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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Just thought I'd write a few notes (partly for my own benefit) about physical/mental changes now I'm 20 weeks pregnant (hopefully halfway through!).

The sickness seems to have finally stopped -- still feel queasy occasionally (mostly in the mornings) but that's about it. Mostly I just feel ravenously hungry and incredibly tired... I fully expect addedentry to come home one day to find me fast asleep with my face in a jar of gherkins. I don't have any weirdly-specific cravings as such, but I do seem to want lots of dairy stuff (cheese! I could eat an entire cheese factory!) and vegetables. (And pickled eggs, but then I always crave pickled eggs, and the ones you can buy in supermarkets are never as nice as the ones the cheese-shop in Cambridge used to do. I suspect the answer is to pickle my own eggs, so to speak.)

I've definitely got a proper Bump now. From the front it just looks like I've thickened a bit round the waist, but from the side it's a proper pregnant shape. And I've still got another 20 weeks to go, so by the end I probably won't even able to get through doorways! I'm wearing actual real maternity jeans and when I see myself in the mirror I look like someone different, but I think that's partly just that I haven't worn blue jeans for at least 10 years. (This isn't some kind of weird policy, just that the one pair I used to own stopped fitting me & I never got round to buying any more because I had plenty of other trousers.) I can't touch my toes any more, and my belly-button has just slightly started to turn itself inside-out a bit.

I've started getting occasional twinges of pain around the hips -- they feel a bit like trapped nerves, and sitting down seems to make them worse, though I now have one of those z-shaped kneeling-chairs at work and that seems better than most things. Until last week I was still going running occasionally but I'm worried that the impact will make the twinges worse (it also definitely feels like more strain on my ankles, probably just from the extra weight). It'll be a shame if I do have to stop, because going out for a run helps to clear my head and wake me up a bit -- I know I could walk/cycle instead, but it's not the same somehow. Cycling fortunately still feels fine though (many thanks geekette8 for suggesting raising the handlebars, that's made it much more comfortable!) so I'm hoping to carry on with that. Oh, and I bought a book on Pregnancy Fitness (for £2.49 from Oxfam) and it says "Far and away the best exercises you can do when you're pregnant are walking, swimming and bicycling. They have a high fitness quotient and a low injury quotient, the precise formula to get you safely and healthfully through pregnancy." Which was reassuring on the cycling front. (And for what it's worth, it says running should be fine on smooth surfaces, but you should 'decrease intensity' in the third trimester -- but no sense in carrying on if it's uncomfortable/painful!)

Clearing my head is something I need to do more of. Tiredness and depression are horses of a different colour but they're definitely from the same stable in my, er, psychological farm, if that's not flogging a dead metaphor [please stop -- Ed.]; tiredness and lethargy make me feel miserable and useless, and feeling miserable and useless makes me feel more lethargic, and that's a destructive cycle. Spending all day in a stuffy office (if we let any fresh air in, one of my office-mates complains it's too cold -- he's 64 and very skinny so probably more susceptible to the cold than the rest of us) staring at a screen makes my head feel like it's full of fog and fibreglass -- I do get up to get a glass of water and wander around a bit fairly frequently, but every time I come back to the desk it feels like the screen steals a bit more of my soul. It doesn't help that the work I'm actually doing at the moment is all bitty, not the sort of thing where I can tick things off and feel like I've achieved anything. I'm fighting the sleepiness and uselessness on all sorts of fronts (trying to get early nights, snacking regularly during the day, drinking plenty of water, trying every time-management/GTD technique known to man) but I still feel like concentrating is a massive struggle and most of the time I'm barely keeping my head above water. The thought of having to keep battling on like this for another 20 weeks (with it presumably getting worse and worse) is really not encouraging. I know people have to deal with much worse things (though I'm weary of being reminded of this) but that doesn't stop it being difficult.

On the more positive side, I'm now getting quite determinedly kicked (or punched, or headbutted, or elbowed ... who knows?) from the inside by what appears to be an extremely active baby ninja. It's so noticeable to me that it always seems surprising that other people can't see or even feel the movement yet from the outside. She was wriggling around more or less non-stop for over an hour this morning -- it's not painful yet (she's still only very tiny!), it's not exactly an unpleasant sensation, and of course it's encouraging that she's obviously alive and well; but at the same time it is really weird and very distracting! (I can't really describe what it feels like -- the closest sensation I can think of is the feeling of lots of trapped wind suddenly moving itself through my innards, but it feels more deliberate than that.)

