Seven months

I’m at 31 weeks, over 7 months. I realize I need to document more, even if it doesn’t feel like big news, because I am someone who likes to look back and remember. I’ve even gone back and read some of my friends’ blogs (thanks ladies!).

How I’m feeling

Since I haven’t had any big symptoms, I knew the last trimester would be the hardest for me. I’m big at last and it’s kinda awkward! The belly is growing, yet it feels like there’s absolutely no room. The other day I could not get comfortable. Either it was contractions or the Martian telling me to change positions. And he doesn’t do gentle kicks anymore; it’s more like Billy Blank’s Tae Bo against my ribs. “Jab, jab…” I embrace the hiccups with fondness, since they’re not painful but a good sign of activity. They’re also a strong clue as to how he’s lying: head very low.

Other days I feel great and play tennis or can keep up a brisk walk. It seems like the more busy I am, the better the day goes and I don’t notice the tightness at all. I still haven’t put on much more weight; my theory is that I’m losing muscle instead.

Still, my most prominent fear is having the baby early, so I’m cautious about any contraction and am drinking a lot more water.

My latest baby dream is amusing. I don’t remember how it all worked out, but there were lots of logistics and somehow I ended up having to drive my uncle’s car. I find the car in the parking lot, only to learn that it’s this like super nice, antique, blue car. I can’t believe they trusted me to drive this. I panic and suddenly no longer know how to operate a car. I struggle to figure out how to open the doors. I sit down in the driver seat and there’s no steering wheel. Am I on the wrong side? I go so far as to putting the key in but simply refuse to turn it. My lack of self-confidence freezes my body and I cannot drive the car. So I sit there. They show up, we swap around and arrive back at someone’s appartement, where I frantically try to learn on the internet on how to drive this car. Classic, huh? Baby=antique blue car.

Classes

We’ve sat through several sessions of these now and it’s not as painful as I thought it’d be (if you think it’s not so bad to spend the last sunny Saturday holding a pretend baby and watching boobies). I like having tasks and assignments to take home (always been a school-kid), especially since I prefer to practice my breathing in private. I’ve never been an on-stage person, which might present a challenge for me. Yesterday we watched the birthing video, and I reacted just as expected. I was no doubt in the camp “Isn’t there ANY other way?” while Ben was in the “Bring it on!” I forgot all the discomfort and decided the Martian can hang out as long as he wants,  ’cause I definitely don’t want to do that.

Aside from my usual phobia of pain and blood, my fear about labor is the complications. You can practice the breathing, understand the stages, communicate with your partner, but the complications are unpredictable. After all that, I just want a healthy baby and healthy me. Maybe I feel uneasy because we haven’t gotten into those details yet (next class).

It’s true that the more knowledge I get, the better I feel. But it really does amaze me that we have these classes, help, support for something that is supposed to be natural and instinctive. Someone at work pointed out that it’s society changing, because by now, I would have witnessed several births from aunts, sisters, cousins. That also means I would have seen several sad experiences. So I know, things have changed.

Overall the classes have been useful, just a little fluffy and long. Even though the material could be condensed, my guess is they’re more meant to mentally prepare you, and that takes time to absorb (take me, for example). I’ve noticed that the classes are pretty opinionated, a little surprising since it’s at a hospital. Breastfeeding, skin-to-skin: musts. There’s a lot of focus, almost pressure it seems, that birth should be a beautiful, positive experience for the mom and the dad/partner to be supportive. I agree it’s good to keep a positive goal, but I think they should also reassure that it’s normal if things don’t go as planned, if the dad feels faint at the sight of blood or if the mom doesn’t fall in love with delivering babies. But the people teaching the classes absolutely LOVE babies, labor, pregnancy, the whole sha-bang.

I guess we’ll just see if I change camps.

Names

I’ve actually never named anything. Ok, stuffed animals. But our childhood dog was already named when we got her at one year’s old.

Neither of us has family names lined up. Mine, especially. In the Vietnamese culture, you don’t name after the deceased. And apparently, in my family, you don’t even go by your real name. Everyone has a nickname: Chippy, Cookie, Bi Em (my dad, meaning youngest), Bi Ut (whoops, another…now, really, the youngest), Bac Nam (Uncle #5), etc.

So my difficulty with this new, foreign task is that I need to be thorough; I want to make sure I’ve gone through EACH and EVERY possible one before I decide. That’s a lot of baby naming books and social security lists. It’s like the year in high school when Pumas were in style, and I dragged my sisters and cousins to every shoe store in Paris to make sure I didn’t miss out on the best color (and price). And of course I always go back and choose the first one.

Yikes, does that mean Marvin is going to stick? Ha, I have switched to calling him the Martian. We are coming up with a list, one that we can actually remember, so that must mean something. Sometimes it’s fun to talk about; other times we’ve learned that folks have a lot of opinions and suggestions. Tip to self: if you just say it’s a family name, no one would argue.

Anyway, we’re not too stressed. Ben believes whatever name you choose, people get used to it. Just waiting for the big day before we decide.

Week 31

Week 31: Now I enjoy people noticing my belly 'cause it sure is round!

Week 31

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3 comments

  1. I love how happy you look in these photos. 🙂 Hard to believe you’re already in the “Week 30’s” – but how exciting!

  2. You look so cute! I can’t wait to see you – must hear about this weekend as soon as you can talk.

  3. Looking good!

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