mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: Your baby is really starting to fill up your uterus. This week he weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.4 inches long with his legs extended. He can now open and close his eyes, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. He may suck his fingers, and although his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning with assistance if he were to be born prematurely. Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and isn't bothersome to him, so enjoy the tickle. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. Wonder what he's thinking?

2005.02.14. my pointy valentine

Truman, Everett and I celebrated Valentine's Day in style, with lots of indulgence and leisure. I unofficially took the day off from work and we spent the late morning with my brother and sister-in-law at Old Wives' Tales (indulgence: coffee, lots of bacon, a few bites of sweet oat-cornmeal pancake). After an hour or so at home it was time to head to Mabel's for the "new mom's knitting group." I've always wanted to go and never have. We got there at the tale end, and boy was it quiet - one toddler, left before I really sat down (indulgence: more coffee, lots of block towers, and yarn for sister-in-law's hat).

By the time we arrived home it was sleepy time for Everett and shower time for me. I took a long one, musing over my strange "relationship" issues and the crushing quietness of the house.

Truman didn't give me much time to muse, though, poking me like the pointy valentine he is. Wow, that kid never settles down. He was still poke-poke-poking at 11 p.m.; after I just read the other day that babies are supposed to be "most active from 7 to 10 p.m." Whatever. Truman obviously is going to be a workaholic just like his mama and grandpa before him. He never clocks out from his job of causing a ruckus in my tummy.

The best part of the day was getting a card from daddy. It was a crudely-drawn cartoon of soldiers coming out of a gas chamber, and said something like, "I'm all choked up...from missing you." In the bottom he had scribbled, "(I promise, better next year)." I sure as all heckfire hope so. He sure did make me laugh, that choked-up hubbie of mine.

2005.02.15. more dreams await your psychoanalysis

It's late and I should be getting some sleep but what kind of sleep will it be? For the past several nights my dreams have been real, real and more real - and not nice. Every night, someone really screws up big. Three nights ago, it was Jonathan, being unsupportive, drunk and out with friends - calling up telling me how he didn't care when he came home. Two nights ago, it was my ex-boyfriend, who scared the bejesus out of me with his violent, threatening behavior. Last night, it was my brother-in-law, who so rudely defied my wishes about how to babysit Everett that I threw him out of the house.

In each dream, the bad characteristics of people I am, or have been, close to were brought to the nth extreme, blown out of proportion, made startingly real. So real that in each case I woke up angry at the person who so mistreated me in the dream. So that I didn't write my husband the day he left me home alone, and tried to escape a chat with my brother-in-law today. I was angry for hours.

I've come up with lots of psychoanalysis already; I'm feeling vulnerable, hurt by certain friends, and have a waking tendency to blow things out of proportion. In my dreams things are awful, past the breaking point.

I've gotten little quality sleep as a result, waking up frequently still mostly in angry dream-land. It's probably a good thing my hubbie isn't here right now, otherwise he could become the innocent victim of my wrath in the pre-dawn hours. Now that would be a frightening thing to wake up to.

It's also worth mentioning that, every hour, Truman's kicks and somersaults become more painful, to the point where I'm pushing back. Tonight at my inaugural church vestry meeting I yelped at one point. He's not settling down. I did, however, pick up that copy of Prenatal Parenting from the library today to straighten my emotional self out. Maybe I'll head to bed and read that now...

2005.02.16. mad mid-day musings

(1) Sunday someone looked at me and said, "whoa, you are VERY pregnant." Next to her was a woman due to give birth next month (first child) who looked no bigger than I. *sigh*

(2) Those people who write books for big brothers are a very strange lot. Must they pack the pages with tales of how jealous and pissed off big brothers are? Does everyone just go to the hospital and come home days later with a baby - doesn't big brother even visit? And why must it always be a little baby sister? The only good one in the bunch: Welcome With Love. You'll see more of it on Blogging Baby tonight.

(3) I picked up a couple of pregnancy nutrition books at the Belmont Library yesterday. The Pregnancy Cookbook has a bunch of good pointers and recipes. How odd that it smells distinctly of stale cigarette smoke. I have a vision of a dreadlocked pregnant woman, cooking broiled kale, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches and tofu-and-cottage-cheese pie for dessert while she puffs away on her third pack of Marlboros.

