I've been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions. They don't seem to have any rhyme or reason to them. They don't hurt. They aren't strong. But they make me feel emotions. Like they kinda make my brain feel like I'm getting butterflies (the nervous kind), or worried, or worked up...
I usually don't notice that they are there physically, I just start feeling... feeling concerned, but I don't know about what. Then when I go to figure out why, I start thinking, "Wow I'm just so worried my stomach is clenched up," and that's when it occurs to me that my belly is tight because I'm having more Braxton-Hicks. Each one lasts long time. They've done that this whole pregnancy. When I get them they don't tend to want to let go.
None of this is scary. I'm just sharing. Actually I'm fairly happy about it. (Positive thoughts on going into labor this time.) But it's weird, because I thought I would feel "Happy" happy to be feeling my own natural contractions. But the fact that the contractions feel like worried emotions make the "happy" feel like concern. It's confusing when I go to process it.
So, I think the baby heard me mention one too many times how still she is compared to J, and has now set out to show me how strong she is. She's moving much more this week. She still feels different than J did, though. I never feel anything in the middle. I only feel things at the top and the bottom. Her head and hands down low, her feet and butt up under my ribs. And, honestly, this week I've been consciously trying to enjoy feeling her, and it's not that I don't, but it's harder this time. So much of the time J is on my lap and I feel crowded. So I try to enjoy my "alone time" feeling of her movements. But she is kinda starting to be rough on me. I mostly feel her grinding down into my bladder or punching my left hip, sending a nerve-shock down my leg. Or I feel her pressing, with what feels like all her might, upwards just under my right ribs (which usually causes more bladder pressing because she ends up getting pressed back down by her legs.) And I kinda think I'm getting a bruise under my ribs. So I still want to enjoy her, but it's just not really as straightforward as before. I'm hoping to not over-think it and get worked up, cause that won't help.
She does like to do this funny foot thing. It reminds me of puppies or kitties when they nurse and knead their front feet back and forth, only she does it with the speed and intensity of a dog's back leg scratching their side --- strong and furiously. That always entertains me. That's my favorite move she does. :)
I don't know if this has just happened this week, or if it's been happening and I just noticed it this week, but my near-fully-silvered stretch marks from last pregnancy have started getting redder and more noticeable recently. When I first got them (last time around), they were dark --- like African-American skin streaking my belly. They don't look like that right now, just reddish and pinkish instead of clearish. I don't really care, I just noticed that it happened. I haven't noticed any new ones.
My belly has grown an inch-and-half this week. My weight gain is right on track at a pound a week, but that's the fastest my belly has ever grown! The realization of just how much it's grown, when seeing the tape measure, made the fact that I was feeling pretty huge this week make sense!
I'm hoping this isn't the new normal growth trend per week! I might not be able to stand up at the end!
That said, I don't feel physically bigger at all --- like in a mobility sense --- I still feel great. I guess I just feel like I'm looking a bit large right now. And when I try to picture the last week, it just intimidating! It's more concern for my ability to walk and less about how I look, but yeah... it's still about not looking like a barge. Although, I guess I'd rather not look large only because I don't like getting comments from strangers.
And because I enjoy it,
here is a "Same Outfit Comparison -- This Pregnancy to Last"
At least I haven't gotten too many comments from anyone lately. (Well, one sticks out as annoying in my mind, but overall its been fine.)
I did have one funny moment in this regard...
Since my pool's hours are different for the summer (this is the college's student rec center pool), I can either swim in a designated lap-pool or in a "free swim pool." I've been enjoying the free swim pool because it's not busy with the students gone, and I've been using the vortex pool attached to it (basically a huge whirlpool) to run around in, in addition to swimming laps. Anyway, one day there was a group of college guys playing basketball in the pool, and as I got out of the vortex pool and onto dry land I literally caused the basketball game to cease entirely for about 45 seconds as they stared me down --- apparently I shocked them into totally immobility with my silhouette. I felt kinda funny, but only because I really had no idea what was going through their heads. I was talking to Blake about it and he said they were probably trying to see if I looked vaguely familiar and started to think back about 8 months. I found that pretty hilarious, in a depressing sense.
But I never do understand the looks I get from guys while pregnant, sometimes it still feels like being checked out, but I don't see how that could be possible in the situation. So I just feel super awkward and extra like running away, but I'm not so quick anymore so I'm stuck in the situation for longer than I'd like. (My strange honestly for you.) (Do other pregnant women get this same feeling, or am I just deranged? Maybe the guys are just looking at the bump the way women look at the bump.)
At my chiropractor visit this week baby was head down, but hanging out on my right side. And Tammy (my chiro)'s goal is to get her centered for the purpose of having her engage evenly and correctly positioned. (This is still so cool to me, that anyone would even pay attention to this stuff. I find this prenatal chiropractor-ness totally amazing!) So I'm supposed to really work on my posture and sitting style as well as really watch that I don't carry J more on my right hip than my left. (I generally favor my right side as I am right handed.) But the good news is my tail bone is already coming more into alignment than it had been when I first saw her --- so good things are happening.
I also found it strangely reassuring when Tammy told me that it was good that the baby is still floating high since she didn't want the baby engaging before we get me more symmetric. I had been worried that she needed to be down lower by now, so it was nice to hear that for the time being it's a good thing.
She also told me that until I'm full term she would rather me do any type of exercise in the pool as opposed to outside the pool --- as it will be more gentle to my spine, and pelvis, and hips --- helping to not negate her adjustments. At full term is when she would encourage me to do all that walking outside the pool. (I liked the sound of that!! You know how I like the pool. And I'm not really a fan of walking, but was willing to do LOTS of it. For now I'm off the hook!)
