It's officially summer (ok solstice says three more days, but whatever) and this is Artemis' and my favorite walk. Loving the green. Not loving the mosquitos, but they're not too bad yet.
Well here we are. Week 27 is done. Week 28 has started. Which means I am 27 weeks pregnant, starting my 7th month and officially into my third trimester... unless you're of the calendar that chooses a to accept the third trimester as starting at 28 weeks, in which case I might have another week to go, but I honestly don't care at this point. I'm going to call it the third trimester. Why not?
First up, some news and a dilemma (good news, good dilemma, nothing bad here): I received a call from the Women's Health center and there is an opening for a midwife that I can take if I want it. On the one hand that's super exciting because I REALLY wanted a midwife when this whole thing started. I wanted one for lots of reasons, not least of which was that I was terrified about how this whole thing would go, I didn't know the first thing about pregnancy, and I felt alone and unsupported (aside from my hubby--this was back in trimester one, when we weren't telling anyone and I felt very isolated) and the idea of having someone who would spend over an hour with me once a month going over everything that was happening to me sounded incredibly reassuring.
But when that didn't happen, I made do with what was available, did a ton of my own research, found a doula and a doctor who was down with natural childbirth and now... Now I don't know. I still love the idea of a midwife. I don't particularly enjoy the 15 minute sprint through the doctor's office that constitutes my monthly prenatal appointment (soon to be biweekly). However, I do like the doctor I found, and if he's actually the one who delivers me I think all will be well. I'm ok with the idea of a hospital birth as long as no one pushes interventions at me, and I think my doula is awesome and we're pretty prepared for this whole thing. Plus my doctor now would become Speck's pediatrician and that's pretty cool. So... do I really want to go through the hassle of switching healthcare providers at this point? I don't know... but, being one who is all for having the most information possible for any decision, I have made an appointment to meet with the midwife to see how awesome she is. Apparently I can do this without upsetting anyone and make my choice after we've met. Plus I'll get to see the birth center (which I have to say is another really appealing part of having a midwife, it looks SOOO comfortable and you get a private room and everything). So, lots of thinking to be done, and a good problem to have, really. I look forward to meeting the midwife and seeing how I feel about her. My hope is that Corey will be able to come too and he can throw in his two cents. We shall see...
Now then: Things that are new in the past week...
HOT FLASHES. Holy shit. I understand that hormones, and blood levels, are all surging and my body is working overtime to adapt to everything that's happening but DAMN. For someone who generally runs cold, and tends to wear fuzzy slippers and a hoodie while reading at night even through most of the summer, suddenly feeling an urge to strip down to as little as possible at 1am is disconcerting at best and downright freaky at worst. (Worst being the first time it happened and I freaked out wondering if I suddenly had a fever, or if the temperature in the house had suddenly spiked, or if I had caught fire without noticing it somehow...) Anyway, having never experienced a real hot flash before this was unsettling, and I immediately turned to the internet to make sure it was a pregnancy thing and not... I don't know... the plague? But yeah, we're all good. Super common in pregnancy especially during the third trimester. So yay! Not the plague! But BOO! COMMON in the third trimester. Blech. I could do without that.
Gas. Gas is not new. Gas has been a big part of this whole deal from the start but lately it's been... more prevalent, shall we say? I don't know. I've been gassy since the first week of pregnancy, but it's like now I can't get up and walk across the room without crop dusting the whole way. Also, apparently, quite common and due in large part to a slowing of my digestive system directly related to pregnancy. Great. Fun isn't it?
Fatigue! Also not new, but having made a more decisive return. While most of the second trimester was spent with only quick bouts of fatigue that were generally cured by napping, the past week and a half has swung back towards the all day fatigue that plagued me in the first trimester. Though, to be fair, it hasn't been quite as all consuming... or rather, it seems to be more of a physical fatigue and less of a mind, body and soul fatigue. I feel tired for no reason, as though I've just run ten miles or more (would that I still could) and sluggish, almost like one feels during a flu. Yet my brain still functions relatively well and I have maintained most of my motivation for writing and work in general. Most, but not all. It has taken a hit. But so far it's nothing compared to the all-I-can-do-is-curl-up-into-a-ball-and-question-all-my-life-choices fatigue of the first trimester. Small victories. We'll take 'em.
PANIC!! This one is pretty new. Not that I haven't had moments all through this pregnancy of disbelief/doubt about what's really happening here, but with Speck moving more and more I'm now constantly faced with the reality that there is a living human growing inside of me and that pretty soon (13 weeks from now) that human is going to come out and say hi, move into our house, and take over our lives. ACK!!! Unprepared doesn't begin to cover how I feel about that, but it's the best I can come up with on short notice. Still, there are other moments when it's pretty cool. Speck is in there, doing her/his thing and becoming a person. There is personality there already. Something I didn't realize until I had close friends have kids is that even new borns have personality. They don't do much with it. Mostly sleeping, crying, eating, and pooping, but it's there, and if you spend enough time with them you can tell. That's the part I'm looking forward to. Getting to know this little human we've made and learning things from it. Seeing the world anew through her/his eyes and sharing that sense of discovery. That part is going to be awesome (in the most literal sense of the word). Then there will be the crying, pooping, eating, and sleeping, but I guess we'll get through that too.
And, finally, DISCOMFORT. I won't pretend that's exactly new, because let's face it; this whole thing is essentially a nine month exercise in seeing just how uncomfortable you can be in your own skin, but the body is really ramping it up here in preparation for the final third. Finding a comfortable way to sit for a long time is pretty much impossible. I wake up every few hours in the middle of the night with various body parts aching, or my bladder flashing neon signs at me saying "EMPTY ME NOW, OR ELSE!" None of my clothes really fit anymore, and I need to buy new tops that cover the waistbands on my maternity pants... everything is a pain in the ass. From getting out of a chair, to trying to go for a long walk without having to pee half way through. Running is out, not because it's too much for my body, but because it's too much for my poor bladder. Five minutes in I feel like Speck has decided that we've entered rough seas and my bladder is her/his life saver. Speck clings to it like a wayward teddy bear and I slow to a walk because damn it, it's just not worth it. Turning in bed feels like turning an unruly boat with a broken rudder, and I am constantly, vibrantly aware of my bump and the fact that it often moves on its own.
So, yeah, people keep telling me I look great, and I know that as far as pregnancy goes I've been super lucky. And, furthermore, I feel pretty good most of the time. I don't want to give you the impression that I'm miserable. Far from it. I think I am lucky, and have had a pretty good run of this thing so far. But I guess that's my point. Even when your pregnancy is going super well, and you feel pretty good, and can still do lots of stuff, and everyone thinks you look wonderful... PREGNANCY IS STILL A PAIN IN THE ASS! So, if you know anyone who is pregnant, please be nice to them. And don't compare their pregnancy to your pregnancy, or your wife's, or your friends, or your brother's sister-in-law's third cousin's. Every pregnancy is different and they all have their sucky moments. So hugs all around for the pregnant ladies, for keeping the species going and putting up with all the parts of this that are bullshit. Not far now, ladies. Just one hot, sweaty, sticky summer to go. ;-)
Here's the weekly bump picture! It was pretty hot yesterday so I'm not wearing much. Those are prepreggo jean shorts that I was amazed to find still fit (with a hair tie buttonhole extension of course)!