Monday, September 10, 2007

31 weeks

I've finally gotten to the point that I really feel pregnant. So pregnant that it's kind of hard to ignore.

I think I've been very lucky throughout the last 31 weeks. I've had relatively few complaints, next to no complications and have just concentrated on enjoying this time in my life. As other moms-to-be rattled off issue after issue week after week on the online message boards I've been reading, I just kept thinking, "Don't they have anything positive to say?"

But in the past two weeks I've slowed down. A lot. It's no longer easy for me to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath -- mostly because the baby is now taking up valuable lung real estate. Getting up and down has become more difficult, and sitting or standing for long periods of time is next to impossible. My separating joints to prepare for childbirth can't take it.

The other wonderful side effects I've experienced recently are swollen hands and feet. It's not bad enough that I've had to take my wedding bands off yet, but I won't be able to say that for much longer. On the other end, high heels are absolutely out of the question because of my changing center of gravity and the fact that most of them wouldn't even fit. I actually resorted to wearing tennis shoes and ankle socks with shorts while walking around in Chicago. The 16-year-old me would've been mortified to have been anywhere within a five-foot radius of that hideous ensemble.

Then there's the fact that my ribs and hips have become launching pads for little feet and hands. I can't ever be too sure of what's going on in there as far as movement is concerned -- sometimes my entire belly warps from one side to the other all on its own. But I do know when my bones are being assaulted. She loves the spot under my lower left rib, and I keep expecting a bruise to show up there any day now.

Another lovely side effect is acid reflux. My stomach capacity has greatly diminished, forcing me to eat smaller meals more often rather than three squares a day. This in itself suits my nature just fine. I love grazing. Having a bowl of cereal when hunger strikes is something I did years before this baby started dictating my caloric intake. But if I do splurge and eat a normal meal, it doesn't have anywhere to go, so it revisits in the form of acid reflux. All night. Thus the jumbo container of calcium-fortified Tums on my nightstand.

In addition to popping those into my mouth in the darkness, sleeping has become very difficult in itself. I can't stay in any one position for too long and any time I shuffle, the baby stirs and starts kicking me in the ribs again. Then there's the fact that I've been insanely thirsty lately, chugging 16-ounce glasses of water one right after another, causing me to take multiple trips to the bathroom in a sleepy stupor.

But despite all of these wonderful third-trimester woes, I know deep down it'll all be worth it. Even the ongoing nightmares of having a really difficult labor. Who knows, maybe reality will feel much less scary by comparison.

And I guess all of it is preparation for what's to come: sleepless nights, not caring if my shoes look ridiculous and getting kicked in the ribs and hips from the outside.

The only part that I can't seem to wrap my head around is that I have nine (NINE!) weeks left until my due date. And she's likely going to double in size by then, putting on about half a pound each week. My stomach feels stretched to capacity. I'm outgrowing my maternity clothes. Getting up from a horizontal position is already next to impossible -- sometimes it feels like my muscles might just tear in half.

I guess that's why they call it "the miracle of life." It'll be a miracle if we make it to the point where she and I become separate entities.

But oddly enough, even with all of the swelling and rib kicking, I'm not quite ready for that yet. I still marvel at all of the motion inside me. Feeling really pregnant at all times isn't all bad.

31 weeks
31 weeks


julie said...

Love the belly pics.

fiona said...

I'll be 33 weeks tomorrow and over the past couple of weeks, I've started to get even more sluggish and out of breath. Heck, I used to smoke but quit after I found out I was pregnant, and sometimes I think, "MAN!! If I'm out of breath walking up these stairs now, I wonder how bad it would be if I were still smoking!!!"
Read my post from yesterday about how much the baby has changed the past week or so.
And like you...for all the discomfort, I'm feeling very lucky to be able to experience it.

aahcoffee said...

I loved being pregnant...I loved feeling my kids move around inside of me, and putting my hands on my belly to feel them. I missed that so much after they were born...but oh the joy and love that comes afterwards!!!

Kristin said...

My friend is 26 weeks and had to take her wedding rings off 3 weeks ago. So strange at how totally different it is from woman to woman. But I think you look great!

PS Pregnant women are allowed to wear whatever they want - even tennis shoes and ankle socks :)

Tiffany said...

Nine weeks!? When did that happen? But, you still look great, and I'm getting so excited to "meet" Baby Novelle :-) When my sister had my niece a month ago, I remember thinking 'it really is a miracle'... I bet you'll feel that way too!

Chelsea said...

Only nine more weeks!!

Ray said...

I'm loving that belly! She'll be here soon enough (even though it may seem like it's taking forever). I can't wait to see what she looks like!

Take, care.

Emilee said...

It seems like just yesterday, yo shared with us that you were pregnant! And now you only have nine weeks to go! How the time flies. :]

Wendy said... scared me again. Maybe I am not ready for kids.

jsi said...

The trampoline gyrations they can do, as if everything in their mind just said, "Switch". And everything in your mind says, "AUGH!" More than once, in utero our babies kicked my husband out of bed or woke him by such exaggerated effort that he couldn't believe that's what I feel all the time.
Only a few more weeks...and then you'll be able to see her face to face.