I mean, he doesn’t even have a name yet. We were 90% decided on something, and then completely changed our minds (I completely changed my mind, that is, and told my husband there was no way I could name him that…) Now I’m mostly decided on a completely different name, but who knows how I’ll feel five minutes from now much less six weeks from now, right?

We had our labor and delivery class this weekend. Saturday was all the natural stuff, what your body should do, how to handle pain, all that great stuff. Today is going to be what happens if something goes wrong… medical intervention stuff. And then we get a tour of the birthing center. I’m mostly excited about the tour. I like knowing what to expect when I get somewhere.

I have to say that the class today, which I thought would be useless, was actually quite informative. Instead of feeling terribly scared about labor, I’m feeling kind of excited about it now. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that I’m reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth too, which is having the effect of making me feel (dare I say it) empowered. Like my body is a pretty cool thing that can totally do this.

One other thing that I kind of got from class was unexpected. When we were talking about pain management, a lot of what we discussed is the same stuff I use to get through the last minute of Fran. Or the way I keep pushing myself during Fight Gone Bad, when I think I can’t do another minute. A lot of the breathing tricks are the same, a lot of the mental tricks are the same. And the funniest? All the things she suggested for pushing are the exact things you do when you’re doing a set of heavy squats. The breathing, the focusing, all of it. Maybe that’s what’s making me feel like I can do this. I mean, I’ve done Fran. I’ve done FGB. It’s been a while, but I know I can do them, and I know that most of it is mental. It’s getting through the next minute because you know it won’t last forever. It makes me wish (for the zillionth time) that I’d been able to keep Crossfitting through the entire pregnancy. I’m not sure if my pelvic pain (which is ligament based, so no amount of working out would have stopped it) would have allowed me to do much, but I wish I could have. I bet I’d be that much more equipped to labor and deliver.

Anyway.

Size of babe: He’s almost 5lbs now. What a chunker!

Maternity Clothes: I tried on some maternity yoga pants and they were just… no. Just no. Pants are not a thing I do anymore these days. Skirts all the way lately.

Nursery: I’ve got the mobile finished! I think I’m going to get out the picture frames and decide where I want them so I can start making art to go in them this coming week!

Sleep: Bad dreams lately. I don’t remember what some of them are about, but I wake up feeling unsettled. Last night I had a bad dream about one of the dogs dying. I think it’s an outlet for anxiety.

What I miss: Nothing this week. I’m just happy.

Best moment this week: Today at our labor and delivery class, the instructor told us to think about two traits we wanted the baby to get from our partners. I told my husband that I hoped the baby was hardworking and creative, the way he is. He told me that he hoped the baby would be smart and funny, like me. It just made me really happy. Thinking about it now is making me really happy. I mean, obviously my husband loves me, right? But to hear him so sincerely say that meant the world to me.

Worst moment this week: Work has been tough. I’m really really tired all the time, and it’s been hard for me to do anything during the day. I actually thought I was coming down with something, but I’m feeling fine, just tired all the time. Maybe it’s a pregnancy thing… just, I’m 1st trimester exhausted again lately.

Looking forward to: Still looking forward to actually meeting him! Next month! I’ll be a mom! I’ll meet my little guy! How incredible is that?

Cravings: Oh, this one is a weird one again. My milk craving is back, and brought along with it a craving for yogurt and cheese. I’m guessing I might be short on calcium or something? So I’ve had yogurt once or twice a day, and so much chocolate milk. I think about it all day. I’m not even kidding. It’s the grossest thing (I hate milk and yogurt!) but I think about coming home from work all day so I can drink a ton of milk and have more yogurt.

Symptoms: Mostly the SPD pain still. We got a yoga ball from Target today after I used one in the class and it really helped my pelvis stop hurting. I’m also having some skin stretching pain, which I’m sure will lead to stretch marks in the next few weeks. Boo. :(

33ish weeks

Has it really been almost a month since I posted? Time is passing too quickly. Sunday marked 33 weeks pregnant… so a baby will be here in 7 weeks, give or take a few days. It’s such a strange thought. And I’m not ready! There are still things to buy and things to clean and things to organize. I’m just so tired when I get home from work that I don’t want to do anything except sit. In the past month or so, husband has painted the nursery (light gray walls, so lovely) and put together the crib. I’ve done the baby laundry, but I haven’t folded or organized it. I still haven’t made any art for the walls or finished the mobile for over the crib. I’ve barely done anything at all. I feel guilty about it, but I’m honestly so tired all the time.

A quick game of catch up. In the past few weeks:

Baby has started hiccuping. It’s seriously the silliest, funniest feeling and I LOVE it. It’s just a rhythmic bumping that happens once or twice a day (that I’ve noticed) and can continue for several minutes. Sometimes he gets all kicky in the middle of them, and sometimes he’s just completely relaxed and chill.

