Warning : this post may be more graphic than you want to read. If it’s any consolation, it’s more graphic than I want to live and more graphic than I really want to describe as well.

Yes, hi! I’m still here, and still pregnant. I’m extremely pregnant. I’m strange people stopping me in the street and saying I must be due any minute pregnant. I’m “oh no, you’re still here” from co-workers when I encounter them in the hallway pregnant. I’m moving very slowly, belly button transformed into an outtie, having difficulty with everything, people laughing at me and imitating my waddle pregnant.

When I saw the doctor on Wednesday she said I was 2 cm plus dilated, about 50 % effaced and that she could feel the baby’s head. I am not surprised she can feel the baby’s head, since I feel it with every step I take. There’s a lot of downward pressure on me almost all the time. People keep asking me if the baby has dropped and I keep thinking if by dropped you mean pushing down and hurting me then YES. With Sophia I never really felt a lot of contractions, but I’m either more attuned to them or my body has had better practice or something because I’m having them all the time. Not regularly, mind you, and not with any kind of progression, but at irregular intervals throughout the day. My due date is Monday. I don’t know if I’ll get to Monday. My doctor has been adamant all along that she didn’t want to wait too long after my due date to induce, so we set the date for induction on the Wednesday after my due date. As I said before, I have mixed feelings about being induced, and I’m still hoping I’ll be in labor by then or before then. However, unlike with Sophia, in which I never really felt that there was much going on with my body in terms of labor, this time I feel a lot of signs and symptoms and I think the chances of my going into labor before induction are pretty good. We’ll see, of course. I’m also much surer that this baby is to term, as I know to the day when it was conceived. With Sophia we kind of guessed at the date of conception, because we had no idea I would get pregnant so quickly and weren’t really keeping close track.

My mom came yesterday, so now I feel as though everything is in place and the baby can come. We have selected names (although we are keeping them to ourselves this time around) and my hospital bag is mostly packed and I have finished all the super completely urgent work things (though there are some still to be done that will make my colleagues lives easier if I can get to them tomorrow). In short, I am ready. We are ready. We want to see your face, child, come on out.

I am tired of being pregnant. Last time around, my fear of labor warred with my desire to have the pregnancy over and pretty much left things at a standoff. This time my body is older and less resilient and I’m ready for the end. In fact, I’m struggling with some pretty serious body loathing at the moment. I know that my weight gain is within 3-5 pounds of what it was for the last pregnancy, but I feel so much larger, and am so uncomfortable at this size. The weight is distributed differently this time around, I’m pretty sure. For one thing, I didn’t split three pairs of pants last time I was pregnant. Oh yes, the incident in the daycare parking lot was the third such pant ripping I’ve had this pregnancy, believe it or not. I have had lots of people tell me that pregnancy suits me, or that I don’t look so fat, or that it’s “all baby”. I don’t know whether these things are true or not, and I don’t really care. I feel hideously huge and I know better than any of them that it’s not the number of pounds. I spend most of my time thinking about how overweight people can live like this. I know it’s not the same because, for one thing, they can probably still breathe and don’t have a tiny head lodged up against their bladder, but I just can’t cope with being so gigantic and inflexible any longer. It’s not just my size and my lost mobility either. My feet sweat. I slather them in sweet smelling peppermint lotion, but if I have socks and shoes on for more than an hour, my socks are soaked and my feet stink. It’s disgusting. They hurt constantly too, but that seems less terrible for some reason. I’ve not only got more or less constant heartburn – even drinking a glass of water can make me burp and my esophagus burn – I’ve got perpetual flatulence as well. Disgusting and embarassing. I just don’t want to be anywhere near me, and can’t fathom how anyone else would want to be near me either. I know this condition is temporary and nearing its end. I know I will soon be too tired to care if my feet stink or not. Right now, though, it really bugs me. I’ve even had a small bout – and I must be insane for actually writing this down, but can’t anyone accuse me of being less than honest – with incontinence. For a while, any time I suddenly sneezed or coughed particularly forcefully (which is often, have I mentioned it’s allergy season?) I might also trickle out a little urine. If that didn’t just make you go ewwwwwwwwwww, I’m not sure what I could tell you to convince you that it’s positively awful. I had heard and read that this can happen especially in a second pregnancy yadda yadda but ugh and more ugh. Hate it. Marginal good news in this world of gross and disgusting is that when this first started happening to me about three or four weeks ago and I recovered from the shock of actually peeing myself, I stepped up my Kegel regimen a bit and I haven’t had any more problems like that in the last week or so. But ewwwww anyways, right? So yeah. I’m tired of being ruled by my body. I wish that when I was hungry I could ignore it instead of jumping up to eat something. I wish that when I was tired I could just take in some caffeine and soldier on. I wish I didn’t have to worry about putting one foot in front of the other in such a way as to not fall. I wish I didn’t feel like lifting things, even relatively small things, was such a strain. I wish I didn’t have to grunt like Monica Seles to climb stairs. I wish I could sit down without worrying about whether I can get back up. I wish I could be almost anywhere but in my body right now. I wish, I wish, I wish. I just can’t stand me.

