I haven't been posting much lately, especially about the pregnancy. With all of my early complaining, I'm sure nobody is particularly heartbroken about that. I have no photos for this post, so I apologize for the loooooonnng, texty post.
I just hit the 30 week point -- that's out of 40 weeks total. Of course, he could arrive a little earlier, or even a little later. There's no pop-up timer like on a turkey.
I have been generally uncomfortable throughout the last 7.5 months, but thankfully it's just discomfort, and not any kind of serious problems with my baby or me.
So what has it been like to be pregnant?
I found out I was pregnant at five weeks, which is really three weeks, since they start counting at the first day of your last period, not at conception. I thought, "Well, at least no morning sickness!" Then I read that it actually usually starts around week 6. And it did, right on time. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones. Mine only lasted about three weeks and never involved any puking.
On the other hand, around the same time I developed serious food aversions, which are quite common. Somehow, though, it's distinctly different from the nausea of morning sickness. It's just a serious disgust of certain foods, for me, mainly, vegetables. Even thinking about broccoli, normally a food I'm fond of, made vomit rise in my throat. Later, vegetables started seeming less awful, but things like chicken and other meat started to be disgusting to me. Conveniently, fried chicken and hamburgers never seemed gross. As it turns out, these are very common food aversions.
Aside from that, I found that my blood sugar seemed quite unstable. Without warning, I'd start to feel kind of ill. I had to have something in my purse at all times for a quick bite.
I don't recall the exact timeline, but maybe around week 8 I started getting really severe headaches. I've always been plagued by headaches, but I'm accustomed to popping a (mostly over-the-counter) pill when need be. When you're pregnant, you can really only have regular strength Tylenol. My doctor said if it got really bad, I could have Midrin, a prescription that I already have on hand. I found that I could never bring myself to take it. I was just too scared. That first trimester is when everything is developing, and I had to take my first lessons on sacrifice as a mother.
Those headaches were among the most severe I've ever known, and they lasted for days and days. I'd never had headaches that lasted that long. Tylenol was about as effective as Tic-Tacs, so I quit even bothering with it most of the time. I was incredibly sick. But somehow I rode out several months of those, and every day I wondered how I made it through. There were times that I had horrible thoughts about the pregnancy, and then I'd feel just awful for thinking them.
Those were my major ailments. On top of those I had unbelievable exhaustion; breasts that tripled in size practically overnight and hurt incredibly until about week 14 and many other things that can be found in this whiny post: Things that suck about pregnancy.
Ahhh. The second trimester. This is usually considered the best time of pregnancy because many of your first trimester ailments ease up, you're looking a little pregnant, but a lot of the discomforts that come later are still in the distance.
Boy did I feel better. My headaches cleared up and most of my food aversions did, too. But I had a lack of appetite through week 20 or 22. The plus side was that I barely gained any weight up until this point. I really disliked food and ate enough to nourish myself and my baby, but had no desire to eat anything extra.
By week 24, all food aversions were gone. I loved food! I still wasn't particularly hungry -- no more so than I was before I was pregnant, but at least food sounded good. I was no longer fatigued, and I found out that a condition I had, placenta previa, had cleared up. That's when the placenta covers the cervix/birth canal. It can cause bleeding and other problems, so you're basically on some degree of activity restrictions -- like no exercise. If you start to bleed, you could be taken out of work and put on home or hospital bed rest. I found out at 24 weeks that as my uterus grew, the placenta moved on over to a safer location. Yay! From that point on, I just got to be a normal pregnant woman.
I was eager to exercise, but I found that starting at 24 weeks' pregnant wasn't so easy. Just walking around the block was incredibly hard. I had some extra weight, of course, even if it wasn't much fat. My blood volume will increase by 45 to 50 percent by the end of the pregnancy, and as lung capacity decreases, more oxygen is still needing to be processed, so it's just darn hard to exercise if you haven't been doing it all along. My blood pressure has also been very low, like 85/50, so sometimes I'd get dizzy.
I also found that if I didn't get enough protein with breakfast, I'd get really sick shortly thereafter. That led me to this helpful pregnancy breakfast, since I wasn't too big on a meaty start to my day.
I was sort of shocked when I found myself in the third trimester. It all seemed to be happening so fast! I was definitely glad, though. Somewhere toward the end of the second trimester, I developed really severe back pain. Not lower back pain, like you'd expect, but mid-back pain. I still have it. It's so much worse when I sit. As a matter of fact, I can generally stand and walk as much as I want and feel no back pain. From time to time, my lower back, way down by my tailbone, starts up and I get really stiff when I move about. But usually it's just the sitting that gets me. That's also what I do at work all day. Sit. I had to give up my regular chair for a kneeling chair, and if not for that, I don't know how I could continue at my job. It still hurts in the kneeling chair, but it's much more tolerable.
I also have several belly/back support braces that help a lot, too. I try to get to the chiropractor once a week, and my insurance allows me a 30-minute massage with that. My mom sent me to her physical therapist, who told me my pelvis is misaligned. But no amount of exercises or adjustments seems to get it to stay in place. I guess my body is just changing too much, and there's a lot of extra weight in the front.
One thing that happens in pregnancy is that your ligaments loosen, so your joints are less stable. In addition to that, your pubic bone also can start to separate at the cartilage in the center. This is to make room for baby, and I may say that it doesn't feel too good. (Up above, I accidentally wrote "public" bone. I work for a newspaper, and I think one of my biggest fears is accidentally writing the word "pubic" in a headline instead of "public," so my fingers have major trouble writing it without the "L.")
I am a little (lot) tired of the hair thing. First off, where is my long, thick lustrous pregnancy hair? It's exactly the same, but with more broken wispies around the face that must be glued down each day. But the body! It's like you get a fine peach fuzz all over the place. I feel like a damn werewolf sometimes. I haven't even bothered with my normal waxing, because it can't put a dent in this mess, and I can't afford to wax head to toe.
A few weeks ago, I started to get more hungry. I have not had any strange cravings, but boy do I LOVE sugar. Love it. I have to force myself to get some veggies and nutrients in my body for the sake of the baby.
He's been very active all along, but now that he's big (should be close to 3 pounds and 15 inches, I think) I can really feel him moving in ripples across my belly. It's strange feeling, but it comforts me to know he's alive in there. My husband sometimes feels my belly while I sleep and wonders how I can sleep at all with all that movement going on. Sometimes it weirds him out a little. The other day, I saw a bulge come out, stay a moment, and recede. I guess he was stretching a leg or something. It's funny to look down and see my belly wiggling about through no effort of my own.
So that leaves me at week 30. I feel pretty good, except for the back pain. But it's funny how something that makes you so miserable can eventually start to seem less noticeable. Ten weeks is not long, and before I know it, he'll be here!