40 weeks.

Any time now, Fuzz. Really. Gettin’ kind of sick of you on the inside. Don’t care that Xan hung around three extra weeks. If you pull that kind of shit, I’m going to reach in there and yank you out.

Progression thingymcjagger:
The end. I’m not going to add another image to this. I’m just not.

That’s 12DPO to 40w2d.

One covered nude.

I tried so hard to bend my back and make a nice curve, like all the women I photograph, because I love that little curve of the butt. Alas, I realized far too late that the reason I’m not getting that curve is because my spine doesn’t fucking work that way. So that flat section that goes from my ass to mid-way up my back and then abruptly goes out? That’s what advanced ankylosing spondylitis and a 70% loss in spinal mobility looks like. That is me trying so hard I am actually significantly exerting myself to curve my back. It honestly took me this long into taking these portraits to figure that shit out. Ugh.

In related news, I asked my midwife to check me so I could compare my own estimates against her experience and I was reassuringly close. I said 3-4cm and I’m actually 3. I said 50% effaced and I’m actually 90%. Also? Baby could not be any lower without crowning… and yet we can’t get a fundal height because my uterus is packed so high up under my ribs.
Still dealing with regular bouts of bloody show and mucous plug. All the fucking time. And yet no baby. I am so done with this pregnancy right now. DONE. I am so sick of hip joints slipping out of socket, and the nerve thing, and the never-ending back spasms that have me in tears. Curtis rubbed my back last night during a spasm and told me it felt like corduroy.

We blew up the birth pool the other night so we’d have it set up and set aside just in case of another precipitous labour. Curtis was impressed at the size: we can both easily fit in it, with room for a spare. On top of that, it’s so deep that the “recommended fill line” is up to my fucking eyeballs. It’s like a Winnebago in there.
He recommended we have sex in it. You know, to ‘get things going’. Or simply because it’s sex. I told him I didn’t think that was an approved use of the birthing pool, and he suggested it could double as a conception pool. With the handles and padded bottom it does sort of come off a little like it should be a Fisher Price ‘My First Dungeon’ accessory.

Speaking of getting things going, in an ironic way: the sex, it does nothing. So much sex. So little anything. SO MUCH NOTHING. It’s not even good for four contractions.
“Clearly, you just need to have more sex,” said Curtis. “I could always volunteer for nipple stimulation.”
“Nipple stimulation doesn’t work like it does during sex. You have to sit there for hours and hours doing it.”
“… Yes?”

(Don’t worry, I don’t plan on it… I have no desire to muck about with my 2BACing womb).

He’s being such a perv lately, but I kind of love it.

Things I don’t love? Being pregnant. OLD MEME.

Comments

comments

74 Comments

  • arwyn says:

    My friend suggested I check out your LJ because I a) have lower back issues (although quite different than yours, I think) and b) want to have children in the future. So I’m adding you to the ol’ friends list, hope you don’t mind!

    • admin says:

      No problem. πŸ™‚
      My back problems are spinal fusions from ankylosing spondylitis.

      • arwyn says:

        I Wikipedia-ed that and it sounds painful.

        I have kind of the opposite problem, although also with a nice long name: spondylolisthesis (my back is over-arched, one vertebra is slipping forward over the sacrum and pinching a nerve between L5 & S1). No pain, but sometimes my left leg goes numb, which really ticks me off.

        • admin says:

          How funny, it totally is the opposite with nearly the same results. πŸ˜‰ What do you take for pain? Is yours degenerative or can it be controlled? Mine can sometimes be controlled but it degenerated pretty far before we caught it so the pain is quite bad. I have no quality of life without heavy duty meds 3x a day, plus breakthroughs.

          • arwyn says:

            Well currently I don’t have any pain, just a numb leg when I try and walk for more than five minutes… so I’ve been riding my bike a lot more and doing core stabilizing exercises prescribed to me by my mom (a doctor) and my physiotherapist. I don’t know anything about any degeneration. I think it can be controlled. I hope so!

