Wednesday, January 22, 2014

28w4d - Bienvenido a "Third Tri"

I've been a neglectful blogger. Sorry bout that. My friend urged me to write more and I said I would and then I failed. I have been feeling sooooo overwhelmed. Work has become a bear. Much more so that usual. I believe I've mentioned that I work in property management. Here's what happens to properties when a once-in-20-years polar vortex (could that sound more dramatic?) occurs: all hell breaks loose. Pipes freeze, ice dams on roofs, water leaks into interior spaces, heating systems have a complete nervous breakdown. Here's how emotionally, intellectually and physically equipped I feel to deal with arctic disasters at the beginning of my third trimester: not at all. Right now, I wish I worked in an Indian call center. "Hi, my name is Roxanne (obviously not). Have you tried cycling your router? Oh really? Well, try again." See, I'd ace that shit. Indian call centers are warm, might potentially have reasonably comfortable seating, and might have decent shift hours (probably not). I'm just complaining. I'm sorry. Constant complaining is currently my crutch. Just ask my husband. Enough of that.

28 weeks in review (I just typed "38 weeks" which actually would be the most telling typo ever): I am a small pregnant lady. My weight gain was slow to start but is now staying on track. It is, however, centered on three places: boobs that look as though they'll be able to end hunger in a smattering of east African nations, a small-to-medium-sized low and compact belly, and a constantly growing ass. I don't understand why or how my ass has taken the lion's share of the responsibility but Nordstrom Rack's underwear department has been happy to comply with my never ending need for larger and larger underthings. In fun news, my uterus is measuring on schedule (low tech obstetrics) and baby boy is bouncing around as though I'm feeding him crack. This is hands down my favorite part of pregnancy. In the past week or so I've reached the point where I can feel a heel attached to a leg swinging around my upper right abdomen. I can feel that little leg and rub it for all of ten seconds before he squirms away. I can find a butt somewhere just south and right of my belly button. Confirmed by my OB at my last appointment, my guy is head down now! He still has room, could flip breech, but for now seems to alternate between head down and an angled transverse position. The miracle is that I can feel all this at all. Pregnancy has ceased to me a mysterious "condition" and now has become this very literal experience of carrying around an articulated human being wedged between my lower ribs and pubic bone. This may seem obvious to those of you who have been pregnant before but I really can't believe that later pregnancy feels so literal. I know, overuse of that word. But there it is. I am not merely swelling, I am carrying around a person.

I have become desperate to meet said person. As I get to know that one leg and mini butt, I just want him out and with me.  Perhaps this is a thinly veiled desire to start maternity leave this very moment (see first paragraph and "polar vortex"). I know, he's not at all done cooking. 10-12 more weeks. But how bout 10? 10 sounds good, right? I am insane and am completely thrilled and excited by the idea of going into labor. When I go into labor, it means I get to meet him. How Giselle Bundchen am I? I'll remember that it hurts at some point. Our child birth class takes place in 3 weeks. Maybe I'll reconsider my excitement then.

I've gone from wanting the nursery to be done in the next two months to wanting it done this very second. Because now he feels real. People who have legs need a bedroom and they need it now. Embroider that on a pillow if you wish. It's J's job to do all the physical work as he is A) a furniture maker and finish carpenter and B) he is not pregnant. This morning I maybe flipped a little bit because I determined that he was tackling projects in the wrong order. I have since apologized and blamed hormones. It's not hard to be too critical when your job is surfing the internet for adorable nursery d├ęcor while others slave away doing physical labor. Poor J. Wait, no, he gets a baby out of the deal, too.

"Third trimester" and "baby shower" are terms that I was not sure would ever be uttered in the same sentence as my name. Unless, of course, someone said, "That Amy, she'll never have a third trimester or baby shower." Yet, here they are upon me. This weekend I am headed to Boston with my besties where my friend and I will share honors at a mini brunch shower. (I am one of three of my best girlfriends expecting between February and July. All of us are having boys. All of us will learn about tiny penises together.) Then, later in February, I am having another shower thrown by my mom's best friends, known affectionately as The Cowgirls. These ladies have known me since I was a little girl and each has played a really special role in my life. I asked the Cowgirl hosting the shower if it could be a Jewish deli themed shower because generally I'd prefer to eat bagels, cream cheese and capers rather than play painfully awkward games. She was thrilled with the idea and is obliging. My registry is done (I need/want all of that?) and I've started to get gifts here and there. My little infertile soul wonders if the senders know that they might have wasted their money by sending gifts to a baby that will never actually exist. Then I get kicked in the ribs and work to banish all such thoughts. People with legs are real and need things. They need a nursery, clothes, a stroller with specs that rival my Toyota's, an activity gym for tummy time and pumping iron, pacifiers with stuffed animals attached, and swaddling blankets nicer than anything I've every put on my own bed. It is all excessive and thrilling.

