Week 23 is upon us.
During this week, I enter the sixth month of pregnancy. I’m moving along pretty fast, eh? There’s only a few more months left until our little boy champion arrives. I’d call him little boy genius but….we have reason to believe that our combined genetic weaknesses in certain school subjects (I was not good at everything Chris was good at) will produce a little boy with average grades.
C’s get degrees, little man, C’s get degrees.
Every week I look through What To Expect When Expecting. You know that you are getting toward the end of pregnancy when the list of symptoms you might be experiencing has been the same for the past month and will be the same for the next few months. According to the book, I may be experiencing:
Constipation, heartburn, nasal congestion, hearty appetite, itchy abdomen, protruding navel, stretch marks, enlarged breasts, continued absentmindedness, achiness in the lower abdomen, definite fetal activity, anxiety about the future and some boredom with the pregnancy.
Check, check, check on all of that.
What the list didn’t mention was the trouble sleeping. Maybe this is nature’s way of preparing you for many sleepless nights ahead. But every night I wake up at some point, to use the bathroom, and then can’t get back to sleep. I don’t wake up tired – this is something I’ve noticed in pregnancy. Even though you aren’t sleeping well, I don’t wake up with the same so tired I cannot function feeling that I would pre-pregnancy.
The other day I was getting frustrated because I still haven’t felt much activity from the little dude. There’s a lot of stuff going on in your lower abdomen throughout all of pregnancy. Sometimes it’s growing pains, other times it’s gas. They say you can feel fetal activity any time between weeks 13 and 25. Second-time pregnant women are likely to have looser uterine muscles and recognize the feelings sooner. First-timers – probably just write it off as…gas.
I was working on Monday, sipping some decaf (some days I drink it, other days I don’t) and listening to music. I turned on some music. I like my music loud. Somewhere in the middle of writing swim workouts and planning out weeks, I felt all this stuff in my stomach. It was like a series of little flutters and pulses. Like the feeling you get when your heart palpitates. I thought to myself WHAT madness is going on down there! What did I eat? But then I put my hand on my stomach and it felt like a heart beating out the side of it. Maybe it was a foot or a fist but something just moved my hand!
This can only mean one thing. He likes music. Loud. And, like Chris keeps saying, he will probably be totally uninterested in sports and follow his uncle’s footsteps in starting a rock band.
Workouts have been going mostly well. But I will say that it takes me at least 20 to 30 minutes to warm up and feel normal. I have to laugh – isn’t there some guideline that says you only need to exercise a few times a week for 30 minutes at a time? No wonder people hate exercise – they’re missing out on the good part!
I’ve been swimming 3 to 4 times a week with Saturday being my monster swim day. The only reason I get up at 7:30 am on Saturday to swim is because Chris and I go for bagels after the swim. I actually have to remind myself several times – you’re only in it for the bagel. Not that I don’t like swimming, but it’s Saturday morning and I swim on the wall. Yes, I’ve officially entered life in the slow lane. Last week I had people fighting to swim in the lane with me, throwing out all kinds of excuses (I don’t feel well today, I lifted yesterday). And to think, I was just pregnant. In the end, I was only joined by Simon, whose casual indifference to the structure of the workout and any prescribed interval was just what I needed. I don’t like to go against the authority of the white board but at this point, I’m just happy that I’m awake and swimming.
But only for the bagel afterwards.
As much as being pregnant can be an inconvenience, I’ve learned that you can also use it to your advantage. On Monday, we went to the pool only to find it double-stacked in every lane except for one. After waiting around for 15 minutes, Chris told me to save myself, to approach the woman in the first lane and ask her to share.
No one is going to say no to a pregnant woman.
As I started walking over there, he added:
Make sure you stand so she can see your profile.
I've been running 3 to 4 times a week, too. Some days I think to myself this is going to be my last run. Such was Thursday. I hopped on the treadmill for 5 minutes and it felt like ass. I decided to head to the gym to ellipticize instead. Torture. Within 5 minutes I was so hot that I had to pull up my shirt and reveal the giant globe I am carrying around. My apologies to anyone around me. I lasted 30 minutes. I couldn’t take it anymore – my feet were numb. I went upstairs to finish a shuffle on the indoor track and can honestly say I have never run that slow. But at least I was running!
But then Sunday, I hopped on the treadmill and found myself many miles later at the end of a run. A run that finished at a pace that was faster than I’ve run since week 12. It made absolutely no sense but it reminded me of why I love to run and will continue doing it – in whatever speed, shape or form I can – for as long as I can. For one hour I forgot I was pregnant. For one hour I forgot I had to work to do. For one hour I forgot that I was 17 pounds heavier. For one hour I felt like “me”.
The other day I made my first attempt to go maternity clothes shopping. I can’t say it was a success. So far I own one pair of maternity pants. I have not worn them yet. I’m holding out! It’s like knowing you can go one more mile or 5 more minutes in a run. I CAN DO THIS! I can still wear button jeans but it depends on how long I am sitting. Sometimes they get unbuttoned. And sometimes I fear that I will forget, stand up and my pants will fall right off.
Chris and I were walking out of the gym recently when he asked if I had registered for the hospital yet. You bet. A few months ago. I’ve already gotten a letter from insurance informing me that I have two days to crank that kid out or else I’m picking up the tab. Something like that. And then, with a moment of I’m never sure if he’s really serious or not but then again this is Chris so chances are he was dead serious, he asked me:
So, are you going to want me to stay at the hospital with you when you have the baby?
No. No, really, it’s ok. I’ll just give you a call when he’s about ready to come out. Ok?
I really don’t want to sleep on a couch.
Well then, we’re even. Because I really don’t want to feel what can only be described as fire in the hole from THAT hole for possibly 48+ hours.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, your husband speaks.
Later on he offered to go buy me some dessert. Good call, husband. Two peanut butter cups later is the currency of an apology I can understand. I’ll pretend like I never heard that.