Category Archives: third trimester

Longest Day

Way back in the earlier weeks of the pregnancy, when we got a firm due date and pregnancy math was still incomprehensible, I updated my Google calendar with the corresponding pregnancy weeks from then until the 40th week.  This morning, I opened up the calendar to see this, which, quite frankly, startled me:

It seems like forever ago, and just yesterday, that I was peeing on ovulation predictor kits in my work bathroom.  It all still seems pretty miraculous that all of this has happened, and in a matter of days I can count on both hands, we’ll be parents.

In other news, yes, I feel as uncomfortable as I look.  Although, I suppose here at 39w5d, that is to be expected.  It’s also the longest day of the year, and not just for me, apparently.  More people have piped up about dates they’re predicting – so far, we have today (summer solstice), the 22nd, 25th, 26th (full moon – lots of people on this one), and 27th.  My only guess is that it will be an even-numbered day.  Weird.

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Green

I’m finding myself absolutely green with envy when I think of my friends here who have had their babies last month, or have their due date coming up in the next week or so.  These are the folks I’ve waddled and commiserated with through the last few months.  One gave birth about three weeks ago.  One is due next Friday.  The fact that I’m due approximately two more weeks AFTER next Friday brings me pain.  No, not that kind of pain.  Still, pain.

I imagine that the grass is always going to be greener, isn’t it?  Folks trying to conceive will be jealous of the pregnant people.  Ladies in the first trimester will be jealous of the second and third trimesterers.  Pregnant people in general will be jealous of the people who finally met their baby on the outside.  Infant-havers will be jealous of the people who have interactive smiling, then rolling, then crawling, then walking babies who sleep through the night and eat pureed bananas.  Baby-chasers will be jealous of the potty-trained babies.  Bum-wipers will be jealous of the pre-school and kindergarten attenders.  And so forth, until one day when you’re sitting with your high school senior at the dinner table, filling out college applications wondering where all the time went and longing for those bum-wiping years.  So so eager for the next milestone that you lose track of the now.  Then again, maybe it’s just me.

My wife and I tend to always look forward, and hardly ever intentionally look back.  You know, unless it’s to check a blind spot.  Occasionally, we’ll reminisce about our first date, or when our dog was a tiny, sleeping, black lumpus, or what it was like when she worked shift work and we hardly saw each other for a whole year.  Also, my wife is kind of a terrible reminiscer, since she tends to forget things immediately after they’ve happened.  Sort of like constantly emptying your computer’s recycling bin.  In fact, I have to remind her how old she will be every year when her birthday comes around.  And you should see her lack of remorse utter delight in deleting folders upon folders of digital pictures, weeding out bad shots and duplicates with glee.  But this is part of why I love her.  It keeps us all a little bit more sane (and not to mention free of a lot of digital clutter).

We can make it a few more weeks, even though they feel light years away.  I’ll try to keep my jealousy in check.  Jealous that birth-three-weeks-ago doesn’t have to worry any more about when labor will start, how long it will last, how much it will hurt.  Jealous that due-in-a-week has been on bed rest for the last two (three?) months and it’s really only a matter of days (hours?) until she goes until labor, since they’ve been trying to keep her from NOT going into labor for months.  In the meantime, we’ll be here in the now.  Patience, grasshopper.

Check-Up

Yesterday’s 36 week check-up was the first dance-off, pants-off check-up, which, you may find surprising, I was actually looking forward to.  No, I don’t have some kind of strange medical kink (although there’s nothing wrong with that), but after 36 weeks of long conversations and walks on the beach with the OB, it was nice to shake things up a bit and start paying attention to the area of my body that’s going to have the spotlight soon enough.  The taint-swab was quick and practically unnoticeable, and after some eye-widening prodding, we learned that Vegas is head-down, like a good baby.

There was no bleeding afterward, which would have been “normal,” but some definite stop-me-in-my-tracks discomfort after sitting in the car for five minutes, then getting out and walking.  My wife says I need to use my words instead of just walking along making Quasimodo faces, since that might not be the best way to communicate my discomfort.  The lady from redneck childbirth’ says that the person you are before you are in labor is the same person you are when you are IN labor, which makes me fear that I’ll be contracting and the only way to let anyone know would be through facial contortions.

