40 weeks – baby’s due date

Dear baby,

What the eff? We talked about this, remember? You are due to have arrived by today, and we discussed the importance of being punctual. I hope you’re not going to make a habit of showing up late. It’s a very inconsiderate trait. And I know, I know, it’s a little early to have put you on a schedule already, but baby, we’ve got lives to get to. I can’t just sit around waiting for you when we had an agreed-upon date of arrival. And don’t go telling me that babies come when they’re ready, and that due dates are imprecise. We both know how long you’ve been in there and I say it’s been long enough.

Just so you know, daddy and I are planning to evict you shortly. Now, you can show up on your own, or we can help you along if you’re feeling reluctant. Either way… I can’t wait to meet you.

Love,
Mommy

After a few scary symptoms last week (sudden swelling in my ankles and feet, flashing lights in my vision, headache) I decided to move my Thursday appointment up to Tuesday. So I saw a doctor on October 14, and the doctor decided that my symptoms weren’t severe enough to be truly worrisome, but since everything seemed to be “favorable” she wanted to get him out sooner rather than waiting so she scheduled an induction for October 21. I was really hoping that he would come on his own, but so far it seems like he’s still quite comfortable and not planning on showing up any time soon. So unless something drastic happens in the next two days, labor will be induced Tuesday morning. One way or another, there will probably be a baby by Wednesday at the latest.

Let’s be honest about the feelings/emotions going on right now:

I’m scared about pitocin, scared of the pain and worried about the general unpredictable nature of what’s about to happen. I really don’t want to be cut, even though I understand a c-section is totally routine and I’d be fine if it happened… I’m not worried about “failing” at labor/childbirth. I’m just extremely averse to being cut.

I’m also anxious, but not in a scared way. Nervous, excited, stressed… they all sort of feed into this anxiety. And I think a lot of that comes from just generally not knowing what’s going to happen. What does a labor pain even feel like? Will I be crazed with pain? What is pushing like? I’ve never done this before, and I have no idea what it will be like.

I’m also really ready. I’m ready to meet my baby. I want to know this little person who has been growing inside my body. I feel like I know things about him already. He likes to have his hands up by his face a lot (I wonder if he’ll hate being swaddled, or if he’ll need to be swaddled to calm his little fists of fury down). He doesn’t kick as much as he just stretches. I feel like he’s kind of relaxed and laid back, a lot like my husband in temperament. Is that weird? That I feel like I know him? I hope I like him.

I’m also excited. I spent a lot of time on Saturday visiting a friend who has two daughters, one of them just six months old. And we talked and talked about labor and childbirth and the first few postpartum days, and she helped to calm me and really help me feel more excited and less fearful. I feel like this is something I can do, being a mom. So I’m excited to have him out and in my arms finally.

And lastly, I’m tired. I’m tired of the hormonal mood swings (I wanted to divorce my husband for the millionth time since getting pregnant for something that was relatively simple to remedy with five minutes or so of talking) and I’m tired of the constant peeing (seriously, I sit and pee, then I lean to one side and pee some more, lean to the other side and pee some more, wait two seconds and pee some more, finally finish and stand up, then sit back down and pee some more… finish and get back into bed, and then get up 20 seconds later to pee even more… it sounds funny, but it’s honestly miserable) the pelvic pain that makes me feel half-crippled, the itchy tummy, and the latest is the mid-to-upper back pain that Tylenol can’t even touch. I want to be honest about these things. I think (hope) this kid will be worth it, but so much of what I’m going through was never told to me beforehand. People joke about stretch marks or nausea, but my biggest physical problems have been the incredible amount of pain in my hips and pubic bone and now my back. I’m tired.

Hopefully the next time I update this, it will be with a baby announcement.

Birthing process update: 2 cm dilated, not sure how effaced or what station as the doctor didn’t say on Tuesday. I really dislike that doctor. She scheduled the induction without really consulting me about it. The biggest reason I’m going along with it is because my two favorite doctors are on call that day, so I know I’m going to be in good hands. If she’d scheduled me for a day when she was on call, I’d cancel. I don’t like or trust that doctor.