I'm currently working on a post of my pregnancy essentials. Things that have kept me comfortable and diminished the complaining to a low roar. Forthcoming. Until then, mucho amor. I stalk all of your blogs, FB pages, etc. and am thinking constantly of your smiling faces and the state of your uteri.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

25w5d - Plague, Kegels, and Nesting

My holidays were more exciting than yours. More exciting IF you consider a familial case of plague-like stomach flu and an infant hospitalization exciting. And I do. You clicked on me, remember? First thing first, Niecelette is totally fine now however I will say that she started it. Along my brother-in-law. Simultaneously. At about 11 PM on December 22nd, Niecelette nursed like a champ and then proceeded to vomit it all up. Twice. Then slept and slept and slept which, as rule, newborns do not do. They sleep, wake up, feed, then sleep again. Not Niecelette. Unbeknownst to my sister, she was starting Baby's First Hunger Strike. In a bathroom down the hall, at the very same time, my sister's husband started vomiting as only a 6' 5" Canadian can. Niecelette kept on sleeping and my sister just stayed up staring at her, willing her to wake up and get her boob-on. At around 11 AM the next morning, my dad (a pediatrician) called it and took Niecelette to the emergency room. She hadn't eaten in 12 hours and was very lethargic. At the hospital, it was determined that she had a run of the mill stomach virus, just like her dad, but because she was only 13 days old she needed to be monitored for dehydration and kept on an IV. She and my sister spent the night at the hospital. The next evening (Christmas Eve), after feeding in very small amounts every 4-5 hours, she was allowed to go home.
In a medical crisis, I am your go-to-gal. I think it comes from growing up in a medical family; I'm the only one in the immediate family not currently or formerly in some branch of the field. (I like buildings.) I understand the lingo and can typically see past the symptoms to the bigger picture. However, when your 8.5 lb niece is lying there in a toddler hospital gown (Really children's hospital? No infant-sized apparel?), not eating and unable to stay awake, I promise that your cool, sensible Google-medical-school-educated head will fail you and your heart will just melt all over the floor. We were told the whole time that she was okay and would get better but still. Gah.
Niecelette revived and thrived, as did her dad. On Christmas morning, we all gathered at my mom and dad's house for presents and general merriment. My mom bore a slight resemblance to a green puddle and proceeded to get the same virus. Thinking myself of heartier stock than these weaklings, I washed my hands 74 times and went on my merry way to J's family's celebration. The next morning I woke up to bowel-churning, head-spinning nausea and remained more or less in the fetal position for 36 hours. I feel bad for my judgement of Niecelette's lethargy and refusal to eat. Here's what I did while sick with the same virus: did not eat and slept for the entire time. So, she had kind of a good wellness plan. I'll give her that.
Everyone was seemingly in the clear, virus gone, by Friday. The whole family - my mom and dad, Juice, her husband, baby Niecelette, J and me - packed into our respective vehicles and spent the next few days at the family cabin in Wisconsin. It was glorious until J got a belated strain of the virus and was banished to the bedroom. With the exception of that hiccup, it was a generally fabulous trip. I got to hold and play with Niecelette constantly. She is possibly the cutest baby ever. I also found that my relationship with my sister had slid back into normalcy after oh, say, 9 months of torture. Even once I was pregnant, the childish strain of "but her pregnancy is bigger, better, farther along, more naturally conceived than mine" played constantly in my head. It only took two or three weeks after the birth of my niece. Sigh. It gets easier, it just takes a birth, stomach virus and the general easing of emotional insanity to make the pain start to fade.
Ok, enough of that. I've written tomes on my emotional response to my sister's pregnancy/my miscarriage/my current pregnancy/yada yada. I shall write more, I'm sure.
Another milestone occurred while I was in Wisconsin. One morning, while wearing light grey, thin cotton pajama pants (you'll need that detail for later), I was standing around laughing with my sister and her husband. Of all things, we were talking about pregnancy brain. We joked about something mildly funny and, appropriately, I laughed a little bit. Not a lot. Just a little. And then I peed. Not a lot. Just a little. Juice then made me laugh again. Just a little. I then peed an equivalent amount. So now I've peed a little twice which means I've peed a medium amount in previously described pants. Under my breath I murmured, "Omigod I just peed my pants," turned, and walked to the bathroom at which point my sister saw my copiously pee-stained pants and announced that I had peed my pants. Fair enough. It was true. Once in the bathroom, I sneezed and peed again. So that happened. I became incontinent at 25 weeks pregnant. As I may have mentioned before, I have this bizarrely long torso that I inherited directly from my simian ancestors. My uterus has tons of room to expand before lifting and hitting my ribcage. As a result, little guy is riding low and at times wedges himself between my hip bones and smashes my bladder. According to the websites, he now weighs about 1.5 lbs. According to the science experiment described above, my bladder can accommodate under but nothing equal to or greater than 1.5 lbs of crushing pressure. I may have to accept that when he settles in that low wedge position from which he will not be moved, I will just pee myself. I knew this might happen. I just didn't realize I would have to buy maternity Depends this early in the game. 
I don't use hashtags frequently. I reserve them for my twitter posts about tween pop stars. But here, I feel that a hashtag is required. #timeforkegels.
In general, non-bodily fluid related news, I am nesting. It has hit with a vengeance. I have gone from being perfectly content with the future nursery looking like a hoarder/heroin addict's den to selling almost everything we own on Craigslist. Want a decrepit piano? Check Craiglist. A well-intentioned Christmas gift of a leather, memory foam full-size massage table? Ditto. Bar stools from an unused bar? All yours. Also the bar. Take it. I might sell my bed, refrigerator, sofa and anything else that takes up room. This is addictive.
Here's a stupidly adorable pic of me and Niecelette. True, I am possibly the most irresponsible aunt ever but, in my defense, it was 40 degrees, she was wrapped in fleece and down, my mom took the photo and my sister watched and approved whole-heartedly. I intend to retake this photo annually as a completely accurate measure of her growth (and mine). As her mother is 5' 8" and her dad is 6' 5", I figure she'll be taller than me by age 7.
Never too early to learn to make snow angels.
Happy 2014! May you stay blissfully free of viruses and incontinence.