Tuesday, March 13, 2012

24 Weeks Pregnant

The Belly:

The second one is a more straight on shot, but it looks funny with me so close to the edge of the wall.

Well, as I mentioned before, I started to measure my belly a few weeks ago --- and I measure it around the belly button. I've been surprised to see that it hasn't changed any since Week 22. I was expecting a massive belly explosion between week 22 and week 27 (based on old photos.) So that probably means that its right around the corner, but I thought it would be sooner.
HOWEVER, what I have been realizing is that just measuring at the belly button, while a decent way to measure what I was investigating, is not really a good way of displaying fully belly change. Because I think my belly is getting "taller" (for lack of a better term.) I think I am bigger than at 22 weeks, just in the up and down direction. This should be rather obvious to me, since I know that's how providers measure your belly to track the baby's growth according to what week you are.

I've been going back and forth between my last pregnancy's pre-pregnant weight and the next pound up all week.

And random info, I decided to measure my hips to see what's going on there. They are two inches bigger than before this pregnancy. There's no way to figure out how much of that is straight up expansion from relaxin, and how much is additional padding I'm storing away for making milk and such later. But I'm all for the hips spreading out --- make way for baby! And it makes all the hip pains seem both explained and worth while. (Even if it is sad to see a bigger number on the tape measure --- at least its for the best cause I can think of!)

You may have noticed that last week's photo showed me wearing pants!
I don't know, I just got up that morning and thought, "I'm a normal person, I can wear pants. Pants sound nice." And so I put them on.
That lasted all of 3 hours.
(And honestly it would have been a much shorter stint, but J was sitting on my lap, and I didn't feel like kicking her off, so I gave her a chance to get up on her own before I went to change.)
I think I have given up on pants altogether for this pregnancy.
New baby has already tucked herself deeply into my pelvis (oh please say that's your head!) so I'm already experiencing what I experienced at the end of my last pregnancy, where having the pressure of pants on my super-duper-low-waist (well its not really my waist at all -- its right where maternity pants go from panel to pants) just feels awful, especially when sitting and the pants kinda naturally cave into that spot. (And I also wonder if pants feel kinda yucky to baby too if that's where she is hanging out.)
So yeah. Dresses. That's it. Its official. That's what you can expect from now on. Good thing I have acquired a nice amount of them.
(Maybe some of my shorts will be better. But I'm doubtful.)

I definitely feel bigger this week.
I am an achey breakey lady.
I'm really hoping this is due to the fact that this week I somehow seriously caught the 3rd cold since living here. (How is that even possible?!? That's right, this is NOT the cold I talked about last week. Its a NEW ONE!!! I can't believe it!) And so I hope that this is not a reflection of the way I will feel every week until July. Because I feel like I can't possibly be to the sore stage of this pregnancy yet! That would just be cruel, since I've put so much work into being smaller this time, and then I would be getting sore earlier than last time!

Other than my throat hurting, my nose being runny and stuffy, and my ears feeling full...I've also had a lot of dull backaches, and hip hurts, and the weird indescribable location of the "back-butt-hip" pain surges.
I think some of this is just because when you are sick you are achey. But I also think a lot of it is from carrying J around. We went on a long walk on Saturday because the weather was awesome, and J kept asking for "momma" to carry her.... the next day I was sooo sore. So I think I'm gonna have to start letting her be sad and not held so often. (Which I guess would have to happen eventually, now or once new baby gets here, might as well ease her into it.)
{I keep telling myself that this is a ridiculous thought, but when I get the dull backaches, I can't keep myself from thinking, "Wait, don't they say labor can start with a dull backache? I'm not in preterm labor am I?"
Why is this ridiculous? Well for one thing I couldn't get labor started NO MATTER WHAT I TRIED last time, up until I was induced at 42 weeks --- so one of my biggest fears is that I WON'T go into labor again. So how am I simultaniously afraid of going into preterm labor?  I don't know. Seriously. I don't know. Its also ridiculous because I know full well that back aches come with pregnancy. I'm just being over dramatic, as is par for the course of this pregnancy.}

