Here I am at 37 weeks (taken just over a week ago), compared to 36 weeks (on the left) and 38 weeks (on the right) last time around.
I’m pretty sure of two things: my belly is bigger and my boobs are droopier.
It’s time for another comparison – 20 weeks pregnant 2013 versus 20 weeks pregnant 2010.
(These pics are 4 weeks old, but who’s counting, right? This baby is just lucky I’m remembering to do any belly photos at all.)
There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m bigger, earlier, this time around. Part of that is to do with the fact that I started off this pregnancy at the heaviest I’ve ever been (non-pregnant) and part of it is that traditionally women tend to show earlier with second pregnancies – I guess it has something to do with the (lack of) integrity of our abdominal wall 🙂
Whatever the reason, at 13 weeks I’m struggling to fit in to any of my normal clothes. Even relatively loose t-shirts are straining across my belly.
So, in the interests of full disclosure (actually, just to try to convince Kate to do that same) I’m posting comparison pics of my 12 week bellies.
As you can see, I’m just a little larger this time around 🙂
In fact, I look more like I did at 16 weeks.
So c’mon Kate, your turn!
Before you read this post, go back and read my last post. Go on, trust me.
That last post is, in retrospect, ironic. If you follow me on twitter you already know why. If you don’t, it’s because I’m pregnant. Somehow, on roughly CD 196, I got that “surprise post-IF baby” (well, pregnancy anyway, there’s still a long way to go for that take-home baby).
I’d been feeling pretty unwell for a week or two – exhausted, off my food, randomly queasy. And then one day I vomited in the garage because my car smelt funny when I opened the door to get in. That sort of behaviour did not seem normal… but it did seem familiar. It was a tiny, tiny moment that changed my life, because it made me consider a possibility I had, to that point, ignored.
It still took me a few days to test; pregnancy just seemed so damn unlikely. And to be honest, I guess I was scared (I honestly can’t tell you whether I was more scared of getting a positive or negative result, both were terrifying).
Eventually, I did test. My work involves exposure to radiation; not generally enough to be highly harmful to a foetus, but enough that my work practices would need to change significantly if I were pregnant. I was at work one morning, with a long day of radiation-exposure in front of me, and the need to test just became overwhelming. I felt too great a responsibility to this maybe-foetus to put it off any longer. Of course, I didn’t have a test with me, despite working in a hospital I couldn’t find one anywhere at work, and it wasn’t looking likely that I’d get a lunch break in order to duck out to the shops. In the end, my close work friend snuck out of work and bought me one. She was the first person I told, squeezed in a utility closet, not sure whether to laugh or cry and ultimately doing both. It was surreal. Another tiny, life-changing moment.
Pretty quickly, reality set in. I needed to tell H, and was unsure what sort of reception I’d get (he’d stated quite specifically several times over the preceding 6 months that another baby was not something he wanted right now). I needed to tell my work, an equally fraught and complex situation (again, if you follow me on twitter you have probably picked up that my workplace is not the most functional or supportive of environments, a story for a whole other post). I had no idea how many weeks I was and needed to arrange a doctor’s appointment and early ultrasound for dating purposes. I needed to choose a new obstetrician (again, another post, but I knew we weren’t going back to our previous OB). And I needed to do all this within about 12 hours, without yet having a chance to decided how I even felt about this situation.
Bottom line, I was ambivalent. I was surprised, anxious, excited, terrified, stressed, and joyful all at the same time. There were lots of issues to sort out and decisions to make (or at least worry about) before H and I could take time to relax and process this news. I was also angry. Despite what I implied in my last post, this was not the joyful surprise pregnancy I imagined and I felt angry at infertility for taking that experience away from me once again. While it’s true that we have achieved a second pregnancy without any treatments, without the multiple stressors of ART, the reality was that it wasn’t something we intended, and on CD 196 it wasn’t something that should have even been possible. I felt nervous about telling my husband, I felt more anxiety than happiness about this pregnancy. I felt like I couldn’t allow myself to be happy.
The good news is that now, at 13 weeks, it feel like a blessing. It is all the more wondrous for the manner in which it happened. We’re getting our second child (with pretty ideal child-spacing to boot) without even trying.
All the other issues (of which many remain) have faded into relative insignificance. We are so, so lucky.
Still freakin’ nervous.
This afternoon I started getting some uncomfortable tightenings in my belly. When I felt my tummy it certainly felt firm during the tightenings, and I (finally) diagnosed myself with Braxton Hicks contractions. Even though I know this might not indicate that labour is near, I started to get excited (and H started to get nervous!).
But as soon as I posted on Twitter that something might be happening…. nothing. The contractions – if that’s what they were – stopped. Jinxed.
I had my OB appointment yesterday – and still no news to share. The baby seems to be growing exponentially, and I must admit that I am a little concerned about how big this bub will be if I go over my due date. I really don’t want this 4 Kg baby to become a 4.5 Kg baby! I’m sure that is all thanks to my 6 foot 7 inch husband. However, the doc seems to think that the baby is in proportion to my height and is doesn’t think it should be an issue getting Bert out the old-fashioned way.
I asked the doc whether he thought labour was still far away because I’m not having any significant contractions and haven’t had a show but he feels that it’s totally irrelevant. It could be today, it could be in two weeks (gasp). At most it’s 13 days away because if I haven’t gone into labour by 10 days post dates he will induce me (or earlier if my blood pressure gets high, the baby gets too big, or the placenta isn’t working optimally). Thirteen days seems like a lifetime and I’m really hoping for a natural labour sometime in the next week – but we’ll all just have to wait and see. Ideally, like most women, I’m keen to avoid induction if possible. My mother had two children, both inductions, both of which became c-sections. Here’s hoping that history does not repeat!
We had our 38 week check up today and everything is going well. The doc didn’t do an internal examination so I still have no idea if I’m dilated at all which is a little bit frustrating for someone like me who likes to be fully armed with information at all times. I’m being philosophical about being in the dark though because I know that having that information would not actually make it any easier to predict when Bert will arrive. As H says, he’ll come when he’s ready.
The plan is to switch all the bedroom furniture around tomorrow which means that on Thursday I’ll be able to finish setting up the nursery. Our doc isn’t on call over this coming weekend, so unless Bert chooses to arrive Friday, I’m hoping he’ll hold off until Monday! I have a feeling that he’s pretty content in there and won’t be making an appearance before his due date on the 30th. The silver lining of that is that our doc is on call the weekend I’m actually due, so if I go into labour any time between 5 days before and 6 days after my due date I’m fairly certain to get my own doctor for the delivery.