How far along? Twenty-seven weeks (plus one day because I did not get this finished yesterday). Third trimester, in many books. WHEN did that happen??
Vital stats? I had a follow-up ultrasound at 25w5d and baby was in the 64th percentile and estimated to weigh two pounds. S/he would be bigger now. According to a random search on Google, s/he would have a 90% chance of surviving if born now, but obviously we would all prefer that s/he stay in there until June. Baby’s heartbeat was 148 at my midwife appointment on the 8th and s/he was still head down. My blood pressure was a bit higher for me, at 98/62, but it was still fine. I am assuming I passed my gestational diabetes test because they didn’t call, and they said they get the results within a week, so that is good news. The really good news is that the right kidney was bigger than they would expect it to be at the scan, which means that it is growing to compensate for the missing one, just like we hoped it would.
And here is Phaselus, at 25w5d. I’m so glad the tech printed this photo as we really haven’t had a nice profile shot yet- P.’s always been looking right at us or had his/her mouth open:
How am I looking? SO pregnant. I FINALLY got round to taking a belly pic and by total coincidence I had one from E’s pregnancy that was within a day of where I am now, and there is a big difference. I’m also carrying much higher and more out in front (I think- it’s a little hard to tell because I’m not wearing an identical shirt).
This is me, with E., at 26w4d:
And here I am with this pregnancy, at 26w5d (on a slightly weird angle because E. took the picture from on top of my bed):
The critical difference in comparison is just how much my belly has gone past my boobs, because I’m wearing the same bras I was wearing when pregnant with E., so I think they’re comparable in size.
How am I feeling physically? I still feel generally well. I don’t have a lot of complaints. But I am really, really starting to run out of energy. I’m sure part of this is not pregnancy-related (see my answer to the next section), but I do find that if I have a big burst of activity I feel like I want to lie down afterwards. Yesterday I did all the laundry and vacuumed the house (which is typical for a Saturday morning) and then spent the afternoon in a total haze until I grabbed forty-five minutes to lie down while E. was out playing with a friend.
I can tell that I am carrying more weight around. Things are harder to do and I’ve started to occasionally bump into things with my belly. My hips and back get sore when I walk. The biggest (and most annoying) change is that lately if I’ve been walking somewhere relatively quickly I get ripping pains across my lower abdomen. They’re really uncomfortable and I have to stop and then wait for them to subside before I can continue walking, much more slowly. I’m not sure what’s causing it, and it’s obviously a sign from my body telling me to slow down, but it’s irritating because walking is the one real form of exercise I get.
I also get more Braxton-Hicks than I did with E., but my midwife warned me this was very normal. They’re not painful, just uncomfortable and a bit odd. But they’re useful in terms of determining how high my uterus has grown!
My appetite isn’t very predictable. I struggle with eating dinner, which is hard because Q. has taken on the lion’s share of the cooking and he’s working really hard to make me nice things that I’ll want to eat. I just don’t have much of an appetite by the end of the day, so we keep ending up with heaps of leftovers because I’m eating maybe a third of what I would normally eat. I also need to crack down a bit on sugar as I’ve been relying a lot on baked treats to get me through the day up at the university, which is both expensive and unhealthy. The baby still wants to eat steak, avocado, sour cream, and fruit, and could do without pretty much everything else (other than baked goods, which apparently are always a good idea). I’m eating Shredded Wheat at breakfast almost every day just to try to keep my digestion moving along as it’s also struggling (again, probably not helped by all the processed white flour).
But, like I started with, in general I feel healthy and well and this pregnancy, at least physically, has thus far been as easy as E’s was.
How am I feeling emotionally? I still have no idea how to answer this question. I think I am doing about as well as can be expected, considering both my father and stepfather are currently in the hospital. I have two weeks left in the semester, and I’m just trying to get through, one day at a time. I feel numb or exhausted most of the time, but I’m feeling better than I was last week when my stepfather was in hospital but hadn’t yet had his surgery.
I am trying to take a bit of time every day to just enjoy being pregnant, because I know this is the last time I will ever be carrying a baby. But I’m not going to lie- it’s hard. I have so many other things weighing on my mind that when I do steal a moment to sit down and put my feet up, I’m more likely to start worrying about my father or my stepfather or my mother.
I am making time to read, usually when I’m commuting, as I’m too tired to read at night. I’ve had a biography of London Fog on my hold list for ages and it finally came in a bit over a week ago. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m going to have to return it, put it back on hold, and then suspend the hold until I’m out of semester and maybe in a stronger frame of mind. It requires a certain level of concentration which I’m just not capable of at this point. I’m really disappointed about this, as I’ve been looking forward to reading it for months, but right now I just cannot do it justice.
Movement? I’m just about at the stage where the midwives want me doing kick counts (six in two hours) if the baby goes suspiciously quiet for too long. It’s now very obvious when Phaselus is sleeping as if s/he wakes up, I feel all the wiggles and squiggles and squirms, even with the anterior placenta. The kicks and punches are quite powerful. Last night I was getting punched in the cervix at dinner and the feeling was uncomfortable enough to make it hard to eat. Q. gets some good big kicks most nights before bed. E. has had his hand on my belly while the baby was kicking and claims to have felt it. I am more excited about this than he is- he tells me that “it’s so boring” to put his hand there. One thing I haven’t felt yet are hiccups, which I noticed E. having for the first time at 26 weeks. E. had them almost every day towards the end of the pregnancy, and it’s one of my favourite memories, so I hope this baby follows suit.
