mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: By this week, your baby weighs a little over 2 pounds and measures about 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open her eyes which now sport lashes and she'll turn her head toward a continuous, bright light from the outside. Her fat layers are beginning to form, too, as she gets ready for life outside the womb.

2005.02.21. 9 a.m.

It's 9 a.m. in Romania, where my boss for my "day job" is (how weird that I call it a day job when I work on it - and do all my best work - at night, after primetime is over). I've finished one miniscule project, brainstorming for a domain name, and I have at least one more project - a bigger one - to finish before bed.

I'm thinking about staying up late, really late, tonight to get things done. I'm in this perfect place of clarity but I can't focus on one thing for long, so I skip from task to task. Right now my task is this, my blogging.

And it's my task because I'm sitting in my cushy moss-colored velvet chair, and my bruised tailbone is on fire, and Everett is sleeping so sweetly on my lap, and Truman is doing his best imitation of Billy Blanks, and I don't want to move because it's so wonderful, what these sons of mine are doing.

Everett tells me he loves me, now, before going to sleep, when waking up, after drinking his milk and hugs me so hard that sometimes it hurts. He likes "quiet kisses" and thanks me for them, asks for them on his cheek right heah! mama. And Truman, my little one, will be just as much of a lover of life, I can feel it by his exuberant and frenetic action.

The contractions seem to have calmed down, good, as I would very much like to stay in Braxton-Hicks territory for the time being. And it's 9 a.m. in Romania, the start of the business day, and I should stop enjoying the beauty of my boys and get comfortable for a good hour's worth of quality page writing.

Truman kicks, stretches, kicks again in this explosion of action, and I wait, for just a minute more, Everett is so still and sleeping so deeply, I wait.

2005.02.21.later. laughter

Um. Coccydynia. That is the name for the aforementioned pain in my butt. And as I explained my research to the mamas at the park this morning, these are some direct quotes from my bestest friends:

"So...you bruised your tailbone just by sitting on it?" (gales of laughter)

"You should start a web site called 'Butt Blog'!" (more hilarity)

"Oh, I'm so sorry..." (giggles)

No, they're not insensitive, because it is pretty funny. Of all the things that have happened to me during this pregnancy, boy, this one is heee-larious. My hubby even laughed at me - he, who pulled a chair out from underneath a girl in his fifth-grade class, breaking her tailbone and forcing her to carry an inflatable doughnut with her all year. You'd think his remorse would be too great to laugh at his dear wife. But no.

So, here's the 'net diagnosis: "as the weight increases and the posture of the spinal column alters, if the gluteal muscles are too weak, they may not be capable of steadying the sacroiliac joint, which joins the column to the pelvis." Ahhh. So I have weak gluteal muscles. Who knew? Oh, did I mention I have "exquisite" cervical and vaginal tone? Take THAT, sacroiliac joint!

I've read way too much about my butt, now, and am frightened that - yikes - I could break my tailbone in childbirth. Now that would be worse than recovering from a c-section. Ick. If things don't improve over the next few days, I'll be definitely making an urgent phone call to the OB. D'ya think this might go away? Hey, it might...

On a less personally embarrassing note, I'd like to toot my own horn for a minute. Today was my first day of track (if you've missed it somehow, I'm a volunteer track coach at Cleveland High School, my alma mater) and I can do it. Even better than half the newbies and a good portion of the returners.

You see, for the first week or two, the coaching duties for all sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers are shared between three of us, me being the only non-paid member (although the other coaches are chipping in to pay me a little, which is really sweet). Of the three of us, I'm the only one capable of demonstrating things like "high knee skipping" and "hip circles" and "hurdle leg pickups." One has a chronic knee issue (and is, well, a little lazy) and the other tore his achilles tendon this fall (ok, he's a bit lazy too).

Last year I would be responsible for things like, running the team up to the park and leading the stair run while the other coaches drove to catch up with us. This year, would it be different? I certainly won't be high jumping (my specialty).

