Wow! I am almost 18 weeks along already. Who knew!

Notable and fascinating facts:

  • I’ve definitely put on a little weight elsewhere than my belly. I hope I don’t outgrow my maternity jeans!
  • I’m growing my hair out so I can put it in a ponytail. I don’t want high-maintenance hair while I am trying to wrangle a newborn. Good thing I decided to do this while I’m pregnant because my hair and nails are growing super fast these days! That’s been a fun pregnancy side effect.
  • My stamina is shot. After yesterday’s all day Oldenhuis bash, I am exhausted. (And I just remembered I need to roast more squash and do some vaccuuming! Sigh. If only those kitties had opposable thumbs.)
  • My cravings and aversions have calmed down a lot. I still have the occasional craving (especially for Bodo’s tuna sandwiches), and I’m still not loving salads, but overall I can eat a normal diet now which is great. I’m really trying to stick to healthy, whole foods! I fed my unborn baby chicken nuggets and fries from McDonald’s the other night, though, so everything in moderation, I guess – including moderation!
  • Right now (17 weeks 5 days) baby is the size of a large white onion, but in two days he will sprout to the size of a sweet potato! Wow. I can’t believe how fast he’s growing – it feels like just last week that he was the size of a lime.
  • Most exciting: I am regularly feeling little kicks and rolls these days! It’s so fun, but wow, is it ever hard to believe that that’s a real live baby in there. I am really looking forward to being able to feel the kicks more strongly and from the outside, so Steve can experience it too! That being said, I don’t know if I’m really looking forward to feeling him stomp on my bladder or stick his feet between my ribs.

Overall, I’m still having a hard time conceptualizing that I’m almost halfway done with my pregnancy. The first trimester seemed to last a hundred years and now time is flying. I had heard about this phenomenon from my friends, but it’s still shocking to experience it. It’s almost as though I don’t feel like I’ve earned the “right” to be this far along. Like the pregnancy police are going to find me and send me back to week ten. (shiver!)

In other pregnancy news, the back pain that plagued my from weeks 10-13 returned this week. It was even worse, so at the suggestion of my prenatal yoga instructor I went to get some balancing work/body therapy done. I have to admit I was skeptical, because I had no idea what this woman would be able to do for me and I was a little concerned based on the vagueness of her specialties (what is “zero balancing”??) that she was going to lay her hands on me and hum or something. I have very little (make that zero) experience with alternative healing/medicine, but I did my best to have an open mind.

I am SO GLAD I went and didn’t let my skepticism hold me back. The woman I saw is a former nurse practitioner (just like sister Leah!) who specialized in family medicine for over 20 years, so she has a lot of experience working with pregnant women. She was immediately able to see that my hips were out of alignment. One was higher and pointed further back than the other, and one was much tighter than the other, leading to an imbalance and thus, to pain. From what I’ve read, SI joint pain is a) not uncommon during pregnancy, and b) even less uncommon among yoga practitioners because they have more mobility in their joints, particularly in the SI joint, because of all the forward folds and halfway lifts. I learned once from a running doctor years ago that I apparently have loose joints and ligaments to begin with, so I’m not surprised to be dealing with this.

She spent about 30 minutes working on my back and hips, getting everything back into place. She also gave me three exercises (they are more like poses) to do every day that will hopefully keep everything in alignment. Fortunately as a yogi (heh), I am used to these poses and can do them easily. The stretch is nice and it has helped so much already! I have about 20% as much pain as I did last week.

Also, the highlight of my visit was definitely when she asked me if I was an athlete. I stammered about how I ran a lot before I got pregnant and have been practicing yoga regularly for about a year. She said she could tell, because I have “good muscle mass”! Oh, that was so good to hear, as I haven’t been able to keep as fit this fall as I was in the spring [obviously]. Athlete? I still see myself as the lazy, undisciplined 17-year-old who used to drive to Dunkin Donuts for a coollata every summer afternoon (and I don’t actually think I’m an athlete; I just like to stay in shape), but it was so nice to hear that given the weight I gained in the last 15 or so months. Remember when I first started my healthy living initiative? Hooray for external validation!

I am really hoping that this will allow me to work out pain-free. I really, really, really don’t want to have to stop working out, and I really could live with the back pain, but I’m hopeful that when I hop on the treadmill this week, I’ll last more than 10 minutes at a brisk walk before having to move to the elliptical. Wish me luck!

Finally, another fun change has been that my client visits at work take about twice as long these days since we all have to discuss my pregnancy. My clients seem to be fascinated by it. As TANF recipients, my clients are all by definition parents (95% of them are moms), so it’s been a lot of fun to hear their advice and comments on my expansion project. I am sure I will hear lots of wisdom from them in the coming months!

Onward and upward (or, more likely, outward)! We’re almost halfway there!