Anyway, induction scheduled for Tuesday, October 21. They’ll likely start me on pitocin and then break my water after a bit. I’m nervous, but ready.

Of course, he could still come on his own. 2 cm dilated is pretty good for a first time mom at this point and kind of shows that my body knows something should be happening. Had weird nesting urge and a huge burst of energy (I’m as surprised as you are) on Thursday and Friday where I cleaned and organized the baby’s room vacuumed upstairs and down and cleaned all three bathrooms and the kitchen. And I’ve been having BH contractions pretty regularly all night and most of the day. Still not anywhere on the pain scale (so I know they’re not “productive”) but at least my body’s doing something. Some cramping today, but nothing time-able. I’m still hoping he takes the lecture I gave him on punctuality to heart and decides to show up on his due date.

Nursery: We got our maternity photos back, so we’re going to print a few wedding and maternity photos to hang in the room. The frames are up, just empty right now. I cleared my sewing desk so it’s more organized looking in there, and I hung the felt name banner I made for him. He won’t be sleeping in there for a while, but it’s looking more like a nursery and less like a jumble.

Sleep: It’s been a little better this week. Sleeping on my side has gotten more comfortable (previously, my hips/pelvis would burn with pain when I slept on my side, even if I used a pillow between my knees, but this week it’s a lot nicer for whatever reason) I still don’t get much, what with the constant peeing, though.

What I miss: Not much this week. I still miss having my body to myself, but it’s not as bad. I’m mostly just excited and looking forward to meeting this little guy, too excited/nervous to miss much.

Best moment this week: Just sitting with a friend and having a really good, long, honest talk. She didn’t look at me like a ticking time bomb like most people. She didn’t treat me like a vessel/incubator. She was just my friend and we had a great visit and she was so calm and confident that it made me feel that way too. I’m so lucky to have such good friends.

Worst moment this week: The day that I spent thinking I should leave my husband because he didn’t understand that my back makes me want to cry with pain when I do dishes (it’s the weird leaning over motion, I think, because our sink is too low for me to stand comfortably upright). I forget that he can’t feel what I’m feeling and it’s hard for him to really really understand what this is like. Even easy pregnancy is kind of miserable.

Looking forward to: Still meeting my little boy.

Cravings: Anything sweet. Chocolate. And a cold cut sandwich, something with deli ham and pepperoni. Or a Publix sub. The Ultimate. That’s exactly what I want. A Publix Boar’s Head Ultimate. Too bad there isn’t a Publix nearby.

Symptoms: Lots of BH contractions, some cramping. Awful mood swings. Weird nesting/cleaning urge.

39 weeks

Dear Baby,

Get out.

Love,
Mommy

Birthing process update: Doctor says I’m 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced and -1 station. In other words… nothing is going on. The receptionist had me schedule the next two weeks worth of appointments, because she said the best way to get a baby to show up is to make plans that require him not showing up.

Last day of work was Friday, and I had some pretty intense “nesting” feelings going on (I almost panicked at work because my kitchen floor is too dirty and I needed to go home and clean it… went and bought some pine sol and haven’t bothered cleaning it yet because I’m tired) and a bit of an upset tummy on Saturday. Other than that, nothing. I know he still has a week left (and possibly two, since first time moms usually go 41 weeks) but really. He’s almost certainly healthy and fully cooked, and I’d rather he be out.

Nursery: It’s actually slightly less organized than it was before, because I got upset about not having curtains on the kitchen window, so I started measuring and cutting but haven’t sewn them yet. So there’s fabric all over the place. I guess I’ll have to take care of that this week.

Sleep: Sleep is still bad. Woke up a few times last night with a racing heart, not sure why. Starting to have mid-to-upper back pain and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been sleeping on the couch or what. Maybe it’s from the awful office chairs at work. Also having trouble breathing, because of the stuffy nose all the time. And lately it feels like my throat won’t stay open either! So I have a hard time falling and staying asleep.

What I miss: Sleeping. I know I won’t sleep in long stretches when baby gets here, but at least when I do sleep, I’ll be able to sleep comfortably.

Best moment this week: There have been a few. :) The first is just that I’m officially on maternity leave! My last day of work was Friday and it was so nice to leave knowing that I won’t have to go back until early next year. Now I just need a baby so I’m not wasting my leave time with no baby around!

