Monday, May 28, 2012

35 Weeks Pregnant

A lot happened this week.
So it's a long read.
But that's okay since this is the last blog entry I'm linking on Facebook till the baby comes.  (I will still post.  But it's up to you to look from now on!  And no one is allow to write comments that say "When are you having the baby!?" Just don't do it... I will come and find you!!  :) )
(Curious? Here is Why.)

A couple random thoughts I've been having:

  • For probably two months now I've been telling Blake that I'm just gonna wear a diaper to bed so I can forget this getting out of bed to pee business.  Now that I'm this close, I'm honestly considering it.  I mean, I think I've been getting out of bed about 8 times a night this week!  
  • I've been having a very strange relationship with makeup for the last couple weeks.  I feel tired-looking without it.  But when I put it on, I feel like I've smeared mud on my face.  It doesn't feel normal to me anymore.  I don't feel like it should be there.  I don't know if it's pregnancy or the fact that I've read too much Ina May and have become a hippie, or just a new awareness of myself.  But these feelings leave me in a weird place on the days where I actually care to get dressed.  If my eyes aren't too dark underneath, I don't care so much.  But on the days when I am looking pretty worn....well I just don't know.  

This week started with me getting sick.  On Tuesday, food was just not sitting well with me.  After breakfast I had to lay down for a long time.  Happily, J was content to cuddle in bed with me while we turned on kid shows via Netflix on the laptop.  I took it easy on lunch and barely ate.  For dinner, I asked Blake to find me something by just giving him a huge list of "not this, not that."  He came back with very yummy Chinese chicken noodle soup.  Unfortunately, my body just didn't want to have anything to do with food.  I was up all night with terrible stomach cramps and the impending feeling that this food was planning on making a fast escape from the belly.  I just wasn't sure how it was planning to do that.  After a horrible night, around 7 am on Wednesday I started throwing up.  After a couple bouts of that, the rest of the morning my body chose the other route.
I felt horrible and just incapacitated.  There was no way for me to even attempt being home alone with J this time.  I felt so bad because Blake has been trying to catch up on so much at work lately, but he stayed home for me.  It gets disheartening in these situations, because we still haven't really met anyone well enough here in Iowa to help in a case like this.  (J getting RSV drastically decreased our ability to even go anywhere, because she remained contagious for a month, so we couldn't go to church or any place with kids --- doctor's orders --- for fear we'd pass it along.)  So having Blake stay home was really all we could do.  I pretty much slept the entire day and consumed only ginger ale.  (And, yes, mentally  I was semi-ridiculous about it, since I have sworn off sugar.  I made Blake call and make sure I could do it.)
My mom was so sweet and ended up driving the 6 hours to come help.  So she got to our house around 10 pm.

Thursday morning I had both a chiropractor appointment and a prenatal appointment.  So I was pretty hopeful I'd be okay for that, and I was.  For breakfast I only ate toast --- just in case.  And my mom was able to watch J, so I could have one less thing to think of during all that traveling.
First up was my chiro.  That went well.  I learned the baby is getting lower (Yay!) and that my pelvis is getting more stable (meaning it's doing a good job holding its symmetric position.)  So that meant I didn't need to come back quite as fast for the next appointment.  I asked if I should go ahead and get a maternity support belt to help the baby engage.  And Tammy (the chiro) told me it couldn't hurt.  So I decided I'd grab one before I went home.
She also told me that if I want to bring Blake to not my next appointment, but the next one, that she can go over with him some different things we can do to encourage labor, including some acupressure points.

Then it was time for my prenatal check up.

Well, actually I had a bit of time to kill beforehand.  So I stopped in a thrift store nearby.  (I love thrift stores.)
There was a cool mirror I was interested in, but they forgot to put a price on its tag.  So I had to ask a worker.  She grabbed another girl who happened to be pregnant too.
We had a strange interaction.  In fact, I've never experienced such an open airing of internal thoughts displayed so clearly before.
She asked when I was due.  (And I must say I avoid answering this question directly, since last time J proved how pointless a due date is.  And this time I was given 3 due dates so I never know which one to claim.  And I'm convinced of another date altogether.)  So I told her the end of June.
I thought she was pregnant, but she was wearing the store's polo shirt and it made me not quite positive she didn't just have that type of figure.
She then told me she was due in July.
And then she turned to the side to rub her hands over her belly and say, "I'm a lot smaller than you aren't I?"
 I almost laughed out loud, just because I couldn't really believe someone would do that.  I wasn't offended in the slightest.  In fact, having been through pregnancy before has changed my perspective on the whole body issues thing.  I don't really put any stock in how I look this time.  But I will say, I'm so happy with the changes I've made from the last pregnancy to this one that I really couldn't be convinced by anyone that I am looking too big this time around, because I know how much more I could weigh at this point.
So I just smiled at her and said, "Yeah you look really good."
She asked me when I popped.  I said, "Well this is my second, so I'd say sometime around 18 weeks."  She said "Oh."
I was actually totally preoccupied with my own thoughts.  I wanted to outburst all these intense things I blog about, like "You know, even if you look small, your baby could be really big.  They didn't know I'd have a 9 lb baby!  You should really make sure to watch how much sugar you eat!  ...Are you seeing a Chiropractor, you should really consider it, it makes such a big difference! ...Where are you going to deliver?  Have you checked their c-section rates?  You really need to be your own advocate if you are hoping to avoid one..."
But I didn't say any of it.
It felt unnecessary, as if it would go unheard.
She was still turned to the side, caressing her figure, asking "Am I carrying high like you?"
To which I said, "You know I never understand that stuff.  People have told me I'm carrying high this time, but I'm not carrying anywhere near as high as I did last time, so I don't feel like I can tell."
And then I got the price on the mirror.  It wasn't as cheap as I'd hoped, so I moved on and told her "Good luck."
I left feeling so strange.
Still totally baffled at the out loud total comparison that just happened.  I know we all do it in our heads, it was just surprising to hear someone say it like that.  I reminded me of "The Office" --- how Angela was doing that to Pam.
And I was left to my own thoughts about "When should you say things?  And when should you leave people alone?"
A lot of women make it thorough pregnancy much more simply than I did.  So not everyone would need all the info I've gathered.  But then again you never know.  When should I spew forth?

