Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ladies & Gentlemen: Week 22, and counting...

I've been busy trying to give this place the feel that both the mage and I like... hopefully the dragons customization will do the trick... after all, dragons and magic mix too well.

Me? As usual, wanting to do much but been able to do almost nothing. Feeling drained-er by the minute. Stressed about the house, about finances, about what I need and probably won’t be able to get, about the whole process, about being physically challenged to say the least… Something as mild as mopping left me with a nice lower back pain. The stairs are killing me… especially in the morning. Feels as if Rose Red were on its “taking revenge on me” phase or something… Trying to figure out what to do about needing certain spaces in the house… as nursery and kitties room… and a downstairs alternative in case I simply can’t get upstairs by the last weeks. It’s all overwhelming, and tiresome.

Trying to stop whining and just do what I can, schedule what I must… They all talk about rest and sleep… Luxuries I can’t really enjoy… Need to work to pay the bills, no matter how crappy and how bad I feel unless it’s a hospital emergency I can’t simply stay at home because I want to… Weird bugs around the house and getting in are really REALLY getting on my nerves. The water thing goes on… (sight) And I need to get some wardrobe basics since pants are getting too tight and I know I can’t wear them any longer… I got rid off everything that was too big for me, and now I regret it. Oh, well… I should figure something out… I need to focus on getting an A/C, and a “moisés” and a milk pump for bottles so I will be able to sleep a bit more at nights after the arrival. The three things are on the expensive edge… I almost forgot the car seat… As a plus, a baby changer and a wardrobe, but those are luxuries I may want but not really need. Reading lists of the must haves are stressing me out as well. It’s all about the money. Need money and rest… Simple as that. I’m so screwed…

Been feeling the butterfly effect… I guess that “butterflies in the stomach” was a good description for the baby movements… This week I’ve been having that sensation, so I guess that it must be it. It’s so hard for me to feel anything at all… Sheesh! But paying a bit of attention after dinner as I read stuff has paid off in that sense… My attention is usually too scattered to know any difference… For being over 20 weeks, the belly most women have at the time is humongous compared to mine. Since I’m already big it seems the baby just had to take the space of my waist… Not too bad, after all I am very clumsy and would be bumping into everything… And as long as I can delay the Budha look, the better. People touching my belly ain’t really an idea that strokes me well. I’m supposed to put on only 15 pounds, so that should try to be a main goal. Until now, I have not been starving. The difficult thing has been activities at work in which sweets are offered in a plate and I can take none… and I’m a sucker for “quesitos”… but I’m sticking to no sweets… nutritious intake… yadda yadda…

Been reading “Agenda para Mamá” and finishing up the “What to expect when expecting” book (which has done everything in matters of stressing me up for the delivery and the post-partum effects… that last 2-3 months… Ugh!). Sugar is pretty decent, below 100 at mornings and below 150 at bedtime. Hope it will all keep up, so I don’t have an unnecessary stay at a hospital. I dread being bedridden… And I guess it’s the part that scares me the most.

Well… Now let’s get into what should I expect this week… as a review for me, and simply to keep it in record…

WEEK 22 (from www.whattoexpect.com)

Swelling Feet and Ankles

While some foot growth can be attributed to pregnancy swelling (edema), there's another reason that feet increase in size during pregnancy and don't shrink back after. Remember relaxin? Your uterus is now about an inch above your belly button — growing by leaps and bounds. But your belly's not the only thing that's growing these days. Have you looked down at your feet? Quick, look now — before you get too big to see them. If you're like many expectant women, you'll discover that feet grow too. Good news if you're looking to revamp your entire shoe collection, not so good if you've just indulged in a pricey pair of Manolos. While some foot growth can be attributed to pregnancy swelling (edema), there's another reason that feet increase in size during pregnancy and don't shrink back after. Remember relaxin — that pregnancy hormone that loosens the ligaments and joints around your pelvis so your baby can fit through? Well, relaxin doesn't discriminate between the ligaments you'd want loosened up (like those pelvic ones) and those you'd rather they'd just leave alone (like those on your feet). The result: When the ligaments in the feet are loosened, the bones under them tend to spread slightly, resulting, for many women, in a half or whole shoe-size increase. And tootsies that feel suddenly uncomfortably tight. If you do find yourself running to the mall for a new pair of shoes (no need to be barefoot and pregnant, after all!), buy ones that are comfortable and roomy — and for now, with no more than a sensibly chunky two-inch heel (skip the stilettos — you'll have trouble enough keeping your balance as your belly balloons forward).

