32 weeks and 4 days

This pregnancy is apparently flying by, since I haven’t written anything in ages. Here we are at nearly 33 weeks…

The only exciting/traumatic things as of recent include a scare last Sunday where I thought I might have gotten a tear in the amniotic sac, because we were having a lazy evening watching something on Netflix when I suddenly jumped up thinking I had peed myself. I admit to sometimes leaking a little if I can’t predict a massive sneeze coming on, or something, but this time nothing like that happened. There was probably about 3 tablespoons of completely clear, odorless fluid so I quickly ruled out pee. Now, I’ve had some pretty liquidy discharge especially since the beginning of my 3rd trimester, but this amount was significantly more than any discharge I’ve ever experienced. Anyway we called the birth hospital emergency and they said it wasn’t amniotic fluid unless what I experienced kept happening. If there’s a rupture in the sac, you’ll keep leaking, it won’t happen just once, unless your waters truly break… which shouldn’t be happening at 32 weeks anyway.

I’ve been on sick leave from work (from teaching my fitness classes) for two weeks now due to insane pelvic pain. The Braxton Hicks and also some painful contractions have been increasing in numbers since, and so alas tomorrow will be my last day at work. And then it’s 42 days until due date. It feels like the right decision to leave work at this point especially since my job is so physical. The contractions increase towards the evening and the last few clients have always been a huge struggle to train with, since I’m bound to the fitness ball and can’t (am not allowed to) really assist or lift anything anymore. So this is a great relief. Today was a national holiday for May 1st, and I’ve had a  total of 0 contractions today. My guess is it’s because I’ve been resting. Yeah. Let’s keep that baby in there for at least a few more weeks, please!

Oh, and I’m huge. 

And.. because that’s about all I can think about to tell you, here’s something I stole from MissRain.

How far along? 32 weeks, 4 days.

What’s happening with the baby? Baby weighs around 2kg and is around 40cm from head to toe. My belly is mostly baby now, and it seems like our active little squirmy baby is only getting more so. Perhaps frustrated by the lack of space. Baby’s brain is developing like mad, and if our baby’s to have hair at birth, he/she is busy growing hair and nails on his/her toes and fingers. Baby’s getting all soft and more baby-like. No skinny baby for us.

Total weight gain? Very moderate. I’m at exactly 11kg, which is 24,2lbs. I don’t seem to have really gotten that much bigger or fatter, but my belly is definitely getting huge. A week ago there was a good 5cm between my belly and the steering wheel of our car…and as of yesterday that space is down to about 1,5cm.

Sleep? It’s getting more and more difficult to find a comfortable position. Baby obviously doesn’t like me sleeping on either side because apparently this gives him/her less space to wiggle around. So baby wiggles around until I either give up and turn over on my back or refuse to move because of some little kicking creature and stay put. Either way, I wake up numerous times during the night to pee, because my hips are hurting, because I’m hungry, because baby’s up and about or… I’ve had tremendous trouble falling asleep in the first place since our ridiculously active baby is often even MORE active at night (I have no idea how that’s even possible).

Best moment this week? Maybe seeing one of our favorite artists perform last night! Also getting to the gym on Tuesday.

Miss anything? Not feeling like an invalid because I can barely walk or due stuff do to the pain in my hips. As a fitness instructor it’s pretty frustrating when suddenly you don’t have command over your body and what you can do is extremely limited. I really miss just being able to even walk 500m without pain!

Movement? Supposedly the movement is supposed to slow down because of how cramped baby is getting in there. But it seems to me that the less space there is, the more violently baby looks for an exit. I seriously wish I could have a live webstream in there just to know what the hell is going on in there. Baby’s been head down at least since week 27, and so mostly I feel flipping from side to side (mostly baby is head down, spine and back leaning completely on the right, with knees at the top left and those pesky feet kicking me in the ribs on the left. Sometimes I feel baby trying to stretch out its legs (ouch!) and I feel hiccups many times a day. Sometimes my entire belly will wiggle and bounce and I just have no clue what’s going on in there….

