Let’s Talk About Labor and Delivery

Having never given birth before, I was unsure what to expect during labor and delivery, so I did what anyone would do and I hounded my mommy friends for details and scoured the Internet for information. Even then, I still felt unprepared, aside from expecting the worst pain of my life.

I was scared my water would break and I wouldn’t know it. As any pregnant woman knows, there is a lot going on, and coming out, down there all the time. I was terrified that I wouldn’t have a giant gush of fluid, but rather a slow leak that I wouldn’t even notice. At my last OB appointment I discussed this with my doctor and she assured me I would definitely know the difference between my water breaking and me peeing on myself. I still wasn’t convinced. My water never ended up breaking on its own, so it had to be broken for me in the hospital. I was so scared it was going to hurt – that hook thingy they use to rip it open does NOT look pleasant – but I didn’t feel a thing aside from a huge gush of warm liquid. It was then that I understood there is no mistaking leaking water for anything else.

I didn’t know what real contractions felt like, and I was worried I wouldn’t recognize them. I started having Braxton Hicks contractions on a regular basis around 20 weeks, and although everyone told me the real thing would be much different, I was still nervous that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and I would end up having the baby at home or in the car. While BH felt uncomfortable and tight, when I woke up with period-like cramps and waves of pain at 2:00am, I knew it was the real deal. Well, that’s not true – I was in denial for about an hour even while I was timing them and they were 3-4 minutes apart and getting progressively worse. I didn’t want to get to Labor and Delivery only to be sent home for false labor. It wasn’t, though – 14 hours later my little peanut was born.

Real labor is nothing like the movies. You know the screaming woman in a hospital gown trying to push a human out of her body? That is obviously only the end part of the whole process. There are hours and hours of not a lot going on before that. Hubby and I walked around the unit for awhile, I sat in the sun on the windowsill, and then we watched a whole lot of Food Network. My contractions weren’t that bad until the very end – and had I known it was the very end, I would have been able to cope with them a lot better. Also, there is no room for modesty in childbirth. I knew this to a point, but the movies make it seem like it’s just you and the doctor and maybe a nurse in the room. Not in my experience! I had a nurse, a resident, a student, and the nurse-midwife all down there inspecting my lady parts. I seriously felt like I was on display, but I couldn’t have cared less as long as someone got that baby out of me.

That being said, have a birth plan but realize it may get thrown out the window at any moment and you have to be OK with that. I wanted a natural childbirth – no IV drugs, no Pitocin, no epidural. I didn’t have it written down anywhere, but I had discussed it with my husband and let him know what my plans were. I also knew that if I or the baby were in any kind of distress or I just couldn’t do it, I would accept the epidural. I made it about 12 hours with absolutely nothing other than breathing and warm towels on my back before I caved and got the epidural. I really wanted them to check me and see how dilated I was first, because I felt like if I was close, I would just continue on. I knew that I had hit a wall and that most likely meant I was in transition and it would all be over soon, but I was so scared that I wouldn’t have the energy to push. I had only gotten about an hour of sleep the night before – not to mention I had no food in my system aside from a few saltines I scarfed down as we left the house – and I was already exhausted. I was told that they didn’t like to check for no reason because it can introduce bacteria and increase the risk of infection, so I told the nurse to go ahead and call the anesthesiologist. I was disappointed to find out shortly after the medicine took effect that I was already at 8cm. I briefly felt like I had failed, but then the resident came in and told me how shocked she was to learn that I hadn’t been given Pitocin at all – she was sure I had been just based on how quickly and well everything was progressing. She told me I should definitely consider it a “natural” childbirth because my body did everything on its own. Looking back, getting the epidural was a good decision for me – I had to push for close to an hour and I don’t think I would have made it if I didn’t get that half hour of pain-free rest beforehand.

