Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bedtime Urban Planning

I just want to take a moment to describe my new sleeping style because I feel that it's a bit ridiculous.

In the past I could sleep anytime, anywhere. I was known by friends for my ability to lay down, close my eyes and be instantly in a deep sleep. It was a gift. I never tossed or turned, I never lay awake thinking about the hours before I had to wake up.

But like all good things, this has come to an end. Now my sleep is extremely inconsistent; I have good nights and bad nights. But what is funny about my new sleeping situation is the amount of preparations and reconfiguration that goes on each night.

First as I mentioned in previous posts I had to stop sleeping on my stomach and start sleeping on my side. This required a pillow between the knees and sort of under the belly (it's not a body pillow but it is longer then the average pillow). I have needed to add two smaller pillows or one folded under my feet in order to elevate them and reduce swelling. I also need to hug a pillow and of course I need one for under my head. How many is that? Yeah, it's a lot of pillows. But that's not all. I now wake up a lot in order to go to the bathroom or just to change position which wouldn't be so bad if turning over didn't now require me to move all the pillows into a new position, I feel like an urban planner every night.

Picture this: me rolling over in bed, pulling the 'body pillow' with me to the other side, and the hugging pillow and attempting to get my feet back up on the foot pillows, all while attempting to keep the covers over me and with a hard working husband asleep beside me. It's a bit much. The fact is that this doesn't just happen once in the night, it can happen two, three or even four times. Back and forth with the pillows trying to set them all up and get comfortable for my next bout of sleep. Luckily my husband no longer wakes up during my nightly antics, it must be preparation for the nights to come.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Little Piggies

I was at my doctors appointment as usual and when I got weighed in I was a little surprised to see the new number on the scale. The nurse was also a little surprised too which is never a good thing.

"What happened?" she asked me. "You really jumped this month."

I had really jumped. Up until this point I had been gaining weight slow and steady just like you're supposed to but this was a drastic step up and I couldn't think of a reason why. The nurse had me weigh in again, thinking that maybe something was wrong with the scale. Nope the scale was fine, it was me.

I was starting to worry when the nurse sort of gave me the up and down and said, "oh, you're swollen. You're retaining water."

I looked down at my little piggy feet and ankles and yes I was.

This wasn't news to me though. I have been very aware over the last few weeks that my feet and ankles are increasingly swollen and painful and that my many attempts to cure this has been seemingly fruitless.

Once the doctor came in and gave me all the good news; the baby is healthy, all my blood work is great etc., we were able to talk about my weight. Basically my belly is still growing at the appropiate rate and all this extra weight is being held from the knees down. We went over what I've been doing and what I can do to help the situation but the bottom line is that for some reason some women swell and some don't. Some swell early, like me at 7 months and some simply swell in the last few weeks. It's all one glorious mystery.

However, today I am at work wearing my new compression stockings (doctors orders) and I feel like an old grandma but a grandma that is in a heck of a lot less pain then yesterday. It will be interesting to see how this swelling progresses over the next few months as we enter into summer. I must say I won't go through this for anyone else but I would and I will go through a lot worse with a smile on my face for this little baby.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Sweet It Is

My lovely friend reminded me the other day that as funny and fun as it is to write and express all the weird and uncomfortable changes to my body that have occurred during pregnancy it is equally if not more important to express the good things that happen. These good things seem obvious but I agree. When I got pregnant I wanted to get pregnant, I felt 'ready' or as ready as one ever is to have a baby and I knew that I would be in love with this baby no matter what. I didn't expect to feel quite as fat, lazy, swollen and sick as I did hence me writing about these things more often.

I expected to love this baby from the second it was conceived and I did and do. I love being pregnant, knowing that in a few months I'm going to be be a mom and have a new life to take care of. I love thinking about whether it will be a boy or girl. Whether it will look more like me or my husband or some combination of us both. What colour eyes will it have? What colour hair? What kind of personality? I feel kicks regularly now and love them. Sometimes they're gentle and soothing and sometimes they are a bit sharp but they always remind me that I am carrying a life around inside me. These kicks also remind me that this is a little tiny person who is already developing a personality all it's own. It hears us and has patterns of alertness that can be tracked and that is wild and wonderful.

