November Pregnancy Update

Approaching blastoff By the time I finish writing this, adding a photo, looking around for something to eat, pausing to do random Google searches, making notes about what I want to do today, and pasting the text of this entry from Dreamweaver into Movable Type, it'll probably be after 8am, but I want to say for the record that right now it's 5:53am. I'm exhausted, but sleeping apparently isn't on my body's agenda this morning. I'd say it wasn't on the baby's, either, but that was only while I was lying in bed—as soon as I got up and started moving around, of course, he stopped kicking me and fell asleep.

I know I usually do these updates during the last week of the month, but it feels like things are happening much more rapidly now. Al suggested last week that I start taking twice-weekly belly shots (instead of my usual once-weekly shots on Thursdays) because it seemed to be growing—or at least changing—every couple days. Doing the update now also gives me a chance to blog a bit, which as you may have noticed, I haven't been too good about lately.

I finally got a flu shot. My sister came through for me: She begged her doctor's office to let me have one on the morning of our baby shower, and they gave in. Many thanks to my sister and to Carroll Family Medicine in Hampstead, MD for taking pity on a pregnant asthmatic from out of state.

I've dropped (or rather, the baby has). At a recent office visit my belly measured a bit smaller than usual (well, the fundal height—the distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus—was shorter than expected), which led the doctor to surmise that the baby had dropped. She confirmed this by poking down low and hitting his head. The now-crowded space between my hipbones means that I often end up walking like a cowboy whenever I have to pee.

I'm craving peppermint. I know you're supposed to avoid peppermint when you're pregnant (and also when you have heartburn, incidentally) because it can stimulate contractions, but lately I've been wanting peppermint mochas, peppermint patties, peppermint brownies, peppermint tea... you name it, if it has mint (especially in combination with chocolate) in it, I want it. I also recently stocked up on Aveda peppermint rosemary shampoo and Organic Botanicals mint thyme body wash (my favorites), and I bought a mint-scented shampoo, body wash, conditioner, scrub, etc. travel set from H2O for my hospital bag. Mint, mint, MINT! Gimme the MINT!

I'm alternating between productive bursts of energy and supreme laziness. As the baby books predicted I would, I've been having the urge to tackle major household projects as the due date approaches. Usually I end up paying for these spurts of activity by not being able to get off the couch the next day, though sometimes I go two days in a row bustling about before I crash. Last week's project was to Swiffer, vaccum, and wash all the wood floors in the house (basically every room except the basement and the bathrooms) and then finish setting up the baby's room; yesterday's was to remodel our downstairs bathroom. (I've always hated that scummy little bathroom and had planned to paint it eventually; when Annie died, we were able to remove the cat box and litter supplies, which provided the impetus to finally fix it up. Between 11:30am and 6:30pm yesterday, I removed the stupid medicine-chest mirror, painted all the walls the same blue as the kitchen, showered, went to Lowe's and purchased a new mirror, toilet seat, shelves, and towel ring, ate lunch in the car, returned to the house, scrubbed the sink and toilet, removed the old toilet seat and installed the new one, hung the shelves and mirror, and washed the floor. I still kinda can't believe it.) Today's project is to walk to the laundromat at 21st and Walnut and do three loads of laundry (our washing machine broke as I was doing the final load of baby clothes last week, and it won't be repaired until next Monday).

The Nexium is working. Within one day of my asthma doctor putting me on Nexium (yes, my asthma doctor; the nuclear heartburn was causing asthma attacks), I was virtually heartburn-free. I've only had one night where I had to wake up to take some TUMS, and that bout was sub-nuclear. Yay, Nexium!

My belly button may never pop out. This is one of the things we learned in our childbirth class, which is turning out to be most useful for asking all the questions we're dying to have answered but that we either feel too silly or don't have time to ask the obstetrician. According to the labor and delivery nurse who's teaching the class, her belly button popped out with her first kid, but not with the next two. Mine has gone from very deep to very shallow, but it's still an innie.

This belly HURTS. Over the course of the pregnancy I've often thought of Heather's comment that "Sources close to the belly confirm that it does indeed hurt very much," but never more so than now. By the time I get into bed at night, my belly is positively aching—and then the punchfest starts. I get feet in my ribs, punches and headbutts to the groin, and lots of flipping around in every direction. I love this baby, but he really needs to learn how to SETTLE DOWN.

I'm not hot. Everything I've read (and every woman I've talked to who's ever been pregnant) has said that I'd spend the third trimester (and especially the 9th month) sweating profusely and walking around in shorts even if it was really cold outside. I have not found this to be the case. In fact, I'm freezing. During the first trimester I overheated a lot, especially at night, but lately I've been more concerned with staying warm than with cooling off. This is somewhat problematic when I go outside (where daytime highs are now in the 40s and 50s) because none of my coats fit anymore. I ran into a woman who's due three days before me who, like me, didn't want to spend $200 on a maternity coat, and her solution was to buy a plus-size one at Burlington Coat Factory. Al & I explored this option on Sunday, but as I am a different shape than the woman who gave me the tip, I wasn't able to find anything that fit. (It appears that I really am "all belly," as people keep describing; I'm pretty normal-sized everywhere else.)

I don't seem to be swelling (except in the belly, of course). I don't know if this is related to the cold-bloodedness, but aside from a few varicose veins, I haven't experienced any swelling with this pregnancy. I can still get my rings on and off, and my shoes still fit. I feel pretty lucky on this front.

I think we're ready. The baby's room is all set up, I've got my bag mostly packed, and there's a list by the door of last-minute things to throw in the car or the suitcase (iPod + charger, birthing ball, pillows, etc.). I've got most of my mom's favorite foods in the house (although I haven't been able to find squirt butter or Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Ripple ice cream yet), and pretty much everything else on my To Do list (except finding a pediatrician) can be put on hold indefinitely if necessary. I won't run out of things to do over the next three to four weeks, but I think we're mostly prepared if the baby were to show up, say, tomorrow. This is not to say that we're completely ready to be parents—just that we've done all we can to make room for baby.

Posted by Lori in pregnancy at 8:25 AM on November 16, 2004