First things first: I’m REALLY sorry for that title. Really.

A little backstory: I was released from the hospital 5 days after FSR was born (more back story: the baby’s nickname is Flopsy Space Rocket aka FSR). I had a very difficult recovery in part because of the loooong labor before the cesarean. After returning home, I had complications with my incision. It appeared to be healing beautifully from the outside, but there was a large, painful lump on the right side. A couple of days after we got home, the reason for that large, painful lump made itself known when my incision opened and started draining blood and pus. We went back to Labor & Delivery where they opened the incision back up to allow the abscess underneath to drain. Lump and pain, gone! Unfortunately it wasn’t as simple as that though – that was the beginning of irrigating and packing my wound with gauze tape two times a day, and returning to the hospital one to three times a week. The hospital visits continued until 2 weeks ago and I am still irrigating and packing two times a day.

I had my postpartum check-up yesterday at just over 7 weeks postpartum. Those of you familiar with the postpartum checkup know that it’s supposed to be done at 6 weeks. When you’re returning to the hospital anywhere from one to three times a week, they’re not really sticklers for you doing that checkup on time. Ha.

I was looking forward to this visit. This is the Big One. It’s when you get released for normal people stuff like sex, exercise, and lifting more than ten pounds. It’s when they say, “Ok! Go back to work! Go live life! Be normal!” Since I seem to excel at doing everything the hard way, I have four more weeks of disability and only lifting ten pounds. Four. More. Weeks. I’m only cleared for sex and “normal daily activity” but not work. The sex part is out though, as I still have a hole in my abdomen leaking blood and other fluids. Yeah, no. No sex.

I was also diagnosed with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or SPD. SPD is fancy-talk that means my pelvis and hips are all loose and janky and moving about in bad ways resulting in instability and misalignment of my pubic bone, hips, lower back, and SI joints. Sometimes it feels like things are floating around and getting ready to pop out of place. Sometimes my pubic bone feels like it’s grinding together at the pubic symphysis. On a normal day, my back hurts so much that it spasms. On an active day, I get so sore that it takes me days to recover. The first day that I pushed myself, I had to waddle/limp out of Target. Getting up hurts. Sitting down hurts. Walking upstairs hurts. When I lay on my side, it feels like my bones are moving. Basically, life kind of sucks now when it requires movement…and my very particular baby really likes when I move. End result: my back is always tight and sometimes spasming, my pelvis feels like it’s being pried apart by a crowbar, and my sacrum and coccyx feel permanently and deeply bruised.

Instead of making room for the treadmill and re-inflating my reflex bag, I’m shopping for a brace to relieve my pelvic girdle pain. The SPD pain has been going on for awhile. It seems to be getting worse as I get more active, so I’m trying to slow down again. Friends, this is a large part of why I’ve been turning down invitations lately or why I’ve been wishy-washy about doing things. I want to do things. I feel bad saying no, because I don’t want to say no and because I feel like my friends are starting to get frustrated and impatient with me. I want to feel like a normal person again and take time away from my family to be with my friends. I want to take my baby to the park for walks and picnics and fresh air. I can’t though, because it hurts really bad and it sets me back too much.

I’m also still anemic, though not nearly as anemic as I was. I have elevated something or other, too – something dealing with liver function – so now I have to follow up with my primary care doctor for a physical and more labs.

My vagina, on the other hand, seems to be made of rainbows and magic. It tore while I was pushing but the doctor said that it healed so well that you’d never know the baby almost came out of there. So, hooray to my vagina I guess? If only the rest of me healed that well!

So, yeah. That’s where things are right now. Here’s to hoping things get better, quickly. Except my vagina. ’cause it’s already the best.

After getting pregnant, I experienced nine months of bizarre bodily functions and changes. Toward the end of the first trimester, I started shyly sharing some of these with women I know who’ve had kids. Time and time again, I got the same response from them: “Oh yeah that happened to me too and nobody told me!” Wha?! Why? Why are we keeping these things secret from one another?!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m not one to hide the indecencies of pregnancy. I will never covertly say to you, “Oh that happened to me, too.” If we’re internet friends, you won’t need me to because you’ve probably already read about it on my Facebook or Twitter, whether it be tales of hemorrhoids or choking on excess saliva or my uncontrollable third trimester gas. Now that pregnancy is over, I will share with you the things that most people won’t tell you about recovery.