I'm proud to say, no, it wasn't different, at least not today. I demonstrated the lunge exchanges, probably the hardest part of the dynamic stretching workout, and I had to laugh - ME, I laughed at THEM! Most of them couldn't do it half so well as me, and I'm carrying around 30 extra pounds and a painful coccyx.

Of course, when I arrived home (Everett and I walked the mile each way), I was so bone-tired, literally, that I couldn't even bear to sit up. It took me three hours and a 40-minute bath snooze before I felt up to sitting in my cushy chair. And I fell off the wagon in a big way, picking up some (natural! they're natural!) Cheetos on the way home and eating half the bag. Thanks to my little enabler, Everett, who started handing me a Cheeto every time he ate one. Afterward, my tongue hurt from all the salt. Ick. At least I didn't eat sweets, right?

2005.02.22. karma kicks back, again

Ouch. *sigh*. [whine]. I am SO sorry I ever laughed at those poor high schoolers.

Can I just explain how much pain I'm in right now? I hardly got any sleep (even though I went to bed at a respectable just-before-midnight and awoke around 8) because I couldn't find a comfortable position in which to sleep. All day long I struggled to find something that felt right - a sitting, lying, or standing position - and nothing. I feel quasi-low pain when I sit in my usual non-ergonomic position in my chair. I can sort of bear to lie on my side.

I'm certain that my hijinks with the lunge exchanges only contributed to my pain today. My leg muscles are a bit sore but nothing, nada, when compared with my rear end. Yesterday - it hurt to run and sit. Today - it hurts to walk, stand, sit, turn, and OW!!! go to the bathroom.

In somewhat good news, those booth seats at Burgerville aren't too bad, they put pressure on your thighs and not your coccyx.

My poor husband (who thinks he's suffering from a sinus infection and a blown-out back, but won't go to sick call because he's afraid they won't let him come home) and I are going to be like very old people reunited. I don't think we're going to make good on our plans for a hot-and-heavy homecoming. Oh, aren't we just pitiful?

Even though I'm exhausted, I figure, I might as well blog - I won't be getting much rest tonight anyway. Thank God for BBC on the radio. It's the little things.

2005.02.24. calm, happiness, what?

Tomorrow (tomorrow! TOMORROW!!!) my husband gets home from his long, long, training. And the strange thing is...I don't feel as if it's been that long. I'm not freaking out. I'm not stressed. I'm not angry that he's been away. Everett's not going bonkers. I'm just...happy.

What's more, my ridiculous coccyx problem seems to be disappearing. I actually spent part of last night sleeping on my back without shocking pain. I could walk up the stairs and sit on the toilet without ill effect this morning. The sun is streaming in the windows, Everett and I have our tummies full of chicken sausage, I have fresh coffee next to my computer, and the breakfast pan is already clean. I even wiped the counter down thoroughly. It's not even 10:15!

Sure, I have a boatload of things to do before tomorrow afternoon, and o.k., I'm tired of watching Thomas, and yeah, I'm broke as usual. But it's all just lifting off my shoulders and I'm in a state of zenlike euphoria.

I'll check back in with you tonight after my errands-organizing-model building-blogging-bill paying-track practice-grants seminar-mama's group day. Now? Things are great.

2005.02.24.much later. checking in

Nope, no meltdown, not yet. Didn't quite finish everything. Going to bed anyway. Oh - thought I'd mention, painful and hard contractions all evening. Not - terrible searing pain, more like can't-totally-focus-on-my-conversation pain.

In case you're worried, I totally, like, know what is labor and what is not. I am not in labor. But damn, this is an early start.

In other news, three of the five mamas tonight had gigantic and delicious-looking ice cream sundaes at the Empire Room tonight. There was a good 2/3 of one left over. I resisted except for a few nibbles of whipped-cream edged walnuts. Even with my favorite partner-in-sweetness, Molly (the one who couldn't eat sweets for months due to gestational diabetes) devouring ice cream right next to me.

It's only fair, since she came to Pix with us when she was forbidden and I was indulging. I'm amazed, though, that I did it!

2005.02.25. not quite what i planned

As one might expect, by the time my hubby and I returned home - with Everett at his very most frenetic - it was after midnight and both of us were exhausted. I had hoped for some sort of, well, not romantic exactly, but exuberant homecoming.

