It seems close to 40 and yet really far away. I was walking with my BFF last night and she was saying that it doesn’t feel like long since I was telling her I was pregnant at SEVEN weeks, and in some ways it really doesn’t seem that long ago. In others? A lifetime. My sense of time is all wonky.
But here we are, 30 weeks, only SEVEN weeks until full-term, and 10 until I reach OMG GET HER OUT stage. Although, frankly, that might happen a lot sooner. I keep telling myself to not even get remotely excited until my actual due date, that there’s no chance she’ll come early, but then I’m all OMG GET HER OUT. So, that’s fun.
Physically, the bump is out in FORCE all the time. There was this phase from probably 21-26 weeks where certain times of day and in certain outfits I just looked a teensy bit big, but now it’s like OK YES SHE’S PREGNANT. Which is fine. I’m still not huge on people commenting on how massive I am, but I LOVE when people are like “omg look at you and the babyyyyy!” That’s the reaction I’m totally into. I graduated out of my last pair of regular pants two weeks ago, which leaves me with 3 pair of maternity pants that I just kind of alternate. I’m kind of anti-buying anything new because I’ll be not pregnant soon and the seasons are changing and during maternity leave where I’ll surely still be in maternity clothes I can just kind of…wear yoga pants. I still wear a lot of my regular yoga pants and just adjust them below my belly and wear maternity workout shirts, which works fine. My belly button is still inverted, a trait which I attribute to having a solid layer of fat over my stomach when I got pregnant. There’s more to stretch! The belly button IS getting a lot more shallow, though, so I think it might pop out soon which will be super strange.
The other fun thing that has come with this bigger belly is absolutely crippling round ligament pain. The uterus is held in place by ligaments that kind of form a band from hip bone to hip bone. When you’re pregnant, they have to get bigger pretty quickly to accommodate the larger uterus and baby. Duh. This, for some people, hurts like a mother fucker. I am some people. I know people who have had zero pain, people who only have it later in pregnancy, it can go any way it seems. I’ve had the pain since really early on – before we were even telling people – and it’s gotten progressively worse since this last little growth spurt. Last week I walked with my mom for a little over an hour and felt great while walking, but after I sat down for awhile and then got back up to get on with my day I almost couldn’t walk because I was in so much pain. It’s gravity, the little bitch. Walking allows gravity to just push push push your belly down and out and it stretches the ligaments more than they’d like to be stretched, as if they weren’t already stretching too quickly. After walking I’m still pretty sore, which is of course hilarious because the midwives tell me to walk for 30 minutes per day. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I get out maybe 4 times per week, but do tend to go longer than 30 minutes. I’ve found if I limit walks to 50 minutes or so I’m not in as much pain afterwards, but it’s still pretty painful. There are these hilarious support bands that go under your belly and up under your armpits and over your shoulders that allegedly help hold the belly up, but I do not have one of those. They honestly look like a cross between a gun holster that goes behind the back and one of those belts that employees at Home Depot wear. They’re also bright white and kind of expensive and look complicated so…10 more weeks.
I’m still doing yoga but have cut one class out of my weekly schedule this month and will likely cut one or two more out in November. I’m trying to do as much as I can as long as I can while also not waiting so long that I leave work locations in a lurch should I go into labor before my due date. The yoga bosses (I teach 3 different places) are all really clear on when I should stop. One of them says “whenever you’re ready, just let me know,” one of them says “please stop early November so we don’t get held up if you go into labor and have to find subs at the last minute” and one of them says “oh just teach until she’s born, then you’ll be back in 4 weeks! I was!” So, the mixed messages continue! I THINK I’m going to quit the “please quit” gym when asked because…why not…and hold onto the other two a little bit longer. That’s the weirdest thing – I’m at the point where I’m saying I won’t do things anymore because I could have a kid “by then.” WTF. The yoga itself is mostly fine save for a few things that aggravate my ligaments. My belly gets in the way a little bit, but I’m getting super good at walking around more as I teach (something I actually needed to practice before I got pregnant) and modifying my own poses while making sarcastic remarks like “and here’s how you modify if your uterus is huge!” My students, for their parts, are lovely and always ask how I feel and when I’m due and comment on how strong I still seem, which is EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING TO SAY and something that I hold onto so dearly when I’m wincing in agony after an effing stroll around the block. Mostly I do not feel strong at all.
Speaking of yoga, I’m taking TWO prenatal classes at two different gyms and it’s the absolute best time and money I’ve spent this entire pregnancy. When I was first pregnant one of the yoga bosses said “take prenatal. for you. don’t teach.” And of course I waited until about 3 weeks ago to actually heed her advice. At the time I really was just teaching too much to be able to ever take classes, and when I did I still took hot or power classes. But I don’t feel like doing the hard stuff as much anymore so I’m not (look! I’m taking my own advice! I’m slowing down!), and prenatal yoga is just wonderful. Everyone is on the same page about the effing ligaments and it’s relaxing and wonderful and calming. If you ever get pregnant, do not wait on this. Try to take prenatal yoga for as much of your pregnancy as you can, even if you’ve never set foot on a yoga mat before.
