Heather's Pregnancy Compendium: Part 5

26 weeks!

i hope it's not sounding like blah, blah, blah to you all! i am seriously fascinated with my own pregnancy and others' and new babies... it's embarrassing! i eat, drink and breathe pregnancy. i wanted to try not to let this happen. i DO still read books and go to work and watch good films and sometimes even think about other stuff. but really this baby is the truest part of me right now.

so here goes the last bit of my pregnancy compendium.
i'm sure i'll think up other topics that were supposed to fit earlier in the alphabet, so maybe later toward the last weeks i'll do some odds and ends.

i am a nester by nature :) and i'm not just talking cleaning and organizing my nest, i'm talking also building my nest. my equivalent of a bird's gathering bits of string and paper and hair and twigs are my trips to the thrift stores. also people keep giving me stuff and i have to find a way to store them! so i bought another small white dresser at the thrift store to hold baby supplies. i have done all the laundry and washed and organized all the cloth diapers with the little inserts fitted inside, (we were GIVEN 24 bum genius cloth diapers with inserts and hemp liners, what?! never thought i'd be so excited but i am) and changed around my own bedroom to accommodate a bassinet. but nesting is so much more than that and it has really hit the last couple weeks. i scoured the stove and stove-hood clean and i (try to) rule this house with an iron fist to make sure it stays that way. i constantly clean the nooks and crannies of the coffee pot and the drawers of the refrigerator and i got a new shower curtain. you guys probably realize i have a cluttered and "bohemian" style house that will never be spare or modern or spacious or well-lit; i like to call it cozy. but damned if it won't be sparkling clean when baby comes!

i have seen a lot of women complain about how their body becomes public space when they are pregnant. friends, i could not love this any more! i went to a local show the other night (my first social event in a while) and people that hadn't seen me in a while were oohing and ahhing over my belly. i had to tell them it's okay to touch it! and then they'd rub it and make me feel so proud and loved. my friend bridget said it's just so magnetic, which i thought was a cute way to describe it. guys too, jorden is the best at belly-rubbing being a recent dad himself, and an old friend rob asked me if he could feel it because he has two older kids and "might not ever feel this again." i am proud to share this belly with my community.

i haven't had anyone make questionable comments like telling me i am too big or too small or asking me really personal stuff. i find that our society tends to be more on the evasive and isolated side, so i say, touch away! talk away! ask me all about it, tell me your own stories, hug me?  i don't mind! at the bookstore, customers have just this past week started to ask me when i'm due and what i'm having. i downright glow when i answer. one lady shared her own daughters' names and told me how much she had loved being pregnant years ago. to me it all connects me to the most wonderful web of mothers.

you might think i'm about to write all about glowing and radiance. nope. i am sorry to report that my skin is dry and the same little rash that appears every spring around my nose and mouth is back. pregnancy did nothing to stop that, but hey i'm used to it. i also have dark circles under my eyes like always, and little wrinkles, and all that jazz.

 i will add that i am beet red half the time from being quite warm. i look like i am blushing continually, a look i happen to really like. this especially happens at night and i feel quite cute and blush at myself in the mirror right before i go to bed ;)

as for stretch marks, i haven't gotten any new ones. i have some already on my hips from my teenage years, so it is not going to be the end of the world for me if i get a few more. i do rub some nice oil on my belly and breasts and hips after showers, and i use cocoa butter when my skin itches. the itchiness was very bad around week 20 but has died down some now. this might be tmi for some people but i get a bit chapped on the nips and inside the belly button, what?! i don't know how to naturally treat that (any ideas anyone?) so i just let it go. and it kinda goes away, or comes and goes. nothing that bothers me much. ack you are probably so sick of me saying that...nothing bothers me, tralala, i am in wonderland and i'm preeeeegggnnnaaaant! i could be popping zits all over my entire body and i'd still be feeling lovely and beautiful, haha!