I've been having a really hard time sleeping this week. I think its the cold. Its also my brain. At night time I've been getting stuck on all these distressing thoughts, and I end up just staying up for hours processing them. And all the while my hips are aching --- it's frustrating to need to lay on my side, because the weight on my hips makes them hurt more, and then I notice that instead of sleep. Plus with all the colds we are having, J hasn't been sleeping through the night anymore. I've been having to go in with her about twice a night. I'm hoping that once we get through this week we will all be healthy enough to start working on sleeping through the night again. (Because as much as I know its sickness, it's also starting to be partially just out of habit that she is waking up.)
Then when J lays down for a nap, I take one too, and I get into this REALLY deep sleep, and then it basically reinforces my messed up sleep schedule, by making me not-so-tired by bedtime. (But skipping the nap seems impossible with feeling sick and being pregnant, and needing to take care of a toddler.)
Its a rough spiral effect.

This week has been a strange combo of very healthy and very unhealthy food.
One day this week I had Arby's for lunch followed by Panera for dinner, thats a lot of eating out. We also ordered pizza this week -- outstandingly delicious, but really hard to digest.
But when we weren't eating that stuff, I made homemade lentil soup, and also had a few boiled eggs in the mix of the week.
I'm frustrated because I need to be getting protein in, but meat is still my least favorite thing to eat. Grr. It just tastes like blubber to me.
I think I need to just find new ways of cooking it. (I tried shiskabobs Monday night, and I actually really liked that, even the meat! So yay!.)
I keep trying to tell myself its just a few more months.
Maybe I will make some bean spread to dip veggies in, that would be good nutrition.

I know that I am going to get more and more strict with my diet as my due date gets closer, and the baby is at the stage where they are packin on the pounds. (Aiming for a seven pounder if I have any say on the matter.)

That said, I'm really looking forward to July, when I intend to indulge in one of those BIG cake sized cookies with frosting on it. (That's going to be eaten asap after the baby comes out) (I'll share, but I have dibs on the majority of it!) As well as a milkshake, and a coke slushy, and maybe like a whole loaf of some sort of bread (banana bread is sounding great right now). And whatever else I start craving and won't be eating in the coming months!  Not all at once, what do you take me for!? A starving pregnant lady!?  ;)   Just... you know, in the days when I'm done trying to keep baby #2 smaller than baby #1 at birth.
Then, sad times again, when I will have to get back on track again to get the weight off. Sigh.

     THIS is how I remember feeling baby kicks when I think of pregnancy. The good strong movements that can shake your belly around.
     The other day J was sitting on my lap and kinda resting her elbow heavily into my belly, and new baby just kept kicking her and kicking her. J was oblivious. I kept trying to show her and tell her it was her sister. And J was into saying baby. But she totally missed the kicks. But I thought it was really cute. I felt like they were already interacting.
     New Baby seems to be quite awake at night now. Which is fine by me. It never bothered me with J when she would play at night, I'm good at sleeping through it. And new baby's movements aren't what's been keeping me up lately.
      Last night she was doing these impossible to describe crazy things, way down low inside. I hadn't felt her lower parts move much this week, just her feet (I'm hoping those are feet) up by my ribs. So I started to wonder if I made it up last week ,about feeling her being down really low in my pelvis. But then all of a sudden last night she was doing all sorts of crazy stuff and I knew I had in fact not made up anything. In order to try and describe the crazy sensations I'll have to do my best to imagine what she is doing. And it seems to me, that she has her head wedged down pretty tight against everything, but yet she was trying to get her hands into her mouth even though there isn't much space around her face. It just felt crazy. I put Blake's hand on it, and he was really impressed with how much he could feel. It seemed odd to me to put his hand down so low in order to feel the baby. I don't remember ever putting his hand there to feel J move. (I'm going to reasure myself that this equates to only good things in regards to her getting down low enough to help labor start later.) (She's also already on my bladder, so me and the bathroom are well acquainted these days.)
      Anyway, I think the fact that she plays all night has her sleeping in the morning. Because normally I swim in the morning around 6:30am, and I never feel her then. I always wonder if the swimming rocks her to sleep, or if its just her would-be sleep time, or if maybe I'm just too focused to notice her move if she actually is moving. But this week the pool is closed in the mornings for spring break, so Blake is being kind enough to come home for lunch and watch J, so I can still get it in to my week. So today, as I swam at noon, I felt new baby move while swimming for the first time. It was kinda cool. But she was mostly still. I keep wondering how my swimming will affect the ways she likes to be soothed once she is out.

