mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: Your baby's a bit more than 15 1/2 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and fills out your uterus. Her eyes open and close, she's able to distinguish between light and dark, and she can even follow a light source back and forth. Once she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have a visual acuity of only 20/400 which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. ("Normal" vision in adults is 20/20.)

2005.03.07. no compassion

One of my athletes (the lazy one, the REALLY lazy one) said to me today that he didn't want to run because his head ached. HAH! Like I even care. I told him not to get me started on aches and pains. He still didn't run his second 400 (bastard).

Speaking of headaches...[whine] [complain]...I've been getting these strange base-of-the-neck headaches every day between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. I feel good all morning, energetic, wide awake, peppy. Then around after-lunch time I start hurting, getting cranky, ready for a nap. Instead, it's a mad dash to finish as much work as possible before track practice.

By the end of practice I'm cheery and feeling (mostly) good again. Is it from sitting on my behind too long? Do I need a nap? Either way I'm unlikely to change my behavior or my schedule (sans doctor's orders to the contrary, of course). Hmm...

2005.03.08. thanks internet, and, fear

Jackie sent me some advice, thought maybe my headaches (remember from yesterday?) might be from caffeine withdrawal. Evidently, you see, my head? It requires caffeine from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., nonstop. Instead of consuming one cup of coffee in the morning and then getting all caught up in eating, I made two cups of coffee last, with a large water chaser, all day, taking my last sip just before track.

And sure enough, no headaches. Presto! Thanks, Jackie.

Then as I was walking from the school to the track, feeling a little sorry for myself because - hey - I'm huge, slow and tired as heck - I started thinking about infancy. And how I'd be up every hour all night long for weeks. And how freakin' tired I'd be, then.

And I was so, so scared. I'm not ready! No, not ready at all! How will I do it? My anticipation of labor has been replaced by a wholesale fear of it; not for the labor part, that will be nice, but for the part that comes afterward, the aching breasts and the round-the-clock exhaustion and the blue, blue, blues.

2005.03.09. of headaches and closed cervixes

It's almost 2 p.m. and I've done nothing all day. Well, nothing work-related, nothing important, nothing that will progress my big big BIG mental to-do list in any way.

Last night, my contractions were truly yucky. They surrounded my uterus in the most heart-stopping way, I felt like I'd be invaded by a huge sticky hard basketball attached to my cervix and my lower back, pulling inward and pushing outward simultaneously. They HURT and they were REAL.

I was sure, positive, I KNEW that I was dilating. And so I went to the doctor today almost ready to be informed of my rapidly widening cervix. I told the nurses and doctor about my contractions, described them exactly; not regular-all-day but regular-daily, including back pain, contracting my entire uterus, not just the top, going on despite empty bladder or well-hydrated self.

I was given my cervix checkup. And nothing. Closed, not effaced, nothing.

Of course, I'm happy. Happy that there will be no 32-week babies around here. Happy that the NICU seems to not be in my future. Happy that I'll have time to get things done, like blessing ways and baby books and, oh yeah, my day job.

In other news, I got little sleep thanks to an early riser this morning and a tussle over his "whining" with my hubbie. I was exhausted and no time to make coffee. I went all morning with just a half of a cup of tea. And WOW. Big headache. Yuck.

2005.03.10. tired and wired

I have been ti-red lately. I'm sure my body is begging me for a nap around 3 p.m. every day. But who has time for naps? Not this overachieving mama. Especially not with my track schedule. Every day as I walk to the school from my car, I think, oh, am I ready to go to sleep RIGHT NOW. And yet, I've found that it's hard to coach track while sleeping.

I really, really want to increase my sleep diet. But...how? The last few nights I've tried to go to bed earlier, to the exclusion of work that hung over my head. And while I've gotten to sleep before midnight, and all, it wasn't much before. I'm still getting only 7-8 hours of highly interrupted sleep. Body? Would like maybe 11, 12.