So that's where we are at the moment. Hope this is of interest to someone other than me, but if not, eh, tough. :-)

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Comments
atommickbrane From: atommickbrane Date: November 19th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Keep thinking it should be spelt 'trimestre'...
j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
By analogy with centre/theatre/etc, you mean? FWIW OED has "trimester" and says "trimestre" is "obs., rare".

I have seen it spelt "trimestre" on various pregnancy forums, but given that they tend to be populated by people who can't even spell "pregnant" I didn't pay much attention!
tigerfort From: tigerfort Date: November 19th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
For some reason (tm) this immediately made me wonder if a trimister is a device for spraying three plants (or cats) simultaneously.
shermarama From: shermarama Date: November 19th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always thought, if I ever got pregnant, not that I'm likely to be pregnant any time soon, or currently in a band, that I'd like to carry on playing the drums while pregnant. It's pretty good cardiovascular exercise done while sitting down, and I can imagine the legs-round-the-snare seating position being quite bump-compatible. I wonder whether the kicking would be in time, though, and if wasn't, how off-putting that would be.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: November 19th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Zonker, listening to a pregnant tummy, from which emanates: boomchicka boomchicka boomchicka boom; "Hey! The kid's got a back-beat!"
j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my experience so far it's not in time with anything, it's just kind of random movement. I mean, I don't even know if she's kicking, she's probably just wurbling about (on the last scan she turned all the way over several times during the 10 min we were watching!). There's not much else to do in there I guess. :-}

I suppose it may be possible to encourage a baby to move in time even in the womb by doing more rhythmic movement and/or playing more rhythmic sounds to it. Hmmm. Dunno how much they can hear from outside at this stage anyway!
julietk From: julietk Date: November 19th, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dunno how much they can hear from outside at this stage anyway!

http://pregnancyandbaby.sheknows.com/pregnancy/baby/Fetal-development--What-does-baby-really-hear-in-utero-6325.htm
suggests 'muffled sounds' from 20 weeks; which iirc matches with angelmine's Big Book of Pregnancy Pictures (last time I was visiting we checked & established that the baby could hear things a bit then (22 wks), so I could say hello to it :) )
j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the link - lots of interesting stuff! Unfortunately I fear this means that once the baby is born addedentry will try to convince me that listening to lots of shoegazing stuff is the best way to replicate the happy swooshy womb experience... :-}
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: November 20th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I put earphones with a splitter on the bump and on me from six months onward and we listened to lots of Renaissance choral music and South African gospel and oh, allsorts. *I* liked it, anyway. Although the Parsons Ave used to make me cry.
shermarama From: shermarama Date: November 19th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I ever do get pregnant, I'm totally doing experiments...
sebastienne From: sebastienne Date: November 19th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you completely sure it's not rhythmical?

Only I was expecting it to be moving something like

...
hairyears From: hairyears Date: November 20th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could you get longer drumsticks?
geekette8 From: geekette8 Date: November 19th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hooray for the handlebars, I'm so glad that helped!

I always thought it felt like the twitches you get in your eyelid when you're tired. At first, anyway; later it felt like someone trampolining on my cervix. :-)

j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
like the twitches you get in your eyelid when you're tired

Ah, yes, good call! Like that but stronger. And inside. :)
k425 From: k425 Date: November 19th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good description!

YoungBloke used to play xylophone on my ribs. From the inside.
jinty From: jinty Date: November 19th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Be careful with your hips / pelvis - if you start getting SPD then you should probably talk to your workplace about doing more work from home, if possible. There is supposedly some NHS physiotherapy on offer but in short supply so perhaps talk to your GP / midwife if you are feeling twinges, so as to get any physio lined up in good time (if at all possible!)?

You also have fat feet and hands to look forward to, quite likely... I found the baby movements to be pretty reassuring and interesting, but the fat feet were really not big favourites with me for some reason.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kind of reluctant to go to GP/midwife with something as tiny as occasional twinges! If it gets any worse I'll make an appointment, but at the moment it's just at the "oh I must have been sitting a bit funny" level of twinge, and moving around / stretching gently seems to make it go away -- whereas I got the impression that if it was actually SPD I'd be literally unable to stand up.