            I take Naproxen for horrible, horrible menstrual cramps though. It works as long as I take it every 5 hours instead of every 8 like it says on the bottle.

            • admin says:

              Oh sorry! I misunderstood: I thought you were saying you were also in chronic pain. I’m glad to hear you’re not, even with those issues. πŸ™‚ I started with similar exercises and physio when I was about 16 and it did help to delay the disability for a few years. Not so much make it better, but it did stabilize it.

  • I had a dream last night that you were having Fuzz and for some reason, I had Tempest and Xan and we’d gone to the park to play and when we came back, you’d had her and she was only four pounds, but she was three feet long hahahah.

  • Anonymous says:

    I keep checking back to see if Fuzz decided to show up. I think it’s ingrained for people to ask if your still pregnant, like I don’t really believe you’ll have the kid & 3days later go “Oh shit! I forgot lj” but…I still want to ask lol.

    Fuzz, come out! And please don’t tell your mom your name is Candy, Ashley, Michelle (or Wendi with an i ), your siblings have awesome names, don’t break the trend.

    • waypastthat says:

      So many questions

      You’re right… the potential is there but these go way beyond cheese into just flat-out confusing. Why is she wearing heels and carrying a purse and trotting around underwater? While pregnant? That would make a seriously crazy picture ABOVE water.

    • admin says:

      I like the one where she’s stretched out on the chair in black and white, very cool… but yeah, the cheeseyness is a little much for me. I feel like he’s trying REALLY HARD to be high fashion in a few of them (like the purse?!) when really, the concept is cool enough on its own to not need that stuff!

      • therachel says:

        Yes that one is my favorite. Pregnancy photos are supposed to be About pregnancy. What would be even more amazing is if they had unabashed after-photos with the baby underwater as well. Oooo.

  • Saw this. Thought it was funny. Thought you’d like it, too. πŸ™‚

    http://www.mommywantsvodka.com/your-pregnancy-in-tasty-week-form

  • Anonymous says:

    I always love watching your pregnancies progress! You always have the most perfect GINORMOUS belly! But it does look uncomfortable! Im looking forward to hearing about this new sweet baby and seeing how Xan and Tempest interact with her!

  • bluealoe says:

    I didn’t even notice the lack of a back curve until you pointed it out. You still look beautiful to me. πŸ™‚

    “My First Dungeon” made me laugh way too hard. You’re a horrible person. πŸ˜‰
    How do you fill up a birth pool, anyway? Do you have to set up a hose? If it’s as deep as you describe, doesn’t it take forever to fill?

    I’ll be sending good labor thoughts your way!

    • admin says:

      You do use a garden hose. I have a shower attachment and a brand new, clean 50ft hose (not necessary, but nice to have) and we just unscrew the shower head and screw on the hose attachment instead, turn on some nice hot water and fill it up. It takes about 15-20 minutes to fill to the line, so maybe 10-15 to where I want it?

      The poor man’s way is to put in a layer of cold water, then pour a ton of boiling water in it, then fill with warm water until it’s at the point you want.
      A good, insulated pool loses about 1 centigrade per hour… and you can make that up with either pots of boiling water or using the hose if your hot water tank has recovered. It’ll be about two normal baths worth of water.
      We were also given a swamp pump to pump the water out after I’m done. Since we’re doing it in our livingroom, we’re just going to pump the cruddy water directly into our garden – blood and such is very high in nutrients and it’ll actually help the plants!

  • Dear Fuzz,

    Your mother, father, sister, brother, and I’m sure grandparents, not mention about 2 million internet peeps are anxiously awaiting for your arrival so HURRY UP and make an appearance!

