Some observations at this milestone:
I've gained one inch in my waist since last week: now nearly 39" at the widest belly bend. In the last two weeks, I've gained two inches. The skin is itchy, but as of yet, no stretch marks.
The faintest of faint linea nigra has appeared in the last couple of days.
According to my home scale, I've gained a pound in the last month. How I've only gained a pound, I don't know. That puts me at a net gain of 13 pounds since conception; and 18 pounds since my lowest weight during this pregnancy towards the end of the first trimester when I was hideously nauseated. Though I never vomited, I simply could not eat very much and was repulsed by most foods and all cooking odors. Publix fruit salads and Stouffer's frozen macaroni and cheese were my saving graces.
As of about three days ago, I've begun to notice some swelling in my hands. I'm unable to remove my rings, and writing with my right hand has become awkward. The first night I noticed the swelling, I swore they were so gigantic they didn't appear to belong to me...Lou Ferrigno comes to mind.
My bellybutton is still winning the innie battle, but I suspect it will lose the war.
Gloriously, my worst and most persistent symptom, constipation, has begun to abate. Yeah, yeah, ew poop gross. But, if YOU'D been constipated every damn day for the better part of seven months, you'd talk about it, too. I'm not sure if it's because of all the additional calcium I'm ingesting from Tums to alleviate my heartburn (which usually arrives like clockwork at 3pm), but I'm not going to question it or think about it too much. I'm so relieved my body has remembered how to poop, I could dance a jig. I think I will.
I'm unable to sleep much later than 5am, regardless of the time I go to bed. I wake up hungry or deep in organization mode, as if I'm planning for a imminent famine that will never come. I really wish I could sleep later. I feel like I know my days of sleep-opportunity are numbered and I need to store away those hours like mad squirrels store nuts. But I already know the nuts are long gone.
Pokey is really jabby these days (hence the new improved nickname--she was formerly referred to more often as 'Peanut'). She's wrigglin' around quite a bit, seemingly more often than she had been, but I suspect her size has made her motions easier to feel as well as see. She finds ways of hurting me more often, too: I'm not sure how the movement is managed, but she finds a way to grind her head or a limb against the front exterior or very bottom edge of my rib cage. This is often achieved when I'm trying to eat at the table and must lean forward, or when I attempt to pick something up off the floor quickly, bending from the waist. The skin there is super taut, and the bulbous head or little limb poke queasily around the ribcage. I often shake the area to agitate her into shifting position--she really likes to hover up high, though she spends quite a bit of time transverse across my lower abdomen, too, and gives my bladder and other organs down there a good elbow or jab. The best part of all this, of course, is that DH can watch or feel my belly shift without much effort or concentration. When she kicks, I move with her.
I crave milkshakes at least twice a week. Also: Chicken McNuggets. Prior to this pregnancy, I hadn't eaten Chicken McNuggets since college...more than ten years ago.
Mood-wise, I'm less patient than I have been in the last couple of months, and I'm not afraid to let people know it. I'm also really sensitive to DH's cynical, dry sense of humor which I normally share. These days, I take smart-assery about the pregnancy, upcoming birth, and change in family status a little too personally when it comes from him.
Other than some moodiness and a return of fatigue, I'm feeling pretty good. I have fleeting moments of "OH SHIT I'M GOING TO BE A PARENT," too, but no real freak-outs. Mostly, I worry that I'm going to be rested enough to be patient, objective enough to make good decisions, and dedicated enough to be consistent. There's this gaping "unknown" around how the pieces of this puzzle will come together, and it's very hard for me to take it on faith that it just will, somehow. Her pending arrival is still very ephemeral. I said to DH in the kitchen yesterday afternoon that it blows my mind we'll soon have a flesh-and-blood common relative, and I began to cry. Good tears. It's only real because of him.