mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is probably almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born are filling her out, making her rounder. Her central nervous system is still maturing and her lungs are well developed by now. If you've been nervous about going into preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that 99 percent of babies this age can survive outside the womb and most have no major long-term problems related to prematurity.

2005.04.04. thirty four weeks

I've made it, by any estimation, to thirty-four weeks. I should be turning cartwheels and jumping for joy. But wait! Cartwheels are contra-indicated. Sorry.

I am happy, but don't have that feeling of overwhelming relief and ecstasy I thought I'd have once reaching the extremely safe side of viability. I suppose I'm not really high-risk anymore, having beaten pre-term labor handily. I've done it, I've mastered the high-risk status and am officially moving myself (in my blog identification bar, anyway) to a "normal" pregnancy. That's it, I'm normal.

But you know and I know that I'm better than normal. Truly, my only major concern from here on out is whether or not I'll have a vaginal birth. (well, besides all the possible problems that can happen between 34 and 42 weeks - premature placental abruption, cord wrapped 'round the neck, distress during labor, birth defects, etc. etc. etc.) The vaginal birth is just icing on the cake, a thing for me way more than it is for Truman.

Why am I not feeling such amazing relief? Probably because I'm not ready for birth yet. I have tons of work piling up, months of things that need to be done before taking several weeks off post-baby. I have about 14 hours of work a day to be done between now and the end of the month, not to mention making a baby book, spending quality time with Everett, finishing the adorable baby blanket I started (2 inches in!), finding a dresser for Everett and Truman's closet, organizing his teensy baby clothes so I know what I'm missing, cleaning up Everett's toys so there is room for Truman, getting out the cradle, recovering the bumper so it fits around the cradle, buying a sling of some sort, you get the picture. I guess I haven't arrived at "nesting" yet.

Worst of all I'm just tired, tired, and more tired, and can't seem to live on five hours of sleep a night. Why? Why me? Why must my body beg me for 10 hours of sleep a night when I only have time for 3 or 4? It's a sad, sad life for we pregnant women with too much on their plates. Poor, poor me. What? I should quit whining and turn cartwheels? Yeah, you're right. This? This is just what I hoped for. I'm blessed with a nearly full-term baby and no longer care about my hospital's NICU prowess. This is great.

2005.04.06. quick update and hurrah!

Too much work to do! I'll make it brief.

First fantastic news: I gained less than a pound in two weeks. I weighed in at 165 and 3/4, four pounds less than my end-of-pregnancy weight at full term with Everett. If I stay on course I'll top out around 169. Good for me! (and hah! to all those who said that I would gain more weight and have trouble getting it off with the second baby. I look better now than I did at 35 weeks with Everett. Hah. HAH!)

Secondly: my uterus is measuring 34 centimeters, which means that (a) I'm not bigger now than I was with Everett and (b) my due date of the 15th is probably the correct one. Just as I thought.

Thirdly: Dr. Holtzman, the one from Harvard Medical School who I wanted to see in the first place, is lovely and told me that she didn't think my diet would have any effect on my chances of a VBAC. She says that my chances, given the previous childbirth experience, are exactly 50% (great odds to my Wharton-trained finance mind). The only things I can do to help are to exercise (check!) and, well, exercise.

So now I mull over this: can I start eating sugar again? Can I throw my carb-caution to the wind? I'm hesitating to do it, as I feel pretty great on the low-sugar diet, and it does help justify my utter disregard of the pregnancy-bible prescription against saturated fats. I'd rather keep butter, cream, half-and-half and bacon in my diet, and balance them with lots of fruit and veggies. So tonight, I did take the 1/2 of a red vine Coach Harris offered me. And for dessert I had frozen unsweetened raspberries mixed with half-and-half and a teensy bit of maple syrup. It hit the spot.

The last thing I'd like to say is that wow, I'm so so so exhausted. I've been getting around seven-eight hours of sleep a night (and tonight will be right around there, as I have some work to finish for my hah! day job after I'm done blogging). And I feel roughly the way I did in college when I would pull "all-nighters" on a weekly basis at the newspaper, taking the paper to the printers around 6 or 7 a.m., falling into bed for a couple of hours of sleep before awaking around 10 a.m. to finish homework before track practice. As I looked into Dr. Holtzman's eyes today, sitting on the exam table, I had that woozy-dizzy-inability to focus without pain feeling I get when I've slept a few hours, have a terrific hangover from gin martinis and wine, and had to go to an important client meeting. Yeah. Off of eight hours of sleep. Not so good.

2005.04.08. brain burnout

I realized today that it's very important to keep my lines of communication open. I'm going to attempt to make brief posts in the morning when I start my work from now on.

So why haven't I, you ask? Why haven't I been updating you several times each hour on the tweaks and twinges and burbles of my pregnant body? It's not because I don't long to write down every last complaint and mental flash of (imagined) prenatal brilliance, let me tell you. If I could, I certainly would.

No, it's because my brain is burnt out right now. I know I'm not remotely close to childbirth because I can't seem to motivate myself to finish projects (like, you know, the ones that provide me with a steady income). I need more sleep but I feel guilty each evening, knowing I should finish up some work, only to lie on the couch for hours watching TV, eventually heading to bed without even a send-and-receive.

Getting more sleep and being more productive in my waking time is the key. I'm waiting for that burst of nesting energy...I'm waiting...come on! Bring it to me!

2005.04.09. sleeping in

I've not been getting the sleep my body's been begging for, lately, and today it rebelled and insisted that I stay in bed (not asleep the whole time, mind you) until noon. Ahh, it was lovely. I can't tell you how much better I feel.

Of course, I missed prenatal yoga, and a gorgeous morning (it's now threatening some nasty rain after several hours of beautiful sunshine). I missed getting those three extra hours of work in. But my, is my mood good. Especially after my two cups of coffee and delicious barely-maple-syruped french toast (made with whole grain bread, natch).

Worry of the day: a strange, sharp pain on the inside of my uterus between my belly button (or, belly button region) and my c-section scar. It occurs very irregularly and lasts for a minute or two. It feels sort of like a muscle spasm and sort of like a stab wound. It doesn't seem too scary, as what's down there, after all? There's no placenta in that spot. And Truman keeps up his usual pounding. I think I'll call Monday to check it out.

2005.04.10. nausea on its way back

Today my nausea came back, nothing terrible, but a nagging discomfort that didn't go away whether or not I ate. Last night I felt the yuckiness come on after getting into bed, so asked my sweet hubby for a bowl of cereal (as usual, I asked very specifically for cereal, milk, half-and-half, and raisins). He brought it to me immediately on my breakfast-in-bed tray. What a find, hmmm?

But still, I awoke with the nausea. I ate breakfast, and kept feeding myself; a hard-boiled egg and mostly sugarless doughnut holes at church; crackers, grapes and delicious cream cheese/goat cheese/dried cranberry/walnut dip and coconut cake at the blessing way (which I am "covering" on the main blog, pics to come here soon I promise); crab dip and low-carb flaxseed bread for dinner; but a few minutes after I ate, the yuckiness returned.

I'm not feeling anything else that would indicate to me that labor is on its way; my contractions are just as irregular and easy-to-tolerate as ever. And as my mom said today, you know better your second time around. I'm definitely not going to the hospital soon.

As I don't have much time tonight, I'll finish the rest of the story here.