Pregnancy Week 34: I miss my ankles

Ahhh the third trimester…a time of nesting, counting down the days until baby arrives, and…swelling.

So. Much. Swelling.

My ankles have officially swelled wider than my feet…not great.

The swelling isn’t limited to my feet and ankles either. It’s in my calves, as well as my fingers. There is a constant ache in my hands and feet from the moment I wake until I roll back into bed at night.

I’ve heard people say that you get uncomfortable towards the end of your pregnancy so that, instead of fearing your due date (and a painful birthing process) you look forward to the relief that will come from no longer being pregnant.

I am starting to think the person who came up with that line of thinking was really into something.

I am so ready for maternity leave to start next week.

The baby’s bassinet is finally set up and his 0-3 month clothes are washed and ready for him to wear.

Our hospital bag is almost fully packed.

I am counting down the weeks, days and hours until we get to meet our little boy!

Highlights:

•people have been continuing to buy us items from the baby shower registry, even though our shower had to be canceled due to the coronavirus. Super sweet and unexpected!

• I went for an Estimated Fetal Weight ultrasound and baby boy is on target for length/weight and in the head down position

•the ultrasound tech printed out a 4D pic for me to share with D, since he couldn’t be at the appointment with us

Lowlights:

•swelling from retaining water!

Pregnancy Week 30: Pregnancy Identity

This past Monday I had my last “monthly” OB appointment! Since the third trimester is here, I’ll be going every two weeks until week 36 and then every week until baby boy’s arrival.

I’m super excited about this because, with 10 weeks left, an increase in doctor check-ins makes baby’s arrival seem very real.

At this appointment I took (and passed) my glucose test. A result that D is convinced I rigged somehow because of the tremendous amount of baked goods I ate this past weekend. What can I say? I guess the baby likes sugar! (Lol)

My neck, my back…”

…my entire body is feeling the aches of a growing baby getting cozy in my belly.

My feet are sore. My tailbone and low back are aching. And my shoulders are starting to feel the wear of become a perpetual side sleeper (because sleeping on my back now makes me lightheaded, so that’s out).

Basically, the +35 pounds of pregnancy weight are finally taking their toll on my 5’2 frame and I’m starting to understand the “get this baby out of me” mantra that third trimester mamas begin to recite, the further along they get!

Pandemic pregnancy, but make it fashion 💃🏻

Pregnancy Identity

Something that’s been interesting to me is that in the past few weeks I’ve been having dreams in which I’m pregnant.

But not a typical “oh I had a dream I was pregnant” kind of thing that lots of people, pregnant or not, also have. These dreams have been about the most random things, but the one constant is that I’m pregnant in all of them.

It’s not the main focus of any of the dreams, just a fact. Like how in every dream my hair always looks like my hair in real life does.

This makes me feel that after months of being pregnant, pregnancy has become a part of my identity. So much so that it’s made it’s way into my unconscious train of thought.

Being that pregnancy is a temporary state of being (after all, you can’t actually be pregnant forever even though it may feel like that some days), I’m interested in seeing when my dream self will go back to its un-pregnant “factory settings.”

Then again, maybe post-pregnancy Paige will be different still from the Paige I was before baby.

I guess only time, and my wacky dreams, will tell!

Highlights

•going on a socially distant Easter walk with my mom and sister

•beginning my 2 week OB appointments

•sharing Easter dinner at home with D

Lowlights

•the aches and pains of a third trimester preggo body

•need sleep, get insomnia instead

Week 23: (Unintentional) Belly Shirts

Week 23 of pregnancy means even the loosest pre-pregnancy shirts are holding on for dear life now.

I have reached the point in my pregnancy where even my loosest pre-maternity tops are holding onto dear life against my burgeoning baby bump.

Yesterday, in an early morning rush out the door, I threw on a (once loose) long sleeved shirt with a pair of leggings. Sure, the shirt felt a bit more snug than usual, but I shrugged it off because it had fit me fine the week before.

Well. As it turns out, this week is very different than the week before.

When I finally got around to looking in a mirror, I realized that there was about one inch of tummy peaking out from between my shirt and my leggings. An inch that no amount of pulling or tugging on my clothes could cover up.

I had inadvertently gone out of the house this morning looking like Backwoods Barbie: pregnant and in a belly shirt (with Uggs).

Oy. Not my best fashion moment lol

Needless to say, if you catch me in the maternity section of a Target this weekend, you know why I’m there.

“It’s all fun and games until your pants don’t fit.”

Highlights:

• feeling the baby move will always be a highlight

• almost getting my reflux under control (hopefully by the end of the week?)

• we are almost 100% on a baby name

Lowlights:

• a not-so-fun our of breath feeling after big meals

•weird upper abdominal pain when bloated, which I think could be from my hiatal hernia? Not fun

My body, that I hated (a reflection on my body during pregnancy)

Unfortunately, two of my relatives are in the hospital right now. Yesterday I went to go see them both, and at one of the hospitals you had to go through a metal detector before entering. My mom quickly freaked out on the security guard when it was my turn to go through, shouting “she can’t go through there! She’s pregnant!” The (completely flustered) guard apologized and said that of course I didn’t have to go through and that I hadn’t looked pregnant to him. I mumbled a ‘thanks,’ and gave an awkward explanation that I’m pretty sure going through a metal detector is fine when you’re pregnant.

This interaction got me thinking about all of the things people, and myself, had said about my body since becoming pregnant. The comments have ranged from genuine disbelief that I could be pregnant (‘You don’t look pregnant at all! You’re so tiny!) to strangers asking me how far along I am, to my friends and family gaping at “how big” I’m getting so fast.

At 5 months pregnant, some days I look in the mirror and think, yes, definitely pregnant. But other days I look at my body and see something else. What I’ve really begun to notice is that the way I feel about my bump, and my body, tends to fluctuate with the last comment someone has said about it.

When someone says I’m barely showing I feel bummed that I don’t look pregnant enough. When someone comments some other woman they know is 5 months pregnant and isn’t nearly as big as me, I become self-conscious that maybe I’m gaining too much too fast. And when someone says that I have the cutest bump? Well that just makes my day.

I don’t like that their comments have such an effect on me. I know that recognizing this is happening is a good first step in stopping this see-saw of self-worth though, so I’m giving myself some credit for that. I’m trying to remind myself to come back to center. To focus on the way my body feels, the things it is doing to grow this baby, and to accept the fact that it needs to get bigger and fuller to do this well. Pregnancy is definitely a lesson in letting go in that way.

I wrote this poem last night after reflecting on all of the mixed reactions by strangers and family on my changing body:

This body, that I hated

This body, that I hated

That curved and dipped when it should have laid straight.

That smoothed where it should have rounded.

That pushed against buttons, and zippers, and stretchy dresses with not enough stretch.

That had been much too much and not enough, depending on the day or the latest trend.

This body, I hated

That softens and cradles

That nourishes and waters

That protects and grows

This body,

This body

This body, that I hated

Holds more love than I know what to do with