And yes, I know it gets lots worse. Not looking forward to the fat feet and hands. To be honest, I don't think there's anything about the actual pregnancy that I am actively looking forward to except getting it over and done with.
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: November 19th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think SPD can take many forms, it is a bit of a catchall term. I had some problems that stopped me cycling and ultimately walking very far and I assumed that it was SPD and didn't do anything about it. The problems persisted (albeit much reduced) for months after she was born so eventually I saw an osteopath and he sorted it out no problem so I wished I'd seen him earlier.
jvvw From: jvvw Date: November 19th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't think you need to go to midwife yet but might be worth mentioning at your next appointment make sure you read up on spd so you can nip it in the bud if necessary - about 25 per cent of pregnant women get it and for me hip pain like you descrive was one of the first signs. I did manage to stop mine but was very careful and had a horrible month or two where walking 50 yards or up and down stairs was very painful. If you can stop it before it getsbtoo bad you definitely want to!!

My midwife basically just gave me an info sheet and told me to see my gp if I wanted a physic referral though luckily didn't get to the stage of needing that.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: November 19th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
:-)

wriggly is fun. I had a hard time keeping a straight face when the Gorgeous Greyound said, unironically and with astonishment that she always thought pregnant women were just sitting there serenely, and it wasn't like that at all!

khalinche From: khalinche Date: November 19th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I for one am conmpletely fascinated by accounts of pregnancy by thoughtful, witty people, so I will read anything you write about it. I get quite thunderstruck by the idea that you're growing a whole new human being in your abdomen, like some bizarrely elaborate plant or something. It's like the most impressive nine-month-long party trick ever.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's like the most impressive nine-month-long party trick ever.

Ha! Now if only I was awake/well enough to go to parties, that'd be great. :-} (And of course once the baby arrives it's no more parties for the next 16 years or so...)
From: scat0324 Date: November 24th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, there's parties. Just the sort of party that takes place at 3pm.
bluedevi From: bluedevi Date: November 19th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, this is pretty much exactly how I feel about it. Write on!
tla From: tla Date: November 19th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the bright side, my experience was that the symptoms / slowdown / etc. didn't get worse in a linear fashion at all. I felt basically the same from 20 weeks straight through until 30 weeks or so, and it was only after that when all the late-pregnancy symptoms started to creep up on me.

It was around 20 or 21 weeks that I noticed my body's lack of response to any sort of sudden aerobic demand (e.g. needing to get up stairs quickly), so you might already be feeling that. But it wasn't until 33 or 34 weeks that the occasional hip twinge turned into 'you need to be careful with those hips', and it still isn't SPD. (Also, I did go to my osteopath when I got very early hip twinges, and whatever he did sorted me right out until late pregnancy. Sadly he is in Oxford and I am now in Zürich.)

As for movement, one of the weirdest moments for me was during an ultrasound, when I saw the baby slowly lift up a foot and knew a kick was coming - your instinct is to flinch, but to flinch how exactly?
j4 From: j4 Date: November 19th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just been catching up on your LJ (sorry, I have been very slack about keeping up with anybody else's news recently) -- sounds like you've had a hectic time of it! But hopefully all the scares are past now (& at least you're nearly there now!).

I've found myself struggling to get up and down the stairs as fast I'd normally do, but I don't know how much of that is just the effect of carrying the extra weight (and it doesn't seem to make the twinges any worse). I'm trying to strike a balance between listening to warnings from my body and not worrying about possible-symptoms-of-things too much...
tla From: tla Date: November 20th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yeah, funny how 'hectic' is a word that seems to come up a lot in my presence. :b Had another checkup yesterday, with a junior doctor who got alarmed anew about my blood pressure (which hasn't got better but hasn't got worse either), but managed to avoid having an induction. For now.

As for the stairs, yep, the first time I noticed this was when Mike & I were in Dubrovnik, and we were climbing up to the top of the city wall, and I took like two steps and started wheezing like an old lady with emphysema. I managed, but had to do it veeerrrrrryyyyy slllooooooowwwwwlllyyyyyy. It isn't just the extra weight (I wasn't actually carrying extra weight yet, then) - apparently it's also to do with this special maternal hemoglobin you get, which is very good at delivering oxygen to your adorable little parasite and much less good at delivering it to you. Thus the sudden lack of response to big aerobic demands...
k425 From: k425 Date: November 19th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found that once the consistent morning sickness eased off, nausea was only a problem if I was over-tired and hungry. Mine finished as a daily event around 15 weeks, but a few weeks later we had a day trip to the north-east for a funeral and by the time we got home I was too tired to eat properly, and had a bout of evening sickness. So don't push yourself!
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 21st, 2010 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks Givingの前に、東京経由でRIへいく。
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