Labor is hard work. My best advice to anyone who is pregnant is to get as much sleep as possible if you’re close to your due date. You never know when that baby will want out, and you’re going to need your energy. I made the mistake of staying up until midnight watching TV and then going upstairs to bed to read for another hour. That means I got about an hour of sleep before I was woken up by contractions. My labor lasted 14 hours, and then I had an hour of mandatory skin-to-skin with the baby, another hour of weights/measurements and moving to a new room, visitors, dinner, more visitors, and finally it was time for bed. But, it’s incredibly difficult to sleep with a newborn in the room. She was calm and not crying, but newborns make all kinds of weird noises and scary breathing sounds and it is impossible not to check on them every few minutes. Not to mention the fact that they were coming in every couple of hours to check my blood pressure because it was too high, then they needed to take blood, then I needed to take more medicine… basically it is impossible to get good sleep at the hospital and you won’t be sleeping once you get home, either.

Overall, I had a relatively easy and drama-free childbirth experience. The pain was worse than I was expecting, but it wasn’t completely unmanageable like everyone had me believe beforehand. I had great support from my husband and the medical team at the hospital, which I’m sure contributed to how well it went.

Bumpdate: 35 Weeks

Whenever anyone warns you about pregnancy, they seem to only focus on the first trimester aches and pains. No one ever really mentions the “fun” stuff that happens at the end: the feeling like you’re carrying around a bowling ball in your pants, the sensation that your pelvis is going to crack in half if you dare to roll over in bed in the middle of the night, the getting up to pee 42 times every night, the popping hip joints, the acid reflux that appears for NO reason whatsoever, and the difficulty going to the bathroom (Let’s just say I had to ask hubby to make a special trip to the store for prunes — and I don’t even like prunes, but boy do they work. Something else that works to get things moving, if you’re suffering like I am, is drinking a cup of hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. Thank you, Google.).

Other than that, baby and I are doing well. I had a check-up today and I am 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced, but my doctor is not concerned and feels that I still might make it to 40 weeks. I have to keep taking the medicine and resting for the next week and a half, and then she said I can resume normal activities. At this point we are out of the woods and she said if I go into labor, they won’t do anything to stop it. Exciting and horrifying all at the same time! Baby is still measuring small, but the doctors seem to think it’s because I’m tall (???) and some people just make small babies. S/he is still having a dance party in there every night, my ultrasounds look good, and his/her heartbeat is normal.

Hubby is in the process of painting the nursery. We went against everyone’s advice to choose a gender-neutral color and we chose blue instead. The room has a white chair rail, so I chose a light blue for the top half and he chose a darker shade for the bottom. With the white furniture we’re going to order, it is definitely going to be a little heavy on the Frozen side of things, but at least my youngest niece will approve. She has told us numerous times that we should name the baby, boy or girl, Elsa.

I’m not sure if we have everything we need, but I think we have all the essentials for now. We have a car seat to get the baby home from the hospital, we have onesies and socks and hats and little mittens, we have towels and washcloths, and we have a small supply of diapers and wipes. We have a Rock ‘n’ Play, a Pack ‘n’ Play, an activity mat thingy, a bathtub, nail clippers, a thermometer, a nasal aspirator, and I have all kinds of breastfeeding gadgets. I want to order the stroller tonight, along with a few more receiving blankets and whatever else is on sale at Babies R Us that I think we might need. The major item we’re missing is a bassinet – my friend had promised me hers once her son is done using it, which should be any day now. If that doesn’t pan out, then I figure we’ll just go grab our own from the store.

We met with pediatricians yesterday. The first office we went to came highly recommended by my sister-in-law and two family friends. I had high expectations going in, and honestly, I just wasn’t wowed. Neither was hubby. Everyone seemed nice enough, but the building and office were kind of run down and in need of work, none of the doctors took the time to talk to us (we met with a nurse instead), and even getting in there to have the consultation took days of effort because no one ever answered the phone or returned my calls. It took my sister-in-law calling on our behalf for someone to finally get back to us.

The other office we went to was just one that I found online that got good reviews. What a difference! Everything was clean and in good condition, TWO doctors took time from their lunch breaks to sit with us and answer all of our questions, and the rest of the staff we met were friendly and nice as well. It’s a bit of a further drive — 20ish minutes versus literally driving down to the street to the first place — but we think it’s worth it.

I’ve been trying to read more and have breezed through the following:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — This was excellent, and not at all what I was expecting. I thought it would be sort of a thriller, and I suppose it is in a way, but it’s also just a really fun story.

