A little like Alice in Wonderland, but not very much

Someone has taken everything I normally use with my arms — the sinks, the computer keyboards, and so on — and moved them several inches further away than I remember them being. Hmph.

— Beth

The great cornholio and other unorthodox pregnancy teachers

“I woke up with a start at 4:00 one morning and realized that I was very, very pregnant. Since I had conceived six months earlier, one might have thought that the news would have sunk in before then, and in many ways it had, but it was on that early morning in May that I first realized how severely pregnant I was. What tipped me off was that, lying on my side and needing to turn over, I found myself unable to move. My first thought was that I had had a stroke.” — Anne Lamott, “Operating Instructions”

I have been very fortunate so far in this pregnancy to have a minimum of physical complaints — sure, the first weeks of nausea and somnolence were difficult, and I’ve had more than my fair share of misplacing my own belongings and then blaming Devin for their absence. But I’ve gotten all the way into my eighth month without having gained 60 pounds, or watching my ankles turn into hams, or even having more than mild back pains. Sure, there’s plenty of time for at least one or two of those things to happen, so I hope I’m not jinxing myself here.

However, I am noticing a certain lack of ability to roll over in bed anymore. I can’t roll from side to side on my back because I invariably get stuck on my back like a helpless turtle, and at this point having the baby press against my guts makes me light-headed and gasp for air. However, to roll over face-down, I have to get up on my hands and knees, and even then my belly drags on the mattress and it tugs all the poor, strained ligaments trying to keep my uterus upright like the tethers on a full hot-air balloon. Neither of these options works well in the middle of the night, and sometimes I just can’t muster the ability to budge at all.

On top of that, I seem to be having another go at hearrburn — which has emerged and vanished a couple of times in pregnancy so far. Each time I fear it’s here to stay and then it vanishes again, but this time it’s too soon to tell. Since it’s been emerging in the afternoons the past few days, I’ve been walking around the office in what I’ve taken to calling Cornholio pose to try and raise my esophagus out of my stomach. It actually works, kind of.

That said, we had our first birth class on Monday and the teacher showed us all these diagrams of the insides of pregnant women. She had one for 28 weeks and another for 36. She said, “When women start talking about how uncomfortable they are at 32 weeks, I think, ‘Yeah… sure you are.'” That’s when she showed us the 36-week diagram, which looked like a madman had attempted to reconstruct some poor woman’s entrails. I still have three and a half weeks to go before I look like that.

So maybe I am jinxing myself. Keep your fingers crossed.

— Beth

Belly At 25 Weeks

(This was shortly after Mouse had gotten into my lap and tried to get comfortable and looked at my belly like, “Whoa, where did this come from?” She finally wrapped her arms around it and settled in, started purring, and got the baby excited. It kicked her in the head. I don’t think she noticed, but I started laughing so hard my whole body was moving, and that made her grumpy.)


Some days, I still don’t look really pregnant.

Other days…

(20 weeks, 4 days)
(The mirror still needs cleaning)

— Beth

Mouse’s new favorite piece of furniture

(If you can’t quite tell, the bump in the foreground is my breast. Mouse’s head is on the top of my belly. Her tail end is on my lap.)

— Beth

Swallowed a pumpkin seed …

There’s a lot wrong with this photo (the shadow on my face, the smudges on the mirror), but, well, here:

— Beth

Our flat needs cleaning

But the light was nice.

Beth & Devin at 15 weeks

– Devin

Gathering up the threads of the week

There were no cohesive themes this week, just a lot of little goodnesses.

On Monday I told several of my higher-ups and a couple of fellow reporters the good news, and everyone reacted with surprise and good cheer. My managing editor is so excited; I’m her first pregnant reporter (yes, really) in her many years with the newspaper. It’s nice that people know — and was a relief that nobody immediately said, “Well, no wonder you’ve been sluggish and forgetful for months.” In fact, the consensus was that I’ve carried it well. But hiding it was becoming a bit strange, nonetheless.

This is the week that I noticed my belly is starting to round out and feel firmer — not so much that it shows under my clothes, but enough that I notice it (and Devin will, I think, when he gets back). It’s interesting that as my first-trimester symptoms are fading, I’m not nauseated quite constantly and I have times of better energy, that there is more physical evidence of a life growing inside me. I’m starting to compulsively hold on to my belly, too, which is another good reason my co-workers know about all this!

Yesterday I was supposed to meet a third midwife, but she canceled because she’d been up the entire previous night helping deliver a baby, so we rescheduled for this coming Friday. In addition, I got a little more good news on the genetic side — my bloodwork came back and I am not a carrier for cystic fibrosis. The doctor said they test for 30 different mutations, which catches most but not all of them. This is good news for Devin, too; if I had been a carrier, he’d need to be tested, too.

I go on a lot of walks — fewer now that I’m feeling tired and yucky, though I hope that will improve. This summer, the canyon has been full of ripening blackberries. Last night I found the most ripe ones yet, handfuls and handfuls. It’s a little strange, but one of the times I feel most connected to this pregnancy is when I’m out in nature, eating off the land like that, and part of me wonders what it’d be like to gestate in the woods, closer to the earth, something like that. Not very practical, I know, but it feels right to go straight from plant to mouth to stomach to baby.

Knowing that my clothing needs are going to change pretty soon, I’ve been stocking up on “transitional” and outright maternity clothes. Yesterday I poked through the racks of the giant Salvation Army over at 28th and Valencia, where they did have quite a few items (mixed in with regular clothes, so they were not so easy to find). I found four shirts that will work well, two for this interim period where my regular clothes are snug but my belly isn’t big yet, two for later when my belly does get big, all of which can be worn with work clothes or more casual things. And, because they were having some kind of Labor Day sale, everything was 60% off. I also popped in to Natural Solutions on Valencia, a baby/pregnancy-supply store that has everything from anti-nausea gum (I bought some, and it’s wonderful) to nursing bras and changing tables. Everything is natural/organic/etc. as well. I wonder if they do registries? :)

Although I haven’t had very many outright pregnancy-related dreams, I have had dreams that seem obviously related. Last night, I dreamed I had a huge fish tank full of baby fish that had sprung a leak, and I had to work quickly to get the fish into another container. I was scooping them with a small glass into a bigger glass, but they were so small they would stick to the sides of the small glass, and sometimes I couldn’t catch them. The water level in the tank got lower and lower, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to save all the baby fish. It was very frustrating.

More soon, I’m sure!

— Beth