Wednesday, June 27, 2012

As second trimester draws to a close...

Monday will be 27 weeks, which is either the last week of second trimester or the first week of the third (depending on who you ask).  Either way, it amounts to ninety-something days til the kiddo arrives. 

That's not a very long time. 

Some days, it feels like I've been pregnant forever and will most likely be pregnant forever.  Other times, I blink and feel like I've missed entire weeks and go to bed thinking I might wake up tomorrow with a baby.  Honestly, I have a slight preference for the latter.  As someone who has now been pregnant for roughly six months, I feel quite comfortable saying that I've given it enough of a try to know it's not (and will probably never be) my favorite chapter of life thus far.  I know for a fact that I won't miss the nagging, middle-of-the-night fears that my occasional half-glasses of wine (or continuing to take Cymbalta through 22 weeks) might have done permanent damage to the kiddo.  I won't miss the weight gain, or the aches and pains, or the meddlesome comments I get every time I order a cup of coffee wearing anything skimpier than one of Chris's hoodies (in case you were wondering, yes, it is possible to hide six months of baby that way).  And frankly, the one redeeming thing about pregnancy - feeling the baby kick - will be old news when I have that wiggly baby in my arms. 

Only 13 weeks (give or take a few) to go though.  My checkup on Monday found that we're back on track for growth (measured 20 weeks at 23 weeks; measured 26 weeks at 26 weeks!) and also produced the best blood pressure reading thus far.  Apparently, the key to getting anything below 140/80 for me is showing up a few minutes early - giving myself some time to breathe in my nose and out my mouth while sitting quietly produced a remarkable 122/75.  That's normal for most people (and normal for me at home), but is the lowest reading I've gotten at any sort of checkup in two and a half years.  I won't have the results of the glucose tolerance test they ran on Monday for a few more days, but I'm not worried. 

The best thing about potentially finding a way to fix the blood pressure situation?  It enables me to deliver at the alternative birthing center, barring any complications between now and then.  I was planning on skipping childbirth classes (some "feeling like I learn better via independent study" and a lot of "lack of interest in putting up with other parents-to-be), but since they're required for delivering at the ABC, I need to look into them and get registered.  They can't be that bad, right? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gap demi panel always skinny maternity jeans.  These lovely things arrived in the mail two days ago, and I've only taken them off to sleep (and run) since then.  They fit perfectly, flatter everywhere that "normal" jeans do, and provide just enough belly support to make life a bit easier on my back during long days at work.  While the reviews on indicate that they run a bit small in the legs, I didn't find this to be the case - I'm one of two pant sizes at the Gap when I'm not pregnant, and was fine ordering the smaller of the two in maternity because it happened to be on sale. 

It's truly amazing what a comfortable pair of jeans that fit well can do for the self esteem. I try to steer clear of retail therapy for the most part, but the price of happiness last week was $27.99 (+shipping).

In other news, the critter's noggin must be growing because we've been head-down for two days now.  It's a far more comfortable position from a maternal standpoint.  I should clarify that by "head down" I mean "if my uterus were a clock, baby feet would be between 9PM and 3AM" - we're not quite settled into position for the final descent, but moving in the right direction!  In the absence of a tiny person dancing on my bladder, I find that I'm generally making fewer trips to the bathroom - I think I only got up once last night to pee (like a racehorse, yes, but only once!). 

Today is 25 weeks.  15 more to go (and oh so much to do between now and then!).  Chris and I have been putting off shopping for baby stuff thus far in the interest of getting other stuff in order, but the clock is ticking!  Acquiring a second (carseat - friendly) vehicle is the current priority, but we really do need to start a checklist of what we need to buy, borrow, or make between now and when we bring our child home.  Perhaps I'll start one as a post on here tomorrow. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

24 weeks is, as I've mentioned before, commonly accepted as the point of viability - that is, the earliest point at which a fetus has a chance at becoming an infant who is capable of survival if circumstances necessitated delivering early.  There are a handful of babies born even earlier than this point who have survived in the past few years, but such events are a rarity. 

Needless to say, this crucial threshold did not go unnoticed in our house.  Monday will be 25 weeks; I've read that chances of survival increase a startling 2-3% a day from weeks 24 to 28, which translates into every day now being at least as significant as, well, every other day thus far. 

And if the growth of my belly these past two weeks counts as evidence that our critter is growing like crazy, then...yeah, he or she is getting bigger, possibly a lot bigger!  After hearing that we're measuring a bit small at my 23 week appointment, I decided to increase my protein and caloric intake (by 10g of protein and 100-200 calories/day).  And while I haven't intended for this to be the case, I have cut back on my running a bit (some days, I'm too worried about the baby's growth; some days, I'm just too tired).  And as a result, I had to buy my first pair of maternity jeans this week. 

They're jeggings from Old Navy, and they really don't fit very well.  The legs are baggy and the butt poofy, and Old Navy doesn't actually make a smaller size (tragic, right?)  I've been reassured (reassured?) that I'll grow into them - a prospect I dread.  In a perfect world, my bump would be conquering territory to the north rather than to the south, and my butt and thighs would remain unchanged.  I guess I can hope for the latter, since the former has already necessitated buying jeans with a stretchy knit waistband. 

Ah, the life and times of Janna... 

Otherwise, pregnancy's unremarkable.  The kiddo decided to go two days without moving last week, which was alarming.  He or she followed these two days with a full 24 hours of nonstop movement, and I'm really hoping that this isn't an indication of what postpartum life will be like (as if anyone would be surprised if Chris and I produced offspring inclined to party for a full day and then sleep for two...)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


It's funny, how the things over which I lose sleep have changed in the past six (well, almost six) months. 

When I first found out we were pregnant, I feared 'losing my body' and losing my social life.  I feared losing my close relationship with Chris in the midst of trying to meet the physical and emotional needs of a baby.  I feared losing my independence and identity to that of "mother."

Now, four days shy of six months pregnant, a lot has changed.  I still fear all of the above to some degree, but they no longer seem so pressing.  I know I'm most likely not going to lose my body (I actually still look like un-pregnant me, with a pregnant belly and pregnant boobs), not going to lose my social life (if anything, people seem inclined to seek us out to hang out with the critter!), and have only grown closer to Chris over the course of this pregnancy.  And while who I am will inevitably change, there's nothing about becoming a mother that dooms me to a life of neurotic helicopter parenting and perpetual frump. 


These days, I tend to worry more about the health of the baby.  We found out at my last checkup that my belly is measuring a few weeks behind where it should be, and I'll be honest - I've spent the past few days worrying about that at the expense of other things.  Did I get the apartment cleaned and the laundry done?  Yes, but only because I needed a distraction from thinking about what would happen if something were to go wrong with the pregnancy or the baby. 

It's probably nothing - it's the first time anything has been off, so we're simply waiting to reassess at my next appointment.  If I'm still measuring small in three weeks, she'll probably order an ultrasound to make sure the baby's growing and developing normally.  And all babies grow at slightly different rates. 

I'm still worried, but yeah...of all the things that could go 'not as planned,' this is probably the least significant or concerning.  And since we're approaching viability (24 weeks is the earliest possible 'age' for survival ex - utero), I should be able to start relaxing soon.