On the other hand (she says, trying to be less negative), my hair looks great and my skin has no blemishes. I truly gloried in these things earlier on, but they seem very small consolation now. I’m already worried about when my hair is going to start falling out. I hated that last time around.

I don’t know when I’ll get another chance to write. Things are understandably crazy at my house, and despite the fact that I say we are ready, there still remains things that could/should/will be done if the baby gives us a little more time to do them. But we are ready. Any time you want to come on out, my dear, we are ready to greet you.

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9 Apr 2004, by

So what am I doing up? I have no idea. Given a choice, I’d much rather be sleeping. However, for the last three weeks or so I’ve had uncharacteristic difficulty with this endeavor. I will wake up between 1 and 3 AM and be awake for two hours, and be a zombie the next day. I am not waking up because I’m physically uncomfortable, but the minute I open my eyes I find it difficult to go back to sleep. I have tried several things to get me back to sleep and none have worked very well. This is not at all like me. My doctor says that it’s my body preparing me for being up several times a night, but I certainly don’t remember having this issue last time I was pregnant. I feel like it must be a low level anxiety kind of thing: worries and fears about the baby that are not surfacing (or I’m not allowing to surface) during the day. I have no real evidence for this except for the fact that I seem to be having trouble sleeping. It seems odd to me that I can be worried about something and not be aware of it. I want more sleep desperately. I know it will be extra sparse in the weeks to come and I want to shore up and get as much as I can now. And yet, my body is thwarting me in this regard.

