Pain Points of the Final Weeks of Pregnancy

I’m 9 months pregnant.  Half of me is shocked there will be a human here soon.  The other half of me is shocked at how long I was pregnant.  Sheesh!  I’ve been pregnant since June!  The better part of a year!  I think you’re pregnant this long so you can mentally prepare for the dramatic lifestyle change of taking care of a small helpless human that can’t survive without you.  (No, I’m not prepared, to answer your question.)

I’m about to get real with where I’m at in these final days and weeks.  What that involves is some squeamish topics involving bodily functions and medical procedures.  These may be TMI for those of you who do NOT want a child, partners who would prefer to not know the details, people who want to have a child but are on the fence about it, and others that fall into categories like this.  WARNING. Stop reading now.

For those of you who are ready to read the gory details of this final stage…  Here goes.  Let me start by reiterating, I LOVE BEING PREGNANT.  I genuinely don’t want to stop being pregnant.  I love the way I feel, I love the way I look, I love this hard little baby butt protruding from the upper right-hand quadrant of my belly… I love love love it.  I feel like I’m going to be sad when I go back to my traditional 6-pack.  Of beer.  Obviously.  Still would love to be a surrogate right after this or have a billion more babies.

A list of some current Pain Points:

  • I can’t wipe my butt good.  It’s really becoming a struggle.  Between the wild carpal tunnel in my wrist, hands and fingers, the belly in the way, the twisting that isn’t possible…  I feel like the only effective wipe job I can do is to get in the shower.  So that’s shitty.  (See what I did there?)
  • I have 3 pairs of shoes that fit.  One is a pair of bulky winter boots. One is a pair of Vince white tennis shoes.  The third is a pair of strappy gala-type shoes.  I can’t really tie the tennis shoes well.  I throw my foot on top of my knee and then tie it on the side, then repeat with the other foot. Bending to the shoe is not an option.  It’s too late for me to invest in any other shoes, sorry.  This is what you get. 
If you look closely at the white tennis shoes, you’ll notice my knots are off to the side, as I can’t bend down to tie, I can only bring my foot up to me, sideways.
  • I don’t like getting my cervix checked.  Also, I have conducted formal scientific research while getting my cervix checked over the past couple of weeks.  One of my cervix checks was a man, the other was a woman.  I prefer the man.  Long fingers get him to the cervix quicker without having to shove his whole hand up in there.  I thought I was going to prefer the small dainty hand woman, but her fingers were too short so she had to get all up in there and I hate her.  Overall, I don’t prefer getting my cervix checked and will decline this service going forward.  Thank you.
  • I guess I pee my pants now.  Gone are the glamorous days of dating while pregnant and feeling sexy.  This shit is getting real.  I have one pair of jeans that fit and that I feel comfortable and beautiful in.  They get washed every couple of days. Last week I put them on fresh out of the dryer onto my body and then I coughed.  A little pee came out.  I was surprised, and then I coughed again.  More pee.  The third cough made it so that when I peed a third time it was more pee than I’m comfortable sitting in and showing off to the public.  I didn’t have time before my next event to wash them a second time, so I threw them in the dryer and just dried the pee to the pants.  Dry Pee Pants.  Done.  This is life now.
  • I’m up to 26 pounds gained.  I’m RAVENOUS for food and have an INSATIABLE thirst.   I drink all the drinks and eat all the food.  My underchin is starting to fill out nicely.  And by nicely, I mean I’m getting a gobble-gobble turkey neck. 
38 Weeks Pregnant!
  • My vivid sex dreams have pivoted to vivid worry nightmares.  I also vividly fight with people who love me in my dreams.  I’m still sleeping like a world-class award-winning sleeper at 100% sleep quality, but my dreams have really taken a turn for the worst.  I almost called my mom this morning to apologize.  But it was just a dream.  They are all just dreams.  I miss the sexy ones.  Those were cool. 
  • People tell me that I don’t look 9 months pregnant so I do take that as a compliment. Even though I love when pregnant people look like they have a torpedo coming out of their belly. Everyone comments that I’m not waddling yet.  Well, I am an athlete, so I’m pretty quick and balanced on my feet so that’s just never going to happen.  You know when someone parks too close to you and you must shove yourself in?  Well, that’s not a thing you can do with a baby belly.  I actually climbed up and over the seat and Superman-ed my way into the drivers seat the other day, much to the horror of my friends who were in the car.  (Best designated driver in the world up in here!)  Again, I’m an athlete.  Nothing holds me down. 
  • I’m SO HOT.  I can’t sleep in clothes.  I can’t sleep with people.  I can’t sleep with the dog.  Sushi now knows she better relocate herself to the furthest corner of the bed because I will kick her off so fast she won’t know what hit her.  When I’m at home alone, there are not many clothes on my body.  I’m happy I didn’t buy a maternity winter coat because I NEED to have my coat open no matter how cold it is.  In fact, I’m sitting in a café writing this and it’s snowing outside and I didn’t bring a coat with me. And I don’t care. Now I’m editing at home and it’s 44 degrees outside and I have my windows wide open. 
  • I’ve started slowing down a little though, I will admit.  I’m trying to wrap up or consolidate and delegate some projects at work, which you can imagine for a control freak is difficult.  I keep having to remind myself that people do this all the time and the world won’t fall apart because I’m off for a few months.  My amazing colleague who is babysitting my email and accounts while I’m gone literally said to me in front of our boss… “It is my absolute honor to do this for you.  I’ve gone through this, and most women will go through this and it’s our responsibility to each other to make sure no one ever has to feel bad.” *Insert tears of gratefulness pouring down my face for such an amazing teammate here*
  • Still haven’t looked into childcare.  (Yeah, I know, I know, I’m screwed) My plan is to find a college kid for over the summer.  Or a nanny share.  Or a mix of daycare and other care.  Or a stay at home mom that wants to make a couple extra bones once in a while.  Ug.  Must. Focus. On. Procurement. Of. Childcare.