SPD pain has gotten intense. My pelvis sometimes feels like I’m breaking in half, splitting open from the crotch up. Sometimes when I go from sitting to standing, I literally cannot move or breathe for several moments because of the intensity of the pain. I have to stand there for a while before I can start walking, and even then it hurts so much I hold my breath but I can’t just be all dramatic and grabbing my crotch at work, so I tough it out. I’m worried about how bad it will get over the next 7ish weeks…

My bump is officially past my boobs, which is nice. It makes me look “cutely pregnant” according to my coworkers, and makes my rack look a lot less… uhm, obscenely large.

tummy

Cutest new thing is that baby notices and startles now when my joints pop. :) He can be sleeping soundly, and my knees or hips or back will pop and he jumps and then goes on a karate kicking rampage in there. I can just imagine him being all “Moooommmm, I was sleeping!”

Husband finally tried on the Beco Gemini carrier and I tried on my Baby K’tan wrap to make sure they fit. To test them out, we used the fat dog, who weighs about 8.5lbs. She loved being in them! And I LOVE how the Baby K’tan fits. I will likely review it more thoroughly after I use it some, but so far the only negative is how thick the fabric is (it gets very warm very quickly) which shouldn’t be a bad thing when I’m carting baby boy around this winter. By summer next year, I may get a lighter, breezier carrier though.

We met the pediatric group that we’ll be seeing last week. I don’t know if we met our actual doctor, as there are lots and we’ll generally see everyone at the practice here and there, but I loved their policies. A separate well and sick waiting room. Mandatory vaccinations, with no religious or philosophical exemptions. And they hammered home the importance of keeping germs away from infants, which was something my husband wasn’t sure about (he believes exposure is good, and I agree but I said not when the baby is that small). And they were just really, really nice. It made me feel confident about going there with my little guy.

And finally, we had our very last ultrasound on Friday. Baby had cysts in his brain at our 17 week scan, which can be a soft marker for genetic problems… or it can be developmentally normal. So they re-checked and his brain is just perfect. Perfect little guy. And my partial placenta previa has cleared up, so I’m clear for laboring naturally. No c-section for me (unless he flips breech, I guess, since right now he’s head-down but you never know).

OH! AND! One of my very best friends found out she’s pregnant too! She’s due near the beginning of April and I’m so excited for her! She’s kind of in a weird place emotionally, which I told her I understand (after all, I went a little crazy when I was first pregnant) but I can’t help but be 100% excited. She and her husband will make such good parents and I can’t wait for our kids to meet. They’ll be right around 6 months apart. How exciting is that??

 

Size of babe: My little guy measured at around 4lbs 5oz at our scan on Friday and is on track to be around 7.5-8lbs at full term! I don’t know exactly how long he is, but average is around 17 inches. :) He’s getting so big.

Maternity Clothes: I still haven’t bought anything new. I’m refusing. My non-maternity tanks are officially too short to cover the bottom of my tummy now.

Nursery: Husband painted. The gray is so perfect. He also put the crib together, and I washed and put the sheets on it. It’s adorable and I go in there sometimes just to imagine what things will be like with my little boy on the outside.

Sleep: I’ve been getting up to pee more often now. I must have been up 8-9 times last night. Luckily, I don’t have work today or I’d be wiped out. (Though, unluckily, I don’t have work today which means next paycheck is going to be pathetic…)

What I miss: I miss being in control of my body. I miss being able to move easily and without pain, being able to lay on my stomach, or on my side without pain.

Best moment this week: Overall best moments of the past several weeks have just been when my husband is extra loving toward me. He’s been so gentle and sweet and loving and understanding lately. He tells me I’m pretty and he loves my pregnant body and doesn’t get upset when I can’t help around the house. He helps get things ready for baby and tries to protect both of us. He makes me feel so safe and loved. I’m a lucky lady.

Worst moment this week: I had a slight personality clash with my mother-in-law over email. I think it’ll take time for her to realize/understand that the decision-making unit here is me and my husband, not her and her son. I almost never (like, I can’t remember a single time in the more than six years since I’ve been with my husband) speak in a direct manner toward her, even when she says something I find offensive or rude, but this past week, I had to be very firm about the fact that when my husband and I make decisions, we make them together after a lot of thought and research and discussion. I told her so in an email, and I’m worried she was offended, but I think boundaries have to be set from the beginning. I didn’t say it outright, but I wanted to convey that any decision he and I make together is not up for debate and it’s inappropriate of her to try to convince one or the other of us that our decision needs to change. If/When she tries it again, I’ll have to be even more firm I know, and knowing that has been making my anxiety soar this week.

Looking forward to: Honestly, this week I’ve mostly been looking forward to just meeting my little guy. I know I have around 7ish weeks left, but I’m so excited to meet him. We got to see him opening and closing his mouth on the ultrasound, and covering his face with his arm/hand. Husband saw him kicking my stomach from the outside and he started giggling in the ultrasound room. We saw that he has a little hair and I think he has my lips. I’m so excited to meet him.

Cravings: No real cravings. Just generally want everything I see or hear about. But there’s such little room in there (there’s a baby butt pushing on my stomach!) that I don’t eat much lately.

Symptoms: TMI here, but the constipation has been intense. I didn’t poop for almost 6 days last week. And the SPD pain has been a bit much, too. Hurts to sit, stand, walk, lie down, roll over… everything hurts.

29 weeks and 33 years

Last Saturday was the baby shower. My best friend put together such a wonderful event, with lovely decorations and MIL cooked such a delicious spread for us. I met new in-laws I hadn’t met before and got to reconnect with friends we see too rarely. It was overwhelming with so many people, but it was a good day. I felt so loved.

