25 weeks!

How far along? Twenty-five weeks.

Vital stats? 106 days to my due date. And we hit viability last week. I told Q. it was viability day and he looked right at my belly and said sternly, “You stay in there!” The baby is somewhere around 13.5 inches long and weighs around 1.5 or 1.75 lb. The size of an acorn squash according to one website (these food measurements really are not remotely helpful). I weighed myself at 24 weeks for the first time in a month and I had gained 15 lb, so am on track for a weight gain of around 30 lb. Little bit higher than with E., but whatever- it’s well within the ‘expected’ range.

How am I looking? Massive? Probably not. I just feel huge all of a sudden. I think I am carrying high again like I did with E. and there is a lot of belly out front. I really need to take a bump pic this weekend- I meant to last weekend and we just didn’t get around to it. My winter coat does not have a lot of space left in it, but I am hoping to get through to the end with it- come on spring! All my maternity clothes fit well.

How am I feeling physically? Better now that I have FINALLY emerged victorious over the cold-that-became-a-miserable-sinus-infection. That took ages to clear- it was sitting over a bowl of steaming hot water with a towel on my head, three times a day, for three days in a row, that finally was the deciding factor. I’m still not 100% but I no longer feel sick and I’m no longer going through what feels like a box of kleenex every day.

So something completely changed between 23 and 24 weeks. I don’t know if it was coming back to my work routine from the week I spent sitting around in the hospital, but starting last week it became WORK to be pregnant. I’m more conscious of carrying around the belly. Getting up is harder. Staying on my feet for a long time is harder. I feel well, but I am just much more fatigued than I remember being with E. I’m sure several factors are causing this: 1. I’m five years older. 2. I’m unfit and not exercising much beyond lots of walking. 3. I have E. and even though he’s at school it’s much harder to lie down and put my feet up the second time around. 4. I’m teaching three courses rather than TAing in one course, so my workload is heavier and I spend more time on my feet lecturing. But I don’t have any serious complaints.

I am also much, much slower than I used to be. When I walk (at top speed) to the station after dropping E. at school, I’m now passed by people. Usually I’m passing almost everyone as I’m a really fast walker.

How am I feeling emotionally? Starting to get a bit of the second-time guilt. It’s not that I forget that I’m pregnant, but I have huge chunks of the day where I don’t think about the baby at all, and then s/he will settle down into kicking the living daylights out of me and I’ll be reminded that s/he’s in there. The baby’s nursery is my study at the moment and we have made absolutely no effort to get it ready (and won’t until semester is over). I haven’t dug out any clothes. I’m not nesting. A lot of the women on my birth club are in full-scale nesting mode and the ones who aren’t are panicking, but I know we’ll get everything ready in time.

I ran into a work friend yesterday and she was asking me about the baby and whether I was excited. She didn’t know what had happened to my Dad, so I filled her in on that. I feel like this baby doesn’t get much attention from me right now because all of my extra energy goes into thinking/worrying about my Dad. The good news is I’m really not worried about the kidney issue. I do have all the usual second-time worries: will I love this baby as much as E.? How will E. adjust? How will we adjust? Was this a crazy thing to do?

I’m so glad to be pregnant again. The whole mess with my Dad has made me realize (again) just how much I love my sisters and how glad I am that we have each other as we try to navigate through our new reality and support our Dad as much as we can. Even though I know that E. and this baby will probably not be great playmates, and may not be close for a long time (if ever) because of the age gap, there is a big part of me that is just relieved there will be two of them in case anything horrible should ever happen down the line.

I ended up seeing a psychiatrist at the program- she had a last minute cancellation so I was able to sneak in. She was quite helpful and reassuring. She started out thinking I might be ok just seeing someone on an occasional basis but once we talked everything through and I said that I didn’t know how to manage things because if I worry about my Dad I worry I’m stressing the baby, she decided that I should have a standard counsellor and regular meetings. So now I’m in a waiting game again for one of them to call me. If I had an acute need to talk to someone I could see her again, but I’m not at that stage right now.

