mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: 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. This will help him ease out of your relatively narrow birth canal.

2005.03.30. feeling poopy

Ick. My latest contraction-like symptom can be described only as the nagging feeling that I am about to poop. I get said symptom whenever I over-exert my poor belly. Tonight was our Franklin track meet, and as I am having car troubles, Everett and I took the bus. We walked a bit, I carried him on my shoulders a bit, and was feeling generally well. Until we got into a super cranky mood and I carried him a bit too long, or hurried a bit too fast from one event to another. Ewwwww. Big poopy feeling.

So, in addition to that sort of embarrassing issue, here's another one. I've got a not-so-ladylike cough going right now, it's all Everett's fault. And when I cough, and I haven't been to the bathroom in - oh - the last few minutes, upon occasion, my once-exquisite vaginal muscle tone loses its hold and, oh, you get the picture. I've had to change my underwear rather frequently over the last few days.

Neither of these pregnancy symptoms is especially terrible. I can certainly live with them. But? Not fun. No, and not the stuff that makes a pregnant mama glow. I'm more of a black hole than a supernova right now, consuming all the warm happy light around me and turning it into nothingness.

Did I mention that I'm really excited to have this baby? Yeah, I am! Really.

Actually, I can't wait until I have him, and he grows up to be big enough for Everett to play with. The two of them will have so much fun. Everett's been asking to get in my tummy with Truman, lately. While the image of that is both painful and ridiculous, the passion behind it is sweet and oh-so-charming. I hope against hope that Everett and Truman will be the best of brotherly friends. Can you only imagine how cute they'll be once they get together? I only hope Truman likes trains...

2005.03.31. did i say something about a wagon?

I know I said I was back on the wagon (that would be the sugar wagon, if you haven't been keeping track). Did I say that? Umm...that's not the whole truth.

It turns out that I am the only one in my family to share this addiction for candy-covered malted milk eggs. The eggs that are full of everything I don't eat. But every several hours, I am drawn to their hiding place in Everett's Easter basket, and I eat just one. Which is followed by two more. Then my tummy hurts so from the sugar and trans-fatty acids that I am forced to eat something healthy.

So I'm backsliding! So what? You wanna make something of it? Fortunately, the bag is almost gone, and I seem to have no other weakness half so great as this one. It's only a few days past Easter...don't I get seven days of indulgence? Isn't there some Easter week exception in my no-sugar contract? There must be. The paperwork is here somewhere...

You will be proud of me, though, for my healthy choices today. I made a soup of carmelized onions, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, garbanzo beans and chicken broth. It wasn't even that fattening. And it was dee-licious for my lunch. For dinner? Balsamic-glazed collard greens. Those are the greens with so much calcium they put milk to shame. And, ahem, half of a box of Trader Joe's white cheddar macaroni. Yep. I'm starving again.

And now it's almost midnight, hours since my dinner and twenty minutes since my last malted milk ball binge, and I'm starving again. Bananas and peanut butter, here I come! Guess my appetite is back to normal.

2005.04.01. more pregnant dreams

When Jonathan left for school yesterday, it was before 7, LONG before this mama usually awakes. Somehow, in my tired stupor, I heard a noise (kitty who sounds like a 200-pound man to my hormonal senses) and checked the door. Jonathan had left it unlocked.

I locked it and fell back into a half-sleep. In my dreams, a man had entered our house and I went after him with the pepper spray Jonathan insisted I buy while he was away. It made his face, neck and eyes really red, and his eyes were bulging out like a really bad episode of CSI, but it didn't phase him at all. I kept spraying and he kept walking towards me.

He wasn't attacking me, but was casually talking to me about the things he was going to take and the damage he was going to wreak in our home. I dreamt that I went back into my bedroom, taking the phone and trying to call 911. The intruder had gone downstairs and gotten on the phone. He screwed up my 911 call, again calmly.

I knew I was just dreaming, but I couldn't shake myself awake. I also couldn't shake my fear that someone was in the house. Even when I did get up, I had this vague fear in the back of my mind. I didn't go downstairs all day. Just in case.

2005.04.02. wearing down

Super-pregnant mama is wearing down.

