Pregnancy Week 29: Holding my bones together

Oh, hello. It appears we’ve arrived at the point in my pregnancy, approximately 8-10 weeks ahead of schedule, during which I cannot fathom how I will go on being pregnant and managing my day-to-day life.

It must kick in earlier with a second baby because the terror of trying to figure out how I’ll survive with two children is so much more acute–the sleep deprivation, the diaper explosions, the perpetual leaking of fluids–that it makes evolutionary sense for me to be so blindingly miserable as a pregnant person that I’ll take anything to get out of this. Including childbirth, and the aforementioned sleep deprivation, diaper explosions, and leaking fluids.

Before I go on, though, let’s talk stats:

At 29 weeks, baby is pretty well fully formed and is just putting the finishing touches on everything — in the form of more fat and muscle, eyelashes, and lung development. The baby is about 16″ in length and 3 pounds, give or take. You know, pineapple-sized (or a butternut squash. Or an acorn squash. Wasn’t it already an acorn squash a few weeks ago? I hate these comparisons.) My Ovia app tells me that as space is becoming more cramped in there, the baby’s “movements are getting less violent and more regular as s/he grows to the bounds of your womb.”

Ha!

On Tuesday, it felt like the baby was nearly successful in tunneling out of the side of my uterus Shawshank Redemption style. While it was only painful in one area (just to the right of my belly button), the pressure was so intense it had me Googling, “Contractions or baby kicking.” The kicks had me doubled over, unable to talk. And I am speaking from the experience of already having one unmedicated childbirth behind me. I had an anterior placenta with my first pregnancy, and either that was some valuable cushioning or this baby is going to be a human wrecking ball.

In response to my agony, The Husband showed me an article he saw on Reddit in which a fetus actually did punch through her mother’s womb, almost killing them both. The top comment described a second incidence of this happening. In reading further, I found that both women had scar tissue in their uteruses (uteri?), from removing fibroids, but that is NOT COMFORTING NEWS WHEN YOUR BABY IS KICKING, SIR!

We’re now deep into Snoogle season of this pregnancy, which is marked by me spending the night embracing a big, G-shaped pillow that takes up 85% of the bed. While it does nothing to improve my maneuverability, I need it “to help hold my bones together,” as I explained to The Husband when he whined recently that he was falling off the bed. (I wake up in the morning and my spine sounds like an upturned rainstick. Without this pillow, annoying as it is, I fear I’d wake up as nothing more than a loose pile of bones in a skin bag.)

Pregnancy week 29

While all my joints have been feeling a little loose for weeks, this week in particular marked the beginning of another fun symptom that has flared up (again, happened last time, too): symphysis pubis dysfunction (self-diagnosed, but I’m pretty confident). As I understand it, this means that hormones have rendered my ligaments so relaxed that my hips are barely attached to each other anymore. I guess it’s time to quit hitching a leg over the electric fence to pet the goats every day.

Because of this, I was so miserable on Tuesday I made The Husband come home early-ish from work with takeout pizza because I couldn’t get off the couch to make dinner or adequately supervise our son after his nap. While I haven’t been formally exercising lately, I have been pretty active in doing chores and general toddler-chasing, but this is slowing me down.

I suppose in some ways this is good, as I’m barely 20% finished with a baby blanket I started knitting months ago, and I’ve also become a late adopter of the Internet craze that is bullet journaling.

After making and losing 100 important lists in the last few months, I’ve found this to be very helpful in at least containing the overwhelming thoughts and plans I need to wrangle as I approach the chaos of a new baby again. Mine certainly doesn’t resemble any of the more elaborate, colorful journals you find on Instagram (and has, in fact, been snatched up and scribbled on by The  Toddler at leasst once since its inception last week), but its utility is undeniable.

 

 

Pregnancy Week 29: Holding my bones together

Pregnancy Week 28: Sick and pregnant is nothing to sneeze at

Welcome to my third trimester, readers! Week 28 kicked off with a cold, courtesy of The Toddler. (More on that in a minute).

First things first, though: stats.

The baby is about the size of a coconut, an echidna, a rollerblade (I call B.S. on that one, Ovia), or a large eggplant. In less nonsensical terms, that is somewhere around 2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds and 15-16 inches.  Baby is working on self-regulating his or her temperature and is producing the hormones that will kick (my) lactation into gear after birth.

Pregnancy-wise, I’m feeling pretty good. After a quieter Week 27 (not alarmingly so, but the baby’s kicks went from “I’ve got a belly full of elbows” to light flutters and nudges, mostly in the evenings/at night), Baby 2 seems to have gotten settled in the closer quarters resulting from his or her increasing size, and is once again doing kick-flips throughout the day. I’m still relying on Prilosec to allow me to eat, which bums me out but is truly necessary for my well-being.

What’s really new this week, and a pregnancy first for me, is a cold.

Pregnancy Week 28 - Sick and pregnant: Nothing to sneeze at

You see, back when I was pregnant with The Toddler, it was very easy to avoid germy people. I had zero contact with children and a very large supply of hand sanitizer. My top priority, aside from snacks, was avoiding illness, and I did so with reckless disregard for anyone’s feelings.

In fact, I remember once in my third trimester, a colleague of mine who had stayed home sick the day before came to my desk to discuss a project we were working on together. I saw his red nose and watery eyes, heard the sniffles, and looked at the paper he set on my desk as if he had placed a petri dish labeled “Mad Cow Disease” in front of me. I like to think I wasn’t enormously rude, but the conversation did go like this:

“Are you sick?”

“Well, I was yesterday, but I’m feeling better today. Anyway, about the numbers–”

“No. Why don’t you go back to your office and I’ll call you and we can discuss [project] that way?”

Stares pointedly from him down to the paper on my desk until he picks it up and walks out. Gives him 45 seconds to get back to his desk before I call him to proceed as if I hadn’t just unceremoniously thrown him out of my office. Sorry, Dan.

Now, The Toddler licks everything in my house, including me. I am essentially a giant tissue, as he wipes his snot on my shirt whenever it’s convenient. If I washed my hands as much as I should, I’d have no skin on my hands. If I washed everything else as much as I should, I would get 15 minutes of sleep a night. I am, by necessity, a cesspool of germs.

Having a toddler while pregnant means that also having a cold while pregnant is hardly noticeable, though. It’s like being repeatedly but gently kicked in the head while someone is stepping on your foot, and also you have to pee. Just another generally unpleasant stimulus.

I have a lot less time to sit still with a cold, pregnant or not, so I’m often too busy to really notice how shitty I feel. That is, of course, until a sneezing fit hits and I have to go change my pants. Twice. In a span of 10 minutes. (Yesterday was fun. Do your kegels.) Even if I do notice how shitty I feel, I still have to feed my kid dinner and keep him entertained to some degree.

The other extra-lame part of having a cold, having a toddler, and being pregnant, is that of course The Toddler also has a cold (where do you think I got it?) and is sleeping terribly this week, nights and naps. So I haven’t been able to rest as much as I should. Fortunately, The Husband had yesterday off work, so I was able to catch about 40 minutes of sort-of sleep.

I had been thinking about getting The Toddler into a once-a-week daycare situation to give me more time to work on freelancing and get him around other kids (which he’s really into right now), but as I approach labor and true cold-and-flu season, I’m reconsidering. Having a cold while having a toddler while being pregnant sucks, but it’s probably nothing compared to having a cold while having a toddler while going into labor. Maybe I just institute a quarantine now.

Pregnancy Week 28: Sick and pregnant is nothing to sneeze at