Prey — My husband loves Michael Crichton books and he recently started this one and was telling me how good it is. He encouraged me to try reading the first chapter, which I did one night while I was making dinner. I finished the book in two days, that’s how much I liked it. It really surprised me. The science-y stuff went a little over my head, but the rest of the story was fantastic.

In Her Shoes — This was a fluffy, easy read. I wanted something mindless, and this book was exactly that. It was fun and cute, and I enjoyed reading about the sisters’ relationship, but I also found myself skimming lots of parts just to get through it.

Jemima J — I’ve always wanted to read a Jane Green book because the company I used to work for designed her website and I remember that she had a HUGE fan base. I picked this up at a used book sale and while it was ok, I felt like it was just another version of Bridget Jones’ Diary. I felt like it dragged on for a bit and could have easily been edited down.

The Descendants — This is what I’m currently reading. I did not see the movie, at my dad’s advice, but I saw the book lying around on a table at the same used book sale, so I grabbed it. I’m far enough removed now from my mother’s death that I can (somewhat) better handle similar stories. I’m doing ok reading it, but I can see how watching the movie would have probably been difficult for me. The story is pretty good so far, but the characters are driving me CRAZY. The dad comes across as such a pushover, and the daughters are just rotten little brats with no discipline or manners whatsoever. I kind of just want to smack them most of the time. I’m about three-quarters through, so I’m definitely committed to finishing it at this point.

Bumpdate: 32 weeks!

IMG_7179Woohoo! We made it to 32 weeks! I’m actually 32 weeks 2 days now, but I wanted to wait and do this update after my doctor’s appointment last night. I couldn’t find my usual “bumpdate shirt” and I had to take the photo with the self-timer because hubby was stuck late at work.

Basically, she said that my test and exam results from the hospital are “too concerning” at this point in my pregnancy to allow me to go back to work. She said unless I could guarantee that I would be sitting down the entire time, except for bathroom breaks, it’s a no-go. I can’t guarantee that, so she told me she recommends that I just take it easy at home and rest. She did agree to let me work a couple of hours each day from home, on the condition that I take it day-by-day and I stop at the first sign of a problem. I emailed my boss to see if that is a possibility – it would be nice to have something to do to break up my days, and I wouldn’t mind even a partial paycheck. It would definitely help with all of the baby stuff we’ve been ordering to try and prepare ourselves for the munchkin’s arrival!

She did mention that I am measuring a little small – 30 weeks instead of 32 – but that my most recent ultrasound shows that baby is right on track. They’ll check again next week, but she thinks it’s just how baby is positioned or my body type. I wanted to tell her I feel humongous and maybe she should double-check her measurements, LOL!

I’ve been passing the time by watching countless home improvement shows on HGTV and the DIY network, which has done nothing but made me antsy to get working on our own house and yard! Unfortunately most of that is going to have to wait until the spring when I’m able to actually get off the couch and do stuff. Other than that, I’ve been online shopping, texting my mommy friends in a panic about labor and delivery, reading natural birth stories and freaking myself out, napping, and drinking approximately 87 glasses of water a day because everyone wants me to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (this results in constant trips to the bathroom).

I feel pretty good overall – the reflux is still an issue, and I still have that full feeling most of the time, but I know I’m in the home stretch and all of that is going to be a distant memory soon. I did wake up at 1am on Monday night choking on my own stomach bile. The acid was all the way up into my ears and I thought they were seriously going to burn right off. I took a bunch of Tums, which did nothing, so I broke down and drank a glass of milk (so gross), but that was also useless. I tried eating some yogurt, walking around, sitting up, standing up, drinking water, etc. Nothing helped. I consulted Dr. Google on the verge of tears and discovered that a lot of pregnant women swear by pickle juice. This seemed so counterintuitive to me since pickle juice is acidic and vinegar-y, but I figured it couldn’t get much worse at that point. Luckily, I had picked up a jar of pickles over the weekend – I never have them in the house, but I had a craving. I ate one, and by the time I was done with it, the fire had receded from my ears and throat. I could still feel it in my chest, so I drank a spoonful of the juice (ew) and that did the trick. I probably should have had one more to really squash it, but I was scared I was going to overdo it. So if you’re pregnant and suffering from horrific acid reflux, try some pickles! I ate some on Tuesday and Wednesday and felt fine. I didn’t have any yesterday and the reflux was back, so I’m convinced they really work!

