This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave to me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now a part of my life, my testimony. -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"
How far along: 26 Weeks!
"this week, her eyes, which until now were developing under fused eyelids, start to open. Of course, there's not much to see in there, but if your baby spots a bright light (or hears a loud noise) near your belly, you may notice an increase in fetal activity. ... What accounts for that response? Her brain is more developed and sophisticated." --What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition
Baby size: "now weighs a full two pounds and measures nine-plus inches." -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition Gender: Girl!
Weight gain: I'm now up to 133lbs. That's an 8lb gain since last month! Whoa! And it's all entirely the baby belly.
Belly: Oh goodness, this belly. This baby belly is officially bigger than it was at the end of my first pregnancy. I'm entering new territory with beginning to really feel uncomfortable and a bit clumsy. Tennyson was really small and we didn't make it to term, and so I didn't really experience some of the third trimester discomforts. I'm getting my chance this time around, even though I'm still in the second trimester!
Sleep: Sleep is...well, sleep doesn't really happen anymore. I almost dread going to sleep at night because I know I'll get to the point of every part of my body screaming for rest, but then not be able to attain sound sleep. It's exhausting.
I started to prop a pillow behind my back as well so that I can lean back a bit on it and take some pressure off my sides and belly. My "pillow fort" (as David calls it) works fairly well, but anytime I need to roll over or get in or out of bed it is a grand effort. Not only that, but all the pillows take up quite a bit of the bed space. Poor David has talked of sleeping on the floor or downstairs on the couch. That would really sadden me.
Hopefully, I can eventually get some good sleep. If not, then hopefully we can just hang on for a couple more months.
Symptoms: Fatigue continues to be a constant struggle. Some days I make it through better than others. hah.
In general, I'm getting to be just rather uncomfortable.
Clothes: Hello, spring! Okay, spring isn't quite here yet but temperatures in the 40s feel just as good. The warm up has allowed me to be able to wear some of my dresses. Oh goodness, I'm now even more ready for spring because the dresses are so very, very comfortable. I'm tempted to purchase several more. I could very easily live in them for the rest of the pregnancy and postpartum.
Movement: I'm slowing down a bit and not able to maneuver quite as easily. Caring for a toddler and the housework takes quite a bit of effort. If you want to see a funny sight, then just watch as I try to hold a toddler while bending down to pick something up. haha
Baby Movement: Sometimes she moves and kicks so much it's like she's trying to wiggle jiggle free! Some movements are strong and repetitive that I feel like I've done a full ab workout. haha.
I'm beginning to get the impression that she's assuming the same position as Tennyson with her head fixed upright and her body simply swinging between a transverse position and a breech position. I can generally tell where her head is at most times. She also kicks in nearly the same spots.
Food aversions: Not sure. I still don't have as strong of a preference for meat and heavy meals, but that's pretty typical even when not pregnant.
Food cravings: I still love sweets far more than I should. Sooo good though! I could eat my weight in chocolate cake! hahaha
What I miss: I really miss having midwife care. I was such a part of my own care and delivery last time (well...that is, up to delivery when it became an emergency C-section situation). This time is so very, very different under the care of a maternal and fetal medicine specialist. I really miss being treated as a person and not just a patient. But, I realize that my situation doesn't afford me the kind of care offered by a midwife. Our objective must be on preserving life itself, not necessarily personhood. I've got to remain focused on being grateful for being given the chance to have another child, and hopefully have a more full-term outcome.
What I'm excited about: I've got to number these because there are so many!
1) I feel her move inside of me all the time, and await getting to hold her in my arms. I'm so excited to meet her, and learn about the person she'll become!
2) The shot countdown is down to just 8 more! It's interesting that when considering future child(ren), I feel less inhibited towards the idea by the major surgery involved in delivery than by the 20 weeks of shots. Perhaps time will heal, but currently I have a hard time conceding to go down this road again all because of the shots. It's been a difficult and painful road so far, and I'll be so very, very grateful to be finished with them.
3) The next ultrasound is scheduled for April 6th. This is a big ultrasound that will determine where we are in the pregnancy and where we'll go. I'm so nervous about it being scheduled so late at 30 weeks. I was already starting the labor process with Tennyson at 30 weeks! Eek! I'm very eager to see her, know her size, know her position and of course get a little better idea of delivery. Hard to believe that in only 3 weeks we're going to top the pregnancy peak and begin journeying towards delivery. Goodness, I'm excited! And so anxious!
4) There is a growing stack of items on the dresser designated for the hospital bag. So glad to be getting things prepared this time. Last time, we were caught by surprise and had absolutely nothing prepared and nothing in the hospital with us. I don't want to do that again!
5) Spring is almost here! I'm so ready to be done with being covered in cold and snow. I'm ready to spend the afternoon outside playing and taking trips to the park. When Annelise arrives (and I finally break down to buy a double stroller), we'll all get to enjoy a daily dose of sunshine during our morning walks around the neighborhood. I've missed those walks!
6) I finally finished the pregnancy journal book of Tennyson. I did blog posts like these during my pregnancy with Tennyson. I have been working off and on to create a photobook with those entries. It was so neat to read the entries from the first pregnancy that correspond to where I am or have been in this pregnancy. I laughed a bit at the part at 32 weeks where I wrote about having 8 more weeks. I thought, "Oh, honey. If only you knew. You don't have eight weeks. You have until next week!" haha. Anyways, now that I have the one book done, I can easily begin the second book (and hopefully have it finished before she's 14 months old. haha). I'm so glad I did all the weekly updates for each of them. I'm absolutely going to treasure having the books! Pregnancy is such a short and special experience in life.
What I'm nervous about: I'm "concerned" about just about everything lately. I'm definitely feeling a great need to have things done and ready. I want to get things done right now. Projects need to be completed. House needs to be clean. Shopping.. meal prep.. anything and everything is a matter of urgency. I've also thought more on the extended family we'll have come and stay with us to "help" following her birth. I know we'll need people to help us out at that time (ex- I won't be able to lift Tennyson for quite a while and we live in a three floor townhome). However, I also know that I will get very overwhelmed and frustrated having to tend to people.
I think the issue with the feeling of urgency is that I'm deeply concerned about her coming really early. While the fact that there has been such tremendous growth by this point could be seen as a good thing, it could also be a bad thing. You see, Tennyson was so small and as a result was able to stay inside to develop longer. He didn't run out of space as soon because he was so small. Though he wasn't necessarily growing in size, but was continuing to develop physiologically. That's why I believe he has done so well for his degree of growth restriction. If we're already hitting that size so soon with her, I'm concerned that she'll run out of space sooner and come sooner, and thus not have that extra time to develop further. I'm really, really scared of having a micro-preemie.
In my mind, I have the constant thought of "what if she came now?" Am I ready with a well-managed home (ie clean)? Meals prepared? Hospital bags packed for us? Overnight bag packed for Tennyson? Are there any projects that I will have wanted to have completed before her arrival? Etc. etc. Poor David, it's only going to get worse. haha