There are two possible ways of getting more sleep. (1) quit track. and (2) get extraordinarily efficient with my mornings, when I feel typically great.

From time to time I have been efficient in the mornings even without a babysitter, and I'm going to dive into trying that with both feet starting next week. Jonathan is going to be the sole caregiver from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. most days if I can make it happen. So let's give #2 a tentative "check."

There's just no way I could do #1. Already I'm in love with my athletes, even though I only have a few returners. I'm feeling oh-so-guilty that I can't show them how to arch their back properly over the high jump bar, or what kind of speed you should get from your trail leg over the first few hurdles. A mom came up to me at the parents' meeting last night. She said, said she, "Elsa told me that no one could show them how you're supposed to jump over the bar because her coach is pregnant!" KILL me. I would LOVE to show them proper form but my obstetrician specifically said I couldn't. Not that I had to ask. Mind you. I'm already feeling so guilty and helpless...I can't carry out the hurdles or high jump pit on my own...I can't show them how to do the simple things I want to show them...it's so maddening.

Then today, my Cinderella-story high jumper returned from her many absences. I thought I was going to have to cut her, but the head coach had talked to her mom, she had excellent reasons for missing practice, and I so want to help her be a better person. She really NEEDS me. I can't imagine letting her down, not to mention all the newbies with whom I'm totally smitten, not to mention my hard-luck favorite guy who fought back from academic ineligibility and a foster dad committing suicide to jump for me (well, not JUST for me, but you understand, don't you?). It's hard for me to leave 15 minutes early when everyone's working hard. I can't possibly quit.

So my destiny is to continue down this road of little sleep. I can't even give up my midnight blogging! I guess you're stuck with me, overnight internet.

2005.03.11. da back it is a-achin'

Oh, my aching...

So today I officially did "too much." I had the pleasure of meeting CityMama and Wally at Mabel's for coffee, toys and chat but no knitting (hee hee). We were meeting at 10 a.m. and I was taking the morning "off." It was a beautiful day. Everett and I woke up happy and energetic. We decided, let's walk to Mabel's!

The walk there was nice. We made it in the admirable time of 32 minutes and 54 seconds. According to Mapquest, that was 1.42 miles. Not bad for up and down hills, with jogger stroller, and a couple of stops to check out ladybugs and signs and all. The hangout time was nice, and Everett wanted to stay a while, so we did, me knitting, him running out to the back yard and saying "cha-cha-cha-choo-choo!" in a sometimes-quiet but soon-loud and high-pitched voice.

A snack was in order. I took the $3.00 I had left from my cash stash and walked across to Wild Oats. It's very hard to feed two people on $3.00 at Wild Oats. We ended up (quite happily, I might add) with two bagels and a package of string cheese - I couldn't find the cream variety. Darn. And off towards home we wandered.

We walked slowly, and I decided to let Everett out after 1/4 mile or so. By this time he had doffed his boots and was going barefoot. I took cute photos of him under a beautifully flowering tree, and tried a few with my self-timer (to be developed later). Everett set off at a full run, stopping at the corners but otherwise not paying any attention to the havoc being wrecked on his little feets.

By the time we'd reached the track (about halfway), my back was aching. I convinced Everett to get back in the stroller to cross Powell, but once there, he was off again. By the time we were a few blocks from home, he was exhausted, hot and sweaty and I was in some major pain. Everett asked to get on my back and I thought, hey, an easy transition to the stroller! I didn't want him to run down the few very dangerous, glass-and-sharp-gravel-infested sidewalks between us and home.

But no. Everett would not get in the stroller. And I was too tired to fight him, so I carried him on my back for four blocks, pushing the stroller with one hand and balancing him with the other.

OK, I know that behavior like this is contra-indicated in a big way. But I had to protect my baby's feet! And I set out just for a walk - that's safe, right?

In any case, I paid all afternoon and into the next day. And Everett was happy as a whole bucket full of clams, and after a wild track practice (for him, not me), he fell asleep before 7 for an all-night snooze. Hip hip hooray for that!