Bumpdate: 31 Weeks!

IMG_7171Life on “limited bed rest” is, well, pretty boring. I spend most of the day on the couch watching trashy TV and old reruns, reading, playing Candy Crush, and drinking what feels like gallons of water (then peeing approximately 4582 times). Monday was spent ordering large amounts of baby supplies in an OMG-we’re-not-prepared-at-all-panic. Tuesday and Wednesday I spent researching cars, and today I’m supposed to be calling pediatricians to set up some kind of meetings so we can ask them questions and decide who we want to be our baby’s doctor. Note to self: Google a list of questions for pediatricians.

I had my first weekly follow-up appointment with the doctor yesterday and she seemed confident that everything is fine so far. Although I am still having sporadic contractions, she assured me that they are not “real” and I will definitely know when they are. She wants me to keep taking it easy until the end of next week and try to keep my stress level down. Apparently the medicine I am taking (Procardia) has no proven effect on preterm labor – if the baby wants out early, it’s going to happen regardless of the medication. She told me that it is mostly used for a patient’s peace of mind – it relaxes the cardiac muscles as well as other muscles, therefore reducing the number of contractions felt, and finally making the patient calmer because she is not experiencing as many contractions. So it’s a head game, mostly. What with my history of anxiety, she thinks it is in my benefit to continue taking it, so that’s what I’m doing.

Aside from the contractions, I’m also experiencing bouts of hot flashes and really glamorous night sweats. While I think these are related to the medicine, the doctor says it’s not possible (Dr. Google says differently…) and it’s typical of the third trimester. All I know is I usually wake up drenched and have to take multiple showers per day. Maybe this is the “pregnant lady glow” everyone refers to? Also, I’m finding that eating even the smallest amount of food makes me feel absolutely stuffed for hours. I ate a yogurt for breakfast yesterday morning and you would think I ate an entire Thanksgiving dinner single-handedly.

Baby is kicking up a storm – and not those cute and gentle little flutters like before. These are purposeful, it’s-getting-crowded-in-here punches and shoves as s/he tries to shove my organs out of the way to get more comfortable.

Book wise, I’ve been reading lots of Sarah Dessen books. I would love to review them here, because I’ve loved all but one of them, but honestly… they’re all pretty much the same. She follows the same formula for every single book, it seems: teenage girl with a chip on her shoulder meets a quirky boy with an unusual name. Girl falls for boy against her better judgment. Girls does something on purpose to ruin the relationship because she can’t stand to feel happiness. Girl apologizes, boy forgives her, and everyone lives happily ever after. Despite this, I keep devouring each and every novel of hers I can get my hands on. Maybe it’s the predictability that I’m enjoying right now. I know going into it that I’m going to have a good reading experience, and sometimes I need that rather thank risking time on a book that ends up being disappointing.

I’m currently reading Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You and plan to get back to reviews once I finish it. I’m only 50 pages in, but I like it already and am excited to see where it goes.

When in Doubt, Call Your OB

This past Wednesday, I turned 30 weeks. I meant to do a Bumpdate post, but well, I was tired and lazy and figured I would just do it on Thursday instead. Thursday morning I woke up with a runny nose and sore throat that just got worse and worse throughout the day. I came home and tried to nap, but it was 84 degrees in the house and the air conditioning wasn’t working.

Around 7:00 pm that evening, I started to have some pain in my lower left abdomen. I figured I probably stretched the wrong way, or it was just ligament pain or something else harmless. I drank a bunch of water, sat down, and waited for it to subside. Except it didn’t. It started to feel more like kidney stone pain or bladder infection pain – it was getting sharper and it hurt to stand up straight or bend over. I’m stubborn, so I kept waiting to see if it would lessen. At about midnight I realized that wasn’t going to happen and there was definitely something suspect going on. I called the after hours number and a very sleepy OB called me back and told me to head over to Labor and Delivery to get checked out. She said it was probably nothing, but she couldn’t rule out contractions over the phone.