    Please to not be frog kicking your way out of your mother. Just slide on out like a nice girl so that we can all learn what your name is supposed to be! (At least, I hope you’ve already told your parents what you want it to be)

    Sincerely,
    Caitie

  • real_bethy says:

    Dude, I’m impressed that you can still have sex at this point – with a baby’s head that low, it must feel like a game of whack-a-mole in there! πŸ˜‰

    You look so beautiful – you really do. I know that you are going to have a wonderful labour – you are one of the strongest people on the planet. Besides, you have the collective will of all us crazies on the internet on your side! πŸ™‚

  • keilababe says:

    Hot mama, as always, even with a 40-week belly. πŸ™‚

    The covered nude says “I am sexy, I am pregnant, and I am sooo done” LOL

    Are you going to do any photos like you did with Xan where you are pregnant in one, and then in another one, in the same place and pose, holding fuzz baby? I think the Xan one was “waiting waiting waiting” or something. LOL

    • admin says:

      That photo set was actually completely unintentional! I didn’t do that on purpose with Xan, it was just part of a DITL and I did a follow up like two weeks later.

      I was planning on doing a corner image of me holding baby after she’s born to sort of ‘sum up’ my progression images. I also have a set of nudes from 16w onward that I was thinking of submitting to Shape of a Mother, and finishing off with the same pose except with bare (fresh postpartum) belly.

  • smellykaka says:

    I love the blue top you’re wearing in the first two pictures.

  • tastyanagram says:

    omg, I love your eye shadow! You make this being 40-weeks-pregnant shit look SO GOOD. I was really hoping she’d decided to make her way out. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that it’s soon and very smooth and drama-free. <3

  • Local women claim that Romeo’s Pasta induces labour. I am willing to buy you some yucky pasta if I can meet baby πŸ˜‰

  • facethemoon says:

    I wonder what would happen if I started asking you if the baby was here yet? Would you kick both Curtis and I out of your birth? πŸ˜‰

    That said, anytime now Fuzz!! We’re excited to meet you! πŸ˜€

  • fallingwthu says:

    Flloooor

    you had me laughing for nearly 20 minutes with the phrase, “up to my fucking eyeballs”
    Poor you, it will happen, and I’m guessing June 2nd.

  • I love your belly timeline! I wish I’d thought of that while I was pregnant with Jack.

    Sending contraction vibes your way!

  • fieryminge says:

    FWIW, if you hadn’t mentioned that part about the lack of butt curve, I certainly wouldn’t have noticed. I WISH I was as beautifully pregnant and elegantly photogenic!! I totally feel like a big fat waddling whale. Every person I encounter immediately jumps to “Oh is it twins?” Even other pregnant women are asking me about twins and are surprised that it’s only one. Then when I say I have X amount of weeks left they all get bug-eyed and are like “OH!” I think also it doesn’t help that the baby is firmly head down in my pelvis so my entire belly is her back/butt/legs arching out. I don’t think she’s all tucked into a little ball like a normal baby… she’s all sprawled out and taking every possible inch she can.

    I’m right there with you on the pain too… Even though I don’t have your disability, I’m still in a lot of fucking pain! I can’t roll out of bed without pain. Even walking now is getting very difficult. I found an article last night while sitting up trying to not be in so much pain that describes everything I feel, so I know that the doctors telling me that there’s nothing they can do and no possible relief aside from giving birth is wrong. Anyway. Enough about me, haha. TL;DR–I’m done with being pregnant too!!

    • gardenmama says:

      I clearly remember getting in the hands-and-knees position and trying to rock baby up out of my pelvic bones, because it hurt so freaking much to have a bowling ball lodged between my legs! I kept telling myself that having the baby low meant good things for my cervix, but it didn’t help much.

      • fieryminge says:

        Hah. At least you could get into that position πŸ˜‰

        Yea, it’s nice that she’s nestled her head in my cervix and I have a good feeling that it will mean I will dilate quicker/have more productive contractions….yadda yadda yadda. I can feel her shoulders rubbing on my pelvis and her head turning in that space right by my bladder. I just have to tell myself that everything will go away when I have the baby and I will be pain free! Or at least I will feel safer taking pain meds.