okay, it was a surprise to me to find out you are not supposed to sleep on your back when you're pregnant. it puts pressure on your spine and vena cava and hinders blood flow to the uterus. then i found out you're not even supposed to lay on your right side because that also restricts bloodflow in the vena cava. agh! so all that's left is the left side.... okay that is fine, but all night long? with a big belly right next to you that you're also supporting? i have a system that works fairly well: two pillows under my head, body pillow borrowed from kim all along my front going between my knees, and another pillow behind my back. but still, my poor left hip goes numb. and my neck and shoulder go all twangly. and i am just learning to deal with that.

i wake up to pee a couple times a night too, which is new for me. it gets more frequent as my belly gets bigger. you're never going to believe this but i actually like waking up to pee because i read toward the beginning of my pregnancy that the more you wake up to pee the less chance there is of stillbirth. WHAT? you're thinking, does she actually worry about this stuff. and yes, yes i do. remember that anxiety stuff i mentioned right at first? yeah, it's still hovering. ever present and ever nagging. i think blissful thoughts as much as possible but sometimes it wiggles right back on in.

which leads to another facet of sleep: deprivation! i get insomnia sometimes because i lay there worrying and thinking irrational thoughts. i am never a stressed out person during the day and all the way up until my late-night bedtime, but once the lights are out and the room is dark, you never know where my mind will take me, it's weird! 
here is a funny example:
the other night i woke up from a deep sleep because i thought i heard a chattering, like a squirrel was in my bedroom. my cat billy was wide awake too, staring at something in the dark. in a moment he got up and proceeded to try to hunt around for the next hour or so. i was convinced there was a wild critter in our bedroom. i tried to wake darin up but he had no faith in my concerns. he thought i hallucinated it but i was convinced that because the cat was acting weird there was definitely something in there. could it be a rat? i lay there for hours, terrified that a rat was going to run across my face. i thought of our baby in her future bassinet, and a rat running across her face. or maybe a squirrel or possum would take a flying leap at the window trying to get out. i was terrified. once i finally did fall asleep i had dreams about taking our entire room apart methodically to find the creature's lair. 
just today i realized that my cat billy makes that chattering sound when he sees a fly in the house. it dawned on me that he had probably seen or heard a fly in the room and was trying to capture it. (we've been keeping the doors open on sunny days and so occasionally a horsefly gets inside, which billy thinks is great sport.)
i called darin at work to tell him my revelation. i said, so there's probably not a wild critter living in our bedroom! he said, i knew that all along.

does this look like the face of a worrywart?!

at my last doctor's appointment i had gained 15 pounds. pretty normal, i think, but whoa! it is weird to step on that scary doctor scale and have the nurse keep pushing that little slider to the right, a little bit more, a bit more and more. i weigh more by far than i've ever weighed in my life. 
this is a sensitive issue because people have such strong feelings about weight and body image. i personally went through my crap with body image at about age 19 or 20, continued on with it a bit through my early twenties, and basically got it over and done with. securely in my thirties, i couldn't be more over it. as long as i feel good and can do anything physical that i set out to do, i couldn't give a rat's ass if i have big thighs or cellulite or body hair or a double chin.
BUT i do want to feel healthy and i do want to feel cute in my own way. i guess these are fairly natural desires for women. you know your own limits and what feels right for you.
i feel pleasantly plump right now which is fine with me but also, i am determined to feel beautiful (and not "frumpy" like some women talk about) through this entire pregnancy. i don't want to come to a point where i look in the mirror or see photos of myself and can't stand the sight, as vain as that sounds. i think part of why some women don't fully enjoy the pregnancy experience is because they are disgusted by how they look or how "fat" they feel. which is kind of just sad but also a real fact and could be a symptom of over-indulgence. it could have to do with consumerism and society's pressures and a culture that is overly obsessed with me, myself and i. it could be a combination of many factors and it could be a trap.

