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Archive for July, 2012

There hasn’t been much research lately. And there haven’t been any monumental changes in how I feel or what the baby’s up to. Many women, I’ve been told, get to these last ten weeks or so and just feel done. Part of that is because most of them are achy and swollen and tired and being kicked in the ribs all day every day, but a part I didn’t realize before is that most of the really exciting things have passed (for now). The baby that’s in there is basically in the shape it’s going to be when it comes out – all of the parts are there and starting to practice working; it mostly seems to just be tweaking and perfecting and putting on weight. The mother has an obvious bump and feels the kicks and there aren’t many startling new exciting changes at this point – just the ones that no one likes. And most women are tired of being asked the same questions every day:

“How are you feeling?” (“Great!” Which I feel bad about saying to all of those women who didn’t have a crazy easy pregnancy. And which I imagine uncomfortable women don’t want to answer because it’s just a reminder of all of the things that feel awful)

“When’s the due date?” (“September 23” – which usually leads to me hearing about whatever relative or friend they know whose birthday is close to that)

“Is it a boy or a girl?” (“We don’t know. We want to be surprised.” – which most people think is awesome, and then half of them will tell me what they think it is)

“Do you have the nursery all set up yet?” (“No.” We don’t. I’m only about halfway through cleaning out my writing/knitting/quilting stuff. But since the baby will be in our room for most of the first few months, this isn’t really a rush job. Mark will paint the ceiling in the next few weeks. I’ll finish getting my stuff out. Then, right around nesting time, I’ll re-wash all of the baby things we have and put them away and set it all up.)

Fortunately, I’m not really suffering. Yes, the baby dancing on my bladder is a bit distracting and uncomfortable at times, but I haven’t been woken up by kicks or dancing in the night. I’ve been sleeping pretty well, still, in fact. And the belly is growing – I’ve a feeling my innie belly button’s days are numbered – but my skin seems to be taking it well. I’ve still managed to avoid most cramping/aching, and heartburn is kept at bay as long as I keep my meals small. The heat isn’t bothering me any more than it did when I haven’t been pregnant (it actually seems to bother Mark more), and besides, I’m more worried about NEXT summer, when there’ll be a very small, hot, sticky person who wants to cling to me. Hopefully, we won’t have record highs again. No stranger has touched my stomach without asking, and all friends and family have been VERY careful to ask first. I’ve been keeping up with naps and yoga, so I haven’t had any trouble with mood swings in weeks.

I miss having a beer with Mark. I miss drinking too much coffee. I miss going running. It would be nice to be able to lay on my stomach to read, to not worry about ALWAYS having trail mix on my person in case I hit the woozy/cranky phase of low blood sugar while I’m out of the house. But as I’ve said through the whole pregnancy, if this is as bad as it gets, I have NO ROOM for complaint.

We’re already making hesitant little plans for the After. The Hobbit comes out in December – we’ll be able to go see it, right? Leaving the baby won’t turn me into a lunatic at that point? We want to take some dancing lessons after the new year – something to get us out of the house together and me moving around – will that work? How will the holidays go? Would we be able to take the train to NC for Christmas – and will we want to? How long til the zombie sleeplessness will ease up? How long until we feel like we’re not flailing around like idiots? How long before my body will feel like itself again?

All things we can’t know, of course. Things we can hardly begin to plan for. We can have goals – goals for the baby sleeping through the night, goals for getting out of the house, goals for getting my body back to a normal size/weight. But if there’s one thing we’ve heard over and over, it’s that you can never really be ready. You can’t know until you’re in it, and sometimes you don’t even know until you’re past it.

So we’re enjoying what we have now. Reading and breakfast outside on nice mornings. Day trips to Provincetown, to Lowell, to Boston. Cooking up delicious dinners for one another depending on who’s worked that day and who hasn’t (Mark is doing the pedicab thing in Plymouth – three days a week, biking tourists around town. He’s having a blast). We’ve worked off all of our hours at the farm, and while I’ll miss my few zen hours a week of planting seeds and repotting seedlings, I’m definitely enjoying getting to sleep in one more day a week.

And all the while, we know it’s getting closer. I’m a member of a forum of mothers due in September, and two women have already given birth – one to triplets (so it’s not surprising that she went into labor at 33 weeks) and another to a singlet. Given, there are over 150 women in the group, and statistically most of us are likely to give birth within two weeks of our date, but it’s still crazy to think that it’s not that far off. By the first week in September, barring any complication, it’ll be considered safe for me to go into labor.

