September Pregnancy Update

Al took this from the passenger seat with my Samsung camera phone I'm thinking I'll make this a regular monthly feature for the remainder of my pregnancy (which means there will be at most three more entries—and possibly only two—depending on when I actually deliver).

I've given up on support hose. Even though I said I was giving up on hose about a week ago, I tried one more suggestion (again from Sally) to try Lane Bryant. They didn't have anything in a support hose, unfortunately (everything was "day sheer" or "ultra sheer"), but the saleswoman, who was also tall, suggested JC Penney. I bought some "sheer support" thigh-highs (something I'd yet to try) and some sheer, low-rise, lace shorts-like pantyhose (figuring that they wouldn't squeeze the belly, and if they didn't provide enough support, at least I could wear them after I'm done with pregnancy). The thigh-highs actually turned out to be too big (I should have gotten Long instead of Queen; I learned that when the belly isn't a factor, I can get my pre-pregnancy size) and not supportive in the least, and I didn't bother trying the low-rise hose. I'll just save them for next year.

I've found a good bra. I finally heeded the advice of several commenters and tried on a Bravado! nursing bra at that cool boutique called Belly at 16th and Pine. The salesgirl was really helpful (she even adjusted the straps for me), and she provided some good advice on sizing. I ended up buying two bras (one in a "blush" color, the other white with black polka dots, which make me smile) in a size M+. It was a great experience all around; I was glad not to have to order the bras off the web, sight unseen, and I have to give Bravado! two snaps up (no pun intended) for a creative, practical sizing system.

Prilosec has been a godsend. A couple weeks ago, at the pre-natal visit with Dr. Wu, I was told that I could take another course of Prilosec if I needed to—no 4-month wait necessary. In an attempt to extend the effects, I've been taking it two or three days in a row followed by one day off, rather than the usual 14 days in a row. I sometimes have to eat a couple TUMS Ultras to augment the Prilosec, but so far the strategy is working great.

I'm surprisingly normal. At today's pre-natal visit (again with the nurse practitioner, whose cool demeanor and slightly wry sense of humor I appreciate), I was told that my glucose test came back normal, and so did my blood results. The former was no surprise to me (I tend toward hypoglycemia rather than diabetes), though the latter was somewhat surprising to the NP. "Anemia often creeps in at this stage, and we usually have to increase iron supplementation," she explained. My iron levels are great, however, so I can just continue with the prenatal vitamins. Incidentally, my thyroid levels (taken at a visit to the endocrinologist last week) are also normal, my belly is only measuring a fraction of a centimeter larger than normal, and the NP didn't mention my weight at all (even though I've gained about 28 lbs. so far). The baby is also doing well; his heart rate was 140 for the second visit in a row, and he's lying slightly diagonal, with his head down. So far, so good.

What I thought were somersaults are really contractions. Remember how I reported that the baby "periodically does this thing that feels like a somersault; it's borderline painful, and usually stops me in my tracks" last month? It turns out that it's not the baby stopping me in my tracks—it's my uterus. Those are Braxton-Hicks contractions I've been feeling, and they're coming on more frequently these days. I'm virtually guaranteed to get one if I run up the stairs from the basement, and I sometimes get as many as three or four an hour when I'm out walking. Once in a while I even get one while sitting on the couch or in bed. Fascinating, really.

My belly button is still an innie. Yes, still! A black-and-blue ring appeared around it a couple weeks ago, and while it's fainter now, it's still there. So is the indentation.

We've switched sides. Al and I (and our nightstands) have moved to opposite sides of the bed. I'm now on the side that's easier to get out of from a left-lying position (my usual); it also happens to be the side that's closer to the bathroom. This is key, as I have to get up at least twice a night to pee, and I no longer trust my stiff legs and aching hips to get me around the bed. So far it's working out well.

I waddle once in a while. I'm not in full-on waddle mode yet, but it definitely creeps into my walk when I've been sitting for a while or when I'm really tired. Incidentally, it's difficult to get up from a seated or lying position now, and it's getting *really* hard to bend over and pick things up. (Putting on socks is also a chore.)

Sleeping is an exercise in frustration (and sometimes, it's just plain exercise). My hips now ache so badly at night—and my belly is so big and heavy—that rolling over is downright painful. Trying to get comfortable often results in whimpering and grunting (and occasionally screaming, shrieking, and throwing things), as well as minutes or hours of lying awake. I slept on my back for no less than three lengthy stretches last night and felt no remorse. I figure the baby's doing fine (he's still kicking, punching, and hiccuping up a storm), and whatever position lets me get some sleep is good for both of us (not to mention my hips).

I'm getting tired. In many ways, entering the third trimester is like returning to the first. I haven't been *forced* to nap daily as in the early months, but I definitely wear out faster now, and I do go to bed earlier and nap on the weekends. Going up and down the stairs is wearing me out again, and I've even had some bouts of extreme nausea. Luckily, those aren't daily affairs; they usually only happen when I overexert myself.

H&M is my new favorite store. I seem to have outgrown all the stuff at Gap Body, so finding a maternity section at H&M was a very welcome surprise. Even better: the clothes seem to be *made* for tall people. Nothing I've tried has been too small or too short. Al keeps telling me how great I look now, and even the nurse practioner commented "wow, maternity clothes are getting better and better" at my visit this morning. It's kind of amazing that I've been able to find so many great items in the relatively small H&M Mama line; with any luck, they'll carry me through the end of the pregnancy.

Posted by Lori in pregnancy at 6:30 PM on September 23, 2004