Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 37

So week 37... I have been so buried in work I barely remember what week 37 was like.

I did a video for you (sorry it's 10 minutes long - I edited it, but super basic editing, nothing fancy) and if you have the time and really want to see what week 37 looks like it's probably a pretty good example, because boy do I seem tired and lackluster throughout. (Also, holy crap is my rack really that big?)

The details are within, and I apologize if you generally enjoy the blog at work and don't have time for a 10 minute video.

I worked all weekend, which is why this post is late to begin with, and I didn't have time to write out my usual spew of words. So you get a video and a week 37 bump pic taken by hubby.

And I'm going to get back to this project that has a deadline looming that I am just barely keeping up with.

Short version: I'm doing pretty well, all things considered.

And here's the bump picture:

And hopefully I'll have time to get the week 38 post done on time and in the more regular fashion. Until then, dear readers! Until then... 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week 36

Well, it's after midnight so I suppose this is a Monday post, and thus, a few days late. However, after being so breathtakingly on time for the two weeks that I was road tripping, I feel... not terrible about this Monday post.

Week 36... where to start?

It has been a bit of a mixed bag, that's for sure. Though, again, I'm so grateful that I'm mostly doing quite well, and that all my symptoms seem to be mild compared to what many pregnant women experience.

That said, third trimester is getting real and... there's only one month of this left. Actually, crazily, at the end of this week I will be 37 weeks, which means that Speck will be full term, which means that it's totally fine for Speck to show up any time after Friday. So, basically any day between Friday and six weeks from now would be perfectly normal arrival dates for Speck. Holy shit. That's incredibly soon no matter which of those days it happens on.

So, things that I have experienced in the past week:

1. Practice labor - because practice makes perfect! For those unfamiliar with the joys of the third trimester, the fun can start super early, and a pregnant woman's body, while preparing for the whole birthing process, can start contractions just for funzies. It's sort of like a systems check. Your body is like, "Hey, are you aware that this is a thing that's going to happen? Are we prepared? Are all systems working properly? How about now? Or now?" And you're like, "WTF is this? Why do I feel like I'm getting period cramps while getting punched in the cervix from the inside? Is this labor? Is this what labor feels like?" And then you lie down and drink a bunch of water and it slowly goes away. Which is how you know it's NOT labor. Then you go about your business, read up on practice labor vs. real labor just to make sure that you're not losing your mind, and then wait for it to happen again, because it will. (And just to be safe you might download a contraction timer to your phone so that you can easily make sure that the contractions are going away and not getting closer together.)

2. Breathlessness - Speck doesn't seem to have dropped yet. (Something that may be in the process of happening - hence all the cervix punches I've been experiencing.) While Speck is still riding high, my lungs are super squished and on top of that all the extra blood etc, makes oxygenating the blood I've got extra work and I get out of breath for no reason at all, and it's frustrating.

I was watching the Olympics a lot last week, and while I was duly impressed with all the true athleticism I was witnessing in Rio there were times when I felt I deserved an Olympic gold simply for getting up from the couch by myself, or putting on a pair of pants without injury. Yep... and this is form someone who has actually completed an Olympic distance triathlon and two half marathons. Pregnancy takes a lot out of a person.

3. Exhaustion - much like the first trimester, I am back to having a very limited amount of energy in any given day, and I need to nap a lot. This is a combination of reacting to another huge surge in hormones that comes at the end of pregnancy, and the fact that sleep is fairly elusive at this point (I'll get to that in the next list point). So, getting my work done, walking the dog, and feeding myself successfully in one day can feel like an overwhelming set of tasks (especially since it can only be accomplished by way of a two hour nap in the middle of it all). I do manage to get all three done on most days though.

