Thanks to several readers with their concerns about my "contractions." To be clear, I think they were Braxton-Hicks contractions, nothing more serious than that. On line, some websites suggest that BH contractions can start in the first trimester, and others seem to say that they occur at 30 weeks plus. I haven't felt any generalized contractions lately, though, so I'm not thinking too much about it. I do, however, sometimes notice that the L side of my uterus seems to contract on its own, while the rest stays pretty soft or contracts just a little bit. It almost feels like a hard ball on that side only. Very very odd! I have not heard anyone else mention this kind of sensation, so perhaps I need to do a little research and ask my doctor about it.
It reminds of me of how, during med school, I did the requisite OB/GYN rotation, and a lot of the pregnant women would come in to clinic or labor & delivery, saying that their baby was "ballin' up". This was an inner city population in Baltimore. In retrospect, I think it is really interesting to think about how these patients perceived the contractions (generally what they meant by "the baby is balling up") were caused by the baby itself, rather than the uterus squeezing down on the baby. I had almost forgotten about this term until I experienced it for myself. Now, over 9 years later, I can at least understand what they meant by that. Have you all ever heard that term, and if so, where do you live? I haven't heard it here in San Diego, but I don't work in OB/GYN anymore, so who knows?
For the past two Sundays (21w5d and 22w5d) I did some moderate exercise - gym and swimming one the first occasion, a hike in our neighborhood canyon on the second. Keep in mind, pre-pregnancy I was running about 2.5 miles several times per week. I was no iron woman by a longshot, but I was at least in decent cardiovascular shape. These days, not so much. My exercise has really dropped off, partially due to the early OHSS, and then just due to lack of discipline and a busier schedule.
I didn't feel like I strained myself with the exercise, but OMG I did not feel good on either Monday thereafter. On the first Monday I had pretty bad back pain, and I really do think that I must have strained something at the gym. It went away by Tuesday/Wednesday, luckily. And last Monday (22w6d), I had really uncomfortable anterior pelvis and round ligament/ovary-area pain all day. Now, Mondays are my full clinic day, so I am up and down between a central work area and 2 exam rooms all day long. That day, I was needing to literally scoot to the edge of my seat and prepare myself before standing, for fear of getting a really bad pain and doubling over or wincing in agony if I moved too quickly. (I don't really want my patients, most of whom are meeting me for the first time, to see me do that.) I took Tylenol, which helped a LOT, but it wore off after 6 hrs or so. Monday night, I remember that it was even kinda challenging to get in and out of bed. My biggest fear was that this was how it would be (and worse) for the remaining 17 weeks of pregnancy. Argh!
The discomfort was still there, albeit improved, last Tuesday. This time, I took the Tylenol and it pretty much disappeared and hasn't been back since! I am SO relieved but still kinda mystified about whether just hiking a little bit could have set that off. Meanwhile, I am determined to stay active!
Jen has a very timely post about weight gain. I am so grateful to be pregnant that it feels weird to complain about ANYTHING, especially something cosmetic. And objectively, I'm up about 13 lbs, which is pretty much average for this point in pregnancy. I'm actually not worried about how I look NOW. It's the future that scares me. I'm guessing that I'll gain at least a pound a week from here on out, putting me at probably 30-35 lbs gained by the end of the 3rd trimester. I started this process at 132 lbs, so right away that means that I'll be at about the same weight as S! I'm guessing that I'll end up about 145-150 lbs immediately post-partum. Now, I have been around that weight or even a little more in the past (1998-2003 or so), and I know I can lose it, but it is NOT fun. I know that breast-feeding will help, and I plan to do that for as long as I can, but I'm still afraid. I'm afraid that it's going to be harder now that I'm in my 30s, now that I'm married and can't just eat Lean Cuisine for dinner, and now that I'll be worried about whether I'm eating enough to produce good, healthy breast milk. At the same time, I want my little girl to grow up with a great body image and confidence and healthy eating habits... ah, the challenges of womanhood!
As for BabyGirl, we still don't have a name picked out, and we haven't even been talking about it much lately. No new ideas, either. I think we're both trying to figure out whether we can learn to love each other's favorites. His favorite is growing on me, but I'm not entirely convinced yet.
I'm also thinking of her as "Thumper" at times... remember Bambi's little rabbit friend?? Her movements are definite little thumps. Some of them I can feel from the outside, and some only from the inside. S still hasn't felt one, but I know that he'll be able to soon. I was trying to look at my belly last night and I could kinda see some of them (jolt-like, rather than a hand or foot sticking out), but it is difficult with the movements from breathing and my own pulse kinda obscuring things.
We haven't bought anything at all yet. We still have a bedroom set (bed and vanity) in the nursery-to-be, and we need to move it out of there. My aunt feels that she must have it (it used to belong to my great-grandparents, and it's old, but not valuable). However, my aunt will be moving it into my grandfather's garage as she doesn't have space for it. Also, none of us own a truck, so she needs to hire someone to come and get it. It is frustrating because she is trying to get a neighbor of hers to do it, but he is being flaky. I think she should go on Craigslist and just hire someone, but she hasn't done that yet. And so we have no space! S is kinda annoyed about the whole thing so he wants the items gone before venturing with me to BabiesRUs, etc. I've been OK with that plan so far... although I've looked a little bit on-line. I'm not really the type to get super invested in a certain theme or brand or decor, so it will probably be a bit of a hodge-podge anyway. I may or may not have a hand-me-down crib (need to look it over) from my parents, and a high chair and pack-and-play from my co-worker. And we're not going to paint; the room is sort of a warm neutral/cream color, and I think that with some nice wall hangings or other art it should look fine! I think that both S and I are most excited about getting some sort of stroller that will allow us to take the baby on our favorite local hikes/canyon walks. I think we'll be checking out REI for that one.
S is away at a conference this weekend, so I'm all by myself for only the second time since we've been married! I'm fine, but I do miss him! Next week we'll be attending the wedding of my dear friend (and reader) K's little sister in San Francisco. Very very exciting. But in the meantime I need to find a dress to wear. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to hit an outlet mall with a Motherhood/Mimi/Pea in the Pod outlet and hope that I can find something. :)