The other interesting thing is the baby can obviously hear sounds outside the womb and now reacts to them. I woke up early last Thursday. P. was clearly asleep and then Q.’s alarm went off and s/he started kicking and flailing around- obviously the alarm had startled the baby awake. I took E. to the theatre to see a play last week as well as it was his March Break, and the baby was kicking and moving the entire time (and then took a huge nap once it was over).
I still don’t notice much movement when I’m busy, but as soon as I take the time to sit and concentrate, either s/he wakes up, or I’m just more aware of it. The baby has occasionally had a big dance party while I’m lecturing, which is somewhat disconcerting, but I’ve managed to keep my concentration.
How does it compare with E.’s pregnancy? I had a massive cold at this point in the pregnancy last time around, but otherwise my main physical complaint was this:
This week the pain in my right hip has started to become more noticeable. It’s not serious- more of a minor niggle, and an awareness that the muscle/joint is not happy. I am positive it’s related to sleeping, as I sleep exclusively on my right side.
I started sleeping with pillows for support soon after and the pain disappeared entirely. I don’t feel like I’m at that stage yet, as my hips get sore when I spend a lot of time on my feet but not from sleeping. But I bet I’m getting close.
We still haven’t done anything to get the nursery ready.
Hurray! I was procrastinating equally as much last time, and it was all done before E. arrived. Q. had to paint last time too, so there was more to be done. Clearly the women on my birth clubs just like to do things well in advance.
And this about movement:
I’m definitely at the point now where I would worry if I hadn’t felt movement all day. I’m not doing kick counts yet, but I’m more aware of the baby’s usual active periods, and I try to make sure to pay attention at least a couple of times a day to what’s going on down there.
That’s the same. This baby has very similar active periods to E., and I know I’d fret if suddenly s/he went quiet.
On my mind? Cars. Q. has stepped up to the plate and has started to do some research on car safety. I keep having women tell me it’s impossible to fit two car seats and an adult in the backseat of any vehicle, but I just had a mum on a facebook group the other day tell me that she’s able to do it in a Toyota Yaris using the seats I’m thinking about purchasing. I think our plan is to take our current seats with us in April to a dealer and just start fiddling with them. If they’re obviously impossible, but we can see how it will work with slimmer seats, then we can go from there. We might get the slimmer seat for E. anyway (the Harmony Defender) as it’s not expensive and we might then be able to use E.’s current seat as the rear-facing convertible for the baby, which would be much cheaper than buying the slimmer convertible (the Clek Fllo) for the baby. Plus the Harmony Defender converts to a booster in time, so E. would get years of use out of it. I feel like he’s ready for a more grownup seat in terms of structure, even though I plan to keep him in the five point harness for a long time yet (and the Harmony Defender allows them to stay harnessed until, I think, 65 lb).
I’m also getting a bit twitchy about the fact that we haven’t yet done anything to get prepped for the baby. I can’t do anything about this until semester is over, but I think once we hit April I’m going to take an hour every day just to work on taking apart my study and purging what I don’t need to keep so we’ll be in a position to rearrange. I’ve mentally moved furniture around our house quite a lot by now, and I think I’ve figured out how to place two of the three bookshelves in my study, but that still means I need to do some purging of books from both downstairs and from my own collection. I find purging books so difficult, but we’re maxed out for room. And, if I’m honest, I have plenty of books on my shelves that I will never read again (or will never read) that I’m keeping just because I find it comforting to have them around. I need to be ruthless.
I need to try to track down a bassinet stand as friends lent us a bassinet, but they didn’t have a stand. I’d like to use that in our room instead of the full crib, at least for the first couple of months, as I can fit that beside my side of the bed and then I won’t have to get out of bed to check on the baby.
I still have lots of time, but I can feel that June is going to come very quickly. I also think I’m just mentally starting to need to think about getting ready. I’ve spent so much of this pregnancy ignoring the reality that we’re going to have a baby in this house come June, and I think mentally I’ve realized it’s time to start coming to grips with this.
Best moment? Feeling the baby be startled awake by the alarm. I love that P. can now react to what’s happening in the outside world because it reminds me that s/he is learning to recognize Q. and E.’s voices. The scan at 25w5d was also a big moment because I was reassured, yet again, that this baby is doing just fine, and that this is still a normal pregnancy. And not pregnancy-related, I had a simply wonderful day with E. on Thursday. We went to watch a play, which was a resounding success both in terms of E’s interest and his behaviour, and then we wandered over to the market building for lunch. I was reading out the pizza and pasta options when E. pointed to some raw fish on ice at the fishmonger across the way and said, “Let’s have fish!” So we found a fish and chips place, ordered haddock and chips, and sat up on stools sharing our lunch (they gave us three large pieces of fish and E. devoured two of them). Then we went and found a bakery and ordered dessert (E. had a vanilla macaroon and I had a lavender shortbread), visited a cheese shop and bought cheese for all (three-year-old cheddar for E., smoked Jarlsberg for Q., and brie for me), and rode transit home. In the afternoon he helped me take bump pics and we read a bunch of books together (E. has recently cracked the idea of reading and is very keen on it, which I think is amazing). It was just a wonderful day. He is such good company right now.
Other stuff? I see my endocrinologist on Monday so will know if my TSH is behaving itself. I finally completed the booking process for our maternity and newborn photography sessions. The photographer has been extremely patient- I started the process before my father’s accident and have spent much of the last few weeks not returning emails within any normal length of time and then fussing over details of the contract. But I think it’s all sorted out now and once semester is over I’ll have a bit of time to think about what we should all wear to the maternity shoot. It’s going to be at the end of April, so it’s very hard to predict what the weather will be doing. I am spending an obscene amount of money on these, but I don’t care. I regret so much that I never did them with E., and I love this photographer’s work, so I’m hoping they’re going to be worth every penny.