Monday, August 22, 2011
My belly actually looks quite small in this photograph. Much smaller than it feels or looks in reality! It has continued stretching out to an unbelievable size. I'm amazed at my skin's ability to stretch this much, especially without any stretch marks! (Which I really hope continues to be true.)
This picture does show, however, how swollen my fingers are lately. They look like stumpy little breakfast sausages, and are, at times, painful. Sometimes I wonder if pregnancy is preparing women for the aches and pains of old age. I walk around complaining like an old woman much of the time, about my hands, feet, and back! Needless to say I can't wear my wedding and engagement rings anymore.
Finding clothing that fits is progressively more difficult. Tops that I could never have imagined growing out of are too short now and don't fully cover my belly. I've graduated to shirts and dresses that looks more like tents. When my mother-in-law gave me that pink top a few months back, I scoffed and thought, "No way will I ever need to wear this humongous thing." And here I was in the eighth month, digging furiously through my drawer, trying to find something that was airy and comfortable and which covered my entire stomach, and look what I found...the pink top! I was so relieved when I realized that it fit, I actually had a little lump in my throat.
I've been reading and thoroughly enjoying the book Ina May's Guide To Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin. The numerous birth stories within it are so inspiring, and have me very excited and curious about Rafael's journey into this world.
I began weekly acupuncture sessions last week. I had already attended one group session a few months ago to help with my swollen feet, and on that day I was one of six pregnant women there. So naturally I was surprised to be the only one at last week's session! The midwife who holds these sessions said that there were no other pregnant women at the moment. It was very nice to just be with her, we talked the entire time. The acupuncture itself is a very intense sensation. The needles in the top of the head and the pinky toes aren't bad at all, but the ones in my hands and below my knees are very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the midwife said it will just get more and more intense with each session!
Here's this week's update:
How far along? 36 weeks, 1 day.
Total weight gain: 21 pounds; lost one pound last week.
How big is baby? According to babycenter.com, almost 6 pounds.
Sleep: I sleep relatively soundly, though I have very strange and sometimes disturbing dreams.
Best moment this week: Laying out on the sunny terrace with my husband and the dogs, a soft breeze blowing, the creek trickling by below, Rafael sliding his foot across my tummy. Such a lovely moment.
Movement: He's pretty still all morning, then starts moving a lot around midday.
Food cravings: Not much of an appetite in this heat, and I have to eat very small portions or else I feel sick. Fresh (raw) fruit and vegetables also make me feel sick, which is very hard for me to accept. I mostly eat müsli with nuts, fruit and milk; buttered toast; or croissant with turkey ham and gouda. Another small meal I enjoy is a banana, peanut butter, and a cup of raw milk. What I really crave a lot lately is Cranberry juice. I drink it diluted with water and lots of ice cubes.
Belly button in or out? Flat.
What I miss: Wearing my wedding and engagement rings and, as I've mentioned many times before, being able to move and walk unencumbered.
What I'm looking forward to: We have a check-up at the hospital on Wednesday that I am looking forward to....always great to be reassured that everything is fine.
Milestone: When this week ends, Rafael will be considered 'full term!' Wow....this amazing journey called pregnancy is almost complete!