Hubby and I got dressed and headed out. The only thing I brought with me was our phone charger, thinking that we may be there for a few hours and Candy Crush would help pass the time, haha. They set me up in a room, had me change into a gown, asked me close to a million questions, and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. Sure enough, I was having contractions but I hadn’t felt them at all up to that point. The resident OB came in to do some exams and discovered that I was about 1-2 cm dilated, which at 30 weeks 2 days, is entirely too much. I was starting to feel the contractions at that point and they were coming pretty regularly.

They continued monitoring me all night and hooked me up to an IV for fluids, thinking that maybe I was a little dehydrated and that’s what was causing the problems (added bonus to that was that all the extra fluids helped knock out my cold!). Let me tell you, it is quite comical to watch a very pregnant lady in only a hospital gown try to get back and forth to the bathroom every hour while connected to IVs and monitors. Hubby had to help me unplug from everything, shuffle to the bathroom, shuffle back to bed, plug me back in, and then I had to try to reposition myself some way that didn’t cause more pain. Every. Single. Hour.

In the morning, my midwife stopped by and told me that I would probably be going home soon and that they would follow up with me during the week. She just wanted to do a quick cervical check first. The resident did one the night before and it wasn’t pleasant, but it was tolerable. The midwife? My goodness. I felt like she had her entire arm inside my body and was trying to rearrange my organs one-handed. If giving birth is anything CLOSE to that, bring on the epidural. Speaking of giving birth, they should really soundproof the delivery rooms. Listening to a woman scream bloody murder at 2:00 am while a nurse is trying to start an IV on me and I’ve just been briefed about preterm labor/the NICU was NOT good times. The nurse told me not to get scared – that lady was also early, but they couldn’t stop her labor and she waited too long to get an epidural. She said that it is entirely different when you come in knowing you are going all-natural (or at least that you’re going to try). It’s an completely different ball game when you plan to feel no pain and that doesn’t happen.

Anyway. The midwife changed her tune once she herself discovered how dilated and effaced I was. She immediately started me on a medication called Procardia, which is actually for blood pressure and cardiac issues, to stop the contractions. It began working almost immediately. Then they broke the news that I would be staying until at the least the following morning AND that I had to get the steroid shots to help baby’s lungs develop just in case s/he insisted on making a grand entrance earlier than we’d like. I got the shot and they moved me to a new room. Hubby and I began texting everyone to update them and then we shut the lights off and tried to get some sleep.

I had a a couple ultrasounds and got to see the baby, so that was exciting! I think the old wives’ tale about the amount of heartburn/acid reflux and a hairy baby must be true because our little munchkin has a full head of fuzz already! S/he was dancing all around and is doing great. The high risk doctor came to talk to us after that and explained about preemies and survival rates and other scary stuff, but he seemed confident about getting me past 32 weeks, when the survival rate goes up to almost 99%. Luckily I have lots of friends who have been there, done that, and they have all been super supportive and encouraging the past couple of days.

I then got shifted over to the postpartum unit once it became clear that I wasn’t going to deliver within the next couple of days, and they removed all of my tubes and wires – yay! My dad and his fiancé stopped by with Wendy’s, Tums, and cough drops (all the essentials, LOL) and I filled them in on everything. They left and went to our place to feed/take care of the cat, who I’m sure was not very happy about missing her morning meal. Apparently she let them have it and told them exactly what she thought about it when they got there!

I had a few more contractions last night, but they think it was just during the in-between time after one dose tapered off and the next dose hadn’t started working yet. I was actually able to sleep, as was hubby since the nice PCT brought him a cot and a bunch of blankets. One of my OBs stopped by this morning and was MUCH more positive and optimistic than anyone else had been this far – and everyone had been REALLY great, she just made me feel much better about everything. She wrote me a prescription, told me I’m on “limited bed rest” for the next two weeks, and to follow up with the office this week to see how things are going. I got my second steroid shot and then we were freeeee! It took stopping at/calling around a dozen pharmacies to get my medication, but we finally found somewhere that had it so I am good to go.

I feel a million times better just being home in my own clothes, showered, and surrounded by my things. We’ve both been napping and taking it easy, trying to decompress from the past 48 hours or so. It could have been a lot worse. I’m incredibly glad I gave in and called the doctor because who knows where we’d be right now if I hadn’t. If you are pregnant and reading this, please call the doctor whenever you think something is not right. It may turn out to be nothing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And on the bright side, we got an in-depth, VIP tour of the maternity center, LOL! We still have a tour arranged for next month, but it’s comforting to already know some names and how things work.

