Here we are at 30 weeks! As my mother said, 30 weeks is very exciting because now I’m “that much closer to 40!” Haha! Also, I got good news today from the doctor that everything is perfectly normal with me and baby. Plus I finally figured out how to stop gaining weight like crazy and have slowed down to a normal pace. Feeling very pleased with myself!

30 weeks!

Today I hit 30 weeks (picture coming later)! That sounds soveryclose to the end of pregnancy. But there are still 10 weeks left! Amazing!

My weekly emails inform me that Baby Boy is probably 17 inches long and about 3 pounds. They also say he is the size of a “large cabbage”. I thought he was already a cabbage at some point earlier on. But… really, he’s getting pretty close to the size of a human baby at this point. So let’s just drop the produce references!

But whether he is produce or a baby, at his current size, one of my weekly emails from Alpha Mom hilariously says “You may feel like you’re gestating a pissed-off housecat rather than a chubby wittle baby at this point, with some movement and kicks causing ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN.” 

This is only partly true for me. The movement has not caused me any physical pain (yet), but I really do feel like he sometimes moves like a cat being lowered into a bathtub – There is a lot of thrashing going on in there!

Kicks are still not my favorite sensation, but some of the more gentle rolling action is starting to grow on me. Kyle thinks it is pretty cool too. And sometimes, people can see my stomach moving from across the room. Which is fun. It really freaks them out!

As a 30-week kickoff (pun intended), I decided to watch the video of a real birth that comes along with our childbirth class homework last night. I was home alone and very nervous. But after it was over, I felt empowered. It wasn’t gross (I think Kyle could even watch it!) and there wasn’t really even any gore, even though they did show the baby coming out. It was so much less gruesome than I thought it would be.

The gist of it really seemed to be that for 90% of the birth process, the mom is in pain, and there is nothing sticky. Then comes the actual emergence of the child, which involves more pain, a little stickiness, and then happy people.

So basically, after watching the video, I think I can do it. Like I really think I can do it. And I want to. With Kyle and my mom to help me through the pain (and possibly an epidural – we’ll see), I think I’ll be fine! And since 90% of the process involves nothing sticky whatsoever, Kyle will be there! And after seeing how not-gross birth is, Kyle might even make it the whole way with me.

Either way, though, he’ll be there through labor. That’s almost the whole process! And I’ll completely understand if he has to duck out for the sticky bits. That’s only a small part of it. And he’ll be a great dad whether he is there for that or not!

Next homework assignment: Try to get Kyle to watch the birth video. I think he’ll surprise himself with how well he can handle it!

Homework

Kyle and I began our childbirth class homework yesterday. We’re a little over a week away from our all-day class, and being good little students, we’re making sure to give ourselves plenty of time to fill out the worksheets.

The biggest takeaway so far: my squeamish husband can’t look at pictures, can’t watch any videos, can’t be informed of any of the details of anything remotely medical related, and can’t even hear the words “mucus plug” without feeling ill.

I’ve always known he was squeamish. So I wasn’t surprised, and it is no big deal. This is why my mother will be attending the birth. We figured a former labor and delivery nurse would be a pretty good replacement for a squeamish husband!

Anyway… I gave Kyle the cliff-notes version of all the “sticky stuff”, so he has a basic understanding of what will be happening at each stage (without the nitty gritty details) and we spent significantly more time on the pain management and supportive spouse chapters. Newborn care also doesn’t seem to scare him, so we went through that chapter in great detail as well.

All-in-all, I already feel more prepared just from doing the homework with Kyle. I think we both understand each other better, so we know what to expect from/how to help the other person. We both agreed that after talking through everything, we definitely felt even more excited to meet Baby Boy!

Har har

My team members think it is hilarious that I have gone to the bathroom every half hour since arriving at work this morning.

I am less amused.

But at least team morale is high. Lots of laughter in here today!

Men and Pregnancy

Something struck me recently. Something rather wonderful. It has to do with the men in my life.

I don’t know if I am just super lucky and know really great men, or if this is something that men just generally know instinctively – but either way, it rocks.

So what is it? Well, men seem to have a profound respect for the process of pregnancy despite literally having no clue how it feels. I have never been questioned by any man when I say I don’t feel well. No man has ever doubted my discomforts. Instead, they wholeheartedly believe me and support me.

