It's been a little over a month since the last bumpdate so I have a lot to report. Let's hope I can remember any details with this forgetful, pregnant brain of mine!
We had another ultrasound and his growth is right on track. It's fun to compare the two profile shots we have from 19 and 23 weeks and see how much his features have developed. (I've had, and will continue to have, an irregular amount of ultrasounds because they're keeping a close eye on the growth of the baby and my cervix. My pregnancy has been totally normal and healthy so far (hallelujah!) but the fact that I have a didelphic uterus puts me at risk for complications.) He is getting stronger and, with all of the energy he already has, that means I am feeling him move even more. He's my little buddy. Whenever I rest my hand on my stomach I feel a jab right in the middle of my palm. It's like he's saying "Hello there!" Joel and I can also see him moving from the outside and I can usually tell where he is by the lopsided look of my stomach. The not-so-fun aspect of his growing strength is that he has started to kick my cervix. It is so painful! They estimate he weighs about 2 lbs now, which I am definitely feeling. I'm amazed that he still has so much more to grow. How will he fit inside of me?!
...is beginning to get uncomfortable and I still have a ways to go. Most days I feel great but if I am on my feet for too long, my body starts to ache and swell. Turning from side to side during the night is becoming difficult. I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Losing your core does some crazy things to your body. My body has obviously never changed like this before, so the effects can feel strange. I've started feeling Braxton Hicks contractions. I was surprised to feel them so early but apparently it's normal. They only happen every once and awhile, except for an episode I had a couple of weeks ago. I babysat all week and was lifting and standing for too long that I started getting one right after another. I called my midwife and she told me to sit for a few hours and drink 16 oz of water every half hour. That did the trick and I was fine. I just have to force myself to slow down a little bit. Of course, we did go to Washington DC that next weekend and I walked and walked and walked...but now I will slow things down.
My belly is streeetchiiing and I finally feel like a pregnant woman. When I'm out in public, especially while we were in DC, people stare at my stomach. There was a slimy, teenage boy who was unabashedly staring me down as I walked into a store WITH Joel. I was so disgusted. I am pregnant, for heaven's sake--raise your standards, boy! I've decided that growing a human inside of another human is not supposed to look cute or attractive--despite what you see on blogs, movies, TV and even those freaks of nature you come across in real life--so I just need to let my insecurities go. Watching the number on the scale go up (at an alarming rate!) and literally fitting the description of Fatty-Fatty-Two-by-Four is humbling, to say the least. I'm not ashamed that I struggle with the changes in my body because I believe those feelings are a part of the process. All of my greatest blessings have come when I've learned to abandon the temporal and find my sense of worth in the state of my spirit and the love of my Savior. And just the thought of holding my baby boy fills me to the brim with happiness.