The Sunday after was my birthday, and Sunday also marked 29 weeks pregnant with my little guy. It’s going by so quickly, the weeks kind of fly by these days. I was more excited about hitting 29 weeks than I was about my birthday. I’ve been in such a weird place emotionally lately. I asked that no one acknowledge my birthday if possible. Of course, it didn’t work and I still got a gift from my mother-in-law and went to see a movie (Guardians of the Galaxy, very fun) and made a cake with my husband. I ended up returning the gift, because my mother-in-law always buys things that are very thoughtful, but are not my style at all. I really wish she’d just get me gift cards, but I guess part of the fun of giving someone a gift is picking it out for them. I got a pink nightgown that was too small and that isn’t my style besides, so I returned it and got some sweet little baby things. All I can focus on lately is preparing for baby, which is part of why I didn’t want my birthday acknowledged. If I’d had my way entirely, the money we spent on cake mix and the movie would have gone into my maternity leave fund. All I want these days is more time at home after baby arrives. I just want more time with my baby.  12 weeks is too little to leave him with someone who isn’t me, and those 12 weeks aren’t even guaranteed… I might have as little as 8 if we can’t afford me to be out of work for that long.

Don’t get me started on how the US is the only civilized country that doesn’t guarantee any sort of paid leave for new parents. I don’t even get FMLA because I’m a contractor, so I might not have a job to go back to at all.

Tomorrow we’re going to the mountains for a sort of “college roommate reunion” for my husband. The guys all try to do this once every year or two, and no one’s gotten married this year (and thus no excuse to gather somewhere), so they decided to rent a house in the mountains for the weekend. I’m looking forward to it, but also dreading it. I’m so tired lately, and I know I won’t be able to get away with being solitary and sleepy all weekend. Sunday will be 30 weeks. 10ish more weeks of waiting for my little guy. See? It’s all I can think about these days.

I’ve been having hiccups lately. Like, not me, but the little guy. I can feel them and it’s so funny. They just feel like tiny little thumps, not moving around, very rhythmic. Bump… bump… bump… for about a minute and then they stop.

When I returned the gift from my mother-in-law, I used the store credit to buy a little footed sleeper and a little set with a onesie, pants and a fleece zip up (I wanted a baby coat, but the stores don’t start carrying winter things for another little while!) I realized it was the first clothing items that I’d gotten for him. I didn’t register for clothes and other people got us some things, but we have been so frugal that we hadn’t bought any yet. The sleeper is blue and white striped with monster feet and a little monster on the butt. It’s so little (and also so big… I can’t believe he’ll get that big inside me!)

Okay. Time to go to work. Long days this week, preparing for being out of work tomorrow. I love the mountains.

Size of babe: My little guy weighs about 2.5lbs this week and is around 15 inches long from head to foot. So little.

Maternity Clothes: How is it that I’m already outgrowing the maternity clothes I bought two weeks ago? My skirts are already getting tighter!

Nursery: Nothing additional done yet, but we did get a lovely pennant banner from the baby shower to hang in his room and a framed picture of a spaceship that says “Dream big, little one”. It’s unbelievably sweet.

Sleep: I can’t settle down at night these days. I’ll go to bed at 1am or 3am because I can’t get my mind to slow down. Then I work all day and I come home exhausted, and I can’t sleep again that night. It’s wearing on me, and it’s been making my emotional state a little more … um… volatile, I guess. I’ll cry over anything lately.

What I miss: This week? I miss being able to have a drink or two. I didn’t drink for almost a year before I got pregnant anyway, so it’s not like I gave it up just for baby. But I keep thinking about how I love a good summer sangria. Red wine, orange juice, maybe pineapple juice, something fizzy, some fruit. So yum.

Best moment this week: The baby shower. I felt so loved and we got so many nice things. I can’t believe so many people care about us and are so excited about little Baby S.

Worst moment this week: Yesterday, when I started thinking about how much I miss my mother (it’s doubly hard because we’ve been seeing my mother-in-law so much more often recently and I’ve been feeling so resentful toward her for no reason except that I don’t ever get to see my own mom…) I hate sharing this with everyone except my own mom. It feels so lonely. I’m glad she can come visit after baby is born, but I wish I could be excited about kicks and getting all round and going baby shopping with her.

Looking forward to: A relaxing mountain weekend. Hopefully relaxing, anyway. There will be so many people there, so this introvert is also half-dreading it!

Cravings: Nothing big. Sangria. Still watermelon, but I’ve calmed down on eating it every day. :)

Symptoms: Back pain. Incredible lower back pain, just above my butt. It’s a sharp, stabbing, unexpected pain that comes when I least expect it. I’ll be fine and then I move a certain way and it’s so painful that I can’t move or breathe or think and I have to straighten my body out so it stops hurting. I think it’s probably related to the other pelvic pain I’m dealing with.

28 weeks

I felt pretty today for the first time in, oh, 6 months or so. I spent most of the day just relaxing, reclining on the couch, taking a nap, playing with my phone… and I realized that all my reclining has made it so I have ankles again! I can actually see the bones in my ankles! I’m sure they’ll swell right back up tomorrow while I’m at work, but for now, I have distinct calf-ankle-foot separation and it’s lovely. I went to the grocery store tonight, too, and walked around buying things for lunches this week and at one point, I was stopped in the prune section (don’t judge, I need the help sometimes) rubbing my tummy because babes was moving around, and I realized that I look legitimately pregnant. It was the first time that I actually felt good about my new shape, round and lovely and happy.