At dinner at Kyle’s dad’s house on Sunday, for example, we were discussing having children, and I said something along the lines of “I get other people’s hesitation now that I am pregnant. It isn’t easy!” And all of the men essentially just quietly nodded their heads as if they understood what they were asking/had asked/would be asking of their partners. And that was the end of that conversation.

Later that evening, when I was experiencing my fire-hands + dizziness episode, I had to leave the dinner table and go lay down. It was embarrassing. And I apologized because I thought I was being disruptive, but I almost got reprimanded by the 4 men who were present for doing so. They just said knowingly, “you’re pregnant. These things happen.” and instructed me to stop apologizing immediately.

How they could say that knowingly boggles my mind. They don’t know. I mean, I expected (and received) the sympathy from my sister-in-law. But the men were somehow capable of understanding as well. And before I knew it, I was reclined on the couch with a cold washcloth on my forehead.

It seems like even men who haven’t had their partner go through pregnancy get it too. Kyle is my most obvious example, although not the only one I’ve seen. He is a first time dad. Everything I’m going through is new both to me AND to him. But from day one, he’s just been… understanding.

How do they do it? How can they seem so understanding about a process they couldn’t possibly understand? Perhaps it is the “not knowing” that enables them to have such a respect for the process. Maybe it is some sense of primal awe as they watch women do something they cannot do. Or some kind of automatic gratitude that their woman is giving her body over to their child.

Whatever it is, I’m glad I haven’t had to fight for people to believe me. And I hope this is an instinctive male process so no woman ever has to feel like her experience isn’t valid. Because as joyful and amazing as pregnancy is, and as much as I’ve enjoyed it, there are hard parts and scary parts. And if I had to spend time convincing someone that it was hard or scary, it would be way harder and way scarier.

Making up for lost time

I wasn’t feeling so great when I woke up this morning. I had a rough sleep, likely due to anxiety left over from another fire-hands + dizziness episode when we were at kyle’s dad’s house for dinner last night (so embarrassing). So I was very tired today and ended up working from home to buy myself a few extra minutes in bed before work started (what a luxury!).

I never really felt “energetic”, but that extra sleep did help out some, and I managed a productive day both work-wise and chores-wise.

With my nesting instinct in full force, I wanted to organize EVERYTHING. And preferably all at once. But alas, I am but one human, I had to work, and I am seriously lacking in super powers.

So guess what I did. (This shouldn’t be hard)

That’s right! I made a list of all the specific areas of the house I want to organize! How did you know?!

And while I was at it, I also researched and made lists for packing a hospital bag and getting together a complete postpartum care kit.

Then I actually did some organizing! My office/sewing area is now a little slice of heaven. I can’t wait to paint it in a few weeks! Perfection awaits!

And once Kyle got home, we went down into the basement and thinned out the junk down there a little more. We had recently done a goodwill run, but we have another small pile ready again. And everything that is staying? IT’S ALL IN BINS! With LABELS. Just waiting for shelves. And to top it all off, Kyle vacuumed down there again. I’m actually starting to like our basement. It is a miracle!

After all of that, we ordered the cat door for the door to the basement, and we threw a kitchen faucet into our virtual cart too. That project is on the list for much closer to my due date… but we’ll be ready! And we all know how much I like to be ready. 🙂

So even not feeling my best, I made up for lost time. My weekend was relatively unproductive. But my Monday kicked butt.

Weekend Update!

The basement project marches on!

Kyle and his brother-in-law worked their butts off yesterday! They were down there all day framing in the dirt pile so we can close it off. Next step, drywall!

Kyle even said he had fun getting stuff done down there. It helps that his brother-in-law was there, and he is always good company. But aside from that, he said it felt good to accomplish so much. I feel like a slave-driver sometimes with my lists and spreadsheets and schedules… so it is a big relief that he doesn’t feel tortured by it.

And what did I do this weekend, you ask? Well… I paid someone to cut and paint my toenails, I went to a quilt show with my mom, and I bought a couple dresses for my baby showers.

I’ll let you decide who had the more productive weekend… har har

Physical Fun

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been going through some physical discomforts this week.

