On Being Pregnant: Week 35

“Holy crap, I feel so pregnant.”

Things were going great.  We had our maternity session recently and I felt like a pregnant goddess.  I had a blue flowy maxi-dress that my husband bought me for my birthday (snaps for his good taste), and another gray toned dress I found at Marshalls for a whopping $16 that made me feel so sexy.  Danny and I had fun loving each other in front of the camera, making each other laugh and doing our best serious face when our photographer asked for it.  Even though he'll never admit it, we seriously have the best time when special occasions come around and we get to have professional pictures taken (aside from choosing clothes... in which case, he grits his teeth and does what I suggest; one of these days we'll have professional pictures taken in gym shorts and he'll be the happiest guy on the planet).

Funny story about scheduling our maternity session:
Back in November, I messaged Charlotte to get details on what it would cost to do a brief session for our second anniversary and Christmas cards.  Literally two days later, I took a positive pregnancy test.  I didn’t respond to her message until after our first doctor’s appointment… about three (LONG) weeks later.  I finally got back with her and basically said, “Haha JK, looks like we’re having a baby!  So now we have some serious saving to do… let’s postpone our anniversary shoot and call it a maternity session in a few months.”  Case in point: God has a funny way of timing things, and she actually wound up being one of the first to find out about our bun in the oven.

She’s seen us in every phase – she took our engagements, our wedding photos, now our maternity pictures… and pretty soon she’ll be there documenting our mini.  We are so thankful to have such a fun and talented person in our lives that doesn’t think we’re too weird to help us photograph it all!  When we booked the maternity shoot, I told her I wanted to be surrounded by flowers and Mother Nature.  We went out to Two Rivers Trail and took pictures one Saturday evening… it was raining that day but the sun came out just in time.  When it came time for an outfit change… she and hubby guarded me with an umbrella and blanket so I could very slowly and clumsily change my dress in the car.  One lucky couple may or may not have seen a free show.  If they did, I’m more embarrassed for them than for myself. 

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About two hours after our pictures… everything changed.  I went from pregnant goddess to pregnant whale.  That night, I swear I could literally feel my hips spread.  My pubic bone started to ache, and it felt like I needed to pop my thigh back into place.  I was up all night doing awkward yoga poses on the side of the bed… I’d prop my leg up and then lunge-squat down the side of it to try and pop or stretch the pain out.  Nothing worked.  My husband woke up a few times and looked at me in a groggy-bewildered way, then nodded in understanding that there's no way he was going to understand.  

The next day, we had a trip to Eureka Springs planned for our “babymoon.”  Exhausted from very little sleep and aching with this new, beached pregnancy feeling, we got in the car and drove more than 3 hours on winding roads through the Ozarks.  It was truly a beautiful drive that I honestly totally loathed.  My husband and I love road trips, but this was no ordinary adventure.  It felt like my baby was sinking into my pelvis, crushing my womanhood.  No matter how I sat, the pain persisted.  Standing up didn't offer relief, either.

The pain in that bone is still no joke.   I feel like I got kicked between the legs with a steel toe.  You don’t realize how often you use those muscles for every day movements until a tiny human in your belly is manipulating your crotch.  Getting in and out of the car is a task.  Changing my sitting position was (read: is still) an ordeal.  It takes more self control than I care to admit to get out of a chair without moaning.  My sweet boy is bearing down hard.  My doctor says it's all just part of this miracle called pregnancy... Ligaments are loosening and getting ready for the big day.

In addition to the new hip and lady part pains… apparently I'm also going blind.  I noticed I’d been having trouble reading subtitles or show descriptions on Netflix for a few weeks… but it wasn’t until we were in Eureka Springs that I realized my vision is becoming a true problem.  We were eating some on point Mexican food in historic downtown at a restaurant called Amigos, when I asked my husband to read a sign for me.  The look on his face said it all.  He couldn’t believe I couldn’t read it.  The rest of the day, he would ask if I could read this, or that over there… and 9 times out of 10, the answer was no.  If the answer wasn’t no, then I was squinting my eyes as hard as I could to make believe that my sight is still totally normal.

So, that’s a new symptom I had to ask my doctor about, too.  Apparently, poor vision is a pregnancy thing because of hormones and extra fluid messing with your lenses.  Sweet.  

It’s amazing how hard pregnancy became in the course of one evening.  I’m not as out of breath as I was a couple weeks ago when baby boy was riding so high – but now the symptoms have shifted and I can tell my body is getting ready for labor.  An exciting thought, but also intimidating.  I look at my big belly and ask how in the world he’s supposed to grow a half-pound each week for the next 5 weeks?  Where in my body will I keep that extra weight?  How can I bare the extra poundage on my hips?  And what about delivery day?  There's so much I don't know about delivery and it takes lots of effort for my anxious mind not to dwell on that.

