How far along? Thirty weeks. Oh man. We need to get organized.
Vital stats? I should have had some new information for this week, but I had to reschedule my midwife appointment. So I don’t have anything official to report. I have to assume that all is well.
How am I feeling physically? Hanging in there. I had a nice mental boost from all the nursing staff at the hospital where my Dad is when I was visiting this week as they all commented on how good I look and how well I’m carrying. I still feel rather massive, but people keep telling me I’m not. I’ve started sleeping with an extra pillow in bed- just the one tucked under my belly for a bit more support. That has definitely helped with the niggling aches and pains that were starting up. I’m also having more trouble with my ankles and lower legs swelling up. I have to be careful about how much I drink during the day and how much time I spend on my feet (I wasn’t good about either while at the hospital and it really showed).
If I walk somewhere quickly, I tend to get ripping pains across my lower abdomen, which I don’t remember from E.’s pregnancy. They’re not at all pleasant and they force me to slow down. I am trying to remember to leave more time when going somewhere, but sometimes I forget and plan according to my usual speed.
But, like I say to anyone who asks, I can’t complain. It’s been another straightforward pregnancy for me, at least physically, and I’m grateful to be feeling so well as we start to enter the home stretch.
How am I feeling emotionally? Hanging by a thread. What I want, more than anything else right now, is a day where I can stay in bed, read a comfort book and cry and cry and cry. I feel like I don’t have the time to cry as much as I need or want to. I’m in the middle of the end of semester craziness (which equates to marking, exams, more marking, uploading grades, etc. etc.) and I have this online course I’m teaching over the summer that I have yet to even begin to plan. I am stretched too thin right now, and it means I can’t see where on earth I could take some time for myself. Q. is at a conference all day today and then has his exam tomorrow afternoon, so I can’t ask him to give me a break (nor would I want to given I just got back last night and I want to catch up and spend time with E., who also missed me and is also grieving).
I am not making room to grieve any of it- not my cat, not my fears about my father and stepfather, not the loss of all the future things I expected I would get to do with my Dad (or that E. and P. would get to do with their Grandpa). Occasionally things boil over (usually on the train) and I do weep for a bit but then I shove it all down and go back to functioning, because I have to. I’m the adult. I have to keep holding it together. There’s nothing more I can ask of Q.- he’s already taken over virtually everything to do with the house (cleaning, cooking, etc.). All I have to do is be pregnant, be E.’s mum, be a good contract lecturer, and somehow function in the middle of these many family crises. But it’s still too much. The weather is not helping. We had a fairly mild winter but April has yet to show any signs of spring. Q. had to shovel last Monday because we had 10 cm of snow overnight, and it is currently well below zero out there, which is just absurd.
As for the baby, I either feel fear that s/he will die during labour (or before) or dread that s/he won’t die and then we’ll have everything else happening as well as a baby. I keep finding myself looking at parts of our life, like our morning routine before school, and thinking, “This works so well! This is usually not stressful. We have time to get everything done. Where the FUCK are we going to fit in the baby?” I know these are not new fears for second-time parents and I also know we will eventually figure things out and find a new normal after an extended period of chaos. And I know it will get easier. But right now I’m utterly terrified.
Oh and then there’s the guilt, because I am not exactly providing an ideal uterine environment right now, nor am I particularly excited about the prospect of this baby arriving. I am sure I will love the baby when s/he gets here, but right now I am just relieved s/he is in there and not causing any problems.
Movement? Anything and everything. This baby loves to do a full body wriggle that causes my whole stomach to jump. E. saw it happen this morning, which was awesome. S/he is also fond of pushing up against my ribs with what must be feet, which is starting to get quite uncomfortable. Doesn’t stop him/her from also pressing on my bladder, especially if I’ve just got on a bus or in a car. The baby is also big enough that I can easily find a bum/back any time I look and sometimes s/he sticks that out as well, so I’ll get this hard bulge on one side or the other. I am grateful for the consistent movement, both because it helps with the anxiety and because it lets me take a moment to connect with the baby.