        • admin says:

          You can take the pain meds, dude. When weighing risks vs. benefits of being in chronic pain with limited mobility vs. the risks of the pain medication crossing the placenta (which it does, yes, but we’re talking about in levels sufficient enough to significantly increase the risk of NAS)… it’s a no contest. Chronic pain in the mother deeply affects the baby, as well as their growth and mother’s health. It’s worth it.

          PS. You can take ibuprofen, just try to keep it under 1200mg per day unless otherwise indicated by a doctor. I currently take 800 at a time, along with 800 tylenol, every 4-6 hours almost around the clock. It doesn’t do much, but in combination with oxycodone it can help me regain some minor mobility which allows me to prevent other complications from cropping up.

          • bicrim says:

            What does your research say about the ibuprofen prohibiting the start of labor? I had always been told that that is why it wasn’t used in the end of pregnancy, is that outdated research?

            • admin says:

              I’ve actually not heard this from either my pain doctor, or my midwife. However, I do hear it referenced off and on as a “may” or “can” in articles without any citation. Not sure if that means it’s outdated, or just one of those things like, “Sushi isn’t recommended during pregnancy”.
              The worst I’ve heard from them is that in MASSIVE doses it can affect blood clotting. It was recommended of me to take ibuprofen rather than Celebrex, which can lead to heart valve issues (not permanent, and extremely rare) at birth.

              Perhaps in the same realm as how magnesium can relax smooth muscle and in ridiculous doses was used to combat preterm labour, but you should still take a supplement without risk if you need it?

              • Ibuprofen in RARE cases can cause a delay to labor, it can also cause oligohydroaminos, and a very slight risk of premature closing of the ductus arteriosus. Very rare, if I remember correctly the increase in risk is less than 5%.
                It can inhibit platelet aggregation leading to slower clotting times, but it’s insignificant in most people and has to be really high doses(2000 mgs a day or more).
                It really is something to weigh the risks vs benefits, I mean it really is a serious issue if you can’t hardly move from the pain, and ibuprofen is relatively mild compared to some things.

                • admin says:

                  Yes, see and that’s pretty much what I was told as well… and the consensus from multiple doctors (doctors whose opinions I feel I can actually trust) was if you’re an average person and you need to take one, take one, but don’t take it regularly or in high doses without approval as you have to go on case by case basis.

          • fieryminge says:

            I’ll answer both of your comments in one….SPD with popping hip pain. I occasionally had the hip pain before pregnancy but it wasn’t anything diagnosed or treated or intense. Just every so often kind of pain. The symptoms here hit the nail on the head: http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/pubicpain.htm#Symptoms

            Every time I have said anything to the doctor they just shrug and say it’s normal and part of pregnancy and it’ll go away when the baby is born. Maybe I’m not being vocal enough about the pain or maybe they just don’t think there is an issue?? I don’t think normalcy includes not being able to roll out of bed or once out of bed, not being able to walk because your pelvis feels locked up. Last night I had to wake my fiance up to help me turn over in bed so I could get up and pee. I’m to the point where last night I was begging my fiance for pain meds. I ended up taking tylenol (which acted more as a placebo for me than anything) and falling back asleep in our recliner in the living room.

            I also feel like I know my own body enough and I wouldn’t overdose on anything. And I’m confident that I’m far enough along in the pregnancy (37.5 weeks) that the baby isn’t suddenly going to sprout a third arm or have some sort of defect just *poof* develop out of nowhere. After being told for several months to not take anything or that the risk of defects is high, it’s hard for me to march to the cupboard and do what I really want, ya know?

            But I really, really want to take that ibuprofen!! It also doesn’t help that I’m still working 40ish hours a week and it’s mostly all on my feet (manager at a movie theatre). 3 more weeks….

            • admin says:

              SPD is what mine started as back when I was pregnant with Tempest. Awful!

