Friday, February 7, 2014

22 Weeks: On the Move

To clarify, since I'm starting to confuse myself: I post these on the day I "turn" the number of weeks in the post title. So today I'm 22 weeks pregnant, and this post sums up 20w0d through 21w6d. I didn't forsee this happening, but I'm actually starting to lose track of how far along I am! This morning I had to go to my trusty Med Calc to figure out my dates.

Anyway, this past week started with my first bout of nesting. I painted my nails for the first time in ages and when I was picking out my nail polish, the messy bathroom drawer bothered me so much that I ended up throwing half of the stuff away and completely re-organizing the top two drawers before I got around to actually doing my nails.

Ross and I also had a fun date night that same night: we went to my favorite farmer's market to stock up on local, grass-fed meat, and then we ate dinner at the best vegan restaurant in town. Ironic, no? I haven't been craving anything in particular, but I've been quite hungry for warm, filling, healthy, savory foods. That dinner definitely fit the bill!

It's so weird that baby can taste amniotic fluid now, so he gets a hint of whatever I eat. I'm hoping for the best and preparing for the worst when it comes to his food preferences. I'm assuming that despite the variety in my diet, I'll end up with a picky eater- ha! If he likes all the food like I do, I will consider myself very lucky. (And here's hoping his intestines like all foods, too-- unlike mine.) Baby can also (hopefully) hear sounds and be startled by loud noises. Aw!

Speaking of baby, he's the size of a papaya this week and he has certainly made his presence known at last!!! It seems like it was an overnight change: I very occasionally felt him moving as early as Christmas, but it wasn't every day and it wasn't anything big. I knew that around week 20 he could make conscious movements like sucking his thumb or changing his position, and we saw plenty of movement on our last ultrasound, but I hadn't felt much of it yet.

Then the day we "turned" 21 weeks, I felt a swift kick in my side. I can't even explain how surreal and definitive that thump was. I happened to be laying down, so I even saw it from the outside! The next day I went to listen to him at work and he kicked exactly where I placed the doppler! Twice! I've felt very distinct movement every day since then and it's so weird and so absolutely amazing. Thanks to an anterior placenta, it's still rare to feel movement in the middle of my belly, but I can tell where his feet and hands are in the periphery and it's really cool. I love that every time he moves, it reminds me that he's there, and reassures me that he seems to be doing okay.

I think that change alone has made pregnancy so much more real for me. Well, that, and the fact that I can now wear maternity shirts without feeling like a complete idiot. My regular shirts are wayyy too short (which is saying a lot, because my torso isn't that long). But maternity shirts still seem pretty long and the bump is relatively tiny in them. Just give us time, I guess.

This is the first week I've started to feel physically pregnant in regards to a baby bump. I rolled over on my stomach to read in bed one night and it felt like I had rolled over onto a baby. Kind of alarming! I won't be doing that again. My range of motion in regards to twisting my torso and bending over is starting to decrease now, and I kind of grunt thanks to forced air exhalation when I do either of those things. Super attractive and bound to get worse before it gets better. I actually don't mind at all-- it's just embarrassing to sound like I'm having so much troubling picking up whatever I dropped. I drop things often!

Speaking of breathing, did you know your lung capacity expands by up to 30-40% during the second trimester, allowing my body to carry more oxygen to the placenta and remove more carbon dioxide? To accommodate for this, the rib cage increases 2-3 inches in circumference even before the baby gets high enough to push anything out. As someone with asthma who often feels like they can't take a full breath, this has been a welcome relief. I feel like I can breathe so deeply now!

My allergy and asthma doctor says that 1/3 of women find that their asthma worsens during pregnancy, 1/3 of women find that it stays the same, and 1/3 of women find that asthma improves during pregnancy. It's too early for me to call a definitive verdict on which camp I'm in, but so far so good. I feel confident saying that thus far, my asthma has certainly not gotten worse. Fingers crossed it stays this way. I like being able to take deep breaths! That being said, I know there will come a day when the baby is so squished in there that he starts pushing on my lungs and making it harder to breathe. I'll be enjoying my deep breaths until then!

All in all, this was a fun week.  I'm starting to get my energy back thanks to iron supplements, and I feel a bit pregnant, but not miserably so. Time seems to be moving more quickly now!

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