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36 Weeks



Chicken lump can no longer be hidden!

Chicken lump can no longer be hidden and now too pregnant to care about blowing my hair out. Also, where are these pregnancy boobs y’all keep talking about? I want a refund šŸ™‚

How did this happen? Only one month left of this pregnancy… I wish I could say I was sad, but I’m not. I’ve been blessed with an easy pregnancy, but that does not mean I’m not ready to be able to tie my own shoes without grunting. And sneeze without peeing. And trim my lady parts by sight, not feel. AND HAVE A GLASS OF FREAKING PINOT NOIR!

I’m also getting antsy to meet this little bugger who started out in a petri dish and then hopped on board many months later. This is a big shift from my mentality from two weeks ago and I think that is largely due to finally coming to agreement on a name. We have had a girl name for months, but were really struggling with a boy name. Last week we found one we love SO MUCH. I retract my prior wishes for a girl and hope it is a boy simply because the name is just that perfect. It has a little bit of Belle, a little bit of Professor, it is unique but not hard to spell or say. It is dignified yet funky. It would fit a short or tall person (a real consideration when one takes into account our gene pool!) It’s just perfect!

So how am I feeling at 36 weeks? Pretty good, actually. I’m much more tired than I was at 33 weeks, though. This week I’ve been in bed every night between 8 and 8:30. I sleep great until about midnight and then toss and turn till 4:30 when I finally give up and drag myself out of bed.

After weeks and weeks of diligently doing the exercise videos, I’ve finally thrown in the towel – I can’t handle another second of Summer Sanders’ perkiness! Instead, I’ve started taking a brisk 45 minute walk in the morning and I’m enjoying it very much, aside from the chub rub I’m suddenly experiencing. The walks give me an extra chance to listen to a hypnobabies track, too. While I can’t be deep in hypnosis, I’m able to listen to the messages a little more intently and feel I’m learning a little more than when I lay down and listen them and drift off to sleep!

As for diet – I have Ā a deep, dark confession for you all. I’ve been eating meat. Regularly. Not just the happy chickens we bought, but bison and free range happy turkey. I still can’t get enough scrambled eggs (hilarious, I know) and eat them nearly every morning with spinach, hummus, more hot sauce than my husband can stand to smell and a side of toast with earth balance. I’m absolutely certain that this breakfast accounts for at least 10 pounds of my weight gain. I started eating bison at about 24 weeks when I realized that there just are not enough beans in the world to satiate this protein crazed pregnant lady and I was SHOCKED by how good it is. Unfortunately it is $10 to $12 a pound so we don’t get it super frequently, nor are we allowed more than a proper 3-4 oz serving at a time.

I feel intense guilt every-time I open my mouth and put another animal product into it. I try to justify things by reminding myself that I’m pregnant and that I’m allowed to need more than beans and tofu, but I still feel sad. I only buy local meats from creatures who truly had a good life and are not pumped full of creepy feeds and drugs, but the guilt continues. Bison are cute, y’all. I call my baby “chicken.” And that Thanksgiving turkey? I actually met it before we picked up it’s slaughtered remains and it had such a sassy personality. Ā I realize that if I’m able to breast feed I will likely need to continue eating some meat to help my supply, and I’m coming to terms with that. I do look forward to not obsessively counting my protein grams daily, though, and am super excited to return to having some days be dedicated to nothing but green. My VitaMix and I have grown apart during this pregnancy… don’t worry old friend, mama will be back soon to blend up all kinds of green concoctions that make the Professor gag.

What else? My wardrobe is dwindling. Two of the pants I purchased just are no longer comfortable and several shirts are getting dangerously short. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to knit skirts, my one pair of jeans and ribbed tanks from here on out. Luckily no one seems to care at the office. Ā I had a little fashion crisis last Friday, about 15 minutes before we had to leave for our maternity photos. The dyer ate the cute navy dress I had planned to wear leaving me with nothing dressy and fitted to wear! After some tears and some yelling I pulled on a white tank and a long teal skirt and called it “good enough.” We’ll view the photos on Monday and I’ll let you know how my last minute selection turned out. I’m hopping for a casual earth mama look and NOT a frumpy “I’m super pregnant and my thighs touch” look!

