August Pregnancy Update

you can tell by the backwards writing that this is a self-portraitAside from random references over the past few posts, I haven't really given out much information about my pregnancy since the Due Date Debate puzzle. I thought I'd say a few words now, for anyone who might be interested (i.e., my far-flung friends and relatives). For those of you who don't care, feel free to move along.

I caved and colored my hair. I've been bleaching (and sometimes coloring) my hair since 1991, and I'd been putting drugstore-variety peroxide in it since long before that. Before about two weeks ago, I hadn't seen my natural hair color since I was 14. I'd read that you shouldn't dye your hair while pregnant, but the advisories always mentioned dark colors, so I figured bleaching was OK. Turns out that obstetrical care personnel also worry about the massive doses of peroxide and ammonia in hair bleach, and I was advised (after already bleaching once in blissful ignorance during the first trimester) not to bleach or color my hair. After feeling like a granny with frosted tips the whole time I was on the cruise, however, I couldn't take it any longer, and I bought some (semi-permanent) Clairol Natural Instincts in a dark blond shade that seemed fairly close to my root color and subjected myself to 10 minutes of chemicals. It feels weird to have hair this dark, but oh, so much better than having two-toned tips.

The heartburn is killing me. Everything I've read says that heartburn can be a problem in the first trimester (because of hormones) and the third trimester (because the baby pushes your stomach up into your throat), but that the second trimester is basically heartburn-free. THAT IS SO WRONG, at least for me. The only time I've been heartburn-free was during the two weeks I was on Prilosec OTC in late June, and those two weeks were absolute heaven. Unfortunately, I can't take another round of Prilosec until late October. Until then, I'm barely getting by on massive quantities of TUMS, and I eat after 8pm at my own peril.

The baby is an active little booger. His kicks are now strong enough that they sometimes keep me awake at night, and if you put your hand on my belly, I can guarantee you'd get booted. (I wouldn't advise putting your hand on my belly without asking, though. I've had two t-shirts printed up to warn off potential belly rubbers; the first, shown in the photo at right, says "Hands Off the Belly", and the second, which is in the wash because I spilled milk on it while trying to drink out of the carton, says "Touch the Belly, Lose an Arm".) The baby seems to move more after I empty my bladder, as if he's like, "finally, more room to stretch out!" He also periodically does this thing that feels like a somersault; it's borderline painful, and usually stops me in my tracks.

My belly button is still an innie, although the innards are gradually working their way outward. The area all around the belly button is very tender; if for some reason you are given permission to touch the belly, STAY AWAY FROM THE BUTTON.

We're trying out a name. I don't plan to announce the name of the baby until after he's born (partly because we don't want people voting on names, and partly because we might change our minds when we see him), but when it's just the two of us, we refer to the baby by name to see how it sounds. So far we're going with my choice for a first name and Al's choice for a middle name (since it's a boy its middle name will be Korean and follow a generational pattern specific to the Cho family, and I don't think Al trusted me to come up with a name that didn't mean something awful in Korean).

December looks awfully far away. I know my belly isn't *that* big (although I was bigger than my mom ever got with either of her pregnancies weeks ago), but I'm starting to get nervous about how much bigger it's going to get. Other signs that I should be closer to the end than I am: I've gained about 24 lbs., my hips ache at night, my lower back has started to hurt, and I've got a few painful varicose veins in my legs. I promised myself I wouldn't talk about the hemorrhoids, so let's move on, shall we? At least I don't have any stretch marks yet. (I'm applying Palmer's daily and praying.)

Things are getting dire in the bra department. So those of you who've been pregnant before already know this, but for those of you who haven't (for whatever reason, including gender), one of the first signs of pregnancy is that your boobs get sore. And then they get big. Chances are you'll outgrow your bra before you outgrow your pants. That's what happened to me—twice (and let me tell you, bras ain't cheap). I read that underwire isn't good if you plan to breastfeed, but I can say from experience that I could find no alternatives to underwire in my size that provided enough support (aside from two sports bras worn simultaneously, which are too squishy to be worn for long). So in the end, I got an underwire bra or two. Now that my belly's getting bigger, though (and my boobs are continuing to expand), I'm finding that the wire is digging into me, and I can see how this would be a bad thing for milk ducts. I have no idea how to solve this problem without sagging (and believe me, I'm not worried so much about aesthetics—sagging *hurts*). I may have to go check out the maternity/nursing bra options, unless anyone has a better suggestion.