On Wednesday I felt pretty sure that I was going to have this baby. I had six contractions in about three hours, and I had an enormous amount of pressure on my groin as though the baby’s head were RIGHT THERE. I felt uncomfortable and unwell and a little panicked. I was having difficulty walking. There are several things I absolutely must get done before this baby can arrive and I can take maternity leave and they are not finished yet. However, the contractions didn’t intensify or speed up and eventually stopped, and I haven’t had any since, so I guess it was just a practice run. The first time I around I didn’t have very much in the way of Braxton-Hicks (I usually call them fake contractions, though my husband thinks that’s not a good term), but apparently this time my body is more serious about practicing. In a way, this pleases me, since I hope it’s an indicator that I will go into labor naturally and not have to be induced. It’s not that being induced was so terrible, and, in fact, it did have its advantages, but it is really not the way I prefer to have things happen. On the good side, it was guaranteed that I’d have my doctor delivering my baby because it was basically scheduled in advance. I have some fear of having another doctor I don’t know delivering my baby. I trust my doctor. Everyone else is a gamble. On the other hand, pitocin is horrible. I know that going into labor naturally doesn’t mean they won’t decide things aren’t moving fast enough and give you pitocin anyways, but if they’re inducing you, you’re going to get it for sure, and it’s horrible. Contractions are really sudden and violent under the influence of pitocin. I also think that if I can get into the hospital with most of the early part of labor gone that they’ll try less to medicate me and prepare me. And no, I don’t mean the epidural. I like epidurals. I have no issue with less pain during labor. It’s all the other stuff they give you that I find perplexing and displeasing. I took 2 or 3 pills at the insistence of a nurse and half the time she didn’t want to tell me what I was taking. I felt like they were “setting the stage” for my delivery and that this was something they had the luxury of doing because I was being induced, and that if I come to the hospital in labor already then maybe they won’t shove so many drugs at me. For example, to this day, I have no idea why I had to take Ritalin. She gave me a pill, I asked what it was, she said Ritalin and that I had to take it. Why? I didn’t ask then, and I suppose I should have, but it seemed bizarre to me, and it still does. I suppose that this opinion – that if labor is already substantially underway that they’ll dispense with a lot of the prep work – may be hopeful and optimistic on my part and even a bit of evasive (maybe if the baby’s already halfway out when I get there they won’t have time for the enema!) and probably not based in reality. I suppose that if I get a chance to do it that way that I’ll find out. Additionally, it would be nice to just know what it’s like to go into labor as a gradual progression instead of zero to sixty. With Sophia I was in labor between 3 and 4 hours. Everyone seems to think this is highly fortunate, and I’m not saying I want to struggle for 10 hours, but really, it came on so suddenly that I had difficulty following everything that was happening. There was a moment, for example, when the nurse couldn’t find Sophia’s heartbeat. I could tell she was really freaked out by this, though I wasn’t at all and I was sure the baby was fine, but it was like I was watching her panic on a satellite TV uplink from another continent. I wasn’t even there. I remember thinking to myself, “She looks concerned, maybe I should be worried too,” and yet not being able to garner the energy to ask her what the problem was, much less get riled over it. Maybe it was the Ritalin. I guess that being so close to the delivery date with this child is bringing back lots of memories of my previous experiences with labor, which I had always meant to document in more detail and never did. It’s good to know what to expect in some ways. Prior to Sophia I had never been hospitalized for anything. Now, at least, I’ve got some idea what I can expect, not just of labor itself but of medical procedures and how hospitals work. I’m not nearly as scared of labor as I was last time. I have a better grasp of the concept of labor as a means to an end, and not an end point in itself. Before I couldn’t picture anything beyond the effort and pain of giving birth. Now I know that’s just one small step in the process and that even if it’s extremely painful and difficult and I have a dreadful time of it, it’s finite. I’m not saying, of course, that I’m not going to be wishing I was elsewhere when I’m going through the worst of it, I’m just saying that I know I can hack it, and that helps a lot. Last time I was much more anxious about giving birth and even joked about letting the baby hang out inside until it was 18 or so.

Ok, now I’m ready to go back to bed and try to sleep. I hope it works. I’m very tired. Good night

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24 Mar 2004, by

As I told Kurt this past weekend, the first thing I want to do after I’ve had this baby is to get a gigantic Sausage and Cheese Plate from Red, Hot and Blue. Takeout. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

While I’m on the subject of food, I’d just like to say that I’ve been reading in a number of sources that what you eat during pregnancy affects your child’s tastebuds in early life. If this is true, here is my predicted list of the foods my baby will like because I have been eating quite a lot of them:

  • Cereal (mostly raisin bran) and milk
  • Chocolate (duh!)
  • Pancakes
  • Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  • Edamame
  • Miso Soup
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Naan
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bread
  • Peanut Butter on Nilla Wafers
  • Tangerines, Oranges and all things citrusy
  • Popcorn
  • Quesadillas
  • Rice
  • Pasta

I’m giving some creedence to what I’ve been reading in this regard because when I was pregnant with Sophia I went to Argentina and ate tons and tons of meat, and I have never seen such a carnivorous child as she. She’ll eat any kind of meat except bacon, and including game. She likes duck, goose, venison, ham, pork chops, pork loin, ground beef, steak, chicken, turkey. She’s basically never met a piece of dead animal tissue she didn’t like, unless it was for reasons of sauce or spice.