I don’t know how long this feeling will last, but hopefully it goes on for a bit. I miss liking the way my body looks. I can’t like the way it moves lately either… I have such awful pelvic pain most days and for the past few days I’ve also been having some bad lower back pain, too. I find that I have a hard time doing much moving around at all. Anything where I’m not moving my legs in perfect tandem hurts my pelvis so much.

This week I noticed that baby is big enough that I can feel him even when he’s not moving. Like, I can tell where he is by feeling my tummy from the outside. The uterus is harder than the rest of my organs (which are now all squished up inside my rib cage) so I’ve always been able to tell where that is, but I can only just now tell where he himself is hanging out. I’m still not sure if I’m feeling a head or a back or a butt, though. Maybe that will come in time, too.

Also starting this week… third trimester nausea. I heard this was a thing, but I never experienced it until yesterday. Out of nowhere, I just felt sick to my stomach last night. I could barely function, I was so nauseated. It happened again today, after I had my daily ration of watermelon. I ended up having to go lay in the bed and hope I didn’t barf. And now I feel slightly nauseated, but not incapacitated by it. I’m sure it’ll hit tomorrow too. I feel like this is my payback for not having morning sickness in the first trimester.

Size of babe: Just over 2lbs and just over a foot in length! Big enough that I can feel his little body with my hands over my tummy.

Maternity Clothes: I finally went to Old Navy and got a few things. The only caveat my husband gave was that they were not allowed to be black (since about 95% of my wardrobe is black and the other 5% is dark gray). So I got a gray skirt, a navy blue shirt, a pink shirt and a blue shirt… total came to around $40! I didn’t realize how stressful it had gotten, trying to fit into clothes that obviously didn’t fit me. When I wore my new shirt and it covered my whole tummy?? It was so comfortable!

Nursery: We finally went to Lowe’s and bought a ceiling fan for the room. It’s one without an overhead light, so we’ll have to get a lamp or two at some point, but probably not anytime soon. I wanted the fan, though, because the room gets a little stuffy and having a fan is recommended to prevent SIDS. We also got paint, but we haven’t started painting yet. We decided on Chromium, which is a very light gray. I know, gray for a baby’s room? But I think it’ll work out perfectly – he can choose his own colors for accessories someday and it’ll always look nice, and we are planning to add color with wall art and bedding.

Sleep: Lately I haven’t been sleeping well again. Or, I fall asleep okay, but I wake up so often it’s barely even worth it. I wake up when the dog makes noise, or when the husband turns over in his sleep (seriously, does he need to thrash around so much??) or when I turn over in my sleep, or when I need to pee, etc, etc. Tired a lot lately.

What I miss: What I really miss? Not worrying about money. I am worried all the time. Daycare costs are so high, but I can’t afford to stay home. I’ve been working overtime (thank goodness it’s an option right now, because with my job I never know if I’ll even be working tomorrow, much less a full 40 hours) the past two weeks, even though I’ve been so tired. Hopefully I’ll have overtime this week again. We have very little in savings because unexpected expenses keep coming up. Everything would be fine in our day-to-day if we didn’t have to plan for me to be out of work and for another ~$1400/month bill for daycare after that. I don’t know how people do it, honestly, and I worry all the time. I wish with all my heart I’d never gone to law school. I don’t make more money than I would otherwise, I have no job security and I have $360,000 in school loans. If I could go back in time…

Best moment this week: Feeling pretty today. :)

Worst moment this week: Feeling sick today. :(

Looking forward to: Seeing my best friend on Saturday!! She is throwing a baby shower for me with my mother-in-law, so she’ll be in town for the day! I am not really looking forward to the shower (I’m worried about having to dodge grabby hands trying to touch my tummy, worried about meeting random in-laws I haven’t met before, worried about being social if I’m feeling nauseated again, and I hate opening gifts in front of people, etc.) but I am looking forward to seeing her!

Cravings: Still watermelon! I could (and usually do) eat it every day!

Symptoms: The newest one is just the nausea. The worst one is the SPD pain (where the front part of your pelvis moves too much and causes incredible pain like my entire body is splitting in two and my legs don’t work right) and the back pain. The funniest one is the snoring – I wake myself up a few times every night with my snoring now.

27 weeks

I keep thinking about how this baby will very likely be our only child and how this pregnancy is going by so quickly. It’s the perfect example of the concept “the days are long but the years are short”. Every day lasts a long time, and the bad parts (the heartburn, rib pain, etc) seem to go on forever, but… it feels like just yesterday that I was just finding out and now here we are ~13 weeks away from meeting this little guy.

It’s a weird feeling. I don’t exactly love being pregnant, but there’s a part of me that does. Right now, this little guy is mine. He’s all mine. Intellectually speaking, I know I share him with my husband and with our families, but right now, with him inside me, he’s all mine. And I’m jealously guarding that feeling. I love that his kicks are mine and that I am the only one who can nurture him and I’m the only one who can feel his tumbles and rolls. I know his habits. I know that he likes to get kicky when I eat watermelon, and that he’s especially active very early in the morning. I’m worried that I’ll forget what it’s like to feel him move around in there. As much as I want to meet him, I don’t want to have to share him.