We also learned that my cervix is hard and closed.  Additionally, we got the go-ahead to schedule our weekly appointments from here on out through the due date, which has caused much relief since we were able to avoid scheduling one with Dr. Georgardo.  And honestly, if he’s the one there to catch Vegas when the time comes, that works for me, but it will be nice to see other folks in the meantime.  There’s a reason his schedule is always open (cough douchebag cough), and when we were scheduling only a week out, we were finding ourselves completely screwed out of seeing anyone else.  The other OB’s are simply delightful, so I feel really good about having that set.

Tonight, we finally complete redneck childbirthin’ with a tour of the hospital.  It’ll be a little sad to say our goodbyes to the Mr. John Deer’s.

Also, see?  Racing stripe.  I think we’ll install the sucker this weekend, if only to get used to seeing it back there, and to give the dog a chance to get used to sharing his space, since he’s often in the car with us.  Maybe it will also put some of my under-prepared mind at ease.

Random bits of randomness

  • My craving and general neediness of popsicles and ice is out of control.  All my life, I’ve had sensitive teeth and really unable to bite into any iciness of any kind without shooting pain, but for some reason, pregnancy has rewired my mouth nerves.  Fortunately, my building has a free ice machine, so I can crunch ice all the livelong day.  At home, these seem to do the trick, and make me feel less guilty about eating through an entire box.
  • A few weeks ago, Vegas finally removed himself from my ass nerve, giving me several weeks of non-walking pain.  He is back, however, with a vengeance doing something in there giving me shooting pains in the right side of my hips.  Tylenol, check.  Balance ball sitting, check.  Waddle, check.  Slowest walking pregnant lady, check.
  • We have the beginnings of our weekly OB appointments today where they will “swab my bottom” for Group B Strep Infection detection.  Whereas I’m sure this is painless, I’m less than thrilled with the idea of a taint-swabbing.
  • Some folks I used to work with bought me my most sought-after registry item.  Between this and the racing stripe car seat, I cannot WAIT to take Vegas out in public.
  • We’re 36 weeks today.
  • I can’t help but wonder if there will be another ultrasound before Vegas makes his entry.  We had one at 6 weeks (tiny flickering bean), 12 weeks (outline of a waving human), and 22 weeks (super shy Vegas spends entire ultrasound shielding his face).  While nothing has prompted the NEED of an additional ultrasound, I will admit it would be nice to peek in there just once more.  Although, at this rate, we’ll see him on the outside in only a matter of weeks anyhow.
  • Making preparations for something you don’t know when is going to happen is exhausting.  People at work have started saying, “Any day now, huh!?” which puts me in a wide-eyed panic.  Mostly because, as much as I’d like Vegas to come out tomorrow (for my own selfish reasons), we have shit to do, people.  Then there’s setting wheels in motion at work for people to cover my job when it all goes down, out of office voicemail and email replies to set-up, and not to mention non-work stuff like identifying who will take care of the dog if we have to leave at 2am to get to the hospital and labor for 12+ hours.  He he he whoooooooo.

Gearing Up

Thanks to all the folks who gave us gift certificates, we were able to buy a car seat over the weekend, which was the missing piece to the do-we-have-everything puzzle.  Does it make me a bad parent because I wanted the one with the racing stripe?  No?  Phew.  We also got busy in the nursery, hanging a re-purposed kitchen shelf above the changing table, and putting some decorative touches on the walls in the form of re-purposed multicolored African and Brazilian art and masks.  Sorry, Vegas, but we’re definitely at a cutesy deficit in the nursery.  I can’t tell you when you’ll be introduced to any kind of cartoon character.  You do, however, have a fake ficus – that’s got to be worth something, right?

