My body has been invaded (or what 38 weeks feels like).

Ok so everyone talks about how you get to a point in your pregnancy where you just can’t take it anymore. I thought I understood what they meant at about 36 weeks…I was wrong. 2 more weeks went by and I feel more like a prop in a sci-fi movie than a human being.

This baby, whom I can’t wait to meet, has been growing inside of me for over 9 months. For a while, no one could tell. Then there was a tiny little baby bump and that pregnancy “glow”. There are, of course, uncomfortable times and lifestyle changes to get used to like not drinking wine anymore and not being able to take the same classes at the gym. Yet those adjustments aside, and the woes of the 1st trimester sickness having subsided, life goes on as usual. You work out in some way, if that’s part of your routine, you move around easily enough and work continues. You go about your day, errands and move along.

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As your belly grows, people start asking you all the routine questions: “When are you due?” “Do you know if it’s a boy or girl?” “How are you feeling?” etc. But then it hits you. You wake up in the middle of the night to pee (yet again), and your body suddenly feels like you’ve been in a serious car accident. Your back is in so much pain, you swear you had been rear ended. Your feet are so sore you think you must have blocked out running a marathon the day before, your fingers are so swollen, your wedding band won’t fit over your knuckle, and this little angel you’re carrying in your belly can move around so much because they’re somewhere around 7 lbs and SMOOSHED in there that you can actually see them moving around from the outside. What it feels like INSIDE is a WHOLE different story.

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My body has been invaded. My belly feels stretched beyond it’s limits and it hurts. I have a baby foot in my ribs and a head resting on my bladder. This baby is losing room and MUST be uncomfortable by now and my body MUST have taken all it can possibly take in 38 weeks and 3 days.

I have never done well in uncomfortable situations. I am a very particular person when it comes to having things the way I like them for myself. I don’t sleep well with others. I have never enjoyed sleepovers, they give me anxiety. We have to have a King sized bed so the 2 of us can co-sleep (meaning my husband and I) because I wake up when someone touches me. I get really hot at night and like to sleep in the cold, but with several blankets to stay warm. I have to sleep with white noise and fresh air, so I use a fan. Not a ceiling fan, a fan right by my face, blowing air at me directly. I understand this won’t work with a newborn, so I’ve gotten used to a humidifier that blows air right by my head to prepare for baby’s arrival. I like to shower twice a day because I don’t like the feeling of being “dirty” even though you’re not really “dirty” after a normal 12 hour day. After I shower, I have to have toner, serum and moisturizer on my face right away before it dehydrates or gets itchy. I have to use body lotion right away for the same reason and it has to be enough time before bed or my body is too sticky and it makes the sheets in the bed feel yukky. I have to have my nails and toenails clipped way down because I feel like dirt and other disgusting elements get caked underneath and it gives me the heebie jeebies. Those have to be clipped over the toilet. I always speak up if I’m too hot or too cold. Anywhere. It can be home, at work, etc. I can’t stand being too hot and sweaty. I also can’t stand being too cold and uncomfortable. I love fresh air so I’m constantly opening windows and doors. I love the breeze. If we’re at someone’s house and they have everything closed and it’s a beautiful day, I’ll just go outside or take it upon myself to crack a door. I’ll be that person.I can’t stand being sick, so I don’t get sick. If someone around me comes down with something, I put gloves on, bleach and Lysol EVERYTHING and take lots of Emergency to avoif it any way possible. I take detox baths and stay away from that person altogether.I’ll quarantine myself. Any ill feeling is too much for me to handle, I can’t stand it. I am one of those people who never gets sick beause the feeling is just too much. I’m giving you all these examples of what probably make me sound OCD, or just particularly bitchy so you can understand what being this big and uncomfortable in my own skin (which I’m sharing) feels like to me. I can’t fix it or adjust it to my liking at all. I just have to sit back and accept that I am uncomfortable.

