Posts Tagged With: pregnancy

Baby J’s Birth Story

I think it goes without saying, but here’s your official TMI alert.

I can’t complain too much about my labor. I think it was fairly easy and quick, all things considered.

A week before my due date, I woke up about 1:20am for one of my usual pee breaks. When I went to the bathroom, I notice my pantyliner was soaked through. Odd, I thought. Could it be amniotic fluid?  I smelled it (I know, that sounds gross, but according to what I read online, amniotic fluid smells sweet), but it didn’t have a particular odor, so I figured maybe I had peed a little, or maybe had some heavy discharge.  I checked the bed when I went back, and it was dry, so didn’t think too much about it.  About ten minutes later, though, I got up again with what felt like “poopy cramps.”  A trip to the bathroom yielded nothing, so I went back to bed, only to get up again a few minutes later with the same feeling.  I ended up sitting up on the couch, suffering through these mild cramps for a while, searching online for what labor pains felt like.  Everything I read said, “you’ll know it when you feel it.”  Well, I wasn’t sure these were labor pains, so they must not be, right?  Sure, my belly was tight, but I felt like it was tight most of the time over the previous couple of months, so nothing felt unusual…

I started timing my “cramps” anyway, as they seemed fairly regular, and I figured there was no harm in timing them, just in case they were contractions.  They were about 4.5 minutes apart and lasting about two minutes each, over a 60 minute period.  I kept thinking of the 5-1-1 rule, thinking, if this is labor, it’s time to GO!  But the pains were still not very strong – just crampy feeling.  I still wasn’t convinced I was in labor.

Around 3:30am, I emailed some friends to get their advice (“Is this labor?”), then went to the bathroom again.When I wiped the toilet paper came away red.  “Hmm, bloody show,” I thought, and made a mental check mark. I knew that didn’t necessarily mean labor was imminent, but it was a sign. I went to the bathroom again around 5am, and definitely lost my mucous plug.  Check.  Feeling kind of gross at this point, I decided to go ahead and take a shower.  I figure the shower might help with the cramps, if that’s what they were, and if it was labor, at least I’d be clean.

While in the shower, the “cramps” definitely started getting worse, so when I got out I woke Stephen.  “I think it’s time.”  I finished packing my hospital bag (all the last minute items) while he showered. I tried to keep timing my “contractions” using an app, but I kept losing track, so when Stephen got out of the shower I handed him the phone and just started telling him when to start and stop the timer.  Brain wasn’t functioning on all cylinders at that point.

We left the apartment about 6:45am, me in the back seat with my gut in agony by this time, one foot up on the center console, as there was no leg room in the back.  My cramps, now contractions, were coming every two and a half minutes and lasting just over a minute each.  The normally 45 minute drive took half an hour, with Stephen speeding moderately, as I didn’t feel “bat out of hell” speed was quite necessary.  Luckily there was little traffic at that time of day, so he was able to pass slower drivers (and avoid the speeding cameras by dodging into the oncoming lane).

We arrived at the hospital at 7:15, and they hooked me up to monitors to check my progress.  I remember telling Stephen how I was going to be pissed if this was a false alarm, but I was admitted at 7:45, so I was, indeed, in labor.  I had measured 2cm dilated a month before, so I figured I’d be a bit further along, but no, I was still at 2cm.  I started to worry that I’d have a long labor, and the “cramps” were definitely contractions at that point, although I still felt very much like I just needed to poop.  In my birth plan, I had decided against an epidural, but around 10am, at 4cm, I was very quickly started to rethink my decision.  I couldn’t seem to get comfortable.  I jumped at the chance to use the birthing tub, since I haven’t had the luxury of a bathtub in months, but after ten or fifteen minutes I wanted out.  The tub was huge, so I could never get traction in it.  I kept wanted to brace my legs against the tub when a contraction came, but the tub was too big for that.  I tried the rocking chair, and the birthing ball, but I found that any sort of sitting or squatting position was very uncomfortable, like everything was being compressed.  The best “relief” I found was simply standing and bending over the bed when a contraction came.  I had access to laughing gas, but I couldn’t really get a good breath once the contraction started, and I didn’t feel that it did much good.  That is, until I had a monitor hooked up and could see the contraction coming.  Once I could see the contraction start, I’d huff on the gas, so that by the time I felt the contraction the gas actually did take the edge off a bit.  Not a lot, mind you, but a bit.

