Week 23

Week 23: They belly has pulled ahead of the boobs.

I was killing time at Home Depot on Sunday, flipping through and gleefully rubbing carpet samples, when I suddenly noticed the large display boards no longer cleared my belly. Each one stopped and scraped my belly as I flipped it, until I suddenly stopped. My belly had outsized my boobs.

It was a disturbing moment.

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 8 inches long (same as last week) and weighs a little over a pound. He’s about the size of a papaya…a kicking, rolling, punching papaya full of energy.

Fun Fact: Baby looks like an old man these days. His skin is thin and transparent and, since he hasn’t yet grown into it, he’s a wrinkly, little thing. Over the next few weeks, he’ll pack on the fat and the cuteness. I hope.

The Good: We are definitely feeling baby’s kicks from the outside now. He can really pack a wallop! It’s a bizarre and disturbing feeling, but I find myself poking at him from time to time because it’s so weird. Unfortunately, Ben doesn’t get to experience it as much as I do. I think the baby has performance anxiety. As soon as I call Ben, baby settles down and sits quietly. I hope this is still the trend once he’s out. Dads need to have that effect on their squirmy kids.

The Bad: Last week was probably the most difficult so far. Everything hurt and sleep was impossible. Night after night of pain was wearing me down, and work was not cooperating. So many people needed punching! But, I held it together and tried to stay calm. Thankfully, this week is a lot better.

The Ugly: My mom had me when she was 17, when her skin was young and stretchy, and full of all kinds of good collagen. Still, she had stretch marks. Lots of them. So, I felt pretty confident I’d get them, too.

In spite of slathering myself in thick, stinky lotion every day, the stretch marks began appearing last week. I don’t know how they seemed to appear overnight, but they’re here and I’m not at all happy about it. My bikini days may be over before they ever started.

Thankfully, my adorable husband insists he sees no stretch marks. I know he’s lying, but I really appreciate it.

Cravings: No specific cravings this week, but I’m trying to reign in my eating as much as possible. I don’t want to gain too much weight. It’s a tough thing to do, though, when my body is telling me to eat, eat, eat and sleep, sleep, sleep.

What’s Next: Our birthing class is Oct. 5. I have no idea what to expect, but we were told to bring two bed pillows with us. I choose to believe that means nap time is included in the agenda. However, I’m terrified we’ll have to watch one of those horrible live-birth videos or discuss ripping orifices and deep squatting. I can’t handle the truth right now.

Week 22

The baby at 21 weeks

I didn’t take a belly picture this week because this one is so much better (and I forgot). Here’s our little guy, looking very adorable. Such handsome features!

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 8 inches long (up an inch last week) and weighs about a pound. He’s about the size of a small spaghetti squash…and just as handsome!

Fun Fact: Baby has eyebrows and eyelashes now, which help give him a much more sophisticated (and less alien) appearance. However, since his new hair doesn’t have pigment and is bright white, he probably looks like Edgar Winter. Not a good thing. Better let him cook a little longer before making his big appearance.

It's a foot!

It’s a foot!

The Farts: This will definitely fall into the category of “too much information” but I’m going for it anyway. Feel free to skip over this if you’re delicate.

I’ve alluded to the constipation several times. Well, it’s horrible! My once-normal bowel habits have been reduced to a few toilet pellets every day. Literally, pellets. I might be a rabbit! So, I talked to the doc about it last week.

Me: I need some help with the constipation. I feel like I’m going to die like the girl on Poltergeist.

Dr (not laughing): You can eat more fiber. Have fruit for a snack.

Me: I’m doing that.

Dr: You can have a big salad for lunch.

Me: I’m doing that.

Dr: You can take fiber supplements.

Me: I’m doing that. Twice a day.

Dr: Are you drinking enough water? That can help move things along.

Me: I guzzle water all day long. My tummy sloshes!

Dr: Well, you can take stool softeners.

Me: Oh thank god!

Stimulant-free stool softeners have been life-changing. My stomach feels better and I’m not groaning as much through the course of my normal day. My baby bump was probably 50 percent poop. I’m not proud, but I feel lots better.

The Name: Ben has been referring to the tater tot as Baby Harry, so we might have a name, though I’m still noncommittal.

The Not-So-Good News: The ultrasound revealed I have a low-lying anterior placenta, which is not the best news on earth. The placenta is like a blood pancake that the umbilical cord comes out of. Typically, the pancake/placenta implants in the uterus high and towards the back (near the spine). However, my placenta (or is it baby’s placenta?) is implanted in the front and towards the bottom, close to the uterus’ exit door.