Bumpdate: 28 Weeks!

IMG_7167There is nothing quite like having to sleep sitting up on the couch because every time you lie down, you burp and vomit up your dinner. The icing on the cake is peeing all over yourself as you’re vomiting at one o’clock in the morning. I nearly choked on my own puke twice last night as I was trying to heave myself out of a bed during a burping/coughing fit, so I’ve notified my best friends that they are in charge of rewriting my obituary to sound heroic instead of pathetic and disgusting. Just in case.

I ended up in the ER last Thursday because I had had a cramp in my calf for over two days and I could hardly walk without sobbing. I expected my OB to tell me it was nothing, but instead she said that she “couldn’t comfortably” tell me that it wasn’t a blood clot. We ended up missing seeing the new Avengers movie at the dine-in theater, but the bright side is that when your OB calls ahead to the ER, you get the royal treatment. I was brought back to a room in a wheelchair and got to fill out my paperwork there, I didn’t have to wait more than maybe 10 minutes for someone to come scan my legs, and the doctor brought me a snack tray because I am “eating for two” even though I told her I had already eaten dinner and wasn’t hungry. The good news is it was just a run-of-the-mill pregnancy cramp and not a blood clot, AND we were out of there in under two hours. That’s got to be some kind of record.

We received our first gifts the other day. One of my high school friends bought us some blankets and a cute duck outfit that I had on my registry. I have nowhere to put them since the baby’s room still hasn’t been emptied of all the nonsense we have stored in there, so for now they are sitting on the kitchen table and I get excited every time I see them.

It is getting MUCH harder to move around and do things now. I need to get up from my desk during the day to lower my risk of blood clots and swelling in my feet, BUT every time I move I get this really fun pelvic pain. I’ve become “that person” who has called the doctor’s office just about every day this past week because some new ache or pain is constantly showing up. So far they tell me everything is normal.

I passed my glucose test! Buuuut, I’m slightly anemic, so I have to add an iron supplement along with my prenatal vitamin. I’m not surprised – I don’t eat much red meat at all, and I’ve been anemic before, pre-pregnancy. As long as I don’t have gestational diabetes or have to take another glucose test, I’m happy!

My First Mother’s Day

Today is my fifth Mother’s Day without my mom, but instead of feeling sad and alone like I have in the past, it has been a joyful day because it’s the very first time I’ve been celebrated as a mother! Our little one isn’t here yet, but I’ve still received lots of well wishes and gifts and congratulations.

We had dinner last night with my dad and his girlfriend – it was meant to be a “Farewell BBQ” at his house since he’s in the process of selling it, but they gave me a lovely card and a gift card to Babies R Us. I’m sure that will come in very handy in the near future as we start to buy the things we’ll need for the baby’s arrival.

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This morning hubby surprised me with a card and a gift – a baby book! It’s funny because I was just looking at them online on Friday and had picked out the exact one he ended up buying me.

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We then went to Mass and they always give out small pots of flowers to all of the mothers. The priests are generous and have always given me one in the past, but today was the first time I actually deserved one! After church, we went to his parents’ house and had a nice breakfast with the whole family, took some pictures, and we came back home so I could nap. We’re going to get chicken parm sandwiches from my favorite place for dinner, and then maybe head out for ice cream sundaes if I’m still awake, LOL.

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Eating for Two

If the movies and TV have taught us anything, it’s that pregnant women are constantly crying, angry, and eating. Although I’ve experienced some of the hormonal rage, the crying and eating haven’t happened for me.

When you start telling people you’re pregnant, well-meaning friends and family will often say that you need to start eating more – and they’ll encourage you to eat everything. However, when you’re dealing with a hyperactive sense of smell that makes formerly yummy things smell like rotting garbage, 24/7 nausea, and heartburn/reflux that feels like your chest is seconds away from exploding into fire, eating is hard work. Add to that the Weight Watchers mentality of unconsciously tracking the points value of every single you put in your mouth, and shifting to “eating for two” is not as easy as it sounds.

