I have a feeling that 20 weeks marks a calm before the storm. The storm of a big belly, less comfortable sleep, a looming deadline and then life with a baby! I’m really looking forward to all of these, but I’m also really trying to savor up these last few days (weeks?) with a relatively flat stomach, high energy levels and quiet time with my husband.
The highlight this week is an increasing amount of movements. They’re getting more frequent and stronger. Yesterday and today I actually noticed a kick from the outside, which was so exciting!! I spent about 20 minutes just staring at my stomach waiting to see if it would happen again. There wasn’t another quite as strong, but I definitely saw some shifts and kicks popping out.
My bump is also getting harder and poking out more. It’s been a really interesting shift. Some days I feel like my stomach is flatter, but harder. Other days it hangs out far and low. I’ve noticed that it’s getting harder to bend in half. I can still touch my toes and things, but it’s hard to breathe when I bend over – just a subtle realization.
Another new thing this week: I have a linea nigra!! At first I thought it was just a mark from a seam of my clothes because I noticed it when I first woke up in the morning and was changing. But it hasn’t gone away and I figured out that it’s actually part of my skin! It’s very light and not black – more like a faint tan, but definitely noticeable. I’m surprised it showed up this early!
I’ve been having some trouble with back pain since about 15 weeks. My lower back, the SI joint. I’ve been to see Dr. Tate (the chiropractor) twice (luckily my insurance covers something like 30 visits a year with just a co-pay) and he confirmed that it’s the SI joint and did a few adjustments on me. They really helped a lot. That coupled with a few prenatal massages make it better for about 10 days before I start to feel it again. I think it’s from standing too much like a ballerina with my back arched (from lax abs?) lately. Car trips make it worse (trying to sit so my hips are higher than my knees). IKEA furniture assembly made it much worse! But I went to see Tate on Friday and it’s been much, much better since.
I’ve also had a good amount of round ligament pain this week. At least that’s what I’m assuming the soreness and spasms in the muscles (ligaments?) on my lower abdomen are. One morning I made one cramp by stretching wrong. I’ve been doing strange lower body stretches for months. It’s weird – like I have restless leg syndrome when I get in bed at night and then in the morning I have to stretch my whole lower body or I feel too stiff. I fear that leg cramps are in my future, but I’ve lucky been able to avoid them thus far, which surprises me with the amount of cramp-promoting stretching I’ve been doing. The ligament pain feels better when I massage it, and it’s better since my appointment on Friday even though Tate didn’t adjust anything in the front.
For the most part I’m still not even close to filling out some of my maternity shirts. And now that it’s warm, I probably need a few more pairs of shorts too (I have a 30% off coupon for Old Navy I’m hoping to use next week!) I also really need new workout clothes. Because they stretch, my normal ones still fit, but they are just getting tighter and tighter and I could just use a bit more room!
It’s funny that the bigger my bump gets, the more I feel like my old self. I have very few food aversions these days, and I’m eating pretty normally. My appetite is increased and a bit unpredictable, but my energy is good, eating is good, things are good! Just enjoying it for now : )