Well, that’s where I’m at!  My bag is packed.  Car seat installed.  Ride to hospital secured.  (My best building buddy has labeled himself “The Water Boy” and is demanding I call him if my water breaks at home because he wants to take me to the hospital.)  Or an Uber.  Or my 3rd Ward Neighborhood Friends have all been notified they are on standby.  Sushi knows something is about to change.  (She loves the nursery and spends a lot of time sniffing things and exploring and trying to play with the baby’s toys).  I’m still trying to YOLO and say yes to almost everything because… life is about to change I’m told. 

Thanks for being on this journey with me!  Next time you read a blog post of mine, hopefully it will be a story of sleepless nights and live baby butts. 

I Got 99 Problems But This Baby’s Heart’s Not One

Hit me. Bad blogger alert.  I’m 2 weeks behind on giving you an update on my little baby travel buddy nuggets’ heart.  Been too busy slaying hearts again.  Seriously, for some reason I am WILDLY attractive to men while being pregnant.  Can I always be pregnant forever? This time, I was asked out IN PUBLIC whilst being 6 months pregnant.  I’ve only gained 5ish pounds and it’s all baby, so from the boobs up I guess it must be hard to tell. And these boobs. Hubba Hubba. I was sitting at Camp Bar, the best bar, in the 3rd Ward with my friend drinking some hot chocolate (she was drinking a vodka for full context) and a couple guys came up and asked to share our table.  After a couple fun hours, dude asks me out on a date.  I told him that I would give him my number and my full name, and that he should google me and then text me and decide if he still wants to go out on a date.  Next day, he texted me saying he has some questions, but would still like to take me out.  Go figure. 

So back to baby.  2 weeks ago I had my ultrasound with the fetal cardiologist.  The ultrasound technician did about 25 minutes of work measuring, taking pictures, and listening to and recording flows of blood.  Heart rate was 123 for all of you tracking that with your baby gender guesses.  (You people better be gambling on this… I’m not giving you this opportunity to gamble against each other for nothing!)  Basically, she did a full echo-cardiogram on the baby. 

