Tuesday, March 15, 2011

40 Weeks: Pregnancy Roundup

Hey, can we pretend I posted this yesterday? When I started writing it? Thanks.

The Bean is doing better, by the way. He'd gained 4 ounces -- FOUR OUNCES! -- on Monday, and the LC was great and not dippy and gave us more things to do. We'll see the ped and her again tomorrow.

Happy Pi Day! I hope you're celebrating appropriately. Sugar has been doing so much work around here since the Bean was born (and before, but let's not get carried away with the past...) that I don't have the nerve to ask her to get out her rolling pin, but let it be known all across the Wide Interblags that she makes the best pie there is. (Which is not to be construed, Sugar, as an answer to that horrible trick question you posed some months back, "Do you think my pie is better or my mother's?" I still have enough sense to realize that either answer would violate one of my two central rules of conversation: 1. Never Denigrate The Cooking Of The Person Whose Food Is In Your Mouth; 2. Never Insult Somebody's Mama's Cooking.) Although I know that only -- what is it? 5%? -- of babies arrive on their due dates, I did like the idea that the Bean might have Pi Day as his birthday, with Sugar's pies in place of cake. Evidently he had other ideas. Already.

Even though he's been here for nearly two weeks, I'm still surprised that I'm not pregnant anymore. It all happened so quickly (rather unlike my writing of his birth story) -- no Toni Braxton contractions or other warnings, except for the Very Bloody Show -- and the whole business of having another person come flying out of one's nether regions I found so surreal. I can't say there's much I intended to do while pregnant that I didn't get to -- we did the photo shoot on what ended up being the last possible day, but it got done -- but I nevertheless don't feel...done. (On the other hand, I feel glad that I didn't have more time to obsess over the end of the era or to build my labor anxieties any higher.)

One of the things I didn't get to was ever doing the meme below. I never intended to do it regularly, as I am more than capable of boring you with petty complaints without a bulleted list (you're welcome, internet), but I thought I'd do a full-pregnancy version around my due date, as a means of distracting myself from obsessing over my fear of induction. And here it is my due date, so what the heck. Feel free to let your eyes glaze over and skip to the picture at the end.

How Far Along?
40 weeks "pregnant"; two weeks postpartum (in 7 hours).

Total Weight Gained/Loss?

At delivery day (well, 14 hours before, when I was last on a scale), +33 lbs over what I consider my normal weight; a bit more over my weight at my first OB visit.

Two weeks later, +22 lbs over normal. (I swear it was more like +18 earlier this week, but today I'm in my trusty maternity corduroys, so that's probably a more fair measurement, since I wore them to every OB appointment after the weather turned.)

Maternity Clothes:

Pretty much the same pair of Noppies corduroys since halfway through the second trimester or so. And ZOMG the Bella Band. The sine qua non (pants) of this whole experience. However: if they can make a band that holds my pants up, why, oh why can't the same company make tights that last more than 3 steps without cascading to the ground? And, for the millionth time, why doesn't anyone make a warm maternity coat? Thank heavens my tiny mother unaccountably had a (hideous) down coat that was big enough to squeeze around me, even at the end.


Sometimes, thanks to my best friend, the down body pillow. And, at the end, a sofa cushion behind my back, my dad's old down camping jacket under my hip, and a heating pad on top of the other hip. And a cat under one arm. How Sugar even fit in the bed is a mystery.

Postpartum, I haven't been having such exuberantly crazy dreams -- the weirdest one that didn't involve a hemorrhaging miscarriage (of which there were many; thanks, brain) had me taking George W. Bush to the pig races at the NC State fair and (I felt so dirty when I woke up!) accepting a plug of tobacco from him after giving him some betting tips. Instead, I am back to my childhood trick of night terrors, complete with hallucinations of the Bean in various poses of doom in the bed and plenty of incoherent yelling at poor Sugar. ("CAMERAS! I had TWO cameras!!! WHERE IS HE?????????")

Aches and Pains?

Yep. Back from early on; hips at the end were pretty brutal. Let's not talk about the part of labor before the epidural just right here except to say MORE OF THE SAME.

Postpartum, hips were a mess for a week -- I felt like I was made of two very different sized lego people, with a small top half and a hugely wide bottom. Lurching galore. Now they're pretty much back to normal. Pelvic floor still a little weird when I walk more than a block or so, but mostly I am okay now. Which is a good thing, because the ibuprofen was starting to make my stomach pretty unhappy.


Not so bad, as these things go. Terrible congestion the most consistent. Acupuncture was awesome for that. Bad acid reflux after 28 weeks or so, until Dr. Russian introduced me to Prevacid, with whom I will be having any future babies. Dizziness. Yucky heart palpitations and shortness of breath in the third trimester.