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Now I am at the point where I’m ready. The nursery is ready, we are stocked up with diapers and wipes, swaddles, a bassinet, a rocker, stroller, car seat, crib, clothes, bottles and pacifiers, books and little keepsakes, new shelves and dresser, a rocking chair and lots of plush blankets and lovies. I felt so unprepared for so many months just thinking of the list of baby items we needed and list of things to get done prior to his arrival, but now that they’re done, the hospital bag is packed and ready to go, I’m just waiting. Waiting for one of those practice contractions to be the real thing or my water to break. Just waiting. I’m so excited and scared. I can’t wait to finally hold this little wiggly guy and tell him how thankful I am to even be able to carry him at all in the first place and how grateful I am that God gave me a son. How I’ll forever be attached to him, even if he’s not in my belly anymore and how for the rest of my life I will be a mother who will literally do anything for her son, even if it costs me something I wouldn’t have given up before. I want to tell him I waited a long time to have him and will probably worship the very ground he walks on. He just needs to come out so I can tell him:)

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34 Weeks of bliss and list of things I miss

Can a girl get a glass of vino over here?? Hello? Table for 1, bottle of petite sirah, please! I have to admit, and it’s no secret, I adore my wine!! It’s my drink of choice and I look forward to it at the end of my day. A glass while I cook dinner and a glass while I enjoy the dish I’ve prepared is my own little routine and tradition. I also really enjoy having some wine with my girlfriends, bringing a bottle of wine down to the beach, having a date night with my husband, enjoying some wine with a great Sunday dinner, etc. etc.

Gym stuff! I actually miss the stair master and working up a good sweat. It just got way too hard, too much pressure on my belly, the baby sits (or jumps) on my bladder and exercising became extremely uncomfortable. I miss classes, equipment, the sauna, all of it. I think I miss feeling like I’ve pushed myself physically and like I’ve accomplished something to better myself and contribute to my health.

That being said, feeling the baby move all around in my belly makes me feel extremely healthy and accomplished. I love knowing he’s active and growing. I’m ok letting myself rest so this little prince can grow and do a little exercising of his own!

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CAFFEINE!! Truth be told, I do drink 50/50 coffee every morning (half decaf, half regular) but I could seriously use a double espresso frappuccino BUT I’m sure I’ll need one more than ever in about a month and 1/2 and that’s when I can and WILL get one!

BRUNCH!!!! I am dying for a bagel with lox and a mimosa! Brunch isn’t “brunch” without a mimosa (or bloody Mary) in my opinion. Preferably a mimosa bar with raspberries. Yes.

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Spicy tuna!! like brunch, sushi isn’t “sushi” without raw fish. You can pretend with shrimp tempura and California rolls, but it’s just make believe until you can have the real thing.

wp-1473985029252.jpgAll that being said, look at this bump! My son is in there and I can feel him moving around and growing/learning/developing all the time! I can’t wait to finally meet this little guy and see what he looks like, who he resembles, and watch him grow into his own little person.

He already loves certain things and dislikes others. he’s really strong and already stubborn. When nurses try to listen to his heartbeat with the Doppler, he moves away. This has happened several times and they all comment on it! The other day, I was putting grocery bags in the car and hit my belly with one by accident (not hard, but enough that the baby felt it). No sooner did the bag bump my belly, did he punch right back! It was so instantaneous and so purposeful that I burst out laughing and had to call my husband to tell him his son has some reflexes!

This baby loves the sound of his dad’s voice. My husband (for anyone who doesn’t know him) is extremely charismatic and boisterous. You know when he’s in the room! When he’s telling a story, the baby moves around a lot in excitement. He jumps around and wiggles. Then when my husband speaks softly to my belly, the baby calms right down and relaxes. It’s the sweetest thing. I don’t know anything for sure, only God does, but I have a feeling this little boy is going to be his father’s mini me…

What Happens When…

There’s a lot that happens throughout your pregnancy that doctors won’t tell you…or maybe there’s just too many possibilities for them to warn you about, so here’s a few examples of what CAN and what HAS happened in mine so far:

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FLY PREGNANT

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There used to be an ankle there… We went home to Boston for my baby shower at 28 weeks pregnant and had 2 flights within 48 hours. I was given the OK by my OBGYN with special instruction to make sure I got up and walked around at least once every hour or so. With an hour and a half flight, I got up to use the bathroom once, but who can really move around easily on a plane? When we landed, I lifted my pant leg to see both my ankles were completely swollen, one of which was barely there at all!