Hair Ye, Hair Ye
Your baby has finally broken the one-pound mark. The eyelashes and eyebrows are well formed now — and even more hair is sprouting atop that cute little head. But hair at this stage has no pigment, so it's bright white. Guess what? Your baby has finally broken the one-pound mark. How heavy is that? Hold a one-pound box of sugar in your hand the next time you're in the grocery story (and expect people to ask you why you're grinning from ear to ear). Is the box eight inches long? That's about the length your baby is too! This week, your sweetie is making more sense of the world as he or she develops the sense of touch. In fact, your little one's grip is quite developed by now — and since there's nothing else to grab in utero, he or she may sometimes hold on tight to that umbilical cord (don't worry — it's tough enough to handle it). The sense of sight is also getting more developed. Your fetus can now perceive light and dark much better than before (even with those fused eyelids). But remember — unless you're shining a flashlight over your belly (which you can do, by the way), it'll be mostly dark for your baby inside that cozy womb of yours. Moving up from the eyes, the eyelashes and eyebrows are well formed now — and even more hair is sprouting atop that cute little head. You'd be quite surprised, though, if you could see your little one up close and in color. Hair at this stage has no pigment, so it's bright white.

Look, Don't Touch
By now you may have been the target of at least one well-wishing tummy-toucher — you know, those people who just can't resist reaching out and rubbing your belly. By now you may have been the target of at least one well-wishing tummy-toucher — you know, those people (and they could be anyone — friends, co-workers, the guy you buy your morning paper from, a perfect stranger on the deli line) who just can't resist reaching out and rubbing your belly. And who can blame them? After all, pregnant bellies — so round, so cute, and housing something even cuter — practically beg to be touched. Now, you may not mind being treated like an exhibit at a children's museum (and, if you're a touchy-feely person yourself, you may even welcome the public display of affection for your belly), but if you do mind, there are a couple of approaches you can take. One, use your words ("I know it's tempting, but I really would rather you didn't touch my belly"). Two, back off — literally, dodging their advances. And three, turn the tables by giving their belly a rub to see how they like it (especially effective with middle-aged men sporting paunches). Remember, you're sharing your body on the inside — you don't need to share on the outside too.

Dubious Dad?
Having second thoughts about this baby thing, especially as it gets more real? Don't worry, it's normal. Having second thoughts about this baby thing, especially as it gets more real? Don't worry, it's normal. You may be wondering what kind of father you'll be, worrying about the health of your partner and the baby, and confused about what the heck the practitioner was talking about at that last office visit. Here are a few ways to start boosting your confidence. First, read up about pregnancy and babies — knowledge is power. Second, talk to your partner — she's probably feeling as freaked as you, and venting will help you both relax. Third, corner every veteran Dad you know — ask for some pointers, score some insights. And finally, chill with this thought: Parents have been having babies as long as there have been babies.

Hair Be Gone!

Your legs, armpits, bikini line, and upper lip may be hairier than usual due to all those raging hormones. Is pregnancy making you look like a resident of the Planet of the Apes? Your legs, armpits, bikini line, and upper lip may be hairier than usual due to all those raging hormones. But think twice before you turn to lasers, electrolysis, depilatories, and bleaching. No reliable studies have been done to determine for sure whether these popular hair-removal and lightening treatments are harmful or not, but it's probably best to skip them until after you give birth. Take heart, though, you may pluck or shave to your heart's content. (Even waxing is fine if your skin's not too sensitive.) That's not making you feel better? Chin up (if you dare) — you're more than halfway to the finish line!

