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What’s New: Stomach Bugs and Giant Bellies

Every Wednesday I write a post to reflect on any big events in our family’s life, along with all of the small changes and new developments I notice with Annabelle during the week. Life moves so quickly, and this is my way of keeping track – my virtual scrapbook, if you will. If you write a post, or put together a collection of photos, to record the happenings with your own children or family, I’d love to have you link up so I can follow along. There’s a link-up at the bottom of this post for anyone who would like to join. This year, I’m also participating in Mamatography, a 366 day photo challenge, started by Luschka at Diary of a First Child, and this weekly update seems the perfect time to post the photos I take during the week, so you’ll see them scattered about in each post.

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A silly pregnancy self-portrait to celebrate the transformation of my bellybutton from an "innie" to an "outie."

Oh, what a week it has been! Poor Annabelle ended up with a stomach bug of some kind on Sunday night that, between the illness itself and the lack of sleep, had her looking, and probably feeling a bit pathetic up until today. Right after I wrote about how smoothly sleep was starting to go, this came on and threw it all out of whack, and also brought the need for some days at home to recover and keep the germs to ourselves. Staying at home all day is not what it used to be now that we have only a table and a bed for furniture, and little entertainment.

Fortunately, we have not lost our rhythm completely, and we had the good sense to keep the spare sheets behind rather than send them with the movers. All’s well that ends well, right? Tonight and last night, Annabelle went to sleep after calling me in just one time during the drifting off process. She really seems to be comfortable with this new way of doing things, and it feels great!

I began my third trimester on Saturday, and boy can I feel it! It seems as though my uterus is taking up my entire abdominal cavity and it’s difficult to imagine it growing any more, though I know it must. This baby’s movements are so much different from Annabelle’s, and I actually find them downright painful at times. Until recently, I could almost forget I was pregnant sometimes, as I went about the business of the day, but of course the jabs to my ribs are wonderful reminders that I have a thriving, developing human in there, so I’m happy for them to continue all the same!

Exactly 28 weeks pregnant.

I had a prenatal appointment on Thursday and Annabelle talked from the time she woke up about how the doctor was going to measure my belly. I casually mentioned her enthusiasm as my OB was getting her measuring tape, and she invited Annabelle up to the exam table to help. She was thrilled! I had bloodwork done in advance of this appointment and was happy to learn that my iron levels have returned to “normal.” What’s interesting is that my platelets, obviously another very important part of my blood, are low. They’re not alarmingly low or anything, but still something to be aware of. I followed all the rules while pregnant with Annabelle, but this time have been drinking coffee and tea in moderation, and I think that may be the difference. I have cut those out again, mostly, so we’ll see if that makes a difference.

"You're digging in dirt like a tractor!"

Annabelle has been obsessed with construction vehicles. Every time we’re in the car, she talks about how she’s “wanting to see a tractor,” and she is thrilled by every dump truck and cement truck she sees. She loves climbing into and out of the car by herself lately, but when she gets into the larger of our two vehicles, she often needs a boost. I put my hand under her bottom and offer a bit of a push when asked, and lately her method of asking has been to say, “Mama, scoot you [me] up like a tractor!” My hand plays the tractor, and she’s the dirt pile, I guess. When we were out for a walk on the weekend and she saw this pile of rocks, she immediately climbed on it and started, “digging like a tractor!” She was incredibly happy!

Being silly while we try out the new wrap I bought for the baby. I did not get it tight enough, but I love it!

I’m not sure if it’s the illness and the exhaustion it has brought, or the unsettled nature of things in the midst of this move, but it has definitely been frustration central around here lately. Annabelle gets very upset when I put something down in the wrong place, say something she doesn’t want to hear, or otherwise stand in the way of what she wants, when she wants it. I am trying to meet these behaviors with gentle consistency. Responding with things like, “I’m having a really hard time understanding when you use that voice. Can you think of another way to tell me what you want?” or, “are you thinking, ‘mama, can you please help me do xyz?’” Sometimes I just have to look at her, and say, “Mama,” in a calm and questioning voice, and she’ll pick that word and tone up and use it to tell me what she’s needing. Other times I’m not so patient, or she’s not so responsive, or both, and we end up in a bit of a rough spot, but so far we’re making it through them.