Well, that’s true. In addition to the weird tingly leg, I’ve had fire hands + dizziness, fatigue, and contractions.

For the most part, I’ve just been amused by the physical side effects of pregnancy. And if I move to a different reaction, I usually substitute amusement for awe, indifference, or at worse – annoyance.

Tingly leg and fatigue have been in the annoyance category this week. No big deal. Same with fire hands. But fire hands seem to be circulation related an come hand-in-hand (pun intended) with dizziness. Dizziness is not annoying. Dizziness is scary.

And I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. No big deal, because they don’t hurt and they aren’t frequent – usually just in the morning when I wake up, then they go away when I’ve had some water. But on Friday I had them all day long, and sometimes even just minutes apart. I thought they might be real contractions. That was also very scary.

My mother (bless her, and thank goodness for having a Labor and Delivery nurse for a mother) assured me that I had nothing to be concerned about as long as the contractions weren’t regular. She gave me the benchmark of 6 per hour, and if I got to that point I was to call my doctor. In the meantime, I needed to hydrate and lay on my left side. I never got to the point where I needed to call the doctor, but the emotional damage was done.

Two scary physical things led to a very upset soon-to-be mama. I kept thinking something was wrong. And my mama-instincts kicked into high gear and got me panicked.

I know most (all?) pregnant ladies experience something scary at some point. Our bodies are doing something pretty extreme, and completely out of our control. My body is on autopilot right now – It knows what it is doing, but I have no idea sometimes. I trust my body, but this week, it was my turn to be scared.

I’m feeling better now, and Baby Boy has been moving a ton, so I’m pretty sure everything is fine and he has no plans of coming out anytime soon. But I’m glad this week is behind us. I have been so lucky to have such an easy pregnancy, relatively speaking, and I want to keep this baby inside and healthy all the way until the end. Let’s hope for a calmer week this coming week, so I can be a calmer mama.

Here we are at 29 weeks. Husband zoomed in a bit too close so I had a hard time fitting both my head and my bump in the picture after cropping. Oh well! This week has been a little tough physically, but we’re getting excited about how soon Baby Boy will be here!

95% covered, 100% supported

I had a meeting with my superiors/the owners of the company yesterday regarding my maternity leave coverage. And I need to take a moment to feel grateful.

No workplace is perfect, and mine is no exception. But when it comes to my pregnancy and my maternity leave, I have it pretty good.

Our meeting was to determine how my daily tasks would be divided, among many other logistical bits and pieces. But it was really powerful how my superiors decided they would step in to fill some of the holes instead of leaving my tiny team to try to cover me.

My team has really stepped up too, and they are eager to learn more about what I do so they can handle as much as possible. But my superiors did not hesitate to offer time out of their already too busy schedules to help out too. And now it feels like full coverage is actually going to be possible.

I may not get a lot of time off, due to my own personal financial situation, but I have felt very supported by everyone at my office in regards to the time I do plan to take. Pregnancy in the office is a problem for the business, especially when it concerns a manager. But no one has treated me like a problem. Instead, they’ve all banded together to find a solution with smiles on their faces.

Not to mention the flexibility they’ve shown me in regards to my childcare plans. They have been 100% behind the plans I’ve presented, and 100% accepting of the fact that we may have to reassess later on. We’ve all agreed that “plans” are really more like “drafts of ideas” or “starting points”, and that we’ll just keep an open dialogue.

They even uttered the words yesterday, “Our number one concern is that you don’t burn out”.

I mean… come on. Could I possibly feel more supported? Answer: No.

Getting on my nerves!

How about that for a dramatic post title!?

Despite the misleading headline, this will not be a rage-filled pregnant lady post. No, sir! This is about the baby getting on my literal, physical nerves.

Like the one leading to the skin on my left thigh.

It would appear that the baby/my uterus are compressing a nerve somewhere, which is leading to a very uncomfortable burning/tingling/torturous feeling on my skin starting at my left hip and going all the way to my knee. It almost feels like a sunburn with an electric current running through it every time something touches my skin.

Did I mention it is winter? So… pants!

Basically, there is always something touching the skin there, which makes this particular ailment rather annoying. But because I like being positive more than negative as much as possible… let’s look for the silver linings!