I'm gonna be honest. I sucked this week. Poor Blake. I was crabby, and just full of nonsense.
Me and J getting sick for the 3rd time in a row just really did me in. (Blake got sick too, and that made me feel bad for him, as well as feel overwhelmed because my back up co-parent was out of commission.) It was all too much for me. I felt even more lonely here, because I knew I was all alone with no help for watching J. Plus it meant another week of being super stuck in the house (which was growing messier by the day) and no hope of even attempting to make friends.

With all the sickness I only made it to the gym twice last week. And I've noticed a dramatic downward shift in my mood without getting those endorphins. So that didn't help any.

Then I got disappointed because that appointment I was getting ready for, with one of my baby-having-options, got moved back because they needed to be at a birth. So I didn't get any answers to my questions.  So I will be living in "I-don't-know-who-is-helping-me-have-this-baby-limbo" for another week. (Friday is my new appointment.) And limbo is one place I am done with. Well, I'll still be in limbo about which part of me this baby will ultimately exit from, until she is out. But that is ENOUGH limbo for me. The rest of my life has been in a state of limbo for long enough with this move and everything. I'm ready to get some stuff nailed down.

Once I do nail down my provider of choice for this delivery, I'm not looking forward to explaining my choice and all it's details to family and friends. Its not that anyone will be mean to me, its just that they care about me, and well... having a baby in general comes with risks,  and everyone wants the best for me and new baby, so fears arise. And I have enough fears of my own to deal with, I don't know how well I will be able to alleviate anyone else's. And I'm really unsure of how I'll be able to not become even more full of fearful thoughts as I answer questions upon questions about "what if this..." "what if that..."
(This is why I'm unsure of how much of this stuff I will be sharing on the blog. I think I can only handle telling those closest to me until all is said and done.)
I don't have any way to see the future, I can't really answer anyone's questions, including my own. I just have to take what I know and make the choices that seem best for me and the baby, and then work with what my circumstances hand me. My choices might not seem best to everyone. And my circumstances may not be what I, or other's expect. And that's the hard part of life. We each have our own story, and sometimes we wish we could somehow have more control than that.


Let's see.
She finally got tired of hummus.  So this week she's been eating baked beans and tons of peaches. Also pickles.

She did okay at church this week.  Tears after she got dropped off and just before she got picked up but that's pretty standard for a toddler.  I just hope she's getting more accustomed to our new life here and feeling more comfortable in there in the middle.

She's constantly getting more and more interested in babies, which is great.
I asked her this week what we should name new baby.  Since we've been stuck on names.
I said, "Should we just name her baby?"
And J said, "Baby!"
"Do you think we should name her something better than baby?"
And J responded exuberantly shouting, "Buddy!!!" (One of my mom's dogs.)

Later in the week I started asking her to say some of the names we were thinking about. That can be a really cute past time. Her little voice saying some of those names is enough to sell me on them for sure. (Although I'm not sure what new baby will think about that when she gets older. So I don't think that should be the official reason we choose a name, just because 20 month old J says it really stinkin adorably.) But you would be surprised how many names I ask her to say, that end up coming out of her mouth as "Tinkerbell!" (Pronounced Ti-ta-bell.)


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