Pregnancy: Week 22

Technically a week early. Pregnancy felt like it dominated my life this week, mostly because I had to leave work early three out of four days for a doctor’s appointment. Once with the midwives, once for a follow-up ultrasound, once for my OB. We decided to go with the midwives. They generally seemed much more hands-on and supportive of the parents’ preferences, and had a much lower c-section rate (like almost 20% lower). So that feels good!

Otherwise, physically I have felt pretty good. I am on track with the one pound a week estimate of weight gain and realized today that I have had basically no back or knee pain, despite being a lot heavier than my usual weight. I attributed that 100% to lifting weights because my body has the strength to carry the extra poundage.

And I bought a bucket to soak my swollen feet in. Ahhhhh. It’s so nice. Last night, I soaked my feet in Epsom salt while reading a book. It was the bomb dot com.

We also had our last ultrasound this week so it’s sort of insane to think the next visual we’ll get of the baby will be the real baby that exists as its own entity in the world. But not for at least 16 more weeks! Four months of wait.

Otherwise in life, things are good. I have a long weekend this week so am looking forward to getting out of town a bit and re-charging and maybe checking out a Korean spa or something.

Pregnancy: Week 21

So…on almost a whim, I just called a Nurse-Midwife group to schedule a meet-and-greet because I’m thinking about switching practices. My current doctor, an OB at a group practice, is great. Very laid-back, very much not seeing pregnancy as an illness but as a normal life condition, which I like. But I feel like she’s almost too hands-off. Like, in my week 12 visit, I told her I felt like I had a groin pull. I thought that because 1) my groin hurt and 2) it literally started hurting in the squat rack, after I lost my balance while warming up with the barbell, and 3) the symptoms were the exact same symptoms that R had when he pulled his groin squatting. She saw it as just a pregnancy symptom of some common pelvic shifts and pains. At week 16, the pain was still there, and worse, and she was still unconcerned. I made an appointment with a physical therapist who confirmed that I did, in fact, have a groin pull. The stretches he gave me to address the issue almost immediately cleared it up.

My ultimate fear is that because she is so nonchalant and maybe also not the most in-tune with what I am thinking or feeling, she’ll push me into having a c-section. Or, honestly that communication will break down when I’m exhausted and overwhelmed from laboring and I won’t be able to trust her to have my back. I also have some anxiety about the hospital having limited private rooms for partners to stay the night and being fairly intervention-focused on the whole (e.g. more into constant monitoring of the baby which prevents the mom in labor from moving around at all).

At the same time, I’m very pro-epidural and sort of anti-birth plan, because I think you just have to do your best with the circumstances you have.

All of this just to say, that I’ll meet with the CNMs on Monday, have a follow-up ultrasound to our anatomy ultrasound Tuesday, and then have a meeting with my OB on Thursday that I’ll decide what to do with.

We did also have the anatomy ultrasound this week which was great. Our baby has such insanely cute little feet! The feet! And ze was very active, kicking its legs and moving it’s tiny arms all around. And yesterday, I think I felt my first baby movement which felt much more like Delhi belly than I would have thought, haha. I was expecting a gentle poke, but it’s more like a full belly rolling.

The Hungry Ghost

I have been a little more anxious than usual in these last few weeks. I don’t know if it’s pregnancy, pregnancy hormones, seasonal change, or random. It’s made me feel sort of dissatisfied with life…which, for me, almost always correlates with a desire to withdraw from societal activities and focus on what is rejuvenating.

I almost never buy new clothes. It’s something I started in college when I was more radical than I am now, but has continued for most of my adult life in one form or another. A life goal of mine would be to sew all of my own clothes. I actually think this is practical because I prefer to wear the same things over and over (thus only needing a few patterns), and do have a dress I sewed myself.

A year or so ago, my meditation group was talking about the ‘hungry ghost’. It’s a concept from Buddhism that refers to a spirit with an enormous, unfillable belly but a tiny mouth. So no matter how much it eats, it never feels satisfied. Hearing that talk really ignited by most recent no-buying streak, where I just stopped buying things in general and got really serious about pairing down.

But now, my body is rapidly changing. Almost week to week. I have invested in a new work uniform (black leggings and a black and white striped tunic — not the most professional, but definitely comfortable and wearable all through winter), which has helped me avoid having to buy a ton of work clothes. I bought a few tank tops I’ve been wearing with the leggings when not at work and that’s…pretty much it (plus new bras and underwear. Maternity undies = total lifesaver, btw).

I feel really good about that choice. Just forcing a limitation into my wardrobe. Of course, if I urgently need something, I feel fine spending money to buy it, and honestly I feel more fine than I used to at buying it at a fast/casual retailer because I need it for a fast/casual reason.

But I have been also really resisting buying anything whatsoever for the baby. I don’t like the idea of having a dedicated nursery with all baby furniture. I don’t like the idea of buying a ton of accessories that I’m not sure the baby will like or not. I don’t like the idea of buying stuff new for a newborn baby, when it will grow an insane amount for most of the next decades. I’m still trying to figure out an approach to this that feels good and ethical to me.

Pregnancy: Week 20

The halfway point. Honestly, pregnancy this week for me is totally intertwined with the trauma of the Blasey Ford/Kavanaugh hearings. What a fucking traumatic week. Like I literally cannot believe I could be birthing a daughter into this environment. I feel completely obsessed with everything about the hearings, completely in awe of Blasey Ford and the women who accosted Flake in the elevator, and completely disgusted with men, especially old, white, male senators. What a world we force people to live in.

