Tag Archives: pregnancy

Feeling blue

I sat down to work this morning, at the swivel desk chair I have at the dining room table. After a while, I looked down at my feet, and realized they were blue.

I was confused, as we just got a new blue rug, and it could very well have been blue ink. Indeed, it was not. My feet weren’t icy cold, but they had a dark blue tinge to them. When I massaged them, they went back to pink.

Jason said he thought he recalled reading something about this, then quietly sat on the couch with his iPhone until he had some more information. (Side note: he could be playing sudoku, or checking work email, so I don’t really think about what he’s doing with his phone out. It’s a nice surprise when he’s looking up something I’ve just wondered aloud about.)

Turns out, my giant midsection weighs heavily on my pelvis and legs when I’m sitting, and restricts blood flow. Since my whole job revolves around sitting, this may present a problem.

I’m going to make myself get up and walk around more, which should help. I can also prop my feet up while I’m working.

Finally, another late-term symptom! I was starting to feel guilty for not having more uncomfortable symptoms. At this point, I’d also take heartburn and sleeplessness. I’m hoping to dodge the stretch marks, though.

Big foots

Not much about my body has changed in the past few weeks (of course, my belly has gotten bigger, by a centimeter or two every week, but at this point it’s the opposite of a drop in the bucket). Here’s what I’ve noticed:

*Now that the temperature is reaching summer levels, I’m noticing how warm I am. Some of this happens every year, as spring moves to summer and I have to recalculate what “comfortable” is. After walking home from Harvard Square on Sunday, though, it took me a good 45 minutes to cool down. Usually it takes me about 10.

*My feet are puffy. I’d been noticing that my socks were leaving marks on my legs (indicating that they were affecting fluid), so now that I’m barefoot most of the time, I’m seeing my ankle bones recede and my toes plump up.

That’s it. That’s my list of complaints. I’m pretty sure I’m in some sort of minor percentile of pregnant women who are still sleeping well, without heartburn, baby feet kicking into ribs, surprise peeing, etc.

Maybe I should do this professionally?

Tech jargon and squishy bits

TMI (too much information) warning for this post.

The latest development with The Soybean is that she’s now so big, and so active, that when she moves around she hits my cervix. I think of this as “pinging my cervix”*. To ping is a computer term. In Facebook parlance, it’s like “to poke”. It’s sending a message to someone without saying anything.

The term has become part of my daily language. I ping my coworkers via instant messenger to see if they’re available before launching into the question I have. I’ll ping my friend Kelly when I’m ready to meet her for lunch, so she knows to meet me on the corner.

The way the word sounds also fits the feeling I’m having. The baby is just saying “hey, are you still there?”, probably wondering when she can come out and play. As my (very pregnant) friend Mary described herself, I too no longer have a round belly. It’s getting corners.

For those of you who’ve had a Pap smear, it’s similar to when they swab your cervix. It doesn’t last long, but you definitely notice it. PING!

I keep wondering how much assault my cervix can take before it gives up. I have three weeks till my due date, but the way she’s squirming, I think the Soybean is going to throw herself out of me. That, or it’s going to be a very long three weeks.

Then again, I should be grateful that she isn’t pinging my bladder. I hear that generally results in an underwear change.

*I think Kelly actually used this term first. Since she had a 10+ lb. baby, you can imagine all the pinging.

MUCH more belly

It’s been a while, and because of the pace of visible growth, you’re going to be able to tell. What I find interesting is the change to my posture.

7 weeks13 Weeks
18 weeks22 weeks31 Weeks, side view
(That’s 7, 14, 18, 22 and 31 weeks.)

I’ve also been taking pictures of what it looks like when I tighten my stomach muscles.
31 Weeks, sucking in
I should have nicknamed the fetus “The Six Pack”.

3 of 3 (welcome to the third trimester, here, have a donut)

Thursday marks the rollover date for The Soybean. It’s kind of like an estimated birthday, or reverse-birthday, since the actual birth day hasn’t arrived yet. Conception day sounds too creepy. Conceptión Day sounds better.


