Tuesday, March 15, 2011

28 Weeks

The third trimester has started!

And I'm thisclose to having an outie.

I'm amazed by how normal I feel. Yes, I do get tired more easily and very closely guard my sleep time, but all things considered, I don't think I have third trimester written all over me. Yet. Could my abnormally long waist with plenty of room to hide a baby and stave off diaphragm compression have something to do with it? As Johnny Drama on Entourage so eloquently coined it, I'm "top tall.")

Graffiti Baby
Sometimes I almost feel like I'm dressing HER now.

28 Week Checkup
I had another appointment with my midwife yesterday and I passed my gestational diabetes screening! The orange stuff you drink is not that bad and anyone who tells you otherwise is being dramatic. Okay, it's a little bit gross. But I just kept telling myself "This is Fanta! This is Fanta! You love orange pop!" The nurse told me I had five minutes to drink all 16oz., but I was able to get it down in about 25 seconds.

The baby's growth is on track and her heart rate is nicely in the upper 150s like it's been at previous visits. She's vertex at the moment, and I've told her she's perfectly welcome to stay that way. At this point I can pretty much guess how she's positioned, but it was nice to have the midwife confirm it.

Between now and 36 weeks, my appointment frequency switches from every 4 weeks to every 2. After 36 weeks, it's at least once a week.

I'm still super happy with my decision to switch to a midwife! Micah and I did our hospital tour a couple weekends ago, and this paired with the midwife practice really seems like a good fit for us.

I'm not sure if I mentioned that we're considering a waterbirth. Before you picture beads, chanting, and an inflatable tub, know that it's come a long way from that and is not as wacky as it sounds. St. Joe's is one of the very few local hospitals that offers it.

Appetite / Food
This is a surprise to me, but I honestly thought I would be hungrier than I am. I certainly have my days, and more consistently, mornings. But I'm not running around with a wild look in my eye, stealing candy off people's desks.

Several weeks ago, at the onset of increased hunger in the mornings (8-11am), I started bringing two pieces of fruit and a thing of yogurt to work every day. My reasoning being that if I was hungry enough to eat all of it, I couldn't question its nutritional value and could happily plow through it. (And be contented in the fact that I didn't eat something gross out of a vending machine.) So far, this usually gets me through the morning.

However, there are also mornings where lunch only comes after all this AND a bag of M&Ms AND half of the leftover Mexican food I brought for lunch. (See how this involves buying another lunch no matter what?) And let's be honest: the morning menu is increasingly being punctuated by Dove Promises...and I even forget to read the Promises half the time.

But usually once I make it to lunch, my hunger tapers off afterwards. Of course I still eat dinner and snacks for the rest of the day, but the eating urge isn't overwhelming. As Micah says, "Just go with it." So I just eat what I feel like and try to eat at least a few green or orange things (broccoli, spinach, oranges, bell peppers) every day. And I also try to avoid tons of processed foods. Because nothing spells heartburn faster!

Body Image / Weight
Truth be told, I don't know how much I weigh. I have a general idea, but we don't have a scale in the house and I don't really care to share weight stats with people because it's a total comparison minefield. Weight is personal and based on so many variables that are different in each of us. I know that I am gaining the weight MY body needs to support a growing baby (not Cousin Susie's), and if that happens to mean I don't have a voracious appetite, then that's just the way it is.

I feel like if I start getting really into the numbers, I'll just start eating unnaturally in a knee-jerk fashion not tied to actual hunger, when really I think it serves me best to listen to my body and what it wants. And sometimes that does mean two Peppermint Patties in a row. Just not all the time.

Colombian Wedding Crazy Hour in my Abdomen
There comes a point in the night at most South American weddings where Crazy Hour ensues. Roughly 2-3am. (Not a North American wedding, folks.) The vigorous dancing already in place in a raucous crowd suddenly gets elevated into something a little more insane and everyone wears hats and the conga lines go full bore.

Which is not unlike the recent uptake in activity that I'm feeling in the kangaroo pouch.

I wouldn't call her crazy or nonstop, but I do think she's recently picked up some new moves. Namely bike pedaling and discovering the power levers that are her knees. 

This week is the first of a new rolling sensation--not just isolated kicks anymore, but the feeling of a foot or other body part moving under the skin from one point to another. And there's also the ridiculously entertaining foot against the belly button. 

I had no idea how bonding it would be! And it's so reassuring to feel so much movement. It's still not all day, all the time, but certainly more than before. So far I haven't gotten too much in the way of "knock the wind out of me" kicks. I do find myself talking to her a lot, which I thought would feel strange, until I realized I already talk to Gus all the time and that is completely one-way conversation.