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I had really planned to do a fragment last night and I had been looking forward to getting a chance at it, but it looks like I’m not going to nail it this week. Pregnancy caught up with me. I had a bad night Wednesday night and Thursday felt really sluggish and in pain at work all day. By the time I got home I was beat. Some days are like that. The groin pains I talked about earlier are apparently round ligament stretching. According to what I’ve read they’re supposed to have stopped by now and be mostly a second trimester thing. Instead of stopping they’ve changed. Rather than coming when I move from one position to another and being sharp pains, like they were, they arrive whenever they want as a dull persistent throbbing. They wake me up out of sleep and start up at random intervals, even if I’m completely still. Not a change I’m pleased about. Last night I took a lukewarm bath and that seems to have helped. Nothing like letting the water carry the weight for a while. I was able to sleep comfortably and well last night, though I’m still waking up several times a night to go to the bathroom, of course. So, while I meant to be writing for fragment I was sipping warm tea and groaning in pain, instead. Alas. Things don’t always turn out the way we want them to.

Also on the pregnancy front, I’m done eating the huge meals now. Heartburn has started kicking in and made a nibbler out of me. Last week both times I ate pizza I regretted it, and I’ve already started in on the TUMS. I don’t know what pregnant women did before TUMS. There are so many things you can’t take while you’re pregnant, and TUMS is totally safe. It’s probably just as well that I can’t carry on gorging myself at every meal, I need to slow it down with the weight gain anyways or I’ll be very uncomfortable. I also have to eat several hours before I lie down or I’ll get reflux. Yech.

I’ve also noticed that I need to be extra mindful about my back. Apparently the stress of the additional weight on my back has made it extra susceptible to being put out. The bad sleep night was a combination of pain from the sides of my abdomen and middle back aches. I found myself at 1 in the morning doing down dog and bridge to try and straighten myself out again. I know I’m not supposed to be doing long down dogs at this late stage as it’s a bit of an inversion, but I kept it short, and really I find nothing unkinks my back better than down dog. I love that pose! I had to miss yoga this week, and I wonder if that has contributed to me having more problems with pain the past few days, but there could be no connection between the two. After all, I’m at the stage where discomforts of this type are just par for the course. Luckily I’ve had no swelling yet. I’m still wearing my wedding ring and my regular shoes. I’m thinking that the cold is helping with that, and I wonder if I’ll start swelling up when it gets warm. I’m craving the warmth anyways…I’m so tired of the cold. Even if it does help, I must admit that going to yoga is increasingly seeming like a futile exercise, since there’s so little I can still do. I told Kurt last week that I feel as though I’m in a different class, because I have to substitute so many poses. Everyone in the room is doing plank and I’m just rolling along with cat and dog stretches. Everyone else does updog and cobra and I do Baddha Konasana. I do squats when they do forward bends. I can’t even get into child pose anymore, which I hadn’t realized would happen. I substitute half dog for the resting pose, which feels great, btw.

Well this post has been pretty heavy on the whine so I’ll close with a pleasant discovery. After I had the first couple of charley horses a few weeks ago and remembered how horrible it was to get them all the time and to wake up in the night with them I decided to read up a little on this very common pregnancy symptom. The recommendation I found was to never point your toes when you stretch (something I always do) and instead stretch with your foot flat and your toes pointed back towards you. Since then, whenever I’ve felt the first tingling of leg cramps, I’ve immediately stretched with my toes pointed back towards me and it has worked! I haven’t had another charley horse since! Who knew the solution was so plainly simple? Hurray!