 this is my very own journey so i know that it is all really up to me, both physically and mentally. as for physically, i am still kind of in an "eat-everything-in-sight" stage and things like easter candy and salted caramel ice cream are harder to resist than ever! by which i mean, i don't resist them. i do eat tons of salad, veggies, fruits, and healthy stuff too, but nachos never tasted so good. i know for me and my body type it won't be healthy for me to gain a whole lot of weight and i can tell how easy that would be. so i have to try to dedicate myself to health and exercise! and not letting my self-indulgent nature get the best of me. 

we'll have to check back in on this. who knows what could happen, and i will be gentle with my new mama self, so one more thing:
i  promise to not be too obsessive about getting "back" my body later. (pretty easy when you weren't so "fit" to begin with!) i will let nature and needs and my baby and self-confidence and love be my guide.

drink lots! i am thirsty all the time and i drink water by the gallons. i think it is helping my digestion stay smooth and helping keep my energy up. i LOVE water. i carry a mason jar full everywhere i go. i drink it filtered or straight from the tap. i could bend down and lap it from a stream right now. this is making me super thirsty just talking about so i'm going to pour myself a nice cool glass :)

thanks for following along sweet friends. i welcome your comments, questions, thoughts or anything in between!

dress: thrifted last week 
sweater: thrifted years ago
sandals: free from clothing exchange
earrings: gifted and handmade by amber
crystal bullet necklace: made by sadie


AdieSpringB said…
First off, I LOVE this post. I am so glad you figured out the chattering sound! Also, hint of sarcasm, thanks from the bottom of my own belly for introducing me to that DANG'D salt sweet caramel pecan ice cream. I went to Savemart last night and tracked down the LAST carton. I dug behind a bunch of Red Velvet cake cartons and found it, the very last one! I had seen where the price label on the shelf is that they had had it but it appeared to be gone but I didn't give up hope. Had the biggest bowl of Ice Cream I'd had in over a year last night.

Also, I'm glad some of your worries are relieved and you are sounding chipper and free! Despite how normal and healthy some fear and worries are, I really think you should MAKE yourself go out to a movie or maybe for a long uphill walk or something next time you get worrisome! It's so good to let that anxiety go out the window too! But hopefully it will lessen and lessen the closer you get to the big day!

I love you bun, it was SOOO good to hang out this past weekend. Unbelievably good. As I drove home I wept some pms tears of overwhelming thankfulness for our family and every nuance of it and my wonderful wonderful life. Wow. I never could have expected it would get this good. Can't wait to meet the newest one to go on road trips, show wildflowers and plants and animals to, get wild with, camp under the stars with.... that sweet little baby lady!
mmgood said…
that pregnancy obsession you have? once baby comes, it will transform into motherhood obsession and i don't know about you...but i began to find the chatter of my single friends quite boring...this bad boyfriend and this neurotic hum-de-dum...can we talk about nursing techniques and weight gain and how to get them to poop? only recently has my (usually hungry) philosophers mind popped back up and i am finally craving different conversation. :)

your skin looks glowing, even if it is still dry! are you getting the 'mask of pregnancy' at all? i had it pretty hard core, but it was kinda like extreme freckles, and i liked it!

and i know that it is somehow taboo, as a body positive, natural mama, to talk about weight gain frustration, but i think that body changes are intense. you have the cute little belly i wish i had had. i went from being twiggy all my life to gaining 70 lbs in pregnancy!! i don't know that my body will ever go back, and i am still trying to embrace it. you hit it on the head, "i want to feel cute in my body". that's important and that's OK.