(4) Someone in heaven must be telling me to stop it with the coffee addiction. Today at the hospital between doctor appointment and glucose test I picked up a cup of coffee (to drink after the blood was drawn). As I struggled to hold the to go lid and coffee cup in one hand so I could hold Everett's cookie in the other, I somehow managed to direct steaming hot coffee down my coat's cute bell sleeve and onto my arm. Ouch. Then Everett and I had a little (bad mother) game of chase in the middle of the SUPER BUSY parking lot and, when I caught him, his meltdown sent my coffee flying. He started crying, "YOU SPILLED YOUR COFFEE!" like this was the worst part of his day. Ok, I'll switch to tea already!

2005.02.16.later. the ob report

Oh, yes, I forgot, didn't I? Today was my checkup. You wanna know something depressing? During my weigh-in, the nurse couldn't reach the scale mover-thingy because Everett was playing on the floor beneath her. So I moved the little indicator from where I thought in my loopy pregnant brain I should be (in the VERY low 150s - you'll perhaps remember I was 157 three weeks ago, the time I gained six pounds in 12 days) to where it REALLY was. I crept up, feeling absolutely no movement in the 155 range, in the 159 range, oh, crap. It ended up at 162 and a little. Five pounds I gained! Five in three weeks! After eating so well, giving up a good portion of my carbs (no bagels for over a week, for instance, an no french fries at all) and almost all of my sugar.

(The rest of my appointment went thusly: I drank a super-sweet lemon-lime beverage for my blood glucose test, and everyone was late for everything. While Everett and I waited for our audience with the doctor, he used the little blood pressure device to check on Truman. Very cute - he pumps the little black thing so that it blows air on you, that's his way of evaluating your health. Dr. Kehoe checked me out but quick, Truman's doing fine, then sent me down for my bloodwork. Which was nice--that is, as nice as blood-drawing can be--because a British nephrologist was observing and she was oh-so-cool to chat with. Finally, Everett refused to leave the playhouse and I ended up in near-total-meltdown state, high on sugar and caffeine, with a very tired poopy boy, and whoops! no clean diaper. I cleaned him with wet paper towels, pulled up his pants over his bare bottom, and put a blanket under him when I forced him into his seat. While the rest of my coffee got smushed by car after car zooming into the parking lot. Oh, it was a bad one.)

So when I was reading the smokey book today the author kept harping on the fat content of things. No butter, no whole milk, no 2% milk even, low-fat cheese and sour cream and yogurt and everything. This to the girl who's been eating her organic low-sugar cereal with half-and-half and bananas and feeling oh-so-proud of herself. So what...you want me to eat (a) low carbs; (b) no sugar and (c) no delicious yummy saturated fats? What are you, bonkers?

I've been majorly craving things, sweet things, fat things. I attribute this craving to my body's need for more fruit and dairy, so I feed my body said fruit and dairy. I've been SOOO good, well, PREETTTYY good (I did eat the vegan maple syrup-sweetened linzer cookie I'd found in my car during my near-total meltdown). I've been eating lots of eggs, and chicken sausage, and, well, some bacon, but also, good things like ground turkey and black beans and oh so much spinach.

I can only conclude that it's o.k., that I'm meant to gain this weight, that my body, and my baby, needs what I'm craving. But 162 with 12 weeks yet to go...yowzer. I really don't want to get over 170, that's what I was when Everett was born, and oh, I don't want my thighs to rub together like I know they will when it starts to get warm and I wear my cute maternity sundresses and the thighs won't get skinny until August or September and boy will it be an uncomfortable summer. And that, my dears, is a runon sentence. And to bed I go, to dream of maple linzer cookies.

2005.02.17. mama on a mission

I had lots to say tonight, like OW, OW!, OW, OWWWW!!! Boy Truman is hurting me and I'm wondering if I'm not starting to have some Braxton-Hicks.

But all I can remember from today is sitting in the Citywide Parks Team meeting, clearly the only pregnant woman there, and probably the youngest by several years, getting kicked over and over again by this wild-and-crazy little boy.

It's times like these that I wonder, am I legally insane? Am I actually taking on another area of civic responsibility? This is the third meeting I've been to this week; Tuesday was my church vestry meeting (I'm on duty once a month for the next THREE YEARS), Wednesday was my track coaches' meeting (20 hours a week and then some starting Monday), tonight was relatively lax comparatively (two hours per month, no problem!). But it's never just the meeting... I resisted the urge to raise my hand when someone asked for a web site volunteer. If you're wondering why, check out my neighborhood web site. Yep, that one's going well, clearly.