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Ok so it’s time for another pregnancy update, since I went to the doctor last week. I realize that I’ve documented this pregnancy in a much more haphazard way than the last one, so here’s one small attempt at rectifying that. This doctor’s visit was the last of my four week visits, and since I’ll be starting week 30 around Valentine’s day, we’ll be moving on to two week visits from here on out. Week 30 feels like the beginning of the end to me. I’m not sure why. Part of it may have to do with the fact that any baby born from here on now has an excellent chance of surviving so some of the premature labor concerns go away. In any other context I think 10 weeks would qualify as forever away, but in terms of delivering a baby it seems nigh instant. There’s a lot that remains undone, despite the fact that there’s a lot less that needs to be done this time around. I think we have all the furniture and accoutrements we need (provided we can get back some of the things we loaned out) for the new baby. I can’t say I’m quite ready for delivery, though. I’m not as eager for the time of birth to hurry up and get here for various reasons. One is I’m not ready yet. Another is that I know this is the last time I’ll ever be pregnant. Not that it’s anyone’s business, but Kurt and I have pretty much decided that we’re done after this one. Granted we may change our minds and granted things don’t always work out as you plan them, but our current position is that we’re not having any more kids, so I’m strangely relishing having a huge belly and waddling around. I’m not in a hurry for it to end, not just because being pregnant is kind of cool, but because the end of this process is necessarily stressful and dangerous. Labor and delivery is a pretty traumatizing process, and not just physically. I don’t care what anyone says about how beautiful and wonderful it is, it’s also difficult, scary and harsh. It’s not a barrel of laughs or a nice relaxing night out, regardless of how you frame it or how badly you want the outcome of the ordeal. Of course I have found that besides being painful and frightening in a thousand different ways it’s also completely worthwhile in a way few other things in life are, but that truth doesn’t make any of the other less true. At any rate, I’m comfortable with being in the last stages without being in a hurry to get the baby out already, which is a marked difference from the first time around. I started to be anxious and in a hurry when I got to this point with Sophia, if I recall correctly. Part of my reluctance to see time go any faster is knowing how horrible the aftermath of birth really is. I keep remembering about never getting to sleep and feeling grateful if I got a shower every three days. I remember exhaustion and confusion and pain going on for a lot longer than I thought myself capable of bearing. I keep thinking of our family harmony being completely shattered and having to work a new, uncompromising, demanding and uncommunicative being into what is generally a settled routine at our household. I spend a lot of time holding Sophia, afraid that in a couple of months I will always have my arms taken up by the new baby and be unable to cuddle her close without interference. I’m not totally convinced there’s enough of me to go around. On the other hand, I also spend a lot of time imagining myself holding a small baby in one arm and Sophia’s hand in the other, and how nice that will be. I look forward to their interactions and their differences. Will the new baby be physically precocious instead of mentally and verbally so, as Sophia is? They will have so much to teach each other about being in the world. When asked whether she will be a big sister, Sophia now answers with a simple, “Yes,” instead of wailing that she doesn’t want a new baby brother or sister like she did a few months ago. We are all slowly getting ready. I am grateful that there’s still time, as there’s still much mental and physical preparation required of all of us.

So the doctor said my weight gain was good (6 pounds) and the results of the glucose test came back ok, and my iron levels are acceptable. Everything’s fine. I asked her about the groin pains and she said that was a pretty common second pregnancy thing. She said my body’s just a little more tired and a little less strong than it was last time, and there’s less support for my burgeoning belly. She didn’t say I have been eating too much chocolate, although I know that I have. I have not been as good about my diet this pregnancy as I was with Sophia. I have been careful, but I have allowed myself to eat as I want to, and not let myself be ruled by what experts have proclaimed I should and should not eat. Outside the fact that the experts contradict themselves, I feel as though the whole thing is going to be hard enough as it is, without further complicating it by denying myself things I really want which won’t truly make a difference to my baby’s development. Maybe when my second child is emancipated he or she can sue me for what I ate while it was in my womb. On that day, I’ll sue back for lost sleep and I imagine we’ll probably call it even.