So I had some bad labor pains from about 8-11am.  Bad being really really bad menstrual cramps.  Don’t get me wrong, I was begging for it to stop, but it wasn’t quite as bad as I expected.  By 11am, I had dilated to 8cm, so things had progressed fairly quickly, from 2cm to 4cm to 8cm.  The doctor came in and gave me a paracervical block, which was actually pretty painful – but again, more in a cramping way than sharp pain.  Once it was done, however, I felt so mellow.  Stephen was watching the monitor and was like, “How does that feel?” and I was like, “How does what feel?”  It was awesome.  I was told the block would only last about two hours, so at that point my eye was on the clock.  The last thing I wanted was for it to wear off right before I really needed it!

I hit 10cm around noon, and the midwife told me I could go ahead and start pushing if I felt like it…then she left the room to help with another birth!  I was like, I ain’t pushing if she’s not here.  What if the baby came and there was no one around?  So I “pushed” but not really.  Then she was back, and it was time.  The baby wasn’t quite in the right position, so she had me lay on my left side to help with that, then it was time to push.  I spent about 30-45 minutes in active pushing, and I can remember wishing I had a diagram of where he was minute to minute.  “He’s almost there” is meaningless – show me a picture of where he is so I can visualize.  Give me numbers.  His head is through the pelvis, it’s now x far down the birth canal – I desperately wanted something tangible other than, “Almost.”

Pushing was rough, but not particularly painful.  It was uncomfortable, and took a lot of effort, but I was groaning and grunting more from that effort and the pressure I could feel than from any pain.

But then.

Just the day before, I had read about a woman who tore.  Up.  Not down.  It was something I had never heard of, and it freaked me out.  So when I started feeling pain radiating upward, I was terrified of it happening to me, too.  It made me scared to push.  I wanted to take it all back, hit rewind, not let anything more happen.  But you can’t do that.  So I just hoped for the best and resigned myself to the worst.  Luckily, I didn’t tear that way.  I did tear a bit, but only needed three stitches, so I figure it wasn’t that bad.

Random thought #1: the shoulders actually were more uncomfortable coming out than the head, which surprised me.

Random thought #2:  those people who say you don’t know/care that you poop while pushing?  They’re lying.

Baby J was born at 12:58 pm, 3.425kilos (7 pounds 9oz) and 50cm (19.5 inches).  I was in labor just under twelve hours, and he barely squeaked through the paracervical block timetable.  All in all, labor wasn’t too bad, considering what I was expecting.

In fact, the after birth was far worse. (More on that soon…)

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10 things I can’t wait to do again

  1. wear my wedding ring
  2. drink wine
  3. sleep on my stomach
  4. paint my own toenails
  5. take a long walk without needing a toilet along the way
  6. eat smoked salmon
  7. eat sushi
  8. not think about what I can and can’t eat
  9. put on my shoes without getting winded
  10. drink wine

Baby J update – 16 Days to go!  I’m blogging every day until I give birth, so you’ll know when the baby is born!

Categories: Here Comes Baby | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

The Nursery

Anyone want to see our nursery?

20140527_163631

No, seriously, that’s it.  The box on the bottom is the baby’s bed, and is currently filled with baby clothes.  The box on top holds everything else – diaper bag, diapers, thermometer, aspirator, etc, etc.  Stroller(and car seat) to the left.

You see, we’ve had plans to move for several months now, just waiting on a new place to become available.  We were hoping to move in April, or early May, so we didn’t set any of the baby stuff up, figuring we wouldn’t need it until after we moved.  But here we are, end of May, still waiting for a new place, and baby is due any time in the next 3-4 weeks.  Currently it looks like we’ll be moving in early July.  Nothing like moving with a newborn, right?

I need to go ahead and unpack what I can – the clothes and diapers.  I have an empty drawer in the dresser that I’m hoping will be big enough for that stuff.  We’ll see.  And unpacking the clothes will free up the baby’s bed.

Even once we do move, the “nursery” won’t be much – temporary housing and all that.  No real decorations, and the bare minimum with furniture and things.  The kid won’t know the difference!

Baby J update – 19 Days to go! I’m blogging every day until I give birth, so you’ll know when the baby is born!