That weight? It might not come off the way that you expect it to.

You’re pregnant. You’re gaining weight. You want to know where it goes, so you google “pregnancy weight gain” and after reading sites like this one, you reassure yourself that all is well and you can go back for brownie number seven. You tell yourself that those 30lbs are nothing because you’ll probably lose 20lbs before you even leave the hospital! SCORE! Yeah, not so much. If you’re getting a lot of IV fluids, you may end up weighing more than you did when you got to the hospital. Don’t freak out. You’ll pee it all off in a week or so and one day, after avoiding the scale, you will step on with great trepidation and find that you lost 10, 15, or even 20lbs since coming home. Or maybe not. Maybe you had a 8lbs baby and you find after a week that you’re only down 10lbs. It’s ok. It took you 9 months to put the weight on – it might take awhile to get it off. And really, those seven brownies were worth it. The baby was kind of worth it, too.

You might get swollen. Very, very swollen.

Just because you made it to labor without ever getting huge hobbit feet doesn’t mean that you’re going home with the adorable feet you walked in on. In fact, you may not even be able to wear your own damn shoes out of the hospital. Seriously. Your capillaries get all leaky ‘n’ shit and you may or may not have gotten a lot of IV fluids and maybe you wake up in the recovery room to discover that your legs have been wrapped up in these strange, white, massaging leg…things…that are meant to decrease the inhuman swelling that happened sometime between pushing (or cutting) a baby out and getting set up in your recovery or postpartum room. Then maybe you push yourself a little too far and they swell up even more and you can actually see the tops of your feet jiggling because there’s so much fluid. You might have swell up to your knees. You might swell up to your goddamn hips. Fret not.  You will pee it out. Drink a lot of water. A LOT. Elevate. Get your partner to massage your hideous Bilbo feet. Walk around. They will go down. If you had a c-section or a lot of IV fluids for other reasons though, don’t be surprised or embarrassed if you find yourself leaving the hospital in those hospital slipper socks with the grippy feet. It happens to the best of us, and it might take a little over a week (sorry) for you to be back in normal shoes.

There are things that hurt as bad as labor…after you’re done.

Ok so this doesn’t happen to everyone, apparently. But it does happen and I wish I had known. After you give birth and deliver the placenta, a doctor, nurse, or midwife may press down on the fundus to expel any blood clots. They might do it without telling you it is going to hurt like hell. You might yelp and cry and almost punch them. Apparently some women are offered fentanyl before that happens. I was not one of those women. I might be really fucking bitter about that. Maybe.

When you stand up for the first time, stuff might come out.

You bleed. A lot. When you stand up for the first time after delivering, a lot of that may spill out onto the floor. Don’t be embarrassed. The nurses know it’s going to happen and are prepared. If you can’t help but be a little shy or embarrassed about it, ask them to put down a Chux pad for you. It really doesn’t matter though – either way, they’re cleaning up your blood. But that’s what they do.

You will suddenly realize that pooping is scary.

This never crossed my mind until a nurse came in with a stool softener for me. She handed it over with a big jug of water and whispered, “Just relax and do your labor breathing and it won’t be too bad.” Um. WHAT? Labor breathing? For pooping?! I was so scared of that first poop after that. I couldn’t even do a tiny cough without bracing myself. How was I supposed to poop?! Well, I did on day 2 and it wasn’t a big deal. Drink a lot of water, eat your fruit and veggies, ask for colace AND senna, and order up some prune juice with your dinner. It’ll (most likely) be ok. There are pooping horror stories, but there are horror stories about everything if you look hard enough. I was apparently an “overachiever” and an “above average pooper” because I went easily 2x/day starting on day 2. I guess we all have to excel at something. Maybe you will also excel at pooping.

Peeing might be an issue.

