Week 27 (November 15-21)
Overall Mood: Exhausted
Physical Symptoms: Fatigue, lots of heartburn
Baby Movement: Waking up to crotch kicks
Bump Changes: Finally rounding out!
Cravings: Sweets, specifically chocolate and cinnamon
Any Other Event: Started Maternity Leave (Early due to COVID risk)
COVID-19 is no joke, especially not to pregnant women. Our main job is to keep the little guy inside of us safe, even though they put us even further at risk. Cases are even higher than when we went into lockdown eight months ago and I work in one of the top three places COVID is commonly spread.
I was recently told by my employer that being afraid of COVID is a “personal fear” and that they likely will not be taking any more measures to protect us beyond making masks mandatory for employees (but a suggestion for not the people we come in contact with and have to stand within 6 feet of throughout our shifts). I understand that they are trying to please the guests, but seriously? No plastic/glass between myself and them? Or a sign that tells them to stand back a few feet and not breathe in my face?
My original plan was to work until I physically can not, or until I go into labor. It was not an easy decision, but honestly, I’m terrified. I’ve already stopped going out except for essentials and I don’t leave the house without a mask. It’s a shame others can’t do the same.
I am lucky enough to be in a position with the company where I can start my leave early. Starting November 25th, I will be on maternity leave until (most likely) May of 2021.
My plan for now is to do online work and try to boost my book sales on different platforms, ultimately monetizing my blog. We’ll see how that goes. I really appreciate everyone’s support, personally or by just reading what I write.
Week 26 (November 8-14)
Overall Mood: On Edge/ impatient
Physical Symptoms: Round ligament pain, fatigue
Baby Movement: Random kicks throughout the day, no longer just at night.
Bump Changes: Rapidly outgrowing pants! Leggings are becoming my best friend.
Cravings: Cheesy and fried potatoes
Extra: Picked a location for the baby shower! Let the planning begin!
Week 25 (November 1-7)
Overall Mood: Eager
Physical Symptoms: Round ligament pain and stretching of stomach
Baby Movement: Consistent. Mostly just at night, but sometimes in the mornings.
Bump Changes: Rapidly growing. I woke up with a speed bump on my belly on 11/6.
Cravings: Salt and vinegar chips
Extra: His kicks are hard enough to be felt by others. Isaiah was kicked in the face while blowing raspberries on the bump. OBGYN appointment on 11/3. Heart rate is still strong and everything seems to be on track!
Week 24 (October 25-31)
Overall Mood: Anxious, yet excited
Physical Symptoms: It’s getting difficult to feel hydrated, fatigue
Baby Movement: He loves kicking late at night! After 9:30pm
Bump Changes: Only visible in dresses or tight skirts
Cravings: Salt and Vinegar ANYTHING (especially chips)
Extra: We bought a crib!
1. Eating for Two is a Myth
I was beyond excited to finally have an endless stomach and eat whatever I wanted whenever and always have an excuse. Apparently, the average extra calorie intake should only be 350 calories per day. This is the same as eating one sleeve of PopTarts (two pastries).
2. Sleeping Comfortably is Impossible Regardless of Bump Size
Before becoming pregnant, my go-to sleep position was on my stomach with my leg up. I would pay pretty good money to be able to do that now. One of my first pregnancy purchases was a U-shaped pillow, and it has been one of my best investments. When my boyfriend isn't moving the arms of it that keep my on my side throughout the night to cuddle, my back and belly are held in place effortlessly. Unfortunately, I am getting to the point where rolling from one side to the other leaves me as breathless as running up the stairs at work.
3. Forget About Your Favorite Methods of Reducing Stress
What I wouldn't do for a steaming hot bath and watermelon White Claw after a long day of growing a human. Getting an afternoon blended energy drink to keep me going? In my dreams... Those contain well over the 200mg limit I have. Going for a run or having an extra long workout? My lungs no longer have the capacity. I guess I will stick with listening to music or screaming.
4. Foods That Made Me Throw Up in the First Trimester Will Never Taste the Same
Must I go on?
5. Bathroom Runs are Constant
I'm really looking forward to not having to waddle to the bathroom 20 minutes after every time I sip my water. I really need to invest in a toilet putting-practice golf game.
6. Hair. Everywhere.
As thrilled as I am about the hair on my head growing faster and fuller than I can maintain, I had no idea I could grow (this much) hair in places like my upper abdomen, shoulders, or below my chin. I feel like a monkey. On top of that, I can't effectively shave anything below my waist!
7. Lightning Crotch
There's no nice way to put it, occasionally it feels like someone is trying to scrape the inside of my hoo-hah with a cactus. It's like vaginal period cramps on crack.
8. Extra Hormones Don't Make You Extra Horny
Try the opposite. I feel bad for my man because I'm only ever in the mood every fourteen days or so. Maybe not that little, but damn near. On top of that, sex can get pretty uncomfortable between finding a position that doesn't squish the baby/add extra weight to my body and the extra blood flow in that area that can cause lady-parts to swell.
9. Self Love is Complicated
I have felt out of my own body for six months now. I can't remember what it was like to look in the mirror and not compare myself to other pregnant bodies/my pre-baby body. Little steps towards learning to love and live with my new body feels like learning a foreign language.
10. How Easy it is to Fall in Love with Someone the Size of a Cantaloupe
As much disgusting and uncomfortable things my body is going through, nothing beats feeling those kicks and nudges throughout the day as he grows and gets cozy.
Most facilities I have entered lately ask the same few questions before letting me through the door: “Have you had any fevers, nausea, body aches, shortness of breath?”. Short answer would be no, but most COVID-19 symptoms are also side effects of pregnancy. It’s been tough deciphering what I should worry about and what is normal.
I pictured pregnancy to be a beautiful celebration most of the time- lots of family and friends always being around, shopping, parties. Current circumstances are preventing all of it. Never have I been so anxious about anything. I am scared to go see loved ones who leave the house for non-essentials, and more afraid to be in public without a mask and lots of distancing. There aren’t enough studies on how Coronavirus affects the fetus or the mother for me to have any peace of mind. I feel robbed of one of the most important times of my life.
On top of the extra anxieties of being at a higher risk while pregnant, I feel completely alone. My boyfriend is not allowed at any doctor visits or ultrasounds. We had to seek out private facilities so he could see our son live. I am absolutely terrified for February to come around, and not have my mother in the delivery room if these restrictions don’t change. I could only imagine hearing terrible news and not having anyone to lean on in the moment. I understand that this is to protect the staff and myself, but this isn’t how it is supposed to be.
There’s very few things to do besides wait it out and do my best to keep the baby and I healthy.
After a brief glance to my stomach, my coworker had the nerve to ask, “Are you sure you’re six months pregnant?” AM I SURE? DID THIS MAN REALLY JUST ASK IF I AM SURE I AM PREGNANT? You know, I too hoped I would have a glamorous, rounded bump by the mid-end of my second trimester, but my son must be happy with the space he has currently.
All the mamas I’ve talked to recently have told me how “lucky” I am to not have much of a bump, but deep down, I wish I looked like a basketball was under my shirt. I want someone to think I am smuggling a pumpkin out of the pumpkin patch this fall.
I feel pressure to have something to show for my pregnancy, like the bump represents it. I am usually so good about ignoring the negativity, because I know it’s out of my control, but I’m still not sure why most think that the minute you get pregnant, you’ll look like you’re one squat away from labor. Bumps come in all shapes and sizes and they’re all beautiful, but people love to share their opinion.
It’s not fair to make me or any other pregnant woman feel ashamed of their bodies. I am growing a fucking human, what are you doing?