This means we need to get another ultrasound in seven weeks. Hopefully, the placenta will have moved up (as it tends to do naturally since the uterus grows from the bottom like a giant water balloon) and we can go forward without worry.

If the placenta hasn’t moved up, away from the cervix, there’s a very high risk of bleeding or the placenta could come out before the baby, which would be very bad. I could be on bed rest for a while and I’d need to get a C-section. Fortunately, baby doesn’t know the difference until birth, so he’s totally fine. It just gives me something to think about when I lie awake at night.

Workouts: The doctor told me running of any kind, even my shuffle-plod jogging is out since I’ve had so much pelvic pain the last couple weeks. My pelvis is ripping apart and I need to stop doing anything that hurts. I hoped that meant early retirement, but it just means I have to cut back on my workouts. I’m powerwalking with hand weights at 5 a.m. now. It’s terribly embarrassing. I need to ask the octogenarians at the mobile home park if they want to start a fanny pack walking group.

Cravings: I’m so hungry. That is all. Everything sounds delicious. Even Mexican food and I have reunited. The challenge now is not eating constantly. Baby needs food!

What’s Next: Ummm…gestating and trying to stay away from French fries.

What Else: Ben and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary last week. I can’t believe it’s been a year. So much has happened. I’m the luckiest person in the world.

Week 21

Hank is my photobomb buddy this week.

Hank is my photobomb buddy this week.

The ultrasound was last Thursday and our little tater tot was wiggling and squirming and making quite a fuss. The exam took about an hour as the tech struggled to keep him still long enough to get the measurements she needed. He was a very bouncy little boy!

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 7 inches long (up from 6.5 inches last week) and weighs around 11 ounces. He’s only gained about an ounce, but it feels like a lot more. We see the doctor on Thursday and she’ll tell me in more detail how big he is (based on the ultrasound measurements). I’m dying to know if he’s a sasquatch and if our due date is going to stay Jan. 11.

Belly action shot!

Belly action shot!

Fun Fact: Baby is starting to taste my food. Starting this week, he’ll begin drinking his pee-infused amniotic fluid to get his digestive system working. The taste of this disgusting slurry varies by what I eat. So, if I want him to eat his veggies later, I need to eat mine now.

The Farts: I told you there may be spontaneous and uncontrollable farting. Well, it started this week. Without warning, kaboom. It’s so embarrassing! It hasn’t happened at work yet, but it’s only a matter of time. It’s only going to get worse as baby gets bigger.

The Name: My brother threw a name into the ring over the weekend. He suggested Ziggy Marley, which is not the worst name on the list so far. We’re still fans of Harold, but we’re taking other nominations. I want to see him before making anything official. He may look like a Ziggy!

Movement: As I mentioned before, baby is moving a lot. It still feels subtle, though. If I’m working or watching tv, I don’t feel it much. But, if it’s quiet or if I concentrate, I start to feel it. He seems especially active at about 4:30 every morning. That must be his tumbling practice.

The Belly: I’m feeling like Large Marge this week. I don’t know that the belly is all that much bigger, but it feels a whole lot bigger. Everything feels tight!

Cravings: The truck driver appetite continues. All I can think about is Baskin Robbins ice cream. I’ve only indulged once, but I think about it every minute of the day. Full disclosure: I also had two Blizzards this week. It’s all about the ice cream!

Sleep: I’ve had some pain in my hips and pelvis, so I’ve been doing specific exercises every day and my sleep is a tad bit better. My hips still ache and I toss and turn all night, but I’m getting a couple more hours. (As a side note, I need to take a picture of the face Ben makes when I do my cat-cow pelvic exercises. It’s not a good face. He looks fairly horrified, but it keeps me entertained.)

Workouts: Getting so much harder! I get winded more easily and my stamina seems to be getting worse. Plus, it’s getting harder to maneuver around the growing belly. I’m not used to wearing a backpack on the front! The boobs are also getting bigger and that’s disconcerting. Two sports bras cannot contain them. I can’t manage any more boobs!

What’s Next: The registry! After weeks of scouring online reviews and fretting about every decision, I need to sit down and do the registry already. I worry so much about picking “the wrong thing” and it’s ridiculous. Nothing is the wrong thing. It’s all just things. Time to buck up and get it done.