Week 20 – Halfway Done!

Week 20, feeling fat and happy with the cutest little photobomber in the house

Week 20, feeling fat and happy with the cutest little photobomber in the house

We’re at the halfway point! It’s hard to believe we’re rounding second on this baby. It seems like we just got used to the idea and now we’re planning for the little chumper’s arrival. There’s so much to do!

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 6.5 inches long and weighs around 10 ounces, which is about the size of a mango. He’s gained about an ounce and a half and grown a half-inch since last week.

Fun Fact: Baby is making his scrotum right now. His testicles will stay in his belly for a few more weeks, but he’s readying their house. He’s also making his first poops, which should stay inside his body until he comes out. (And I’ve been complaining about being constipated!) Thank goodness he’s keeping it to himself.

The Name: Harold is pulling into the lead. My grandpa was the best guy ever. It breaks my heart he won’t meet our baby (he passed away in April), but I like to believe he’s aware a namesake is on the way. If our baby is half as great as my Pop, the world will be in for a real treat.

Movement: Baby’s movements seem more substantial so far this week. Instead of a light, twitching flicker, I feel more pressure. No punches or anything sharp, but there’s a rumbling. He may be doing barrel rolls. I can’t wait for Ben to be able to feel the kicks from the outside. Alien time!

The Belly: Big! I definitely feel a pinching when I bend over or bring my knees toward my chest. We have our ultrasound Thursday, so I’m eager to find out how big this little guy is. He feels big! Ben was a 10-pound baby, so I’m acutely aware of the possibility this guy may come out a Sasquatch.

Cravings: I’m off the string cheese, but still eating watermelon like it’s going out of season…because it is! I’m so glad to have been pregnant through the summer produce season. All I want to eat is fruit. Mexican food is still out. Pizza is still a game-time decision. Otherwise, I’m up for anything. I’m the hungriest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m really worried I might be enormous by the end of this. I’m starving all the time. I had two breakfasts yesterday! Agh!

Sleep: I think my pelvis might be ripping apart (I wish that was a joke), so I’m still not sleeping. I’ve been warned to get used to it, but everything hurts right now and I’m a little cranky. I think I’m keeping Ben awake, too, which is not good for the marital bliss. That man needs his sleep!

The Bad News: The dogs have been banished from the bed at night. I feel like an ogre making the little ones sleep in their crate (until they get trained off of sleeping on the bed with me), but I need more space. We only have a queen-sized bed and Dougal and Otis are both sprawlers. They take up a ton of space, so I was getting up repeatedly to move them. With agonizing nighttime hip pain and only two possible sleeping positions, they were getting in the way a lot. Thankfully, they’ve embraced this change and seem to be handling it very well. No whining or anything. Of course, I do miss the snuggles!

Workouts: As I mentioned, my pelvis is splitting in half, so my workouts have been a challenge. I’m still doing them, I’m just taking more breaks and trying to find exercises that don’t feel like I’m taking a knee to the crotch. I’ll see the midwife again next week and ask her about the pelvic pain. I made the mistake of googling it, so I’m a bit worried. Hold together, hips, hold together!

What’s Next: I read that by the time I’m 29 weeks along, all of my intestines will be mashed into a 4-inch area of my abdomen. YIKES! This is why I can’t read ahead. Too much information.

Week 19

Week 19, hiking at the local state park

Week 19, hiking at the local state park

The chest cold is gone. An occasional coughing fit still takes over, but I’m no longer drowning in my own phlegm (or peeing my pants several times a day). I consider it a major victory.

I’m still not sleeping, however. My hips ache from sleeping on my sides and I’m absolutely exhausted. I daydream about sleeping on my back again. Oh, to experience such relaxation! Instead, I get to flop (very slowly) from side to side every hour throughout the night, trying to dodge painful hip cramps. I’m very cranky!

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 6 inches long and weighs around 8.5 ounces, which is about the size of a big tomato. (I’m very suspicious of these size comparisons since last week he was the size of a bell pepper, which is bigger than a tomato.) He’ll be packing on the ounces pretty quickly from here out. I know this because I have the appetite of a truck driver.

