How I'm feeling: It's funny, sometimes I feel GREAT, pretty much normal (aside from the large bump in my midsection), while other times I feel really uncomfortable and tired. So I'm not uncomfortable all the time by any means, which is nice for me! Night time seems to be the worst, because trying to sleep has become such a pain, and my hands/fingers hurt A LOT all during the night and then for the first hour after I wake up. So weird. Then the finger pain is totally tolerable during the day, which is quite strange. I get tired a lot more easily, and I notice if I am standing or doing a lot of things and I get too hot, then my toes swell just a little bit. But this only happens like once or twice a week. I have stopped wearing any sort of rings on my hands because I never know when my fingers are going to swell a little bit, and I don't want to risk having my ring get stuck! Still no signs of stretch marks, but my belly button is getting flatter and flatter by the day (but is NOT an outie, despite what Mark might try to tell you).
This week I start having weekly midwife appointments until baby gets here! At this upcoming appointment in two days, I have to get tested for Group B Strep... it's fairly common (I think I read it's present in 20-40% of women), but it can be dangerous for newborn babies. Basically, if I test positive, I have to be given IV antibiotics during labor, and have to make sure to come in to the hospital right away if my water breaks. I REALLY don't want to be hooked up to an IV during labor! And of course I don't want our baby to be in any danger, but that's pretty rare if I'm on antibiotics, so I'm not really worried about that so much. Anyway, we'll see what happens.
Labor signs? I can confidently say that the baby has moved lower, or "dropped," although I don't seem to look very different, but I could be wrong. My only evidence is (1) I haven't felt any baby parts in my rib for over a week (which was a daily, painful experience prior to that) (2) I can feel the baby much lower down (3) I went for a walk the other day and sort of felt like I was waddling (4) the heartburn has pretty much gone away and (5) my appetite has increased! I have also been getting some menstrual-like cramps, which according to my midwife, can be Braxton-hicks contractions, or signs of early labor (not to be alarmed... you can have signs of "early labor" for weeeeeeeeks before labor actually begins). How non-helpful is that!? We're going to try and wait until July 5th to pop this baby out because my parents get here July 4th I think so that would be perfect timing. :)
Baby movements: Lots and lots. Supposedly movements are supposed to slow down as "the end" approaches since baby doesn't have much room (she's about 6 pounds now!), but I haven't really found that to be the case. The movements have definitely changed, but they seem to be just as frequent as ever. And she moves a LOT when Mark talks to her!!
Food cravings: I don't know if it's because it's cold outside or what, but I have really been wanting chai tea lattes lately. I try not to drink many because (1) the caffeine and (2) they are expensive! But one or two here and there is okay! Also, I'm really enjoying ice cream sundaes lately... as in vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and sprinkles and chocolate chips. YUM. Not the healthiest option, and could quite possibly explain the weight gain (oops), but it sure is delicious!
Weight gain this week: 1.5 pound
Total weight gain: 23 pounds! I was hoping to stay around the 25 pound mark, but at this rate, I could be up to 30 by my due date! We'll see! I'm convinced some of that weight gain is more fluid retention though (hence the swelling), so that's alright.
Also, just in case you are starting to forget what my handsome husband looks like... cheeeeeeese!