Sunday, November 9, 2008

28 Weeks

Tomorrow we reach a grand milestone in this pregnancy. 28 weeks!! That is such a great thing for the long-term health of these little critters. The next milestone is 32 weeks (Dec. 8) and then we're pressing on to 36!

Well, I'm shocked to report without any exaggeration that I've put on 3 more inches in 3 weeks. I was wondering why I was feeling so much more miserable in the last few weeks and how so many things got so very suddenly difficult, but I suppose the rapid 3-inch expansion explains that phenomenon. How much further can this belly possibly continue to grow?? I'll confess that I actually feel better knowing there is a legitimate reason for my enhanced misery. I was starting to think I was crazy; I just didn't understand the drastic decline and wondered if it was all in my head.

I don't have a picture available yet. I'm trying to decide if I'm brave enough to take pix of the belly in all its bare glory. I should take a poll to see if you'd like to be grossed out by such exposure, LOL! 50 fabulous inches around my waist. Ouch. It's starting to hurt in places I hadn't yet even imagined. My butt hurts all the time, no matter what position I'm in. In fact, sometimes it hurts the very most in the middle of the night when I think it should be feeling the most rested. Rolling over in bed is excruciating and I wake up Justin all night long with my yelps and grunts as I shift.

My stomach is starting to really feel maxed out. It's not quite so cute and round anymore. It is slowly starting to become more and more square-shaped as the front is really starting to resist further expansion (bet you didn't know that was possible, did you?) It's still growing underneath and up top, but the front is really putting up some resistance. It's quite painful to cough, sneeze, or throw up. It's just so tight and so much of it has come on so suddenly in the last several weeks. Contractions almost always hurt now just because it's so expanded.

Reaching the key in the ignition to the van is almost comical. I won't be driving very soon. Getting dressed is an adventure, one I try to avoid most days. I spend a lot of time in gigantic nightgowns (thanks, Heather!) The other day I actually had to have Tanner drag the top of my underwear to where I could reach them. That was an all new low (no pun intended). He was completely bewildered by the request, I'm not gonna lie. I do/can not get down on the floor at this point for any reason. I lost my ability to take luxurious baths this last week as well (dang it!), since I can't get up anymore out of the tub by myself and because laying in the "comfy bath relaxation position" sets me almost immediately into contractions.

I'm not exactly on official physician-prescribed bedrest, but I do spend a lot of time in bed and loafing about out of default. Keeping my contractions down is something we all have to work on as a family. It doesn't take much to set them off because this gigantic uterus is amazingly sensitive at this point. Laying on my side seems to help and it doesn't hurt so much to breathe in that position either.

Kinley asked the inevitable "do you think your belly could explode at some point" question. I told her "no", but I'll confess I couldn't muster up 100% certainty!

Justin has really stepped up with the housework and would like me to step up with a positive attitude, LOL! I know that he's right. I would feel so guilty and so terrible if these babies were delivered before they were fully baked. I know I need to be mentally stronger to make it through another 8-10 weeks. I can't deny that I'm anxious for their arrival, but I want them healthy and strong and ready to come home when they do get here. NICU is not what I'm going for.

They've been active a lot lately and their bumps and jiggles help remind me that there is a reason we're going through this challenge. Just when I'm feeling at my weakest, they'll give me a little nudge (or 12) to ask me to carry on for them. "Chin-up, Mommy" they say. If I could avoid any additional challenges like coughs that last 3-4 weeks or the stomach flu, that would be really swell. I'm so anxious to hold them in my arms and welcome them here to our family!!! I love them so sincerely and I worry about them so constantly that I just want to hold them and know that they are ok and bring them safely to our home and get this party started!

Tanner and Kinley have been amazingly supportive and flexible during all of this. I know this is just a temporary crisis, but I feel so helpless sometimes and if there is anything I hate, it's feeling helpless (which you'll already know about me if you know me well). I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such invaluable friends, sisters, and neighbors who have stepped in with meals, child care, bus-running, phone calls, emails, an amazing baby shower, and everything else. I even scored a surprise footrub one day from my visiting teachers! The outpouring of love and support has been humbling. I knew I'd need help in December and January, but I didn't anticipate being quite so needy so relatively early in this pregnancy.

So, longwinded as it is, that is the 28 week update.

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