I suppose it’s time to finish up that baby quilt…

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Did I mention that there’s a tiny person inside of me, roughly three pounds, sometimes hiccuping, sometimes snuggling (my bladder is now known as Baby’s First Teddy Bear), and every once in a while – now, for instance – having his/her own personal dance party?

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Welcome to the third trimester! Actually, I’ve been here for a week or two now, but haven’t spoken up. After a lot of study and research and trying to find out all that I could about the more intense styles of parenting, I’ve been taking a break. Anything I’ve been reading about parenting has been on the light and fluffy side, and I’ve done a lot of non-parenting reading. There’s been more sewing, more knitting, more baking – and more time in the ocean, now that the heat seems to have finally found New England. 

I’ve got one week left of farm work, and then all of our hours will be finished! Time to sit back and enjoy the bags of greens, onions, scallions, peas, potatoes, herbs, etc we’ve been receiving. The work hasn’t gotten uncomfortable at all, yet, but I imagine it wouldn’t be much longer before working on the hot greenhouse started to affect me.

The baby is definitely growing and growing well. Seems to be more of a snuggly wiggleworm than a kicker – most of the movement I throughout the day feels like somebody repositioning in sleep than actually kicking. Jessica and Serafina, our midwives, both laugh at the way the baby squirms away during appointments when they’re trying to feel its position or listen to the heartbeat. All movement usually pauses if I look at my belly (because I would like to SEE some of this craziness I’m feeling) or when anyone lays a hand on my belly – it takes some patient waiting most of the time before the kid will start back up. I haven’t kept track of times, but I do know that 10:30-11:30p seems to be one of the most reliably active times – I guess we have a night owl on our hands!

A bigger baby means less room for everything else in my abdomen, so after six months of hungry, I’m having to very carefully gauge how full I am before and during meals. I can only eat about half, maybe less, of what I could before at any given time, so scheduling out snacks and paying attention to the quality of what I eat has been more important than before. 

Still no heartburn or swelling. The only aches and leg cramps happened in the aftermath of our travel disaster – in trying to get down to NC a few weeks ago, we got to wait in airports, wait for hours on unmoving planes, wait some more in airports, run through one airport to just barely make a connecting flight, and ride for hours in cars and on public transit. All while (of course) I had to pee nearly every time I stood up. Fortunately, the hip- and back-aches and the leg cramping went away with a few days of hydration, walking, and NOT sitting around, stressed and tired, on uncomfortable chairs. Don’t tell my boss, but I think 3-5 days a week of walking, squatting, reaching, and generally being on my feet is keeping everything stronger and more limber than it would be were I to have a desk job.

While down south, we had baby shower #1 (the surprise shower!), and it was great to see everyone, to listen to the advice of so many women who had been there, done that, all in very different ways (thanks, ma!). It’s also pretty darn exciting to start seeing all of these new things enter our lives – onesies, blankets, diapers, books, etc, etc. When it comes to the knitting, I’m trying to figure out not just all of the neat stuff that I want to knit, but also the categories I seem to have neglected – I haven’t done any shoes/socks, yet, for example, because I keep thinking they’ll be quick and easy. And we need more hats. 

I’ve been thinking about how private pregnancy is. Everyone talks about the lack of privacy, the lack of personal space, the fact that strangers touch your belly and provide unsolicited advice and judge you for what you eat/drink/do. But I haven’t experienced much of that at all. Not a single person has touched my belly without hesitantly asking permission. Very few people have given unwelcome advice (no more than give unwelcome advice to non-pregnant people). I’ve gotten no funny looks when I’ve been sitting in bars (drinking my water with lemon) or drinking out of a coffee mug at work (half-caf iced latte, anyone?). 

Instead, it’s been the personal moments I’ve noticed. The fact that most of the time no one else knows when the baby is moving. The fact that so many people didn’t know I was pregnant – even some customers who come into the shop more than once a week are just now feeling confident enough to ask about it. Sure, I’ve told a lot of people since the end of February, but so many more just didn’t know, or didn’t have anything more than suspicion. I’m more than 2/3 of the way through this, and some people are just now figuring it out. 

Now it speeds up. Now we meet with the midwives every other week instead of once a month. Now the to-do lists become a little more urgent. Now the baby is probably at least three pounds and putting on weight like crazy. So as we slow down into summer (mark has been out of school for just a few weeks), we keep in mind the autumn that’s coming. 

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