Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pregnancy update: 33 weeks

Since there are at least a few of you who seem interested in the ongoing growth of my belly and the imminent expansion of my family, I thought I'd provide an update. The photo above is about a week old, but you can see it has grown substantially since last month.

I'd have to say that the honeymoon period of the pregnancy is definitely over. I have less and less energy each week, so that work is taking more and more of that finite resource even though I am not accomplishing a whole lot. A lot of mornings, I'll wake up feeling OK, but by the time I get through breakfast and a shower, I feel ready for a nap. Of course sleeping is pretty darn uncomfortable, so I usually just soldier on into the office. By 6 pm I usually have no energy at all - so evening committments are killers (like the childbirth class). I snuck out early a couple of afternoons this week, and those days really helped me recharge, even though I never succeeded in getting a nap or really any time to myself. If I manage to make myself a decent dinner and clean it up, 7:30 finds me half-comatose on the couch with a book or the remote, waiting for fish to come home from work. Then I usually manage to have a second wind (or third? or fourth?) from about 8:3o to 10:00 and we'll read a section of The Baby Book or some children's classic to the tummy. At night I am usually getting up to pee about 4 times (everytime I roll over) and although my hips are somewhat less sore than they used to be, sleeping on my side is still agony because my ribs get so sore. And rolling over is a mammoth chore, especially when you add a pillow between the knees. So when my alarm goes off or the dog whines, I usually get up with little hesitation.

I've got a nice crop of red stretchmarks on my lower belly, one boob, and my hips. Tums are my most frequently consumed food, and my prenatals recently started making me nauseous. One of my boobs leaks a lot of colostrum, and I've had a few embarrassing leak-through incidents. Many of the maternity clothes I've been wearing for the past couple of months are now getting to small, and I am moving into the big stretchy pants phase. Tying my shoes is a challenging task, but most of my shoes don't fit anyway (ligaments stretch all over the body causing your feet to widen and/or lengthen). My hair is incredibly lustrous and full, but I've got to get a haircut. My belly knocked a full cup of tea into a laptop keyboard on Thursday (no damage done).

But despite the complaining, it is the most amazing thing to feel Mini move inside me. She's getting quite big: "This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and measures 17.2 inches from the top of his head to his heels. His skin is becoming less red and wrinkled, and while most of his bones are hardening, his skull is quite pliable and not completely joined" according to Babycenter. I feel kicks and hiccups almost every hour and I can sort of tell which position Mini is in by their location. Other people can sometimes see my belly move from several feet away. I love rubbing my belly (especially where I can feel a bony area) and singing it to it. Fish talks to it at bedtime and we read stories. Snowmen at Night is really really cute.

The focus of our thoughts and energy has definitely shifted from the pregnancy to the baby. We are in the process of getting our house ready. Fish gave up his dresser so that I can get Mini's clothes cleaned, sorted, and put away, and hopefully craigslist will yield a cheap changing table in the next week or two. We're planning to use a co-sleeper for the first couple of months, so if we don't get a crib before Mini arrives, I'll be OK with it. We had a wonderful baby shower last weekend, and my incredible friends gave me some really amazing stuff, so now we know what we need to get in the next few weeks. We have our infant car seat riding around in the trunk, just in case Mini makes an early arrival (plus, we've no place else to put it). Tomorrow we are rearranging our bedroom to make room for the co-sleeper.

I've decided to try for a natural (non-medicated) childbirth. I'm not wild about drugs getting into my baby's bloodstream during a critical time, epidurals sound really drastic to me, and I'm allergic to most narcotics anyway. We are planning to have a doula (labor assistant) help us out with suggestions of relaxation techniques and positions to try and to provide some been-there-done-that support, since fish, no matter how much he cares, can't really understand what I will be going through. I'm trying not to stress too much about the labor because I'm thinking about it like a wedding. I know that sounds funny, but people put all this stress on the wedding, when it only lasts one day and the marriage is the thing that lasts a lifetime. Same with labor versus the baby. And just like I got engaged to have a marriage not a wedding, I got pregnant to have a child, not to labor. It's only 48 hours or less anyway. (hopefully less).

Woo, that was a long update. And fish's alarm is going off - time to start cleaning the house and watching some football.


EthidiumBromide said...

Good luck with everything - I am sorry that it is uncomfortable now, but you know it will all be worth it later! (Although I must admit, your stories are making me look less and less forward to having my own children someday in the very distant future).
My mother did a non-medicated birth, but just because she felt like she didn't need any medications - she wouldn't have been opposed to an epidural if the pain became unbearable. She was in labor with me for 11 hours, so I hope that your mini is a bit more cooperative than I was and that your pain can be minimized!
Good luck with the home stretch!

K said...

An epidural may be drastic, but it really helped me out. I wasn't planning on having any medication, but I ended up being in quite a lot of pain. An epidural is better than narcotics too, because it doesn't get into the baby's bloodstream. The thought of a huge long needle snaking into my spine terrified me beforehand, and I was NOT going to get the epidural, but with the pain of labor I hardly gave it a second thought. So, my conclusion is to try to keep an open mind. Everything will be fine in the end.

Rose Connors said...

Glad everything is going like it's supposed to. Sorry about the discomforts. Who knew just rolling over could turn into such a chore?

Give Mini a rub for me too.

Writer Chica said...

I know your pain. I'm sorry you're uncomfortable, but I admit to smiling just a pinch because finally a close friend of mine can understand what I went through. And we can talk about it and I can help out in some ways. I'm just so thrilled for you! I was glad I didn't have any narcotics with Chicita. Nubain really knocked me out with Boy in Yellow. However the epidural was wonderful with both. I may have been able to go without it with Chicita, but at the time I had to make the decision I was just so terrified that I would end up in heaps of pain and miss the opportunity to get an epidural. With the epidural I still felt a little pain and I felt the pressure of the contractions so I knew when to push. Kudos to you for going for a natural birth Maybe I'll try with the third one :) Just don't feel bad if you do need something.

I recommend slip-on shoes. Ohh...the big stretchy pants phase! They are just so darn comfortable. I never wear them now, but I wouldn't trade them for anything when I'm pregnant.

You're in the home stretch. You can do it!

Saoirse said...

I hope it goes well for you. It must be so amazing to feel Mini moving.

post-doc said...

I'm so happy for you! Well, not about the discomfort and problems sleeping, of course, though I'm sure it's well worth it. But it's so exciting to think about you getting so close to having a baby that you can talk to without the barrier of your belly.

(I'm late with the comment because bloglines failed to update me! I'll have to check my feed location now...)

But still, so happy for you!

trillwing said...

If labor is like a wedding, then my "wedding" lasted several days. How extravagant of me! :P

I was soooo uncomfortable in the last weeks of my pregnancy. It was August and 100+ degrees. I did feel blessed, however, that I didn't have to buy winter clothes.

I'm so excited on your behalf. Good luck with the natural labor. I went in knowing I'd want drugs because I have a pretty low pain threshhold and a whole lot of bad luck (like several-days-of-labor bad luck).

Sending good vibes your way. . .

adwina - said...

I love this photo :). Thanks so much for sharing it.

I link you up in my blog entry, Amazing Pregnant Belly Pictures!. I hope you don’t mind :)

And I hope you will have a safe labor next month :).


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Pregnancy Symptoms said...

I am sorry that it is uncomfortable now, but you know it will all be worth it later!

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