First, a few fun stats:
Weight Gain: 28 lbs / 13 kgs (from 142 to 170)
Cravings: Ice cold water, orange juice, milk.
Belly Button: Beginning to do strange things. It sticks out more on my right and you can sometimes see it through my clothes, especially if V is directly underneath.
Also Strange: So increased is my blood volume, I can ‘draw’ white patterns on my belly with my fingernail…
Daily Symptoms: Chronic constipation, carpal tunnel syndrome (sore knuckles, swollen hands and feet), a feeling of pressure in my chest when I lie down*, breathlessness and fatigue**, and acid reflux. I have to eat in small amounts (and therefore more frequently) else I end up vomiting in my mouth. Mmm, lovely… And now I need to pee all. the. time. (Why can’t my two lavatory functions balance each other out?? COME ON!)
Thankfully Avoided So Far: Bleeding, cramping (not even Braxton Hicks), stretchmarks, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and placenta accreta***.
Thoughts on the Third Trimester: It’s hard work. Much harder than I thought it would be — and it’s kicking my arse in this San Diego heatwave! I can definitely understand why a lot of women complain about feeling uncomfortable at this point, but I’m taking the discomforts in my
stridewaddle. I’m fascinated by the changes in my body and just love feeling this baby move. Pregnancy may be hard work, but it’s a privilege to have made it to this point.
Baby V: She is still incredibly active! We usually get to 10 kicks in 2-6 minutes. I often feel something the size of my thumb tip moving around, and my surmise is that it’s a heel. The only thing possibly as cute are her hiccups. Tiny, rhythmic taps that now make my belly visibly twitch.
* I was worried this pressure was in my aorta, but Dr. D says this is pressure on the valve where my stomach and oesophagus meet. The valve (which lies right on top of the aorta, which is why I perceived it to be my aorta) is opened by the size of baby and lack of gravity, causing the acid reflux I’ve grown oh-so-fond of.
** I remind myself I haven’t been able to exercise in months, and I am now lugging around the equivalent of a well-packed suitcase in weight…
*** I’ve had enough ultrasounds on my placenta to rule out Placenta Accreta — where the placenta embeds beyond the womb lining, which makes it difficult to remove at delivery, which can result in hysterectomy. My relief is palpable!
I had my fortnightly appointment with my OB this morning. As usual, Dr. D was very pleased with our progress. Fundal height is right on track, fetal heart rate was good, and, amazingly, I haven’t had any bleeding or cramping. The fact that I’ve made it to 32 weeks without any major issues has been incredibly healing for me. I have learned to trust in it again, and I’ve been enjoying being pregnant for about a month. So much so, in fact, that now my worries are more about after V becomes an outside baby. At least tucked up inside me she’s safe. I think my body is good at being pregnant. (Well, anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!)
As expected, we discussed a date for the caesarean. Dr. D performs them on Tuesdays, Wednesday mornings, and Fridays (UCSD is San Diego’s only teaching hospital), so DH and I agreed that a Friday would be better for us. He is self-employed, which means he doesn’t get paid paternity leave, so a Friday means he could spend all his time at the hospital. Dr. D said that wasn’t a problem, so…
… at 37 weeks and 1 day, sometime on Friday October 24th, Baby V will enter this world.
That’s five weeks tomorrow!! Lemme tell you. Things just got Very Real Indeed. I have so much to do!
I have to:
- finish our registry
- decide which diapers we will use (so far I’m leaning towards the Bambo Nature, but they are a bit more expensive)
- find a diaper bag that
- doesn’t have a twee pattern
- isn’t brown / orange / yellow / lime green
- isn’t blinged out with loads of unnecessary hardware or Disney logos
- has insulated bottle pockets
- isn’t cheap looking
- and doesn’t cost $200 or more
- Does such a thing exist?
- respond to hundreds of emails (if not now, when?)
- finish unpacking and organising our new place
- finish a large writing project
- tie up loose ends for my main graphic / web design gig
- update my portfolio site
- pack our hospital bag
- launder baby clothing and crib sheets
- research how to introduce a nervous dog to a new permanent member of the family
- confirm a middle name for baby
- see if we can donate cord blood given that this is a donor egg pregnancy
It’s a little overwhelming!
My best friend came to visit for a week while DH was in North Carolina for his sister’s wedding. Given that bending over is difficult, lugging groceries unadvised, and pretty much everyone I know in San Diego was going to be there, DH and I decided it was important I have someone to keep me company and help me when I needed someone’s help. She was awesome — a fine aunt in the making!
And we took lots of photos. Here’s my favourite one of me — my huge tits (now a D or DD) are dwarfed by my ever-expanding belly!:
I was so happy that my BFF got to meet “Viva” (her nickname for the baby) before she was born! Crazy to think the next time I see her I will have a little one.
The countdown has officially begun!