There are multiple ways in which peeing can be an issue. It might hurt to sit on the toilet. You might be incontinent. You might not have sensation in your bladder. I had all of these problems! Every time I stood up, I peed a little. Every time I sat down, I peed a lot. I couldn’t sit down on the toilet without pee leaking out the moment I started to bend my knees. Embarrassing! Part of my problem though was that I never had the sensation that I had to pee. With everything else going on, it took me awhile to realize I had no bladder sensation. If you find yourself piddling all over the damn place, take a moment to reflect on whether or not you can actually feel your bladder. If the answer is no, pee on a schedule. Every 1-2 hours. As soon as I did that, it took about 24 hours to stop peeing all over myself. That bladder sensation though? It took awhile to come back. I’m 5 weeks postpartum now and still sometimes don’t feel the urge to pee until it’s time to RUN to a bathroom. So, you know, keep that 1-2 hour schedule if things still aren’t feeling quite right. You don’t want to be incontinent and you don’t want a UTI. Especially when you can’t feel the places that might tip you off to said UTI.

While we’re on the topic of peeing…

Remember the good ol’ days of peeing in a downward stream into the water? No? You mean you never really thought about it? Yeah, well, you might be thinking about it now. That whole having-a-baby thing changed my pee stream, man. I will never scowl at people who’ve left little piddles on public bathroom seats. Ok, I will do that still because seriously people, it takes 5 seconds to check the seat and wipe it before you leave! But now I have more of an understanding of why that happens.

Alright. That’s all for now. I may or may not do a c-section specific “WTF? No one told me!” post when I have another spare half hour. But right now, I have to cuddle a baby and try not to pee myself.

In the OR, I got my third epidural. Well, sort of. The first two failed but I didn’t have to get it placed a third time, thankfully. It felt like a bandaid covering half my back had been ripped off when I had the first removed. I was happy to not go through that again. For the third try, they moved the catheter around to see if repositioning it would make the distribution more even and then hooked me up to a stronger drug. Relying on that after two failed attempts was terrifying. I imagined them cutting, and feeling it all. I expressed my concerns to the anesthesiologists (there were two for some reason) and they did multiple tests to show me how little I could feel and assured me all would be fine.

At 2am Monday morning, surgery started. The baby’s head was stuck in the birth canal. They had to make the incision longer and lower than they normally would. One doctor reached into the birth canal and pushed the baby’s head up while another doctor pulled the baby out through my uterus.

Shortly before they pulled the baby out, my third epidural failed and I regained feeling. I could feel them pushing and pulling the baby out and then moving and checking my organs – not the pushing, pulling, and pressure they told me I would feel. I felt a full range of sensations and pain but I was hallucinating and dissociated and couldn’t fully express what was happening. As soon as the cord was cut, I was given fentanyl and morphine but before they kicked in, I felt every stitch as they started sewing me up.

By the time the baby was out, I was uncontrollably shaking and disoriented. The Daddy and I had agreed that if we had to do a c-section, he’d go with the baby and do skin-to-skin while I was sewn up. I needed him though, so he stayed and the baby was taken away. I still feel guilty about the time she was away from both of her parents so early in her life. I feel fortunate that he was able to carry her over to me first. It wasn’t the moment we anticipated but we had our first moment as a family. The Daddy told me all about her as I looked on – her full head of hair and big, alert blue eyes darting around the room. I’m glad that he did – I was too disoriented to focus on those things myself. I wasn’t even aware that she’d been born. Without him there taking me through the experience, I would have completely missed seeing my newborn baby in front of me.

Our daughter was born at 2:28am on July 2nd. After all of the worry she caused during labor, she came out looking like nothing had ever happened. The doctors don’t know why she was having so much trouble. They suspect it might have been a cord issue – she had some red marks that made it look like she’d been wrapped in her cord kind of like a seat belt. The doctor thinks her cord may have been pulling back on her and tightening on every push. Since my water broke, there was no cushion and she may have pressed on it when I changed positions.