Movement? Lots and lots now. The kicks are big enough to make my belly jump around. Phaselus definitely has patterns of movement and the baby dance party at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. has continued. We were watching a film last night (James Bond- Spectre) and the baby kicked for almost the entire movie. My clingy cat was on my lap and she was clearly determined to ignore the bumping and jumping that was going on to one side. The baby is also terribly sneaky. S/he will kick and kick and kick and then the moment Q. or E. puts his hand on my belly, everything goes silent. E. still hasn’t had a chance to feel the baby yet, although we’ve tried a couple of times. I appreciate all the kicks, although the punches to the cervix aren’t that comfortable. Every bit of movement is reassuring though.

How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? Last time I had this to say at 25 weeks:

Q. has noticed that he has to slow his walking pace down- I hadn’t realized that I was that much slower than normal, but it’s a significant change. Bending over is definitely getting harder. And even though I’m starving all the time, I can’t seem to fit much food into my stomach- a normal-sized meal (pre-pregnancy) now leaves me absolutely stuffed to the gills and feeling a bit ill.

So that’s interesting that I slowed down at exactly the same point. Apparently I started feeling like things were getting tougher at 24 weeks, which is EXACTLY the same as this time. I am so glad I kept those records of E’s pregnancy- it’s so interesting to compare!

The food thing is the same as well, although I’m not really hungry that often- I just get full really fast. I eat maybe 1/3rd of what I would usually eat at dinner and just eat more snacks during the day. The baby has pretty much eased off cravings (although s/he still loves avocados, steak and fruit).

About movement, I said this:

Bub is really getting strong- even Q. has noticed the difference in the kicks he can feel. It’s nice to get some daily reassurance that there is someone in there- I can pretty much guarantee I’ll get movement when I roll onto my right side in preparation for falling asleep. It’s a nice way to end the day.

Q. has again noticed a difference in the strength of the kicks (at least the few he’s been lucky enough to get from his uncooperative unborn offspring), and I certainly have. Interesting that this baby wiggles around at exactly the same time of night that E. did.

On my mind? I accepted the postdoc and deferred it at the same time, so I can make that final decision later. My prospective supervisor was very supportive (and already knew I was pregnant because my PhD supervisor has a big mouth). Q. and I found out that our papers were accepted for our association’s annual conference in May, so we’ve been talking about the logistics of that. E. is going to hang out with my mum and stepfather, so it’s a question of whether we take the train or drive. I’ll also be hugely pregnant by then, so if anything is worrying I will pull the paper and won’t go. But I hope I can go- it’s where Q. and I got engaged, so the city has a special place in our hearts, and the conference that was there in 2010 was amazing.

Sleep? Sleep has been ok the last couple of weeks. I think I am too tired from work and worry to fight it, although sometimes it takes longer than I would like to fall asleep. I have a hard time shutting down my brain with my Dad’s situation- I tend to go to sleep thinking about issues and then wake up thinking about them again. But I am sleeping well and not waking up in the night, which is much better than how I was going last time around where at this stage I was up all the time at 4:30 a.m. and often couldn’t get back to sleep.

Best moment? Hitting 24 weeks and viability. Having the baby party through the entire film last night. Learning that my Dad is progressing much faster than anyone in the ICU expected him to and is making huge strides with learning to talk on the ventilator. He is a fighter and I am so proud of him.

Other stuff? This coming week is full of appointments. I have a meeting with a paediatric nephrologist on Monday, my first meeting with my backup midwife (including the gestational diabetes test) on Tuesday, and the next round of scans and consults at the hospital where I’ll deliver on Thursday. I will be happy to see the baby again, and will be glad to get the gestational diabetes test out of the way, but I am losing almost all my prep time to appointments, and I really really need the prep time. I’ve cannibalized as many lectures as I can from my friend, but I still have a few to write from scratch and there’s the small matter of the research seminar I’m meant to give on the 17th… I am taking it one day at a time, trying not to panic, and promising myself I will get it all done eventually.

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Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Week-by-week

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