Swimming For Two
In addition to running and biking, I'm still swimming 2x per week at Master's. For many weeks now I've been wearing fins for the main sets so I can keep up with the lane's pace and stay on track with the posted workout. Without the fins, I just don't have the speed. Which of course is totally fine.

The pool is very pregnant-friendly, and the coach has coached lots of pregnant women...many of whom have kept swimming up to 40 weeks and eventually bring their sleeping newborns to practice, setting the car seat up on a table and swimming while the baby sleeps (and gets watched by the coaches). Much to everyone's delight at having a baby at practice.

I usually swim with a set group of people who come every week (among them an OB who can answer any pressing questions!) and everyone is very cool about my doing what I need to...dropping a lap here and there, or even leading the lane, depending on the day.

But how's this for a head-shaker: last week I swim with two people, one new to the pool, one new to the lane. The new girl doesn't even realize I'm 7 months pregnant and asks me about my racing plan for the summer. The other guy asks me if "we're having contractions or something" when I stop to rest for a few extra seconds at the end of a set. "Um, no...WE'RE not having anything."  ~mild scowl~

Who asks that?

Maternity Clothes
Ah, maternity clothes. If there's anything that could lead a pregnant women to cry into her hands, it would be this.

Because at first it seems that whoever designs this stuff thinks you throw out your sense of taste with the First Response wrapper and are okay with a Polyester Party between now and baby. And that when you're shopping for a decent black work skirt, you "really actually want" cutoff denim shorts with a maternity panel...in December. And not even Heidi Klum's pricey designer line can save the day.


On second look, there ARE options. And a big one is called Gap Maternity. (Sneakily located inside Gap Kids.) Not necessarily cheap at first glance, but they are great with markdowns and coupons. And the fabrics are soft. Yes, sometimes you have a try things on in a kid's dressing room, but I'm okay with that as long as no little Cadens or Jadens come crawling under the door.

I suppose it depends on one's style going into the pregnancy, but I've found that I can actually get by with a lot of non-maternity shirts if they're long.

Long waist
Protruding bump
Need for extreme shirt length and the constant thought that "I will scream if this shirt rides up one more time and exposes my back to the cold.")

I've had a lot of luck at H&M with shirts, which is great because they're inexpensive but also fun. I just buy them several sizes up. Another surprising find is the Len Druskin outlet at Southdale. Everything is always 50% off, they have a huge inventory, and they carry a ton of long, drapey shirt styles. Very Californian.

I only have a few pairs of maternity pants that I keep in constant rotation, all of them black or denim. The simplicity of this is actually kind of nice. It is TOTALLY worth buying a good pair of maternity jeans that you love, even if they cost the same as normal jeans. My cost per wear on $80 jeans is probably already down to mere cents.

The big surprise is how much I hate wearing dresses right now. I'm generally a big dress person, and a few are still okay, but I'm finding I really don't like the overly pregnant look of the maternity dress (with requisite tie in the back). Most of them just make you look inaccurately huge and not fab.

Hope for good maternity clothing does exist. The biggest thing is just to find things you truly like that make you feel good and OWN IT.

(But I'm telling you, the maternity clothing market is RIFE with possibility. Rife.)

Biking and Running
Indoor biking on the trainer is still comfortable and I'm doing it 2-3x per week. I'm still on my tri bike, which if in aero position now results in knees bopping up against the belly, so I've been riding it upright mostly and plan to switch to my road bike any day now.

Running is still going really well! Again, it's the prolonged winter weather more than anything else that's preventing my running from being more frequent. This winter just won't end! I never knew what to expect with running in the third trimester because of all the possible discomforts with relaxing joints et. al, but so far I haven't really experienced this. I guess I'll just keep it up until it's no longer comfortable!

But the best thing is that I have a new running partner! Pharmie is a local runner/triathlete who is due one week after me, and I honestly can't explain how we didn't know each other before now because we seem to travel in the same circles: she went to UST, lives in the same area, races the same kind of events Micah and I do, and is married to one of Muffy's former MCAD art teachers.

Her husband has his own triathlon blog and linked to her posts on training while pregnant a few times. And so I decided we had to know each other. Running with someone makes the time go so much faster, and it's really refreshing to find someone with a similar athletic approach to pregnancy.

Micah, as ever, is super supportive and encouraging of my athletic endeavors and everything else. He's very unlikely to gain any weight with me in this...so he does not function as an old wive's tale barometer for determining gender. (Is the dad supposed to gain weight if it's a girl, or a boy?)

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