It seems like no matter what you do during pregnancy, someone will always have a comment. Gain too much? People will warn you how hard it will be to lose the weight. Gain too little (or at least what they think is too little)? People will push you to eat more and constantly question why you’re not stuffing your face. Once your bump becomes visible, it’s like everything about you and your baby is up for public discussion.

I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat whatever sounds good. If that means cereal for dinner or handfuls of Oreos as an after-work snack, so be it. When even plain water gives you acid reflux, you learn to go with the flow and follow the few cravings you do have. My menu consists mostly of carbs, but as long as my doctor doesn’t see a problem, I’m going with it. I’ve felt guilty for not eating lots of salads and grilled chicken, but I’m doing the best I can and as long as baby and I are healthy, I’m not going to stress about it.

In “bumpdate” news, I am 27 weeks today and baby has been kicking up a storm! S/he decided a 1am dance party was in order last night, so between that and the hot flashes, I didn’t get much sleep. I go for my glucose test tomorrow, and I am irrationally paranoid that I’m going to fail it. I realize there is nothing I can do to ensure that I pass, but I still know I’m going to be disappointed and full of guilt if that sucker comes back positive for GD. I’m also really not looking forward to chugging the horrific flat orange drink I’ve heard so much about, but it is what it is. Slainte!

Bumpdate: 25 weeks!

IMG_7151Only 15(ish) weeks to go! Now that I’m on the downhill slope of this journey, and since I’ve been feeling a bit better, I can’t believe how fast it’s going.

I’m exhausted almost constantly. I either need to take a nap most days, or else I start dozing off around 8:30 pm. I love how some of the pregnancy books and websites recommend putting your head down on your desk at work for 15 minutes, or finding a quiet conference room to take a quick nap in. Where do these people work?? There’s no way that would fly in my office.

My food aversions are decreasing, and I feel like I’ve been eating more “normally” lately. I still can’t eat much at a time, however, so I find myself eating a lot of small snacks during the day and then a slightly bigger (still small compared to pre-pregnancy) dinner. I’m still favoring things like cereal, bagels, fruit (grapes and blueberries, yum!), and chicken (Perdue chicken nuggets with “real” cheddar cheese – horrible for me, but deee-licious!). Chocolate has made a major comeback. I haven’t had any cravings, per se, although there are times when a certain food sounds better than anything else. It’s not the OMG-I-have-to-have-it-now kind of thing that is portrayed in movies, and I haven’t desired anything weird… it’s more like, “A salad from Panera sounds really good today. I think I’ll get one for lunch.” Hubby keeps waiting for me to send him out on some middle of the night run for donuts and pickles. The closest we came to that was the other day when we were having leftover pizza for dinner and I needed to have a glass of Coke to go with it! I don’t even consider that a pregnancy thing – you just HAVE to have Coke with pizza.

My sense of smell is still in overdrive, as expected. Normally I love the smell of carpet powder before vacuuming, but now it literally smells like garbage to me. I was going nuts crawling around the room thinking something had died under the sofa or the cat had gone to the bathroom somewhere, and then I just shoved my nose in the carpet and realized it’s the stupid powder! I made my poor hubby take half-full bags of garbage from the kitchen outside because I swore it was coming from there originally. Oops.

Getting off the couch and out of the car is now a two-step process: sort of shimmy to the edge of the cushion and then push myself up. Even getting up from my desk chair at work requires focus and purposeful movement. I find myself moving a lot slower in general, being careful not to turn too quickly or get up too fast.

The bathroom breaks are still going strong, as expected. I’m waking up a few times a night, which is super fun, and I’m pretty sure I spend more time in the bathroom at work than I do at my desk.

My back hurts, my fingers and toes tingle from time to time, my nose is still bloody every time I blow it, and although my fingers don’t look swollen, I feel like my knuckles have spread because it’s hard to get my rings on and off now.

I feel the baby kicking and moving around almost constantly now. S/he is especially active in the morning at work, after dinner, and again when I lie down for the night in bed. I can see my belly move from the outside now, although it’s hard to catch because it’s still subtle and baby seems to know when I’m watching! Just like when I want to get hubby to feel a kick – suddenly our little acrobat gets really shy and halts all movement.