4. Insomnia - Ok. I'm hesitant to call it insomnia because I can fall asleep, I just can't stay that way for very long. Though, there are nights where I don't even feel tired until after 3am, which makes it feel more like actual insomnia. Last night I finally caved and took benadryl before bed (as a soporific) and was rewarded with a few 3-4 hour sessions of continuous sleep interrupted by only having to pee twice. It was blissful. Generally speaking, between having to pee and hip discomfort I'm waking up five times a night and never feeling like I've reached deep sleep. :-(

5. General discomfort - along with the breathlessness and the hips and back aching, I just generally feel like I'm about to pop. Speck moves lots (which is nicely reassuring) but as there gets to be less and less room available for speck I feel like I'm being beaten up on the inside a bit. It doesn't really hurt (except for the odd sharp twinge) but it feels deeply uncomfortable and when added to everything else, makes it difficult to rest.

6. EATING EVERYTHING - Speck is growing rapidly still and apparently it is now my job to EAT ALL THE THINGS in order to feed Speck's growth spurt. This is generally fine with me, except that my stomach fills to capacity pretty quickly and then my digestive system takes forever to process things and I feel uncomfortably full for hours at a time. (Note: My stomach doesn't fill so fast that I can't find a way to shove an entire large pizza in there... on a day when I've already eaten a fairly large salad a few hours before...)

Soooo delicious... I could order another one right now...

Delicious salad made even better by watching the Olympics (feels even healthier to watch others exercise while eating vegetables)

7. Hot flashes - Yep. More hormones, and I'm getting random hot flashes again. Not too many, but they still weird me out. Suddenly feeling the need to strip down to as little clothing as possible for reasons that don't involve jumping into a body of a water, or jumping someone's bones, throws me for a loop.

So, that's the list of symptoms. In other news, we finally bought a car seat, and at the same time discovered a baby store that did not make me want to vomit (if you're curious as to why that is, I'll give you a hint, a decided lack of pink was involved). However, everything in the store was incredibly high priced, except for the car seats, which appeared to be the same price as anywhere else. Feels good to finally have that done, although, again, holy crap, this baby is coming in no time. PANIC!

In fun-stuff-good-times news, Speck appeared to be head down at our last midwife appointment and the midwife said Speck seemed a good size. My uterus continues to measure normal for dates and my bp was normal (and no longer on the super low side of normal, which is apparently... wait for it... normal- yay for WORDS THAT MEAN VERY LITTLE!). :-) Long story short, Speck and I both appear to be in good health.

In the category of shit that you probably don't want to read unless you are pregnant yourself or planning to become so soon, or are really into the weird personal details of pregnancy... Perineal massage! Now there's something I never thought I'd have to do... (If you don't know what it is, please look it up, I... just don't have the right words.) Right, so I gave this a shot and found it to be extremely awkward in terms of contorting my body to get things done. I have not done it again since. However, Corey is now on my case about it because he read the part in the birthing books that said "DO THIS OR REGRET YOUR LIFE CHOICES FOREVER AFTERWARDS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!" So, I need to do it, but I'm reluctant because it's a pain in the... vag? Anyway, it's annoying. I'm going to try to be better about it though, because I really don't want a. an episiotomy, b. serious vaginal tearing, or c. some terrible combination of the two. Of course, doing it doesn't guarantee that those things won't happen, but it does reduce the likelihood enough that it's worth doing, and I should really remind myself of that. Sigh... Coconut oil is going to ruined for me after this I can tell.

Well, that's about it from week 36 I think. Here's the bumpie from last Wednesday as Corey and I failed to take a weekend bump picture. I will try to bug him about it this week and see if we can get one because I think it's nice to have the same background comparison etc, but at least I have some photographic evidence of looking pregnant. Please enjoy forward facing and side facing angles!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Week 35

Well, I'm managing to post this on time because Corey and I busted our butts in order to make it all the way home last night. To be fair, Corey busted his butt in terms of driving (we were doing a very even split all day, but when it came to the final push I had to bow out) and I busted my butt in terms of trying not to go insane with discomfort in the passenger seat in the last two hours of a 15 hour drive. I'd say we put in equal effort really.

So, we're home, finally, and with two full days to recuperate before going back to work. Well, ok, Corey gets two days to recuperate, and I have to get back to work today, but whatever we still get to take it slow and hang out a bit without being in the car, so we're calling it a weekend.

The question you're all probably dying to have answered is: how did a two week road trip in the third trimester of pregnancy actually go?

The answer: pretty well, actually.

