Oh, the Places You’ll Grow! 34 weeks pregnant

Being pregnant these last several (+) months has been a unique, exciting experience that I’m in no hurry to end. From the beginning, I’ve had it easy. No morning sickness, no strange sense of smell, no cravings, no heartburn…such few symptoms that one of the only signs reminding me that I’m pregnant is my ever-active, burgeoning belly (among other burgeoning parts, but we’ll get to that). I’ve had it so good that I’m still not at the point of “get this baby out” and am happily enjoying the easiest part of motherhood while my baby is contained in my belly where he’s not crying, there are no diapers to change, and where I still get a full night’s sleep.

Lots of people have asked me how pregnancy has gone so far so I thought I’d give a little recap while I still have time, energy and sanity to gather my thoughts and write them down.

19 weeks and just barely showing. Hard to believe this is almost the halfway point!

19 weeks and just barely showing. Hard to believe this is almost the halfway point!

First, oh the places I’ve grown! I fulfilled my childhood dreams of finally having some boobs to brag about, something I’ve been wishing for since grade school when all the other pre-teen girls were growing boobs and I was merely waiting, year after year, thinking I’d be a late bloomer. Nope, never happened. Being a long distance runner never helped either. Now that I’ve got hormones pumping through me and my body’s getting ready to feed this baby, I finally feel a little slice of womanhood that I’ve never experienced before. Matt has enjoyed this side effect as well.

Let’s see, what else has grown? Belly? Yes, of course, though it’s been a slower process than I originally thought. It was almost 6 months before I left the “questionably fat” stage and transitioned into the “unquestionably pregnant” stage. That’s a long time to wait, and even then I wasn’t very big, but there was enough of a bump that if I was wearing the right maternity shirt, it was obvious. Now at 34 weeks my belly still seems manageable and I’m wondering how big I’ll actually get by 40 weeks.

Lastly, my booty. I read a pregnancy book early in my pregnancy that talked about the expanding booty and I thought, nah, I’m a runner and have never had a big butt. Well, that theory was blown out of the water when my bum expanded before my belly. I’m happy now that my belly has finally surpassed my ass in terms of girth. Matt says it’s just my body counter-balancing itself on the front and the back so I don’t tip over either way. Since I can’t pick and choose where my body grows, I’m just going with the flow, knowing I’ll get my body back at some point weeks after the birth.

21 weeks in my favorite shirt to show off my belly and hide my butt!

21 weeks in my favorite shirt to show off my belly and hide my butt!

Among the growth spurts my body has gone through, there are a few things that have surprised me about pregnancy. First, all the baby movement. I used to think it was strange to walk around and see so many pregnant women holding and touching their bellies. It wasn’t until I started feeling movement that I too found myself never letting one hand leave my belly, for fear I’d miss a movement. Even today, months after feeling movement, I still love to place my hands on my belly to feel the movement. For me, it’s reassurance that the little man is still alive and well in there, and there is a special feeling of this being a true miracle that my body can support another little human growing inside me. So cheesy, but really true.

A couple things that have surprised and even bummed me out have been my inability to reach my feet. I struggle putting on socks, I wear running shoes with laces in just the right spot so I can slip them on, and I wear slip-on flats for work. Lastly, I now need Matt’s assistance in cutting my toenails. I never really thought of the effects of having a little mass of a person in my way of bending over and performing tasks so simple as putting on my socks!

Next comes the strange “firsts” of being pregnant. The first time I went into a maternity clothing store, I was only about 4 months pregnant. I took one loop around and walked straight out. Bellies everywhere! On the mannequins, on other pregnant women, fake belly bumps in the changing rooms to try on clothes! It freaked me out. After that I went on a weekday morning to avoid other shoppers and succeeded, and had the whole store to myself, along with a couple saleswomen to whom I could ask dumb questions and get opinions on sizes and styles.

Almost 29 weeks and finally feeling like I was visibly pregnant.

Almost 29 weeks and finally feeling like I was visibly pregnant.

The 20 week ultrasound was one of the coolest experiences, mainly the moment when we saw the 4 chambers of the heart. You can see everything in those ultrasounds, from the little hands, to the bones, to the beating heart. It really fascinated me as I laid back and watched the technician work magic with the wand and show us all the parts of the baby.

Another first is the fact that people give up their seat on the bus for me, something I’m actually really thankful for. At this point it’s pretty uncomfortable to stand for any length of time and now that I take a 25 minute bus ride to and from work, I pray for an open seat each way. Speaking of being uncomfortable, I’ve only recently started to have little aches and pains, I think because of all the extra weight on my frame (30 pounds and counting!!!). For the first time in our relationship, I weigh more than Matt by a fairly sizable margin. I’m looking forward to birth if only to close that gap. I haven’t run since about 4 months in, mainly because of the discomfort factor around my ligaments, so I’m also looking forward to running after the birth in order to help get closer to Matt’s size once again.

31 weeks and birthdays celebrated with my mom on the Oregon coast.

31 weeks celebrated with my mom on the Oregon coast.

For me, that’s my pregnancy in a nutshell. It’s been easy and dare I say, enjoyable? If anything, I feel lucky that I get to experience this unique part of life, growing another human inside me, something Matt will never get to experience. I may change my tune come labor when I’m in so much pain I’ll wish Matt had to go through it too, but for now, I’m trying to savor this experience, as I never know if I’ll be able to repeat it.

32 weeks and growing fast at this point!

32 weeks and growing fast at this point!

Thank you to Matt and to all my family and friends for making this such a pleasant, stress-free time in my life so far. I’m looking forward to meeting the newest member of our family very soon and sharing him with the world.

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6 Responses to Oh, the Places You’ll Grow! 34 weeks pregnant

  1. Karla says:

    You look gorgeous, darling.

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you for writing this Julie and sharing your experience! How awesome it is to see you pregnant. Love you.

  3. Marci says:

    Glad to hear you are doing well Julie! I had a similarly “easy” pregnancy so it may just be smooth sailing to the end !! Enjoy!

  4. Kat says:

    Congrats Julie and Matt! So exciting!

  5. Sue Goerman says:

    You look so vibrant and healthy! Know your date of arrival is here. Hope you are doing well.

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