I had friends from out of town visiting this weekend. Their son is 2.5 years old and I was talking to them about different aspects of pregnancy, and they had already forgotten so many parts of it. I guess the memories of the past tend to fade when you spend every day making new ones. I’m worried that I’ll forget these lovely things and it makes me a little sad. Every first is also probably a last.

I want to remember everything, but I’m so bad about writing it down. And pictures? Forget about it. Today, my friend took photos of us before she left but other than those (in which I was seated and wearing pajama pants), there’s only one other photo of me pregnant, and you can’t really even tell. I need to get better about documenting this, so I can remember later how it felt to carry our baby inside me.

Size of babe: Depending on the site, baby is somewhere around 2lbs and is around 14 inches long and would have a 90% chance of survival if born today! (But I’d like him to stay in there for at least another 10 weeks!)

Maternity Clothes: The skirt I sewed is already too small. And all of my stretchy (non-maternity) shirts are finally too small! So I’m going to check Old Navy and get some shirts to wear and maybe a skirt or two this week. My maternity jeans that were a lifesaver around 12 weeks are now getting too tight! I still feel like I look pudgy… like I’ve just sort of let myself go and gained some weight. But based on how things are fitting, I guess I have a pretty legitimate bump now!

Nursery: We haven’t painted or decorated yet. Since we had friends visiting, we decided to wait until they left to do anything to the room. We did get a crib as a gift from my in-laws, and this week I’ll probably work on getting that put together!

Sleep: Sleep has been hit or miss. Last weekend, it was the hottest week of the summer with regular temps in the mid- to high-90s… and our air conditioner broke. It took the tech a week to come out and fix it, and during that time, I spent a couple nights sleeping maybe 2-3 hours a night. It was awful. Then this weekend, I was up late with one friend and up early with the other. So it’s mostly external reasons, but I haven’t gotten much sleep lately. Oh! And babe is finally strong enough to wake me up with kicks! So twice this week, I’ve been woken up with early morning breakdance parties. I love it, but I’m sure I’ll reach a point where I just want to sleep instead!

What I miss: Beer. Husband and friends were drinking such delicious smelling (yes, I like to smell the beer) all weekend and I got kind of jealous! But I don’t drink even when I’m not pregnant, so craving beer so much is a little weird for me! I think it’s the difference between not drinking by choice and not drinking out of obligation. As soon as little one arrives, I’ll probably go right back to not craving beer or margaritas again!

Best moment this week: Getting to spend some time with friends. It’s hard being so far from my own network, and I know it’s a choice I made when I married my husband and moved away from my own friends and close to his. But I get so lonely sometimes, and it’s good to remember that I do have a support network of my own… they’re just scattered over the US and far away. Oh, and I passed my gestational diabetes test! The doctor called after my bloodwork came back and I was worried I’d failed it (she specifically said she would only call if it was bad news!) but she said that I just had slightly low iron and should take a supplement! I’m so glad, because I’m still craving Twix and watermelon like crazy.

Worst moment this week: When our air conditioner was broken. I was so sick last Sunday night and I must have slept only 2 hours. Then I worked a long day Monday (to avoid being home, in the heat) and came home to my husband vacuuming… in 95 degree heat. Our vacuum just pours out heat. I just started crying and went to sit in my car with the A/C on until I could calm down.

Looking forward to: My husband’s college roommate/friend reunion. Every few years, all the guys and their wives get together for a weekend or so. We haven’t had a big get-together in ages… So I’m pretty excited about seeing everyone, including several I haven’t seen since our wedding in 2012! We’re going to spend a weekend in the mountains a week after the baby shower and I can’t wait.

Cravings: Watermelon, every day! Little babe loves it too! He dances every time I have some.

Symptoms: A few things. Swelling still. It’s a little worse every day. I can make little divots in my ankles when I press them. I’m also having some rib pain every time I eat, which I think comes from everything being pushed up and out now that babe is getting so big. What else? I’ve had a spell or two of high blood pressure, but nothing worrisome. Just enough to feel uncomfortable. And the heartburn. It’s pretty bad. I get it from drinking water sometimes and even my prilosec doesn’t help some days.

 

In other news, I have an appointment at the local Crossfit for a functional fitness assessment tomorrow. I don’t think we can afford for me to attend, but I saw them at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and stopped to chat. I really wish I could be physically active again. I hate the psychological stress that comes with me not moving around enough. I sincerely believe that exercise keeps me from needing antidepressants and I’d like to be proactive about that instead of waiting until my mental state is so bad that I can’t snap out of it without meds. I don’t want to reach that point, and I think Crossfit really helps mentally, more so even than it helps physically. I miss being part of a community, too…

24 weeks

Hi baby!

Daddy and I still do not have a name for you. My favorite is Alexander but Daddy doesn’t like it for whatever reason. Daddy’s favorite is William, but I think it’s too boring. We do have a middle name for you, but we’re keeping it secret just in case we change our minds. At this rate, we might have to meet you and get to know you before we get you a name!

