Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week by Week: Week 26

Our Baby (a.k.a. Lil' Feisty): 
  • Is now almost 14 inches long, and weighs over 2 lbs. It's definitely a give-or-take estimation from here on out, but I'm going to guess that it's a give situation going on inside me. 
  • Is developing the nerves in those tiny little ears. All the better to hear us with, my dear. 
  • Continues to swallow amniotic fluid, fostering lung development. By the way, I learned that it's not as gross as it sounds (considering that the baby also excretes waste into the fluid) because the fluid is replenished 3 times a day. No wonder I'm always so thirsty!!
  • Is now kicking with a real, tangible vengeance. One blogger put it so well: Remember those early, bubbly, butterfly kicks? Yeah. Those have been replaced by something akin to a rabid mongoose flippin' out inside a burlap sack
  • Has all five senses now. That means that Lil' Feisty could feel it last night when I pressed down on the spot they WOULD. NOT. STOP. KICKING. And it did calm Feisty down, but the moment I raised my hand off, it started up again. Levi pressed his hand down and said, "Hey! You be nice to mommy."
  • Is exercising those tiny lungs by taking breaths of amniotic fluid. 
  • Has beautiful eyes that keep developing and that will soon be open! 
I (traditionally):
  • Have a pretty big uterus by now, and can expect to grow about 1/2 inch. per week from here on out. 
  • Have gained between 16 and 22 pounds. 
  • Am at the very end of the pregnancy "honeymoon" stage. Different aches and pains, sleepless nights, and Braxton Hicks, galore!
  • Am experiencing pregnancy brain on the regular now. 
  • Am also experiencing some lovely hormonal surges on the regular. Aside from big emotional surges, these can also contribute to some headaches. 
  • Might have slightly elevated blood pressure, which is viewed as completely normal at this point. 
I (actually):
  • Feel like I'm steadily growing, that's for sure. I haven't had any other drastic weight gains, which is good; most importantly, however, I've been eating a full and balanced diet every day, which can only benefit Lil' Feisty. 
  • Can tell I'm headed out of the honeymoon phase. Just this last week, I've found myself huffing and puffing more, groaning more, and, worst of all, complaining more.
  • Have had pregnancy brain a little bit, but I had a great period of hormone surges just a few days ago. And by great, I mean confusing, annoying, and distressing. 
  • Had perfectly normal blood pressure at my last appointment, but it has been two weeks since then. Since I don't measure my own blood pressure at home, I'll just have to wait two more weeks to see if it's elevated or not. 
A Brief PSA

Ok. Allow me to take a moment to get super real with y'all. Like, SUPER real. Let's talk about chafing. And yes, when I say chafing, all you ladies out there know what I mean. That terrible feeling of your skin rubbing together as you move. I inevitably think about amusement parks, and how uncomfortable it feels when you step off a wet ride and have to continue walking for hours in your wet shorts that just WON'T stop rubbing against your inner thighs. We all know that pain. 

Well, ladies, there's a whole new kind of pain when you're pregnant, and it doesn't matter if your thighs never touch or if your arms are still slender and sleek. I'm talking about chafing DOWN THERE. Yep. Those lady bits (your labia, if we're being technical) are now larger and fuller, and the simple act of walking can cause chafing. An extended period of walking can cause . . . plenty of discomfort. It's a well-known fact that cotton undies are best for your gynecological health and that flowy dresses and skirts feel the best when your belly is enormous and it's hot outside. But let me tell you, that combination (cotton undies, flowy skirt, heat) made for a VERY uncomfortable morning after spending all day yesterday strolling around downtown at a leisurely pace. As in, it hurt to wear underwear. It hurt to walk. It hurt like the DICKENS trying to walk without underwear. 

Sadly, there is no cure for this problem except, well, childbirth. But you can take precautions and learn from my mistakes. Keep the area as clean and dry as you can. Drying off COMPLETELY after baths and showers. Sanitary pads to absorb excess moisture (even though it's totally unfair to have to wear those when you're pregnant). Consider wet wipes rather than toilet paper so as not to further irritate the area. Got an ointment for chafing? Use it. Consider swapping out exercise routines that foster chafing (running, walking) for gentler routines like yoga. 

Just know that I feel your pain (literally), and I am with you in this fight. 

Other Happenings This Week:

Oh yeah. That hormone surge. As usual, it lasted a full 24 hours. It started with me curled (well, as curled as I can be right now) up on bed on Sunday night feeling frustrated and crying into my pillow as Levi hugged my back, unsure how to comfort me. It was followed up with intense feelings of resentment and annoyance at my husband on Monday morning for . . . him being him. Then I spent about half of a 3-hour car ride crying. This time it was about real things, and we had a good conversation, but the tears just kept coming. Then a period of sadness because the car ride was over, meaning our conversation had to end. Then another crying break-down in the afternoon. And finally, some overly sensitive reactions to comments Levi made. The poor man took the brunt of that 24-hour period, and he handled it like a champ. 

I've found myself more and more tempted to scoff at comments from people that I look "cute," or "adorable," or "beautiful." I mean, I genuinely think those things about the pregnant women I know, and I love telling them how beautiful they are. But when someone wants to say those things to me? I'm more and more tempted to think they're just trying to make me feel better about how big I'm getting. How sad is that?! My body and I get to participate in one of the most amazing miracles ever. I am housing and nourishing another human being within myself. My growing size is evidence that this process is working and thriving. My discomfort is actually just my body getting ready to engage in one of the most powerful moments of womanhood in existence. What's happening to me is what was designed to happen to my body, and it truly is beautiful. I'm saddened that I need this reminder, but if you need it too, know that you're not alone!

Freak-Out Moments:

Just one, and it's sort of cute. I got my first session of double beatings yesterday. Someone was punching me in the ribs while tap dancing on my bladder at the same time. Usually I just have to hold on to one portion of my tummy to calm Feisty down, but yesterday I couldn't sooth any one area fast enough. That little baby just wanted to dance, and my uterus was the stage. I have a feeling that will happen much more often now!


That's all I have for this week. Thanks for letting me be real, y'all. As for the rest of you? 

Keep it real, 

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