I mean look, it was still weeks 34 and 35 of pregnancy, so it was bound to have its downsides wasn't it? Just because I was traveling doesn't mean I got to leave behind pregnancy or any of the inconveniences that come with it. And I've never been pregnant before so I have no baseline for what weeks 34 and 35 would have been like without sitting in a car for hours at a time, sleeping on a thermarest in a tent, or staying in unfamiliar beds for two weeks. However, I do have a strong baseline for what those things are like outside of weeks 34 and 35 of pregnancy and I can tell you that they are not made in any way easier or more enjoyable by being pregnant. That said, they were still pretty fun.

Keep in mind I'm the kind of person who LOVES road trips when I'm not pregnant. If you were to walk up to non-pregnant me and say, "Hey, Virginia, I'm thinking about going on the road for a month, driving between 6 and 16 hours a day, and camping/sleeping in the car on my way across north america and I need a buddy to do it." I would reply, "Well, you have come to the right place, my friend. I am precisely the buddy for that kind of adventure." I might jump into your arms and hug you as well. I seriously love road trips and always have. My mom started me on them when I was young, and for many years it was a thing we did together. When I got old enough it was a thing I often did solo. I have driven across the US by myself a handful of times. I have been in all 48 contiguous states largely thanks to my road trips. I have traversed, alone and with friends/family, the east coast from north to south and back again. The west coast from south to north. Gone from coast to coast east to west and west to east, and many shorter trips in between. I've driven from just north of the Mexico border all the way into Canada. And from various spots in the US down into Mexico. I have now gone from Winnipeg to Toronto and back twice. I really desperately want to go coast to coast through Canada sometime in the not too distant future.

I think you get the idea. It's safe to say I love road trips.

So, I didn't think I was going to suddenly hate them while pregnant, and I was right. I was so happy to be road tripping, something that is a big piece of my identity pre-deciding to have a kid, that I was able to blissfully ignore most of the small discomforts that road tripping while pregnant brings with it.

But you folks are here precisely because of this whole pregnancy business, so while I may have ignored them or suppressed them to the best of my ability in order to do a thing that I love, I will still enumerate them here so that you don't get the wrong idea about smooth sailing through late pregnancy symptoms etc.

I could give you a play by play of the whole trip, but that would take forever, and I have bunch of work that I need to do, and you probably have places you need to be, so we'll just do two lists; one of lowlights, one of highlights, throw in a few pictures from the whole thing and call it a blog post. Shall we?

Lowlights (aka when pregnancy got the best of me on this trip):