i love the story about your chattering cat! i'm not surprised the worries show up in the dark...that's where they like to hang out. ;). being the wild woman that you are, i wonder if you could call in the help of the beings in nature...animal and otherwise. i think your baby will already have its own spirit guides...maybe it's time to enlist them. that way, if a rat approaches your baby at night, it will be to give her ratty blessings, and to let her know that she has an ally in the darkness. xoxo
oh sweetie, who told you that you can't sleep on your right side? that's not true. if you get high blood pressure then yes, the left is safer, but other than that, you can go back and forth with no fear. even laying on your back is okay for short spurts. you look gorgeous! and you are lucky no one has been obnoxious to you. people were asking me if i was having twins and commenting on how HUUUUGE i was and how HUUUUUGE my boobs were. it sucked. i cried a lot. and i don't like the touchy. no touchy. you are seriously a glowing pregnant woman! nesting sucked for me because i have such anxiety that i started cleaning and it was never clean enough. so i would start to panic and hyperventilate and then Nikos would find me on the ground scrubbing the kitchen floor with a toothbrush.
and 15 lbs is perfect for where you are. it's on the low side, in fact! i gained 15 lbs in the first 8 weeks because i quit smoking. i gained 100 lbs with my first pregnancy. well, 70 and then when i got preeclampsia at the end i gained almost 25 lbs in swelling over night. it was horrible. you are perfect.
anne said…
i was so bummed because your last edition of these posts i had written a big long comment and it got erased :( oh well. i will try again on this one.

i never cared if anyone touched me either and i don't mind when people touch my babies. i can see the joy it brings them so why would i mind? (i'm only saying that because i hear so many people get pissed because a stranger touches their baby).
insomnia and nightly potty visits- i've always thought the lack of sleep during pregnancy was just a way to get you use to the lack of sleep when baby comes. it works out pretty well :)
weight gain-15 lbs? really? so you're one of THOSE pregnant women? well, i won't deny that i'm jealous. i gained 70 with max (yes, i know! crazy! my excuse is that i was 19 and didn't eat much until i got pregnant) with alex i gained around 35. we got married that year so i really tried to not gain much so i would fit in my dress. with shane i gained around the same as alex and with marianne i gained around 40-45. i'm trying to be patient with myself but now that it's almost been a year and i still haven't lost the weight i'm getting annoyed. summer is approaching and i want to be able to wear my skirts and dresses that still don't fit. i've considered posting about it but i figured i'd get a bunch of negative comments. so, i'll complain here :D ANYWAY, you are lucky to stay slim because it's freaking hard to lose it.

stretch marks- gaining 70 lbs= many stretch marks. let's just say that after my first i never wore a bikini again.

i hope you think up some more topics to discuss! how about sex? hahaha jk!
Tina Dawn said…
Hi Heather. I just wanted to let you know that I have always found Vitamin A helpful for skin problems, whether it is a healing cut, rash, or just dry skin. You can get the cheapest kind that is just oil in its own little capsule, poke or bite a hole in it and squeeze it on. It is very soothing to your skin and a little goes a long way. Good for stretch marks, since it helps with scars, before, during or after healing. I am enjoying the story of your pregnancy. Love T
GrittyPretty said…
Hi Heather,
I had to laugh when i read about the rat and the cat worries in the dark. I've been such a calm auntie for so many years that i was shocked as a mom that i got nuts with worry that i f i put my babe down all of nature would conspire to send mosquitoes his way or what have you. it was so nice to FINALLY get a grip - what helped me was watching the documentary "babies". kids are tough. i've loved following along with your glorious pregnancy! your baby is a very lucky girl- and our whole world is lucky for her arrival this summer! YAY!
GrittyPretty said…
Hi Heather,
I had to laugh when i read about the rat and the cat worries in the dark. I've been such a calm auntie for so many years that i was shocked as a mom that i got nuts with worry that i f i put my babe down all of nature would conspire to send mosquitoes his way or what have you. it was so nice to FINALLY get a grip - what helped me was watching the documentary "babies". kids are tough. i've loved following along with your glorious pregnancy! your baby is a very lucky girl- and our whole world is lucky for her arrival this summer! YAY!
lasophia said…
You are glowing through my monitor lady! Sounds like u have all your ducks in a row. I've been sleeping on my sides for weeks now with a pillow between my legs. Just started craving things like hot cocoa and asparagus. No one has tried to touch me yet, but I'll let u know how I feel about it when it happens ha.
Missa said…
For chapped nips, try this stuff: http://www.lansinoh.com/products/hpa-lanolin. I have some from when I was dealing with the pains of early breast feeding (ugh, I hope you have better luck with that than I did) and it lists prenatal use on the tube for conditioning and promoting healthy, supple skin.