I'm now imagining myself come late May, juggling the state meet with an infant, neighborhood and vestry duties, the start of my summer wading pool volunteerism, my blogging and my "day" job, my knitting and my training for the marathon (oh, did I mention I want to run the marathon in November or whenever it is? yeah) oh and there was that other person...right, my first-born.

Here is where you should tell me to slow down a little...and here is me not knowing how. And here is me staying up until 1 or 2 a.m. to finish my blogging.

2005.02.19. the end-of-single-parenting countdown, T -7 days

Things that are hard to do when you're a single pregnant mama, part one.

Getting out of the bathtub. Not so easy. And there is just no one else I'm comfortable with having help me...

Checking out an uncomfortable tailbone. It feels bruised and I'm just sure my backside is black-and-blue. Again, no one else I'm willing to have check it out. (As an aside, I vaguely remember having this malady in pregnancy #1. Anyone familiar with it? Suddenly appearing-out-of-nowhere tailbone bruises? I think - this is totally pathetic - that it just bruises from my big lopsided body sitting on it. It hurts like the dickens when I sit on any surface with a touch of hardness. OUCH.)

Running to the store for some milk. Gotta pack up Everett in the stroller, which includes taking all of his trains, his star blankie, and his scary Thomas books. Then argue over whether we should get out the really-heavy-even-for-a-lightweight double stroller. Oh that I could just say, "honey, will you go get some milk for us?"

2005.02.20. it's starting

I've been having some sort of contractions, which started out as a "is this a Braxton-Hicks?" kind of thing to today's contractions, for which I'm wondering, "is this the real thing?". I know that (according to all the references) and my past experience, that "real" contractions start from the lower back, while "false" or "Braxton Hicks" contractions typically are felt in the front of the uterus only.

There are other signs, like that Braxton-Hicks typically go away when you drink water or go to the bathroom (they're often caused by dehydration or a full bladder), and typically diminish when walking around; that "real" contractions are regular, increasing in frequency and intensity over time.

OK, I know all the signs. I also know that when my "real" contractions with Everett started on June 15, 2002 (a full month before I gave birth, but still, I was ONE centimeter dilated! to quote one of my sources: "[Braxton Hicks contractions] are not believed to have any connection with dilating the cervix, but may have some effect on the softening of the cervix"), they felt like this.

This is hard, painful belly, not diminishing although an empty glass of water sits right next to my keyboard (and it's a chaser for an empty mug of tea, all consumed within the last hour), and I'm just back from emptying my bladder. When I got up to get a glass of milk for Everett just now, my pain and pressure did not diminish.

I've been having them for hours, and 30 minutes ago the back pain began. Truman's still kicking around in there and I have no desire to clean house, so it's likely not "time." But if they started a month before my due date last time...what the heck are they doing starting at the advent of week 28? Boy will I be practicing my pain management techniques a lot this pregnancy.

Before you cry big tears for me, I'll say this: the pain, it's manageable. I can handle it, it's not the sort that sends me into tears or even keeps me from typing away at my trusty laptop. It's not something that you can ignore, or forget is there, though. It's constant, sharp pressure very much like that "side ache" feeling you have when you run right after drinking water.

I talked to Jonathan for a long time tonight; they've got a lot of freedom as it's a long weekend and they are essentially done with their training - no more PT! He found out today that he'd be flying home on Friday after his 9 a.m. graduation ceremony, a day earlier than I thought. While I was talking I had a contraction, not a back-hurter, and he told me jokingly to have Truman wait until Friday. Which was when he ruined the surprise, which he had managed to maintain for an entire half-day, or, 20 minutes on the phone with me. He's just not the best one at keeping a secret from me. Which I love about him, btw.

But...I'm a little concerned at these contractions, not going-into-labor-tonight concerned, but, well...I'm not ready to have the baby at 30, or 32 weeks. I have no fear for Truman's health and vitality, but I'm just not mentally prepared to give birth yet! To lose my relative freedom, to go sleepless, to take a break from everything for a few weeks while I adjust. Gosh, I'm not ready. And neither is Jonathan, or Everett, or this house. Nothing, no one, is ready.

A mighty kick from mr. 28-week-old and I smile. Everything is, must be, o.k.

Everything is happening so fast. How will I manage two of these little sweethearts? I don't even have my chair-and-a-half so we can all three snuggle while I type away. THAT I need, pronto.