Blob and I discussed important things this past weekend (e.g., like who we might want to be guardians for this little person). In keeping with his systematic approach to life, Rob referred to him/her as a "project" that would need to be taken on if something bad were to happen to both of us. This reference was highly amusing to me, so until we meet and name the incubated, I'll refer to him/her as the project.
I've been extremely lucky with this pregnancy so far, but thought I should document the little things somewhere and share some of the milestones I've found interesting along the way.
Stages of Project Development:
- Mittelschmerz. In German, this means "middle pain". In medical language, it's referred to as painful ovulation. It lasted ~5 days. I'd never had it before. While it's usually a sign of irritation during ovulation, it may also be felt upon successful fertilization. Apparently, I could feel the zygote traveling down the fallopian tube. This was probably the single most unexpected, weird and fascinating thing about this whole process for me so far.
- Pillow Lust. I don't think I've ever been as tired as I was in the first two months of pregnancy. So tired for weeks 3 to 8 (as most of you probably know, since the gestational age counter starts at the last menstrual period, I wasn't actually pregnant during week1 and 2). The sleepiness quickly went away.
- Baby Brain. Yes, I think this is a real thing. No, it's not debilitating. At 6 weeks, I took the only test of the hardest methods class for my program and passed. At 15 weeks, I took the preliminary qualifying exam for my doctoral program and passed. Lots of people do this. Don't let this scare you away from having kids while in graduate school or chasing your career! Just make lists and use your calendar so you don't lose track of things.
- Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night Sickness. While I was mildly nauseous on a daily basis and at different times of the day until week 17 or so, I've been lucky and haven't actually been sick. I'm extremely grateful for that.
- Baby Olympics. Activities began around week 16.5 and were in full effect by week 20. Apparently kids start to move around in utero around 7 to 8 weeks and women can feel movement between 16 and 22 weeks. I could feel ours on what seemed to be the early side, but before you start thinking we have a future Olympian on our hands, based on the early measurements I think we're a week or so ahead of the "official" schedule.
- Floating upside down in urine. Yes, I know it's better to incubate people-to-be for the full term, but I really would like to rescue him/her from floating around on his/her head in a mixture of amniotic fluid and urine. And yes, I know infant urine is mainly nothing, but still....
- I'll scratch your eye out. My finger and toenails are growing like crazy. This seems to be a result of the winning combination of prenatal vitamins and a good growing environment. I have to cut them on a weekly basis.
- Rubber feet. As a side effect of pregnancy, ligaments become loose. Not just in proximity to the uterus, but everywhere. So, my feet have finally failed me. Well, I may have failed them. Not knowing how loose these ligaments would get, I did a lot of walking in Seattle. I had supportive shoes, but not the super-supportive inserts that I could have worn. So I've discovered a lovely condition called metatarsalgia. It's an inflammation of the metatarsal area of the foot (the balls of your feet). Don't worry, it's just mildly inconvenient. It's easily treatable and not really painful in the grand scheme of things.
- Cravings. I haven't really had any. Although, I have adopted the mantra that there is no such thing as too much ice cream, but I'm sure it's unrelated.
- Elastic waistbands. I switched from regular clothes sometime between 16-18 weeks and haven't looked back. Thankfully most of my dresses still fit and will for quite a while. As weird as they look, I think they are fabulous!
- Weight gain. We don't own a scale, but at the last appointment (week 22), I had gained about 15 pounds. If I were to guess, I'm probably up to 18 now (at 25 weeks). For people with a normal BMI, the recommended weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds, so looks like I'm on track.
- Activity. I don't sit still very well, so I was a bit worried about what type of activities I'd be able to maintain. The official advice is that you can and should be able to continue doing low impact and low risk things that you were doing before pregnancy. Walking, fine. Running, fine. Swimming, fine. Climbing, not fine. Mountain biking, not fine. I miss trail riding a lot! Much more than I thought I would (even more than beer!). It's just temporary.
- The waddle. I have a friend who is a very astute observer of human anatomy. She's interested in people's build and how their bodies change. Pregnancy is good for this and in conjunction with some research she's done, she is pretty good at identifying the progress of a pregnant woman. She was telling me about which things help her estimate timing. Naively, I turned to her and asked: "when will I get the waddle?". Her amused and surprised response: "oh honey, you already have it!". Hmmm. Apparently not always, but as she was behind me for most of our hike through Olympic Park, she probably has enough evidence to convict me.
For those of you still here, thanks for sticking it out. I mainly just wanted to record all of the things I remember and found interesting throughout this process so far before I forget. Hope you don't mind the overshare!