Food cravings? Just food, in general. Gots to have it.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Only if I ignore the being hungry.. and keep ignoring it (or am otherwise unable to respond to it). Just a little nausea, but that’s it.

Gender? Well, really…. it should be Sex not gender because I believe that sex is chromosomally determined while sex is at least part affected and constructed by culture, but no, we don’t know the sex of the baby.

Symptoms? Insane pelvic pain, so no more yoga or fitness classes or walking for me, lower back pain (oh, osteopathy helped!), some mood swings (the first I’ve had since becoming pregnant!), giant belly, Braxton Hicks contractions, some abdominal pain (feels like menstrual cramps) which I suppose are also contractions, fatigue… that’s it. After a really long day at work my feet seem a bit swollen.

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? On. No fluid retention (yet!)

Looking forward to? Not having to go into work anymore (one more day!), meeting this little kangaroo, and being able to move around normally again… at some point.

Just a quick update (29 weeks, 5 days)

Hi guys,

I haven’t written here in ages, mostly because since my hemoglobin episode, there hasn’t really been anything to exciting to report. The iron supplements and two weeks of sick leave did the trick, and everything was back to normal at my last blood test. Definitely keeping up the iron for the duration of the pregnancy and during breastfeeding to prevent future issues.

I’ll soon be starting my 31st week, and only 10 weeks to go before that looming date in June. I don’t feel anxious about baby getting here (yet), mostly because I feel like it’s not time yet. However, baby has continued to be extremely active, and as he/she get’s cramped for space in there it feels like the more violently baby is looking for a way out. So it’s a lot of elbows and knees to sides and belly as well as those powerful kicks to the ribs. Oh! And it seems like baby has already mostly settled head down. At our first and latest pre-natal appointment with a doctor (up until now they’ve been with midwives) we had an ultrasound where our little one was head down and wiggling all over the place, but we got a weight approximation of 1kg (2.2lbs). That was three weeks ago, so baby should be somewhere around 1500-1600g now. Every now and again I’ll feel baby trying to squeeze its way sideways, but alas! there really isn’t space anymore. This afternoon it felt like baby was in a sort of donut shape. My belly sure looked strange!

Just this last week has felt like a very clear definition of time in the pregnancy. All of a sudden teaching yoga and my other fitness classes has felt more strenuous, and I’m experiencing some pretty serious ligament/pubic symphysis pain afterwards. Walking around and standing up (which is about 95% of my day) has become not only uncomfortable, but also painful (lower back pain, hip pain…), and both Wednesday and Thursday afternoons I experienced about 3-4 hours of non-stop Braxton-Hicks. Though normal if not painful or regular, it’s a direct hindrance to work so if they continue, I’ll definitely have to leave work earlier than I had planned. But still, I’ll teach a Bodypump class over taking a walk any day!

My official maternity leave (30 work days before due date) doesn’t begin until May 16th, but with my physical job getting more and more strenuous each week day, I might take sick leave for two weeks before taking the official Maternity leave. Unless of course, the Braxton-Hicks don’t let up. No contracting since Thursday; keeping my fingers crossed!

I’m also getting visibly larger each week, though I’ve so far only gained just over 19lbs. I can’t put on my shoes or pick up stuff from the ground without a bunch of grunting and huffing and puffing, and I admit to sort of waddling from time to time. Clothes that I thought I’d probably be able to wear until the end are definitely not going to be covering me for the next two months…really hoping it warms up a little bit so I won’t have a daily clothing dilemma anymore.

I really haven’t been doing much more than working and sleeping, so there’s very little to report of my life besides the pregnancy. Sorry! I’ve heard whispers about a potential baby shower, so I suppose I’ll have something exciting to write about soonish!

Take care everyone: good luck with your pregnancies and with conceiving!

Dizziness from hell.

