Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Energy levels high, sleep levels low...

I'm feeling really great these days, and looking a bit more pregnant. I've gained 9.5 pounds, which is perfectly normal, and I'm thrilled with. I've been walking and dancing, staying very active, which I know has the added benefit of keeping my spirits up. Right now, it's the dead of winter here; January is a LONG month :) even for those of us who like winter. I'm blessed to have a friend around the block that I walk with twice a week in the evenings, and the fellowship is so good that we barely notice the cold! And the exercise, walking on the fallen snow, is awesome.

Despite the fact that I haven't gained much weight, I've been noticing a few twinges of sciatica here and there, and I can't lie on one hip too long at night before it gets sore. Lots of baby growth taking place right now. Suddenly, within the past week or so, the baby's movements are so much more noticeable. Mike can easily feel them from the outside. It's that wonderful movement from flutters to body parts elbowing you as the baby rolls over.

My belly is still on the smaller side, just like with Hank, but it's certainly growing all the same. There are a few pairs of pants that I can still wear without the Bella Band, and others that I can zip but not button, so I pop the Bella Band over them. There are though, a few in a smaller size that I can't even zip anymore. So, I'm going to have to make some wardrobe changes soon. Next week, I'm going to go to Walmart and pick up one of those nice plastic storage bins, and gradually take pieces out of my closet that don't work anymore, and add maternity clothes in. This way, I can keep my regular clothes stored neatly until after I deliver, since closet space is pretty lacking in our house.

This pregnancy, to the extent that I've bought any clothing (pretty minimal) I've been buying stretchy regular clothes, rather than maternity. I find that it's a lot cheaper this way, plus, I won't feel too bad about still wearing that stuff after I deliver. I have a distinct aversion to maternity wear once the baby is out of utero. I of course have some maternity clothes from when I was pregnant with Hank. However, my belly time with him was summer/early fall. This time, it's hard winter/early spring. I didn't have a single maternity sweater. Thankfully, my cousin lent me some of her maternity clothes, and I'm going to supplement simply with stretchy stuff. I do have some Boucle sweaters from Victoria's Secret that I think will stretch pretty well. Yesterday at Target, while picking up a humidifier for Hank, I also bought 2 workout tops for dance. I just got them one size up in the regular activewear. They were half the price of the maternity camis and tank tops.

So, that's all fun stuff. I'm not cursing maternity clothes quite as much now. The time is approaching, and I've accepted it. I'm just so excited for the baby to be getting bigger. That means they'll be here sooner. :)

The discomfort side of things is my sleep abilities. I wonder if God has this planned out so that we become used to being up in the middle of the night? I remember being heavily pregnant with Hank, and people saying to me, "get your sleep now, because when the baby comes you won't get any!" I still maintain that this is an obnoxious thing to say to a pregnant woman, and I have never repeated it to a single soul. Can you *store* sleep? NO. So, this comment is meaningless. I do remember thinking to myself, "I am *8 months pregnant.* I can barely sleep. How much worse could it be with a newborn?"

Well. :) Remember, I don't hold things back in this blog. Unless you're in a very lucky minority of the population (and I pray that you are, I don't wish misery on others simply because we struggled so much) the answer is that it's SO MUCH WORSE. But there's really no way to discover this until you have your very own, brand new squalling bundle fresh from the hospital, so there's no point in obsessing about it now. I will offer just this, which is something I wish someone had in fact told me before we had our first child: get a book on baby sleep and read about it before you deliver. I mean, I had no idea. Babies sleep, right? A lot, right? I mean, what's there to learn about?

*UNLADYLIKE SNORT* How uninformed I was. This time, I have 2 books in my queue at the library: Dr. Sears' No Cry Sleep Solution and The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight. Both are geared toward non-cry-it-out solutions to achieving decent infant sleep. I'm definitely not into "sleep schedules" for newborns, or anything like that. I just want little ways to help baby sleep better so that down the road, they have good sleep habits and everyone gets more rest. It's your choice, of course, as to what kind of sleep information you're interested in, but I would say don't wing it. Naturally, you can take or leave this advice, but for me, I wish I'd known 5 years ago what I know today. It would have possibly saved me a worsening battle with postpartum depression. Sleep deprivation has tentacle-like powers that I never envisioned in my worst nightmares.

So anyway, we still can't hear the baby making any noise, so what's my sleep problem right now? Simply that I'm pregnant, I suppose. If I awaken in the night, as I often do, to pee, to switch sides because my hip hurts, because I have a charlie horse that feels like it may devour the entire lower half of my leg, I simply can't get back to sleep. I don't know why, but it was like this with Hank too. But, I persevere. Now that the holidays are over, and I passed the 20 week mark, the birth feels closer. And I CAN'T WAIT!

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