We’re really starting to get serious about what needs to get done before baby’s arrival. I still don’t like having to be a bystander to most of it, but it is what it is. I know that there are certain things I just can’t do right now, and luckily we have lots of support and offers of help.

Staycation Success

I somehow acquired 21 sick/vacation days at work this year, and I realized there is no way I will be able to use them all before July when I go on maternity leave – they’re giving me five months after the baby’s born, so I won’t be going back until next year and I can only carry over three days. Since hubby had off this week for Spring Break, I figured I might as well take a week and stay home with him and rest. I had grand plans of getting all kinds of stuff done around the house: cleaning out what will be the nursery, cleaning out the spare bedroom that will one day be an office, rearranging the furniture in our room so that I can get in and out of bed more easily, putting a bunch of stuff in the attic, treating the lawn, raking the remaining leaves, buying and putting down mulch, washing the windows and curtains, fixing the broken window screens, etc. I was in way over my head and I should have known it.

It rained on and off all week, so my outside plans were shot. I figured we could still do lots of stuff inside the house, though. What I underestimated was my lack of energy, hubby’s ability to get sick, and our preference for reading and watching movies over actually doing grown up things that need to get done.

I am happy to say that we did do some stuff that makes me feel slightly productive:

  • Put away all of the Christmas boxes in the attic (and in the process we have possibly discovered a new problem up there that needs to be addressed)
  • Washed the windows
  • Cleaned out the washing machine
  • We both got long overdue haircuts
  • We found time to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant that we haven’t been to in probably close to a year
  • Bought concrete caulk to patch some cracks in the steps
  • Bought plumbing tape to install our new shower head
  • Went through hundreds and hundreds of pictures on our hard drive and picked out some to print and frame
  • Narrowed down our laptop choices for hubby
  • Narrowed down our car choices for me
  • Picked out a definite boy baby name, and agreed on some girl choices

I managed to read Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which was a long time coming. It’s been checked out of the library every time I look, but they finally had it on Monday and I read it in one day. It was a little heavy on the TV stuff, but I really enjoyed it. I think she’s hilarious, and it was fun getting to read more about her personal life and how she got her start.

I also read A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I picked this up at a huge used book sale at a nearby library (fill a paper grocery bag for $8!) and although I saw the movie when it came out and thought it was OK, I thought the book was so much better. Isn’t that always the case?

I’ve read about 100 pages of A Million Little Pieces (also snagged at the used book sale) and I think I’m done. I am having a very hard time getting through it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m reading it now, after all the hoopla, and I know that a lot of it (most of it? all of it?) was fabricated, but I just CANNOT get into it. His writing style is horrific – the fact that there are no quotes around the dialog really throws me. I am constantly re-reading sections to make sure that I understand who is saying what to whom. It’s exhausting. I think this one is going to get thrown into my Donate pile and taken over to Goodwill one of these days.

We tried out DVD Express at our grocery store (like Redbox) and watched Big Hero 6The Imitation Game, and Mockingjay. All really good and highly recommended. It’s been a long time since I finished the Hunger Games series, which is probably the only reason I liked the movie – I couldn’t remember if they stuck close to the book or not!

IMG_7143Baby-wise, we are doing well. Hubby felt the baby kick for the first time yesterday and he was thrilled! I’ve felt him/her squirming around in there since week 17, but the kicks and jabs have gotten a lot more frequent and pronounced lately. My nosebleeds are at an all-time high, and I’ve been having what I think are Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple of weeks. At first I thought it was just some kind of cramping or stretching, but I read the definition of BH and realized it fits me to a T. Other than that, I’ve just been really, really tired and uncomfortable. I get cramp-y pretty easily, so I’ve been resting a lot and trying to limit how much walking I do – unfortunately. I had high hopes of being able to go outside for walks like we used to do after work every evening, but the fact that I can’t even walk around the grocery store for long without feeling yucky leads me to believe our walks will have to wait until the fall.

I think I am finally starting to look a little more pregnant instead of just fat. As much as I was not looking forward to getting bigger (and I’m still not, if I’m being honest), I’m anxious for that bump to grow and be more obvious. Thankfully no strangers have yet asked me if I’m pregnant or tried to touch me – I am dreading that day! I think I might put off enough of a Don’t talk to me vibe to avoid it, though.