I think I’ve attained maximum “pregnant glow”. About two weeks ago I was flooded with compliments about how pregnancy suited me and how good I looked from all kinds of people. It’s really nothing I did, I guess my circulatory system finally opened throttle and gave me that flush people instinctively mistake for good health and good looks. My hair is looking great, but of course it’s been doing that for a while. I wear it down a lot, and luxuriate in the fullness and shine. I also feel, and I’m not sure how to describe this without making people feel uncomfortable, ripe in a way I don’t remember feeling last time around. My breasts are huge (far larger than they were last time at this point – I’m already wearing my nursing bras and have been for a month) and just last week I lost my belly button so my lower half is bulging out fully, and my genitalia is really, well, pronounced. I’m all kinds of fruit hanging off the vine waiting to be eaten metaphors. It seems strange, if my biological urges and hormones are all tied into reproduction of the species, and that’s pretty much already happened, why am I feeling so sexual and sexualized by my body’s transformations? I don’t remember this at all last time, but maybe it’s because I was so anxious and uncertain about everything that was happening to me and nothing shuts of my sex drive quicker than stress. Or maybe it’s that all pregnancies are different. Or maybe it’s just that I understand now about creating life on a level I didn’t understand before. Whatever the reasons might be, I’m absolutely in love with my body and completely ready to enjoy it (and sex) right now in a way I had not expected to be. It’s odd, but it’s not bad, and I hate to fall into mother goddess cliches here, but it’s strangely empowering. Maybe there’s a reason all the ancient fertility goddess images look distinctly pregnant.

As for other effects of pregnancy, there’s a marked increase in my distractability, too. In the time it takes me to open a new tab for a URL I forget where I was intending to go or what I was going to look at. I feel as though I should write everything down, just in case. However, when I do write things down the notes are cryptic and unhelpful. They say things like “dreams” or “nov. 5” or “Suite 405” and I have no idea what they mean. I stare at them for a bit and try to remember what they can possibly relate to, then throw them away. I can walk from my cubicle to the water cooler with nothing but an empty cup in my hand, and when I get there, I’m not sure why I left my cubicle. I retrace my steps and start to sit in my chair, remember I’m thirsty and raise my cup to my lips. Oh yeah. Cup’s empty, need water. So that’s what I was doing over at the water cooler. It’s amazing I can get anything done at all, really.

This child is different from Sophia. For one thing, it moves around all the time, way more than she did. For another it doesn’t seem to constantly get the hiccups the way she did. Its movements are more abrupt, too. It comes much closer to hurting me more often than Sophia ever did.

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17 Jan 2004, by

I guess it’s about time for a pregnancy update. I’m actually really tired right now and not feeling up to gushing or anything like that, so we’ll see how accurately I’m able to represent what is going on.

I had my doctor appointment a week and a half ago and everything seems to be going well. I was a bit embarassed because I had to ask her for a note. Yes, my personnel office now requires a note from my doctor proving that I am pregnant before they will allow me to take any time off for doctor’s appointments. Ludicrous, isn’t it? I’m five months along and this is my second baby: it’s patently obvious that I’m with child. It’s humiliating and stupid and unbelievably high school that I have to ask my doctor for a note. I can’t imagine anyone faking they were pregnant in order to take medical leave, and it makes me wonder why they implemented this change.

So I’m six pounds up, which was less than I thought, and pleases me because Kurt’s parents kept trying to stuff me full of food the whole time I was there. I expected to be up eight or ten, which really would have been too much, too fast. As it is I’m uncomfortably bulky now. It’s difficult to get around and sleep was starting to be hard to come by. I remember this from last time, having trouble getting comfortable and sleeping through the night. However, we got a firm new mattress at the same time that we bought Sophia hers, and it has helped a great deal. Our old mattress had a spring sticking out of the side. Last weekend I bought a body pillow, which was a complete life saver last time around, but which died a messy Sergei eaten death shortly after Sophia was born. This combination has worked wonders for my ability to sleep and I’ve had some particularly comfortable nights in the last week. The kind where I’ve woken up and realized that it’s the first time I’ve woken the whole night, and that I’m not uncomfortable, and that I just need a slight shift and I can get right back to sleep.