I can't say that I've been really able to accomplish having great posture since my chiro appointment on Thursday, because Friday we left town for a long drive (6 hours) back to Champaign for Blake's Ph.D. graduation ceremony. And being in the car that long makes it hard to keep good posture! Especially when your toddler needs your attention, which means leaning towards her a lot. But I'm not feeling terrible about it, and I was glad to have the thought in mind to at least try and aim for decent posture.
If you aren't bored of reading yet, here goes my talk of the weekend.
During the week I took J back for a doctor's check up since she was still a little wheezy on and off from the RSV. The doctor didn't seem concerned and basically said it was just the RSV finishing up. But that means she still counts as contagious, which was really disappointing since we were hoping to meet our friends' new baby over the weekend, but we couldn't risk giving him RSV, so we had to cancel our plans. :( So I was sad about that.
Instead we stopped in Blake's home town and spent time with his family. (RSV isn't really a concern for anyone who isn't a baby.)
There was a lot of sugar to be resisted! There were delicious smelling cinnamon rolls for breakfast, an awesome spread of desserts (including a chocolate fountain!!) at a celebration dinner, a Ladies' Tea to attend with an awesome arrangement of desserts, and celebratory Mother's Day/Birthday/Graduation cake over the weekend. But I did it! I only had 1/4 of a cupcake from the dinner on Friday, and taste-tested a bite of the celebratory cake on Sunday. Phew! How I did that, I'm not sure since I've been really wanting to throw in the towel on this whole "no sugar" thing lately. (And I guess that my actions didn't fully embody NO sugar, but close enough!) Lets be honest, sugar's instant gratification isn't enough to outweigh my real desires. So I guess that's what helped me hold out on having way way more!
After the Ladies' Tea
The weekend turned out to be really emotional for me because J ended up getting very very wheezy while we were away. The remaining RSV, mixed with allergies to pets (both present pets, and moved-out pets who left lingering traces of themselves), turned out to be pretty rough on her. And as a mommy it just kills me to hear my girl being less-than-healthy.
The second night there was really hard because J ended up having a hard time sleeping with being so wheezy. And we had to give her Benadryl and her nebulizer treatment at about 3 am. (After a 12 am wake up prior.) And in-between the two wake ups I didn't sleep because I was having a random bout of pregnancy "poo-splosion" of horrific proportions. (Sorry for the TMI.) Like sleeping on the bathroom floor in between bouts, kinds of proportions. Blake had to be in charge of a lot of J's second wake up because I was still feeling so awful.
So I think I got about 3 hours of sleep before Blake's big graduation day.
When J and I got up, we had a hard time finding food for her to eat which wouldn't bother her diary allergy.
Blake had to leave at 7 am to go get his cap and gown before the distribution closed. And since it was Sunday, everyone was gone to church but me and J (can't put J in the nursery or have her around kids to spread RSV.) So getting a shower and getting ready was really hard with no help, since I can't leave J alone not knowing what she can get into at someone else's house. I resorted to taking a bath while I set up a movie for J to watch in the bathroom with me on the laptop so I could try and get ready. The only problem was that I didn't know what time everyone intended on leaving, so I got out just as everyone was coming back in and ready to leave. And J had started getting wheezy again so she needed a breathing treatment right then before we could leave.
So getting in the car was really rushed and difficult since I was trying to grab all our stuff so quickly while J was crying to have me hold her.
By the time I got into the car, my three-hours-of-sleep-pregnant-self was in tears. I didn't want to make a big deal about it, but I just had to cry for a couple mins.
The drive felt long since I was really wishing for sleep, and J should have slept but she didn't think so.
We got to our old house (which we still own and have been paying the mortgage on) with enough time for me to throw on my dress and drive Blake over to the building the ceremony was in to drop him off beforehand. I drove back to the house in time to drive right back to the ceremony building with the rest of the family.
It was weird being in my old house with it empty. It was both easier and harder to be there than I thought it would be. And just one more layer of emotions for the day.
My parents met us at the ceremony building. I was so glad they could be there.
I felt bad because I was so tired and worn out I didn't feel like I got to interact well with anyone that day. I was just barely functioning. (Even worse that it was Mother's Day.) But I did what I could.
J ended up sleeping through half of the ceremony (which I was really glad for, she needed the rest) on my mom's lap. And then my mom took her out to play in the hall for the rest.
I was so proud of Blake! Seriously! He worked so hard for his degree --- it's crazy. He did amazing!
But we did it. We drove the 6 hours home with one stop on the way for a bathroom break (I was very nervous that I wasn't going to make it and just end up wetting my maternity pants!) When we got back in the car I was afraid J sounded too wheezy (she had woken up really upset, which made me think she was having a hard time breathing) so we went back into the attached restaurant in the gas station and did one more breathing treatment with her. (She was such a trooper for all this!)
And she was able to fall asleep after that in her car seat.
So we made it home to Ames at about 1 am and we all slept like rocks!
Monday afternoon J slept for 3 and a half hours during her nap and I couldn't have been happier! She needed that sleep so bad! When she woke up she was in such a great mood and her eyes looked so much brighter and the dark circles were gone. And so far we haven't had to use the nebulizer even once since being back. I feel so much lighter, so relieved!
So yes, that will be my last traveling adventure of this pregnancy!
I'm looking forward to staying home and enjoying it! :)