28-week appointment

I had my 28-week OB appointment today, so I decided, as with pretty much every other visit, to walk across the park, which usually takes me somewhere between 40-50 minutes depending on how hot it is outside and how tired I feel. Today, almost as soon as I entered Central Park, I could feel a weird pressure on my bladder. It wasn’t like I needed to pee right away, but it was obvious that at some point in the following hour, I would need to pee.

When I got to the appointment, I did my usual routine of peeing into a cup (see, that pee comes in handy!) so they can check all my usual levels of things like protein, blood sugar, iron), then had a chat and a quick ultrasound scan with my doctor. I told my doctor that I always need to pee now, even more so than before, and she showed me the baby’s position: the baby is currently head down, but her head was resting directly on top of my bladder, which was creating all that pressure and need to pee.

That little twat, I thought to myself. This baby is getting so comfortable in my uterus that she has no idea what discomfort she is causing her mama. Regardless, I am just feeling thankful that she seems to look and sound okay. Her heart rate is on track, and she’s now weighing approximately 2 pounds, 10 ounces. She’s got a lot more growing to do before she comes out, so I will relish these moments of pressure on my bladder and her random kicks that make me breathe heavier.

Peeing every 10 minutes on the treadmill

I think I may be nearing the point of this pregnancy when I may need to stop running. I’ve been actively exercising and running this entire pregnancy, though as the weeks have gone by, I’m definitely running slower. The running is more like light jogging now. But in the last couple weeks as the baby has gotten bigger, I can actually feel her squirming and moving around while I am running, which I’ve never noticed before. And with noticing that, I am also realizing that she is pushing down on my bladder during my runs, which causes me to stop the treadmill and go to the bathroom. So it’s not really the extra weight on my front as it is the pressure she’s putting on my bladder that’s causing annoyance at this point. It’s a good thing there’s a bathroom right there in the gym, otherwise I’d have a lot of problems. I can’t even imagine running outside on a trail and needing to nature pee every ten minutes!

A friend of mine who had a baby a couple years ago, who has always been an active runner and yogi, said she had to stop running completely at 30 weeks and beyond because of the pressure on her bladder. “Yep, I just gave up at that point and thought, ‘what’s the point?'” she said.

No one warns you about this stuff, and then it happens to you. Who knows — I may even need to wear pads moving forward at some point in case I accidentally pee in my pants.

When it gets harder to reach your toes

I’m generally pretty flexible. And I knew that as pregnancy progressed, I’d eventually get to a point where I couldn’t comfortably cut my toenails or polish them anymore. And it seems that as of tonight, I am almost there. I was sitting on my bathroom floor, reaching to clip my toenails and feeling strained. My growing belly was getting in the way, for better or worse.

Well, this wasn’t fun, I thought to myself. I could feel the baby squirming inside of me when I stretched in certain directions. Is Chris going to need to cut my toenails for me next month, or am I going to suck it up and spend the money on a pampering pedicure?

When you can see the baby move from the outside

When I first started feeling fetal movements around week 15, I got really excited. I couldn’t believe that this tiny human was still growing and thriving inside of me, and every little flutter or tickle was like a little blessing. And as the weeks have gone by and she has grown and gotten bigger, the movements have transitioned from feeling like internal tickles or flutters to actual, real movements. Sometimes, they feel like tiny punches. Other times, they feel like real kicks or slaps on the inside. But all of them have made me feel incredibly lucky and grateful. They say that the more fetal movement you feel, the better the sign that the baby is growing and developing into a healthy little human. And so each time I feel these, even when it can be uncomfortable or at inopportune times, like while I’m presenting during a meeting, I remind myself that this all means my little baby is healthy.

Since we got back from Turkey, though, I’ve realized that I can actually *see* the tiny movements on the outside when I pay attention. The baby is still tiny, just about 2 lb in weight, but you can actually see the little kicks and punches now if you look closely enough. So what I’ve been doing, usually right after a meal or at bedtime when she is normally most active, is I’ve been lifting up my shirt while sitting or lying down up to my chest so I can see the movements more closely. Chris grimaced when I first started doing this: “Why are you lifting your shirt up like that? You look like one of those fat men who pulls up their shirt after eating too much!” But then, I’d tell him to watch the belly, and he was able to see the tiny movements himself, which made him chuckle and realize why I wanted to do this.