Fun Fact: Baby is forming a waxy coating on his skin right now so that he doesn’t pickle in his own urine. I wish I made that up! So gross!

The Name: Names we actually like include Daniel, Samuel, Charles, Henry, and Harold. Harold is my grandfather’s name and my first choice, but we’re still negotiating. Maybe we’ll wait to take a look at him before deciding. That’s what I’ve always done with my dogs. They kinda name themselves.

Movement: We have movement! It feels like a twitching muscle inside my stomach, or like someone flicking me with their finger very quickly. It’s actually quite disturbing and it’s been happening all the time. A lot of the websites said it would feel like bubbles, but I don’t get that at all. This is much creepier.

The Belly: Large and in charge. Now that my employer knows about the baby, I can let it hang out a lot more. That’s a relief. There’s no hiding it anyway.

Cravings: Still string cheese and watermelon. I’m also adding yogurt and peanut butter to the list of things I must have every day. I don’t even like yogurt!

Sleep: The one bright spot in my sleeplessness is that I’ve started watching True Detective and I’m absolutely obsessed with Skinny Matthew McConaughey. I can’t get enough of his face! I never liked him when he was heavier, but he seems so interesting now. It’s not a sexy thing. He just doesn’t look like anyone else and I love it. I’m dying to know what happens (we just finished episode five) but I’m trying to savor it. This is the first time Ben and I have liked a show together since The Tudors. We never agree on tv.

Nursery Update: We have our first nursery item! We got a used crib and it’s pretty nice. The spare room actually looks like it might be a nursery, and that’s both terrifying and exciting. This is really happening! For short periods of time, I forget we’re expecting and then the panic hits me (or the baby does!). There’s still so much to do. As renters, we won’t go wild on decorating or anything. We’d like to buy a house next year, so saving money is a big deal. Baby won’t care if his nursery is a bit plain for now.

What’s Next: The big ultrasound is next week. We’re hoping to get a good look at our tater and make sure he’s healthy. Maybe the name will get easier once we can see him.

Week 18

(Note: I know I promised pictures but the week rolled on and I didn’t get a picture, so now I’m a week late. No picture this week, but Ben took my 19-week picture yesterday. I try to do write these posts Monday or Tuesday, so I’ll post 19 weeks very soon!)

I’m limping into this week with a terrible chest cold. I feel absolutely awful. I haven’t been sleeping because of the violent coughing and sometimes I really want to punch my sleeping husband for getting me sick. He brought this beast home!

Coughing while pregnant requires a full-body clench. By the end of the day, everything is tired and sometimes I pee my pants a little. It’s very embarrassing. But, these are the breaks.

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 5.5 inches long and weighs around 7 ounces, which is about the size of a bell pepper or a chicken breast. He’s practically a fajita!

Fun Fact: Babies start yawning right about now, which would be adorable if they didn’t still look like ET. (ET freaks me out!)

The Name: My favorite suggestions of the week include Ziggy Stardust Haines, Eric Burdon Haines, Manchego Haines, and Sky Pilot Haines. Ben has vetoed all of these options.

Movement: I’m on constant alert for movement, but everything feels like something when you’re this constipated. I thought I felt a weird rubbing, but I don’t know. It’s all very mysterious in that area. Stay tuned!

The Belly: I am not a belly-rubber by nature, so it’s been strange to brush my arm against it and feel something that doesn’t feel like mine. For one thing, it’s very hard. My belly has always been squishy, even when I’ve been thin. So, this hard belly is alarming at times. It feels like a tumor. Second, it seems much bigger this week than last, and that’s disconcerting. How quickly is this thing supposed to grow? And, how big will it get?

Cravings: String cheese and watermelon. I’m going through both at an alarming pace. Hunger sneaks up on me very quickly. I go from stuffed to starved in roughly 20 minutes, so keeping string cheese in my purse has saved me from possible death numerous times.

Workouts: The chest cold from hell and a horrible shoulder problem have forced me to miss a few workouts this week. I’m definitely feeling slow and winded. The trek up the hill has been especially difficult, but I feel less guilty since it was raining anyway.

Sleep: No sleep right now and I’m getting very cranky about it! I would give anything for a night without coughing.

