Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I had another little checkup with my GP today. For the curious - my blood pressure, weight and urine test were excellent. My doctor gave me the contact information for the obstetrician who will be looking after me from about week 32 onwards. He likes to meet and get to know his patients at around 20 weeks into the pregnancy so that they know what to expect. Anyhow, that means I will be meeting with him in the near future. Hopefully I can book the appointment to coincide with my vacation, but that's probably too optimistic. At any rate, I received the results of my blood tests. I have all the necessary immunities, none of the diseases and as a bonus, it turns out that I have immunity to Fifth Disease/Slapcheek disease. I had never heard of it in my life. Apparently, it is a fairly common childhood disease - well, not really a disease, but an illness caused by a parvovirus. In the early stages, it creates a characteristic rash on the face (hence the colourful name). About 50% of adults are immune. The reason it is good news that I am immune is because if I were to catch this disease while pregnant, it could potentially harm the baby.
My doctor measured my belly for the first time today. The measurement is taken from the symphysis pubis to the top of the uterus (which is palpable and currently located in the vicinity of my belly button). For some strange reason, the measurement in centimetres directly corresponds to the number of weeks you are into the pregnancy. My measurement was 17cm and I am 17 weeks and a few days into the pregnancy.
We had another stab at listening to the baby's heart. Unlike the last attempt, my GP was able to find the heartbeat in about 5 seconds. It was also possible to hear the baby move - which was kind of freaky. I can't wait until next week's ultrasound. I am very excited (except when it comes to drinking all that water - that just makes me unhappy).
I have another appointment with my GP in about 1 month's time. I can only imagine what things will be like by the end of August.

Friday, July 22, 2005

It isn't just my imagination...

There is actually a baby in there somewhere. For a few weeks, there have been moments where I suspected it was moving, but last night, the baby moved in a way that could not possibly be mistaken for anything else. It was a kind of brief fluttery motion like someone flapping their hand - but in the water. I don't know if that really describes it properly. That feeling, plus the general location of it, made me certain. The timing for this experience is also within what could normally be expected for someone at my stage in pregnancy. As usual, Greg is very excited. Unfortunately, at this stage, the motions of the baby are something that only I can experience. They aren't strong enough for him to feel - which makes me feel a little bad. I'd like to share it with him. Oh well - there should be more than enough fun for him at the next ultrasound.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Day 101: Update

According to my pregnancy journal , baby Smudge is at day 101. Days remaining (if the baby is delivered on the due date) are about 165. Sometimes I feel like I am never going to reach the end. Nine months is a long time.
I am almost completely reliant on maternity wear at this point. The only non-maternity clothing I can get away with is anything large and bulky or generously adjustable (sweatshirts, Thai pants).
I continue to experience discomfort in the form of sore back and ribs. It isn't painful - it's a dull ache, but it's difficult to ignore.
There is definitely some belly going on and it sits there - solid. It touches my legs when I bend forward. I am finding the heat harder to bear (especially with all this humidity), but Greg got an A/C unit for our bedroom, so that makes a world of difference.
I went grocery shopping yesterday night (just wait - this will eventually relate to pregnancy). The cart I was using was a bit stiff - I guess the wheels could have used some lubrication. Anyway, turning the cart was incredibly difficult. I never realized it used those precious stomach area muscles that are now unreliable for me. I found it easier to just kick the wheel until I got it pointing the right way than to manoeuver the cart with just my arms. I am never grocery shopping without Greg again.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Tailbone ow ow ow

I have discovered another second trimester discomfort - tailbone pain! Again, my internet research has made it clear that this is quite common for women at my stage in pregnancy. Let me tell you, it is really uncomfortable for someone who spends the work day on her butt. And like the rib pain, there seems to be little in the way of relief. At least it is a come and go type of pain. Otherwise, I feel wonderful.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Rib cage tenderness

So, it's 3am and after yet another late night trip to the washroom, I can't get back to sleep. Now that I'm in the second trimester, I am supposed to sleep on my side with a pillow between my knees. That's all well and good except that whatever my best intentions, I sometimes wake up on my back anyway. This is the way I was positioned when I woke up Tuesday morning. When the alarm clock went off, I sprung up out of bed (no doubt too quick a transition from a relaxed state), and I messed up my upper back. I did not go in to work that day. I had pain all along and between my shoulder blades and in all the muscles from the base of the head to the middle of the back. Not fun. I also had sore muscles all along the length of my right arm and basically had limited use of it from the pain. At any rate, Greg had to lift me out of bed in the morning. My GP told me I should take medication and apply alternating heat and cold. She actually allowed me to have regular strength advil, which made all the difference in the world (for all that I am being very frugal with it). I took a hot water bottle to work today, and that helped a great deal. I typed and moused with my left hand, which wasn't as bad as I thought. But finding a comfortable position to sit and sleep is challenging. Thankfully the pain is abating but now I am having problems with tender spots on my rib cage. Apparently this is quite a common complaint of pregnancy and can occur at a wide range of times during the pregnancy. Obviously, my ribs are not hurting due to the baby kicking them (although I should be able to feel the baby move sometime this month). This soreness is most likely due to rib cage expansion. Apparently the ribs can twist and turn and sometimes they become dislodged and must be put back in place. I don't think it's that serious. But it definitely makes sleeping on my side a great deal less comfortable. Reading the online pregnancy forums is almost always reassuring. No matter what problem I encounter, there seems to be some woman out there who has experienced the exact same thing. Hooray for the internet. I know my rib cage is getting wider because the space between my ribs at the front of my body feels larger. I still think that I am getting off easy with my pregnancy suffering.

Saturday, July 2, 2005


This month will be my last month of Taekwondo. My membership runs out at the beginning of August and I don't see the point in renewing it for a single month. I will just return sometime in the new year. That being said, I am poised to replace my martial art with swimming. I got a membership to the Plant Recreation Centre which is newly renovated and is a nice facility overall. I went for my first swim just this past week. I had my maternity bathing suit, my swimming cap and my goggles... I was ready! The wonderful thing about swimming during pregnancy is that you get great exercise with minimal risk. You don't get overheated, you don't risk falling (unless you run along the side of the pool, but who does that anyway?), you don't risk overextension or other similar ligament damage, you use a large number of important muscle groups, no one expects you to look slender in your bathing suit, and it is very relaxing. I swam using a front crawl, a back stroke and the breast stroke. My arms and legs didn't really tire out during the time that I was swimming, but my lungs were a different story. I guess I need more cardio. I was really surprised by how winded I became. No doubt this will improve with time. All this to say that I highly recommend swimming to anyone who becomes pregnant. The only downside is that the chlorine is a little harsh for my dry skin and hair, but I have some antichlorine swimming shampoo and some super moisturizers and conditioning treatments, so hopefully that will compensate.