Gaining Too Much Weight
Is your bathroom scale on the fast track these days? Here's why you should apply the brakes, and how to do it safely. You already know that being pregnant isn't your all-you-can-eat meal ticket — those cravings may be powerful, but left unchecked they can be a one-way trip to Bountiful (hips and butt, that is). But that's just one reason to avoid gaining too much weight when you're expecting (and not even the most compelling one). Here are some others that might motivate you to keep your eye on the scale — and your hands out of the cookie jar (unless, of course, you've wisely stocked the cookie jar with soy chips). Discomfort from head to toe: Let's face it, pregnancy isn't all that comfortable to begin with (unless you're really comfortable curled up with a backache and a bad case of indigestion). And those discomforts tend to multiply with the pounds. Excess weight gain can result in or aggravate everything from backaches to leg pains to overall exhaustion, not to mention varicose veins, calf cramps, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and achy joints. And if too many extra pounds follow you to labor, they can also make that already-tough experience a lot tougher. Complications: Excess weight gain increases your risk for developing hypertension and diabetes — both of which make your pregnancy much harder to manage, while creating risks for your baby. The heavier you are, the more likely your baby is to be larger, increasing the odds that a vaginal delivery will require the use of forceps or vacuum. That's if you can deliver vaginally at all, since being overweight increases your chances of delivering by C-section — which makes for a more difficult recovery after your baby is born. Obesity and ongoing health issues: Gain too much weight and you're likely to retain twice as much after your baby is born than you would have if you gained within the guidelines. And if you think all you need is time and willpower to lose the extra fat, research has weighed in with a different idea: Women who gain excessively and don't lose the extra weight within six months after the birth are at a much higher risk of being obese ten years later. Obesity often leads to significant health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. How much weight is too much? That all depends. Chances are your practitioner advised you on your target weight gain at your first prenatal appointment — and that it was calculated based on a number of factors (for starters, how close to ideal your prepregnancy weight was). Your practitioner probably also talks to you (ever so gently, or not so) at every visit about where you are on that upward curve — and where you should aim to be. If you've been instructed to gain the standard 25-to-35-pound total in your pregnancy, by this week you're likely to have gained anywhere from ten to 16 of those pounds. If you raced past that number weeks ago, or are gaining faster than your practitioner recommended, you'll want to slow down. What You Can Do: 1.Cut useless calories. The emphasis is on "useless" (aka empty) — you still want to eat enough of the right kinds of calories to keep your baby fed and growing. After all, the idea isn't to lose weight (losing weight is always a bad idea when you're pregnant), but to slow the rate at which you're gaining. Easy, nutritious, calorie-reducing strategies (substituting skim milk for whole or two percent; fresh fruit for dried; baked potatoes or yams for french fries; grilled white-meat chicken with no skin for fried dark-meat with skin) can make a big difference. Other calories that can go? The ones you'll find in sugar (and the ones you'll find plenty of in sugary treats). 2.Follow the Pregnancy Diet. Commit the Pregnancy Daily Dozen to memory, and print out copies of the What to Eat Every Day checklist. Watch portion sizes — a "serving" of any given food may be much smaller than you think, and a whole lot smaller than restaurants have led you to believe. For instance, did you know that a serving of meat or poultry should be about the size of a computer mouse (not a whole computer), and that a serving of cheese should be no bigger than a nine-volt battery? 3.Focus on efficiency. Choose foods that are big on bulk (so they fill you up and keep you filled) but low on calories: fresh vegetables (especially those green leafies) and fruits (especially ones with a high water content, like melon); lean poultry, meat, and fish; and oatmeal (a better choice than granola, which tends to pack a whole lot of fat in a tiny serving). And fill up on water, not soda or juice. 4.Trim that fat. Some fat is necessary (especially good fats, and especially when you're expecting), but too much just makes you, well, fat. Eat your bread unbuttered, skip the gravy, order salad dressing and sauces on the side (spoon instead of ladle), and run when something fried comes your way. 5.Get active. With your practitioner's okay, make regular exercise a part of your pregnancy. Join a prenatal yoga or exercise class, and add small amounts of activity to your everyday routines (park a few blocks from your destination, then walk the rest of the way, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the deli to pick up your sandwich instead of ordering in).


And after such a nice longaleer read, one wonders... Gosh... It doesn't really look good at all. Each passing week there are more consequences of, more issues that must be taken care of... I can't believe how is it that women get themselves pregnant continually just to live off the givernment... Honestly! They put their lives on the edge for being parasites... Great point of view that they have. Having a baby is no joke. So far, it has been the pits for me. I feel useless, I must encourage my uselessness because I may endanger the baby and because I cannot do more physically... I am forced to depend on others, each day that passes will multiply that fact... And if I thought that the woes and hardships of having the baby inside are bad, just wait until the giving birth, and the aftermath! So many complications, so many body afflictions, all of it involves pain and there is no way to change that or ease it really. All this endeavour... and society romantizises having babies because they are so cute and they smell so good... Right!

I certainly hope I can get through all this somehow. During and the after, all is very stressful for me. I have never been a children's person, and I definitively never thought I would get pregnant. Everyone seems happy about it... If only they knew... People seem to ignore the risks, the reality of it all. It may be the greatest of miracles, being able to bring life... but I see no reason to jump in joy just because of it. It is a challenge. It is hard. And i should think that any other woman around me has done it, so I should not put too much thought into it... But I guess that not everyone has a Betsy who died at childbirth because of complications because of all of her conditions. True, those conditions didn't stop her from having two babies... and getting on with the third... and truly third was the spellbreaker in her case... I do recall she was so happy and optimistic about it, even confessing that the doctors where quite upset with her because she knew the big risks but had been what they considered careless... There was a woman that lived life to the fullest, that did everything she wanted and found true love even if it only lasted almost two years... Could that be my path?

I should be more positive, perhaps... But I am no pixie. I am the realist, the one that expects the worst so she won't be dissapointed anymore. Life has made me this way. I only know that this has a purpose, it is a landmark that God has set in my life and it should mean something deep. All that is left is to trust Him, and let this ordeal move on by itself. I am doing my best to make things right, so the baby is delivered the best way possible. Of all things i hope, and wish, he or she will not inherit diabetes... my family's curse.


1 comment:

Maria said...


What I was trying to tell you on the phone is that I got the healthcare and grooming kit (thermometer, dropper, nail clipper, brush, comb, etc) at Kmart for the little mage. There seems to be some kind of baby sale at Kmart this week, so we could go there on Wednesday afternoon or something and pile up on the necessities.