How far along: 31 weeks completed 8/7/2012.
Weight gain: My visit with the midwives on Monday was great. I’ve gained 2 lbs in the past two weeks, so I’m at 149 now for a total weight gain of 16 lbs.
Clothes: I’m so excited about the drop in temperature that’s supposed to happen today. The words “cardigan,” “leggings,” and “sweatshirt” have me dreamin’ . . .
Purchases: No purchases, but I’ve received some lovely, lovely gifts! (One I’ll be posting pictures of next week). Also, my friend Traci allowed me to raid her attic, and I made out with a diaper pail, a snuggly wrap thingy for when Alice is in her carseat, adorable clothes, a boppy, and more. Thanks Traci!!
Body: No more heartburn (phew!) after that one occurrence, but sore ribs, and occasionally achy hips and back. I can’t complain, because the aches aren’t intense–but they’re kind of hovering there in the background.
I’ve also been really congested at night all week. I thought that was just a pregnancy thing, but throughout the day on Tuesday, as my sinus area got worse and worse and my head started pounding, I realized I was finally just sick with a bad cold–plugged up nose, light hurt my eyes, achy bones in my face, the whole nine yards. It’s a very inconvenient time to be sick since we’re a week away from moving and have a ton of other stuff going on. And who gets a cold in 90 degree weather?
And just for kicks:
Sleep: It’s been the trickiest yet. At least half the nights this week, I’ve been waking up to pee around 1 or 2am and not being able to fall back asleep. For an hour. Ugh. Another woman in our Bradley birth class mentioned this exact same problem, so it appears this is in the pregnancy cards for some of us.
And what a dream I had two nights ago! I dreamed that I was watching Alice move under my belly, and suddenly her entire body was so pushed up against my skin that I could see all the contours of her face. Then, I was holding the placenta in my hands–with Alice inside–looking at it. The placenta was clear, and inside was my baby girl, and some red liquid. “That’s not enough liquid,” I thought. “I really need to drink some more water and hydrate!” I was thrilled though, because I could see her face through the transparent layers, as long as I shook the red bloody liquid to the bottom. I put the placenta on the window sill so that the light would hit it, thinking I should take a picture of her face to show my husband. “Erica!” I called to my sister, “bring me my camera!” But then, as Alice turned, her pointy nose ripped a hole in the placenta. I tried to hold it so that the liquid wouldn’t all fall out, but I couldn’t.
Then, I was rushing by myself through the corridors of a hospital-like facility (which looked like a mall). I looked down at my belly and thought, “wow, I guess I won’t have to give birth now that she’s out. I should bring her to our next Bradley class–won’t everyone be surprised!” I knew she was alive and safe somewhere, because she had certainly been big enough to survive in the outside world. But I had to find her!
I asked a doctor where she was, and he wouldn’t tell me. “But you don’t understand! I need to be skin to skin with her!” I cried. He shook his head. “But wait!” I exclaimed, “I wrote on my birth plan ‘delay all newborn procedures for 1-2 hours’ so that she wouldn’t be taken away from me! Where is she?” At this point, the doctor pulled out a file of medical paperwork and showed me her picture. To my shock, she had man-sized eyebrows, huge and furry, and lots of dark hair. My baby girl looked kind of like a man. I swallowed my disappointment and determined to make the best of it.
Best moment(s) of the week: There were a lot of good moments–hearing Alice’s heartbeat at my Monday appointment, learning more about the birthing process in our Monday night Bradley class (only two left!), feeling her little limbs push out against my belly . . . but one huge thing is: I have found a great temp! I started her this week and have about 2 months to train her. I almost didn’t realize how much this had been weighing on the back of my mind until I offered her the job and she accepted. That evening, I couldn’t stop smiling. This is a huge relief–finding someone professional, competent, kind, calm, fully bilingual–the whole works. I feel like my pathway to this maternity leave thing is now clear. I can actually see myself leaving the office in her hands.
Emotionally, it feels great.
I have to add though that this is also the hardest I’ve worked since I started this job 3 years ago. Training someone is exhausting! (Tasks that would normally take an hour suddenly take three, your throat starts aching and suddenly you realize you’ve been talking for about 5 hours straight, etc.) But I know all this effort will pay off when I go into labor and can simply walk out the door and forget about the office for three beautiful months.
Movement: Just as wonderful as ever, with the most ridiculously huge motions when I lie down at night.
Food cravings/aversions: I can’t eat a full meal these days; if I do, it’s actually painful. There’s just not as much room for food anymore, so according to the experts I’m supposed to be eating smaller meals peppered throughout the day. But I don’t want to eat smaller meals! I really like sitting down and having a real, full meal! Not overeating, mind you, but just eating my usual amount. However, the pain this causes may be an indication that I have to cave. Dole out my portions. Hrngh.
Symptoms: Sleeplessness is the main one (besides being sick–which may have been aided by an immune system that backs down during pregnancy so as not to attack the baby? or am I making that up?). Add to that being really tired and feeling the heat acutely, and it hasn’t been the most physically pleasant week.
But on the happy side, there’s a baby inside me! So all of the little bodily inconveniences are really negligible.
Emotions: Excitement about our move! And I absolutely can’t wait to get all of Alice’s things settled into her little room.
I’m also starting to feel like I really need to nail down a birth plan. And not just a birth plan about how I would want labor to go if all is smooth and normal, but one that incorporates all the logistical elements involved: pre-registering at the hospital. Calling my insurance (I have to call them after I’m admitted–if not, they won’t cover me. Ouch!). Requesting a volunteer doula when we call to say we’re on our way in. Getting an on-staff pediatrician since the pediatricians I’m going with don’t have privileges at Swedish. Making a note to request all paperwork to bring to my real pediatricians when I leave, since I’ll have to visit them a day after I’m discharged. Signing my baby up for my insurance within 30 days–I’m terrified I’ll forget. There’s a lot, and the only way to manage it is to make one friggin’ awesome master list. I love lists. Without them, my head would explode.
Hopes and dreams: According to my dream, I really, really want to see Alice’s face–and I really hope she doesn’t look like a grown man.
What I miss: Digging into a nice, big meal without running out of room. And being able to turn over in bed without waking up my poor spouse, who gets to experience a mattress earthquake every time I feel the need to flip.
What I’m looking forward to: Having Alice’s room ready. Having a birth plan in place and a hospital bag packed. I know there’s plenty of time . . . but I’m just looking forward to that feeling of being ready which will enable me to relax a little more fully instead of mentally juggling all these things that aren’t in place yet.
Husband update: He’s pretty much in move-mode, doing the bulk of the packing and lifting and logistics. And when he’s in project mode, there’s no stopping him until it’s done!
Which will be soon.
Then I will ply him with mushy questions about our upcoming life with Alice and dream about her squishy little arms and legs out loud.
But for now, I’ll put a hold on the mush and let him focus on this next big step of getting our butts and boxes into a new space.
Though some mush happens anyway without my direct intervention. Sometimes we’ll see a particularly cute baby on the El, or on facebook (Levi!!!! Steve and Steph, you made a cute one alright!), and he’ll get a really dreamy, adorable look on his face.
And then he shakes it off and snaps back into project mode while I’m still floating in a fuzzy, pink cloud.
This moving thing–it’s kind of consuming if ya know what I mean.
Anyway, on the books for tonight: packing up my dresser and moving enough clothes for 1 week into 1 piece of luggage. Practicing for music on Sunday if I’m feeling physically up to it. And trying to rest some more to shake off this cold.
Have a great day everyone, and thanks so much for your sweet, thoughtful and encouraging comments on Tuesday’s post. Y’all are the best.