 

Categories: Here Comes Baby | Tags: , | 2 Comments

What not to say to your husband at 37 weeks

I’ll be 37 weeks tomorrow, officially “full term.”  This morning after getting out of the shower, I went into the bedroom to dress.  Stephen was in the living room.

This is what he heard:  “Oh, crap.  Honey? I need your help, quick.  Get me a towel.”

A couple of seconds later I realized that I had probably freaked him out.  No, my water didn’t break.  I had been about to put some coconut oil on, and it’s been warm enough that the oil has turned liquid, so I ended up spilling it everywhere.

Stephen comes in with a towel, looks at me, and I explain.  “You need to be careful what you say at this point,” he said.

Heehee.

In other news, many months ago – okay, like, three months ago – I jokingly said I wouldn’t be able to drive towards the end of pregnancy, because at month 6 I had about an inch of room between my belly and the steering wheel.  Kind of hard to scoot the seat back when you have a stick shift – you still have to be close enough to push the clutch in.  I haven’t gotten behind the wheel in a couple of months, but I took the car to get it washed this morning.  The result?  I can still fit behind the steering wheel.  I think Stephen inclined the seat back some, which gave me some room.

Baby J update – 22 Days to go! I’m blogging every day until I give birth, so you’ll know when the baby is born!

 

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Baby J

26 days to go.  I went to the doctor today and they did another sonogram to check his weight – currently about 6.8 pounds.  Doctor said to expect him pretty much at any time here on out – could be 3 days, could be 5 weeks.  We’ll see…

She actually got a somewhat decent capture today – you can see his nose, and his ear (or possibly a hand), and where his eye and mouth are.  If you squint and use your imagination…

Sonogram

Forehead on the upper left, nose is pointing up in the middle.

I’m blogging every day until I give birth, so you’ll know when the baby is born!

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Random Thoughts at 35 weeks

33 days to go!  I have a whole slew of random things to share, so this is kind of a long post.  But if you’re curious about how the Finnish maternity system might operate as opposed to the US system, continue reading.

First up – I haven’t shared with you my pregnancy card.  It’s very interesting!  You’re given this multi-fold card at the maternity clinic on your first visit, and you bring it with you each visit.  The midwife (and doctor) record all your information, vitals taken at each visit, test results, etc, on the card.  It’s neat to be able to pull it out and see how I’ve progressed each visit, and of course, it seems awfully handy to have in case of an emergency.  We’ll of course take it to the hospital with us – again, handy.  I’m sure everything is in a computer somewhere, but it’s nice to have the info at home.

Finnish Maternity Card - front

The maternity card

Finnish Maternity Card

Several folds create a booklet

Finnish Maternity Card - unfolded

Here it is folded open – I blurred it some, because I don’t know what’s delicate information and what’s not. The first panel has your name, and contact info for the clinic and hospital. Second panel has blood type, test results, sonogram results. Third and fourth panel include blood pressure, hemoglobin, weight, etc.

Finnish Maternity Card - details

A non-blurred view – first column is fundal measurement, and further across is baby’s heartbeat and activity level.

Finnish Maternity Card - growth chart

The graph of baby’s growth, or fundal measurement to week. Currently on the “high normal” line, TYVM

On to the random…

We finally got the car seat and stroller!  Unfortunately, we have not gotten the car seat base – you know, the part that keeps the car seat *in* the car?  Our car, based on the year, should have come with these Isofix brackets, which apparently keeps the seat in the car minus the seat belt.  So we bought the base, went out to the car…and we don’t have the brackets.  Went right back into the store and returned it, tried to get the other kind of base, the kind that is held in place by a seat belt – this base is on back order.  So, yeah, issues.  Apparently the Isofix was optional, as opposed to standard, in cars from 2002-2005.  We’re now looking into getting the brackets installed in the car.  Fingers crossed we get it done before, you know, we need it.

We had a quick informal prenatal class with the midwife yesterday, since they only do prenatal classes in Finnish.  She also talked some about what to expect in the hospital – again, we couldn’t do a hospital tour, I think because they only do them in Finnish, since I’ve heard of others doing it.  I feel about as ready as I can be, although I still want to study up on delivering a baby by myself in an emergency – or on the side of the road.  I’m still more freaked out about actually caring for an infant than giving birth to one, although I can feel the nerves starting.