On the work front, I’ve finally set an official “end date.” My last day will be my due date, June 28. If Chicken comes before that we’ll work it out. I met with HR this week to figure out how I handle purchasing Cobra coverage for two months. I was pleasantly surprised when they told me I did not need to. I can take 6 weeks of unpaid FMLA time, and then return to work for ONE full day. That full day of work will be my final day at my job and then I’ll be released. Tentative plan is to work Monday, August 12 and then move later that week. I’m SO thankful for this. Two months of Cobra for baby and me would have been $2k. That is a lot of money when you are trying to shovel as much as humanly possible into savings.

And finally, I went ahead and finally checked out that “cart” of final baby things we need. I feel like we now have all the supplies necessary for a new born and very little “extra” stuff. Still have not opened things, but that will come when I’m ready. For the now, I can rest easily knowing that Chicken has a place to sleep, diapers, blankies and three drawers of gender neutral hand-me-downs. I think we are going to be ok!

Oh, and for those wondering, baby is still breech, or maybe transverse, definitely still a butt headed octopus. Attempts to turn before the ultrasound on June 6 continue. Rotisserie chicken vibes are greatly appreciated!




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  1. May 31, 2013

    June 28th is my and my husband’s 5th wedding anniversary! I’ve found that 28 is kind of a lucky number for me, so hopefully it is for you as well šŸ™‚

    • May 31, 2013

      Ahh! I hope it is lucky for me as well!

  2. May 31, 2013

    I am so happy for you!! You look so adorable!! Around 36 weeks was when I was telling my daughter to start thinking about eviction. Sending you rotisserie thoughts!!

    • May 31, 2013

      Lol, yeah, I’m ready for the Chicken to migrate southward. but only after turning… šŸ™‚

  3. Amy #
    May 31, 2013

    You look amazing. You’re definitely right to put comfort above appearance at this point, and anyone who would say otherwise is just dumb.

    I don’t know how I missed this all this time – June 28th was my due date with Ike last year! I don’t know why this minor coincidence tickles me so, but if Chicken decides to come ten days early and ends up with a June 18th birthday some small part of my brain will explode with extra happiness for you. I know my memories of my pregnancy at this stage last year have morphed over time, as all memories do, but I have related so much to the ways you’ve described feeling – excited, stressed and worried yet ridiculously happy, mixed with disbelief that it is really going to happen – and soon! So very, very happy and excited for you!

    (Oh, and try not to fret over the meat consumption – you are doing what is good for you and Chicken, and doing it in an amazingly responsible way that I only wish we could afford and have the self-restraint to emulate (I’m a bacon fiend)! You should give yourself a shitload of credit for this, along with how you have managed all the food/body-image/weight issues you have tackled. More kudos!)

    • May 31, 2013

      REALLY? Maybe it’s your lucky doppler that has carried me this far? BTW, the doppler is now serving a new function – obsessing over whether or not this babe is head down or head up. Or if it’s an octopus. Either way, in a few more weeks it will return to you with a special Kentucky surprise! and thanks for cheering me on re: the food body issues. The changes are hard to take and even harder to write about. I’m always relieved to find support and kindness from women like you!

      • Amy #
        May 31, 2013

        I’m pretty sure it’s YOU that’s carried you this far, but I am so glad that the doppler is has been useful and reassuring, and I hope it continues in that vein and reveals a head-down Chicken (or octopus, haha!) very soon! At this point I was obsessing about whether he was still posterior (stayed that way until my water broke during a check at 9 cm – pretty sure that our super skillful nurse “helped” him wiggle-twist him around at that point), so I can only imagine how much more intense it is trying to figure out breech versus cephalic.

        And of course. My younger sister struggled with an eating disorder when she was a teenager, and is still a pesca/white-meat-only-atarian (though in a decidedly non-disordered way at this point, thankfully). Watching someone I love shrink down to 68 pounds and be hospitalized is still a far cry from having suffered it myself, but it did make crystal clear to me that these are sometimes deathly serious issues and I know that even when it seems like they are conquered they are still far from easily dealt with on a day to day basis. She has expressed that she has major ambivalence about ever being pregnant, and I haven’t pressed her on exactly why (hoping that seeing me go through repeated early loss isn’t a deciding factor – need to someday have a reassuring conversation with her about that), but in my experience, even having a decent body image to start with doesn’t make the normal bodily changes in pregnancy feel very normal as they are happening to you (it’s so much more HOW CAN THIS BE NORMAL?!?), so I am sure that would be far from fun for her, too. Yes, there is of course the bottom line of it being “worth it,” but that is so practically irrelevant when you’re not there yet, and it’s ridiculous that so many people dismiss the difficulty of it. So many parallels to ALI issues…must stop or I will ramble on all day long!