Medical Concerns:

A whole lot of freaking out about things that never caused any problems: that month of first trimester spotting, low PAPP-A at nuchal, fears of incompetent cervix related to mullerian anomalies, terror over prospect of birth with two cervices and vaginas. But everything was actually just fine, even the septum.


The first thing I was sure wasn't just gas came while we were at the beach in October. Sugar and I were lying in bed with her hand on my belly, and she felt it, too. It was weeks before she could feel it again, but I love that we felt the first one together.

By the third trimester, some of it was pretty uncomfortable -- rib kicks and especially the cervical head-butts.

It's strange now to feel something inside and know it has to be me.

Food Craving:

MILK. Some transient ones in the first trimester, most notably beer and, on one bizarre day, fish sticks. Lots and lots of protein, including one or two small meals in the middle of every night. I never thought getting up to eat could feel like a chore. Thank heavens for ricotta cheese on toast.

In general, I ate like a four-year-old. The Bean is 80% hotdogs and tatertots.

Food Aversions:

Coffee and tea both made me feel terrible, even after only a half-sip, in the case of coffee. Salmon seemed desperately gross. Later on, cereal and yogurt made me feel sick, but I think that was an acid thing.

Morning sickness?

Yes, but mild as these things go. No vomiting; only nausea. Worst around week 6. Best cures for me (besides getting out of the record heat) were raspberry candies, raspberry syrup in my water, sour drinks, spicy food (especially the salsa verde from our local taco place), and ZOMG coca-cola. Grandma was completely right about that. And since I wasn't using my caffeine allowance on coffee....


Opted not to find out the Bean's; glad we waited (although I would have put my money on boy if forced).

As for the other kind, yes.

What I miss:

Sleeping on my stomach once in a while. Beer (I sipped Sugar's wine sometimes and had my own a few times towards the end, but she doesn't drink much beer). Sitting in the hot tub at the beach.

My OBs gave a pretty short list of forbidden foods -- deli meat, soft eggs, sushi, factory- or store-prepared salads and dips (like packaged hummus), lox and the like...and maybe some other things? I can't remember, so it can't have been that bad. Except for the soft-cooked eggs. God Almighty, how I missed them. I've had at least a dozen already.

Baby preparedness:

HA HA HA. Ooops. Thank heavens for Schroedinger's newborn clothes stash and Shelli's pack and play, or we would have been SOL upon return from the hospital. I thought I had 3 more weeks.

Best Moments?

Tough to choose, but a few:

  • Driving in the car with Sugar after getting the "good first beta" call, when we were the only people (outside of the clinic) who knew.
  • Telling the friend who launched herself over the table to hug us.
  • Seeing our happy extended families when they were here for the wedding.
  • Feeling the Bean kick for the first time, with Sugar's hand on my belly.
  • Lying in the hospital bed (AFTER the epidural, thank you), listening to the Bean's heart on the monitor.

And one category I'm adding, Stupidest Decisions:

  • Forgetting about not eating prepared dips. One of the only times I threw up all 9 months.
  • Various over-estimations of my physical prowess, from the time I royally messed over my ribs getting out of a chair to the time I rendered myself unable to walk after getting carried away with walking to and from the food coop.
  • Going home from the OB's after she said I was 4 cm dilated and completely effaced.

One of these days, we will make the move to wordpress and post various belated pictures (as passworded posts; no intention of taking the blog as a whole private). For now, here's a face-less picture of me at 37 weeks, 5 days. I thought I still had 3 weeks to go, but this turned out to be as big as I got.

37 weeks 5 days


  1. Lovely picture! Looks like the Bean was taking up your ENTIRE midsection. Also, nice hair. I <3 long hair!

  2. How, how, how have I missed all your posts?!?!?

    I love that picture. It is truly gorgeous. And, the pictures of Bean have me swooning and my baby lust going into overdrive. I am so thrilled for you guys.

  3. Gorgeous pic.

    Love the pregnancy in retrospect post. Very very glad to hear b/f is going well again and the Bean is growing.

  4. Wow, great picture! I totally cracked up at your hallucinogenic mid-sleep shouting.

  5. Happy pi day / Ides of March / uh...Wednesday. And a big high five on the four oz gain. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come. Namely, more ounces. Those best moments brought tears to my eyes, and I'm a hard-hearted monster. And the photo is just gorgeous. I'm so glad you guys managed to do it in time!

  6. Love all of it! I'm super impressed by your post-baby blogging, by the way :-)

  7. Beautiful pic. Loved the preg. recap!

  8. Thanks for the recap! I'm so glad the Bean is here, and I look forward to more fun photos and updates. And woo hoo for 4 ounces! That's spectacular. Also, soft eggs and ibuprofen, how I do miss thee.

  9. i didn't know i'm not supposed to eat prepared salads. i'm not even sure what that means?

    love the belly picture and the retrospective.