Twenty Eight

Because it is my goal to make sure that the readers of this site (all three of you) are REALLY, REALLY AWARE of the possible side effects before you procreate, anyone who tells you that pregnancy is a nine-month endeavor is mistaken. 40 weeks shakes out closer to ten months, kids, and don’t let them tell you differently. You’ll need that extra month to remind your husband why he should make you cookies (which Tom happened to do this evening, entirely without prompting. I do love that man). But even with cookies, you’re going to be pregnant for about a month longer than you might have been told when you were a tender youth learning about the biological processes that put Mr. Stork out of a job.

Like Carmela Soprano, you can’t say you weren’t warned.

Today was the start of my 28th week of pregnancy, or what I consider to be the start of my seventh month. Like clockwork, I woke up with the numb hips and shooting thigh pain that came to characterize my third trimester with Maggie. I’ve used all manner of body pillows and sleeping positions and y’all, it is what it is and there’s no way around it. The third trimester is, by design, just uncomfortable. It’s supposed to be; otherwise how would we get to the point where we’re EXCITED to have an 8lb ham-loaf come rocketing out of our nethers? Let me tell you: it took a mere five hours from start to stitches to deliver Maggie, who weighed in at a hearty 8lbs 3oz with a head that measured in the 90th percentile. Recovering from that was still better than my third trimester because a) I could sleep on my back or belly if I chose, b) I could eat without fear of reflux or without interference from fetal feet, and c) it cannot be said enough: I COULD SLEEP ON MY BACK OR BELLY. Options, sweet options!

But I digress. Lower body numbness is just how my mornings are going to begin for the next twelve or so weeks. The best way to ease my legs back into the land of the living is to eat breakfast sitting on a large exercise ball so I can stretch and work the muscles gently as I wake up. The second part is to take a nice walk and keep mobile. Easy enough when you have a toddler who, much like a terrier, needs to be walked and exercised routinely or her constant motion and yapping will snap the ever-thinning cord of your patience.

I complain (oh, how I do complain) but the truth is that beside the horrific nausea of my first 20-odd weeks, I have easy pregnancies. Everything I experienced in the third trimester with Maggie was more or less par for the course and it appears to be going the same way this time. To be a healthy, fully-functional engine growing a life is a pretty cool thing–it was certainly awesome in Portugal, where I could (mostly) hold my own against the hills, provided Tom did the heavy toddler lifting (I do so love that man). Essentially I’m just at the point where my thoughts run from “Ughhh, twelve more weeks…” to “We’re going to have a baby in twelve weeks, OMGWTFBBQ?!?!” It’s exciting. Hip-numbing, but exciting.

That hip belt is not flattering.


I can do this. I’ve got this. Just twelve weeks left.


Metabolism on Ice

Things Occupying My Mind As I Blow Past the Midway Point of Pregnancy:

1. I can’t believe I’m going to complain about this…but here I go. I can’t seem to gain any weight. Thanks to the Exorcist-level morning sickness I experienced this time around (which has not totally abated), I estimate that I dropped about ten pounds in my first trimester. None of my maternity pants fit; a pair I purchased in a size lower than what I usually wear hangs off me like parachute pants. Since I don’t know the words OR the dance to “Too Legit” I suspect that’s a problem. As 2.0 fattens up and grows on schedule (more on that in a second) I am dropping weight from my arms, thighs, and abdomen. My rings are so loose that I have to be careful to keep track of them; my watch keeps swinging around to face down. I’m wolfing Ben & Jerry’s down by the pint, eating three solid meals and at least two big snacks during the day, dispatching Tom to make cookies, and still the only pairs of pants that fit me are a pair of Levi’s ultra-low ultra-skinny jeans and a pair I hung onto, for reasons passing understanding, from high school.

2. Despite it sucking every bit of caloric storage from my flesh, the little fetus is growing right on schedule and my ultrasound revealed a happy, growing little baby we’ve temporarily christened “Thumpy”. Sadly my cool due date was lost–it moved three days from 11-11-11 to 11-14-11. This actually doesn’t make a bit of difference to me; I went so overdue with Maggie that my hope is to not be pregnant on my birthday (November 28). The baby is also starting to assert itself. Maggie was scrambling around on my lap looking for a comfortable spot when I felt a hit under my ribs so hard that I yelped in pain. I chastised Maggie for not being careful and she looked at me like I was a moron (a look she has perfected). I realized then that the hit was coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE as if to say “Woman, get that toddler under control or I will John Hurt you.”

So there’s that. Assertive, healthy, and fattening up right on schedule whilst stealing all my nutrients. At least my hair is looking full and fluffy.

3. I’ve been classified as very low risk and a good candidate by the midwives and the local clinic, so assuming the baby is in the proper position when the time comes we’re officially starting to look at things we need for the homebirth. It’s hard looking at those kits without remembering those first days after Maggie’s birth. Ohhh, the ice packs. Lots of ice packs. Oddly enough, pricing out disposable underwear didn’t really drive home the reality of the impending little person; pulling the trigger on buying the baby’s car seat did. We needed to buy it a little early since we’re ordering an American model through Amazon (a Britax B-Safe) and couldn’t try it in the car first–we have to have time to return it in case it doesn’t work out. The seat and two new diaper covers are the first things we’ve purchased for this baby. Imagining that tiny little diaper sitting in that car seat is making me verklempt…as is the thought of those ice packs. Ye gods.

It’s all getting real: there’s going to be a new little person here in a few short months. A little person who will poo and scream and need to be fed every two hours…and who will snuggle and make grunty noises in its sleep and eventually get big enough to wrap its arms around me and say, as its big sister did today: “Oh, I just love you so much.”

That’s worth all the ice packs. Trust me.


Game: Items for which I have had cravings in the last three weeks

Players: My willpower/ability to procure item vs. strange and maniacal womb

Craving: Moe’s Italian Sandwiches, extra meat and cheese, just oil, no tomatoes or olives
Craving factor: 10
Availability: None, nearest Moe’s location is roughly 6000 miles away
Point: Womb

Craving: Poke, a Hawaiian dish made with ahi sushi, chiles, onions, scallions, and soy sauce
Craving factor: 5
Availability: High
Drawbacks: No ahi allowed due to mercury content
Point: Womb

Craving: Root beer floats
Craving factor: 3
Availability: High
Advantage: A&W Drive-Thru Floats less than 3 miles away
Point: Me

Craving: Onion soup in sourdough bowl (like from Panera Bread)
Craving factor: 8
Availability: Medium (no Panera locations on Hawaii, easy enough to make at home with correct ingredients)
Drawback: inability to find sourdough bread, lack of patience/sourdough starter at home
Point: Womb

Craving: Oreos
Craving factor: 2
Availability: High
Drawback: Tom can, and has in the last three days, eat an entire package by himself. Fortunately, he bought two packages
Point: Me

Final Score: Womb 3, Me 2

Pregnancy isn’t quite kicking my ass, but the craving for a Moe’s very well may get me before this is all through.