Tuesday is our anatomy ultrasound at which, fingers crossed, we will not be accidentally told the sex of the baby. Hopefully, everything looks good and healthy. I always have some anxiety right before a test, but they’ve all been good so far and I’m progressing with totally normal symptoms. I do find it surreal that I can get 20 weeks more pregnant…can definitely see this getting a lot harder. I’m already walking slower than the google maps estimate, which shames me as a New Yorker.

Sending love and kindness to all the ladies in my life, and the men who are not chauvinist pigs.

Pregnancy: 19 Weeks

Almost half way. Or — maybe more than half way! No one knows when labor actually will begin! There is a whole five-week period of normal birth. I read in Making Babies that scientists increasingly think the placenta itself is responsible for starting labor. Isn’t that interesting? A whole organ that is grown in nine months and will soon be discarded (like literally discarded as medical waste) is what sends the signal to begin pregnancy. Why not the adult’s or baby’s brain?

This is the first week I was sort-of noticeably pregnant. Very noticeable if I was ever bloated or after eating a meal but reasonably noticeable the rest of the time. I had my first pregnancy catcall (from a food truck coffee guy, “looking good, mama!”) and people I tell I’m pregnant respond with something like, “I noticed.”

I’ve been feeling physically pretty good. Still pushing myself at the gym, though the definition of what pushing myself looks like continuous to shift (aka a difficult workset of 135 deadlifts the other day…). But I feel proud I’ve been listening to my body around what it wants. At the same time, I feel sort of gross about how heavy I might be. I find this almost interesting…I am basically always starving but I probably eat 80% healthy food. But I’m like always eating. At this point, I’ve pretty much decided I won’t weigh myself at all and will just rely on the doctor to tell me if my weight gain in concerning.

And, I went to the physical therapist and it turns out I did, in fact, strain my groin. I thought I did because it started literally in the squat rack after I lost my balance a little bit one day, but my OB was convinced it was just a pregnancy symptom. So I’ve been doing some stretches for that which have been helping.

Emotionally, I’m sometimes very zen and sometimes very overwhelmed. Mostly, I try to stay in the present moment and not think too hard about what’s to come. Thinking about birth feels fine. Thinking about having a legit baby to feed and clothe for the rest of it’s life feels insane. Thinking about making a registry feels like jfalhfjkdf.

Pregnancy: 18 Weeks

I feel like this was the first full week I looked pregnant. I was offered my first seat on the subway (definitely didn’t think that would happen for many more months) and just happily wore my new maternity leggings everywhere. They are insanely comfortable but definitely do make me look much more pregnant, probably because they don’t constrict at all. And in the last 2-3 days, I can’t suck my stomach in totally flat anymore. There is definitely something lingering there that I can’t physically move.

I still haven’t felt the baby move at all. My doctor said that it’s normal for people with first babies, weight in their midsection, and anterior placentas (all of which I have), so it might be a while. But it still feels sort of surreal. Like, there’s a real baby in there?

I read something recently that said pregnancy is a nice time to shift from doing to being, and that resonated with me. I feel really at peace with just going about my usual day and don’t feel a desire to seek any additional stimulation.

I did have some pelvic pain this week but it’s already getting better by doing a few strengthening exercises (like bridges), so that’s been fine.

Pregnancy: 17 Weeks

I had my 16-week appointment this week, which was fun. I was super anxious about it because I heard 3 separate stories about month four miscarriages and also had been having a lot of pain/cramping in my uterus that I wasn’t sure was normal. Spoiler alert: totally normal.

The appointment itself was funny. The Doctor always checks the heartbeat of the baby using the doppler but every time she would push down and catch the heartbeat, the baby would move elsewhere. Rinse and repeat. But everything looks good and our next appointment is the 20-week ultrasound/anatomy scan.

Physically, I am feeling pretty okay. Okay-ish is what I’ve been telling people. My energy is definitely starting to slow down in a lot of ways, like sometimes I feel too ehh to even want to go for a walk after work, which isn’t usual for me.

I am finally starting to show a small bump. I had two days of lots of cramping and then – ta-da! – the bottom of my stomach was pushed out. So I guess it was some sort of internal re-arranging.

I have felt very into nesting – just this constant thinking about being in and cleaning and organizing my apartment, which I find much more interesting that being outside. I assumed we would take a babymoon because we are in the exact demographic of people who would do that but I…just don’t want to. I mean, if someone organized a trip to the Bahamas (now Zika free!) for me, I would probably take them up on it, but the idea of going to the airport, traveling, finding food, etc., etc., just sounds totally exhausting.

I also cut my lifts back this week to work out at more of a 7 than a 9, which I think will be good in the long-term.

I was in a wedding this weekend for one of my besties and juuuuuust squeezed into my dress. Which was already a bigger dress than I had originally purchased. Like, literally, it was zipped – I bent down to take my shoes off – and the hook flew off and across the room.

And last but not least — I discovered the joy of maternity clothes! I was really reaching the point of just straining out of and looking super unattractive in all of my regular clothes. And now, I have clothes that fit my new shape and have the bonus of being really flattering and comfortable. Yay!