I hope my little one keeps growing and kicking. I love watching and feeling all of her movements. It’s the biggest highlight of each day for me now.

Growing belly and limited visibility down there

I am now in my 28th week of pregnancy. I never thought I’d get here, but well, here I am. Every day feels like a blessing, and every movement makes me feel so grateful to have gotten this far.

As I was showering the other morning, I realized that I needed to shave my pubic area, and well, I was lacking the visibility I usually have of it down there. Once upon a time, I could peer down my stomach and see it; now, I have to crook my neck over to the left or right and stretch out a bit before I can actually see myself. This is going to be increasingly challenging, I thought to myself. At some point, I may even need a mirror to guide myself while shaving to ensure I don’t end up injuring myself!

No one really warns you of these things before you get pregnant, though. We’re just supposed to suck it up and figure it out. Even lifting my legs or feet to wash myself has become a bit more challenging given my changing center of gravity. I have to be more careful so that I don’t fall over when doing this. And normally, I have pretty decent balance for someone who has little athletic ability. I wonder if at some point of pregnancy, women just put a stool in their shower so that they can wash themselves while sitting down. That sounds almost geriatric, but… anything to keep clean and safe, right?

Pediatrician search

I was chatting with my doctor at my last OB visit about next steps to think about: getting my TDAP vaccine updated in my third trimester, a flu shot in early October, and finding a pediatrician for my baby. I worked with my Aetna nurse, and she sent me a list of in-network pediatricians that are walking distance from my apartment (there is no way I’m getting on a train or in an Uber regularly for baby visits, especially since they happen so frequently in the first year of baby’s life!). I read that the best pediatricians will make time for a prenatal consultation before baby is born so that the parents feel comfortable with their choice in baby doctor, so I started calling pediatrician offices today to ask for a prenatal consultation. I was only able to get one booked so far; the second one said she isn’t accepting new patients for consideration until late October/early November. Another doctor’s office said that they don’t do prenatal consultations period. “The doctor is already booked solid and stretched thin, so she doesn’t do prenatal consultations, unfortunately,” the receptionist on the phone said, apologetically.

That’s always a bad sign. If you cannot commit 15-20 minutes just for a CHAT with parents before committing to a relationship, what’s it going to be like when you are actually my baby’s doctor, and something is urgently wrong? This is that doctor’s loss, not mine.

Exercise as a habit

I was chatting with the trainer at the gym this morning, and he was asking me how I was feeling this far along in my pregnancy. I told him that other than recently having to change how I roll out of bed (the change in center of gravity is no joke!), everything has been feeling pretty good. I’m wondering when and if random aches and pains will happen that other pregnant friends and colleagues have warned me about, but that I’m just kind of taking it all day by day.

He shook his head and grinned. “None of that is going to happen to you. I’m willing to bet on it.”

“What makes you so sure of that?” I asked, confused.

“You work out every single day, no fail!” He exclaimed. “When pregnant women stay active their whole pregnancy the way you have, when you have exercise as a habit, all those aches and pains stay at bay because you’re taking care of your body. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. That’s the way it works, and a lot of people don’t get it.”

He’s been a trainer for over a decade now and has worked with a lot of women in their pre- and post-natal periods, and he said that based on what he’s seen, not only does keeping active help with preventing pregnancy aches and pains, it also helps to enable a smoother labor and birth. While I’ve read that all this is true, it’s really hard to know for myself what will actually be the case when the time comes.

He even suggested to me that when women stay active, even if they end up needing a c-section, whether by choice or out of necessity, their recovery is faster. I have no idea how true that is, but hopefully I will never know about that from experience.