  • sleep - funnily enough some of my best nights of sleep were in a tent, with benadryl to aid my slumber (and yes I did squeeze my pregnancy pillows into my sleeping bag with me, and yes it was totally worth it) but mostly sleep was elusive and shoddy for the whole two weeks. Naps helped a lot, and kept me functional and able to enjoy the rest of my time, but even my "best" nights of sleep were uncomfortable (holy crap! I didn't think my hips and lower back could hurt that much without pulling or dislocating something) and filled with far too many pee-breaks. Last night, our first night home in two weeks, was the best night of sleep I've gotten since we left and I still got up to pee 5 times. 
  • sitting in the car - normally, I love both my driving and non-driving car stints as I find them peaceful, scenic, and good excuses to get writing and reading done (I never get motion sickness and this may be one of the reasons that I'm such a fan of road trips). However, pregnancy has put a serious damper on this. I still don't get motion sickness, thank Gwen, but I find that I can't sit still for more than hour or so before my hips and back start to ache. I managed to stretch and shift enough in the car to make it through, but it was a challenge that it has never been before. I have never found myself so uncomfortable in a car. Last night, as we neared the end of our only 15 hour drive of the entire trip I was about ready to pull my own hair out to distract me from the pervasive discomfort in my hips and back. I stretched, I twitched, I pretzled myself, I did everything I could and I still felt like my hips were on fire. While my normal cut off for driving hours in a single day is around the 16-19 hour mark I would put my pregnant cut off at 10 (ideally 8 or fewer - really) or 12 if pushing things, but really no amount of car sitting was comfortable/enjoyable the way it usually is, it all came down to a question of how long I could suppress the discomfort. :-(
  • heartburn - I don't think this was road trip related except that heartburn is less likely to creep up when one is properly hydrated and staying properly hydrated when one is trying to make any forward progress in a car while pregnant is simply not possible unless one wishes to install a catheter system for the car. I had heartburn flare ups a few times on this trip and it appears that this is a fairly common symptom at this point in pregnancy. I hadn't had much yet in the third trimester and I now attribute that to staying hydrated. On a day when I am at home and have easy access to a toilet I drink between 3 and 5 liters of water easily every day. On a day when I am in a car for 8 hours or more I drink substantially less than that because to drink my normal amount would lead to needing to pull over 4 times an hour which is simply... not going to get you anywhere in a reasonable amount of time. I tried to drink a liter before we left camp in the morning, and then drink two more after we stopped for the night, with one more liter spread out slowly over the drive, but that generally wound up being too little too late in terms of my stomach acid deciding that it wanted to explore other regions of my body. When we were in civilization and restrooms abounded I managed to drink enough to not suffer heartburn too badly but there were two nights on the trip where it completely stopped me from sleeping. 
  • getting kicked in the crotch from the inside - a novel sensation to be sure, but some part of Speck making sudden and harsh contact with my cervix (best guess) hurt enough to double me over mid-stride, but at least had the decency to be a short lived experience. The first time this happened was on Wednesday of this week, and it has since happened a couple more times. I am not a fan. Speck has been warned that this is not acceptable behavior, but my guess is that Speck is bored and there's not much else to do in there aside from lash out at things and see what happens, there's also a chance this isn't Speck hitting me, but is something else entirely. I will mention it to my midwife at my next appointment, but I don't think it's anything too worrisome. 
  • the heat in Toronto - Ok, it was actually humidity in Toronto, since heat itself doesn't usually bother me (I'm a desert rat at heart), but 95 degrees with 95% humidity fucking sucks in the 35th week of pregnancy. It made sleep, and everything else, difficult and sticky. Thank goodness we were visiting some of our favorite people in the world, or it would have been easy to get down about the heat. As it was, it seemed like a mild nuisance in the midst of an otherwise lovely visit.
  • needing to pee a bajillion times a day/night -  I think this has been roundly covered in other points, but just in case anyone forgot about it between a few paragraphs ago and now... well, I haven't. I've already had to pee twice while writing this blog post. It's annoying even in the middle of a normal day working from home and on a road trip it's... well I think you understand. 
  • having to get up/down, bend over, get in/out of a car, or just roll over in bed with a 35 week pregnant belly - these simple motions are not only uncomfortable, they can often result in an uncomfortable kick fest from Speck, and make me alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) out of breath, nauseous, or feeling like all the blood in my body is made out of molasses. All I have to say is camping is a lot harder when bending over is hard and I am really fucking glad that I'm good at picking things up with my feet.
Ok, that's enough whinging about how my perfectly healthy pregnancy with minimal negative symptoms made my fabulous road trip harder than normal. Here are the highlights, along with some photos, so we can get back to the point where I said the whole thing was pretty good all in all. Because it really was a good trip and I don't want my attempt at keeping honest about pregnancy symptoms to make anyone think I didn't have a great time, or that I didn't appreciate just how lucky I was to be able to make the trip at all.

So here go the highlights - some are pretty general, others are very specific:
  • visiting awesome people - from our very first stop in Canyon Lake to our days in Ottawa and Toronto the best thing about this trip was getting to spend time with so many of our favorite humans. It is always nice to go out into the world and be reminded of how wonderful people are and to feel truly lucky in our friends and family. Speck is going to have a really great group of adults as role models and that's no small thing. 
  • eating amazing food - road trips for some people may mean cheap fast food eaten on the fly (and it has meant that for me many times too) but on this road trip we did food properly. Our first night of the trip we were treated to an amazing meal by our friends in Canyon Lake and we went out of our way to make/bring delicious road food so we weren't hurting for good meals even on the road. Then, at our various destinations our friends and family treated us to amazing meals at every turn. From fresh caught lake fish to delicious salads, fabulous curries to killer pizza, pan fried halloumi to pancakes with bacon in them, and gourmet burgers to specialty cheese stores, we did food right this entire trip. To cap things off I introduced Corey to the amazingness that is Tuco's Tacos in Sudbury on our way out of Toronto, a stop that he was dubious about at first, but quickly changed his tune when he put the first bite of taco into his mouth. (While I am sadly lacking in photos of most of our culinary adventures, I do have this one shot of our Taco experience. I ate most of them before I remembered to take a picture. That's how good they are.)