              When you don’t have preexisting conditions, they generally cut off your ibuprofen dose at 1200 per day. I double up (tylenol + ibuprofen at the same time) because on their own they do NOTHING but together they actually do work.
              Doctors, it seems, it depends on who you ask. Some say you can’t take anything except tylenol, others will happily give you codeine as long as you use it responsibly.

              • fieryminge says:

                I definitely do not want SPD again and I’m hoping/wishing/praying that when it comes time for our second child that it will not show its ugly and painful head.

                See, I totally agree with what you said up there about “if you’re an average person and you need to take one, take one, but don’t take it regularly or in high doses without approval as you have to go on case by case basis.” I know I’m not going to take a ridiculous amount of pain killers to the point of being dangerous. I just want the pain to stop.

                I *knock on wood* used to get migraines (haven’t had one in about a year) and I would take about 1000-1200mg of ibuprofen for that pain to stop. I am also on the larger side, so my body weight affects the dosage. If I take just two tablets of any medication, it does nothing. I’ve always thought it was strange that you have to go by weight for children/babies but adults just take two tablets? I guess it makes it easier for people to not self-dose or accidently overdose but why couldn’t they just put a weight range like on children’s meds?

                • admin says:

                  You know, I’ve thought about that before… I don’t know enough about it to speculate on why adult dosages are the way they are though.

                  That’s how the hospital accidentally OD’d Curtis on morphine after his surgery though: they gave him a dosage that they thought worked by his size, and he’s such a lightweight that it ended up stopping his breathing and he was put on tubes. He cannot handle opiates and narcotics: he just shuts down. He’s like that with alcohol, too. Two drinks and he’s practically down for the night.

    • admin says:

      Ughhhh. It sucks, doesn’t it? Do you mind if I ask what you’re suffering with? Is it SPD or an existing diagnosis that’s being exacerbated by the pregnancy?

  • noelove says:

    Didn’t you just like announce you were pregnant? How did 40 weeks come so fast to the casual reader.

    I love that color on you, very nice.

    Hang tough and ground the fuzzbaby when she’s 16.

  • fairy_tail says:

    Your so pretty πŸ™‚

    I think baby will be born by/on Monday. Eat some spicy Mexican food to hurry things up. My friend went into labor after eating Taco bell, granted it was 66hours of labor ending in a c section, but she went into labor!

    • admin says:

      I imagine Taco Bell to have a similar effect as castor oil induction: you shit until you’re so dehydrated and exhausted that your body just throws the baby out in desperation to make it stop.

      • fairy_tail says:

        As far as I know she didn’t get the shits, but the baby got super hyper after she ate the spicy food.

        • devilgrrl says:

          Taco Bell did it for me. My water broke something like three hours after it. She made a quick exit, too– 22 minutes of pushing.

          I really empathize with the back spasms. I had horrible ones from the middle of my pregnancy on if I stayed in one position more than 20 minutes. Car rides? Not even close. Here’s hoping you go soon!

  • knottyrye says:

    go read the pregnant chicken blog. maybe you can laugh that baby out.

  • zeldazonk says:

    You look amazing. Your skin is gorgeous.

  • briannablade says:

    God, you’re gorgeous. You’re a beautiful pregnant woman!

  • altarflame says:

    I clearly remember that 6.5 week shot and it’s counterparts – SO SEXY. I don’t know what it is about that picture but I love it.

    I’ve only ever heard of ankylosing spondylitis in reference to an aging rock star; I didn’t know that was part of what you have going on. 70% :/

    I know how fucking sick of being pregnant I am at the phase you’re at. I can’t even imagine throwing all the extra shit on top of it. UGH!

    I’ll just go back to quietly waiting for a birth announcement WITHOUT PESTERING YOU ABOUT WHETHER YOU’VE HAD THE BABY yet, now…

    • admin says:

      6.5 weeks… you mean the underwear/tattoo shot? You’re not the first to say that. So weird to me. I felt so flubbery in that shot with visible stretch marks, scar and a little blub of belly developing.

