Monday, September 5, 2011

33 weeks

It's Labor Day, though hopefully not THAT kind of labor day for me. Here's hoping you readers are enjoying a day off from your hard work. We're taking advantage of our last holiday weekend together as just two married folks by puttering around the apartment, enjoying autumn-like weather, and taking naps. I love naps.

Weight Gain: 26 pounds... and now I'm officially over the 15-25 pounds I'm supposed to gain, with 7 weeks to go. I'm not sure there's a lot I could have done differently to gain less weight, and I'm honestly not stressed about it. I also seem to be carrying ALL of it in my belly (OK, some of it made it to my thighs): my face isn't puffy or anything. So there we are. I will likely gain over 30 pounds total, and the not-quite-so-nice midwife who told me "that's not good for you" can deal with it.

Speaking of that, after months of striding out of every midwife appointment feeling like I'm the best mom, and DH is the best dad, and our kid is the best ever, we met with our first dud this past week. She made me feel like I must be doing something wrong, she told me my legs are swollen (uh... or I have big calves? My ankles/feet/hands weren't swollen at all and my blood pressure was "great", according to the nurse), she harped on me about the weight thing, and she basically told me I'm doing it wrong because I didn't have a list of questions for her. I see a midwife every other week, I've read umpteen books and blogs, we just took a 12-week childbirth class... if I have questions, I seek answers. I just really didn't have any this week. Then she really made me feel confident by telling me her watch had been off by a day for the whole month, and she just realized it. That just sounds flaky to me.

Now I'm worried that she, not any of the other 6 awesome midwives I've met so far, will be on call when I'm in labor. I'm praying that isn't the case, as all the other midwives (except the one we have yet to meet at the next appointment) have ranged from "you'd be nice to have coffee with" to "can you please be my second mom?" I guess we had to have one who's less-than-awesome. Hopefully the last woman is more cool.

Symptoms: Big belly that now moves so much when the tyke is feeling gymnastic that it has interrupted meetings at work and a childbirth class. He likes attention, I guess. Also: decreased appetite and more of that first-timester "bleh" feeling when my stomach is empty, which has gotten bad enough in the middle of the night that I've had to get up and eat a snack at 3am.

Also... I think I've had some contractions. Totally irregular, localized to my lower abdomen, but kind of crampy feelings. Each time it's happened has been when I'm walking or attempting to bend down. If I sit still, they go away. They happened on a super-hot day, so I'm hoping this is heat-related, in part because if I can't even walk until after this kid is born, I will start to lose my mind.

The internal thermostat situation continues to weirdfy, as well. I get super hot and sweaty at the drop of a hat, even in a cool room. My skin almost always feels cool to the touch these days, though, so it's not like I'm feverish. I just can't handle heat - or even mild warmth. I'm so glad the weather is cooling down.

Cravings/Aversions: I'm having days when food in general isn't interesting, unfortunately. But sometimes I really, really want a milkshake. Or orange juice. I must need more calcium/vitamin C these days.

I am loving: that we're really starting to think about what life will be like after October 21 or so. I'm starting to daydream more about a baby who will be a little boy and then a young man, rather than just a theoretical concept that gives me digestive issues.

I miss: All the same stuff. And my second-trimester love of food. Food is getting complicated for me again, and I do not enjoy that.

I'm looking forward to: Seeing my son's face. It's so weird that we don't know what he'll look like. I've already had a couple of weird dreams in which he has no face, or I can't see it, etc. It's clearly bothering my subconscious.

I'm freaked out about: Going in to labor early and not being ready. But will we ever actually be ready? This, I do not know. Also: going in to labor and having Flaky CrankyPants midwife on call. I know the odds are greatly in our favor that one of the awesome ones will be around, so I should focus on that. Also: going in to labor before my brother-in-law's wedding at the end of this month. It's going to be such a cool wedding! We gotta make it to October, at least!

Milestones: We had our last childbirth class - finally! - and I think that made us realize we're moving in to home stretch territory. Also, we got the car seat (thanks, Mom and Dad!): the only piece of equipment required to leave a hospital with a newborn. Are they seriously going to let us take a newborn home with us? They're crazy.

Movement: Frequent, strong, and sometimes nigh-disorienting. He seriously almost knocks me over some times. I think he's doing Krav Maga or something.

Exercise: OK with walking, though at times I have to slow it down due to shortness of breath and occasional achy-ness... and now contractions. I'm trying to do more yoga, which helps me sleep/makes me less stiff/ is strengthening all the stuff I need to be strong to birth this kid. I'm also trying to incorporate more arms/upper body work, since a couple of new moms told me to do it NOW, before I'm holding an 8-pound lump for hours on end and wishing I had more arm strength.

Diet: OK. We got a big bag of brown rice with our sweet new Costco membership (thanks again, Mom and Dad!), and DH is experimenting with healthy/cheap dinner eats. What he's come up with so far has been delectable. I do think I frankly over-restricted myself the day after the appointment with CrankyPants midwife - I kept feeling hungry and drinking water instead of eating anything - so I need to just push her snotty voice out of my mind and eat when I'm hungry. I should be drinking more water, though, as CrankyPants reminded me. The problem with 80 ounces a day is that then I have to pee seven million times. But at this stage I'm peeing that often, anyway, so I guess I might as well have something to show for it.

Something nice: A woman who works at the university where I work, with whom I have never had a direct face-to-face conversation, surprised me with a couple of hand-knitted baby washcloths she made out of really nice soft cotton stuff in fun colors. She said it was a thank-you for a small favor I did for her department, but I felt like that was way beyond anything that was called for. I was surprised and touched.

Also, the new guy at the health food store around the corner from my office gave me a 10% "pregnancy discount" when I bought some coconut water on the day the weather was super-hot and I was feeling huge and crampy and not so great. He didn't know I'd just been huffing and puffing down the street and worrying about contractions and the heat, he was just being nice. It made me feel a lot better.

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