Man, I completely missed out on the whole nesting thing since we ended up moving just two weeks before I gave birth. When everything in me wanted to prepare my nest, I was busy packing it all into boxes instead! So unfair. We fell in love with our home though, and were so excited for Clover to grow up here that it was worth it :)

Haha! Love the chattering kitty story (I know that sound well) and Darin's classic response to your worries was hilarious.

Take care lovely mama!
Heather said…
Wow 26 weeks that is amazing!!! I can't believe it where has the time gone??? It is just flying by. I think you have an amazing outlook and attitude. With my first pregnancy I was a young 21 years old I really did not have a good understanding of my body at all and I got the worst advice from doctors it was a very hard pregnancy for me. My doctor told me I was way to thin and I needed to fatten up and to go eat big macs and drink milkshakes I had been a vegetarian previously. I mistakenly took this advice....And I ended up on Bedrest with Toxemia incredibly high bloodpressure and a C section to follow...then I was told how I would not be able to breast feed because I was so small breasted lol!! Well come to find out I think I have milk ducts around to my back hahahaha I had so much milk the nurses couldn't believe it they said I could have fed the whole ward lol!! I love how you are confident in your body and you seem to know yourself well. I think that this kind of confidence would have been very helpful with my pregnancies but in my youth I just did not have it!! I am very excited for you and I am enjoying reading along with your journey thanks for sharing ~and you look beautiful as always :) Love Heather
Nicky said…
Hello happy glowing mama!!! I loved reading this! I loved being pregnant too, and didn't mind if people wanted to come up and rub my belly, thought I did have one strange person walk up and ask and started rubbing it all crazy around and around- ahhahahha that was the only strange one!
I felt like people were so much nicer when I was pregnant, they all let you sit first, hold doors for you, smile at you- it's the best!!! I also felt safer for some reason, like people were all looking out for me-

The weight gain- haha- my Mama told me, "If you gain it, you have to lose it!!!" So I stayed active and gained 27 with Elsa and 33 with Olivia. It was harder to lose the weight with Olivia, but I was so appreciative of the fact that both were healthy pregnancies and that I could be active, lots of walks, swimming, and some easy workouts at the gym here and there :D

You are seriously radiant and I love reading these and hearing the excitement in your voice. I know you're limited on space, but I'll be needing to send something for your lil peanut. Naturally I wanna send cute vintage dresses, but if you have a real need, let me know :D xoxo
Nichole said…
that dress is the perfect maternity dress it think. it makes it look like you are holding a bouquet of flowers!

thanks for sharing all of this. there's been some speculation from my doctors that it may be difficult for me to conceive in the future, but should i ever, i imagine i will physically print all of these entries for me to devour!
Nichole said…
that dress is the perfect maternity dress it think. it makes it look like you are holding a bouquet of flowers!

thanks for sharing all of this. there's been some speculation from my doctors that it may be difficult for me to conceive in the future, but should i ever, i imagine i will physically print all of these entries for me to devour!
Celynne said…
A dear friend of mine is pregnant, and I only wish she were as in love with her belly as you! She admitted to me that as much as she wants to love her growing belly, she's anxious and upset about the weight she's gaining, and getting bigger. It's great that you are so enraptured and enthused with your pregnancy. I think a lot of people are hesitant to ask questions related to pregnancy earlier in when it's less obvious, just in case the person isn't pregnant... you never know!

Speaking of chapped nipples... I saw this on Etsy and you reminded me of it... nipple cream, safe for nursing mamas! http://www.etsy.com/listing/94246171/organic-nipple-cream-perfect-for-nursing

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