      Re: spondylitis
      I’ve only mentioned the AS in detail a few times, it’d kind of one of those things either people know everything about (because they have it, or know someone who has it) or have never heard of it and want to suggest I do some more yoga to cure it.

      It’s funny that you’d hear about it in reference to “aging rock star” because it’s generally a young person’s disease… it usually kicks in somewhere in your 20’s. It’s much more common in men, but it’s also genetic, and my maternal side seems to be rife with it.
      It’s what has completely disabled my mother, though hers went undiagnosed for a lot longer before I did. It appears it may also be what my grandmother had that completely crippled her, though she never had a diagnosis other than “Crippled”. I let mine go too long, and once the fusions began they progressed rather quickly, but now they’re under control and haven’t moved in a year thanks to meds (inflammation is the largest contributor to the fusions developing). The ideal hope is that I can keep it at this level for the rest of my life, but there’s not much chance of that, so I see a rheumatologist 1-2x a year to check the progression and talk about shit like “biologics”… which is a treatment I don’t really want to think about and hope I don’t get to a point where I need.

  • Anonymous says:

    A friend I have IRL and on Joyousbirth linked me to your site a few months ago. I developed a fascination with you, partly because I have a history of CFS, partly because I have loved photography since I was little and been playing with my SLR since I was 16, partly because I love to write, partly because I was born at home and my own babe was a homebirth transfer with a 52 hour labour and partly because as an emetaphobe I think people who manage to survive HG must be gods, if it happened to me I would probably ask someone to kill me, and I would be serious too. So there you go, I had many reasons to fall in love.

    Having CFS means that I get brainfog and have trouble concentrating, so as much as I have wanted to go back and read through all your history I haven’t managed that quite yet and am just reading bits here and there when I’m up to it. I hoping that at some point I can fill in all the gaps. I am 20 weeks with my 2nd wee one now and so it is even more exciting to see your journey knowing that I will be doing the same again soon.

    I just wanted to stop by and say that I hope you have a wonderful, empowering birth and a blissfully milky babymoon. I hope that your wee one chooses her birthday sooner rather than later. My midwife keeps telling me this one will just slip out like a little lamb and I think that after last time, anything less than 2 days will feel quick! Anyway, I hope your little woman slips out like a little lamb (and soon), just to make life a bit easier. With love xo

    • admin says:

      πŸ™‚ All of this made me smile.

      As for your labour: yes, it will definitely be easier. I was in labour with Tempest for 44 hours hard, 60+ soft beforehand. It sucked monkeys. My next two labours were 2.5 hours and 3 hours.

      • Anonymous says:

        I hope so, my mum had a similar first birth, with a transfer as well and her second babe was literally caught in mid air after a 6 hour labour. I wouldn’t mind one of those πŸ˜‰ I didn’t mind labour at all, what I did mind was the excruciating slicing, stabbing back pain I would get in between contractions. I used to get those horrible punches to the cervix like you describe too and this weird thing that I told Ross was like I had popping candy in my pelvis, only the popping candy looked like ninja stars and was on some kind of crack.

        For some reason it would only let me post as anonymous last night because I don’t have a live journal. I do have my own blog though (billiebutton.me), and I just started following you on twitter. I didn’t want you to just think I was some crazy internet stalker. Although I wonder if reading the blog of a person I don’t know, then adding her on twitter and writing messages to her does count as stalking…

        Hopefully today is a little less painful. I wonder if maybe Fuzz is just really bad at directions and isn’t quite sure which way is out. That could explain the alien like behaviour. Maybe a map would help, or one of those big green flashing EXIT signs.

  • just a lurker here to say that you look absolutely amazing. I LOVE that blue shirt, too. πŸ™‚ I keep sending labor vibes your way, everyday.

  • lottiekate says:

    I was a a curry which did it for me the first time I was pregnant. Heres hoping for her grand entrance soon.

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