Today was the Dalles Invitational, a track meet that took our team about 60 miles from home, to spend the day in the elements. In college, all track meets were on the rough schedule of a high school invitational; field events beginning at 11 a.m., running events beginning at one, wrapping up around five. I was often signed up for nine or 10 events in college, and after a day running from event to event in the sun and/or wind, I was always so exhausted I could barely walk upstairs to get in the shower at the end of the day.

After walking from event to event for a few hours, once even showing an athlete what kind of warmup I wanted her to do, I was far more exhausted than I ever was after running several races and jumping dozens of times when I was an athlete. The walking, my God, is killing me. I didn't even have anything heavier than a roll of duct tape to carry, as Everett had been left at home with Daddy.

By 2 p.m. when, thankfully, most of my events had been completed, I barely had the energy to walk to the bathroom and pee. I sat down and that was trouble. One of my athletes asked, "Is it hard to sit down?" Not nearly as hard as getting up.

My lethargy must have worn off on my team, as only a few of my athletes had excellent results. Could it have been my exhaustion oozing out my pores and taking over their bodies? I couldn't help but think so. I tried, really I tried, even giving Birthing from Within pointers to the ones who had injuries, strains and soreness. "Focus on something other than the pain," I said. "Feel how strong your legs are." It worked only for my favorite headcase, whose performance I can almost guarantee if I just focus enough. (Which is pretty cool, by the way, and makes me totally believe all the stuff Ina May says about how having an in-tune husband present during a birth changes the outcome.)

Today made me seriously wonder how long I was going to last out there on the field. I'm terrifically torn, as I can't imagine letting the kids down. Neither can I imagine enduring this schedule if my belly gets any bigger. My doctor said I could make the call. And I don't know if I have it in me to bench myself.

I'm sure, in the end, it will be a bigger authority than Dr. Kehoe that benches me. So, how long have I got, God?

2005.04.03. coming from the other side

Today Everett and I went to hang out with Larissa, who, as you may have heard, is on bedrest for some unknown period of time. And, as I told my husband, I am - not the best possible - but a good person to have visiting another pregnant woman on bedrest. I've been there and I know what I would want someone to do.

Of course, I would have been way better if I wasn't eight months pregnant myself, if I was without whiny poopy two-year-old (he pooped twice while we were there, uncharacteristically), and if I was a little more organized.

As it was I had a fantastic time cutting out her nappy bag pattern and can't wait to (assuming both of us don't go into labor between now and then) help sew it together. It's going to be oh-so-hip and I'm already mentally designing dozens of diaper bags to come. An infinitesimal percentage of which I'm sure will ever be realized. In fact, I'll be amazed if we manage to completely finish Larissa's bag by the time both Sebastian and Truman are wreaking havoc in our lives with their active digestive tracts.

If I were to be a really energetic and non-frantic person, I would have baked goodies before I came, and brought coffee milkshakes made with homemade ice cream, and things to clean her bathroom, and the raw materials for a baby book. But, hey, I put away Everett's playthings before I left.

But I'm not energetic, and I am frantic, and my sweet child is poopy and whiny. Poor kid. I struggled with him so much today, trying to keep upbeat even though he was wearing me down, and he keeps begging to be carried on my shoulders. Up until a few days ago, that seemed doable, and wasn't, in fact, hurting me that much. But now, it's a terrific chore, and brings on contractions every time I carry him for more than a few feet. I know I'm going to have to stop lifting him soon, and it's sending me into prospective guilt.

After all, I fear that I'll lose that special bond I have with my one-and-only blonde curly-headed bombshell once Truman is born. I hate the thought of having to break his little heart by putting an end to our solo excursions. After all, how can I go for a long walk with him if I can't pick him up?

At least we still have our little games, our mama spider/Everett spider exchanges as he wakes up in the morning (our hands are spiders, and they talk to each other about the ghosts and the books we are going to read, and mama spider hugs the little Everett spiders a lot), our special times mixing and stirring in the kitchen, our cuddling in the cozy chair. Already, though, I'm missing being the mom of one. I can't imagine life without a bunch of kids. But I'm really going to miss these years where my identity was wrapped up entirely in being Everett's mama. It's a loss I never considered. And it's a loss that will be harder than I could ever have known.