Physically, I’m really beginning to feel month nine gearing up to start on Wednesday.  I broke down and bought some wrist braces that I’ve been wearing at night for the past few nights.  While it’s a little weird to have such big, blue, cumbersome robot-arms when I go to bed, I’m finding that they’re actually helping in the numbness/tingling that’s been keeping me awake.  I still can’t type on the computer or jot down a handwritten list for crazy long spells, as my hands fall asleep quickly, at least I think I’ve got a handle on the nighttime issues.  Now that we’ve turned on the A/C, sleeping at night is almost enjoyable – you know, in between all of the peeing.

Bending over is getting harder (or more impossible), and I think my wife thinks I’m going into early labor every time I bend down and let out a barbaric groan.  I’m still walking the dog at least once a day, but our pace has slowed quite a bit, so a 20 minute walk has easily turned into a 30 minute walk by the time that I can get myself up the hill.  My ankles (cankles, much?) are out of control, but that’s old news.  Vegas is getting fat and sassy, and I can feel his most productive days as I’m left exhausted and nauseous.  Like today.  You’re lucky my eyes are open wide enough to see the screen.

We start weekly OB appointments this week, which is when things get physical, physical.  “They” don’t tell you that as soon as you stop being able to “take care” of things from the waist down, all of the sudden everyone starts paying attention and wants you to drop trou.  That’s sick and wrong, folks.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to nap underneath my desk.

Are we there yet?

What a strange week.  Well, not strange like panic-strange, just things feel a little “off.”  OK fine, there was some panic, too.

The off-ness started over the weekend, when I had fits and spurts of nesting-like activity (you could call it, I suppose) – washing more baby clothes, unearthing and sorting through disorganized storage containers, cleaning the basement, finding colorful things to hang in the nursery, etc.  This was all off-set by just as lengthy spurts of wanting to lay on the couch and moan in unspecified misery (we often call this  “letting the cats eat my arms.”)  I was completely unmotivated to do anything, including fun things like watch TV, poke around the internet, or even play the Wii.  I know.  I suppose a comparison would be running full force, then stopping to sit down and cry, then getting back up to run, and so forth and so on.  Thanks, hormones!

Things didn’t improve when Monday came around and my mother slowly tore out my toenails one by one over the phone.  It also involved resolving some questions we had about my maternity leave, which had us asking a thousand questions last week that no one was able to answer.  Finally, though, we were directed to the benefits chart applicable to me, which sadly pointed out that I would only get paid 100% for the first two weeks of my leave, dwindling down eventually over time to just 60%.  Unless the OB says I need to be out longer, six weeks is standard leave for a vaginal birth (eight weeks for C-Section, which I’d like to avoid) – all additional time off would need to be taken as unpaid or vacation days.  Of course, this is just me and doesn’t address the other complications of my wife taking any additional leave other than the vacation time she’s stored up.

Monday night was also our one-time breastfeeding class, which was really informative (and attended by all of the normal people who live here – why can’t those people be in our Thursday night classes?), although I didn’t appreciate all of the mother-bonding crap that alienated the dads and partners and prompted small subtle tears to run down my wife’s cheek.  They could certainly spend less time talking about dad’s just-as-comforting-and-important hairy chest, loud heartbeat, and deep booming voice.  Toolbags.

Tuesday brought another stressful conversation – this time with our daycare folks, who are currently dysfunctionally working with an interim director, since the director we met with back in December has since left.  We were passed along to an old biddie named Sue who is in charge of the administrative things like the ever important wait-list for enrollment.  I don’t know if this is a common issue in other towns, but in our town, a secured spot in the infant room at a daycare is gold.  Back in December, we were stoked to be number 1 on the wait-list for August enrollment, as we are number 75 on the August list (and number 14 on the September list) at our other preferred daycare location.  Hoping to have some sense of “oh sure, there should be a spot in the infant room come August” from Sue, we got, “Hmm.  I’m just trying to figure out payroll here, honey!  And you haven’t even had your baby yet!  Call me in a month, and maybe then I’ll know more.  Oh, and then there’s this fella here who looks like he already had his baby – so I’ll probably give him the next spot that opens up.”  Which was, as you might imagine, less assuring.  Considering that all other daycare places in the area (that accept newborns at 6 or 8 weeks) have a wait-list a year or more long, we’ve spent this week contemplating our less-desired options in the case that Sue doesn’t come through in time for me to go back to work.