  4. tchrgrl05 #
    May 31, 2013

    Just want to say you’re so freakin cute!!! Love the outfit and the hair!

  5. May 31, 2013

    What a cute bump!!!

    In terms of wardrobe – at least you’re not on TV! Our local sports lady has been getting bigger and bigger and I am totally impressed at her ability to continue to look fabulous and find maternity TV-appropriate dresses (though she of course probably has her hair and make-up professionally done). I think non-TV people can get away with whatever they want when you are so obviously pregnant.

    • May 31, 2013

      Oh, I wonder about those poor pregnant TV ladies. I know they have someone styling them, but still, how freaking hard must it be to always look so happy when someone is kicking the snot out of your cervix? Major kudos to them!

  6. May 31, 2013

    You’re looking lovely, my dear!

    I empathize with the meat-eating thing. My husband made me promise that if I ever became pregnant that I’d start eating meat again and I agreed. It hasn’t been easy for me and, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do it in as responsible and kind a way as you. (Meat prices up here are ridiculous.) I find myself actually craving tofu on some days and then I’ll binge on it. lol I’ll likely keep eating meat until I’m done breastfeeding, but I’m very much looking forward to getting back to my veggie ways.

    I’m continuing to send Chicken lots of upside down thoughts!

    • May 31, 2013

      I’VE HAD TOFU BINGES TOO! A few weeks ago I devoured an alarming amount mixed with brown rice and mustard. The Professor was horrified. The belly was thrilled šŸ™‚

  7. karaleen #
    May 31, 2013

    Oh wow Belle… look really great. Don’t even worry… are going to bounce right back after this pregnancy. And…I totally forgot to respond to your post a couple days ago about a c-section and your abs! I was 40 for my first c-section and 43 for my 2nd. Even though I have carried a little weight after my babies (because I did not excersize and eat less like I should have)…my abs are fine. They have totally popped back in place…mainly because I was really active and had strong, healthy abs before getting pregnant. So…if you do end up with a c-section….don’t worry. You will totally still be able to have your flat tummy and even wear a bikini…the scar is really super low. For me….it is the fat on top…but that is mostly my fault and the fact that I had my babies much later in life than most. So…please don’t worry about that. I’m still sending lots of rotisserie chicken vibes your way.
    Can’t wait to see your maternity photos. I still look back on mine with such fondness!

    • May 31, 2013

      Thank you for both the compliment and the positive c-section feedback. I’ve been coming to terms with this as a possibility adn have started looking for a surgeon in town will will agree to minimal drugs (I want to be totally conscious and lucid), immediate skin-to-skin and minimal slicing and dicing (I.e. if possible, spread the muscles, don’t’ slice them). So far we have two good candidates but hopefully all the prep will be for nothing b/c Chicken will be all flipped and happy come the 6th! Very much appreciate your positive feedback!