The fetal cardiologist walked in.  He was 14.  Doogie Howser, M.D.  I mean, obviously he was older that that but at my age they all look young.  (Can you believe I’m at that age where I say things like “they all look young”?)  He was the opposite of what I imagined a cardiologist would be.  He was calm, humble, and had great bedside manner.  Super weird.  Just kidding, he was lovely, obviously.  The first thing he said was “I’m not saying I’m a better doctor than the other doctor who told you there was a hole but all I do for a living is look at babies’ hearts and I don’t see a hole.”  To which my mom who was with me and I try to high five him and say, “Hell yeah you’re a better doctor!”  and he blushed and said “Oh no no no, I wasn’t trying to say I was, I was just defending him.” 

You read that correctly, baby does not have VSD.   Dr. Cardiologist says he saw the picture the other doctor looked at and said that he saw “an artifact”, not a hole.  But since they did do a full echo-cardiogram, Dr Cardiologist did find something out of sorts.  Baby has an extra vein.  Yes, of course, my baby is an overachiever already, what did you expect.  

It’s called Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava.  He drew me a picture because he was lovely.  1 out of 300 people have it but don’t know it because they have never had a full echo-cardiogram.  It’s usually found if someone is getting heart surgery for something unrelated later in life because they can’t put something in on that side?  Wow, I’m doing a great job explaining this. I guess it hasn’t showed up yet on any of my medical dramas so I’m not an expert yet. Just google it, it’s not that bad, I promise.  The baby can come out normal, it’s not in high risk anymore.  They will do an ultrasound of the baby’s heart after it comes out to check really good without all the goo and placenta and my stomach fat and my skin in the way.  Also they will check again in a month with Dr. Cardiologist as well. 

A rare piece of doctor art showing what a Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava is.

Great news, right!!!  Baby is currently trying to prove to me that they are healthy as a horse by using my insides as a punching bag.  Love this kid already because they only act up during the day.  We sleep like angel babies through the night.  Me, the little nugget face, and my other little nugget face Sushi.  Sushi is LOVING the new belly activity.  We just started feeling the baby on the outside so Sushi has been spending time laying her head on my belly bonding with her new little sister or brother.  I die.  It’s everything.

Watching my little babies snuggling in the morning… The smaller one is kicking the bigger one in the face in this picture.

I’m still doing amazing.  I’ve never in my entire life felt this good or happy or healthy.  I’m doing everything in my power to enjoy my final few months of freedom before I’m never alone again.  My only complaint is that after 4 o’clock, I’m literally a burp factory.  I try to burp it all out but can’t stop taking in air which just keeps coming out.  Buy stock of Tums immediately, I’ll make you an good ROI.  Oh shit, was that insider trading? 

Thanks for being with me on this journey!  I appreciate all the support. 

A Broken Heart

Don’t freak out yet, but we may have a little problem.

I went for my 20 week ultrasound last week! Don’t you worry, after the last blog post, Vivid Dreams, Hormones and Loneliness, I brought my best friend Cynthia with me so I wasn’t alone. It’s all good. Promise. I’m fine.

Cynthia was the perfect person to bring along because she’s a nurse, and has a better idea of what they are looking at on the ultrasound that most others I could bring with me. I shouted a million times at the sonogramer, “Don’t tell me what it is! Don’t let my friend look when you’re looking at the tiddly-bits cause she’ll know!!!!” (Oh yeah, Cynthia wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl BAD.)

We spent a whole 45 minutes looking at the baby! So cute. It was moving EVERYWHERE. Blocking all the good shots. My kid, obviously. Active AF. #cantstopwontstop. The sonogramer spent a lot of time looking at the baby’s heart, and said that spending a lot of time measuring and taking pictures of the heart are super important. She said because my baby was moving everywhere, she was having a hard time getting a good shot of the heart.