  • touristy things - I often skip the more touristy things that one can do in any given destination as I prefer to see what the locals are up to rather than tick of a list of "must sees," but it can be nice to do a bit of touristy sight seeing too, when one is in the Capital of a country for example. Here are some photo and video tidbits from our Ottawa days:

    You may have seen some of these from my last blog post, but fear not! There are new pictures coming in some of the next bullets.
  • camp/outdoorsy things - we didn't just tour around big cities with friends and family, we also camped with friends and family and went to the beach and stuff. These were honestly my favorite parts as I am very much a fan of spending time outdoors, and less interested in cities no matter how cool they are. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of the lovely camping we did with our Ottawa homies, which is too bad, because it was freaking wonderful part of the trip and produced many highlights for us both. Corey has some more photos on his phone, but they aren't easily accessible to me right now, so these two beach pics with dogs in them are all you get.

I do, however have a series of awesome photos of a beach day in Toronto with our good friends who are also 35 weeks along with their first baby.

These pictures lead nicely into my next highlight bullet point... 

  • visiting our good friends who are also 35 weeks into this whole first pregnancy thing - there is something particularly epic about sharing this adventure with two people that have been good friends of mine for 8 years and good friends of Corey's for... a whole lot longer than that. We've been in touch via the various wonders of technology throughout this crazy ride, but getting to hang out in person for five days was extra wonderful. This beach day was a highlight of a highlight and despite being a writer I cannot express to you in words how fabulous it was to be able to spend time with these two at this particular moment in our lives. We felt all the feels. 
  • the epic scenery that is the northern coast of Lake Superior and parts of northern Ontario - note that those are two pretty different locations, but they were both gorgeous and sadly... I did not get many pictures of the scenery as I was too busy soaking it all in. Corey snapped a few scenic shots and I might add them here later, but if not go ahead and do a google image search for Agawa Bay, Neys Provincial Park, and Algonquin Park, and you'll get an idea of how spectacular the scenery we enjoyed was. In the meantime, here's a shot of sunset in the Whiteshell that I managed to snap from inside the car last night on the way home (which is Manitoba, not Ontario, but hey you're stuck with what was on my phone camera instead of Corey's).

  • traveling with my partner - Corey and I travel very well together, it's one of the reasons we're still together after eight years. Our adventures together are a big part of why we work as a couple. After all we cut the teeth of our relationship on dropping everything and moving to Japan together, and traveling and exploring have always been mainstays in our life together. This was a small adventure when compared to many of our others, but was still an adventure, and something that we both needed and missed. It was also a good reminder that we make excellent adventure buddies, and that part of the reason we chose to try procreating was that we decided it would just be the next big adventure.
I'm certain that after two weeks of travel and not having even finished unpacking yet I am forgetting things. Pregnancy brain is great that way, and so is travel brain. But this post is sufficiently long, I'm now up to 5 pees and a lunch break since I started writing, and I'm going to go ahead and call it finished. Week 35 was wonderful and filled with lots of fabulous things.
Here is the week 35 bump pic! Taken just today, I think it shows off how swollen and tired I feel after so many days in the car, but hey, that's pregnancy for you. See you next week!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Week 34

So, week 34 totally on time and everything, even in the midst of a two week road trip. Impressive, no? Ok, well maybe not impressive, but certainly surprising. If I don't post today though, it's not happening til Monday and I have enough work to do for Monday anyway, I might as well knock it out now.