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My husband and I have upped the term from glow-struggle to “Warrior Status” because it is entirely difficult in every way now (physically, mentally, emotionally).  I’m so thankful for his tender encouragement!  He sees that it’s getting more challenging, and he continues to step up to the plate and pick up the slack where I have to let things go.  He rubs my back without being asked.  He went out and found a bubbling foot bath for the days that the extra weight is too much for my feet.   He cooks dinner most nights.  Sometimes he even has lunch ready when I get home.  He doesn’t judge when I crash on the couch for two hours every afternoon when I get home from work.   He surprised me with a technicolor toilet light to make my frequent middle-of-the-night bathroom trips less of a hazard.  He wakes up with me when my alarm goes off at 3:00 and asks if there’s anything he can do to help make getting ready for work easier.  He patiently listens to my whimpers.  He's talked me down from a panic attack.  My love for him grows with each struggle I face because he is right there every time, waiting to ask: “What can I do?”  I’m thrilled to see his love for me extend to our son!

 

Who-In-The-World-Actually-Says-That Story:
Danny and I were at Kroger the other day getting our week’s worth of groceries.  We’re making our way through produce when a man stocking bananas stops what he’s doing, walks up to my husband and puts up his fist for a fist bump.  Hubby gives him an “Uh, okay sure” look and bumps fists with him.  Then the stranger goes, “Good job my man… You got her lookin’ GOOD!”  Danny nervously laughed while my jaw dropped.  Who the heck walks up to another guy and fist bumps him over the "job" he did on his very pregnant wife (who is literally standing right there, by the way)?!  Danny and I continued awkward-laughing and one of us said, “Um, thank you?”  We walked away and had a moment just staring at one another in an adjacent aisle.  I’ve told Danny stories of weird things people have said to me over the last several months, but this was his first personal encounter.  Dumbfounded is the most appropriate word. 

 

Other noteworthy prego details:

Week 32- we invested in a pregnancy pillow.  The “Snoogle.”  It is worth every dollar we spent.  I can curl up in it and get some back support, or I can spoon the fluff out of it.  With these new pregnancy pains, I don’t think I’d get any sleep without it. 

Also, acid reflux (aka - liquid fire) still likes to sneak up on me.  Zantac 75 has made a pretty big difference but first trimester morning sickness seems to return if I lay down flat for too long.  The Snoogle is great for helping me prop up and still stay comfy… but poses a challenge if I need to get out of bed quickly.  Come to think of it though, getting out of bed would still be a slow process with or without it these days. 

Week 33 is the week my belly button started to pop!  It's not a total out-y yet, but it is certainly visible in shirts now.  I can appreciate that detail as I’ve always thought it’s a cute addition to baby bumps on any expectant mama. 

Contractions are an obvious and real thing now, too.  Before, I only really noticed them when I engaged my core muscles by laying back or sitting up.  Now… my belly goes as hard as a basketball in the middle of the grocery store!  It’s super strange.  We were in Walmart when I just froze in the middle of the aisle because my belly was so tense.  My best crunch in my athletic days never felt like that.  My husband poked my belly and his eyebrows shot up to his hairline.  Thankfully, these contractions don’t hurt.  They’re just uncomfortable.  It’s like walking around and planking at the same time.  They occur about every 45 minutes right now.

Chewing ice is definitely still a thing.  It makes me pee even more than usual, but that cold refreshing crunch is so addicting.  Pretty sure I empty out the ice machine at work every single morning. 

Also, I'm getting more and more annoyed each time I hear: "Get sleep now because when the baby gets here, you won't sleep at all!"  If you ask me, whoever made that phrase up has probably never been pregnant.  Even if I didn't have to wake up at 3 a.m., a whole night of sleep is still just a dream to me (no pun intended).  The number of times I wake up to go to the bathroom throughout the night is unreal.  Sometimes, it's not a bathroom trip.  My son will randomly decide it's time to do some stretching or he'll get the hiccups... Every movement bumps me awake.  If it's not one of those reasons, it's usually that lovely crotch pain waking me up because I rolled over and had to engage my legs and hips.  Or it's because I'm swimming in pillows to get comfortable.

Speaking of baby movements, they're different now.  August doesn't have room to kick and jab me anymore.  Now I can feel his knees and elbows rubbing against my belly like he's trying to make more room.  It's pretty amazing because I can touch my stomach at any point and feel some part of him.  I can feel movements even lower than before, too.  I'm pretty sure I'm feeling little hands and fingers because it tickles more than it startles me.  I treasure every little motion I can feel.  This life inside of me seriously blows me away still.  I'm so, so thankful to have been selected to be this little boy's mother and to grow and nurture him into this world.  I pray every day that I'm doing a good job and that he'll be healthy and happy.  

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August -  I'm so excited to learn about who you are as a person.  I've been spending more time driving with you, taking the scenic route home from work so I can introduce you to good tunes in the car.  I love feeling you roll and move to the music when I'm singing to you.  You seem to dance the most to the song "Home" by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.  Your dad isn't crazy about my taste in music, but I think it'll grow on him when he sees that it makes you happy.  We're excited to see your precious face and get to know you on the outside.  We love you more than we can express and are anxiously awaiting your arrival!