38!

Today is 38 weeks — wow!

38 weeks pregnant

Tired after a long day’s work, and as usual my phone is taking crappy photos, but the tree is pretty and I like my dress.

You know, it’s true what they say about time being relative (and about relativity being confusing — talk about your cognitive dissonance!). It is a mystery how something can seem to go on forever, and simultaneously seem to fly by. In some ways, it is r-e-a-l-l-y hard to believe that I am within mere weeks, maybe days, of having a child. Of seeing [REDACTED]’s face. Of having an Entirely New Life. And in other ways, it seems as though I have always been pregnant….

The other day, I was telling Ryan that I would like to see some sort of graph that broke down hormone levels during pregnancy. I know that there has to be a lot of hormonal activity for labor to happen, but I wonder if some of the hormones (that is to say, the ones that turn you into a crazy person) dip a bit here at the end. It’s strange, but in this past week I’ve noticed that I suddenly feel a lot more like myself again. I’ve regained patience with my students (my coworkers will snort when they read that, but I can only imagine how bad this week would be if I was still as DONE with them as I was a couple of months ago!) and generally feel like my head is clearer and like I can deal with things. Maybe this is what that nesting stage looks like to me — not an insane enthusiasm for cleaning, but a renewed energy for doing the things I ordinarily do? Or maybe it’s just the change of seasons, and seeing the sun shining and the cherry trees blooming…

Regardless, it’s definitely become a case of the spirit being willing while the flesh is weak. My brain wants to do fun things, like shop or go on a road trip or play a game of fetch with the dog (with whom every game of fetch provides the humans with more exercise than the dog). And in the meantime, I weigh five thousand pounds, can’t bend, have no comfortable seated positions, have to pee constantly, sleep in one-hour bursts, and am exceptionally uncomfortable regardless of what I’m wearing. Walking is exhausting and becomes painful — not in my feet, which haven’t really embraced the whole swelling up thing as much as I’d anticipated, but in my pelvic area.

In other news: no real contractions, but what I now recognize as Braxton-Hicks every day. Doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Apparently they sent the Strep B test off to the lab, which ran the wrong test or something, so tomorrow I have to get swabbed a second time. Assuming they’ll check dilation/effacement again, FUN, so we’ll see if anything is going on in that department. [REDACTED] is a little more active these past few days and has been doing a fair amount of squirming around in his tight quarters.

I had a handful of blissful days without heartburn, and then it came back with a vengeance. The other day, I was about halfway through a grocery store trip when it hit me so hard that I was literally in tears in the soda aisle. For the past several days, I’ve gotten incredibly bad heartburn right around last period. I’m told the most likely cause at this point is that the hormones that soften things up downstairs also soften them upstairs, causing reflux and all that nonsense.

Pregnancy is a very imprecise thing. I think I now have equal numbers of people telling me that I am enormous and that I am really small for 38 weeks, as well as equal numbers of people declaring that [REDACTED] has definitely dropped and has definitely not dropped yet. Ryan attempted to clear up the mystery by telling me that it seems to change, that one minute the belly doesn’t seem so large, and the next minute I’m “as big as a boat.” I pretended to be offended but there were baked goods in the vicinity so that didn’t last.

I don’t feel like I’m all that big, though. I think, maybe, I’d taken the fact that I’ve been somewhat overweight these past few years, and decided that I was going to have the “pregnant all over” look as a result… and instead, I’ve gained relatively little weight, and my belly is all out front. I’m not complaining! I feel pretty in this body, prettier than I’d felt in some time.

What I do know is that in the past week, complete strangers (cashiers, etc.) have begun asking me when I’m due. Up until recently, I’d gotten a lot of those awkward looks where you can tell that someone wants to ask, but doesn’t want to say anything just in case you’re just fat. Month nine, however, appears to be open season on Pregnant Kate. The gas station cashier praised me for “getting it over with” before the hot months. The library sale volunteer demanded I name the baby Kara in exchange for an extra plastic bag.

Did I mention that I can’t fit in the student desks any more? So I guess I must not be all THAT small.

I know that there are things I need to do right away lest I regret procrastinating… I need to put the sheets on the bassinet and crib, change to a water-resistant mattress protector on our bed just in case, pack The Bag. I also need to clean my desk at work (top surface clear, and drawers made usable) and make sure that everything is as “in order” as it’s gonna get for my substitute. I am planning to continue to work through next Tuesday, possibly going in for part of Wednesday as well (it’s a teacher work day), and then calling it a year (which sounds WONDERFUL, doesn’t it?).