So much to say! It's been a busy week. We left on Saturday of last week and our first stop was only four hours away from home where we enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of some friends of ours who have a cabin on an small island in the middle of a lake. We were fed one of the best meals I've had in a while, offered a chance to swim and explore the island and then enjoyed some quiet socializing, complete with alcohol free beer. Which I considered a win. Sleep was a mixed bag. I spent the first half of the night thinking I had less space than I did and hanging half off the bed, which was not conducive to resting successfully. However, once I shoved my self into a more central location on the bed I was able to log some z's.

The next day brought a seven hour drive filled with gorgeous views and a lovely stop at Kakabeka Falls, but due to a late start (my bad- I slept in) we didn't get to our campsite until 10:30pm.

Kakabeka Falls, resplendent as ever.

PDA!! ;-)

Turns out my super comfy road tripping clothes are not super flattering for bump pics. Oh well. It was a chance for Corey to take a week 33 bump pic, so we took it. Flattery be damned.

Still, the drive had been lovely and scenic and my tent is super easy to set up, so we were able to curl up and go to sleep right after arriving.

Well, Corey was able to go to sleep.

I was struck with one of the nastiest bouts of heart burn I've ever had the displeasure of experiencing, and was unable to sleep at all until around 6am despite taking Benadryl (which usually knocks me out without question). That sucked. And the following day, as we got up and hit the road again, I was useless to do anything until I managed to sleep for a few hours in the car. Thank goodness I was actually able to sleep in the car at least, and then take my driving shifts afterwards. Yay for a sweet sympathetic hubby who let me sleep for a long while before I took my first driving shift! Oh, but before we hit the road we did manage to take a dip in Lake Superior, and then grab a hot shower, both of which felt wonderful and made the night of not sleeping seem pretty worth it.

The nine hours of driving that followed was hard on both of us, and we didn't get into our campsite that night until 9:30. However, we did manage to make a fire, play a few songs by it, and have a beer (or just drink a lot of water in my case) before bed. T'was lovely, and the sleep that followed was some of the best I've had in a while. Despite sleeping on two thin thermarests and cramming myself into my sleeping bag along with my pregnancy pillows, I was pretty comfortable all night, and between benadryl and exhaustion from the previous day I was able to sleep as well as I sleep in my own bed. WINNING!

The next day brought a much less refreshing swim in a tiny river, but it was also followed by a nice shower. If there's one thing I love in pregnancy (even more than usual, and I usually love them quite a bit) it's a hot shower. It's one of the few things that makes me feel comfortable and human, not for the being clean afterwards (though that's a nice perk) but for the warm massaging of my back and neck. Ohh.... it is so good. Especially when riding in the car/driving for hours at a time makes my lower back and hips hurt in a way that... damn I feel old. It's just pregnancy, this has never been an issue before, and I think I'm doing pretty well all things considered, but I really do miss that damned exercise ball. My hips and lower back definitely note the difference.

Luckily, walking still helps a lot, and after arriving in Ottawa after our last day of driving (only five hours, thankfully) we have done a fair bit of walking. Between taking Artemis for a walk along with her "cousin" Biggie on our first day, exploring the Diefenbunker on the next day, and then walking all over downtown Ottawa yesterday, we have gotten a decent amount of walking in. Enough to keep my body from totally freaking out, I think. I've had to work hard to stay hydrated though, but I've made a point of taking my nalgene with me everywhere I go and draining and refilling it often. That didn't prevent my hands and feet from swelling a bit in the heat and humidity yesterday, but it kept it to a manageable level at least.

The view from the Peace Tower in Ottawa

The Changing of the guard in front of Parliament (purely a tourist attraction, as there has never been a beefeater style guard in front of Parliament in Canada, they started the "tradition" in the 1950s, modeled after the changing of the guard in London and run it in the summers only, for tourists, once a day--fun fact: Corey did this as a summer job back when he was in University)

And Artemis and her cousin Biggie (because if Artemis is our fur baby, and Biggie is Corey's brother's fur baby, that makes them cousins right?)