The Belly measures the same as last week.
I don't feel like these photos are worth comparing. 
This photo from last time was my "uugghh I'm so done" photo, so the outfit doesn't really show where the belly is. But here ya go nonetheless.

Now was time for my appointment.
I started by asking for a pep talk about going into labor.  She was really reassuring, basically saying she wouldn't let me get past my due date.  (I know, really only God has that say, but I at this point will take her word for it and get some peace from it.)  She told me a bunch of things we could try.  But she really stressed how helpful these chiropractor appointments will be for this.  She also said I could start acupuncture at 37 weeks, telling them I want to avoid post-dates.  (I want to look into that one a bit more, just cause I am not really sure what it is overall, and I like to know things.  But I'm all for trying pretty much anything before a c-section.)
Then we decided if we should check for Group B Strep now or next time.  I voted for this time, just in case baby wants to come early, so we would be ready.  I'm really excited because she will do an oral treatment of Group B Strep (if, of course, that is what I would choose) as opposed to the IV (which I hated having when being induced!) so I'm not even the tiniest bit concerned over whether or not I have it, since to me it just meant the presence of an IV or not previously, and now it doesn't matter.
So while she was swabbing she asked if I wanted her to check my cervix.  (I had been adamant that I would not be told anything at all this time about my dilation --- I didn't want any discouragement if I were to be told nothing was happening.  But in my mind I knew that the more the cervix is messed with, the more likely it is to dilate, so for that reason alone I agreed.)  She told me that she wasn't expecting anything at all yet at 35 weeks.  But when she found my cervix she was making some happily surprised noises, so of course at that point I was ready to hear what she had to say.  She said I'm already at a 2 and very thin.  I said "I'll take it!"
 I told her with J I never made it all the way to a two before the induction.
She said, "Well you are not totally a full two, but I'm calling it a two because I can get my finger in and feel the baby's head."  She showed me on a display a one and a two, and how a finger can't get in a one, but it can in a two (the display had a bit more room than her finger) so since she could get her finger in, she'd say it's pretty much a two.
I wasn't about to be discouraged by that, I was taking it as great news.
She also agreed with Tammy that the baby's head is getting lower.
So she told me keep up the good work.
I'm not counting on it to mean any certain thing, but I sure liked hearing it. It helped a lot with my fears of not going into labor on my own this time.
My next appointment is at 37 weeks, and I'm looking forward to doing more to encourage this little one to come out!

After that I ran to Motherhood Maternity and bought a support belt.  I was gonna get the cheapest one, but I ended up with the most expensive one, because it was so much more comfortable and it feels like it's actually doing something.  Plus it is the least visible under clothes --- even though it's by far the biggest.  It doesn't make fat rolls happen.  (Not that I care too much at this point --- fashion is so last season, having a baby is the new black for me!)

It's a little itchy, so I've been putting my belly band (the kind you use to wear non-maternity pants unbuttoned) underneath it and that works perfectly.  (Which is cool since I didn't like using the belly band for its real purpose.  So now it's getting more use.)  

Friday I spent out with J and my mom.  We tried to take care of the fact that our T-Mobile cell phones work terribly here in Iowa (a little bit frustrating in the face of having a baby).  (To make most of my phone calls I've been using my computer to make calls with Google --- yeah, you can do that, and its FREE!)  It took forever in the T-Mobile store.  Hopefully the reception booster thing they are going to mail to us actually does help.

Then Friday night Blake and I had a date night, since my mom was around to babysit.
We went to a restaurant here in Ames called "The Cafe."  It's the definitely the posh-est place in town.  It's got the whole casual yet fancy vibe going, with culinary flare-type dishes, fancy water bottles left at each table, dim lighting, etc.  And the food we ordered was good and we liked it.  But even still I can't say I'd crave it.  Ames is just not a place for great food.
We tried to go to a movie, but there was nothing appealing in our theater.  We checked out the cheap theater as well, but the only good-sounding movie there didn't start for a really really long time, so we instead checked out a pretty park and then did some "the baby is gonna be here soon" shopping together.
It was raining on and off, and we ran into a couple stores.  I ended up getting some pretty good Braxton-Hicks from it.  And I did the "Hey that's exciting" but also "Hey don't come too early!" mental thing I always do.