3-hour glucose test results: the verdict

My OB’s office contacted me early this morning to let me know that my 3-hour glucose test results came back, and all four blood draws were normal – weeee!!!! I was so relieved and super happy to hear this news. After they contacted me, I logged into my patient account to take a look at the numbers, and for each blood draw, I was either at the lower end or the middle in terms of blood sugar level. So in other words, I wasn’t even close to needing to regulate my diet or getting diagnosed with gestational diabetes, thankfully. I was really fearing the worst news here, but just feeling very thankful and relieved that I do not have to deal with another hurdle or restriction for the remainder of my pregnancy. I DO NOT HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES!!!!! I had to do a little happy dance while rubbing my belly.

I didn’t really think I had it, especially after I saw that of the people who fail the first 1-hour glucose test, only about 10-20 percent of them end up actually having gestational diabetes. So I would have had to be super unlucky to have been one of those people. I had an 80-90 percent chance of not having it going into this three-hour-long test.

Now, I guess I no longer have to feel guilty whenever I have white breads and buns, noodles, or sweets. And it may be time to celebrate by making those browned butter miso chocolate chip cookies I keep staring at in my web browser.

Strollers on the Upper East Side

When we visited Buy Buy Baby last month during our day trip to Jersey, the sales assistants called the Uppababy stroller, particularly their Vista model (the largest one), like the “Mercedes” of strollers. It has all the things you could possibly want in a stroller, but at the end of the day, it really is about the branding and the finishes, and you could easily get a stroller that is similar for far, far less. Priced at about $1,000, the Vista is definitely a suped up stroller. And given its weight at almost 27 pounds, it’s not necessarily travel friendly, or would it be a stroller that someone with a pre-pregnancy weight of 117 pounds would be comfortable hauling in and out of subway cars and up and down stairs.

Well, given I had so much time to kill on the Upper East Side yesterday morning, I started making a mental note of all the strollers I saw pass me — mostly moms, nannies, and grandmas pushing their strollers through the park and up and down the streets. And I could say with almost total certainty that 8/10 of the strollers were all Uppababy Vista strollers. If you throw in the Uppababy Cruz stroller (the more compact Uppababy), then that would make 9/10 strollers. And the other 1/10 consist of random other brands, some of which I could not easily identify, with a tiny sprinkling of Bugaboo (I’m considering their Ant model) and even one Versace (!!!!) stroller.

I wonder if some parents view the Uppababy Vista stroller like a status symbol in the same way that people view Mercedes and BMW vehicles as a status symbol. If they do, it seems…. quite tiring. I was exhausted just looking at all these past me and thinking of the research I still have yet to do in order to finalize this decision that seems to be weighing on me.

Glucose test #2; please don’t be positive

This morning, I skipped my usual gym session and instead walked across Central Park up to the Upper East Side for my second glucose test. I abstained from having any refined sugar in the two days leading up to this test for good luck and even subbed brown basmati rice for the usual long grain white rice I use in fried rice in my Monday cooking, as well. I figured none of this could hurt, right?

Well, the instructions I was given over the phone by the doctor’s assistant were wrong. While I thought that I’d come in at 9am, do a baseline blood draw, drink another bottle of sickly glucola, and have my blood redrawn at 10am, what ended up happening was that I had to have FOUR blood draws total: One at 9am for a baseline, then one again each at 10am, 11am, then 12am after the glucola consumption. When I expressed dismay at having to come back at 11am, the nurse was confused. “Didn’t tell they you over the phone that it would be three hours?” No one told me this!! I had meetings that I ended up having to skip, and with a crappy signal in the doctor’s office, I ended up leaving to wander around the Upper East Side and Central Park before blood draws to get fresh air and an internet signal.

So after the fourth and final blood draw, the nurse let me know that I could finally eat (you have to fast during this!), but “nothing sugary,” and that my results would be available tomorrow. Little did she know that I had already stopped by Tal Bagel for a toasted everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese, and I was very much looking forward to diving into it after I left the office. While a bagel is not quite on the gestational diabetic’s list of friendly foods to eat, I did not care; I had not eaten anything since 5:30pm the previous night, and I was so famished that I could feel myself getting light headed walking back from Tal to the doctor’s office for my final noon blood draw.

Now, I just have to hope and pray: please do not have gestational diabetes. Please do not have gestational diabetes. Please, please, please.