1. Weird symptoms nobody mentioned before: nosebleeds (hydrogen peroxide is great for getting a blood stain off of a shirt; not so great for getting it off of a book); freckles and splotches; cracks in the corners of my mouth; insatiable hunger. I have an area on my stomach just above and to the right of my navel that is completely numb, like I got a shot of Novocain. Apparently, that too is normal.
2. What it feels like when the baby moves: this was something I was afraid I would miss out on, as I was told at a 17week ultrasound that my anterior placenta would probably hide his movements. Not the case. This kid moves constantly, and I feel it all. I first began to notice the movements for sure around 20 weeks. They felt like small muscle spasms in my upper abdomen; as a runner, I am used to feeling these little twitches, so it took me a bit to catch on. Over the next weeks, I could feel the baby getting stronger. He gives little kicks; sometimes it feels like he is rolling over or flopping about; sometimes thrashing rather wildly. My favorites are when I can put my hand on my stomach and feel a little hand (foot? knee? elbow?) rubbing back against me, in a kind of exploratory way. He gets the hiccups. I first noticed these at 29 weeks. Tiny, regular little blips. They never last for very long, but he gets them sometimes two or three times a day.
3. Clothes. This is so hard...well, relatively, I know there are much worse things in life than trying to dress yourself and a 30 lb protrusion in the middle of your torso. At the moment, even maternity tops are not fitting--nothing is quite long enough, so I am constantly pulling on the bottom of my shirt, hoping that I am not exposing baby belly while trying to teach Modern British literature. The horror, the horror.
Maternity jeans, I found, are a joke. At least for me. Most are made so that they are real jeans, but instead of having a waist band with a button, they have a stretchy piece with elastic that rises anywhere from 2 to 6 inches. My problem is that I can't stand pulling this fabric up over my stomach--I feel squished and uncomfortable--so I bunch it up around my hips, just under the bump. However, this leads to the issue of my jeans then sliding uncomfortably down my hips. Denim is heavy; gravity works. My solution (you'll never believe this): Pajama Jeans. Remember the commercials when they first came out? They were incredibly cheesy, and I remember thinking the whole thing was a joke. I am not joking now. These things are seriously great. They are lightweight and stretchy, so they put up a better fight against gravity. They have an invisible drawstring waist. They have pockets. They are dark with gold stitching down the side, so they actually pass for real jeans--at least no one has yet seemed to notice. And, they are comfortable.
Why am I not wearing dresses? Well, I am, but more rarely. These were great over the summer and early fall. I had several in stretchy jersey that fit beautifully. But, since it has gotten colder, I am faced with the dilemma of determining what goes over my legs. Tights are no longer an option. I got them on a few times, but the last time I tried, I got them all the way up one leg and half-way up the other before I fell over on the bed like an overturned turtle. Jordan had to help pull them back off. Leggings are better--for some reason, getting them on is not as much of a hassle. But, I have never quite figured out what to do about my feet. It looks weird to wear socks with leggings, but going sockless makes for some chilly toes.
Only three more days of dressing for work--then I am unashamedly embracing the Pajama Jeans, sweatpants, and Tshirts.
Nevertheless, this whole thing has been a wild but pretty fantastic ride.