Now that I know her inside and outside of the womb, I think it’s simply a matter of her being a sensitive little person. She got hiccups when I drank cold water. She hated ultrasounds and dopplers and would spend exams squirming away, making it difficult to get her heart rate or get pictures needed for screening. She squirmed and kicked at loud noises. Now that she’s out, she always wants to be held and cuddled and is constantly alert to light and noise. She has busy little eyes and busy little hands, exploring the world around her. She’s my sensitive little girl, inside and out, and that made labor difficult for her. Ultimately the physical part of birth was about her, not me, and she taught me that in a very dramatic way.

Long story short: I had a baby, she is great, and now we’re home. Now on to the recovery.

We pulled up to the hospital at 6:30am Sunday morning. The Daddy threw a “WOMAN IN LABOR” sign on the dash and ran for a wheelchair. We made our way up to the fifteenth floor. Contractions in the hallway, contractions in the elevator. At least the hospital was mostly empty at that hour.

He wheeled me to the nurses station and as he was checking us in, I had a powerful contraction. I was still feeling it mostly in my back and rectum and sitting in the wheelchair was too painful. I didn’t wait to get checked in – I leapt out of the wheelchair toward waiting nurses and growled, “Get me in a room and give me drugs” and stormed down the hall, blood and fluid running down my legs, in the direction of open doors. The nurses raced ahead, led me to the delivery room and called the anesthesiologist.

Initial drama aside, the home-to-hospital transfer was flawless. Our midwife beat us there and was waiting with our records. I was in a room before The Daddy finished checking in and I had fentanyl administered and an epidural on the way within ten minutes.

The anesthesiologist came right away but we had to wait out two contractions before the epidural was placed. I bit down so hard during the second that I started wondering if it’s possible to shatter your own teeth. I hoped that the fentanyl would take the edge off while waiting for the epidural but its most notable effect was making me hear voices every time I closed my eyes. Luckily after two contractions, there was a long enough break to get the epidural placed with no problems. Relief!

With pain controlled, reality set in – I was in a hospital over 30 hours after my water had broken. Would they rush me into a c-section? Treat me poorly because we were a home birth transfer? I questioned our decision and wondered if I should’ve stayed home and found a way to deal with the excruciating pain. Logic gave way to fear and for a moment, I forgot about the other reason we transferred – the baby didn’t seem to be handling labor well. Those thoughts were interrupted by our nurse asking about our birth plan and someone checking my cervix.

My cervix wasn’t swollen. I was dilating again. Contractions had slowed and the baby seemed ok. My midwife acted as doula and the hospital staff were accepting of her being there – she had my prenatal charts, a labor flow chart, and was helpful in relaying our birth plan. A nurse quickly jotted down our birth plan and didn’t bat an eye at us declining all but one newborn procedure. The doctors were wonderful. They accepted everything we wanted and didn’t push us. They supported our vaginal birth goal and did everything they could to facilitate that. It was a shock and relief.

Pitocin was started to try and get regular contractions going again. I dilated quickly, the swelling was gone, and I started pushing. After a few pushes, the contractions spaced out and I fell asleep. I woke up a little while later to alarms and people rushing into the room. The baby’s heart rate dropped like it had at home, but it hadn’t recovered. A nurse shot terbutaline into my thigh to stop contractions and then flipped me on all fours (literally – the epidural made my left leg completely numb and I couldn’t move it at all) and rushed me to the OR for emergency surgery.

The Daddy was in the bathroom and had no idea what was happening when he walked out and they were wheeling me away. I was taken into the room alone, getting bits and pieces of what might be happening on our way down the hall. I was concerned for The Daddy and wondering if anyone had stayed behind to tell him what was going on. As soon as we got into the OR and they prepared to put me under, her heart rate went back up. Back to the delivery room, to try again.

Pitocin was restarted when the terbutaline wore off. The baby tolerated labor and pushing for awhile. Pushing was a relief; the pain went away and I felt like I was finally doing something productive. I pushed for four hours. I pushed her from -1 to +3, The Daddy saw her head and reported that she had tons of hair. We thought we were going to make it (apparently I was an “excellent pusher”). She was distressed again. Her heart rate took a very long time to recover. I don’t remember a lot of what followed. I know I got two more shots of terbutaline because the baby’s heart rate fell and didn’t come back up. I know they fiddled with my dose of pitocin. An alarm went off again. At some point, my epidural failed and I had to have another one put in. The second one failed, too. By this point, Sunday was ending. I was exhausted and scared for the baby and didn’t feel like I could go on. The hospital birth team came in. We talked options.