I feel lucky everyday to get to be the one who gets to carry this baby around inside me. I get to be the one that is helping him/her grow and develop and I am the only one who gets to feel him/her kick and move around and that is incredible.

There is nothing surprising to me about the love I feel already and the gratitude I have towards the universe for letting this everyday miracle happen to me but it's true I should say it more.
I love you baby and I am happy to carry you around for another three months and then I guess I'll have to start sharing you with the world so I'll enjoy these moments that are just between us while they last.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Third Trimester

It's the home stretch or that's what all the books and websites I read keep telling me. I am now officially in my third trimester and it's all down hill from here. I am of course flooded with many emotions: excited, fear, expectations but all of these things are over shadowed by my overwhelming fatigue.

It is sunny and beautiful outside, days are getting warmer and longer and I am becoming more tired each day that goes by. I am sleeping well, I have no real stress in my life and yet when I wake up to blue skies and birds singing after a full night sleep all I want to do is roll over and go back to sleep. I am dragging myself through each day and collapsing onto the couch after work.

This I suppose it what the third trimester is all about. The baby is going to be growing about a 1/5 pound a week until the end which means that I am going to be using a lot of energy allowing my body to facilitate that. We won't even get into the amount of weight I'll be gaining and have gained and how that effects my energy levels because at this point it goes without saying.

Despite the reality of my body, I still have a lot to do in preparation of this bundle. It can be hard to think about all that needs to get done, make lists and then be too tired to do anything when I get home from work. I keep thinking about the burst of energy that supposedly comes right near the end and wonder if that is actually gonna happen to me. I also think about women who have small children to take care of while they are pregnant and exhausted which reminds me that I've got it pretty easy. So this is it...third trimester and all I want is a nap.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Everywhere I look there is information and advice recommending exercise while pregnant. This sounds good to me, until I read on and realize all the things that should be avoided: cycling, aerobatics, skiing, most sports because of course any and all of these things could lead to a fall which of course would hurt the baby. Even running/jogging is debatable because of the new centre of gravity in pregnant women which makes it increasingly difficult to maintain normal balance and therefore a fall is ever possible. Okay fine, that is all reasonable so what's left? Walking, prenatal yoga and swimming all come as the most recommend forms of exercise for pregnant women.

Now I am not hugely athletic but I have always considered myself to be relatively active and fit (to varying degrees, at different points in my life) but I would have never considered walking to be exercise...until now. At first I looked down on these restrictions. Once I got over morning sickness I was feeling great. I went to the gym, to dance fit classes and even did light jogging. Those days are over.

Walking is actual exercise to me these days. I walk to and from work (only about 15 minutes each way) and I try and walk during my lunch break three times a week. I will usually do at least some walking on the weekends with friends and while running errands. And yes, now that I am fast approaching my third trimester I can tell you that walking is exercise to me. It takes all I have to push myself to 'power walk' on lunch because my body just doesn't want to do it. Walking home up a hill brings on some serious panting. A few weeks ago I was out walking on the seawall enjoying the day and decided to call my mom for a chat, it didn't take long for her to ask; "where are you walking to?" She asked because she could hear my laboured breathing over the phone and I was slightly embarrassed to say that I was simply strolling on a very flat part of the seawall and that this was just how I was now. Carrying an extra pounds certainly makes a difference, I can suddenly relate to all the overweight people in the world struggling to get through the day.

Swimming has been interesting too. Pregnant women will often rave about how wonderful being in the water is because you become weightless; however, I beg to differ. As someone who swam twice a week last year and sometimes more I definitely do feel a difference. Where I was once swift and strong moving through the water, I am now slow and heavy. I can literally feel my belly pulling me down as I attempt to move forward. My body is fighting against 'exercise', through my laboured breathing, extra pounds and serious sleepiness which makes the most normal activity seems impossible.

Did I mention the swelling feet, the swelling everything? It's a whole new world and I do not feel brave. But I do try, I try and eat well, I try and keep on moving and stretching and isn't that all we can do, is try?