Yesterday marked the 28th week of my beknocked uppedness. I was always irritated by people who spoke of their pregnancy (or children’s ages) in terms of weeks, because it meant I had to divide by four to get a number that was meaningful to me. Much like how much a salary is, or how much a house costs, my ability to understand the numbers is something that came with age. 28 weeks = seven months, which would then mean that I have two months to go (8 weeks), but in reality, human gestation is a bit longer than that (40 weeks total), so I actually have 12 weeks to go.*

So what does this mean? The Soybean is over two pounds now, and if she were born now, she’d fare … ok. My plan is to keep her in for another 12 weeks.

What does this mean for me? Month 5.5-6.5 was kind of crappy, body-wise. I really couldn’t sleep in any position other than my sides, and I started getting back aches when standing or sitting for too long. This meant I was uncomfortable no matter where I was. I also was waking up a lot at night, unable to fall asleep. That may be par for some of your courses, but not me. I’m a good sleeper, and I want to get as much of it as I can NOW.

I thought (and even admitted to Jason) that if this is how crappy it is now, there’s no WAY I was going to be comfortable again for the next 3.5 months.

Starting mid-way through month six, I started being able to sleep better, and my back stopped hurting. I recognize that it’s not that much to complain about, since I’m bringing some effing life into the world in exchange.

What I’ve learned is that there’s a fine line between feeling like myself, and feeling like an incubator. When I’m not achey, when I can sleep at night, when I can wear jeans and a hoodie, I feel like myself. (I recently acquired maternity jeans and a maternity hoodie — my standard uniform, expanded.) If I’m uncomfortable, I feel so radically different, it’s surprising. It’s not like when I’m sick, even really sick. Maybe it’s knowing I’m not just outpacing a cold, I’m running the equivalent to a marathon, and it’s nowhere close to over yet.

*I’ll save all irritation at the whole gestation length being off by 2 weeks, because doctors count from your last period, instead of when you actually got pregnant, but whatever. It’s a joyous occasion, and I can’t get my panties in a bunch anyway. They’re stretched too tight.

It’s a … (the pink/blue post).

Avert your eyes now, if you don’t want to know the sex of The Soybean.

When we had an ultrasound, we were given the choice to know the baby’s sex*. We opted to find out. The ultrasound technician must have figured out a long time ago how to best handle this event, because she told us before she put the wand down on my belly that she’d be doing all the measuring, counting and observing she needed to do for the doctor, then she’d try to check the baby’s sex.

She plunked the wand down, and on the monitor, we saw a baby. Specifically, we saw the crotch of a baby. The Soybean was ass-up, legs splayed. The technician said “Well, usually we wait, but it’s obviously a girl.”

I looked over at Jason, and saw the most amazing thing. I could see his expression change, and I could hear the thought in his head (which was the same thing that was occurring to me), which was to say “I don’t have a baby, I have a daughter“.

It was a brief, subtle moment, but I will never forget it.

*Jason pointed out that we won’t know the baby’s gender until they’re old enough to tell us.

Getting scratched with colored pencils

One of the common things that happen to pregnant women (I prefer not to use the term ‘symptom’) is that the round ligaments that you never knew you had will protest as they stretch to cover the increasing distance between their points A and B.

I read that it’s usually a low groin or thigh ache. For a few months (mos. 3-5) I had a really strange sensation just to the left of my belly button. It felt exactly like a beam of sunburn the size of a quarter was being aimed at my belly. (Or, the sensation of being tattooed.) It recently went away.

Now, mirrored on the other side, but still way up high next to my belly button (which is way up high, far from where it lived before), I occasionally get the sensation that someone is poking me gently with a colored pencil.

Strange, that I so specifically recognize the feeling as a colored pencil. There must be something about the sensation that matches some childhood memory of the feeling of sharp colored pencils against the skin.


The nesting has begun, in the form of wanting to blow $15 to get 5-10 mamazines. The ‘mamazine’ genre is a zine written about pregnancy, birth, or kiddos.