We were given three choices:
-Keep pushing with the understanding that another decel would mean emergency surgery where I’d be put under and The Daddy would not be allowed in the room.
-Try forceps and risk vaginal tearing, injury to the baby, and the possibility of it not working and needing a cesarean anyway.
-Have a c-section right away.

The hospital team left us to talk. I asked the midwife her opinion and if she thought forceps or surgery were warranted. She suspected a cord issue and thought it’d be best to get baby out quickly. After discussing with her and The Daddy, we decided forceps were worth a try and told the rest of the team.

The attending physician did a vaginal check and said there was no room for forceps. Our options were keep pushing or head to the OR.  The hospital staff left the room again so we could talk. We decided to have the surgery. And with that, they wheeled me to the OR while The Daddy left to get scrubbed and changed so we could begin phase three.

I need to preface this by saying it might not be 100% accurate. It’s all a blur. There are parts I don’t remember because of trauma, exhaustion, or drugs. I’m breaking the story down into three parts: home, delivery room, and surgery.

The one thing we heard over and over again in childbirth classes was how boring childbirth was compared to birth in the movies – there are no big gushes of water, no screaming, no mad rushes to the hospital, no alarms going off…


My water broke with a gush just before midnight on June 29th. I was almost asleep when I felt a pop. I stood up and found a puddle at my feet. I waddled to the bathroom, pants soaked to my toes, leaving a trail behind me which my cat licked up. Cats are disgusting. After waking The Daddy, hugging each other excitedly (“this is it!”), and cleaning up, I had two hours of rest before regular contractions started.

We labored at home for over 30 hours. The first 26 or so were amazing. The Daddy filled the birth pool, we called our birth team, everyone was excited! The house was full of love and anticipation. We talked, laughed, ordered pizza, and when I had difficult contractions, the mood effortlessly  switched to calm and supportive. My doula and midwife joked that I was like the women in the birth videos and that I made it look easy. I felt proud and empowered. At one point, I sneezed at the peak of a contraction. It was excruciating – I pulled a muscle and my side spasmed during contractions for hours – but we laughed, because really, sneezing during a contraction is kind of absurd.

In the final hours, we were shaken. I was passing out in the pool between contractions. My cervix stalled at six centimeters for what felt like hours (it may have been; I don’t know) and there were stretches of time when contractions were three on top of each other with a thirty second break and then three more. They went from having a slow climb with one peak to happening quickly with two peaks – one hard slam in my rectum followed by one stab to my cervix a few seconds later. My cervix swelled. My midwife massaged it during contractions to break up the scar tissue that neither of us knew I’d had. Breathing through contractions didn’t work for that level of pain. The only relief was screaming – LOUD – like I was being attacked. The faces around me started to change; even through the pain and altered state, I saw it and tried to reassure them during the brief moments between contractions that it was ok, that screaming helped me through. Blood sprayed on the walls and dresser. Things were wrong and that was starting to sink in.

Baby had enough. Her heart rate dropped drastically when I changed to the one position that made labor bearable and took pressure off of my cervix. My midwife said the words I didn’t know I’d been waiting to hear: “You know we don’t have to stay here.”

Labor started at 11:45 Friday evening. At 6am Sunday morning, we transferred to the hospital. The Daddy and our doula packed a bag, I got dressed between contractions. Our midwife’s assistant, who’d been absent until that moment, helped pack their supplies and stayed at the house to get the bedroom in order for our eventual return home. Our midwife tried to keep things calm as urgency and anxiety grew with the realization that things were about to change.

I decided only the midwife would come with us. She needed to hand over our prenatal and labor records but what I really wanted was to be alone in a room with The Daddy and a doctor so it all could be over. My birth team was great – I loved what they all had to offer us at home – but things were changing and I was having trouble grasping that change. Divorcing myself from the hours at home felt necessary. Nonetheless, getting into the car and leaving half of the birth team behind to be replaced with doctors and nurses was hard.