These past weeks you’ve really started rolling and poking me all the time. You get so excited when it’s time for me to eat, and I think you don’t like having your personal space restricted because you always jab and poke when I’m wearing anything with a tight waistband. I hold my tummy sometimes and talk to you in the mornings. I wish I could share this with your daddy, but just the same, I’m glad to have you all to myself for a while. You’re mine and I’m yours.

Love,
Mommy

Size of babe: About a foot long. If babe came today, he would have a chance of surviving and he’d be just over 1lb and look like a tiny, tiny perfect little baby.

Maternity Clothes: I finally sewed myself a skirt. Well, I sewed myself a skirt and tried it on… and it was huge and frumpy and ugly. So I cut and sewed a different skirt out of the first skirt. It’s a little tight around the knees because it’s a non-stretch fabric, but it’s comfortable and cute.

Nursery: We finally went and got paint chips. We’ve got them hanging on the wall, and we’re probably going to pick up paint today. We’re looking at neutral-to-blue grays and probably going to do any art and accessories in white and navy.

Sleep: Can you believe I actually slept through the night once this week!?? It was amazing. And last night, I only woke up once! I feel well rested for the first time in five months…

What I miss: Nothing right now. Maybe I’m finally hitting the second trimester stride, just in time for the third trimester to be looming over the horizon.

Best moment this week: Picking out paint colors and finally being able to imagine what things might look like when it all comes together.

Worst moment this week: It has to do with a crib mattress and cigarette smoke, but I don’t really want to talk about it. Let’s just say that, during this pregnancy I haven’t really had many sad-emotional moments, but damn do I have a hair trigger and hot temper these days.

Looking forward to: Oddly enough, I’m looking forward to the baby shower! I say “oddly enough” because I don’t generally like being the center of attention, and I know husband hates it even more. And because none of my friends can make it (other than my best friend who is throwing it for me with MIL’s help) and it’s going to be all husband’s friends and family… but I am anyway. We got a mock-up invitation today to approve before they get sent out, and my best friend did such a good job that it made me feel excited and so loved. I hope it goes well. :)

Cravings: Twix bars! I want one every day. I don’t have one every day, I just want one. Last night, husband went to the grocery store and got me brownie mix so I could try to sate that chocolate craving.

Symptoms: Oh, the swelling. My feet and ankles are swollen most of the time now. I don’t have full-blown cankles yet, but I’d bet they’re coming soon enough. And the hot temper. My one overarching pregnancy symptom so far has been uncontrollable anger. I try not to do anything that I know I’ll regret later when I’m more even-tempered, but I spend a lot of time just seething in fury these days.

22 weeks

Dear baby,

Something very special happened this week, baby. I fell in love with you.

I know, I know. “But,” you’re going to say, “I thought you loved me this whole time!” Well, not really. I definitely loved the idea of you, but it was still such an abstract idea that I couldn’t love you, not really. And I’m sure what I feel now is only a glimmer of what I’ll be feeling when I meet you. And that is only a glimmer of what I’ll feel as you grow and I get to know you.

Before, I felt protective of you. I wanted you to be okay, to live and grow and be healthy. Now? Well, I love you. I feel you moving more and more each day, getting stronger and just being silly in general, and I realized a few days ago that I love you.

I’m pretty sure you’re still an abstract thought to your daddy. We’re both watching me get nice and round, growing with you, but it probably won’t be “real” for daddy for a while. Even so, daddy felt his first kick last night. You were thumping me pretty well, and I told daddy just where to put his hand, and you gave him one good thump right in the middle of his palm. He looked pretty surprised and happy. Can’t wait until you’re jabbing him all the time, too.

Love,
Mommy

Size of babe: The size of a papaya, they say! I prefer to think he’s about the length of a regular sheet of paper… right around 11 inches!

Nursery: We’re still unpacking, and I think it’s time to start thinking about paint colors and curtains! We probably won’t worry with other things until we get actual furniture after the baby shower!

Sleep: I’ve started having some pubic symphysis pain (the very front of your pelvis isn’t a solid piece, it’s two bones held together with ligaments. During pregnancy, hormones make ligaments get looser, so those bones aren’t held together rigidly anymore, and it’s painful to walk sometimes) and sleeping on my side makes it worse. Unfortunately, I’m not supposed to sleep on my back (uterus puts weight on the large vein that brings blood from the legs back up, and can cause dizziness and difficulty breathing). So I’ve been trying to sleep with a pillow between my knees, but it’s so unwieldy! I usually wake up with pain these days.

What I miss: Sleeping through the night without pain!

Best moment this week: When the husband got to feel his first little thumps. I’ve been waiting for that since I found out I was pregnant. They were faint and small, so it probably feels to him the way it felt to me a few weeks ago… not really real yet. Soon, though, we”ll have bigger, stronger knees and elbows and feet and he’ll be able to feel all of that!

Worst moment this week: On Tuesday and Wednesday this little stinker of mine went into hiding. After a week of regular thumps and jabs, all of a sudden nothing. I’d woken up on my back that morning, and I thought maybe I’d harmed him. I called the nurse hotline and they said he was probably just hiding at the very bottom/back and I couldn’t feel him. I was so worried until Wednesday evening at work, when I felt tiny thumps and taps… just inside my butt. Yep, apparently you can feel them there, too.