  1. Tylenol helps. It must bring down the swelling somewhere enough to where the sensation is muted a bit.
  2. It isn’t always equally painful. Like right now, for example, it is much duller than it was when I woke up, and I haven’t even taken any tylenol.
  3. This is “normal”. In the same way that my 1st trimester sour-taste experience was normal – it happens, and I can find internet-people who have gone through it, but no one I know in real life has experienced it.
  4. It supposedly goes away when you have the baby. (when I read up on the “condition”, the generic advice they gave was to “lose weight”. Thanks, internet!)

So there you have it. Everything is going to be fine!

Results are in!

Got “the phone call” earlier today – My blood work came back.

Cue ominous music…

Naww… everything is fine. 🙂 no gestational diabetes and no anemia. Everything just as it should be.

I didn’t feel sick, but there is a huge part of me feeling a big sense of relief right now. I just want everything to keep going smoothly.

Now if only I could figure out how to get the skin on my right leg/hip to stop tingling, today would be a win on all levels.

NESTING

Hey guys… new pregnancy quirk! I’ve finally hit the part where I go into “nesting” overdrive.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “stop, Carolyn. This is old news. You’ve been nesting this whole time.”

And you’re right. I have been. But nesting overdrive is new.

I’ve heard from pretty much everyone who has ever been pregnant that, at some point, you just need to clean and organize. And yesterday marked the beginning of that for me. I was positively compelled to get everything in order. now. it’s urgent. don’t get in my way. it must happen. immediately.

I was going non-stop from the moment I got up until the moment my back told me it was time to stop. And when I reached the stopping point, I looked at my list of 6,000,000 things I had wanted to get done in one day, and almost cried because my body wouldn’t let me finish.

The highlight? I made Kyle clean the bathroom (it is always his job, bless his soul. How did I get so lucky?), and when he was done, I went in and crawled around on the floor that he had already cleaned and hand scrubbed it again. Because it “just wasn’t clean enough”.

I also kind of got mad at Kyle because I was hand-washing dishes and I wanted to wash his coffee mugs… but he was actively using one of them. (*gasp* how dare he?!) I almost snatched it out of his hand and yelled at him. But… I recognized the unreasonable pregnancy-rage and quelled my outburst. Unless he reads this, he’ll never know I was being crazy…

Well… I’m actually pretty sure he knew I was being crazy. It was pretty hard to miss. But he won’t know about the coffee-mug-anger!

And for the record, he did not once say anything about me being nuts. He just cheerfully joined in when I asked for help, and knowingly smiled as I ran up and down the stairs with my 6 loads of laundry, instructed me to stop lifting and moving the bins I had just loaded with items for storage, or quietly observed as I crawled on the floor through the old documents I was cleaning out of the filing cabinet, cursing aloud at myself for keeping phone bills from when I lived in Sweden over 6 years ago.

Note to self… no more jamming crawling, running, lifting, and hand-scrubbing all into one day. Is it any wonder my back eventually said, “stop it, you pregnant weirdo. You’re doing too much!”?

Laying ON the bump is no longer her favorite thing now that it has gotten so big. But she still likes to snuggle close to it. Sometimes the baby snuggles back by kicking her in the head.

Now that Kyle has moved his video games out of the soon-to-be nursery and down to the basement, Monty is convinced he has disappeared forever and has been freaking out nonstop. All night last night, and all morning today. It is both irritating and sweet.

Basement

So Kyle and our brother-in-law got started in the basement! They spent a few hours moving things around and organizing and coming up with a plan.

You know I’m excited about the plan.

We’ve now got a pared down, workable plan for both budget and timeline. The major goals of finding homes for all the junk in the second bedroom will all be met so the nursery can be set up, and that makes me a very happy soon-to-be mama.

In fact, the video games and the mattress from the queen size bed from the spare room are already downstairs. Imagine my delight!

“Waterproofing” the basement is going to be “shelved”. Hahahahaha. Literally!

The living space/video game space is going to be in the dry part of the basement, and the wet part of the basement is going to be used as our storage area, filled with shelves that are raised off the ground. The downspout that we think is causing most of the leaking issues will be looked at, but other than that, we’re just moving our stuff to “higher ground” as a temporary water-management solution.