The drive to the hospital was surreal. It was still dark as we raced to the hospital in the fog, hazard lights on, sailing past traffic lights and stop signs. We made it there safely and in record time, and we began phase two…

It’s been a little over a month. A lot has happened since then.

We’ve gone from this:

9-month belly


…to this:

Timing contractions during our planned home birth

…to this.

Cesarean Section

After a 50-hour labor followed by a 2-hour cesarean section, we have a beautiful and healthy baby girl. I’m still recovering physically and emotionally. The labor process was not what we had expected at all, though I suppose it never really is. I hope to update more in the future – I’d like to do a couple of posts about the labor and delivery process, the aftermath, and a post about getting and being pregnant with PCOS. It’s hard though, juggling being a new mother and a patient, so it’ll probably be awhile.

When I found out about this pregnancy, I went straight to PCOS/infertility forums for first trimester support. I learned very quickly that when you’re infertile or fertility challenged in some way, it’s taboo to talk about the bad sides of pregnancy. Everything is happiness and rainbows! Our babies aren’t just babies, they’re miracle babies! Pregnancy is beautiful no matter what happens! Those aren’t stretch marks – they’re tiger stripes! Ok, ok. I get it. Babies are awesome. Pregnancy is a magical thing. You know what, though? It’s also really gross, and I’m tired of being told that I’m a bad person if I complain. After 8 long months, I have complaining to do.

The last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy bring indignity to a whole new level. I thought about suffering through this portion of the third trimester in silence due to aforementioned infertility taboos, but I feel like the silence must be broken. I’m sorry. This is gross, but I need to get it out there so I can laugh instead of cry.

Things that have been said in our house today:
“We must never speak of this again.”
“What exactly are your butt problems?”
“I’m not sure it’s ok for that part of me to bleed.”
“We can leave after I email my midwife about my, uh, anal disturbances.”
“I’m going to leave my boob out all day. My nipple feels like fire.”

Yesterday, we spent 15 minutes at Target weighing the pros and cons of maxi pads vs Depends and then deciding on what size and absorbency of pads to get after I refused to go down the adult diaper path even though they’ve been strongly recommended by women I know who had to suffer through both heavy postpartum bleeding and incontinence. I figure if we have that problem, we’re overnighting things from Amazon. And I will be checking the “this is a gift” box so that I don’t get suggestions based on my history of buying adult diapers. Pregnancy isn’t pretty. It’s just not.

After leaving the “feminine needs” aisle feeling very unfeminine, we headed on over to the aisle full of products for my previously mentioned anal disturbances. First thing I saw in that aisle? A pretty young woman quickly stood up, averted her gaze from the Tuck’s medicated pads she’d been eyeing, and started pretending to compare fiber supplements. It’s ok, honey. I understand. I do the same thing. Since my last shred of dignity was left behind somewhere between the Depends endcap and the wall of Always, I dove right in to loudly weighing the pros and cons of medicated wipes vs pads and Tuck’s vs Preparation-H vs generic. The pretty lady beside me seemed relieved, as she was able to stop wasting time at the fiber pills and resume her hunt for the perfect butt medicine. For those dying to know, I went with the Target brand witch hazel and aloe wipes, economy size. She got the Tuck’s.

This is how it really is, people. It’s not all crib assembly, nursery pictures, gently cradling a blossoming belly in maternity photos, baby showers, and shopping for adorably tiny clothes that make you cry when you hold that soft, sweet fabric up to your face. I mean, there’s that, too. Sure. But all of that is sandwiched between the half hour I spent naming my hemorrhoid (his name is Roy), the long trip to Target, and emailing my midwife to ask when a bleeding ass warrants a trip to the doctor. Speaking of hemorrhoids: as tempting as it is to get a mirror and check out what’s going on down there, don’t do it. Now I’m grossed out AND I have to think up a name for the second one I didn’t know was down there.

Nipples. Oh god, the nipples. They feel like someone chewed them up like pieces of bubble gum and then lit matches under them.

