In honour of the first half of pregnancy that is now past, here is a little teaser of the bump progression photo series my wife has been taking. This is my crummy editing job – she plans to do something much more artistic with it at the end of the pregnancy.
In the photo: Week 6 – Week 12 – Week 16 – Week 18 – Week 20
Preparations for Baby
- Took our first hypnobirthing class (first of five). It warmed my heart to see how engaged my wife was with the learning. One of the things we discussed in the group was the not-so-great consequences of having your nervous system move into the sympathetic (fight or flight) state during labour. We brainstormed different scenarios that could put us into the sympathetic state, and my big one was medical interventions. In fact, even seeing medical equipment and thinking about having to get an IV puts me there in high anxiety, fight or flight mode. In that autonomic state, your heart rate goes up, oxygen to baby is lowered, and the cervix constricts. The metaphor they used was, if you are 40 weeks pregnant and you encounter a bear on a walk through the woods, your body is not going to prioritize childbirth – it is going to prioritize getting the hell out of there. Hospitals are my bear. My wife now fully understands why trying for a home birth will be better for my mindset, and is 100% behind me on the decision.
- Figured out our diapering method. My wife crunched some numbers to determine our best option for diapering, and when the financials pointed us toward cloth diapering without a service, I started surveying my community for tips and advice on this option. I am putting together a giant information packet with everyone’s advice. We. Love. Data. My wife handles the quantitative (see below a snapshot of her intense excel spreadsheet), and I handle qualitative. Match made in heaven.
Bodily Experiences This Week
- Sleep problems. WTF body & brain… Stressful dreams and sore hips wake me up all night long.
- Losing that pregnant feeling. I look more pregnant by the end of the day than I start out looking in the mornings. Every day. I don’t know if it’s a water retention thing, a full stomach thing, or baby’s position. A couple of times I woke up this week and did not feel pregnant at all… I laid on my back and had such a small bump, it could have easily been a food baby again. I felt “normal”, with no sensation of stretching skin, not hungry or nauseous, no overwhelming need to pee… I don’t like losing the physical sensation of being pregnant. However, by mid morning I tend to feel back to my 5 month pregnant self, but the fluctuation can be a little unsettling to wake up to.
- Movement on the Outside. My wife felt a faint kick on the outside this week, but it wasn’t that exciting because it was so faint. Kind of anti-climactic. I thought she would freak out and feel an instantly stronger bond from the first moment she felt a kick, but it was kind of a dud. She is holding out for when the kicks become really noticeable and unquestionable.
- Movement on the Inside. I feel baby lots throughout the day, but always in the same place – really, really low in my pelvis, below or at my underwear line. This adds fuel to my paranoia that baby is somehow “stuck” in my pelvis.
- Partner’s Bodily Experiences. My wife’s period is a month late. This is VERY unusual for her and we think it’s another effect of my pregnancy hormones in the air confusing her body. Sympathy pregnancy.
Things I miss
I have been so excited to be pregnant that so far I haven’t had time to miss much about not being pregnant. I miss booze when the mood strikes for a beer on the patio or when my wife cracks one of her recent home brews and lets me just wet my palate with a taste, but overall I have been so happy to be going through the experience of pregnancy that I haven’t really longed for anything I can’t have. Until this week. This week I miss everything I could consume and do when I wasn’t pregnant.
- Diet root beer / Dr. Pepper
- Beer… Patio season and yard work are NOT the same without it
- Red wine
- Oysters (and all raw seafood, really)
- Sleeping on my back
- Massages – we read some stuff about vigorous massages from untrained hands being dangerous during pregnancy because of pressure points, so my wife is too afraid to give me anything more than a light back rub. A back grazing, really. Not satisfying when my muscles are so deeply sore. Wish I could afford a real prenatal massage.
Baby This Week:
- Little bug is somewhere between 10.5-11.8″ long, about the size of a papaya.
- Little bug is becoming a chunky monkey, weighing anywhere from 12 to 20oz. That’s right, it could be a hefty 1lb 4oz!
- Little bug can hold its poop. This is a weird developmental tidbit, but apparently the anal sphincter is now fully developed, so no meconium can escape into the womb.
- Anything that the hand encounters is firmly grasped, with a grip strong enough to support all of baby’s body weight.