The vapor barrier/dirt pile will be closed off and a cat door will be installed, and then voila! A basement that does everything we need it to, and nothing more.

I’m so relieved. The baby is going to have a room!!!

It has come to my attention, via the timehop app on my phone, that 1 year ago today we started the bathroom project and had the honey bucket delivered. Today, we start the basement project. January 17th is a great day for home improvements!

I have to say, I’m glad this year’s project doesn’t involve a port-a-potty.

Here I am at 28 weeks! Feeling a little bit tired after my glucose test and a vaccine today. But otherwise good! All measurements at the doctor today came out “perfect”. And we’ll find out about the glucose test next week. Baby Boy is the size of a chihuahua, according to one of my weekly pregnancy emails. I find that much more compelling than the “large eggplant” comparison. 🙂

Time for my glucose test! I was told the “glucola” is gross and may make you puke. So I took it near the toilet just in case. But it didn’t taste as bad as advertised. Phew!

Here’s to hoping I have normal test results!

W-2’s!

My W-2 was handed to me at work yesterday. CUE EXCITEMENT.

Now I’m positively dying for Kyle to get his. Because you know what happens when he does? I GET TO DO OUR TAXES!

Of course, the actual act of doing our taxes isn’t all that much fun. And we’ll be filing with a health savings account in our names for the first time ever. So it might even be totally the opposite of fun this year, now that we have that complication.

But what comes after taxes is definitely my brand of fun… budgeting.

I’m already busy daydreaming away about what to do with a refund. (paying down debt? more maternity leave savings? doing the basement with real money instead of credit? all of the above? oh my!)

It’s going to be a blast. 🙂

Pregnancy Snoring

My snoring problem has become a serious issue. My sweet, sweet husband has been suffering through night after night without waking me up or rolling me over, and it seems that I finally convinced him that he should do something to let me know I’m snoring.

Becaaaaause…. last night he woke me up out of every shallow moment of sleep I fell into. It would seem that it only takes me a nano-second to begin snoring once I start to drift off. In my fatigue-driven rage, I yelled at him every single time he poked me awake. I said very aggressive things along the lines of, “What do you want?!” or “Why on earth do you keep waking me up?!" or ”What could you possibly need from me at 3:30 in the morning?!“

Apparently I forgot that I had given him permission to awaken me to try to remedy the snoring situation. And apparently I was so upset and mean that he didn’t feel like he could tell me why he had poked me to begin with.

So this morning, we were both exhausted, and I was very angry with him. Until I realized that I had probably been a big jerk all night long and had yelled at him for doing exactly what I told him to do.

Confirmed. That’s exactly what happened.

Shame on me.

So we’re going to be washing the sheets in the other bedroom. And now he’ll have a place to run off to if his snoring, angry, pregnant wife ends up being unreasonable and destroying his sleep again.

I may not see him again until after the baby comes. 😦

Weekend Highlights

  • Baby Boy is now capable of (and enjoys) keeping me up at night with his movements. He has also recently changed position so that his kicks are landing in a rather uncomfortable place. I am trying to stay positive by thinking about how this “trying of new positions” may lead him into the head-down pose that we need him to land in.
  • I started putting together a postpartum care kit for myself. As we all know, feeling prepared makes me feel calm. And once again, it has worked. Who knew a gigantic pair of cotton panties could do so much for a woman’s peace of mind?
  • Kyle was given the green-light to start on the basement. By me. The holder-of-the-purse-strings. Family Budgeter Extraordinaire. For whatever that’s worth. Nothing happened this weekend down there, but we have 5 weekends set aside on the calendar for basement work. I am assuming that Kyle has some kind of idea of what the scope is going to be. I, for one, have surrendered control  of that bit (shocking, I know) because I can’t handle one more bit of anxiety. And home improvements are, after all, Kyle’s area of expertise.
  • A stranger complimented my car.
  • TWO strangers talked to me about my pregnancy. That makes three people total who have dared to ask about my belly with no worry as to whether or not I’m just a big fat fatty. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
  • I “finished” a quilt for the living room that I have been working on for…a year? Just hand-stitching the binding on now. But it is a fully functional blanket. Once the binding is fully stitched, I’ll try to remember to post a picture.

