Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks

Yup, I'm full-term now. This baby is coming out in 17 more days. I think I can make it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. . . . .

I had my mother-in-law take this photo for me after I got back from a job interview last Thursday. Do you know how difficult it is to find appropriate interviewing clothes when heavily pregnant? I had originally figured to put a blazer on over my blouse, but none of my blazers fit me, even when unbuttoned. I'm not sure how my shoulders got bigger, but there you have it. I went with a cardigan sweater, instead. Incidentally, I got the job. It's just a part-time teaching gig, one night a week starting in late summer and continuing next school year. I'll be an adjunct instructor, teaching graduate school ESL endorsement classes for a local university.

Look at the above picture again. Do you see anything cute? How about the little man in the window? He couldn't figure out why Grandma Toni was taking my picture instead of his. Nick is very used to being the center of attention. He's in for some changes very soon.  :)  I think it will be good for him, though.

This is probably the last ultrasound picture I'll have for this little boy. The next picture you'll see will be from the outside.  You can see his face in profile, with his forehead in the upper left hand corner and his eye and nose below it. I think that's an arm or a foot squished up against his face. The doctor estimated that on this day (May 10th) he weighed 5 lbs., 3 ounces. His guess is that his final weight will be in the 7 pound range. Not too shabby.

Alright, so here's what is probably my last pregnancy update. I'm scheduled for a c-section on June 9th, which should be a nice birthday for this little guy. My birthday is June 5th, and our wedding anniversary is June 8th, so June will always be a busy month for us.

Weight: (From starting weight) +26 pounds. I feel pretty huge, and I'm a few pounds bigger than I was with Nick. The difference, though, is that I gained over 40 pounds with Nick and never lost it all, so I started out heavier. So I feel pretty sucessful that I didn't put on another 40 pounds with this pregnancy. Gotta celebrate the small things, right.  ;)

Movement: He has been more active lately, though still less bouncy than Nick was at this age. My students were watching my belly bounce up and down last week. "Freaky!," one of my 5th graders commented. Yup. But also interesting and awesome, in its own way.

Exercise: Actually, more this month than last. I love to get outside when it's nice, and so I've taken every opportunity to go out lately. On Friday we took Nick to Riverwalk and took a little walk. Chasing him is excellent exercise. Yesterday I spent hours and hours in the garden, doing very hard physical labor. I also took Nick to a festival and walked around the grounds for a few hours. I feel pretty proud of what I'm able to do at this stage in my pregnancy.

Cravings: Iced tea, all the time. I could drink a gallon of it a day. Actually, I've been craving dinner food, even at breakfast. Forget cereal, I want leftovers of dinner the night before, even if it is 7 a.m. I dream of meat and cheese and all things protein. Oh, and I've been having a bbq chicken salad from Panera (substitute spinach for lettuce, add tomatoes) at least a few times a week. Chocolate, of course, is still an ongoing craving, though I'm not sure if that counts as a pregnancy craving. I always crave chocolate.

Sleep: My hands hurt from the way I've been sleeping. I'm still using 5 pillows to prop myself up at night, and waking up a bunch to use the bathroom.

Oh, and I have had some extremely weird dreams. In one of them, I dreamed I was having an ultrasound, and the doctor told me that the baby was healthy except for one thing--instead of a baby human, he was a baby giraffe. It's weird how anything seems feasible in a dream. I remember being totally freaked out and explaining to the doctor, "But, I don't think I can take care of a baby giraffe. What do they even eat?" When I woke up, I actually had to go peek at my ultrasound picture to reassure myself. It was 3 a.m. and I couldn't get back to sleep for quite awhile.

Then, today, I was at a shower for my cousin, who is also having a baby boy in just a few weeks. She got one of these adorable giraffe baby teethers. It brought back that dream, vividly. I think I'll have to get one of these for the baby, just because. Then, whenever I am frustrated because the baby can't sleep or is crying, I can look at this toy and breathe a sigh of relief because I have a baby human and not a baby giraffe.

Medical: I am very anemic, and I have funky looking bruises in places where I don't remember bumping into anything. I've been going to the infusion center for IV iron weekly. I think it's finally starting to kick in, three weeks later, because some of my energy has come back. I'm still tired, but I don't feel like I want to lay down and sleep every second of every day.

On the other hand, my blood pressure has been excellent, even low sometimes. My asthma isn't bothering me too badly (except for when I run to chase Nick), and I'm able to get around okay. I know it could be much worse.

Mood: Upbeat, if a little cranky. I've been telling everyone who asks, "How are you feeling?" the same thing. "I would be perfectly happy if my water broke right this second. I am done being pregnant." Several people have commented that I'm waddling. Sigh. I suppose that is normal.
However, my mood has been better as my delivery date approaches. Something about knowing that the end is near makes pregnancy a little more bearable.
Symptoms: Other than waddling? His little feet are in my ribs, and he keeps pushing them out. I'm slightly worried that he's going to crack one. My uterus is up so high now that I can't eat much in one sitting. I have been eating my dinner in stages lately. I'll have maybe 1/3 of it, and then come back for more later.
I'm having some swelling, too. My ankles and feet are slightly swollen, but my fingers are really bad. My ring finger is usually a size 7, and my wedding rings are a 7 1/4. During one of those really hot days a few weeks back, I almost couldn't get them off. I took both rings off for good and found a cheap ring in my jewelry box to wear on my left hand. It's a size 9!
The pregnancy horomones are giving me acne, and I am hot and sweaty even when everyone around me is chilled. Greg didn't like that I'd turned the A/C to 72 degrees. He said he was cold. I said, "I have twice my normal blood volume circulating through my body. Plus, there's a five pound human inside of me. Get a damned sweater." Perhaps my sympathy for the comfort of others is not so strong right now.  ;)

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