Gap Body is still my favorite store. I'm telling you, that store was made for pregnant women. They have the most comfortable "lounge pants", workout shorts, t-shirts, and stretchy bras (for sleeping in). Most bottoms have wide, flexible waistbands designed for freedom of movement in a yoga class, I assume, but they're also ideal for giving an expanding belly room to breathe. At least half of my maternity clothing budget has been spent there, and I'm guessing that I'll be able to wear these items in the months after the kid arrives, as well. Yay, Gap Body!

We now have another guess in the Due Date Debate that matches one of the official estimates (mine, the doctors', or the ultrasound technician's). My friend Eric T., after studying all the clues closely, has hit upon December 7, 2004 at 7:30am as the moment baby Hylan-Cho will arrive. Do with that information what you will.

Posted by Lori in pregnancy at 12:12 AM on August 27, 2004

Comments

Lori,

On the bra front, you might want to go ahead and get a nursing bra. they provide great support and you'll be buying them soon enough anyway. Also I found some great light sleep bras once your milk comes in you'll probably want to sleep in a bra and most are so bulking they are uncomfortable for too long ). The site that worked best for me was Lady Grace... no actual stores seem to sell them nursing bras anymore.

http://www.ladygrace.com

Good luck
Lori

Posted by: Lori Herrington at August 27, 2004 10:46 AM

You look great! I like the hair and the T-shirt is killer.

Posted by: Stephen at August 27, 2004 10:50 AM

Thanks, Stephen! :)

And thanks also Lori -- I'll definitely check out Lady Grace. I've been sleeping in first Danskin and then Gap Body bras since the first trimester; no matter how soft the sheets, pillows, and t-shirts are, I really can't sleep without one. Ow, ow, ow. :-/

Posted by: Lori at August 27, 2004 11:14 AM

Hey Lori,

Congrats on the baby! I don't know you but I stumbled on your wedding blog some time ago and have been checking in ever since. I have an aversion to underwires and I have a rather large chest too. Check out Playtex bras. They work for me pretty well.

Posted by: Julie at August 28, 2004 8:13 PM

Thanks, Julie! I'll have a look at the Playtex line for sure.

Posted by: Lori at August 29, 2004 8:46 AM

Bravado! Bra makes a great maternity/nursing bra. I work in a maternity boutique in Providence, RI and we also have one in Boston, MA - 9 Months. We sell over 20 collections of maternity clothes and after reading your blog in July about not being able to find good quality maternity clothes I would like you to know there are SO many lines out there that are of great style and quality. Cadeau, RIPE, Elinotto, Japanese Weekend (patened the under the belly band on the pants), Olian, Childish, NOM, Liz Lange (not the Target line). Just thought I'd be helpful in your plight for comfort and style during your pregnancy. Have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Posted by: Wendy at August 31, 2004 2:25 PM

I sent mail back to Wendy privately, but she's right about Japanese Weekend -- great stuff. I got a lovely sundress from them for our cruise, and I hope to be able to wear it again to a wedding next month. The tricky bit is that most of these lines are fairly pricey (i.e., more than I want to spend on a work-at-home wardrobe). The JW dress was worth it, though, since I'm getting to wear it to at least two special occasions, and it's SO COMFORTABLE. It looks great, too, and it fit right out of the box.

For anyone who might be pregnant in Philly, I found a store that sounds similar to the store Wendy works in. It's called Belly, and it's at 16th & Pine. They were closed the entire month of July (which made them a bust for cruise shopping), but I could see through the window that they carried many of the lines Wendy mentions (as well as the Belly Band, which helps you wear your regular clothes longer).

Posted by: Lori at August 31, 2004 2:54 PM

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