How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? Last time, at thirty weeks, I said this:
I still feel quite huge and ungainly, but doing things doesn’t appear to be as much of a struggle. Maybe I’m just getting used to the bulk. I was up at the uni the other day and three of the secretaries made a point of coming to find me to tell me how great I looked and how they couldn’t believe I was in the third trimester because I looked so tiny, so I guess it is just a matter of perspective. I really do think my height is helping keep bub from sticking out too much. That said, the belly button is now a borderline official outie.
The thing is, I was tiny last time around- at my 29 week appointment, I was measuring at 28.5 cm, so a touch behind, as opposed to this time when I was measuring (at least at the last appointment) 2 cm ahead. The exact same thing has happened with my belly button though- the top part is an outie and the bottom part is just flat.
Bub is pretty busy these days, and has definite movement patterns. On Saturday morning we’d set an alarm (I think by accident) and it startled bub awake. This was the first time I was certain s/he was reacting to an outside noise. It was so funny- all of a sudden there was this flurry of activity…and then bub ended up with the hiccups.
This baby reacts a lot now to outside noises and gets the occasional bout of hiccups. Not as frequently as E. did.
Other than that, E.’s pregnancy is starting to sound quite different. I was just enjoying being pregnant at this stage and was sad that I only had about three more weeks of my prenatal exercise classes (as opposed to this time around where at one point I intended to go to yoga and then just never did).
On my mind? There are new recommendations (in the U.S. but not quite yet adapted in Canada) that pregnant women should get the Tdap vaccine during their third trimester (and before they hit 35-36 weeks) because this has been shown to help protect newborns from pertussis (whooping cough) before they are old enough to be vaccinated. I need to schedule an appointment with my GP because that’s not something my midwife can do, but I wanted to just double check with my midwife first. Q. should get one too if he’s due for a booster- we need to check. And I could ask anyone who is likely to have a significant amount of contact with the baby, which probably means my two sisters and maybe my mother, but I want to see what my GP and midwife think before saying anything to them.
I also want to make time to get my hair cut as my maternity photos (which at this rate may have snow in them instead of the lovely spring leaves I was hoping for) are coming up at the end of the month. And Q. and I need to get organized for our conference in early May, to which we may or may not be bringing E. (depends on how my stepfather is doing and whether my Mum thinks she can manage having E. there too. I know she WANTS to be able to manage but that’s not the same thing). I think we’re just going to book our accommodation assuming that we need to have E. with us and then if he is ok to go visit Grannie we can have a bonus couple of days child-free. We’re certainly not getting away otherwise before the baby is born.
We’re trying to buy a car too, but we need E.’s new narrow forward facing/booster seat first because there’s no point in going to a dealer to discover our current seats won’t fit, because I’m already 99% positive that they won’t. This seat is apparently out of stock everywhere, but I’ve ordered directly from the company and their representative assures me that the seats are in the port in B.C. and they just need final clearance from customs before they can get them in the warehouse (and then ship ours directly to our house). I’m sure it will get sorted out soon, but it would be great if we could buy a car before the conference as then we can avoid the cost of the rental vehicle. But if we can’t buy it until later in May, we’ll survive. We have a meeting with the bank tomorrow morning to see if setting up a home equity line of credit to finance the purchase (as opposed to dealer financing) makes good sense. We should have our financials ducks in a row at least before we go to see any cars. And if the seats fit, we’re pretty set on what we want to buy (assuming we like driving it). If they don’t fit, we have one more clear option and then we probably have to rethink our whole approach which will slow everything down.
Best moment? Probably having the baby bounce around while I was having a great chat with my Dad. The last time I saw him he was communicating through blinking (and not doing that at all well because he was also fighting pneumonia, recovering from surgery, and souped up on medications). He’s now mastered speaking on the ventilator, so we spent most of my visit getting properly caught up. We had some good conversations and some hard ones, and I can’t say I left feeling reassured, but I’m so glad we had that chance to connect.
Other stuff? My appointment with the psychiatrist is on Monday, so I’ll have a chance to try to process some of what I’m feeling. I’ve rescheduled my appointment with my midwife for Wednesday and I’m now into appointments every two weeks, so I’ll see my backup midwife the following week as well. And if I’m supposed to have one more ultrasound scan to check growth, I guess that would be coming up soon. I am being well looked after.