Heartburn. That’s back. It went away during the second trimester but in the third, you get all hormonal again. Progesterone and relaxin, they kinda loosen everything up. You get burpy and burny. The baby grows and presses into your stomach and that increases both of those things. You get to make fun decisions after a meal like, “Do I want to hold in this painful burp that’s making my heartburn worse, or do I want to burp and get relief but risk vomiting?” That’s a decision I make after almost every meal, which is partly why I snack a lot these days. I have to plan meals around heartburn so I can go to sleep at night. Indian food? Can’t have it after 5pm or I will never sleep.

What else is there? Oh, right. The post title.Waking the baby. Progesterone also causes gas. Lots. Of. Gas. I woke the baby, you guys. I actually farted so loud that I woke up my sleeping fetus. She startled awake with a jerk and then kneed me in the bellybutton and kicked me in the rib. No fucking joke.

Remember when I thought not reaching my feet to clip my toenails was my biggest problem? That was cute.

Lots has changed in the last 3-4 weeks! The biggest change? I am no longer seeing a perinatologist. I’ve always felt deep down that I’m not high risk. I’ve had a very easy pregnancy and my only issues are endocrine disorders that are under control. I made the decision a few weeks ago to ditch the peri and finish out my pregnancy with midwife care. She comes to my house! I get my blood pressure taken on my couch! The difference is mind-blowing. I can’t fully express the magnitude of the change without finally going back and publishing some backdated PTSD and hospital entries. Gah. I will someday, but not yet. They’re not deep or dark or anything; I just don’t want to deal right now. On to bullet points.

  • When I sneeze, my bellybutton pops out. WHAT?!
  • The area below my bellybutton, previously free of stretch marks, has blossomed into what looks like a toddler’s art project. Pink and purple scribbles all over. All of the pregnancy apps talked about stretch marks appearing in the second trimester. If you make it into the 30-something weeks with no stretch marks, don’t expect to stay unmarred. They can strike at any time! Most of mine have appeared in the last two weeks. Some appeared overnight. Seriously. I had fewer stretch marks when I went to bed last night.
  • Baby still doesn’t have a name. We are bad at names.
  • Baby has started dropping. I don’t feel that bowling ball pressure lots of women talk about. For me, it’s only been awesome – I can breathe and eat again!
  • So. Many. Baby. Things. We finally caved and bought all of the things that we need. This doesn’t include carseat and changing supplies:
  • Third trimester lesson: parenting starts in pregnancy. Nothing is about me anymore, I’m tired, and I have no time for anything. 99% of the time, I’m ok with that. The other 1% stings a little but that’s ok.
  • 2-7 weeks. That’s all that’s left. Oh god.
  • A lot of people ask me how I’m doing. A LOT. I thought that this stage of pregnancy would be annoying, but it’s not! It’s nice to know that people are thinking of me and wishing me well.
  • To answer the “How are you doing?” question: I’m doing great. Overall, I feel better while pregnant than prior to pregnancy. Crazy, I know.
  • The exception to feeling better: I now wheeze going uphill/up stairs and my pelvis feels like it’s being pried apart by a crowbar by about 7pm on days when I’m active, which is still most days. It hurts less than my daily ovary pain when not pregnant though, so even pain-wise, I’m still getting benefits despite crowbar crotch.
  • Stretch marks are equal parts sad-making and fascinating. Part of me is having trouble accepting that I will have a permanently marred belly and part of me feels a sense of pride when I look down at them and trace the new marks with my fingers.
  • The other day, I decided to see if I could figure out where the baby was in my uterus. I accidentally pushed her head down into my bladder. Add that to the list of things that make me pee a little.
  • Sometimes, my boobs leak. Hopefully that means they’ll work. More on boobs later.
  • I CAN SEE THE BABY MOVE. She moves the most when I’m relaxing, so it tends to coincide with evening TV-watching. The Daddy gets a lot of “What did s/he say? Can you rewind that?” during our favorite shows.
  • Speaking of The Daddy, he’s an amazing partner and soon-to-be dad. I seriously can not imagine any way in which he could be better throughout this process.
  • My belly, it is huge.