Awkward: All the blogs and such warn me to expect awkward comments and gropes as my condition becomes more obvious. This week, I had my first. One of my staffers, who is a lovely older man, asked me, “Is it your shirt or are your boobs coming in?” I was absolutely mortified and had no answer. If these are the kinds of comments that will be coming my way over the next five months, I need to prepare some witty retorts.

What’s Next: Hopefully kicking and the end of the devil cold.

Week 17

Blueberries for the Baby Blueberry!

Blueberries for the Baby Blueberry!

I’ll try to start posting weekly picture updates from here out. I’ll just come out and say that it’s really hard being chubby during major life events like this. I wish I had adorable wedding pictures and equally adorable pregnancy pictures, but I don’t and, at this point, there’s nothing I can do about it. I could photoshop my head onto the body of someone much cuter, but that wouldn’t do any of us any good.

I’ll just do what I can and try not to get too weird about it. I’m sure I’ll want the pictures later.

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 5 inches long and weighs around 3.5 ounces. I’ve read online that he’s the size of a turnip, but I can’t tell a turnip from a rutabaga, so let’s just say he’s the size of a small sweet potato. He’s growing fingerprints and starting to pack on baby fat. By the time he’s born, his body will be two-thirds fat, so he’s got a ways to go!

Fun Fact: This week, I learned that my growing uterus will start to put pressure on my rectum, which can cause spontaneous and uncontrollable farting. Always something to look forward to.

The Name: Ben and I are still negotiating a name. So far, I just refer to the baby as “baby.” It’s not creative but it works.

Movement: Nothing yet, but it could happen any day now!

The Belly: The clothes aren’t fitting so well these days as the belly is really starting to come out. It pinches when I tie my sneakers and, during my workouts, my squats are getting wider to accommodate my growing tummy. My hiking shorts won’t close and my weekend wardrobe is yoga pants and a t-shirt.

I’m down a few more pounds overall, but the doctor isn’t worried. She said I started out heavier, so it’s not healthy for me to gain much. As long as I’m eating well and exercising, and listening to my body, she said I’m doing very well.

Cravings: Now that my appetite is back, I’ve been going berserk over fresh blueberries. I spent two Saturdays at our local u-pick patch collecting nearly 25 pounds of blueberries. Okay, so I went a bit nuts. But, I am insane for blueberries right now. I eat them constantly.

I’m also craving salads with shredded chicken and string cheese, and I’m guzzling water like a camel. We went to Red Robin last week after my doctor’s appointment and I’ve been revisiting the fries in my head. Thank goodness there isn’t a Red Robin nearby. I’ll stick with my salads and string cheese, and keep Red Robin as a “doctor day” treat only.

Workouts: Three times a week, I’m walking the giant hill by my house. It’s about three-quarters of a mile to the base of the hill, then a mile to the top. Roundtrip is about 3.5 miles. I walk up with the dogs and do a plodding half-jog all the way down and back to my house.

At least two other days a week, I’m doing a home workout with weights. It’s a lot of squats and pushups (from the kitchen counter), and various other exercises done in one-minute intervals for about 40 minutes. I’ve tried a few pregnancy workout videos and they’re really dorky. Plus, those skinny women with giant bellies and leotards really creep me out.

I’m also doing a pregnancy yoga video at least once a week. With 10-hour days at work, though, I’m having trouble fitting everything in.

Sleep: I’m not sleeping right now. My hips and back ache at night, and I have a hard time getting comfortable. I’m not a side sleeper, so it’s been challenging for me to adjust. I desperately want to sleep on my back! (It’s not allowed during pregnancy because it can cut off blood flow to the baby.) Side sleeping is the worst.

Dreams: I’m excited to report some super-weird dreams lately. The other night, I had a date with Russell Crowe. Not the sexy “Gladiator” Russell Crowe, but the grizzled, old Russell Crowe from “Noah.” It wasn’t a great date. I kept telling Russell he looked a lot like my dad. I don’t expect there will be a second date. My husband is not even slightly jealous.

What’s Next: Our big ultrasound is at the end of the month and I’m very excited to see our baby boy. I really hope everything is normal and healthy, and that he’s as excited to meet us as we are to meet him.