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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Weeks 26 & 27 ~ December 5 - 17, 2005
~ Big Grump

Well, I am getting bigger and bigger, and as I do, I'm becoming more and more of a grump! It strikes me as so funny that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, perceives me as such a cute, adorable little pregnant person, with a big round belly and a happy smile. It couldn't be farther from the truth - I'm becoming a total troll! I'm heavy and cumbersome, I lurch about and make grumpy faces at everyone. They say I've got the pregnant glow, but I think it's more likely the radiant heat coming off my body that they're seeing from all those fun hot flashes I've been having. As for my happy smile, nonsense, I say! They've simply misread the grimace on my face. Only Aaron knows the truth of what a miserable crab I am, and he lives his life tiptoeing across eggshells, trying not to disturb me.

Ultimately, the reason (besides the awful army o' stretch marks) for my swing to the dark side is that, as I get bigger, I'm also starting to become very, very uncomfortable. I had read that as you leave your 2nd trimester, and reach the last few months of pregnancy, you welcome in a whole new world of discomforts - man, they weren't kidding! I know that a big (literally) part of it is the fact that I am sooo huge. When people find out that I still have three months to go, I see their faces freeze in horror because they had all assumed that I was due any second now - I'm that big! I try to laugh it off, and always mention that the women in my family are prone to getting huge quickly, then maintaining it to the end, but still, I worry. The only thing worse than being so heavy and lugging around all this new weight, is being told how enormous you are by every single person that walks by!

Besides my gigantor bulge and the accompanying backaches, slowness, and inability to sit behind my computer and still reach the keyboard without smashing my middle in on the desk, I'm also being greeted full-force by other 3rd trimester trademarks. The shortness of breath I'm occasionally experiencing as Charlie feels free to just move my organs about as he pleases isn't too awful yet. It's very uncomfortable, but then again, what isn't these days? Worse yet is the cramping. They say that you'll experience cramping similar to what you'd expect during your period. Easy peasy, I thought wantonly, not recalling at the time that I've never in my life had a problem with menstrual cramping, so I had no basis of comparison to fall back on. Dear God! Now I know! Now I can finally share in the sisterhood of women with cramps, and understand all those girlfriends of mine who would wallow about with heating pads and bad attitudes while I looked on helplessly. These suckers hurt! The first time it happened, I was literally awaken from my sleep, and went into a panic. I wasn't sure what was happening, but I knew my guts were all cramped up and I didn't know why. To my credit, I didn't panic and ruled out pre-mature labour right away. Braxton Hicks contractions was my assumption, which I know from my research are fairly common, but it was still scary. To top it off, Aaron was out late with some buddies, and I was all alone in the house. The poor guy arrived home after his late night, tired and very ready to crawl into the warm bed with his girl and his baby, only to find me sitting up, holding my midsection, crying, and glaring at him accusingly for not having been there with me to experience this new pregnancy set-back. Resigned to his fate, and accepting of the fact that I'm a total crab, he calmed me down by rubbing my belly for me until he fell asleep. The cramps went away, and I was able to sleep again now that I felt more secure with him being there next to me, just a snuggle away (obviously in case something else happened and I needed someone to complain to!)

Luckily, we had an appointment with our doctor yesterday, so we were able to have all our fears calmed in regards to the cramping. Dr. Abbott explained that, based on my description, he feels I'm having basic cramping very similar to a menstrual cramp. The difference is that my uterus is so stretched out now, I'm feeling it more than I would have when the organ was at normal size. It's common, I'm healthy, it's just another pleasantry that can be brought on by a stressful day, or being on my feet too much, etc. He told me to pay attention to the cramping to make sure they're not changing in intensity, or coming on rhythmically like contractions would, in which case I needed to give him a call, but other than that, not to worry. We asked about my achy back, and he laughed, asking if he could try to guess the point of pain, and he pinpointed the exact spots on either side of the middle of my lower back. Turns out, there's nothing much we can do about that, either! The weight of my belly is putting a strain on my back, again, it's common. Try not to stand for long periods of time, sleep with a pillow between my knees, warm baths. He specifically instructed Aaron that if I'm having a hard day and my back hurts, then he is to immediately take great pity on me and massage my lower back until it's all better. However, cheeky Dr. Abbott DID caution that, if my back was hurting to the point that I needed to lie down and be massaged, Aaron was NOT to turn it into, as he called it, an "ooh baby, ooh baby" sexy massage. Ha!

Everything else checked out just fine at the appointment, the baby is strong and healthy, with a perfect heartbeat. With that news, and after our mock-lecture on therapeutic massage versus sexy massages, we left the doctor's office all grins.

Grins don't last long, however, in the Land of the Grump. They've scheduled me for my gestational diabetes test next week, and I am NOT looking forward to it. I predict that my mood won't be getting any better any time soon!

I've started my physical therapy this past week as well, which means even more discomfort, though at least with this, I know what to expect! After my initial appointment, my therapist was able to determine exactly what has caused my headaches to relapse. Apparently with the whiplash, when my head snapped to the side during the accident, it caused the alignment in my neck to go off center. Now, every time I move my head, nod, look up or down, etc., I'm pulling to the left. I had no idea! I'm scheduled twice a week for the next month, and we're going to try to correct the problem with a combination of chiropractic alignment work, massage, and deep-tissue ultrasounds. As it turned out, I had physical therapy and an OB appointment on the same day this week, so I ended up getting ultrasound gooed twice in one day by two completely different people! Once on my head, and once on my belly! What are the odds?

One nice thing about this week that I actually won't complain about, was Aaron's company Christmas dinner this past Sunday night. Not the world's most exciting evening out, but I did get to meet all of the people he works with. I didn't quite understand at first why he actually wanted to go, as he's never gone before in the five years he's been there, but after a few minutes it became evident: he wanted to show me and my belly off to everyone. He would introduce me to person after person, and then touch my stomach and introduce them to his baby boy. It was the sweetest thing, how everyone would come up to me with something nice to say. "I've seen all your ultrasound pictures!" "Aaron is going to be such a good dad, he's so excited about the baby!" Or my favourite, "You and the baby are the only things he ever talks about!" Who, with even the grinchiest of hearts, could not help to get a little mushy upon hearing that you are the most important thing in your partner's life? Of course, it's not something that I spend a lot of time worrying about, but we're so busy day to day, and see each other so little, that these little reminders always help me to stop, think about where my life is now, and say, "awww." Honestly, I felt so warm and fuzzy that night, it's beginning to look like if Aaron keeps me in free turkey dinners like this one, with a full dessert bar and floods of compliments from everybody, that I could be set on happiness for life!

That could, of course, just be my stomach talking . . .

And speak of the devil, let's end with my stomach today. Craving update! This week has been all about the cheesecake. Oh man, Charlie wants some good cheesecake sooooooo badly! Unfortunately, there isn't a single restaurant or bakery in Greeley that I've found that makes a good, rich, cheesy cheesecake. Still, it's been really fun to shop around . . .

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