My feet and legs felt really tight after all that walking.  They didn't look swollen, but they felt quite puffy.

When we got home I think I lost my mucus plug, or at least part of it.  (Is it disgusting that I am telling you that?  Hope not.  I figure if you are reading, you are in it far enough with me to accept this info willingly.)  I say think, because last time I never saw it, they just told me it was gone.  So I don't really know what I'm looking for.  So, if that's what it was, I was pretty surprised.  I know they say it could still be weeks before labor starts after that, but hey, it was 35 weeks, so once again, I'll take it!  (And mixed with all this Braxton-Hicks, I'll extra take it!)

Saturday my mom hung out with J and I did some nesting.  I did some deep cleaning of our spare room.  It had never gotten fully taken care of after the move.  And its going to be the sort-of baby's room mixed with being a bunch of other stuff.  (I say sort of because I'm assuming the baby won't move in there for a while, since J was in our room till she was about 4 months old or so.)  But I feel so much more ready having that room in order.
I also got some more of the cute decorations up in our bedroom, which I wanted to get done before baby gets here too.
So I was really working that day.  And my legs felt fat from swelling again.  (They don't look like it this time, but if you touch them they feel like rocks of water retention.)

I also got my first sleeping charley horse of this pregnancy. I can't believe that! I used to get them like 5 times a night the whole second half of my last pregnancy. Wow! And now I know how to make them go away. I point my toes up and heel down, and it makes it release. Nice.

By Sunday I think I was feeling exhausted by everything.
I could hardly get out of bed.  In fact, I took a mini nap after my shower.
Then when we went to church.  (We are trying a new church, this is our second week.)  I started getting emotionally overwhelmed.  I started panicking about J getting a hold of dairy somehow.  The church seems very good at checking on allergy stuff, but I got scared that maybe there would be a kid in the nursery with their own cup of milk or even formula that she might swipe from them, or something like that.  And I started getting really upset about it, I don't think I heard the sermon at all.  I spent the whole time trying not to run into the nursery and snatch her up and run home.

When we got home I had to cry a while just letting out some of my mommy fears and frustrations with J's allergies and also my own overwhelmedness of still feeling brand new and not knowing anyone here in Iowa, and how weird that is when you are about to have a baby.
(At least I'm not crying about having the baby.)
Then I fell asleep while J napped.

Sunday left me feeling like "Wow, I'm super pregnant now."  I just felt sooo sooo sooo tired.  And sooo sooo sooo emotional.  I'm really basically full term (almost) so I guess it's to be expected.  But I was disappointed, since I had been doing so well.
I also felt bad for Blake because I wasn't doing a good job of controlling myself enough to not be sort of insulting to him.  But he is so kind to me.  I wish I was able to keep it together a bit more for his sake.
 Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I am having food emotions!  I am just about losing my mind trying to keep my carb/sugar vows.  On top of it, after having been sick (and not wanting food then) and then getting better, all of a sudden all I want to do is eat.  Only problem is all I want to eat is bread and/or cookies.  I really never intend on eating eggs again.  (At least for now.)  Because that's what I got sick on. (There were eggs in the soup too.)  And I can't imagine tasting that right now.  I still have a hard time liking meat.  And veggies just don't sound or feel filling.  So I just want pasta and toast.  I could have cried all day on Sunday over it.
I keep trying to count down the weeks, "Only this many weeks till you don't have to worry about it."

I know that even if I cheated I would still have eaten better this pregnancy than the last.  BUT this is really the most crucial point of the pregnancy for what I'm going for (having a smaller baby) since this is when the baby puts on the most weight.  So I just can't give in, as much as I want to.  I just have to think about how good that just-had-the-baby-cookie is going to taste!

Pray with me that this baby wants to be born at 38 weeks!  (That's what I've been talking her into since before she was even in there!  :) )  I might only have that much more will power left in me!

So yeah, week 35 ended on a hard note.
But if (other than VBAC emotions before) this pregnancy didn't get hard till week 35, well hey, that's pretty awesome.

But Monday was relaxing.  And a nice time to kind of recoup.  Blake let me sleep in, since J woke up at like 6 am.  (He's so sweet.)  Then we all just hung out.  In the afternoon we spent some time relaxing in the breezy shade of our back yard.  (I got told by my neighbor I look really good for being due in a month, which I just find funny after having that random talk with the thrift store girl.  It's all in the eye of the beholder.)  And for dinner we had steaks on the grill (they were amazing).  Blake also did some homemade french fries (they were unbelievably good, soft but also crispy, lightly salted, didn't need ketchup or anything) and grilled bananas dusted with cinnamon and sugar (they came out kinda like naturally-carmelized).  Yeah, he's awesome.

Oh and just so I don't forget, this week J is like fully verbal.  She's like a talking communicating machine.  I can't believe it, how much she is saying.  We can have conversations.


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