There haven’t been any more crazy physical developments such as moles on my vagina, which is kind of nice since, now that we’re nearing the end, I’m pretty fixated on the pain and/or ripping aspects of labor. So, not having blood blisters on my vulva is totes OK with me. My veins are getting more and more noticeable, especially on my breasts and stomach, which just looks funny, but I can notice them more on my hands and wrists. Pregnancy causes blood vessels to expand and relax (and most people actually see a blood pressure drop), so visible veins is normal, but it still looks so funny and buggy to me.
I feel the baby move several times a day, but sometimes I worry it’s not “right,” because I have no clue what’s right. There are people that say to sit around doing nothing (hahahahahaha) for 2 hours each day and count how many times you feel the baby move during that time, and you’re supposed to get 10 movements an hour or something. Well, my kid has a definite pattern and I do not have time to sit around a think only about her moving, and everyone says that regular movement is fine. But sometimes I wonder if she’s sluggish compared to other people? The midwives seem to have zero concern so I don’t know. I haven’t had any of the elbows dragging against my belly or anything like that.
I read that as early as 12 weeks some women’s breasts leak colostrum, but I haven’t had any of that. NATURALLY when I read that I spent a reasonably long time in the shower mushing at my boobs looking around for any excreted substance (how’s THAT for an image?), but the girls seem locked up tighter than a tick. I’ll let you know if leakage occurs, obviously. Because you’re dying to know.
My appetite is still big as ever, but I am starting to get a little more uncomfortable after a big meal – there just isn’t as much room to put stuff. I do still eat pretty big meals because my schedule doesn’t allow for the 6 small meals a day thing, as lovely as that must be, but sometimes at night I’m just…done…and then I wake up ravenous at 4am. Still no middle of the night snacking though, which I just don’t want to get in the habit of this late in the game.
We started birth classes last night, which we LOVE. I picked a girl who is young and actually has her Master’s in social work, and I got a good vibe from her website, whatever the hell that means. Well, I picked correctly because it turns out she’s my sister-in-law’s best friend from MIDDLE SCHOOL and they used to spend the night at Jay’s house every weekend. So, they had a good time catching up last night and the class itself is fabulous. It’s really fun to hear other couples’ worries and weird things that are happening, and there’s a lot of laughter and support and precious little awkwardness. Jay loves the class too because there is some good basic information which the dads all seem to appreciate – the class focuses heavily on partner involvement in the birth process, which, duh because that ish is hard and someone needs to help me.
Since we’re 10 weeks out, I’m staaarting to think of birth planning. Not, like, a real plan because I think things are just going to happen how they happen, but stuff like who else, if anyone (besides Jay), do I want in the room? Do I want a photographer (yes I’m serious)? If we’re allowed to use the birth center, which we don’t get final approval for until the 11th hour in case anything goes wrong with my health, we go home within 8 hours of giving birth and will mostly labor at home, so we’re also trying to figure out when the first round of visitors will come – at the birth center or at home. That would just be parents and sisters who are in town, everyone else we’ll just play by ear based on approximately 9,726 factors. What did you do to get your children out of your body?
We’re VERY slowly working on the nursery, which is fun but honestly kind of on the back burner because it still does feel a long way away and there always seem to be more pressing things to do. We were gifted an old crib (drop side, but not recalled, judgements? I’m honestly curious. We didn’t buy a new one because we don’t even know if we’ll USE crib, but I’d love to know what you think) and an old dresser for a changing table, and we have a chair on order. Other than that I plan to make a mobile with paper cranes to match my tattoo and….that’s it. We need a shelf, a lamp, and this kid already has more clothes than we know what to do with thanks to the insane generosity of others. It’s kind of a fun little project to NOT do all at once – it feels more authentic for me to decorate that way rather than going to buy everything all at once that matches. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I start to get nesty feelings that EVERYTHING SHOULD BE NEW OR SHE WON’T KNOW WE LOVE HER.
That is simply not true.
Jay, for his part, and is getting more and more excited all the time, and only occasionally does it feel creepy. Because I’m SO tired, he’s figured out that he can fiddle with me a little more while I sleep, so this morning I woke up and he was just really all up in my personal space and was like “she just kicked me!” And I was all disoriented and confused. It was a really special time. Jay has lots of plans to be super involved and learn as much as he can, and watching him now without an actual baby makes me just ridiculously excited to see him with one. His best friend just had a little girl in July, so we’ve had a great time talking to that couple about their experiences and sharing the ridiculousness of pregnancy with them.
75% cooked baby. Weird.