Speaking of giving birth on the side of the road….  We did a dry run to the hospital yesterday, to make sure we know where we’re going.  It took 45 minutes at noon, following the speed limit.  It might only take 30 minutes if there’s no traffic and we trust we can get out of any speeding tickets we get on the way.  I’ve heard you can get out of the fines if you’re in labor.  Let’s hope it’s true.  Of course, if Stephen is at work when I go into labor, that will add an additional 20-25 minutes to the commute.

Additionally, apparently the taxi service here in town is well versed in pregnant women going to the hospital.  They have a minivan-type vehicle to take you there, and put you first in line for pickup.  Wonder if *they* know how to deliver babies on the side of the road?  Actually, it seems the way to go – at least then you don’t have to worry about cleaning up amniotic (and other) fluids out of your own car!  😉

I remain healthy, everything is going well with the pregnancy. My weight gain has gone down since my last appointment, so that’s good.  Haven’t *lost* weight, just haven’t gained as much week over week.  Probably because my appetite has been nonexistent over the last few weeks.  I’m hungry in the morning, and I have my standard apple and piece of toast with peanut butter.  Then through the day I snack on some prunes and dates (prunes for obvious reasons, dates because of this study).  And getting through those are tough, because I’m really not hungry.  And lunch?  I force myself to eat a little something because I know I need to, but I don’t enjoy it.  Dinner is a bit better – probably because I didn’t have much of a lunch…

I was on the fence about buying a nursing pillow, and deciding which one to buy if I got one.  Like with everything else, everyone has their favorites.  Unfortunately, it’s not like we can run out to Target real quick and get one (or a different brand) if we decide we want it – we actually have to plan in advance.  A couple of weeks ago we went to a baby store in The Big City and I was looking at the Boppy again.  It was 69 euros (compared to about $30 in the US) and I just couldn’t justify it.  The saleswoman pointed me to the other brand they carried, the Doomoo, and they had both a Boppy sized pillow and a slightly larger one that could be used as a nursing pillow and a sleeping pillow for me, now.  It’s the same shape as a Boppy, just longer, and filled with micro-beads, so it’s a little more malleable.   Stephen made the executive decision that I would get the larger pillow.  That afternoon, when I laid down and curled up with it on the bed to rest, I wondered why the hell I had resisted getting a sleeping pillow for so long.  I was in L-O-V-E.

I found some things out during the prenatal class that I thought I’d share, for those in the US who find it interesting:

  • We will likely have three midwives in the room for delivery, but we won’t see a doctor unless I get an epidural or there are complications.
  • All midwives in Finland are women – there are no male midwives.  I don’t know if that’s a law, or if men are simply not interested in becoming midwives.
  • We have it in our birth plan that we don’t want forceps used – Stephen has a deviated septum from forceps being used on him.  Our midwife said they very rarely use forceps here – there are about 3 uses per year, she said.  3!
  • The cost for a natural birth is 2250€.  This includes everything, including epidurals, and this is the price for paying out of pocket, sans insurance.  It’s actually gone up quite a bit in the last year – she said last year it was about 1400€!  A c-section costs 5840€.
  • Assuming everything goes okay, and I don’t have any complications, I will likely stay in the hospital 3-4 days, at a cost of 39€ a day.

Regarding doctors and midwives….  So the town has a maternity clinic that all pregnant women use.  There’s only the one in town, as far as I know, and luckily it’s about a five minute walk from our apartment.  As far as I can tell, there are two prenatal midwives, but there are also several other women in the office – I’m not sure of their function, but it seems some of them may only be there to do things like take blood and check your blood pressure – the stuff a nurse would do in the US.  There are also a couple of doctors – I’ve seen two – who apparently are only there to perform sonograms (not some lowly tech!) and gynecological exams.  So over the course of my pregnancy so far, I’ve seen the doctor three times – each time for a sonogram.  And I will be seeing one next week for a pelvic.  Other than that, I only see the midwife.  Now, I’m not sure how “midwife” here equates to “midwife” in the US, so when I use the term “midwife” it may not be what you’re thinking of.  As far as I can tell (with my very minimal knowledge of the UK system), midwives here are similar to midwives in the UK.  You don’t have an OBGYN, you have a midwife.