See?  Now YOUR blood pressure has risen, hasn’t it?  Mmhmm.

Wednesday, everyone (as in me and my wife) had the grumples.  We’re  running low on positive thinking and good cheer.  Low?  Well, maybe we’re in the negative.  I had a brief moment of momentum last night as I decluttered some of the kitchen countertops to make way for the baby things (such as this awesome contraption) that will eventually take over, which included demoting the 12 cup coffee maker to under the counter.   I also managed to do some laundry, take down the compost, walk the dog, and piss myself a little when I sneezed too hard (so.awesome.)  The night was topped off by eating cream horns and watching ANTM (Vegas LOVES a squealing model).

We’ve barely made it to Thursday, and somehow we need to find the get-up-and-go to make it through redneck childbirthing tonight and a day-long trek to awkward-land to see my mother on Saturday.  I haven’t even managed to find the time this week to complain about being tired, swollen, moody, and fed up with the little man who walks behind me all day shooting blow darts into my ass (sciatica much?).  The light at the end of the tunnel is heading to the pool on Sunday for some pregnant lady float-time.  Wish us luck with everything else.

Physical Update

While we’re talking about mundane day-to-day sorts of things, let’s have an update on how things are going physically, hm?

Footwear
I’ve moved strictly to slip-on wear 24/7 nowadays.  I think I COULD tie my shoes if I wanted to, but thought I’d go ahead and save myself the struggle from here on out.  This means I wear my Crocs (in a respectable Chocolate color) pretty much all the time – walking to/from work, walking the dog, on the weekends, etc.  I change into some manly Sketchers Jesus sandals when I get to work, to avoid being that person at work with Crocs, of which we frighteningly have several in the department.

Clothing
I’ve got a good clothing rotation going on these days.  Oh sure, it means I have to wear 3/4 sleeves two out of five work days, but that’s something I’ve come to peace with recently after I learned that the bass player from Death Cab for Cutie only wears 3/4 sleeves on stage.  I had no idea when I wrote about such clothing success two months ago that those cargo pants/shorts and muscle undershirts would make up 90% of my daily wardrobe when I’m out in public.  The other 10% accounts for the weekends and evenings, when I can still wear a majority of my t-shirts and sweats.  I’m still wearing my same arsenal of pre-pregnancy boxer shorts, so no need for maternity underpants yet.  In TMI news, I’m sleeping naked these days, since I don’t see the point in buying maternity pajamas and, well, I don’t mind being naked.  So there.

Hiccups
No, not me – Vegas!  That kid is a hiccuping fool.  Typically, they last from anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.  Considering I can’t suggest that he drink nine swallows without stopping, or eat a tablespoon of peanut butter, he and I suffer through them until it gets worked out.  Since we’re (me, wife, OB) relatively certain his head has dropped, it explains why the hiccups feel as if they’re coming from the lowest part of my belly.  It feels like an internal pulsing/throbbing/thumping – unfortunately, they’re not visible from the outside yet.  His favorite times to hiccup are in the morning right when I’ve gotten to work, or in the middle of the night, in an effort to wake me up, for sure.

Twitch
I have a pretty persistent twitch in my left eye, which my wife assures me is not visible to onlookers.  Thank goodness.  Since I’m sleeping OK these days (as in, mostly through the night), and it’s not caffeine related, it’s most likely pre-baby panic and mania.  It gets better when my wife talks to me in soothing tones, or if we’re making a to-do list, and then get some of it to-done.

Pain in the Ass
Literally.  I’m having some sciatica pain in the left side of my ass, which makes me waddle when I walk.  Who knew that the pregnant waddle can be brought on by ass pain?  Tylenol and the rice sock to the rescue.

In other news, I need a haircut and another prenatal massage STAT.  My to do list for today consists of setting those up, so I can look and feel more presentable as we’re coming down the home stretch.  At least the waves of panic are off-set by equal waves of excitement in meeting Vegas.  I really can’t wait to see that kid’s face.  I can’t wait to know if it’s a boy Vegas or a girl Vegas.  I also can’t wait to drink a beer and lift something really fucking heavy, but all in due time.