2005.03.12. yogalicious

Finally I made it back to yoga. My intense yoga instructor from before Christmas won't be moved into her new studio until sometime in April, so Hau and I tried out Yoga Shala.

We almost didn't get together because of husbands being out of town (hers) and slow (mine). But we dropped off Carter and Everett at Piccolo and zoomed to the studio. When we arrived (about 10 minutes late), another mama-to-be was walking in, too, so we didn't feel so badly - and didn't seem to miss anything. There were about 20 pregnant women there, as usual, nearly all first-timers.

The class started slow and easy, with abdominal breathing and cat-cow stretches, and soon moved into some of the tougher stuff - warrior poses, squats, and the tough horse pose. I found my balance not much changed from before (not fantastic, but not terrible), and did o.k. with an energetic tree. My thighs were decidedly weaker after going 12-ish weeks without yoga, and I was renewed in my eagerness to go yoga-crazy for the next eight or nine weeks.

I'm thinking about trying to go every Saturday and fit in a few evenings, as well. Am I crazy? Probably. But it felt really great to get back into it, and there's nothing more great than going to a relaxed place with a dozen or two other pregnant women, ohm-ing and ahh-ing in rhythm.

A couple of things struck me about the class. First, Shana asked us a few times to think about our babies, and I realized that - despite my laser focus on the pregnancy - I haven't really thought that much about spending one-on-one time with Truman. I haven't, umm, communed with him except the rare few minutes in the bathtub. Remembering all those times I read poetry to Everett, or just zoned out in bed thinking good, warm thoughts to him - I'm feeling a bit guilty.

Second, Truman is just a bruiser. In the poses where we were a bit folded up around our bellies, Truman just went crazy, kicking and turning with an overwhelming ferocity. I said "ouch" under my breath a few times. Am I just being sensitive or is this the strongest baby in five counties? I want to know.

As I write this, I'm loving the idea of zen-ing out again soon. Yoga mamas, let's go!

2005.03.12.later. death into life

I wrote quite a post on Blogging Baby last night. I'm still trying to sort everything out in my head, to reflect on how best to describe and detail this to you, my internet public.

I had written a long thing about this here, and decided to move it over to my main blog.

So here is what I'd like to say about this pregnant-wise: it's that this death, as unwelcome as it was, gave me a rare kind of happiness that I never expected. That happiness was about how blessed I am to have the family I do, all these wonderful people who love one another and love life and have no need to judge or talk about others when they're not around. They all open their arms to us and forgive past iniquities and tell it like it really is. I asked my Uncle Jim what he thought about my cousin Tyler - the one I used to babysit when he was a toddler - going to the Marines. "Were you worried, proud, happy?" I asked. "Yes, all of that," he said, and told me how he felt about it in more depth. And isn't that wonderful? That the men in my dad's family aren't afraid to be sensitive, deal directly with their emotions and have learned not to bottle anything up? That's how I want to raise my sons. To be men, yes, with tans from working outside and photos of their raucous adventures on the wall. But men who can admit that they are scared, or sad, or in love. That's the boys I want to raise.

My sister-in-law told me that she thought of me when she saw the photos of my grandma, when she heard the eulogies. And that was the best compliment I've received in a long time. I aspire to be a mom like that. I hope I can live up to it.

2005.03.13. things i can't do

I can't watch the episode of Cold Case that I turned on tonight in time to realize that the boy talking to his kidnapper about his mom was the murder victim.

I can't cross my legs. Truman kicks me so hard it feels like it might puncture the skin.

I can't look at a perfectly good open bag of Sour Cream & Onion potato chips on the counter and walk by without eating one. Then another. Then a handful. But that's it! I swear.

I can't help being pissed when someone leaves a box of maple sugar chocolates on the counter. But I can resist. I can. I really can. Thank God they disappeared in short order.