This baby moves a lot more than Sophia, or else I’ve forgotten how much Sophia used to move around. I’ve also had more hardcore kicks from this child than from the previous one. It has taken my breath away four or five times, at least. There’s usually three periods of heavy activity: in the morning when I wake, right after lunch in the early afternoon, and at night when I go to sleep. It is strange to feel that I have this little creature for company at all times. I am never alone. Most of the baby’s movements are like Sophia’s were : turns and rolls that give me the sensation that he or she is just swimming around in there or possibly stretching like a cat. I love feeling those movements.

Yoga is getting really difficult. I’ve had to abandon a number of poses, and others that I think should be ok hurt me. What’s worse is that I seem to be weaker. I can’t hold the poses for as long as I used to. I try to take it easy, but it’s really frustrating when I know my body had the capacity for these poses, and it doesn’t seem like I should be worse at them now than I was four months ago. There are a couple of poses that I’m actually much better at, but that’s little consolation.

I am suffering from periodic groin pains, and I’m not sure whether this is normal or not. I don’t remember this from last time. It’s a sharp pulling kind of pain and it usually happens when I shift positions, like when I’m rolling from one side to the other at night, or when I’m standing from a seated position, or sometimes simply when I’m taking a step forwards. I feel like I might actually have a pulled muscle or something there, but I imagine that’s not the case, as it would likely hurt constantly if it were. The intermittent groin pain along with the return of the charley horses (which I absolutely did remember most vividly and was mentally cheering myself on for not having had this time) has contributed to raise my physical suffering level in the past few weeks. I’m definitely a low pain tolerant sort of person and I can be expected to be extra whimpery and whiny about these types of things, despite the fact that they are not serious and are fairly common. Still hurts, even if it’s not life-threatening to either one of us.

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17 Dec 2003, by

I thought I should mention that the pregnancy seems to be going fairly well right now. I’m over being sick all the time. I still have occasional bouts of nausea, but they’re few and far between. I’m enjoying eating as the holidays deserve, more or less guilt-free. I know I’m supposed to have the attitude of eating only healthy things and that the whole eating for two thing is a myth, but it’s nice to eat whatever I feel like eating and not feel sick and to relish food again. I’m sure I’ll be traveling into tiny portion heartburn land soon enough as the baby squeezes my stomach into half its size, so I’m going to enjoy the fact that my ability to eat a lot of really good food seems to coincide with fatty fat season.

The baby is having regular movement periods. Two to three times a day I can feel turning, kicks, movement. I try to get Kurt to feel the baby moving, but whenever I put his hand on my belly the baby stills. Kurt reminded me, I had forgotten, that Sophia used to do the same thing. Again, just like with Sophia, the movements are usually very gentle, and they make me think of turning and shifting and swimming – not really of kicks and punches. The notable exception is the first movement I felt, which I neglected to say anything about because I was in the midst of November madness then. It was November 16, and I was sitting in bed with the laptop. I was writing. Suddenly I felt like I had been punched in the solar plexus. I was short of breath and smarting from pain. The realization of pain was followed quickly by the awareness that this was all occurring internally and that the baby was moving! Quickening, they call it, and I became aware of it sooner this time around, one day into week 18, than last time around. That’s common for second pregnancies, apparently.

It’s also common, from what I read, for your body to recognize what’s happening to it and for everything to come into place more quickly. I was sicker this time, so I didn’t have earlier weight gain, but my center of gravity shifted more quickly, I started walking with a waddle a lot sooner and I could feel the looseness in my hips and joints almost immediately. In fact, all my limbs feel a little bit like rubber bands. They seem to streeeeeeeetch infinitely, way more than they did prior to my getting pregnant, but there’s a point where they just seem to snap as well, and it seems sudden and painful when they do.