The second was when hubs startled the baby. He likes to kiss my tummy, and blow raspberries on it. So last time he was blowing raspberries, I told him where the baby’s face probably was, and he blew a raspberry and startled baby so much he jumped! It made me laugh and laugh. So then he did it once more, and this time baby startled and then punched him right in the mouth! I was laughing so hard, I cried.

And finally, today we went to the Build-a-Bear store and bought baby’s first teddy bear. We wanted it to be something special, that we got him together. So we picked one out and did all the silly things (like picking out a little heart and giving it kisses and making wishes and all) and then had it stuffed. It’s so sweet.

Worst moment this week: Probably the most recent bad symptoms I’m dealing with – racing heartbeat, trouble breathing while trying to sleep, and earlier tonight I had some flashing lights in my vision and some pretty sudden swelling in my feet and ankles. Nothing awful, but enough that I’m probably going to call the doctor in the morning just in case.

Looking forward to: Meeting my little boy.

Cravings: Orange juice, kind of. It’s not a strong craving, but I really really want some. Also, chocolate milk and raisin bran (have I mentioned this one before?) I could eat it every morning (and do, most mornings).

Symptoms: BH contractions are still sporadic. Slightly scary high blood pressure symptoms. And the SPD pelvic pain and constant peeing, as usual. Also, add just being dead tired to that… I think a combo of not being able to sleep and being heavier than usual and just being ready to be done. I’m tired. :) Baby, it’s time to get out.

38 weeks 4 days

Yes, I’m counting down the days.

I had my weekly doctor appointment today and got checked for progress. Nothing. Nothing! I understand that we have another week and a half to go, but I am so ready not to be pregnant anymore! My huge gigantic shirts are now too small to cover my tummy so, yes, I walk around at work with a sliver of belly showing under my shirt. (I dare anyone there to say anything to me about it.) I wore flip flops to work yesterday because I don’t give a shit anymore. I think tomorrow’s my last day of work… I can’t sit there for 8 hours a day (in fact, I’m averaging 5.5 hours a day at work before I give up and go home.)

I’ve been having cramping and Braxton Hicks contractions all night long. And still, nothing. No progress at all. Nothing. Bah.

38 weeks

I’ve officially reached the bargaining stage of pregnancy. I’ve no idea what I can promise that would entice a fetus to show up two weeks early, though. And this says that there’s only a 1.6% statistical probability that I will go into labor today. (And less than 20% probability that I’ll go into labor within a week!) I’ve had no signs of impending labor, to the point that when the doctor offered a cervical check at my last appointment, we both said, at about the same time, “It would be pointless.” Because nothing’s happening. Apparently my womb is more comfortable than a five star hotel, and this baby never wants to leave. And I’m not even 40 weeks yet. I hope to heaven I do not go overdue. Doctor will let me go to 41 weeks, but baby, if you make me wait that long, you are so grounded.

We’re having my maternity photoshoot today. I’m anxious because I really have nothing suitable to wear. I have the same tired clothes I wear to work every week (a baggy gross dress from Target, three shirts that stretch out in a very unattractive way and a super-pilled skirt and dress from Old Navy) but nothing else fits. I have enough clothes, basically, to remain clothed at work (though calling what I wear “business casual” is reaaaalllly stretching the definition there) and on the weekends, I just wear next to nothing. Seriously. I wear a tank top that doesn’t cover my belly and sometimes I wear underwear. Most times I do not. Because nothing fits. See baby? This is why you need to come soon. So mommy can dress herself again. I mean, even pajamas and a sports bra would be better than this mess. I’d at least like to fit into a pair of underwear comfortably.

I’m half wanting to go to the mall and buy myself something decent to wear today… but refusing to buy any new clothes that I’ll only wear for another week or two (or three, god forbid).

Size of babe: Well… I guess right now he’s about the size of a newborn baby. :)

Birthing process update: Braxton Hicks contractions are now waking me up, maybe 2-3 times a night. Tummy will go all hard for a minute or so, then I’ll fall back asleep. They’re still around a 0-1 on the pain scale. I had a good one tonight while we were watching a scary movie. It lasted a long time, and maybe registered a 1-2 on the pain scale. I waited and waited, hoping for another, but nothing.

Was offered a cervical check, but the doctor didn’t see any point in checking and I didn’t want to be depressed at the lack of progress! I might get one around 39 weeks if he’s not here yet. For now, I don’t see the point. Nothing else is really going on. No nesting, none of the “flu-like symptoms” the books talk about, nothing. Even the mild cramping that was going on around 36 weeks has stopped!

Nursery: No new progress here either. I did set up the pack n play in the bedroom again, and put a sheet over the mattress on it. I read a tip saying to layer sheets with puppy pads (we got the adult incontinence version, so the dogs wouldn’t think it was a place to pee inside!) to make middle-of-the-night sheet changes easier. So I’ll probably end up doing that to the mattress. Puppy pad, sheet, puppy pad, sheet, in case I have to strip one set in the middle of the night. We haven’t done much else with the nursery, though. There isn’t much to do, except organize, and we don’t really have a place to put a lot of the miscellaneous stuff yet.

Sleep: Sleeping worse again since sometime last week. My hips burn with pain when I lay on my side, no matter how many pillows or rolled up blankets/towels I put between my knees. I have a confession… I’ve been sleeping on my back for most of the pregnancy. Everything I’ve read or heard of been told by doctors suggests that if something is reducing blood flow, I’ll know before it affects baby. Well, I’ve finally gotten to the point that laying on my back will sometimes make me feel kind of queasy  and make breathing feel weird. I can lay on my back and lean so that belly falls to the left, and I’m fine. But if belly leans to the right, I get queasy. So I’m guessing it’s compressing that vein when I do that. What this means is that my SPD is really, really flaring up again because I’m always on my side. So I rarely sleep and I’m exhausted all day long and I have a really short temper and constantly feel like crying. Anyone who says “Just wait! You’ll never sleep again with a newborn!” is a stupid, stupid person who has obviously never been in the later weeks of pregnancy. Even if I sleep rarely and sporadically with a newborn, it’ll be better than this rare, sporadic, intensely painful half-sleep I get now.

What I miss: Sleeping without pain.

Best moment this week: Waking up in the morning and rubbing my tummy. I think he goes to sleep in the early morning, because he’s very active at night, but in the morning, he’s very very still. So I lay there and rub my tummy pretty firmly and talk to him and tell him it’s time to wake up. And he stretches (he’s so big and strong now that I can just about feel my ribs creaking!) and kicks around a little bit before we get up for breakfast. I’m so looking forward to having him on the outside.

Worst moment this week: Has to be the trip to the grocery store, where (after several days of not pooping… again) I bought prune juice, raisin bran, stool softener and tucks pads. I didn’t even care that the cashier probably knew too much about my business. I don’t have room in my body for pride. I’m too full of poop.

Looking forward to: Labor. I know it’s a weird thing to look forward to, because it will be so stressful and painful, but it means that I get to meet my son. I feel like I’m in that first two-week-wait all over again, scrutinizing every twinge and cramp to see if it means something is happening with my body.

Cravings: Sweets in general, but nothing specific. I kind of want something sweet after every meal… I don’t know if it’s a “craving” or just a habit I’ve gotten into! I’ll have to kick it pretty fast… hubs and I decided that we’d find a way to make a gym membership work with our budget, so I’m going to be trying to eat well and get back in shape soon after this little guy is out! Probably not a Crossfit membership, but there’s a Crossfit gym nearby that has a gym-access membership for pretty cheap and they won’t think it’s weird if I’m doing my own WODs, whereas I’d probably be kicked out of a Planet Fitness or whatever.

Symptoms: Baby is floating in and out, dropping low and then coming back up. I think he’s higher today… not peeing as much. Was lower yesterday, with lightning crotch and peeing a ton. Some BH contractions, but nothing real. Developed a very sudden and kind of scary headache with some swelling in my hands and had a kind of hot flash with sweats last evening. Not sure why, but if the high blood pressure symptoms come back, I’ll call the doctor just to be sure everything’s still fine.

 

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…

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