She was very cool. Kept switching to 3D or 4D or whatever they call it so you could see all the details of the baby’s face. TOTALLY looks like one of my brothers. Amiright?

Crazy 3D/4D picture of the little nugget at 20 weeks

She sent in a nurse to take my blood pressure cause the machine wasn’t working (it was a little low but fine) and said she was going to grab the doctor to come in and review the pictures with me.

Doctor came in, whipped out the ultrasound machine again, and went strait to the baby’s heart. Didn’t say anything, but was studying it. Turned on a filter that shows the blood flow. Zoomed in. Studying it. I said, “Cause for concern doctor?” He responded after a long pregnant pause. “Yeah, I think so. I see a hole.” Praise the Lord I had Cynthia there because we both are very stoic in time of crisis. It’s our superpower. We calmly ask questions instead of reacting when stress levels are at an all time high. Some silence happened. Cynthia said “How big is the hole?” The doctor then zoomed in and explained what he was seeing and what he should see. She asked again. He said, “It’s small”.

Thanks to This is Us I’m into asking… “Worst case scenario?” The doctor said, “We don’t need to go there.” I said, “Give it to me anyways.” He explained that worst case scenario it’s a fatal Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) OR best case the hole in my baby’s heart heals itself by the next ultrasound. He asked if I had gotten genetic pre-screening done and I said I had and it had come back negative. He said that was good because chances are it’s not one of the most common genetic disorders, but instead is probably a one-off situation. (Which is good for my future offspring. I’ll potentially have to run some tests on myself though.) He said this particular heart defect, referred to as a Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD, can heal itself before birth. He said about 2% of 20 week ultrasounds show a heart defect and VSD is the most common. Still a critical CHD, but common.

He referred me to a prenatal cardiologist for a month from now.

So. We aren’t freaking out yet. In fact, we aren’t freaking out ever, because everything happens for a reason and everything happens according to The Plan and we are so freaking lucky to live in present time with such amazing access to technology and advanced medical care that allows us to identify heart defects like this as early as they have.

I did have some emotions about it though, I’m not going to lie. Those emotions basically consisted of selfish thoughts like “How will the baby and I get to take our first international vacation together over maternity leave if they have to have surgery?” and “Oh yeah great, this will make it even harder to find a dude because now I have to find a guy strong enough to be able to deal with a kid who needs extra attention AND me” and other ridiculous thoughts that 100% don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I also processed the worst case and best case scenario in my head. Because of Private Practice (as you can tell I’m obsessed with Medial Dramas) the worst case scenario being a fatal defect means that I could potentially still carry the baby to term and they could maybe be a angel hero baby and donate all their good organs to babies who need them and save some lives. Best case scenario, the hole closes before the cardiologist gets to see it and we pretend this blog post and mini mind crisis never happened. Or anything in between.

I saw my OBGYN doctor after that, who is chiller than a actual cucumber. After a hug and some small talk, I told her I just had my 20 week scan. She said “I know. Are you freaking out?” I said, “I could be, I’m not, should I?” and she said “no.” I asked if I was now considered high risk and she said no I wasn’t and that I was doing great. She said I could still do my non-Zika New Years tropical vacation (still looking for someone to come with me… anyone want to disappear somewhere warm with me after Christmas?)

We won’t know any more until early December, but until then, I choose not to sweat the small stuff. Again, let me reiterate how grateful I am that I was able to get pregnant and that I’ve carried this wiggly nugget for 22 weeks. It’s been an absolute joy and my pleasure to carry a life inside me and whatever happens, happens. And if this baby does need extra attention, I know that I’m up for the challenge and capable of overcoming anything thrown my way. I trust God has a plan. Put a quick little prayer to the big guy for me and this little nugget if you don’t mind, will ya?

Thanks for being on this journey with me!


The bottom picture is the baby staring at the camera. So creepy, right?