Well I meant to post this on Friday, but the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men… you know how it goes.
So I’m at 30 weeks (plus 3 days, now) and it feels kind of surreal. I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that in 7 to 12 weeks (if all goes well) I’ll be pushing this little one out! I don’t feel like I’ve been pregnant long enough for that to be true! But I suppose in 7-12 weeks I might. 😉 And with that said, I feel mentally ready. If the baby were physically ready– and if I didn’t have other considerations like nesting and finishing this academic term– I would feel mentally and emotionally prepared for labor. Possibly not prepared for actually having a second little one, but really, who is ever truly ready for that part?
Darwin has been oh-so-sweet about her sister. For a while I wasn’t sure how much she really comprehended at a year and a half old, but it seems she is making the connections. Her little buddy called his big sister “Sister” until recently when he was finally able to say her name, so when Darwin pats my growing belly and says “sister” I think she has at least a glimmer of an idea of what that means. Then, a week or two ago she was sitting on my lap playing with a baby doll and looked down at it, then up at me, and said “Baby!” and then patted my belly, looked up at me again, and exclaimed “*BABY!*” It was so sweet, and made me think she really does understand what’s in there (even if she isn’t clear on the idea that it’s going to come out, and be loud and stinky and whathaveyou). But Darwin looooves babies and I think she’ll be a great big sister.
Look at this little angel! Gah. I love her so much.
As far as my pregnancy goes, the third trimester has been kind to me so far. My heartburn is minimal and can mostly be controlled by avoiding trigger foods– mainly pizza, popcorn, and sugary things. I’m even drinking a little coffee again without trouble, though my absolute max is about 12 oz a day and I have to have even more cream in it than I did pre-pregnancy. Any heartburn I do end up with is easily controlled with Tums.
I’ve been experiencing some discomfort in terms of my expanding size, especially when sitting down. I’m a short-waisted person to begin with, so Bee doesn’t have much room to stretch out in. She kicks (or sometimes just stretches and stays there for a minute or more) right into my ribs on the right side, and has started throwing an occasional elbow on the left. She’s also started bumping me down around my cervix, causing painful but short lived twinges. I don’t think I would have realized that’s what was happening if Rachel hadn’t experienced it so often with Darwin, but I’m pretty certain that’s what I’m feeling. It’s weird and uncomfortable but also kind of exciting to know she’s in the right position and doing the things that will eventually prompt labor (but NOT YET BABY! Keep cooking!).
Other than that, my biggest “symptom” has been fatigue. I’m working from home today (see me working?) so that I can change positions and/or take a little nap as needed, since spending the whole day in an office chair sounds basically like torture to me right now. The 4 hours I’ll have to spend in class tonight is bad enough. Did I mention I’m taking a class that meets once a week for 3 1/2 to 4 hours at a time? It’s *ridiculous.* The class is wonderful (Reproductive Justice, taught by my advisor/midwife with a specific emphasis on cross-cultural birth justice) but 4 hours? It gets out at 8 pm. But only 5 more weeks, including tonight, and then I’m home free.
I’m also taking a belly dance class that I’m really enjoying. My midwife was very enthusiastic when I mentioned the possibility– belly dance was originally used as a way to prepare for childbirth, after all– and the instructor has also been super cool about having a pregnant lady in class. She’s always asking me how things feel, if baby likes dancing, etc. It’s kind of adorable. She’s been doing it for 20 years and danced through all of her own pregnancies, and it seems like she’s sort of reliving the experience through me. It’s fun. I’ve taken a belly dance class once before, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to notice that it’s actually easier this time around– I think because I am so much more aware of the various muscles in my abdomen that I am better able to isolate them to do the different moves. Plus I’ve noticed that the dancing seems to help with some of the pelvic pain I’ve had. Last week I tweaked a muscle at the end of class (I’m still not sure what I did) but the pain was gone in a day or two and doesn’t seem to have done any real damage. I just have to be more careful as my muscles stretch and my belly grows! But overall it’s been a very positive experience, not to mention a lot of fun.
One final note: I don’t have gestational diabetes! HOORAY! I tracked my fasting and postprandial blood sugar readings for a week, and not one single one was outside of my optimal range. Not a SINGLE ONE! There was even one experimental reading that I did after having a good high protein/high fiber dinner and then a walk to Dairy Queen for a cone (I’ve been craving plain vanilla soft serve lately, especially on the short run of 85 degree days we had last week) and even that little splurge was well within normal limits. I’m *so* relieved! It feels good to know my body is doing what it needs to do, and my baby is growing properly, and maybe now I can stop freaking out about all the things that could go wrong. I’m in the last stretch of pregnancy, and maybe by now I can just let myself enjoy it!
I suppose I should go do actual work now– I have to write a paper on reproductive justice in Native American communities, due in about 6 hours– but here are a few belly shots for you! The first one (striped shirt) is at 29 + 5 and the second one (skirt) is 30 + 1.