Looking forward to: Picking out paint colors for the nursery! I’m thinking very light gray, and getting darker gray curtains, then having all the accents be navy blue and white!

Cravings: Watermelon! I’ve been craving watermelon like CRAZY! I can eat an entire huge container of it in one sitting at work. It probably looks crazy to everyone else, but it’s so good.

Symptoms: The swelling has begun. I was hoping I would escape this particular symptom, but no luck. Monday at work was so hot that my feet swelled up horribly. Tuesday and Wednesday were bad, too. As long as the temperature at work is decent, I’m okay, but it’s almost always far too warm. (It was in the 80’s inside the building!) It’s awful and so unattractive. Bah.

thanks, obama

Can we talk for a second about something serious?

I never post politically charged things. I don’t usually talk about things like this. But I have read so many bad things about it that I wanted to let people know that, for my family, the Affordable Care Act has been a lifesaver. A lifestarter, even.

Let’s start at the beginning.

I graduated from law school in October 2011. I went to a pretty good school, but the future was not exactly bright. This is how jobs work for students at large law schools: Your first job out of law school generally comes from the firm that you spent your 2L summer with… which is often the firm you spent your 1L summer with, as well. So in the spring of 1L year, you start interviewing and hopefully accepting job offers. If your 1L summer firm likes you, they’ll invite you back for 2L summer. Or you can find a different firm for 2L summer, and then if your 2L summer firm likes you, they’ll invite you to join as an associate after graduation. After the crash of the legal industry around 2008-2009, large firms stopped hiring summer law clerks. They started firing associates who had been there for years. Seasoned attorneys couldn’t get jobs, much less 1Ls. So I got a job as a research assistant both summers, and never spent time with a firm. By the time I graduated, business had picked up with firms enough that they started hiring 1L and 2Ls again… but my chance had already passed. They call us “the lost generation”.

So when I graduated, I came back home and got a job. Any job. I had gone to law school out of state, so I didn’t have any contacts here. I had no firm experience. So when I took a job, I took it despite the fact that it offered no job security and no benefits. None.

After I left law school, my health insurance from them went away. I have a heart condition that hadn’t been checked since 2004, and I just crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t die from it. I had been on several medications, but without health insurance, I couldn’t afford to see a doctor to get prescriptions renewed, and I certainly couldn’t afford the medicines. Not even the generics. So I self-weaned from them, without medical supervision, and tried not to get sick. This went on for over two years.

The plan when I got married in 2012 was to get added to my husband’s insurance. His company, however, said that our marriage wasn’t a “change in circumstances” so I couldn’t be added until open enrollment. I think they lied, but I digress. When open enrollment came around, we realized that it would cost us over $400/month additional to add me to my husband’s insurance, and that next to nothing would be covered. My heart condition wouldn’t be covered at all, because it’s preexisting. If, god forbid, we wanted to add maternity coverage, we would have to purchase an additional rider that would take my portion alone close to $1000/month. We wanted to start a family, and wouldn’t do it without health insurance. At this rate, we’d simply be childless forever.

So we declined to add me to his insurance. It just wasn’t worth it. I vowed to redouble my job search to find something, anything with benefits. In the meanwhile, I looked for standalone policies. Well, it turns out that in my state, it wasn’t even possible to purchase standalone maternity coverage. I could purchase a standalone plan that would cover next to nothing for around the same amount that I could have been added to my husband’s insurance, but there was no way possible to add maternity coverage. It simply wasn’t available.

So I thought maybe we would never have a child. Jobs are still scarce and by the time I did get a fabled firm job, I’d be pretty focused on work and wouldn’t exactly want to start a family at that time. And I was getting older and, realistically speaking, time was just running out. I mourned for a long time because of this, mourned for the kid I’d never have.

And then the Affordable Care Act marketplaces opened up. Obamacare. And I was skeptical, but I looked. I couldn’t even log on for the first month. I was worried the website would never work, and by the time I could even shop around, it would be too late and open enrollment would be over. I was worried about the expense, I was worried about everything, because up until this point, everything had gone wrong.

But this went right.

After a few rocky weeks, I was finally able to log into the site. I filled out all my information and it actually got processed. Then I got to look at plans.

I found a plan that would cover 80% of all costs, with primary care visits AND ob/gyn visits at no cost. Yes, I can visit my obstetrician for free, as often as I need to. My deductible is low enough that it’s not a deterrent. Prescriptions cost me $3 a month. And? Maternity care is automatically included. No searching desperately for maternity riders. All this for less than my husband’s employer-based insurance costs, with much, much better coverage.

My insurance coverage started up on January 1, 2014. I got pregnant around the end of January and we are expecting our son in October. Thanks, Obama.

I saw my heart doctor for the first time in a decade in February, and he assured me that I wasn’t going to die. Thanks, Obama.

I have doctor appointments every four weeks, to make sure my son is healthy and growing. The other day, we got a bill for a routine test that would have cost over $1000 without insurance. We paid $12. Thanks, Obama.