Despite knowing the genre name for years, I was surprised to not find a good bibliography of mamazines out there. So, I did what any self-respecting librarian would do – I first consulted Jenna Freedman, then I started a bibliography.

It’s going to need some work, and I will eventually post what I put together to a more public space, namely zinelibraries.info.

I plan on buying a bunch of these, so if anyone wants to borrow them, let me know!

You’re only pregnant if you’re knitting booties

So, because I had done the research and data collection to know when I was ovulating, I started peeing on sticks mere days after, uh, conception. (Talking about sex in general is easy for me – talking about a specific instance is somehow embarrassing. Funny.)

My friend Dr. Kim explained that she bought just the replacement sticks, online, because they’re super cheap. She even gave me her leftovers, after she made her own bundle of joy (baby photos here). I bought more, from the same place (early-pregnancy-tests.com, although the site seems to be down) since they were so super cheap.*

Having cheap and plentiful pregnancy tests meant I could test obsessively. I tried my best not to. I learned that the test looks for a hormone that is produced after the fertilized egg attaches to your uterus (before that, it’s there, but free floating), which can take a while. I kept the stick peeing to a minimum, maybe once every two days.

I now know that the first sign of pregnancy I had was sore breasts, which is unfortunately also a sign of oncoming menstruation. So, totally unhelpful.

The first not-normal thing that I noticed to me was the crazy-intense cramping I started having. Usually at night, only on my left side, it was a stabbing pain low in my abdomen that would last about 10 minutes at a time and occur maybe four times a day. As someone who’s never really had bad cramps, I assumed this was not normal. I gave it a couple of days, but on the third night, when a bout lasted a half hour, I woke Jason up sobbing “this is not OK, I want to go to the doctor tomorrow”. He was alarmed, probably due to the waking-up-to-your-wife-sobbing-at-you factor, and agreed readily.

In the morning, I called my doctor. (I love my doctor, by the way. If you live in the greater Boston area, she’s Dr. Nancy Akbari.) She wondered if it was “GI related”, which I mentally translated as “fart related”, because it was lower abdomen, on the left side. I assured her that it was unrelated to gas. I told her that I was maybe, possibly pregnant, and she decided I should come in. Lower abdomen pain on one side can mean ectopic pregnancy, which is dangerous. (She was doubtful of this too, because you start getting the pain from an ectopic pregnancy later than I thought I was pregnant, but didn’t want to chance it.) I peed on a stick before I left, hoping that a positive test would mean there wasn’t something wrong with me. No luck.

I went in to the office. She said that they’d do a pregnancy pee test. If it was positive, it was probably just normal pregnancy pain. If it was negative, they’d do a pregnancy blood test, just to make sure. If both were negative, then she’s start to worry about ovarian cysts and such.

So, what I learned that day is the pregnancy test they have at my doctor’s office is more sensitive than the ones I was peeing on at home. It’s funny to say, because it’s so clichéd, but I made the nurse repeat herself when she said it was positive.

Then I had an immediate adrenaline rush. I felt my face flush red, a rarity. So, that was that. Nothing was wrong, I was just pregnantohmygod.

It was a gorgeous day, and as I walked back to the train station, I called both my parents at work. I’m not a very good secret keeper, and I was just too excited, overjoyed, and full of adrenaline to not share. My mom made an eeeeeeeee noise. It was very cute.

Long before, Jason had joked that the only way he wanted to know if I was ever pregnant was to come home to find me knitting booties. As I couldn’t wait until he came home (six hours is a long time when you made a baby with someone), I once again turned to technology. I sat down in front of my MacBook Pro, and shot a quick video of me slowly turning around in my chair, to reveal a baby booty on needles. I sent it to his email, with a subject like OMG OPEN THIS RIGHT NOW.

So, that’s how I discovered I was pregnant. The stabby thing happened once or twice more, then went away for good.

Next, I’ll tell you all about pregnancy nausea, otherwise known as “morning sickness”, but should be known as “all day sickness”.

*I still have some pregnancy sticks. If anyone wants them, email me.