But then those are those aforementioned contractions. They've been building in intensity and discomfort, reaching their height in the evenings. And I may not have mentioned it here yet but, every time I went to the hospital because of my intense, frequent and painful contractions, it was caused by one thing - s-e-x.

So I was both too tired and too scared for any proper long-time-away hubbie welcome by the time we got Everett to sleep around 1:30. The good part? Everett slept happily on the couch until 8:30 while I joined my hubbie in bed for the first night since his mom's funeral.

It wasn't until the next day that Jonathan admitted he'd been coaching himself mentally to prepare for my unbearable fatness. I'd gone on about my weight gain at such length in my letters that he was afraid I was huge. He was oh-so-relieved to see that the only thing huge about me was my belly (oh, and some nice balance in my breasts and butt, but hey, that's par for the course).

He was happy to report that I was not terrifically fat, as my letters had suggested, but instead, terrifically big-bellied and still "hot." And I'm happy to report that my hubby - s-e-x or no s-e-x - is looking skinnier and more rocked out than ever. And, yay for that.

2005.02.27. major meltdown makes me...organized?

Somehow, in his excitement to be leaving the rigorous discipline and minute-by-minute control that goes along with being in the military, my hubby accidentally planned a "homecoming" "party" with his "friends." Each one of these words is in quotes because I'm still pissed.

These "friends" are people whose lifestyles are not conducive to (a) pregnancy; (b) families with young children; and (c) day jobs. Oh yeah and (d) living past 40. I don't approve. They are generally nice people, and if I was still 22, I would think they were great friends to have - you know, for occasional hard-partying get-togethers.

So against my better judgment (and after having said "no" in every way I could think of without pulling out my best impression of a drill sergeant) I dropped him off around 10 for a "short" night of Trivial Pursuit and cheap beer, insisting that he would be going to church with me the next morning, no matter what. He did not, as promised, get home by 1 a.m. I don't really know what time he got home, but he did pop his head in around 7 to say that he'd been sleeping on the couch and would return to it (given his post-party aroma I didn't want any of).

I got up around 9 and proceeded to get myself and Everett ready for church. I had almost finished cooking my healthful and low-sugar oatmeal when I realized that, instead of getting in the shower, my hubby had returned to his bed on the couch. After having impressed myself with my ability to single-handedly feed both me and Everett nutritiously, change a monstrous poopy diaper, and still look pretty cute, I was faced with an immovable hungover force. And I totally melted down.

I wasn't going to church without him, to explain how, yes, he was home, but he was...what? Hungover? Tired? Sick? I wasn't going to tell either the truth or the fiction here. I didn't want to stay home, I was ready, Everett was ready and eager, I was not about to deal with him lying on the couch while I was soooooo angry. But obviously, I couldn't have what I wanted. There was no amount of yelling, threatening, guilt-tripping or pillow-throwing that would wake him up.

So after a good bit of the above, just for good measure, I started furiously cleaning the house. I took out the trash, did the recycling (neither of which are my job), cleaned up the frighteningly dirty kitchen, cleaned up the zoo of toys from Everett's fun with his friends the night before, made the bed, started laundry, started my SIL's promised knitted hat, and then - at special request from Everett after reading his Strawberry Shortcake book - made gingerbread cake (well, just gingerbread, but it's called "cake" in the book). VERY low sugar gingerbread cake, I might add. With bananas mushed in.

By about 3 p.m., my anger was pretty much spent, and the house looked great. I got the usual grovelling and kissing up from my hubby (following his inability to empathize given his first-in-seven-weeks hangover). I made ridiculously healthy whole-wheat wraps with swiss chard, tomatoes and part-skim mozzarella, and he even ate one, and the gingerbread, cleaning his plate like a good boy.

And the contractions started in again, sending me back to bad-mood ville. And I was STARVING. And my back started aching. I'm considering calling my OB in the morning to see if she wants me to come in for "observation." Truman's moving like crazy but those back pains combined with the painful contractions make me concerned. Still - not feeling like labor. But still - not feeling like 29 weeks.