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!