Oh, and because this is Finland, there is no waiting in the doctor’s office for an hour.  Your appointment is at 9:30, you will see the midwife at 9:30.  Finns are *very* punctual.  😀

Well, that’s about it for now, although it’s certainly plenty.  Happy Tuesday!

 

Categories: Here Comes Baby | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Single Digits!

32 week bump

32 weeks

This week is Week 32, which means ideally I can count the number of weeks left on my hands.  I will state here and now, however, that I fully expect this kid to be as late as possible.  Call it a hunch.

Things are going well.  A quick rundown on the pregnancy:

  •  I’ve had some swelling recently, and my nurse told me to up my water intake from 2 liters a day to 3.  As if I wasn’t going to the bathroom enough as it is.  My ring is on and off my finger as needed.  My mother-in-law sent me a ring holder necklace for my birthday, just in time!
  • Walking for exercise is difficult – my tummy gets tight and sore, and, you know, with all the water, I have to stop every ten minutes to pee.  The weather is getting nicer, and I’d love to go for a long walk outside, but the bathroom availability is scarce.  Now I’m really glad we got the treadmill!
  • As of my appointment last week – week 31 – I’ve gained 30 pounds.  The nurse didn’t say anything, but she did get this look on her face.  I don’t know what to do about it.  I don’t feel I eat poorly – I certainly don’t shovel a pint of ice cream in my face twice a day.  My normal daily menu consists of an apple, a slice of toast with PB and honey, less than a carton of yogurt with muesli mixed in, and then whatever we have for dinner, including a veggie starter.  I’m drinking my water, and I’m on the treadmill for 40-50 minutes at least 3-4 days a week.  Other than the fact that Stephen keeps calling for that 17 pound baby (asshole), I can’t really account for the weight gain.  But I’m trying not to worry about it too much – my glucose test came back fine, so until the nurse freaks out, I’ll try to remain calm.
  • The nurse scheduled a sonogram last week to check the size of the baby – she seems to be a bit worried he’ll be on the big side. :-/  But the doctor said he’s average for his age, so hopefully no 17 pound baby, as Stephen keeps predicting.
  • Around Christmas, I had been having trouble breathing at night, so started using Breathe-right strips, but then I stopped.  Lately I’ve been having some issues, not with breathing, per se, but I’ve felt like oxygen hasn’t been getting to my brain – kind of light headed feeling, but not really feeling like I’m going to pass out.  Stephen made me start using the strips again, because apparently I’ve developed a bit of sleep apnea at night.  “You stop breathing for a minute, and it freaks me out!”  I told him he does that, too, and his response:  “I’m not growing a baby.”  Anyway, the strips have helped, and I haven’t had that oxygen-deprived feeling since.
  • My blood pressure has been remarkably good, considering I was on blood pressure medication before I got pregnant.  My nurse is always so excited about my blood pressure – “It’s so good!” she says every time.  We’ll see if it shoots up in the next few weeks – I’ve read that it can do that in the third trimester.

I’ve been working on sewing some burp cloths, but ran into a small bump (er, burp!)  last week.  I’m adjusting my construction plan and hope to get them all sewn up this week.  Stephen doesn’t get it – “You’re making cute things the baby is just going to puke on.”  Well, yeah, but it’s a small thing I can do.  His mother pointed out that I haven’t had the opportunity to do a whole lot of nesting, and I guess she’s right – I guess that’s what this is.  Since we’re in an apartment, overseas, making a nursery seems kind of a waste.  Besides, the baby will more than likely be in the room with us until next February, which is currently the “go home to the US” date.  So, no nursery decorating.  We’re also trying to keep the amount of baby stuff small, for the same reason – the kid won’t need much before 7 months, which is when we’re currently slated to  go home, so why buy a bunch of stuff?  Now if we sign up for another year, we’ll have some serious purchases to make.

The other issue – the one that’s causing me the most stress – is that we’re supposed to be moving apartments soon, but we don’t know when.  We’ve put off buying a bunch of baby stuff, because why buy it then move it?  But I’m getting close to the “baby could come at any time” time, and we don’t even have things like diapers.  We figure even if we find out about a new apartment this week, it’ll still be about a month before we’re in the new place, and that puts me around Week 35.  Week 35, and I don’t have diapers, a car seat, a thing to clean the baby’s nose out, or things I’m going to need postpartum.  Oh, and I want to make a bunch of meals to freeze, but our current freezer is tiny, so I need to wait until we have a bigger freezer.

