Entering the Third Trimester

(Well, some web sites said I entered it last week.)

Here is this a comment thread on how to discourage strangers from touching your tummy!  I’m reading it and I don’t get it–I am in my third trimester and not a single stranger (or friend!) has tried to touch my tummy.   Even my husband doesn’t rub my tummy much.  I think I’m just not showing much.  Last week yet another person was surprised that I was pregnant.  There are a few people at work who talk about my pregnancy and ask me how I’m doing, but there are the other 80-90% who do not mention it at all.

On an unrelated note, I have a huge, HUGE bruise from when they tried to take blood for my glucose tolerance test.  My cardiovascular surgeon colleague walked in, looked at me, and said “boy, you had a bad phlebotomist!”

I walked into my other colleague’s (he’s a radiologist) office today and he said “would you like to sit down?”

“No thanks,” I said.  “Actually sitting hurts.  I read somewhere that your ligaments all loosen or something and then your joints get out of whack, but you’d know more than me.”

“Well they do, but that’s only when you’re almost done!”

“I am almost done!”

“Wait a sec, I thought you weren’t due till November?”

“OK I am defining ‘almost’ optimistically. 🙂  I’m in my third trimester though.”

Dude, way to burst my glass-half-full bubble. 🙂  But seriously, 2/3 done, 1/3 to go.

Point and click

Point and click.  A really wonderful description of “scanxiety” during the wait before a followup scan.

The author says it is like having a gun pointed to your (or your loved one’s) head every six months, possibly loaded.  I think that is an awesome description.

Someone in the comments poses the question:  Which is worse, to be in a burning building, or to be outside watching as your loved one burns?

Honest to God (depending who the loved one was), I’d rather burn.

Honestly?

Someone in my vanpool said to me this morning “you seem to be doing a lot better than my other pregnant friends!  They’re complaining that they can’t sleep, they’re constantly in pain, whatever.”

And I said “no, I’m feeling like that too.  I just haven’t been complaining.”

It’s true.  I try and act tough and like Superwoman at work, and if anyone asks me how I’m doing I say I’m good, and then I hole up in my office with the door shut and try to work.

But the truth is that I’m tired.  I feel sick.  I’ve been feeling sick for seven months now.  I went on a tour of the hospital’s maternity ward and watched some birth videos and they were gory and really scared me.  I don’t feel excited like all the other women on the maternity tour who were making big shows of rubbing their tummies.  I don’t feel excited like the new moms on Facebook who are posting streams of photos about their babies.

Maybe it’s that I’m 34 and not 24, and all my friends did this a decade ago and are so over it.  Maybe it’s that I didn’t have a baby shower, because my mom is not the type of person who is into that type of thing, and even if she were, her cancer is the priority now.  Maybe it’s that without siblings I feel like there is nobody to celebrate with.

I’m still at work every day, getting more and more work dumped on me.  I’m weary of the now bi-weekly doctor appointments and getting needles stuck in me–and about constant anxiety over whether the baby is healthy and will be born healthy, in addition to the even worse anxiety over my mom’s health.  Last weekend we went to the hospital for a maternity tour, where they handed out a brochure saying the leading cause of death for babies was car crashes and how pregnant moms should avoid driving in the last few months.  Great, but I live 22 miles from my job, and teleporters haven’t been developed yet.

I’m scared.  I’m going to have another human being to raise.  A girl, which I suspect is that much harder and where the burden will be a lot more on me than my husband.   I don’t really want to watch up close as someone else like me goes through the types of things I did growing up (hopefully either she is different or the world has changed).  I thought I’d be excited, but I’m just full of apprehension.  Having a baby is such an irreversible life change.  After so many years being single I feel awkward around my parents suddenly being a married mom-to-be.

It’s not that this isn’t something I wanted to do.  It’s that…I guess I just want to rewind my life by ten years, so it all happened differently.  So the baby didn’t happen when my mom got sick, or when I was restarting my career.  But I guess we all have regrets, and hopefully they inform the future.

</rant>

Searching for Strollers

When I was a baby I had a Graco stroller with Snoopy on it.  It was a little fabric chair with wheels.  I loved my stroller, sat in it, and happily chewed on the rubber handles.  At some point the stroller got a big tear in the fabric and I got too old to use it, so that was that.

Yesterday I went to look at carseats and strollers.  The simple old Snoopy strollers are no more, having evolved in the intervening three decades to “baby travel systems” that look like small spaceships.  The least expensive I saw were around $300.

Among the strollers available for test drives at the baby store was an “Origami” stroller for $850 that folded itself and had daytime running lights.  (Dude…for $849 it’d better build me a thousand paper cranes or something.)  Other strollers north of $1000 had food trays, etc.  I forgot to ask whether they came with cruise control and air conditioning.

I want the best for my baby–heck I just spent $32k on a Subaru Outback loaded with every safety feature available because I wanted to keep my kid safe–but I never felt that my simple Snoopy stroller was missing anything because it didn’t tell me the outside temperature, you know?

I really wonder who buys this stuff.

On becoming a pincushion

I had six needles stuck in me last Thursday!

I had my oral glucose tolerance test which required I drink a bunch of sugar water and then get my blood taken–took them three pricks.

Then they gave me a TDAP booster, so one more.

Then I had to go to the hospital to get the Rhogam shot, since I am Rh-negative (apparently only 1% of Asian women are) and my husband is Rh-positive.  First they had to do another blood test for that though, and then they poked me in the rear end to give me the shot.

That made six.  I had bandages all over my arms.  My nurse told me not to get pulled over by the cops!

Oddly, the Rhogam shot and blood work for that were in the hospital’s chemo infusion center, so I waited there for an hour or so alongside all the chemo patients.

Being there, I felt a little solidarity with my mom, especially since her veins are also hard to find.  The stupid chemo place doesn’t bother taking the blood out of her chemo port; I think the reason is that they would need an oncology nurse to do that, whereas if they just need to poke needles into her randomly then an ordinary phlebotomist can do it.

Just the glucose tolerance test and Rhogam made me so nervous that I can’t imagine what my mom went through before surgery and chemo.  I mean, I thought my anxiety was bad before she had those procedures, but it’s different when it’s your very own body–her fear must have been in a different universe.  Or maybe not; she’s a braver soul than I am.

Speed Bump

I feel limited.

Entering my third trimester tomorrow, It is getting hard to bend over.  I am too tired to wake up in the mornings.  It is getting hard to go to work.  I feel out of shape, since I stopped working out seven months ago when I became pregnant.

All this is frustrating.  I want to work as hard and accomplish as much as a man, but I feel limited and somewhat betrayed by my biology and being a woman.  I will have to take three months off after the baby is born, and then take breaks every few hours to go pump milk.  My husband doesn’t have to do any of that; for all practical purposes he’s been largely unaffected by our coming baby, except that he comes with me to doctor appointments sometimes.

I’m tired.