Smoothie date!

Through it all, though, we’re having fun. Her jokes involving what things are (“That’s not a tree! That’s an apple!”) have evolved and she now prefers to laugh about the attributes of different things. A favorite has been, “The ocean doesn’t have arms to hold you! That’s funny!”  She also talks frequently and enthusiastically about the new baby and the new house. The baby’s nursing habits are a topic of great interest, and I’m also asked frequently to pull up you tube videos of mammals nursing their young. There’s plenty to pull us all through the frustrating moments, I suppose!

What has been happening in your house this week? Feel free to link up with your own update post below, or just use the comments section to fill me in!

16 Responses to What’s New: Stomach Bugs and Giant Bellies

  • So sorry A was feeling poorly, but glad she is much better. Stomach bugs are the worst. LOVE the pregnancy pics, that belly suits you! :) Jesse and A will get right along with their mutual love for tractors!

    • melissa says:

      Thanks, Christine! :) As much as I’ll be thrilled to have the baby on this side of things, I think I will miss the belly, too. I wish we could get our two together to talk about their tractor love!

  • Sierra says:

    I like reading your what’s new posts. I think it is cute Annabelle uses “you” when she is talking about herself. I used to call my little pony “your little pony” when I was little. I want to meet Annabelle. She seems funny!

    • melissa says:

      Thank you, Sier! “Your little pony” made me laugh, and I’m glad to know that Annabelle is in good company with her pronoun usage. I want you to meet her, too! Hopefully that can be arranged now that we’ll be living on the same continent again!

  • Oh my, seems like we all had a bit of a rough week! So glad that Annabelle is feeling better and life is moving forward.

    • melissa says:

      I’m sorry to know I’m not the only one who had a rough week! I’m glad it’s behind us now, anyway!

  • Amy says:

    Good luck with your third trimester- what an exciting and anxious time it must be! I love that Annabelle is making connections with the tracker and the action it makes! Certainly a twist my adult eyes wouldn’t see!

  • Happy 3rd tri!!! You look beautiful! Glad to hear A is feeling better, those stomach bugs sure throw a wrench into everything. I too had low platelets with my 3rd preg, especially during the 3rd tri. It’s called gestational thrombocytopenia and for the most part is non worrisome, but your doc will probably get bloodwork done regularly.

    • melissa says:

      Thank you, Kat! I’m glad to hear you didn’t have any complications related to low platelets. It sounds like that’s the most common scenario which is really comforting! Fortunately mine aren’t low enough to throw me into the official thrombocytopenia range, but we’ll check again next month to make sure they haven’t gotten any lower.

  • Sorry to hear about the stomach bug! Your belly doesn’t look giant to me, by the way—you look beautiful, as always. =) I love reading these updates!

  • Rach says:

    I love her sense of humour and how you spot her developmental leaps. “Scoot me up” is hilarious. As a (caffeinated) tea addict I hated having to cut down tea when preggers. The decaff stuff isn’t topo bad though – can you get decaff “real” (i.e. non-herbal) tea there? Great news on the sleep front. When B uses her whiney voice (often!) I do something similar to you, asking her to use words rather than whines. Works unless she is really tired or fed up.

    • melissa says:

      Thanks, Rach! I have a good stash of teas that includes caffeinated and non, but I think I’m better off avoiding all of it. With iron, I know it’s the tannins in tea and coffee that inhibit absorption, not the caffeine, so decaf is just as bad. I assume the reason for negative effect on platelet levels is the same, but I should look into that more. Of course less caffeine is wise, too :/ I like “words rather than whines” – great way to phrase that sort of request!

  • teresa says:

    She is so brilliant!! I love the ocean observation. I’m so glad you’re blogging it. It would be lost forever otherwise and it’s just too good!!
    Love the beautiful belly too. It looks ripe for some henna or just nice body paints that Annabelle could help you with. Before we had all our supplies (face crayons and now face paints) I would let Em use my eye pencil (since it was all natural, etc…) and we decorated ourselves all the time.
    Fun!

    • melissa says:

      I think I’m going to get some henna before we head off the island, but I had not thought of just for fun decorating with Annabelle. What a great way that would be to help her bond with her sibling to be! I love it! Thanks for the idea :)

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