If I start thinking about it too much, I start really stressing.  Oddly, the fact that we don’t have what we need stresses me out more than the thought of labor and childbirth.  I’m still remarkably calm about that.

We did get the baby box, though!!  Photos to come soon – I finally gave in and started washing the clothes, so once they’re all clean and folded I’ll take a picture.  But that link will show you essentially what I got.  Since I’m not part of the Finnish healthcare system, I had to buy it off someone else.  Still, it’s totally a Finnish experience I want!  🙂

So we’re set on a bed for the baby, we certainly have plenty of clothes to start off with, and really, as long as I don’t have any problems breastfeeding, newborns don’t need a whole lot.  So hopefully we’ll be able to make do – but we still need those diapers and a car seat….

Stephen sent this to me last week, and I got a good giggle out of it:

Baby Translator (may not be SFW)

 

Categories: Here Comes Baby | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Random things making me happy lately

  • Love, love, loving this New Orleans style cover of “Sweet Child of Mine,” complete with clarinet:
  • This one has made the rounds online, but it’s a video of magician (Finnish!) making dog treats disappear.  I love the ones where the dog looks at the camera/owner, like, “WTF?”
  • Another Finnish related video – this Jimmy Kimmel commercial break cracked me up.  He talks to a couple of Finns in his audience and finds out they’re not the most chatty of guys.  Q: “What do you do [in Finland]?”  A: “I work.  I live.” Q: “You have short conversations?”  A: “Yeah.”  Well, he answered the question….  (I was seriously giggling so hard at this!  “That’s just how Finns are.”  Indeed!!)
  • Thanks to a friend notifying me about it, I got to take an online seminar last week about giving birth in Finland.  It was geared towards foreigners, focusing on the way pregnancy and childbirth is done here that may be different from other parts of the world.  The class was run by a doula, Finnish by birth, who had spent some time in the US, and come to find out she does online childbirth classes in English!  I was already looking into online childbirth classes, because while they do have classes locally, they are not in English.  When I found out this doula did them, I jumped on the opportunity.  Much better to get a more local understanding of childbirth than a US based class could offer.
  • Speaking of, I’m officially in my third trimester!  Baby J is getting stronger, and he’s still fairly low.  I tend to feel him moving primarily below my belly button, with occasional kicks on the upper right side.  I never feel him on the upper left.  I also often feel something knobby about a quarter inch directly above my belly button – a knee, perhaps, or an elbow?  I wish I could figure out how he’s situated in there.  I’ve started getting more pregnancy symptoms – swelling legs/ankles/feet, mild heartburn.  As long as the kid stays off my bladder, I’ll survive.  (I think he was sitting on it last week like Miss Muffet on her tuffet.  For two days I couldn’t go ten minutes without needing to pee.)
  • The weather is getting warm again – it was almost 50F today, I think.  We may need to take the down comforter off the bed – we already sleep with the bedroom window cracked open at night, and I’ve had it open over the last couple of days, as well.  The afternoon sun streams in the windows from about 2-7pm, and it really warms the place up.
  • I’ve got some baby projects in the works, including burp cloths and washcloths and a diy-Moby wrap.  I asked my mom to get me some fusible fabric, the kind you can run through your printer and iron onto clothing.  I’ve “made” a few onesies, and I have to say, they are so darn cute!  I’m totally geeking out, have plans for Firefly and Dr Who and Buffy related designs, but here’s one that’s not a total copyright infringement:
  • Onesie with bird and worm

What’s making you happy lately?  Any fun videos or blogs or events in your life?

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

25 weeks! (Pregnancy so far)

24 week bump

24 week bump

We’re over the halfway mark – hard to believe.  It’s funny – as nervous as I was in the beginning, I don’t feel nervous or scared or anything now.  Give me a few more weeks, and I’ll probably start panicking!

I’ve been feeling pretty well, overall.  Slight soreness around my middle as the baby grows, but no stretch marks yet, at least that I’ve seen.  I’ve been having some trouble sleeping over the last month or so.  At first I was able to blame it on jet lag, after coming back from the US, but now it’s more of a physical discomfort.  Sleeping on my sides has made my hips hurt like crazy – it’s usually worse on the side I lay on, so pillows between the legs don’t really help.  I guess it’s my hips loosening and widening.  Regardless, I have a hard time getting comfy in bed.