Pregnancy Secrets Revealed

Here we are at 30 weeks and I’ve learned the latest pregnancy secret: “You look great!” really means, “You don’t look horrible!”  Cause really, folks, I don’t think I look as good in this pink sweater as you think I do.  Definitely not “great.”  But thanks.

I don’t know the key to not looking horrible, or I’d be writing a best-selling book called Butch, Pregnant, and Not Looking Horrible.  And honestly, after a quick once over of some pictures I’m mailing off to my internet-less mom and grandma, per request and demand, that chronicle my growing belly, I am living in shock and awe that I was not considered supermodel quality around 18 weeks considering where we are now.  That, and I can’t believe how HUGE my head looks in the pictures from before I started showing.  It had its own weather system!

Even my prenatal masseuse told me, at 28 weeks, that I could pass as non pregnant.  Maybe my book will be called Butch, Pregnant, yet Not Looking Pregnant at 28 Weeks. But it’s a lie – I do look pregnant.  I look pretty fucking pregnant, actually.  See?

Right.  That’s me and Vegas cooking burgers last night.  With our trusty elbow-length oven mitt.  (PS – Nice lawn, wife!)

And seriously, if you stare at him long enough, he’ll even break out some Kung Fu that’ll make it look like my t-shirt is hosting a puppet show.  How’s that for pregnant, huh?  HiYa!

The only other pregnancy secret I’ve found out is that veteran mothers (those with teenagers and beyond) tend to disclose the simplest information and opinions under hushed breaths, after looking around first for potential eaves-droppers.  Like they’re getting ready to tell me the Colonel’s secret recipe.  Then they say things like, “This is such a wonderful time,” and “Make sure you take the full 12 weeks of leave.”  In a way that indicates that their life hasn’t been even remotely as wonderful as when it was when they were pregnant, or that those 12 weeks of leave were the last vacation days they ever saw, 14 years ago.  Thanks for the head’s up, veteran moms.  Shhhhh, I won’t tell.  Promise.

So here’s to cracking the secret codes and intentionally waggling my belly out in front sometimes when I’m walking, if only to make sure people know why I’m wearing a pink sweater.

Check-Up

This morning we had our 29 week check-up, with today being week 29 right on the nose.  Weight, check.  Blood pressure, check.  Pee in a cup, check.  Let me expand on all three of these, in reverse order.

  • Peeing in a cup: This is getting harder to manage the bigger my belly gets.  Mind you, I was terrible at peeing on a stick all those hundreds of times during the days of ovulation prediction kits, so it’s no surprise than blindly peeing into a cup is challenging, at best.  I can only imagine how much more awesome that will become.
  • Blood pressure: Fine. 1-something over 60-something?  It’s written down in “the book” that’s in “the car” so I don’t know specifics.  It’s definitely not high, and if anything, might be a little low?  No cause for any concern across the board.
  • Weight gain: You’re excited about this one, aren’t you?  It’s been three weeks since I weighed in last time with not a single pound gained.  So I’m guessing you won’t be surprised when I tell you I’m still at the same weight I was three weeks ago, despite my reckless consumption of  cinnamon rolls, ice cream, bacon, and a curious amount of Vienetta ever since.  Despite our wide-eyed concern, no one else seems the slightest bit concerned.  For pete’s sake, Vegas, stop eating me alive.  But really, my belly is growing, and if anything, is making my head look like it’s shrinking.

OB#45 (OK, OK, he’s like… number 6 out of 7) seemed nice enough while he checked in with us, asked us questions about classes and breastfeeding, and put in our records the name of Vegas’ pediatrician (who will end up being the doctor that my wife and I both see who works in a family practice.  Score!).  We heard the heartbeat (150’s) and got my fundal height measurement on (we’re around 30 weeks).  The glucose tolerance test came back fine, so no gestational diabetes, which is one in the win category.  A couple of handshakes later and we were on our way to check-out.

We start every two week visits now, so we’ll be back there in practically no time, hopefully with more junk in the trunk, although I can’t make any promises.