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Empi's Pregnancy Journal

Week 28
~ Clock strikes "third trimester" & I turn into a pumpkin

I haven't been keeping up with the "usual" baby developments on a weekly basis for a while now (in the beginning, it was, "Guess what, hon, this is the week the neurons start generating!"), but I just took a quick look and yeesh, 15 inches of baby seems like a lot to be packing in there. I suppose there must be some kind of baby origami involved, and it certainly explains why there seem to be so many baby "corners" that are poking out with more and more force every which way. If I didn't have the ultrasound to prove otherwise, I would've sworn I was carrying twins, I'm getting kicked and karate chopped so often. On the other hand, supposedly it's only two pounds of kid riding around in my belly, which is hard for me to believe - that's the equivalent of only eight quarter pounders, while my estimate would've put it more along the lines of a midsize turkey.

Empi - 28 weeksIn my mind, I went from where-is-my-belly-nothing-is-happening to oh-my-goodness-I-am-bigger-than-a-Mack-truck in a matter of days. Even just last week I was still having some episodes when I would get up in the middle of the night and only suddenly realize halfway to the bathroom, "Oh, that's right, I'm pregnant." Looking back at photos from the previous few weeks, though, in reality it hasn't been a drastic change at all; in fact, my belly growth has actually been pretty steady. The sudden difference, I realize, is in how I feel.

Compared to only three weeks ago back in Connecticut, when I felt spry enough to climb out onto the roof with the leaf blower to clean out the gutters (my folks, who were visiting, wisely wouldn't let me), today I feel like an old, overweight, out-of-shape lady. I had tried to have a "normal" day, taking Mik's visiting cousins from Finland out to breakfast, and then was intending to run some errands and do some grocery shopping afterwards. Even with a 20-minute rest in the fanciest hotel lobby in town (at least I was in the right neighborhood), I didn't make it past errand #1. I barely did what I had to do then staggered home, out of breath, my back aching, and (here's a new one) the front of my pelvic bones in fairly serious pain. I came home and looked it up, and confirmed by a call to the midwife at my doctor's office, it sounds like there's probably not much that can be done about pelvic bone pain except to have the baby. And we still have three months of growing to do!

And that isn't the only pregnancy whine I have this week: Week 28 has also brought indigestion and heartburn, more frequent dizziness, and nightmares. Our first night back in Beijing, I woke up in absolute screaming terror and couldn't stop crying hysterically even after I'd woken up and realized it was just a dream. I had never felt such deep sadness and terror in my life, and I still wonder how my subconscious managed to piece together a scene of such horror. Since then, I've had a couple of slightly less-disturbing dreams, which are more of the "standard" pregnancy anxiety variety (e.g., giving birth prematurely at home and not finding a taxi to take us to the hospital; the baby falling out of me while sailing and having to dive into the ocean to rescue it; giving birth to a baby who was instantly walking and talking). I suppose I've had such an emotionally mellow, anxiety-free pregnancy so far, that my subconscious demons have just been looking for an outlet for months.

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I have to wonder how much of what I'm suddenly experiencing this week is being influenced by some sort of subliminal biofeedback. I mean, having heard over and over that the second trimester is the easiest and most comfortable time of pregnancy, it is rather curious that the aches, pains, and insomnia are clocking in precisely at the beginning of my third trimester. Come to think of it, the end of my nausea also pretty much coincided exactly with the calendar end of the first trimester. Could I really be so impressionable, or is it just that my pregnancy is so average? It could easily be the former: I'm the same girl who gets headaches if I don't have a shower by 2 pm because my mom used to tell me that without a morning shower, heat builds up in your head as the day goes on. For at least the past 15 years, I've known that this isn't actually the case, and yet, if I don't have a shower by mid-afternoon...

In other news:

- Weight gain: no idea (still no scale at home), but when I was weighed at the check-in counter (horrifyingly public!) for the flight on the 15-seater to Palawan, it looked like it was in the neighborhood of 20 lbs. Remains to be seen when the effects of my vacation eating will kick in.

- Belly button watch: almost flush with my belly, and my belly button turns out not to be one of my most, ah, attractive features. Let's just say it was meant to be an innie.

Mik- Sunburn: flaking off nicely, thanks. Didn't get the dreaded "mask of pregnancy" but linea nigra, freckles, and raccoon tan (from wearing sunglasses) in full force.

- Childbirth prep class: haven't signed up yet, should probably look into it.

- Prenatal yoga class: looked forward to it all week, then forgot to go. Doh!

And for the photo of the week: Mik and I had fun opening the giant box of baby goodies (which came with me from CT through Hong Kong to Manila then to Beijing). My-husband-the-cliche didn't think he needed to read any of the user manuals, so it took him a couple of tries to get all the buckles and snaps going to the correct places, and Crash Test Puppy got dropped on his head a few times.

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