I still don’t have any real cravings.  I was hoping to get some in the US while I was there, so I could actually get what I was craving, but I’ve been oddly uninterested in food, overall.  Oh, I still get hungry and I still eat, but nothing really sounds good to me, and there’s nothing that I really want.  At least, most of the time.  I have wanted (though still not craved) milkshakes.  But nothing other than that.

Although I had quite horrible ankle and leg swelling on the flight back from the US, I haven’t had much since.  Luckily, I’m not stuck on my feet or at a desk all day, and I move around a lot during the day, getting up to do laundry or dishes, sitting at the desk for a while, walking on the treadmill, sitting down to relax.  I haven’t had to take my ring off yet, my fingers are still about the same size.  My face is too, evidently – at least that’s what a friend of mine here said.  She said usually she can tell when someone’s pregnant, but I didn’t have any facial swelling, so she couldn’t tell (early on, before I started showing).

Speaking of showing, boy howdy am I now.  Before I went to the US, I was basically just chubby – my growing uterus just pushed all my fat pockets up and out, so it was really less “bump” and more just “belly.”  At that time, I would catch a glimpse of my stomach and instantly suck in.  Now I definitely have a bump, and I forget the thing is there sometimes.  I keep trying to squeeze behind chairs and I bump the kitchen counter.  There is no sucking it in and making yourself smaller to fit a small gap.

With the development of the Bump, it has become quite clear that I have a coat issue.  I can still (barely) zip up my long down jacket, which I wear most of the winter, but I can’t bend at the waist at all, even to get into the car.  My short down jacket, which I generally wear when it hovers around freezing (which is has been the last few weeks) still fits my belly (barely), but if I zip it up over my boobs I can’t breathe.  My wool coat, which I generally only wear when we go out to dinner or something, is officially past the buttoning stage, unless I want to pop one of the buttons.  I looked around town the other day, hoping to find a cape-like/poncho-like winter coat on sale, but no luck.  I’ve worked out a solution, though, and can’t wait to share it with you – I’ll be posting about that soon!

I’ve had minimal side effects and discomfort overall, I think.  No acne, no linea negra, no skin discoloration.  I’ve had some heartburn, but it hasn’t been bad or constant.  I often have trouble breathing, though – when I put my boots on to go outside, I need a minute or two to recover.  I’ve had a bit of lower back pain, usually when I do the dishes then cook dinner, spending 2 hours hunched over our too-low counter to do both.  I still get some round ligament pain, although it’s much better now than it was a month or two ago.  I had some serious headaches in the first trimester, but they’ve become less frequent now.

We got a little taste of our future life a few weeks ago.  We picked up a pack & play (and some other items) from a friend, and watched as she did the “pack” part of the pack & play.  Holy Engineering, Batman!  Then we had to load everything in the car.  A ten minute process, easily.  I think Stephen was a little stunned at how much time he’ll be spending on the packing and hauling of baby and baby things in the future.

We’re still working on a name.  One old wives’ tale is that if you have a name for a girl picked out, but you’re struggling for a boy’s name, you’ll have a boy.  Well, this is one old wives’ tale that rang true for us.  I have two girls names written down, and one is crossed off.  We had that one picked.  But we were and are having troubles with the boys name.  We have a middle name, and we just need the first name.   It’s more of a rhythm issue at this point than anything else (that and I don’t want it to end with an “n” sound, and you’d be surprised at how many names end that way).  We’ll get there eventually…hopefully before the baby is born!

I keep considering cloth diapering, but then…I get an ick factor.  If we lived in the US (and I was staying at home) I would probably do it, and get one of the services to clean the diapers.  But the idea of laundering at home…I don’t know. I keep reading it’s totally okay to just throw the diapers in the wash, but I can’t get the idea of dysentery/typhoid/etc out of my head.  Someone please tell me how ridiculous I’m being, and provide facts.

Okay, TMI time!  This kid kicks low.  Really low.  And he really loves my cervix.  Sometimes I think he’s headbutting me there, and I’m like, “Not yet, mister!”  Sometimes when he kicks me in the cervix I feel it in my throat, like a punch.  A couple of times it’s made me gasp.  On the plus side, my boobs look *spectacular*.

Categories: Here Comes Baby | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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