My job still doesn’t offer benefits, but I’m not desperately trying to leave anymore because it’s not a bad job and it allows the flexibility I’ll need to be there for my son. This little life growing inside me would never have happened, if not for Obamacare. I know people say bad things about it, and some lives may have been negatively impacted by it. But I think the overall impact is overwhelmingly good. My life has changed  because of Obamacare. It is infinitely better. And in about 19 weeks, I’ll get to meet the little person whose life has been possible because of Obamacare.

 

Thanks, Obama.

 

20ish weeks

Dear Baby,

We’re officially more than halfway done! This week mommy started feeling you wiggle around in there a bit. At least, I think that’s what’s going on in there… You like to have tiny dance parties late at night, after mommy eats dinner and when mommy’s falling asleep. You probably have dance parties all the time, but you’re still too small for me to feel unless I’m being very, very still. You especially like sweets and orange juice… I can usually get a few good thumps after I have those things! When I think I’m feeling you, it feels like little bubbles inside my lower tummy.

Daddy has said that when I’m still asleep in the mornings (he wakes up earlier than I do) I will rub my tummy in my sleep. You’re definitely making my tummy poke out enough that it’s one of my favorite things to do when I’m awake, too!

Love you,
Mommy

This week has been great! I’m so excited to be more than halfway done… even though another 20 weeks seems like such a long time. I hate waiting (but don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t want him to come early!) We’ve started a registry, which was far more overwhelming than I thought it would be. It always sounds like fun… basically window shopping, right? But it’s stressful to have to decide what someone else might buy you, and then to go home and look at reviews and realize you’ve just registered for what amounts to a baby deathtrap. We’ve got the biggest things on the registry now, but still have to flesh it out with smaller things. I’m really hoping people choose from the registry, because we put so much thought into it and I don’t need hundreds of newborn onesies (that he might outgrow before he even wears) but have to put him to bed in a box since we don’t have a crib.

I’m full of worries lately, too. I’m worried that my mother in law will critique my parenting choices. We’re breastfeeding and using disposable diapers. I want a pack and play with the newborn sleeper attachment, so he can sleep in our room for the first several weeks (but not in the bed with us) but a crib for when he’s older. I’m going to be one of those moms who insists on hand-washing for visitors, and on pertussis and flu vaccines for frequent visitors (like grandparents).

I just know I’m going to hear “well, we did/didn’t do [insert whatever they think I'm being neurotic about] and our kids were just fine.” And with my own mother, I have no problem standing up to her. My relationship with her is always safe, and I feel very comfortable being up front and firm. But with my mother in law? I don’t want to offend… so I don’t know how I’ll approach things that we disagree on.

I’m also worried about when he goes into daycare. I’ll have to go back to work, maybe three months after he’s born. 12 weeks is too little to leave him with strangers! And he’ll be a breastfed baby, and I’m not sure if a daycare worker will know how to handle that without overfeeding him. See? Worries about things that haven’t even happened yet, and won’t for quite some time. About things that might never happen.

Anyway. I made a mobile for over his crib. I’ll post that sometime later this week. It’s ridiculously cute. I want to quilt something now, too. I’ve never done a quilt before, so it should be a learning experience!

Size of babe: About the length of a banana? Turns out at 20 weeks, they stop measuring from crown to rump, and start measuring from crown to heel! So little man is about the length of a banana from the top of his head to the bottom of his little feet!

Maternity Clothes: I have a couple dresses, but I’m going to go soon and buy some tops. Mine have finally given up covering my entire tummy, and they try their hardest to ride up to just over my bump all day long!

Nursery: I was dead set on pirates, but husband wanted spaceships… so we went with spaceships! (My only rule is no monkeys!) We”ll probably paint the room in a light, cool gray. Maybe a navy accent wall, maybe not. We registered for spaceship/alien bedding and I’ve made a little outer space mobile for over his crib. I’m so excited. :)

Sleep: I keep forgetting to drink enough water during the day, and by the evening, I’m parched. So I drink tons of water, and then I’m up 6-7 times a night to pee! Other than that, I sleep very well!

What I miss: Coffee again. I would commit horrible crimes for a consequence-free, large, black, piping hot coffee.

Best moment this week: Feeling those first little thumps! It feels like bubbles moving around in there. I like to drink some orange juice and then wait a few minutes to see if I can feel them. I can’t wait until I feel some proper kicks and jabs… and until hubby can feel them, too.

Worst moment this week: I’m out of work for most of the week, because my project ended at work and doesn’t pick up again until Monday. Every time I think we’re getting ahead on maternity leave savings, something like this happens to set us back again.

Looking forward to: Having some proper kicks from baby! And having them strong enough for hubby to feel from the outside! Also looking forward to finishing the unpacking. There are still boxes everywhere, and we can’t figure out where to put some of the furniture. It’s stressful!

Cravings: A margarita. I might also commit horrible crimes for a consequence-free margarita. Oh gah, I can barely even write about it without just about dying from want. The funny thing is, I don’t even drink when I’m not pregnant. I haven’t in over a year, because alcohol makes me so sick. But I really just want a frosty, sweetsour margarita with a little extra tequila for bite.

Symptoms: Pregnancy rhinitis, still. Sneezing like crazy, and occasionally I will pee a little when I sneeze. It’s lovely, let me tell you. Other than that, along with my gradual rounding-out, there isn’t much going on. I love the second trimester!

%d bloggers like this: