fully baked

August 12, 2010 at 7:27 pm (Pregnancy at Work, Pregnant body, Third Trimester) (, , , )

We’re at 37 weeks now! Baby is now considered full term.

I can’t believe we’re here… Every day I am amazed at how big and strong baby feels inside me. My belly is absolutely HUGE – it sticks straight out and is so perfectly round that it looks like I’ve stuffed a beach ball under my shirt. Both M and I sometimes can’t help ourselves and let out a breathless “woah” when we notice how big it is.

I’m lucky that the weather has been mostly co-operative this summer. There have definitely been days when it’s awfully hot, but for the most part I’ve been able to cope quite well. My office is air conditioned and we have plenty of fans in our house. We also bought this amazing stacker tower fan, which is two fans stacked on top of each other. It’s been a life save. We keep it at the foot of the bed and just point it right at me to keep me cool on the hotter nights. I don’t think I would have made it without it! It’s getting hotter again now, though, just as I’m going to be biggest and heaviest.

I only have a week left at work before I go on mat leave. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ve been awfully tired lately. I don’t sleep well at night because I’m too uncomfortable, even with my trusty Snoogle. Baby seems to kick a lot just as I first lay down, so it’s tough to fall asleep. Then, I usually wake up 3-4 times through the night because I have to pee. I’ve noticed in the past week or so that I’ll be woken up by some pretty serious Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re strong enough to pull me out of my sleep, and the way I’ve gotten them to go away is to get out of bed and do a bathroom run. Because this always happens at night, I sort of get the feeling that I’ll go into labour at night. I know it’s really not a good indicator at all, but that’s just the feeling that I get.

At my now-weekly exam, the doctor told me today that the baby has started to drop. Very exciting stuff! It’s still not fully dropped into my pelvis, but apparently baby is lower than it was last week. So – things are starting to happen. I think I really freaked M out a couple of days ago because he came downstairs and found me sort of hunched over holding up my belly. It was just so heavy and I could feel a lot of pressure from the baby pushing down. I’m guessing that that’s when baby started it’s descent lower into my pelvis. M said that there seemed to be a lot of grunting and other noises coming out of me that night!

Next week, we’ll do a pelvic exam and check my dilation and effacement. I am really starting to wonder when the baby is going to come!

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beyond exhaustion

July 29, 2010 at 6:40 pm (Emotions, Pregnant body, Third Trimester) (, , , )

Last weekend I made a big mistake. I had a bridal shower to go to, and because I didn’t want to drive, I got a ride with a friend. Unfortunately for me, this friend happens to be a stay-at-home mom. She hasn’t worked for 5 years, and her husband travels frequently and for long periods of time for work. She spends all day, every day, with her two kids.

The shower was supposed to be 3 hours long, which with driving time, I figured would mean about a 4 hour outing. No big deal, just the afternoon. I had planned on coming home afterwards and having a nap, then going out for dinner with M, and calling it an early night, as usual. We left my house at about 12:30, and arrived just after 1PM. The shower was lots of fun, and ended quite promptly at 4PM. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law left immediately, and I didn’t think anything of it. I could have gone with them since they live close by, but I assumed (very incorrectly) that we would also be on our way soon.

I was way off: I didn’t realize that to my stay-at-home mom friend, this was her getaway, her fun time, her time to spend with adults, free of children!

She chatted exuberantly for HOURS. Other people were leaving, including another pregnant lady, not as far along as I am, who left saying she was tired out… By 6PM, I was frustrated and tired beyond belief. I had eaten all the fruit and crackers I could handle, but it was time for dinner, for real food. I was hot and tired and hungry. Once, my friend even said – I guess we should get going soon, to which I replied, “Yeah, I’m totally ready for a nap!” I thought this was pretty straightforward, but apparently not. Next thing I knew, she had struck up another conversation and there was no way I could even get a word in edgewise. I should have just put on my shoes, picked up my purse, and started saying my goodbyes. We stayed for longer.

Her husband even called to see when she would be coming home because he was hungry for dinner. After she hung up with him, she said: “See, you get to go home and rest. When I go home, I get to have my kids climbing all over me and I have to help with dinner.” No wonder she didn’t want to go home. But I couldn’t help but be angry that she couldn’t see how exhausted I was. I bit my tongue, though, because she had given me a ride and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful.

Finally, my other sister-in-law got a call from her husband (also seeing when she was going to be coming home so they could have dinner), and I jumped at the chance to see if I could get a ride home with her. Upon hearing that, my friend finally decided that we should get going, too. We made our way home, stopping at Starbucks first, and I did my best to keep my energy up during the ride home.

As soon as I walked in the door, at just after 7 PM, M greeted me and asked how I was holding up. I had been texting him for the last couple of hours, lamenting my situation. My response was that I was so tired that I could cry. And with that, I burst into tears and headed upstairs as fast as I could. I tore off my dress and climbed into bed, bawling because I was beyond exhaustion. M offered to get me food or something to drink, but all I wanted was to lie down and sleep. I was frustrated, angry and completely beat. I had not planned on being out for seven hours, and it was way too much for my pregnant body.

It was different from just a day at work because in that situation, I know what to expect. I know what time my day should start and end. But this was supposed to be a short afternoon out, followed by a nap and food. Instead, I cried myself to sleep and woke up at 9PM to have a bite to eat, and then went back to bed feeling worn out and robbed of my day.

I’ll never make that mistake again.

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the end of an era

July 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Pregnant body, Third Trimester, Thoughts) (, , , )

I’ve had a belly ring since I was 19. Not a barbell, like most people have, but old school, an actual ring. I used to change the bead on it all the time, going from bright blue to plain silver to red, and sometimes even hanging various trinkets off it like oval crystals. In my twenties, I would often wear cropped shirts or sweaters because I wanted to show it, and my toned stomach, off. For a long time now, though, it’s been completely covered, unless of course, we were on a beach or in our hot tub, or some other bikini type of situation. Most of the time, I even forgot that I had one at all.

I have been wondering for some time now how long I would be able to keep my belly ring since I was pregnant. I even asked my doctor about it a couple of visits ago, and his response was most unhelpful: “They don’t teach us that in medical school.” I wasn’t exactly impressed, and went to the internet for answers instead. Unfortunately, answers from women who also had belly rings while they were pregnant ranged from them taking it out in the 2nd trimester, to leaving it in the whole time. I also read a variety of experiences from women who’s piercings closed up during the time the ring was out to people who were able to put them back in afterwards with no issues at all.

Over the last several weeks, my belly has remained in that threatening-to-pop stage. I don’t think it’s getting any closer to popping out now than it was before we went on our “babymoon” to Hawaii almost a month ago. Who knows if it ever will or not, but I still have my fingers crossed that I’ll get to keep my innie over the last few weeks. My navel ring, though, had adopted a permanently crooked position, always leaning over to the right, with the bead leaving a small, round, painless dent in my very round belly. I contemplated taking it out, but worried about what would happen to the piercing.  Would it close up? Would the hole get stretched out due to my growing belly? I had heard about those special pregnancy navel rings that are designed to be longer and flexible so that you can keep them in during your entire pregnancy. They can be quite inexpensive, and are available at most piercing places.

The other thing I struggled with was whether I would just take it out permanently. I’ll be 33 this year, and I certainly don’t show it off anymore. On the other hand, though – I still like my piercing. I find it cute and sexy and fun. (Well, maybe not so sexy with my huge belly, but pre-pregnancy, I think it still looked great.)

In the end, I decided it was time to just take it out and I can decide after I have the baby if I’ll put it back in or not. If it does close up in that time, then so be it. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll bother getting it re-pierced. But if I can put my ring back in, then maybe I will wear it again. I just hope that the hole doesn’t do any strange stretching over the last few weeks of my pregnancy and leave me with a weird scar. I guess we’ll just wait and see!

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the incredible shrinking bellybutton

June 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm (Pregnant body, Third Trimester) (, )

It’s getting closer…

I always liked my “innie” belly button. When I was in high school and university, I often used to wear midriff bearing tops to show it off. During the summer, I would wear tube tops. I got a piercing back when I was 19, and used to dangle various jewels off of it. Now that I’m older, I still kept the piercing, but stuck with a basic bead instead of the flashier adornments of my younger days. My innie now looks like an upside down T and it is getting noticeably more shallow with each passing week. When I felt it last night, the skin was very very soft, which tells me that it’s that skin that has always been turned inwards and has been protected for all these years!

I’ve been reading for weeks that my belly button could pop at any time, and to be honest, I really don’t want it to! I don’t like how “outies” look… I have kept my piercing in so far, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep it in. I’ve read about flexible plastic “pregnancy piercings”, but I’m not sure if I want to go that route. Apparently, they’re quite ugly. I’m even wondering if I want to put my piercing back in after I give birth or not. It’s not like I show it off anymore! I guess in a way, it will be like saying goodbye to an era… I don’t think I’ve made my final decision yet.

I am hoping that if my belly button must pop, that it at least waits until we get back from our trip. Yes, we are taking a babymoon! We are going to go to Hawaii for a week for some rest and relaxation. We had originally planned on staying close to home this year and not doing any travelling, but on the advice of many of our friends and colleagues who now have children, we decided that we would take one last trip for just the two of us. It will be the last chance for us to get away from it all and just enjoy being together. It will be a bit strange, since this will be our first time on vacation where I don’t get to enjoy a few margaritas on the beach, or a glass of wine with dinner, but on the other hand – baby will be a jet setter even before it’s born!

I’ve decided that I just can’t do the maternity swimsuit thing and will be braving the beach in a bikini. I found a style that had lower cut bottoms that I can tuck under my belly, and has a thicker band up top that still supports the ladies. M and I had quite the laugh a couple of weeks ago when I tried on one of my old bikinis. It was the usual string triangle top kind, and I honestly looked like a porn star. I’ve gained two cup sizes since before I was pregnant and am now a 34DD, so that string just wasn’t going to cut it! It sort of sat on top of my boob instead of underneath it, and I knew as soon as I took a step, I would pop right out of it. This new style is still cute and fun, but it’s going to give me the support and coverage that I need.

I will be keeping my fingers crossed that my innie stays an innie for just a few more weeks.

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my pregnant body

May 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm (Pregnant body, Second Trimester) ()

I’ve made it to the 25 week mark! I think it’s interesting how I still think of it is “making it another week”… I would bet that women who didn’t have a miscarriage would just think of it as another step along the way. I have to say, though, things are going very well for me now. My body is most definitely visibly pregnant now, and I am loving it! I love how I can still wear most of my old shirts and sweaters, but they are definitely belly-hugging and they certainly don’t hang the way they used to.

I am pleased to report that although I have put on about 15 pounds, it seems to be all belly and boobs. I can’t even button up my jacket anymore! A few weeks ago, I couldn’t do up the bottom half of the buttons because my belly had gotten too big, but today on my walk, I noticed that the button would probably pop off if I tried to keep the top half of my jacket done up! I have gone up two bra sizes already, so I wonder how big they’ll get when I start breastfeeding… Sometimes M and I laugh at how they’ve gotten so big, they almost look fake.

I’ve been very diligent about trying to avoid stretch marks. I apply a special massage lotion every morning and night. I really enjoy this ritual of putting lotion on my tummy. I think of the little baby inside of me when I am applying it, imagining where it’s head or it’s hands may be in  there, and thinking about how much it’s growing to be causing this big belly of mine! I love to look at my tummy after I’ve put the cream on, all big and round and shiny from the lotion. I know some women feel like they hate their bodies when they start getting larger, because pregnancy has changed their formerly fit and trim bodies, but I love it. I love my pregnant body. I love seeing how it’s growing and how my tummy is about the size of a soccer ball now. It sticks almost straight out.

One thing I’ve been watching carefully is my belly button. I’ve read that it can “pop” at any time now. Honestly, that’s one thing I’m not really looking forward to. I don’t want my belly button to stick out! I don’t like how it looks…. I just hope that if it does pop, that it at least hangs on until we get back from our trip. Yes – we’re going to Hawaii next month!! I’m going to go for it and still wear a bikini 🙂 I will have to buy a new one, though, because all of the ones I own are the string top style, and that just isn’t going to hold the ladies in. I will have to get the kind that has the band at the bottom for more support.

I am still kind of stunned that I am nearly at the end of my second trimester. We’ve come such a long way since those dark days of November. There is hope. There is life after miscarriage.

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