This happens because of strained circulation, especially on the lower limbs. When we got home, I elevated my legs, had my husband rub my feet (bonus!) and put ice on my ankles to try and reduce swelling. The next day, they still hadn’t gone down all the way and even my most comfortable shoes didn’t fit! That’s when this happened:

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I traded in my Jack Rogers and Sperry sandals for Padded. Nike. Flip Flops. They were the only shoes I could find that were comfortable, fit over my kankles and had some kind of gel padded Heaven happening on the soles of my feet. Admittedly, I felt like a high school soccer player or a mother of 3 who has officially thrown in the towel…but I GET it! These things are amazing and I’m keeping them forever.

FINALLY GIVING UP THE TREADMILL

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If I look happy in this picture, it’s because I had just gotten home from the gym and made the inevitable decision to quit. I quit the gym. Well, I quit my go-to cardio, walking at an incline on the treadmill. I first gave up on Body Pump during my second trimester. Then came the end of the stair-master because I couldn’t breathe. Now I’ve called it quits on the treadmill because I constantly have to PEE!!! So I go to the bathroom before I leave the house, then I get to the gym (a 7 minute drive) and use the ladies room again before I get on the treadmill and then I start walking and my little baby decides to JUMP and JUMP and JUMP on my bladder. I don’t know what actually happens but I think he sits really low while I’m being active and it puts SO much pressure on my belly and bladder. It is beyond uncomfortable and finally, just not worth it.

I have tried yoga, don’t love it, but plan on trying a prenatal yoga class this week. From what I have gathered from other experienced mommies, prenatal yoga is a lot of stretching and breathing. I could use some of both, so I’ll try it, but I also love some movement so I tried an “aquasize” class at the gym last week and actually really liked it! First of all, I was the only woman under the age of 70. You know what that means? I was the pregnant youngster and everyone was like a makeshift Nonna for the hour. All of these lovely ladies were so sweet and helpful and even invited me to lunch!! PLUS, being in the water relieved some pressure on my belly and it’s actually a decent workout, especially when they incorporate water weights and dumbbells. So if I do workout these last 2 months, this will probably be my new go-to.

YOUR BELLY BECOMES BIGGER THAN YOU THINK

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Yes, this is my husband’s old t-shirt, yes, it is August and I’m wearing snowflake pajama pants and YES, these are stains and no, I don’t know what they’re from. I had plopped my ass on my “pregnancy chair” (or loveseat that I have claimed) and looked down to discover some new stains. I am constantly bumping into things and spilling things all over myself. Sometimes I try to smell them to see if there’s any familiarity or recollection….and the baby isn’t even here yet! I stopped caring.

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I started finding little patches of flaky, itchy skin on my body, had my doctor take a look and she said I had eczema. Being an esthetician, I figured that’s what it was but I had never had it before and being pregnant, you never know. I didn’t know if I had developed a food allergy or had some kind of contact dermatitis. The spot that really bothers me the most is under my wedding rings! It is itchy, flaky, red and irritated all the time. The only time it clears up is when I take my rings off at night and smother my hand in cocoa butter, coconut oil, or hydrocortisone and leave it alone while I sleep. Because I use my hands so much for work, I constantly wash them and soap, water, and lotion gets stuck underneath and cause irritation, not helping the eczema.

We give up a lot of our independence and sexy feminism during pregnancy, so I’ll be dammed if I have to give up my  wedding rings too! I’m leaving them on until my finger gets too fat and circulation becomes a serious issue!

Stay strong and happy, ladies!!