So I’ll be 24 weeks tomorrow. For over a week now I’ve had dizzy spells, and have nearly passed out several times in the supermarket and other places. Last Monday I could barely stay on my feet at work ( I honestly don’t know how I made it) and pretty much looked like death all day. At the antenatal clinic the week before they measured my hemoglobin and declared me anemic (a drop from nearly 150 to 101). My blood pressure is also quite low (106/57) which doesn’t help. I called the clinic and they basically said that anemia combined with low blood pressure can cause dizziness, and of course it’s a risk while pregnant if I just randomly pass out somewhere. Since my work is so physical, it’s an even greater risk. Sometimes pregnancy also messes with your body’s ability to properly regulate bloodpressure and heartrate, which apparently is what I’m experiencing.

On Tuesday I saw a doctor who basically just reiterated everything the nurse on the phone said, but told me to double the iron pills and to rest. Great. It doesn’t really help to know that 2nd trimester anemia is common. It’s just surprising they don’t make sure you pay attention to iron consumption in terms of PREVENTING anemia… So anyway I spent most of this past week at home lying down and watching tv, reading magazines and trying to rest. It seemed to be working ok, so I on Friday I decided to walk to a nearby mall to meet my friend for lunch. We had a nice time and I went to the supermarket afterwards before heading home, but…I barely got through half my shopping when I started to feel hot, I could feel my heart racing, started to feel super woozy and saw myself all greyish-white in the mirror. I actually called my mom to come drive me home because I was too scared of passing out to even take the bus home. Saturday morning we went browsing in a children’s supply flea market, and again….another dizzy spell. I spent the next few hours lying down until I felt better. And today, in the middle of lunch sitting down, the same thing. 

I’m getting a bit worried, so I’m seeing the doctor again tomorrow. I mean… I have barely been able to sit upright without feeling dizzy today. This is ridiculous. I obviously can’t work, and I’m starting to really stress out about not being able to return to work at all before my official maternity leave. If I have to stay at home for the next 3,5 months, I think I might lose it. 

Advice? support? Experiences? Help!

A pregnant belly is everyone’s property?

There’s this lady (a customer, not my client) at the gym where I work who seems to feel like just because I’m pregnant, she has the right (and duty?) to comment on my appearance every time I see her. The first time she commented something was probably about three weeks ago: “You look like you’re expecting a baby!”. Yes, thank you…I know. And following this were the usual questions about the due date and whether we were having a girl or a boy. Fine. The second time was two weeks ago: ” Are you sure there aren’t twins in there? Your belly looks so big!” OMG.  Gee, I didn’t think to check. In fact, I have no idea how many babies I might be carrying. I didn’t actually say anything, except a: “yes, I’m sure, there’s definitely only one” accompanied by an annoyed smile. The last time was just this Monday: “Wow, aren’t you really rounding our and getting big!” This time I said: “Well, there’s a growing baby in there, it’s supposed get bigger.” I was really resisting the urge the comment something about her belly never seeming to get any smaller despite seeing her at the gym every week…

I admit, I haven’t been harassed too much. I’ve had some unwanted belly touching from acquaintances, and I haven’t been quick enough to react. I’ve planned on just reaching out to touch their belly, or asking if it’s ok for me to touch their stomach, but the moment always passes too fast. I need to work on my reaction time!

Anyway, I’m 23 weeks and 2 days. The belly is round and hard and is starting to get in the way of things. I can no longer demonstrate any kind of crunches or sit ups. During BODYPUMP, I keep hitting the bar on my belly during upward raises and cleans. If I’m on my back demonstrating a chest press, I have to sort of awkwardly roll over to my side and push myself up. Hilarious. The bonus side: I get all my clients to carry their own weights now!

Baby is continuing being a super active acrobat. I can clearly tell when baby’s asleep and definitely when baby’s awake. Baby continues to kick, flip, stretch out, spin around, do backflips and tickle me. I’m still laughing when I watch my belly doing strange movements. Baby still likes to burrow deep down in my pelvis (though thankfully, can’t fit its entire body down there anymore), and will stick its feet way down there. And thus we had a cute little moment the other day: I could clearly feel baby’s legs in my pelvis so I poked them, and baby kicked in response! And so we went back and forth until baby moved out of that spot. I’m ecstatic to be able have some kind of communication with our little one! 