3rd trimester developments

I’ve started the first day of my last 3 months of pregnancy with randomly weeping all morning and putting my wedding ring on a chain to wear as a necklace.

Hopefully my tear-duct-faucets turn off soon. Because I’m not sure what (besides hormones) turned them on to begin with.

And the wedding ring thing is really just a precaution. I have heard horror stories about people who get them stuck, and I decided that since I have entered the phase where my ring only comes off with the help of soap if my fingers are warm, i thought I’d take the safe route. 🙂

Here’s my 27 week picture. We are in the 3rd trimester now, and exactly 3 months from my due date. Husband and I are getting very excited, and the name game is in full swing!

Kitchen Paint!

It has been almost a week since we painted the kitchen, and it is still beeeeeautiful! But you wouldn’t know that… because I haven’t posted any pictures!

The old color was on almost every wall of the house when we moved in. We think it might even be the same color as the exterior. It isn’t even a trendy beige… its just a barfy almond color. The worst color in the history of rainbows.

Because I have turned the rest of our house into the inside of “a bag of skittles”, according to Kyle, I decided to lighten it up with the kitchen and nursery colors. The kitchen was screaming out for a nearly-white ice blue.

So here is a picture with a before/after comparison. My cell phone didn’t catch the color very well in the after… but the before is on the left (ewwww almond), and the after is on the right (yay ice blue!). You’ll also notice that the cobwebs are gone in the after picture too. COBWEBS. On our kitchen wall! The improvements abound!

Here is a shot that shows our eating nook, featuring the new paint color AND a beautiful new table runner from my mother-in-law, which she gave us for Christmas.

And here is my little apron storage area which is the only picture that actually shows the color properly. Isn’t it PRETTY?!

Button

I can’t stop staring at my belly button.

Or… I guess I said that entirely wrong. There is no belly button to stare at.

I can’t stop staring at the smooth ball sticking out of my torso.

I look so weird.

Send out a search party!

I just got home from a lovely dinner with my family and changed into sweats for the evening… and something happened.

My shirt came up and revealed that I no longer have a belly button. It is gone. Completely.

I showed Kyle, and he proclaimed that a search party should be sent out to find my missing belly button. Hehe!

And he also said he likes my big fat belly and thinks it’s cute. And then he gave me a hug from behind because hugging me from the front is sort of weird now. Very tender moment. 🙂

HA!

I just looked at a couple pictures from our wedding and had to laugh at myself for a moment.

I remember thinking on my wedding day that I hadn’t gotten in shape like I’d wanted. And I was “at my heaviest ever”.

Both of those thoughts were true! But I look at those pictures now and all I can think is… “wow… my face was sooooo skinny. And my arms were too. And look at that waistline”. I was so dumb not to understand how beautiful I really was back then.

I know the “beauty” I have today as a pregnant woman is in a completely different category and shouldn’t be compared. But I also know there are other people who haven’t let themselves get pregnant-lady-face, and whose arms were still toned during pregnancy. The waistline goes for everyone though… so I guess I can find some comfort there.

My physical state could certainly be much worse during my pregnancy. While I have certainly indulged (and overindulged) in some – okay… all – of my cravings, I haven’t let myself go entirely. But I do wish I’d had it in me to be more disciplined more often. This pregnant-lady-face and the size of my butt make me sad.

Oh well. No going back in time. And I have been exercising more frequently. And I’m getting my hair cleaned up a bit in a couple weeks. So maybe I’ll start feeling better about myself soon.

But seriously… why did I think I looked so huge on my wedding day? My brain must have been on another planet. I was gorgeous!

Good news and bad news

I just went to Whole Foods for lunch and bought some of their “by weight” food, along with a beverage and a small dessert.

No pregnant lady in her right mind – and let’s face it, no pregnant lady is ever in her “right mind” – should ever let herself shop for food by weight.

Shame on me.

I spent nearly $20 on my lunch today. Granted, it was mostly healthy food from the salad bar and their hot food bar. So I suppose the money was well spent on nutritious food. And I didn’t eat all of it (leftover salad in the fridge!) But come on. What was I thinking?!

At least I controlled myself with the dessert. I got myself one miniature cannoli. I could have eaten every cannoli they had in the case, but I controlled myself and only bought one.

So at least I know I’m still capable of self control. I guess.