Thursday, November 8, 2012

38 Weeks & Feeling Fantastic!

Well...maybe fantastic isn't exactly the best way to describe it. In no way do I feel normal.

Yoga class has been embarrassing these days. My stomach gets in the way of the poses, and I frequently need to pick up my legs and move them because my ligaments will not allow any further stretching to get me into the proper pose. It is pretty hysterical how off balance I am compared to just a few weeks earlier.

In addition, most of my walking has been in the form of running errands, but at this week's doctor appointment I was feeling adventurous and took the stairs. After climbing to the top of the building, I realized I went too far and was so exhausted (FYI the building is only 4 stories high) I had to take the elevator down to the correct floor. Laughing at both my pregnancy brain for not remembering how to count, as well as my lack of stamina, I calmed my breathing as much as possible, wiped the sweat from my forehead, and went to my appointment with a smile on my face.

My swim gear has gone from a modest one piece suit to a wrestling singlet. My belly is covered properly, but the top half of my torso is less than appropriate. No more swimming for me! 

I guess I'm feeling fantastic because I can appreciate this time I have, fleeting as it may be. Even though I'm not all that mobile, I've been extremely productive (all things considered), and the nursery being put together has put my mind at ease. I am beginning to feel like all the loose ends are tied up, so now I can focus on what is really important: watching Gossip Girl on Netflix.

How do I feel?
Great! Here are a few unexpected pregnancy symptoms that should be noted to go with the other more common side effects:

  • Skin Tags - So gross, and so normal for pregnant women. I've been cutting them off with nail clippers when they appear...don't tell my dermatologist.
  • Bloody Nose - I started using the humidifier, have been putting Vaseline in my nose, and use saline drops. Maybe at least one of these treatments is working.
  • Blurred Vision - Not sure if it's safe for me to drive at night any more.
  • Pregnancy Brain! - So bad! Last night I left my purse in Jeff's car (when I made him take me to get ice cream), causing me to spend 20 minutes of my morning driving around a parking garage looking for his car and my purse. 
  • Intense Itching - I promise I haven't ingested any illegal substances, but I have had severe itching on my back that sometimes drives me crazy. It's the kind of itch that scratching cannot satisfy. It feels like something is bubbling under my skin, and NOTHING can make it go away. A coworker told me she had the same thing happen during her pregnancy, and she says it's likely just a hormonal thing.
  • Nesting - I have been sanitizing, deodorzing, and organizing like crazy.
  • Ripping Seams - You know you are ready to burst when you hear a slight ripping in the seams of your maternity clothes. This morning I walked out of my office and my coworker said, "Pull your pants up." My belly was hanging out the bottom of my maternity shirt. Classy is my middle name.

Weight gain?

Food cravings?
Anything containing calcium: cheese, whole milk, ice cream, eggnog (which I usually hate, but love right now), and so forth. I read an article at the doctor's office yesterday (while I was waiting for him to deliver a baby - how do these OBs function with so much to do in a day?) that explained this phenomenon. Apparently, later in pregnancy babies are taking in more calcium from the mother to help with bone growth. Often, this means they steal calcium from the mother's bones if there is not enough in her diet to aid in this process. My craving dairy products makes a lot of sense given these facts. My body is asking for calcium rich foods to protect my bones, and to help baby grow stronger.

Food aversions?
Spicy foods cause intense heartburn, but it just means I can eat ice cream to ease the pain.  

I'm still waking up at 3:00 every morning, but now it's because I'm having hot flashes. I'm so sweaty when I wake up that I have to kick off the covers, roll myself out of bed, and sit in our cold, drafty bathroom for about 5 minutes before I can go back to bed. I'm getting about 5-7 hours of sleep though, so no complaints here.

Sometimes he kicks so hard I'm worried a foot will tear through my stomach.

Stretch marks?
Not that I can see. But if they're coming it will be soon. I don't know how much bigger I can get.

My bellybutton is stressed out. It's still an innie, but it is definitely sore from all the pressure being put on it.

Keeping all that blue stuff!

What have I learned?
After my unfortunate visit to the doctor at 36 weeks, I felt prepared for my next physical exam. This time didn't go so bad since I knew what to expect. I am 75% effaced, with a "small dimple of dilation." All signs are pointing to no baby in the next few days, which is good because my doctor will be out of town next week.

I'm still waiting for that time when mothers say they just want to get the baby OUT. However, I feel good right now. I hope I start feeling terrible soon so I will be prepared for the birth (never thought I'd say that).

Good news: my acupuncturist said she would help induce labor if need be. Good to have a backup plan!

38 weeks! I'm obviously the Egg Monster.

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