This past weekend we picked up baby’s crib from my co-worker, re-organized the bed room to make room for it, and set it up. I can’t believe that in less than four months, our baby will be sleeping in it!

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My new friend Braxton-Hicks (Half-way there update)

braxton

Hi everyone!

So today I’m exactly 21 weeks, comfortably past the half-way mark. On friday I made acquaintances with my new friend: Braxton-Hicks. I was rushing to the bathroom between clients and suddenly felt my belly tighten and then release. At first I thought I had maybe bumped into the door handle or the sink or something, but apparently not. My very first practice contraction. I had a few more during the course of the evening, and now since saturday have had them every morning right after I get up for about an hour. They’re painless, just kind of uncomfortable, and feel very, very strange. If they start to get painful or I start to bleed, I’ll have to contact my prenatal clinic, but for now, I’m just enjoying the ride.

Baby is getting stronger and bigger each day. So is my belly. Last tuesday we had our 20 week scan, where baby was mostly hiding beneath the placenta, so we could only see either the head, or the feet at any one time. So no pretty profile pics, just random and blurry (because our baby is a circus artist and won’t stay still) pictures of the brain, the foot, the thigh bone, and the face. Ha. The midwife asked if I’d felt baby move yet, and I laughed in her face: I’ve felt baby move for almost 4 weeks now, and it feels like its practicing to become a kick boxing champion or a tumbler. Or something. Each day the kicks are stronger, each day I’m more and more aware of where baby is, and each day I notice more and more how it reacts to L’s voice, to music, when I play cello, when I move, when I stroke my belly over baby’s head…

It’s crazy! When baby’s in a certain places, I can clearly distinguish where the head is, and the feet, and the rest of the body. Most of the time baby likes to hang out deep in my pelvis, which makes it crazy uncomfortable to walk or move around, but a lot of the time when I’m lying down, I can feel baby burrowing and crawling (swimming?) into all sorts of nooks and crannies. I should have taken a picture last night: Baby decided it’d be a great idea to burrow into my right side–so much so that I could clearly SEE its whole body sticking out from under my skin. This morning I felt  baby close to my navel so we had a sweet mommy-baby moment where I stroked baby’s head and whispered to it. And baby movedand burrowed and kicked and tickled me from the inside. The feeling of love towards this amazing creature  just keeps expanding and growing the more we are able to communicate.

All the little aches and pains and stretching and expanding is all worth it. Though I have to wonder… if baby is kicking and moving this much now… how uncomfortable will it be once baby is twice this size!

 

 

Birthday update, 19 weeks 4 days, new experiences :)

So happy birthday to me! I turned 30 on wednesday and I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise, a birthday song and breakfast in bed. After work my partner took me out to an amazing dinner at a fancy restaurant. A 9-course meal, and just amazing quality time for the two of us. I was so exhausted during my first trimester that we hardly went out, and somehow we’ve been so busy all january, that it had been nearly a month since we’ve been on a date. I am happy, in love, and grateful!

In baby news, I started feeling sharp, clear kicks and movement just over two weeks ago. L was also able to feel them right away. First just with her fingertips, and now with her whole hand. Every day they are stronger, and baby is especially active in the evenings. My theory is that since I’m so active during the day, baby is mostly just enjoying the ride. And when I come home exhausted and veg out on the couch, that’s when baby starts up the circus routine. I had such a hard time falling asleep last night because of how much baby was moving! It feels so special, natural, and kind of strange at the same time. And I’m so happy L gets to experience it too!

