Great Expectations: Elizabeth @ 33 Weeks

Elizabeth at 33 weeks.jpgThis week's post is going to be a hodgepodge of topics because I'm not feeling clever enough to tie them together into a theme other than "Whoa all of a sudden I'm super pregnant."

I am starting to adjust to the reality of dressing my larger body. I took being small for granted for so long, and it's also been relatively warm here in Northern California, so I haven't really had to adjust anything in my wardrobe. Now, every morning I'm confronted with cold weather that eliminates all my loose-fitting dresses, and a suddenly large belly that defies my legging options. It's hard to find clothes that fit, are comfortable, and don't make me feel like I'm on display for all the world to see. It doesn't help that I've always had large breasts and they're only exaggerated now. I do have a great pair of maternity jeans that my mom bought for me, but wearing them seven days a week has not proven feasible. We don't have any maternity stores in my small town, so I see a trip to the nearest mall in my near future. In the meantime I admit I have started exploring Carson's wardrobe for comfortable options.

I still feel relatively normal, so it's shocking to see pictures or my reflection in a mirror. I did have to get Carson's help to take off a pair of pants a few days ago, and getting into and out of his truck has started to involve a lot of "oof" noises. Come to think of it, any time I have to stand up from a low-ish position it's accompanied by an "oof" or two. I am happy to report, however, that I'm killing it at squats and can still go up and down with relative ease. Squatting is the one thing my doula friend told me I had to do - other than prenatal yoga which is off the table because I can't deal with the teacher - so I'm trying hard to comply.

Some days I'm really tired and others I'm full of energy. We threw a party over the weekend and I was firing on all cylinders until suddenly... I wasn't. My abdominal muscles started aching from being on my feet for so long and I couldn't drink enough water to satisfy the thirst I had ignored for hours. Lesson learned: take it easy, Elizabeth. This will be good to remember at our Christmas party in a month, at which point I will be that much closer to my January 10 due date. Maybe I'll make the party's theme "Less is More." Alternately, "A Christmas Waddle."

Nighttime has been an evolving process. I've only gotten a few Charley horses, but restless legs (also hilariously called "Jimmy legs") have been a regular disruption. I find that two things help: getting some exercise (i.e. taking the dog on a slow walk) and also drinking a tablespoon of liquid calcium/magnesium right before bed. Both of these things alleviate but don't eliminate the restlessness. When it's really bad I wake Carson up and ask him to rub my calves, which helps a lot. I've also gone through several iterations of how to get comfortable. I ordered a massive body pillow months ago, but realized it was actually interfering with my sleep because it was so hard to turn over and take it with me, and it was also taking up a ton of space in our bed. I switched to just a normal pillow between my legs but, interestingly enough, that seemed to make the Jimmy legs worse (the pillow did help with the sciatica, but I'll take an aching butt over restless legs any day). All this time I've also been dealing with being awake a lot and not wanting to disturb Carson, which makes it even harder to go back to sleep. He insists he'd rather have me in the bed keeping him awake than me sleeping in the guest room, so my current solution is separate blankets. I have a big feather comforter that I can wrap my legs around and toss and turn in without stealing his covers. The last few nights I've slept pretty well so it seems to be working. Mae is still chugging along, measuring 32 cm at 32 weeks. My midwife called her a "little rascal" because every time she tried to determine her position, Mae swam away. Apparently there's still enough room in there to somersault and she hasn't committed to a head-down position yet. You do you, girl! So far no one but Carson has felt her move, because any time anyone puts a hand on my belly she stops moving immediately. I can't tell if she refuses to perform on cue or is just really shy.

The recent super moon had quite the effect on pregnant ladies. My birth center had three women deliver that week, two of whom were only at 37 weeks, and I got my first Braxton-Hicks contractions that night - and none since! Oh, gravity, you powerful beast you.

I'm really looking forward to a low-key Thanksgiving in which my mother-in-law prepares nearly everything (I offered!!) and I sit like a sack of potatoes on the couch watching football. The rest of the holiday weekend Carson and I have committed to dealing with the nursery; right now it looks like a burgeoning hoarder's secret shame room. Wish us luck, and a very happy Thanksgiving to all!

Photo caption: I asked the photographer for an advance image from my recent maternity shoot to share on the blog this week. Is it just the angle, or have I literally doubled in size in the last two weeks??
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