August 7, 2012

Week 34: Butternut Squash Baby

Week 34
Baby is the size of a butternut squash!
Averaging 4-6 lbs, 17-18 inches long. oh my.
Happy 34 weeks! I can't believe the following sentence is legit these days: "Only 6 weeks until my due date." How is this all happening? Wasn't I just in Mexico, taking my first pee-pee test, finding out that Edu and I were expecting our first bebe? I really feel like that was last month. Or maybe 5 years ago. It's as if I've been pregnant for years, but at the same time, I'm having a hard time fathoming how God has brought us this far - what a GIFT!

 I've been experiencing a handful of strange pregnancy symptoms this past week, so let's touch on those. First off, sleeping has become mighty awkward. I can't seem to find a comfortable position, even with a delightful pillow between my knees, one leg stretched out and the other bent over the pillow, and my neck in a good spot on another pillow. I'm attempting the "ultimate relaxation" lying down position from The Bradley Method, but I can't do the whole arm-behind-you-in-strange-bent-position because it always falls asleep on me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. Maybe I should get it right before I attempt to use that position for ultimate relaxation during labor. I also constantly hear people's voices in my head as I try to turn onto the right side of my body, "lying down on your left side prevents reflux" "you should try to sleep on your left side, it's more comfortable for baby" "left is right. right is wrong." - and goodness me, why is this so? It just to happens to be the most comfortable position I can think of, not including lying on my back, which I know I would be yelled at for. Honestly, I have yet to feel "light headed" while lying on my back, sometimes I do it just for a minute or so because it feels so dang good and then turn out of pure guilt. No dizziness for me = no harm done to baby. So I see no harm done.

Another new, fun, strange adventure: edema. Edema = swollen body. Swollen body, in my case, has been mainly my toes when I am cooking in the kitchen for more than an hour. Or simply standing in the kitchen, staring at a cookbook. My toes swell up like "little sausages" hubby and I refer to them as, all pink and ready to be added to macaroni (sweet childhood memories now made morbid - what joy!). Usually all I have to do to rid my toes of their swollen fiasco is sit on the couch, lift up my legs, and rest. Easy as pie! But wait - there's more. This past weekend, Seattle decided it wanted to be like the rest of the country and hit 90 degrees for the first time. Spouse and I, of course, decided we'd take the time to celebrate his 32nd birthday with a walk or 8 around a few parks as we tested out our new camera.
We called this his birthday bash, as well as a maternity photo shoot (we have one scheduled for the first week in September but I thought we ought to try n' snap a few good ones before hand just in case baby comes before his/her due date). The photo shoot went great, until we both thought we were dying from heat stroke - err... got grumpy because of the sunshine burning our flesh - and drove home.
First, though, we grabbed dinner at a nearby Vegan Thai restaurant, and I'm pretty sure I got my fair share of sodium in the meal - so that could have contributed to swollen foot syndrome, but that's just a maybe.

Anyhow, once we got home, I had noticed my feet were close to bursting out of my flats, but I contributed it to the heat and the walking, and we didn't think anything of it. We actually only thought about the pregnancy snapshots and the beauty that is a fancy camera's photo quality. Sunday, however, was a different story. The temp was in the upper 80s or low 90s and sitting through church was rough. Only because I had a hard time focusing on growing spiritually and reading God's Word, since all I could think about was my dress being glued to my sweat. It was warm. very. very. very. warm. Once home, I cooked up some pizza and quinoa muffins ('cause we don't know how to break the food routine even when it's 80 degrees inside the house and both foods would mean an oven at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes total).

Later, we sat down to delicious grub and I stuck my feet in a bucket of ice water to cool down. We finished a movie (The Flowers of War - heavy stuff, but beautiful film) and I can't remember what else went down... before we noticed the "elephants" in the room: my feet. They were so swollen from lower shin to tip of my toes that I could hardly walk. There was no comfortable bending of the ankles going down, nor was there a freedom to walk up and down the stairs without feeling like my animal-balloon-like feet were going to burst. All I could do at this point was eat watermelon (once again, for the cooling off attempt) and stare at them.

Eduardo was really taken back by the whole thing and I had to read about edema online to calm his nerves. Then the nerves came back because excessive swelling can also be a sign of pre-eclampsia which means high blood pressure + protein in urine + discomfort + possible danger for baby (read Wikipedia, I'm not a doctor). I tried to ice my feet, to cool off my entire body and to see if the swelling would subside, but no luck. I had balloon feet, and I accepted it as fact. I didn't have the option at the time to elevate my legs/feet/toes because I was in the middle of 2 paintings for the baby's room, but I hear that would have brought the swelling down significantly. Ah well.
 So I touched base with the midwife, after my co-workers checked my urine for any protein (I work at a pediatrician's office) and none was found. She said both High Blood Pressure and traces of protein in urine have to be present in order for a positive pre-eclampsia diagnosis. So I rested easy. Strangely enough? And maybe TMI on this "food blog"? They found I have a UTI! So that was surprise, which I also told my midwife about, but since I have zero symptoms, we're letting it slide without antibiotics. I am seeing her tomorrow for the 34 week check up and we'll chat more about it, maybe even send some urine off to be cultured. We'll see! Thankfully, though, I'm in no discomfort whatsoever and the swollen feet are non-existent. All is well. My back just aches from not keeping up with prenatal yoga.

Whew! What a story! Aside from the edema and sleeping issues, all is going well. A little more from week 34? Well, foods in the morning have been tasting strange, I'm definitely running into walls of fatigue throughout the day, and my belly button is popping out more than usual. Exercise is down to walking almost daily, prenatal workout DVDs only occur when I make time for them, baby's nursery is coming along now that I have the paintings finished, and I have had 2 baby showers - 3 more to go! Baby is almost 100% out of room, I feel every kick and squish, push and roll, toss and turn that goes on inside of me. I love every bit of it, but wish I had hubby's hand constantly on baby so he could feel and share each movement, it's so special! And yes, it has gotten to be a bit uncomfortable at times, but in a goofy way that makes me giggle since I seriously feel like baby is trying to push through the uterine walls.

PS: just used my tummy as a table for my cell phone while I copied a bible verse off of it. Oh the joy of the tummy table! And tomorrow I'm excited to talk about placenta encapsulation with my midwife. We'll see how that goes down. Happy 6-weeks-to-go, baby Carrillo!

exercise this week: walking. one session of weight lifting.
pounds gained: 22
food consumed: 8 million plant calories
weeks left: 3, 6, or 8 - who knows!
due in: 40 days

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually 
grant you peace in every circumstance.
The Lord be with you all! 
2 Thessalonians 3:16

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