My belly has grown to the point where familiar members at the gym have started congratulating me. For a while it kind of just looked like I was really getting a (fat) belly, but now that the uterus is about at my navel, I’m looking all round and firm. Getting out of bed, getting in and out of the driver’s seat of our car, getting up from a bench at the gym… among other things are kind of getting more difficult… but I’m just getting more and more excited! Stuff doesn’t fit me anymore… and it feels ridiculous to buy a new winter coat, for example, for 2 months. Luckily my friend loaned me her maternity coat, and I should be getting some warm outdoor pants too, for long walks out in the freezing cold. My biggest problem though is finding work out clothes to accommodate my swelling belly. Does anyone know of a good internet store where I could get (maternity) training pants/bottoms…? Going up a size hasn’t helped. They’re just uncomfortable. Thanks!

I realized while talking to L the other day, that since getting pregnant was so difficult and was such a long, arduous process, that pregnancy itself had become the goal. I really hadn’t thought of parenthood, or actually having the baby for maybe a year and a half until just in the past few weeks, now that I am constantly aware of the life growing inside me. Suddenly, now that I’m definitely pregnant I’m starting to understand that oh yeah…. getting to this point wasn’t the actual goal or end of the line, but there’s going to be a tiny person involved in this in just four and a half months. We’re going to be a family! With a baby! 

Tomorrow we’re having a birthday celebration with a bunch of friends and family. I can’t wait! Though, I have to say, I’m feeling a lot self-conscious about squeezing into a bikini and wearing it in front of everyone at the spa. Better try it on to make sure it fits, at all…..

Posting a belly pic soon!

 

Insatiable hunger

I’m exactly 16 weeks today and I really only have one thing to report: I am hungry all the time!

It seems like no matter how much I eat, not depending on what I eat, how filling whatever it is, I’m hungry 2,5hrs later. And not snack hungry, like I start to get nauseated and start-to-gag-if-I-don’t-get-food-ASAP-hungry. Hungry like I wake up at 4am hungry.

Funny story. On Friday, the wife and I traveled to a city about 2 hrs west of where we live to go to her grandmother’s book publishing party. Instead of driving back at midnight we decided to spend the night there since as discovered on our 5,5hr drive back and forth over the holidays, I’ve started to get lower back pain that is exacerbated by sitting for an extended time. Because my wife is amazing, she suggested we spend the night at a nice hotel and go out for a nice dinner, since there’s never too much romantic time together 🙂 We did just that: we used a free hotel night that we earned from last summer’s travels ( and threw in a bit extra for a river view and a king-sized bed) and went out to a Spanish restaurant. There we shared a grilled seafood plank served with roasted potatoes. Needless to say, that was pretty much the protein and fat quota for the day and we were both stuffed. We enjoyed a (non-alcoholic) drink at the hotel bar, had a hot relaxing bubble bath…and as we’re putting out the lights to go to sleep I say: “honey, guess what! You’re not going to believe it: I’m hungry!!”

What’s a pregnant lady to do?

In other exciting news I’m getting back to my fitness since I’m a) no longer puke-triggered by exercise and b) my busted finger joint is about 98% healed. So last week I clocked about 11hrs of exercise including 6hrs of work (group fitness classes) and the rest mostly from practicing all the new releases for BODYPUMP and BODYBALANCE. Let me tell you, that teaching BodyPump after a nearly 3 month break is an experience (I haven’t had a break that long since I started teaching it almost 4 yrs ago) especially while pregnant! Despite taking it really easy with the weights (dropping 1/3 to 1/2 from my regular weights pre-pregnancy), I had the most ridiculously sore legs for four days. Sitting, getting up…walking up steps..walking, in general…excruciating pain. So glad that rude awakening is over and it won’t feel like that again…until maybe the first class after giving birth.

I feel like more like my usual self, bar the belly, than I have in months, huzzah!

I’ve been experiencing a lot of ligament stretching pains recently, but we listened to baby, who apparently can’t stay still, so all is well with him/her! One week till our next pre-natal appointment!

Long-due update

Hi everyone!

