Friday, February 16, 2007

Gestational grumblings

I am finally developing new stretch marks. Until this morning, I had hoped that my 50-pound weight gain from last time had stretched all my belly skin out enough that I could avoid the irritation and itching this time around. Apparently not. Just to be clear here, I'm not really complaining--I only have 2 or 3 new small, reddish stripes around my midsection, and I'm past 34 weeks. Not complaining, just pouting. At least I'm not yet ripping a new 6" stretch mark every day or two--that was really uncomfortable last time.

Speaking of 34 weeks, apparently the way I count weeks and the way my doctor counts them are a little different. My appointment last Tuesday, he noted that I was 34 weeks, 5 days...My count was 33 weeks 6 days at that point. Not a large difference, I guess, and hopefully one that will be insiginificant for the birth. My preferences for birth at this point are (in order of preference) 1) natural, VBAC (no augmentation, no induction etc...pain relief minimal or none to help avoid problems positioning the baby) or 2) repeat C-section, but only in the case that #1 failed or there is an emergency condition where the baby needs to be out *now* (in other words, not for the convenience of the doctor).

Up until recently I hadn't really considered that dates would play a possible role in the process--everything I've read about the 2-vessel umbilical cord suggests that these babies are frequently early and/or small. But then, according to my last ultrasound, this baby is in the 56th percentile for size by gestational age. In other words, he's not going to be that small. I'm starting to suspect that the little joker has been ignoring the "high risk" part of this pregnancy and is planning to languish past his due date so he can continue to enjoy his little bachelor pad. With my luck, he'll arrive on April fool's day and weigh 9+ pounds.

My last whine of the day is about my wardrobe. Despite having access to the combined pregnancy wardrobes of like 4 or 5 women, I'm running out of things to wear. Most things are too small--I'm a size or two bigger than a couple of the contributing members to start, and they only build so much extra room into the shoulders, sleeves, and legs of maternity clothes. But then, some of the clothes are actually too big, but in strange ways (like pants that are huge on my hips, but don't quite fit around my belly...go figure that one out). The ones that fit are either in constant rotation in my closet (I'm doing laundry 2x a week to stay dressed for work--which is not even a dressy place), or are completely the wrong season. I keep praying for those mid-February 70-degree days that we seem to get almost every year, so I can dig into a large stash of capris, sundresses, and short-sleeved tops that I *know* will fit (because I wore them when carrying Charlotte, and weighed more than I do now). Instead, I'm borrowing an A-line wool coat from my sister in law so I have something that will button over my belly, to fight against single-digit temperatures and 3" of snow on the sidewalk.

Speaking of snow, shoes are also a dilemma. At this stage or pregnancy, putting on socks or tying shoe laces requires an advanced degree of flexibility and contortionism, because there is no way to simply bend over and touch your toes. But most of my slip-on shoes don't cover the back of my heels, which can make for cold (and wet) feet in this weather.

The day I went into labor with Charlotte, I was not ready. I still had another month of pregnancy left ahead of me, and lots of things to do. I'd heard women complain about how anxious they are in the last weeks, just wanting to get things over with, and I just could not relate. *sigh* I guess every pregnancy really is different.

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