Week 33

Total weight gain: I am confident that I’ve broken the 40lb barrier. Yay?

Baby’s Weight: A little over 4 lbs

Percentage through pregnancy: 83.2% — If baby were born now, he’d have a 98% chance of survival. Of surviving infants, the rate of serious medical complications is 12%.

Time until due date:
7 weeks; 47 days

Food of the week (a.k.a. size of baby): Pineapple

Pregnancy symptoms:

— Moving around is getting much tougher. I’ve already bonked Charles in the face with my fist when I try to turn over in the middle of the night;  I need a running start to get the momentum to make it to the other side. Getting up from the couch takes help, and I can’t even look at sneakers without someone nearby to tie them for me.

— My energy level is also going kaput. Yesterday I worked on Charlie’s nursery for a while, then Charles and I took about an hour-long walk (with a 45 min break halfway). I felt as if I’d run 10 miles.

— During an evening walk with Charles on Tuesday, I began feeling this really painful jab at the base of my belly. It was so jarring that I doubled over in pain. It got worse on Wednesday anytime I tried to walk. I decided to call Labor & Delivery just to be sure that it was normal. The nurse told me that Charlie is so big that he’s exerting a lot of pressure on my pelvic bone and pelvic muscles. She recommended I get one of these lovely pregnancy braces to see if it minimized the pressure. It has definitely helped, and I like the support that it gives my growing body.

— Emo Jess is back this week. I made this mistake of watching this video at work of a woman’s water birth. Oh, the tears! Then I stumbled across an author who’s writing a book about young women who have lost their fathers and I began to think of my daddy and how heartbreaking it is that he’ll never meet his grandson. “He’ll always be with us” is just crap. He’s not here, and there are no words to describe how I feel about that loss. (insert more tears). Finally, Charles and I went to see the IMAX Hubble and I cried throughout the entire thing thinking about bringing a baby into this amazing universe.

— Overall, however, I’m feeling very zen about pregnancy. I love to see my gigantic belly when I look in storefront windows. I love how smooth and round I look (no stretch marks!) in the mirror after a shower. I love that there is no possible way someone could think i was NOT pregnant, as opposed to earlier in my pregnancy when I tried everything to make sure that they did. I live for Charlie’s kicks and squirms and rolls. I have LOVED being pregnant, and a part of me is sad that this part will be over in seven weeks.

C-section: To be or not to be?

— When I called Labor and Delivery, the nurse remarked, “Oh, I see you’re having a C-section.” JAB. Am I the only one holding out hope for my stubborn placenta?

Worry of the Week:

Charlie will kick violently for a while and then completely stop. I constantly fear those kicks are him struggling to stay alive because something has gone wrong in my uterus. 😦

Weekly sins:

For the past four nights, I’ve gone to be extremely full because I eat way too much. No wonder I’ve gained 40 lbs. I’ve really got to rein in my food intake. I’m being ridiculous.

Pregnancy moments of the week:

— Baby shower!! My mother hosted my first baby shower for family and her friends last Saturday. I was supposed to have one shower that combined both family and friends, but she soon realized she knew too many people and split them up. Of course, the day started with drama when my mother’s 90-lb Labrador, Jersey, was expelled from doggy day care for bad behavior.

My mother was almost manic with energy and stress when we arrived. People began arriving, and pretty soon my mother’s house was filled to the brim. She was in her element being hostess (and relaying the story of Jersey’s delinquency), and did a fantastic job. It was a wonderful day. Lunch was from Panda Express and the delicious cake was from a local mom-and-pop bakery in the neighborhood. Everyone was extremely generous, especially the women I didn’t even know! More about presents in the next section.

One of my favorite parts of the shower were the favors, a suggestion of a photographer I know at a local news station: Carlos V candy bars, courtesy of Mexico!

Part of me couldn’t believe that I was there, that I was far enough along in my pregnancy to be having a baby shower. /boggles. This thing is happening soon!

— I found out from one of my mother’s coworkers that she refers to Charlie as “her little prince.” So sweet.

— One of my bestest friends in the whole wide world is pregnant, and I am so freaking excited and happy for her. I’ve known for a bit, but this week she began spilling the beans to more folks, so I feel comfortable gushing about it here. I am giddy just thinking about it. There is an incredible amount of positive energy surrounding my loved ones right now, and I feel humbled by it.

— HR Guy and I had an incredibly awkward conversation about “my lactation needs.” To be a pest, I responded, “Lactation needs? Are you asking whether I’ll need a private room to PUMP MILK FROM MY BREASTS?!”

— Pregnancy is a very special club, and once you go through it, you’re in the club for life. Everywhere I go, women see my belly and share stories from their pregnancy — in line at the grocery store, waiting in the public restroom, at the bakery where I picked up my shower cake, etc. I actually really love it. It reminds me that I’m part of an amazing community that has existed for millions and millions of years.

— A local magazine released a report of the best local hospitals and included a section for best maternity care. Where did my health care provider fall? DEAD LAST.

Best Pregnancy Gifts:

All of the shower gifts were incredible (OK, there were some really weird ones, too), but a few stick out in my mind:

— Charles’ mama gave us an ABCs poster that she embroidered for Charles when he was a baby. Something about getting things that belonged to him when he was so tiny makes me cry. In fact, I broke down into tears right there.

— My sister-in-law hand-sewed a gorgeous blanket and hand-stitched Charlie’s initials on it.

— My mother surprised me with the uber-expensive diaper bag that we registered for! She also wrote an incredibly touching card that I may post one day when I’m feeling less emo.

— Charles’ cousin got us a Return of the Jedi T-shirt for Charlie. Rad.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Next week is another ultrasound to determine what my pesky placenta is up to. Not sure if this is the definitive one, but we’re definitely running out of time for that thing to get out of the way. We’re also taking our first Childbirth Education course this week. Go breastfeeding!

Baby Milestones:
This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark. He’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

Quote of the Week:

— “Yep.”  Friend Steven when I remarked about how chubby my face has gotten. Everyone keeps saying, “You haven’t changed at all!,” and it was refreshing (and hilarious) to get a truthful perspective.
— “Why does Steven get to say that and it’s funny, but if I said that, I’d be in huge trouble?” Charles.

Pregnancy-related Tweets:
— It’s April 1, which means that Kirsten and I can now say, “I’m having a baby next month.” /boggles
— Writing out TY notes for Saturday’s shower. It amazing to sign something from me and Charlie. 🙂
— Space is definitely getting tight in my uterus. Just fyi.
— My bladder can no longer handle sneezing. #pregnancy

Photo Break:

My FAVORITE picture from the baby shower. Baby Bronwyn is Charles’ cousin’s daughter, so Charles’ great niece?

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