I haven’t had much to write about since our exciting 12 week ultrasound, but I suppose I’m due for an update 🙂

As soon as I hit my second trimester, I started feeling better immediately. The nausea hasn’t subsided completely, and seems to show up in rare but short and intense bouts of violent vomiting. I had one of these episodes on on the day before Christmas Eve, and ended up pissing my pants in the process (what fun!). I’m starting to amp up my Kegels (I do about 5-7min daily), but I have a feeling all this progesterone is just loosening everything and that maybe partial incontinence is just a part of this pregnancy (gah!). I also had intense nausea after Christmas Eve dinner just as Santa was coming to deliver presents (no vomiting this time), but luckily my mother-in-law, who’s a doctor, gave me some acupressure treatment over in a corner, and I was eventually able to join in the present opening madness.

My belly is also growing. I’ve graduated from just kind of feeling fat to feeling and actually looking pregnant. Of course my belly isn’t that big yet, but it’s definitely a belly. And it feels funny to hug people. Because I was feeling so sick throughout my entire first trimester I was barely able to train at the gym, and was just teaching the bare minimum of my classes. I was also kind of forced to just eat what I could keep down, which wasn’t always necessarily the healthiest choices. So… I’ve gained not so much weight, but body fat. (And yes I know it’s supposed to happen…)

As a short backstory, I was depressed some years back and the combination of that and the medication made me gain a bunch of weight. In the past year and a half preceding our TTC project, I was able to lose around 15kg (just over 30lbs) while gaining muscle mass. I was in quite muscular, buff shape last spring…and felt amazing about my body. Then when getting pregnant got more difficult, it was obviously something we had to focus on, and I just didn’t have the mental capacity or energy to focus on my body anymore. With all the injectable hormones to boot, I started gaining body fat last march-april…and I was just getting back to my “normal” self after our summer break, when we started the IVF process… and the rest is history. Now I know gaining weight and body fat is a part of the pregnancy, and I’m trying very hard to find peace with it. But the combination of not being to exercise or eat properly for a personal trainer… it’s tough! Anyone else having some trouble with accepting your changing body…? Needless to say, I’m excited to FINALLY get back to the gym this week.

Anyway, I AM enjoying my bump. I’m elated that most of the nausea is gone. I’m super excited about listening to our baby with the Doppler, because NOW, you can clearly hear the different chambers of the heart! It’s no longer just an even thumping, but a distinct: Ka-THUMP, Ka-THUMP, Ka-THUMP… AND the sound is so loud now that our baby is getting bigger. Baby is also quite active–once you locate the heartbeat, you have to keep moving the sensor because baby does NOT want to stay still 🙂 And I’m convinced I’ve felt the baby move a few times. Like a faint little tickle in my belly 🙂

And as a treat, a belly picture!

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Holy Moly Baby!

So this morning we had our 12 week scan, the second time we’ve seen our baby since it was a tiny 9mm blob at week 7.

All I can say, is wow!!. Our tiny blob has since developed into an actual baby with 10 fingers and toes and brain lobes and an umbilical cord and a cute belly. And with voluntary movements like sucking its thumb! can you believe it? Little one is 63mm from head to rump, just under 6,5cm and is already sucking its thumb!!

When the midwife started the scan baby was turning around doing somersaults and was truly showing off every part of this newly developed body. We could barely get a picture because of how active it was! At one point i tried to coax baby to show us her profile view so the midwife could measure the neck–to determine risk for Down’s etc.–and baby put both hands over its ears as if (already) refusing to listen to me! heheee! Baby is very much alive and there’s no sign of chromosomal abnormalities. I’m so relieved!

Also Monday I’ve had sudden d nearly total relief from the nausea and fatigue. Boom!

EDIT: I had originally posted a picture of our ultrasound, but I started to feel like maybe it wasn’t a good idea to publically post something that feels so private. I also don’t want to find our picture floating around the internet, though the picture would have made a beautiful example of the 12 week ultrasound. So.. no picture this time, at least not until there’s a privacy setting that let’s me specifically choose who gets to see it.