      • karaleen #
        June 4, 2013

        Belle: The normal C-section does not slice the muscles. it is standard to just spread them. I did have one cut on one side for my first c-section because the muscles really were very very tight (I continued to do some ab work while prego even though the Dr. advised against it….oops)…..but it healed up just fine. For my second baby….there was no cutting of the muscle…they just separated them and they went back. Also…with a scheduled c-section….you are Totally awake. They do a simple spinal and you can request no other meds. For my first baby they thought I was really nervous and they offered me a little something to calm me in my IV. I said okay and then regretted it…but it really only lasted through the prep and the spinal and by the time they layed me back for the procedure…I was totally awake and taking it all in…just very calm. I remember EVERYTHING. For my 2nd baby I said no to the relaxing meds….and I was totally awake….my only issue was my Blood pressure is naturally very low and the spinal can make your BP drop which made me feel really really sleepy….but the anesthesiologist adjusted that with meds and by the time they pulled baby out…I was totally lucid and it was all great. I doubt they will give baby right to you in the operating room….it just isn’t possible since you are on the table, but you can request the get the baby wrapped and to your husband and to your side ASAP (which most do) and then once you are being rolled to recover….you can request baby be skin to skin with you that whole time. They did all my baby’s assesments while baby was on my chest in recovery. The eye gel, the heel prick (for blood sugar because I had gestational diabetes), the vit K shot….all of that was done with baby skin to skin and then my baby nursed right there in recovery. They did not take baby from me until I transferred to my room and then only for about 1/2 hour to bathe him/her and then baby was returned to me for the length of my hospital stay. I don’t think you will have a hard time finding the OB….it is the hospital policy that might be a problem…some are very pro-skin-to-skin afte c-section and some take baby to nursery until you are out of recovery. For me…once I knew I was having a c-section….I chose the hospital with the policy I wanted….Cuz my OB really just did the surgery…he had no say in how they handled the baby once it was out.

  8. May 31, 2013

    Hey Belle, do you happen to read She wrote a book on vegan pregnancy. I should have sent you this link months ago. *Facepalm*

    • May 31, 2013

      You know, I did lots and lots of research on vegan pregnancy and was all set to do it and THEN beans just stopped cutting it and OMG the Professor’s bison burgers smelled ah-maz-ing. šŸ™‚ I guess it was my bodies way of saying that is what it needed? Should I venture down this pregnancy path again (which is highly unlikely)I might try for a vegan one, though, and will file your recommendation away! Thanks! Also, somehow your blog fell off my blogger reader. Catching up now…

  9. May 31, 2013

    Yay for preggo Belle photos!!! You look amazing mama, enjoy your last few weeks, can’t believe Chicken is almost here!

  10. APE #
    May 31, 2013

    I love this post! You are so cute and seem so happy! Yay for Belle!

  11. Kathy #
    May 31, 2013

    Cheers to the Pinot Noir ! Name choosing is fun, and for what it’s worth, in my mind Chicken is a boy. I’ve got a 50% chance of being right !

  12. May 31, 2013

    You look terrific! You are all baby!

    Good for you for eating meat if that’s what you want (and need) to do! I know we all have our principles, but sometimes we have to give them up for good reasons. Chicken is a good reason!

    There is NOTHING worse than the “too short maternity top.” GAH! I hate when that happens, leaving us with even fewer things to wear! I am wearing one of my favorite shirts for the last time today – tired of pulling it down šŸ˜‰

  13. Nonsequiturchica #
    May 31, 2013

    You look fantastic! Don’t feel bad about eating delicious animals- especially if they were humanely raised. Yum. šŸ™‚

  14. May 31, 2013

    this whole post made me smile. you look wonderful… i’m not sure how you listened to the perky pregnancy workout video this long… I would have tossed it in the “SOS” rummage pile šŸ™‚ june 28th is my hubby’s birthday, and he’s a spectacular person (in my humble opinion), so it would be a great day to pop out a vertex octopus baby! best wishes!

  15. June 1, 2013

    Rotisserie chicken thoughts coming your way!
    I still love your hair cut (even if/when it hasn’t been blow dried). I may have to try and emulate it as soon as my hair grows a bit. I just chopped it all off a month ago.

  16. Romy #
    June 1, 2013

    Hi Belle,
    You look great! I just wanted to reassure you again about the possibility of a c-section. My baby boy was born on Tuesday at 34+4 after my water had broken in the middle of the night. I had a c-section and was only in a lot of pain for part of that first day. I was fine the next day. Also, the incision is fused together already and hardly visible – on day 3! No pouch either and my belly is flat although a bit jiggly still because my uterus has to contract. They don’t cut through your abdominal muscles, they push them to the sides. And unless there is a major rush or the spinal doesn’t work (very small chance), you are fully awake. It was all over so fast – 5 minutes until the baby was out and another 40 for stitches but the atmosphere was upbeat and people made conversation and they showed me the baby right away.
    Also, I had a crazy to do list. I wrote my last grad school exam on Monday and he was born on Tuesday so needless to say, nothing got done. My baby will most likely come home on Friday and I find it more important to be with him in the NICU now than to work on the to do list. It won’t even matter once you have your baby, as long as you have the basics.

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