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4 Dec 2003, by

Well, it finally happened. I finally stopped feeling sick all the time about a week before Thanksgiving. Just in time to start gorging myself on turkey and fixings. Kurt made the most delicious turkey ever on the grill. I can’t believe how good it came out. So today at the Doctor’s I got a congratulatory, “Hurray 4 pounds up!” instead of the “Hmmm, just one pound,” comment. My blood pressure is at 98/50 which is right in line with what it should be. They took blood but she didn’t say anything to me about how irregularly I’ve been taking my iron pills, so I’m pretty pleased about that as well. We heard the baby’s heartbeat, too, which is always cool but was overshadowed a bit today by the ultrasound we had done.

We told them we didn’t want to know the gender, so nothing should be given away by the photos below (and if it is, don’t tell us!):





My favorite picture is the one that shows the feet. They’re so adorable and perfect looking. The baby was really moving around a lot during the ultrasound, and the video shows it doing some karate chops (already a student of Sophia Fu, perhaps?) and sucking and all kinds of really sweet things. Everything looks to be in order, we counted fingers and toes, and we are very pleased and excited about the whole thing, of course. Thanks to my friend Chris Goodwin for scanning the pics and sending them to me with lightning speed so I could share them with ya’ll.

So I had my first major pregnancy brain lapse yesterday. I had just gotten my haircut and was trying to decide about lunch. I wanted something small, because I’d had a big second breakfast. So I took the High Street exit and figured I’d get some fries or something at one of the fast food joints. It was a little warm and pleasant (unlike today which is unforgivably, horribly cold) and I suddenly remembered that Burger King has delicious Icees and a cold coke Icee sounded like just about the best thing under the sun right then. So I resolved to pull into Burger King and order fries and a coke Icee. Unfortunately, the drive through line I’ve just pulled into is longer than I’d like. I sigh. I wait ten minutes or so. I inch my car around the restaurant. I look in the window and see a girl of about eleven with a Frosty. She opens it up and starts spooning big chocolate spoonfuls into her mouth. I watch her for a few minutes. She’s not at all self-conscious and never notices I’m watching her. I pull around some more, and find myself (finally!) at the speaker window for the drive through.

Someone asks me on the cracky tinny speaker if they can take my order. I realize I’m at Wendy’s then, and that Wendy’s and Burger King are not the same, and that I cannot get an Icee at Wendy’s. So I order large fries, thinking, I’m not even that crazy about Wendy’s fries anyways, and glance over to the Burger King parking lot, next door. The drive through line is a LOT shorter there than it is where I’m currently sitting. Gah. What to do now. Forget about the Icee? Go over and wait in their line and get and Icee? The Icee is the piece I actually really wanted, too!

So I decided that I’d go and get the Icee anyways. So two drive-throughs and 20 minutes later I had my lunch : fries and an Icee. Icee was delicious, fries were mediocre.

In other pregnancy news, my fingernails are growing out of control. I’ve cut them three times this week. I do remember this happened last time. If I were the sort of person who liked to do stuff with their nails this would be a great time to grow them, get them painted and manicured, and show them off. Alas, I find nails any longer than stubs to be highly annoying. I’m also getting occasional cramplike pains in my lower abdomen and I assume that’s my uterus streeeeeeeetching or whatever. This week several people have looked at me and exclaimed, “Oh! you’re showing! Just last week you didn’t look pregnant at all.” Of course just as many have said “You’re pregnant? I had no idea?!” when overhearing the first batch. I find it hard to believe people can’t see this tremendous bulge I’m carrying around, but I’m sure that it’s far more noticeable to me, the one carrying it, than to others. Once or twice I’ve woken up in the night with difficulty breathing, but it’s not gotten too bad yet. Sleeping positions are becoming an issue, and I’ll need another body pillow like I had last time, I’m fairly certain. All in all, things are going well and I’m feeling quite good. It’s also really comforting to be at the halfway point. 20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go!

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