Now What?!

A Grumpy Guide to Pregnancy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New theme II: The rumba

Week 28: Man, when I first felt Speck kicking, it was a faint flutter that I only gradually learned to distinguish from gas bubbles or other internal shenanigans. Well, no longer! It seems like any time I'm sitting down (i.e., most of the day), she's flipping around in there, sometimes giving me a two-foot rabbit kick, and generally constantly active. Much of this is mighty enough that you could feel it outside my clothes really moving my belly (although the vast majority of the action is still down in the bikini zone, so not really getting shared with the general public). Somewhere between amusing and distracting/annoying. I guess I can expect the motion to feel a bit less wild as the space in there gets tighter (Speck is currently estimated around 2.5 pounds), but of course there will be more muscle behind it too. Not sure whether this is something I look forward to or dread . . .

In other news, appetite remains "normal" by pre-pregnancy standards, indigestion a regular thing (but Tums and Zantac effective), energy generally good (although residual cough and holiday flurry mean I'm not at max, but who ever is?), foot swelling less of a problem, belly tight (almost muscle-achey). More updates as situation changes, heh.

Monday, November 19, 2007

New theme: The Belly

Week 27: Making an entry now with what I forecast will be the increasing theme of the months ahead: my belly taking over my life. It's not that it's so much bigger than a few weeks ago, but it's starting to be a tangible presence in ways that are a little hard to put a finger on. Yes, I'm losing a few more shirts from my repertoire, but a it's more a steady feeling of tightness at the muscle level (not just skin stretch) and a lack of forgiveness after larger meals. Speck is some two pounds now, and going to at least triple that over the next three months, so I suspect that the shifts in available space (for food, air, etc.) will become more noticeable, and there may be shifts in posture and new muscle aches to follow. More when I see how this pans out...

Fighting with myself

Weeks 25-26: Despite having a flu shot the month before, I have some kind of a bad cold or a mild flu that has me coughing incessantly. Sadly, I am Forbidden (again) from many familiar remedies, and Spouse spent some time stalking the obscure back corners of the pharmacy to find drugs from the Allowed list that might provide some relief. (It got bad enough that I had to sleep on the couch where I could prop myself nearly vertical and thus weather some of the phlegmy assaults and coughing fits. meh.) No fever or nausea, but I do have my usual sickness-related decline in appetite, so Speck had to make due with a trickle of bullion, juice, and tea for the worst of it while my feeble immune system tried to get the upper hand.

Pregnancy-specific aspects of this suffering period include not only concerns about my diet (although I've put on enough stores already that I'm sure there was no fetal starvation threatened) but the war between my need to minimize coughing and my desire to minimize heartburn: for example, milk helps with the latter but makes the former worse, and the reverse for, say, lemon tea... Also, night coughing means getting more and more tired, just when I could really use some reserves for the ongoing paint battle, etc., and sometimes I can't get quite a deep enough breath to really get the job done. The only good thing about the timing of all this was that my depleted sick days were somewhat spared because I had already taken off one day in the worst part (for Election Day, which I barely worked) and had planned to work at home a second day that same week, so a couple of low-function work days and one under a quilt got me through. Cough still not gone, after two weeks (and even 10 days of optimistic Amoxicillin use), but I think it's a combination of exhaustion and allergies at this point. Perhaps the Thanksgiving holiday will give me a respite. My rib muscles ache from all the coughing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The eye of the hurricane

Weeks 22-23: I'm starting to feel better on the hunger front (less urgency less often), ok on energy (although the joint arrival of a contractor and two houseguests threatens that). On the down side, I'm starting to develop more belly, with the result that it gets ever harder to bend over, tie my shoes, etc. On the wacky side, I feel my first kicks, which it takes me a little while to recognize, since they feel more like gas bubbles than anything else. (Or perhaps like a goldfish careening off the sides of the bowl.)

Week 24:
The snacking drive is almost entirely gone -- I can now eat meals at my usual (fairly long) intervals, and I don't need a late-night smackerel to make sure I don't wake up hungry in the wee hours. A welcome relief, although I expect a new onslaught of hunger when the big growth spurt hits in the next month or so. Also, I feel almost 95% myself now mentally (although that's a bit susceptible to the distance of memory, heh), taking on household tasks and updating web pages like a new person (probably slightly in excess of what's reasonable, but there's so much to paint!!). Sleep-wise, things are a bit better (with the introduction of Zantac into my evening routine) and also a bit worse (between stiff joints and the return of the nasal drip/cough) . . .

Monday, November 5, 2007

Shifting gears

an apt cardWeeks 18-20: This appears to be a transitional period. On the one hand, my reward-response structure is normalizing, with the return of my desire to play my online game, slight decrease in the frequency/urgency of snacking, return of more energy, etc. On the other hand, foot swelling continuing, and in week 19 I find I'm having trouble crossing my legs -- some combination of the larger stomach with changes in overall weight and joint stiffness. (I can make my legs cross, but it's no longer an alternate rest position. meh.) My in-laws made me laugh hard, and scored some major points, with the card at the right; seems a good summary.

I should also note, having somehow left this out, that I'm several (four?) bra sizes up from where I started (having started to grow around 6 or 8 weeks along), but the flurry of bra purchases seems to have stopped. Don't know whether there will be another burst of growth toward the end of pregnancy (and preparation for milk), or whether I'll be about this size. It's definitely a factor now in the determination of whether an item of my clothing still fits, but otherwise this seems manageable, and so far I haven't had to sleep in a bra (which a cousin counselled me to expect) or anything like that. For anybody else who is well-endowed to begin with and looking for something comfortable in these new sizes, I really recommend this bra, which gives good support, has the material characteristics (wicking, etc.) of a sports bra (designed for "that ultimate 9-5 sport"), and keeps the wires out where they don't press on breast tissue and give you problems. What maternity shops sell are nursing bras, which will be needed eventually but right now just mean limited selection and unnecessary padding...

Week 21: It got cool enough for my long maternity pants to come into play, and also some fall/leather shoes. Or rather, the latter might have, if anything fit. Looks like I'll be in sneakers and one pair of lace leather shoes for most of the cold months. (One hates to sink money into shoes for 3-4 months of wear ever!) My fingers are getting a bit of the puffiness that my ankles have suffered, making me wonder whether my wedding ring will eventually go the way of my engagement ring (which is to say, somewhere that won't involve cutting my finger off)...