As for right this minute, however, [REDACTED] would like me to visit the toilet and then put on something more comfortable and go read a book before going to bed early. I think that seems like an excellent plan, so we’re going to go do that now.

Horizontal Stripes

It’s funny how one’s ideas about fashion can change.

Before Bump (BB): Horizontal stripes? Who can wear these things? They make me look as big as a barn!

After Bump (AB): Horizontal stripes? These make me look as big as a barn! Do they have them in any other colors?

* * *

BB: This is a cute t-shirt, but it fits waaay too close to the skin for my comfort. Shows every flaw and ounce of fat on my torso. Maybe I should get the next size up.

AB: This is a cute t-shirt, but it’s a little loose at the bottom… Maybe I could try a smaller size…

* * *

BB: I don’t wear t-shirts or tops made out of t-shirt knit to work.

AB: I don’t own any shirts that aren’t made out of t-shirt knit.

* * *

BB: It’s Friday! I can wear jeans to work!

AB: It’s Friday! I could wear (maternity) jeans to work… but my knit pants that look like dress slacks are so much more comfortable…

* * *

BB: It’s Friday, so I can wear jeans to work, but it’s work, so I’ll make sure to wear a nice top or at least something with a school logo on it to balance out the informality.

AB: It’s Friday. What’s clean and comfortable?

* * *

Speaking of uncomfortable jeans: After spending two days trying to keep my elastic-waist-style maternity pants from falling down (and wondering if I could find some suspenders somewhere), I decided to dig out my pair of full-panel jeans this morning and give them a shot. I’d shelved them earlier in the pregnancy because¬†they wouldn’t stay up… but it appears that the bump has a sartorial purpose after all. Obviously I haven’t even left the house yet, but so far these are staying up much better.

Baby’s First Snow Day

Last night, Winter Storm Gandolf (yes, spelled with an O, and yes, I’m serious) blew in over the mountains and turned out to be the White Blizzard. We — meaning every teacher in the valley, because seriously, no one loves a snow day like a stressed-out teacher — had been hoping that a miracle would happen and we’d get a snow day, but I don’t think anyone really believed it would happen.

I woke up this morning, checked my email and the local news app on my phone, and saw no closures. I put in my contacts, got dressed, did my hair and makeup… and then got The Text Message. You know the one. The one with awesome news, news so awesome that you wonder for a few minutes if it’s a prank. School was cancelled!

We waited and waited to find out if Ryan’s district would cancel school, but never heard anything. Every district and charter school in the entire valley seemed to have closed for the day, except the two big ones. Ryan was in the shower, and I’d gone out to warm up the car… and then, at the absolute eleventh hour, they cancelled school in his district too. (They waited so late that many teachers, and some kids, were already at school before the cancellation came in!)

Anyway, snow days are rare enough around here that we thought Kermie Lazerbeak Batman (will that fit on a credit card?) and I ought to commemorate the occasion.

snow day 1

snow day 2

snow day 3

(The snow was blowing down the front of my shirt in that last one! Brrrrr!)

Today, or maybe yesterday, depending on which calendar you believe, I hit 25 weeks. It is marginally (ha) difficult to imagine that the countdown clock is all the way down to 15 weeks. In less than four months, KLB will be, like, real. Really here. Wow.

Today was also our January doctor’s appointment. Because of the bad weather, they had several cancellations so we got to go in early in the afternoon instead of the last appointment of the day (our usual time slot because I can’t get out of school very easily). The nurse put me in Exam Room 7 — the one with the ultrasound machine — and because our OB likes playing with his fancy new machine, he decided to take a look even though today was supposed to be one of those ten-minute checkups. KLB still didn’t want to give us a very good look at his face, but we got to watch as he vigorously scratched his nose with his forearm, and that was pretty cool. Then he pulled one arm up as if to shield his face from a bright light, uncurled his fingers, and we got this picture:

klb1

That may not be very easy to interpret, so here it is again with labels:

klb2

See? He has fingers! And nostrils! And lips! Seriously. Wow.

Another thing that we did today was to engage in an epic quest to acquire a crib, because given a day off from work a pregnant lady’s thoughts are bound to turn toward nurseries. But I doubt that we’ll have another snow day tomorrow (here’s hoping, though!) and that’s a long story, so it’ll have to wait for now…