19 October 2011

The Belly Report :: 28 Weeks Pregnant

Woot woot!! Welcome to Trimester #3!!

I can hardly believe that today marks the beginning of the final trimester of my pregnancy. If this trimester goes whooshing by like the others, I will have a baby girl in my arms before I know it! I still feel like I just shared the news that I was pregnant again, and here we are already -- Week #28.

28 weeks pregnant

BabyCenter tells me that Austen is roughly 2.5 pounds and about 15 inches long from head to heel, and boy, is she is using those heels to dance, dance, dance. My guess is that it's the can-can. And I kid you not, I swear the little one is keen to when I have the camera turned on her. She will be moving and grooving right along and as soon as I get the camera on, everything gets quiet and still -- so I haven't gotten any good video of her antics this week, but it's been fairly hilarious to see just how far those little feet can stick out of my belly.

In other news, I have finally discovered the secret to getting a good night's sleep. Now I didn't realize going into it that with second (and subsequent) pregnancies, all those hormones that help the baby out later on start kicking in a good deal earlier, meaning that discomfort in certain areas (ahem!) that didn't begin until the third trimester or so last time kicked in several weeks ago this time -- and with greater intensity than the first time around. 

Hip pain has been an ongoing issue with this pregnancy, as has been waking up with an incredibly angry back (and neck -- and shoulders). I couldn't figure out why using the same configuration of pillows as I did before didn't help like it did last time -- but I have finally discovered the secret to sleeping sans hip pain at night and to waking up with a very happy back indeed. I learned from the chiropractor yesterday that my pelvis is in a much happier place (I know you were all wondering -- so now you can rest easy), so I have to conclude that the change I've made is really working.

What I'm about to describe is, I am sure, horribly dull and unworthy of mention to the general populace -- but just in case there is some other poor pregnant lady who is reading this someday, wondering why she can't sleep at night with her aching hips or without waking up with a back that has completely mutinied on her, I will describe what has worked for me and (hopefully, potentially) give her a way to alleviate her misery.

Taking a cue from the fact that I was resting so comfortably on our couch with my hip resting in the crease between the cushions, I took two very firm regular pillows and positioned them horizontally on our bed, one right above the other. I placed them about a palm's width apart, resting on my side with the widest part of my hip in the space between the two pillows. The top of the upper pillow comes to just below my armpit. Not only does this more evenly distribute the pressure across my whole side when I'm sleeping (instead of concentrating it in the hip area, as it had before), but it also relieves stress on whichever shoulder is resting on the bed -- an area that also took a beating at nighttime. 

Like so.

I'm still using my Boppy body pillow, just on top of these two that I put on the bed. Because these pillows supporting my side underneath also do a good job of supporting my belly, I've taken the Boppy wedge pillow and positioned it underneath the head of the body pillow. Because of the wedge shape, I can adjust to varying degrees just how much my head is elevated so it is the most comfortable. This also helps remove any pressure on the shoulder that is resting on the bed. I kid you not, I can sleep on my left side comfortably all night long without rolling over multiple times. Just about anyone who's been pregnant before can appreciate just how truly miraculous this is.

The total configuration.

Like I said, I realize this is horribly dry stuff and I don't know that it would work for everyone, but changing around these pillow positions has made a world of difference for me. I am sleeping through the night without pain, the neck and shoulder tension I was previously experiencing is gone, and I'm able to move through my day very comfortably without feeling like my spine is going to snap in half. Glory hallelujah!! It's even truer now than it was before: I'm feeling completely FANTASTIC.

Other than that, nothing too exciting to report. My next midwife appointment is this coming Monday and that means it's everybody's favorite time -- the glucose test. Blech. I've ingested some truly nasty liquids in my life (barium sulfate, anyone?), and luckily this one doesn't seem nearly as horrid to me as I've heard some people describe. But it will still be nice to get the whole thing over and done with, to find out I don't have anything to worry about where gestational diabetes is concerned (which I'm assuming since I didn't have it last time and since my weight gain has been modest by comparison this time around -- but we'll see), and to go on my merry way toward our due date.

If you're interested, we're discussing on the Team Ewan page in Facebook today what our favorite parts of pregnancy are. I know there are plenty of aches and pains that come with the territory (and that some pregnancies are so incredibly difficult that not being pregnant anymore may be the favorite part) -- but if it's baby kicks or setting up the nursery or picking out clothes -- feel free to discuss!

Third trimester, anyone? Here we go!