Ok. Time to get real folks. There's a big TMI section coming up about all the less pleasant pregnancy symptoms I've experienced over the past week. Before we go there, for all the folks who won't read past this point, know that Speck is doing well, moving a ton, and seems to be doing everything a baby in utero is supposed to. Speck is also taking up all the room where my stomach, lungs, and digestive tract used to be, and the result is that I cannot recline without being out of breath, and I only have two modes of being: uncomfortably full or hungry enough to start eyeing people's limbs as prospective food. So, yeah, good times. There's another side effect of this that I'll get to in the next section, but...

Only read on if you are a. pregnant yourself and interested in the gory details of someone else's pregnancy, b. are considering becoming pregnant some day and want to be fully informed on all the pluses and minuses of pregnancy, c. are the kind of person who enjoys reading about other people's bodily functions because hey, humans are weird or d. are now too enticed by all the mystery of the secret TMI that you cannot stop reading even though you really want to. (If you skip the numbered list note that there's still a recent bump pic down at the bottom of the post.)

Consider yourself warned.

Alright, here we go, TMI pregnancy tidbits from the last week, in list form! 

  1. Disgustingly copious vaginal discharge batman! What the hell? There is a lot of fluid coming out of my vagina that has nothing to do with urine, nothing to do with amniotic fluid (don't worry, I looked it up to make sure) and doesn't smell bad, or cause itching or anything it's just... there. A lot of it. And, while it doesn't smell so bad itself, when combined with my sweat throughout the day I can only wear pants one time before they need washing, despite going through 1-2 pairs of underwear as well. For someone who usually rewears pants a few times a week, and now only has a handful of pants that fit... this is problematic. Not cool, vagina, not cool. Sadly, from everything I've read, this is just a standard pregnancy symptom especially in the third trimester. Nothing to be done really unless I want to start wearing panty liners which, let me be perfectly clear, I DO NOT.
  2. Body odor. Ugh. I struggle to find a deodorant that works at the best of times, but finally found balance with the use of a bit of teatree oil and not much else. However, now, randomly, once a week, my body decides to REEK. From what I can tell it's from hormone spikes related to baby production but it's incredibly disconcerting. I find myself trying to wash my armpits in random public bathrooms just to stay on top of it one day, and then the next day return to barely smelling like anything. So strange.
  3. Constipation and diarrhea seem to be my only two forms of digestion. Yep. That's as fun as it sounds. I go from feeling like I need to poop but not being able to one day, to sitting down to pee and suddenly having to violently empty my bowels without prior warning the next. Luckily, I go back and forth between these two with enough regularity that I seem to be keeping up with a normal digestive calendar, or at least one that I don't think constitutes something worth worrying over. I basically poop every other day. My theory for why this is happening? Well, I've read that the lack of space for the digestive tract causes it to move more slowly in general, and my guess is that while I might feel the need to poop one day, I don't have enough going on to actually make progress, meanwhile, the next day there's enough build up that I suddenly need to poop whether I felt like it or not. Anyway, at least the system still works.
  4. THE FUCKING CHAFING! Holy sausage limbs on a stick. What is up with the chafing? So, walking still feels really good, and is in fact one of the few ways for me to stay comfortable. However, my thighs feel such a strong urge to meld into one flesh that it no longer matters what kind of pants I wear, they meet up and rub together (or rub together through my pants) no matter what I wear, and I wind up with BLISTERS ON MY THIGHS EVERY DAY!! I am pretty pissed about this, and about to buy myself some body glide, because fuck it. I miss walking without pain. 
  5. This final one isn't really TMI but I forgot to mention it earlier, so I'm throwing it in here. Swimming still feels amazing, but recently, submerging the bump feels like... well it feels like what I imagine submerging testicles feels like if you're a guy. The bump is super sensitive to temperature now, and while the rest of me is happy to fling itself into water I find myself doing the timid kid "ooh, eee, ack, argh" slow submerge every time I get into the water because some part of my brain says "DON'T SUBMERGE THE BUMP!" Which is weird, because the bump seems to be fine once I finally get it in there. Anyway, that's weird for me, and I thought I'd mention it in case anyone else was experiencing it and wanted to know they weren't alone. 
Alright, that covers the TMI for this week. Next week should include more camping and road tripping highlights as well as a report from Toronto. Here's this week's most recent bump picture. Taken on Wednesday right after a shower (with a bonus front shot too).